Home > Oz Politics > The miracle of democracy, Part IV

The miracle of democracy, Part IV

September 7th, 2010

It’s finally over, and the outcome (if it holds) looks like the best possible. If it’s true that a country gets the government it deserves, we must all have been doing a lot of good deeds lately. Despite the efforts of both major parties to force us into a choice between focus-grouped piles of bribes and banality, we appear set for parliamentary reform, and a serious approach to climate change, tax reform and broadband policy[1].

fn1. Trying to watch the Windsor-Oakeshott press conference online was an object lesson in the inadequacies of our existing networks.

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  1. Peter Evans
    September 8th, 2010 at 10:44 | #1

    Mack in Nth Sydney, of course.

  2. Chris Warren
    September 8th, 2010 at 11:00 | #2

    Tom Davies :

    Trying to watch the Windsor-Oakeshott press conference online was an object lesson in the inadequacies of our existing networks.

    But I bet the problem wasn’t between your home and the exchange.

    Why not just use AM radio?

    It worked perfectly for me, and has for over 50 years.

  3. Donald Oats
    September 8th, 2010 at 11:04 | #3

    @Peter Evans
    I’m pretty sure that after Joe Hockey got the seat they got drought relief there, or at least some of the Regional Development Fund goodies :-D

  4. Michael of Summer Hill
    September 8th, 2010 at 11:51 | #4

    TerjeP, where are you TerjeP? Did you know your mate Jarrah votes for the Greens. That is correct Jarrah is a Greenie down under.

  5. Fran Barlow
    September 8th, 2010 at 11:55 | #5

    @Jack Strocchi

    Innumeracy and cluelessness would appear to be rampant amongst Left-wingers like Barlow & Millis if they refuse to accept these primordial facts.

    I always find communication from that most interesting of parallel universes, Strocchiverse amusing. One has to remember that the rules of this universe is that observable reality be fit into its paradigm. Accordingly, Strocchi is not the least bit shamefaced about calling others innumerate and clueless in a post in which he was having to admit to being innumerate himself and arguably illiterate himself. Of course, in Strocchiverse reality is what you make of it.

    Of course, he wheels out the late night carelessness defence, but really, can anyone who has been as engaged as he claims to be with the voting process have made such a “primordial” error? It’s hard to credit. That’s either ignorance or dissembling. I call dissembling, because Strocchi is just not that ignorant.

    Putting aside the numbers, which do suggest a drift towards a more centre-left set of policies, the broader question though is what does the shift in votes in QLD, parts of Western Sydney and WA to the official parties of hard core xenophobia, debt angst, rent-seeking miners, rural patronage and general hatred for the cultural advances of the late 20th century actually mean? Is this really a shift to the right?

    I’d say not. Sure it’s true that the capacity and willingness to mark a ballot paper supplied by some far right dimwit accurately enough to count as a vote is, in a sense, a political act, but what’s less clear is whether the people marking these ballots had a firm grasp of the issues and had established a connection to a coherent philosophical and policy rubric. One simply has no basis for assuming most people in the areas above got anywhere near achieving that. Being scared without fair cause and listening to someone who tells you its all about “open border” policies or “spiralling debt” and helps explain why water prices, petrol and electricity went up is not really political unless such claims are connected to observable reality.

    If some adult child molester claims that ‘the kid led me on’ we tend to discount that because we assume the child wasn’t able to make an informed choice. In voting, we assume this fiction, in order to legitimise boss class rule in circumstances where it’s not considered feasible to do civic education and qualitative polling , but really, it’s no more plausible, especially in places like QLD where all the daily press is owned by one group of folks tied to the interests of extractive industry and property. Here, what people get is a steady diet of disinformation, driving them to disengage from politics and trust the loudest mouth on the street corner. Truly, no pertinent fact, “primordial” or otherwise, stands a chance in Murdochracy and its allied organs when confronted by a rightwing talking point. The ALP, to its discredit, did nothing to confront the Murdochracy and so rather than subverting xenophobia, ignorance and angst, they buttressed and legitimised it, with the result we saw. The outrageous moves in QLD and NSW to wholesale privatise public assets, despite running against such policies was manna from heaven for Abbott, who beat Anna Bligh and Keneally, who to be fair, had run dead.

