Sunday 5 June 2016
Four weeks down in an eight week election campaign and what has happened? What events, policy announcements, have impressed you, not impressed you, or hasn’t it even occurred to you that there is an election on July 2.
If I were to ask the reader to make a list of all the nuances, the mistakes, the ups and downs, of both major parties, of the four weeks thus far. Would you be able to list them?
Well let me help you. This is my random list from memory. So far the campaign will be noted for its negativity, its contradictions, its name calling and its lying. Basically it’s been about mud throwing. And because the Coalition has found itself in an election losing position the former Malcolm Turnbull, the one who promised reasoned debate without slogans, has turned from mild Malcolm to negative shit thrower and I suspect the voters are aghast at his behaviour.
Peta Credlin of course didn’t help his image when she called him Mr Habourside Mansion. I’m serious when I say the voters are aghast. It’s not what they expected, or were promised. When I see him muck raking his opponent my image of him is shattered.
Of course when Barnaby Joyce made that ridiculous connection between boat arrivals and the meat trade he simply reinforced what people think of him. That being that it is in the smallness of the mind that true ignorance can be found.
We have had two debates both of which were stage-managed and served little purpose other than to show how popular cooking shows are, or how battered politics is. I hesitate to use the word stewed.
Labor was caught between a rock and a hard place on Penalty Rates and in the end Shorten decided on some fortune-telling by pre-empting The Fair Work tribunal’s decision.
There were the usual rogue candidates on both sides.
And we had two of the worst press conferences of all time. The first was Scott Morrison’s “black hole” accusations. The black hole turned into a well of discontent with his aggressive confrontationist manner.
After learning nothing from it, he went in with all guns blazing at the second conference accusing Labor of a war on anything he could think of and even what he couldn’t.
After watching both I concluded that people like Morrison, those on the right of politics in Australia show an insensitivity to the common good that goes beyond any thoughtful examination. They have hate on their lips and their hate starts with the beginning of a smile.
Shorten made what some saw as an undiplomatic observation on the persona of Donald Trump. Turnbull said it was unworthy while probably thinking the same thing but unwilling to say it.
As usual Labor was hammered by the Liberals on a perceived difference on Asylum Seeker Policy saying that up to 21 Labor backbenchers were in conflict when all they were guilty of was having humanitarian instincts. I have to say the demonising boat people has some sort of macabre character credibility from the un couth mouths of Abbott and Morison but it looks undecidedly classless from the mouth of the ‘’Lord of the Manor.’’
“It is the misinformed who shout the loudest. The rest of us are content with the truth we enquired about.”
Yesterday former Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Yes the one who got booted out with a legacy in his own mind said in an interview with Michelle Gratton that while he didn’t agree with Bill Shorten at least he had the guts to put forward a plan for the future. At last Sundays debate Turnbull insisted he didn’t have one.
The Liberals are still having trouble convincing people that their changes to Superannuation are not retrospective. It’s hard to find an economist that doesn’t think they are. And deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop, like many others didn’t understand her parties policy. Nor did the Greens Sarah Hansen. Despite Turnbull standing firm most commentators reckon he will be rolled on the policy after the election.
“Perception interpreted unwisely can result in a mistaken conclusion of reality.”
In addition the LNP’s scare campaign against Labor’s Negative Gearing proposals seems to have run out of steam
Then there was also some juvenile name calling like “billion dollar bill”.
Other than that the only other thing that seemed to get any traction was who might form government in the event of a hung parliament. Labor said no way with the Greens but you can be assured they would if push came to shove.
So after four weeks of each party attacking the other shouting their differences and generally playing for time, to use a cricketing term. How is each party addressing the future needs of the nation?
Where is the exchange of ideas, the intellectual policy debate so needed and so promised? After three years of brain-dead governance are we not entitled to a quality of discourse that goes beyond simply throwing mud.
Is the electorate prepared to give such an incompetent bunch of Coalition politicians another term?
Well the next four weeks will tell. I hope it’s not as negative as the first four.
2 “Shorten ahead of Malcolm Turnbull for first time the headline shouts”. It’s bad news for the Turnbull Government coming into the final four weeks of an election campaign.
Labor Leads the Coalition 51/49 according to the latest IPOS Poll. It’s the first time it has led in both major polls and it is now indisputable that Labor is for the first time in a winning position.
Turnbull’s once stratospheric personal standing, continues to fall.
My thought for the day.
“In the information age, those who control the dissemination of news have more power than government“.