Home > Oz Politics > Election on 7 September

Election on 7 September

August 4th, 2013

At least that’s what I’m reading. As I’ve argued before, I think this is a mistake for a number of reasons. In fact, I spent a fair bit of yesterday working up a piece arguing the case for allowing Parliament to sit again, and holding an election in October. [Irony on] If only I had run it on Friday, the course of history would doubtless have been changed [Irony off]. It’s now only of academic interest, in the pejorative sense of the term, so I’ll turn my attention to issues that actually matter.

My views on the election are simple. Whatever the weaknesses of the Rudd government, it’s far preferable to the disaster that Abbott would give us. So, I’ll certainly be putting Labor ahead of the Coalition in the House of Representatives. I’ll probably give my first preference to the Greens, though if my vote matters in Ryan, Labor will have swept Queensland. Both Labor and Greens have good local candidates, so I’d happily support either, and I’ll equally happily give my last preference to the LNP incumbent, unless someone truly awful runs.

The big issue is the Senate. Regardless of the Lower House outcome, it’s critical that a Labor-Green majority should be returned, and therefore that Labor and the Greens work together. This was one of Rudd’s big weaknesses last time round, and hasn’t been helped by some statements from his frontbench, or from perceptions on both sides of the way the last Labor-Green deal worked out.

Categories: Oz Politics Tags:
  1. Doug
    August 4th, 2013 at 15:43 | #1

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/bandt-has-strong-chance-of-holding-seat-poll-shows-20130803-2r6fn.html
    Small poll in Bandt’s electorate (400) suggests refugee policy working for him there – his chances of retaining the seat should not be written off to early

  2. August 4th, 2013 at 15:54 | #2

    According to the ABC news website, it’s on for the 7th Sep.

  3. BilB
    August 4th, 2013 at 16:23 | #3

    I have to concede, JQ, that Kevin Rudd has covered a huge amount of ground in just a handfull of weeks as PM, and really turned Labour’s fortunes around. And not just from appearances but with punchy action, however controversial. I certainly did not think that amount of change was possible.

    He seems to have effectively trimmed his verboseness and benefited from a more energetic delivery. Just what a campaign needs. I really do hope that he pulls this off even if just for the satisation that Labour will have delivered one of the best political tag team wins in history. An exciting relay with the “Hope for Future Generations through Climate Action” batton being passed forward to a responsible Australian Leadership.

  4. August 4th, 2013 at 16:39 | #4

    According to something I heard on ABC today, there is still some hope for a hung house of reps again.

    I’d prefer that, although most legislation will still get passed by ALP/LNP voting together.

  5. August 4th, 2013 at 16:39 | #5

    What, you’re not voting for Clive Palmer? But he’s so telegenic in those advertisements!

    Somewhat more seriously, there’s an old saying that “the only good government is a bad government in a hell of a fright”. In the light of that, people should vote for minor parties in a pattern that effectively deadlocks any attempts to cobble together a government resting on a coherent pattern of minorities with overlapping interests, so no spurious claims of mandates can be credible.

  6. Ikonoclast
    August 4th, 2013 at 16:56 | #6

    Kev is on the box so I guess it’s on. He is trying being honest (more or less) about the budget. It might work. After all, honesty from a polly is a real surprise tactic.

    I see the projected budget deficit is now expected to be $30.1 billion. Some journo wrote on the ABC site “How to Lose $30 billion in 10 weeks” and pitched it as such. Total tripe of course. There was always deficit and an estimate. Estimates don’t always come in right. The “lost” money is not lost. Indeed, all that money remains in the hands of tax payers except perhaps for that debt money not created if lending has dropped.

    The shortfall will be made up by printing fiat money; the exact thing all conventional economists have conniptions about, hyperventilating about hyperinflation. But in a downturn, tax reciepts drop and outgoing payments (welfare etc.) go up. The automatic stabilisers do their work. Though just about everyone hypcritically hyperventilates about hyperinflation the govt just runs a deficit. Who is going to let starve if it doesn’t run a deficit? The unemployed? The elderley?

    The deficit will be run, a slack economy will benefit and no hyperinflation will eventuate. Lesson of the day for Monetarists and their close cousins the hard Keynesians. The government does not even have to borrow all this. It can print money, borrow money, raise money and cut some programs in any combination. If it doesnt borrow, printed money does not ever have to be paid back to anyone. Balanced budgets (not surpluses) in good time will whittle back the money supply. Oh and how about throttling back excess debt money creation by banks? I NEVER hear the Monetarists and the hard Keynesians admit that that is an issue.

  7. Jim Rose
    August 4th, 2013 at 17:44 | #7

    How many seats will the greens win from Labor?

    Even one more green house seat increases the chances of a minority government if Rudd 2.0 otherwise pulls it off. What are the long term implications of Labor having to rely on the greens for house majorities in 2016 onwards?

    Milne has already said that the senate will be decided in SA and WA. I have seen no news reports on katter’s chances in the senate in Qld.

    The DLP, Nick X and Katter’s mob will control the senate.

  8. Mel
    August 4th, 2013 at 17:55 | #8

    I’ll be putting ALP first and the coalition last.

    Still thinking this will be a 54/46 Coalition victory. The Coalition will have a great time linking Ruddster’s team with Fast Eddie and Big Macca.

    Anyway, it’s usually best to expect the worst but hope for the best.

  9. sunshine
    August 4th, 2013 at 18:33 | #9

    I am one who doesnt get Rudds popularity other than that he is not Gillard or Abbott (maybe that is enough). I know politicians must be able to compromise but he seems a moral contortionist . Perhaps the end justifies the means ,with the main goal being to keep Abbott out. In any case its good to see Rudds team swinging hard punches and landing some .The coalition has been in hyper-agressive mode for years.

    This is a big moment ,how the defecit is dealt with will be decided . As G Meglogenis says -weve been paying ourselves too much .Abbott has Tea Party style fundamentalists on his team who may well act on their rhetoric .

  10. Fran Barlow
    August 4th, 2013 at 21:18 | #10

    And as noted, I’ll be adopting my usual posture — 1 for the Greens and the ALP-LNP with the same low ordinal value, Langer-style. Sadly, that means my vote won’t be counted.

    Ah democracy! Don’t you love it?

