The ungracious leftie Lorax, from Andrew Bolt's blog asks: So Howard Huggers, why was the swing so big? Why did Rudd win in a landslide despite good economic times?Why did Rudd win in a landslide despite good economic times?
Here is my response:
Well, my gut reaction was that people are stupid, then I appreciated your question did deserve serious consideration.
In fact I'm still asking myself that question (as are the dozen or so people I spoke to today).
I would suggest that it is reform fatigue which is the reason the Liberals didn't get in 1993 with the revolutionary GST.
They were in shell shock: floating the Australian dollar, the beginning of the liberalisation of industrial relations laws, the deregulation of the banking industry brought in during the Hawke-Keating Government.
Although Work Choices was little more than the codification of the unofficial practice of many business (I would suggest the reform-minded Keating would have proposed something similar) the unions, battling their increasing irrelevance in a period in which economic indicators are good, mounted an effective scare campaign, spending $30 million of their members' money.
Some leftist commentators have called Howard's defeat a 'moral victory' - that a strong economy is not the be all and end all.
On this point they are only half right. For the federal government a strong economy and strong foreign affairs policy are the only things they should be concerned about.
Issues such as education, health and infrastructure are the responsibility of the states - well, it would be if they hadn't so royally stuffed them up.
To sum up a long story short - the people didn't have the ticker for reform and have taken the easy way out and voted for a mob who promise only mindless platitudes such as 'education revolution', 'computers for kiddies' and the 'Kyoto cure'.