33 days to go

August 5th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A prime minister you can trust, or an opposition leader who’s fair dinkum.

Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott have kicked off their September 7 election campaigns by making personal appeals to ’s 14  million registered voters.

Rudd made his pre-election pitch in the same prime minister’s courtyard at Parliament House were three years ago he tearfully stepped down.

He made it clear this election is about unfinished business.Borrowing a line from former Liberal prime minister John Howard,  Rudd asked voters ‘‘who do you trust’’ to deal with the challenges presented by a faltering global economy.

He portrayed himself as the election underdog with a ‘‘steady  hand’’ and a positive plan for the future.

In contrast, he said Abbott was negative, immersed in ‘‘old politics’’ and three-word slogans.

Rudd also blatantly borrowed from US President Barack Obama by appealing to supporters to donate a few dollars to Labor to counter  the ‘‘few millionaires’’ bankrolling the Liberal-National coalition.

Making his pitch surrounded by portraits of past Liberal leaders in the opposition party room, Abbott kept to the script he’s been spruiking for three years.

He harked back to the ‘‘faceless men’’ who ousted Rudd in 2010, then turned on Julia Gillard this year, contrasting it to his stable leadership and team.

‘‘It’s really about who is more fair dinkum. Who can you rely on to build a better future?’’ Abbott said.

The national polls will be interesting, but more interesting will be the polls in marginal seats – especially those with retiring Labor MPs. Labor could tie with the Coalition on nationwide vote but still lose enough seats to lose office.

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31 Responses to “33 days to go”

  1. Manolo (13,767 comments) says:

    The vain and egotistical Rudd fully deserves political defeat. It’s all up to the Australian voters now.
    The coming weeks of campaign and debates promise good entertainment. Down with the ALP.

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  2. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    Funny how Rudd kept to the Julia Gillard playbook with the non-stop attacks on Abbott. A sign, perhaps, that negative politics is a lot easier often more productive than positive politics. Governments run on their record, mostly (or should if they believe that they’re any good), oppositions always tend to run by attacking that record. This may also be Labor aping the Obama “miracle” ignore the record and just look at how terrible my opponent would be !

    I’ll bet we’ll see at least one secretly filmed or recorded (illegally of course, but never treated as such) of some startling revelation from a LNP meeting. And what’s more that “revelation” will probably be unremarkable but will be hyped past belief by Labor’s tame media goons in the ABC and the Fairfax papers.

    I have to say I can’t see why Rudd remains so personally popular, every credible report suggests he’s a classic narcissistic psychopath, and largely incompetent to boot. But he does have a very polished public persona, I’ll have to give him that. Conmen and psychopaths often do…

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  3. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Gillard gave Australia a ready made slogan – ‘Ditch the Bitch.’

    For Rudd it has to be ‘Kick the Prick.’

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  4. MT_Tinman (3,186 comments) says:

    I look forward to watching this play out; Rudd trying to win and Abbott doing his best to lose.

    Will be fascinating.

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  5. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    If Australia vote that sociopath back into office then they deserve everything they get.

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  6. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    And for Abbott?

    Has to be “Phony Tony”.

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  7. Ross12 (1,425 comments) says:

    I am amazed how much the polls have lifted since Rudd got back in the PM’s seat. In the weeks prior to him getting back you had ALP MP’s literally packing up their offices early and resignations all over the place presumably because they thought the ALP would get thrashed and there was no hope. But the polls show how fickle the voters are. Rudd does not change the fundamental issues in the economy etc

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  8. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    It’s an interesting dynamic. I suspect the polls won’t last, but Rudd is doing a hell of a job of it.

    The underlying problem is that too many people don’t like Abbott. Doesn’t matter whether that’s justified or not, a lot of people I talk to who would otherwise be Liberal voters won’t because they don’t like him.

