It's the style, not the content

The 7:30 Report last night followed the campaigning in the so-called bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro, which is where I grew up. Watching the incumbent Tory campaign against the Labor candidate, I had a sudden realisation about how Labor have so cleverly differentiated themselves, while still actually promising and porking in much the same way.

When Nairn was pointing to things he'd achieved for the electorate, and things he was promising for the electorate, he placed large emphasis on the amount of money. It was "$100 million for the Pambula bridge upgrade". The Labor guy, while dispensing just as much promised pork, emphasised the outcome rather than the cash value. The party itself, and the press releases, still include values, but his own message was very much the outcome.

Could it be that the public subconsciously realise that they're being bribed with their own money? Or perhaps the fiscal responsibility message that Rudd so cleverly picked after Howard's incontinent campaign launch (as I prediceted the day before the Labor launch, though it was an obvious option) has actually sunk in?