We cannot, not talk about the election this week.
In an earlier Newsletter we predicted a July Election and we said it was Malcolm Turnbull’s election to lose and so it is apt to repeat Bill Shorten’s well-chosen words, “we don’t know who’s won yet, but we do know who has lost!” He is right.
If there is anything else Malcolm Turnbull could have done to sabotage his party’s chance of being re-elected then we don’t know what that is. It is unfathomable that, in the year he picked to go to the polls, he picked the perfect quadruplet of issues that played directly into Labor’s hands.
- Negative gearing
- Superannuation taxes.
What WAS the man thinking? Add to this that most people can’t recall having seen Turnbull on the campaign trail while Bill Shorten was everywhere. Turnbull appeared to keep back to the people, facing an incoming tide of criticism like King Cnut (and that’s not a misspelling!). His arrogance was astounding. Nevertheless, if this inevitably hung Parliament (and diaspora of a Senate) is a loss for Australian politics; it is a gain for this great democracy. The people have shown their abject apathy to those in Government and have determined that they will all have to work harder to change a status quo they seem content with.
Let’s face it, who would want to be in government in a first-world economy today where the dark art of politics and politicians is laid bare via a voracious media. Who would choose politics as a profession where the majority of voters have not known real monetary hardships and who expect their leaders to deliver fair-weather policies in poor weather economies?
As a result, all we see is a rollercoaster ride of Labor debt blowouts and nanny-state regulations, followed by incredibly unpopular Liberal austerity measures. What is needed is an amalgamation of the two; perhaps taken back to something similar to the budget of a working-class household where by necessity, in tough times we spend what we have and perhaps borrow a little, while making plans to earn extra in the future to repay it back.
Labor and Liberal both occupy the middle ground these days and so to Labor we say; learn to balance the books because someone has to pay it back eventually and to the Liberals; there is nothing wrong with borrowings, especially while Australia’s rating is high and interest rates are at an all-time low. Bond rates will inevitably be tolerable. For both parties, growth is what is needed and if we cannot see it in normal economic output then create it with courageous infrastructure investment. We need it! It contributes to improving our capacity to move goods to market by time. Borrow now in today’s dollars and stimulate growth for the future. Don’t squander savings as Labor did with John Howard’s savings. Goodness, don’t we wish we had that money today (and a decent Prime Minister and Treasurer to boot!).