Vote Compass, The Incredible Election Result and How to Beat Abbott

Some people keep asking how Tony Abbott won the election. When they’re told that not everyone thinks like they do, they’ll sneer that some people don’t think at all. And they’re possibly right, but not in the way they expect.

Let’s start with the ABC Vote Compass, which according to the website:

“Vote Compass is an educational tool developed by a non-profit group of political scientists and hosted by the ABC. Answer a short series of questions to discover how you fit in the Australian political landscape.”

So, for those of you who didn’t try it, people were asked to do a survey on how they felt about individual issues and then they were told which party was most closely aligned to their world view.

It’s only when one stops and considers this, that it becomes either frightening or obvious. Or both. So, in spite of the fact that the election was in full swing, in spite of extensive coverage of politics, it was perceived by the ABC that people wouldn’t be aware enough to know which party – in their view – had the best policies. And some people – not just the “uneducated masses” brainwashed by the Murdoch Media – were commenting that the result surprised them

Why do people vote for particular parties? Well, to simplify it into three possible reasons.

In many cases, we have the rusted on party faithful. These will justify any decision their party makes with the same sort of rationality that a football fan views a decision that goes against their team. A classical example of this is the way the Liberals approach the Geoff Shaw situation compared with the way they demanded that Craig Thomson be treated. I should add that, at this point, neither has been convicted of a crime by a court. These people are unlikely to change their vote whatever happens. If someone on their side of politics is found to be rorting the system, it’s only the guilty individual who should be held responsible, but if someone on the other side is doing exactly the same, it will be “typical” and a reflection on the whole party.

In other cases, it’ll be a first impression. “I don’t like that man, so I’ll won’t vote for him”. It’s possible to overcome this, but research does tend to suggest that first impressions count. You probably have the job within thirty seconds of the interview starting, or else you have no hope. And, of course, because many people find politics boring that first impression may no occur until an election campaign starts or on the day they go to vote, so this “first impression” may not be when a politician first become leader.

But for many, it’s what they hear other people saying:

In the 1950’s, Solomon Asch did an experiment involving matching a straight line with one of the three straight lines to the right. Did the line match line A, B or C? It was perfectly straightforward and quite obvious that the line matched line C. However, the experiment was about conformity. The subject was required to answer after the other members of the group (who were part of the experiment) had all given the wrong answer. The results found that approximately 30% followed the group, even though their response was clearly incorrect.

And I suspect that this may help explain the incredible result at the last Federal election. I say incredible, not just because of the election of some of Palmer’s PUP pets, but because Abbott was elected in spite of the fact that very few people agreed with any of his policies. Check out the polls on individual areas. Health, Education, the Carbon tax – even that wasn’t something that concerned people.

No, Abbott was elected because he had a large number of people telling us that Gillard was the “worst PM in history”. When asked as to what she’d done that was so bad, these people would refer to the home insulation scheme and school halls – both of which occurred under Kevin Rudd. And that she was treacherous by “knifing” Kevin Rudd in the back. (Unlike Abbott who promised not to run against Turnbull, but then did.)

Strangely though, when Kevin was returned to the leadership, we were told that he too was the “worst Prime Minister” we’d ever had, followed by a series of ads where we were told to take notice of what ex-Ministers had said about him. (The same ex-Ministers whose opinion was wrong on everything else.)

The policies were of no consequence – it was the repeated message that gained a consensus amongst those only took a minor interest in politics. It was the repeated message that people took in without thinking about it. It’s not that it would have been impossible to make people aware of the issues, it’s just that a repeated message is very powerful!

Now that Abbott is in Government, he hopes to ride a wave of improving economic conditions world-wide and to blame all unpopular decisions on the previous government. We may start to hear a new repeated message about how this was necessary because of the “incompetence” of the previous government. Like Labor’s request to raise the debt ceiling to a total of $300 billion was the end of civilization as we know it, but Hockey is just raising by a further $200 billion is just a temporary thing till we get the budget back under control.

If you want to get rid of Abbott, then I suggest simple message be repeated as often as possible for the next year or so:

“When are they going to stop blaming Labor and get on with fixing things.”

