In my mind it is quite simple. When you look at the recent past and the probable future, there is a consistent theme of change:
- Big business and rich individuals refuse to pay tax.
- Continual technological improvements reduce the number of jobs available.
- Increasingly Australian workers are competing directly with overseas workers. And this is driving down wages.
The Liberal Party (Australia's conservative party) responds to these changes as follows. They recognise that their tax income is falling, and therefore reduce their expenditure. They recognise that there aren't the jobs needed, so the penalise the unemployed, and invent fictitious paths to employment. They actively support the use of overseas labour.
The Libs also pander to the fears that Australians have about the future by encouraging them to "get ahead". Its a fear thing. The perception is that in the future if you retire without enough money, you will suffer very real hardship, because the government can't collect the taxes needed to give you a decent retirement. So the Libs will be generous in helping you avoid that fate - through tax tricks like negative gearing, and (until they fixed it a week ago) through incredibly generous superannuation for the well off. Basically, its the Titanic. Everyone is scrambling for lifeboats, of which there are too few (lack of taxes...). There is some effort involved in climbing up to get on a lifeboat, and the Libs model is that some people should kneel down and form steps to help others get on board.
So my suggestion for the ALP. Firstly paint the Libs model in all its defeatist and elitist glory. And then, speak directly to those people who fear missing out on a lifeboat. Tell them that you will tax the rich and the corporations, and that there will be lifeboats for all. Tell them that they won't be used as stepping stones to help others clamber on to lifeboats. Tell them that since we live in an ever more productive society, then need never fear being "left behind", and that we live in a time of plenty, not scarcity.