Australian Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was on message tonight in his budget response speech.
He took the opportunity to set out an election manifesto in the context of a budget statement, and he took his party’s messages to the electorate with some passion.
In my previous blog I noted that effective communications features both the facts and emotion. Tony Abbott delivered with more conviction tonight than Wayne Swan did on Tuesday, often directly to the audience at home.
Being on message meant clear statements on policy and budget items such as the NBN and the NDIS.
He touched on Workplace law, positioning his assumed plans for its reform with a careful phrase of a move back towards the centre and balance. That he mentioned the dreaded word was probably courageous. It will be interesting to see if the public blinks at what he said.
Most clearly though were his messages about careful and scrupulous financial budget management, and the delivery of surplus, citing the experience his shadow cabinet had when in government under John Howard.
Having accepted that he was bound to concede and retain Labor’s budget cuts in many areas, he knew he needn’t dwell on seeking either to justify doing so, or attempting to counteract them. Whether, in marketing (or political) terms, that differentiates him from Labor will be seen in the public’s voting response.
And it’s tone was tuned to the electorate’s ear (certainly as he sees it).
As an example of communications in action, he beat Wayne Swan.