The previous federal election thread was getting long and unwieldy, so I’ve closed it and set up shop here. Perhaps you might like to discuss today’s front page splash in The Australian, "Labor in strongest electoral position since 2001", based on a 56-44 Newspoll result.
Author: William Bowe
William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.
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324 comments on “Idle speculation: February edition”
Adam, when you get your own blog you can tell people what to post, until then you’ll have to put up with other peoples posts, instead of trying to censor ideas you don’t agree with. regards mally.
But everything aside isnt it great that the majority on here have a extreme passion to see Howard gone. That has to be good
Peter Garrett was on the fringe and now he’s in the big game. As a team player he has to lose a little in order to achieve a lot. Naturally his Liberal opponents see him as a threat and, as usual, go for the man and not the message.
* “Extreme passion” in politics is nearly always bad. I refer you to the history of the 20th century.
* If the majority here are passionately anti-Howard, that just shows how unrepresentative we of the online chattering classes are of Australians as a whole, who still (by a narrow majority just now) prefer Howard to Rudd as PM. The intelligentsia always assume they represent the people, but this is seldom true.
Bill, Ben is a long time member of the Greens, not a major party.
Hi Bert which Ben?
Me, I’m a member and former candidate with the NSW Greens.
Just had to pass on this clever little bulletin from Crikey.com ……
Over 1.5 billion gallons of fuel are used each year by US truckers leaving their engines to idle overnight so they can keep the heating or air conditioning on.
Green Futures (Sep/Oct 2003)
Midnight Oil: the policy documents
Quoting Midnight Oil lyrics on the US alliance is like shooting fish in a bucket. There’s so much more ground to cover:
You’re watching people fighting you’re watching
People losing on Armistice Day
You’re watching people fighting
You’re watching people losing on Armistice Day
I’m back on the borderline
Yes I’m back on the borderline
You say times are tough
We’ve got the best of both worlds here
Things are rough
We’ve got the best of both worlds here
Times are tough
We’ve got the best of both worlds here
The bosses they can sense your mood
All in place to a hand that rules
They all want to deal you out
We’re all looking for a shorter day
We’re all looking for an easy way
Even when the debts are dead and gone
I’m an innocent victim, I’m just like you
We end up in home units with a brick wall view
I can’t believe the perfect families on my colour TV
If I don’t make it to the top it’ll never bother me
Heavy machinery loud in the outback
Dreamtime developers they make all the sound
Where will we be when they leave us a quarry?
Put down that weapon or we’ll all be gone
I must know something to know it’s so wrong
And if the blue sky mining company won’t come to my rescue
If the sugar refining company won’t save me
Who’s gonna save me?
Nothing could be longer than a corrugated road
No one ever follows where the road trains go
And nowhere in the country do the dust storms blow so hard
The raising of children, the rearing of young
Used to be simple but look what it’s become
The choice of career, the proper vocation
Out of your hands, all for the needs of the nation
The time has come
To say fair’s fair
To pay the rent
To pay our share
Omnibus positioning statement
Terracotta homes – backyard BBQ and eucalyptus smell
It’s fine on the clothes line, it’s fast food and slow life and red roof
My silence – comic interruptions
Surely there’s some relief from atomic art and the fragile state of world
Events with clowns who love the kings and power and the mutant media babes
Working on dreams and fashions and toilet paper flowers
Don’t talk to me in this backyard – it’s clandestine, it’s nuclear
Smell of space and now forever I wanna go straight down the exit eight mile
Attraction u-turn is up and the time clock sings let’s go.
Guru. Wouldn’t be that bad a plan, except that the terrorism ads that are now on TV, people are laughing at them.
