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Can Labor seize the moment?

By Steve Laing

Let’s face it. A loss is not a win.

So here we are again. The election is over, the counting almost finally concluded, and the Coalition has limped over the line in the House of Reps, but with an even more divided, and potentially difficult Senate than the double dissolution was ironically called to help remove.

Despite the relative success of the Labor gains, the actual result is really quite depressing. In this largely two horse race, they lost. And it is us, the electorate, who will continue to suffer. Yet if there was ever a campaign that the opposition should have romped home, it was this one.

Firstly, the government ran a lackluster campaign, almost completely devoid of policy detail, repeating ad infinitum the three word slogans that Malcolm Turnbull had sworn the electorate wouldn’t be exposed to. The aim of the game was small target, and presidential. Keep the monkeys away from the media and public, even though it will be these monkeys that will be the ones running the show.

Secondly, Turnbull has also been promising us a “grown-up conversation” with everything on the table, yet somehow over the course of the last six months, still managed to throw things into the mix completely out of left field, such as the idea of the states setting their own income tax rates. So his personal credibility as an action-taking politician has been shown to be so much hot air. Malcolm the Ditherer; Malcolm the Waffler; Malcolm the Flop.

And finally, on any measure of financial success, this past government has been less than woeful. There is no value in going over this disaster, it having been described far better by others. Fortunately Abbott couldn’t get any of the really nasty policies past the Senate, but Turnbull seems equally incapable of getting anything to stick either. Three years, and not one budget passed. Worst government ever? Quite possibly.

But then we look at the opposition. In comparison to the LNP policy vacuum, they’ve produced sensible measures, with details and costings, across almost every policy area. Oppositions just don’t do this! Moreover they seemed to run a decent campaign, setting the agenda, and regularly putting the government on the back foot. The cabinet team was strong, they were united, they won the debates hands down!

Yet even with the strengths of Labor, and the weaknesses of the Coalition, this still wasn’t enough. Sure, the media gave significant support to the LNP, but some question as to whether they really have that degree of influence to the majority of the electorate anymore. And ultimately the electorate in their wisdom re-elected the dunces, the dodgy and the incapable. WTbleedinF!

If it is the case that even in this perfect storm Labor still couldn’t get up, perhaps they would do well to recognize that we now appear to be approaching electoral stalemate, with significant majorities of voters “stuck” in voting patterns, whether by direct intention, or through fear of the other side getting in.

Campaigning purely towards their “electorate”, a classic Machiavellian tactic, the LNP seem to be able to command enough support to always keep them in the running, or indeed to win well. And as Pyne annoyingly reminded us, they are masters at doing so. Unscrupulously finding loopholes to fund their advertising strategies, shamelessly using scare campaign after scare campaign, delighted to instigate an expensive royal commission whose sole outcome appears to have been little more than smear Bill Shorten, and more than happy to degrade key infrastructure like the NBN, or use refugees as political pawns purely as opportunities on which to wedge Labor. Mental illness, rape, suicide and murder all appear to be legitimate campaign tactics for the current LNP, just as illegal wars, wholesale bribery, and international deceit were stock in trade for their best PM ever. Their primary goal is to win the election, what they actually do in power is a lot lower in their priority list. But if you don’t win, all your clever policy work means naught.

Compare this to Labor who, I believe, actually try to campaign for the vast majority of Australians, but never quite manage to satisfy enough of them to get much more than a majority, and certainly not a sizeable one.

And such electoral results mean policy outcomes, when won by either of the major parties, that only a significant minority of the population seems easily able to support. Is it any wonder that we appear to be stuck in a slow spiral downwards because the big stuff is just too politically hard? The current political malaise is far from the nation building that we need to transition us from the old economy to the new, nor to ensure our survival when the true ravages of climate change really start to kick in. And even when we, the electorate, vote to show we aren’t happy with what is being offered, the parties look to put the blame for their lack of results any where but themselves. The total lack of self-reflection has yet again been entirely predictable, with both major parties both now giving themselves huge slaps on the back for what great jobs they’ve done!

Of course the Coalition won’t change. And why should they? They continue to hold the upper hand, and actually don’t really have the talent to do anything other than keep doing what they do.

