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What thinking Australians are thinking…

There’s not much in it. Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten both underwhelm and neither inspire. They have treated the office of the prime minister as some sort of prize in a game of revolving treachery. And, irrespective of the rules for their party’s leadership, both have failed to respect voters’ say in who they want the prime minister to be.

Shorten has failed to lead a viable alternative government, while Turnbull has not tangibly delivered on the economic leadership he promised last September. In an ideal world we would be spoiled for political leadership choice, not lament its dearth.

Mandy Macmillan, Singleton, NSW

At this early stage of the election campaign, the Coalition needs a bit of a hand. Batting away blockheaded ads by Labor and the unions is not rocket science, boys and girls. For starters, to make a good point in retaliation to the Labor advertisement that claims a family on $250,000 gets a tax saving and a family on $80,000 gets nothing, how about an ad explaining that the $250,000 family pays tax of around $68,000, and the other about $17,000? It’s a point that many voters probably don’t know. When these blatantly biased ads appear, refute them, and capitalise on the bias. It’s not looking good for the Coalition at this early stage, and it would be the height of embarrassment to be beaten by a bunch of economically irresponsible street brawlers.

Donald Stallman, Colinton, Qld

The distortion of facts by the Labor Party in its ads portraying the so-called inequality in income tax cuts beggars belief. Surely the Australian Communications and Media Authority should stop such material being broadcast. This ad is nothing more than a lie being beamed into millions of living rooms. Tell a big enough lie and repeat it frequently and people start to believe it. Bill Shorten should be ashamed of giving his name to such nonsense.

N. Bailey, Nicholls, ACT

Labor’s Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen wants us to believe a Labor government would crack down on spending as well as raising taxes to attack the debt and deficit it bequeathed the nation after its last time in office. Increasing taxes is a no-brainer for Labor but tightening expenditure — well, let’s have a reality check.

Over the past three years, Labor has consistently blocked Coalition savings measures in the Senate, so why the sudden change of heart? Because there’s an election looming and Labor has been exposed on its unfunded spending.

Bowen is trying to look credible but he forgets you can’t cure an alcoholic until he or she admits to it. Labor has long had form as the big and wasteful spenders and it is promising more of the same this time around; it can’t help itself.

Anyone who seriously believes Labor will contain spending also believes in the tooth fairy. The only way Labor will reduce the debt and deficit is by further taxing the so-called wealthy, by attacking superannuation even more than Scott Morrison proposes, and winding back big ticket items such as defence spending, and relaxing border protection. Let us not be fooled by the rhetoric, the misleading statements and character assassinations.

John George, Terrigal, NSW

Peter Waterhouse (Letters, 10/5) is right that Australia is moving towards a “civil precipice”, though whether this election would be the full catastrophe if the Coalition is defeated, is not certain. Disasters such as the French, Russian and Chinese revolutions took decades to germinate.

Our main problem is the decline in religious commitment. Waterhouse calls for the retention of our Christian heritage. Yes, but the sacred tradition itself is in dire need of significant remodelling. Defence of traditional marriage, as a necessary protection of children and guarantee of social stability, is vital. But so is renewal of insight into what sacred truth is and how it enters and affects this world.

Nigel Jackson, Belgrave, Vic

Greens leader Richard Di Natale raises the unwelcome spectre of supporting another Labor minority government in the event of a hung parliament at a time when the country is still licking its wounds from the last fiasco. Is this an example of democracy at work? I don’t think so. It is a shining example of the pusillanimous mentality of everyone gets a prize, even if you don’t win.

Mark Awerbuch, Crafers, SA