2010 Open Election Thread #2

Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott face off in front of Australian Parliament HousePlease keep the general election campaign talk (breaking news etc) on these Election Open Threads, and keep discussions on the other posts focussed on the topic presented by the author. The one and only topic that is not welcome on principle on these Election Open Threads is Endless Rehashing of the Labor Leadership Change.

We have noticed a tendency for all threads currently to devolve into general election threads. Off topic posts in other threads are liable to be summarily deleted at the discretion of the moderators.

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Posted in federal election 2010
95 comments on “2010 Open Election Thread #2
  1. tssk says:

    I’ve noticed a new narrative. Apparently Rudd is trying to knife the ALP by taking a job with the UN. This would of course be devastating for the ALP, the narrative being that Rudd would desert his seat leaving it to the Libs and shaking faith in the ALP as a stable organisation.

    And stuff.

    Of course for someone about to pack his bags for the UN he seems to be doing a lot of usless campaining. But let’s ignore that. Doesn’t fit the narratiive.

  2. Laura says:

    I’M REALLY ENJOYING THE ALL CAPS FOUR-POINT ACTION CONTRACT!!!!

    1.BAM!
    2.THWACK!
    3.POW!
    4.SOCKO!!!

  3. CMMC says:

    The job only consists of three meetings per year.

  4. Brett says:

    With respect, Laura, that action plan’s shortcomings are made amply clear when compared with the following alternative:

    1. KAPOW!
    2. BIFF!
    3. ZLONK!
    4. FLRBBBBB!!!

    Don’t be fooled!

  5. MIKE says:

    Bob Brown is covering himself with glory by putting a size 12 boot into the mining thugs.

    Keep it up Bob and you’ll have my vote forever and a day.

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/brown-draws-wrath-of-miners-over-tax-20100722-10m8d.html

  6. Fran Barlow says:

    Give ‘em hell Bob! He wants 50% …

    I disagree with him on one issue, as people know, but I have to say, that aside, on just about any issue, he warms the heart of us older lefties.

    OK, he won’t have his way, but I just love the brass of it. Last election, he stood up for Dean Mighell and Joe MacDonald when the mainstream declared them pariahs and Rudd did all but spit on them. And having stuck up for refugees and pushed a carbon cost, now he has poked the mining thugs like Forrest and Palmer in the eye with a stick.

    You have to love that.

  7. MIKE says:

    FRAN – the miners must just hate it when the run into someone they can’t corrupt and have absolutely no control over.

    Twiggy’s latest outburst raises lots of questions in my mind. According to Twiggy, he almost had a deal with Rudd, before Rudd got the boot.

    Then, it seemed, Twiggy got shoved aside and the goverment stitched up a deal with the biggest and ugliest miners (Rio, BHP, X-trata).

    So what happened?

    I thought, at the time, that it would be smart for Rudd to pull on-side (so far as possible) the smaller more local miners (including those wind-bags Forrest and, if possible, Palmer) and leave the big cash-cows out in the cold. Then he could have said everybody is happy except the big ugly multinationals, etc etc who aren’t going anywhere anyway. He could have said there is now no “industry” campaign.

    But if that was Rudd’s intention (and I really don’t know – maybe wishful thinking) then it appears the govt had a big switch of strategy. They called in Rio, BHP and took only a few days to sell us down the river (while ignoring the little guys).

    Of course, Rudd knows all of this, but he isn’t speaking, yet.

    But I really sense (as others have suggested) that we really won’t know the true history of our times until we know what was happening with the mining negotiations and whether there was a big shift in direction and, if so, why.

    Anyone got any clues?

  8. Joe says:

    Did anyone see the Joe Hockey interview on the 7:30 report a couple of days ago? It was incredible. Talk about client politics, the only people that he was representing were small-businesses and even that seemed dubious.

    I agree Mike– Go Bob, go! It would be great to see the Greens capitalise on the nowhere-to-be-found performances of the two main parties.

  9. hannah's dad says:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/lifestyle/a/-/lifestyle/7629670/gillard-sheds-bogan-fashion-image/

    I’m almost sorry to intrude that link when the context has been principles and policy from Bob Brown and then I bring in this piece of ….[please insert apt descriptor] from the West Australian on Julia Gillard’s fashion dress.

    Words fail me, hence the request for someone else to descibe this newspapers piece of crap.
    Oh, blimey, I did manage to describe it!

  10. tssk says:

    Polls at the Daily Telegraph have them favouring Abbot over Julia by a massive margin and the comments in their blogs are all talking about the loss of faith in the ALP.

    Looks likely that the ALP will be thrown out of office by a massive margin.

    I know all the talk here is that the ALP will win comfortably. I’ve heard this sort of talk before each and every Howard victory.

  11. MG says:

    The ALP must be kicking themselves now. They threw away a very good, talented leader for one with hardly any.

    As long as Julia Gillard does not have the guts to state the true problems as is -ie lack of infrastructure and services in the outer suburbs and uses euphemisms such as “sustainable population” she is proving that she is just a front for the factional thugs who brought her to power.

