It would be anticipated that the prime motivator in making political choices equates with rational analysis of issues; and expressed by virtue of a leader with a vision which best represents the ideals and aspirations of oneself. This then being reflected in both policy and the team which the leader chooses to bring this about.
Certainly there is an element of personality involved with some psychologists hypothesizing that all beliefs, including political ones partly arise from an individual’s psychological fears and needs. At one end of the spectrum there is the desire for stability, order and belonging, and at the other a fervent desire for rebellion and novelty.
Has Tony Abbott been successful in latching onto these elements?
Tony Abbott on “stability, order and belonging”:
Tony Abbott has promised to return Australia to the “golden age” of the Howard government under his “incoming Coalition government”…
The tradition of the Howard government would live on, Mr Abbott declared…
“That’s why the longer this government lasts, the better the Howard government looks and that’s why the Howard government now looks like it created a golden age of prosperity, which is lost.”
Tony Abbott on “rebellion and novelty”:
Interesting is Tony Abbott’s assessment of himself from his boxing career..ego. Although somewhat subdued in recent times, (which can be dated from the series of “get dressed Tony” articles run by the media); this is the way that Tony has attempted to present himself.
TONY ABBOTT: I was very, very nervous, as you can imagine. It was my first formal bout…I got into the ring, determined to hit my opponent harder and more often than he could possibly hit me. I went out like a whirling dervish, kept hitting him again and again and again with just a left, right, succession. And then I got him this magnificent left upper cut and he seemed to go up in the air, across the ring and almost through the ropes.
On the face of it, the answer to the question regarding Abbott as “successful” would appear to be Yes. As the mainstream media has repeatedly insisted: Tony Abbott Is The Most Successful Leader of the Opposition since time immemorial.
At least he was until yesterday.
After wasting countless months attempting to paper over “the real Tony”, the media has suddenly and somewhat amazingly decided that their own polls might just be right. Nobody likes Tony.
“Tony Abbott is increasingly unpopular”, writes Chris Berg.
But it’s not true to say Abbott is the most effective opposition leader in history. The only mark of success in opposition is becoming the government. And Tony Abbott is going to have to change tack if the Coalition wants to remain competitive at the next election.
This dose of realism as compared with the endless blather about Tony Abbott and his startling “success”, is truly refreshing.
Chris Berg adds:
The Coalition has long believed it can win government on an impressionist platform: a few bold, strong strokes (stop the boats, axe the tax, pay back the debt) that, if voters step back and squint, offer a picture of what an Abbott government might look like. Those strokes are looking worn and colourless.
We therefore return to my original statement that the prime motivator in making political choices equates with rational analysis of issues; expressed via a leader with a vision which best represents the ideals and aspirations of oneself.
Michael Gordon’s suggestion is that Abbott’s “dual challenge is to be more positive on the one hand and to be far more disciplined on the other”.
I would suggest that Michael Gordon read the article by Chris Berg.
Gordon is an example of exactly what Berg is stating, that the Liberal Party is offering nothing more than an “impressionist platform” – yet Michael Gordon would, instead of suggesting that Tony Abbott present ideals and aspirations give himself a superficial make-over by becoming positive and disciplined. But that would only be an impression, wouldn’t it…and an insincere one.