In Australian federal elections, the electorate generally gets it right.
Until very recently, the Coalition opposition led by Tony Abbott, was clearly going to win the next election. That’s of course if the government stuck with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Labor was never going to do that because it did not want to be decimated at the election on September 14…. The date chosen by Ms Gillard as election day.
Now, all that has changed. Kevin Rudd is back as Prime Minister and the latest Newspoll has Labor and the Coalition level on 50 per cent two party preferred.
So will the electorate get it right this time? That remains to be seen.
If the electorate decides to endorse an Abbott led government, what will the first 100 days look like under Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
If you listen to Mr Rudd, Mr Abbott and the coalition have no policies. The Coalition has in fact developed a comprehensive suite of policies in over 50 areas.
At least 55 policy announcements, including the outlining of substantive plans for a strong and prosperous economy, to drive productivity and to support the creation of up to one million jobs over five years.
And what of the first 100 days:
Tax reform will begin immediately with the removal of the carbon and mining taxes, which the Coalition says are undermining growth and investment, damaging the country’s reputation and making Australia less competitive.
Mr Abbott says these taxes are driving up the cost of living. Treasury's own modelling shows the carbon tax will erode GDP with a cumulative loss of output of $32 billion by 2020 rising to a staggering $1 trillion by 2050, in 2010 dollars.
The Coalition will move swiftly to change the border protection legislation in order to stem the flow of unauthorised boat arrivals, reinstituting policies similar to those of former coalition Prime Minister John Howard.
The Coalition has only recently unveiled what they say is the most ambitious deregulation agenda seen in this country, including the streamlining of environmental approval processes to provide greater investment certainty as well as a commitment to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission to tackle union abuses in the building industry.
There will also be a substantive commitment on critical infrastructure spending and reform, including the development of a rolling 15-year national infrastructure plan.
A full-scale commission of audit we will be conducted, the first since 1996, will identify areas of waste and other poor quality government spending and will be fundamental to restoring the structural integrity of the budget.
All these policy positions will, in one form or another, be started in Abbott’s first 100 days if the coalition is elected.
In outlining his policy agenda, and his likely first 100 days, Mr Abbott has continued to weather a relentless attack on the basis he has no policies.
What Mr Abbott has to continue to do is go out and educate the electorate that his policies are better than those that have put the country into the position he says it is in – lacking in confidence, a substantial reduction in retail spending, rising unemployment and rising costs.
What Mr Rudd will attempt to do is recast himself and his policies in order to demonstrate that he is a new leader with a new agenda.
And while the polls have now narrowed substantially, the Coalition retains a slight advantage. The outcome of the often looks like a beauty contest but in the end it will come down to policies….. who is offering what the people want?
1. Wells Haslem - one year on, John Wells
2. NSW Budget - Slow & Steady, Julie Sibraa
3. UNAA YP Young Professionals grow, Alexandra Mayhew
4. A reformed ALP?, Trevor Cook
5. Abbott's first 100 days, John Wells
6. Clickivist, Benjamin Haslem
7. Promises blowin' in the wind, Benjamin Haslem
8. Turkey - a country at the crossroads, Julie Sibraa
9. The rise of human-computer interaction, Alexandra Mayhew
10. The brutal world of TV is no place for a man, John Mangos
11. The value of brand, Alexandra Mayhew
12. From crisis to HERO and back again, Benjamin Haslem
13. Why do PR?, John Wells