Sunday, September 30, 2007

End of Empire

If you don’t watch the Insiders on Sunday mornings you missed a classic this week. John Howard’s strongest media supporter, Andrew Bolt described the current situation for the PM as having an “end of empire” feel to it. This followed an interview with independent MHRs Bob Katter and Tony Windsor who dumped on the coalition mercilessly. Both see Work Choices as a key blunder by the government. Katter believes that mining workers will desert them in droves and Windsor believes that it is a sleeper (where has he been lately). If this is half true then Sharon Thiel has a much better chance of retiring Barry Haase in Kalgoorlie than the 6.3 % margin would indicate.

Asked whom they would support if it was a hung parliament and they held the balance of power, Katter put promoting ethanol as his highest priority, while Windsor nominated opposition to nuclear power amongst his electorate as very important. A new green alliance between the independents!

At times it seems that the Deputy Prime Minister has taken advice after the AWB Iraq scandal to lie low too literally. The invisible man, Mark Vaile, should have stayed missing in action this morning:

Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile has denied that a delay in calling the federal election makes it look like John Howard is afraid to face the voters.
Howard not afraid of electorate: Vaile (ABC, 30 September 2007)

Apparently, football takes precedence. Only the Melbourne Cup is likely to present any equine sporting reason for further delays thanks to fellow National Peter McGauran’s quarantine vigilance. AWB and the flu outbreak show that no care and no responsibility are the order of the day in the coalition.

Original post at: Labor View from Broome

Take that John!

THE nation's top political journalists have failed to do it but comedian Dave Hughes appeared to extract the answer to Australia's burning political question from Peter Costello yesterday: when will the election be held?

The Treasurer - a top-table guest at the AFL grand final breakfast in Melbourne yesterday, along with the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader - let slip Australia would go to the polls on November 24.

In his capacity as MC, Hughes asked the Treasurer how he was feeling.

Costello replied he was "very toey indeed".

"What are you talking about, the election or the grand final?" Hughes asked.

"They all culminate together this time of year, of course - the last day of September, and the last day of November, isn't it?" Mr Costello said.

"Is it?" asked Hughes. "You've just called it have you?"

In a bid to recover, the Treasurer fired back. "Some time between now and Christmas — and it won't be Christmas Day."


Friday, September 28, 2007

Morgan: 60.5-39.5

Published by William Bowe at 12:34 pm under Federal Election 2007

Today’s Roy Morgan poll suggests that voters have, er, reacted sympathetically to Kevin Rudd’s tax gaffe. Or perhaps been driven insane by the onslaught of government advertising on television. Either way, they’ve published a headline figure of 54 per cent for Labor’s primary vote, which seems to

Full post at The Poll Bludger

Mandarin lesson for the party

Rudd’s zig-zagging on the ministry did not have much electoral significance. Government attempts to make it so were more an attempt to shift the focus away from the uncertainty over its own leadership. But whereas the Liberals' uncertainty stems from a loss of leadership authority, Labor’s is the opposite and represents its consolidation.

Full post at The Piping Shrike

Seat du jour: Makin

Published by William Bowe at 5:55 am under Federal Election 2007

The north-eastern Adelaide electorate of Makin was created in 1984 from an area that had mostly formed the southern end of Bonython, a seat made safe for Labor by Elizabeth to the north-east (until its abolition at the 2004 election). Makin currently extends from Para Hills and Walkley Heights near the city to Tea Tree Gully and Greenwith at the limits of the metropolitan area. As my swing and vote result maps for Crikey demonstrate, Labor rules the roost as far east as Salisbury East and Modbury North, beyond which are suburbs with somewhat higher incomes. Census data prepared by George Megalogenis of The Australian shows the seat to be highly sensitive to interest rates, coming nineteenth on the ranking of electorates with the most mortgage payers and ninth on “couple families with dependent children paying off home”. However, it also ranks in the lowest quarter on mortgage burden (“median repayment divided by median income”) and the lowest third on “median household income for those paying off their homes”.

Full post at The Poll Bludger

We'll look into that. Later.

