Election open forum

In place of the usual weekend reflections, here’s a forum to discuss the election. I’m feeling gloomy about the outcome, but I don’t claim any special insight and my gloom may just reflect the awfulness of the whole business.

168 thoughts on “Election open forum

  1. @Fran Barlow
    Do the liberals preference the greens before the ALP in the house of reps because:
    • they wish the labour party well and want it to have more popular and electable policies by having to deal with the greens; or
    • the greens taint the ALP with a more radical social, economic and environmental agenda than the swinging voter is willing to accept, and the ALP wants to sell to the voters, and these swinging voters will punish the ALP at the next election for putting for in place the less-middle-of-the-road green policies.

    Going left does not increase the appeal of the ALP to the swinging voter.

  2. Jim Rose, heaven forbid policies ahould be considered on their efficacy, rather than the politically inflamed prejudices of the TDT/ACA/ Murdoch crowd. Better the ALP had shown the less educated where they had it wrong instead of trying to reinforce them and profit from them, as the Tories did.

  3. @Jim Rose

    Do the liberals preference the greens before the ALP in the house of reps because they wish the labour party well?

    No. They preference them because they know they can’t win and prefer a less controllable MP in parliament to one from the ALP. The ALP preferenced some other crook running for the WA Nationals ahead of Tuckey in O’Connor for the same reason.

    because the greens taint the ALP with a more radical social, economic and environmental agenda than the swinging voter is willing to accept

    Not at all. That agenda would help solidify the ALP around a stable core. Some who might vote ALP would be alienated but some who might vote Liberal would like it. It is no accident that the abandonment by the ALP of action on climate change, was the source of the surge in coalition support when rudd announced it in April and then again when Gillard did it in June, ending her brief honeymoon.

    When she recovered somewhat it was ended again by the “leak” about her “opposition” to PPL and pension increases — a loss that was not entirely staunched by her posture as hardnosed pragmatist.

    Were the ALP seen as committed to a more humanistic and communitarian vision, it would be harder for the coalition to run as populists successfully. The problem at the moment is that the ALP is seens as so close to the Libs, that many can reduce the choice to one of which local member one likes, or to the pork-count, or th failings of the state government, the machinations of machine men or some other comparatively trivial matter.

    If they stood for something clear and appealing, this would be better for them. If the ALP is forced kicking and screaming to return to something like what many would see as the traditional ALP vision, even if it were to appease the Greens, they would have to sell this as their own policy — and that in turn could allow them to re-learn how bad it is to be a party about nothing but control of parliament for its own sake.

  4. @Jim Rose
    Listen JR – Qantas is Jetstar . Im not going to debate silly ideas with a city slicker kid here (you) who is more worried about his freedom to choose pay TV than the fact that numerous industries in this country and numerous city and country people have been impoverished or rendered unemployed by your precious free markets so you can get a cheap TV!! You need to grow up.

  5. You know I just had a flash of insight into the inscrutable Ms Penny Wong and party politics tonight on TV.

    Ms Wong said “all the greens do is take votes from Labor.” Yes she said it…!!. She showed in that one sentence how it is all about parties and not about the people of Australia. If the people of Australia werent as annoyed with the attitudes of both Liberal and Labor, the green vote wouldnt be on the rise.

    Those votes the Greens got were no longer Labor’s votes to take away from you Ms Wong.

  6. Well listening to Antony Green the most likely outcome is if Labor wins Hasluck then they have 73, plus one Independent speaker equals 74, plus one Green equals 75, plus Andrew Wilkie equals 76. I’m confident the GG will accept this likely outcome

  7. The ALP doesnt stand for very much that is left – even Tony Windsor said “we have two conservative major parties”. We do. Thats what is wrong with Labor – at state and federal level. Thats why we have a hung election. They are almost indistinguishable to the voters. Labor has no functioning left and barely any functioning middle and neither does the Coalition. The labor right is in control of labor and the hardliners are in control of liberal.

    What difference?

  8. @Alice
    getting there. You now do not deny tiger aiwrways is in operation

    so we have three airlines, and a budget airline launched by the market leader as a fighting brand that would not be necessary nor lawful under the two-airline policy. price cutting is evidence of competition!

    on the social costs of deregulation, I assume you mean people displaced by tariff cuts.

    interesting idea for tempering policy change.

    what are the social costs of a price on carbon.

    there will be, to borrow your words: “numerous industries in this country and numerous city and country people have been impoverished or rendered unemployed by” a price on carbon.

    some people will pay more, some jobs will no longer be viable. there will be unemployment. how do you decide when there social costs of change are acceptable or not?

