Australian Federal Election



  • July 2. That is a 55 day campaign - second longest one in history. Fark. Pass the rum.
     
    From my personal point of view:
     
    On one side we've got Liberal Party leader Malcolm Turnbull who ousted Tony "Mad Monk" Abbott as PM less than a year ago, and is getting restricted somewhat by the group of hardliners who Abbott built up around himself. Mal has not ever been elected as a PM, which the other lot will use against him, just like Gillard got when she was put up as PM in favour of Rudd, then deposed when they shit the bed leading into an election.
     
    Mal is decried as a silvertail; he's educated, wealthy, reasonably intelligent and connected. Many people were expecting him to come in and start sweeping change, but the hardcore Abbott supporters were pretty clear they wanted nothing to do with change of that sort. He might actually have to wait until after the election, should he win, to bring some of those changes into play. He's certainly overseen a fucked up deployment of the National Broadband Network.
     
    The Liberal Party's coalition with the Nationals looks about as strong as usual with Barnaby "No Mr Depp" Joyce as Deputy PM and effective head of the Nationals i.e. mostly Rural-based support. They'll want concessions for primary industry above all else.
     
    The COALition (so-called because of their fossil fuel support) has basically retreated from anything looking like progressive environmental policy, and they've been painted with the "millionaires mate" brush already. Which is not hard to justify when they've announced some company tax cuts in the order of $55B over the next ten years, as the public see that as tax breaks for people who barely pay any tax already. As with all these things, its not that simple.
     
     
    On the other side there is Labor leader Bill "personality of a dial tone" Shorten who is about as inspiring as cold soup, but at least his party has learned from their colossal Rudd-Gillard-Rudd fuckup and decided that maybe doing this whole "policy" thing would look a little better than just saying "yeah nah that's shit" (YNTSM) whenever the government says something. They still use YNTSM like any opposition, but at least they look like they want to win this election, rather than just doing attack-dog style opposition and waiting for the incumbent to fall over.
     
    Still, Bill is Labor and that means looking after education and health as priorities, which is no bad thing. The fact that he's a millionaire shouldn't be held against him, but the LNP coalition will try to discount his Aussie battler credentials on that, as well as the "high tax and lower growth" economy his vision will present.
     
    The ALP have set up some environmental targets, though any Hierophant in the Greens area say they don't go far enough. It is the better of the two major parties at this point on brief inspection.
     
     
     
    In among that, the Greens are searching for relevance, flogging a campaign based around the future, and industries such as tourism suffering due to climate change, as well as the "new economy" that can be created on developing renewable energy sources over fossil fuels. In this, they're going to come up against the Nationals hard as one example, because the farmers rely on fossil fuel subsidies to keep costs down for farming equipment.
     
    The Greens have at least ceased trying to be "don't do anything except hug trees" as a standalone point, and started tying the prospect of environmental sustainability to new economic opportunities and jobs growth.
     
     
    The independents and minor representatives are whipping out the cock and asking who wants to suck it first to get their favours. That will be a bit of a mess.
     
     
    The general public are starting to get pissed off with politicians - moreso government - than anything, kind of like the situation in the US I suppose. This could result in a lot of the independents spruiking themselves on a platform of "people before parties". Could be successful for a few of them, but of course the majority of seats will still be held by the big 2.
     
     
     
    As to who I'll vote for - in the past I've looked at the voting slip and done this:
    any religious parties go dead last. Only way to be sure in the preferential system
    major parties go just above them, in order of leader favourability
    If available, the Sex / Marijuana Party go first
    After that, any independents
    Greens
    I guess I didn't really give a shit on the basis nothing changes.
     
     
    This time around, I have a few things I want to see happen that the Greens are into but their "build it and they will come" approach to policy kind of lacks the kind of detail that people want to see. And a lot of people who work in e.g. mining are scared shitless at the prospect of the industry getting any smaller (it has shrunk a lot already) and don't see opportunities to pivot into other areas e.g. building wind farms, solar etc. Those opportunities have be presented and walked through. They exist.
     
    Labor get marks for environmental policy, and recognising the employment landscape requires more service jobs in an aging and growing population. Tourism especially needs help, and the situation with the Great Barrier Reef is a bit of a wake-up call.
     
