The compelling narrative emerging from the Canberra Press Gallery is that Labor is dead, Gillard is a dud leader and the whole show should put itself out of its misery and hand power to the Coalition.
It’s a message reinforced with the release of each major opinion poll; take this week ‘Budget falls flat’, ‘Gillard on the nose’, ‘More troubles with boatpeople’.
The problem is that polls and analysis are completely different beasts and if you judge the national debate purely on the numbers, there is a very different story – a government weighed down by a major reform, stabilising in key areas.
1. Preferred Party
The Coalition has an election-winning lead, but it is two years out from the election. The polling numbers have been stable since the announcement of the carbon tax – proof that Labor requires a long game if it is to win the next election.
This week’s Essential Report actually picks up a minor bounce to Labor, exaggerated by some rounding issues, but like the other polls, Labor is behind but not miles behind.
|2PP||Election 21.8.10||4 weeks ago||2 weeks ago||Last week||This week|
The magic of Christmas lies in the expectation. You hang out the stocking, leave a piece of cake and a stubbie for Santa and head off to bed.
When you wake up, there it is laid out for you, something shiny and new that you really, really wanted.
In this spirit it should come as no surprise that the Federal Parliament’s final act of the year was the passage of legislation enabling the rollout of the National Broadband Network, the embodiment of Labor’s hope that something better lies around the corner.
And there are grounds for optimism. In an era of cynicism with nearly every aspect of politics – and despite a concerted Opposition attack – this week’s Essential Report shows strong and increasing support for the network.
There are some silly buggers going on in Canberra this week.
Firstly, there’s the NBN. With the Bill for the structural separation of Telstra hitting the Senate this week, the government is playing silly buggers on who’ll they’ll let get a briefing on the business case.
The government demanded Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and other interested parties provide signature on a confidentiality agreement that would have prevented him discussing its content of the business plan for seven years.
Then they reduced it to four years. Then a couple of years. And then, two weeks.
Good way to maintain credibility.
It’s time to put an end to all this partisan negativity. At a time when people are looking to our leaders for vision, it is great to see a political party step up with a long-term vision for the nation.
I am referring of course to the Coalition’s decision to destroy the National Broadband Network and all who promote it and instead uphold Australian values by promoting a more leisurely pace of download.
While the public may be firmly behind the NBN as detailed in today’s Essential Report, I wonder how many have really thought through the implications of faster efficient broadband on their already busy and cluttered lives.
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