The great debate

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Just one week after Kevin Rudd announced the 7 September date for the federal election, he has faced off with his political nemesis at the National Press Club.

The economy featured prominently in the debate and is sure to lead the discussion in the political forum this week, which also sees the release of the Treasury’s Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO) on Tuesday. The $70 billion ‘hole’ in the economy is perhaps Tony Abbott’s biggest challenge. Refusing to be drawn on how a Coalition Government would redress the balance sheet, Mr Abbott would only say that he would release full policy costings prior to the election. While he did refute Kevin Rudd’s claim that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was bound for an increase, whether in rate or scope of goods on which it is charged, he did concede that GST, along with all taxes would be subject to a review.

Kevin Rudd relied on Labor’s sound financial management throughout the GFC as his big economic winner, but had little else to add, other than to say that his party’s “record on tax as a proportion of the economy is a strong one”.

The subject of asylum seekers follows on naturally from the economy as the second biggest issues of the election campaign. Mr Rudd was asked if dismantling the Pacific Solution was a bad idea, his response, “It’s a very difficult issue for the country and the action of people smugglers concerns all Australians. What I have said many times already is that with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight we would have adjusted policy earlier. But I acted on a democratic mandate.”

Tony Abbott reiterated that boats will be turned around, “If it’s safe to do so, it will be turned around. This is not some unprecedented action,” he said and listed other countries which have the same policy. Attacking the PNG solution he said, “Because Mr Rudd closed the Pacific processing down, we’ve had 50,000 arrivals, the PNG solution is not what the Prime Minister says it is.  Offshore processing on its own is not enough.”

When asked by Fairfax Media’s Peter Hartcher what programs would be cut or taxes raised to cover the inefficiencies of Australia’s tax system and deliver revenue, Kevin Rudd said reducing the rate of company tax would be the best course of action in a perfect world, but “now is not the right time”. Tony Abbott stated that we need a stronger economy and a Coalition Government would “eliminate unnecessary taxes like the mining tax and the carbon tax. A Coalition would focus on improving productivity.”

On the issue of productivity, Kevin Rudd relied on the National Broadband Network to provide a much-needed boost. Tony Abbott responded by saying the Government’s NBN was over schedule and over budget. He did pledge to make a decision about the site for a second airport in Sydney and promised to boost the capacity of the current airport by improving the roads around it. Mr Rudd questioned whether Sydney actually needed a second airport.

Climate change yet again proved to be a devisive issue, but probably not one which will decide the outcome of any election. The Coalition prefers the direct action approach and claimed this will reduce emissions by five per cent by 2020, but gave no actual detail as to what ‘direct action’ entails. Kevin Rudd responded by saying, “We will be doing a disservice to our kids and grandkids if we do not act … We never doubted the science, unlike some.” And that, should the rest of the world propose to work together to reduce emissions, then Australia has “no alternative than to act collaboratively with the rest of the world.”

As a parting shot in the debate, Kevin Rudd tried to blind-side his conservative opponent by announcing a Labor Government would commit to introducing a bill to legalise same-sex marriage within 100 days of its re-election. Mr Abbott, who personally opposes same-sex marriage, refused to be drawn on whether he would grant coalition MPs a conscience vote on the issue.

Watch the debate in full at SBS.com.au.

Opinion: And the winner is…

Last night’s election debate gave Australians the first chance to see what the two major players had to say about the issues which will decide who leads the country, but at the end of the hour, were we any better informed?

Interestingly, only SBS and ABC chose to give the debate a run on their major channel, with the commercial channels opting not to derail their scheduling and bumping ‘The Great Debate’ to a secondary channel. Perhaps an indication of how uninterested the majority of viewers are.

Kevin Rudd arrived, notes at the ready, while Tony Abbott decided to play by the agreed rules and go sans memory aids. This very much follows the way Tony Abbott operates, off-the-cuff and prone to gaffs, while his opponent prefers to be very much in control. Being in control and being informed are surely two keys attributes which a potential leader of the country should have but, on this occasion, it gave Mr Rudd a slightly arrogant air and on a few occasions, the confidence to refuse to move on. Mr Abbott on the other hand was more about sound bites and quoting Labor’s past failings than giving weight to any of his own arguments.

The economy is shaping up to be the election decider and while many Australians refuse to believe Labor’s promises of sound financial management, one can’t help but wonder if the lack of Coalition policy costings is a result of simply not having a clue what to do, or if Joe Hockey just can’t find a calculator. I mean, how difficult can it be to put down on paper what your promises will cost and where the money will come from?