After that, this one might be appropriate:

“At least Labor were building things like the NBN with their deficit, what are the Liberals doing?”


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63 replies

  1. The herd instinct at work. Abbott and the LNP in general repeated the lies over and over until the fiction became legend and the legend became fact. The MSM were complicit in the deception and the lowing herd followed. The Australian populace have been persuaded to bend over and grab their ankles and we all know what happens next.

  2. well..well …well abbott caught out again on lying….surprise…..the electricity companies have now come out …a bit late to tell us all that the rates on electricity will not be going down..and they did not take on the carbon tax….how can we have been so stupid to believe abbott…….how long will it take for the majority of the people to see what a liar he is

  3. @patsy. This will very quickly become, “But they would have risen even more if we still had a carbon tax”!
    In much the same way that the clown crashes into a pole, grabs and says, “Lucky this was here or I’d have fallen over.’

  4. I agree with you, the hatred that was created towards Gillard was irrational and extreme. I heard talk-back shows on 2GB that rans competitions for the best nick-name for our PM when JG was in power, they were encouraging children to phone in and call her names.
    But it was also Abbott using tax-payers dollars to run around in his sluggos pretending to be iron man. A lot of people buy that image of the tough Aussie battler getting amongst the people, it’s tangible for them, even though it has nothing to do with his performance as a leader. As well as demonising JG, they also demonised the Greens, obviously ideological opponents on Global Warming. And that irritating insistence that the cost of living had sky-rocketed.
    Abbott seems to have disappeared from the stage now. I heard him & Pyne whining almost everyday when they were in opposition. The boat people issue has gone quiet. Feels like a long, dark winter metaphorically speaking.

  5. Your suggested mantras need tweeking. Keep to one or two simple sentences.
    Limit each sentence to no more than five words, preferably each word with one or two syllables.
    e.g. Abbott has to go.
    This PM has failed.
    There goes education!
    Look Mum! Can’t download.
    Sorry children, the power’s cut off.
    Why can’t I have a wheelchair?
    Why did I vote for Abbott?
    When can I vote again?
    Sorry, refugees. PM says NO.

  6. Analysis of the election result reveals 15 of the Coalition’s new seats are held on very thin margins. 11 seats have margins of less than 4000 voters.
    The election was a lot tighter than Abbott gloats.

    It would only take about 30,000 people to change their vote to change the government…

  7. The article you linked to around the conformity experiment clearly states that the experiment was flawed and that another similar experiment was performed again and had a negative result (although the second experiment was also clearly flawed in my opinion).
    I wouldn’t be using this experiment as a base for any meaningful insights, although anecdotal evidence would certainly back up the idea. Most of my friends who voted for Abbott claimed they did it because Labor were incompetent, but couldn’t present a single example of incompetence when pressed.

  8. One term tony (OTT).

    The wacko P.M.

  9. Libs will only fix things for their own benefit. More likely wreck things. We had a decent govt. as it was.
    Why is there a need to “fix things”?

  10. It is astonishing that, when so few like Abbott or think him credible, nor like his policies, that he was voted into government. It proves the success of the simplicity of his oppositional campaign, which lasted five years, the last three especially intense and vitriolic, and fed into the basest of fears and created doubt. Apart from the rusted on, who will always and only vote LNP, Australians are quickly coming to realise things are not as they seem or were promised. There is still fear and doubt, but without it being dissipated by a ‘competent’ government, it will quickly be transferred to where it belongs, this current government which has come to power in what might become the most infamous win in Australian political history.

  11. @Ramiro Fernandez Although the link does point out flaws in the original experiment, some of the problems would not be present in contemporary Australia. In any case, I feel that some journal of psychology – rather than this blog – the place for an in depth discussion of the problems with this. I believe that the initial results suggest that many people ARE influenced by what people around them are saying even if he doesn’t agree with their own perceptions. Thanks, it’s good to know that other people actually read the links. :)

  12. @Maree Lockyer – I was only suggesting a simple message. You have a comprehensive election campaign more detailed than Tony’s.

