(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

It’s beginning to look a lot like election time. With a poll on the cards for March or May next year, both parties are slimming their already lightweight policy platforms into a series of cringe three-word slogans to be repeated ad nauseam over the next few months. Here’s a quick guide to a few of the current (and former) buzzwords.

The current

“Choices not mandates”: This is one of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s go-to lines when talking up his “plan” to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Ostensibly it’s about drawing a distinction between the government and Labor: the latter will reduce emissions by forcing you to do stuff, the former will reduce emissions by *gestures wildly at the private sector* hoping other people do stuff.

It’s a weird choice of words, with a more coded double meaning. Until a few weeks ago, Morrison had almost never used the term “mandate”. Since then, it’s been a constant catchphrase. At the same time, opposition to vaccine mandates is an issue among some conservative voters, especially the reactionary grifters protesting in Victoria. It’s been taken up by senators like Gerard Rennick on the Coalition’s hard right fringe. So yes, this slogan might be about climate, but the choice of words looks like a subtle wink at people who might vote for One Nation or the United Australia Party.