Journalist: What are your thoughts on X?
Politician: Well let me say this, X is an important issue and I think there needs to be debate about it.
Journo: But what are your thoughts, are you for X or against it?
Polly: It is a complex issue and we take this matter seriously, and that is why I encourage the whole of the nation to engage and to participate in the dialogue.
Journo: How about starting the dialogue now and stating your beliefs on this matter.
Polly: OK, well we here in government…
Journo: Hang on, the government has been kicking X down the road for the last seven years, what is your position on the matter?
Polly: My position is the government’s position.
Journo: But your government doesn’t have a position.
Polly: Yes we do, we are actively engaged in our communities and having that dialogue.
Journo: But that’s not a position.
Polly: Well in a democracy all voices need to be heard.
Journo: But the public opinion on this matter has been known for years, an overwhelming majority of the population support X.
Polly: Our party has a long tradition of not reacting to the whims of whatever is popular as drummed up by the spurious polls conducted by the media for mere sensationalism. We have principles, we are not a populist party.
Journo: In terms of principles, where do you stand on the matter of X?
Polly: Look, in principle we support the concept of X, but the cost of X to taxpayers is something that needs to be taken into account in any dialogue on this matter.
Journo: So principles are overridden by economics.
Polly: I didn’t say that.
Journo: Didn’t you? What did you say then?
Polly: Look, I have answered your questions and there are others here…, next?