    Abbott’s plan seems to be to trust the people – that they’ll come to their senses and realise that Rudd is the same tool he always was. But Rudd is importing expertise from the Obama campaign, and if anyone has experience in selling a dud they do. I think Abbott is being too complacent, but I also think he can’t afford to go negative. So his plan to trust the public to notice that Rudd has no substance is the only reasonable one for that portion, what he does need is clearer plans for how they’ll fix the economy. They need to sit on these for a while though, as Rudd has been busily copying every policy position they take – so difficult to announce early.

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  9. greybeard (61 comments) says:

    Kevin Rudd

    K Rudd

    KRudd

    Crud

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  10. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    PaulL, yes, Abbott has been the focus of a long running and quite deliberate campaign of vilification. I spoke to an Aussie female a few weeks ago who positively loathed him, he was misogynistic, punched walls, untrustworthy, (it went on a bit, they rather “loved” Gillard), and when I asked for actual examples of all this shocking behaviour, all I really got back was a form of abuse of the form that asking was not necessary, he just was.

    From what one can see from here, it has been a masterly campaign from Labor to undermine Abbott, based on nothing and cynically assisted by luvvies such as David Marr (who quotes the wall punching from Abbott’s student politician days without, it must be said a skerrick of proof). It all seems built on a picture that shows Abbott at a rally with a sign reading “Ditch the Bitch” in the background. Which shows how manufactured the whole thing is, Howard for example was vilified far worse on numerous occasions without it leading hate campaigns against those responsible.

    This just seems like another of the fake outrage scandals so beloved of the left, the Democrats in the USA are also experts at this, and it is all aided by a highly politicized and biased media.

    I’d say about Abbott that he certainly deserves his chance, and the “bring back Turnbull” movement is simply a trojan horse setup by Labor interests. Abbott was a minister under Howard and as far as I can tell performed well. If he wins and really is as bad as claimed, he won’t last as long as the last real incompetent PM, Gillard.

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  11. Changeiscoming (189 comments) says:

    “Labor could tie with the Coalition on nationwide vote but still lose enough seats to lose office”

    Any party could lose the vote but still win the election – that’s the terrible thing about a FPP system and why we threw it out here.

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  12. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Changeiscoming

    It is not at all a terrible thing. It is a DIFFERENT thing.

    You have just seen in Australia the disastrous consequences of a cobbledecook minority government stitched together by Gillard = such as is common under MMP.

    If a party can’t win enough electorates to govern, then it has no clear mandate. Further, you might consider the population imbalance between states (eg NSW v WA) and ask yourself how much West Australians would like to be dictated to by the grasping bastards from the Eastern States which is what will happen in Australia if they ever are foolish enough to fall for MMP.

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  13. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    @Ed. Yes. I kinda like Abbott, I reckon he’s pretty straight up and down. He strikes me as someone who thinks a bit about stuff, and I think he has a considered position on a lot of things (and yes, I’ve read his book). I think in his personal life he’s had to make some tough choices, and I think he’s demonstrated an ability to rethink his positions over time.

    He’s done the hard yards to get the Coalition to where they are now, he did the job that Turnbull couldn’t do. There’s a sense of fairness that I have that says he should get his shot – but ultimately, maybe Abbott was the guy to tear it down, and Turnbull’s the guy to build it up again?

    Having said all that, I also thought that Gillard was a thinker, but in power she just went into a tail spin. Abbott could be the same. Bad signs that I’ve seen are:
    – The freeze he did on TV when confronted with his (off the record) comments in Afghanistan. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with his comments, but his freeze wasn’t good. That moment gets replayed occasionally
    – He sometimes makes off the cuff comments that are stupid. Like John Key, I think it’s good that he gives real answers. Unlike John Key, I think he’s not likeable enough and not smart enough to get away with it sometimes
    – He’s a bit too overtly religious for my liking. But he’s not given any reason to believe that his religion will intrude on his governing – in fact, to the contrary, he’s indicated that in some key areas such as abortion he has no intention of bringing his religion into the laws of the land
    – He sometimes makes nonsensical policy. The paid parental leave is an example – pretty much nobody in the Coalition likes it, and it’s a big target policy. It needs to go, but Abbott owns it personally
    – His large negative ratings. He may not be able to win, and there’s no sense in persevering with him if he cannot win.