    So is the expression by the easily manipulated of QLD, Western Sydney and WA of more vociferous angst than was available by voting ALP really a shift to the right? Not in any meaningful sense. Of those who actually had an informed rationale for making a choice, the vast majority voted Green or possibly informal, leaving the rightwing parties to duke it out amongst themselves for the spoils of office.

    That’s something one won’t hear in Strocchiverse however.

  6. Alice
    September 8th, 2010 at 12:17 | #6

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    Mosh – there are a lot of closet greens in regional Australia. They want the NBN and they want public infrastructure spending. They just have not realised yet that its not a pro free market Coalition policy or the too similar Labor policy. Both parties have pro free market policies that are rapidly de-industrialising us leaving us with nothing but raw materials / ie mineral exports, if you believe Martin Fell. When you have no comparative advantage in industrialised output, why wouldnt industrialisation move to China according to the theory? (And we will be left putting all our raw materials in the one Chinese basket for our GDP).
    http://www.abc.net.au/overnights/stories/s2896370.htm

  7. September 8th, 2010 at 12:26 | #7

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    Been checking out my blog, MoSH? Good for you. You might learn something. But you might want to take note of the fact that I vote Green (in HoR) only when I can’t vote LDP, or any of the several other parties that I would rank higher. On my Senate ballot, the Greens were a fair way down.

    @Fran Barlow
    As ever, beautifully put.

  8. Michael of Summer Hill
    September 8th, 2010 at 12:31 | #8

    Jarrah, welcome to the socialist club.

  9. TerjeP
    September 8th, 2010 at 14:41 | #9

    MOSH – a number of libertarians and LDP voters give tactical votes to the Greens. I’m not one of them but I understand the logic. The Greens and the LDP both want a more sane approach to illicit drugs and think prohibition is s poor policy approach. The Greens and the LDP think assisted suicide should not generally be illegal. The Greens and the LDP both support same sex marriage. The Greens and the LDP think mandatory detention of illegal immigrants is currently over the top. So there is a lot of common ground. However there is also a lot of differences. The Greens think people who own guns should be treated as criminals, that anybody on middle class income should pay more tax, that smokers should be boxed in by illiberal laws, that private property rights should be violated for heritage and environmental reasons. The Greens are liberal on some issues but liberalism is not their core principle. In fact they are in my view essentially statist in their philosophy even if some of their policies are on the right track.

    I have a lot of time for Jarrah and I can understand his difference of opinion on how to vote tactically. Luckily we have the LDP to unify people like Jarrah and I, something that didn’t previously exist.

  10. TerjeP
    September 8th, 2010 at 14:43 | #10

    p.s. Jarrah isn’t a socialist.

  11. Ken Fabos
    September 8th, 2010 at 17:08 | #11

    @Fran Barlow
    Did we end up with this situation because Rupert couldn’t make up his mind? Or in spite of his preferences?

  12. Fran Barlow
    September 8th, 2010 at 17:30 | #12

    @Ken Fabos

    Did we end up with this situation because Rupert couldn’t make up his mind? Or in spite of his preferences?

    The latter. The bulk of the swing was in QLD where he has near untrammeled voice, including via his broadcasting arm, the ABC.

  13. September 8th, 2010 at 18:15 | #13

    Chris Warren @ #31 said:

    The 2PP figure is not relevant in a multiparty scenario – particularly when the swing is to a third tendency.

    If the swing was to the right – Oakeshotte and Windsor would have supported the Right.

    That doesnt make any sense. The general “swing was to the Right”. Oakeshotte and Windsor have already copped alot of flack from their electorates for not “supporting the Right”. They have their reasons, no doubt. But these reasons do not square with ideological tendencies within their electorates or trends in the nation as a whole.