Conversely, progressive politics needs to change significantly if it is to attract the necessary support from many on the “conservative” side of politics if they are to have a future. As they stand, both Labor and the Greens are too susceptible to the cheap political point-scoring tricks that the Coalition (and their media servants) are all too quick to adopt. They somehow need to make themselves smaller targets. Moreover rather than falling into the false dichotomies that the Coalition love to use, they need to stop being dragged into idiotic discussions that serve no purpose except to those starting them. If the MSM aren’t helping to get the message across, shut them out. Keep playing their game, and you will never win, because the media is a business and knows which side keeps its proprietors wealthy. And in an election comparing policy on one side, against nothing on the other, to have the media choose to endorse the unknown, fundamentally reveals that there is no real support for Labor, and so Labor should stop supporting them. Without content, the media is nothing. Without political news stories, the press gallery have no work. No work, no job.

Personally, my single biggest turn-off this election from Labor has been its unwillingness to discuss working with other parties (particularly the Greens) because “history”. I’m sorry, but I’m not supporting political pig-headedness just because the Coalition likes to trot out the “stability” message (whilst clearly being about as stable as Polonium). I know that the best solutions to problems are those determined from a team of diverse thoughts and opinions, not groupthink. I mean, you only need to look at the woefully inadequate thought process that goes into determining LNP policies to see the outcomes of a team of ideologues backed up by nodding dogs of the backbench are not even as good as third rate. So Labor needs to get off its high horse, and start working out how it can avoid the (very few) mistakes that were made in the Gillard years (which, yes, were in part due to the Greens – they need to do the same thing too, and I think they already are), rather than simply dismiss working with others as too hard, or indeed unpopular with the electorate.

You see the electorate actually would prefer a degree of political consensus. And the LNP do recognize this, but as usual want such consensus to be entirely on their terms. Though for them this means that if anyone else doesn’t agree with their ideas, that those “others” are feral, not team-players, spoilers, etc. Brandis on QandA even said so much, and it is no surprise given this was their MO in the last government. But they are just preparing the voters for the anticipated trotting out that it will be Labor’s (and indeed everyone else’s) fault when their next set of inept policies are voted down by the Senate.

But what Shorten should do is find a way to genuinely offering the players who commanded enough electoral support (not seats, but by percentage of primary votes) early involvement in the White Paper definition process. The best time to do this is not in the solutions stage, but in the problem definition stage (particularly since this is the bit that both parties seem to get significantly wrong, judging how quick they bought into the “need” for 12 very expensive submarines). And if Turnbull is out building bridges now, Shorten needs to be doing exactly the same, not least because he is a lot better at it, and because if there is a snap election he may have to run another minority government.

Secondly, Labor should have pushed hard for a Federal ICAC, and now should make it a core promise. No ifs, no buts. Their failure to pursue this revealed that they too fear their own skeletons in the cupboard, which to my mind is also another good reason for not being able to fully trust them. And these weaknesses make their elected representatives just as vulnerable to manipulation, and whether that is either actual or imaginary, there are enough voters that think it is real for it to be a problem. As someone once explained to me, in the real world perception IS reality. And if there are dodgy operators, we need them out. This isn’t acceptable on any side of politics.

Thirdly, Labor need to disengage financially from the unions. Now this is a very major one given Labor’s background, but given the union movement also needs to rethink how it operates in this new world, Labor needs to rid itself of an image of being controlled by “evil unions” which again the Coalition will shamelessly exploit (whilst simultaneously sucking at the teat of big business, property developers, media tycoons, and indeed it would seem even criminals, if they are willing to put money in their electoral fund – ironic? Yep, but it’s a real stopper for many voters, so either get over it or never expect support). Labor need to pursue a strategy where political parties are no longer dependent on external funding, and make the enactment of such a pre-condition on them dropping that financial tie. And if pursued expediently, it might help cut off the LNP from one of their own most significant advantages – access to the coffers of wealthy donors and big business. Again I believe the electorate would love it.

