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The NEXT coming Oz election thread!

 
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Nov, 2007 03:51 pm
msolga wrote:
I must say, I'm really impressed with your efforts to comprehend the swing to Labor, nimh.

While I'm no Antony Green (ABC election guru) this swing has been attributed to the rejection of Howard's policies by those who have been called "Howard's battlers". These were the (lower paid) Australian workers who defected to Howard & the Liberals from Labor early on & continued supporting Howard despite an ever increasing number of reasons to reject him. (Like our much-opposed involvement in Iraq, the AWB scandal, the treatment of asylum seekers, David Hicks, over zealous "security" measures that threatened civil liberties, etc, etc, etc, etc, ect! You would have to read over months & months of this thread to grasp the full horror of what has happened to this country under Howard.)

So, despite all the arguments for removing the Howard government, his "battlers" believed he was working in their interests, was on their side. At the last election he promised to keep interest rates at record lows - suggesting that Labor would send them spiralling to dangerous levels. This at a time when Australians apparently had "never had it so good", a time of "record prosperity", as a result of the mining boom & a huge increase in trade with Asia. But the prosperity wasn't equally shared - some people were very much better off while others (like his "battlers") were genuinely struggling to make ends meet.

At the last election, with a remarkable landslide victory, the Liberals gained control of both houses of parliament. The opposition was decimated. Howard took advantage of this situation by by introducing his WorkChoices "reforms" - which were not part of his election platform. And which impacted hugely on lower paid workers. He continued to argue, with incredible insensitivity, that Australians had never been so well off & failed to acknowledge the evidence of increasing hardship for lower paid Australians. This was followed by a number of interest rate rises, which clearly, he had no power to contain, despite his promise..

So, to cut a long story short, he lost this election because his power base, his "battlers", completely lost faith in him. They deserted him in droves. In both the rural & the country areas. In urban areas these people often reside in "safe" Labor electorates, so the much increased vote to Labor would not change the anticipated result. The outskirts of the major cities (the satellite towns) are now areas of major financial difficulty. A lot of mortgage & credit stress out there, along with high levels of unemployment, or precarious employment. The voting changes in the rural areas you mentioned are much more noticeable because these are traditional conservative strongholds.

In a nutshell, it was hubris which brought Howard undone. After the 2004 election victory, which gave him control of both houses, he thought he could do ANYTHING & get away with it. By implementing his IR policies he made the worst mistake a politician can make - taking his power base for granted.

Thank you very much Msolga, that was very informative!

So the WorkChoices policy was really the central cause of Howard's demise.. the thing that turned a whole part of the electorate to Labor which none of the last few Labor leaders had managed to win back.

Hopefully the Democrats in America will succeed in a similar way in winning back the "Reagan Democrats" next year..
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Nov, 2007 06:37 pm
nimh wrote:
So the WorkChoices policy was really the central cause of Howard's demise.. the thing that turned a whole part of the electorate to Labor which none of the last few Labor leaders had managed to win back.


If I can put it this way, nimh, it was the last nail in the coffin for Howard & the Libs. Prior to WorkChoices there was already massive fear & loathing of Howard's policies & actions within sections the Australian community for ages, but it took those " Howard battlers" to finally reject him to bring about the necessary movement (in the "right" electorates) in the polls. If you like WorkChoices brought former Labor voters/sympathizers who'd defected to Howard, back into the fold. That, plus the squeaky clean image of "his" version Labor that Rudd presented to Australians in his campaign, made it actually thinkable (!) for some Liberal voters who were totally disenchanted with Howard to defect to Labor. Plus, Rudd successfully won over "the youth vote" (first time voters) by appealing to them via the internet. His approach to environment issues, climate change, Kyoto, education, etc, struck a chord with them, while Howard seemed stale & out of touch with the 21st century by contrast. (Rudd gets mobbed when he visits schools! Laughing )

There were so many other issues of critical importance to many of us which hardly got an airing at all. (Far too many to mention here!) WorkChoices & the management of "the economy" completely dominated this campaign in the media.

