Blog

Making all their nowhere plans for nobody

As flagged earlier in the year, I promise to keep the election commentary to a minimum, but I thought this was a nice summary of where we’re at. It’s from the PoliticOz newsletter’s Campaign Day 1 edition:

As he announced the September 7 date, Kevin Rudd said: “This election will be about who the Australian people trust to best lead them through the difficult new economic challenges which now lie ahead.”

It echoed John Howard’s 2004 pitch, and seemed just as counterintuitive: Two days earlier, his government was explaining how it intended to deal with the $30 billion recently added to the budget deficit.

Launching the campaign slogan, A New Way, Rudd spoke about his “positive plans” and giving Australians “a real choice”.

Tony Abbott appeared under the banner Choose Real Change and pitched the “positive plans” of the Coalition.

Despite launching a campaign scant on costed policies, markedly lacking in positive plans, and headed by a leader who’s not widely trusted, Abbott thought the coming election should be about who’s “more fair dinkum”. He also announced yesterday that in the event of a hung parliament he won’t do deals to form a minority government.

Murdoch flagship the Daily Telegraph greeted the news of the election in the most brazen way imaginable. It flagged it is actively campaigning for the Coalition. News Ltd is likely to be Rudd’s most ferocious and effective opponent over the next 33 days.

If Australia ever wants to grow up and be taken seriously, it needs to get past squalid and embarrassing national displays like this.