Bush And Gore Could Teach Our Leaders A Lesson

Published: Fri 6 Oct 2000 10:24 AM
New Zealand political leaders could learn a lesson or two about dignity and civility in political debate from United States Presidential candidates Al Gore and George Bush, according to United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne.
Mr Dunne is contrasting the demeanour of Messrs Gore and Bush during their recent televised debate with current political debate in New Zealand.
"Al Gore and George Bush were unfailingly courteous to each other, and stuck to the issues, not personalities."
"By contrast in New Zealand in recent days in the wake of dismal economic news:
 Dr Cullen has been sniping at the Governor of the Reserve Bank over his 'stagflation' comments;
 * The Prime Minister has described critics of her policies as 'economic saboteurs';
 * There has been the infamous 'half-wit' e-mail from Tony Simpson in the Deputy Prime Minister's office;
 * The Leader of the Opposition has compared the Prime Minister to a shrew;
 * Trevor Mallard has just been Trevor Mallard."
"None of these antics has made any substantive contribution to improving New Zealand's position, or inspiring confidence."
"If anything, they have confirmed the general level of pessimism," Mr Dunne says.
Mr Dunne is calling on all political leaders - and the news media - to elevate the current level of political debate from the trivial and the sensational to something considerably more substantial.
"The lack of firm leadership from the Government is creating a void, where petty wrangling and points-scoring seem more important than seeking genuine solutions." "It is time to take a lead from Messrs Gore and Bush and focus on the country's interests ahead of individual egos," he says.

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