Thank god the election is almost here. Being constantly exposed to all these ads, something has become extremely clear. There is no a single ad coming from the Liberal party that is positive. Every last one is fear and smear. They have nothing to say about themselves. Of course, in previous elections both sides have given a smearing, but this one stands out especially because it is only the Liberals doing it (though the Labor ad about Costello taking over and there being "nothing we can do about it" comes close).
And this negative approach of course has trickled down to their supporters. Cars and homes have been vandalised for sporting Labor posters. Fraudulent letters were sent out in Bennelong supposedly by Maxine McKew thanking people for their support but asking them to take down the Labor posters because there has been violence against people with the posters. And of course there's the letter drop supposedly by a group of Islamic extremists urging people to vote for Labor.
Of course this isn't directly the inner party's actions. John Howard isn't attacking cars with cans of dog food. But it is the consistently negative message that is urging this behaviour on. Hate the opposition. They are less important than you. It is OK to play dirty tricks on them. Fear the future and fight it any way you can.
The conservative movement used to be staid and respectable. That hasn't been the case since Malcolm Fraser retired.