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  14. SW (240 comments) says:

    Ed Snack: Or perhaps she doesn’t like him because of quotes such as this one from an ABC panel discussion on Religion, Sex and Politics from 2009:

    “I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak.”

    Or this quote that he failed to repudiate:

    “It would be folly to expect that women would ever approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, their abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons”

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  15. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Abbott will rue his alienation of female voters come the election. Really dumb move from him.

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  16. trout (939 comments) says:

    A massive budget blowout has been announced today. Not good for Rudd. ‘It’s the economy stupid’.

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  17. OTGO (549 comments) says:

    Aussies love an underdog. Rudd is seen as an underdog right now. As soon as he is no longer an underdog and Abbot is then they will vote for him. Really, I think it is as simple as that.

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  18. Tauhei Notts (1,712 comments) says:

    Betfair update
    Labor $4.30
    Coalition $1.29
    The people who back their judgment with money have spoken. K Rudd is Crud

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  19. All_on_Red (1,582 comments) says:

    “Abbott will rue his alienation of female voters come the election”

    What alienation is that? Examples please. Abbott has been smeared and smeared and smeared and smeared and smeared. I guess mud sticks but the facts belie the smear.
    He has a good marriage, his daughter is gay and he supports her choice. He has many female shadow Ministers,his chief of staff is female, etc etc There is no witness to “the punch”, his words and deeds prove he is not a misogynist.
    All we hear is Abbott, Abbott, Abbott as the left wing press just smear him. The vitriol from the ALP is far far worse than anything the Liberals have done.
    Some of the polls before Gillard’s demise shows Abbott had a higher support among women than Gillard did.
    Change your sources and you might learn the truth.
    Rudd is the architect of the many policy disasters which Gillard didn’t change. There’s too many to list here. Labor has squandered billions and wrecked many segments of industry (cars, mining, cattle, insulation etc) because they don’t understand cause and effect. Despite increasing revenue over the past 6 years Oz faces deficits for years to come as Labor spent it all and more. It will be $30 Billion this year and is still climbing. They are really in trouble financially.
    Lets see how the election goes.

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  20. PaulL (5,981 comments) says:

    His sister is gay, not his daughter.

    I think some of his views are a bit old school. But that’s not a crime. He seems reasonably open minded. And frankly, I’d rather someone who is open about their views and then lives by them than someone who puts on a particular face in public but has a very strong reputation for being abusive and offensive to staff behind closed doors.

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  21. MT_Tinman (3,186 comments) says:

    Abbott is seen as incompetent. The better of the choices at best.

    I’ve talked to approximately 30 Ocker businessmen over the last three years and not one has had anything good to say about him.

    Mainly he is seen as the only one capable of losing the last election for the coalition.

    His main strength was seen as he was not Gillard, whether the fact that he’s not Rudd will get him the win is yet to be seen.

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  22. SHG (316 comments) says:

    I know some good people in the ALP, reasonably high up the food chain. At a recent function – yes, it was a barbecue – one of the attendees, a sitting MP, confided to me that many in the party regard a narrow defeat as the best outcome. It sounds like a big chunk of the ALP would rather lose than have Rudd as Prime Minister. Their own Leader.

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  23. SW (240 comments) says:

    SGH – crazy isn’t it. Out of interest, did he offer any insight as to why they would rather lose than have Rudd as Prime Minister?

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  24. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    There exists a very widespread differing perception of the two leaders.

    Those who are closest to Rudd hate him and all he stands for, hence the ease with which Gillard knifed him.

    Those closest to Abbott really like the guy explaining the stability and apparent loyalty he enjoys among his peers.

    Those who do not know either of them are attracted to Rudd and negative to Abbott, a facet significantly perpetrated by a modern media trait of creating rather than reporting news.

