State of play in Australia: Morrison prepares to call the election.

Even though the election has not yet been called by the Prime Minister, both major political parties are already in campaigning mode, and Australians are bracing themselves for a divisive electoral contest.

Scott Morrison

was widely expected to kickstart the election on Saturday, but has not yet done so. In the

Westminster System

it is the prerogative of the Prime Minister to call the election, and in

Australia

the poll has to be held at the end of May at the latest. Having spent his time campaigning in some key marginals during the last couple of days,

media reports

are suggesting that the waiting-game is almost over.

The

Australian Labor Party

was not standing by idly either, pushing its message on

the environment and climate change

which, for the first time in over a decade, are shaping up to be particularly contentious issues in this campaign. Tackling environmental concerns head-on is a significant policy-shift by Labor, since party strategists believe that they can only win on this one; so far, this approach seems to be workin with the electorate, and opinion polls back Labor’s strategic approach.

Yet, the ALP intends to take on the Coalition on its own turf, namely the economy and taxation as well.

Delivering his Post-Budget Address, Shadow Treasurer

Chris Bowen

Launched a

major assault

on the Coalition’s Budget, telling his audience at the

National Press Club

that Labor would have a lower tax take than under Howard, raising the stakes even more in a campaign which, given the rhetoric coming out of Coalition quarters, is likely to be a bitterly contested one.

For more on Australian politics read

this.

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