To me, the interesting thing to watch following this election, is where this leaves "the left" from now on. Already many have defected to The Greens, whose policies were perceived as being stronger & more appealing than Labor's. (education, the environment, industrial relations ...) Labor did a preferential deal with the greens prior to the election & a number of newly acquired Labor seats were actually due to Greens preferences. It will be very "interesting" to see how this new relationship between the Greens & Labor will actually work! :wink: Especially if the Greens gain control of a healthy number of Senate seats! Rudd seems determined to govern for "everyone", aiming at dead centre, while the Greens have a very specific agenda in mind!

So it's going to be very interesting to watch all the shifts in all the parties.: The Libs will no doubt become more "liberal" again (after one hell of an upheaval in the party! The neo con days are finished), Labor has moved right to gain government, while there's those growing number of (very committed!) Greens supporters to be taken into account! Fascinating! :wink:
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Nov, 2007 06:42 pm
nimh wrote:
Hopefully the Democrats in America will succeed in a similar way in winning back the "Reagan Democrats" next year..


Move to the centre, or the right, you mean? :wink:
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Nov, 2007 06:47 pm
blatham wrote:
Lovely!


Yes, isn't it, blatham? Very Happy

All this change, everything in the state of flux!

Movement at long last!

Hell, we might even become a society again, instead of just being an economy! :wink:
0 Replies
 
realjohnboy
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Nov, 2007 07:07 pm
I have mentioned before that I am an avid online scrabbble player. It provides me with good cover to chat with folks (from 47 countries, so far) about what is going on. I am a hell of a good listener.
Tonight from New Zealand: "You know, regardless of which party wins (in Aus), New Zealanders will still move over there...because the incentives and life there is better!"
What is that about?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Nov, 2007 07:19 pm
realjohnboy wrote:
I have mentioned before that I am an avid online scrabbble player. It provides me with good cover to chat with folks (from 47 countries, so far) about what is going on. I am a hell of a good listener.
Tonight from New Zealand: "You know, regardless of which party wins (in Aus), New Zealanders will still move over there...because the incentives and life there is better!"
What is that about?


Yes, you did mention it earlier, rjb. (I had no idea of your other talents! :wink: )

New Zealanders have been coming to Oz in droves for quite some time now. Apparently the economic policies in NZ are pretty unpalatable for many, especially for the lower paid & the unemployed. All I can say is it must be pretty tough, given that it's not exactly fabulous for the less well off here, either! Any New Zealanders here, who want to fill us in on the details?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2007 04:16 am
End of the strongman
http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2007/11/27/OP_wideweb__470x399,2.jpg
Illustration: Dyson

Shaun Carney
November 28, 2007/the AGE


John Howard brooked no dissent. Now he and his party are paying the price.

ONE of the great political mysteries in recent months was why John Howard kept delaying the calling of the election. He could have gone five weeks earlier and avoided the September quarter inflation figures and the Reserve Bank board meeting, but he didn't. Howard had his own people and a good swag of the media so mesmerised because of his past successes that they were sure he had something up his sleeve, something that would explain his curious election timing.

If you doubt that, look at the way the commentary slavishly swung in Howard's favour during the first few days of the election campaign. After the surprise $34 billion in tax cuts were revealed the day after the November 24 date was announced, the old stager was said to be back in town and was already outfoxing the neophyte Kevin Rudd. Those first few days were, of course, as good as it was going to get for Howard.

In the end, it turned out, he had nothing special up his sleeve, no great idea or event planned. There was never any good reason for holding off on calling the election. He simply liked being prime minister and wanted to do it for as long as he could. He had the job and the salary and the great house and the staff and the media exposure and he was hanging on to it. The Liberal Party? It could look after itself.

The man sucked his government and his party dry. He obviously had dedicated himself to keeping Peter Costello out of the prime ministership and ultimately he succeeded. During his leadership, the Liberals have managed to fall out of government in every state and territory. This is his legacy.

Things are obviously not good for the Liberals. The party's two leading figures have gone. Philosophically, the party is confused. Generally, Liberals abhor the suggestion that their party is ever factionalised and in a formal sense, that's a reasonable response. But there are always divisions, either based on personalities or on approach.

.........................

Since the weekend we've learnt that Nick Minchin in 2006 and Downer early this year both suggested to Howard that he should retire and were rebuffed. From the outside it seems bizarre that neither of them went to Costello and discussed ways of blasting Howard out. A senior Liberal yesterday offered a simple explanation: Howard was the king and no one wanted to kill him.

