Happy anniversary

I have written a piece on the Rudd government’s first-year polling record relative to that of the Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke and Howard governments, which is freely available in Crikey. Elsewhere:

• For those with ready access to academic journals, the latest edition of the Australian Journal of Politics and History features a look at the role of the Senate in the Australian political system by Stanley Bach, lately of the Congressional Research Service of the US Library of Congress, and an examination of conscience voting in the federal parliament by John Warhurst of the Australian National University. The Australian Journal of Political Science has an overview of the introduction of proportional representation to the Victorian upper house at the 2006 election, by Nick Economou of Monash University.

• The Victorian Electoral Boundaries Commission has concluded there will be no state redistribution before the 2010 election, at least on the basis of “current information”. The present boundaries have been in place since the 2002 election. Hat tip to Tom the first and best. UPDATE: Further props to Tom for noting below that the determination rests on a definition of a “general election” that does not count the 2002 election, as it was conducted on the pre-reform regime when only half the Legislative Council faced election – perhaps contrary to the drafters’ intention.

• The Western Australian branch of the Australian Democrats has been deregistered after declining to challenge the electoral commissioner’s determination that it did not have 500 members.

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.

322 comments on “Happy anniversary”

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  1. I think Kev has had a cold for the last couple of days, and he wont be getting much sleep this weekend Juliem as he has a COAG meeting Saturday to hand out $13 billion for health. (according to Nicola Roxon in QT.)

  2. Saw vision of Rudd at a ceremony earlier in the day that was interrupted when fire sprinklers went off. He was still there chatting to the firies as they mopped up, so I’m guessing he may have been way behind schedule for the rest of the morning which could account for him arriving breathless for QT.

  3. Something for dovif to consider:

    [The Coalition paid off Labor’s debt. It did it by selling just about everything it could lay its hands on apart from Australia Post.

    …Selling Telstra meant that the government missed out on its dividends. It helpd government finances not at all.

    It was as if a farm sold it cows to pay off its debt. It would become debt-free, but would miss out on milk and the earnings from selling it.
    http://petermartin.blogspot.com/2008/11/who-ran-up-and-who-paid-off-debt.html ]

    Even worse they made a continuing headache for everyone by selling it off as a single identity.

  4. [(From the OED: Dandy: A person who is superlatively fine, neat, or dainty; also neat, trim, or ‘tidy’ in form or action.)]
    I see Pyne as a humourless type. You know, the sort of kid that played chess in the library during lunchtime, and who wore socks with sandles during summer.

  5. “socks with sandles”

    Only the Young Liberals would accept him, hoity-toity misfits with powerful dynastic connections making up the bulk of their membership base.

    They even agreed to ignore the foot odour and the huffy Little Lord Fauntleroy routine (which was always at its most intense following a loss in chess).

  6. Well, ain’t 24 hours, let alone a week, a long time in politics? With the appalling events in Mumbai, the death of another soldier in Afghanistan and the political chaos in Thailand, I reckon Her Maj.’s Loyal Opposition could implode from lack of relevance. Not to mention them looking and sounding like economic illiterates with their confected outrage about the possibility of a deficit. The bit of Hockey I saw on the news, I actually found quite shocking, he was so nasty towards Rudd. It must be absolutely galling that the bloke he declared to be unready to be PM, prior to the election, is the PM, and that thus far, with the solid approval of the Australian people.

  7. HSO he spent all of QT today trying to call Rudd “nasty” – basically because Rudd said of Bishop that she “is renowned for her originality in this place”.

  8. Since Mr Costello is back in the predictions game and doing Julie’s Job we should be keeping tabs. So far he is 100% wrong. The market hadn’t bottomed when he said it had. He is now predicting no recession for Australia, except of course if Labor stuffs it up. Clever. Beats working for a living.

  9. HSO,

    One must feel some sort of sympathy for the Opposition.

    They spend 2 weeks trying to get the Government to get an admission that a deficit may be possible – then, when they get it, the news is swamped by the bombings in Mumbai and the death of soldier in Afghanistan. The poor guys can’t take a trick atm…

    P.S. I must also express my deepest (and sincerest) sympathy for the people injured/killed in Mumbai (and their families), as well as for the family of the dead soldier in Afghanistan.

