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Election open forum

August 21st, 2010

In place of the usual weekend reflections, here’s a forum to discuss the election. I’m feeling gloomy about the outcome, but I don’t claim any special insight and my gloom may just reflect the awfulness of the whole business.

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  1. Jamie Johnson
    August 21st, 2010 at 11:08 | #1

    It was depressing turning up at a large rural booth and the only visible presence were the LNP. This is Queensland after all.

    What strikes me as very unusual in the economic debate was the line of “our vision for the country is that our surplus will be bigger than your surplus”. Doesn’t running government surpluses cause dissaving in the private sector that has to be met by net borrowing in that sector.
    And where was the debate on managing aggregate demand, investment and efficiency to take the country to a more sustainable footing.

    And why, with unemployment and underemployment rampant in our community, are the least capable made to personally carry the burden of a failure of through the abandonment of full-employment as the goal of government. Back of the envelope numbers: 10% underemployed from 10million workforce * (min wage – new start) $300 * 52 weeks gives $16billion.

    Who’s really paying for those surpluses?

  2. John T.
    August 21st, 2010 at 11:36 | #2

    I am almost ashamed to be an Australian after this terrible race to the bottom by both major parties. I am particularly disappointed to see the ALP agree to defer the review of the appallingly inequitable Commonwealth school funding “scheme” and the shameful treatment of refugees. (By the way, where have the churches been during the debate on some of these most desperate and needy people?) I can almost forgive the caving in to the medicos because of their political influence – but there has been no debate on the fairness of providing GPs (who are just another small business) with the protection and unaccountable financial handouts that they have been promised by both parties. And as for the miners – Thursday’s Fin Review showed how hollow those cries of protest were. Twiggy Forrest, the spokesman for the poor over-taxed miners, runs companies that have not paid a cent of tax for years. I could go on – but won’t.
    It has been a very dispiriting election.

  3. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 21st, 2010 at 12:42 | #3

    John, I am a bit more optimistic and give Labor more than an even chance of winning outwright. But on another note what I am more concerned about is the proposed Lend Lease development for Barangaroo (former Hungry Mile docklands in Sydney) which is absolute crap. In my opinion there should be a nature reserve rather than more high rise buildings. Time to stop the rot.

  4. Donald Oats
    August 21st, 2010 at 12:49 | #4

    I walked to the school where the voting booth was located, chose not to receive any pamphlets on how to waste my vote, and then went inside and wasted my vote anyway 🙁
    I mean, how do you decide whether “Family First” should come before or after “Climate Sceptics Party”? Both came before the Liberals though; I’m still traumatised by the scenes of the religious experience of Costello with Hillsong and Howard with Exclusive Brethren…

    If the Libs do get in, I doubt very much that they will continue Kevin Rudd’s practice of providing diplomatic jobs for both ex MPs from both major political parties. We couldn’t have that, could we?

  5. Alice
    August 21st, 2010 at 12:50 | #5

    Well I am feeling a little hopeful now.

    I had three greens handing out on the booth today (all day). I live in blue seat (a dumb blue seat because it is longstanding true blue but its fast becoming the most congested overdeveloped true blue seat around – home to TA and BB – second only to the North Shore I imagine) but we had more helpers and more people asking for a HTV.

    Liberal has promised nothing to this seat (zip dollars for transport for decades of loyalty around here) nor Labor (zip for the seats disloyalty). On the other hand dear old Benelong almost next door went marginal and hey presto its been promised millions and millions of dollars for transport infrastructure.

    Just like that.

    There are some really dumb people that live in my seat….they dont know how modern politics plays out between the two majors. There is no big vision from either major party. Its just vote buying from one election to the next.

    This seat is Mackellar.

    If people dont change nothing else will.

  6. Donald Oats
    August 21st, 2010 at 13:34 | #6

    I know this is off-topic, but I’ll keep it brief. This is sick, what this guy Ken Cuccinelli is trying to do. He is the Virginia Attorney General, and he has been trying to get the all of the emails made or received by climate research scientist, Michael Mann, when Mann worked at the UVA. But, that’s the mindset.

  7. paul walter
    August 21st, 2010 at 14:33 | #7

    Similar to Don Oats. Was too irritated to take how to vote cards, avoided the cardies, took my time to work through the senate. Now we wait.

  8. Neil of Greenway
    August 21st, 2010 at 14:41 | #8

    I am a swinging voter in the marginal seat of Greenway in NSW, have been genuinely disgusted by the negative campaign on both sides. After voting for Kevin in 07, I decided to give Julia a go until I arrived at my local school to vote. The school fence was wrapped in more negative plastic signage and it reminded me how she stabbed Kevin in the back in his first term and what a crappy negative campaign this has been. At the ballot box I voted for Tony not because I thought he was better, but because I did not want more negative politics from Labour if they win, who knows how many leaders we would have gone through by the next election, the people want vision and a plan not negativity.

  9. Jim Rose
    August 21st, 2010 at 15:02 | #9

    On 1 December 2009 when Abbott won the liberal leadership by 1 vote, who would have expected that the 2010 election would not have Rudd as the sitting PM, and have asute pundits such as Richo changing their minds on who will win almost hourly on election eve. Richo is tipping labour by a nose or a hung parliament?

    What more, if many on this blog are to be believed, the opposition leader is ignorant and unfit for office and this is obvious to all. Are the Liberals close to winning despite Abbott’s efforts? That is what some on this blog seem to believe.

    As Richo explain in an op-ed today, in 1971, when he started out, 10% of voters were swinging voters. He now puts the figure for swinging voters above 30%.

    Looking past today, winning the 2013 election will require the labour party to develop more insight into the people who might vote for them rather than those that do vote for them time and again no matter what and just sneer at those that do not.

    The “Listen here stupid…” communications approach used by some on this blog is not a political strategy to either retain or win back elected office.

  10. Jim Rose
    August 21st, 2010 at 15:47 | #10

    The real Julia’s latest scare tactic is claiming voting for Abbott will see work choices return.

    Does a labour and greens controlled senate ever plan to pass such a law?

  11. August 21st, 2010 at 15:58 | #11

    How anyone can even think of voting the scam artists in again is beyond me ,after all they did try to sign us u to a treaty that would have handed our country over to the eu luckily the climate gate scam was busted and showed it was a fraud which of course they knew all along as they are still pushing it ,Gillard is a full on Marxist and was the head of the communist party read her writings it states she will use the Labor party to gain power ,now she is Fabian Socialist like the worst dictators in history ,they lied to us about everything and the green scam is the greatest con in history and was proved to be as fake as they are.All the Labor people said Krudd was great we saw how that turned out even Labor kicked him out ,shows how bad they are at judging anything ,watch those 10 ft waves petals ,and go on u tube and look up eu agenda 21 that’s what your voting for .