    A once great party of Whitlam, Hawke, Keating and lately Rudd has been reduced to this – just like in NSW.

  12. rf says:

    C’mon Tssk, the Daily Telly polls are not exactly what you’d call representative – at least no more than LP is!
    And they are probably all written by lib staffers in any case.

  13. Joe says:

    C’mon Abbott’s taken directly from The Castle. He can’t be representative of 21st century Australia?! Surely.

  14. Sam says:

    “Polls at the Daily Telegraph have them favouring Abbot over Julia by a massive margin and the comments in their blogs are all talking about the loss of faith in the ALP.

    Looks likely that the ALP will be thrown out of office by a massive margin.”

    This is a joke, right?

    Polls and comments at the Daily Telegraph! While we are at it, let’s look at the polls and comments at Green Left Weekly.

  15. Sam says:

    “They threw away a very good, talented leader for one with hardly any.”

    I agree that getting rid of Beazley and installing that no hoper Rudd was a bad move, but it’s time to past behind us.

  16. MIKE says:

    Best quote from Twiggy:

    [Mr Forrest, chief executive of Fortescue Metals, has called on the Prime Minister Julia Gillard to include Senator Brown in talks on the minerals resources rent tax (MRRT).]

    Hah, hah, hah. Twiggy just doesn’t get it. If Twiggy wants to know Bob’s opinion on the mining tax he should just attend Parliament and watch him vote. That’s the way things are done in democracies.

  17. CMMC says:

    ABC 24 now live.

  18. CMMC says:

    And guess what?

    The first story is “How Kevin Rudd treated National Security board with contempt”.

    Just like “Insiders”, it will be 24/7 of “Labor mismanagement”

  19. hannah's dad says:

    http://www.roymorgan.com.au/

    This is interesting.
    Even tho’ its Morgan and a small sample [719] it offers some, as the comments point out, “surprising” results.

    “Julia Gillard has rejected the drive for a bigger Australia instead talking about wanting a more sustainable Australia – sharing the view of most Australians. The majority of electors – 78% – want to aim for a population of less than 35 million by 2040 according to a special telephone Morgan Poll on immigration and population conducted over the last two nights, July 20/21, 2010.

    However immigration per se is not the problem in the minds of the Australian electorate – the majority (58%) being comfortable with immigration remaining the same (47%) or increasing (11%) while 40% want immigration levels reduced and just 2% can’t say. Importantly, more Australian electors believe immigration has a positive effect on Australia (33%) than a negative effect (30%) while 21% believe immigration has little effect and 16% can’t say.

    Not surprisingly, the vast majority of Australian electors support both Skilled migrant immigration (88%) and Family reunion migration (75%).

    However, given the broadly negative debate about Muslims and Asylum seekers – it is perhaps surprising that a majority of Australian electors support both Muslim immigration (54% support vs. 35% opposed) and Asylum seeker immigration (52% support vs. 39% opposed).”

  20. kEItHY says:

    Twiggy makes the Libs and all their supporters look bad i.e. BORN TO RULE: they will not be welcoming his comments at this time!

    If they lose any ground this election then they will stand to lose a lot more at coming elections as this means the young aren’t replacing the oldies!

    Once they lose the young they are will be sunk!

    Huzzah!

  21. robbo says:

    Thank heavens for Dr.Bob. Just when ya reckon you really have had a gutfull of the bullshit at least one party leader talks sense.Thanks Joe for pointing out the duplicity of the liebrals

    “Did anyone see the Joe Hockey interview on the 7:30 report a couple of days ago? It was incredible. Talk about client politics, the only people that he was representing were small-businesses and even that seemed dubious”.

    At no time have I heard the opposition making the connection between rorts and small business. Would appear to be the oppositions position that if small business rorts Govt. That is the fault of Govt. for allowing it.

  22. Lefty E says:

    Bit surprised about this leak on Rudd’s attendance at NSC meetings.

    Dont get me wrong – full credit to him to failing to regularly flatter the self-important fantasies of war-gamers dealing with the host of non-threats against us – but WTF are certain ALP heads doing still leaking against Rudd?

    And worse – leaking anything at all from NSC meetings? Is there no sense of the rhe proper order of govt business among these factional game players?

  23. Dont get me wrong – full credit to him to failing to regularly flatter the self-important fantasies of war-gamers dealing with the host of non-threats against us…

    Yeah, that was my first thought as well…

    but WTF are certain ALP heads doing still leaking against Rudd?

    Good question. Clearly some people are still very peeved with him.

  24. Brian says:

    On the mining tax, Mike, I had heard of the possible deal between Rudd and twiggy, but only from Twiggy. It seems to me inconceivable that Twiggy would have signed up to anything less favourable than the deal Gillard/Swan did with the big guys.

    Conversely it seems to me inconceivable that Rudd would have given Twiggy a deal as favourable as the MRRT.

    Neither the RSPT under Rudd or the MRRT under Gillard were ever intended to be legislated in this term. So the legislation would always have to run the gamut of a senate where the Greens should hold the balance of power. So either way I think we would have ended up pretty much in the same place if Labor wins the election. The difference is that with Rudd we would have had an extended bruising encounter, unlikely to be resolved before the election, massive campaigning by the miners and the Govt continuing to use taxpayer money in a pathetic and damaging attempt to counter it.