THE Howard Government's strategy to deal with climate change - including support for "aspirational" goals rather than binding targets - could lead to catastrophic consequences in Australia, a study has found.

These include a threefold increase in heat-related deaths, the collapse of crop yields and a serious decline in river flows.


Newflash - "aspriational" goals don't do shit. This is Howard's concession to climate change. Until recently he has been a global warming denier and, unless I'm mistaken, is still yet to utter the words "global warming" instead of "climate change".

He's only admitting to it because it will win him votes. Given that the most he's done is declare aspirational goals but not done anything about it other than bang on about nuclear energy and clean coal and so on (which, funnily enough, will make scads of money for big business while fucking over the public. Again.) you can tell he's no where near sincere.

But, according to Downer, targets will be set. Next year. You know, after that thing that is supposed to be happening by the end of this year.

Mr Downer told the meeting Australia would set its own long-term goal to cut emissions next year.

He said Australia was aware that climate change could threaten ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef and agriculture, and Australia had a responsibility to reduce its emissions. While Mr Downer did not explicitly support binding targets for developed countries, he said all major economies should support actions to mitigate climate change and these should include "measurable" actions by developing countries.

The GBR is already threatened! Hello - coral bleaching anyone?

It's one thing for idiots like Andrew Bolt to be deliberately obtuse about global warming, it's quite another for a government.

Things need to be done now. Decisions need to be made NOW. The government needs to get off it's collective behind and force companies to reduce their emissions. NOW. Not later. Not after they (allegedly) win the election.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Over their heads

Two celebrity politicians were in the national media with varying degrees of success yesterday. Comparing Peter Garrett to the ALP candidate for Boothby, Nicole Cornes may seem a broad brush, but they have some interesting features that point to the current state of the party that chose them.

Full post at The Piping Shrike

It’s the Liberals' vote that is soft

Lateline did a bit of mis-reporting of the other night’s speech by Sol Lebovic, the founder of Newspoll, if the transcript of it is a guide. Presented as ‘good news for the government’ it seemed like yet another dismissing of the strong Labor leads being reported in the polls, which has been so widespread this year that it is even being done by those who produced the polls, such as Lebovic’s successor. However, the transcript suggests he was saying something much more interesting that gets closer to the truth.

Full post at The Piping Shrike

ACNielsen online poll: 58-42

Published by William Bowe at 1:52 am under Federal Election 2007

How seriously to take this Fairfax/Nielsen online poll? It should be made clear from the outset that this is not one of your Sky News/NineMSN type jobs – its sample of 1425 was “selected from Nielsen’s ‘Your Voice’ database” to represent “a broad cross-section of the nation”.

Full post at The Poll Bludger

Galaxy: 56-44

Published by William Bowe at 12:18 am under Federal Election 2007

The latest Galaxy poll, published in today’s News Limited tabloids, shows Labor’s lead easing imperceptibly to 56-44 from 57-43 last month.

Full post at The Poll Bludger

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fair and balanced can kiss my arse...

I haven't made a post on election2007 before now because I was hoping that some of the non-bloggers Gam asked to participate might actually decide to have a go and we'd have the whole Faux News 'fair and balanced' shit going on. I'm pretty 'left' in the sense that I am a strong believer in human rights and worker's rights and that taxes are for paying for necessities such as universal public healthcare and education, not for tax cuts for the rich and trips to Broome- I don't know why things like that should be 'left' or 'right', but they are. My label is therefore 'left' because our current government are a bunch of self-serving whities righties and I'm definitely not on the same page as that bunch of scoundrels. I could imagine all the righty types might have been scared off posting if the blog looked too 'left'. Which is another reason Gam changed the colour scheme. I loved the initial green background but thought it might look like a Greens blog- Gam agreed and changed it.

