We see it like this:
A vote to return the Government is a vote for maximum risk. The risk of more-of-the-same policies when policy flourish is badly needed. The risk of a bitter leadership bunfight within a year or less as senior ministers attempt to get even with John Howard for inflicting on them the unnecessary pain of the past few months. The increasing risk of overweening moments from ministers like Abbott, Downer, Ruddock and Minchin (and Howard) on their last laps. And the risk of more hubris-infected decisions as the culture wars are fought to their denouement by an ideologically-driven government heading towards its 14th year under the same tired leadership.
A vote for Labor is a vote for least risk. Economic policy will be cautious, industrial relations policy will be benign, foreign policy will be prudent and social change will be incremental but interesting. This will be a pragmatic government setting out to establish the platform for 14 years in power, not the other way round. The biggest risk in electing a Rudd government is that they don’t unveil some flair and foresight.
Because you’re a politically savvy lot, we don’t see Crikey as being in the endorsement business. If we were though, we’d say that the risk to Australia of returning a Howard government is far greater than the risk of giving the other mob a go.