  13. One at a time!

  14. Apparently %30 of U.S. population get what they consider to be ” the News” via Facebook

    I would guess that figure would be the same here.

    Perfect medium for rumours and misinformation.

  15. Marie Lockyer I have a couple more for you…..

    Flick the Prick


    Abbott…Murdoch’s bumboy

  16. Tony Abbott won the election on a pack of lies which were repeated ad nauseum by all Coalition members and regurgitated by the MSM who were fed press releases, leaks and questions to ask. The Australian people were sucked in by this barrage of misinformation. They were distracted by trivialities and smear campaigns. Priorities were lost. Constant reporting of dubious polls, stirred up by incessant negativity, led to a herd mentality that were able to block out facts while being told who to blame for everything in their lives.

    Add to this the bs image campaign pretending Tony isn’t sexist (because he is related to some women), and he isn’t homophobic (because his sister is gay), and he has a strong sense of morality, honesty, and integrity (like his mentor George Pell), and he is a volunteer (who charges a fortune to have his photo taken), and he is fit (charging a fortune to run and cycle and swim), and he raises money for charity (charging a fortune to take part and doing favours for sponsors).

    Lies and spin.

  17. Geoff of Epping LOL

  18. I pondered some months ago why some people lean towards conservatism and some lean the other way. I chanced upon a TED talk that helped me see the issue from another perspective. Jonathan Haidt suggests stepping back from the party political stuff and look at the moral underpinnings of our decisions. It won’t get rid of Tony, but it helps understands what is happening. (My view is that Murdoch is the problem!)

  19. While I agree with you about the need to repeat mantra like the deficiencies of Abbott and the Libturds there’s one little problem. MSM echoed and amplified Abbott’s vitriol and hate spin but I don’t think an anti Abbott / LNP mantra will be communicated by the media. Sure we can say what we want here and on Twitter, FB but the old media will not spread the message that Abbott is a liar and manipulative dick head directed by Murdoch.

  20. Yes people got so hammered by Murdoch press and the LNC, untill they became brain dead. They were still doing it after the election. Now they’ve stopped somewhat, but that’s a worry too. It’s called indoctrinatioon.
    People will think they are the better govt. because it seems a lot quieter now ie. media is quieter.

    Plainly the LNC made a big stink, a hell of a lot of noise ever since Abbott became leader of the opposition.
    Once he “got found out” when Julia gave the misogyny speech, it took a little while but he adjusted in to good Tony mode. News LTD took over the noise production then and phony Tony could just then cruise it in.
    People were sick of the chaos, blamed it on Labor, when in fact they were actually quite orderly as a govt. It was the leadership angst coming from the Rudd camp which was the problem for Labor. Take that away and all is sweet. Carbon tax?? pricing bumping up electricity prices is a lot of balony. These companies backed off from some of the gouging once they were found out too. Human nature…once the cat is out of the bag, they back off…somewhat. Beware of their cunning though.

    The Age was like a breath of fresh air coming through with the editorial re policies and recommendation that Labor had best policies, so better to vote for them. Too late though. Most people got mesmerised by the black soul of Abbott. I feel very much on guard, and very cautious of men for one, who may think it ia free for all with the big bad guy winning. Actually we are in a readful mess as a country and the stench is already bleeding through our boundaries.

  21. Tony Abbott has lurched from one diplomatic disaster to another as he compounds rookie mistakes with our Asian neighbours.

    Read more:

  22. The trouble with the LNP is that they have no policies and the one policy that they do have is an extension of the labor labor policy will if implemented will send us more into the red. Because big business won’t pay for it as Abbott keeps crowing about, it’ll be us because they will put up prices and the big businesses are mostly in retail so that makes their products more expensive and because we need their products we have grin and bare the cost of the products.

