Happy Abbottversary, Australia! Today, Laurie Atlas hands down the report card of the Abbott Government after a year in power. On the other side, is a view from the Left by Jacob Lynagh…
On the first anniversary of the victory by the Abbott-led LNP, the government needs to be looked at in the context of the world in which we are living.
I have never noticed a Prime Minister or a government that has faced a barrage of negativity like this one.
Not particularly because of bad policy, not particularly because of bad decisions, but just because their critics can’t stand the fact that someone else won the election.
The Abbott Government came to power with essentially three planks on which to build a legacy for itself:
1) Stop the boats (tick)
2) Abolish the carbon tax (tick)
3) Fix the economy (trying)
They have had to deal with a hostile Senate, opposition to the Paid Parental Leave Scheme and constant lists of broken promises made, as well as bickering over whether or not we have a budget emergency.
Most economists appear to agree we need to do something about the budget. We are spending more than we earn, and leaving a legacy for our children that will have to be paid eventually. The issue of whether this debt is medium or long term is up for debate. Either way, someone has to step up to the plate and deal with it.
It appears to me that the Abbott Government should at least be given credit for trying to do something.
All the opposition appear to want to do, whether they be Labor, Green or Union, is shrug their shoulders and put no alternative forward or create an “emergency scenario” around every policy decision, reminiscent of Chicken Little through the streets shouting “The sky is falling, the sky is falling”.
Here’s the thing – I sense through my work in the media that the average Australian doesn’t listen to the noise that is created. Or to clarify, they don’t listen as closely as the media would like. I sense that the average Australian goes to the polls every four years to make a decision on who they would like to lead them and then they just want the winner to get on with it.
They are, in fact, repelled by the chaos and negativity and just want a quiet life. This is often misconstrued as indifference, but don’t fall for that, it’s just that people have their own lives to get on with and wish that the governments they elect will do the same, knowing full well that in three years time if they don’t like the result, democracy states that we can toss them out.
Social media is one great agree-fest full of people whose sole modus operandi is to say everything the Abbott Government does is wrong and those who elected them are either stupid, deluded or both. If you shut down your computer for a few minutes every day and walk in the real world, you just might find that the average voter is far from that.
They just want their problems solved and to live a peaceful life without chaos. They know that negotiations with the Senate are not done in the public eye and that ultimately budgets are passed and usually with changes they can live with.
The Abbott Government will be judged by the public – not today, not tomorrow, but at the next election.
Here’s one major difference as compared to the last Rudd/Gillard/Rudd extravaganza…there is no chaos, little or no infighting. The chaos is coming from the other side, that is their job, but at the end of the day voters don’t listen…talk to them in two years’ time.
Stay tuned for Jacob Lynagh’s “view from the left” of the Abbott Government’s first year in office.