Should Rudd be trusted to regulate his political opponents?

What is going on in Kevin Rudd’s mind? The decision to spend $38 million of borrowed money promoting the government’s mining ‘superprofits’ tax will surely create more problems than it solves.

For a start, it is not clear that it will have much impact over and above the arguments and assertions the government is already presenting in the normal way. Despite the millions spent by the mining lobby, and the Opposition’s stance presumably helping bring Coalition partisans on side, the Morgan Poll suggests that public opinion has moved the government’s way over the last couple of weeks.

The millions spent by the previous government on its WorkChoices campaign had no discernible effect on public opinion. While admittedly industrial relations is a bit different, in that there are long-established public beliefs on the subject, it is a warning that simply spending a lot of money does not guarantee that views will change.

Against the quite possibly small or non-existent mining tax political gains had to be weighed the risk that this decision would contribute to a far more dangerous political problem for the government than recalcitrant miners, the perception that Rudd is a promise breaker or worse. Continue reading “Should Rudd be trusted to regulate his political opponents?”