With questions being fielded from the press gallery, this was the chance for both leaders to add gravitas and authority to their party policies. Yet, as has sadly become the norm, it simply became an opportunity to niggle each other and score points on each other’s past failings, rather than truly outline how they could best serve the country. Even Julia Gillard, recently ousted by born-again PM Kevin, wasn’t to get away Scot-free, with Tony Abbott taking a swipe at her backflip on the carbon tax.

In his closing statement, Kevin Rudd said it was time to look to a positive future, to put our faith in the party who could deliver change. And Tony Abbott seemed to agree saying, “We do not need another three years like the last six. Choose real change.”

All too soon (or maybe not soon enough if you were waiting to switch over to the cricket) the end of the allocated hour was approaching and still I was none the wiser. Would I be voting for the party, led by the ‘earnest’ Kevin Rudd, or would self-professed good guy Tony Abbott’s party deserve my tick on the 7th? Who knows? And it seems I’m not the only one who is none the wiser, with no outright winner being declared. The winner seems to depend on which news outlet or television channel you defer to.

Did the debate answer any of your questions on policies? Do you think there was anything to be gained by either side from the debate? Did the debate change your mind on either leader and/or for whom you intend to vote for on Saturday 7 September?

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Written by Debbie McTaggart

282 Comments

Total Comments: 282
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    The Great Debate, There can only be one winner when Krudd cheated by referring to notes during the debate which was against the rules. That alone makes Tony Abbott the winner and shows what a sneaky liar Krudd really is. His notes should have been taken from him. Its a bit like the way sport has been ruined in this country, by cheats taking performance enhanseing drugs.

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      Spot on surfer! End of discussion, Krudd is a farce….

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      there were no clear winner last night…………….

    • 0
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      And would you rather be prepared or go off on a mind tangent when you get asked a question? Tony is not the sharpest pencil in the box! He messes up constantly, and I only ever see him on tv when he is eating free food!

    • 0
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      It is the party we vote for, not this idiotic competition between Krudd and Tony.
      Anyway I don’t like cheats and liars. Tony Abbott is a real man being a lifesaver and fireman. Not a sneaky little liar. Imagine Krudd as a lifeguard, trying to keep his hair in place. So we don’t need the sharpest pencil, just a party that won’t blow the budget past 400 billion. Blowing out under labor at 3 billion a week. Krudd thinks that homosexuals and lesbians getting married is much more important. Please, Tony has to be a winner over that lot.

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      There were two sneaky little liars up there last night Surfer. One note writing and one not note writing. The one not note writing was a very clever little polly, because as we all know, you can’t believe anything he says “unless it is scripted”!!

    • 0
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      How can you trust ABBOTT when he refuses to give to normal Australians labors SUPERIOR and self funding NBN because MURDOCH’s Foxtel will go down the tube if Australians have REALLY fast and reliable internet.

      That is ALL Australian’s need to know…. ABBOTT doesn’t give a DAMN about NORMAL AUSTRALIANS….. so do you REALLY believe that his party will represent YOU and do things for Australians.

      WE KNOW LABOR DOES BECAUSE it wants YOU to have the NBN FREE! FREE! FREE! Labor doesn’t give a damn about a FOREIGN wealthy billionaire’s back pocket, it only cares about Australia and Australians.

      HERE is a LINK that shows you that ABBOTT is CHEATING on his FACEBOOK page and getting bots to improve his image.

      http://llewstevens.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/tony-abbott-is-paying-people-to-like-him.html

      Yes, Mr Abbott is truthful and cares for you….. NOT!

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      This as a debate was a complete joke and an insult to all of us voters…..What we had here were two very,very,very ambitious, egotistical,characters,and not being able to hide the facade, both are hiding behind….. both frightened of making a gaff, instead of being themselves and highlighting to the public,what they really have to ,offer all of us, dummies/lemmings…….Really, it is time to bring the Drovers Dog, in for the opportunity,that is there for the taking, when we compare the so called leaders of our country,both putting in a very pathetic performance!!!

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      According to the Qld Vice President of Debating yesterday on ABC radio Rudd did not cheat. You are allowed to refer to notes. How else can he remember all the acts of Parliament etc ? Fair go…at least he has material to refer to unlike the Opposition.