    The LNP coalition just seem to be riddled with internal dissent. Since Mal came in its pretty clear he's being held to account by Tony's arse-lickers, and that is troubling for me if enough of those guys get re-elected (and a lot of them are in fairly safe Liberal seats).
     
     
    It might be the first election I've really paid attention to, given the outcome could have a pretty significant effect on the issue I consider most important: climate change. This is the big one because its going to affect economy, jobs, and growth the most - something both the LNP, ALP, and Greens have put up as issues.
     
    I even emailed my incumbent MP (ALP) to advise here where I'm at, after her office cold-called a bunch of houses in my area. No response, but its the most political thing I've ever done.


  • Banned



  • Great stuff NTA!!!
     
    take the bull by the horns and demand the changes you want! The lucky country owes little ockers like you
     
    I wish you all the best
     
    Especially now that Gary the Goat won't be running 🙂



  • He's not? Well, what is the fucking point of anything?


    Really don't know what context to take that in



  • Pauline Hanson could rename herself Pauline Trump and have another crack.



  • Good summary NTA. This actually shapes up as a really interesting election, with both parties (IMO) threatening to look competent.

    The LNP coalition just seem to be riddled with internal dissent. Since Mal came in its pretty clear he's being held to account by Tony's arse-lickers, and that is troubling for me if enough of those guys get re-elected (and a lot of them are in fairly safe Liberal seats).

    Malcolm Turnbull is a prime example of the compromises you have to make in power. It's very easy to look good when you are outside the tent, proposing policies with no consequences or scrutiny, but being in the hot seat is so much harder. All of a sudden he's battling the senate crazies, and the crazies within his own party who like it or not have backing from a large portion of party members.
     
    So he has to tread a middle ground, which just serves to piss off everyone. The lefty media (like the SMH) say he hasn't gone far enough, while those on the right think he's pandering to those on the left.
     
    He's also suffering from the lofty expectations we all had of him. Anything less than Messiah-esque success was going to hurt him, and sure enough his poll numbers have dropped.
     
    In the midst of it all I actually think he's doing OK. The budget looked pretty sensible to me, and I was really happy with the reforms to senate voting. That was a gutsy call which has been put off for years and he executed it well.
     
    Shorten has managed to run a focussed, sensible opposition. They have a pretty experienced shadow front bench, and give off a disturbingly competent vibe. He is taking pretty sensible policy options, and have managed to align themselves with their traditional base without selling their soul to the Unions, which is a pretty common Labor mistake.
     
    A lot of people seem to see this as a fait accompli, with Turnbull winning a narrow majority. I'm not sure that's true at all, and Shorten is a very real chance of victory.



  • The general public are starting to get pissed off with politicians - moreso government - than anything, kind of like the situation in the US I suppose.

    I think we are a long way from that, and I think the situation is actually better than it was three years ago (Abbott/Rudd made everyone sick).



  • I think we are a long way from that, and I think the situation is actually better than it was three years ago (Abbott/Rudd made everyone sick).

    Yes, it was pretty bad. But this situation is only an improvement because Malcolm isn't a rampant arsehat (like Rudd) and Shorten isn't really personable enough to be offensive.



  • Both of them have a pretty competent air about them, though. I don't think you could say that about any election since Howard/Rudd in 2007.



  • That's a good point. Mal's credibility has taken a hit due to his spiky relationship with the rest of the party. I wonder if he'll be able to bring his previous leanings to the party if he wins. 
     
     
    Its more a general issue with the political system that a lot of people I talk to are disconnected from. A lot of people see fatcats wherever they look, and the media's agenda puts another slant on everything.
     
    The political class is something you and I have had words on in the past, so I won't bother re-hashing the financial aspects of it 🙂


  • Banned

    No Nick, Turnbulls credibility has taken a hit because he's a waffling procrastinator. He's managed to destroy an enormous lead in the polls, not because of the Abbott supporters but because the supposed great communicator can't actually communicate. He was so desperate to become PM, but now he's actually there he doesn't seem to know what to do or even make decisions.
    It's one thing saying all the right things to the ABC, but is another thing entirely when you actually have power and are accountable.
    The supposedly unelectable Shorten on the other hand has seriously got his shit together recently and is now a major threat.
    It shouldn't even be close, but is because, like Rudd, Turnbull has proven to be all talk and no substance.