    The 2PP figure is designed “to be relevant in a multi-party scenario” It is a method of distributing votes expresses, and “weights”, the voters partisan preferences accross a range of partisan options.

    If the 2PP outcome indicates a general swing to the Right then that factors in local swings to the Left. That is what has occurred in 2010. There was a large intra-ideological swing from the Centre-Left ALP to the Far-Left GREENs, mainly due to Rudd squibbing on a carbon tax. But this large polarising swing did not have a big effect on the partisan balance since GREEN preferences flowed back to the ALP.

    Concurrently there was a smaller inter-ideological swing, from the Centre-Left ALP to the Centre-Right L/NP, largely because Rudd stuffed up the conception and promotion of the mining tax. This had a large effect on the partisan balance because it turned over a large number of marginal seats, mainly in QLD. Those seat losses cost the ALP control of government.

    And of course, there was a fairly signficant (5% +) vote for largely Far-Right “other” politicians such as Family First, One Nation and rural indepedents. This all goes into the Right’s electoral column, although it did not translate into seats.

    Leftist “psephologists” have largely glossed over these inconvenient facts because it disrupts their ideological narrative. I am in no mood to be charitable and indulge their delusions, at least on psephological matters.

  14. September 8th, 2010 at 18:48 | #14

    Fran Barlow @ #4 said:

    I always find communication from that most interesting of parallel universes, Strocchiverse amusing.

    What you find “amusing” is probably not side-splitting to the general public. You dont appear have an observable sense of humour, at least from the evidence of your leaden prose and earnest ideological orthodoxy.

    Fran Barlow intoned portenteously:

    Of those who actually had an informed rationale for making a choice, the vast majority voted Green or possibly informal, leaving the rightwing parties to duke it out amongst themselves for the spoils of office.

    Shorter Barlow: The “actual and existing people” got it wrong. They have “false consciousness”. Lets “elect a new people”. Where have I heard that party line cranked out before? And how did that little episode work out?

    Fran Barlow opined tendentiously:

    One has to remember that the rules of this universe is that observable reality be fit into its paradigm…Of course, in Strocchiverse reality is what you make of it..

    Rather than get into a he-said-she-said slanging match I prefer to stand on my record. I barely predicted the governmental outcome of this federal election, not nearly as accurate as usual. I erred in not taking into account the Right-wing reaction to the mining tax and the ALP’s reckless population policies. Still, I won a bet on it, which is the main thing.

    That makes me four correct predictions of AUS federal elections on the trot over the noughties. And three correct predictions of US presidential elections, over the same period. The odds of this occurring at random are 2 [superscript seven] or 1:128.

    Not to shabby for a supposedly “innumerate…illiterate” solipsist. By contrast you continue to flounder psephologically – excuse me but how many electoral results have you correctly called [embarassed silence for about 900 years].

    So whatever it is I am drinking in the Strocchiverse appears to be working. Largely because I spend a good bit of time in error-correction, plus the occasional vindictive gloat. Its is a good way to get improve ones own score. You should try it sometime.

    And lets not dwell on the clapped out version of post-seventies Left-liberalism that you are still trying to peddle. You should have outgrown this stuff by now.

  15. September 8th, 2010 at 18:51 | #15

    Fran Barlow @ #4 said:

    I always find communication from that most interesting of parallel universes, Strocchiverse amusing.

    What you find “amusing” is probably not neccessarily side-splitting to the general public. At least going by the evidence of your leaden prose and earnest ideological orthodoxy.

    Fran Barlow intoned portenteously:

    Of those who actually had an informed rationale for making a choice, the vast majority voted Green or possibly informal, leaving the rightwing parties to duke it out amongst themselves for the spoils of office.

    Shorter Barlow: The “actual and existing people” got it wrong. They have “false consciousness”. Lets “elect a new people”. Where have I heard that party line cranked out before? And how did that little episode work out?