    Going Gillard’s way we have some of youse guys whinging on a blog about sellouts and probably a campaign by the mining rump which just might remind people that miners really are greedy and that Abbott would get us nothing.

    The Argus/Ferguson c’tee is supposed to be sorting out the smaller miners problems. I’m not sure Twiggy qualifies as small.

    Brown is promising a Senate inquiry, after which we should all be a bit wiser and perchance know what we are talking about.

    Sorry for the long rant.

  25. tssk says:

    So this new story about him not attending some meetings.

    I’m confused.

    Apparently the narrative was that he was over worked cranky and pwer mad, loathe to delegate to anyone.

    Now a story comes out about him delegating some of his tasks to other people what’s the narrative now?

    Someone clue me in…is he now lazy?

  26. Joe says:

    tssk, no just a cracked nerdy narcissist– he spent that time doing Rubik’s cubes and rehearsing for the 7:30 report. Those military boffons were way too macho for the Ruddster.

  27. akn says:

    Australian Bullshit Corporation had to have a “breaking story” for their new 24/7 combine news/mulch spreader so they ran with “ex-PM doesn’t attend meeting, sends spotty nerd instead”. Wait till they find out that Rudd had himself cloned.

  28. tigtog says:

    but WTF are certain ALP heads doing still leaking against Rudd?

    That’s IF, and I think it’s a very big IF, the leaks are indeed coming from the Labor side. What about all those quotes from unnamed disgruntled defence officials?

    Look at how the LibNats get a two-for-the-price-of-one smear against both Rudd and Gillard with this – him for being “irresponsible” in senior office and her for being “naive” in promising to give him senior office again after the election.

    They’re also going for the same two-for-the-price-of-one smears with Rudd’s supposed “sucking the oxygen out of Gillard’s campaign” by (shock! horror!) campaigning in his own electorate for re-election as an MP and the idea that Rudd considering taking a position on a UN panel on climate change, a panel that fits in perfectly with the position of Minister for Foreign Affairs that he expects to have after the next election (if he doesn’t get Foreign Minister, whoever does will probably sit on the panel), is somehow rank chasing after perks. The whole point is to paint Rudd as so toxic that he’s discredited forever and that he taints Gillard (and Swan and the rest) by association, making the whole lot unelectable.

    It’s spin, pure and simple.

  29. Sam says:

    I see the Prime Minister is going to assemble 150 western suburbs bogans, oops, ordinary Australians, to tell her what to do on climate change.

    While she’s got got them in the same room, she might like to ask them their opinion on whether the Higgs boson exists, and that can then determine ARC funding for physics research.

  30. MIKE says:

    BRIAN – are you saying that Labor is going to stab the big miners in the back? I hope and pray they will, but I’ve seen no signs of that.

  31. tssk says:

    Sam. That is going to be her undooing. Cue the right hastily setting up a local version of the Tea Party.

  32. Paul Burns says:

    Actually, GLW’s political analysis is streets ahead of the Daily Telegraph. Sure, they’re far left, but, unlike the journos they’re not stupid.

  33. adrian says:

    The community consultation/procrastination climate change non policy was all over ABC radio this morning, with the sage Mark Simpkin informing us that the credibility of the parties climate change policies would be determined by how much money they ‘put on the table’ because they would end up being so similar.

    And we were of course reassured by the fact that there would be ‘sceptics’ participating in the conference.

    Go Greens!

  34. MIKE says:

    Interesting article from Latham (yes him) today in the middle of the AFR. He says Rudd’s problem was not that he lost the ability to communicate but he became an old-communicator. The 24/7 news cycle demands fresh meat all the time. That’s why the ALP has basically become a PR organisation than a party with real values.

  35. Rebekka says:

    @Sam, “I see the Prime Minister is going to assemble 150 western suburbs bogans, oops, ordinary Australians, to tell her what to do on climate change.”

    Heaven forbid ordinary people should have a say in the future of the country…
    / sarcasm.

    There seem to be a lot of people in the left who need reminding that democracy isn’t actually about an intelligentsia making decisions for the plebs. Thank goodness the PM’s not one of them, is all I can say.

    Ever actually been to the western suburbs, Sam?

  36. Lefty E says:

    Nice spin Rebekka.

    Let me twirl it this way: poll-driven politics just reached a new low – focus groups now dictate the policy-making process as well.

  37. Mindy says:

    What Julia does something to counter the argument that Labor under Rudd wasn’t consultative enough and now she’d done the wrong thing? What will it take to make you happy, apart from Julia stepping back into the DPM job and reinstating Rudd?

    I think you are creating a strawman that Rebekka never argued.

  38. Fran Barlow says:

    This morning on Fran Kelly’s Breakfast, Richard Dennis (Australia Insititute) described the “Climate Assembly” as completely meaningless.