    I don’t know who will win the election, but I do know that a repulsive spiv will win and declare himself determined to govern “for all Australians”. Perhaps he will even throw in something about having a “kinder, gentler polity”. I will have to be quick on the button to ensure I miss pronouncements like that.

    I would have preferred a late election date. IMO this maximises the chance of a landslide one way or another. That way, at least one repulsive spiv will be finished and there is a notional opening for at least one of the parties to remake itself. Given how bad they are, tnat can only be a good thing.

    Mind you, they probably won’t. While neither party will consider radical experimental surgery if they are within a bull’s roar of office, if they aren’t they will probably be in no fit state to try it. There will always be an argument for continuing to do what you know with whom you know. To whom else but the traditional sources will either turn?

    So a wipeout is probably more a necessary condition rather than a sufficient one for change a bit like entering a lottery in the hope of winning. You can’t win if you don’t enter, but even if you do enter, your chances are remote.

  11. August 4th, 2013 at 21:37 | #11

    Hello Everybody,

    While we are on the subject of who Rudd is popular with….

    KEVIN RUDD, THERESE REIN AND THEIR COMPANY INGEUS LTD. THE OBEIDS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

    http://kangaroocourtofaustralia.com/2013/08/04/kevin-rudd-therese-rein-and-their-company-ingeus-ltd-the-obeids-of-the-federal-government/

    The stench continues, when will someone drive a stake into the corrupt ALP.

    Kind regards,

    phoenix

  12. Val
    August 4th, 2013 at 21:38 | #12

    Fran I presume you mean in the lower house? Don’t do it in the senate at least. Do a real vote for the greens. Write horrible things on the ballot paper if you like, but at least do a real vote for the senate. Whichever of the two horrible men wins, there has got to be a check on them in the senate.
    You were probably going to do that anyway, but just in case …

  13. August 4th, 2013 at 21:54 | #13

    The thing about the Senate, at least in NSW, is that magnifying glass may be essential. I hope they have been road tested. For some reason there is a maximum length of 1.02 m for the Senate voting paper, and the font is reduced to accommodate the candidates. It would seem, voting below the line will be the same perilous adventure it was last election. I am hoping to find Senate preferences set out somewhere on the AEC site.

  14. Fran Barlow
    August 4th, 2013 at 21:56 | #14

    @Val

    Sadly, even in the Senate, you must vote either ALP or LNP for your vote to be formal. I simply can’t do that.

  15. August 4th, 2013 at 22:00 | #15

    @Jim Rose

    That raises an interesting permutation I hadn’t thought of.

    Let’s say ALP gets one less than LNP but Greens (having been screwed by the ALP so comprehensively) refuse to form government with the ALP or the LNP?

    Would the LNP then form government but (unless they can do one of their all-too-common deals with the ALP) need to deal with the cross-benchers – including the Greens – for contentious legislation?

    That might be more effective than the Greens just giving the ALP a “deal” (one which history proves the ALP would welch on, lying scum that they are!).

    The very fact that there is not only something called the “ALP Right” but that it actually controls the notionally “left” ALP is, to my mind, confounding in a country that considers itself democratic.

    Fran – I like the idea of a landslide/wipeout, but when we had one in Qld. the LNP slammed through some midnight legislation to ensure that nobody but the ALP could become the official “Opposition” and they did this with the completely irrelevant support of the six or so ALP members left in our uni-cameral parliament – just to let everyone know it was bipartisan.

    The other danger is the (pointless) claim of a “mandate” which seems to have some cache for excusing the otherwise inexcusable.

  16. Ikonoclast
    August 4th, 2013 at 22:33 | #16

    I’ll be voting for the most socialist party first and the most capitalist party last in a standard preferential ballot with no gratuitious markings or abuse which might allow the forces of reaction to challenge my vote. Needless to say this will mean voting Socialist, Green, Labor, Liberal, National, Katterites, Palmerites in that order. Surely for Palmerites there is a joke in order. I won’t mention it though. A Rudd Labor Govt will be the least worst realistic outcome which I will be hoping for. I’ll be voting the same way in the Senate in an effort to give Labor a workable majority or coalition with Greens etc. in both houses.

    Labor needs to realise the Greens are friends not enemies and mend bridges there with genuine good will and intentions.

    I would caution against a Langer-stlye vote. One, I have serious doubts that it is valid even in the lower house. Two, you would be throwing away the chance to give one more vote to the least worst realistic option. Nobody deplores the Labor-Liberal political duopoly more than I especially since they are both far right wing in theory and sometimes in practice on some policies e.g. the obsession with neoliberal economics. However, in practice Rudd will run a deficit when the cycle requires it. If Abbott gets in prepare for austerity policies and deep recession. The labour, financial and social ills of Australia will increase manyfold under Abbott.

  17. Ikonoclast
    August 4th, 2013 at 22:35 | #17

    Postscript, it’s wonderful that Abbott has said he won’t form a minority governement. However, I guess that is not worth the paper it isn’t written on. Hang on, even when Tony writes it and signs it, it’s not worth the paper it is written on.

  18. Ikonoclast
    August 4th, 2013 at 22:46 | #18

    Remember people,

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/may/15/recessions-hurt-but-austerity-kills

    It’s empirically proven that the Iceland approach works (closer to moderate Keynesianism and MMT policies) and the EU Troika austerity approach (neoliberalism) fails, Check the progress of Iceland vs. the PIGS. It’s no longer the PIIGS of course.

  19. Fran Barlow
    August 4th, 2013 at 22:48 | #19

    @Ikonoclast

    Two, you would be throwing away the chance to give one more vote to the least worst realistic option.

    Assumes what needs to be proven — that there is a least worst option. There isn’t. Both sides are repusive political criminals trading in human abuse and surviving on political blackmail of just the kind you describe in your post. Not only is it a duopoly — but unlike Coles and Woolies, this one is backed by linking choice of one of them with vote formality.

  20. Fran Barlow
    August 4th, 2013 at 22:48 | #20

    oops … “repulsive”

  21. Val
    August 4th, 2013 at 22:49 | #21

    Ikon #16, I’ve scrutineered and my understanding is it doesn’t matter what you write on the paper as long as your preferences are clear. Scrutineers do sometimes see the messages and report them back to the party if there’s a lot of them. Feel free to check this if you like though.
    Fran I just think you should bite the bullet and do a formal vote for the greens (or the socialist alliance if you have them as we do in the people’s republic if brunswick). Maybe you could toss a coin to see which of the bad parties you put first?