    Fran Barlow opined tendentiously:

    One has to remember that the rules of this universe is that observable reality be fit into its paradigm…Of course, in Strocchiverse reality is what you make of it..

    Rather than get into a he-said-she-said slanging match I prefer to stand on my record. I barely predicted the governmental outcome of this federal election, not nearly as accurate as usual. I erred in not taking into account the Right-wing reaction to the mining tax and the ALP’s reckless population policies. Still, close enough to get the cigar.

    That makes me four correct predictions of AUS federal elections on the trot over the noughties. And three correct predictions of US presidential elections, over the same period. The odds of this occurring at random are 2 [superscript seven] or 1:128.

    Not to shabby for a supposedly “innumerate…illiterate” solipsist. By contrast you continue to flounder psephologically – excuse me but how many electoral results have you correctly called [embarassed silence for about 900 years].

    So whatever it is I am drinking in the Strocchiverse appears to be working. Largely because I spend a bit of time in error-correction, plus the occasional vindictive gloat. Its is a good way to get improve ones own score. You should try it sometime.

    And lets not dwell on the clapped out version of post-seventies student politics Left-liberalism that you are still trying to peddle after all these years. You should have outgrown that stuff by now.

  16. Michael of Summer Hill
    September 8th, 2010 at 18:53 | #16

    Alice, the push towards a globalised free market has so far produced only regional markets and many commentators confuse the two. In my opinion Australia’s rural problems has been exacerbated by past governments poor planing policies rather than globalisation. Instead of opening up the interior, governments sacrificed the rural sector and are now paying the price.

  17. Peter Evans
    September 8th, 2010 at 19:42 | #17

    The Strocchiverse must be a place of deep resonant, all-encompassing laughter. Imagine, where the ALP is a centre-left party and the LNP is centre-right!!!! If only…

    But sigh, the real world imposes upon us. Except Jack, that is.

  18. September 8th, 2010 at 19:46 | #18

    @Jack Strocchi

    Shorter Strocchi: I know I am but what are you?

    It’s clear that Strocchiverse is approaching its own event horizon. It has nothing of substance to say, beyond apologetics for errors past and recitation of the banalities of pop politics. It seems the Liberals are not the only crowd to have discovered a black hole in their thinking recently.

  19. September 8th, 2010 at 19:51 | #19

    For those interested in these matters, the ALP edged ahead of the coalition on 2PP by 1010 votes (88.42% counted). (Time stamp 7:03pm)

    {sarcasm}It’s unclear if Abbott or the Murdochracy will note this changed reality in their reporting. {/sarcasm}

  20. September 8th, 2010 at 20:40 | #20

    Peter Evans @ #16 said:

    The Strocchiverse must be a place of deep resonant, all-encompassing laughter. Imagine, where the ALP is a centre-left party and the LNP is centre-right!!!! If only…
    But sigh, the real world imposes upon us. Except Jack, that is.

    Psephologists study relative (ordinal), not absolute (cardinal) referents. So the conventional placement of the ALP to the Centre-Left and L/NP to the Centre-Right is perfectly defensible. Its just too sad for ideologues if these alignments do not correspond to their fondest hopes and dreams.

    [Peter Evans to Real World: so pleased to finally make your acquaintance.]

  21. September 8th, 2010 at 23:32 | #21

    “Shorter Barlow: The “actual and existing people” got it wrong. They have “false consciousness”. Lets “elect a new people”. ”

    Jack, while I thought someone would criticise the elitism (which I use in a non-derogatory manner) of Fran’s post, I genuinely thought you of all people would be receptive to the realpolitik behind the sentiment. Voters ARE generally ignorant of policies beyond the news cycle, and ARE somewhat captive to the ‘narrative’ of their primary sources of information, and ARE normally lacking a coherent, well-thought-out political philosophy. Consideration of these facts is essential for any political analysis, and must surely introduce a lot of noise into any signal about swings Left or Right, let alone reactions to specific policies.

