On the election trail

Continue your discussion of the opening salvos in the active election campaigns.


writer, singer, webwrangler, blogger, comedy tragic | about.me/vivsmythe

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60 comments on “On the election trail
  1. gregh says:

    dang and I just had my “it doesn’t matter how you vote for” post all set up

    here is my poster re that very topic

    apologes to andy warhol for the idea, and to whoever it was who took the photos

  2. Nickws says:

    Hmmm, this comment really belongs here, not on the surrogate salon thread. Sorry for wasting bandwidth.
    Damn. Good thing I copy everything I write, your Big Blog disappeared just before I clicked submit for this comment on the ‘Leadership Rehash’ thread:

    “murph the surf @ 22: “Faulkner pointed out that Unions did not control the ALP but rather the factions which control the party also control the Unions. Furthermore, he described the typical career path for aspiring political apparatchiks ‘a university degree in law or industrial relations, a paid job in a union, leadership in a union, various positions in the ALP (including paid positions) culminating in a State Secretaryship or the like, nomination to the Senate or to a safe House of Representatives seat.’”

    This gets exactly to the heart of what myself and Kim were arguing about on another thread, and also some observations I made somewhere else about the strange but seldom mentioned fact that the unions aren’t officially represented at Labor’s national conference even while half the seats there are set aside for generic union officials whose nominal job is to represent the state ALP branches (though of course this translates into them representing the factions within and across said branches). I’m surprised I’d never before come across this appraisal by Faulkner. It makes a lot of sense.

    I’ll place my cards on the table, and place myself at odds with many old picture Leftwingers here: as someone who is pretty sympathetic to the broad ALP Right tendency of history I believe these arrangements, where they existed, were often a very efficacious way of running parliamentary labourism, because the alternative too often degenerated into what Whitlam described as the ‘impotent but pure’ anti-parliamentarianism of certain of the party’s councils. Indeed, it wasn’t unusual for the trades hall leaders of old to benefit from the demise of Labor governments. There were times when union leaders actively shored up their own careers and positions within their own industrial organisations at the expense of a party that represented many more people than any one union ever could.

    However that time has obviously passed. A factional structure that dominates both wings of the Labor Movement is no longer needed for any pragmatic reasons. There is just no great threat to electoral stability anymore… unless one counts the incredible distaste the general electorate feels for the factional system as a ‘threat’.”

  3. tigtog says:

    Thanks, Nickws – I’ve just deleted your comments on the other thread.

  4. Rebekka says:

    Just watched Julia on 60 Minutes. Flawless – she really is a very polished media performer.

  5. gregh says:

    yeah – it’s either her or george clooney for me

  6. ladychristinadesouza says:

    Any polls on how well the Greens might do?

    It looks like another 3-3 split in NSW with Lee Rhiannon locked out.

    They shouldn’t have preselected her in my opinion as she would be barely a one termer before she reached the retirement age for most Australians. The Greens are in need of generational change from the Baby Boomers like Brown, Milne and Rhiannon.

  7. adrian says:

    I don’t think that George would have coped as well with the searching and insightful questions, though.

  8. Paul says:

    Latest Galaxy Poll has the Coalition getting a 2.7% swing and sweeping to power. Hardly a shock really though given that Galaxy is tied heavily to Murdoch’s Evil Empire.

    For all the ALP’s (many) failings, I still have faith that a majority of Australian’s are smart enough to realise that Tony Abbott would be a disaster for this country.

  9. Paul says:

    Agreed. The factions are devoid of ideological meaning these days. People join the faction that’s strong in their electorate and that will see them get ahead quickest. I’ve seen leftish candiates join the Right and very conservative MP’s allied to the Left. Gillard herself is from the ‘Socialist Left’ despite the fact that Tony Abbott has displayed more socialistic tendancies than she ever has.

    The sad fact though is that nobody would even know where to begin scrapping the factional system.

  10. Kersebleptes says:

    Ooh, identicons!

    Just like home…

  11. Bernice says:

    Something for one’s blog, twitter or Facebook account etc etc….

    Nope to Tony

  12. Bernice says:

    Sorry – forgot to include original source/attribution for the logo:

    The Audacity of Nope

    via Flickr from Cinephobia

  13. jane says:

    Smuggles will open his mouth soon enough and out will pour all the usual crap! Can’t wait for the debates-the insane bray, no policy and playing to the meeja! Smuggles will once again be revealed in.all his inglory!