  9. Fran – your day at the booth was almost as funny as mine. On the whole the hander outers were all quite elderly – did you realise the mean age level of both liberal and labor members is…well a bit old where I live (like 57?).

    However, they were gracious and invited me to the liberal dinner at Bayview golf course on the condition I joined the liberals. I said of course I will…but only for dinner!

    When asked where I was having my dinner I had to say “well its a plates on knees thing at the local office…but its too late for the plate so we are going to the Time and Tide for some lambs fry in mash and a Guiness first seeing as we were almost frozen”!

    Nothing ungracious all day until a man with a loud voice arrived to help them (the liberals) clear away. He was barely out of the car before I was hearing his deliberately noisy whinges about hardline left extremists and socialists!

    The ladies, I thought, were much nicer.

  10. @Michael of Summer Hill
    seems we agree. whoever gets to 73 is the front-runner see #50.

    if the ALP gets to 73 to 72, they have the much better chance because the country independents spend a lot of time talking of stable government.

  11. JR – come back with news on the election. Im really not interested in discussing Australias eternally insecure and constantly changing (and bankrupting) third airline right now. The Prof is right. Its a natural duopoly – we dont have the numbers. What dont you get about that? Ever since de-regulation mania took hold of previously sensible heads here we have ended up with unnatural duopolies and monopolies, price fixing, cartels and gouging JR. You crazy people made things worse not better.

  12. Alas, I have never lived in a swinging seat, let alone a seat with an independent. My current – very large – electorate, where I have welt since 2003, has been a rock-solid Labor constituency since 1901 (and Labor actually increased its vote there yesterday).

    When I went to the polling booth, I found the ALP and Liberal flier-dispensing volunteers chatting away to each other civilly enough. But both were standing as far away from the Greens’ flier-dispensing volunteer as possible. In beholding this use of body language, I think I might have seen the future.

  13. Thought the anecdote relating to Wong instructive.
    Imbecilic, actually, if that’s the best the senator can come up with.

  14. Love the reporting from The Guardian

    Australia faces a period of political turmoil after Julia Gillard’s Labor government lost its parliamentary majority in a general election that looks set to result in the country’s first coalition government in 70 years.

  15. Alice, I hope the individual that was canvassing on polling day was more than 6 metres from the entrance to a polling booth otherwise he/she could be fined up to $500.

  16. @Fran Barlow
    You say “Were the ALP seen as committed to a more humanistic and communitarian vision, it would be harder for the coalition to run as populists successfully.”

    The ALP had some of the option you seek but instead the midnight assassins knocked on Rudd’s door because they expected to lose badly under his continued watch.

    The Greens run on a more humanistic and communitarian vision and only get above 10% of the vote because many are voting for the greens as a protest against the major parties rather than in agreement with the core agenda of the greens.

    The humanistic and communitarian vision is consistently rejected by 90% of the voters. The Greens get above 10% when the alternatives are weak rather than because the greens are strong.

    The left of the Labour Parties in many countries always say that if you stay staunch to hard left policies, the party will increase its vote. This is a fantasy.

    There is no secret bloc of votes out there warehoused in the Tory voting numbers waiting for a genuine left-wing party to emerge as latter day true believers.

    The Left was out of power for all but three years since 1949 because its policies and worldview was and is deeply unpopular because when their policies have been tried, they do not work, and many do not have to be tried to be check that they will fail.

    The only time the left won was because they faced dopy old Billy McMahon.

    Beating Billy McMahon on points is the sum total of the post-war political bragging rights of the Left.

    The ALP lost in 2010 because they made the fatal mistake of underestimating their opponent, and when they realised this mistake, they lack the political skills to go beyond bread, circus, and deceit and fear mongering.

  17. @paul walter
    The greens are like the DLP. Both have taken votes away from the labour party.

    both the greens and the DLP are or were ways of expressing a protest vote and, after getting that off your chest, voting liberal.

    If the preference flow to the ALP from the greens drops below 80:20, abbott will win. a 75:25 split is another 1/2 percent swing to Libs. There are several labour held seats within this margin that are still in doubt

    many voted green as a protest against the negativity of the big parties.

    if the ALP is to win, voters should have been voting labour because of the negativity of the liberals. instead, voters have the half-way house of voting first for the greens, and then giving their second preference back to the Liberals.

