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Labor in denial

March 24th, 2012

So, I just went and voted (Green) in Indooropilly, a seat held by Labor until the last Parliament[1]. In the entire campaign, I’ve seen no sign of activity on the part of the Labor candidate (a commenter tells me he’s a law student). This continued at the polling booth, where there was no-one handing out Labor how-to-votes, the first time I’ve ever experienced this. I’ve heard from other sources that the party machine has been desperately trying, and failing, to round up volunteers.

This is a disaster worse in many ways than the wipe-outs of the 1970s when at least the party faithful were, well, faithful. The Bligh government’s sellout on asset sales wiped about 10 percent of its support overnight and, except in the immediate aftermath of the floods, that hasn’t changed.

And yet, the ALP is still in denial about the whole thing. Wayne Swan is expressing his hope that Andrew Fraser, the main driver of the asset sales can be saved. And Bligh’s defenders are pushing the line that electors are finally responding to their desire to punish the government for the sins of the Beattie era. The idea that you lose votes by doing something that’s directly opposed to your platform, that you’ve promised not to do, and that voters hate, seems not to compute

I said in my last post that I wasn’t looking forward to two terms of Newman. But unless Labor wakes up to itself, they could be out for a lot longer than that.

fn1. The Labor member, Ronan Lee, defected to the Greens before the 2009 election, which was won by the Liberals.

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  1. TerjeP
    March 26th, 2012 at 05:27 | #1

    John – Do you have a link to that thread? I don’t recall being inclined towards any retraction but happy to review it just in case.

  2. TerjeP
    March 26th, 2012 at 05:38 | #2

    Alan – my understanding is that membership of all major parties is in decline. Not just the ALP. My own involvement in politics has been via the LDP and I observe that small parties generally get no public funding of any significance. In the case of the LDP we are a net contributor to government finances via registration fees. As such small parties need their members a lot more. The flip side is that small parties by definition have little influence on the political direction of the country.

  3. John Quiggin
    March 26th, 2012 at 05:44 | #3

    I linked in the comments thread, and have now reposted at full length, with a shout-out to you.

  4. TerjeP
    March 26th, 2012 at 07:07 | #4

    I’ve responded on your latest post. I didn’t see your response on last Saturday’s post until you pointed it out here.

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