  12. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 21st, 2010 at 16:05 | #12

    John, further to my last comment I should have stressed that any future proposal with respect to the Headland Park the Approved Concept Plan states: ‘The future design of the park will include forms that interpret the pre-existing built forms and shoreline’. In other words a ‘natural reserve’ nothing less and nothing more.

  13. may
    August 21st, 2010 at 16:11 | #13

    @Neil of Greenway
    Dear Neal,in a nutshell you have put the reason for the shout-in-your-face style of electioneering we have all had to endure .

    you made up your mind at the last minute?

    you voted on an emotional whim for a party (personality) that shadow shifted uncosted policies in open contempt for the electorate.

    you trusted “trust me”.

  14. August 21st, 2010 at 16:48 | #14

    Banish those gloomy thoughts! There are reasons to be cheerful.

    Apparently a new branch in the philosophy of science has emerged: Strocchiology. Formally defined as “looking over how right or wrong one has bee…a peculiar science known to insiders as Strocchiology”.

    And the results of this method have been fruitful over the past few electoral cycles. They point to a reasonably comfortable ALP victory.

    That noted Strocchiologist, Jack Strocchi, posted this comment at Larvatus Prodeo a week or so ago. Its a kind of archeological dig showing the workings out of the Strocchi-ological method, otherwise known as Back of the Envelope social science.

    As we enter the home straight I want to review my predictions about this election made over the past year or so and put them on the public record for analysis, criticism and acclaim or ridicule.

    I do this both to get in some early bragging rights (Alter Ego: careful, don’t count your chickens before they are hatched, Ego: get it while you can]. But also to promote accountability in psephological science. Economics, politics and anthropology are blighted by the chronic unwillingness of practioners to subject their theories to predictive scrutiny. Apart from Pr Q who is a striking exception and to whom we are all in debt for his willingness to go out on a limb.

    Basically the ALP will win because incumbents usually win, especially if the economy is doing alright. The ALP should have cruised to a big victory (ALP 53 L/NP 47), had they passed an ETS of sorts and kept Rudd in as leader. As it is they will probably get a comfortable victory – I predicted ALP 52 L/NP 48 after Gillard got in.

    Back in NOV 2009, when Rudd was leader, I predicted the election would be ALP 53 – L/NP 47. My reasoning at the time:

    I have always thought that the polls average 55-45 was an over-estimate of the ALP. I am going for a 53 (ALP) – 47 (L/NP) spread in 2010, which is what I predicted for the 2007 election.

    It is possible (probable?) that the 53 (ALP) – 47 (L/NP) spread is the new equilibrium point for median voter preference in AUS’s two-party preferred electoral pendulum. This follows from the systematic pro-ALP bias amongst Baby Boomers, NESBs and single-mothers.

    My interpretation of the polling data since 2006 is that underlying support for Rudd-ALP has remained pretty stable. Although the observed polling data jumps around a fair bit it tends, IMHO, to overstate the ALP’s vote.

    Obviously things changed a bit since late 2009. In 24 JUN, just after Gillard took over, I aired the possibility of a voter back-lash on the morrow of Gillard’s coup. I was also the first to predict the campaign would go “post-modern”:

    Remember these are the same geniuses that gave us the Latham Experiment. How did that work out for them? And the preference deal that gave Steve Fielding a Senate spot. And they have been managing things in NSW ever since Carr flew the coop. Not a pretty sight.

    So they are not infallible.

    Its quite possible that Gillard could put in an ordinary performance during the campaign. Or that the voters could get cynical about ALP leadership merry-go-rounds and opportunistic policy back-flips. Or that Abbott could amaze us all.

    That being the case then all bets are off.

    So the ALP is prepared to take big political risks (changing leaders just prior to the campaign). But not prepared to take big policy risks (going to the voters with a DD on ETS).

    Says it all about post-modern politics, really.

    Nevertheless, after a night to sleep on it, on 25 JUN 2010 I predicted the election would pan out as ALP 52 – L/NP 48, with the government suffering some slight punishment for excessive political opportunism, but still heading for a comfortable victory:

    I now think that Gillard will do at least as well, if not better, than Rudd would have done. So I posit at least a 52 ALP – 48 L/NP outcome. With a more respectable performance by the ALP in the marginal seats in resource-rich states, esp since RSPT dropped.

    That slump did eventuate, but apparently it was only a temporary reversal of fortunes for the ALP. In retrospect the ALP slump should be seen as a form of voter time-out/sin-bin to the ALP back-room factional wheeler-dealers.

    As the campaign progressed I became more alarmed about the ALP’s bizarre antics (the new Julia makeover, the clandestine Rudd meeting, the Latham serial pest). On 03 AUG 2010 I cataloged the ALP’s elementary errors:

    the ALP’s political strategy…has violated some basic psephological principles, and squandered the advantages of incumbency:

    – “don’t change horses in mid-stream”,
    – “governments lose elections, oppositions don’t win them”,
    – “governments should run on their record”,
    – “oppositions should be portrayed as risky”.

    I must give some credit to mumbles for correctly predicting the (temporary) voter back-lash against ALP’s cynical machinations.

    But I stuck to my guns about the eventual ALP victory. I suggested that the ALP needed to re-focus on Abbott in order to regain the initiative and claw back the lead:

    Still, the ALP’s remaining advantages, plus the disadvantages of Abbott, should be enough to get them over the line. But to exploit these factors the ALP MUST take the focus off Gillard and onto Abbott.

    Later that day, 03 AUG 2010, on Crikey, I suggested that the L/NP’s surge would run out of steam:

    I guess the big question is “does the L/NP have the Big Mo?”, as in “Mo-mentum” to carry it through to victory on polling day. My guess is “No” to the L/NP’s “Big Mo”, but I sure did not predict the L/NP closing the gap with such alacrity so early in the campaign.

    So, to sum up, I predict that the ALP’s comfortable lead will be consolidated over the final week, with the result likely to be ALP 52- L/NP 48, as predicted over the course of the year. For reasons outlined here, back on 23 JUN 2010, the day Rudd was overthrown.

    There is simply no precedent for a government as well-run and well-received as Rudd-ALP doing badly in its first run at re-election. Rudd-ALP tick all the boxes for re-election:

    – reasonably fresh incumbent;
    – economy humming smoothly, due to good govt fiscal & financial;
    – competent leadership triumvirate of Rudd-Gillard-Swan;
    – reasonably united party-room Caucus;
    – no ugly festering ministerial scandals.
    Meanwhile Abbott-L/NP look like a bad bet:
    – not very popular leader, prone to risky off-the cuff moves;
    – party room divisions over leadership;
    – unpopular policies on industrial relations and climate change.
    Moreover there is some evidence of a partisan realignment on the basis of profound demographic shifts in the electorate, namely the replacement of the Menzies-era gloomers with the Whitlam-era boomers in 55+ voting cohort. The aging hippie3s have have an allergy to voting L/NP, at least relative to the normal conservative tendency of older people.