  18. Michael of Summer Hill :Well listening to Antony Green the most likely outcome is if Labor wins Hasluck then they have 73, plus one Independent speaker equals 74, plus one Green equals 75, plus Andrew Wilkie equals 76. I’m confident the GG will accept this likely outcome

    I discounted this possibility because it would require one of the three Tory ‘independents’ to sit as speaker, plus Abbott to get less than 73. However the ‘mad-as-a-katter independents’ are meeting as a united group, so I assume they will move as a block.

    However – this is hypothetically possible.

  19. Its ok if they stay small c rational conservative, as they are, a sort of informal “second senate” to keep the lunatics on both sides at bay. The Greens have the senate after a short time, so the worst extremes could be kept out until someone or other, of the players, has had enough of a think and someone present something real for the people to consider.
    The politicians over estimated their ability to fool the people and the people lay in wait, listening. the answer is, indeed, a “a pox on both your houses”, however imperfect.

  20. Chris Warren, nothing is for certain but if Labor wins Hasluck then the L-NP might as well start thinking about the next election.

  21. I wonder what has happened to the chances of a price on carbon now that the ALP is in a minority?

    • the last PM to go to an election promising a big tax and win was Howard; and
    • The last opposition leader to go to an election promising a big tax was Hewson, and he lost!

    I cannot remember the last time the Left went to an Oz election promising a tax rise for all and won. Maybe that is why Rudd went to water in climate policy? The ALP needed a liberal party leader as his co-dependent enabler to push tax rises through.

    the new green MP in the house is no use because he has already more or less promised to support Gillard, I hear. no much of a horse trader, is he. he accepts the other side’s first offer before even sitting down to find out what it was!

  22. @Jim Rose

    Well firstly, speaking as a leftist, I’d prefer to lose 100% of the time than adopt the vacuous win-at-any-cost mentality. Unless and until we can get policy right, we need to keep working to that end, IMO. Pyrrhic victories are, by definition, unacceptable. One has to be able to look in the mirror and think of a reason for carrying on, or get out of politics altogether and become purely self-seeking. That said …

    The ALP had some of the option you seek but instead the midnight assassins knocked on Rudd’s door because they expected to lose badly under his continued watch.

    His fault. He dropped the ball, trashed his own brand (probably on their advice) and opened the door to being rolled when their advice turned out, predictably, to be rubbish.

    The humanistic and communitarian vision is consistently rejected by 90% of the voters.

    See above but … unless it is offered up as possible, one can’t tell what people think about it. If you implement it, you create an ongoing constituency. In Scandinavia, this is a commonplace. Whitlam was defeated here not because his policies failed but because of a massive campaign of disinformation led by the Murdoch press, and being forced mid-crisis to an election after one of his senators died and the quirks of the system allowed the QLD premier and that in NSW to play fast and loose with convention.

    Whitlam, a simple liberal, failed to see the danger. He picked the wrong time to send Murphy to the High Court, though the death of Milner was unforeseen.

  23. @Jim Rose

    the new green MP in the house is no use because he has already more or less promised to support Gillard

    Not as simple as that. He has said he won’t support Abbott, which is rather different. Merely abstaining, in circumstances where Katter, Wilkie, Windsor and Oakeshott (don;t know what Crook will do) are looking for “stable government” could be devastating.

  24. Can we just introduce an element of sanity into the discussion of the partisan re-alignment that has just occurred?

    There is a significant polarisation in the electorate. The whole country has swung to the Right by a fair bit, with a subsidiary massive swing to the Hard-Left within the Broad Left.

    The Centre has not held.

    The whole country has swung a solid two percent 2PP in favour of the L/NP, led by a fairly hard Right-wing leadership.

    The Broad Left has swung three percent 2PP in favour of the GREENs, led by a fairly hard Left-wing leadership.

    The shift of the whole electorate to the Right is pretty devastating to the ALP. In 2008-09 the ALP was sitting pretty:

    – with a large parliamentary majority establishing its incumbency,
    – the intelligentsia eating out of its hand
    – the issues cycle running in its favour,
    – a convincing mandate for its headline CPRS policy,
    – the economy bequeathed to it by Howard-Costello-RBA humming away nicely.
    – a broadly successful management of the GFC under its belt

    And yet it has all but managed to lose government at its first try at re-election.

    What went wrong?

    The death-spiral that started with Rudd’s choking on CPRS Double Dissolution indicates a massive political incompetence, in contrast to their reasonable policy competence.