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      umm pardon me, but IF PM Rudd was cheating why didn’t someone say so at the start of the debate?? Seems like sour grapes to wait until after the debate and then complain ‘Cheat! Cheat’

  2. 0
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    That was NOT a debate it was an election speech, both were disappointing and once again Abbott had NO polices and NO explanation of how he was going to achieve his “Plans”

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      At least he is not a cheat and a liar. (GST scare campaigne)

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      PlanB agree it was an election speak both disappointing……….and Surfer oh man”

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      Four weeks out from an election, during the national debate (which it wasn’t really) and Abbott still can’t explain the black hole. The GST is on Abbott’s Reform List but he denies it will be increased. So why is it? Who knows? He won’t tell us. My suspicion is that food will be included. Hold on. We’re in for a rough ride if this “real man” takes the reins.

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      ABBOTT is a CHEAT and a LIAR!!

      Check out this link:
      http://llewstevens.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/tony-abbott-is-paying-people-to-like-him.html

      He can’t even be truthful about the “likes” on his Facebook page… he has to RIG IT!!

      Remember also that if he hasn’t given you a written account of his policies and its costings, then he doesn’t have to HONOUR them!!!! He said that himself remember..

      oh! and watch ABBOTT’s double speak…. him telling you that he cares for you, simply means he will care for you all the way up to being elected. There are no guarantees after that.

      Surfer the GST ‘scare’ is still REAL because it won’t be Abbott that puts up the GST, it will be the States…….. All ABBOTT has to do is stop funding to the States and they HAVE to put up GST – ALL the States simply agree to put up the GST and that’s it folks!

      Again he didn’t lie outright…. he did say HE wouldn’t put GST up but FAILED entirely to confirm a total ban on a GST hike.

      Jen, his reform list means that ABBOTT will allow GST on FOOD or HEALTH, etc….. That is a FEDERAL law requirement and can not be done by the States.

      Sooooooo, the STATES may agree to a GST hike and ABBOTT will allow the GST to be extended.

      Either way WE ARE SCREWED, the WEALTHY get a TAX BREAK and we the average Australian GET TO PAY FOR IT!!!!!

      That is what the LIBERAL PARTY is ALL ABOUT…. benefits for the wealthy PAID for by US!!!!

      Get that clear folks…… they DO NOT represent YOU!!!!

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      You have a problem Mussitate. Just a labor stooge. Obsessed with Murdoch and far too much to say. Boring rubbish.

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      Mussitate …it will be interesting to watch and see if the Mad Abbott embraces same sex marriage when he realises the $’s and votes connected to the gays.

      The Mad Abbott says repeatedly, ‘not in the first term of Government’ … so he sees the LNP as being in power for more than one term. Then we can really worry. I am disappointed that he didn’t answer many questions, maybe he has no answers.

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      Surfer
      Is that it…… you are a Liberal Boy through and through…. you don’t answer with anything substantial or intelligent…..whatsoever…. simply attack the person whose opinion you CAN NOT dispute.

  3. 0
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    I wouldn’t trust either of them

  4. 0
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    Perhaps you are right. One question I would like Rudd to answer is how we are going to pay off our national debt of between 300 and 400 billion and how long it will take. Talking of black holes, I can’t see the bottom of that one.

    • 0
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      “Hey Surfer,
      All politicians are born liers………….. and if you feel that only the Liberal Party are sincere think again. ALL LIERS

    • 0
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      Tia-Maria, I have to agree, but no one will answer my question. Is it in the too hard basket. Why is it never disgussed????

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      SURFER

      I have answered this many, many times. It is NOT a debt it is a deficit and as such is NOT owed to anyone. Australia also has a AAA credit rating which the USA & UK DO NOT have.

      Additionally, Australia’s deficit is one of the lowest in the western world with the USA & UK being really in the manure because their debts (not merely deficits) are in the trillion dollar range and NO likelihood of repayment.

      Australia’s deficit is there MERELY to ensure that WE do NOT end up like the USA & UK and that we stay ahead of the rest of the world. It is there to implement medium and long term strategies to ensure our economy keeps flowing and is STRONG. The same as would be any ‘business’ that wants to stay strong and grow.

      It is called good management of Australia FOR Australians.

      It is all ABBOTT has got to blow up out of all proportion to make us think things are bad when in fact it is only there to ensure that we, as Australians, do NOT SUFFER during whilst the rest of the world is in dire straits.