  22. Fran Barlow
    August 4th, 2013 at 22:58 | #22

    @Val

    How could I face my students — some of whom were “boat people” — and explain why people like them ought to be locked up (for their own good!) for trying to flee brutality?

    Hitherto I’ve told them they are welcome here, even if some people are “confused”. I could hardly say that if I’d voted to endorse some of their putative jailers as somehow ethically preferable to others. How would that be?

    I’d have to avoid eye contact. The deceit, hypocrisy and guilt would make me wither inside.

  23. Kevin
    August 4th, 2013 at 23:02 | #23

    @Ikonoclast
    Yep. I’ve used Stuckler & Basu’s work to counter claims that the pink batts killed 4 people. The Liberals anti-stimulus stance could have killed more as Stuckler & Basu’s research finds that there have been 4000+ “excess” suicides in the US as a result of the poor economy and austerity policies.

    I’m surprised that there aren’t more people using this kind of defense. It does seem to be an effective counterargument. Although it may be rather macabre and insensitive to be measuring policy failures by the amount of deaths it would generate.

  24. kevin1
    August 5th, 2013 at 00:06 | #24

    Calling an election early is a mistake. Bugger the “political imperatives”, Rudd has staked his claim on a policy to stop the boats at Indonesia/Sri Lanka etc., and I want the Aust public to grow up and engage their brains in their attitude towards policy making ie. giving it a chance before condemning it. Six weeks or so isn’t a fair trial because this is a game of staring down the people moving trade, not blinking first. (The crap about “Why can’t Treasury predict the future accurately?” is a variation of this ignorance, which must be challenged.)

    When Fed Treasury announces an interest rate change, it doesn’t have to fight the banks to achieve it, they know who’s got the market power so they fall in line. Rudd and co. need to also present a “credible threat”, not undermine the policy by canvassing the “what if it doesn’t work?” scenario.

    So many cynics won’t give this circuit breaker a chance because they don’t want it to work. They assume that Step 1 (stopping embarkations) will fail, and jump to Step 2 (offshore detention), which provides a comfort zone to display their emotions rather than acknowledge the policy as aimed at preventing mass detention by stopping the boats through a loud campaign of threat and bluff. To give it a chance, of course govt members need to be forceful and uncompromising in communicating the message – this is a game of staring at the enemy and not blinking.

    But if it works, then mass detention offshore doesn’t happen – does this outcome not fit the Left’s preferred narrative of a govt of brutish and disgusting politicians? For example, Julian Burnside at The Conversation this week: “The major political parties in Australia are engaged in a competition to outdo each other in their promises to mistreat boat people” . Yeah right, I suppose that’s why Labor increased the humanitarian intake from 13,500 to 20,000 last year, and has flagged raising it again to 27,000. (Cf. Christine Milne’s aim of 30,000.)

    My concern is that Labor in an admitted attempt to wrong-foot conservative voters (I have previously reported the Monash Uni. Social Cohesion Research Program’s surveys which show only one voter in four supports perm residency for boat arrivals) is now going to ignore the leakage from the left. It seems that Green voters have been assumed by Labor to come back as prefs are distributed, but this time the anti-Labor vitriol and Clive Palmer’s “fly them here” thought bubbles may not lead to that. Parties not aiming at getting 51% of voter support of course don’t care about electoralism, but can take positions which benefit themselves.

    There is a Regional process which may provide a new direction to refugee support e.g. the mass uplifts I mentioned previously in the post “Is there a solution to the refugee problem?”, and outlined by Malcolm Fraser, Andrew Jabukowicz and John Menadue. Later on, govt policy may indeed need to be revisited. Duh!

    In a contest where the result will often be tight, Labor needs to shore up its own base by getting a story out about its policy which is defensible and principled, as I believe it is.

  25. kevin1
    August 5th, 2013 at 00:12 | #25

    @kevin1
    Please note that I (kevin1) am not, and have never been new commenter Kevin so please don’t confuse me with whatever he says!

  26. August 5th, 2013 at 00:42 | #26

    Kevin :
    @Ikonoclast
    Yep. I’ve used Stuckler & Basu’s work to counter claims that the pink batts killed 4 people. The Liberals anti-stimulus stance could have killed more as Stuckler & Basu’s research finds that there have been 4000+ “excess” suicides in the US as a result of the poor economy and austerity policies.

    Great point. I never thought of that.

    On topic, despite not liking Kevin, I shall vote for Labor (even though I said I wouldn’t). The thought of Tony and the Libs getting in is too much to stomach.

  27. Mel
    August 5th, 2013 at 00:59 | #27

    Fran B:

    Ultimately the ALP, for all its faults, looks after the working class better than the Coalition. I don’t care if you sabotage your own vote but lets not pretend that doing so isn’t a reactionary thing to do.

    IMO one of the best things the ALP under Rudd/Gillard did was introduce paid parental leave. America is now the only western capitalist democracy without a state mandated paid parental leave scheme. Sure the scheme is paltry but it can be built on.

    In a conservative country like Australia, where social trust has largely broken down thanks to the rampant multiculturalism and cultural relativism supported by folk like yourself and our unusually misguided Dear Leader PrQ, this is the best we can hope for (1).

    Baby steps. It’s all about those Fabianesque little baby steps.

    (1) Having said that I do like the idea of ethnic mixing producing a beige coloured non-race, but this must be done slowly.

  28. August 5th, 2013 at 00:59 | #28

    @kevin1

    Now that you mention it, your monikers are rather similar. But there really isn’t much difference apart from that!

    (jokey icon thing I can’t do goes here).

  29. August 5th, 2013 at 01:05 | #29

    @Mel

    You’re looking for a fight, right?

    social trust has largely broken down thanks to the rampant multiculturalism

    If not, you’ll need to explain in precise terms what this “social trust” was, before it became “largely broken down”.

  30. kevin1
    August 5th, 2013 at 01:19 | #30

    @Megan

    Have you heard of Nate Silver who predicted the US pres election results? In The Signal and the Noise he talks a bit about hedgehogs and foxes. I won’t say more as I want to encourage you to read a book. I know it subtracts from the quantity of your talking time but it might raise the quality.

