There is a definite difference emerging between the philosophies of each party in this election, and this is in part, due to Latham’s efforts to remould the labor party, and his convictions about social policy. Unfortunately this makes me very worried. I can only hope that the Herald Polling is flawed, especially since a recent Newspoll put Labor a whisker in front. Howard has really pushed no new policy directions, but doggedly driven the issues back onto the Interest Rate scare campaign. Apparently some electorates are getting leaflets telling them how much they will pay under “labor’s interest rates”. Predominant economists, however, have said that under both parties, rates will rise slightly, but remain stable. My exasperation with the australian public swings from mild to extreme, because at times it appears they are too stupid to work out that the Government has NOTHING TO DO with setting interest rates. In certain electorates, it is becoming clear that Healtha and Education are gaining traction as real issues.
Another interesting phenomenon arising is the so called “doctors wifes”. Essential, these are the “wives” of affluent people in wealthy suburbs (liberal home turf) who can “afford” a social conscience. Its been observed that these people often stray to greens votes, but usually preference liberals second. This was nicely summed up by an abc electoral reporter – they want to give johnny a kick in the pants, rather than actually kicking him out. Nonetheless, this is an interesting trend in this election.
Another unusual aspect of this campaign that i’ve picked up whilst perusing the various ABC bandwidths, was the fact that MANY people haven’t made up there minds about their vote, and don’t intend to until they’re “at the ballot box”. Its hard to see who this will favour – and it does put a great deal of pressure on both parties to perform best in the last few days. On one hand, the undecides might get there and say ‘what the hell, lets give the new bloke a go..’, although on the other hand, they may equally thing ‘it ain’t broke, so don’t fix it’. And of course, with the footy finals this and next weekend, the electorate will be nearly totally switched off – meaning that the final weeks is absolutely do or die.
Also, the Chaser Decides has returned to ABC TV, 9:00pm Thursdays. This week, amongst the normal ambush shenanigans on the campaign trail, they tried to get a ballot box (wrapped in barbed wire, of course, to suit the decor), sent to Guantanamo Bay, for the two Aussies locked up there. (They of course, by law must vote. Its ok to strip them of human rights, but they must fullfill their democratic duty!!). Also, Chas phoned into the John Laws show, and tried to read the Liberal Advertisement script word for word. Laws cut him off and threw him off air. He did the same thing on Allan Jones’ show – and got all the way through the ad, after which Jones agreed heartily and thanked him for the call. Why not just call it the Howard Radio Show?