  23. You’re right, I loath the idea of needing to do this, but the simpletons need a simple message drilled into their heads. Not sure if we can beat a drum as loud as the Murdochcracy though…

  24. Can I please change this

    “When are they going to stop blaming Labor and get on with fixing things.”

    to “When are they going to stop blaming Labor and get on with fixing themselves”

    Or better still “When are they going to stop blaming Labor and reponsibly see it’s themselves who are the problem.”. LOL

  25. I agree – Labor’s ability to message effectively was and still is woeful and until it can get that act together it’s not gonna win the war

  26. The major point to this article is precisely what I was pointing out to a presumptuous twerp here some days ago.
    The election of Abbott may be as stark an example as we can get: the way people vote may be directly at odds with what policies they support, or would support if they attended to actual issues and not MSM lies.

    Labor almost certainly lost because enough people voted against things they (would) believe in, and even their own interests. The NBN is probably the best indication of that. Who but the deluded and distracted could vote against optic FTTH? Why was this, the biggest infrastructural development in Aust. history, not the major election issue?
    The MSM have enormous power. Labor made mistakes, but were a pretty good reformist Government; as led by Rudd and Gillard. The people who downplay the effect of the Media on the last election, putting the greater emphasis of blame onto Labor, either have their own self-important agenda, or were not paying attention.
    Either way, they distract from the hurdle facing the election of any reformist Party in the future in this country. The win by the MSM, carrying a mendacious bunch of crooks and moral cripples across the line, will only encourage more such targeting for the distracted vote. If they can get this mob into power, the MSM feel they can do anything with the country. The traditional lobbyists have nothing on the ownership of the Media.
    How to alert these distracted voters, against the daily, hourly, minute-by-minute influence of the Media?

  27. I’m still bewildered as to why people voted against their best interests, but the answer is simple: they had no idea.

    They’re going to learn a hard lesson.

  28. Heather
    November 6, 2013 • 12:56 pm

    Or better, better…. “When are they going?”

  29. I recently saw Abbott’s victory described as “Bradbury-esque”. I thought it most appropriate.

  30. We have to get the MSM ‘sorted out’ in this country. Unless or until they start reporting with honesty, responsibility, with integrity and lack of bias, then Australia, as we used to know it, is doomed. And that very much includes the ABC. It is beyond comprehension what was allowed to happen in Australia over the past 6 years, thanks to the MSM. Only history will show what a disgraceful period in Australian politics the last 6 years has been. The MSM is very powerful indeed and until it changes, there will be no change in the current direction (backwards and downwards).

  31. Good Article Rossleigh.

    Very good observations..
    I get fired up everytime I hear the landslide victory referred to. I think the WA senate re run could be rather interesting and early telling of how the people feel about the Abbott joke.

  32. I implemented the ABC’s vote compass tool to match my ideals against the ideals of a political party … It confirmed my ideals did indeed match those of the LABOR party therefore I voted accordingly … Perhaps, if the people who had no idea who to really vote for used this tool then they might have voted for where their ideals lay and it may have been a different scenario … Unfortunately for those misinformed people who were swayed by a biased MSM, voted blindly and now we are governed by a bunch of hypocritical nincompoops who may destroy our country’s very fabric of an equal society for ALL AUSTRALIANS … Only the corporate giants and those in power will benefit whilst the rest of us will in most probability pay for allowing the LNP to government.

    Patsy quotes:
    “well..well …well abbott caught out again on lying….surprise…..the electricity companies have now come out …a bit late to tell us all that the rates on electricity will not be going down..and they did not take on the carbon tax….how can we have been so stupid to believe abbott…….how long will it take for the majority of the people to see what a liar he is”

    My thoughts in regards to increasing electricity and gas prices … It is a well-known fact that even before LABOR introduced the Carbon Tax, the electricity and gas companies were planning to increase prices in huge chunks and this started to occur during the Howard years. The current LNP Coalition has blamed the LABOR administration for allowing this to occur knowing well beforehand that energy prices were going to increase by some 60 or so percent over a period of time; even before LABOR was elected as the new government in 2007 … That’s the sort of attitude of the current LNP government has adopted by ‘calling the kettle black …

  33. Some good comments here.
    For example, Stavr0s and Joe Banks encapsulate the problem faced by any Party not entirely in the pocket of big business. The problem: getting your policies and the truth past the MSM, big business’ Media.
    What to do?

