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The NEXT coming Oz election thread!

 
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 06:57 am
A few uncomfortable truths for a party that's lost its heart
Bill Kelty
December 3, 2007/the AGE


WHEN John Howard was telling Simon Crean to reform the Labor Party just a few years ago, he was ignoring Australia's real political weakness: his own party. The organisational love of his life had become a mirror image of himself. It had grown old, intolerant and less open to ideas.

With his demise, the party has two broad options: it can hope that the economy deteriorates, the new Government does not respond effectively and there will be a boomerang return to the "good economic managers" in 2010, or it can opt for the hardest but most necessary course and reform the party.

In 1983, Bob Hawke told the ALP to put aside the ideology of labour versus capital and, in 1993, Paul Keating told it to shape up to a real world where we were not owed a living by anybody.

Somebody has to tell the Liberal Party a few hard truths. The toughest of all is that the party, not just Howard, has lost touch with a generation. Young people are not better off with WorkChoices, mounting HECS debts, cynicism over climate change, unfair dismissals, with houses they can't buy, a monarchy they don't want, wars they don't support and the use of terrorist threats to undermine liberties.

The starting point is leadership.

Saying sorry and meaning it is the hardest act in politics. Recognising the wrongs to indigenous Australians and the refugees, the excesses of WorkChoices and the folly of dalliances with Pauline Hanson would start to clear the slate.

This is not to say the party should disown its achievements. To lay claim to your own history and not have it distorted or claimed by others is a legitimate and necessary response. The economy did grow and unemployment fell.

There will be one lasting contribution of the Coalition government and that is to provide unambiguous national power in dealing with the key issues of water, industrial relations, indigenous health and, ultimately, public hospitals. Future governments can now use that power constructively and consensually.

But the test for relevance will be new policies on reconciliation, the republic, the environment, infrastructure, the distribution of economic growth, education, migration and refugees and to articulate a foreign policy that does not blindly follow the United States.

It did not work for one good reason. The unions were a threat to no one. For the best part of a generation they were negotiating wage outcomes consistent with low inflation and encouraging higher productivity. Disputation had fallen dramatically and the minimum wage increases they sought for those left behind were not excessive. They did not warrant the attack.The clear message for the Liberal Party is to get over it. The party will never win elections while it does not have a fair share of nurses, teachers, police and tradespeople voting for it.

Bill Kelty was secretary of the ACTU from 1983 to 2000.


http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/a-few-truths-for-a-party-thats-lost-its-heart/2007/12/02/1196530480009.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1
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hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 04:27 pm
A surprisingly magnanimous piece from Kelty, thanks for posting.
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msolga
 
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Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 09:47 pm
hingehead wrote:
A surprisingly magnanimous piece from Kelty, thanks for posting.


Yes, I thought so, too, hinge.

...and I'm glad he gave these folk the credit that's due to them:



Particularly Petro Georgiou, Judi Moylan & co. ....

I often wondered what life must have been like for them, taking the committed stand they took on asylum seekers & detention centres, while coexisting with Howard & the Lib conservatives. I thought they were extremely brave to have stuck so resolutely to their guns while enduring god knows what sort of pressure ... ! Truly courageous, I thought!

Nearly finished with a post election analysis! :wink:

Just one more from Uncle Mungo I couldn't possibly leave out!
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hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 09:52 pm
I wonder what the Liberal party actually stands for? And why Georgiou is in it.

Truth be told the ALP has drifted from its ideological moorings too, so no point calling the kettle black.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 09:57 pm
From Crikey!:

Mungo: Thank you and good night, John Howard
Mungo MacCallum writes:

If you have any doubt that the election of a Rudd Labor government has changed the country, consider this: a year ago, did you imagine that the Prime Minister would be sending an openly gay woman of Chinese ancestry to Bali, to ratify the Kyoto protocol on Australia's behalf?

Because that's exactly what Climate Change Minister Penny Wong will be doing - after she's finished reporting on her visits to a couple of schools and a homeless centre, and any other homework Kevin Rudd finds it necessary to set before giving them all a day off for Christmas. The break with the past eleven years spent behind John Howard's white picket fence could hardly be more dramatic.

Kyoto, of course, has been one of the great symbolic differences between Labor and the coalition; another is WorkChoices, and Julia Gillard is already busy putting that to sleep so she can concentrate on what she rightly sees as her main job, implementing Rudd's education revolution. And the third major symbol will be the long overdue apology to the stolen generation, now being prepared, as it should be, not just by the government, but in consultation with Aboriginal leaders.

It would be nice to believe that this will be the start of a new surge towards genuine reconciliation, with a renewal of goodwill on both sides. But unfortunately it is not as simple as that. During the wasted years of the Howard era too much has changed for Rudd to be able to pick up where Paul Keating left off.