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      oh thank you Mussi. I am not an economist and did not understand debt and deficit I couldn’t understand why USA borrows from China and is still printing cash. I also know (but do not understand why) countries should be in debt. Apparently it is not healthy to be in surplus.

      However, I do know that Australia has a lot of things we needed (education reforms for one). Our infrastructures need upgrading and revitalising too. Sort out the mining tax and let it rip next session of Parliament!! Then improve our health system and roads and reserves and … improve OUR facilities, US, the people.

  5. 0
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    Debbie didn’t you realise your preferred politician cheated? Or doesn’t that matter to you? Kevin is a “trust me” kind of guy and that should raise anyone’s hackles especially when the person saying it is a cheat or a liar. The Labor party seems to attract these types of people. However, Tony Abbott was a clear winner on the night – it was plain to see – composed, honest, and no “gaffes” as you put it. You will also see that he will win the election hands down so be prepared with your pen to write a compromising piece on him as I am sure you will

    • 0
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      Good afternoon Jennyya, how would you know who my preferred politician was?

    • 0
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      Aw, come on Debbie. Pull the other leg!! A clue. Read your own story!

    • 0
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      What!!!! Gee wizz, you believe MURDOCH’S MEDIA, telling you that it was cheating. Oh! please you are so non thinking LIBERAL it is ridiculous.

      Tony ABBOTT was NOT a clear winner….. he just whined and whinged and gave the Australian PUBLIC NOTHING!

      There was NOTHING he said that showed that the economy was going to become EVEN BETTER than the BEST in the WORLD because that is what it is NOW!

      No POLICIES, just …….. “we will make things better”. They don’t even say WHO will be better off because it CERTAINLY will NOT be YOU!

    • 0
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      Krudd has always been a cheat and a liar. Just a disgusting little creep. Kissing babies and crawling up to some poor soul that would not know the time of day. Now he has that loser Beattie to help him, what a pair.

    • 0
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      Surfer, you disappoint me! Never have I read such vitriol from you. I was of the opinion the babys and the elderly were safe from politicians now for they go to the factories and blue collar work places mainly.

    • 0
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      Surfer: All pollies kiss and cuddle babies all over the world. It’s just the done thing.
      However, most of the babies are not one bit interested in the pollies. Its a good way of spreading germs, just imagine where they’ve been and what they’ve been handling each day.

  6. 0
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    Oh, dear, after listening to both of them, I feel more despondent than ever about whom I’m going to vote for. I did the ABC.
    et.au/votecompass questionnaire and was surprised that I’m more a Green supporter than the other parties. Three of my friends were the same. Just wish Malcolm Turner was leading the Liberal Party, then I could vote with confidence.

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      Sweeti, I felt the same until I saw Mr. Turnbull (I think you meant Turnbull and not Turner) and Mr. Albonese (?) Dep. PM. debating last night and I’m afraid Mr Turnbull was aggressive and rude the whole way through. He talked over the top of the presenter (the lovely ABC interviewer with the lovely short brown hair)and just waffled on! I was very disappointed in him.

  7. 0
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    Yes this debate was virtually just election speeches with neither adding to what we already know. K. Rudd repeating and A. Abbott telling us nothing.

    But, I have an inkling of a feeling that if all this extra cash had not been spent we may have ended up just like all the other countries who consequently suffered from the world wide enconomic downturn.

    The only thing I am astounded about with labor is that they are saing we have to start diversifying rather than relying on the digging up our ground and exporting it. Why has this suddenly become a realisation now when it should have been done all the while.

  8. 0
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    KEVIN’S GIFTING IS THAT HE IS A DIPLOMAT SO THAT GIFTING WILL ALWAYS BE THE STRONGER IN HIS PERSONALITY. DIPLOMAT’S ARE THERE TO MAKE PEOPLE FEEL GOOD, FUZZY, WUZZY STUFF, ‘POUR OIL ON’, SAY WHAT THE OTHER WANTS TO HEAR – “DIPLOMATS DO NOT A LEADER MAKE” . LEADERS HAVE TO MAKE HARD AND SOMETIMES UNPOPULAR DECISIONS, AND MOST PEOPLE WANT THE FUZZY, WUZZY, HOWEVER, THAT WON’T GET THIS GREAT COUNTRY ON TRACK.

    • 0
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      You are describing the WHOLE of the LIBERAL campaign….. NOTHING in policies, strategies or clearly defined promises…… SIMPLY “we will make things better”

      and you MUGS believe that???????

