The phoney war of the past few months has served to heighten the absurdity of a floating election date, entirely of the incumbent’s choosing. The experience has certainly boosted the case for fixed-term parliaments.

Playing the waiting game to see if the polls turn around has enabled Howard to spend the taxpayers’ money in highly politicised “government” advertising, and worse.

A colleague was shocked two nights ago to be called by a market research company operating on behalf of the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations asking a series of questions on the WorkChoices advertising campaign – questions that not only verged on, but totally comprised, push-polling. (Do you understand the fairness of the new system? Are you aware how your rights are protected?)

This is an outrage that must be addressed, but will Rudd Labor be any different? One suspects not.

The few extra weeks of ministerial perks, and rorts on the taxpayer, when the opinion polls are telling them to go and go soon, looks increasingly like the last indulgent wallow in the free jacuzzi.

One is reminded of Cromwell’s words to the rump parliament: “You have been sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of god, go!.”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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