On both sides, the politics are more complicated. The arrival of Noel Pearson and his agenda of black capitalism has split the Aboriginal leadership and on the white side the discarded policy of assimilation is making a comeback. An apology is a necessary first step, but the distrust right across the board is now too deep for it to be the cathartic event it might have been when Howard first rejected the opportunity.

One thing that needs to be made clear immediately is just what Rudd intends to do about the Northern Territory intervention, because the signals going out to the settlements have been very mixed. Rudd himself has said there will not be a review until the first 12 months are up, but even that is unclear: do the 12 months date from the announcement in June or from the roll-out, which is still very much a work in progress?

But in any case, much of Labor's campaigning, by the Northern Territory's Warren Snowdon and the new minister, Jenny Macklin, in particular, has implied that Labor will immediately reinstate the permit system which gives the communities power to control access to their land, and at least partially restore the CDEP, the Aboriginal work-for-the-dole program on which many communities depend. This should be clarified at once; the communities are is a huge state of confusion already and the last thing Labor should do is to add to it.

The architect of the intervention, the now seatless Mal Brough, and the new Liberal leader, Brendan Nelson, have both issued emotional pleas to Rudd to keep the process going unchanged and Rudd has accepted the primacy of protecting vulnerable children. But before accepting Brough's lines about how happy the communities are with the intervention is taking place and how well things have settled into place, he may care to glance at some of the voting figures from the Northern Territory.

Warren Snowdon won his electorate of Lingiari, which takes in all of the Territory outside Darwin, for Labor by a margin of almost two to one; but the vote in the remote communities was much higher - generally between 80 and 90%. In Yirrkala, where the most important of the elders, Gallarwuy Yunupingu, actually endorsed Brough's plan, the Labor vote was 99%. And even in Hopevale, Noël Pearson's own Cape York community, Labor scored 75%.

Admittedly, Labor has always polled well in the communities and did not oppose the intervention; but even so, the figures can hardly be interpreted as a ringing declaration of support for Brough's invasion. Reconciliation will be a long, hard road and it is obviously not one of Rudd's immediate priorities. But it is to be hoped that at least he avoids the worst of Howard's mistakes and includes the Aborigines themselves in any proposals he makes.

The opposition, of course, is still as confused about the issue as ever: Nelson still rejects the idea of an apology while his most serious rival, Malcolm Turnbull, regards it as a necessary break with the past. Actually it probably doesn't matter much what he opposition does for the next six months, because it will be at least that long before they regroup sufficiently for anyone to take them seriously.

Indeed, it may take another change of leadership before they settle down: Tony Abbott has already been honest enough to declare himself a contender in future, Peter Costello is lurking on the backbench with the suggestion that he just might reconsider and make himself available if they asked him really, really nicely, and of course no one had any doubt about Turnbull's ambition.

Nelson's leadership hangs by a very thin thread. And with the long-dreaded Labor monopoly finally in place, it is tempting to say that the same applies to the Liberal Party as a whole: with no government base anywhere to fall back on, it faces a lean few years, as does its dwindling coalition partner. The Nationals' stocks have never been lower and electing a new leader eight years older than his predecessor is unlikely to revive them.

After 11 years as supreme rulers, the conservatives are at their lowest point ever. Thank you and good night, John Howard.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 10:12 pm
So what do you make of Mungo's assessment of the situation in the NT, hinge?
And Mrs hinge?
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 10:27 pm
hingehead wrote:
I wonder what the Liberal party actually stands for? And why Georgiou is in it.

Truth be told the ALP has drifted from its ideological moorings too, so no point calling the kettle black.


The way I see it, hinge, things moved so far right under Howard that the old definitions of left, right & centre no longer apply in the same way as did pre-Howard. Both major parties have made a big shift to the right. The Libs extremely so. And the Greens current stance, which is seen as hard left, is simply where the Labor party would have been before Howard.

I really don't know much about Petro Georgiou, apart from him being of "wet" variety of Liberal, most of whom were purged from the party yonks ago by Howard & co. He has remained because of a very strong following in his (very well-heeled) electorate. But I admire his integrity & courage enormously in standing up to Howard & the Libs over the outrageous treatment of asylum seekers.
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hingehead
 
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Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 10:28 pm
msolga wrote:
In Yirrkala, where the most important of the elders, Gallarwuy Yunupingu, actually endorsed Brough's plan, the Labor vote was 99%. And even in Hopevale, Noël Pearson's own Cape York community, Labor scored 75%.[/i]


Mungo should talk to more people on the ground (as he suggests Rudd does). Calling Gallarwuy 'important' is not accurate. Allegedly he is not a nice man who has a habit of marrying 14 year old girls. He gets the mining royalties for his people's land, demands that the government funds facilities (to which he will not contribute any royalty money) but flies around in his personal Bell Jetranger helicopter, while 'his' people struggle by on govt welfare.