    In short, the Rudd-Gillard swap probably slightly harmed the ALP, implying that all the ALP’s political machinations amounted “a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing”.

  15. Chris Warren
    August 21st, 2010 at 16:54 | #15


    Why do dirty people like you still exist?

  16. jquiggin
    August 21st, 2010 at 16:54 | #16

    A wonkish point – a clear win(loss) for Labor will be win(loss) for the view that betting markets outperform polls and pundits. Both the latter groups have been predicting at best a narrow win for Labor, while the markets have had them as consistently short-priced favorites. The story is complicated by the fact that the individual seat betting markets are much less favorable to Labor, – obviously that’s a point against the efficient betting markets hypothesis.

  17. paul walter
    August 21st, 2010 at 17:30 | #17

    No doubt, dreamed up by a bookmaker.
    JQ, when I switched off tel in disgust about twenty minutesd ago, the Eags were consuming my Bulldog lot.
    God help me/us if this is not the nadir of a frowsy sort of day.. if the evening isn’t better I will be in a1995 mood, for sure. The headache can only worsen.

  18. paul walter
    August 21st, 2010 at 17:31 | #18

    What Chris Warren said, in spades.

  19. Peter Evans
    August 21st, 2010 at 17:45 | #19

    @Jim Rose
    You do know how the senate works don’t you Jim? Abbot will have control (with the help of that compliant little twerp from the so-called “Family First”) until July 1 2011. He’ll have ten months to ram through anything he wants, and he will.

  20. Chris O’Neill
    August 21st, 2010 at 17:51 | #20

    Neil of Greenway:

    the people want vision and a plan not negativity

    And you voted for Tony Abbott? You’ve obviously yet to learn the concept of irony.

  21. August 21st, 2010 at 18:42 | #21

    Dear Webmaster,

    Long comment stuck in moderation. Would you mind posting?
    I am, after all, the world’s premier Strocchi-ologist.
    My public awaits!


  22. paul walter
    August 21st, 2010 at 18:51 | #22

    Jack, knowing some of your stuff, the spaminator probably got it.

  23. August 21st, 2010 at 19:04 | #23


    Are you saying my comments are stuffed full of malware planted by Russian key-stroke loggers?
    Perish that thought.


  24. August 21st, 2010 at 19:07 | #24


    For most of my life all I can remember is Laurie Oakes and Michelle Grattan commenting on AUS federal elections. Is it just me or does everyone else’s heart sink when they see one of those two offer their boring platitudes up for public consumption. Nobel prizes to both of them for stating the bleeding obvious.


  25. paul walter
    August 21st, 2010 at 19:08 | #25

    Jack, Those two were old when the world was young. Hopefully it will be the last election for both of them.

  26. Jim Rose
    August 21st, 2010 at 19:32 | #26

    @Peter Evans
    good point but ten seconds on google found http://www.stevefielding.com.au/news/details/work_choices_the_facts/

    its starts: FAMILY FIRST voted against the Work Choices legislation …

  27. Jim Rose
    August 21st, 2010 at 19:39 | #27

    @Peter Evans
    Nick Xenophon also opposes workchoice and familiy first voted for its repeal see http://www.news.com.au/work-choices-finally-buried-gillard/story-0-1225699509455

    “Ms Gillard hugged Senator Fielding after he agreed to support the legislative centrepiece of the Government’s 2007 election platform.”

  28. Chris Warren
    August 21st, 2010 at 20:18 | #28

    Are the Liberals being cleared-out of the ACT.

    The Greens in the Senate at on 29%, the liberals are on 28%.

    See: ACT Senate

    Canberra – Liberal free?

  29. paul walter
    August 21st, 2010 at 21:20 | #29

    Fingers X’d

  30. paul walter
    August 21st, 2010 at 21:24 | #30

    Am not a psephologist, so am I reading right that Steve Hutchings might be gone for Lee Rhiannon?
    At Ant Greens.

  31. Chris Warren
    August 21st, 2010 at 21:41 | #31

    The Liberals appear back in the ACT Senate.

    Maybe next time?

  32. Mick Peel
    August 22nd, 2010 at 00:31 | #32

    A good win for our sensibilites… wake up, smell the coffee, and think about what politics (not just electoral policts) is all about…

  33. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 00:44 | #33

    Well how wrong was I for initially it looked OK before it all started to go downhill but alas I thought I not the only one who got it wrong we all got it wrong and now it’s up to the GG to decide as to who is best to govern Australia or not.

  34. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 03:54 | #34

    Well it looks like I get my wish – a hung parliament. There is no denying the country took a step to the left yesterday.

    A pox on both major parties.

  35. Chris Warren
    August 22nd, 2010 at 04:11 | #35

    So when Tony as Prime Minister morfs into Tony the Terrible, who then will feel safe?

    Pensioners, or Jamie Packer?

    Minimum wage workers, or Murdoch funded minions?

    Hair-shirted community services or gilded Corporate enterprises?

    Social justice seekers or profit seekers?

    My instinct is that this mad, bad, monk will divide society, lie and deceive the public, manipulate the media and wreak havoc even worse that Howard.

    Maybe the Senate will save us? Abbot aint no Liberal – he is a right-wing Christian.

    The very worst that a democracy can show.

  36. TerjeP
    August 22nd, 2010 at 05:50 | #36

    I’ve previously said “a pox on both their houses”. Success at last.

  37. August 22nd, 2010 at 05:59 | #37

    I was doing How To Vote for Labor in Bowman yesterday, where Liberal signs and volunteers outnumbered Labor four to one. The Libs had a LOT of money behind them. I agree with Maxine McKew that there was a sullen vibe from many voters. There was also the usual sprinkling of “I hate the Greens more than anyone”, and “I fish so I’m not voting for you.”
    In general, there was not a lot of sweetness and light 🙂 So maybe policies don’t matter anymore? They didn’t seem to yesterday.

  38. Chris Warren
    August 22nd, 2010 at 06:06 | #38

    TerjeP :I’ve previously said “a pox on both their houses”. Success at last.

    Great Pox on the Tories, Smallpox on the greens, Chicken pox on the Trots, Cow Pox on the ALP Right.

  39. BilB
    August 22nd, 2010 at 07:11 | #39

    Chris G,

    Massive failure to understand the time.

    Both parties were well represented with views on health, education, broadband, employment, economic management, immigration, hate the other guy.

    End result? balanced opinion. Except for the Greens who grew in support.

    Neither major party had a solution for Global Warming. The Geens did, and they were the party that swelled with support.

    It is a very simple conclusion.

