Australian politics is sorely lacking in policy debate that the public longs for, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said on Wednesday, stressing that "the season has come for us to lift ourselves above the ruck."
In an interview with ABC, Mr Rudd lamented that Aussies were being served political spectacles that were bereft of visions or even solid plans for the future.
"Too much of the energy is negative, personal and frankly some might say politics has always been like that but I think it is turbo charged at the moment in a toxic direction and it is not good for the nation," the former Labor leader told ABC.
He blamed both sides for the snags, first his own party leadership for ignoring the need to institute reforms that could bolster the chance of Labor to retain government power despite strong indications that it will be trounced by the Coalition come the 2013 federal election.
"The cold hard facts are there is a process of reform within the Australian Labor Party that has barely begun," Mr Rudd observed.
And Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, according to him, is sadly a big contributor of the present political environment that has deteriorated to name-callings instead of productive debates that benefit the economy and the public.
He scored Mr Abbott's seeming proclivity to turn everything into a melee, suggesting that the Liberal leader's political tactics seems always out of tune and out of time.
Politics for the Coalition headliners is "'a very, very extreme sport ... he loves the smell of blood on the canvas ... that is his attitude," Mr Rudd said.
The result were the personal attacks between Labor and the Coalition that dragged on for far too long and capped last week by the fiery 'sexist and misogynist' speech by Prime Minister Julia Gillard at the Parliament.
That moment and what were said by Ms Gillard resonated with many women, not only in Australia but also around the world, Mr Rudd conceded.
Yet at the end of the day, people care more about the economy and health care, with Mr Rudd stressing "are more deeply concerned about the bread-and-butter, back-to-basics issues that confront families."
So it is time that all parties start taking on the real tasks of being in the Parliament as "I worry about the people losing faith in our democracy altogether," he added.
"We are 12 months out from an election - what are the competing visions, what are the competing policies and I believe our side of politics offers the most compelling narrative for this country's future," the former PM also asserted.
Judging from the things that Mr Rudd had let out, Mr Abbott said on Thursday that the public will likely witness "the filthiest and the most personal ... election campaign," to take place next year.
He pointed to the "politics of personal destruction," coming from Ms Gillard and her Labor cohorts.
"The most savage personal attacks of all are those that the Prime Minister and her ministers mounted on Kevin Rudd," the Coalition leader told reporters in Melbourne.
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