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The Forum > Article Comments > The ABCís 'Q&A': what doesnít it tell us about Australian politics? > Comments

The ABCís 'Q&A': what doesnít it tell us about Australian politics? : Comments

By Chris Lewis, published 26/6/2008

The ABCís new television show 'Q&A' offers a unique opportunity for viewers to question politicians directly.

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"Politicians need to tell the truth about their respective policy options rather than merely expressing an awareness of issues or blaming the previous government for the nationís current woes ..."

I agree with the concept of politicians telling the truth. But it's unlikely they will any time soon and especially on a live program like Q&A, where any serious slip-up is fatal to a political career.

What if you got Brendon Nelson on the program? All you would get is a plethora of mini-truths which, when added together, would just give you random Brownian motion.

What we really need is a Government that has got the balls to tell the truth and then butter up with real leadership that takes the country in a new direction and to a better place.
Posted by RobP, Thursday, 26 June 2008 10:16:52 AM
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I have tried to watch QandA but when Tony Jones permits yet another question on fuel prices I switch to the Footy Show. Australian pollies can't control petrol prices and I want to hear what plans there are to reduce our dependence on fuel complete with time lines and money to start work.

I haven't watched for long enough to know that questions about environment, social and labor conditions had been asked
Posted by billie, Thursday, 26 June 2008 11:44:37 AM
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Pollies cannot control petrol prices is rubbish

China has a regime of subsidising petrol use, they have artificially lower fuel price for their citizens

At the moment petrol excise is based on a percentage of fuel price, the higher the fuel price, the more money the government gets.

So to give us back a little of the extra they are taking is well within their ability

They can also increase petrol prices with a carbon trading scheme tax, which they are going to do, which will again effect fuel price, so it is wrong to say governments cannot affect the price of fuel
Posted by dovif1, Thursday, 26 June 2008 12:31:06 PM
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dovif1,

I think you've fallen into a trap for young players.

Yes, the Government can affect the price in the (very) short term, but no sooner does this happen than the companies in the market take the price up to what it used to be before the public can notice the difference. You just need to look at what happened on childcare the other day when ABC Learning raised its childcare fees by 11% in response to the Government's increase in the childcare rebate.

What's happening is that the company is "filling the hole" that has been created. This does not benefit the consumer much at all. At least when the Government has got the money, instead of the market, the money can come back to us by way of services, etc. Or that's the theory anyway.

What you've suggested is the same as digging a hole in the ground and saying it will never get filled in. Natural forces/processes, all by themselves, will fill the hole.
Posted by RobP, Thursday, 26 June 2008 12:48:29 PM
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I think Q&A just gives us a chance to see politicians as humans instead of soundbite machines. The panel format allows them to joke around a bit and not have to stay on message all the time. It works well when politicians relax a bit (Tony Abbott) and gets annoying when they just keep politicking and have to have the last word on every issue(Julie Bishop).

In the end it is just a TV show and not a panacea for the nations problems.
Posted by gusi, Thursday, 26 June 2008 5:57:05 PM
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After the fist show, I got halfway through the second one before switching the TV off. I think it's a lightweight program with haphazard structure, and doesn't tell us much about anything, let alone Australian politics.
Posted by drongo, Friday, 27 June 2008 10:08:47 AM
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