  31. Ikonoclast
    August 5th, 2013 at 04:49 | #31

    @Fran Barlow

    Fair enough. Coming from that position you probably can’t give them a vote. Some will no doubt tag me as a reactionary because I say Australia needs a population cap. However, I have also indicated I would support Australia taking up to 50,000 refugees a year if we cut voluntary immigration by the same amount. There is after all no moral requirement for us to take voluntary economic migrants. The criteria are rather more to do with the national interest in that case.

    Coming back to the population cap issue. It is surely a Green policy par excellence to advocate stabilising the population to protect the environment. In a world that is indubitably approaching its limits (to human population and its encroachments) it is surely wiser to undershoot than overshoot our continent’s capacity. If we undershoot, we leave the natural world and its species more space. This would be no bad thing when we should be trying to arrest the current mass extinction event. If we overshoot, extinctions go into overdrive with homo sapiens on the list also.

  32. Val
    August 5th, 2013 at 06:22 | #32

    @Ikonoclast
    The thing is that on average we consume I forget how much exactly but maybe seven times as much as people in poor countries. So maybe we could fit more people if we stopped consuming so bloody much.
    As you can see I am sick of this stupid argument. It’s just off shoring the problem of climate change.
    And before anyone asks, I live at a sustainable level myself, unlike most of my country folk.

  33. Val
    August 5th, 2013 at 06:27 | #33

    @Val
    Though in all honesty I have to admit that my self righteousness is potentially weakened by the fact that I’m heading off to Europe today.
    By my calculations though (using the Moreland energy foundation’s emissions calculator) my emissions rate is so low I can afford to go and see my daughter every couple of years without compromising myself too much!

  34. Ikonoclast
    August 5th, 2013 at 06:33 | #34

    @Val

    I take your point but why do we want to fit more people? I would hazard a guess that seven times the population living at 1/7th the living standand would do even more environmental damage.

    The whole point is that world needs a lot less people. Three billion living at a much less consumerist but more social product level would be sufficient and might even be sustainable.

  35. Val
    August 5th, 2013 at 07:01 | #35

    @Ikonoclast
    We don’t need to have seven times as many people, here or in the world. Natural population in most wealthy countries, including Australia, natural rates of population growth are below replacement level.
    We can still have an enviable life while living sustainably, and expect immigrant populations in Australia to follow the normal demographic transition and having less children.

  36. Val
    August 5th, 2013 at 07:02 | #36

    Sorry for clumsy repetitive expression – didn’t read before posting

  37. August 5th, 2013 at 10:02 | #37

    @kevin1

    I read lots of books, I’ll try to get hold of Silver’s.

    Of course he was essentially referencing Tetlock who in turn was taking the idea from Isaih Berlin who got it from ancient Greeks. I’ve seen it summarised thus:

    Hedgehogs are “type A personalities who believe in Big Ideas – in governing principles about the world that behave as though they were physical laws and undergird virtually every interaction in society.” Foxes, on the other hand, are “scrappy creatures who believe in a plethora of little ideas and in taking a multitude of approaches toward a problem. They tend to be more tolerant of nuance, uncertainty, complexity, and dissenting opinion.” Hedgehogs are more easily seduced by clear narratives. Foxes are more data-driven, less willing to stake out strong positions.

    I imagine it’s a bit like the “above average driver”, which something like 80% of people believe they are. A hedgehog who thinks they are a fox might call a fox a hedgehog if they are blinded by ideology or other prejudice.

  38. David Irving (no relation)
    August 5th, 2013 at 12:38 | #38

    Hobson’s choice, really. Do I want the next PM to be a narcissistic sociopath, or a sociopathic bullsh!tter? Decisions, decisions.

  39. Ikonoclast
    August 5th, 2013 at 12:39 | #39

    @Megan

    Wow! A system for categorising people which is more simple than the star signs! Two types of people versus twelve! Of course, for defending generational analysis I could be accused of going simpler still; one type for a whole cohort!!! Hoist on my own petard.

  40. Fran Barlow
    August 5th, 2013 at 14:45 | #40

    @Mel

    Ultimately the ALP, for all its faults, looks after the working class better than the Coalition.

    I disagree. It’s much of a muchness, as I see it — and certainly, whatever balance of advantages might conceivably flow to the workers from ALP rule would be trivial, permanently at risk and purchased in a zero sum game waged against workers and their allies outside the country. I’m interested in the empowerment of working humanity now and into the future, and that part of it in Australia merely as a subset of that larger picture. Clearly, advantaging the latter at the expense of the former would not be a coherent policy, assuming even that some advantage was flowing.

    I don’t care if you sabotage your own vote but lets not pretend that doing so isn’t a reactionary thing to do.

    I’m opposed to pretence. Not enabling those acting to coerce working people is an ethical obligation. Sacrificing a vote is a trivial price to pay to honour that obligation.

    IMO one of the best things the ALP under Rudd/Gillard did was introduce paid parental leave.

    It’s a defensible scheme, but nothing to jump up and down about.

    In a conservative country like Australia, where social trust has largely broken down thanks to the rampant multiculturalism and cultural relativism supported by folk like yourself and our unusually misguided Dear Leader PrQ, this is the best we can hope for

    This claim needs better specification. In its present form, it sounds like some reactionary appeal for a return to the usages of The Bulletin c. 1880. Please clarify this.

    Having said that I do like the idea of ethnic mixing producing a beige coloured non-race, but this must be done slowly.

    I assume this was an attempt at humour. It wasn’t amusing, if so.

  41. Mel
    August 5th, 2013 at 15:22 | #41

    Fran B:

    I’m interested in the empowerment of working humanity now and into the future, and that part of it in Australia merely as a subset of that larger picture. Clearly, advantaging the latter at the expense of the former would not be a coherent policy, assuming even that some advantage was flowing.

    If you are a true internationalist you will join John Quiggin and Tad Teitze (and far right libertarians like Terje) in pushing for open borders.

    Sure, the Australian working class would be reduced to hitherto unimaginable poverty and the welfare state would collapse, but tens of millions of malnourished poor people in developing countries would have a chance to be better off.