And finally, all parties need to find better ways of communicating with the electorate in a more complete manner than the current ad hoc communication we have now. I’d like to see a comprehensive document (or better still, website) that explains that parties positions on the full range of policy areas. Better still if this was a website that the AEC controlled so that voters could compare each parties position on each topic. I’m sure that the utter lack of thought and concern shown by the current government to so many areas (homelessness anyone?) that would benefit from central involvement would assist voters in making informed decisions. As it currently stands, fact-finding takes too much time that voters don’t have. Is it any surprise that many still vote on what they feel is right, rather than what they actually understand to be right. Of course, that is exactly how the LNP want it, but Labor need to stop being LNP lite, and recognize that the entire system needs a dramatic overhaul, and that if this doesn’t occur their ongoing electoral hopes are very precarious indeed.

Personally, as I’ve stated before, I think party politics stink. I’d rather a representative democracy where the representatives were the best that each electorate could offer (irrespective of their political leanings) rather than a selection predominantly of nodding dogs endorsed by their local cabal. Evolving to that ideal won’t be an overnight process, so in the meantime we need the parties to progress the small steps that we need to improve the system. Electoral reform of the senate, despite some of what has arrived, was one such measure (and one that the LNP will rue for an awful long time – which makes it so much sweeter!), but we need more improvements to the processes of government if we want our countries decision making to rise above the classroom squabbles that our two major parties seem inextricably locked into, encouraged and abetted by a lazy fourth estate who are more intrigued by the politics than they are by the policies.

To be effective Labor doesn’t just need to win an election or two. Because we know that any positive policies are as quickly condemned to be taken apart by the ever-cynical Coalition when next they get back in. To endure they will need to become the long-term major force in Australian politics. And to do that means more change is needed. The changes to leadership rules are certainly on the right track, but they aren’t enough. So my first question is this. Are Labor big enough to recognize the actual failure of this campaign, and realize that they need to do much, much more to change the political paradigm? But my second question is equally pertinent. Do Labor actually really want to run the country on an ongoing basis, or are they really just satisfied to be the bit players in the circus that is Australian politics? Because if they truly cared about the electorate then Bill and his team should be absolutely seething that they lost, not grinning like idiots. Well Bill, we’re watching.


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  1. Turnthetide

    Labour sure as hell need to get their policies and their act together. It is their best chance on bringing on another election within 12 months. They need to start listening to the people, and I mean all peoples! They also need to portray themselves with more strength and confidence to the people of Australia. I think people are finally waking up to these Liberals and their weak unwanted policies that favour the rich and victimise the poor and low income people of this country! They need to work with the Independence candidates, including Pauline Hanson if they ever want to rid the country of this leader in Turnbull! Remember people voted for these candidates for a good reason!

  2. Don A Kelly

    ‘ And in an election comparing policy on one side, against nothing on the other, to have the media choose to endorse the unknown, fundamentally reveals that there is no real support for Labor, and so Labor should stop supporting them. Without content, the media is nothing. Without political news stories, the press gallery have no work. No work, no job.’
    What I would like to see, as part of reinforcing our democracy, instead of so many “Dorothy Dixers” in QT, part of QT should be dedicated to questions directed to members of the Press Gallery. I sure that many of the electorates members would like the press members to offer a “please explain”.

  3. Shevill Mathers

    Take out the space filling National’s votes/seats and Labor would have romped in. It is the Libs calling the shots not the Nat’s. So it is a two against one, not fair odds.

  4. Freethinker

    Respectfully I disagree with one point.
    Your suggestion: Thirdly, Labor need to disengage financially from the unions.
    IMO the moderate right faction should move out of the ALP if does not like to work with the Union movement. Labor’s constitution states: “The Australian Labor Party is a democratic socialist party. The party start in 1890 by striking pastoral workers which was a union of workers defending their rights.

    Regarding the present situation one of the strategies during this campaign was the issue of the superannuation and strongly opposed for the coalition polices because it was retrospective.
    This not only caused the ALP gain votes but also created a division within the coalition two parties.
    Even today we can see Abetz protesting about it ( http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-14/eric-abetz-election-result-superannuation-policy-concerns/7627734 )
    Bill Shorten, instead of wait and let the instability increase in the coalition come now with the idea of looking into to see if it is retrospective or not,.
    IMO it is very risky idea after he and the finance team say that definitively was retrospective. Typical auto sabotage in the party.
    What we need in the ALP, the Greens and micro parties with similar policies is political maturity and work together now for in the next election have a common front.
    To arrive to that the ALP would need to appoint a new leader and a shadow treasurer because both of them will lose credibility if they complete change their mind and start working with the Greens.