    With the endless flood of political spam that came through my mail box, not a single one asked me for my opinion on the issues with a check box questionaire.

    They just do not want to know…and they now pay the price. We all pay the price.

  40. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 07:32 | #40

    “Except for the Greens who grew in support”.

    Does either major party get this? Only the Greens grew and they will keep growing if they keep pushing this right wing market drivel down our throats.

    The liberals dont deserve to run a government they despise. Labor lost its values the day they “watered down” workchoices and caved in on the mining super profits tax and ETS and showed they could be as ruthless as the liberals in knifing leaders.

    Move to the left both majors and keep moving until you reach sanity.

  41. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 09:20 | #41

    Its fantastic that the Greens have the balance of power in the Senate….

    Yes!! Who cares about the rest of the scrabbling?

    Now is time for proportional representation as Bob Brown says. One person – one vote.

    Prof Q…. surely you cant be too gloomy now?

  42. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 09:55 | #42

    Alice, the Greens did exceptionally well but given Parliament is made up of a House of Representatives and a Senate and the underlying principle of the Constitution is that the government of the people should be theoretically ‘chosen’ by the people there is an exception as in the case of a hung parliament that the GG will use his/her reserve powers and choose the Party who is best overall to make laws for the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth.

  43. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 10:11 | #43

    @Michael of Summer Hill

    Moshie – the Greens did exceptionally well despite Murdoch and the media completely ignoring them. Explain that one to me?

    I would say people are voting Green because of the complete and utter garbage coming from both major parties.

    On one hand we have the policies of worker bashing, denialism and delusionism and fear of “reds” and hatred of “big government” in the Coalition.

    On the other side we have a labor govt that sees itself as so so “modern” faithfully pursuing a market/privatisation agenda with two state Labor Govts under them who have flogged everything publicly owned in sight and done nothing for ordinary people by way of transport or employment (and who are detested).

    Really Moshie – thats why the Green vote grew – despite the Machiavellian Australian Media attempting to ignore them completely.

    It wont stop growing now Moshie. Green shoots. Thats what we need for recovery.

  44. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 10:20 | #44

    @Michael of Summer Hill

    Even if Abbott gets a minority govt and rams through all sorts of ugly brutal legislation – he will have a fight on his hands come July and hey? The green vote will just keep growing…
    Its Labor that needs to stop pretending to be “me too media hungry smarmy balmy liberals” Moshie, and get its act together at State and Federal level.

    It wasnt a popularity pageant. It was a policy pageant and neither of the majors had much “authentic” to offer.

  45. August 22nd, 2010 at 10:30 | #45


    The election vindicates Mike Steketee’s view (H/T Pr Q) that the ALP lost the election in NOV 2009 when they choked on climate change policy, failing to call a Double Dissolution election after the Senate double-rejection of CPRS pulled the trigger. Had the ALP had the political courage of their policy convictions they would be well into their second term with Rudd at the helm.

    More generally it vindicates the old saw that governments lose elections, rather than oppositions win them.

    Strong leadership on climate change was the key issue of the government’s first term. The ALP’s spineless caused disillusioned ALP voters to form into two blocs, swinging to the Far Left (voting GREENs) if climate change was their priority, or to the Moderate Right (voting L/NP) if strong leadership was their priority.

    The real winner of this election was Nick Minchin, whose Martyrdom Operation in early 2010 changed the face of AUS politics. I still didnt think that this was enough to win the election for the L/NP given Abbott’s unelectability. But voters are willing to overlook policy misgivings for a strong show of political leadership (which is why Brown and Abbott prospered).

    On 7 JUN 2010:

    The collapse of the Rudd-ALP ascendancy is a real puzzle to psephos who try to predict partisan alignments. I still have not given up my call that Rudd will win the election ALP 52 – L/NP 48. But its looking pretty shaky now.

    The only explanation that makes sense is that Minchin’s Martyrdom Operation, crashing the ETS into the twin towers of the ALP and L/NP moderates, has succeeded in polarising the nation and re-aligning the parties.

    Minchin achieved an astounding Bin-Laden like negative success: harming the moderates inside both major parties and helping the militants in the factions/minor parties. He has effectively de-railed the careers of the Parliament’s two most successful, and moderate, men in Parliament: Turnbull and Rudd. And he has elevated the careers of the two most militant men: Abbott and Brown.

    The parliament’s moderates, Turnbull and Rudd, are gone. The parliament’s militants, Abbott and Brown, are front and centre. Abbott is about to pick up the ruling spoils that Minchin’s divisions created.

    Minchin’s dark satanic majesty in the back-room wheeler-dealing department makes Richo and Arbib look like bumbling amateurs.

  46. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 10:32 | #46

    For all the prescient projections illuminating us from Strocchiverse…he is like Murdoch…the Greens barely got a mention let alone a prediction..


  47. Tony Abbott for PM
    August 22nd, 2010 at 10:33 | #47

    Tony abbot is a hero of all Australians. As Prime Minister he will provide a competent and stable government.

    @ Alice – I’m not sure what election you were watching but the country has taken a giant leap to the right.

  48. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 10:35 | #48

    Strocchi – the moderates both parties have knifed is what Id see as collateral damage.

    Brown is the lesson Abbott needs.

  49. Tony Abbott for PM
    August 22nd, 2010 at 10:36 | #49

    @Jack Strocchi

    Nick Minchin should also be afforded hero status in his role in stopping the greatest lie and scam in human history. Australia has clearly decided that an ETS or carbon tax is not the way for Australia to move forward.

  50. gerard
    August 22nd, 2010 at 10:51 | #50

    Labor could have tried selling a message other than “We Suck”.

    Claiming the BER and insulation programs for the ~97% successes that they actually were instead of turning their biggest selling point – GFC response – into a “Duh, we screwed up, sorry!”, and then focusing on BOATS garbage, bogan assembly, “New Julia”, ignoring the NBN until about the final week, and expecting a Corpo-Right media with a bloodlust against Labor to simply make Tony’s “unelectability” obvious to the public. My God, the ALP couldn’t have self-destructed better over the last 12 months if they were trying.

    The ABC has been unbelievable. The day before the election, after the morning where the liberals said they would cut 1.5 billion from education (to help poor students mainly), they ran a story saying “the most striking thing about education in this election is the lack of difference between the two parties” and of course not mentioning the cuts. One example of many – Howard sure knew what he was doing stacking that board – Albrechsten and Windschuttle ffs. If Julia scrapes back in they should be lined up and shot when their 5-year terms come up for renewal. But the ALP prefers giving their enemies plum jobs in Cyprus etc and will probably reappoint them.

