The miracle of democracy?

There seems to be a significant chance that the election will produce a Labor government depending on Green votes in the Reps to provide a lead over the Coalition, and in the Senate to pass legislation. I find it hard to believe that the process we’ve just been through could produce such an outcome, not only matching my preferences but reflecting those expressed by the majority of voters, but that’s what some of the papers are saying is likely. We’ll just have to wait and see.

191 thoughts on “The miracle of democracy?

  1. @Chris O’Neill
    While personally I preferenced Labor, based on their actions I have no reason to believe that they’re not mostly closet denialists who just realise that expressing concern over climate change wins more votes than it loses. If they truly believed they would have proposed credible policies.

    And Right Wing Warrior can’t be real – nobody’s been that pompous since the 19th century!

  2. “Not even the one at post 41 Jarrah?”

    Clearly not. Are you blind? You said unemployment has been rising for three or four decades (classic Alice grasp of the detalis, BTW), but in fact from the end of the Long Boom unemployment rises dramatically, then falls, rises, then falls, rises, then falls for the last 17 years (except for minor upticks for the Asian currency crisis and the dot-com bust and the GFC).

    It’s quite simple. You made a factual claim that is wrong, presumably because A) you believed it to be true, or B) you didn’t care that it was wrong because you were mid-tirade and you didn’t want facts to muddy your no-grey-areas ideology. If A, then you should have no problem admitting the mistake and ensuring you don’t repeat it. If B, then you would seek to defend your claim despite the evidence and/or move the goalposts because the bare facts make you uncomfortable and you’d prefer to discuss something else.

    Look at those options. Now look at your responses to me. Now back at the options. Now back to your responses. Sadly, it isn’t A 😉

  3. @Alice
    your good old days – the menzies era when your beloved DLP were king.

    were your stats adjusted for the effects of the marriage bar in the public service and the low level of labour force participation of women?

    your break in series – spike in youth unemployment – is with the whitlam venture. Typical lefties: all for entrenching the incumbents and screwing the outsiders and the under-class after throwing them a few scarps from the table.

  4. @Jim Rose
    What are you on about now Jim Rose? Are you blaming Whitlam for the Vietnam War and the push past full employment and the increase in the money supply? Or are you blaming Whitlam for the global inflation of the 1970s?

    Jarrah – draw a trend line for goodness sakes.

    Back to more important matters – the election. I have never seen a better outcome. It is truly amazing. Three independents who actually want to speak with Ken Henry and a whole host of other people and who want to see the bottom line of the budget. Three independents who represent regional Australians and a senate controlled by the Greens from July next year.

    Even the independents said they are over “the red team versus the blue team”. So am I. I am tired of the backbiting and snarling between the red team and the blue team (as much as I am tired of the Jarrah’s and Jim Roses who want to keep on about the merits of the right over the left). Who really cares anymore?. The right are finished even if they get to run government. The left is sitting in the senate.

    We are all over the the divisive combative nature of our parliaments and political campaigns. Right versus left. Red versus blue.
    It isnt a football scrum although you could be pardoned for thinking it was in Australia.

    This election and its outcome so far has put a whole lot of people back at the table with rights who have been ignored for too long while the red team has been slugging it out with the blue team.

    Im happy and Im very impressed by the three independents – more than I am with either Abbott or Gillard.

    What I really wasnt impressed with is the ABC who ran a segment in the news, barely captured more than 10 second each of what the independents had to say (and what they had to say was crystal clear and very sensible) and ran cowboy music in the background while they were being interviewed.

    What was the ABC thinking?? have they lost it? Where is the dignity or are our politicians now performing seals on game shows? The ABC tried to copy Murdoch media with the digital flashes, the music and the sideshow antics?? That sort of presentation is an insult to every Australian.

    Media is part of the problem in this country, but this hung parliament is part of the solution.

  5. @Alice
    I like division and hate consensus. consensus stifles accountability, slows the search for better policies, and lets current policies turn flabby for want of challenge.

    what did J.S. Mill say:

    “But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race…if the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging truth for error: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

    (HT: Chris Cardiff).

  6. @Jarrah
    Complete hairsplitting Jarrah. Ridiculous. The graphs speak for themselves and most people can read a graph like that without having me having to say well “it went up for two years and down for three””. Further they can interpret the real facts without you notating what you want to cherry pick (first you start from 1978, then you comment on the last 17 years and further you dont and cant address the most recent years because they are in the graph at all ).

    Its pretty obvious from those graphs, the unemployment rate could be a lot better (lower) and especially for young people in Australia (but for all people as well) or would both yourself and Jim Rose have us believe the following

    “we have to get used to it – its a new higher natural rate – its because demand for skills has risen and demand for unskilled has fallen and its because of globalisation bla bla bla”

    and its due to every reason under the sun except the fact that politicians and parties have have been ignoring it..oh and I suppose I am to assume the market will fix it up – hmm taking its time isnt it?