  • Good summary NTA. This actually shapes up as a really interesting election, with both parties (IMO) threatening to look competent.
     
     
     
    Malcolm Turnbull is a prime example of the compromises you have to make in power. It's very easy to look good when you are outside the tent, proposing policies with no consequences or scrutiny, but being in the hot seat is so much harder. All of a sudden he's battling the senate crazies, and the crazies within his own party who like it or not have backing from a large portion of party members.
     
    So he has to tread a middle ground, which just serves to piss off everyone. The lefty media (like the SMH) say he hasn't gone far enough, while those on the right think he's pandering to those on the left.
     
    He's also suffering from the lofty expectations we all had of him. Anything less than Messiah-esque success was going to hurt him, and sure enough his poll numbers have dropped.
     
    In the midst of it all I actually think he's doing OK. The budget looked pretty sensible to me, and I was really happy with the reforms to senate voting. That was a gutsy call which has been put off for years and he executed it well.
     
    Shorten has managed to run a focussed, sensible opposition. They have a pretty experienced shadow front bench, and give off a disturbingly competent vibe. He is taking pretty sensible policy options, and have managed to align themselves with their traditional base without selling their soul to the Unions, which is a pretty common Labor mistake.
     
    A lot of people seem to see this as a fait accompli, with Turnbull winning a narrow majority. I'm not sure that's true at all, and Shorten is a very real chance of victory.

    With all due respect Barbarian, I have to disagree with the highlighted statement.
     
    Whilst the 2016 budget isn't as bad as the '14 Abbott/Hockey "worst budget in living memory" budget, this still has every hall mark of the right-wing conservative agenda.
     
    The tax breaks to big business which over the 10 year forward estimates totals about AUD$55 Billion is a huge hole in the governments revenue and as the majority of economists and experts agree is the problem with the Budget, it's a revenue and spending issue.
     
    By giving tax breaks to the big end of town, yes it is phased in starting with companies with up to 10 Million turnover, it soon grows to 100 Million and then to all companies. Given we already see the big banks handing down annual record profits, how can this be subtantiated?
     
    And this is repeated throughout this budget including what amounts to tax cuts to the above average wage earners with the lift of the personal income tax bracket from $80k to $87K.
     
    And Malcolm wants to transition to a "smart economy" based on science and IT yet further slashes the budget for the CSIRO and other science based and renewable energby based organisations.
     
    And this is where Malcolm really becomes unstuck and the broader populus witnessed just how Malcolm Turnbull was not the great savior that we all wanted him to be... the ALP proposed cuts to negative gearing are almost exactly what Turnbull himself exposed some years back. Yet his response to the very sensible ALP policy was a very Abbott-esq attack that was ultimately baseless and has been shown to be scaremongering.
     
    Again, his personal belief in Climate Change and how he wanted to establish an ETS suddenly gets morphed into this Abbott right wing conservative policy.
     
    But the thing that get's me the most about this election is how can any sane person vote for a party that created such a disgusting hysertia about the "Safe Schools Program" and allows people such as Corey Bernardi and George Christensen to have such a sway.
     
    My own personal views are that Australia is in much greater danger from the far right Christian conservatives (most of whom are entrenched with the Libral Party) who are in a position to wield real power, than we are from any terrorist organisation!
     
    I for one still cannot get my head around how we can accept the school chaplancy program which costs in excess of $100M annually, a program which excludes trained secular counselors.
     
    There should be a very clear seperation of all Church (and religion) and Government and most importantly between church/religion and schools.


  • Banned

    "But the thing that get's me the most about this election is how can any sane person vote for a party that created such a disgusting hysertia about the "Safe Schools Program" and allows people such as Corey Bernardi and George Christensen to have such a sway."
    Are you even aware of the content of Safe Schools?



  • Ah yes I am RS, why do you ask because I would only ever make such a comment if I was informed on the subject. Are you aware of the actual content and substance of the program or are you one of those who just reacted to the unsubstantiated hype?
     
    None of the content was worthy of that disgusting over-reaction from the far right Christian nutcases! 
     
    And certainly it was very clear that those who were most vocal about the content had not actually bothered to read the content but were just set off by the theme.
     
    Sure, if you followed links on pages that were linked from the Safe Schools website, if you followed those links this may have lead to some sites with adult content. 
     
