“Kick this mob out!” was the vaguely sooky revolutionary cry of public supporters of a change in government. Never was the call “get this mob in!” nor even “give them a chance”. The very movement for change was never sold as a policy based change. This may well seem a perfectly good political strategy. Policy as presented by the LNP was either pathetically disappointing, racist, destructive or a shambles to name just a few. The statements themselves no doubt speak to a conservative base, but it seems that many who changed their votes did so because of distaste with the farce that Kevin Rudd had made out of the Labor party. This I don’t think was just a face saving line for election night, every day in the week leading up to the election radio national had a swarm of voters to interview declaring themselves fed up with the ALP. At any rate the ALP could have gone on the attack election night- questioning Abbott’s right to lead the LNP given how much of a drag on their vote he had been.
If this is right, that we changed government because of distaste with the previous government rather than excitement for a new one, then Abbott’s claim of a mandate to repeal the Carbon tax begins to look a little silly — it is implausible to claim that the LNP victory is a public endorsement of their policies. Not only does this ignore the will of the majority who did not preference his party first, but it ignores the reason why he has become prime minister. Simply being elected to government is no grounds for a claim that everyone should now vote with you or allow any old law through without critical scrutiny. We should expect Abbott and the LNP to make such claims, but these are not claims to be taken seriously.