    Have either you Jarrah or Jim Rose checked the age demographics of your political party members or the age demographic of greens voters. Ill bet thats where both the majors are missing something pretty major. Maybe, just maybe, youth are voting green because they, like myself have had enough of this nonsense and want something like government to actually correct things like this instead of the stupid habit of standing idly by saying “the market will fix it”

    Certainly – its pretty obvious the regional independenets are feeling the same way – what was it that Katter called a liberal at Townsville airport – a slimy dog?
    No Jarrah – Im not blind but Im not a slimy dog either.

  7. Division is fine before the decision, but at some point a decision is to be made by a group of people, a group of people elected to make decisions. Without at least the consensus required for a decision to be made and accepted, government (as the topical case) ceases to exist.

    Words are fine and necessary; still, they cannot supplant action.

  8. “Back to more important matters …. the unemployment rate could be a lot better”

    LOL. Option B, both parts.

    “Further they can interpret the real facts without you notating what you want to cherry pick (first you start from 1978, then you comment on the last 17 years and further you dont and cant address the most recent years because they are in the graph at all ).”

    I started from 1978 because that was 30 years ago. Why? Because that was the first timeframe you nominated! I commented on the last 17 years (which are the most recent years – I used the ABS graphs) because it shows for more than half your first timeframe the trend has been resolutely down.

    Your claim that unemployment has been rising for decades is clearly and obviously FALSE. You have lost this argument. Mark it up with all the others and deal with it.

  9. If you’d said average unemployment is higher 1973-now than 1946-1973, I would have no quarrel. But accuracy seems to be a low priority for you when you’re in tirade-mode.

  10. @Alice
    Green voters are typically either tertiary educated or undergoing tertiary education. Their support is heavily concentrated amongst tertiary disciplines that tend to be secure and comfortable. The richest voters in Australia are not Liberals but Greens.

    Greens tend not to have children until their late 30s, if at all, which leaves them even richer and with lots of spare time to organise political activities and be annoying.

    In all phases of life, Greens are distinct from the typical Labor, Liberal or National voter demographic but support of Labor more for social rather than economic reasons.

    greens would be the typical expressive voter. as such, they pay no attention to whether the policies they support might actually work. expressing support for ideals is more important than actully achieving anything. the warm inner-glow is the same.

  11. Fran Barlow:

    It’s possible that some who wanted to punish the ALP for its lack of vision and ruthless machine politics wanted to do so by voting tactically wanted to do so in a way that did not solidarise with business-as-usual on climate change, or the mining tax

    So they support the mining tax (a Green favored policy I presume) by preferring a Liberal government? Yes, it looks like they are idiots. I guess it’s not surprising that at least 3.6% of the population are idiots when it comes to voting choices.

  12. Alice:

    Socialist alliance are a different party to the Greens Chris

    I didn’t say they were the same. You misunderstood my point which was that if none of Socialist Alliance preferences went to the Liberals then at least 3.6% would have gone from Green to Liberal. If any went from Socialist Alliance to Liberal then it could have been less than 3.6%

  13. @Chris O’Neill

    So they support the mining tax (a Green favored policy I presume) by preferring a Liberal government?

    They probably didn’t think they were supporting a Liberal government. They probably thought Bevis would be returned despite their vote (and he is only 382 behind with postals favouring him so he might yet). Recall that the exit poll from Galaxy had the ALP ahead 52-48 much the same as their prior poll. Only Newspoll had it on a knife edge.

  14. Chris O’Neill, Tony Abbott proved yesterday that he has not changed and cannot be trusted for he has a forked tongue which leaves Labor in a much better position to find a formula with the Independents and Greens to form a stable government.

  15. The rising trend in unemployment, from the Second World War, is clear in the data, however the latest fall is a turnaround.

    You can push unemployment down but only by making some other macroeconomic variable worse or (of course) dividing single jobs into many part-time jobs.

    Using data, just from 1978, does not show the full picture. I think fuller data is available in Treasury’s Historical statistics.

    Unemployment although using different definitions can be tracked right back to 1901 using Commonwealth Yearbooks.

  16. @Chris Warren
    Says – “You can push unemployment down but only by making some other macroeconomic variable worse or (of course) dividing single jobs into many part-time jobs.”

    The latter which has been happening concurrently with the graphs I posted earlier and does not reflect in those graphs – those graphs do not measure underemployment. So in reality the overall “work availability” situation is worse for many people (compared to before the 1970s – post war period – the period Jarrah didnt want to include in his graph).

    Many employers are offering two days / one day/ 3 days at their choice of days each week. They love doing this to kids – pick any of your large profitable firms – Woolworths, JB Hi Fi, Rebel, Harvey Norman – packed to the rafters with kids they rotate at their discretion and probably fire at age 20 as too old.

