Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is going American in a big way by setting the next national election seven months from now. The record length of the campaign is bad news for her opponent, Tony Abbott, and may be even worse for the nation’s 23 million people.
Turning to a permanent campaign like that of the U.S. is shrewd politics. It puts opposition leader Abbott on the defensive, forcing him to offer more than tired conservative nostrums about the magic of lower taxes, less regulation and vague paeans to freedom. Instead, Abbott must offer specifics on how he will increase competitiveness and prosperity and how to pay for it.
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