I am not on this blog to convert authors to my way of thinking or to make this a political background. My posts are generally are reactions to some people that put minor parties as non important waste of time groups. History shows the opposite,take for instance One Nation and how Howard, while bashing them outwardly was in fact working in ways to engulf them. Policies aside it showed the importance of Pauline Hanson and the way major parties gain that vote. With the rise of the Greens on the left and the Labor Party moving more to the center right the ALP needs to gain votes. The only way it will gain Government is to capture the Green vote with issues such as the Environment, War, IR and Social Justice. It was politically smart to wheel out Garrett to make the ALP look green without being too radical and is in fact a sell out. There no other way to describe it and shows the ALP using Howard’s way to gain the small party vote. As for the comment that Garrett is loosing a little of his ideals to gain allot does not work in environmental terms. The environment can not afford and neither can we a party going down the conservative road on this life supporting issue. One mistake, one pause to many and it will be too late to repair the damage History is full of such issues and as the years roll on they will increase considerably
Actually history is full of issues which people at the time loudly asserted were matters of life and death but which with the perspective of time can be seen not to have been as scary as they looked at the time. Once it was the arms race. Then it was the “population bomb”. Then it was the “limits to growth”. I’m not disputing that these were and are real issues. I’m saying that they were not as apocalyptic as they seemed to some people at the time. Now it’s climate change, and no doubt the same will prove to be the case. The intelligentsia is always prone to hysteria and overstatement.
I was brought up in a ALP/Union household, taught the importance of anti-racism, the environment, the evils of war, Animal liberation and social justice. I was arrested with my father exposing the misuse of authority by the police on Aboriginals in SA. It was like a “religion” passed down from generation to generation ( a good “religion” but still a “religion”) This meant to change your colors would be of great concern and disappointment. My sister has followed the ALP path both becoming a member and working for ALP candidates in here electorate. For here to do this she has had to soften her beliefs to fit in ( Garrett? ) and support candidates which have more in common with the Libs than any ALP of old. My parents while saying they are proud of me running for both State and Federal Parliament do support my sister profusely as she is towing the “religions” line even though its moved away from their core beliefs. Another point is the promotion that the Greens have a Doctors wives following. This may be true but in Kingston the Opposite is true . I am surprised at how many unionist and ALP wives not only vote Green but are or will become members. The mood of the people is changing once again as it was during the Hawke era, The environment is center stage
Adam those issues are still here they have been watered down to suit capitalism promotion of itself. Countries are arming themselves to blackmail western countries to give them aid. The population timebomb is still ticking which increases global warming due to consumerism.
I did not deny that they were real issues which are still with us. I said that people in the 70s who said (for example0 that the “population bomb” would destroy the world (read Paul Ehrlich) were wrong.
And incidentally, WHY were Ehrlich and co wrong about population? Because capitalism creates prosperity and prosperity leads to falling birthrates, something Ehrlich didn’t allow for in his predictions.
Because capitalism creates prosperity and prosperity leads to falling birthrates, something Ehrlich didnâ€™t allow for in his predictions. Capitalism leads to consumerism which leads to poverty. Why is it that people that can least afford to try to keep up with consumer products. Drive down roads in my area and the amount rubbish been thrown out by residence because of poor quality is enormous. Capitalism dictates that we must buy buy buy and for those of us who make up 95% of the population its buy throw away tvs mobile phones furniture etc. Children are the major target of capitalistic predators and their generation will be totally materialistic making the bosses rub their hand with glee. The worker is “better of ” than his parents or grand parents but is due to credit cards and loans. It is well known that the more people in poverty the more children they have trying to make the family survive. A poll of working areas and rich areas would prove that right. The third world is increasing at alarming rates yet being the poorest areas of the world and being totally exploited by capitalism and the Governments who embrace it ( all governments are capitalist in some form). The environment and its protection covers all issues from IR to economics. To not take global warming and its affects seriously as the number 1 issue would be disastrous.
I’m an active member of the Greens, and I’ll admit that I’ve sometimes strayed into pushing Green policy positions on this site (and taking swipes at other parties) but I’d agree with Adam.
