The fact that Howard needed to spend so much selling what has been an exceptionally limited programme more highlights the weak consensus the government has had over its eleven years that would emerge in its regular mid-term polling slumps. The increasing use of such advertising by both Liberal and Labor governments over recent years indicates that governments are less coming to power with a mandate than needing to create one when in office.
Rudd’s warning that all ministerial positions were up for grabs was a way of slapping down the party’s traditional power-brokers and signalling that his control over the party would be consolidated after the election.
Comparing Peter Garrett to the ALP candidate for Boothby, Nicole Cornes may seem a broad brush, but they have some interesting features that point to the current state of the party that chose them.
It is not so much that Labor’s vote is soft, but that both parties are detached from their core voters.
Maybe memory fails but it is hard to recall seeing childhood pics of Howard, Keating or Fraser in the run up to their election. Even Hawke, arguably the most self-absorbed PM, couldn’t top the personal backgrounding we have had on Rudd.
This won’t be a dirty campaign or especially personal. It might be if it was close, but neither party really thinks it will be as much as they say publicly.
Julia Gillard warned last weekend of the ‘mother of all scare campaigns’ from the government in the coming election. This is a sensible tactic as it turns whatever the government says into a political ploy. But the government already has difficulty in creating a scare campaign in the first place.
The trouble that those who consider every Newspoll is sacred have with the latest one is this: either the last poll was an outlier (unlikely) or the current one is a blip (impossible) or alternatively, it would have to be explained how we got from one to the other.
Not as much has changed from 2004 as perhaps Labor likes to think.
The main reason this blog was started in March was frustration at how this was being missed by political commentators most notably with the constant dismissing of Labor’s huge lead. The fact that it has been building up over years means that it won’t waste any time as the electorate starts to get its message across. The events of the last week show that the changes are now starting to directly impact the political order. Here we go.