And that’s asking someone to make a promise they can’t keep.

The polls are in, the people are not happy, the PM is about to break a promise.

After spending the last three years lambasting PM Gillard for breaking a promise (and calling her a liar) PM Abbot is accused of breaking a tax and a paid parental leave promise (does that mean he is a liar?).

The fact is that politicians break promises and I for one don’t want to hear this circular conversation about who is the biggest promise breaker go on and on and on.

The real problem here is not an integrity issue, it is a communication issue. Rather than worrying about breaking promises we should be more worried about asking our PM’s (and prospective PM’s) to make promises in the first place.

Surely there are others ways to identify the best candidate rather than asking them to make promises that we know in advance they probably won’t be able to keep.

PM Gillard couldn’t keep her  “no carbon tax” promise because she didn’t control the house of representative and had to compromise. PM Abbot can’t keep his parental leave scheme promise because he doesn’t control the senate and will have to compromise.

Imagine if our politicians identified principles with regard to the economy, to education, to health and to industry, imagine if they communicated preferred strategies to achieve those principles and imagine if we evaluated those politicians based on real outcomes rather than three word slogans – then no one would have to make promises they couldn’t keep.

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Written by Lisa Smith

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Lisa is a professional thinker dedicated to helping people unlock their innate creativity and to empower them to think differently – for themselves. She is passionate about building innovative cultures and about harnessing and engaging talent to create thinking communities. Lisa holds an MBA, specialising in organisational change and innovation, which forms the nucleus of her work. She relishes opportunities to share the Minds at Work thinking strategies with government bodies, socially responsible corporate, educators, community groups and farmers, helping them to turn their big ideas into realities.