Letters from the editor

From today’s editorials that I’ve seen (might get the Financial Review later), there’s a 4-3 split in favour of Labor with The Age sitting on the fence.

• The Daily Telegraph wouldn’t have come down on Labor’s side too often in its history, but today it argues Kevin Rudd is “the right man for these times”.

• Haven’t yet located the Herald Sun’s editorial, but a report tells us it has gone against its Sydney stablemate to endorse the Coalition (UPDATE: here it is).

• An upbeat editorial in The Australian opts for Labor.

• The Courier-Mail goes for the local boy, in only the second federal Labor endorsement in the paper’s history.

• The Sydney Morning Herald backs Labor under the headline: “We can’t afford the luxury of a long goodbye”.

The Age reckons “is not our role to tell you who to vote for (in a post-deferential age no one wants to be told who to vote for)”. Ptuh.

• Adelaide’s News Limited tabloid the Advertiser complains of an electorate “enamoured with change” in calling for the return of the government.

• The West Australian reckons “the nation’s best interests, particularly those in WA, would be served by the return of the coalition, provided it has learnt from this campaign the political lesson that it must move with the times and not get stuck in the past”.

UPDATE: Thanks to Nick in comments for alerting us to the Financial Review’s verdict in favour of the Coalition: “The Howard Government remains better qualified to plot a safe passage through choppy seas”.

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.

47 comments on “Letters from the editor”

  1. The GG endorsement is a Clayton’s special. It is not an endorsement of any kind. Apart from a number of history re-writes, there are parts where they have handled the truth very loosley.

    Also found this gem embedded in an article which shows a lot about leopards and spots,

    “Earlier in his decades-long parliamentary career, Mr Howard gained the ironic nickname of “Honest John” – which has dogged him since.

    A survey this year showed voters thought Labor leader Kevin Rudd was twice as likely to tell the truth as Mr Howard.”

    What an absolute blight on the history of Aussie politicians from all quarters JWH has been. Oh yes, he will be remembered, for all the wrong reasons.

  2. New poll! Ok don’t get excited, but a “random poll” in the Sunshine Coast Daily (Fisher, Peter Slipper) has 2PP of Lib 43.5%, Lab 41.5%, undecided 15%. I get the impression it’s not all that rigorous, but still it’s a narrowing!

    I sometimes trawl the on-line country papers to battle insomnia and occasionally find “polls” like the above. No endorsement editorials per se, but the Townsville Bulletin seems to prefer Matt Bowen to John Howard

    and the Byron Bay Echo slightly prefers Green to Democrat (with Mungo article as a bonus, if a few days old)

  3. Financial review is urging for a vote for Howard.

    “The Howard Government remains better qualified to plot a safe passage through choppy seas”.

  4. Betfair this am has the Coalition @ $5.10 but no money for them.

    We do indeed live in interesting times, the Brisbane Courier Mail. the most hidebound and reactionary Tory rag in the country endorsing Kev, never thought I would live to see the day. I wonder what they are up to?

  5. Read all of the online editorials this morning 🙂 The DT and Australian ones sound wholeheartedly as if they are endorsing Rudd and for all of the right reasons. The SMH one just talks about the coalition and at the end says “oh well, no plans for the future, we’ll endorse Rudd”. I would have expected positive things about the ALP polices et. al. The SMH endorsement seems to be less heartfelt …..

  6. That’s it. All over. Put down the glasses. I love the bit in the OZ ed where they attempt to say they are not the government cheer squad but were fair and balanced.
    Reminds me of Fox News.
    Despite the galaxy it shows which poll the papers are believing if their editorials are any guide

  7. “18
    mark-sydney Says:
    November 23rd, 2007 at 7:10 am
    Labor Voter @ 1
    Thanks so much for the Costello link…
    Very enjoyable!”

    Yes. And it’ll be even more enjoyable on Saturday night when Costello loses Higgins and the exit polling shows that his constituents were disgusted by the racist dirty tricks of a bunch of nobodies in an far away electorate of which we know little. What a smug, lazy jackass.

  8. I rather liked “The Age” approach. Even though it didn’t say “vote for X” the arguments which it provided put the pros and cons very clearly. In reality it made it very clear who they supported, without the patronising implications of telling people who to vote for.

    Some people don’t like being told “do this”, especially when it comes to the personal matter of voting.

  9. First time I read the editorials of the MSM in Sydney. Tomorrow is going to be a watershed in Australian political history. “Conventionial political wisdom” is going to be turned on its head. Especially the one about incumbent governments are never voted out while the economy is performing strongly. IMHO Labor’s momentum has acccelerated in the last week. Labor will win at least 30 seats.

    Rudd has been like a chess Grandmaster in developing a winning strategy right from the beginning when he said he would play with Howards mind. He has executed this strategy in a disciplined manner with some brilliant tactical moves. (Putting Maxine McKew in Bennelong, underspending Howard at the party launch, attacking Howard on his strengths, maintaining a positive message despite Howards fear & smear, etc.)

  10. So The Age wants a party that does everything they list in their editorial? And yet they couldn’t bring themselves to mention the Democrats, which in the last three years has actually delivered on every single one of the issues they mentioned.

  11. Kevin Rudd will slay the Jabberwocky!

    Lewis Carroll
    (from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

    “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
    Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”

    He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought —
    So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.

    And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
    Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!

    One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
    He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.

    “And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
    O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
    He chortled in his joy.

    `Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

  12. jen writes:

    The GG supporting Labor.
    I am going back to bed as I must be dreaming.

    They have read the writing on the wall, jen. They want to STILL be seen as the “Government Gazette” after Saturday. The Oz doesn’t like to back losers.

