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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

destabilising the elected government « Previous | |Next »
May 13, 2011

Tony Abbott, the Coalition opposition leader, is on one long election campaign to discredit the minority Gillard Government and undermine the Independents support for it. He wants an election now--which he would win easily on current polling--- but does not have the power to call one. Abbott does not control the Senate.

So his strategy is to create an atmosphere of chaos, uncertainty and unease. He uses anything that he can lay his hands on to discredit the Gillard Government, and to demand an early election through de-legitimising the Government in the eyes of the public.


Abbott's budget-in-reply speech was a campaign speech and he was very effective in placing the Gillard Government on the defensive and hurting the front bench ministers. They have not got his measure and they are not happy about Abbott the brawler putting them on the ropes and being way ahead on points in his war of attrition against the Government.

The Liberals core constituency will really love his core populist philosophy to "stop the boats"; do away with waste and mismanagement; dump the carbon tax and the mining tax, which are to blame for everything that causes families to struggle in the the "lived economy"; defend middle class welfare; slash $50 billion from the budget in 12 months, restore small government; and have a strong government with real authority to make the tough decisions needed to build a stronger Australia and help Australians get ahead.

The stark contradictions in the policy area don't matter, as we are dealing with slogans, soundbites and one-liners strung together. What matters is in the war of attrition is to destabilize the Gillard Government.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:32 AM | | Comments (22)


Glad you have picked up on this Gary, it is the tactic the Republicans have used with Obama (birthers) and Clinton (women) - deny legitimacy to any left of centre govt and push and push and push that line until it become associated indelibly. First used, of course, successfully, against Whitlam.

its proving to be a very effective strategy.

I'm surprised Gillard turned out to be so hopeless at dealing with Abbott. She used to crucify him in QT when she was deputy. Now she's as useful as a back pocket in a singlet.

Abbott's one liners: "We ended the waste"; "repaid the debt"; "stopped the boats"; "a great big new tax on everything", "pick up the phone to the president of Nauru"; "this is bad government" and so on.

Now we have some new ones: "stop the dole payments" (for people under 30 in places where unskilled work is readily available); "Building The Entertainment Revolution".

Of course the Gillard govts grab for the populist vote hinders them as much as it helps them. By playing the game they lend credibility to the "issues" so-beloved by the shock jocks. And it certainly won't win the votes of any socially conservative voters... they've already sided with young Tony.

I agree re Gillard. I don't know why she is so hopeless as PM re Abbott. It's a bit of a puzzle. Maybe they are spooked?

Mr. Abbott made a call last night that the first duty of a politician was to do no harm.

Besides elevating his procession to that of a doctor, he should look at his own behaviour as Opposition leader.

Surely if a PM first duty to do no harm, surely a responsible Opposition leader would be aware of the same need.

Mr. Abbott has since he has been appointed to his position after deposing Mr. Turnbull continued with great ferocity to talk the economy down at every opportunity he gets.

Mr. Abbott has not accepted the legality of the present government and is doing all in his power to bring it down. The only reason he has that he believes he should be PM and he does not like Labor.

Mr. Abbott has continued to waste taxpayer's money continually travelling the country for no more reason than to have photos taken in new back grounds and repeating slogans which amount to lies and scare tactics.

Mr. Abbott sees his job as to destroy a government that at the end of the day was voted in by the people and gained it legality on the floor of the lower house.

The man has a policy of opposing everything, no matter whether it is good for the country or not.

It is the man's intention to keep the government off balance with the aim of ensuring it is unable to government Efficiently. His only concern is his own interest at the expense of the whole country.

Mr. Abbott has no intention of playing the role of Opposition leader in the present government. He refuses to analyse and offer improvements to any legislation put forwarded. He is not even interested in saying why something is wrong, only opposing because he believes this is the way to become PM.

He is too lazy to do the work to be a competent Opposition leader. He does not care that the only way he can get his risk is to cause the country to descend into disarray.

He does not care that we have passed through a world wide financial crisis and Australia's economy along with the rest of the world is still fragile.

Mr. Abbott does not care about the budget, the people and the economy. All he cares about is what he considers to be his right so be PM.

He does not care for your family but he does see his high two income family as being needy. Maybe if he did not refinance his home with such a high mortgage to continue to live the lifestyle he has come accustom too, he would manage better. Maybe he needs to have his income quarantined by the government to help him look after his family. If it is fair for the Aboriginals and those on benefits, it is fair for him.