  5. 2353NM

    I also disagree with the ALP decouple from the Unions concept. What needs to happen is the ALP needs to argue in a respectful way that the LNP’s reliance on big business is more harmful to Australia. It shouldn’t be that hard to form a slow burn argument that the reason a lot of company profits are ‘exported’ before tax is because the LNP allow it to happen (they are doing what they claim the ALP does).

    And the Greens have to work out that they are not the ‘pixies at the bottom of the garden’ anymore and stop headlines line this one “Gabba councillor Jonathan Sri wants gardens on golf courses” -> http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/gabba-councillor-jonathan-sri-wants-gardens-on-golf-courses-20160712-gq4exi.

    The ALP and Greens burying the hatchet would help as well – 🙂

  6. Florence nee Fedup

    Sadly there is much I disagree with in this article. Labor doesn’t need to be ashamed of it’s union roots. Something to be proud of. Didn’t hurt Shorten saying so.

    Labor doesn’t need to join up with other parties. Needs to stay true to itself. Yes, Labor can and I suspect will support any good legislation they put forwarded.

  7. Anon E Mouse

    Much of what you say I agree with, but your referrence to the ‘evil unions’ is not one of them.
    The ‘Evil’ tag, and demonisation has been bestowed by those who really want to cut wages, conditions and safety in the quest for ever greater wealth. These scoundrels have willingly coerced/bribed weaker members or deliberately infiltrated unions in order to weaken them. To their detriment, union members have not always been represented well – for example Kathy Jackson. However that is not enough to discard or demonise unions, especially when the business council, the AMA etc, the unions of professionals are portrayed as ‘good unions’ because they use the name ‘association’ or ‘group’ etc.

    Black Lung, in the news lately, is one area that demonstrates how, as the unions have been weakened by this ‘evil’ tag, the health and safety of workers has fallen. So too have working conditions, pay etc. Today the unions have found asbestos in new buildings even after they had apparently been tested safe.

    Labor needs to support unions, help strengthen their governance so they are responsive to members, and get rid of the bosses lackys that have infiltrated.

  8. Osiris

    “Take out the space filling National’s votes/seats and Labor would have romped in. It is the Libs calling the shots not the Nat’s. So it is a two against one, not fair odds.”

    Well they say that if voting could change anything it would be abolished by the establishment. Lets face it, we live in a fascist state not democracy. But the establishment likes to hide behind the appearance of democracy, so they present us with these so-called ‘elections’ that are rigged against the majority from the get-go. And of course the result is that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer with increasing speed. As much as I want the majority of Australians to wake up, I am apprehensive of the mayhem that will follow because the establishment will not bow to the majority and will definitely not go quietly.

  9. Turnthetide

    I agree with you also. People soon forget the important role Unions have in this country. If it wasn’t for unions where would we be today, enjoying the working conditions that we have now. Perhaps not all unions were good in the past but it sure as hells stops Government from dictating total control over our lives today! Just take a look at what the Liberal Government have been trying to do over the past 3 years to the Public Service, Award wages for weekend and shift workers! We should be thanking them instead of wanting them destroyed, which will never happen anyway.

  10. Osiris

    “Labor needs to support unions, help strengthen their governance so they are responsive to members, and get rid of the bosses lackys that have infiltrated.”

    Agreed, however, under the capitalistic/fascistic system where capital rules, you will not succeed in developing democracy, because those that have capital will always use the power it gives them against those that threaten their status. True democracy when enacted invariably brings on the demise of capitalism; the two are mutually exclusive, contrary to popular perception. But true democracy will never take root in a capitalistic/fascistic system. The system will have to fall first.