    What say you Fran? Should we dispense with bourgeois nation-state fetishism and open the borders to the global proletariat?

  42. kevin1
    August 5th, 2013 at 15:39 | #42

    @Mel #27

    Having said that I do like the idea of ethnic mixing producing a beige coloured non-race, but this must be done slowly.

    I didn’t have an opinion about you before but this offensive stuff makes you sound ugly. If there’s more to come you need to find a low-life forum for talk like this. Please don’t pollute this one.

  43. Mel
    August 5th, 2013 at 15:42 | #43

    Kevin1:

    You might like to explain why that comment offends you. What have you got against miscegenation? Are you some type of white supremacist?

  44. Fran Barlow
    August 5th, 2013 at 15:50 | #44

    @Mel

    If you are a true internationalist you will join John Quiggin and Tad Teitze (and far right libertarians like Terje) in pushing for open borders.

    I knew Dr Tad had this position, but I missed PrQ’s advocacy of it.

    Personally, as appealing as it sounds, I regard the position as utopian. One shouldn’t advocate positions for which the material and political prerequisites neither exist nor can be contrived on any timeline that is germane. An open borders position that would advantage working humanity presumes the disappearance of class rule, which in turn depends on the achievement of or approach of material abundance based on an equitable division of labour on a world scale. A first step in this country and in similarly advanced industrial countries would be the achievement of inclusive governance where it would be least problematic, yet we are nowhere near that position, and probably won’t be for centuries, if we make it at all.

    Other more immediate challenges (apart from inclusive governance) concern the achievement of mass literacy and numeracy in the developing world, and adequate housing, water. Inter-communal slaughter continues over in Africa, the Middle East, the Sub-continent, Asia and in the Caucasus.

    I really do like the lyrics of John Lennon’s Imagine but a beautiful wish and the vehicle for realising it are distinctly different things.

  45. kevin1
    August 5th, 2013 at 16:08 | #45

    @kevin1

    Don’t be disingenuous, you discredit yourself.

  46. Mel
    August 5th, 2013 at 16:09 | #46

    The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people, or one in eight people in the world, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing counties.

    So would say “no” to the 852 million hungry people in the developing world while saying “yes” to the probably several hundred million who could probably wrangle a case for asylum under the Refugee Convention, most of whom have access to resources unimaginable to the hungry.

  47. Fran Barlow
    August 5th, 2013 at 16:34 | #47

    @Mel

    Rather than conjuring strawmen, you’d be better off relying on what I’ve written on this matter, including in this place.

  48. Jim Rose
    August 5th, 2013 at 17:10 | #48

    Who started the myth that Rudd is a good campaigner?

    Seeing off a tired, smelly 4th term government in 2007 is no more than meeting expectations in any performance evaluation of an opposition leader.

    Rudd was dumped in 2010 because his colleagues judged that he could not fight his way out of a hole nor recover from the voter perception that he was a phoney because he backed out on what he called the great moral issue of our time.

    His PNG solution will remind voters of this phoniness because Rudd backed down on another major moral issue out of weakness and fear of defeat rather than from the strength to admit an error. Weakness never wins votes.

  49. kevin1
    August 5th, 2013 at 19:05 | #49

    So Tony Abbott says he is on a “unity ticket” with Rudd on education. Ha ha ha!

    Does anyone remember what unity ticket means? It was the swapping of prefs or joint slate by Communist Party and ALP members in various union elections up to I suppose the 1990s before the CPA fizzled out eg. in the ARU, WWF, AMWU, NSWTF, FIA etc. (Those who wonder about the alphabet soup can do their own research and will find it fascinating.)

    Because Santamaria’s “Movement” was the mirror image of the stalinist CPA – in its conspiratorial behaviour, ruthless ends/means logic, and destruction of doubters – Tony is still channelling his mentor. (see Melb poet Vincent Buckley’s “Cutting Green Hay” for an inside view of Santa’s behaviour.)

    And I see today he gave a speech at a Ramadan event in yes, western Sydney about an oppressed religious minority in Australian history called…..Catholicism. Bad call Tony, I don’t think they’ll like that. You really need some advisers who are in touch.

    There’s an unreconstructed 60s grouper heart still beating inside that athletic torso – Tony may fall over the line by default, but his lack of talent in every department is showing up under the spotlight.

    I guess there’s always Joe Hockey as the stand-in. Hang on, that’s the guy who thought John Nguyen the Lib candidate for Chisholm was of Chinese descent.? Have you ever met a Nguyen who wasn’t Vietnamese? Where have you been for the last 30 years Joe

  50. August 5th, 2013 at 21:03 | #50

    @kevin1

    Not on “education” as such, they are as one on the desire to give Australia charter schools and vouchers.

  51. kevin1
    August 5th, 2013 at 21:25 | #51

    @Megan #37

    I read lots of books, I’ll try to get hold of Silver’s.

    Of course he was essentially referencing Tetlock who in turn was taking the idea from Isaih Berlin who got it from ancient Greeks. I’ve seen it summarised thus

    This exemplifies the problem. Read it back…SLOWLY.

  52. kevin1
    August 5th, 2013 at 21:35 | #52

    @Megan
    You still don’t get it – as usual you’re talking like a hedgehog. Take off the blinkers and grapple with the uncomfortable facts.

  53. August 5th, 2013 at 22:00 | #53

    @kevin1

    Aha! So you are the “fox” – able to believe in a plethora of little ideas and take a multitude of approaches toward a problem, more tolerant of nuance, uncertainty, complexity, and dissenting opinion… and I am the “hedgehog” – a type A personality who believes in Big Ideas – in governing principles about the world that behave as though they were physical laws and undergird virtually every interaction in society.

    It hasn’t occurred to you that perhaps it’s the other way around, maybe?

  54. ralph
    August 5th, 2013 at 22:37 | #54

    John Brookes :

    Kevin :@Ikonoclast Yep. I’ve used Stuckler & Basu’s work to counter claims that the pink batts killed 4 people. The Liberals anti-stimulus stance could have killed more as Stuckler & Basu’s research finds that there have been 4000+ “excess” suicides in the US as a result of the poor economy and austerity policies.

    Great point. I never thought of that.On topic, despite not liking Kevin, I shall vote for Labor (even though I said I wouldn’t). The thought of Tony and the Libs getting in is too much to stomach.