    And Abbott – how funny it is thinking back to when his becoming leader was going to destroy the Libs. Any Indian sadhu will tell you how powerful a four-beat mantra can be. Debt, waste, taxes, boats. Keep it simple and don’t fill in any details, it’s not as if the evasive answers and walking out on press conferences and last-minute unnamed accounting firm dodgy costings will be mentioned by the media. More importantly; did Julia and Kevin make eye contact?

    This is the fruit of the ALP Right which has turned qld and nsw state governments into infectious sores and then thought it would be a smart move to that kill off their federal leader at the behest of the mining industry, after his popularity had tanked on account of following their advice, and put up a slogan droning puppet instead, who went out of her way to legitimize the narrative of Labor’s failure in order to justify her own ascent: “We Suck, but don’t risk Abbott!”

    Had the ALP won tonight then Sussex St would be congratulating themselves and solidifying their control. The balance of power in the lower house is being held by greens and agrarian socialists, a better outcome than an outright Sussex St win really – but they’ll probably argue that Abbott doing so well proves that Labor needs to be more Right – all the better for the Greens.

  51. Alan
    August 22nd, 2010 at 11:06 | #51

    This is starting to feel a little like The Stange Death of Labor Australia.

    I do not know what drugs Penny Wong, Julia Gillard and Stephen Smith were on last night, but they were clearly very powerful drugs. You do not go from 83 seats to 72 (the most optimistic projection at this stage) and then congratulate on yourselves on how well you’ve done, what a great campaign you’ve run and how good a leader you have. There is a slim chance the Coalition could get a majority if everything falls their way in every remaining doubtful seat, but the Senate will be controlled by Labor and the Greens and most likely the balance of power in the House will be held by the country independents and the Greens.

    We do not yet know who has won the two party preferred vote (which is really only a math construct of who would have won if all those inconvenient independents and minor parties were not in the election) but declaring the outcome a famous victory for either big party is merely drinking the KoolAid.

    We do not really need to think very hard about the policy conditions the country independents will want around issues like the NBN, or the policy conditions the Green will want around climate change. It will be fun to watch such polarising leaders as Abbott and Gillard trying to form a minority government with its need for consensus and compromise.

  52. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 11:08 | #52

    Alice,the Greens deserve a pat on the back but in my opinion not all is lost Labor given the GG’s will take into account issues such Human Rights and Equal Opportunities before making her decision and I wouldn’t want to be in Abbott’s shoes.

  53. paul walter
    August 22nd, 2010 at 11:12 | #53

    Was baffled at Chris Warren suggesting smallpox for the greens and only cowpox or acne for the NSW right.
    Perhaps he meant this the otherway round?
    Labor wont get rid of the right, the right will get rid of what’s left of real labor, as they have been doing for some time. and as the Tories did with their more independent or rational few over the same time frame.
    why did labor fail?
    Because it could not overcome the contradictions between their obscured real program, that is neolib and the rational promises they made in 2007, which actually adressed reality.

  54. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 11:25 | #54

    Paul Walter, if it wasn’t for the NSW fascists within Labor then Federal Labor may have done better but to say the left is finished is wrong.

  55. August 22nd, 2010 at 11:26 | #55

    Alice @ #46 said:

    For all the prescient projections illuminating us from Strocchiverse…he is like Murdoch…the Greens barely got a mention let alone a prediction..hmmm

    Err, no, on 07 JUN 2010 I suggested that Minchin’s Martyrdom Operation made the militant Brown and Abbott the big winners. Thats a reasonable mention.

    And I did make a prediction that the GREENs would not crack the critical 10% primary threshold. If it makes you feel any better I am happy to concede “I WAS Wrong” 04 JUN 2010 on that. As I mentioned at the time, if the GREENs and the L/NP do well we will have to “re-write the psepho text books”.

    [sound of scribes furiously scribbling late into the night]

  56. paul walter
    August 22nd, 2010 at 11:33 | #56

    Sorry Mosh, the comment stands unamended.
    Labor proposed a program, that reempowered Australia, while simultaneously acceding to the proposotion that neoliberalism was prior to community interest, as one (relative ) insider explained to me the other day.

  57. snuh
    August 22nd, 2010 at 11:35 | #57

    @Tony Abbott for PM

    the abc has the primary vote for the greens increasing by 3.7%, and the primary vote of the lib-nats increasing by less than half that, so i don’t know how you can possibly assert that “Australia has clearly decided that an ETS or carbon tax is not the way for Australia to move forward”.

  58. Jim Rose
    August 22nd, 2010 at 11:36 | #58

    It will be interesting to see how the green preferences split.

    the opinion polls and TV projections assume 80:20 as in 2007.

    A newspoll a few months ago which I read which asked about second preferences when the greens were 13% rather than there usual 9% of the total vote had their preference split as low as 68:32.

    Imagine, the Tories returned to power on green preferences. menzies won by one seat in 1961 on communist party preferences to Jim Killian.

    a drop to 75:25 is an extra swing to abbott of 1/2 of one percent. there are plenty of seats in play within that margin, as I recall from last night.

  59. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 11:39 | #59

    Paul Walter, the NSW Labor fascists are on the nose and unless they change their ways then they are doomed. I will give you an example the proposed Lend Lease development for Barangaroo (former Hungry Mile docklands in Sydney) in not in the best interest of the people and in my opinion will break the backbone of the fascists for it is absolute crap.

  60. gerard
    August 22nd, 2010 at 11:40 | #60

    huge informal vote this time

  61. Chris O’Neill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:03 | #61

    Jack Strocchi:

    The parliament’s moderates, Turnbull and Rudd, are gone. The parliament’s militants, Abbott and Brown, are front and centre.

    The electorate has become much more polarized, aided by Rudd’s poor decision-making and poor advocacy. Fat lot of good the Greens balance-of-power is going to do for Green policy. Green policies require a positive vote but the only thing they’re capable of doing now is voting things down. Along with Rudd’s shortcomings, this election was decided when the Greens decided to vote with global warming denialists. If the extremists vote together, the moderates haven’t got a hope.

  62. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:10 | #62

    Paul Walter, you must also remmember that even if the NSW Liberals get into power they will be no better so now is the time to act and speak up in opposition to the proposed development of Barangaroo. Enough of high rise developments, give the land back to the people of NSW to enjoy what nature created and not some monstrosity.

  63. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:14 | #63

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    Yeah Moshie…from my point of view…I am winning not losing (a pox on mindless right wingnuts in both majors) and we WILL losing some of the mindless garbage right wing stuff no matter what the outcome.

    Now Bob Kattor – here is an indepenedant who interests me. From dairy farming country obviously who says “why would I have any loyalty to that lot? (liberals). After twelve years and their dairy de-regulation we went to having one farmer commit suicide a week.

    Mr Kattor – Id like to ask him to dinner at my place right now.

    After all the mindless de-regulation and globailsation by the liberals and the loss of jobs that went with it here, I agree with Mr Kattor.

