PRIME Minister Tony Abbott's attempts to recast the national debate on politics and get sport back on to the front page of the national newspapers is not without merit.
For years many lamented the sound-bite politics of Labor, so focused on opinion polls and winning the daily media battle that the core responsibilities of governing appeared to be a second-order priority.
But restricting information and attempting to slow the news cycle have potentially dangerous pitfalls for the Coalition.
The first is the public's right to be involved in the national debate.
The somewhat condescending ''government knows best'' tone coming from some in the Coalition does little to foster informed debate, and creates a vacuum where misinformed views on issues such as the economy, environment and immigration can flourish.
Secondly, by making its activities more opaque, the government risks a perception it is taking too long to settle into the job and start on implementing promised reforms.
The Coalition won the support of the public. It should not only be showing greater trust in those who voted for it, but also reaching out to those who did not if it truly wants to ensure no one is left behind.
With the notable exception of the national broadband network, where it seems a sensible, flexible approach is being taken, most of the public announcements to date have sounded ideological and defensive, rather than expansive.
Moves such as threatening to reignite the culture wars in the national curriculum, removing Labor appointments from overseas diplomatic postings and dumping the Climate Commission on the eve of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change handing down its latest findings should not be high-order priorities of a new Australian government. They smack of score-settling rather than getting on with implementing the government's stated agenda.
The public has shown trust in the Coalition. The Coalition needs to show trust in the public by showing a greater willingness to take external views on board and outlining how it intends to do the job it was elected to do.
The public is willing to give the new government a chance to prove itself, but that willingness won't last forever. Cutting voters out of debates on matters of national importance, isolating those who did not vote for change and reigniting the tedious culture wars of past decades will do little to win the confidence of the majority of Australians.
If the government wants to bring the community along for the ride, it's time it reconsidered its fortress approach.