Gender war the wrong battlefront

IT IS going to be a long federal election campaign if both Labor and Liberal focus on personal attacks and misogyny campaigns.

In the past week there have been revelations of support from Tony Abbott towards his chief of staff Peta Credlin during her IVF treatment and also towards education spokesman Christopher Pyne and his family's help from IVF.

Yes, the cynics will say it is all about softening Abbott's perceived image of having a problem with women, but perhaps it shows the human side of politics.

There are equally unkind conservative supporters who point to Julia Gillard not being married and not having children and therefore not having a grasp on the real world.

It reality we elect 150 members to the House of Representatives and largely they are representative of our society.

Mr Abbott has made no secret of his Catholic faith but he is on the record as supporting IVF although suggesting an age limit on subsidised IVF treatment, which was in line with independent reviews because of the cost.

In June 2010 Ms Gillard revealed she was an atheist and the sky did not fall in.

There is political mileage in many topics but eventually the electorate tires of the political theatrics.

The carbon tax will be an issue at the next election, but the opposition must finely tune the timing so as not to bore the voters.

The same with the attacks on Peter Slipper, Craig Thomson and Ms Gillard's relationship with the AWU slush fund.

They are all issues of trust but they have a use-by date - the same as the misogyny attacks.

It is already clear from the polls that many Australians have made up their minds about the leaders.

The Coalition's vote is 45 per cent male and 42 per cent female, while the reverse is true for Labor, 36 per cent female and 33 per cent male.

Having a gender war is hardly going to solve Australia's problems.

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