Anthony Albanian counts on ‘secure change’ to chase voters

Bestinau got that-

Morrison’s lines of attack are also revealing. The prime minister took over a series of questions to Albanian on Friday, asking him a simple question: “Are you going to raise taxes?” Albanian responded quickly by promising to crack down on multinational tax evasion and then just as quickly changed the subject of government waste.

The ABCs of media management are no secret to home-watching voters: Acknowledge the question, bridge the gap to the answer you want, and communicate your prepared line. Politicians always do it. And it makes people suspicious.

Only when asked the fourth time did Albanians dump old tax increases for labor. “We are not doing anything about the other measures we proposed during the last election campaign,” he said, without being able to say explicitly that he would not change negative gearing, capital gains taxes and postage credits.

“He messed up, couldn’t answer it,” Morrison said later. Albanian actually answered it, but he took the long way up and down the mountain.

There is still something missing from the Albanian campaign. Some of his policies are big but vague. The National Reconstruction Fund aims to “unlock” private investment of more than $30 billion in ways assumed rather than explained. The centerpiece of his climate policy, called Rewiring the Nation, will spend $20 billion to rebuild the electric grid in a way that can warm the policy wobbles but leave everyone else cold.

Morrison will be on the rise in days with budget ideas such as a $7.1 billion regional fund targeting fringe seats in Queensland and the Northern Territory. He has a $2 billion “regional accelerator program” that could mean anything. The battle for the north is on.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had the education revolution. Despite all the cynicism about it in retrospect, it was very, very retail. The Albanian campaign still lacks the energy that brought Rudd to power in 2007. There is no way for Albanian to match the hysteria of the 2007 campaign, so he offers “secure change” instead.

The polls tell him this works. History teaches him not to trust them.

“This agenda is not radical,” Albanian said in its response to the budget. “My team and I promise renewal, not revolution.” One of the big questions of this campaign is whether it can excite voters by playing it safe.

Jacqueline Maley breaks through the hubbub of the federal election campaign with news, views and expert analysis. Sign up here for our Australia Votes 2022 newsletter.

Leave a Comment