A national election campaign is, or should be, the centrepiece of our democratic system, a time when great and important ideas – policies vital to the nation’s future – are debated before the jury of electors.
That’s the theory. In practice, big ideas make most political leaders nervous, especially during elections. They find it expedient to narrow their focus, to emphasize proposals with immediate or short-term electoral appeal, and to expend their energy on attacking their opponents.
The current 2019 exercise in democracy is following the familiar pattern.