We figured on asking a few candidates being fielded in safe seats against a sitting member, figuring the parties don't have their hearts in the fight in those seats (when they even bother fielding a candidate) and maybe the hapless candidate would like a little soapbox, however small. Turns out they're just as apathetic as their parties. Or me, for that matter. Maybe if we'd been able to invite them to Today's Apathetic Old Farts they'd have felt more at home. So... yeah... instead of this being a forum, I suppose it will wind up a historical document of sorts- a repository of various election-related rantings interspersed with interesting bits from the Poll Bludger and a couple of others. And if it's left-leaning because lefty types are the only ones literate or motivated enough to bother posting here, so be it. I told Gam we'd have trouble finding any righty bloggers who were willing to post and weren't drooling lunatics, and I reckon I'm right. I can count on the fingers of one hand the righty bloggers who can actually string a sentence together, and even then I have a lot of trouble agreeing with them on certain things.

So post away, and thanks to everyone who has contributed so far and made me look lazy. Keep it up- we're not missing 'fair and balanced' in my opinion; anyone who craves drivel can always go and read the mainstream papers or watch the tabloid TV news and 'current affairs' programmes.

Vote 1 Maxine McKew in Bennelong, and vote Green in the Senate!

Election issues (don't) go nuclear

LEGISLATION flagged by the Prime Minister, John Howard, six months ago to pave the way for the establishment of a nuclear industry in Australia has been shelved until after the election.

Coalition sources said nuclear politics was proving unpopular and the Government had no desire to highlight the issue with the election so close and the Coalition trailing in the polls. "We want to minimise any barnacles at this juncture. We want smooth sailing from here on," a source said.


Why be honest with the public when you can just neglect to mention your intentions. It's not like it has worked before or anything.

Let's go to the polls without telling the Australian public what you intend to do, because winning is more important to you, having the power to do whatever you decide is good for you and your mates is important to you, the opinions of the people whose lives you are messing with however are not.

Do you really want to vote for someone who has no respect for you or your country?

Howard: Call an Election Now!

This video speaks for itself. Please see the original post if you wish to add reasons why he won't call the election now. Thanks to Shirley Bassey! The full performance is on YouTube.

The original post is at: Labor View from Broome

Monday, September 24, 2007

Are your details up to date?

You do know that the rules for enrolling to vote have changed, don't you?

You now only have until 8pm on the day that the writs are issued to change your enrolment. Basically, you need to be enrolled before the election is called.

Check your enrolment status here.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Escape from Work Choices

I couldn’t make this one up:

A PRO-WorkChoices television advertisement featuring "union thugs" was pulled off air last night after The Sunday Age revealed that two actors featured in the advertisement were notorious criminals. (23 September 2007)

I hope they are union members. Their AWAs won’t protect them from unfair dismissal over this one. They will probably be charged with consorting given the company they’ve were keeping making this ad - the employers.

Talking of TV ads, last night SBS backed up a government, i.e. taxpayer funded, Work Choices one with an employer effort. Is the PM trying to win by a media version of the water torture – one drip at a time? There is now no escape when The Bill is on the ABC. Hope someone will get a core promise from Howard (or should it be Costello) not to have advertising on the ABC.

Original post at: Labor View from Broome

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pointers to the coming campaign

The media saw what was the final day in Parliament (according to Costello), as just a rowdy mess. Yet within it were the themes of the coming campaign. What we have are two parties facing each other with no distinctive agenda between them. Labor’s closeness to the government on many issues is not a tactic, it is a reality of two parties that have lost their historical roles and now exposed as such.

Full post at The Piping Shrike

Galaxy Senate Poll

Published by William Bowe at 10:24 am under Federal Election 2007

GetUp! has published a poll of Senate voting intention it commissioned from Galaxy. The survey of 1004 voters was conducted from September 7-9, and shows the Labor vote up from 35 per cent to 39 per cent from the 2004 election, the Coalition down from 45 per cent to 35 per cent, the Greens up from 8 per cent to 10 per cent, the Democrats steady on 2 per cent and Family First...

Full post at The Poll Bludger

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Media Matter

American Liberalism #2

GoLeft TV sounds very radical but seems to fit comfortably into the American liberal tradition. This online service has regular news reports and a range of videos channels such as documentaries, the labour movement, consumerism and the environment. Like the Huffington Post, it is worth a visit to see what our American friends think about their President and issues which often get superficial coverage, at best, in our mass media.