    I dont think Tony Windsor has been very impressed with jobs initiatives in country regions either under the prior coalition policies.

    This is going to get very interesting indeed but either way – I couldnt give a fig about which major can cobble a government from this mess.

  64. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:20 | #64

    @Jack Strocchi
    Well Jack – it would seem I found a a strocchiverse slip up!

    “I WAS Wrong” 04 JUN 2010 on that. As I mentioned at the time, if the GREENs and the L/NP do well we will have to “re-write the psepho text books”.

    Now how about a bit more on the Greens in future JS? They are the clear winners here and we certainly need a new textbook.

  65. amused
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:22 | #65

    Michael of Summer Hill :
    Alice,the Greens deserve a pat on the back but in my opinion not all is lost Labor given the GG’s will take into account issues such Human Rights and Equal Opportunities before making her decision and I wouldn’t want to be in Abbott’s shoes.

    No Michael. The GG will do no such thing. There are three hundred years of convention as to what she will do and unless she wants to be remembered with the same odium as Sir John Kerr, she will follow them scrupulously. The opinion of sundry partisan hacks, statisticians with Two-Party Preferred vote or other dubious characters cut absolutely no ice. The GG acts solely on what her primeminister and her speaker tell her. Gillard remains primeminister until she resigns or loses a no-confidence motion, in which case she must resign or be sacked. Traditionally, she then advises the primeminister to call upon the leader of her Loyal Opposition to see if he can form a government, but until then, Abbott doesn’t get a look-in. The Westminster system gives the PM a lot of power. The ball is in her court. It’s up to her to persuade the independents to support her in forming government.

  66. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:24 | #66

    Alice, in a hung parliament the Governor General will take note of what the major party’s come up with but will only endorse the formula which in her opinion is in the best of the nation.

  67. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:28 | #67

    If only the federal government could sack non performing state governments. Keneally and Bligh will get washed out in a major mudslide but its a shame people have to wait so long.

  68. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:32 | #68

    Sorry Alice, I am having problems with my PC which is slowing down and going on the blink. The above should have read ‘ best interest’.

  69. Jim Rose
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:34 | #69

    Yes, you would like Katter.

    As frustrated DLP voter yourself, you would support his Labor political views from the 1950s style outlook, including opposition to privatisation and economic deregulation and a dark conspiratorial suspicion of big business.

    like every good lefty, Katter is all for rent-seeking by people he likes and all for treated people he does not like as a source of money for the in-group.

    most of all, katter thinks he can tell a good monopoly from a bad monopoly, which is the foundation stone of progressive polictics.

  70. August 22nd, 2010 at 12:40 | #70

    Perhaps the psepho textbooks are not so far off the truth. They all say that governments lose elections, oppositions dont win them. And they tend to agree that a governments chances of re-election depend on:

    incumbency: a first-term government uses patronage to bribe marginal seats;

    economy: strong economic growth generates marginal seat victories.

    The ALP had both these variables running in its favour coming into the election. How did it handle its two greatest assets? It squandered them both.

    Incumbency It chucked incumbency status out by changing leaders two months prior to election. Blame the NSW Right.

    Economy: It failed to sell its moderate but effective role in managing the GFC. Blame Wayne Swan.

    And more generally, it failed to capitalise on its mandate to implement a climate change policy. Blame Kevin Rudd.

    So really the ALP have no one to blame but themselves, or their leaders. They were a pretty weak bunch.

    Moderate Lefties need to grow some balls if they want to win. Take a leaf out of Gough’s book.

  71. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:41 | #71

    Neither major cares to undo mindless de-regulation in this country and that they still dont give a damn about all those dairy farmers committing suicide here (and they dont care that Parmalat now owns our milk industry and send all the profits offshore and has forced those poor dairy farmers who still produce dairy down to starvation wages at their farm gate).

    Now is that smart?

    No its not. It hasnt even kept the milk price down for Mums and Dads. Its just opened a gate and let Parmalat shovel massive profits straight out of this country (just like the mining companies do and a whole host of others).

    This isnt sustainable development. This is industry and country destruction, destruction of our tax base and destruction of employment and production and basic living standards for people in Australia in favour of only the largest already hugely profitable international companies.

    What are we? Human sacrifices?

  72. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:41 | #72

    No Amused, the GG does have wide reserve powers to do as she pleases in the best of the people.

  73. August 22nd, 2010 at 12:42 | #73

    Hands up who wants to be a fly on the wall when Alice has Mr Kattor (correct spelling: “Katter”) to dinner?
    A minister in the Joh Bjelke-Petersen government, a man who thinks the Mabo decision is disgraceful, who believes a person should own as many military semi-automatic long arms as one wishes, & correct gun storage is to lean them against the corner in any or all rooms of the house, a firm believer in property rights, an opponent of free trade (or blocker of imports of products that are grown in Australia). Amongst other things.
    Could be some interesting reactions from our Dear Alice to some of Bob’s more firmly held philosophies.

  74. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:44 | #74

    @Jim Rose
    Good JR. Someone needs to wake up in Australia (if it isnt going to be you – it will have to be me and Bob Kattor). The rest of you on the right (in both major parties) have gone stark raving mad.

  75. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:47 | #75

    @Steve at the Pub
    As for Steve at the Pub – I think Id have more common ground with Bob Kattor than you (he can leave his weapons at the door) when it comes to mindless de-regulation. Personally I think pubs should have more regulation and less poker machines to go with it.

  76. Jim Rose
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:47 | #76

    did not read the below until after my last post:

    “Despite almost two decades of deregulation, Katter – who admits he might be a member of the Australian Labor Party “if it was still the 1950s” – sees tariffs and subsidies as the burning issue in the bush.

    One of his pet projects is to place not so much a tariff as 10 per cent duty on everything coming into the country.

    “Fifteen per cent is probably more realistic,” he adds.”

    Read more: http://www.news.com.au/maverick-mp-bob-katter-warns-major-parties-he-wants-action-if-he-holds-balance-of-power/story-fn5z3z83-1225901306928?from=public_rss#ixzz0xIZxSHIV

    tariffs are implicit taxes on exports, so Katter’s views are more evidence of the power of expressive voting and rationally irrational voting.

    we are about to live in interesting times. Katter is 65, so he may be willing to play hard, seeing this close election result as both his one chance and his last chance.

    andrew wilkie will be even more unpredictable – ex-army, ex-young liberal and ex-green.

  77. August 22nd, 2010 at 12:49 | #77

    Yes, “the Bob and Alice show” would be mightily entertaining episode. Although, I fear, a one-hit wonder rather than a long-running series.

  78. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:51 | #78

    Amused, read Susan Downing Research Note 25 1997-98 on The Reserve Powers of the Governor-General and you will get a better understanding of what the GG can do.

