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The Forum > Article Comments > Never mind the leadership, what about the Opposition? > Comments

Never mind the leadership, what about the Opposition? : Comments

By Scott Prasser, published 26/3/2013

Politics and government in our adversarial system are not about holding hands in agreement like at some university seminar.

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Certainly the role of an opposition is to oppose, but to oppose simply for the sake of opposition as this article seems to countenance is counterproductive and clearly not in the interests of the general population. Nay-saying a la Abbott et al simply for its own sake is an abuse and degradation of the parliamentary process. Anyone can oppose anything - the significance and indeed the necessity for informed opposition tacitly assumes the presentation of viable and superior alternatives to that being opposed - an assumption totally ignored by the present coalition. The constant carping re the carbon tax without any concern as to the planned use of the added revenue (and totally forgetting the 'never ever' GST of the former government) is a case in point. A victory by the present coalition in the forthcoming federal election will leave us with a prime minister whose only talents seems to be those of destructive invective and personal attack.
Posted by GYM-FISH, Tuesday, 26 March 2013 10:26:38 AM
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As Gillard leads the shambles that is left of her party to the next election, one can only wonder what goes on in her head, if anything.

Given the events of last week, Gillard should've put Australia first and resigned. At least then her party could've elected Rudd who is approved of by many Australians while only a shrinking handful endorse her.

But arrogance and conceit addled her brain and she clung on to power as if that is the only thing she thinks of. That her party is badly split worries her not at all. She talks nonstop about how her party is now united as if her words could fool the voters who are waiting to pass judgement upon her and the craven fools who continue to support her.

Bring on the election, I say. Let her come crashing back to Earth like a spent meteor. Let history judge her as harshly as she deserves.

She will have a long time to reflect upon her massive failure!
Posted by David G, Tuesday, 26 March 2013 10:48:43 AM
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'Turnbull broke the basic rule of opposition never agree with the government unless it is clear that their policy is demonstrably right in all respects and that there is no acceptable alternative. '

Really Scott. Blind Freddy knows that the gw myth and distortion was becoming more and more obvious to people who were not on the gravy train. Even Gillard advised Rudd to drop the policy before lying to the electorate.
To be fair to Turnbull I think he was a 'true believer' as wrong as he and other believers have been shown to be. Even Labour are now dismantling (sorry merging) the idiotic Climate Change gravy train department.
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 26 March 2013 10:54:42 AM
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Scott, there is no question that as the electorate moves towards exercising its democratic rights its choices should (ideally) be informed by an understanding of the alternatives.

What is disappointing in an article from an academic is the inclusion of assumptions and perceptions that, while frequently repeated by politicians and the media, lack an objective foundation.

With the use of terms such as "lurched" and "doomed" you perpetuate the psychosis of impending catastrophe and cynicism that now dominates the discourse on public affairs. Other than in the shrill crescendo of sensational and negative "noise" that spews out of the print and electronic media, where is the crisis? A huge amount of legislation has been passed by this Government, including a number of vital new public policy initiatives. Relative to other countries the Australian economy is remarkably healthy. Of course there are a number of major policy failures, some of which relate to diabolical challenges such as responding effectively to the flow of those seeking asylum here. Globalization poses many complex challenges.

Ultimately the election is likely to be decided by a jaded electorate comparing the real record of the existing Government against the alternative (as you have suggested, hopefully with sufficient detail provided). The perception of crisis that now permeates the public discourse will be difficult to sustain when an objective comparison of alternatives commences in earnest.
Posted by Donkey, Tuesday, 26 March 2013 11:16:18 AM
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David G got it right.

"As Gillard leads the shambles that is left of her party to the next election, one can only wonder what goes on in her head, if anything."

What ever on earth goes on in her head !
Posted by FredBrown, Tuesday, 26 March 2013 12:15:20 PM
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Thank you. This is a good, well balanced comment. I agree with all of it. I'd like to make a comment on this sentence:

"We need to know how an Abbott Government will handle the challenges facing Australia and indeed what it sees those challenges as being."

I think the priority is to get the largest possible majority and most important of all is to wrest control of the Senate out of the hands of Labor and Greens. If Labor and Greens retain control of the Senate, which is very likely, it will be very difficult for the LNP to fix the mess Labor has left Australia in.

Once LNP wins the election, then it will be time to start explaining to the people the situation we face and to progressively bring them along to, mostly, support what has to be done. As you rightly pointed out, that cannot be done from Opposition.
Posted by Peter Lang, Tuesday, 26 March 2013 12:37:24 PM
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