    He was wrong of course. It means that Gillard wants to delay action for even longer and to persuade people that contrary to what they know, there is no consensus on what to do about mitigating AGW. This canard is the most dangerous of all propositions to offer the opponents of action.

    What a scandalous and reckless cop out clown this woman is proving to be!

  39. adrian says:

    Agreed Fran.
    What ‘argument’ that Rudd wasn’t consultative enough, Mindy, and why does it have to be countered?

    Cut the spin – this is pure politics, designed to give the shallowest impression of doing something about the crisis of our times.

    We have the elected parliament to make decisions FFS, and this issue has been ‘debated’ and the people consulted through elections for at least five years.

  40. su says:

    Fran I think it is either a short term populist ploy like Rudd’s Community Cabinets (lest we forget) or, as you say, a truly depressing signal of what is to come. And even a Green balance of power will be no use if there is no legislation put before the parliament.

  41. mbahnisch says:

    su, I don’t think that’s a fair characterisation of Community Cabinets. They’ve been a feature in Queensland for a long time, introduced by Peter Beattie. They can actually be quite effective in giving ministers and bureaucrats a different perspective.

  42. adrian says:

    Community Cabinets was a completely different concept.

  43. Pavlov's Cat says:

    ‘Nice spin Rebekka.’

    I dunno, I think she was just describing what she saw.

  44. su says:

    Well Mark, the only public comment I have seen about the Federal version described them as “a world of pain at the time, but you know that it’s good for you politically in the long run.” Doesn’t sound like they took what the community had to say seriously, they just knew that giving the appearance of listening was good political strategy. If constituency work and negotiation with peak community bodies does not already give politicians a very good idea of areas of concern and need amongst the community then they are not paying close enough attention.

  45. mbahnisch says:

    @su, at least under Beattie in Queensland, they were worthwhile. I can’t speak to the federal experience, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing for ministers and senior bureaucrats to be exposed to direct grass roots views, just as MPs are through their contact with their constituents.

  46. Rebekka says:

    Yep, Pavlov’s cat, exactly.

    What I see repeatedly here is a contempt for the idea that middle Australia/”bogans”/anyone who’s not part of a supposedly more intelligent elite that thinks they have a superior understanding of politics to the average person should be consulted about what they want the future of the country to look like. What I think is that actually, democracy is a good thing, asking people what they want (and not just in a “elect us” sense, every three years or so) is a good thing, and listening to them is a damn good thing.

    When you don’t listen, you get voted out. Also democracy. What’s more, if you try to put in policies that most people don’t want, you deserve to get voted out, no matter how ideologically brilliant you and your sneering pals think the policy is.

    I don’t think the average focus group is big enough to give you a statistically significant idea of what the people in general want, but listening to a much larger than usual focus group? Blood oath that’s a good thing.

  47. Lefty E says:

    Ok, let’s debate that

    New citizen’s climate forum: Democratic revival? Or the apotheosis of poll-driven politics?

    My view is its a time-buying non-policy, which YET AGAIN denies there is already a clear mandate from 2007, and Gillard is travelling the same failed road as Rudd.

    There isnt one single policy shift under Gillard that one could call ‘progressive’.

    And even for electoral pragmatists, there is only one that has created a political fix – the mining tax.

    The Asylum seeker response was too messed up by the Timor stuff-up, and this climate non-policy is precisely how Rudd got into trouble.

    Honestly: name one thing there is to like about this mornng’s ‘policy’ announcement. Just one.

    Aside from the Green vote surge it will produce, I mean. :)

  48. Rebekka says:

    “Democratic revival? Or the apotheosis of poll-driven politics?”

    Define the difference. You seem to think a democratically-elected government doing what the people want, as read through polls, is self-evidently a bad thing.

    Why?

    If we’re talking proper polls (i.e. a statistically significant sample that’s representative of the population and not, say, an online poll with a self-selecting sample) then we’re talking a snapshot of what the people think.

    Tell me again how a democratically elected government should ignore that and do something the people don’t want?

  49. mbahnisch says:

    @Rebekka, a citizen jury is not the same thing as a focus group just bigger.

    And as I said, this is just another recipe for real inaction on climate change. http://blogs.abc.net.au/drumroll/2010/07/julia-gillards-climate-change-policy-and-citizen-juries.html

    In a democracy, we make decisions by majority vote at elections, not through consensus. A continuing large majority for climate change action is more than sufficient a predicate for reform.

    And the people with the real seats at the table will be Big Carbon, not the people who are chosen for the citizen assembly.

  50. Paul Norton says:

    My problem with the Climate Assembly is not the concept (I’m all for deliberative democracy and more of it) but the timing and the agenda. It would have been an excellent idea three years ago with Garnaut as the starting point for discussion. 2011 is too late and the CPRS is too little.

  51. su says:

    Honestly: name one thing there is to like about this mornng’s ‘policy’ announcement. Just one.

    All right, the establishment of the “Climate Change Commission – to explain the science of climate change and to report on progress in international action.” One of the fair criticisms of Labor has been its failure to properly explain both the science and the various policy responses, I think this Commission could meet that need.

