Politics is about persuading voters about priorities.
To do so, facts are important, but they can also be misused in an attempt to win the debate.
Here the facts fight back. This site presents the facts to help keep the debate clean and to persuade politicians and others to stick to the facts.
Between elections governments are held to account through debate. This debate takes place in the parliament, media, in workplaces, at BBQs and parties, around the kitchen table and online. Politicians, pundits and interest groups attempt to influence the debate and persuade us which side of the debate to take.
Should the Australian government encourage renewable forms of energy or do we need to support fossil fuels? Is returning the budget back to surplus the number one priority and if so should be decrease spending or increase revenue? Should we focus on industrial relations or indigenous recognition?
There are, of course, no right answers to such questions. But to use the complexity of a policy issue to cloud debate with half-truths and misrepresentation of the facts to win the debate undermines the democratic accountability of government.
The media plays an important role in presenting an even handed account of the debate and ensuring a range of voices are heard. In turn politicians are keen to influence the debate through the media's reporting. Undue influence risks silencing some voices from the debate.
As the political debates continue Facts Fight Back will provide a timely and accessible source of information to help keep the debate clean and and ensure the public, journalists and the politicians themselves keep track of who is sticking to the facts.