Misdirection takes advantage of the limits of the human mind in order to give the wrong picture and memory. The mind can concentrate on only one thing at a time. The magician uses this to manipulate the "victim's" idea of how the world is supposed to be.
For the word 'magician' read politician. The technique of misdirection has proved frightfully easy for politicians to adapt from the art of magic to the game of politics. I guess Harper doesn't need to be bright, the rest of the people just have to be gullible.
The Wikipedia page on Misdirection has a section on Magic, Warfare, literature, and TV and Film. Someone really needs to add a section on Misdirection in politics.