The people of Yirrkala know where he stands - Yolngu rock!

I'm amazed that the libs got 25% in Hopevale. Noel is really disliked there. At one public meeting Noel was explaining that the indigenous community was 'paternal' and power and property pass from father to son. Someone yelled out something like 'So what are you doing here Noel? Your father was German!'
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 10:39 pm
As a "southerner" :wink: & a city slicker, I will defer to your interpretation of the situation, hinge, as you (& Mrs hinge) seem much closer to the reality of what's actually happening) ... much as I hold Uncle Mungo in the highest, warmest regard!

But it is incredibly bamboozling to an outsider, I can tell you!

I like this:

Noel is really disliked there. At one public meeting Noel was explaining that the indigenous community was 'paternal' and power and property pass from father to son. Someone yelled out something like 'So what are you doing here Noel? Your father was German!'

Laughing

Why is Noel so disliked? (Not that I'm exactly a fan!)
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hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 10:56 pm
He is considered a 'coconut' - black on the outside, white on the inside.

Never make the mistake of thinking that because a group of people are discriminated against that they are incapable of being discriminatory themselves.

Really Olgs, I defer to Mrs Hinge she's the one with the experiences, I just listen. As she says, the more you know the more you realise you don't know jack. As for solutions - she can't see them - she just keeps trying to help where she can.

She's not vehemently anti-Noel at all, at least he's trying, but his motives and methods are sometimes questionable (as are some of his staff).

There is no one size fits all, but personally, I'd like to see a bit more equity in how remote communities are serviced, but who would work in one? It's very chicken and egg.

Remember Cyclone Guber in November, and that food had to be flown into Arrakun? Apparently that was BS, what happened was the new store operator arrived, with his family, took one look and left straight away. The local council didn't know how to open and operate the store, so the only way they could get food was by flying it in under the guise of 'cyclone aid'.

Needles to say if a white community with the same population was in the same spot - it would actually get state funding for its council.
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msolga
 
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Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 11:16 pm
This is very interesting, hinge.

Never make the mistake of thinking that because a group of people are discriminated against that they are incapable of being discriminatory themselves.

I am learning this from my (temporary, unfortunately) work. This is really, really complicated!

There is no one size fits all, but personally, I'd like to see a bit more equity in how remote communities are serviced, but who would work in one? It's very chicken and egg.

Yes, I see.

Remember Cyclone Guber in November, and that food had to be flown into Arrakun? Apparently that was BS, what happened was the new store operator arrived, with his family, took one look and left straight away. The local council didn't know how to open and operate the store, so the only way they could get food was by flying it in under the guise of 'cyclone aid'.

Needles to say if a white community with the same population was in the same spot - it would actually get state funding for its council.


Yes, I remember.
So that's what actually happened.
Sigh.

I'm feeling a bit stumped, hinge.
Best of intentions, but stumped.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 11:36 pm
So the Brough intervention .....?
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hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 11:49 pm
We're not fans. 'Save the children' is an admirable motive but the intervention is band aid stuff. Remove the abusers but leave the conditions that created the abusers the same.

And making the store operators control peoples money is both an incredible burden and an opportunity for fraud.

Mrs Hinge says that people willing to work in dysfunctional remote communities are Missionaries, Misfits or Misogynists. A tad cruel but some of the tales of unpunished ongoing corruption are amazing.

Many long time workers in the field despair of governmental weakness in this area.

No answers here.
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2007 11:53 pm
Sadly, none here, either, hinge. Sad
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2007 07:27 pm
Hmmmm ... that was a rather unhappy way to end a ripper thread!

Anyone with a more cheerful ending is most welcome to post! :wink:
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2007 02:05 am
How disappointing!

No one took up my offer.

OK, looks like I'll have to find that fitting article to end this thread.

OK, here it is.

Over to you, Mungo! Very Happy :




Poll dancing '07: King of Kirribilli dethroned
By Mungo MacCallum

Posted Tue Dec 11, 2007/ABC news online

http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200706/r151345_539250.jpg
Invincible ... John Howard at Kirribilli House, December 2006. (AAP: Mick Tsikas))

One morning in his tenth year as prime minister, John Winston Howard awoke in the master bedroom of Kirribilli House to realise that he had become not only omnipotent but invincible.

His demolition of Labor's young pretender, Mark Latham, had probably put the next election beyond the reach of any opponent, let alone one as accommodating as his serial victim, Kim Beazley.

