Monday, September 13, 2004

Defying that conventional wisdom 

Malcolm Farr today:
"[Labor leader] Mark Latham last night had a critical victory over [the Prime Minister] John Howard in a debate which established that health and education could yet decide the election outcome. Mr Latham defied the conventional wisdom that last week's terror attacks in Jakarta would make John Howard unassailable."
And Malcolm Farr on Friday:
"The bombing in Jakarta could become the event that crushed Mark Latham's bid to get a Labor government elected. The atrocity was an unwanted intrusion into the election campaign but one that voters will be unable to ignore... It raised the prominence of national security in the election contest and, for now at least, pushed economic debate down the list."
As a friend of mine likes to say, "A perception among those who create the perception is..." The tactic here, whether conscious or not, seems to be to build up the Government's chances of re-election so much that any small break that the Opposition might get during the campaign will then seem like a huge victory for them - a David versus Goliath situation. I'm sure the American readers will be familiar with that tactic on their own home turf, too.


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