It’s inevitable that we will sometimes get on our individual soapboxes, but I think we should try to avoid it, and remind people when they do. There are plenty of sites to discuss political issues. There are very few sites to discuss Australian psephology and it would disappointing if this one got taken over with other matters – I’m already finding it hard to locate the psephological discussions amongst the rest.
That said, I wouldn’t mind taking you up on your comments about population elsewhere Adam if you can suggest a suitable venue.
Stephen L and Adam, without wanting to spam gratuitously, may I suggest this new bulletin board as a possible venue;
I suspect this year’s election will end up being a rather polarised affair and I think we can expect the two major parties to achieve solid 40+ primary votes. The Greens will do well (though not as well as opinion polls might suggest), the Dems will go the way of the DLP (which I guess means they’ll make a comeback in about 2030) and Indepedents will hold the balance of power backing a minority Rudd government. This government will be up against a hostile Senate and we’ll be back to the polls in late 2008/ early 2009.
How’s that for psephological musing?
Bill Weller, what do you think has been the best real-life economic system (as opposed to the best theoretical economic system) ?
Hugo, I think that’s a very nice scenario. Assuming we have the same three independents (Andren, Windsor and Katter), and assuming they agree to support Labor (a VERY dubious assumption in Katter’s case), Labor needs to win 13 seats and lose none. This is still a big ask, but not impossible. As to a DD in 2008, that depends on whether Rudd is a whitlamite “crash through or crash” PM or not. I suspect he won’t be. He might follow the Bracks-Beattie-Rann scenario – sneak into office, spend your first term smiling a lot, win a second election in a landslide. The difficulty with that scenario for Rudd is that the unions will demand the repeal of Work Choices ASAP, and with a hostile Senate that will be difficult.
Adam, Rudd’s task in winning the 2007 election is much easier if the mortgage-belt seats swing to Labor, which might be happening (think about the recent polls in the Adelaide seats which might, of course, just reflect the current labor surge).
If there is a mortgage-belt surge to labor, the ALP *might* pick up Longman, Dickson, Petrie, Bonner, Bowman (long shot), Moreton and Oxley in Qld, and Kingston, Makin and Wakefield in SA, which altogether are 10 seats of the 16 odd seats they need to win.
As Antony Green points out, it was the mortgage belt seats that saved the 1998 election for Howard.
I don’t think that Katter would ever support an ALP govt.
Adam mentions that Ruddy might ‘win narrowly, smile a lot and then win hamdsomely the second time around’ scenario similar to Beattie, Rann, Bracks etc. State governments, particularly (but not always of the ALP persuasion) have been doing this for decades. When federal governments change, they usually do it with a bang and slowly slide backwards (1931, 49, 75, 83, 96). The only new government to have a small majority in recent times has been Whitlam in 1972 who peaked in some states (Qld, SA, WA) in 1969 and by 1972 the tide in these states was running out -and more than balanced by NSW and VIC to give a majority of 9. If he does win narrowly – at this stage there doesn’t seem to be the ‘big mo’ (courtesy of the West Wing) – his majorities may stay narrow. At the federal level there is a much broader range of constituencies (not just geographic) and economic issues are usually paramount – and to some extent out of the govts control. By 2010 there may be also be some state ALP governments that voters want to punish. It has been mentioned that this may be Kevin’s 1969 – if that is the case, this will be the Liberals ‘one election too many’ – and Kevin will win handsomely in 2010.
There are a few other issues to be considered – is there really a mood for change out there? – bloggers on this site do not count, the PM is starting to look stale, but the rest of the govt has been largely rejuvenated since 1996 (Costello, Downer, Ruddock excepted) – contrast this to the last labor government when by 1995 / 96 the ministry was down to the second XI – and is the mortgage belt that upset? – except for those in Sydney who went in too far, and possibly should not have been given loans to begin with (refer RBA warnings over the years). 2007 may be the one election too many.
Thanks for coming, everybody – I’m closing this thread down. New one here.
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