The result had also made his leadership virtually unchallengeable.

Peter Costello's occasional forays could and would be dismissed as mere showmanship, in keeping with his dilettante approach to politics. Tony Abbott had long ceased to be a threat, and Brendan Nelson was clearly destined for the role of bridesmaid, if that. The only one who went close to matching him in megalomania, Malcolm Turnbull, was a full political generation away.

Howard's courtiers in the Parliament and in the media were now assuring him that he could, and should, go on for years - even for another decade, which would put him in reach of the hitherto unattainable record of Sir Robert Menzies, once the immortal nonpareil but now perhaps no more than a John the Baptist heralding the coming of the Messiah.

It was no longer a question of the Howard Years; we were now talking about the Howard Age, the Howard Epoch. Future historians would see 1996 as the new Year Zero, the time when it truly all began.

Okay, perhaps the hubris didn't extend quite that far, but there can be little doubt that as the election year of 2007 approached, our Dear Leader felt a bit like his idols in the Australian cricket team: to win, all he had to do was turn up.

Of course, he observed the rituals: he was still prime minister only with the approval of his party and the electorate; he was always aware that this approval could be withdrawn at any time; there was absolutely no room for smugness and he was 'umble, very 'umble, kind sir or madam as the case may be. But given his track record as an election winner, 2007 should be a stroll in the park.

True, Iraq was not exactly looking a picture, but the cut-and-run option was still unpopular and could be used to beat Labor about the head if the war loomed as a major issue with voters, which seemed unlikely.

The terrorism threat had gone off the boil a bit, but there were plenty of willing bigots among his posse of tame media commentators who could be relied on to ramp it up, if the occasion demanded.

The great wheat-for-weapons scandal, accurately described as the worst corruption case in Australian history, had been put to bed through a combination of skilled political management, denial and obfuscation; in spite of commendable efforts by the Opposition and the media to explain to the public that the government had, at the very least, been appallingly negligent and incompetent, the punters just weren't interested.

WorkChoices was a bit of a worry, with an increasing number of families being directly affected by its more draconian aspects and so many people knowing someone who claimed to have been treated unfairly; a few of the more excitable commentators were predicting that the angst would still be a major factor by election time.

But then, they had said that about the GST, which directly affected absolutely everybody, and that had settled into place very nicely, thank you.

There were a couple of other issues exciting the chattering classes, but no cause for alarm: the drought was a nuisance, but surely no one could blame him for that, and the wider question of climate change remained a cloud no bigger than a man's hand on the distant horizon.

The Americans still hadn't tried bloody David Hicks, but Australians had put up with his arbitrary imprisonment and probable torture for nearly five years with commendable equanimity; there was no reason to believe that this was about to change.

The only real problem was interest rates - which perversely kept going up, despite his constant appearances during the last campaign behind a banner that said he was keeping them down.

Still, look at the fine print: they were an awful lot lower than the 17 per cent under the arch demon Paul Keating (let alone the 21 per cent under the beneficent treasurer John Howard, but we won't go into that).

The Big Lie that interest rates would always be higher under Labor had worked well enough last time, and with a bit of a tweak could be adapted to fit the line that in troubled times, you need the steady hand of Honest John to keep things under control.

After all, he has guided you through an unprecedented period of prosperity, even if most of it is actually debt - but hey, it's better than paying rent.

Most importantly, you still trust him; after all, he got away with the last 10 years, proving that even on his worst day he can still fool most of the people for enough of the time.

On 1 December 2006, the first day of summer, the sky was blue, the grass was green, the birds were on the wing and the snails were on the thorn, the Howards were in Kirribilli House and all was right with the world.

That, in any case, was the gloomy picture from what is euphemistically described as the beer garden of the Billinudgel Hotel, where I sat brooding over the fact that next year was looking particularly bleak, because I wouldn't even have Arthur Sinodinis to kick around.

Sinodinis, for many years Howard's chief enforcer, was moving on; from my point of view, he would be missed chiefly as an almost-inexhaustible subject of limericks. I penned a farewell missive:

Oh Arthur! My lost Sinodinis!
A cloud has descended between us.
If you must quit the game
At least leave me your name
To rhyme with George Megalogenis.


Not even one of my best. But then, right on cue, the cavalry arrived: a message from a usually reliable source assured me that Kevin Rudd, so long as he was supported by Julia Gillard as deputy, had the numbers to knock off Kim Beazley.

Mungo MacCallum was a member of the Canberra press gallery for 20 years. This is an edited extract of his Poll Dancing: The Story of the 2007 Election.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/12/11/2115118.htm
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