  14. Labor Outsider says:

    First newspoll of the campaign – 55-45 to Labor…

  15. redaccordian says:

    Faulkner’s comments are interesting and make a lot of sense – unions have not had their widely purported power in ALP for a loong time. Can’t wait till LP major returns again. What happened to the site? Just i don’t know computer terms, let’s say ‘shat itself?’

  16. akn says:

    Couldn’t agree more Nickws. My favourite photograph of Keating shows him wearing an astonishing concoction of a headdress presented to him while on a visit to Papua. It rises about three feet above his head in great and flamboyant elegance; under it he is wearing a suit and completely at ease in his real role as a tribal leader of an ALP faction. If the hat fits as they say…

  17. akn says:

    I’ve been searching my memory for why the cry of “Moving Forward” resonates so deeply with me while it leaves others cold and finally have retrieved memories from an archaic past. It was the favoured bellow of the bus conductors to us as school children piling onto the wondrous engineering bellicosity of a double decker Leyland guvmint bus. I wonder why the ALP didn’t go with “Move up the front, PLEASE”. The nation would’ve responded well to that I feel.

  18. Mindy says:

    Tony’s ad with his four point plan, no. 4 being Stop the Boats left me cold. Horrible, just horrible. Yes, I know Julia is just couching it in nicer terms but at least I can pretend that means they are going after people smugglers who risk peoples’ lives in leaky boats after charging them thousands of $$.

    Come on with something more positive Julia, please. Tony’s carping will annoy enough people to get you over the line.

    What did people think of Hawke last night?

  19. Mindy says:

    Tony has said this morning that Work Choices is never ever coming back. Five of the six comments talk about how you can’t trust anything he says. The sixth wonders were Joe Hockey is, since he is supposed to be treasurer under an Abbott government. They are also asking Tone what Ministry Turnbull would get. He won’t commit.

  20. Rebekka says:

    @Paul “Latest Galaxy Poll has the Coalition getting a 2.7% swing and sweeping to power. Hardly a shock really though given that Galaxy is tied heavily to Murdoch’s Evil Empire.”

    50-50 is hardly the Coalition “sweeping to power”. And do you honestly think that just because Murdoch’s empire is paying for the polls, the polling company is fudging the results??

  21. MIKE says:

    The worst thing about this election is that labor is going to win against the most unelectable opposition leader I can recall and then Julia and the heavyweights will slap themselves on the back, tell themselves how brilliant they were to run a dud campaign and think that is the way forward.

    I’ve already lost interest. Wake me up when one of the conservatives is in power.

    But I will be interested in seeing how the greens fare. Everybody seems to think that the green support (particularly in the reps) is going to drop away, as it usually does. But I don’t see that happening this time when neither party is offering any vision at all; nothing is polarising voters; there is no Kevin O7.

  22. tigtog says:

    NB: Mark has reposted here two of his most recent posts at LP Major (dated appropriately).

    Galaxy 52-48 but a pox on both your houses

    Federal election 2010: The leaders’ opening gambit

  23. adrian says:

    Well said Mike. It will be seen as a validation of the whole dubious strategy wheras anybody could see the reality that once the election was called the worst opposition leader in the history of opposition leaders would be rejected by the electorate.

  24. Mindy says:

    If one of the politics bloggers is around I’d be interested to know how this ‘not in the bag yet, but close’ preferences deal with the Greens will play out in the marginals and what the likely result in the Senate may be.

  25. tigtog says:

    ABC: Labor, Greens seal preferences deal

    The deal is likely to help the Greens secure the balance of power in the Senate and may get Labor over the line in some key marginal seats.

  26. Eric Sykes says:

    ” the most unelectable opposition leader” nice romantic notion probably based on the idea that ‘stralians are too smart to fall for him. i disagree. he is the most dangerous right wing leader australia has seen for sometime and a great many people really like him because of all that rubbish (we think) he speaks. complacency will not keep him out of office, tackling him head on will.

  27. tigtog says:

    Mindy – comments crossed! The deal was just done.

    I’m sure that Possum, Poll Bludger and perhaps Antony Green will be crunching numbers ASAP.

  28. Lefty E says:

    Agree – the “Huh? Is there an election?” moment was always going to pay very badly for Tones.