  11. Don A Kelly

    What they need to do is have meaningful educational discussions with Bill Mitchell, Economics Prof. at Newcastle University regarding Modern Monetary Economics. Then determine how to save face without changing Leader or Shadow Treasurer, etc. To debunk the neo-liberal economic group-think they then need to re-frame the economic debate in line with Modern Monetary Economics. Prof. Mitchell will offer up arguments that are extremely difficult to refute. One of John Maynard Keynes’s famous quotes was that “the difficulty lies not in accepting new ideas but in escaping from old ones.”

  12. Coralie Naumann

    Thank you so much, really made me think. Truth is, that if this can make me (little old lady) stop and think, then it should resound with the general public.

    Labor and LNP are always looking for someone else to blame. It’s about time they concentrated on the nation as a whole, then work out where to go from there.

  13. jim

    What I would like to see, as part of reinforcing our democracy, instead of so many “Dorothy Dixers” in QT, part of QT should be dedicated to questions directed to members of the Press Gallery. I sure that many of the electorates members would like the press members to offer a “please explain”.

    IMO,the press are the reason why the Liberals have been in power for about 25years longer than any other party , this is what FCKS democracy this together with a populace that have very little time to check facts together with no interest in politics for most of us. preferring instead to vote with the pack hence MSM ran with Coalition as the Victors.

    I shake my head at why the f*ck the media are allowed to determine our Leaders.

  14. cornlegend

    The Labor Party were born out of the 1891 Shearers strike, under the Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine and to even consider a Party, conceived by Unions, divorcing itself from its history is almost heresy.
    All extended families have their issues but they work them out, not dash for a divorce.
    Any consideration of a seperation of Labor/Unions would result in an exodus of members, me in the front row .
    Other parties are out there, courting Unions .
    What should be happening is encouragement of people to join Unions, not sit back and sponge off the conditions and hard won gains already won.
    The Unions put in a tremendous effort in the election campaign with various Unions, and Unions Australia making over 100.000 phone calls and thousands and thousands of hours at shopping centre ,door knocking, on the booths etc.
    Their contribution is often overlooked
    This last election was not a 2 horse race, in fact the field was massive and if the also rans couldn’t attract the punters, tough luck.
    “Personally, my single biggest turn-off this election from Labor has been its unwillingness to discuss working with other parties (particularly the Greens) because “history”.

    Get used to it, and maybe have a chat to your Greens mates bout who they need to fight
    Di Natale is already spruiking he is ready to take on Labor in key seats in 2022
    Not a word of taking on the LNP so far ,
    “NSW Greens budgeted $250,000 to get as close as possible to toppling powerhouse Labor left MP Anthony Albanese, a man with a reputation for brawling with Tories who showed during the campaign he’s happy to throw a right hook as well. That figure is up from the $80,000 allocated to Grayndler in 2013, and is $60,000 more than was allotted to take on Tanya Plibersek in Sydney, according to figures seen by New Matilda.”
    It is also said that they spent ONE TENTH OF THAT in Turnbull and Abbotts seats.
    It is time the Greens after what seems forever, learnt to stand on their own two feet.
    This Election is done and dusted.

    Bill Shorten has united the Party, healed some old wounds and won back more seats than was expected.
    He put forward his 100 point plan and will continue to refine and build on that.
    His people skills have been a strong point and his persoanal appeal is growing.
    Labor have said no deals with other Parties, so it’s time for them to get over it and getting on with having a look in their own backyard.

    The Labor Party is positioned to take the fight to Turnbull on the floor of Parliament and witth continued Union support, to the streets and homes of ordinary Australians
    Bill Shorten himself said
    “”I could not be prouder of Labor’s campaign & all who were part of it – we will never stop fighting for Medicare, schools and Australian jobs
    Proud to welcome so many new faces into my Labor team!”

    Labor is positioned to fight the LNP and whenever an election is called, 1 year, 3 years, are ready to step up and win with an absolute majority

  15. kathysutherland2013

    I, too, am proud of the role the Unions have played in our history, and this should never be downplayed. I thought the Unions’ marketing during this campaign was spot on – emphasising how union power helps the workers. Love the idea of an AEC – run website on all parties’ policies. I’d also suggest an emphasis on the fact that our current government is a coalition of two parties, not one – maybe stop referring to “the Coalition government” and instead refer to “the Liberal-National party government.” I think I’ll start doing this!

