Wednesday, 4 March 2009
These ads for the Queensland election are typical for what you would expect from the ALP; slick, professional, clever and with a dead centre that denies them real bite.
The first pretty well sums up the hollowness of the political debate from both sides. Labor has rushed out with their “Think of three positive things” about the other side before the other side get out theirs, as they did so well in WA. In its own terms, however, it makes little sense. These days governments are obliged to justify their existence before opposition are required to explain theirs. The ad may neutralise a tactic, but the strategy stills seems open for the LNP to claim that nothing much has come from the last decade, so no loss if it is changed.
The second is more interesting. Firstly it reminds us how much Labor has tried, and to a large extent succeeded, in making this downturn a global phenomenon. But in this ad Labor takes it further by portraying the Queensland
National LNP leader out of step with government leaders in Washington, London and Canberra. Claiming a state opposition leader has no credibility because he is out of sync with world leaders would be an interesting enough tactic in any state election, let alone in Queensland. This is in a state where governments have sometimes survived on little more than their ability to defy Canberra, let alone the world.
Yet there is a basic contradiction in this ad that robs it of its power. Springborg would be a risk if he got in because he would do what? Cause the state’s credit rating to be downgraded? The trouble in making the downturn a global phenomenon is that it means it really doesn’t matter who is in at the state level. Just as Labor shrugs off responsibility for Queensland’s credit downgrade citing international factors, so it undermines a scare campaign over Springborg running things instead.
After off-loading responsibility for the downturn, Labor needs to convince why it can make a difference at all. At the moment, they do have the money – and the fact that the coalition has given nominal opposition to it being spent. They need to draw out in the Queensland campaign that ultimately Springborg will cut rather than spend. It is not enough to say the opposition is hollow, the irony of Labor’s response to the downturn is that it is forcing them to have to address the accusation about themselves as well.
Posted by The Piping Shrike on Wednesday, 4 March 2009.Filed under State and federal politics