The Australian business community faces a potentially challenging remainder to the election season. The longest campaign since the 1950s, has already experienced its fair share of controversy and personal attacks, not only from political opponents but also social media, as a seemingly politically engaged constituency voices passionate opinion.
Somewhat ironically, it’s unlikely that the outcome of the election will have a significant impact on Australian business. Proposed changes to the GST and company tax will do little to alter the course of the economy on a macro scale, however the same may not be said of the short-term impact of the election itself.
Elections often mean uncertainty, especially for businesses who operate globally. However this election is particularly divisive, with diversionary politics being employed by both parties in order to engage swing voters. This of course, places robust policy discussion on the back burner and the caution this creates naturally means a slowdown in spending, as both companies and individuals adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach.
This campaign is also unusual, in that it has attracted a significant amount of global attention. World leaders are weighing in on Australia’s policies which inevitably leads to more caution from our export partners.
History tells us, that the best elections for business, are the most uninteresting. At this stage, both parties seem to be campaigning along traditional party lines, However this has all the hallmarks of a brutal campaign and with the country now more socially connected than ever, and the media benefiting from ‘hot button’ topics, it’s likely this final half of the election season will be anything but boring.
Regardless of the outcome, businesses will be hoping for a result that will finally mean an end to the revolving door of Prime Ministers we’ve experienced since 2007, and so a sense of stability for brand Australia on the world stage and increased confidence locally.