  34. my worry is why Gillard et al made no effort to challenge statement like ‘worse the greece’ etc and will for the next three year simply sit and be trashed by an awful man. as for vote compass I hope I was part of the labor disgust at it. But maybe only I objected:
    I wrote this complaint to the ABC, copy to media watch(who asked for any response)

    Comment: Sadly, your ‘election compass’ shows many traditional labor values, especially

    for the over 60s, are attributed to the greens.

    This skews the results making me a green/labor and my wife a labor/green but my

    neighbour is ‘coalition’?

    I would like to know why the Nationals were left out of the compass when they form a

    group arguably far more important than the greens?

    I object strongly to you(the ABC) using such results when I would not vote for the

    greens in a fit. I view their representatives and their policies as befitting a ‘lunatic

    left’ minority and marginally preferable to the rabbott’s ideals.

    These flawed results will be used by academic juveniles at University and ABC spinners

    like, Antony Green, leigh sales and alberici as statistics worthy of extrapolation into

    opinion which will be, shamelessly, rolled out on ABC autocues all over the country.

    Where parts, out of context, will be picked up by the commercial media. Resulting in

    News Corp bias and uniformed announcers putting in their tuppence giving another free

    bash at labor.

    the answer (aug 27)

    Dear Mr Moir

    Thank you for your email and having a go at the Vote Compass.

    Vote Compass generates several different outputs, including a two-dimensional grid and a bar graph. Each output measures something different and reflects the different ways people think about politics. Some think in terms of ideology and others in terms of public policy issues.

    Vote Compass results should not be interpreted as voting advice.

    Every eligible voter decides for themselves which party is most appropriate to represent them. It is not possible for this system to replicate the complex and variant criteria each voter considers when casting their vote.

    The focus of Vote Compass is on public policy issues relevant to the election and how the parties differ on these issues, both among themselves and in relation to individual voters. Users get an assessment of their position in the political landscape and their proximity to each of the parties included in the application.

    I note your suggested questions, but these are the agendas that the major parties have set, not the ABC. Also, we did not pose the questions.

    As you note Vote Compass is an independent, non-profit and non-partisan organisation and our election website hosts it. The Australian and international academics are committed to upholding an objective, dispassionate approach to questionnaire design.

    It’s true that The Nationals are not listed as a separate entity, but as part of the Federal Coalition, The Nationals’ policy is not substantially different from the Liberal Party. Another consideration is that they are only fielding candidates in rural electorates unlike the other three parties who have candidates in pretty much every electorate.

    Again, the choice on September 7 is yours and there is no attempt to sway Australians in any particular voting direction, rather a chance to reflect on the issues set to define the next election.

    Yours sincerely

    Adam Doyle

    ABC News

  35. Why do people vote against their own interests? George Lakoff’s book “Don’t Think of an Elephant” address this even though t’s based on US politics it’s also relevant for us. Here’s a video where he talks about it

  36. Western culture will grow up when it stops dividing the world into two genders and associating political parties with these gender constructs. Of course, in Western metaphysics, the party that isn’t hardline and despotic is suspected of being manipulative, deceptive, ulterior and sinister. These are considered feminine traits, since Eve ate the apple and witches have to be punished for their sins and the only assurance of godliness is a firm man.

  37. Given that members of the Coalition have begun to wear blue ties as a form of cultural warfare, perhaps everyone should start wearing blue ties as a form of protest. Bikies could take up wearing them and with any luck the police will start asking people with blue ties to “move along”.

    Then the ALP could repeat back in different form some of the weasel speak that the Coalition ministers use. Take Mathias Cormann, when asked a question about the politicians’ rorts and what the Special Minister of State, Michael Ronaldson, might do:

    “He is looking at these issues and no doubt at some point in time he will be making some recommendations on whether there are some areas that can be further improved.”

    So if I’m asked if I will vote for the Coalition next election I can reply:

    “I’m looking at voting for you and no doubt at some point in time I’ll be voting some way or other on whether there are some candidates for whom it is worth voting.”

    The real problem with the last election was that vacuity and deceit replaced intelligence and honesty.