In fact some of the videos explore what has happened to the ownership of the mass media, which has been concentrated in fewer and fewer grubby hands. If anything is globalised it is the control of the media empires. We live in a media hegemony which was unthinkable forty years ago. During the early '70s the Australia Party and to some extent the ALP fought against unfettered foreign ownership of Australia's economy and the concentration of media ownership. Both those battles were lost in the '80s. There is little debate now about the former because of the victory of the latter.

Hence the need for alternative media sources and networks which use them effectively. A form of internationalisation that the web does so well and also so badly at times.

More at: Labor View from Broome

Seat du jour: Hasluck

Published by William Bowe at 4:22 am under Federal Election 2007

Located in Perth’s eastern suburbs, Hasluck was created when Western Australia gained an extra seat at the 2001 election, from territory that had previously been in Perth, Tangney and Swan. As my maps for Crikey illustrate, it consists of three distinct population areas which lean to Labor in the north and south, and to the Liberals in the centre. The northern area includes Midland, home to a high proportion of elderly voters, rent payers and low-income earners, and the more Liberal-friendly Guildford, which is demographically unremarkable on all measures. The central area includes middle-income suburbs around Kalamunda in the Darling Scarp, home to a large number of English migrants, as well as mortgage-sensitive Forrestfield and Maida Vale nearer the city. The southern suburbs of Gosnells, Thornlie and Maddington are marked by lower levels of income and home ownership.

Full post at The Poll Bludger

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Every Newspoll is sacred

at Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yesterday’s post detecting a bit of a false note in Labor’s exuberance looked unfair given what seemed like delusional triumphalism from the government over what was still a lousy Newspoll. In reality, hard politics was at work. Both leaders were using the poll for all it was worth to manage the weaknesses in their respective parties. Howard made sure the party room got the message that history could repeat (even if it was Keating’s). Abbot used it on behalf of the leadership to settle scores with Turnbull by telling everyone that he didn’t rate. Rudd used it to sensibly rebalance the campaign from the weekend’s premature rally.

Full post at The Piping Shrike

Other places

Published by William Bowe at 11:20 pm under Federal Election 2007

Once the preserve of a small band of moody loners, online psephology is becoming a boom industry as the federal election approaches. I have added a roll of external links to my sidebar for non-partisan sites specifically dedicated to the election, which are detailed below.

Full post at The Poll Bludger

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Spotlight on Workchoices

Fabric retailer Spotlight, at the centre of a national controversy last year for slashing staff pay under Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs), has abandoned the agreements altogether.

The announcement followed the rejection of 460 Spotlight AWAs by the federal Workplace Authority after they failed the government's fairness test.

The test ensures workers are compensated for the loss of any penalty rates and other benefits.

Spotlight chief executive Stephen Carter said the company would return to union collective agreements because it wanted to concentrate on its business.



So, the "fairness test" does work. It makes companies revert back to collective agreements because the employer isn't being fair.

Who would have thought it?

In May last year, Labor raised in parliament the case of a 57-year-old Spotlight employee who lost penalty payments, overtime and other benefits in exchange for a pay rise of just two cents an hour under an AWA.

The embarrassment to the government from that episode was followed by a string of cases in which alleged rip-offs were occurring under AWAs.

Of course it is embarrassing. Because who said that employees would be better off under AWAs?

The government.

Hockey is spinning this (of course), saying that it proves that the "fairness test" works. What about the fact that they shouldn't need to use a fairness test because employees should be guaranteed fair working conditions and payment?

"This is an example of a strong and independent umpire doing its job and that is great for working Australians,'' Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey said.

"The Workplace Authority is more than happy to work with employers, but the bottom line is they must pay their employees properly.''

Mr Hockey said the government supported the company's attempt to reach a union collective agreement because the government's system allowed employers to choose between all types of agreements.

But I thought unions were in cahoots with the ALP out to screw over the employers? To ensure that fewer people were employed?


Somehow I don't think this will be used as an example of "successful" outcome for the IR legislation in the election lead up.

Magic Bellybutton



Whenever someone writes a memoir in the States these days they dump on George Bush. Alan Greenspan is no exception. He joins Brendan Nelson in admitting that oil was a reason for the Iraq invasion. To quote from Greenspan's book, The Age of Turbulence:

I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.
For more visit the New York Times analysis.


