Abbott Government Reshuffle Sets Up A Battle Of Whys

Photo: Charles Haymond U.S. Air Force, via Wikimedia

Photo: Charles Haymond U.S. Air Force, via Wikimedia

As the new Abbot Ministry ages, commentary about the reshuffle and it’s implications has remained depressingly shallow, mostly mere regurgitation* of the Government’s talking points; analysis has been almost non-existent.

This is the best I’ve spotted so far, because it includes research, depth, thought, evaluation, nuance and analysis**: www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-22/matthewson-ministry-reshuffle-built-on-paranoia-not-progress/5982500 – it is well worth a close read***.

With the poor standing of the Abbott Government in polls, now consistent and long-standing, they’re obviously in need of change: a change of direction / policy / priority, a circuit breaker, improved communications, or other options, depending on where you see their problem lying.

If this report is correct Prime Minister Abbott and his advisors have decided their problems are principally with communications: www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-set-to-reshuffle-his-office-amid-criticism-of-communications-strategy-20141222-12c8i2.html; we’ll know soon enough, if the predictions in James Massola’s article are borne out.

When you hold the Massola article up to Paula Matthewson’s, you see a consistent picture: a Government committed to their political and ideological agenda, and convinced they can recover their standing with voters by better explaining what they are about.

This makes the run-up to Australia’s next Federal Election a fascinating contest between utterly incompatible views: whether current poor polling numbers for the Abbott Government reflect:

  • discontent with what the Government are doing or how they are doing it, vs.
  • misunderstanding of what they are doing and why.

The next election is likely to tell us which explanation is true.

 

*  I imagine the Government isn’t as depressed about this as am I.
**  Unlike most Australian reporting and commentary …
***  as is a lot of Ms Matthewson’s stuff: http://dragonistasblog.com/

About Mike Smith

Partner in Ethical Consulting Services: www.ethicalconsulting.com; sometime University lecturer; previously Government Relations consultant; before that Labor Party State Secretary in Northern Territory; union advocate with LHMU/United Voice in NT and NSW; hobby – election campaigns!

Posted on December 24, 2014, in Australian Government, Change, Communication, Culture, Government Relations, ideology, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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