    However, none of the content from the progarm was anything other than what it was meant to be!
     
    Hell even the "review" showed little changes needed to be made to the content of the program but rather the majority of changes were made around tightening up the supporting website.



  • Ronin you may froth at Christensen, Bernardi and co but the fact is they represent a large portion of the electorate. You speak of a 'right-wing conservative agenda' like it's an infectious disease, but that is exactly what people want from the Liberal Party. A right wing agenda.
     
    Your perspective is clear, and valid enough. I can't say I agree though.
     
    Turnbull couldn't just come in and implement every idea he has espoused over the last 10 years. I think he's doing OK given the compromises you have to make as a Liberal PM, and I have more issues with the expectations placed on him rather than what he has been doing.
     
    In the grand scheme of things Australia is in a pretty decent spot at the moment, which both sides deserve some credit for. Sure the budget is in a bit of a hole but the standard of living is great and improving every day. Sometimes I think we accentuate the negatives too much, and sometimes you need to step back and look at the bigger picture. Now that is my perspective and I don't doubt others are doing it far tougher than I and may have a different view.



  • Yeah probably why I haven't given much of a shit about politics barb: the differences are minor because the boat is sailing fairly smoothly.

    That has cause to change from my point of view, due to upcoming climate and industry issues, which are tied together irrevocably.

    No Nick, Turnbulls credibility has taken a hit because he's a waffling procrastinator. He's managed to destroy an enormous lead in the polls, not because of the Abbott supporters but because the supposed great communicator can't actually communicate. He was so desperate to become PM, but now he's actually there he doesn't seem to know what to do or even make decisions.
    It's one thing saying all the right things to the ABC, but is another thing entirely when you actually have power and are accountable.
    The supposedly unelectable Shorten on the other hand has seriously got his shit together recently and is now a major threat.
    It shouldn't even be close, but is because, like Rudd, Turnbull has proven to be all talk and no substance.

    That's a fairly monochrome view IMHO - lot of political nuance to cover in Turnbull's tread-lightly approach. As barbarian says above: Mal came in and couldn't walk his talk because the party wouldn't stand for it, so he had to find a balance while he campaigns to get the office on his own merits. Will anything change after that? I'd say its line ball at best, depending on how the rest of the election goes.
     
    There might be a cleanout of some of the conservatives that works to his advantage, but given the ongoing polarisation of the political sphere it might go even further the other way.
     
    The appointment of Abbott was no more than the removal of Rudd as the ALP imploded behind their own infighting and Rudd's standing as a human, which got him booted the first time around.
     
    Like Rudd, Tony was disposed of because he was seen almost as unelectable as PM, though Tony's probably a better person. Like Rudd, Tony's ghost still hangs around like a bad smell, but didn't have time to rebuild his leadership campaign due to time constraints.
     
    Getting rid of Tony was seen as a move for the good of the party. Even for his supporters, the removal of Credlin would have been the more salient point, as they sought to find another conservative candidate to rally around post-Turnbull.

    "But the thing that get's me the most about this election is how can any sane person vote for a party that created such a disgusting hysertia about the "Safe Schools Program" and allows people such as Corey Bernardi and George Christensen to have such a sway."
    Are you even aware of the content of Safe Schools?

    Which bits didn't you like, in particular? Might be helpful in forming a discussion.
     
     
    I found it interesting to me that on the new Compass site they've set up (https://votecompass.abc.net.au/) one of the questions was about Transgender Awareness in primary schools. I chose the option that said "disagree" mainly because the likelihood of kids encountering transgender issues is lower then e.g. gay marriage or environment etc.


  • Banned

    So all that stuff about role playing gay teenagers was wrong?
     
    How about students being asked to imagine losing their genitalia?
     
    Saying that referring to "boys and girls" is a form of heterosexism?
     
    It does not promote the "Gender Fairy" book?
     
    You honestly think that's appropriate in schools and should be taxpayer funded?
     
    I'm all for anti-bullying programmes (which this is not) and support for kids who question their gender or sexuality. But, there are legitimate concerns about this particular programme and its complete bullocks to simply dismiss those concerns as "religious fanaticism".