    There is something else which will reduce unemployment we seem to have forgotten all about in this country – public investment. Broadband is a start but the government could be doing a whole lot more than running around saying “well we have made all these lovely models and now we will leave it to the market and then they open the doors to all and sundry unethical large international firms to fly in – rip out maximum profits for very little employment and little tax – fly the profits out and leave their mess behind for us to clean up in the name of “free trade” ie economic plunder.

    All our governments caught the same disease and some in here still subscribe.

  17. @Chris O’Neill
    Chris – “at least 3.6% would have gone from Green to Liberal”. It wouldnt surprise me – what about the small L liberals in the ex democrats that might have moved to the Greens rather than Liberal or Labor (as they still prefer voting for a third party), yet still send their preferences to liberal.

  18. @Jim Rose
    JR – Ive heard you same some unique things but this one is a cracker..

    “The richest voters in Australia are not Liberals but Greens”.

    You wouldnt by any chance have a single shred of evidence for this would you?

  19. @Chris Warren
    Feminists have a simply explanation for low unemployment rates before the 1970s.

    Before then 1970s, sex discrimination was everywhere in the private sector because of a lack of EEO laws, and there were marriage bars in the public service.

    Jobs were reserved for boy so they quickly found jobs.

    Employers had to drop hiring standards because they would not hire women but this act of discrimination not increase the number of male applicants. serach and matching was rapid so the natural rate of unemployment was low.

    Women were not hired so they gave up looking and became discouraged workers.

  20. “Using data, just from 1978, does not show the full picture.”

    Alice was the one who claimed a 30-year constantly rising trend, so blame her for 1978. Regardless, I showed the entire second half of that period is a falling trend. She still refuses to admit the obvious. I note this is after she abandoned her equally rash claims about food imports, and subsequent failures in the groceries debate (now also ignored). It hasn’t been a good thread for her.

    “Unemployment although using different definitions can be tracked right back to 1901 using Commonwealth Yearbooks.”

    I provided a graph going back to 1900 (from the RBA, which used ABS and Butlin) when Alice wanted to go cherry picking. It’s interesting – current rates are below the average.

  21. Now I have heard it all, first the L-NP call Wilkie ‘unstable and flaky’ and then when the chips are down they apologise. Now if I was in Wilkie’s shoes I would give them the bird and tell them to get stuffed.

  22. @Michael of Summer Hill
    So Tony Abbott finally apologises to Andrew Wilkie – I recall the insults directed at Andrew Wilkie by the Howard Govt and its pro war mouthpieces.
    They were pretty shocking at the time. Please tell me why Tony is grovelling now? Really this is pathetic – would they have apologised if they didnt need and want to use Wilkie to get power now? All I can say is Wilkie is an idiot if he goes with Abbot t – plus his credibility will absolutely nosedive (another self interested jerk in their first seat?)

    Actually I cant see Wilkie falling for it but anything is possible I suppose. If he does he is no better than a Windschuttle. “I love power and I will change my politics to the winning side if I can get something out of it…

  23. @Fran Barlow

    So they support the mining tax (a Green favored policy I presume) by preferring a Liberal government?

    They probably didn’t think they were supporting a Liberal government. They probably thought Bevis would be returned despite their vote

    So they’re idiots. Good to know that the outcome of this election is determined by idiots.

  24. Alice, now it is a numbers game and I’m sure Wilkie knows what he is doing. As for Abbott, well he has proven over and over again that he cannot be trusted even when he is telling the truth which is not often.

  25. @Jim Rose

    greens would be the typical expressive voter. as such, they pay no attention to whether the policies they support might actually work. expressing support for ideals is more important than actully achieving anything. the warm inner-glow is the same.

    Case in point, they were only interested in allowing their ideologically-pure, gold-plated carbon credits to be used in the proposed emissions trading scheme. Since the Labor Party didn’t agree to be inflexible, the Greens spat the dummy and stuck with their pure ideology that achieved absolutely nothing except being useful fools for the denialists.

  26. @Chris O’Neill
    Yeah well get used to it Jim Rose – even if your favoured (idiot) son Abbott gets in – next July he is going to have to deal with Greens and right now he has to deal with country independents (and nothing makes me happier!!).
    20 seats in the senate is what the Greens got Jim Rose – I hope it makes you feel sick! Im laughing! I think its fantastic.

  27. @Chris O’Neill
    I adddressed this comment to Jim rose above. I dont care for your comment much either Jim Rose. The labor parties ETS was useless. Alomost every commentator noted that.

  28. Re above I meant – I dont care much for your comment either Chris O’Neill. Clearly more of the electorate isnt thinking the Greens are “idiots”. They got the biggest swing.

