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Sunday 29 May 2016

Malcolm must cut through

Lets face it, at this stage the trend for the LNP is down. Turnbull's popularity has peaked and he is facing the serious prospect of losing this 'un-lose-able' election. Shorten is nipping at his heels, the Delcons are biting at him and even his closest supporters express their frustrations. While the media point at marginals saving the day, the trend is clearly not Turnbull's friend.

An aside to the Delcons

While I am very sympathetic with the Delcons, I fear, yes fear, for our country should the ALP/Greens get back into power so soon after their crushing defeat of 2013.

Such a win would bring back the very policies that transformed an economy that was the envy of the world to what is now just one economic shock away from a basket-case.

The carbon tax would be back, the boats would be back, profligate spending would be back, taxes would rise and productivity would continue to dwindle. Federal Government debt would grow at a greater rate, leaving us vulnerable to external shocks, and in the end despite the ALP's rhetoric supporting the working man, wages and job opportunities would suffer. 

The LNP under Turnbull is no panacea. But just consider the alternative! If you really, really want to save Australia then it is time, perhaps not to unite, but at least tone down the rhetoric. Currently you are playing into Labour's hand. Even if Turnbull wins this election he will come out of it very much chastened, and, post election, there will be time to right the port-side list of the party.

Cutting through - refine the message

As for Turnbull, most commentators suggest Turnbull needs to cut through by focusing on the core issues and on those parts of the electorate that are open to persuasion. 

The single key issue for Australia today is the economy, so the LNP's central message should be to "Live within our means" 

I would gradually ditch the "Jobs and growth" mantra. It is too general, does not address the very real budget problem our country confronts. Moreover it is weak because it lacks a call to action.

"Live within our means" aligns with the electorate's acceptance that the LNP are better economic managers.

Yeh, I know they have made mistakes. Yet despite that, they are still better economic managers. Just look at the record.  Notwithstanding ALP/Greens' thwarting Abbot's attempts at proper budget repair, the trajectory of rising debt left by the ALP has been shifted significantly downwards. Debt is rising slower than under Labour. Certainly that is not enough, but much better than under Labour.

Moreover they can point out the measures, the Schoolkids bonus and pension limits, that the ALP promised for years to re-instate, only to break their promises when facing close scrutiny of their Budget 'black hole". Incidentally highlighting the sheer hypocrisy of the ALP.

The LNP are the better economic managers should be the subliminal message underlying all the economic arguments. It is a winner. 

Cutting through - hone the delivery

Turnbull needs to control his verbosity and tendency to drift off topic. He should get back to some simple slogans. Yes, that can be annoying, especially if there is nothing more. But it should be repeated as part of a more complete dialogue. Stick to the simple message when your audience is not that engaged, and roll out the more complete message if it is an appropriate forum.

Cutting through - don't be afraid to attack

Finally Turnbull should get out the attack dogs and do more direct attacking himself.

Remind those with a short memory what it was like under labour!
  • Warn the wavering about Shorten defending lawless Unions, re-running a Carbon tax, ALP's tax-n-spend addiction
  • Remind those forgetting about the various hare-brained schemes/policies dreamt up by the ALP and their tendency to waste tax-payers' money. Mention pink bats, banning of live-cattle exports or the ideafest bringing together the 1000 best brains in Australia.
  • Alert the electorate that the LNP has again cleaned up the mess that Labour created on border control. Given the large split in the ALP on asylum seekers no doubt they will water down current  measures and inevitably the ALP will re-start the boats. Shorten may scream long and loud that this won't happen, but hadn't we heard that from Labor before? Rudd had also said he would protect borders only to weaken protections leading to 50,000 asylum seekers and 2000 drowned at sea. You cannot trust Labour on border protection!
I guess you can see the picture.

In any case I can think of no better cut through attack message than that posted by @jude_francis on twitter the other day

The truth laid bare in but a few short sentences. That is cut through.

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