Well, as we gear up for a long, long election year, I'm keeping an eye on the Rudd-Gillard Opposition leadership team, and whether they're responding to the heartfelt request I made of them when they took control of federal Labor. The latest poll results are looking good. Of course, it's unwise to put much faith in poll results this far out from the election (what were Mark Latham's poll results at this stage three years ago?), but a good result is preferable to the alternative. According to the latest Morgan poll, 64% of voters approve of the job Kevin Rudd is doing as opposition leader (as opposed to 56% who approve of the job John Howard is doing as Prime Minister) although Howard retains his status as preferred PM.
But wait. What has Rudd actually done lately? Nothing really. It's not his fault. Howard hasn't done anything lately either. No one has. Parliament is on its long summer recess at the moment (let me be an MP one day, please!) and there's not a lot of politics going on. What are the voters basing their judgements on?
Not much, really. Oh, occasionally a poltician will make a statement that stays in people's minds and sways their judgements, such as John Howard's infamous "We decide who comes to this country..." soundbite. But for the most part the voters already have a pretty firm idea of who they're going to vote for; the only things that will sway them from week-to-week are the important issues like who has better hair, and the politicians are just wasting their time banging on in parliament week after week.
A little closer to home, I recieved an introductory, addressed form letter the other day from the MP, letting me know that the electoral boundaries have changed (yet again) and she is now my local federal member. The letter outlined Labor policies, and concluded by saying if there's anything she can do for me, to please contact her office.
How nice, you think. But here's the thing. Changing boundaries aside, I've handed out how-to-vote cards for this woman at the 1998, 2001 and 2004 federal elections, and have received a form thank you letter each time.
So yes, Ms Hall, there is something you can do for me. Start by remembering my name! Anyway, I think I'll be having a nice lie-in on Election Day '07. I may be a sucker for rejection, but this is ridiculous.