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Travel

June 6th, 2014

I’m travelling, which explains the total absence of recent activity. I hope to resume posting soon, but probably on a limited basis for some time. In the meantime, please keep it civil and constructive.

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  1. Fran Barlow
    June 11th, 2014 at 20:24 | #1

    JD

    You seem keen to keep your model purely theoretical where it is beyond reproach. An old saying runs: all models are wrong, but some are useful, which reflects the weakness of all models in processing data from observed reality.

    Your model doesn’t tell us anything useful about the conditions predisposing or subverting support over the next 27 months or so for either of the major parties. It is purely an analogy from physics.

    It seems to me significant that two party and preferred PM figures have moved so sharply so quickly against the coalition. This is inconceivable outside of an inference that many of those who gave their support to the coalition in September of 2013 now regard the rationale for that support as flawed or overtaken by events. A new paradigm of the regime has at a minimum become part of a working theory which those folk will seek to affirm or refute, most likely with a bias in favour of the former. If that bias is to be reversed there will need to be some game changing circumstance that recasts the regime in much more positive terms but it is hard to imagine what that could be.

    That I find it hard to imagine doesn’t make it impossible or even seriously implausible, but I suppose I am wondering if someone can suggest a turn of events that would fit that description that is also a plausible development from data about the Abbott regime we currently have.

    This is a politics site after all.

  2. J-D
    June 12th, 2014 at 14:17 | #2

    @Fran Barlow
    Sorry if I misunderstood you before. When you say that you can’t imagine what could turn around the recent fall in the government’s support, but you also say that your inability to imagine it doesn’t it make it impossible or seriously implausible, I have no disagreement with you.

    I share your curiosity about what might affect future movements in the opinion polls. I find I have very little idea what affects people’s voting intentions. I know that a great many people, perhaps even most people, make their decisions about how to vote in a different way from the way I do.

  3. Nick
    June 12th, 2014 at 15:50 | #3

    J-D, what makes it unlikely, as opposed to “increasing its chances”, is that it’s a lot more difficult for governments to rebuild popularity and trust, than to lose them. The more severe the loss, the more time it takes to recover – not less.

  4. Megan
    June 12th, 2014 at 20:36 | #4

    I listened to the Senate Manus Inquiry today.

    The 2 young ex-salvos workers were inspirational. Ian MacDonald was terrifyingly creepy.

    In light of this today from Shorten:

    Mr Shorten says Labor will not go back to its 2008 policy, but will continue to fight for more humanitarian approaches to the processing and treatment of asylum seekers who have arrived by boat.

    He says Labor’s decision to dismantle the so-called Pacific Solution was a mistake that he would not be repeating.

    ..I’ll stick by my prediction, specifically that the ALP is determined NOT to do the few things it would take to guarantee an LNP “one term” government.

    Remember that in 2007 the ALP beat one of the longest serving governments in our history – in large part because of the LNP’s cruel, inhumane treatment of refugees. For only the second time a sitting PM lost his own seat. The ALP refugee policy was a “core” promise.

  5. J-D
    June 13th, 2014 at 10:18 | #5

    @Megan
    It’s a fact that in the 2007 election the ALP defeated the Coalition government. It’s also a fact that the defeated government was one of the longest serving in Australian history, but I don’t see why you’re mentioning that fact — defeating long serving governments is not harder than defeating short-term governments and may in fact be easier, which would if anything make the ALP victory in that election less significant, not more.

    That refugee policy was a major factor in the 2007 election result is not so easily demonstrated. I get the impression that people who favour stricter treatment of refugee claims imagine that most people feel the same way and that stricter refugee policies are the way to win electoral support, while people who favour more generous treatment of refugee claims imagine that most people feel the same way and more generous refugee policies are the way to win electoral support. My guess would be that refugee policy has only a minor effect on voting patterns.

    Actually, in general I notice that a lot of people are tempted by the idea that the way for a party to become electorally successful is to adopt the same policies that person favours. Not me. I wouldn’t give ten cents for the electoral prospects of any party that adopted the policies I would personally favour.

  6. Dave McRae
    June 14th, 2014 at 12:07 | #6

    I was too slow to post at the http://johnquiggin.com/2014/05/21/if-it-looks-like-a-debt-walks-like-a-debt-and-quacks-like-a-debt/ thread regarding sale of power infrastructure.

    I think there may be another reason for this setup.

    To prevent breaking it up into micro-grids.

    Whilst debt is “bad”, I’m sure the Qld govt doesn’t care what the asset ledger looks like and they’d flog it off in a heartbeat, but keeping it as a unit places an entry barrier on micro-grids from emerging and competing.

    I guess it may also placate the anti-privitisation a little, although it also quacks like a sale too.

    NSW looks to pulling same shonkey with 99 year leases tossed about.

  7. Megan
    June 14th, 2014 at 12:21 | #7

    @Dave McRae

    And I heard a neo-con on the radio, NSW treasurer or premier perhaps, describe it as “re-cycling assets”. Some genius must have thought that up because “privatisation” and “asset sales” are so unpopular – because the citizens know it’s a scam.

  8. Fran Barlow
    June 15th, 2014 at 08:22 | #8

    In this new age of right wing political correctness, should the doors on public toilets go from “vacant” to “disputed” when occupied?

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