Australians know that election time is near when politicians promise the sun, the moon and the stars in a bid to win votes. This especially is the case for MPs who used to enjoy popularity with voters until the political scenario changed in favour of their perceived rivals.
REUTERS Australian unemployment rate increased in December
One such case is Opposition leader Tony Abbott who promised on Tuesday to create one million jobs in the next five years if the Coalition would win the 2013 polls and he becomes Australia's next prime minister.
Mr Abbott is working extra hard to regain lost voters after latest surveys showed that his nemesis, Prime Minister and Labor Party leader Julia Gillard, has eaten up his lead and has better chances of holding on to her post, thanks to the misogyny issue and his negativity that weakened Mr Abbott's voter support.
Mr Abbott promised to release details of the one million job pledge in early 2013. For Wednesday, he will first launch a book titled A Strong Australia which contains speeches he has delivered over the years.
Aware of his negative image, he told Liberal MPs, "I want the Australian people to vote for us, not simply to vote against someone else."
He also promised another one million jobs for the next five years after 2017 and vowed to lower taxes.
"We understand that no country has ever taxed its way into prosperity," Mr Abbott explained in obvious reference to the carbon tax which he has also pledged to repeal once he becomes prime minister.
However, Trade Minister Craig Emerson pointed out that an indicator that Mr Abbott is a policy weakling is that the carbon tax is more popular than the Opposition leader. He cited an Essential Research study that 46 per cent of Australians support the measure versus 44 per cent who are against the carbon tax.
The same study said only 33 per cent of Aussies identified Mr Abbott as their preferred prime minister.
"This Parliament is going to witness a triumph of plans over fear, policy over smear and you'll get what's coming to you from this smear campaign you've engaged in," News.com.au quoted Mr Emerson.
To further illustrate his point, Mr Emerson pointed out that it has been 1,022 days since the Coalition asked their leader about a policy-related question which is longer than what it took Captain Cook to travel from England and discover Australia, including his return journey to Britain.
Mr Abbott's failure at times to provide answers has led to the following YouTube posting on his silence on pertinent policy matters.