  79. August 22nd, 2010 at 12:56 | #79

    A subsidiary point is the relevance of a state government performance to its party’s federal election chances. Its pretty clear that an average performance by the ALP candidates in QLD and NSW electorates would have generated a comfortable victory for the ALP in the FED arena.

    But the ALP’s performance in these states was very much below average. Most commentators put this down to electoral cynicism about ALP careerism and corruption. (The Rudd sympathy vote was not a factor given that Rudd suffered a ginormous nine percent adverse swing.)

    So the ALP party machine, contrary to its projection of invincibility, is an emperor that is very scantily clad.

    And one should immediately discount self-serving spin by machine operators about the party losing the electorate in the second week with the “[fill in the blank?]” leaks. The ALP lost the election irretrievably when Rudd caved into the NSW machine and put-off the CPRS until 2013 ie never-never.

  80. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:57 | #80

    Jack Strochhi & Steve at the Pub, no harm in Alice trying to convert those on the political wright to come over and join those on the centre left.

  81. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:58 | #81

    In the name of mindless de-regulation we have wiped out thousands of our jobs and eg razed hundreds of acres of orange groves around Wagga and we are now importing dry as old sticks inside large orange coloured manipulated gassed oranges from who knows where…

    Id rather have my food grown here thanks and Id rather it give someone a job.

    As a result we are left wailing “oh we cant upset BHP or RIO” (because we have so little else except for the spin ridden now damaged financial sector?) and politicians now routinely wear hard hats…not to show us they are actually building anything….but to protect them from coal lumps and iron ore rocks falling off mountains.

    The de-regulation has indeed been mindlessly mindless. So has the privatisation agenda.

  82. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 22nd, 2010 at 12:59 | #82

    Jack Strocchi, no harm in Alice trying to convert those on the political wright to join the centre left progressives. I think you are jealous for not being invited.

  83. Jim Rose
    August 22nd, 2010 at 13:01 | #83

    @Steve at the Pub
    the further to right and old left, new left and left over left support economic nationalism.

    the positions of the green, hanson’s one nation, australian democrats and Katter on economic and immigration policy are similar. some of these just speak with a better spin than others.

    the further to right and the old left, new left and left over left support economic nationalism because they thrive on policies that promote division, conflict between in-groups and out-groups, and rent-seeking. they win votes by telling you who to fear, who to blame and who to envy.

  84. MH
    August 22nd, 2010 at 13:02 | #84

    Wonderful result from the Australian Electorate at large – seems to me, we, have said, well we do not think much of either party and now we have said so and just to make sure a fifth of us voted Green not to warn you but to tell you that enough is enough, now work it out together or bugger off!!

  85. Jim Rose
    August 22nd, 2010 at 13:05 | #85

    so you say that “The de-regulation has indeed been mindlessly mindless. So has the privatisation agenda.”

    which of the following good old days regulatory regimes do you want to bring back?

    • the two airline policy
    • banks opening at10 and closing at 3
    • no competition in telecommunications
    • np interstate power market
    • no pay TV
    • no more free-to-air channels?
    • no ABC 2?

  86. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 13:05 | #86

    Wilkie is fine. He has a moral compass and he is not a right wingnut and he is not a money grubber who just wants to be showered with moolah for his own seat.

  87. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 13:08 | #87

    @Jim Rose
    Warning – this segment of JRs is a mindless repeat.

  88. Jim Rose
    August 22nd, 2010 at 13:25 | #88

    I repeat the list because you have no answer to it. Saying that consumers would be better-off without JetStar, Tiger, and Pay TV would be too much for you to risk.

    in common with the red-baiters of old, much easier to denounce degulation in general without giving any specifics of what you oppose and what you want to reregulate?

    Name names!

    Which deregulated industries do you want to have regulatory barriers to entry and price competition restored? in which deregulated industries should consumers be protected once again from the scourge of lower prices and greater choice?

  89. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 13:52 | #89

    @Jim Rose
    We only have two airlines JR. We had two airlines before de-regulation only they were safer to fly in and they gave better meals.
    You people have no discrimination. The right engaged in an orgy of deregulation here and overseas and all we got was the financial mess we now have, higher unemployment and more people including Bob Katters locals, who probably lived sustainably for two hundred years before liberal idiot deregulation policies decimated the country of jobs.
    If pay TV is your answer (what would we do without pay TV) – then you are obviously a spoilt city kid.

  90. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 14:01 | #90

    Im with MH. The vote was a thumbs down to both majors which is entirely in keeping with their indistinguishable policies. Mindless campaigning. Mindless policies and mindlessly run.

    Even the electorate cant decide what they want but there are a hell of a lot more green voters even though the media tried its libloyal best to ignore the Greens.

    How about this? A Nats Green coalition? Either way both parties (lib and lab) will have to moderate argue and negotiate with others who arent quite so right wing.

    Im happy. Green shoots. Compassion. Empathy. Social concern. A moral and ethical compass. Its about time. Open the garbage bin and throw “rational man” and his global “market that knows best” inside. Then slam the lid shut and take it to the tip for recycling.

  91. paul walter
    August 22nd, 2010 at 15:20 | #91

    On the contrary, Alice, its the Greens who are the “rationals”. There is no doubt that the Greens economics is rational.
    Its the perversion of market theory, the ideology that serves for resource exploitation for fetishism, before human need, exchange before use, international hegemony and psychic homogeneity under an actually plutocratic system run by patriarchal greed driven morons and their collaborators, that desperately needs “consigning” (by the smell).

  92. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 15:43 | #92

    Paul the real farce is yet to come…the bearing of our tax funded gift wrapped largesse in the courtship of the independents…oops there goes the Epping Parramatta link (Damn…again!).

    Now would someone cost Abbott’s courtship dowry so I can remind him to stay outta debt?

    Yes, some of us are rational but not Gillard or Abbott.

  93. Chris Warren
    August 22nd, 2010 at 16:41 | #93

    The ABC website is currently giving the Coalition 73 seats (prediction).

    With three other Coalition members (camouflaged as Independents), there is the 76 needed to push Gillard off her perch.

    So Abbott is probably assigning portfolios now.

    McKew, a darling of the Right, deserved her comeuppance. When will the ALP learn it needs to grow its relationship with people in society and not try to parachute media identities from football teams (Mal Malinga), Rock Groups (Garrett), or the media?

    The ALP cares less about workers rights than it does about “the economy”, has destroyed the role of trade unions, so society is destroying the ALP.

    The only reason the Rudd ALP was elected was through a huge Your-rights-at-work campaign. But the stupid Rudd misunderstood this as a election victory due to his presence.

    The only way out for the ALP, is to totally reorient itself away from all the meaningless jargon in its current Platform, and latch firmly onto the real interests of average Australians – jobs, wages, health and security (environmental and financial).

