But back to Australian politics. At the last budget polls clearly sent the message to the Howard government that tax cuts were not the highest priority for the Australian public. I said at the time that we didn’t need no stinking tax cuts. And yet, one year on and in election year, the Howard government makes a shameless attempt to buy the votes of higher income earners, and the so-called “aspirational” voters, and I feel compelled to say it again.
Polls taken just after the budget indicate, thankfully, that the public seem to have seen through this and restated their opposition to the government’s continued attacks on health care and education. The tax cuts target those who least need them – those in the top two tax brackets. It must be said that this raising of the tax bands has been stated Labor policy for some time. It seems that Howard is shamelessly following Labor’s lead in an attempt to pull voters.
I have two thoughts on this. 1) If Howard continues to rip pages out of Labor’s book, perhaps voters will start to think that Labor is best remaining in opposition, taking the edge off the Liberal’s crazier plans whilst keeping the “devil we know” in office. 2) Or perhaps the public will see through this and give Latham a chance in the top spot because it is obvious that the Liberals’ platform and agenda are completely out of alignment with most Australians, and that in order to gain popularity they are resorting to taking window dressing from Labor policy and trying to steal Latham’s thunder. All I can say is I hope that the charade is transparent to others as it is to me.
There are lots of rumours flying around that we may see an election in August/September. A friend of mine, after chatting to someone in Labor’s electoral circles, said don’t bet on it. Why? I asked… It’s footy season, and that would be too close to the finals! Apparently this is a well known rule for election planning. The other tidbit I found out is that, according to my friend (and she wasn’t 100% sure herself), the government has until March next year to call the election. It seems that the press, and Labor, are expecting a November election, so I’m not sure when it will be called.
One thing is sure – Howard will wait as long as he can, and will choose the most oportune moment. One argument for fixed four year terms…