Monday, 2 September 2013

Federal Election - Five days from polling day

I spent this evening reading today's Financial Review.  A big whack of the coverage followed on from the official launch of the Labor campaign at the weekend, and nearly all the pundits were administering the last rites to the government.  Notwithstanding the energy of Labor staffers travelling with the PM, I think it's safe to say that the only Labor operatives whose hearts are still in it are those too young to remember a defeat.  I think that the pundits are right in their predictions: there will be a change of government and the only question is by how much.

I'm mildly troubled, though, that I can't sense any enthusiasm in the electorate for the world beyond Saturday.  The Liberal campaign in general, and Tony Abbott in particular, has been rigorously disciplined and controlled and determined not to frighten the voters.  No doubt this has been a sound strategy, but it's produced a campaign of mind numbing blandness.

The minor parties haven't managed their usual job of livening things up.  The Greens have hit all the usual high notes of more money for everyone and only very fuzzy ideas for the economy.  The Palmer United Party has begun advertising in the last week, but its ads consist mainly of the Peter Griffin-esque Palmer rambling to the camera about tax policy.  That party is a dreadful wasted opportunity: a backer with the money and intelligence to put out new, or at least interesting, ideas, and all he created as an expensive vanity project which will pull about =/<3% of the vote tops.  And predictably the Katter Australian Party remains persuaded that being pissed off is a policy and that the world can return to 1955.

In short, I'm a little troubled.  The voters do indeed seem to be lurking with baseball bats to punish a chronically unstable and erratic government.  But once the deed is done, I'm not sure anyone knows what should happen next.

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