Hawke pens open letter on Shorten
FORMER Labor prime minister Bob Hawke has written an open letter to voters urging them to support Bill Shorten in the federal election.
The Australian reports that Hawke, 89, said that Mr Shorten's union background would help him be an effective prime minister.
"Bill's political opponents argue his trade union background is a liability for a future prime minister, I consider it an asset, as it was for me. It gives him the experience to achieve consensus with business, unions and community-based organisations for the challenges that lie ahead," he wrote.
Mr Hawke said the Coalition was trying to "divide and frighten" Australians as they did in 1983 when he was running for the top job.
"It won't work then and it won't work now," Mr Hawke wrote. "My experience is that the Australian people rarely get it wrong - they will vote for a United Party that is able to look after their interests and the national interest. And in my view, Australia needs a Labor government led by Bill Shorten and his team."
Mr Hawke said the turnover of Liberal leaders showed him that the Coalition was not fit to govern.
"Over the past six years the Liberals have had three leaders while Labor has had one, and three treasurers while Labor has had one shadow treasurer. As I said repeatedly when I was prime minister, if you can't govern yourselves you can't govern the country," he wrote. "Bravery, honesty and vision are needed of the next Australian government. Laying out a party's detailed policies ahead of an election requires political courage. Bill and his team have shown that courage, trusting the fair-mindedness of the Australian people."
Mr Shorten has said that if he does win the May 18 election that he would dedicate the win to Mr Hawke.
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