  52. Paul Norton says:

    And I should point out that at the time Garnaut was doing his work on climate policy for the government, there was tremendous public interest as measured by attendance at the public meetings he addressed.

  53. Lefty E says:

    Exactly, Mark. Its simply recipe for inaction, and a cover for policy cowardice.

    I fear it won’t even be an effective one – no one in the public will buy this 3-card trick for a second.

    They’ve really left people no option but to vote Green. Expect a siginificant vote surge in coming polls.

  54. What I see repeatedly here is a contempt for the idea that middle Australia/”bogans”/anyone who’s not part of a supposedly more intelligent elite that thinks they have a superior understanding of politics to the average person should be consulted about what they want the future of the country to look like. .

    My view is that Middle Australia has been repeatedly consulted on this issue, and said that they want action.

  55. adrian says:

    Rebekka it’s got nothing to do with bogans, democracy, listening to the people or any of the other claims of your imagination. And sometimes we have ‘elites’ because they actually have specific knowledge about an issue acquired through years of study. It pisses me off that elite has become a pejorative term as a result of the Howard years.

    You might have a shadow of a vestage of a point if this issue hadn’t been debated, discussed ad naseum (and voted) on already. Have you heard of a concept called leadership? Governance? Elections – you know those time when the government is elected by the people to enact policies – given a mandate.

    Lets have a situation where every major policy is sent to a randomly selected group of people to decide before the government even begins to think about doing anything. What a recipe for chaos.

    And what if these community representatives don’t think action is necessary? I guess we just have to follow their lead.

    But perhaps your hero will listen to your inspiring talk of elites and democracy and introduce community consultation for the war in Afghanistan.

  56. tssk says:

    Robert that is not the case. What about Climate Skeptics? What about stakeholders like BHP?

  57. Sam says:

    Rebecca, you seem like a smart person, so I’m guessing you’re mostly taking the piss. This particular talk fest is just another excuse for inaction. I know it, you know it, I know you know it, and you know I know it. As for the principle of involving “ordinary” people in policy decisions, I disagree, because they just don’t know. If a doctor tells you that you need an operation, and your hairdresser tells you that you don’t, whose advice are you going to take?

    I’m not interested in policy being directly determined by people who support the last thing they heard by some ratbag shock jock or the lst thing they read on some ratbag blog, including this one.

    Important policy decisions require expertise. The people elect the government to make the policy and the government hires the experts to advise it on the policy.

    If that sounds elitist to you, tough titties. It is.

  58. Fran Barlow says:

    Rebekka said:

    What’s more, if you try to put in policies that most people don’t want, you deserve to get voted out, no matter how ideologically brilliant you and your sneering pals think the policy is.

    Now as a matter of general principle,I am sympathetic to this view, but the porblem here is more complex than you presents it, and your high dudgeon suggests at best a rather flippant regard for the point being made.

    What people want or don’t want is obviously key to inclusive governance, as I like to call it, but the reality is that the vast majority of society, even in countries of comparative privilege such as Australia have not been empowered to understand their macro interests much less articulate them in any meaningful way that is independent of the heavy hand of one section or another of the elite. These 150 are going to be,if anything, a lot less legitimate than the 150 members elected to the HoR — and they are not exactly legitimate in my opinion either — but that’s another debate.

    Unless one assumes that the people you are asking are capable of giving informed guidance to policy, then the fact that they have been formally asked is not really an exercise in inclusive governance,and it of course says nothing about the views of the other 14 million voters who haven’t had a say at all. Getting people involved in policy involves more than the vermilion rope. It entails ensuring that they are capable of contributing usefully to process.

    One should add that it is just as wrong to warrant a policy merely because most people appear to favour it as it is to warrant it because a handful of people who are competent to declare on it and are honest can intellectually justify it. Both process and goal must cohere, at least for those of us who favour the empowerment of the marginalised.

    All this silly exercise can do is spur a new round of “there is no consensus” from those disingenuously and tendentiously resisting coherent action.

    Delay, as Penny Wong said quite rightly, is denial, and this is arbitrary delay dressed up as consultation.

  59. adrian says:

    So much for this government’s commitment to democracy, if this story from the SMH is accurate:

    No Minister: 90% of web snoop document censored to stop ‘premature unnecessary debate’

    “The federal government has censored approximately 90 per cent of a secret document outlining its controversial plans to snoop on Australians’ web surfing, obtained under freedom of information (FoI) laws, out of fear the document could cause “premature unnecessary debate”.”

    Wouldn’t want PUD now would we.

  60. tssk says:

    Good spot Adrian. And that’s my vote for the ALP gone. Not that Abbott will be any better on this.

  61. Fine says:

    “All right, the establishment of the “Climate Change Commission – to explain the science of climate change and to report on progress in international action.” One of the fair criticisms of Labor has been its failure to properly explain both the science and the various policy responses, I think this Commission could meet that need.”

    I don’t like this policy, but I agree this is a good thing. The science has been muddied badly now, with way too much oxygen taken up by the deniers. Hopefully, this will work to educate people and thus make a price on carbon more likely. Call me optimistic – but there you go.

