204 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. The defeat of the Napthine L/NP in the VIC state election puts the prospect of one-term governments squarely on the psephological agenda. Tony Abbott I’m looking at you.

    So earlier this week (25/11/14) I went to Bet365 and put $100.00 on the ALP to win the next federal election at odds 2.5.

    Normally it would be considered impossible for a party enjoying a landslide electoral advantage to be dismissed from office after only one term in government. But it nearly happened in 1998 under conditions far more propitious to the incumbent government: Howard and the L/NP cabinet were a superior leadership group, the economy was on the cusp of an almighty boom and the L/NP policies generally had more underlying support. Yet the L/NP technically lost the 1998 election.

    That tells me that a one-term L/NP is a real possibility. But it is still a Big Ask for the ALP, as the odds are against any party reversing a five point swing in one electoral cycle, unless economic disaster or massive political scandal intervenes. Much depends on the distribution of the swing which is impossible to predict.

    My guess is that the best bet the L/NP have to avoid the one-term fate is to change leadership and probably to change policy, both of which have been touted recently given the punditry blaming the VIC LPs poor performance on Abbott and Abbott’s “knock the barnacles off” comment.

    The only way the L/NP can change leadership and policy is to put Turnbull in charge. So To hedge the one-term government bet I went to Sportsbet and put $100.00 on Malcolm Turnbull as next Liberal Party federal leader at 2.85. Im also thinking of putting $100.00 on Tony Abbott to face a leadership challenge before the next federal election at the very attractive odds of 4.5.

    More generally recent psephological evidence across a wide range of jurisdictions (Tea Party in US, UKIP in UK, the so-called “Far Right” in the EU, PUP in AUS) points to a certain “crankiness” in the electorate, combined with a greater deal of volatility and a stronger focus on media-friendly leadership qualities. So much of the old psephological wisdom will have to be revised, me thinks.

  2. The electorate is not cranky yet. They are just flip-flopping between the two major parties who share one major messed-up ideology. The electorate will become cranky when they realise long-term economic decline is being baked in semi-permanently by the neocon economics of the major parties.

  3. Malcolm Turnbull, as defender of this government’s lie over not cutting either ABC or SBS, has been smeared by their own excrement. I don’t think he is looking like a real candidate for leader, and in any case, his current support within the party is unknown. Claiming efficiency savings as he has done just doesn’t pass muster, for if there were efficiency savings, why weren’t they returned to the ABC and SBS budgets so they could be reinvested in programming (or other items of benefit)? If it isn’t reinvested, if instead the government removes that money from the budget, then that is a cut to the budget of the broadcasters. Pure and simple. I think enough of the voters, both on the left and right side of the political divide, would see it this way, and identify Malcolm Turnbull as judge, jury, and executioner of the ABC and SBS. Perhaps a few might look to PM Tony Abbott as well, but most would see Turnbull as the person most responsible for the execution of the cuts. In other words, Turnbull is tarred by Abbott’s broken promise, so both have their difficulties.

    I think Abbott will be safe as leader, even as flagrantly bad as his current government is, until the next election campaign, or more to the point, immediately before it is announced. If there is a night of the long knives, it is in my estimation most likely to be at that point, and not before. To toss a leader overboard at such an early stage would look like carelessness at best, leaving the ship Rudderless, once again. [Yok, yok.] Voters would probably look at the tossing of a leader mid-term as a case of “Here we go again.” And they would be right.

    If there is anything to take away as a message from this government’s opposition to power transition, it is that lying wholesale to the electorate can get you into power, but when the lies are manifest and many, the electorate recoils in horror at the Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde act—they don’t appreciate 180 degree changes to society, they don’t appreciate unnecessary and capricious changes to society, and they certainly don’t appreciate being taken for fools. Since the cabinet have not resigned their posts, I can only assume they are adequately comfortable with the government’s strategy, for want of an offensive word.

  4. @Donald Oats
    According to the ALP’s Jason Clare, his thoughts are that Malcolm Turnbull lost the (cabinet) fight on this issue ie. That Malcolm was quite opposed to the cuts.

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