  10. I think Crikey is turning out to be just a abbreviated version of The Australian with the right wing trash it sometimes has as story headlines. So what is the point of it? We already have a media dominated by right wingers Liberal sycophants.

    [17 . Kruddiversary: The internet thanks you for 12 months of achieving nothing ]

    They may as well said KRUDD we hate you and want to tell everyone you have done nothing; though we know we would be lying (which they are of course).

    Could have written by Ackerman or Bolt that one.

    Must say I found that headline in a supposed media outlet to be offensive. The certainly wont be getting any business from my family or friends.

    There is still well and truly an on-line niche out there for an honest counter balance to the Murdoch nonsense.

  11. [Must say I found that headline in a supposed media outlet to be offensive. The certainly wont be getting any business from my family or friends.]

    Noble move, but a small problem – will your boycott include not posting here, considering Mr Bowe is now a blogger at large for said publication ? 🙂

  12. The poll result re ‘are you scared by a government deficit’ is odd. Opposition supporters are greatly disturbed by this odd concept that occurs nowhere else in the world, Government supporters are marginally relaxed and comfortable. But the demographic beakdown shows that men are much more relaxed and older folk much more comfortable about a deficit, yet this is the reverse of the normal Lib/Lab bias of these groups. Huh?. Is there an extreme reaction by young Liberal females against a deficit or extreme disinterest by older Labor males?

  13. Since Mr Costello is back in the predictions game and doing Julie’s Job we should be keeping tabs

    While he’s in a rare talkative mood, maybe someone should ask him why if deficits are the sign of an incompetent government, as his fellow travellers maintain, he ran the country into one in 2001/2. Sure there was the Asian implosion, but that was small beer compared to the current crisis which the Opposition say isn’t an excuse for anything less than a huge surplus.

    Of course we’d already be in deficit if the Government had heeded Opposition demands and kept the ADF in Iraq, given single aged pensioners a $30/week increase, used Workchoices to drive down wages and therefore also the tax take, knocked 5 cents/Litre off the petrol excise, scrubbed the luxury car and alcopops taxes and bailed out mortgage funds.

  14. Mayo

    Good questions. Someone should also ask Costello whether he ever ignored treasury advice, or never bothered asking for any on a $10 billion Murray “rescue plan”.

  15. I guess the earlier questions around Stephen Smith’s absence from the Parliament today have been answered by his appearance on Lateline… via satellite from London

  16. The soldier’s death is a reminder of Rudd’s biggest mistake to date – he willingly inherited one of Howard’s bigger foreign policy disasters. Rudd has subsequently neither skedaddled nor developed a convincing exit strategy from Afghanistan. Karzai’s Government does not rate as sustainable because of its corruption. Beyond that, winning the hearts and minds can only proceed if the hearts and minds outside Kabul are properly protected from the Taliban. But civil engineering jobs of any magnitude outside Kabul require batallion-sized protection.

    The death of the soldier is therefore emblamatic of one of the main problems. The Australians had been there before. In other words, there are not enough resources to hold territory. The contested areas within Afghanistan are increasing, not decreasing. The Afghan police force is totally unlikely to become anything like capable of maintaining civil order in anything like the foreseeable future.

    It is become a war which is neither loseable and is not winnable in the military sense. It therefore requires a political exit strategy. Where is the discussion by the Rudd Governmen about how it intends to go about things? It is unreasonable to expect the military to keep taking casualties in the absence of anything credible from Rudd, other than the let’s hang around and wait and see which appears to be the current policy.
    Much as I regret saying this when the death is raw for family, friends and colleagues, it needs to be said. Our soldiers do their soldiering very well. They should be able do so knowing that the civil is on top of its side of the equation.

