As the election date nears, the fight between Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott gets uglier. Kevin Rudd has defended the Australian Labour Party's new ad campaign that showed Tony Abbott and a message that said, "If he wins, you lose."
Reuters The Leaders Debate covered by television networks in Australia last August 11 was not the typical debate as expected but a joint news conference. Australian Labor Party’s Kevin Rudd and the Coalition’s Tony Abbott did not go head-to-head with heated arguments and the kind of verbal battles witnessed by viewers in a usual debate.
Mr Rudd said Labour was only responding to the negative attacks of the Coalition to discredit the Prime Minister and the ruling party in Australia. Australian Labour Party headquarters have released Coalition attack ads to various commercial agencies. The new ads contained negative messages about what the people can expect to see if Mr Abbott will become the prime minister.
Labour's negative ad campaign focused on Opposition Leader's policies on education, jobs and health and highlighted the fact that Tony Abbott was not being honest about his plans for Australia.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd defended Labour's strategy and said the Coalition was spending more money on negative advertising than the ruling party.
In just three years, the prime minister has found himself behind his predecessor, Julia Gillard as the Labour government and Mr Rudd appeared to be headed for a loss in the upcoming federal election based on the latest Newspoll results.
Ms Gillard had slumped 36 per cent against the Coalition's 45 per cent in the 2010 Fairfax/Nielsen poll. The first female prime minister who was ousted from power by Kevin Rudd also fared poorly with 37 per cent against Mr Abbott's 44 per cent in 2010 Newspolls. In the recent poll, Mr Rudd got a 34 per cent primary vote which was smaller than that of Ms Gillard.
Tony Abbott calls ads "outlandish"
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott called Labour's negative ads as "outlandish" and "low politics". The recent Labour ads accused Mr Abbott of cutting public service jobs, changing penalty rates and diverting funds from education and health should the Coalition win the federal election.
Mr Abbott said the Australian Labour Party was "hopeless at government but brilliant in low politics." The Opposition Leader felt it was embarrassing for Labour release a series of "absolutely outlandish" accusations against the Coalition.
When Kevin Rudd ousted former Prime Minister and Labour leader Julia Gillard from Australia's seat of power, he promised to engage in more positive politics and said 'every ad we put to air will be policy based."
The Leaders Debate covered by television networks in Australia last August 11 was not the typical debate as expected but a joint news conference. Australian Labor Party’s Kevin Rudd and the Coalition’s Tony Abbott did not go head-to-head with heated arguments and the kind of verbal battles witnessed by viewers in a usual debate.