Comments from Former Youth MP’s on Last Night’s Debate.
The Leader Debate was an attempt at providing the Australian public with an outlet to see political leaders discuss policy. It seemed that all too much in the debate, feudal politics was placed higher in precedence than actual discussions of policy and what will be done by each party upon election. Even more shameful was the absence of Christine Milne, who more than deserved the ability to take part in the debate as a representative of Australia’s third major political party, one that 1.8 million Australians voted for at the last federal election. Overall it was quite disappointing and in no way improved my look on either the Liberal or Labor party, or their leaders. – Jack McNally, Former Youth Member for Menai
‘I was a bit disappointed with the debate tonight. I thought that it Kevin Rudd was solid. He was solid on Labor’s record. He was solid on how he would take the country forward post the mining boom. He did stumble on the 2nd Sydney Airport and I didn’t feel he had enough time to make an appropriate announcement about his plans for Marriage Equality in the next parliament. In terms of Tony Abbott, I felt he looked a bit flat. He was talking about aspirations rather than concrete plans. He particularly stumbled on the budget. However, this election is his to lose. I feel that if he is smart, he will play the small target on how he will fund the budget. To announce a 1.5% Company Tax cut, abolishing the Carbon & Mining Taxes whilst keeping the Carbon Tax compensation, Gonski, NDIS & NBN, it seems that to balance the budget, he would need to make some unpopular cuts and the effect of the attack from Labor would be much less over lack of disclosure rather than giving Labor the ammo to go to town on deeply unpopular cuts.” – Daniel Turner, Former Youth MLC and Youth Parliamentarian of the Year 2013.
Rudd was a reader, Tony was a leader. Mr Rudd boasted an ego driven vibe of arrogance in the idea of debating Mr Abbott in the weeks leading up to yesterday’s debate. It seems Rudd had an indestructible sense of confidence. But then the debate happened. We had Mr Rudd’s thin white hair facing the barrel of a camera, whilst he read off notes during the opening statements of the debate. He seemed unprepared, uncomfortable and restless. His opponent was calm, relaxed and prepared, he kept focus on the camera and was engaging. Abbott could have done better job in answering the $70b question, but he did a great job in labelling Rudd as a scaremonger on the GST. Abbott also was brilliant on the asylum seeker and climate change points, indicating Rudd has no credibility for the former, and in the latter, he labelled Rudd’s talk as the same waffle as 6 years ago. There is no doubt that Rudd is the underdog, and needed some boost in momentum. From Rudd’s perspective then, this is a loss. It is a loss because he’s trailing in the polls, came up short of his arrogance, and seemingly, was out-prepared and out-performed by Abbott. It seems Rudd, like Gore at the turn of the century, greatest underestimated his political opponent. - Alessandro Cowley, Former Youth Member for Toongabbie 2012
In my opinion, neither candidate outdid each other. Whilst both performed in their own rights, Abbott’s detachment and lack of engagement was outweighed by Rudd’s visible excitement, but the use of notes by Rudd also detracted from the experienced and made it feel scripted. Abbott presented an image of himself rather than that of a statesman, but that of someone lacking charisma – however, similar statements could be made for Rudd. No candidate won, but both merely responded loosely to a question given and attacked other irrelevant policies. – William Berthelot Former Youth Member for Pittwater 2012 and Former Youth MLC 2013.