      He is taking the NBN OFF every household JUST because it will not be good for a FOREIGN media MAGNATE’s business enterprise (Foxtel).

      How is someone who is willing to SELL OUT each and every AUSTRALIAN household, just to APPEASE a wealthy billionaire, going to do better for Australia than what RUDD has done for us.

      RUDD has put us at the TOP of the WORLD and may get thrown out by a TOTAL MORON (ABBOTT) who has shown that he cares NOTHING for YOU and is simply MURDOCH’S MARIONETTE.

      Gee, just kick someone in the balls for doing what NO OTHER government in the WORLD has been able to do for their country AND then elect a total IDIOT who is guaranteed to SCREW YOU, to take his place.

      MURDOCH’s sick and disgustingly BIASED propaganda is saturating your brains with bulldust…. why the hell can’t you lot see this!

    • 0
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      Mussi, you can’t put brains in statues 🙂

    • 0
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      Lauren: This great country is doing fine. Rudd didn’t do too bad a job as a so-called diplomat to get us through the GFC. How quickly we forget. In the SMH 30/3/13 it was indicated that Australia had achieved and basks in glory with a TRIPLE-A TRIFECTA. Three separate GLOBAL ratings agencies: Standard & Poors; Fitch Ratings; and Moody’s affirmed Australia’s Triple-A Rating and stable outlook. No LIBERAL Government has ever achieved this coveted TRIFECTA from all three global ratings agencies ever before. Fitch Ratings said Australia has got the big economic calls right to have avoided the recession during the GFC. Australia remained one of the strongest performing economies in the Triple-A Group of which there are 8 countries with a triple-A rating. Fitch also said Australia had built up the capacity to absorb economic shocks due to a combination of LOW PUBLIC DEBT; the floating exchange rate and liberal trade and labour markets.
      If only there were less scaremongering and downgrading this country and more praise for its achievements.
      It’s getting to the point where everybody is so down on everything, its also affecting our sporting achievements ha ha; it just aint cricket, is it?

    • 0
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      Egyptian
      Excellent comment…. intelligent and very informative.

      student
      Nice to see you, always glad to read your comments. I get so frustrated by Murdoch’s propaganda saturations, flowing into the general public with no ability to stop it.

      It is something I disagree with RUDD about… MEDIA do NOT have a right to spew personal propaganda, they have a requirement to convey an UNBIASED and FACTUAL representation of Australian and International News and information, as much as possible.

      If HITLER did NOT have control of the MEDIA and was UNABLE to spew PROPAGANDA to the masses, millions of Gypsies, Communists, Disabled, Homosexuals, Jews, etc would probably have LIVED!!!!

      NO entity should be allowed to wield that sort of power, especially to push their OWN political preferences, so that they can extract OUR wealth for their OWN use.

  9. 0
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    I vote Liberal always don’t like what labour stands for, plus liberals are better economy managers.

    • 0
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      WRONG…. they are definitely NOT better economic managers.

      Labor’s MANAGEMENT of the ECONOMY has put Australia at the TOP of the WORLD…. no other government has done so well in world history AND they have done it whilst the rest of the world is flailing!

      Liberal’s policy is simply to take from the average Australia and give to the RICH which does NOT fair well in the current world economy.

      That is why the Labor party is generally put in to manage an economy when things are BAD and Liberal’s claim the government (through disgustingly biased CORPORATE media coverage) takes over when the economy is good.

    • 0
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      Poor old Musterbate, I think you would say black was white. Please get your biggotted facts right. Do you think we all came down in the last shower??

    • 0
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      That’s it Surfer……. your whole comment is bigoted.

      No come back…. can’t deny that Australia’s economy is simply the BEST in the WORLD! NO you can’t can you!!!!!

      So, next best step is to attack the person telling truths….. you really are a LIBERAL boy….. here simply to act as a mouth piece for Liberal PROPAGANDA. They and YOU will do anything to turn Australia into a cesspool, so that the wealthy elite can simply get even richer….. not you though…. you are merely their patsy.

    • 0
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      According to the Labor website Lewi, Labor they stand for ‘Growth and Opportunity, Families, Education, Workers and Fairness’. I can’t see anything in their policies to contradict what they stand for and certainly the legislation they have passed, and policies they have implemented, in the last five years indicate they remain true to their values.