  22. Fran Barlow
    September 9th, 2010 at 11:29 | #22

    @Jarrah

    To which one might add, though it’s possibly unnecessary, that I didn’t propose “false consciousness” though might be guilty of suggesting “unconsciousness”.

    One of the fairer criticisms made of my proposals on governance structures (by Andre Reynolds and Terje Peterson) is that they assume too much interest in and capacity for the mobulus vulgaris to be actively engaged. I’ve responded that people will not be engaged unless they think it germane to their existence — mere sense of civic duty doesn’t cut it.

    As you note though, it’s difficult to make meaningful inferences about the polity’s position on a binary left-right scale if even the people who contribute the basic data didn’t understand what ther individual symbols meant, in left-right terms.

    FWIW, for my own interest, I did a quick tally based on AEC data of all the first opreferences of the identifiable ALP-aligned parties (SA, SEP, Comms, Greens, Dems) and persons (i.e the three Indies backing the ALP) and all the Coalition-aligned parties (eg FF, ON, DLP, CLP, LNPQ, LDP, NATS, Climate Septics) and parties (i.e Katter) and excluded all I couldn’t work out … (e.g. carers alliance, Building Aust, Aust First, Sex Party, Secular Party) in the HoR.

    This gave a total of 6.301680 million for the ALP aligned parties and individuals and 5.875655 million for the Coalition-aligned groups. Split 2PP this would give roughly 51.74 to 48.25.

    Interestingly, the current 2PP is 50.03 to 49.97 in favour of the ALP. The ALP leads by 6510 votes, not that at 88.53% complete, it ought to be that relevant. Others seem to think it is.

  23. September 9th, 2010 at 11:49 | #23

    The LDP aren’t Coalition-aligned. Our HoR preferences, as expressed on HTVs, is anti-incumbent. In 2007, that meant an almost equal split between Labor and Coalition, not sure for 2010. But excluding us wouldn’t have changed your result much anyway :-)

  24. Fran Barlow
    September 9th, 2010 at 12:48 | #24

    @Jarrah

    Fair enough then … as you say, not a great deal of difference but I wanted to err, if I did, on the side of the Coalition, so as to maximise their vote share and leave no room for anyone to say I’d rigged the figures.

    It is fair to say that the LDP would be a lot more attractive to coalition voters than ALP voters, although as others have noted, there are some LDP policies that leftist humanists and Greens would find a lot more appealing than ALP policies.

  25. Fran Barlow
    September 9th, 2010 at 13:12 | #25

    Interestingly, the current 2PP is 50.05 to 49.95 in favour of the ALP. The ALP leads by 12,711 votes, (88.66% complete) updated 12:47

  26. TerjeP
    September 9th, 2010 at 13:13 | #26

    Fran – you probably infer LDP alignment to the coalition through talking to me. In the last two elections I have been coalition leaning, although I did personally vote the ALP higher than the Liberals during the Latham election (with no regrets). Obviously those aligned with the LDP tend to vote for the LDP but how they vote in terms of second preference isn’t altogether clear. I know of many that lean towards the ALP and some like Jarrah lean towards the Greens. All agree that freedom is important but if they can’t have a freedom party they prioritise the freedoms they care most for. For example those in the LDP with a strong interest in firearm laws tended to be very anti-coalition in 2007, and particularily anti Howard. This was people who are pretty organisationally important.

    There certainly isn’t any official alignment with any of the major parties and for tactical reasons the LDP nearly always preferences the major parties last, especially in the senate.

    The whole exercise of putting minor parties and independents into major party camps is pretty unfair and counter productive to the democratic enterprise. If those in the LDP wanted to vote for the coalition why would they bother forming, funding and running a political party.

  27. TerjeP
    September 9th, 2010 at 13:18 | #27

    It is fair to say that the LDP would be a lot more attractive to coalition voters than ALP voters, although as others have noted

    Check out MenziesHouse. Some in the coalition positively hate what the LDP and libertarians stands for.

