Tuesday, August 31, 2004

this ain't no never ever land

Based on the results of internal sanctuary polling--a sample of one, undecided, older voter in a marginal seat (my mum)--I think John Howard's in trouble, but I don't think Mark Latham is necessarily a shoo-in as a result.
By way of background, my mother (who along with me is the only member of our family who has become a citizen and can vote) is basically centrist these days; does not automatically vote a certain way, but makes considered choices based on a government's performance.
She said she thought Howard's dishonest behavior was a schweinerei (German word for absolute disgrace, but involves pigs). She thought he was an opportunist who said whatever he needed to to get his way at the time, without fully considering whether what he was saying was actually true. She said she particularly disapproves of the way he always claims he "didn't know" or "wasn't told" something, saying it is akin to a boss blaming his staff whenever something goes wrong.
But she said wasn't sure about Latham either as he is "too young". On probing she clarified this to be "too inexperienced". However, she said she will reserve judgment til she gets a look at his policies. Still, she reckons she probably won't vote for either of them, and will likely go Green. I said, what about the perception that the Greens are too radical and extreme, and she said, at least as far as the environment goes, "you can't get radical enough".
So my advice to Latham is to avoid talking about generational change as this puts the spotlight on his relative inexperience, instead talk up the experience and credentials of his team. And to get his team to, at every opportunity, express confidence in the team leader and in the other members of the team. And to keep the focus on honesty and integrity. And to bring out his policies post haste!
Oh yeah--I forgot to ask her about Iraq/troops home by Xmas, so will update once I have.

ps: I thought Howard's excitement last night at having "uncovered the first Latham lie" in relation to pay-roll tax sounded desperate and kind of came across like a kid saying "nyer, nyer, I know you are but what am I?" And I thought Latham very convincingly neutralised it. But it remains to be seen what others think.