Idiot box

For the purpose of having something to hang a new open thread off, I hereby present unilluminating 15-second ads for the Liberal candidates for Stirling and Cowan, which ran during Perth news bulletins this evening.

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.

352 comments on “Idiot box”

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  1. I have already recorded to CD, for the great night, parts of Gotterdamerung!

    Suggestions for funereal music most welcome, as well.

  2. Hmm, Ch 9 just ran a Liberal Party ad for Swan.

    Oh and from the Sham I AM:

    [IN an extraordinary display of bravado and confidence, John Howard and Peter Costello yesterday set out their political plan for the rest of the election – jobs, jobs, jobs.

    Only a day after the first interest rate rise during an election campaign should have floored the Prime Minister and Treasurer, they gave a two-for-one press conference aimed squarely at Kevin Rudd, making managing the economy the core election issue.

    The fundamental strength of the economy and the Coalition’s perceived ability to manage it better has always been the Howard Government’s best and last resort. ]

  3. and the Editorial from the GG.


    John Howard has seeds of the scare campaign he needs

    JOHN Howard has seized the bad news from this week’s interest rates rise as a last-ditch opportunity to turn Kevin Rudd’s year-long campaign against the unpopular Work Choices policy back against Labor. Seizing on another month of low unemployment, the Prime Minister yesterday claimed credit for the “human dividend” of full employment that his industrial relations reforms were delivering, taunting that Labor was the party that would destroy jobs. Peter Costello joined the attack, saying that by turning his back on labour market reform, the Opposition Leader had abandoned one of the few levers available to governments to control inflation in a booming economy. Mr Howard and Mr Costello are setting a trap for Labor around which Mr Rudd needs to tread very carefully over the next two weeks if he is not to see his prime ministerial ambitions crushed.],25197,22726691-23069,00.html

  4. As if anyone didn’t already know it but the experts agree, the libs adds are a disater;

    THE Liberal Party’s advertising strategy has been misdirected and is floundering, according to leading advertising people.

    The party’s campaign slogan, “Go for growth”, was shunted to the side on Wednesday when Prime Minister John Howard responded to the Reserve Bank’s decision to raise interest rates.

    Governor Glenn Stevens’ statement that the economy is experiencing excessive growth prompted the PM to replace the “Go for growth” slogan that had been the standard backdrop during the campaign with a hastily draped national flag.

    Liberal headquarters last night rejected reports the slogan had been abandoned, pointing to its continued presence on the party website, but even if the slogan returns it has been condemned by three advertising experts contacted by The Age.

    Noel Delbridge has retired from copywriting but worked on political advertising campaigns over three decades, primarily for the Liberals but also for Labor.

    He said that in the first four weeks of the campaign “the Liberals’ ads have been appalling. They’re thumping the table, they’re full of fear. All the reds and blacks with crude (superimposed elements) on the screen; these are really propaganda techniques. If you are going to use a fear campaign, the fear has to be imminent. It must be based in some reality and must at least appear to be genuine.”

    Bill Shannon, head of Shannon’s Way, who has worked on Labor advertising campaigns since 1987, said many people criticised negative advertisements but they were the ones people remembered.

    The Liberal Party’s dilemma was that it was being caught selling mixed messages. “On the one hand, they are now rolling out a negative pitch about what might happen to interest rates under a Labor government, but on the other they are saying that we (the Government) cannot control interest rates,” he said.

    Mr Delbridge and Mr Shannon said the most effective ad so far had been a Labor “testimonial” from a young mother worried about interest rates whose gentle admonishment of the PM, “no offence, Mr Howard, you’ve lost touch”, made an impact because it showed an ordinary person whose apparent neutrality made her credible.

  5. My Shanahan blog contribution:

    IN an extraordinary display of huff and puff, Shanahan yesterday set out his master’s political plan for the rest of the election – spin, spin, spin.

  6. “Extraordinary display of bravado and confidence”?? Talking about jobs in an election campaign takes courage? What is Shanahan on?

    On another note, can someone tell me how to get that elegant quotation mark and grey text when including quotes from elsewhere on this blog?

  7. [A night without new poll results… it just feels so very wrong]

    Well today should be OK. 2 new Morgan Polls, and then hints on Sky News and / or Lateline. Probably the Galaxy Wentworth poll on Sunday, and a national Nielsen on Saturday, that according to ESJ is 55/45.

    We will find out how big a fraud ESJ is depending on whether the result is accurate or not.

  8. Always expected Howard to implode as the campaign wore on and reality of being cast aside sunk in. It will only get worse over the next 15 days as all hope finally evaporates.

    Just look at the difference in demeanour between Rudd, Howard and Costello. Ruddy is pleasant and upbeat where the others are resentful and disconsolate.

    Rudd the bright visionary against “chicken little” sky falling in. Tells the whole story really.

  9. Disgraceful to say, the older Lib voters, who are not about to change their vote anyway, are scared to wherever about the Unions.

