EDITORIAL: Taking control

IT’S as if the metropolitan media have just cottoned on to the fact that there will be an election this year.

We’re not going to indulge in the same overkill reaction, merely to make the point that Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s new year resolution must have been to be more assertive.

Down our way in Hume, the candidates – sans Labor - have been actively campaigning for months now in anticipation of a poll in the second half of 2013.

The only thing new in Ms Gillard’s announcement on Wednesday was the specific date.

Moreover, for the second time in about a week, she has exerted a refreshing authority that has put off even many members of her own party.

First, the shock handpicking of Aboriginal woman Nova Peris as a senate candidate, then announcing the election date without advising the entirety of her cabinet.

The Prime Minister seems to be making a point; that is, she’s controlling things. She’s dispensed with the puppet masters and calling the shots - herself.

The change in demeanour (perhaps the new glasses are part of this strategy) says a lot about the Labor Party too.

She’s disassociating herself from the toxins within.

There will be many voters, of all persuasions, who will look upon this is as genuine, fearless leadership.

Of course, there will also be the rusted-ons who reckon she should go whatever she does or says.

Meantime, the long and dusty road to September 14 (we’ll all be dusty by then) will meander on signposted with the same old, same old messages on the carbon tax, budget surpluses and boat people.

We guarantee readers little policy space, if anything, will be devoted to very fast trains, a second Sydney airport or growing regional areas such as Goulburn Mulwaree.

We shouldn’t count on the Coalition or Labor to release innovative policies that would reduce electricity prices, stop fuel price collusion or blast apart the corporate retail grocery monopoly.

And don’t think for even a micro-second that the major parties would put to voters any plans that would reduce the number of politicians in this country and the obscene lurks and perks they get.

Hume voters can expect to see a Labor candidate emerge sometime this century ... sorry, next month.

Something tells us that it won’t make any difference.

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