Two-party preferred doltI don’t care what anyone says, the poll figures released this morning scare me (Howard surges to a winning position) (for a level-headed and well informed analysis of some of the latest poll results, best divert now to this excellent analysis at Back Pages).
I know, I know, this is a long election campaign, and there is plenty of time for the polls to go up and down, many times over. But, as Crikey commented this morning, these poll results seem to suggest there is a lack of the ‘will to change’ in the electorate – the kind of sentiment needed to ensure the end of an incumbent government which has succeeded in projecting itself as eminently capable:
So far the polls are showing no evidence for a "thank God we can finally vote against the bast*rd" swing to the ALP now that an election has been called. That means Latham needs to give voters a reason to vote for him. So far he hasn't. Can he?The poll figures also tell of voter priorities, with health, once again, topping the list. No surprise then to see Howard unleashing wads of cash and calling it ‘policy’. I’m sorry if this is a perennial election-campaign question – but where was the money before? Why couldn’t we have pay-rises for doctors last year, or the year before?
From a purely selfish perspective, I could have sure used a higher Medicare rebate 5 months ago when my lumbar spine decided to split 5-ways from Sunday, sending me to the doctor, specialist and imaging centre umpteen times (all up-front payments, thanks very much).
Speaking of wads of cash, how is it that when the ALP promises to increase funding for health and education, they are branded as bad economic managers and loose-spenders (and the mud sticks).
Whereas when the coalition promises large spending programs just prior to an election, in an attempt to buy back the votes of those erstwhile Coalition voters tempted to go ALP, they’re still able to claim superior economic credentials.
If we were talking about brands or products, we’d no doubt point to successful ‘branding’ – the ability to instill into the public’s mind that a product or brand has certain intrinsic qualities – to the extent that this ‘branding’ stays true in a person's mind even in the face of contradictory evidence.
Perhaps the Coalition’s tireless ‘branding’ of itself as good economic managers, and of the ALP as fiscally irresponsible, has really stuck. Perhaps the PM knows this, and this is why he is now parroting on about ‘trust’ every second sentence – hoping that if he says it often enough, people will start to believe it.