Inevitably, the kingdom vanished with the king. During Howard's reign, the cabinet, the party organisation and the Coalition partner, the Nationals, were all weak and got weaker with time. And the Liberal state premiers dropped one by one. Towards the end, no one stood up to Howard and no one even bothered to argue with him. He's gone and the internal debates are back. Soon enough, if the protagonists handle the process sensibly, the Liberals will be back too.

Shaun Carney is associate editor.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/end-of-the-strongman/2007/11/27/1196036889501.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Dec, 2007 10:47 pm
Coalition focus on economy a big blunder, poll finds
http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2007/12/01/PM_howard_wideweb__470x412,0.jpg
John Howard in reflective mode just 11 days before the election drubbing that he had warned earlier in the year could happen.
Photo: Andrew Meares


Peter Browne
December 1, 2007


THE Coalition fatally miscalculated by relying too heavily on its economic record during the election campaign, according to a poll conducted on election day exclusively for The Age.



The results also suggest that a late switch of Coalition leader would not have won back support, with nearly one in six people who voted Labor nominating concerns about the leadership transition from John Howard to Peter Costello as the single most important overall factor in their decision.

Labor voters nominated health, education, industrial relations and climate change as the most important among 13 options.

The poll broke up the broad term "economic management" into more precise issues including jobs, interest rates and taxation. These ranked in the middle range of the voters' concerns, yet formed the core of the Coalition's message.

The views of this group of voters spanned the concerns of Labor and Coalition voters, but their alignment with the views of Labor voters was more pronounced.

A majority nominated the same four key issues as Labor voters but also listed water, jobs, leadership and prices as very important. Prices of petrol and groceries were significantly more important for this group.

Although the data on these swinging voters is drawn from a small sample, they suggest that Labor was able to capitalise on their concerns about issues such as global warming and WorkChoices significantly more effectively than the Coalition tapped into their concerns about economic issues. This allowed Labor to shift vital support away from the Howard government.

Asked to choose from a list of seven statements the one that summed up why they voted for a party, more than a third of Coalition voters looked to the Howard government's record, agreeing that "the government has been doing a good job".

But significant groups of Coalition voters were more concerned about Labor. Just under 17% said: "I don't want a federal Labor government as well as Labor governments in the states and territories" and almost 12% feared that "the unions have too much influence over Labor".

Faced with seven options, Labor voters gave a more even spread of responses. One in five said, "It's time for a change," and a little over 16% expressed concern at "Mr Howard's handover to Mr Costello". Just over 14% said, "The government is out of touch," 13.5% said, "I usually vote Labor," and just over 12% said, "I don't feel I can trust the government."

Although immigration was seen as "fairly important" by over 40% of all respondents, a relatively low proportionOpinion was more heavily divided over the treatment of refugees: only 14.2% of Coalition voters saw the issue as very important, compared with 40.1% of Labor voters. The 79 voters who shifted to Labor at this election fell midway, with 27.3% rating the treatment of refugees as very important.

The survey findings are broadly matched by the results of a Sky News/Seven Network surveyThe survey asked voters across all parties to nominate the two issues that most strongly influenced their voting decision. Of the top five, all but one were Labor's preferred election issues.

Reflecting the prominence of the global warming and WorkChoices in the Swinburne study, these two issues ranked third and fourth in Auspoll's results. The survey also found that 59% of all voters agreed with the statement "I do not want Peter Costello to become prime minister".

The value of both these polls is that they were taken within hours of when people actually cast their vote. Although they do not reflect the age profile of voters in general, the distribution of the declared vote in each sample matched the election result remarkably closely.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/coalition-focus-on-economy-a-big-blunder-poll-finds/2007/11/30/1196394625553.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 12:12 am
Interesting.
It was the mining boom in WA, stupid, not the Liberals' AWA's that made the miners in these towns so well off.

Interesting that they all swung heavily to Labor, despite despite JH's dire warnings of doom if Labor was elected.

And they will remain well paid & employed, AWAs or no AWAs, just as long as Asia continues to to demand Australian minerals. Simple as that!:



West was not won by AWAs
Michael Bachelard
December 1, 2007/the AGE


ONE of the foundation stories about former prime minister John Howard's workplace laws has been shown to be a myth: even the highest-paid workers on individual employment contracts voted against the government.