      It is sad that you don’t like what they stand for Lewi because what they stand for has probably ensured you and yours have equitable access to higher levels of education, access to essential health services and legislation to protect your employment.

  10. 0
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    You are spot on Lauren. Labor squanders our hard earned tax dollars and Krudd throws it around like confetti. We need strong government making tough decisions which won’t be popular to bring our country back to normal. Krudd inherited a credit from john Howard of 19 billion and in six years we owe more than 300 billion and it is still blowing out at 3 billion a week. This during record income from the mining industry. Do your sums Australia, we cannot carry on long like this. All this national debt has to be paid off plus the interest. Is it going to be left for our grandchildren??? No one seems to talk about it on either side of politics.

    • 0
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      A TOTAL LIE surfer and you know it.

      RUDD and the Labor Party have put AUSTRALIA in the number ONE spot in WORLD economies….. in all aspects! It has never been done before and Rudd and the Labor Party have done it whilst the rest of the world is flailing!

      The deficit NOT debt, is easily affordable (we have a AAA credit rating) and that is HOW this country has been LIFTED above all the rest of the world. Our wealth is spread out amongst the people (most EGALITARIAN in the world) – LIBERALS will take that away from us and give OUR wealth to the WEALTHY and hence, take away one of the reasons we are doing so well.

      I agree however, that if the LIBERALS get in, there will be VERY LITTLE left for your grandkids BECAUSE, they will not get proper education UNLESS they can afford a PRIVATE school education and the public HEALTH system will be run down completely….. so hopefully you grandkids don’t get sick!

      A vote for LIBERAL is a vote AGAINST your own kids and grandkids.

      Why would you vote for a party that is hell bent on upgrading the wealthy with YOUR money and degrading your grandkids opportunities and livelihood.

    • 0
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      Musterbate, You need to go back to school. Or perhaps back to Russia. You don’t understand economics that for sure. Saying deficit is not debt. We had an AAA rating but what about now. You can never answer my question as to how we are going to pay off 400 billion debt. How about a blow out of 3 billion a week caused by Krudd’s idiotic out of control spending.???

    • 0
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      surfer, as I understand it, debt is what is owed to someone and deficit is not owed to anyone . Deficit is the red stuff that appears in a balance sheet. It’s not owed.

      Can you tell me please why it is so important to some people that we have a surplus?? (and I don’t mean a credit) Surplus goes with deficit.

      Also, you say we ‘had’ a AAA rating, has that changed?? I certainly didn’t know that 🙂 As far as I know we still have a AAA rating.

    • 0
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      Surfer…. there we go AGAIN more personal attacks BECAUSE you got nothing else, have you… being Liberal Patsy is hard work, aye. We STILL have a AAA rating, dear old sock and our DEFICIT as put so nicely by student, is nothing and when compared to other western countries who have massive DEBTS, it is the LOWEST of ALL of them!!!!!! That is WHY we have a AAA credit rating.

      Now on to the question of the benefit to AUSTRALIANS of a SURPLUS…… NONE….NONE…. NONE….. NONE!

      It is like a BUSINESS that simply SITS on its CASH and does nothing. It DOESN’T invest it in improving its Marketing Methods, Market Share, Research & Development, Innovation, Infrastructure, Assets, Training & Education of its Staff, Health & Safety of its Staff….. etc,etc. Do you know what happens to a BUSINESS that just sits on its money and does none of these essential requirements….. they become dinosaurs and other businesses, take their markets and market share because their is NO innovation and infrastructure and assets are crumbling, along with staff that have no ability to keep up with modern requirements and add value to the business.

      The business eventually loses its position in the market, loses business and has to use the money accumulated to survive, rather than GROW and SURGE ahead of its competitors. It eventually goes bankrupt because it has no solid bases to recover from.

      Managing of a country is very similar…… hence, sitting on a SURPLUS and NOT investing in the infrastructure, assets, training and education, health and safety of this country will eventually turn us into the USA….. slums, poverty, crime, drugs, no social wage, public health a death trap, public education a joke, wages LESS than half of Australian worker, infrastructrue crumbling… etc, etc.

      So a SURPLUS is the opposite of good it is BAD for Australia and Australians, especially when times are difficult. However, it is a means of providing greater tax cuts to the wealthy and to pour OUR money into their PRIVATE education and PRIVATE health….. it is called the TRANSFER of WEALTH from you and me, to THEM.

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