  17. Am away a feww days , and th Site is taken over by those who studied econamics at University then coming out actualy believing th theories were practical in a reel world ….what with th econamic rationist Dovif supporting Howard and th ‘left’ blogers inaccurately saying Howard wasted 390 billion surpliuss’ on other ,

    Anyone that looked at alternative ronanomics knows econamic rationalism lies in th rubble of Wall Street with trillions of losses , discredited and Labor Keynes type econamics is re-recognised where Big Govt has a role worldwide to fix th unfettered free markets thoery mess Conversely to th ‘left’ blogers there was no 390 billion surplus in th first place for Howard to spend That figure is nonsense & non existant Fact is in overall settings Howard over 12 years did a fair job , otherwiase we would be an econamic basket case like so many other Countires and heading into recession

    Good parts were retiring of some of Govt 96 billion debt which now helps rudd and monies in future Fund , Education fund etc which were wise and also helps Rudd access needed captial

    Where I disagrees with John howard is partly how he sourced revanues and significantly his use of outlays GST is a flat tax and so is blatantly inequitable , initialy was revenue neutrel removing 7 other taxes but made even further inequitable excess funds financed rejig of tax scales favourng upper end , bracket creeep and boom dividend paid for later tax cuts to partly offset tax creeps and th balanse often in middle class welfare (good politcs , terrible econamic productivity) This feed generaly into unproductiv consumption creating demand inflastion ultimately and so higher interest rates finaly Do not agree this was good policy overall

    However also what overall outlays policy did not created was investment in either infrastucture needed for long term National productivity , or in education and TAFE’s (Howard cut) thereby creating th later skill shortages and demand pressures on interest rates For a while this was camoflages by lower wages in some sectors caused by th inequitable W/C ( a discredited deregaulation wages theorry that places econamics abov working family humans , which econamics is suposed to serve not be master of)

    And if econamic rationalists ar not yet embarrased how leaky there ‘ationalist’theorys compred to alternatives then compares that interst rates when john howard left were within 0.25% of th level when PK left so so much for interst rate managers (cycles play a role not just Govt) , and taxes as % of GDP were higher under john howard than PK so much for ‘small “Govt” , skills shortages ar now out of wacko , National productivity infrastucturees ar varyiously obsolete , National income essentialy relies now on what we can dig up , th trade deficit debt was 180 billion when PK left and at Nov 2007 was 540 billion (which requires financing , but with no long term structoral adjustment planned by Cossie)

    And of course for econamic rationists , some “core left Labor” policys could be mentioned….that rotten Schools Commission alocation of funds State vs Private Reality is public funds ar directly financing state of art facilities at some private schools , whilst other private & public schools hav shocking facilites and it is THAT huge facilities discrepancy which is publicly finansed , which overrides in equity any argument for State Aid…close th gap and State aid has some arguments I feel John Howard has indirectly via funding increased that faxcilities discrepancy Now Kevin Rudd clevely is partly redressing (but not enough for mine) via internets etc in all schools

    As for Private Health surcharge at 50K , it was a transefer of monies to Privat Insurance Industry & Private Hospitals ….lame excuse it took pressure of Public hospitals…way to take pressure off was diversion of those funds directly doect to Public Hospitals not via mirrors hoping trickle down efect

    So john howards policys did leave us money in bank , did retire Public Debt , did provide/encourage growth , did provide some benefits to new home owners , and to new mothers and child care relief blah blah , and did foster trade with China and others , however tings I sugest econamy could hav been done diferently with diferent priorites for better national outcomes as listed , rather than traditional consevative policy philosophies and consequent ‘dry’ econamics implementation

    And as for that 390 billion , well ronanomicaly tink its a delusion at one level and at another simply th inflation adjusted diferential in overall terms of trade betweeen th respective Labor & Liberal Govenemts of gross discretionaries

  18. Unbelievable – Greg Sheriden pretty much says the Mumbai attacks are the fault of Obama:
    [THIS is a devastating assault on India, its democracy, its way of life and its brilliant economy, all of which excite envy and hatred from Islamic extremists.

    But it is also a message from Terror Central to US president-elect Barack Obama.

    During the US presidential campaign, Joe Biden said that the US’s enemies would challenge Obama in the first months of his presidency. Biden’s prediction has come true sooner than even he expected. ]

    Code for – if McCain hadn’t been elected this wouldn’t have happened.

    What a complete and utter fool. Nothing in his article actually points to this having anything to do with the election. But that doesn’t matter – who needs facts or logic?


  19. 260 Oz – that has to be one of the all-time best Clarke and Dawe’s

    [I’ll tell you something I have only previously told my teddy bear. He was serious my pleased!]

  20. From Sherid***’s article:
    [During the US presidential campaign, Joe Biden said that the US’s enemies would challenge Obama in the first months of his presidency. Biden’s prediction has come true sooner than even he expected.]

