It’s simple Simon – POQ

Steve Edwards blogs about the latest Newspoll on the standing of the federal parties and their respective leaders. I agree with pretty well everything Steve says, especially this paragraph:

The ALP is behind by two-percent in the two-party preferred stakes. This doesn’t sound bad. But it is. Regardless of the fact that Howard led this country to a war that a minority initially supported, apparently could not retrospectively justify this war, and has fudged the truth on a number of occasions, the ALP has not pulled ahead at any stage. Indeed, the ALP has either been around the level of support it attracted at the last federal election, or drastically behind. And two-party preferred says nothing about the rural and regional marginals…where elections are won and lost now. This is all despite the fact that the current government is old, fairly tired, and becoming increasingly repetitive. The current government has surely undermined the universality of Medicare. The current government has (although it deserves praise for some of its higher education agenda) under-spent on R&D and higher education. Indeed, the Howard Government is stumbling from blunder to blunder, offending the electorate in many of its key concerns, and the Labor Party has not once even looked like a competitor.

There are many ways to create new blog posts without writing anything yourself, and this has been one of them. Thanks Steve!

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Well yes, but the way the government is going, with the drip, drip, drip of accumulated mini-scandal – Manildra, Tuckey and Abbott/Hanson have all happened in just the past couple of months – the Labor Party might just fall over the line anyway. The Costello forces are worried about this, as Glenn Milne’s story yesterday showed.

And who knows how the 8-10 % of the population that are One Nationites, newly energised by the jailing of Australia’s first ever political prisoner (Bronwyn Bishop said it, so it must be true) are going to affect things. Howard roped them in last time with Tampa, but that was a one off deal. It would be a nice touch indeed if Hanson turfed out Howard from the comfort of her jail cell.

Not only that, the back side could fall out of the housing market any tick of the clock. If that happens, Simon Crean – charisma challenged, policy challenged, judgement challenged Simon – can start planning the redecoration of the Lodge with complete confidence.

Scott Wickstein
2022 years ago

I’m afraid Dave is right; and God help us all…

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

When you think about it, it’s a sad commentary on the state of Australian politics that the only prospect more depressing than John Howard remaining Prime Minister is Simon the Unlikeable succeeding him by default.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Agree. If the opposition had any vision, it would surely be 10 points in front by now. What’s mystifying is the reasons for the apparent incapacity of the ALP to find a lead. OK, there are a million piddling reasons (individual personalities, economic vicissitudes, multiple wedges, etc), but my sense is that there is something awry in a larger and more profound sense that is robbing the opposition of its historic sense of confidence and purpose.

bargarz
2022 years ago

I also reckon that Dave will be proven a prophet.

Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

Chris – I think the reasons why are obvious … for example, at the moment, there are basically two routes into the parliamentary ALP: through the unions and via service as a parliamentary advisor. As long as that persists, the parliamentary party is going to be mediocre, homogenous and out of touch.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Aren’t we forgetting the international context? In the post-September 11 era, anything can happen: and probably will – unfortunately.

Carita
2022 years ago

To Mork – What? And what then are the paths to prominence within the Liberal Party?

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Mork,
Perhaps, but it seems only yesterday that these routes were acclaimed as apprenticships within a superior political training infrastructure that would ever ensure the rise and rise of Labor … so, personally, I’ll leave that popular internal complaint (and exceedingly popular complaint by those standing outside these routes) moot at this stage, as I search for larger suspects …

bargarz
2022 years ago

Yes the libs need a new career path too. Fishnet stockings will only take a man so far and no further.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

You picking on Dolly again bargs? Actually, I thought Carlton’s reference to him as a ‘talking knee’ was just wicked …

Jim
Jim
2022 years ago

I’m not so sure….
Manildra and Tuckey showed how venal and sleazy this government can be. I don’t count the Hanson/Abbott episode as a negative;just a beat up by the Howard haters at Fairfax and the ABC.Whilst voters should be royally p…… off at the coalition I don’t know if it follows that a loss is likely.
Remember Beattie before the last Qld election?
Branch stacking and electoral fraud claiming senior members of government and senior party administrators,pedophilia charges pending against one ex-minister and a landslide win!
Voters seem more prepared to overlook misbehaviour these days – in favour of what I’m not sure – but Crean certainly doesn’t have it.

