By JAMILA RIZVI
Tonight is a big night for Julia Gillard and her Government.
It’s tempting to say that this Budget is Labor’s last chance to gain enough goodwill to have any shot of winning the September 14 election. But in all good conscience, I can’t.
Despite the dramatic effect that such a declaration might bring: the reality is that Tony Abbott and the Coalition have almost certainly already got this in the bag.
Enough political commentators have had their say on that matter: Endless column inches, air and screen time and mind numbing 20 second sound bites have been dedicated to distilling exactly what it is that has turned the electorate so violently against Gillard and Labor.
Perhaps, it was the change of direction on the carbon tax; a so-called ‘lie’ that undid a previously popular government. Perhaps, it was the way Gillard became Prime Minister in the first place; an overnight leadership switch that many Australians didn’t realise was permissible.
Perhaps, Labor were irreparably damaged by the Craig Thompson saga, or the poor handling of Peter Slipper’s elevation to speaker, or the seemingly endless leadership tensions. Perhaps, it was a skilled Opposition who were able to spin a narrative of political chaos (even when it didn’t really exist); a Government that was fumbling its way from one mishap to the next.
Or perhaps it was none of these things. At least not in isolation.
Perhaps, it has been the failure of the Gillard Government to articulate the all important ‘why’.