Doing the Right Thing

When you strip away the spin and rhetoric, politics is about trying to do the right thing. The differences between the major parties essentially comes down to what should be done and how it will be done.

Labor seldom has an eye for the long-term consequences of their actions. They are happy to spend money they don’t have, assured in the knowledge they will never be responsible for paying it back. In fact, I cannot recall a single instance where a Labor government (state or federal) has actually repaid the debts they accrued.

Labor, having convinced themselves of the virtuousness of their mismanagement, then use spin-doctored, focus group tested lines to convince everyone else that a government that ‘lost its way’ was actually on the right track.

While Paul Keating gave us the ‘recession we had to have’, modern Labor defend the billions in wasted taxpayer funds and Ms Gillard says she would ‘do it all again’. Somehow that doesn’t seem to fit with the ‘lost its way’ and ‘new direction’ rhetoric.

There are no such excuses on the Coalition side. We have always accepted our responsibilities to manage the national economy prudently and act in the best long-term interests of our nation. This requires vision, commitment and the discipline to stay the course.

Sometimes this isn’t popular but then again, things that are popular aren’t necessarily right.

When Tony Abbott championed his paid parental leave scheme, he met with criticism from many quarters. Yet, after explaining the benefits over several months, many now consider it a visionary policy that will make a real difference for families and our economy.

Similarly, the Liberal commitment to ‘cut the waste’ by ending rorts like Labor’s ‘cash for clunkers’ scheme will allow greater funding to essential services like mental health and hospitals. As a result of abolishing Labor waste, the Coalition has been able to commit to funding over 2800 new hospital beds and spending $1.5 billion on a mental health plan.

These are big commitments that will make a real difference in our community.

Tony Abbott said on Sunday that Australians deserve a grown-up government and called for “a fresh start where politicians say what they mean and do what they say.”

He added that “The public are asking us to do more than just replace a bad government. They are asking us to restore some sense of honour and integrity to Australia’s public life.”

That’s why the Coalition has an action contract with Australia and a plan to repay the debt, stop the rorts, protect our borders and give families a fair go.

While both parties are making promises, there is only one with a track record of keeping them. The Coalition is committed to government accountability while Labor wants to outsource responsibility for climate change and defending our borders to random panels and foreign parliaments.

In the cold light of day, the empty promises of the night before become all too transparent. After three years of whispered sweet nothings, it’s time for a new dawn in Australia.

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