Almost every serious commentator in the country remarked that last week was a seminal moment in Australian politics; I agree with that sentiment. The Liberals, having long been a party of the centre-right, is being moved more to the centre-left; and Labor, which has only won elections from the centre, is travelling further left in response.
Throw in the addiction that both major parties now have to populism, as well as their concomitant rejection of difficult reform, and Australia is entering a period of worrying political “management”; I don’t use the term “leadership” because what’s happening in Canberra is anything but. …
The Liberal party’s decision last week to rank the opportunity of short-term polling success ahead of its hard-won fiscal history is significant. Any sugar hit that might come from giving people what they want, even if the country can’t afford it, won’t deliver sustainable approval ratings and will only erode the bedrock that is the party’s supporter base.
A close look at the Opposition Leader’s budget reply demonstrated that his political savvy vastly exceeds that of his opponents. … By opposing the Medicare levy increase and by keeping the deficit levy, Shorten has just set up an election campaign against Liberals who want to tax workers more and millionaires less.
hat-tip Stephen Neil