Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Right to the left

How the media plays it down. But the truth is that the debate between Prime Minister and his opponent for the Federal election was something of a watershed. In my week "embedded" in the community to ascertain the public's feelings about the election, I discovered what I believe is an unprecedented number of "swinging" voters who felt alienated by the incumbent Prime Minister but uncertain about his opponent. Mark Latham, the Labor leader, has been poorly presented by a purposely unsupportive media. The result is as the media intended - a public feeling of suspicion about this mystery man, this "inexperienced" man. I could relate to this. He has struck me as a fairly unappealing man and a poor choice. Then came the debate and Latham at last was able to represent himself unedited. And he was impressive - a rational, intelligent, articulate, calm and confident man who could think on his feet. He ran rings around the PM. He won me - and I do believe he won a mass of those swinging voters.
Of course, the race is far from run. It promises to be dirty. Politics isn't pretty. It is no place for the good.

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