  13. OK – all you critics of the GG should now apologise for your unkind words here over past months now that this esteemed rag has said ‘vote for Kevin’. Shanahan apparently, has sought counselling.

  14. The Worst Australian, or the Herdsman Lake Liberal Party Newsletter, as some refer to our fine daily here in the West would have supported the Libs if their leader was Hiltler, running with Stalin as his deputy against a labor ticket with the Pope as leader and St Paul as his deputy. That they found anything less than perfect with the Libs is remarkable.

  15. I am a tad jittery about these polls being slightly poles apart. I want to get this over an done with, asap but dread what might come out the other end. I know I know, trust the polls. That’s all well and good but, tell that to the butterflies in my stomach. Wot if Howzat comes back in by a nose? Aaaarrrrrrggggghhhh! I may have to consider migrating to NZ for 3 years.

  16. From The Australian:

    “We have never accepted the leftist critique that Mr Howard has made Australia a divided, nasty and selfish society. The statistics on wealth distribution and workforce participation prove the opposite to the true.”

    On what planet are accusations of divisiveness and moral bankruptcy refuted by statistics on wealth distribution and workforce participation?

  17. The Oz editorial does seem to suggest a narrowing of the Newspoll result, but last night’s rumour of 54-46 isn’t really a narrwoing. Of course, it may be horses*@t, and the GG editorial also says they were still polling last night – it may have been 54-46 before last night’s stuff. You’s expect it to open up a bit after Lindsay-gate, n’est ce pas?

    God give me strength. Keeping the lid on is not an easy task (although I had practice doing so in September, with a result I hope to be echoed tomorrow).

  18. When Tony Jones revealed the editorial recommendations on Lateline last night, and I saw the GG listed as supporting new-blood-Rudd, I nearly fell off my chair.

    You’re right, CL de F, it’s like the Night Before Christmas for me. Can’t wait until St Antony and his helpers deliver my presents tomorrow night. Unwrapping all those Lib seats will be such fun -and I wonder just how many Ministers I will score?

  19. The GG just has too much form for a credible last minute turnaround. They’re burned by the widespread criticism (not just here) – especially of Shanahack and Milne but also the silver lining spotters of the editorial team as a whole. They want to wake up next week holding the figleaf of being the ‘national broadsheet of influence’. Sat’dy’s results any which way wouldn’t change that pretty widely held view I reckon.

  20. Sorry Gezza (40), from what I remember of the Advertiser, it can slide a hell of a lot further before it comes even remotely close to the West Australian for right-wing raggery.

  21. I’m predicting a narrow Labor win, but I feel the election is up in the air. It will be Liberal ‘heartland’ seats like Ryan, Bennelong, Wentworth and maybe Boothby, North Sydney and Sturt which will give Labor it’s narrow majority. Labor will come close to winning both Higgins and Kooyong, but not get over the line.

    I predict lots of stories about Rudd’s Liberals a like lot Howard’s ‘Battlers’.

  22. “A survey this year showed voters thought Labor leader Kevin Rudd was twice as likely to tell the truth as Mr Howard.”

    What an absolute blight on the history of Aussie politicians from all quarters JWH has been. Oh yes, he will be remembered, for all the wrong reasons.

    Kevin Rudd boasted to ABC’s Kerry O’Brien about his economic credentials while Queensland Finance Minister -but lets look at the real KRudd…

    “Kevin Rudd was a sheep in wolf’s clothing parading as a ‘economic conservative’ when his record in government proves he was a dangerous control freak who slashed frontline services while wastefully bloating the ranks of head office bureaucrats.

    Coalition Leader Jeff Seeney said as Wayne Goss’s chief-of-staff and departmental head, Kevin Rudd earned the nickname ‘Dr Death’ for the careers he destroyed and his cuts to frontline government services. “You don’t get called Dr Death for being reasoned, compassionate and considerate,” Mr Seeney said.

    “A phone call from Kevin Rudd meant only one thing …you, your job, your service, your department section was about to be stabbed, especially if you were outside Brisbane.”

    “Kevin Rudd ruthlessly led Labor’s attack on rural and regional Queensland. Thousands of jobs were cut and services vanished. Nearly a third of Queensland rail lines closed and ripped up. Court houses and police stations were closed, schools were shut and frontline services in the Department of Primary Industries and the Department of Natural Resources were speared. Rudd’s frenzied destruction of jobs and frontline services is still being felt.”

    “Never forget…Kevin Rudd led the scrapping of the long-planned Wolffdene Dam ensuring Level 6 water restrictions for south-east Queenslanders.” ..(some visionary!)

    John Howard WILL be remembered for paying off the $98 billion of labor’s debt
    in no time flat and have kept producing record surpluses since.

    With state Labor now in debt for $80 billion and if Federal Labor had of remained in office over the last 10 years adding to its total debt at the same rate it had already been accruing – adding interest and state Labor debt as well its not inconceivable that Labors total would be now somewhere around a half trillion dollars.

    Rudd wants to fund all these new social programs and start a whole slew of new agencies and commissions -say “sorry” to aborigines ($750,000) a head plus tying up land titles in cities, towns, farms, parks and beaches all over the country for years.
    And our industry and business sector will be dominated by unions and we will see prices go up on everything as in the building industry right now, where construction prices are on the increase because the insurance companies are anticipating strikes and unfair pay demands.
    And when the pollsters ask the punters how they will vote, they say Labor because of “Children overboard” or “Howard yesterday’s man” or “Its time for a change” .Well they will get a change alright, but not the one they expect and the scary part is that “Yesterday’s man will not be back to bail us all out!

  23. Personally i don’t think it is the job of newspapers to tell people who to vote for. They are their to report news and provide opinions on news but not for editors to tell us who should be the prime minister. The media should keep quiet on elections and let the people decide.

Comments are closed.