    New Zealand research shows considerable health benefits from home insulation in reduced days off sick, visits to the doctor and hospital admissions. Ref Howden-Chapman et al. The benefits are not just reduced energy consumption.

  55. August 5th, 2013 at 23:44 | #55

    @kevin1

    Now I get it! I had to read your comment R-E-A-L-L-Y S-L-O-W-L-Y because it didn’t make any point.

    But I now understand! It is impossible for anybody to know anything ABOUT Silver’s book unless they have READ it.

    Very “foxy”!

  56. J-D
    August 6th, 2013 at 10:41 | #56

    @Fran Barlow
    I am curious to know why, given your stated views, you intend putting any numbers against the ALP and Coalition candidates at all, in preference to just leaving those squares blank–given that, as you correctly state, your vote won’t be counted either way.

  57. J-D
    August 6th, 2013 at 10:51 | #57

    @Ikonoclast
    The invalidity of so-called ‘Langer-style votes’, including in the lower house election, is not a matter for doubt: it is unambiguously clear (that they are invalid), and Fran Barlow is explicit that she is aware of this and has made her choice in that knowledge.

  58. Fran Barlow
    August 6th, 2013 at 12:05 | #58

    @J-D

    I am curious to know why, given your stated views, you intend putting any numbers against the ALP and Coalition candidates at all, in preference to just leaving those squares blank–given that, as you correctly state, your vote won’t be counted either way.

    I suppose one could call it satire. I find having to number all boxes ludicrous, and the Langer method pokes fun at the process. It’s the tiny payment I get for taking the trouble to mark a ballot, suspecting it won’t be counted.

    I also understand that in practice, despite the law, some returning officers do count them if there is only one number in error and those after have exhausted, or the value concerns the last two numbers.

  59. Hermit
    August 6th, 2013 at 17:33 | #59

    In my opinion Abbott’s centrepiece promise to repeal the carbon tax is cretinous and doesn’t reflect well on Australia as a progressive society. Having said that I’m also sure the way it was implemented would never deliver 80% emissions cuts long term. However Abbott didn’t offer a plausible alternative, more like a Neanderthal throwing raw meat to the tribe. If he becomes PM we’re going the same way as the Neanderthals.

    A side angle is that Rudd was elected (perhaps for the only time) in 2007 at the height of El Nino when everybody worried about climate change. I think the weather the first week in September may influence the vote. Southeastern Australia was about 2C warmer than normal in July and so far August feels cold due to the wind. What will early September be? Interesting if/when Abbott is PM summer is a scorcher.

  60. John Goss
    August 6th, 2013 at 22:07 | #60

    Fran
    You could vote formally in the Senate if you were prepared to number some of the 12 LNP/ALP candidates who were not going to be elected, but not numbering any of their candidates who might get elected. Then your vote would be formal under the 90% rule. Such a vote would not be giving an effective vote to the LNP/ALP parties.

  61. Jim Rose
    August 6th, 2013 at 22:28 | #61

    @Fran Barlow the langer vote is a desire for a first past the post system such as in the UK and Canada and in NZ until 1996. it leads to rather lopsided results when support is divided between more than two parties. also makes it very hard for new parties to get off the ground

  62. Mel
    August 6th, 2013 at 22:56 | #62

    Egged on by Fran Barlow, Christine Milne leads the Greens to glory in one of the most cunning stunts ever witnessed in Australian politics.

  63. August 7th, 2013 at 00:16 | #63

    @Fran: may I humbly suggest preferencing one ahead in the house and the other ahead of it in the senate? And, of course, both firmly behind as many of the other ratbags as preferred. Of those two possibilities, my preference would be Greens-everyoneelse-Lib-Lab in the House and Greens-everyoneelse-Lab-Lib in the senate, but as you will.

  64. August 7th, 2013 at 00:54 | #64

    The New Statesman has a piece up (“Jimmy Mubenga: coroner finds “pervasive racism” among G4S guards”) that includes the following:

    I would add one further point: it’s also vital to draw the link between tragedies like the death of Mubenga and the way immigrants are discussed in the media and politics. We’ve seen a row develop in recent weeks over Home Office publicity stunts – the billboard van telling illegal immigrants to “Go Home”, and the live tweeting of the arrest of suspected irregular migrants; arrests in which some have claimed racial profiling was at work. But if the style of delivery is new, the attitudes are not. Such things are not just distasteful, but damaging.

    Advocates of anti-immigrant policies will deny that their ideas, and their language, have anything to do with this sort of tragedy. But how we talk about it matters. Language helps create the climate in which abuses go unpunished – unlooked for, even, except when the guards go “too far” and end up killing a man. If you start thinking of human beings as “illegals”, then don’t be surprised at the result when those humans are treated as unwanted waste.

    In recent years we have been repeatedly told by politicians that we need to talk about immigration. Today’s report is evidence that we also need a conversation about racism.

    How could anyone still pretend that “Abbott would be worse” when the ALP has given more than $1billion of your money to serco and G4S to do this sort of stuff?

    You are paying for (see the above report) this to be done in your name:

    Evidence of “pervasive racism” among G4S detention custody officers who were tasked with removing detainees

  65. Fran Barlow
    August 7th, 2013 at 09:40 | #65

    @Joel

    May I humbly suggest preferencing one ahead in the house and the other ahead of it in the senate?

    Humbly or proudly or even forcefully if it pleases you.

    I will never give an effective preference to a Liberal or similar. The ALP is currently similar.

  66. Fran Barlow
    August 7th, 2013 at 13:03 | #66

    @Mel

    The analogy fails Mel. Unlike the “suicide squad” in Life of Brian, we lack the resources to make a qualitatively better choice with a ballot.

    We are asked will you endorse unethical conduct with your ballot, or will you accept that it will not be counted? Your choice.

    FTR, Christine Milne does not accept this description and wants Greens voters to cast formal ballots. I disagree with her on this in every division where an effective preference will reside with the ALP or the Liberals/Nationals or similar.

    If preferencing were optional, I’d have a different view.