  62. MIKE says:

    Another blogger has noted Christine Milne’s comment: “We are having an election right now for a citizens representative group – the Federal Parliament”

  63. Fran Barlow says:

    tssk asked (tongue in cheek?):

    What about Climate Skeptics?

    There’s no such thing. Nobody is skeptical of climate. Indeed, nobody is skeptical of climate change.

    Indeed, I would argue that nobody is skeptical of anthropogenic climate chnage, since skepticism implies a grasp of the corpus of work in the field, the usages of the science, the flaws in various theories within the corpus including in those that depart from the consensus position and a willingness to engage in scholarly review.

    There are no such persons in Australia calling themselves “skeptics” in relation to the mainstream position on the climate anomaly at all. There are merely some culture warriors self-identifying as “skeptics” to make themselves appear less ridiculous than their apparent credulity for ignorant nonsense would imply.

  64. Rebekka says:

    “Rebekka it’s got nothing to do with bogans, democracy, listening to the people or any of the other claims of your imagination. ”

    Yeah, it has. Firstly, Adrian, because I was responding to Sam, who claimed this was about “bogans from the western suburbs”. Secondly, because (as you’d realise had you read carefully) I was then talking more generally about this attitude, and not just in relation to the climate change issue.

    I agree, sometimes elites are elites because they’ve spent years studying something. I certainly want a medical elite looking after me if I’m sick, and not some half-qualified charlatan. But that doesn’t mean elites should be the ones deciding policy in the face of what most people want.

    Nor does it make it self-evident that poll-driven politics is a bad thing.

    Nor does it mean I think every issue should be sent to a group of people to decide what to do about it – as you point out, that’s why we elect representatives of the people as MPs, senators, etc. But the key word here is represent. They’re not supposed to wander off down some garden path for the three years between elections deciding to do whatever the hell they want because the only time we’re allowed a say is in the ballot box.

    On the issue of climate change, yes, there was consensus in 2007 that we wanted action on it. Twice Labor tried to get legislation (arguably not 100% brilliant legislation, but in my opinion putting something in and then improving it is a better start than not having anything in) through the senate, and twice it was knocked back by Liberals and Greens Party senators. It was never going to be used as a double-dissolution trigger, for purely political reasons. It’s still on the agenda, albeit further back than I’d like to see it personally. But I don’t see anything wrong with being seen to consult, even so. It makes it harder for the opposition parties to knock it back again if it’s seen as policy built on a rock-solid community consensus.

  65. su says:

    On the radio this morning the commentator (?apologies but as so often I was in the car and so I have no idea who), suggested that overall Gillard’s approach is to create a situation similar to that which surrounded Medicare – where popular opinion was so strong that it overrode the vested interests standing in its way. My main concern is that the few carrots in the policy, for businesses who institute changes before market mechanisms are agreed upon are not sufficient to tide us over the interim while that popular consensus comes on line. We need something pretty much immediately – an interim carbon tax at least.

  66. Lefty E says:

    A few points:

    1. I’m not going to collude in the pretence that the people hadn’t already spoken on this issue. Didnt they get it right? Should we ask them again until they do? Talk about elitism – this is simply trying to dupe the public

    2. What if the citizens assembly meets and decides no action is the best policy? Consultative!! But It wont alter the fact that action will still need to be taken, will it?. You see the complete charade this is? What an excuse for the failure of leadership?

    3. Rudd dropped the ball when he refused to fight Abbott on this issue. The idea we needed bipartisan consensus was always cowardly tosh – some Libs would only ever learn when they got beaten on it. Now Gillard has refused to pick the ball up too. Lessons not learned.

    4. I’ve just realised Ive been wasting my time thinking the ALP was a potential vehicle for this most important challenge we face as a society. Katz is right- this is a great policy – if you have no intention of doing something. I feel faintly embarassed at my own disappointment – suckered again! On the upside, it reminds me why I joined the Greens. Shocking the majors with a groundbreaking vote is clearly the only path left to us. We will take it. And we will do it – if not this election, then next.

    5. I confidently predict none but the shallowest apologists for Gillard will buy this sham as a ‘policy’ for longer than a day. Expect it to be forgotten quickly after a two-day media splash – with fewer ripples than the 2020 summit.

    6. Best we can hope is that its just a naked short-term electoral fix to buy time – and JG will actually have some sort of proper policy to trot out later in a less heated atmosphere, after the election.

    Here’s hoping – as always.

    Over and out.

  67. adrian says:

    That was Penny Wong, su. And as I thought at the time, the analogy between the two issues simply doesn’t hold up.

  68. mbahnisch says:

    Just an editorial note – Robert Merkel has posted a dedicated thread on the climate change policy announcement:

    http://larvatusprodeo.wordpress.com/2010/07/23/2006-called/

    It’s preferable for comments on that issue to go there.

    Otherwise, it can get very confusing with the same thing being talked about on two different threads.