    That said, and in view of my criticisms of Gillard’s rise and policies since – I will say I’m delighted to see the ALP-Greens pref deal.

    Big tick from me on JG ending that “I’m not talking to Bob” bullshit.

    Now – let’s all try not to elect Fielding this time, shall we? 🙂

  29. tigtog says:

    Now – let’s all try not to elect Fielding this time, shall we?

    Without Labor preferences he’s a dead duck, surely.

  30. Mindy says:

    “Following the calling of a Federal Election, the Senate will be prorogued at4.59pm Monday, 19 July 2010.”

    Goodness that sounds a bit harsh! Fortunately it’s not as bad as it sounds.

    prorogued past participle, past tense of pro·rogue (Verb)1. Discontinue a session of (a legislative assembly) without dissolving it

  31. Fine says:

    Thank goddess that Labor is directing its Senate preferences to the Greens. Could we please have a good climate change policy now?

  32. Lefty E says:

    Yep…thats what I was driving at , Tigtog.

    Allow me to put it this way:


  33. Mindy says:

    From the Australian today:
    The Greens are also confident of winning in Victoria at the expense of Family First’s Stephen Fielding, who won in 2004 with the benefit of an elaborate preference deal that saw him elected despite his party gaining just under 2 per cent of the primary vote.

  34. Lefty E says:

    I reckon the Greens will get up here in VIC now. Fielding was purely a creation of half-smart ALP hacks making an anti-Green bomb – which blew up in the lab. Just in case anyone has forgotten!

    Agree Fine – thats the missing piece of the puzzle now. Bring it on.

    Two words: Carbon. Price.

  35. Paul Burns says:

    Seems the Libs are up to their usual tricks.
    Its bloody disgraceful.
    Glad to see Bob brown has come to his senses over preferencesz – so, despite my deep reservations as to whetrher Hanson=Young is up to the job, I’ll put the Greens immediately after all the socialist parties, then the ALP. I guess.

  36. Rebekka says:

    @Lefty E, “Fielding was purely a creation of half-smart ALP hacks making an anti-Green bomb – which blew up in the lab. Just in case anyone has forgotten!”

    That’s not quite accurate. The half-smart ALP hacks were actually trying to get a third Labor senator elected – not attacking the Greens Party, trying to get one of their own elected, which is, after all, the business of a political party. The same idea actually worked in NSW and SA, getting a third Labor senator elected in both; it backfired in Victoria because Labor’s primary vote was too low.

  37. Paul Norton says:

    There’s an old political adage, Rebekka – don’t preference what you don’t want.

  38. Lefty E says:

    Well, that ‘strategy’ involved placing Fielding before the Greens – and let’s hope we’ve seen the end of all that.

    Its been a long 6 years of unintelligent, incoherent (and sometimes quite demented) posturing that has seriously demeaned our upper house.

    Actually… its not even over till next July….:(

  39. Paul Norton says:

    It’s significant that Julia and Tony Burke are running hard on the word “sustainability” over the population question in a way that Labor has not yet done on climate change, forests, etc. Yesterday on Insiders Burke was almost sounding like Paul Ehrlich. Contrast that to the talk about “balance” on climate policy which we have heard for much of the past two and a half years.

  40. anthony nolan says:

    Yes, a sickening twist to sustainable ecological politics by talking about refusing refugees within the context of a “sustainable population policy”. Nasty stuff.

  41. Paul Norton says:

    To quote Burke:

    “And the word sustainability actually gets us back to the core principle of asking the question. It’s not just about constant economic growth driven by property prices continuing to soar. It’s about making sure that we do have a sustainable Australia.”

    “…productivity is not the only issue here. If we continue to go down a concept where the only issues for sustainability are economic growth and productivity and pretend to have a decent way of life, to move to a beautiful you know coast-side area as some people are able to do and then just find development constantly changes the nature of that community, those are real issues.

    “The air you breathe, the parkland you have, the congestion in the traffic – all of those issues are real. And if you’re only looking at productivity rather than sustainability you’ll miss half the equation.”

  42. Rebekka says:

    @Paul Norton, does anyone seriously still think preference deals are done on any basis other than how likely they are to get more of your people elected?

  43. MIKE says:

    The big question I keep turning over in my mind is whether the greens can actually get up in seats like Sydney and Grayndler. If the greens poll around 12 per cent nationally at this election there is a very good chance they will. I live in Sydney electorate and have certainly spoken to a lot of people who are heading that direction.

