'Tax as their bullets': Scott Morrison's extraordinary 'war' attack on Labor Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016/tax-as-their-bullets-scott-morrisons-extraordinary-war-attack-on-labor-20160602-gp9sh7.html#ixzz4APy3uu00 Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook
Canning byelection: Andrew Hastie refuses to give his views on creationism
Hastie had called the media conference to announce he would push for harsher mandatory minimum sentences for methamphetamine dealers who sell to people under 18, or manufacturers who “endanger” children” – a state government issue, so his promise was to lobby the Barnett government. Tackling methamphetamine use has already been announced as a major focus for the Liberal campaign.
He invents faux security measures in a transparent effort to look tough. And, whether it's stripping citizenship or ordering the stopping and questioning of ordinary citizens in their daily lives, Abbott hopes to inflame Labor into opposing him so that he can point gleefully and shout "Labor is soft on terror!"
That said, this trend for “announceables” is not going away any time soon, nor is it new. Governments typically find every way they can to emphasise their big policy programs, and some of those are inevitably contrived. But there is something particularly unedifying about national security strategy – and public discussion thereof – being, in fact, a media strategy.
Fear campaigns are pretty unedifying at the best of times, but political strategists keep on using them because negative campaigning is so effective. Voters are more likely to believe a politician if they say something negative about their opponent than if they say something positive about themselves.
The federal Liberal Party has become a creature that feeds on the politics of fear. Today it is fear of terrorist activity, and before that of asylum seekers. The jettisoning of liberal principles, once important values when the party was led by people like Malcolm Fraser and John Hewson, happened long ago.
Isis coming for us, says Tony Abbott after attacks – video