The battle to capture voters' moral outrage

Oath-breaker or tough-minded pragmatist? The political winner after Tuesday's budget will be the one who can convince the public the other's transgressions were far worse.

Should moral outrage be given much consideration in today’s budget? If, as expected, the Abbott government has broken its promise not to introduce a new tax, there will be plenty of it.

But does it matter? When John Howard came up with the handy core/non-core-promise distinction in 1996, he was essentially saying that the national interest must come before following to-the-letter promises made on the campaign trail.

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