Channel 7’s Mark Riley came straight to the point with the first question at the leaders’ debate in Perth on Monday.
“What will you do to restore faith and trust in the political system?” he asked. Scott Morrison responded by running on his record, including the change to the Liberal Party’s rules that makes it harder to change leaders between elections — an unintended admission that he would not have been in his job under a better system.
He also referred to what he called “demonstration of performance” — stopping the boats as immigration minister, just as he promised he would; reducing welfare dependency as social services minister; bringing the budget back to surplus as treasurer; and, for the locals, giving Western Australia more GST revenue. A few details were overlooked, such as the promise before the 2013 election to eliminate the surplus, which remained in deficit when he was treasurer and is still in deficit; but let’s not be too pedantic.
Bill Shorten promised a national anti-corruption commission as a down payment on rebuilding trust in institutions. And he also suggested that Labor was “trusting the Australian people with our policies” by being upfront about “what we want to do and how we’re going to pay for it.”
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