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Labor’s one-day-at-a-time campaign

Announcables are at the heart of Labor’s campaign strategy, writes Peter Brent in Inside Story (16.6.16). But, according to the author, that doesn’t bode well.

‘Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump campaigns for the moment. One fortnight he’s intimating he’d be open to abandoning his proposed ban on Muslims; the next, in response to the Orlando massacre, he’s doubling down on that signature policy.

‘If the presidential election was happening this week, the tactic might make sense, but by the time Americans vote, in almost five months, the visceral, collective reaction to this horrific slaughter will be a distant memory.

‘Here in Australia, the Labor opposition, ahead or dead even in the national polls but widely expected to fall short of a majority on 2 July, indulges in something similar. The Coalition rams home, long past the point of tedium, its message of jobs and growth and economic security, with an unwavering eye on what will motivate electors when they apply their pencil to the ballot paper. Labor seems to prioritise the here and now – most of all the opinion polls.

‘Nourish them, grow them, keep them elevated until election day and the rest will take care of itself.’

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