Excerpts from my piece on the election scorecard, via Crikey:
“In an appalling show of wedge politics writ large, the equating of ‘illiterate and innumerate’ refugees with stealing Australian jobs (yet who languish on welfare?) was pronounced by Dutton, then endorsed by the PM. Seriously. While polls revealed the economy as the most pressing issue influencing voters, with refugees, the lowest, the government’s decision to link the two in an inspired commentary of political dog whistling, succeeding in offending almost half the nation – of Australians who were either born overseas or have a parent born overseas.
Meanwhile, campaign trailing through Campbelltown NSW, Shorten was being serenaded by a supporter to the tune of Unchained Melody. How quirky. This shine morphed fast into a case of Unhinged Policy as Major Projects Minister Paul Fletcher claimed Labor’s numbers of $175 million did not stack up to its projections of $400 million for the Port Botany railway line in NSW. Interestingly, Fletcher could not comment on what the Coalition might commit.
All things considered, budget accusations versus attacking the integrity of multicultural Australia with racist invective, the Government were the greater train-wreck of the day.