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Politicians - it’s not rocket science…

Posted by
05 May 2015
Don't get me wrong, I take an active interest in politics and I think that the lead up to Election day is a relatively exciting time. However, with topical debate television programmes, such as a Question Time, I find it exhausting listening to politicians making large claims and empty promises.

In no other walk of life you could get away with being asked a question and then completely ignoring it by launching into a pre-meditated speech with scant relevance. For instance, the conversation in such debates usually does something like this…

"How much will you reduce the deficit year on year?”

"Yes, we will of course be reducing the deficit it's in the first line of our election manifesto”

"Yes, but by how much?”

"Look, we are committed to the British people and we owe it to the next generation to…”

Suffice to say we didn't get a straight answer and maybe the deficit may be cut year on year by approximately £1.47 billion, we shall never know!

Why do the media continually allow politicians to avoid answering critical questions?  In normal everyday life, if we treated our clients like that we would lose all credibility and trust immediately. Even football managers do a better job when being interviewed, or at least they respond to difficult questions by commenting, "You'll have to ask the other Manager that question”.  Some may say politicians are just too sharp and clever but I find it plain annoying and weak.

So what can be done to ensure our politicians answer our questions, so we can make an educated decision on who we should vote for? How about a three strike rule?

The reporter informs the politician before the interview that if they receive three evasive non-relevant questions then the interview stops.  At least this way, they do not get any air time or coverage and an interview cut short then becomes news in itself. Would this actually work or be carried out in reality? Probably not, but I feel that there must be a solution to this issue and if more people are to take up their right to vote, what we need is straight talking, honesty and transparency. This evasiveness and 'clever' rhetoric devalues politics, damaging credibility and erodes trust.

Trust - it is so easily lost and so hard to gain over time. People want to buy in to other people and it is so important in everyday life that we can trust our colleagues, friends and family so why do Politicians continue to break this all important basic rule?

The repeated and worst offenders seem to be the leaders of the main parties with I suppose the most to lose. We are, in 'normal life'; never negative or openly against competitors or peers, people simply don't like it and it creates a negative impression of you if you are. So why do politicians constantly do this and attack each other at every opportunity, instead of focusing on what it is they can do to make things better?     

Perhaps it is the Westminster way, you just have to look at Prime Minister's Questions Time to see how they communicate with one another. Jeering, shouting, laughing at each other - the politicians of the leading parties often act like school children rather than educated adults trying to ensure the best for their constituency. If more of them understood what everyday life was really like for the public, perhaps we might actually see some straightforward answers to straightforward questions. Maybe we wouldn't take everything with a pinch of salt if they took time to build trust with honesty and transparency and weren't openly attacking competitors. We, the people, with busy lives then might take more interest if we aren't wading through reams of 'party line' and it may just reap the long term rewards.

We normal people lives by these values and rules, why don't you?

What do you think? Do you think politcians need to answer questions the right way? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below...

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