Ironically today’s events may assist the Coalition in addressing one of the key challenges that it has had during the campaign; getting people to listen to the Prime Minister and his Government.
Labor will tell you that “no-one is listening to the government”, but given the move today to raise interest rates coupled with further economic turmoil in the United States, then people may want to start listening.
What is the old adage that your greatest weakness can also be your greatest strength? Who would have thought interest rates going up could work in the Government’s favour?
Interest rates and sub-prime crises in the United States provide the Government with something on which it can hook its message. There are some significant problems ahead that require experienced hands and sound management; read Messrs Howard and Costello.
The election campaign has really just started and both sides have been attempting to lay the foundations over the past three weeks or so.
The negative advertisers are citing a union dominated frontbench mixed with limited experience (best exhibited by Peter Garrett) up against a tired administration, lacking vision and showing a touch of arrogance (best exhibited by Tony Abbott).
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Labor has to shake off the thugs and prove it can be trusted with our economic future, while the Coalition has to show a path forward with greater relevance to the masses, particularly women and the young.
The campaign launches are around the corner and we can expect some further goodies to go along with the $40 billion-plus spending promises already provided by both parties. But what we can anticipate most is a non-threatening approach from Kevin Rudd, and a visionary approach from the PM.
There is still a real chance that on November 24 second thoughts have resurfaced in a number of voters’ minds. Not least due to interest rates and economic turbulence.
I cannot help but think for many people the election decision will be a bit like thinking about buying a nice new car despite having had very few problems with your existing family motor. As you are test-driving another model, from another maker, you hear that your existing model is among the most reliable on the market. It has another few years in it yet. So do you stick with it?