    @JohnGoss

    You could vote formally in the Senate if you were prepared to number some of the 12 LNP/ALP candidates who were not going to be elected

    It’s hard to determine who they are before voting, so it’s safer to avoid them. At most I might include a vote for the last of each of the six but that’s not going to get me much closer to the 90% rule. If there are 90 candidates, I have to number 81, so it might just work, but if the number is lower it starts to become impossible. Even then, that might entail giving preferences to repulsive indies who might be elected as well.

  67. John Goss
    August 7th, 2013 at 13:47 | #67

    Fran
    I think, that because of party tickets in the Senate and the large number who vote above the line, you can be certain that the bottom 2 LNP Senate candidates and the bottom 3 ALP candidates won’t be elected, so its only the top 7 LNP ALP candidates you have to avoid numbering. I agree there is an infinitesimal probability that a rats and mice candidate might get up, but the overwhelming probability is that the full value of your vote would help elect a Green Senator, or if that didn’t happen your vote would be exhausted.

  68. Fran Barlow
    August 7th, 2013 at 16:22 | #68

    Some fun with the Daily Terr0r

    @JohnGoss

    I agree there is an infinitesimal probability that a rats and mice candidate might get up, but the overwhelming probability is that the full value of your vote would help elect a Green Senator, or if that didn’t happen your vote would be exhausted.

    It’s an interesting idea. I will see if the ballot is large enough to permit that and how infinitessimal I can make my chance of electing some other merchant of stupidity or hatred. If I can earnestly say I was very greatly surprised that one such was elected, I suppose I could argue good faith.

    Then again, it does go against the grain to participate in a coerced vote. One does have to consider whether participation entails rewarding them for their coercion.

    @JimRose

    the langer vote is a desire for a first past the post system such as in the UK and Canada and in NZ until 1996.

    Strictly speaking, it isn’t. It’s a desire for optional preferential. Langer allows you to mark more than one.

    it leads to rather lopsided results when support is divided between more than two parties

    It can, but really, at the very least, there should be a new voting system based on some form of PR — I prefer a single-member PR system using lists, in which candidates would be allocated seats based on their party’s national vote and the local support of the candidate in the seat. Some seats could return candidates after quotas were filled by the results of an optional preferential ballot.

  69. Fran Barlow
    August 7th, 2013 at 16:24 | #69

    oops … missing link:

    Daily Terr0r as it should be

  70. Mel
    August 7th, 2013 at 18:04 | #70

    The impact of Tory expansionary austerity in Britain:

    More than half a million Britons have resorted to using food banks to stave off hunger and destitution, the Government has been warned.

    Major charities signalled their alarm over a dramatic rise in the nation’s “hidden hungry” – families who are forced to ask for help to feed themselves – because of wage cuts, the squeeze on benefits and the continuing economic downturn. The numbers have trebled in the past year alone and are likely to continue rising rapidly despite Britain’s status as one of the world’s wealthiest nations, according to a joint report by Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty.

    They say cuts to welfare payments – including below-inflation rises in benefits, new Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions and reassessment of entitlement to invalidity benefits – are the biggest cause of the surge in demand for food banks in all parts of the country. The charities are also fiercely critical of the numbers of mistakes and delays in benefits payments, which leave claimants without cash through no fault of their own and lead to “food uncertainty” among Britain’s poorest families.

    Australia under Abbott would be tempted to head down the same path. This may not matter to faux leftists who dismiss the Australian working class as dispensable pawns, or in Fran Barlow’s words, a “mere subset”, but it does matter if you are a lefty who is genuinely concerned about the conditions of life for working class Australians.

  71. Mel
    August 7th, 2013 at 18:23 | #71

    Megan earlier asked for evidence of the breakdown of social trust, which various researchers have linked with strong form multiculturalism. Here is some good evidence from Britain:

    Today only 27 per cent of Labour supporters believe “social injustice” is the reason people are in poverty, down from 41 per cent in 1986. The number who blame the individual rose from 13 per cent to 22 per cent over the same period.

    Amongst the public as a whole, 54 per cent now believe that if benefits were not so generous, people would learn to stand on their own two feet – up from 33 per cent in 1987. The proportion who believe the unemployed could find a job if they wanted to more than doubled from 27 per cent to 56 per cent over the same period. Attitudes have hardened among younger adults: the gap between 18-34 year-olds and older age groups has halved.

    The proportion of the public who believe people “live in need” because of laziness or lack of willpower has risen from 12 per cent to 23 per cent since 1994.

    Does PrQ have a view on the impact of cultural relativism and strong form multiculturalism on social trust and public support for social democracy?

  72. Jim Rose
    August 7th, 2013 at 20:41 | #72

    @Fran Barlow i agree with options preferential voting because some people rightly object to preferncing parties they loath

  73. Jim Rose
    August 7th, 2013 at 20:43 | #73

    Oops. Typing is even worse from the tablet while watching TV

  74. August 7th, 2013 at 21:38 | #74

    @Mel

    The link doesn’t mention “social trust” or “multiculturalism”. You originally asserted:

    social trust has largely broken down thanks to the rampant multiculturalism

  75. August 7th, 2013 at 22:18 | #75

    Fran Barlow :
    Some fun with the Daily Terr0r
    @JohnGoss

    .
    .
    .

    it leads to rather lopsided results when support is divided between more than two parties

    It can, but really, at the very least, there should be a new voting system based on some form of PR — I prefer a single-member PR system using lists, in which candidates would be allocated seats based on their party’s national vote and the local support of the candidate in the seat. Some seats could return candidates after quotas were filled by the results of an optional preferential ballot.

    The system I like best for this purpose is cumulative voting. With that, you would have multi-member constituencies and voters would have several votes each to “spend” among candidates at their own discretion with those candidates with the biggest “spend” getting in, e.g. 6 votes in 2 or 3 member constituencies (those numbers were chosen to make splitting an individual’s choice convenient and for purposes of illustration). That’s reasonably proportional, allowing minor candidates to get in yet also allowing slates of candidates to be formed while leaving it up to voters to split their choices with a fair certainty about the effect of doing so – and not invidiously forcing any benefit for unwanted candidates. Interestingly, no political parties have ever freely countenanced this system (though some municipalities and corporate boards have had it imposed on them by the courts). Also interestingly, some 19th century British constituencies approximated this system by returning more than one member (though it was still only one voter, one vote), which first let Labour members into the 19th century Conservative-Liberal duopoly – and, of course, that was one of the earliest things the Labour Party reformed away in favour of a uniform first past the post system for every constituency, so kicking away the ladder for minority interests that Labour had itself climbed up. Not everything labelled “reform” is what it seems (earlier rounds of “reform” under the Liberals had imposed a standardised property qualification on constituencies in the West Country which had grandfathered voters whose ancestors had qualified, no doubt coincidentally cutting the Conservative vote when those constituencies were redistributed to match the fewer voters they got out of it).

