We know politicians lie – but do we care?

We know politicians lie – but do we care?

At a broader level, a functional democracy depends on common appreciation of basic facts. Yes, we can debate how to respond to climate change, but the genuine debate is only possible if we first accept the evidence that the climate is changing. If truth is seen as unattainable, anything goes. And if politicians ultimately do and say whatever they want, why bother engaging with politics at all?

As we have also seen recently, in times of crisis, mutual trust between government and the public produces greater compliance and better outcomes for everyone. Lies poison this trust. From this perspective, then, we should not accept lying politicians, and the media is well advised to hold our elected representatives to account. And if our Australian study is anything to go by, how our politicians deal with truth may end up affecting voters at the ballot box in May.

Source: We know politicians lie – but do we care?