Election on 7 September

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.

87 thoughts on “Election on 7 September

  1. 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.

  2. @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.

  3. 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.

  4. @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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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