    The ALP cannot win the next election unless it gears up all trade unions to campaign actively for a Labor victory 2014.

  94. paul walter
    August 22nd, 2010 at 17:06 | #94

    Alice, we can’t afford the dowry, since Abbott will knock the mining rent tax on the head.

  95. Alice
    August 22nd, 2010 at 17:34 | #95

    @paul walter
    Oh well Paul…I suppose Abbott will now be busying himself writing up “unemployment choices”. He would love to make his savings there.
    I need to invite Katter to dinner fast.
    If I was Katter Id hold out for complete dairy re-regulation and for Parmalat to be shown the way to the back paddock.

  96. August 22nd, 2010 at 17:44 | #96

    Rather than use up bandwidth this link is a brief discussion of my day at the polling booth

    Some other issues here:

    1. The mandate theory — always of doubtful credibility given the structure of political contests here, is absolute bunkum in this contest. Essentially the coalition leveraged its way to parity by running campaigns against the Queensland and NSW ALP governments. The Liberals lied shamelessly to do this, as I said above, linking “Labor debt” to rising electiricy and water prices, which had nothing at all to do even with the state government. Stupidly, the ALP Federally helped them do this by running against them too, even in their porkbarrelling. They threw the member for Bennelong metaphorically under a train in their enthusiasm to do this.

    2. The Coalition traded on ostensible ALP disunity, based on “leaks” of at best doubtful provenance — quite possibly the invention of journalists. Virtually the entire media plus the ABC ran against them in making the campaign a kind of Masterchef election in which all content was dumped out. There was little debate about any matter of substance, and the coalition simply lied about the cost of its proposals while chanting its mantra about debt and deficit. Virtually nothing was said on health at all, except largely about state matters. And of course, the mining thugs ran their own separate scare campaign which set the stage for the removal of Rudd. And then there was the boat people issue …

    So really, coalition rule would have absolutely no legitimacy at all. And the four indies and one Green all favour NBN and 4/5 of them favour a price on carbon. Abbott could not implement such policies without spitting on the campaign he just waged. So if tyhe Indies are serious about policy and stable government, they will support the ALP.

    Of course, I’d be just as happy for them not to, as I don’t see this ragtag bunch of rightwing loonies seeing out three years or even 18 months. Once the suppurating boil of the NSW ALP government is lanced in March next year and an Abbott government falls apart under its own contradictions, the ALP will be back. Costello says 12 months, and that could be right. Indeed, Bligh only has until 2012, so 2013 would be an even worse time for a coalition government to have a poll.

  97. Donald Oats
    August 22nd, 2010 at 17:45 | #97

    I voted Greens and so far the results seems about right. Both in the fact that more Greens are in, and also both Labor and Liberal needed a big boot sunk into the nether regions on AGW.

  98. Jim Rose
    August 22nd, 2010 at 18:00 | #98

    You say “We only have two airlines JR.” You are not alone in this conclusion: Quiggin (1997) says in the Australian Economic Review that “The Australian airline industry is a natural duopoly and the market is not contestable.”

    Do you agree that you can buy a airline ticket from:

    1. Qantas?
    2. Jetstar
    3. Virgin blue?
    3. Tiger?

    That totals to 4 airlines, not your claim that “We only have two airlines JR”!! Three others failed because the competition was too hot, including Annett. The failure of Annett did not deter new entry.

    You also say “We had two airlines before de-regulation only they were safer to fly in and they gave better meals”

    How do you know that? Have accidents increase per passenger mile?

    No safety regulation were changed was the result of deregulation in Australia, NZ or USA as examples. Regulatory barriers to entry were removed.

    Why do you assume that the non-price competition will go into competition in safety?

    What reward is there for airlines over other non-price competition options such as the very famous over-building of capacity and networks and giving people flash meals as a way of getting around price controls?

    Part of the rents from regulation was shared with unions as high wages to build political support. Other parts of these regulatory rents were shared with sub-set of consumers such as excessive capacity and jet services to regional cities and smaller states also to build political support.

    Why is air safety special as a form of non-price competition in regulatory cartels?

    Air safety pays more as a form of non-price competition in regulatory cartels only if passengers respond to safety records and patronise airlines with superior records. (If so, this would contradict the case for regulation is airline brand name capital is not enough to deter bad practices as compared to well-informed, far-sighted regulatory agencies who are, of course, never captured by the industries they regulate).

    Why would this preference for safety among passengers disappear upon deregulation?

    Indeed, the ability of safety aware passengers to punish unsafe airlines is greater after deregulation because they have three other rather than one other airline to choose from and these alternative airlines can choose their aircraft.

    p.s. I grew up in a country town with no public transport.

  99. August 22nd, 2010 at 18:01 | #99

    @Chris Warren

    McKew, a darling of the Right, deserved her comeuppance. When will the ALP learn it needs to grow its relationship with people in society and not try to parachute media identities from football teams (Mal Malinga), Rock Groups (Garrett), or the media?

    Actually, unless the government did what has been histroically unusual for first term governments — concede no swing, she was always going to struggle to hold on with just 1.5% in the bank.

    Against her she had:

    1. RAID (the “Maxine’s ghetto” people protestibng against public housing ruining their property values from Day 1 of the Rudd government and Alexander being their ally from the time he got the nod.

    2. The state government whom people could not chuck out first

    3. Rudd’s dumping and her closeness to him

    In her favour, those loyal to Howard were not a factor; strong preference flows from an enlarged Greens primary (about 11-12%).

    Not enough.

  100. Jim Rose
    August 22nd, 2010 at 18:18 | #100

    With a parliament of 150, and a speaker who has a casting vote only, the current numbers are so tight that a 75:75 stand-off is possible, with neither side keen to supply a speaker.

    if the coalition gets 73 to 72, they have a better chance of getting 76 with windor perhaps as the speaker.

    if the ALP gets to 73 to 72, they have the better chance because the country independents spend a lot of time talking of stable government.

    It all depends on whether the greens preference split stays up at 80:20 as in 2007, or drops a little lower, which could be the end for the real Julia.

    If the split drops below 80:20, the greens will be the new DLP of australian politics. A way-station for people to move from labour to liberal while still making that protest vote that makes them feeling good about themselves but still voting liberal.

    as a longer term factor, socially conservative labour and liberal swinging voters will be put off voting for labour if labour must concede to the left-wing agenda of the greens.

    Bob Brown’s speech last night barely mentioned the environment apart from a carbon tax, and was an economic and social agenda at odds with many swinging voters.

    several more green MHRs may brand the ALP as too left-wing to win narrow elections because they would have to go into coalition with the greens to get a small majority on the floor of the house. the rise of the greens may ensure that it will be a long time before the ALP again holds office federally.

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