Tony Abbott won an election he could not lose. He was helped a long way by a Labor advertising campaign which saw fit to put Abbott's picture on billboards, leaflets and other paid advertising, thereby presenting the face of their opponent rather than their prime minister.
This was not their only reason for losing votes to the Liberal party, a marked difference between Labor in government and the Liberals is that under Howard, the Libs knew how to choose their words.
Howard for example said: We will decide who will come into this country and the circumstances in which they come.
This statement has succeeded in polarising the opinions of Australians to this very day, more than a decade after Tampa.
It is not that Howard didn't make mistakes, but if we compare, we find that he chose words that resonated with the constituency. Who else would call his labour reforms "work choices", certainly not the disadvantaged employees. He might have gotten away with it had it not been for the fake leaflets that stole his election campaign in the last week of electioneering.
Kevin Rudd was helped win his first term with catchy words like Kevin 07, he cemented his position with the constituency with popular actions as well as practical measures.
For example, he apologised to Indigenous Australians and did this in a masterful manner that won him much accolades.
He convened the 2020 Summit with 1002 participants from around Australia, apparently, to hear their views about the future.
He introduced the Building the Education Revolution program (BER), indeed a revolutionary program to improve education all around Australia to help Australia become the clever country.
Rudd also, contrary to trends in some other countries, stimulated the Australian economy during the Global Financial Crisis by funding school building projects and giving the ordinary Aussie battler a few extra bob to spend.
Muslims breathed a sigh of relief as we were no longer the topic du jour that intrigued the Howard ministry to the point of being constantly mentioned by a variety of top liberals sometimes on a daily basis.
Whilst the apology and the 2020 appear symbolic and perhaps hollow, they do go in Labor's good books because these did indeed appeal to the sentiments of the constituency and did show that Australians can and will be fair if their leaders favour that direction. The BER and the economic stimulus on the other hand were genuine programs that did go a long way to help a very forgetful constituency.
Keysar Trad has recently released his book of romantic poetic journeys called Forays of the Heart.
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