  38. Find myself agreeing wholeheartedly here. Trying to be balanced, I don’t think you can ignore or underestimate the role that Kevin Rudd played in bringing us to the point we find ourselves. Just a disgrace.

  39. Simple: Murdoch launched a propaganda war and won.

  40. Mmmm, this article doesnt really discredit the idea that the electorate are/were fools. In fact it doesnt really say much except the victory was marginal in a critical number of seats, and I am under the impression that this is the case in most elections. The Australian public are pretty weak when it comes to reasoned thinking and too damned good at being sentimental, emotive and reactive. All it takes is for the media landscape to become a mire of manipulation and sloganeering and voila, you have a negative political outcome. The one thing that gets to me is how degenerate the Liberals have become, Howard was the most toxic individual in the political history of this country and his corruption of the political landscape bears no victim greater than his own party. Only a sick organisation could behave like it does under Abbott… I sincerely believe that the Liberal Party has no value at all.

  41. One of the most worrying aspects for me is the secrecy of this government. We pay their wages, they make decisions that will affect our lives, and yet they seem to feel that we have no right to know what they are doing in our name.

    “Such is the clout of Abbott’s inner sanctum that secrecy has now become an obsession that has manifested itself in a raft of heavy-handed authoritarian measures. Cumulatively, they create the unsettling spectre of a closed government.”,5870

  42. Maybe people just got sick of the vitriolic left wing hate of everything to do with western culture and the incessant hatred of white people.. White people will only take so much before lashing out and defending themselves like doing things like voting for Abbott.. So suck it you supposedly intellectual superiors because even abbott beat you morons lol

  43. I was concerned with the Vote Compass initiative. It summed me up as being a ‘Greens’ voter, when I had clearly indicated that I thought Milne was not my favoured politician and that I didn’t support their Asylum seeker stance, etc., indicating my Labor leanings on these and other issues. That made me very suspicious about what the ABC were trying to do with that instrument.

  44. I really dont think it’s about left wingers knowing nothing. It is more to do with not knowing what to do when you have a situation like Abbott and his cronies trashing the parliament like they did. There was so much noise and so much aggro. And so shocking all the politically incorrect movement with loud voices. They should have removed Abbott for the naughty little boy he is, when he was reaping havoc. Julia Gillard got up and told him to resign, remember. Tony Windsor gave it to him. Who else in all that time.

    Decent people move away from these kind of people for their own peace of mind. If they are in your house, and the person is one of your children doing the bullying and wanting all the attention or they are going to trash the place, you have two choices, clamp down or cater to their whims, in order to calm them down. Many families who prize money and greed above all else, will allow such a child to have full sway and thus convert all the other children that way.

    What has happened is that the bully has won. Plainly Abbott was not shown the door, so we can say that the bully has won. What you are seeing is how bullies operate. They go silent and ungiving to get their way. They will just give out tokens, not much more. They thus create needy weakened people around them ie. humans with a lot of problems…unless you become a bully like them.

    From what I perceive with most power brokers, being so insecure within themselves, they must have full control, and convert all others to the cause. It’s a kind of vampirism. How to cure it? Well you have to get really heavy with them and get them at the core. Then they drop the darkness right away, and become normal human beings who are able to face and witness themselves.

    Long term ones will more than often go back to old ways. Abbott is a long term one. So we have a problem on our hands.

    Re Australians rolling over too easily. Well it could be that many are affected by this very harsh land. It is like desolation with that huge desert out there. We need to work out how to live in our desert areas more. Perhaps all those middle eastern refugees are coming here for just that reason. And where are all the great solar power plants in the desert, and the electricity generated thermally from underground. We are still pretty dumb about all this. Thus people get easily disturbed.

  45. Can those making the case that Rupert Murdoch won the election for the Coalition please explain Queensland to me. Queensland has only one daily rag and it’s one of the worst in the Murdoch stable, yet Labor did remarkably well in Queensland. If Murdoch’s influence is really so great, why did Labor only barely lose a couple of seats? Whilst there’s no question that the Murdoch press is a meaningful factor in contemporary Australian politics, I remain optimistically skeptical as to the question of how big a factor it actually is. Queensland is arguably the most bogan-esque state in the nation. How do we account for the positive result for Labor there in the context of the Murdochracy theory? The parochial Rudd factor? The Newman factor? The Palmer factor? A mix of everything?