    The ALP’s political incompetence is manifest:

    – inability to properly articulate or defend and brag about its GFC strategy,
    – leaders that have a tin ear traditional Australian lingo
    – comic attempts at Machiavellian duplicity in the brass
    – constant back-biting and squabbling in the ranks and most of all
    – complete inability/gutlessness to get out and sell their headline CPRS policy to the public

    In this respect they are miles behind Whitlam and Hawke-Keating.

    The current ALP could not sell a straw to a drowning man.

  25. “…current alp could not sell straw to a drowning man” hahem, like that one.
    Fb, comment as to “90% of voters”. well exposed…if every one else sticks their head in a bucket of water, I should do the same?
    ah well, “let ’em steal wheat from a blind fowl”.
    except that australia could be a thanks giving turkey..

  26. I have to agree with Jim that the notion that Labor can win by moving further to the left, or that there is some huge progressive constituency just waiting to be tapped into, is a fantasy. If Labor ran on a platform of higher taxes, a more liberal approach to asylum-seekers, gay marriage, softer anti-terrorism laws and the like, does anyone doubt they would be hammered at the polls?

    Rudd won convincingly in 07 by selling himself as a fiscal and social conservative, while Labor took a hit this time around as the Liberals painted them as old-fashioned high-taxing, high-spending, high-borrowing socialists.

    Moreover, if you look at the Greens vote it largely comes at the expense of Labor rather than the Liberals. The Greens have no chance of winning lower house seats off the Liberals. The only lower house electorates where the Greens have any chance of winning are inner-urban, gentrified traditional ALP electorates. This is clearly a boutique, niche market.

    None of this in any way suggests that there is a vast progressive constituency capable of creating an electoral majority. BTW: this is not a fact I enjoy. While I don’t exactly want a bigger constituency for leftist economic policies, I do wish there was a bit more compassion, decency and common sense on issues like asylum-seekers, civil liberties and the like.

  27. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head Jack.

    Given our extraordinary economic performance during the global recession it is incredible that the government was essentially kicked out after one term.

  28. Except for two things, MO.
    Firstly, Labor discredited itself both at state and federal level with its poor approach to poor policy advice from rednecks and market zealots. If they wanted a negative sell, they couldn’t found a more creative way to do it than to sabotage their own best points, credibility and a sound policy agenda. Why Bligh and Iemma did what they did still baffles me to the very foundational core.
    Secondly the Queensland factor. As disappointment with Rudd’s slow progress grew, an atypical incident occured, taking Rudd out of the PMs office. Had but a few more seats beenheld forlabor in QLD and NSW, and the voters there had had also the sense to take out their frustrations with their state governments, on their state governments, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

  29. @Jack Strocchi

    Jack, I’m not entirely sure how much of this vote represents a real swing to the right, and how much of it simply represents an anti-incumbent mood and general sullenness in the electorate. If you look at all the election results for the past three years starting with the 2007 federal election and subsequent state, territory and federal elections and by-elections, there has invariably been a large swing against the incumbent government on every single occasion (I think the best result for any government was the 2009 Queensland election, where Labor only suffered a 4-5% swing). Voters seem to just be getting impatient, insecure, and frankly ungrateful (they don’t seem to want to reward good economic outcomes).

    I think the Coalition would have secured an outright majority this election if they had been led by someone else (Costello, Hockey, or perhaps even Turnbull). On balance, Abbott is still a slight negative for the Coalition electorally. The only surprise is that he didn’t do as badly as many thought he would.

    In a sense, it is a testament to how badly Labor have dropped the ball in the last year that a guy like Abbott, who really should be unelectable, is perilously close to the Lodge.

  30. On reflection however Jack, the economy bequeathed by the Libs and the RBA was not quite humming away all that nicely. The RBA tardiness in raising rates and Lib fiscal easing during the boom, left the economy with a nice little inflation problem and massive levels of household debt.

    I admit this comment is a little off topic.

  31. @Monkey’s Uncle
    thanks

    if, as you say, “If Labor ran on a platform of higher taxes, a more liberal approach to asylum-seekers, gay marriage, softer anti-terrorism laws and the like, does anyone doubt they would be hammered at the polls?” it would be the ALP’s version of the longest suicide note in history. the British labor party manifesto of 1982 was so labelled.

    british labour from 1974 to 1979 used a majority of three to go left, hard left, with nationalisations, income taxes as high as 83%, and annual inflation rates of 25%.

    UK labour it lost power in 1979.

    The UK endured 17 years of thatcherism good and hard as a result

    Labour only got back in in 1997 when, to use your words, by Blair “selling himself as a fiscal and social conservative”

    thatcher described her job as staying in power until labour became sane again.

