I don't particularly agree with everything she says, but journalist Leigh Sales of the 7:30 Report, gives a very astute commentary on the current political climate in Australia and what it means for this election.
Australia can at times be somewhat of a mirror of the US. Much of what is going on in the US is reflected in Australia. The anger, frustration, and fear going on in both countries feeds firmly into election attitudes and voting patterns. As Sales says, this comparison can only be taken so far as indeed Australia is definitely not the US. But never the less, these emotions will find an outlet come election day.
She concludes that the most important attributes of leadership today in this election will be trustworthiness and authenticity. Most interesting.
She leaves it open but blind Freddy can see just who's more authentic. Turnbull has abandoned himself to keep his job, doing the bidding of Team Abbott in exile least he offend the precious extremists and lose power. Shorten however has made no secret of his labour roots and no secret of his current policies shaped by those.
As far as trustworthiness goes, people continue to desert Turnbull. The euphoric trust placed in him on turfing Abbott has been replaced with bitter disappointment. Shorten is relatively unknown to a lot of the electorate, apart from the Murdoch efforts to paint him badly. The electorate may however decide someone as authentic as he says he is, is more trustworthy as well.
So if the nation is feeling angry, anxious and betrayed, what does that mean for the election prospects of Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten? Can they learn anything from the rise of Trump and Sanders in the US?
The fact is that many of the issues fuelling the national mood - here and in the US - have no easy answer. Technology WILL cost some people their jobs. Demographic pressures WILL mean fewer dollars for governments to spend on services.
In the US, Trump and Sanders are offering broad brush and populist "solutions" to Americans' concerns. Yet the reality is, for some people there will be no fix, only adaptation. Any politician who says that can happen without pain for some voters and without a change in what the government can hope to deliver in the future is lying.
Most voters don't have the time or inclination to explore every policy issue in depth and to meticulously weigh up all the alternate paths. That's what they trust leaders should do. They want a prime minister on whom they can rely to handle the detail and think about the big picture, not just fret over how tomorrow's front page will play out or how long they can keep their grip on the top job. They want somebody running the nation who outlines what they are going to do, explains why it's necessary and then does it.
Against that backdrop, the most important qualities Malcolm Turnbull or Bill Shorten can strive to display are trustworthiness and authenticity. And in that regard, despite the fast pace of change in this era, for politicians some things never change. The Drum