  46. Rupert Murdoch gave the Coalition free advertising. The extent to which advertising affects people differs but if it isn’t worth it, they wouldn’t waste billions on it.

    The Coalition set the tone with the stuff they fed to the media who added whatever spice they could. If Murdoch wears the blame then Abbott should wear the shame.

    And I vote the Newman factor, with a small sprinkling of Rudd and a pinch of Palmer.

    6 drops of essence of terror
    5 drops of sinister sauce
    Unfortunately a touch of tenderness is out of season

  47. Dan, they dont read newspapers up there in QLD?? They didn’t back in th 80s when I was there.
    TV? well perhaps it is easier to get ABC or SBS up there, still? Definitely the Rudd factor. And aversion to Newman’s cuts. His sex mad push obviously didn’t cut it, in the long run.

    And Palmer kind of cheers everyone up with the entertainment factor, so people probably not as miserable in QLD, this time around.

    And then there is the “what have we done to Anna Bligh?” who is trying to get through cancer. You cant miss Anna Bligh, as being the best leader Australia has seen during a catastrophe. People have had time to think about things and weren’t looking to make the same mistake again.

  48. Heather,

    I think a lot of Queenslanders just look at the pictures. Words are hard.

  49. Well, it is very hot and sweaty up there, and you cannot do much. Everyone goes troppo in the wet season,
    which means they dont want to think too much, or keep alert. If you do keep alert, you are seen as a definite outsider. It seems to be very apolitical, but then so is NSW cf, with Victoria. QLDers would be making
    up their minds just before the election, or on the day, and PM Rudd would have been a big factor in voting for their own. Mind you there is a minority up there, who will think about things. But overall it’s pretty cruisey.
    They would mostly be having a chat about it the night before or on the way to the polling booth.

    This is based on my own recollection of living in North QLD for 9 years.

  50. Dan,

    I think the biggest factor in QLD was Campbell Newman. Even country relatives who wouldn’t vote anythinng but conservative don’t like Mr Newman. Being severely rusted-on, they would still have voted conservative in the federal election, but I believe more swinging voters were quite happy to send their votes elsewhere – to PUP, Greens, and ultimately through preferences, to Labor.

    Another factor – good local candidates, even where they didn’t win. Leanne Donaldson in Hinkler and Lucy Stanton in Wide Bay come to mind there. Both achieved a swing to Labor on a TPP basis (in blue ribbon LNP seats), as did several others. Shayne Neumann in Blair and Graham Perrett in Moreton increased their share of the TPP vote in holding their seats for Labor. In fact, there were eight seats in QLD where the TPP swing was towards Labor. Think Indi when taking into account the value of hardworking local candidates.

    As far as the Murdoch influence goes, I think a lot of people discount the flow-on effect of his publications, especially The Australian. While many people do not read Mudoch rags, the rest of the media – radio & TV – take their lead from what’s written in Murdoch papers. Effectively, the Murdoch press is setting the agenda – framing the debate if you like – in conjunction with the movers & shakers in conservative politics – the “faceless men” (and women). Fairfax tries hard, but is not as successful as Murdoch at this game.

    Just my 2c worth…

  51. Bacchus,

    I think there’s a good point being made about rural Queensland voters not liking Newman. He’s very much seen as South east Queensland/Brisbane oriented, at the expense of the rest of the State. Re: the Murdoch influence, I’d really like to see some proper research/polling done on it so we can do more than just speculate about its strength. Sadly, other than Ray Morgan, there’s bugger-all companies that don’t work directly for the MSM. Maybe Essential Research could be coaxed into something. Mind you, when I approached them before the election regarding one poll they did on how much people trust their media sources, they didn’t get back to me with info about their methodology and demographic breakdown.

