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Easter slows the political circus

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19.04.2019

Politically speaking, the Easter break is a blessing for a jaded electorate, at least a partial rest for voters' eyes and ears in a campaign that's started as an impossibly complex jumble of claims and numbers.

For Bill Shorten, Easter might also act as an eraser to rub out people's memories of a scratchy couple of days in the first week.

In the intensity of a campaign a slip - in this case, Shorten's assertion Labor wouldn't increase taxes on superannuation when it has announced proposed changes - will blow out of proportion.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott and Prime Minister Scott Morrison at Good Friday Easter services at St Charbel's Catholic Maronite Church in Sydney. Photo: AAP

It wasn't a huge blunder but it was damaging, a lapse of concentration. "I think the last day or two hurt" a pro-Shorten source said, while adding that the problem had occurred at the right stage - that is, early on. By Thursday, Shorten seemed back on track.

Shorten's slip came in responding to persistent questioning at a daily news conference. The reporters following the leaders are being tough interrogators, refusing to take no answer for an answer, which is good.

On the other side, Peter Dutton's sledging his disabled opponent was a whopping own goal (as well as being appalling of itself).

The difference in the import of these mistakes, however, is that Shorten is the opposition leader knocking on the prime ministerial door, carrying a bag of controversial policies, with some voters still........

© Canberra Times