Latest Newspoll gets us back to reality. The ALP will not get more than 53% in the final two party preferred count and it has always been a close thing. The election will still be won one seat, one candidate at a time. Back to the fight!

More at: Labor View from Broome

Mood swings

It was perfectly proper of Downer to admonish Labor yesterday for its slavish addiction to the polls given the mature response of his side of the fence to last week’s Newspoll shocker. This week’s poll showing a move back to the government will be a relief across the Liberal leadership - to Howard with less pressure of a challenge and to everyone else with less pressure to have to launch one. Leaving aside internal dynamics, it is hard to see what to draw from the poll for the electoral scene. Even Dennis Shanahan was struggling to explain the rise in coalition support, Matt Price’s suggestion it was the public’s reward for the entertainment of last week’s theatrics seemed as good as any.

Full post at The Piping Shrike

Monday, September 17, 2007

Changed Template

We thought the previous mostly green colour scheme would make the blog look Greens affiliated. Paranoid? Probably but blue is more neutral. We're still working on finding some right wing contributors. Any nominations or write ins will be gladly considered!

Newspoll: 55-45

Published by William Bowe at 6:17 pm under Federal Election 2007

Seven News has reported that the most keenly awaited opinion poll in recent memory, tomorrow’s Newspoll, will show “a significant shift back to the Coalition” from last fortnight’s 59-41.

UPDATE: The ABC now reports the Coalition has “clawed back eight points”, hence the new headline.

UPDATE 2: Report up at the News site confirms the headline figure, without providing further detail.

Full post at The Poll Bludger

Magic Bellybutton: Howard stepping down? Not gonna happen

Prime Minister John Howard has denied fresh speculation that he will hand over to Treasurer Peter Costello as early as Tuesday.

And Mr Costello made it clear he would not challenge for the Liberal leadership, even if a key opinion poll shows the Government heading for a landslide loss.


Look, I hate the bastard as much as the next person, but I seriously believe it is in the best interests of the Libs to not give Howard the boot.

Why, MB? Why are you saying these horrible, evil things?

Because they know that if someone else takes over at this late stage they are guaranteed to come out the loser in the election. Australia doesn't like instability in its political parties.

The ALP is currently cruising along, after years of being kicked around by infighting. I personally think that Rudd is the best thing to happen to the ALP since Keating. He's conservative enough to appeal to those people who have a morbid fear that a vote for the ALP is a vote for the Commies, yet his constant supporters know that he stands up for the important things like workers rights. I'm not saying that the ALP is the best option, but realistically, it is the only decent alternative in a 2PP system. (And I've not made any secret of the fact that while they won't be getting my primary vote, my vote will end up with them anyway.)

So, the Libs do not want to be saddled with the leadership woes the ALP has been digging itself out from under these past months. They run a very tight ship, very different to that of the ALP. While there may be dissent within the ranks in private, they will hold it together and present themselves as one united force in public.

They do have a better chance at winning with Howard instead of Costello. But that still doesn't mean that they will win.

I do wonder if Howard constantly holding off naming a date 'cause he wants to wait until the polls are more in his favour isn't going to do more harm than good. Because we are sick of it. Sick of the faux electioneering that is going on. Sick of not knowing what we will be doing one Saturday later on this year. Sick of watching our PM suck up to big business and big religion. Maybe he's trying to wear everyone down so that they will just vote for what is easiest. But I think that people are starting to be resentful of being fucked around and they will use their vote to stick it to him.

Which I suppose is better than nothing. But I would prefer if they voted against him 'cause he's just not good for us.

(Plus, if you think about it, if Costello was PM, there would be a good chance that Abbott would be his deputy - and do you really want the country run by Abbot and Costello?)

Magic Bellybutton: Howard stepping down? Not gonna happen

Labor View from Broome: A Good News Story

I have spent this week interviewing people in Broome for the YouDecide2007 project. The first was Neil Gower, CEO of Mamabulanjin Aboriginal Corporation. It is an organisation with more than $14 million in assets, providing housing, water and power supplies for community and outstation developments, gardening and landscaping, business facilitation services and bookkeeping and a tourism enterprise. It also coordinates the Night Patrol in Broome.