  76. Mel
    August 8th, 2013 at 01:11 | #76

    Megan,

    A part of social trust is not believing that folk on welfare are all lazy malingerers ripping off the system.

    The article doesn’t state a cause for changing attitudes but I think it is probably linked to a toughening of attitudes towards “outsiders” and this in turn may be related to things likethis.

    I think it is germane to note that the biggest, most ethnically divided of all western democracies, the USA, doesn’t even have a true left wing working class party. By American standards, Tony Abbott is arguably a moderate Democrat.

    The capitalists have sold the Left the noose that is extreme cultural relativism and identity politics and many lefties have obligingly climbed the gallows steps and placed their necks in the noose.

  77. Fran Barlow
    August 8th, 2013 at 09:39 | #77

    @P.M.Lawrence

    Thanks for your suggestion. I agree that it wouldbe an improvement on our current arrangements, though I rather suspect that it would intensify the drift towards apolitical, trolling, negative campaigning.

    I see no good reason though, not to have a system in which, as now, parties submit candidates for each electorate and the primary votes for each party are tallied and become their “quota”. Providing they get at least 3% nationally (or state-wide in a state election), they then get allocated that proportion of the seats in the House of Reps (Legislative Assembly in the states), rounded down to the nearest integer. So 38% of 150 seats would get you 55 seats. 11.7% would get you about 17 seats.

    Any undistributed allocations would go to those who actually won the leftover seats after the allocations (ranked by performance) had been done. This would allow for strong local or regional candidates to still play a role, and ensure that those who voted could beleivethat their vote would help elect someone of their preference, idf not in their seat,then in some other. There would in practice be fewer sinecure seats.

  78. August 8th, 2013 at 10:36 | #78

    Fran Barlow :
    @P.M.Lawrence
    Thanks for your suggestion. I agree that it wouldbe an improvement on our current arrangements, though I rather suspect that it would intensify the drift towards apolitical, trolling, negative campaigning.

    That would only happen to the extent that they deserved it, and would be offset by the range of realistic candidacies. For instance, in a two member seat with four realistic candidates (say), each candidate would get more mileage by saying “pick me” than by saying “don’t pick him”, because the latter turns votes onto all the other three candidates and not just onto the one pushing that line.

    I see no good reason though, not to have a system in which, as now, parties submit candidates for each electorate and the primary votes for each party are tallied and become their “quota”…

    There’s at least one very good reason: it institutionalises parties, making them part of the system themselves. Not only does that create an incentive to construct parties to implement things when otherwise an independent would be a practical response to an ad hoc situation, parties that hang around regardless even after their reasons have faded like One Nation, not only does that create circular tests for defining what parties are from whether they were around before or matched the precedents of what was around before (so hindering new entrants of new sorts), but also it entrenches the control of parties over members – it creates self perpetuating structures separate and distinct from any actual wishes of the electorate. It is far better not to have parties as part of the system but only as emergent phenomena arising from what people actually want to implement to help themselves, because that keeps them as servants and not masters with an existence in their own right rather than as mere emanations. Any system that builds in parties with an advantage over individual independent members (say) has also built in a barrier to members exercising their skills, experiences and consciences in an independent way, the very thing that Burke pointed out was a valuable thing to bring to the table.

  79. Patrickb
    August 8th, 2013 at 23:55 | #79

    @Mel
    I think you need to research the history of US politics. Both US parties were formed by whites. The Democratic party being from the South while the GOP was from the more liberal north. Nothing to do with multiculturalism, a term the Americans wouldn’t really acknowledge.

  80. John Quiggin
    August 9th, 2013 at 08:38 | #80

    @Mel

    I would put more of the blame on Tony Blair, who pushed the line of individual responsibility for the poor, while not admitting any for himself and his City mates

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/nov/10/queensspeech2002.tonyblair

  81. August 9th, 2013 at 17:45 | #81

    Testing. Why is my comment of August 8th, 2013 at 10:36 – with no links other than to another commenter here – still awaiting moderation?

  82. August 10th, 2013 at 20:26 | #82

    Fran Barlow, my reply to you has finally (!) escaped moderation.

  83. iain
    August 15th, 2013 at 09:52 | #83

    why don’t intelligent people argue more for voting senator online (both in the reps and in the senate).

    I can’t see any downside to this.

  84. August 16th, 2013 at 04:07 | #84

    When someone writes an paragraph he/she retains the idea of a user in his/her brain that how
    a user can know it. So that’s why this paragraph is great. Thanks!

  85. Jim Rose
    August 17th, 2013 at 12:00 | #85

    iain :
    why don’t intelligent people argue more for voting senator online (both in the reps and in the senate).
    I can’t see any downside to this.

    parties make preference deals based on policy positions.

    in the senate, parties on both sides want to get the preferences of the small parties. many of these minows are unknown to most voters. their preferences make a difference.

  86. August 18th, 2013 at 00:48 | #86

    Rupert Murdoch has the newspaper monopoly in Brisbane.

    On Wednesday there will be a “People’s Forum” in (Murdoch’s) Brisbane.

    It will be held at (Murdoch’s) Bronco’s Leagues Club. Moderated by (Murdoch’s) David Speers and televised by (Murdoch’s) pay-channel SkyTV.

    The participants will be (Murdoch’s) Tony Abbott and (Murdoch’s) Kevin Rudd.

    I’m pretty sure the concentration of media ownership, and media influence, in the hands of just one American citizen will be a topic they won’t quite get around to discussing.

  87. August 18th, 2013 at 00:57 | #87

    To be fair, I should have pointed out that it has been organised by (Murdoch’s) Galaxy Research.

    Not to be confused with (Murdoch’s) Newspoll.

    All day long (Murdoch’s) talking points are repeated on the ABC and in Fairfax.

    Please tell me how that level of concentration of power, control and influence is good for democracy.

Comments are closed.