    Did I miss the inauguration? I could swear it wasn’t even Christmas yet.

    And hasn’t he heard of Kashmir?

  21. Also by that logic, Sheridan must think that 9/11 was Bush’s fault, and Bali was Howard’s fault? I certinaly don’t believe that myself, but it shows how twisted his logic is. I’m so glad I don’t read the print or electronic versions of the Australain.

  22. Sheridan is a complete imbecile. How the OO keeps paying him to write that mindless drivel is beyond me. Terrorist attacks of this nature take at least six months of planning. So were the terrorists planning a message to Obama six months ago which they were going to call off if McCain won because the message would not be needed?

  23. John Hartigan, chairman and chief executive of News Limited, won the 2008 Walkley for Journalistic Leadership (awarded last night).

    In a syrupy video celebration of Hartigan’s career and achievements (shown before the award was presented), the most lavish praise came from Murdoch.

    (The kiss of death.)

    So Hartigan’s leadership was recognised with this country’s highest journalistic honour. Leadership of such distinguished opinion writers as Piers Ackerman, Andrew Bolt, Glenn Milne, Dennis Shanahan, Janet Albrechtsen, Greg Sheridan and Christopher Pearson.

    You pat my back and I’ll pat yours, eh! What a joke.

  24. [And hasn’t he heard of Kashmir?]

    Or hundreds of years of Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Sikh tensions?

    I’m a bit surprised about this reaction to Mumbai. India’s had a number of suicide bombings this year. Yes, nothing on this scale recently. But the reaction in some circles is one of complete shock, “We played cricket there, how could this have happened!”.

    I suppose it’s also different in another sense as it was a deliberate attack against foreigners, Bali-style, rather than the usual bombings in India.

    It was a bit depressing to hear the old “Linked to Al-Qaeda” line pulled out again. I thought we were past that rubbish. Some news anchor was saying “Credible experts believe that this new group has ideological, material and financial links to Al-Qaeda”. And then they asked the expert and he said “Yes, the type of attack is something Al-Qaeda could do”. Weighty evidence.

  25. The reason all these stupid theories and blame are being tossed around by incompetents in the media is because THEY DON’T KNOW ANYTHING, so they make up a reason and fill in the blanks. Typical toilet paper rubbish.

  26. Oz
    If you read the links I posted from India you wil see that the reprots of links ot Pakistan are credible. One report says that the Indian army has already captured three attackers, one of whom is named as a Pakistani national. I would not imply that there are no racial tensions or even past terrorist attacks in India, but the point is they are internal. There is not a history of the internal groups attacking foreigners. These attacks are clearly organised by outside forces. See Juan Cole’s website for analysis:

  27. Peter Hartcher – “Budget policy should lean in the opposite direction to the prevailing economic conditions. When the economy is growing well, the Government should set aside its windfall revenues as surpluses. When the economy is shrinking, the Government should go into deficit to stimulate growth. That is the way sensible budget policy works.
    Turnbull knows this well. To pretend it is some sort of irresponsibility of Rudd’s is itself an act of irresponsibility. It marks the descent of Turnbull to economic stuntsmanship, no better than his predecessor, Brendan Nelson.”]
    Say no more.

  28. Gary

    Yes that is Turnbull. The silly thing is that politically, they could have taken the opposite tack adn scored points off Rudd. Rather than say “deficits are terrible” when everyone else who knew anything thinks otherwise, they could have said – “why did it take you so long to admit we’d have a deficit”. “Why delay any furhter stimulus”. But they didn’t, so now they will be seen as the ones coming to the solution last.

  29. While the polls show the opposition so far behind Glen will not accept any of the pollsters. Of course this attitiude will change some time in the distant future when the polls show the opposition a mile in front.

  30. It is both the fault of Dubya and Obama. the hiatus between now and jan09 has caused the financial crisis management and solution to be drifting aimlessly,

    exhibit A: look at that idiot Paulson’s handling of the crisis.
    exhibit b: Mumbai

    So either Dubya should resign now and hand it over to Obama or Obama should launch a coup and topple Dubya and take over immediately. We cannot wait 2 more months of indecision.

    Amigos, they effing need the Knowledge Tree of Maccu Picchu.

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