In a rather epic understatement, Nationals’ leader Michael McCormack admitted the federal government was ‘not so good on the politics’ in 2018.
But McCormack remains upbeat about the Coalition’s prospects next year. He urged Australians to have faith in the policy prowess of the Liberal-National coalition as the federal election approaches.
‘I’d just like the Australian people to know, place their faith in us and we will get what we need to get together, and we will build an even bigger and better and stronger economy than we already have,’ he told AAP on Wednesday.
In a year marred by scandals for the Nationals, comes their leader’s public appeal.
In February it was announced that Nationals’ leader at the time, Barnaby Joyce, had had an affair with his former staffer and they were now expecting their first child together.
Mr Joyce stepped down from the leadership after what he claims was the ‘last straw’, when WA Rural Woman of the Year Catherine Marriott made a sexual harassment claim against him.
The claim wasn’t able to be substantiated through an inquiry.
The National Party’s sugar baby
This week, details came to light regarding married Nationals MP Andrew Broad was using a sugar baby website whilst in Hong Kong to meet with a younger woman. He was also changing taxpayers from the domestic portion of the trip.
According to AAP, on Tuesday, Mr Broad decided not to recontest his safe seat in the Victorian electoral of Mallee at the next election. He had also agreed to pay back the domestic fare.
Mr McCormack said:
‘There have been things this year which people might look at and say “I just wish they’d get their act together” — the fact is, we have been. We are a good government…
‘We just need to be our best selves and continue to be into the future.’
The deputy prime minister hopes voters will consider the government’s determination to lower power prices, cut taxes, increase those working and strengthening the economy.
The focus of the Nationals, should the government be reinstated, is to build better infrastructure.
‘They’re the sorts of things that we do, and we do very well,’ he said.
Mr McCormack isn’t concerned about the electoral threat the party could face from the likes of One Nation, as the Nationals aim for a clean slate in the New Year.
‘What do they offer? Apart from speaking up loudly in Senate inquiries and getting a bit of media attention.’
While it’s been a difficult first year for the deputy prime minister, he insists he is looking forward to the future, ‘I’ve got great optimism.’
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