  52. Dan,

    That’s very true – our country cousins do see him as SEQ-centric. The problem he has in SEQ is that he was mayor of Brisbane before becoming premier, so many in the South East don’t like him either – they know him, and his proclivity for building things that lose money (tunnels). Now he’s been let loose on the whole state :(

    That’s an interesting article by Mark Kenny, but it only looks at the bias in the Daily Terror (and Courier Mail) – not the effect any bias may have on the readership, or on other media. That would be good to measure…

  53. I not RoyMorgon poll has LNP/ALP on 50/50 TPP. Any other polls reflect this?

  54. Remember Julia Gillard said she wanted to do something about the media dominance in this country in the year before the election. Then she went quiet on all this. Too late to do anything about reining News Ltd in. Should have been done way back in the start of the term. I am sure that is why Murdoch ramped up the viciousness so heavily. Not only did they put out so much aggro against the minority govt, they disturbed a lot of people out there in our communities. Thus all those nasty right wing trolls, and sorry to say they were predominantly blokes behaving like shock jocks or Tony Abbott copycats. It looked like the rampant politically incorrect movement. Thus the whole level of intelligent conversation has gone down the gurgler, and people are understandably confused.

    One thing about all the angst, it was a good outlet for the emotional disturbances of a lot of people. And we saw the sheer ugliness of Australian mindset first hand. But whether they can get it sorted after such vents and trashing, is another thing. They are probably as mad and as fixated as they sound, permanently, and now playing control freak and Mr. Secretive like their lord and master.

  55. You failed to mention the gross incompetence and arrogance of the whole labour “team”. The infighting, bitching and corruption is still going on.
    Abbott may not have been a popular choice and some of the policies have a lot to be desired but to vote for the alternative? Bugger that!

  56. Pete,

    Please specify the nature of the corruption you see in Federal Labor. And, if you could, distillate the nature of the gross incompetence and arrogance thereof. Labor’s mistakes have been well noted by all here, but I suspect you intend something more.

  57. Oh for a conservative voter who actually talked about what positive things the Coalition Government will do for us. I don’t think any of them, MPs included, have any idea what to do now that they won the election. Their goals were and are short term and planning beyond the election took back seat. Their arrogance at assuming they could and would do better has no substance which is why NONE of them can ever tell you why they feel the Coalition will be better.

    They listened to the leadership crap, and the “she lied” mantra, and the ridiculous notion that hordes of asylum seekers were coming to destroy the fabric of our society, and that the carbon tax would wipe out whole towns and had made the cost of living skyrocket, and that our debt and deficit would see our grandchildren scavenging from dumps. Rational factual discussion was always howled down by emotive vitriole. Legislation passed, reforms achieved, economic indicators – none of these could compete with the “I just don’t like/trust her/them” feeling which was given substance by two rather unwise definitive statements.

    As for voting for the alternative……I cannot fathom why anyone would consider the Coalition any sort of viable alternative. I have read what they are proposing and I cannot agree with it. Would be happy to hear what you have to say Pete about how the Coalition will make things better.

  58. I was relieved that Gillard mentioned doing something about the media dominance in this country. At last some good action, I thought. Then it was not mentioned further.

    Murdoch being the cunning rat that he is and so sold on the money and material side of life, would have pounced on this and reacted viciously. The News Ltd media coverage was mostly Murdoch protecting his power and his bucks. You bet if Labor got back in they would have done something about the media dominance.

    Remember how the pollies were too fearful of sayng something wrong, to avoid the finger pointing, over reactive blame and derision for making mistakes. Julia Gillard suffered badly from this. One tends to tread on egg shells around over reactive people as a default. Even Abbott was like a doddering wreck trying to do the right thing all the time and nothing much at all. He is still a bad case of disconnected speaking. What we are getting is sound bites from the LNC

    Labor just has to keep on explaining what is really happening, and pushing for clarity on all the issues,
    Let’s face it, the reality of life is that there are many mistakes and failures in life, if one wants to be creative and live well. It’s just not perfect and people need to know they can work through things, and get involved in processes.

    Most of the over reactive, blame and firey retorts probably come down to people drinking too much in this country. Not to mention being somewhat brain dead from the booze.

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