  69. ossie says:

    It seems that Gillard might be scoring an own goal here by wedging the left herself – though I hope LP is very unrepresentative. The debate between Rebekka and Sam/adrian/Lefty E highlights what I perceive as a further widening of an unhelpful gap between the pro-deliberative democracy ALP supporters, and the disdain for deliberative democratic processes that Greens just keep on projecting.

    The days of the state being able to take the community for mugs are long over. This is one of the great strengths of compulsory voting.

  70. Fran Barlow says:

    Personally, I’d prefer Gillard to openly declare the view that mitigating climate change was a low priority and something she felt Australia could do little about rather than insulting our intelligence with this policy sham. I prefer candour. People could then vote on the basis of that view and we who disagree could go back to doing the work of raising the matter up the public policy agenda, freed from the dead hand of the ALP.

    If she can’t help address the problem or is leery of doing so, she should at least refrain from hindering.

  71. su says:

    Rubbish. The analogy is fine, it is about snookering vested interests by making inaction an electoral dealbreaker for a government. It will take too long that is all.

  72. Russell says:

    Robert wrote: “My view is that Middle Australia has been repeatedly consulted on this issue, and said that they want action”

    Unfortunately we don’t know what action that is. Presumably ‘real action’ that won’t cost them any money. From links made on this blog I know that even highly qualified experts have differing views on the best way to reduce emissions, so I don’t see how the 150 citizens could be expected to reach consensus. I think the government might do better to come up with a plan simple enough that it can be explained to middle Australia, and, now, will be accepted by the Greens.

  73. adrian says:

    Okay su, I wasn’t being aggressive. No point discussing it with you given your attitude.

  74. adrian says:

    Anyway, it belongs on another thread.

  75. Fine says:

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/07/23/that-kingston-poll-kapow/

    Here’s Possum with a ludicrously good poll for Labor. There’s been a lot of talk about Labor losing seats in Queensland, but I wonder what the chances are of them picking up a couple in SA. Could we be seeing the back of Christopher Pyne?

  76. Ken Lovell says:

    ‘One of the fair criticisms of Labor has been its failure to properly explain both the science and the various policy responses …’

    Yes to the latter but I don’t agree it’s the job of politicians to justify complex scientific propositions. The problem has not been a lack of scientists to explain the science – it’s been done very adequately by any number of institutions and individuals – but the relentless bullshit of the professional deniers who have made delusionism a wonderful gravy train.

    Plimer, Evans, Carter and the rest will leap on Gillard’s announcement with whoops of joy. A new Commission! A citizens’ assembly!!! All dedicated to going back to first principles and starting over. The deniers will have a field day trotting out their PowerPoint slides all over again. We might even be graced with another visit from Lord Monckton to overawe the simple assembly folk with the majesty of his aristocratic wit.

  77. su says:

    I am happy to discuss Adrian, but what you have done on all of these threads since Gillard’s rise is not discuss but veer between bald gainsaying and sneering suggestions that thosewho disagree with you have impure motives or vested interests. It is tiresome and I won’t be responding again.

  78. Lefty E says:

    “…between the pro-deliberative democracy ALP supporters”

    LOL – yeah Ossie, Sussex St is so …inclusive.

    I agree: bugger the 75% of the public who repeatedly say they want climate action, let’s gets 150 random punters in a room with scientists and denialists instead of putting forward a policy, and call it consultation. Why not, it worked in scotching the republic.

    How DO you get around an inconveneient democratic majority when you clearly dont want to do anything? Follow John Howard!

    Anyway: more happy punters joyously deliberate Gillard’s non-problematic ascension to power here: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/Blog.aspx?&blogentryid=674350&showcomments=true

    I guess they havent been following the thread here at LP, and dont realise what a non-issue it is.

  79. adrian says:

    Whatever su, that’s fine by me.

  80. Sam says:

    “The deniers will have a field day trotting out their PowerPoint slides all over again. We might even be graced with another visit from Lord Monckton to overawe the simple assembly folk with the majesty of his aristocratic wit.”

    This is unfortunately completely true, and why having a citizen’s assembly is completely pointless. The deniers give arguing in bad faith a bad name. Inviting them along will be to invite an avalanche of deceptions, half truths and outright lies on their part. Not inviting them will feed into the right wing media and blog narrative that the debate is one sided, orchestrated etc.

  81. Rebekka says:

    Lefty E, are you seriously pointing to that cabpoll as a source of evidence of anything?

  82. Lefty E says:

    Why not Rebekka? Its all been “i reckon x, I had dinner with y and they said” so far!

    Personally, Im for *not* ignoring the Galaxy poll evidence. Would be delighted to prioritise it over cab and dinner convos. :)

  83. Mark says:

    Can I repeat what I said above? It would be very helpful if people were to discuss the climate change announcement on the relevant thread instead of this one.

  84. Rebekka says:

    Lefty E, yes I take your point :-P but I’d also like to point out the only evidence I’ve seriously pointed to anywhere is polling. I’m well aware that the people I talk to are not a reflective sample of the political spectrum.

  85. Lefty E says:

    Nielsen poll out – excellent for ALP at 54-46. http://www.theage.com.au/national/women-rally-to-gillard-as-alp-leads-poll-20100723-10ow7.html

    But rather lousy in QLD at 46-54, expected to lose bags of seats, but pick up others elsewhere.