  29. Alice, I agree. Chris O’Neill’s comments at best are based on ignorance, more likely malice, since the comments are so dishonest.
    Since the election labor has continued to blame others rather than take a good look at itself and that’s reflected in the scape goating knee jerk reaction toward the Greens, rather than commentary that exhibits some sign of self reflexivity.

  30. @paul walter
    Hello -m I couldnt believe it when Penny Wong (usually an inscrutable model of decorum) said “the greens only take votes from Labor”. I mean how party minded is that? Its scary. Labor actually thinks it owns the greens and the “greens are stealing Labor votes”.

    Part of the problem with Labor is that is has moved to the right. The Greens didnt steal Labor votes. Labor abadoned its base. Labor forgot what labor traditionally appealed to. Labor tried to emulate liberals. Labor tried to move away. Labor tried to get all sophisticated and smart and upper middle class (and above). Labor starting consorting with the free market. Labor no longer knows who it is or what it is. It is a party for yuppies and dinks and smart inner city aspirational voters who veer towards liberalism

    IMHO. I dont give a fig why Labor is sitting around crying over their lost votes “that the Greens stole from them”. Ignorance is bliss to them. I think, just like NSW State Labor and the Blind Bligh QLD State Labor – they spend too much time with spin merchants and geeky treasury modellers, modelling pro market BS, they havent got a clue why they are bleeding votes.

    You could call it massively out of touch.

    I hope they fall in that burst water main hole in Moore Park where they belong.

  31. @Alice
    you say “Labor abadoned its base.”

    I agree as the base of the labour party which it has abandoned is the working class. The greens are not a working class party and fares relatively poorly in working class electorates.

  32. Jim Rose – you have this utopic free market view that is so liberal propagandist in approach Im surprised you even consider the fact that Labor has abandoned its base and agree. What would you know about that? Why would you think outside your favoured main party (which is pretty obvious – I doubt youve ever been a swinging voter in your life). Ive voted for both majors in my life, but right now, I like neither of them.

  33. Last two, because there is a likely a global emergency developing, not just with global warming but other forms of environmental degradation at just the time when the earths human population has shot up exponentially towards seven billions of often already suffering humanity .
    The planet and billions of people no longer have the luxury of time to waste sniffing in disdain at one solution or other because its not “private” or “government”.
    A pitiful “correctness” ideology, surely consigned to the bin of zombie ideas.
    What is happening is happening at, the base of all that follows, for pities sake.
    Market or legislative what does it matter.
    Sufficient and necessary, if it works concerning the CORE issue, from this point.
    Baroque nostrums aimed at managing the decline andamintainence of control, of an old elite, must defer to the needs of a world that is for us all..

  34. JR – I voted Green, am not inner city, am low income and voted for them because they are the only party with actual policies on climate change. I don’t regret that they voted against a CPRS that was so devoid of content that big emitters were being given 25 years and 20+billion to not reduce emissions. Limited as my income is I still believe a price on emissions is needed – just like putting money aside for our children’s health and education, the loss of disposable income will not reduce and diminish us. The reality is that the market price for fossil fuel energy does not include anything like the full costs which are going to be heaped on our kids and grandkids with interest; time to quit fossil fuels whilst we are still ahead.

    Do I support every Greens policy? No, but I’ve never fully supported every policy of Labor or Liberal or independent when I’ve voted for them. I suppose it was Tony Windsor that got my preference vote. In some senses mine was a protest vote too – do I really like seeing mainstream politics shy away from an issue this important – or outright deny the existence of the problem? No.

    I really do want to see some consensus politics on climate – in line with the scientific consensus. Will Abbott’s ‘sequestration by changing farming practices’ approach to emissions reductions deliver the minimal 5% reduction? Would he even care if it wasn’t? Given that, by 2010 the targets get much harder will I be happy to see 2 decades of foot dragging turn into 3 and Australia facing them in the 2020’s without the groundwork being done? No. I’m appalled at their weakness and disgusted that distrust and doubt is promoted by any politician for the sake of maintaining the apparent ‘legitimacy’ of climate science denial and the votes that can be swung by supporting it.

    We absolutely need this decade to put in place the foundations for the ongoing transition to low emissions or else see brand new coal and gas plants forced to close once the real world effects of AGW demands the real action that should have already been taken. I don’t believe that, even if energy costs rise, that we will face economic ruin by acting on this but I do believe will almost certainly will if we fail to; only by denial of the science of this issue can the notion that delay is our friend be sustained.

  35. @Alice

    The labor parties ETS was useless. Alomost every commentator noted that.

    That’s just not true. Gittins also points out that “It’s pathetically easy to frighten people about the consequences of complicated economic changes” which is what Abbott did with his “great big new tax” mantra and it’s also pathetically easy to mislead people about the same thing which is what the Greens did. I notice that you completely ignore my point about Greens inflexibility on Carbon credits and just resort to Greens propaganda.

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