  28. Fran Barlow
    September 9th, 2010 at 17:05 | #28

    I infer it from the overall “free-enterprise” rubric while recognising that not all coalitionists tghink i t means the same thing the LDP does. Similarly, the ALP is seen widely as having some vaguely communitarian rubric and thus appeals more to those on the left, even if few actual leftists would recognise the kinds of communitarian values still espoused by the ALP as having any significant connection with socialism or even small-l liberal policy.

    Current 2PP is 50.09 to 49.91 in favour of the ALP. The ALP leads by 22,286 votes, (88.91% complete) updated 4:33pm

  29. TerjeP
    September 9th, 2010 at 17:16 | #29

    Fran – whilst most people have an opinion on markets and economics it isn’t the political decider for a lot of people. Many people vote Liberal because that is what God would do. Or they vote Green because they like critters.

  30. Fran Barlow
    September 9th, 2010 at 17:22 | #30

    Growing up in West Ryde, my family and indeed my entire street voted ALP, because they were connected to the unions. We lived two doors down the road from Cliff Dolan. The Liberals were seen as the sum of all evil, though until I was about 8 I found it hard to grasp why this was. I recall the story of my grandmother letting slip that she had voted Liberal in 1961 (the year that preferences from the communist candidate in Killen’s seat got him elected and let Menzies slide back in, just). Apparently my grandfather, the entire street and all the people at the Local Inn sent her to Coventry for about six weeks as this was seen as an unconscionable act.

  31. TerjeP
    September 9th, 2010 at 19:11 | #31

    Growing up my parents didn’t vote because they were not citizens of Australia (despite having four kids that were). At the time I had no clue as to how they would have voted given the option even though politics was topical in our household. In conversation my father would figure out how the other person was inclined to vote and then adopt the opposite view. I think he found consensus quite boring. Actually he still does.

  32. Michael of Summer Hill
    September 9th, 2010 at 19:13 | #32

    TerjeP, you are correct in suggesting there are two main camps within the neo-conservative side of politics, those who believe in the free market and those who espouse to religion. But in Australia there remains a third group of old conservatives, like Katter, who believe the old ways of protectionism, and when parliament resumes I wouldn’t be surprised if the three amigos will send a few raspberry tarts towards The Nationals.

  33. Alice
    September 9th, 2010 at 20:01 | #33

    @Michael of Summer Hill
    I hope they do Moshie.

  34. Alice
    September 9th, 2010 at 20:09 | #34

    @Alice
    Id like to see protectionism returned (some Mosh – its a question of balance over important matters like food production and protecting industry sufficient to self sustain here and maintain at least a degree healthy variety to our industries instead of a conncentration in raw rmaterials).

    I would like to see the free trade agreement burned.

    Im just waiting for the day the government gets sued big time by some bankrupt foreign company with a head office in the Seychelles who has done little for any production here and added nothing to the tax base – yet we will be asked to bail the foolish government out with our taxes – just like the taxpayers in the US were called on to bail out banks.

    Just like the taxpayers in Canada were forced to cough up 130 mill for a bankrupt US water company, when they closed the water plant, sacked half a town and point blank refuse to supply a basic necessity. (A water supplying necessity thats probably been running for almost a century quite well as a public institution).

    This is not free trade at all and its false to say it is.

  35. TerjeP
    September 9th, 2010 at 20:25 | #35

    Alice – bank bailouts are not part of the free market. Nobody disagrees. So why criticise free markets by bringing up bank bailouts? It seems a little weird.

  36. Alice
    September 9th, 2010 at 20:34 | #36

    @TerjeP
    If the banks hadnt failed under an increasiongly “free market” banking environment with little regulation over an increasing number of “off regulation radar” derivatives…we perhaps wouldnt have needed to bail the banks out Terje.

    It seems to me they couldnt regulate themselves (which is a core tenet of liberalism isnt it? ie genuine question) and investment banks like Goldman moved increasingly from the pursuit of profit from genuine value stocks to profit from pure speculation. But then Terje, how do you account for Goldman being around taking massive profits in 1929 from speculation. Maybe they do what they do well (not in question)….but maybe they dont know when to self regulate any more than you or I do?