  • Sorry Barb but I do not think Bernardi and Christensen represent a "large portion" of the electorate. Those two certainly represent the christian conservative right wing but I would say that based on the general public's reactions to Abbott's demise and the elevation of Turnbull is that the portoin who would subscribe to what these two represent is a small minority.
     
    I have to say I take offense to the use of "froth" as that more readily applies to that appling side of politics.
     
    I actually happily stand in the middle with a slight left lean. And me and the Mrs are certainly in the class that will do much better under the LNP agenda but I cannot stand their stance on Global Warming and their inability to let go of mining, coal, etc and the coninued support of the big end of town.
     
    However, I was one of the great majority of the populus who were very happy to see Turnbull elevated to PM and I thought/hoped he would be able to lift Aussie politics from the muck that it had degenerated into over the past few years... sadly that did not happen and his message and actions have been following the Abbott script. The example of this I gave earlier of his attacks on an ALP policy on negative gearing that in fact strongly aligns with a policy he put forward not that long ago.
     
    And I do not think it has anything to do with him not being able to come in and implement his own ideas and agenda but rather that he has had to bow to the extreme right faction of his own party.
     
    I do agree with your overall assessment of the current Australian climate and economy - the whole "debt and deficit disaster" was such a beat up when in reality we are still sitting here with "AAA" ratings and an economy most of the world can only look at with envy.


  • Banned

    That's a fairly monochrome view IMHO - lot of political nuance to cover in Turnbull's tread-lightly approach. As barbarian says above: Mal came in and couldn't walk his talk because the party wouldn't stand for it, so he had to find a balance while he campaigns to get the office on his own merits. Will anything change after that? I'd say its line ball at best, depending on how the rest of the election goes.
     
    There might be a cleanout of some of the conservatives that works to his advantage, but given the ongoing polarisation of the political sphere it might go even further the other way.
     
    The appointment of Abbott was no more than the removal of Rudd as the ALP imploded behind their own infighting and Rudd's standing as a human, which got him booted the first time around.
     
    Like Rudd, Tony was disposed of because he was seen almost as unelectable as PM, though Tony's probably a better person. Like Rudd, Tony's ghost still hangs around like a bad smell, but didn't have time to rebuild his leadership campaign due to time constraints.
     
    Getting rid of Tony was seen as a move for the good of the party. Even for his supporters, the removal of Credlin would have been the more salient point, as they sought to find another conservative candidate to rally around post-Turnbull.

    Two things. Firstly Turnbull has been a hopeless communicator. I'll try to dig out the interview he had with Eddie McGuire. He basically went from hero to an object of ridicule in the space of 10 minutes. That has been a constant feature of his period as PM. He speaks a load of waffle and not even his treasurer seems to know wtf he plans to announce from one day to the next. It's a miracle they even got a budget out or called an election. Only Turnbull can be blamed for that. Blaming Abbott and his goons is nonsense.
     
    Secondly, the Liberal Party is a right of centre party. In other words it contains large numbers of conservatives. If Turnbull plans to turn it into some version of the Greens then nobody can be surprised if the party tells him to go fark himself. If he doesn't like it then he joined the wrong party.



  • So all that stuff about role playing gay teenagers was wrong?
     
    How about students being asked it imagine losing their genitalia?
     
    Saying that referring to "boys and girls" is a form of heterosexism?
     
    It does not promote the "Gender Fairy" book?
     
    You honestly think that's appropriate in schools and should be taxpayer funded?
     
    I'm all for anti-bullying programmes (which this is not) and support for kids who question their gender or sexuality. But, there are legitimate concerns about this particular programme and its complete bullocks to simply dismiss those concerns as "religious fanaticism".

    I absolutely believe that such material is appropriate in schools and should be taxpayer funded!
     
    This program teaches younger children to start thinking that there are perfectly acceptable sexual orientations other than "Hetero" and that some people may be born genetically one gender but associate with another!
     
    And that is the whole point of such a program - to ensure that our children are informed and understand and most importantly accept that there are a lot of labels out there and that Hetero is only one of those but they can be all accepted as normal.
     
    And the program is absolutely aimed correctly at schools where such acceptance needs to start, with children before they are brainwashed and influenced by their parents biases, ignorance and prejudice.
     
    And if you are worried about public funding, just look at the whole "school chaplains" program with uses more than $100M annually which specifically excludes secular trained counselors and instead pushes a single religious agenda!


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