Its innovative approach includes the provision of solar power systems to aboriginal communities. It is involved in the development of cutting edge, web-based software that will allow organisations to manage and access their administrative data online. It is a good news story at a time when aboriginal people are being marginalised by our politicians yet again. (Outback tracking, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 July 2007)

The video is still a work in progress so watch this space.

Labor View from Broome: A Good News Story

Morgan: 53-47 to Labor in Bennelong

Today’s Fairfax broadsheets carry an Morgan survey of 472 voters conducted in Bennelong on Friday and Saturday, which shows Maxine McKew leading John Howard 53-47 on two-party preferred and 45.5 per cent to 42.5 per cent on the primary vote. Under the circumstances, the Prime Minister would be greatly relieved – the result is no worse than most of the other Bennelong polls published this year, not a single one of which has had him in front. Indeed, it marks an almost significant narrowing from the 55-45 recorded by ACNielsen’s last such poll in February.

The Poll Bludger

Flashy But Lacking Substance

It's a federal election, not a gorilla fight

FEDERAL Labor is demanding a series of three debates between the leaders during the election campaign - including one using YouTube and one on the ABC - as it tries to goad the Government into naming an election date.

[silly speculation and beat-ups about leadership changes removed]

Yesterday Labor continued to tease the Government with its eagerness for an election campaign. Labor's national secretary, Tim Gartrell, emailed the federal director of the Liberal Party, Brian Loughnane, outlining requests for at least three debates between the leaders during the campaign.

Mr Gartrell wants one to be on the ABC, one to involve online participation via YouTube, and one to have a live "in the round" audience - with all webcast live.

"Given the impending 2007 federal election, I have been asked to commence immediate discussions with you over the televised leaders' debates," Mr Gartrell said in a letter to Mr Loughnane.


What's the point of debates if we can't ask the questions? They'll just do what they did last time. You'll get two candidates, because there aren't any other parties or candidates, and some washed up has-been from daytime TV will ask them soft questions on ridiculous issues that have relationship with actual peoples' lives. At the end, one of them will be declared maximum winner and the country will go and vote for someone else anyway. All completely pointless. Also, why throw in YouTube? Who wants to watch that for 2 hours?

It smacks of a US style presidential campaign with all the inherent faults. Our system isn't about a supreme leader, nor is the next election about exchanging one maximum leader for another. If someone complains about one man being an overly powerful extremist how does it follow that the solution must be to hand someone else the same corrupting total power the other bloke had? That's something that worries me and it's something that is a consequence of the past few years. It's sort of aussie style personality cult revolving around our leaders when our political system isn't designed like that. Of course the media love this silly mano a mano stuff that cheapens political discourse and gets them ratings. Personally I don't want to wind up living in a country where whoever bangs a stick on the ground loudest gets to lead.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pulp, not jobs!

The controversial proposed pulp mill in Tasmania's Tamar Valley has attracted an unlikely activist from Australia's business sector. chief executive officer Graeme Wood has denounced the mill proposed by timber giant Gunns Limited.

"Tasmania needs a viable forest industry but not at industrial scale," Mr Wood said.

He said the 1,600 jobs that were expected to be created by the mill's establishment were insignificant.

"I could add 100,000 inbound tourists to Tasmania and that would grow jobs by anywhere between three and four thousand."

Mr Wood said Tasmania was a special asset on the world stage of tourism.

"There really aren't any other Tasmania's around," he said.

"If you really want to focus on a future in tourism, then you can't destroy the forests which are the basis of that.

"The government is paying lip service to tourism but nothing more."

The proposed $2 billion mill has been earmarked for development in the valley north of Launceston.

The region attracted visitors for the remoteness and tranquillity of its wooded valleys, small hamlets and isolated farms.


That's something I don't understand about the whole Tassie pulp mill thing. Why are some jobs more important than others? Presumably Tasmania's tourist industry, which earns more than forestry and is more sustainable, can just go get stuffed. When the trees run out, because Tasmanian soils are too poor to support economically viable wood plantations, they'll be holding out their hands to Canberra.