Dave Ricardo
Dave Ricardo
2022 years ago

Jim

Beatttie’s win was extraordinary, but the Nationals were hopelessly divided over One Nation, plus Howard was seriously on the nose at the time over petrol prices.

Hanson/Abbott is important because it has breathed new life into all the problems that One Nation gave to the Coalition in 1998. You might think it is a beat up, and you might be right. But if the One Nationite punters think Hanson has been got at by the Establishment, they are gonna get mad, and they are more likely to take it out on the party that is in than the party that is out.

If so, this takes us to where we were in the 1998 election, where Labor was unlucky to lose, since they got the majority of the 2PP vote.

If that’s all there is, Howard might squeak back in. And as Geoff said, these days anything can happen. If Al Queda blows up the Sydney Opera House when it’s full of disabled school children on a mid week excursion, then we have Tampa 2, and Howard will be PM for life, or even longer.

Assuming this doesn’t happen, though, if the housing market tanks, then all those aspirational voters who have geared up to the gills to buy investment properties are going to be even madder than the One Nationites, and Howard will be toast.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Carita – a breakdown of H of R Lib members’ backgrounds on entering Parliament – culled from the Australian Political Almanac.

Trish Worth

Nurse/pathology services manager

Chris Pearce

IT businessman

Patrick Secker

Farmer

John Howard

Lawyer

Philip Ruddock

Lawyer

Cameron Thompson

Journo/Party Staffer

Andrew Southcott

Doctor

Brendan Nelson

Doctor

Don Randall

Teacher

Tony Smith

Party Staffer

Bruce Baird

Public Servant (Aust Trade Commission)

Fergus Stewart

Farmer

Julie Bishop

Lawyer

Phil Barresi

Psychologist

Peter Dutton

Childcare centre owner

Ken Ticehurst

Electrical engineer

Bruce Billson

Party staffer

Gary Nairn

Registered Surveyor

David Jull

Journalist

Alex Somylay

Party Staffer

Susan Ley

Public servant (ATO)/farmer

Peter Slipper

Lawyer

Greg Hunt

Party Staffer

Kay Elson

Retail Shop owner

Geoff Prosser

self-employed businessman

Joanna Gash

Tourism Manager

David Kemp

Academic

Barry Wakelin

Farmer

Ian Macfarlane

Farmer

Peter Lindsay

Electronics business owner

Peter Costello

Industrial Relations Lawyer

Chris Gallus

Journalist/Health Researcher

Danna Vale

Lawyer

Alby Schultz

slaughterman

Sophie Panopoulos

Party Staffer

Bary Haase

Air conditioning business owner

Petro Georgiou

Party Staffer

Bob Charles

Construction business owner

Warren Entsch

Real estate

Jackie Kelly

RAAF Legal Officer

Mal Brough

businessman

Pat Farmer

Landscaping copntractor

Bronwyn Bishop

Lawyer

Kerry Bartlett

High school teacher

Trish Draper

Nurse

Alexander Downer

Public servant (DFAT)

Fran Bailey

Goat breeder

Margaret May

Education administrator

Kevin Andrews

Lawyer

Alan Cadman

Rural property management

Steven Ciobo

Party staffer

Mal Washer

Doctor

Gary Hardgrave

Journalist

Sharman Stone

Sociologist

Joe Hockey

Party Staffer

Wilson Tuckey

businessman

Ross Cameron

Lawyer

Bob Baldwin

businessman

Judi Moylan

Real estate

Teresa Gambaro

Marketing Tutor QUT

Jim Lloyd

Service station operator

Michael Johnson

Law lecturer

Chris Pyne

Party staffer

Daryl Williams

Lawyer

Neil Andrew

Farmer

David Hawkner

Farmer

Tony Abbott

Journalist

Peter King

Lawyer

mark
2022 years ago

Dave, what if Costello manages to convince those who thought the bubble would last forever (and let’s face it, they aren’t difficult to convince) that the reason for the burst was those damn Labor state govts?

Ken, there was a time I would have agreed with you. However, Federal Labor at this point seem to be nothing more than ineffective losers. The Coalition, on the other hand, appear more and more dangerously regressive with every passing year.

