Thursday, 10 June 2010

Not firing at the same target

The trouble with being in government is that invariably you have to be thinking in a longer time frame than the attention span of the electorate really allows. So it is always easy to chip away at short term pain that is necessary to achieve long-term goals.
Thus the Rudd government's mining tax is a long term strategy aimed at changing the structure of mining tax in the long term. I am not convinced that the mining interests will win out. A recurring theme of more serious analysis is not that Brazil and/or Russia are just waiting to jump in and attract the clients who find Australia's tax regime too high...but that other mineral rich countries are desperately hoping that the Rudd government will be successful because far from stealing our clients they are keen to follow.
This is quite a sophisticated argument and doesn't lend itself to the 30 second requires one to hold more than one idea in the brain at any given time.
The trouble with being in opposition is that quite the reverse is true. Your task is to make immediate attack and create a sense of concern about the day to day competence of the government. Of course the criticism is that such critique is short sighted, and lacks any long-term gravitas.
So in a sense both criticisms are valid, but they are fundamentally different. They are not firing at the same target.
This is what I think the electorate is tiring of at the moment, lots of discussion that sort of sounds the same...or as though it's about the same subject. But they're actually firing in different directions

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