Lawrence Springborg

Election Scorecard: Change, can we believe it?

The latest roundof election ads are out – the ALP has gone negative. They’re telling us that despite poll results the other guy – Lawrence Springborg – is not ready to lead us. 

Labor seems concerned. Government media releases (still being sent via Government distribution lists despite “caretaker mode” being in full swing) are consistently refering to the LNP as the Nationals. 

Springborg on the other hand is trying to claim the “change” mantra. I just saw an ad that pretty much ran with the “time for a change” motto. 

LNP: B+:  change + positivity + pointing at debt as an indicator of bad economic management are winners as we’ve seen in other elections (for example the US Presidential Election and last Townsville City Council election). 

ALP: C+: Uninspired rhetoric – except perhaps the ad where Anna Bligh acknowledges that a deficit is needed to fight recession. Brave. Also somewhat reckless in the face of poll results and the LNP’s relentless use of debt as a campaign issue. 

In other news – we are running a campaign on our website that emails candidates with respondents feelings on the Flinders Street Mall within a form letter. Clever hey. But Labor had the email addresses for Mandy Johnstone and Lindy Nelson-Carr wrong on their campaign page. They don’t even know how to spell Johnstone’s surname. Fail. D-.

Election Scorecard: LNP’s Debt Attack ads

Debt should not be a campaign issue in a recession. The fact Queensland has a big debt is a problem – but the future Queensland Government needs to be building infrastructure to create jobs.

So campaigning on the fact that you’re not going to do anything to address rising unemployment is ridiculous.

This raises a question for me – what happens when a state can’t pay off its debt – it’s not like infrastructure assets can be repossessed. And you’d think with all these countries racking up trillions of dollars in debt it’s all a bit moot. 

Anyway, the ad makes some good points about Labor’s pointless debt – borrowing without finishing jobs (Traveston Dam) and spending money on projects that don’t work (Desal plant in the south east). 

Springborg has been shaping the debt narrative for some time. His favourite line is that we’re paying $10 million a day in interest as a state. As a campaign issue debt is a winner. But politically it shouldn’t be. Particularly in a recession.

It worked a treat in the Townsville City Council elections because for some reason people are comfortable with personal debt in order to invest in infrastructure (housing) but not government debt. 

The ads also look nice. Black again. They get points because it will work, lose points for political content, and lose some points for style – it’s an attack ad.

Grade – B-

Election Scorecard: Springborg’s radio address

Queensland politicians are on the hustings. The election is 17 days away. Media outlets are beaming at the economic stimulus provided by campaign ads. Except the ABC. They don’t get revenue – they do get content though. Each party gets the occassional spot where they can address the electorate. 

Today was Springborg’s turn. I like Springborg. He seems like a typically laconic country bloke. I met him at a function last week. He shook my hand. 

His address today was poor. It sounded like he was reading an essay. And it contained a couple of logical fallacies. 

Particularly when talking about education. After going on about how Labor had borrowed money and lumped future generations with debt he proceeded to say:

“The LNP will spend money on schools. On reducing class sizes – giving your child the opportunity to be top of the class.”

This statement patently ignores that the only way some children are going to be top of the class is if it’s a class of one. And I’m not sure home schooling is an LNP policy. 

Grade: C-

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