  16. Anon E Mouse

    The Greens have shown their open hostility toward Labor but not the Libs. That says it all really. We cannot forget that it was the ‘green’ party who shafted Rudd’s ETS and has sided with the Libs on many right winged policies.

    One thing that Labor and its supporters could be doing is fostering discussion on class warfare. Class structure, social stratification, racism, demonising ‘otherness’ all feed into the status quo.

    An interesting thing is that adherence to class is Australia’s, and many Westernised countries, dirty little secret. People will tip their hats and cede to those they percieve as higher class than themselves, while at the same time pretending that they are egalitarian and we are a classless society where everyone is equal. This oddity must surely be outed so that people open thier eyes and minds and stop voting against their best interests.

  17. mark

    They sure need to change something . Second lowest number of votes in history for Labor when they were up against a spud who had over a million votes directed away from the Libs. Those votes were never going to the Labor party or the Greens as alienated Liberal voters went for right leaning independents or the Nats. I dont believe Labor had credible policies as all i heard was more spending and with a targeted surplus in 10 years. You must be joking. Labor couldnt get a surplus from three Swan budgets yet we are supposed to believe 10 years.

  18. kathysutherland2013

    @Mark, I wish people would get over that “gotta get a surplus” rubbish, and I wish they’d emphasise the investment part of spending!

  19. flohri1754

    Overall I appreciated this article …. some sound points. Especially about the AEC Website showing various policy positions …. and also the vital need for a National ICAC.

    But I also agree with the comments that note that the Labor Party was founded by the Union movement and to sunder that connection would undermine a lot of what forms the reason to exist of the Labor Party. How many of the commenters, however, are members of unions themselves? And do many realize that you often DON’T have to work in a particular area in order to join a Union? You can become an associated member or “freelancer” on a contributing financial basis. If more people joined Unions in such a manner it would help both the Union movement, the Labor Party AND the country because the continual drop in union membership numbers in Australia (as well as the US and the UK) is used as a wedge issue against any Progressive movement that connects with the Unions.

    I am a member of not only an Australian Union but also an American one. Join up and help change the current paradigm in Australian politics.

  20. Freethinker

    flohri1754 In nearly all my life I was involved with the union movement and very much on the 35 hours a week campaign.
    If the Unions are not stronger in Australia it is because people still have a good life and also I have found out during the time when I was active is that people like o rip the benefits of the unions achievements but do not want to risk one single day pay for them.
    The unions also lost a lot of power when t with Bob become the PM.
    It is a difference with my experience in my mother country, my last strike was for the company to reinstall our union organiser and lasted 3 months. We won.
    I do not think that I will never see this in Australia.

  21. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Just let me be absolutely clear here. I didn’t say that Labor should break up from the unions. I said that they should look to break up “financially”. There is clearly significant overlap in what both Labor and the union movement are trying to achieve, and their joint history, but if there is significant public perception that Labor are being made to just do what the unions tell them (just as big business tell the LNP) because they are bankrolling them, then we won’t get away from the fact that Labor, as a progressive party, can be much, much more than that. Its not about what is right or wrong, or what is real or not, its about breaking free of “perceptions” that will stop a very significant proportion of the electorate supporting them. That sector already appears to be large and well ingrained, to the extent that Labor seem unable to get up over the LNP. I’d be surprised if many Greens voters preferences went to the LNP rather than Labor, so blaming them for trying to split the progressive vote I don’t believe is accurate.

    Also, we need to be careful that what is reported as “attacks by the Greens on Labor” are actually that. The divide and conquer strategy is again Machiavellian. The Libs were very keen to do all they could to sow distrust, because that plays to their hand. And as I’ve said, the new Greens leadership seem a bit more realistic than their more idealistic forebears of the 2010 era.

    If you still think that politics is a fight, then we will never escape the paradigm. And the Coalition will continue to keep winning, because the battle narrative plays exactly to their strengths.

