Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spin, spin, spin!

It was, to say the least, a tough spin. Bernama TV had guest panelists who were quick to say that the BN's defeat at the hands of Mohd. Nizar Jamaluddin was not reflective of the overall sentiment of Perak. They transfered their broadcast to Muhyiddin Yassin's press conference - right until the very moment a reporter asked if the BN loss was due to (now contested) Perak government takeover.

Extrapolating results apparently is not possible when the BN loses... but it's a different case when the BN wins. The New Straits Times website put the Batang Ai win by BN as showing that there was "no room for PKR" in Sarawak. If this were the case, wouldn't it just as easily show that the Perak win was a referendum on Najib's engineered Perak party-hopping coup?

Bernama TV even had a caller who voiced his opinion that the reason for the BN loss in Perak was not because the BN wasn't strong but the people didn't know how to "use their wisdom". And the favoured phrase seems to be that Nizar obtained "sympathy votes". Which, instead of indicating the sentiments of the people, is used to paint the voters as irrationally emotional. Somehow I doubt that will go down well the next time these same voters go back to the ballot box.

Let's recap the things the BN fellas - whether rightly or shadily - had running for them:
  • The elections were held on a day that conveniently avoided the UMNO elections - and provided a boost media-wise for the party event (not to mention the Hindraf ISA releases soon after)
  • The elections were held on the same day - helpful for the larger BN machinery
  • The PR people were slapped with a ban on discussing certain issues - including the Altantunya court case
  • Dr Mahathir's return to the fold and to the campaign trail
And that's not even taking into account the regular advantages of "instant noodle" development and media coverage. So far since the "political tsunami" one year ago (and many BN "post-mortem"s to boot) the score is PR:4 to BN:1.

At the end of all this, what is the BN response?

"Maybe the people are undecided, so we will have to work harder to convince them."
- newly minted Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

This, immediately following the by-election results with a high voter turnout and leading majorities for both PR wins - showing exactly how confidently the people had decided.

Like I said, for the Barisan it was a tough spin. And even a harder sell.

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