    They seem to be persuaded by their old perceptions, and let’s see, if they have been out of the workforce for argument’s sake, about fifteen to twenty years, it seems they have no idea of what occurred under Enterprise Bargaining, the Accord, secured minimum wage and conditions, the results in terms of reduced industrial action and a general harmony. However restless underneath.

    No conception that the UNIONS have no sway, as in the days they are referencing.

    No acknowledgement that change, in terms merely of membership, would make a difference if a strike were called.

    No understanding or even willingness, to comprehend Fair Work, under Labor policy.

    Not going to win them. Embedded in times past.

  10. 300
    Jude Says:
    November 9th, 2007 at 12:48 am
    I know I’m biased but I think Howard is sounding like he’s off his head.
    I agree. He has clearly lost it. His speech is confused and fumbling whilst his manner is increasingly erratic and even eccentric. He must be feeling very lost.

  11. I don’t work for a party so I’m happy to show hubris.
    Election eve it’ll be over by 7pm. With 3.5% counted you’ll hear about “Early swings to Labor” and the headlines will just get worse by the 20 minutes thereafter. Minchin will have the knives out early once he gives up the ghost and then the retributions will begin …

    Howard will say things like they ran a good campaign but that the stark political reality is that the economy is so good many cannot remember labor in power. He will take responsibility for the loss – and probably some smarmy parting comment like he hopes the australian people all the best under the new leadership – and that good economic times continue. He’ll rave on about his past – he’ll make up all sorts of historical lines on how marvellous the libs (read as HE) have been in power, talking up the wonders of economic management they’ve shown – and how happy he is to be leaving with the country in such a wonderful state … blah blah.

    Frankly I think Rudd could be pictured half up a goat on tomorrow’s Telegraph, AFR or whatever.

    It’s already over. I actually feel sorry for any of the tories rank and file that hold onto hope – it’ll be a terrible disappointment. It was lost before the rates rise – that’s just salt into a festering wound. The libs have wound down – you can see it, the party core has collapsed. They’re just going through the motions – all the poor souls desperately trying to save their seats.

    People are tired and ready to vote. Hell I’m tired and ready to vote – I understand those that switch off. Minds are made up – everything else is BLAH BLAH to sell papers until election day. About all that’s left is Labor trying to consolidate a lead – he’ll probably turn to WA next and sure up NSW (who knows / who cares).

    Tis over. Start the timer till a majority hate labor again … if the economy holds it could be a long term in Government.

    PS> If the libs really start eating their own and bailing before election day I reckon Bennelong will fall. It will have a certain fatalism about it – all the media training in the world can’t hide despair and anger at a leader that just wouldn’t shuffle into the night.

    Fat lady not ready to sing? Song’s over mate … nothing but trampled roses on stage to see here. She’s packed up and gone home.

  12. {Mr Howard and Mr Costello are setting a trap for Labor around which Mr Rudd needs to tread very carefully over the next two weeks if he is not to see his prime ministerial ambitions crushed.]

    Trying to use the one weapon he has left, the so-called economic advantage to neutralise his biggest problem, workchoices, is the last desperate act of an administration in total free-fall.

    The biggest problem Howard has got is no matter how much hundreds and thousands he tips on the WC turd, nobody is going to buy it. Rudd is steadily eroding Howard on the economic front too, especially with the weapons available to him now.

    Rising inflation, Interest rates and unemployment, housing affordability at an all time low and the list goes on and on. Some trap. I bet Rudd can’t believe his luck. Every time Howard and Costello talk about both these two issues, they are feeding into Rudd’s strengths.

  13. nath at 307

    ‘I think virginia is lovely’.

    Off you go, then.

    ‘I will follow her, wherever she may go’… swells, fades.

  14. Jude @ 321
    Sorry Jude, it should be like this:
    [blockquote] the text you want quote [/blockquote]

    Instead of [ ] substitute the less than or greater than symbols.

  15. [Mr Howard and Mr Costello are setting a trap for Labor around which Mr Rudd needs to tread very carefully over the next two weeks if he is not to see his prime ministerial ambitions crushed]

    *cough* bullshit

  16. [Trying to use the one weapon he has left, the so-called economic advantage to neutralise his biggest problem, workchoices, is the last desperate act of an administration in total free-fall]

    It’s also an admission that WorkChoices cuts wages and conditions.

    But Shanahan somehow thinks that is to the government’s benefit.

  17. Fletch (322), eeeasy there lad. It won’t be over by 7.00pm. Unless you are in the land of toads, mangoes, Prime Ministers, flying foxes, loquats, Treasurers, lychees and lungfish of course!

    Given that we QLDers disgracefully gave the Rodent control of the Senate last time, and so are collectively to blame for letting Ratty and Tip bring in WorkNoChoices, I hope that as the QLD results begin to be posted around 7.30PM Sydney time (6.30 here) that Kevin is already up 14 or 15 seats. The flood of ALP gains here will then push them over the line, helping to wipe out our shame.

