Demand more of politicians

Tony Abbott’s long election campaign is now underway with the Opposition leader using the Australia Day long weekend to launch a prelude to the final push to win government later this year.

With the election expected in mid-spring the next nine months will be full of fresh promises and attacks as the major parties shore up their positions in the lead-up to polling day.

Tony Abbott spoke about getting the budget in order over the weekend, but he did not disclose how or what needs to be done. There is still plenty of time for the detail, but often it is lacking.

Debt will be an Abbott priority, but paying the bills means either raising revenue or cutting spending. 

Parties these days are big on promises but provide little in the way 

of detail. Polices are written in such a way that they talk about aspirations, but not how end results will be achieved. There are also no quantifiable outcomes.

An example is the NSW government’s decentralisation policy which talks about moving thousands of jobs to regional areas, but does not explain how. 

Tony Abbott has repeatedly said his first priority, if the Coalition wins government, is to remove the carbon tax, but he knows he cannot achieve that if the Opposition does not control the senate.

With a half-senate election to be held with the general election it is unlikely the coalition will win a majority in the upper house even if it does win government.

Mr Abbott does not highlight this dilemma. Instead he will blame Labor and the minority parties while an Abbott government would continue to collect the tax.

Dumb-down politics and political deceit are big issues these days, but they fly under the radar of naive voters who take for granted what they are told.

Australians should demand more of their elected representatives, to lift political standards including political debate.

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