FOUR more sleeps as of today, until the Australian Federal Election and there is absolutely no doubt that nobody really has any idea who is going to win, if at all. Most of the polls taken by the media in these last weeks indicate a win to Labor, just.
But, when polls move around as they are, and they are so close, it does indicate that really any result may be possible. With only a few days left in the campaign, both leaders and major parties are out and about selling their stories but it would seem that many Australians are on the fence and may vote that way. As I have said many times before, the key really is that one or the other actually wins with a majority in the lower house so that they can actually govern for the people. I have been criticised for this statement, but I stand by it. The last time the government of the day had a minority and had to lean on independents to get legislation passed the country really stopped for three years.
Of course there is no doubt that the Senate will look like a mural on a famous Italian cathedral and I guess this allows for the new form of Australian Democracy to play out with minor parties and independent Senators to make up the balance of the seats and thereby holding some kind of blocking power - that is of course if any of the possible combinations can agree on anything.
These are the times we live in and for the most part, both major parties have come to terms with governing and getting legislation passed in the Senate via negotiation with minor parties and independents. The key is that the Prime Minister has the majority of the country behind him (or her, but both candidates in this one are male). The reason all this matters for the travel industry is that we need to ensure consumers remain confident.
Without strong consumer confidence people stop spending on discretionary items and a holiday is clearly very discretionary. The other good thing for the travel industry is that both major parties have not released any concerning policies that may have direct impact upon the industry meaning that for the next three years, save for a moment of craziness, the industry should be able to continue in the direction we have been taking (up and strong) and that is a good thing.
Yes, there are some changes and suggestions in policy that may impact our friends in the tourism sector, but for the most part, changes on the table by both parties that relate to our industry specifically allow for clear sailing. But in any event, it is time to purchase the goodies, invite the friends over, tune into your favourite channel or TV service and prepare for what I am sure will be a night to remember this Sat 18th May, as Australia decides who will be our next Prime Minister – well, I hope that is the outcome.
Happy Federal Election to all.