  44. Lefty E says:

    Abbott amply displays his policy laziness, general indiscipline and crap campaign skills here: http://www.3aw.com.au/blogs/3aw-generic-blog/tony-abbott-with-neil-mitchell/20100719-10ghz.html

  45. MIKE says:

    LEFTY – I admire your fortitude, but I’m afraid that, right now, I can’t watch either of them. As Nietzsche said, if you stare too long into the abyss, the abyss stares back into you.

  46. Paul Norton says:

    Meanwhile, the real world is hotter than it’s been for quite some time.


  47. bahnischba says:

    Meanwhile, the real world is hotter than it’s been for quite some time

    Paul N, as you probably know Europe has been cooking in the mid-30’s for weeks. A while back my sister in Toronto was complaining of temps into the 40s. So they are copping it in the traditional centres of power in the world.

    Nothing has come out of the cabinet meeting last week that signed off on their climate change policies except that Gillard has been emphasising renewables, it seems there won’t be more than the existing $650 million to spend, and of most interest, there have been comments in the AFR last week indicating that they understand there will be an “interim” price on carbon.

    No doubt Gillard after the election will ‘canvas’ the issue, ‘dialogue’ with the relevant interests, ‘working together’ ‘step by step’, in the ‘best interests of the nation’ to achieve ‘consensus’ and so get the country ‘back on track’ because, she says, ‘look’, ‘obviously’ ‘I believe’ humans are causing it and ‘working together’ we need to do what’s best for ‘the Australian people’.

    I’ve just strung together some phrases that have come from an actual analysis of Gillard-speak over the last three weeks.

    Conclusion – she’s a formidable rhetorician and actually better at it when she is speaking informally than in the set pieces. Better than any PM in recent times. Ming? I’ll see if I can knock up a post.

  48. Patricia WA says:

    Lefty E – he probably knows he’s signing his own death certificate! Mindy – re your earlier post which reminded me of The Never Never Country – apologies to Lawson

    The Never Never leader!

    Was it so very long ago
    They said so loud and clear
    On tele, print and radio
    In words that all could hear
    Australia would never see
    While Liberals were empowered
    The oft rejected GST
    ‘Never Ever!’ said John Howard.

    Now we hear again from Abbott,
    That Work Choices is dead.
    Then, as per his usual habit,
    Echoes what John Howard said.
    Using words so reminiscent
    Has he been too clever?
    Or is he here just prescient,
    And knows he’s lost for ever?

    PS tigtog Saturday Salon seems lost. I think this fits here anyway. As well, how are others here managing to get emphasis, quotes etc.?

  49. tigtog says:

    The Welcome Back to LP in Exile post is the current Salon thread, Patricia.

  50. Paul Burns says:

    The Workchoices you have when you’re not having a Workchoices is giving Abbott a very bad day.
    On the basis of this, unless Gillard or one of her apparatchniks does something incredibly stupid tonight, I reckon day 2 of the election has already gone to the ALP.

  51. Patricia WA says:

    Thanks, tigtog. After catching up there and re last week’s ruling on where ‘pomes’ belong – it feels to me that satire whether in cartoons, verse or prose should sit alongside or near the issue it’s targetting. Relevance is for me the obvious criterion. I’m often frustrated at the highjacking of a major theme by irrelevant one liners or even tedious long paragraphs from trolls. I made an earnest effort last week to express my opinions in rational prose. It was quite a slog and often didn’t work for me, even on burning issues, while verse was wanting out. This election thread promises to be very stimulating. I’m happy to be diverted or even censored for irrelevance or poor taste rather than form.

  52. j_p_z says:

    I think Patricia WA has worked wonders in elevating the LP light-verse tradition when the rest of us monkeys have been stuck in limerick-and-haiku gear the whole time.

  53. tssk says:

    I reckon when Abbott gets in Workchoices will be the first thing to get up and running. He will be regretful but will speak of the Australian people giving him a strong mandate.

  54. Fine says:

    Gillard was so smiley and twinkly on the 7.30 Report last night. Perhaps a bit too smiley or twinkly. But she’s obviously being the anti-Abbott and doing it well.

  55. Paul Burns says:

    I think K O’B is a bit in awe of her, the way she bats back his searching questions. Everybody else blushes, breaks up and gives in or, eg Howard – engages in serial lying.

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