    At least Abbott does not have the stinking carcase of NSW labor to accompany his every move.

    Rudd has used the last 5 weeks very constructively with all the accoutrements that the office of the PM affords to distance himself from almost all Juliar Gillard stood for along with the serious rump of her cabinet who are leaving parliament alltogether or have simply refused to serve under Rudd. Watching Mr Flexible, Bill Shorten standing alongside Rudd at many of his photo opps is stomach turning.

    The total costs of that whirlwind five weeks are still being added up and a further big dollop of cash was delivered today as the proclamation disolving parliament was being walked out to be read following the last Cabinet meeting.
    Treasurer Chris Bowen has already announced an exploding Federal deficit from Budget 2013 under Wayne Swan to an eyewatering 30 billion a couple of months later in the election update, this in the year Swan was going to have a small budget surplus three budgets ago.

    If it is all about the economy, Abbotts $1 70 with the bookies against Rudd at $3.50 might reinforce Bolgers memorable “bugger the Polls” comment.

    In 33 days the voters decide.

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  25. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    He has a good marriage, his daughter is gay and he supports her choice. He has many female shadow Ministers,his chief of staff is female, etc etc There is no witness to “the punch”, his words and deeds prove he is not a misogynist.

    Really? If he’s not a misogynist, then he’s a first rate actor.

    4. ‘The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience.’

    5. ‘I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons’

    6. ‘I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak’

    7. ‘What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year…’

    The guy is a liability with women. John Key doesn’t say stupid things like that.

    Add to the mix that Abbott is an insane religious bigot and you have a real winner there, folks.

    The NZ National Party seems to have learned that the leader has to be someone of broad appeal. The Coalition seem to imagine that most Australians will identify with the human derpstorm that is Tony Abbott.

    Deep down Abbott is basically a wanker.

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  26. SHG (316 comments) says:

    Out of interest, did he offer any insight as to why they would rather lose than have Rudd as Prime Minister?

    Opinions seemed to range from “he’s a prick” to “he’s insane”.

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  27. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Good god some saying Abbott is more popular among women than Rudd.
    The majority of Aussie women do not trust Abbott, after he stopped the abortion pill being available in Australia in 2005.
    Now can Aussie women trust him as PM not to take the abortion pill off the shelves ?

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  28. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    And Tom proves that one thing that the left does really well is hate. Pull a few quotes out of context and build a whole campaign based on it. “Insane Religious Bigot” seems these days to = Catholic. Negative politics with the emphasis on the highly personal destruction of someone just because they represent real people and real feelings, better to have the plastic facade so one can divide and conquer. The Alinsky playbook brought to life.

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  29. SW (240 comments) says:

    Ed Snack: I note that you do not comment on my post above.

    You seem critical of an “Aussie female” for thinking Abbott is misogynistic. In the quotes above he seems to hold the view that a woman doesn’t have an ‘absolute right’ to withhold sex from a man and that women will never actually be equal with men because of physiological reasons.

    Do you think such views are misogynistic? If so, do you think that Abbott has simply been taken out of context and doesn’t mean what he said?

    Or is that you don’t think that people who occassionally say misogynistic things should always be considered misogynistic, and Abbott fits into that category?

    Or do you think that those quotes are made up by the ALP?

    Or are you actually saying that you don’t find those comments, and perhaps broader views highlighted by those comments, to be misogynistic or in any way offensive. You find them to merely represent the “real feelings” of a “real person” who does not buy into PC nonesense?

    Or do you have some other answer?

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  30. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    Not hard to see why Rudd is superficially attractive, particularly to women. A chubby little cherub, just the sort to mother.

    But at work he turns into a foul mouthed, bad tempered micromanager.

    But Abbott is even worse. A walking two-word slogan, a man who makes a schoolyard puddle seem deep.

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  31. SHG (316 comments) says:

    Yes, the Rhodes Scholar with bachelor’s degrees in Law and Economics and the double MA in Politics and Philosophy from Oxford. He sure sounds dumb.

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