    Twice a year in Siena in Tuscany, there is a famous horse race called the Palio. There is a significant amount of dirty dealing prior to the race to force the result in a particular way, all of it legitimate. The winner is the horse that crosses the line first (and the winners are the only ones that have to pay up on any bribes/deals they have made). The very worst place to finish the race, the ultimate disgrace, is to come in second.

    Thanks for everyone commenting – I do appreciate it. This piece was intended to be provocative, but certainly not anti-Labor, anti-Union, or anti-Bill. They have all done a great job to make big inroads into the LNP vote, but it isn’t enough, and fundamentally they need to work out how to win an election without having to rely on the Coalition tearing themselves apart, which I am sure they will do. They need to win entirely on their own merit, and with a real mandate, but if they don’t realise that their primary vote is actually DOWN, then they have missed a key lesson from this result.

  22. cornlegend

    Just a little snippet from a while back when the black Wiggle, Di Natale said “never say never” to a deal with the LNP.
    He said he would do a deal with Labor, as he would like the Health Ministers portfolio
    WHen a reporter told Labor leader Bill Shorten of Di Natales comment, Bills response was along the lines of
    “He did, did he ? well tell him he’d better join the Labor Party”
    There was no follow up response from the Black Wiggle

  23. Wayne Turner

    “IMO,the press are the reason why the Liberals have been in power for about 25years longer than any other party , this is what FCKS democracy this together with a populace that have very little time to check facts together with no interest in politics for most of us. preferring instead to vote with the pack hence MSM ran with Coalition as the Victors.

    I shake my head at why the f*ck the media are allowed to determine our Leaders.” – I totally agree with all this.The Mediaocracy that is Australia has ruined our sham of a democracy.

    Plus,I agree with all those that said Labor should be proud of association with unions.If fact,what Labor needs to do is point out ALL the links the LNP have to big business (Plus Labor needs to stop taking BRIBES from ALL BIG BUSINESSES too) from the MSM,to mining companies.Plus,Labor should NEVER bother pandering or working with big business.Big business ONLY care about themselves,and certainly NOT workers or this country.In fact Labor needs to publically support small business at every opportunity,over the big businesses that are the BIGGEST threats to small businesses and NOT unions or workers conditions.

    Also,Labor can’t just ignore the MSM,because the MSM shows they just fill the void with Labor bashing.In fact Labor has to stop being nice to the MSM ie: pandering to their LIES such as LNP are better economic managers – They are NOT.Defend themselves ALWAYS.Also,the agreeing to attack the Greens cause the MSM point it out,Defend themselves,point out ALL of the LNP’s LIES,and be more Paul Keating and less Gillard/Rudd.Call out the MSM’s BS.Being polite to the LNP & their MSM gets Labor no where.

  24. mark

    Fiscal credability Kathysutherland more than anything

  25. Dan Rowden

    Thirdly, Labor need to disengage financially from the unions.

    Really? How do you expect Labor to fund an election campaign? I feel this sort of rhetoric merely gives succour to the union demonizer crowd. It doesn’t make much sense given there’s no more reason to be critical or cynical about unions than there is to be about business. Yes, there are issues in some quarters. So what? Let’s avoid any induction fallacies.

    The CFMEU in Victoria is a bit of a problem? Ok, so clean it up, but also keep in mind that the CFMEU is always, necessarily, going to be among the most “militant” of Australian unions because of its nature. The industries this union covers have, arguably, a higher injury and death rate than any other in the country. It has to be a “tough” union. No-one else is going to keep these workers safe.

    What Labor has to work on is not ways to decouple or divorce themselves from the union movement but to do exactly the opposite – it needs to assist unions as much as possible with regard to internal functionality and also to cut through this culture cringe regarding unionism. It’s mostly pure fantasy that unions are an issue.

    It’s, for me, an irrefutable fact that unions are an indictment upon society. The very fact of their existence shames us. We shouldn’t need them. But we do, still. Certain statutory bodies (e.g. Fair Work Australia) have usurped certain of their functions, and that’s all to the good, except that such bodies remain play-things of governments and can, much like the ABC, be manipulated and controlled by such.

    Labor severing its relationship with the unions, financially or otherwise, is simply unthinkable. The idea belongs, like a couple of others expressed in this article, in the category of “political naïveté”.