  18. This just goes to show just how tricky and dishonest Howard is.

    {Howard’s figuring was not entirely upfront.

    The family he nominated has the father in line for a tax cut of $82.70 a month and the mother $37.20 a month. Yes, the $120 a month headline is accurate.

    But this is not a mainstream example. More than half the nation’s home-borrowing households won’t be seeing tax cuts of this order from the Coalition’s election package.

    The median income for a household with a mortgage was $81,600 at the census in August last year. Assuming wages grow at a modest clip of 4 per cent a year, that translates to combined income of $88,000 next year.

    The respective tax cuts here are $49.60 for dad and $37.20 for mum. Round that up for pollie speak, and it comes to $90 a month – $30 less than Howard’s example.

    Now you see why the PM wouldn’t go to the median home borrower for his case study – Wednesday’s rate rise wipes out roughly half the 2008 tax cut promised to voters.

    Remember, the money markets are predicting at least one more hike to come. That would add a further $40 to $50 a month to the mortgage burden in December, or perhaps next February, based on the PM’s sums.

    Voters, repeat after me: take one election tax cut worth $90 and subtract two interest rate hikes, worth a combined $80 to $100. What does that leave you? }

  19. Re. #310 Let It End –
    How much of the Liberal fear campaign is being scripted by their close US counterparts (Republicans!!)? It seems to me to be more in line with their take on what scares people back into the fold.
    Unfortunately, Australians are (on average!) more intelligent and well read than US citizens; which would explain the lack of bite with the useless Liberal campaign.

  20. Jude #313

    You just need to enter your comment within a blockquote element.

    For example:

    On another note, can someone tell me how to get that elegant quotation mark and grey text when including quotes from elsewhere on this blog?

    will be displayed as:

    On another note, can someone tell me how to get that elegant quotation mark and grey text when including quotes from elsewhere on this blog?

  21. Fellow Entrail-readers…

    Given what was said the other day about the supposed Daily Telegraph of a Rudd story that would make Scores irrelevant, what do you make of this bizarrely concocted headline from today’s Telegraph.

    PM not sorry, election rival ‘gay’

    The gay business has nothing to do with Howard’s apology – indeed, it makes no sense whatsoever – it’s about Dani Ecuyer using gay men to tout her run for Wentworth, a story that would struggle to get an inside mention in the Wentworth Courier, and certainly wouldn’t appear under the headline “Election rival ‘gay'” because a) that not what the story’s about – the story is ‘Candidate to use gay hunks in campaign,’ and b) any self-respecting journalist, sub-editor or editor would realise that such a headline was potentially misleading.

    Written the way it is, however, it is deliberately misleading.

    The Liberal Party high command better be praying that its fingerprints can’t be found anywhere near this, or there’ll be the mother of all sh*t storms next week.

    (And btw, Tories, even if Kevin’s as queer as a bottle of crisps, he’s still going be elected PM on November 24th. Get used to it.)

  22. Greensborough Growler @ 315 – Thank you so much for the link!!
    I loved ‘ The Hon Peter Costello 2003’ – nothing has changed!!

  23. sorry not a subscriber, but I reckon this is the story.

    Exclusive: Latham lashes greed-driven campaign
    09 Nov 2007 | The Australian Financial Review | Marcus Priest

    Former Labor leader Mark Latham has broken his silence by accusing both the main political parties of pandering to middle-class greed.

  24. centaur – I suspect you’re right (though see above for my far more salacious offering from the Murdoch stable of filth and depravity).

    I can’t see how being attacked by Mark Latham is going to do Rudd any harm. It certainly needn’t do.

    (And what are you doing out of bed at 4.39am?)

  25. 154
    CL de Footscray Says:
    November 8th, 2007 at 11:16 pm
    Broadband is a massive issue everywhere – even in inner Melbourne, where, by the way, it’s fairly sh$#e. It’s like building railways last century. For business poeple it’s a serious big deal. Not to mention education.

    Where I used to live (before SW Sydney) was in Kensington. I could walk to Arden Street over the train lines and watch North at training. We were able to get wonderful Broadband there. It was Optus and we were annoyed at the limits on monthly downloads, but that was our choice due to the cost of the various programs. Service in and of itself was readily available. What parts of the inner city aren’t wired, CL?

  26. The hard copy edition of the Daily Tele runs a straight head on Farr’s “sorry” story: “Defining moment in PM’s sorry saga – Mortgagees don’t rate an apology.”

    Seems that other nonsense was just the online version.

  27. On another note, can someone tell me how to get that elegant quotation mark and grey text when including quotes from elsewhere on this blog?

    Here’s hoping.

  28. I’m talking to a lot of pissed off swinging voters who really hate Nicole. The Advertiser has really done a hatchet job on her.

    And you’ve fallen for it. Go and talk to Cornes. You may be surprised. To find out where she’s campaigning email or ph: 0431 147 716.

    Even if she’s twice a stupid as you believe, she’d still be a genius compared to the dickhead who’ll be relected in Mayo 🙁

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