Home > Oz Politics > Independents to block asset sales in Qld

Independents to block asset sales in Qld

October 16th, 2014

The ABC reports that eight independent and minor party MPs in the Queensland Parliament have agreed to vote against the government’s asset sales plan (spuriously called a lease). This has several implications

* Most obviously, if neither major party wins a majority at the next election, the asset sales won’t go ahead
* Since most voters don’t like asset sales, this increases the likelihood of existing independents holding their seats and perhaps of others winning seats, so that a minority government becomes more likely
* Polling isn’t very helpful here, since the “two-party preferred” measure isn’t relevant in these circumstances, and the sample size is too small too tell us about which seats will go which way
* In the event of neither party winning a majority, the chance of a Labor minority government is enhanced by the fact that asset sales will be a key issue
* Everything is further complicated by the fact that, if the LNP lose their majority, Campbell Newman will almost certainly lose his seat in the process

I don’t bet on elections any more after I couldn’t collect my winnings from Intrade (long story), but a bet on Annastacia Palaszczuk as the next premier looks a lot more promising than it did yesterday (of course, there’s always the truly bizarre possibility that some other Labor MP could challenge here – they need to rule it this kind of nonsense ASAP)

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  1. Megan
    October 16th, 2014 at 18:43 | #1

    Most obviously, if neither major party wins a majority at the next election, the asset sales won’t go ahead

    Really?

    The ALP lied (by implication) about its agenda of asset sales prior to the 2009 Queensland election.

    From ‘brisbanetimes’ June 3, 2009:

    The Queensland Labor State Platform Document 2008 reads: “Labor rejects a program of privatisation of public services, such as public hospitals and schools, public enterprises including subsidiary companies or utilities (in particular rail, ports, public hospitals, electricity and water) as an economic strategy.

    “Privatisation of public enterprises should not be used to solve revenue problems of governments.”

    Premier Bligh said while she would work hard to convince fellow ALP members of the merits of the plan, the decision had already been made.

    “Caucus yesterday resolved to support the government’s program,” Ms Bligh said.

    “That means we will be bringing legislation into the Parliament as a result of that.

    “My job is to work hard to persuade conference, but ultimately I was elected to put in place the arrangements Queenslanders need and that is what I will do.”

    If the LNP needs someone’s vote to keep on selling assets the ALP is the most likely place they’ll get it. The latest state policy platform – obviously not worth anything as history shows – doesn’t say much about privatization or asset sales at all. If the ALP had really changed its spots that “promise” would have been written across the front of the document in giant capital letters.

  2. Ikonoclast
    October 16th, 2014 at 19:09 | #2

    @Megan

    Never vote for the Lib-Labs. Neoliberal clones all of them.

  3. Megan
    October 16th, 2014 at 19:42 | #3

    @Ikonoclast

    Agreed.

    Apart from some kind of utopian outcome (so unlikely as to be practically impossible in March 2015), my ‘least-worst’ election result would be:

    -Newman loses his seat
    -More independents/minor parties get elected
    -LNP loses enough seats to force them to form a minority government with the support of non-ALP minor parties/independents who force them to wind back some of their neoliberal behavior.

    The ALP has become electorally pointless.

  4. paul walter
    October 16th, 2014 at 23:01 | #4

    Sorry.

    Why am I thinking of people like Michael Costa and Anna Bligh?

  5. Megan
    October 17th, 2014 at 00:00 | #5

    Some general background:

    -There are 89 seats in the Queensland Parliament (we have no upper house, so 45+ seats held by one party is a “winner takes all, do what you like” situation). Queensland – Nothing like a democracy!
    -Technically a party must have 10 seats, or more, in order to be “The Opposition”.
    -The ALP has 9 seats (they’ve picked up a few from the LNP since the 2012 election thanks to by-elections).
    -The non-duopoly members hold 7 seats.
    -When the cross-benchers had more seats than the ALP they sought to be declared as “The Opposition” which would have given them status as well as extra office space, allowances and staff. The ALP & LNP voted together in the middle of the night to change the rules and keep the ALP as “The Opposition” despite it not technically qualifying.

    Getting the picture?

  6. October 17th, 2014 at 00:14 | #6

    Megan @ #3,

    Below I include, as an appendix, what I had mistakenly posted on 16 October to “Yesterdays’ Enemies, …” (7/10/14), instead of “Monday message Board” (6/10/14).

    In Victoria, both major parties are committed to flogging of the Port of Melbourne whoever wins government on 29 November.

    As the events in Queensland show, our best hope of blocking assets sales lies with good independent or small party candidates being elected to Parliament on 29 November.

    In the hope of helping to bring this about, I have posted to my web-site the article linked to in the appendix.

    James

    Appendix: Issues that should be decided at the 29 November Victorian State elections

    Victorian voters could on Saturday 29 November begin take back their state Parliament from the vested interests that are now running Victoria.

    If presented with open, informed discussion there is every reason to hope that a far larger proportion of Victorians than in previous years will vote for good independent or small party candidates and not for either of the two major parties.

    If you support these policies, and you know of a candidate in your electorate who also supports these polices, please consider offering to help him/her. Alternatively, if there is no candidate who supports these policies standing in your electorate or upper house region, the why not consider nominating yourself?

  7. Ikonoclast
    October 17th, 2014 at 08:26 | #7

    Independents to block asset sales in Qld.? I hope so. Certainly, voters who oppose more asset sales should never vote LNP or Labor. I would suggest Greens, Socialists, general left independants. Just beware of and avoid independents who are right wingers and religious fundamentalists.

  8. October 18th, 2014 at 02:23 | #8

    Northern Territory Greens oppose privatisation

    Media release from Northern Greens, 17 Oct 14

    Federal and NT Greens have come out in opposition to the CLP’s agenda of selling public assets like Power and Water Corporation, the Darwin Port Authority and the Territory Insurance Office.

    “The aftermath of the Katherine flood illustrated how a government insurance agency can be a real force for good as TIO raised the standards on how claims were paid out and the commercial insurance companies had to improve their game in response,” said Dr Connard.

    “It is also very hard to see how separating and privatising the power system can possibly result in lower power charges in the NT when it has failed to do so in places with significantly smaller networks.”

    “Let’s call a spade a spade. This plan is all about balancing the books today by selling assets which belong to the people and which make it possible for us to manage costs in the future,” said NT Greens candidate for Casuarina Dr Michael Connard.

    “This is a short-sighted move. What happens when the NT has no public assets left to sell?”

  9. Paul Norton
    October 18th, 2014 at 10:31 | #9

    The seven best airports in the world are all under some form of public ownership.

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