Really, really, really small targets
Sean Kelly in The Monthly Today (22.6.16) writes that even Peta Credlin is criticising the small target strategy of the LNP:
‘A week ago Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff Peta Credlin wrote that for Turnbull:
the ‘jobs and growth’ mantra has made a mark at a macro level but families and households are still waiting to see the detail behind the slogan … they don’t take governments on trust anymore and want Malcolm Turnbull to explain how a company tax cut a decade hence can plausibly constitute a ‘plan’ rather than a mere policy.
‘Credlin is right. Turnbull has laid down a single brick of policy and asked voters to believe he’s built a house. The least he could do is explain the blueprint.’
Is the corporate tax cut a small target?
Lenore Taylor discusses the LNP’s small target strategy in The Guardian (17.6.16):
‘It might seem contradictory to argue that Turnbull’s election pitch – based on a $48bn corporate tax cut – is a small target, but the longer the long campaign rolls on the clearer it becomes the tax cut is really just a vehicle for a much broader message, which really boils down to “don’t worry about it, we’ve got this economic transition thing sorted”.
‘The Coalition was foreshadowing this “she’ll be right, no need to risk change” meta-message from early in the year, and it became very evident when opinion polls began showing the tax cuts for big business were actually pretty unpopular. The Coalition just shuffled the tax cut specifics down its list of talking points and turned up the broad-brush rhetoric.
‘On the Liberal party’s website the opening spiel talks about how the world is “very uncertain” but, luckily, Turnbull can offer the “political stability” with a “strong economic plan for jobs and families”. No mention of tax cuts, or any other policy. Even when you click on the link offering more information about a “strong new economy” you only get told about “tax cuts and incentives for small businesses”. It’s not until you read well down a separate link about small business that you find out the tax cut will, over time, extend to all businesses.
‘And if Turnbull is ever asked about the tax cuts now he emphasises how those benefits for big business are a long, long way away.
‘The Coalition is briefing that it is intending to go “small target” for the remainder of the campaign because voters are “disengaged”, but surely that’s inverting reality. One reason voters are disengaged is precisely because the Coalition has been running its small target strategy so very successfully from the start. There’s only so many times a person can listen to that speech about jobs and growth.’