  32. @Fran Barlow
    on “I’d prefer to lose 100% of the time than adopt the vacuous win-at-any-cost mentality.”

    it is fortunate for you that australia has five state and one federal two house parliaments with upper houses that are elected mostly by proportionate representation.

    two houses elected by different voting systems allows minority views such as yours to find greater voice and trade support for advancement of their agendas.

    federalism is good for minorities too because their are a diversity of jurisdictions and some will be more in tune with your outlook.

    suprisingly, the left often hates upper houses and federalism. I assume this to be the result of rationally irrational voting.

  33. Jack Strocchi, maybe I am totally wrong but I thought the Greens did better than the L-NP when it comes to the primary votes and the L-NP are just a wee bit exaggerating.

  34. Whilst on the subject of “I WAS WRONG”, isnt it time for Pr Q to eat a little humble pie?

    Although he should be given credit for correctly urging the ALP to pursue the DD strategy, which probably would have avoided all this mess. And he also correctly sensed that the Gillard-for-Rudd leadership swap could only make matters worse.

    Still, for the past year he has been berating the political, not to mention policy, folly of the L/NP. How is that line looking now?

    He could start by dropping the strong version of his “Last Liberal” thesis.

    The weak version of the LL thesis – a merger of the Liberal and National parties – might eventually get up. Although this would be most likely a folding in of the rump of the Nationals into the main body of the more conservative Liberal party. Which really implies the “the Last National”, an prediction, a prediction very different in ideological implication to “the Last Liberal”.

    The strong version of the LL thesis – put forward in “The Case for an [LP] Split” – now looks less likely than ever with the reinforced dominance of the Dries and the expulsion of the last remaining Wet. Its a bit cruel to quote Pr Q on this, but its no worse treatment than I would mete out to my own failed predictions:

    the idea of a split has turned from fantasy to serious possibility. If Joe Hockey does the decent thing, and doesn’t run against Turnbull, it now seems quite likely that Turnbull would prevail against the unelectable Abbott and the still less electable Andrews.

    if Turnbull loses, there are credible suggestions he might move to the cross-benches and stay on, perhaps attracting some followers. The appeal for moderate Liberals would not be that such a party would have good long-term prospects but that they are multiply doomed if they stay with the sinking ship.

    Of course Pr Q could probably retort that no one could predict the ALP’s extraordinary bout of political incompetence and cowardice, which really put Abbott in the drivers seat. Thus proving once again the old adage: Governments lose elections, Oppositions don’t win them.

    Still there is an even older adage that Pr Q might want to consider:

    Never underestimate your enemies.

  35. Fran Barlow @ #36 said:

    I’d dump the upper houses and the states and councils, if I had my way, in favour of federal and regional government

    Fran,

    The state abolitionist regionalism looks fine in theory – a typical McKinsey-ite “flattening the hierarchy” exercise. But the reality is that it would give HQ, in this case Sydney, all the power. Regional governments would simply centralise all real power in Sydney.

    The AUS political system is an ecology that has evolved to deal with an archipelago of six or seven more or less city-states, more or less adrift in an ocean of sand and sea. If you abolished the states and replaced them with a plethora of other regions then these would just be picked off one by one by “Sydney-zilla”. This process is already happening, even with five other Senate divisions attempting to counter-balance.

    Personally I think we could do with more de-centralisation. Why the desperate urge to tidy our administrative structure up and replace it with a monolithic federal behemoth?

    Do you really want to restructure the entire AUS political system root-and-branch just to give the likes of Arbib, Richo, McGurk, Macquarie Bank, John Laws, Singo, et al the whip hand? I think not.

    More generally, you might be of more use to your side of politics if you lost the “rationalism in politics” ideology and acknowledge that our fore-fathers actually knew a thing or two about the art of government.

  36. Some good news from the 2010 election.

    Twit Tuckey has gone.

    Should have happened twenty years ago.

  37. @Jim Rose
    If the preference flow to the ALP from the greens drops below 80:20, abbott will win. a 75:25 split is another 1/2 percent swing to Libs. There are several labour held seats within this margin that are still in doubt

    Close, but no cigar. According to Antony Green the percentage of Green preferences flowing to Labor has risen as the Green vote has expanded.

  38. @Alan
    this is my point. the greens prefernce flow is unstable.

    this time the greens are more of a protest vote, so green liberals may be more in number.

