(Image: CLASSROOM OF THE FUTURE UNDER LIBERAL EDUCATION POLICY)
Ok, for the purposes of this, I’m going to ignore all the minor parties, including The Greens, so there’s no need to start the argument about them having much better credentials in any of these areas. But hey, it’s a free country, feel free to have another Labor versus Green argument and ignore the main point I’m trying to make.
Let’s look at where Labor seems to have an electoral advantage over the Liberals:
- The environment
- Action on climate change
- Workers’ Rights (this assumes that more people are in favour of keeping some rights at work, and that the number of voters planning to bring out workers on 457 visas hasn’t grown to several million because of the Abbott Government “Open for Business” philosophy!)
Let’s look at where Liberals seem to gain an electoral advantage over Labor:
- Economic management (although that one gets harder for them with each passing day. It’s one thing to say we’re still cleaning up the mess when you first walk in, but if you’d employed someone to clean up after someone’s held a wild party in your house, you’d grow concerned when the number of empty bottles seems to be growing rather than diminishing, and the head cleaner can’t even count the number of points on a star!)
- Leadership tensions within the Labor Party
- Boat Arrivals
- Terrorism (Just reminding you that I said, “electoral advantage” not actually better policies before you tell me how ridiculous the growing number of flags is! Any thinking person would realise that there are now so many flags behind our PM that they give would-be assasins plenty of room to hide!)
So, can someone from Labor’s side of politics please explain why Labor – both the Federal Party and your average supporter – seem to want to talk about the second list rather than the first?
How on earth the Liberals have managed to convince people that the piddling number of boat arrivals threaten our borders and make traffic in Sydney worse is something I’ve never quite understood! However, Labor’s inability to change the subject and talk about things that actually matter is even harder to fathom. As someone observed, never wrestle a pig in mud, you get dirty and the pig loves it.
And yes, I’m sure that someone will comment and tell me that it’s all Bill Shorten’s fault (see point 2). Or argue for or against the boats policy. (Although, personally, I think my tongue-in-cheek piece yesterday, where I suggested that Labor should refuse to release a “boats policy” for operational reasons may not be as ridiculous as anything the Liberals have done!)
When Shorten suggested that the we should have a Renewable Energy Target of 50%, a couple of Coalition MPs commented, but then somehow, the subject was quickly changed. Suddenly, we’re talking about something else.
One week we have a scare campaign on a possible reintroduction of the carbon tax, but by the next, Abbott is calling for a “mature discussion” on tax – the GST – without needless scare campaigns.
While “Chopper” Bishop may make it easier to win votes from the Liberals, the fact remains that the votes need to be won. Labor needs to learn from Tony Abbott. No, not his negativity and bloody-mindedness. They need to learn the only other thing he seems to be able to do: changing the subject when the topic doesn’t suit him.
P.S. Someone just pointed out that calling our Speaker, “Chopper” may be offensive because of associations with “Chopper” Read. So if any of Mr. Read’s friends or family are reading this, I’d like apologise and assure them that I meant no disrespect, and in no way did I wish to connect him with Mrs. Bishop.