I was watching the morning news on television and heard some unknown government backbencher say twice in five minutes that Tony Abbott had a “mandate’ to bring in paid parental leave.
Is there any word in the political sphere that has been hijacked and abused more than “mandate”?
And by both sides of politics. Here’s how I see it.
When John Howard proposed bringing in a Goods and Services Tax (GST) he put it up before the public and argued for it. He stood by it, never waivered in his desire to implement it, gave people time to consider it, and took it to the election. And he won.
It was clearly his prime election platform. Now THAT is a mandate.
But what we have now are politicians of zero stature claiming that because their side won the election, every policy they had, regardless of how minor, insignificant, costly or stupid, is a “mandate”.
Let me be frank: BULL… SHIT! (I’d like you to read that slowly for effect).
If there was a mandate – and that’s debatable – in the last election, it was that Abbott promised he would stop the boats. Let’s be honest, when we look back at the election those three words, however you may view them, were the words that resonate.
After that… Just one long scare campaign that was highly successful.
The main reason for that was that Labor had failed on so many fronts and was a sitting duck.
They had failed to show faith in Kevin Rudd; failed to support Julia Gillard; failed to get their message across even when Australia avoided the global financial crisis (how you could stuff that up is still beyond me); failed to stick to Labor values and had become totally poll driven; failed to tackle their back room knee-cappers, the “faceless men”; failed to put a dent in asylum seeker numbers; failed to … oh, forget it, you get the drift.
But a mandate across the board for the Coalition? To borrow from the Liberals’ phrasebook: stop the crap.