Jack Strocchi
2022 years ago

John Howard can thank Paul Keating for the dream run he has had as PM:
– Keating’s mad Kultur Kampf against mainstream Australian values on the three R’s: Republic, Reconciliation, Reffos
– Keating’s brilliant economic policy particularly the freeing up of financial markets: floating of the dollar and opening up credit

The former gave Howard a cultural free kick in front of goal.
The latter has meant that all economic problems have been solved by free market windfalls.
– depreciating dollar saved exporters in the Asian crisis
– appreciating property has saved homeonwers since the stock market crash

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

You everything that has been said about Simey here was said about Johhnee back in 1994/5.

Newspol and Morgan are only different because of sampling error. ( I believe Morgan is on the money at present)

Also remember Howard has a lamentable record in campaigning in elections even though you would think he performs like Menzies.

At the end it will depend whether people are scared and security dominates or they aren’t.
If they aren’t then Jack maybe walking around in a barrel!!

Jim
Jim
2022 years ago

Geoff,
One small addition…
Peter Dutton was also a policeman.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Yes, he had been previously Jim. But I decided to use the “last identified occupation prior to election” for the sake of consistency.

Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

Well, they might have been at a time when the union movement represented a large section of the community. When unionism was a genuine representative expression of the working class, as a by-product, it did enable the ALP to collect the cream off the top of the system.

It seems to me that these days, unionism is really only representative of workers in a small number of industries, which represent a tiny fraction of working Australians. Nowadays, pretty much the only reason anyone becomes a union official is because they want to be an ALP politician … how often these days do you come across a union official that has actually been employed in the industry they cover?

Instead, the union officialdom is full of middle class kids looking for a short-cut to political power.

Of course, the real elephant in the room of the modern ALP is the fact of union control itself, which, apart from the funding it provides, has become an enormous dead weight on the party’s electability. It lowers the quality of the candidates, consistently inhibits the party from aligning its priorities with a large enough segment of the population generate wide support, and alienates a section of the community that would otherwise support a social democratic party.

Of course, in a two horse race, you can always end up winning if your opponent trips over, but waiting for that to happen is not, in my view, a very sound strategy.

Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

I lost the top off that post. I was meaning to respond to this sentence:

but it seems only yesterday that these routes were acclaimed as apprenticships within a superior political training infrastructure that would ever ensure the rise and rise of Labor

Jim
Jim
2022 years ago

Dave ,
Agree the opposition (to Beattie) in 2001 was conflicted and hopeless.Much the same as federal Labor now.
My point is that despite some pretty serious mishaps – more serious than those facing Howard when you consider their criminal nature – Beattie still won a landslide.At the end of the day I just don’t feel that Howard has committed a serious enough offence (in the electorates eyes) to warrant being turfed out.
The shame of this is that the dishonesty and double standards we have seen probably won’t get punished sufficiently to change future behaviour – on either side.
That’s my lament.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

OK Mork, as someone who is given to thinking of the ALP as an often wayward political child of the union movement, can we just jump to agreeing to disagree on that one, and thus save both of us a lot of time debating?

Mork
Mork
2022 years ago

I don’t think anyone is going to make you debate anything you don’t want to debate on your own blog, Chris.

That said, I am a little curious. I don’t dispute the historical truth of your description, but I don’t know that I have ever heard anyone defend the status quo who didn’t have a vested interest in maintaining it.

I can’t really guess what the argument would be.

Geoff
Geoff
2022 years ago

Beattie won a landslide in 2001 because of many factors (hopeless opposition, Howard on the nose, etc). One of these was the stand he took on the electoral rorts at the time.

From memory, he did not try to cover up the electoral rorts at all. People hated the rorts, but Beattie straight away did the right thing: he demanded resignations, said anyone found guilty would be kicked out, etc etc. He turned a negative (rorting in his party) to a positive (dealing with rorting in an honest and open way).

It was not the case that the voters returned him despite the negative impact of the rorts. It’s because he was clearly doing the right thing and the voters thought they could trust him (whether he lived up to that trust is another matter).

That may be the difference between Beattie’s situation and Howard’s. Howard has had problems, but the public perception is that he tries to excuse or gloss over such problems.

I’m not confident that the voters will care enough about it to turf him out, though.