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Tuesday 7 March 2017

Malcolm must get back to basics

Some time before the last election I posted some gratuitous advice to Malcolm Turnbull (Malcolm must cut through). Advice on how he could cut through and score against his vulnerable yet emboldened opposition. Alas, it did not happen.

Looking back we can see that his tenure has been a steady decline in personal and party popularity, increasing back bench unrest and LNP supporters heading for the door. Many heretofore ardent advocates of the Turnbull 'brand' are wavering, while others have written him off. It is a dismal picture.

With a full two years to the next election I believe it is premature to write off the LNP, even with Malcolm Turnbull as its leader.

Without doubt however some things must change. In its current form it is drifting towards annihilation. Labor's return to office with its current policies would be a disaster for Australia, with increasing debt, lower living standards and further social disruption.

So what can Turnbull and his supporters do about it? How could they address this decline?

Back to basics

It should not be necessary, but given recent ambiguity/wavering on some policy issues, I believe all MPs would do well to familiarize themselves with the LNP's core principles as stated on their website.

"We Believe:
In the inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples; and we work towards a lean government that minimises interference in our daily lives; and maximises individual and private sector initiative
In government that nurtures and encourages its citizens through incentive, rather than putting limits on people through the punishing disincentives of burdensome taxes and the stifling structures of Labor's corporate state and bureaucratic red tape.
In those most basic freedoms of parliamentary democracy - the freedom of thought, worship, speech and association. 
In a just and humane society in which the importance of the family and the role of law and justice is maintained. 
In equal opportunity for all Australians; and the encouragement and facilitation of wealth so that all may enjoy the highest possible standards of living, health, education and social justice. 
That, wherever possible, government should not compete with an efficient private sector; and that businesses and individuals - not government - are the true creators of wealth and employment. 
In preserving Australia's natural beauty and the environment for future generations. 
That our nation has a constructive role to play in maintaining world peace and democracy through alliance with other free nations. 
In short, we simply believe in individual freedom and free enterprise"
From Liberal Party website 
These are fine principles and should be ingrained in the soul of each LNP MP. They can be help to guide them out of many a political quagmire.

Of course the most effective messaging is when there is a contrast. So the principles should be stated and compared to those of the opposition.For example; -
  • The LNP stand for equality of opportunity for all. The ALP are forever raising taxes and re-distributing the hard earned income of even battlers to their government funded causes.
  • The LNP believe in equality of opportunity but accept that individual effort should be rewarded. The ALP is always "taxing the 'rich' and thereby removing the incentive that is required to generate wealth in the economy as a whole.
  • The LNP believes in free enterprise, that it is the private sector un-shackled from government interference that creates wealth. The ALP is always looking to government enterprises and government involvement. 

In the end there are two core messages that need to be ingrained in the electorate; - 

1. The LNP is the party of freedom for the individual to realise their potential 
2. The LNP are better economic managers because they believe in small government and look to private sector to generate wealth.

Most importantly there needs to be consistency; All policies must be aligned with these core messages, so the parliamentary party, LNP supporters and the electorate as a whole understand what the LNP stands for.

Unfortunately this has not been the case in recent times, with the LNP's tendency to squib harder issues. Look at 18 C for a blatant example.

If all policies were clearly and unambigously consistent with the LNP's principles, the flow of supporters away from the party would be stemmed and who knows, many may return to the fold.

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