  37. jquiggin
    September 9th, 2010 at 20:55 | #37

    Hi Alice: Could I ask you to remember your limit of one comment per thread per day
    Terje: To keep parity, I request one comment per thread per day from you also.

  38. paul walter
    September 9th, 2010 at 21:58 | #38

    Oh no!
    Please, just the thought of losing Alice and Terje in particular has me into almost instantaneous withdrawal symptoms, particularly paroxyms and convulsions, combined with a strange hee hee hee sound that emates complementarily from between this writers lips.

  39. paul walter
    September 9th, 2010 at 22:01 | #39

    sorry, “emanates”, not “emates”, which is more like “emotes”, which is probably what our delinquents did verbally when they read the prof’s comment.

  40. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    September 9th, 2010 at 23:30 | #40

    Terje: To keep parity, I request one comment per thread per day from you also.

    JQ – This rule is one that Alice really struggles with. I doubt I would be much better. I enjoy dialogue and would feel stiffled by an artificial comment restriction. As such I feel that this is a rule that I can’t successfully honor and would probably not enjoy even if I could. I’ll simply move on as a practical alternative. If you decide to lift the rule at some future date then I might try my luck again.

    A little nostalgia. I think I first emailed you to discuss economics some time circa 1998. I was pleasantly surprised to get a reply. Later on you started a blog and I’ve followed it since very early in the piece. I’m not sure if it is my earliest comment but the following page shows one from 2003:-

    http://www.johnquiggin.com/archives/001383.html

    The comment I made on that occasion still rings true. It sits very close to the heart of my economic worldview. Producers and their incentives, be they worker or investor, should be the centre piece of our economic model.

    As an aside it is amusing to see on that piece a comment by a blogger called 24601. I had no idea who 24601 was at the time but I now know him quite well and have on occasion even enjoyed a beer with him.

    Sorry about the times I annoyed you and made you cranky. Obviously I disagree with you on a lot of fundamental stuff but you have been a good sport all things considered.

  41. Alice
    September 10th, 2010 at 10:03 | #41

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Good morning Terje!

    Dont take it too hard. Neither you or I have made the Prof cranky. He just likes other people to have comment ability…lets face it – we do do a bit of swamping in all honesty (both you and I). Thats the problem when the blog is interesting. Would you post as often in Crikey or say the newspapers blogs ?? (which are pretty one liner low intelligence level posts) and lets face it…you can be boiled and cannibalised over at Catallyxy!. Or I would be anyway.

  42. September 10th, 2010 at 15:01 | #42

    @Alice
    “you can be boiled and cannibalised over at Catallyxy!”

    Alice, we’ve had our differences, but if you want unmoderated debate and have the courage of your convictions, you are welcome at the Cat. There’s an unrepentant communist, THR, who is a regular. You can bolster each other. And FDB is centre-left and not worried about getting into the mix. Adrien is all over the place ideologically, but instinctively left-wing. Dover_beach is conservative (not libertarian) and agreed with half of Katter’s demands, so I’m sure you’ll find something to agree on. Just make sure you ignore JC – it infuriates him and reason and logic don’t work on him anyway ;-)

  43. Alice
    September 11th, 2010 at 07:16 | #43

    @Jarrah
    Jarrah – believe it or not I wouldnt like an unrepentant communist for a bolster or a Friday might drink alone (zzzz). There would have to be at least a couple of centre lefts, a Dover an Adrian and a Terje and you.
    I might take a look.
    JC sounds intriguing.

  44. Graeme Bird
    September 12th, 2010 at 14:01 | #44

    “It’s finally over, and the outcome (if it holds) looks like the best possible. If it’s true that a country gets the government it deserves, we must all have been doing a lot of good deeds lately.”

    Exactly. Its just marvelous. Could not be better. I cannot understand the bile thats been piled on the three statesmen. Its a mystery to me.

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