Are our federal political leaders in election mode?

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    Editorial April 21 2017

    IF THE idea didn’t seem so far fetched, you would almost think our federal political leaders were in election mode.

    Running from one side of the country to the next making sweeping statements and wild pledges.

    It’s not long since our last federal election – heck, how can we forget? – but if it hadn’t have been so soon you’d swear we were in the middle of another election campaign.

    From the Prime Minister this week we've had a series of hard-hitting announcements, coming straight after his internal foe Tony Abbott poked his head out from the back bench to take a whack.

    So then first came a new “Australians First” approach to the 457 visa system, announced the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull the very next day.

    Then on Thursday comes news the Prime Minister is proposing a crackdown on citizenships laws, introducing tougher new tests and some measures targeting social cohesion.

    All in the space of a week.

    On Thursday, the Prime Minister’s second greatest rival behind Tony Abbott, Labor leader Bill Shorten, rode into our neck of the woods in his big red bus.

    Remember Bill’s big red bus?

    Last time we saw that there was an election on.

    In an interview with Fairfax Media, Mr Shorten contested “there’s no election”.

    He said simply: “I think people are entitled to see their politicians outside of an election period.

    “I know the Liberals have got their nose out of joint – we’ve bought the big red bus and are on a listening tour but frankly that's what we should be doing.”

    Like any good political rival he certainly didn’t miss an opportunity to have a good poke at his Opposition’s wounds.
    “I think the Liberals need to wake up to themselves with their internal division – either Abbott goes or Turnbull goes,” Mr Shorten said.

    “The Liberals are focussed on one job, not everyone’s job. I think they need to get on with the job of running the country instead of leaking against each other and trying trying to humiliate each other.

    “The Labor Party under my leadership we’ve been more united and I have to say we learned our lessons and it looks like the Liberals will soon.”

    Ouch. That last comment certainly did not miss the mark, but it could certainly be classed as “fair comment”.
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