The Age has analysed Australian Electoral Commission figures recording booth-by-booth results in north-western Australia, which show that even highly paid miners on AWAs swung strongly against the government in Saturday's election.

And in most mining towns, a majority voted for Labor in two-party preferred terms.

The figures show the 796 voters in mining town Newman swung almost 9% towards Labor, Port Hedland's 986 voters swung 10%, Dampier's 667 swung 4% and Karratha's 1358 swung more than 5% against the Liberal candidate, Barry Haase.

These iron ore mining towns are big beneficiaries of the minerals boom, and by far the majority of workers are employed on salaries of $100,000-plus under Australian Workplace Agreements.

Yet all these towns voted Labor, with an average two-party preferred vote of about 54%, higher than the national average.
...<cont>

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/west-was-not-won-by-awas/2007/11/30/1196394625562.html
0 Replies
 
solipsister
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 12:50 am
On the next election.

The unconscionables have nice new fronts.

Quick turn around?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 01:05 am
solipsister wrote:
On the next election.

The unconscionables have nice new fronts.

Quick turn around?


You mean the Liberal Party, I take it, solipsister?

A quick turn around?

Well, not exactly! Laughing

Which "nice new fronts" do you mean? The new leaders?





(I'm not certain if you're joking or not!!)
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 01:27 am
msolga wrote:
(I'm not certain if you're joking or not!!)


I have given this a few minutes' thought & have decided you were joking!

If you're Australian I'm certain you were! :wink: Very Happy
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 01:34 am
The major issue for me was trust. Howard just kept lying and twisting the truth. Additionally because he had such a strong hold on the party and cabinet I felt the people ordinary people were not being listened to just the select few big business leaders who had the money and power to aceess the highest level.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 01:37 am
solipsister, if you are Australian, come & join us over here!:

http://www.able2know.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=107569&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

You are most welcome to join in, if you'd like to chew the fat! (Even if you're not Australian, for that matter! :wink: )
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 01:49 am
dadpad wrote:
The major issue for me was trust. Howard just kept lying and twisting the truth. Additionally because he had such a strong hold on the party and cabinet I felt the people ordinary people were not being listened to just the select few big business leaders who had the money and power to aceess the highest level.


Yep, dadpad, I certainly know what you mean.

He was a devious, sneaky, irresponsible, yellow-bellied, fibbing, creepy, deceitful, war mongering, up himself, divisive & dangerous control freak! Laughing

Plus he was so obsessed with his own private agenda & his own imagined importance, it was almost as if he didn't give a stuff about whether Australians, or even his own party members, approved of what he did or not! I think he would have been more concerned that GWB might disapprove of anything he might have done than the effects of his actions on ordinary Australians.

Thank god he's gone!
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 01:53 am
Quote:
He was a devious, sneaky, irresponsible, yellow-bellied, fibbing, creepy, deceitful, war mongering, up himself, divisive & dangerous control freak!


Let it all go Msolga
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 02:07 am
Laughing

It's gonna take a bit of time for us all to get these past 11 wretched years out of our systems, hey?
0 Replies
 
bungie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 01:18 pm
dadpad wrote:
Quote:
He was a devious, sneaky, irresponsible, yellow-bellied, fibbing, creepy, deceitful, war mongering, up himself, divisive & dangerous control freak!


Let it all go Msolga


I think I will have to go suck on a lemon. Still can't get the smile off my face.
There was one particular quirk that annoyed me most and that was if someone
did or said anything he disagreed with, it was to him ," un-Australian "
As if he had the patent on being Australian.

Ok, I've had my gripe ... I'm happy now ... STILL ...
Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 06:10 am
bungie wrote:
There was one particular quirk that annoyed me most and that was if someone did or said anything he disagreed with, it was to him ," un-Australian "
As if he had the patent on being Australian.


Yeah. Pretty rich coming from someone who jumped whenever the president of the US of A said jump! Rolling Eyes
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 06:13 am
Laughing

http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2007/12/02/3cartoon_gallery__600x400,0.jpg
0 Replies
 
 

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