  39. @Jim
    You’re merely disregarding the numbers. When the Greens preference Labor as they are doing at this election, they go well above the level you’ve identified out of thin air as beneficial to your cause. It is not enough to prove your case to establish that the preference flow is unstable, you also have to establish that the instability, if any, favours the Coalition. The evidence is that it does not.

  40. @Jack Strocchi

    Why the desperate urge to tidy our administrative structure up?

    Because it is a non-maintainable mess, as the health system and resource negotiation for example have shown

    Do you really want to restructure the entire AUS political system root-and-branch just to give the likes of Arbib, Richo, McGurk, Macquarie Bank, John Laws, Singo, et al the whip hand?

    Richo? Lawsy? Singo? You’re 25 years out of date. I see no evidence that Sydney is running anything at all. Strong regional government would perform much better than councils or states.

    More generally, you might be of more use to your side of politics if you lost the “rationalism in politics” ideology and acknowledge that our fore-fathers actually knew a thing or two about the art of government.

    I don’t know what you mean here by “rationalism in politics” but “our forefathers” (ugh!!) were a bunch of ignorant parochial rubes who left us with a system that was barely adequate in 1901 and became worse by degrees in the following hundred years.

    Time to rip it up and start again.

  41. @Alan
    suppose the greens vote is 10%.

    a 80:20 preference split as per 2007 election is 8% labour, 2% liberal.

    a 75:25 split is 7.5% labour and 2.5% to the liberals as second preferences. more than enough to make a difference in an election with a photo finish.

  42. Fran Barlow: “It is no accident that the abandonment by the ALP of action on climate change, was the source of the surge in coalition support when rudd announced it in April and then again when Gillard did it in June, ending her brief honeymoon.”

    This is the unambiguous message from the opinion polls, no to mention the Green vote in the actual election.

    The disappointing thing is that so few commentators seem to get it. For example on the ABC’s Insiders program the morning after the election I watched the so-called experts dissect the result for 45 minutes without one reference to climate policy – not one!

    The Canberra pundits don’t seem to get it – blaming it on the cabinet leaks begs the question of why their polling slumped before the leaks came out.

  43. @Jim Rose
    Actually JR – I handed out all day for the Greens and my instinct tells me the green vote is not just a protest vote but a youth vote. It would have been nice to have some demographic stats but given what both the majors deliver to youth…it wouldnt surprise me at all.

    In fact I think what we need is a Young Greens especially as the average age for political membership in the two majors around here could be described as boomer age?

    Given that both majors have been feasting off youth (higher education costs) lower support levels – workchoices impact – higher unemployment levels….while at the same age many current politicians in both major parties were enjoying free education, living on Teas .

    I have said it before but I cant see for the life of me what ALP or LNP offers youth in this country.

    So I think you are quite wrong about the Green Vote being a protest vote JR. Its real. Its not a protest. You just dont recognise it yet.

  44. @Jim Rose
    JR – a lot of Thatchers privatisations created higher unemployment. Sure they may have made one indicator rise – “profitability” but the boardroom self enrichments that often went hand in hand with Thatcher’s privatisations, were ignored by Thatcher and her advisers.
    So most gains were short term or simply a shift of benefits from lower classes to higher classes. We all know now that CEO enrichment has become obscene, profits are often removed offshore and tax evaded, and the nation is left with enduring higher unemployment without the higher profits being “trickled back down into the economy”.

    It seems to me that many of Thatchers privatisation initiatives simply resulted in a short term shift of benefits for employees in these privatised entities to benefits for employers.

    Hence Thatchers (and Reagans) efforts in the privatisation area align closely and eerily to the rise in inequality that has occurred since that time.

    Profitability can never be an adequate measure of success if no-one measures where the profits go in the end and whether or not they got “ploughed back into the economy” JR.
    Profitability, without the latter analysis, is an entirely inadequate measure of the benefits of privatisation to an economy. Yet Thatcher was happy with relying only on that single measure and only in the very short term. Conservatives in general, have never been able to substantiate ever whether their trickle down assumptions were correct.

    We now know they are not.

  45. Fran Barlow :@Jim Rose
    I’d dump the upper houses and the states and councils, if I had my way, in favour of federal and regional government

    you missed something.

    you forgot about asking for first past the post voting.

    that would complete your self-imposed exclusion from the political process.

  46. @Alice
    you mentioned “… Reagans) efforts in the privatisation area align closely and eerily to the rise in inequality that has occurred since that time.”

    remind me, remind me, what did Reagan privatise? Name names??!!

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