Passive punditry

This article by Peter Hartcher in the SMH and this one by Michael Costello in the Oz both seem to me to offer incisive analyses of the state of play for the forthcoming federal election. Both suggest Howard may have the inside running (though offering slightly differing rationales), despite opinion polls suggesting Labor is currently marginally in front.

I’ve made a mental resolution not to bother blogging about federal election issues or Iraq for the immediate future, because there’s so much coverage of both issues elsewhere, and I’ve said just about everything I think is worth saying (from my own viewpoint anyway). I’ll probably end up voting Labor, mostly because the local Coalition member Dave Tollner is one of the biggest dickheads I’ve ever come across. The Labor candidate Jim Davidson, on the other hand, is an impressive, experienced performer whom I know very well. The comparative quality of the local candidates isn’t a bad basis to cast your vote when you think (as I do) that there’s very little to distinguish the two parties themselves. Howard’s dishonesty and social divisiveness are big negatives for me, but he’ll retire soon anyway, and I’d be quite happy with Costello as PM. Similarly, Latham’s “troops out by Xmas” stance is a black mark against him as far as I’m concerned, but I doubt that it will irretrievably undermine the US/Australian alliance, and Latham seems to be trying to carve out some wriggle room anyway. Otherwise, both parties offer only marginally different recipes from the neoliberal cookbook.

As the seat I live in (Solomon) is the most marginal in Australia, my voting decision carries more practical weight than most. I’ll post if anything happens to change my voting intention. I’d also be interested in hearing how other Territorians see things stacking up in Solomon.

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

Michael Costello was one of the architects of Beazley’s small target strategy, when he was Beazley’s chief of staff, so his political judgement trades at a big discount, as far as I am concerned. Plus, exactly as Alan Ramsey, ex Hayden staffer, resented (still does, in fact) Bob Hawke, Costello resents Latham for having beaten Beazley in the leadership contest. Costello could never bring himself to suggest Latham’s strategy is on the money, even if he believed it.

David Tiley
2022 years ago

Dave, Dave, I am always so inspired by your idealism and endless hope. To see you too caught by the zeitgeist and descending to mere political realism is just so sad..

By christmas our Mark will have put a soldier under every christmas tree and a bag of fairy dust in every sock.

And on the top of parliament’s very own tree will be Bob Brown with a non-native douglas fir branch up his bum.

Could my idealism be a bit… um… naive?

Jacques Chester
Jacques Chester
2022 years ago

I’ll vote Dave, because I’ve got my eye on the front benches. He also employed me, and as I’ve said before he’s smarter than people give him credit for (which cannot, I’m sad to say, be said of Sen. Scullion).

I don’t mind Latham – Costello’s better – but it’s the rest of his front bench you need to worry about. Run a search for “Abetz’s Labor Peerage” sometime.