In the present time with Australia’s national election date looming closer, its hard not to feel completely immersed (or even drowning) in Australian Politics.
Much of the commentary about the impending election has focused on the issue of trust. Who do voters really trust to police our borders, manage the economy and keep their promises?
But since when has trust not been an issue in any election? And since when did voters usually think politicians could be trusted, especially during an election?
I think the more relevant word to describe what voters are looking for in this election is not trust, but stability.
After a period of minority government, which voters usually associate with unstable, unfocused leadership, and with all the uncertainty and embarrassment caused by Labour’s leadership roller-coaster, the public is definitely looking for a period of stability in federal politics.
They are over all the drama.
But it seems drama is what Labour does best.
You see, first there was the infamous ousting of Kevin by Julia and vice versa. Julia dethroned Kevin, then just when we thought K-Rudd’s political days were over he reformed as a political entity out of the filaments of paper that were left of him after the Cabinet put him through the shredder, slaying Julia with the help of the so called ‘faceless men’ who put the same sword in her back as they did to Rudd just over a year ago.
Then there was of course the issue of the refugee’s also known as ‘boat people’ and what to do with these displaced and desperate people. Rudd’s liberal predecessor John Howard apparently had a somewhat effective solution to stopping the influx of boat people coming to these shores. But Rudd ended this resolution; pretty much inviting people smugglers to illegally traffic people into our country with open arms. But now, lo and behold, Rudd has had a change of heart. He has turned the other cheek, snubbing the boat people off to Papua New Guinea without so much as a wave goodbye.
If your confused now, wait there’s more.
The Carbon Tax. Never mind what it is or what it actually hopes to achieve, that’s another story in itself. Labour initially promised not to introduce it in the first place, then they did just that, breaking yet another promise to voters. And now, they have done a complete U-Turn, with Rudd promising to get rid of the tax for good. Well for now at least.
Would you please make your bloody mind up?!
Confused and annoyed voters of Australia.
How can they expect the voting public to put their confidence in the Labour Party and what they stand for when they can’t even seem to work out what that actually is themselves.
I’m under no illusion that a leadership change means the party has changed either. Even with Rudd’s new rules about deposing a sitting PM, there is still a question mark around whether Labour can play together nicely at all.
And how different is this new Kevin Rudd anyway? How certain are voters that he won’t make the same mistakes that he made the first time around? How will he be able to lead a party, which struggles to keep its internal divisions internal?
But if voters are looking for stability, this causes problems not only for Rudd but also for Abbott.
Part of Abbott’s problem with voters is they see him as temperamental and prone to outbursts. Take for example the latest debate held in Queensland where Abbott told Rudd to “shut up.” Is this really someone we want representing our country at the United Nations?
While he has managed to present as somewhat calm and focused over the last few years, I get the feeling that he is suppressing some deep anger issues beneath that chiselled exterior.
I don’t think either Rudd or Abbott are ideal candidates to be our next Prime Minister. Both their public leadership personas are deeply flawed and hint at issues of instability.
So I guess the important question still remains…
Who do we choose?