    Oh, and bugger me, look at this: “Almost seven in 10 disapprove of the way Mr Rudd was replaced as PM (less than six in 10 Labor voters).”

    Now fancy that. They must have missed that dinner party, and been in that cab instead! :)

  86. Joe says:

    LE,
    wonder how much this apparently growing resentment towards Gizard is due to her underwhelming performance to date– especially as she’s adding zilch to the policy debate. She’s basically running on a Rudd plan, albeit a conservative reissue of it.

  87. Labor Outsider says:

    LE – so bottom line – people don’t like the way Rudd was deposed, but overall, Labor’s vote share has increased since the deposition. Sound then like outside Qld it is no big deal, and that any losses in Qld seem likely to be made up elsewhere. Indeed, if it is 54-46 to the coalition in WA and Qld, and 54-46 overall, then the coalition must be going horribly in NSW, SA and Victoria, because that would imply that the rest of the country vote 2pp vote share of labor would be hovering around the 57 mark.

  88. Lefty E says:

    That’s right LO. People dont like the way Rudd was deposed. Thats now pretty much indisputable.

    But they’ll vote Labor, because Abbott is so bad – and its a first term govt. Just as they were always going to.

    That said, expect a 2 point narrowing after today’s utterly dismal performance from Gillard. it wont take long. Next poll.

    The ALP cant even be reliably electoralist in the face of massive support for CC action. There’s just something basically wrong with their entire orientation: They cant even take advantage of a sea-change situation which plainly favours them over the LNP.

    If only they had the gumption to stare down Tony and his GBNT – they’d win three terms from here.

    But they’re utter policy cowards, through and through. They will win this one. Next time is anyone’s guess, and only 50:50.

  89. Labor Outsider says:

    Sorry LE, that is pretty poor spin. There has been an unmistakably large increase in Labor’s primary and 2pp vote since Gillard became leader. It is stretching credulity to suggest that the same recovery would have occurred under Rudd. Just look at Gillard’s net satisfaction ratings compared to Rudd. You really expect us to believe that Rudd would have turned those around by 20pp in the space of a few weeks? What pray tell would have been the catalyst for that?

    Electoral support for cc action is soft. People want action but don’t want to pay for it. They want to have their cake and eat it too. Announcing an interim carbon tax, at this late stage, without having prepared the ground earlier, would have been a grave error politically.

    I’ll wait until after the election before forming a definitive judgement on Gillard’s political courage. Another, at least as plausible explanation, is that Gillard realises that she didn’t have the time to get a mandate on a substantially new policy direction. So, she is doing what is necessary to win the election, given the constraints, and then will cast out in a more positive direction afterwards. Of course, she may not do this at all, but there is no way you can predict what she will do yet.

  90. adrian says:

    Very interesting article by Peter Hartcher, describing how Gillard was the one in government arguing most vehemently for no action on climate change.

    The biggest policy disagreement between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd was over the emissions trading scheme.

    Gillard was determined to stop Rudd proceeding with the scheme, and yesterday her campaign came to full fruition.

    Her climate change policy is an elaborate way of saying that a Labor government will not commit to delivering an emissions trading scheme at any particular time, and perhaps not ever.

    On Gillard’s Medicare anology:

    This sounds persuasive, but it is a false analogy. Gough Whitlam did not wait for a deep and lasting community consensus to legislate Medibank. If he had, we’d still be waiting. He legislated, and he argued and fought and campaigned for his cause.

    Whitlam led. Gillard fudges.

    And his conclusion:

    So a re-elected Howard government would probably have done at least as much as Labor towards an emissions trading scheme, and possibly more.

    What, exactly, does Labor stand for?

    Forget all the other guff, it seems Kevin Rudd’s big mistake was to listen to Julia Gillard.

  91. Ken Lovell says:

    LO you’re suggesting that there has been an increase in ALP support because of an event that 70% of people disapprove of. I find that hard to credit. I think it’s much more likely that the drop in support was an aberration and that voting intentions are simply returning to the general pattern we saw from the election until the end of 2009.

    Nevertheless the truth is that nobody knows. Trying to analyse every political event by reference to movements in polls is utter foolishness. It’s creative writing dressed up as analysis, just like Shanahan and Milne and company do for a living.

  92. Lefty E says:

    “Electoral support for cc action is soft. People want action but don’t want to pay for it.”

    Whats the actual evidence for this, LO? What “action” have they had to pass judgment on? This is a presumption – and one that flies in the face of all other poll evidence.

    People are paying more for electricity anyway. For no reason at all: thanks to the silly and unaccountable quasi-privatised entities that deliver it. You dont think you could sell $3 a month for a good reason? I disagree.

    Though it would take an actual leader – not a focus group follower – to do it.

    As I said elsewhere here yesterday, the best we can hope for is Gillard is faking it till she gets more room after the election. I think the Hartcher piece suggest this hope is a false one – but it is some small hope. So on that at least we can agree.

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