If Mr. Abbott is correct about this government and his ability to rule, all he has to do is wait to the next election which is not that far away.

Mr. Abbott would also be aware he will not have a free rein to do as he likes if he was able to obtain the role of PM. He will have to deal with a hostile Senate, one I believe would have little intent to be obliging for many years.

Mr. Abbott has proven by his actions that he does not believe he can win by waiting. He knows that the government is not as bad as he is painting it. Mr. Abbott's biggest fear is as time goes on, his scare tactics will not work. He has no other skills or ability to offer.

What we are hearing is Mr. Abbott's last hurray. The sad part is that he believes he can pull it off. In Mr. Whitlam's day, the Opposition was able to discredit the government with corruption charges some true, some over exaggerated. They have not been able to do this, but I am expecting to see attempts on the near future.

Mr. Abbott does not have control of the senate and he does not have a Mr. Kerr. I cannot understand why he and Mr. Hockey appear to be so smug and cocky.

Heard a comment on ABC24 morning show. “If Mr. Abbott wants to be considered as a legitimate leader, he needs to answer legitimate serious questions about policies details.”

I would like to add, the copies of the reply speech to the media was a year out of date.

If anyone is interested, Mr. Robb's interview on Lateline was revealing/ It showed haw little depth there is to their proposals when a little in depth questions are asked and answers questioned. Mr. Robb, with gentle interviewing was reduced to a stuttering mush. He had no answers. Mr. Abbott was little netter this morning.

If the voters would prefer Rudd by big numbers it highlights how dumb the electorate really is. So at this stage nothing is important because anything could happen.

Abbott cartooned as the lovable dimwitted hero is a beauty. He iz what he iz....aghhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Labor's view continues to be that Abbott is all froth, no substance when it comes to policy. It tries to highlight this by running it's ''put up or shut up'' lines against him.They taunt him.

But it doesn't work.The government remains unpopular and so is the Prime Minister. They do not seem to be able to win back disaffected ALP supporters or swinging voters.They look frightened.

According to the Coalition the only thing wrong with Australia was the election of a Labor government. The public made a mistake. Now is the time to rectify the mistake.

Under the Abbott Liberals Quarry Australia will keep bailing us out. So there is no need to worry about doing anything else.

The sole point of everything the muscular Coalition does is to force an early election.So we have preening displays of masculinity from the rightwing Australia tough guys anxious to display their manly powers of virility in attacking the feminine Gillard for being weak.

It seems now that this has become an anti-Labor blog as opposed to previous to the election it was a pro-Labor blog.

I seems that it's a small step from having amazing virility to being a total wanker....

Les... judging from the tone of many of these comments, it's not the orientation of the blog that's shifted, as much as the direction of Labor politics.

Mars, so in "break up terms" thats like saying listen "its not me its you"
yes I see you point because there is a shifting across the board of blogs.

A similar thing is happening in the US. Legions of "liberal" voters are disenchanted with Obama's timid approach to the Bush legacy.

an anti-Labor blog? Public opinion is situated between Labor and the Greens

Yes indeed!!! on-target... haha... looks like GST has me pegged good and proper!

Actually I think my stance has barely moved in the past two decades. Pretty much stuck with the same attitudes I had back then. But every time I look at the Labor Party, it has taken another few steps to the right.

Oh Gary you still admit to supporting this Labor government do you. Well that's nice.

I personally support specific polices of the Gillard Labor Government--eg., NBN and those of the Greens--eg., a shift to a low carbon economy. Public opinion is a public policy blog from a left of centre perspective

Yes Mars I wonder where Labor goes from here now that its core base of people our age and older no longer think of it in terms of the blue collar party and the unions have all become businesses. I think time and Labor's just a jump to the right has gone beyond going back. The future for it is opposition and a re-invention as a young peoples party with economic green ideals with a very light workers tinge is my view. But the opposition part is a must for it to work.
How do you think it should go forward Mars? You slot into a group that they should be listening to.

It depends on what you mean by "go forward", Les.

I accept that I, and those like me, are quaint relics and any progress (in my sense of the word), is going to be politically impossible for some time to come.

So... no suggestions...

But, on the lighter side, I occasionally enjoy the spectacle of the coalition being forced more and more into wacko territory to encourage their "base". Sometimes yo gotta laff.