|Is Abbott going too hard on Thomson?|
There has been some commentary that the Opposition has been too hard on Craig Thomson. These letters to the editor at The Australian give an idea of the spectrum of discussion. The mental health issue was kicked-off by the Opposition's Mal Washer, a qualified medico. It was then followed-up by the government and journalists with the suggestion that opposition members were being deluged by letters telling them to leave Thomson alone.
So I decided to see what our data, taken between 15 and 17 May, 2012, suggests. Now we didn't ask directly whether voters approved or disapproved of the opposition's line on Thomson, but asking directly can be misleading as people often tell you what they think they should.
What we can infer from the data is that the Liberals' line on Thomson is working for them.
When it comes to approval of Julia Gillard, 3.5% mention Thomson and Slipper (almost always in the same breath) and of those 89% disapprove and only 8% approve.
When it comes to approval of Tony Abbott only 0.3% mention it, although two-thirds of those disapprove of Abbott. I don't think that would worry Abbott too much.
The Thomson and Slipper situations tend to reinforce two themes - that Gillard is untrustworthy, and that she is not competent. That is a fairly potent combination, particularly as voters tend to punish incompetence more than they punish dishonesty (cf Queensland politics between 2001 or thereabouts and 2009, or John Howard versus Mark Latham).
1. Gillard is a proven liar (carbon tax).2. Gillard does not honour written agreements (Wilke poker machines).3. Gillard cannot be trusted (knifed Rudd).4. Gillard has a lust for power (will do anything no matter how low to stay in office - Slipper, Thoms
Gillard lies. She wants her hands on the levers of state, yet she doesn't know what to do once she is there. If gillard didn't have a carbon tax or protect thompson--i think she would be doing much better.
Just hopeless. Believes in nothing, seriously incompetent ie Slipper, Thomson, no defence of carbon price, support for neo-liberal economic policies and too much individual welfare instead of fundinf real outcomes like education, childcare, health etc.
She has no leadership qualities, runs a chaotic government, and is totally besmirched by the combination of Slipper and Thompson. What sort of a dill imports the Libs' Slipper problem!
While I give Julia a lot of credit for the courage she shows under adversity and a rabid media pack, she seems to have very bad judgement when it comes to either Slipper or Thompson. Worse, she appears not be in anything other than grimly holding onto power
Her doggedness in the face of sexism, extreme rudeness, and having to put up with the likes of sleazy chancers like Slipper and Craig Thomson