Also is Paul Lennon the most crooked looking politician in Australia or what?


The Federal Government has promised no further industrial relations upheaval if it wins the upcoming election, admitting employees already have a poor understanding of its sweeping workplace reforms.

Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey last week flagged further tweaking of the unpopular laws before the election.

But today he ruled out any major changes to the laws, which took unfair dismissal protection away from millions of workers and allowed employees to bargain away penalty rates and other award conditions in return for more pay or flexible hours.

"We are committed absolutely to the fundamentals of our workplace relations laws," Mr Hockey told the Ten Network.

"We're not going to change them.

"Obviously, it has been a challenge in the face of the fear campaign to bed them down.

"I have no desire to undertake further structural reform to the workplace relations system for the next three years."


Over the last few months, the issues that the Coalition had good positioning on have been eroded. Interest rate rises would have diminished to some extent their lead on the Interest Rate issue (or at least its significance and positioning), Rudds APEC activity would have pushed the international issues more favourably toward the ALP, and the leadership fiasco would have shunted their Strong Team and Strong Leadership issues.

I’m starting to believe that because the strategy is failing, it will be junked.It will be junked because keeping it will lead to oblivion.

Doing more of the same just means receiving more of the same kinds of polling. The Coalition vote cannot get much lower anyway, the strategy has failed them all the way down to the bottom few percent of their electoral support level.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a complete strategy reversal.

Look for big tax cuts, a few Workchoices backflips, a billion dollar health system injection and something large on education. The public seems to have shifted and the Coalition was caught with its pants down. Minimising their losses by focusing on their existing strong points is failing dismally through both Rudds actions and a large dose of self inflicted wounds.

A strategy reversal might minimise some of the ALPs leadership on issues like health, education and IR for a small chunk of ex-coalition voters while pushing ALP ownership of the issues for continuing ALP voters out further, while big tax cuts would play to their own strengths and might perhaps lure some of that same ex-coalition voting group back.It might be the best opportunity they have to grab a small chunk of their deserted voter base back to minimise their loss.

Possums Pollytics

Well we know that Nick Minchin doesn't think that Workchoices go far enough. We know that the BCA agree with him. So, are they lying to the BCA, who have spent millions of dollars that could have been reinvested in their members' businesses, supporting the govt. or are they lying to us, the mugs who hand over our taxes to pay for millions of dollars on Workchoices ads?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Howard Commits to Full Term

"If I'm returned and the government's returned at the coming election I will serve my full term at the member for Bennelong, the full three years, and I won't be inflicting a by-election on the people of my electorate," he told reporters in Sydney. Mr Howard spent this morning shoring up votes at Carlingford in his electorate which polling has shown to be on a knife-edge, thanks in part to the high profile Labor candidate Maxine McKew.


So that means Howard's going to serve a full term and step down, or lose and serve a full term on the back bench. Didn't he say he was going to hand over to Costello though? I wouldn't start buying any champagne if I were you, Peter.


So you've got something to say. Great, we'll put it up, just a few things first.

0) It's relevant to the election, at least kind of, work with us here.
1) Try not to be too long.
2) Use links to back up what you say, or to provide information.
3) Spell check, because we won't.
4) Your work is public domain, so anyone can copy it, make fun of it, etc.
5) You can take a bit of criticism.

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That's it. Have fun. Remember this isn't a place where anyone's telling you how to vote. It's a place where hopefully you can be exposed to different opinions and figure out what you want and how to get it. The very least you can do in an election is find out what your interests are and vote on them. You don't walk into a car dealership and buy the first one dodgy old mate points to, so why should voting be any different?


Welcome to election2007, a blog about the upcoming Australian Federal Election. Hopefully we'll be getting some contributors (from across the political spectrum) to write some interesting stuff. Also if you think you can do better, don't just rant in the comments, email us something and we'll put it up and make you a contributor. This isn't meant to be one of the annoying talk-down-to-you blogs like at The Australian. You get the chance to contribute more than just your comments.

Comments, comments can be whatever you want, except for just calling people names. If you want to do that, then at least make it interesting.