Which political parties in Australia today embrace any or all of the following traits and characteristics?
‘Is you woke, bro,’ the twenty-something going on 14-year-old asked me. ‘Is that English or some other language?’ was my not so friendly reply.
‘Harsh, dude. I’m not up for dat.’
I walked away suppressing the urge to slap the kid. Such a bad impression of an accent he didn’t understand. Something he extrapolated from a music video.
How will the Australian Coalition MPs who take their cues from the American Republicans orient themselves now?
Sane people all over the world have recognised the moral and political bankruptcy of the Republican Party.
How lack of political talent and the rise of hand-held online chatter levelled Australian politics, and exposes the Labor fraud under Shorten of presenting itself as a desirable alternative to the Coalition.
Whether Malcolm Turnbull will be a better Prime Minister for Australia than the outgoing Tony Abbott is highly questionable, given the constraints of Byzantine Coalition infighting and allegiances tied to murky patronage. But he is the worst sort of news for Bill Shorten’s Australian Labor Party.
Right now there is no one who more closely resembles Abbott in style and popularity than Shorten. The latter is secure only because he’s irrelevant; the Australian public is not focused on a potentially better leader of an opposition that is little more than a cut-rate Liberal party these days.
Why and how did Abbott become arguably Australia’s most despised and unpopular PM?
Within his own party he had long been known as an ‘attack dog’, apparently savouring his reputation as a rabid beast, and ruling his party like it was a street gang in which the most psychotic streetfighter is always the leader.
How analysts, commentators, and politicians are distorting Australia’s political landscape. A personal assessment of the battle for Australia as an independent nation rather than as a minor feudal colony of imperial powers.
The election outcome is not yet entirely certain, and much less certain even than it seemed last night, but it is clear the LNP was rejected in a historic reversal of fortunes after just three years.
What went wrong?
While I’d like to propose my own reasons for wanting to see the back of the Newman Queensland Government as the principal points of failure, that would be inaccurate. What brought the LNP undone was Clive Palmer. A feud to the right of the Labor Party.
All those who predicted that the Liberal National Party (LNP) would be returned with a slim margin were right when you look at historical trends and numbers. Precedent suggests that no party routed as decisively as the Australian Labor Party (ALP) was in 2012 could make it back in just one term.
But that’s if you only look at the numbers, and the substance of politics is assumed not to matter because it is assumed to be anodyne.
This has not been the case in recent years.
Gerard Henderson’s column in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald is a rambling smorgasbord of non-specific, left-field comments that never quite addressed his opening gambit:
What’s missing from much media analysis is an assessment of what Tony Abbott and the Coalition may be doing to win over swinging voters in marginal seats in western Sydney and elsewhere.
Do tell! Unfortunately Henderson’s clues are pretty slim, consisting of vague suggestions about: relying on self-inflicted damage to the Labor brand; some nonsense about Barry O’Farrell confounding his critics; the 2010 election result being a sign of Abbott’s success despite it not being that; Coalition-hating pinkos in Melbourne and Sydney; anti-Catholicism emanating from Black Inc, publisher of The Monthly and Quarterly Essay; the somewhat superfluous assertion that Abbott is not a fan of pornography; and snobbery about real estate on Sydney’s North Shore.
In short, Henderson doing his best imitation of a slightly senile, geriatric ramble, with not much content about what Abbott is doing at all.
Henderson is right about one thing only. There’s far too much comment in the news media about all the different ways that Gillard is stupid and a sure-fire loser, and not nearly enough about what Abbott and the Coalition are doing to make themselves a credible alternative to a Gillard or Rudd Labor government.
Is there any reason to suppose that Abbott is doing anything at all but hiding behind the shabby political furniture of unchanged Howard era policies? Perhaps Australian voters should just exercise a blind faith in the man for being such a good Catholic, ‘n all? That’s asking a lot. It’s asking voters to be credulous fools after being led down the same faerie garden path for five years. It’s asking voters to believe in substance not on display and ‘alternative’ policies not spelt out anywhere.
There should be serious concerns about Labor proposals for a national broadband infrastructure project.
When the Rudd Labor Government first released its National Broadband Network policy my initial response was to favour the notion of seeing the whole nation wired up for lightning fast internet access, but as time wore on I grew uneasy when I started to contemplate the range of things that could and would go wrong as part of any government intervention into the market.
The Coalition’s ‘me too’ internet policy, released in the rarefied election climate, the ever widening sope of the market intervention taking shape, plus fear of a backdoor implementation of the Rudd/Conroy censorship agenda, forced me to look again more carefully at Labor’s National Broadband Network (NBN) policy.
Saturday, 17 July 2010
The decision to call for an election on a Saturday would be otherwise unremarkable had it not meant that new voter registrations close at 20:00 on the following Monday, almost certainly disenfranchising a swathe of first-time voters.
One must assume that the ALP party machine was aware of the consequences of its timing for calling the election, and therefore doesn’t care about these votes, or has reason to fear them. In either case, that can’t be a good sign for Gillard because that constituency is likely to share a mind-set with a larger group of already registered voters.
One might be tempted to draw the conclusion that Gillard’s centerpiece education reforms aren’t really that popular with its intended consumers – students. One might also infer that ALP strategists have decided that the election will not be fought and won education policies; a reasonable assumption, I would think.
These matters notwithstanding, the timing of an election so soon after a leadership change was probably smart. Gillard hasn’t yet had time to make mistakes in her own right as leader of the party, enjoys a substantial honeymoon boost in the ratings, and is likely to slip in popularity the longer she waits if there aren’t any major new initiatives she can deliver prior to and separate from election pork barreling.