TE-BO: The Election Trail – 3 – Abbott v Rudd verses the Media Battle …
Everyone's Opinion should count, and you should be prepared to defend yours as the Opinions expressed hereto will hopefully challenge you.
|Abbott v Rudd verses the Media Battle …
| Author: TE-BO – The Eye-Ball Opinion| Date: Aug 25th, 2013 |
The battle in any election comes down to who wins the media battle. Friendly media wins more elections that they lose. That is to say – when the media pick a side, the battle is no longer about the political will, or who has the better policies, but about the image voters will be shown. The media will do their best to show how the individuals perform in a toxic bias that suits their purpose and editorial opinion. It becomes everyone’s ‘dog and pony’ show.
So much of the media is focus on the opposing Leaders – their individual mistakes and gaffs. Never has a Democratic Nation ever been run by an individual, yet for decades election campaigns in this Nation are run as Presidential style campaigns. As such – when the voter goes to the ballot box on election day, most vote the ‘top of the ticket’ rather then with any knowledge about their local candidates.
The big plus for the media when they focus their coverage on the Leaders is they can contain their resources. Spreading their wares further mean costs skyrocket up against a coverage appeal against advertisers reluctant or willing to pay for anything less then prime time coverage.
Then there is the depth of questions Leaders receive and respond to from media journalists – they don’t engage the Nation nor seem to ask the question most on the electorates mind. Public forum Q&A’s tend to have more appeal but offer up the opportunity for the candidate to ‘gaff’ or have a question on camera they are less then willing to answer. Questions like should Gillard’s Leadership legacies be Rudd’s problem? Has Rudd got more to offer than campaign skills? Is Abbott the real deal as a Leader, or is he a better follower? All hypotheticals that have nothing to do with the real election campaign from a media perspective, but obvious questions from the electorate’s view on their choice of candidates. Who is best placed as a collective to lead the Nation?
Talking a look at the Economic Management credentials of both the major Political Party’s, and three weeks into this campaign, the better Economic Management debate lights up a media sham because firstly, the Opposition don’t want to expose their costings and where they will make the savings needed to fund their stated policies, secondly, the media themselves don’t understand ‘economic management’ beyond how they can simplify the message so their audiences understands.
This Government’s budget record speaks for itself – Wayne Swan‘s numerous and successive budget failures has him owning the title – “Australia’s Worst Treasurer”. That despite Euro Magazine crowning him Treasurer of the year in 2011. The mess in his forward estimates, combined with the new $200 billion debt burden, and the complete failure of Treasury to get their head around how to recalibrate their modelling predictions in a changing global market, have created a nightmare of economic forecast predictions for the new Treasurer Chris Bowen, and whoever is to follow. Just how bad Wayne Swan performed cannot be overstated.
Combine this Government’s record on economic management with the self admissions from the Opposition Treasurer Joe Hockey about the Coalition’s own $70 billion hole, and since revised during the week by respected economist Mr Eastlake to at least a $30 billion ‘black hole’ – and the electorate is in a lotto draw on who has the better economic management skills. Once the media will decide the debate in a case of the blind leading the blind.
Neither side has creditability on economic Management and the single reason is very simple. Both sides of Government have agreed to and signed a bi-partisan agreement with the RBA that has them only targeting inflation as the single economic indicator they are charged with managing.
Both sides have governed whilst the high A$ dollar policy challenged every industry in the Nation over the past 10 odd years. Both sides sat back and allowed the A$ to rise and stay high, Rudd/Gillard in a post GFC environment when inflation was never going to be a problem.
During the per GFC period under Howard/Costello, the mining boom was largely offset by the A$’s rise. The currency rose 40-50% above its mean average of A$0.75c since it was floated in the early 80’s. What is glaringly obvious is that neither side saw the downside to economic performance in allowing the high A$ policy.
This single economic factor rendered Australian Industry impotent in a Global marketplace where labour costs play a major role in dictating investment flows. Neither side understood how the A$ would impact on Australian labour costs. During this high A$ period, Australia became one of the most expensive Nations in the world to trade with. Both sides of Politics stood back and allowed it to happen whilst they were in Government.
The real cost in A$ revenue streams over the 10 odd years of a high A$ since the early 2000’s runs into the A$ trillions … it is akin to Australian producers having their goods on a 40-60% discounted sale for 10 odd years.
And you know what – not one of the Leaders, or the Treasurers from either side want or will talk about it – they just don’t understand what it is they don’t understand.
Yet – all the media want to focus on is how either side plan to fund their campaign policy announcements on the other side of the election. A Government’s economic mistakes and mismanagement always become the problem of the incoming Government. It has always been this way and in all honesty – those responsible for the mistakes are never made accountable.
Murdoch and his News Ltd publications have chosen a side, as have the Fairfax media empire, and as have the National Broadcaster the ABC … there really is not an alternative where fair-minded reporting is available.
When the media have such pitted interests, do the public get a campaign message based on truth, or is the message clouded by feeble attempts at entertainment distractions, and portraying the negative aspects of opposing campaigns? Kissing a baby is deemed to be good publicity – how does they tell us about Management capabilities in running a Nation – why do the Leaders seek out these type of media buys?