    The core question for me with respect to the election result is simply how is it that the electorate didn’t respond better to Labor’s raft of quality policies and more thoroughly reject the Coalition’s almost complete lack of it? If the electorate is in any meaningful way wishing for a movement towards more progressive values and policies, why didn’t the Senate result reflect that?

    Personally, I think this is one of the most enigmatic election results we’ve had in a long time.

  26. Wayne Turner

    IE: Labor must point out all the IGNORANT and FALSE PERCEPTIONS.To change them.They MUST ALL BE CHALLENGED and NOT re-enforced.The ONLY way to change wrong perceptions is to challenge them ALWAYS and NOT accept them.

    Also: Very well said Dan Rowden.Agree with all you said.

  27. Plenty

    you keep forgetting that the unions is not a single entity it is made of indivdual union members paying their individual dues and each individual is single voters so I can’t understand how u can dismiss the Union as being same as a corporation, It is not a corporation a corporation is where a single man or woman’s or group a men and women have the sole command of the corporation and any donation comes from single place, not from many individuals which make up the union.

  28. Dan Rowden

    I think we also need to avoid narrow ideas of what unionism is. It’s not just the CFMEU or the TWU. The AMA is a union.

  29. Anon E Mouse

    Steve, if the greens are giving the wrong impression then perhaps they ought to make clear where they stand, and stop trying to play Meg Lee’s dance with the devil.

    If Greens are not Lib orientated, why have they gone so hard after Labor? Why make a song and dance about trying to take down Albo…

    Seems to me the Greens are not as coherent and clear minded as they like to pretend.

    As for Labor and funding from the unions, it would be a far greater idea for Labor to go hard after the wealthy benefactors of the Libs. If Labor needs to break up with any funder it is the bloated elitist corporations and end the way they expect to be repaid for their funds.

    Labor needs to push hard for a federal ICAC now – and warn their own that if any are doing the wrong thing, they are on their own.

  30. Anon E Mouse

    Steve, by calling for Labor to break away from the unions, it looks like you are wanting more of the LibLite that has caused Labor supporters to abandon the party in the past.

  31. Freethinker

    Talking about donations, this is just in the news:
    Sydney property developers donating thousands to ACT Liberal Party, despite NSW ban

    One of the developers, Tony Merhi, previously appeared before the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) over allegations he had bypassed his state’s ban on developer donations by donating to a Liberal Party slush fund.

  32. Dan Rowden

    Labor now has plenty of clean air time to ready themselves for a Federal ICAC and thereby allow themselves the freedom and opportunity to adopt it as policy. Mind you, it won’t be altogether simple as political bipartisanship not to runs deep.

  33. Turnthetide

    The greens are not all that popular with a lot of people. Some think they are doing more damage than not. Some of them even have no idea what they are even talking about. On some issues compromise must take place with all parties. They know they also cannot make it on their own but I think Labour has woken up a little to their destructive ideas and now don’t want anything to do with them.

  34. Turnthetide

    If it wasn’t for the Labour Party and the unions I can only imagine it as being a dictatorship by the ruling party. No one would have any rights. Go the Unions. May you always support the little man and the underdog! A lot of people should maybe take time out and start listening to the old folk around. They will quickly tell you what it was like without them.

  35. cornlegend

    Steve Laing – makeourvoiceheard.com

    “Also, we need to be careful that what is reported as “attacks by the Greens on Labor” are actually that.”
    Greens holding their election campaign launch in Grayndler, Albos seat
    {got a fair dinkums reason for that, or was it to just imflame the shit that had gone down in Albo and Tanys electorates by Greens}
    “NSW Greens budgeted $250,000 to get as close as possible to toppling powerhouse Labor left MP Anthony Albanese, a man with a reputation for brawling with Tories who showed during the campaign he’s happy to throw a right hook as well. That figure is up from the $80,000 allocated to Grayndler in 2013, and is $60,000 more than was allotted to take on Tanya Plibersek in Sydney, according to figures seen by New Matilda.”
    ‘It is also said that they spent ONE TENTH OF THAT in Turnbull and Abbotts seats.” combined

    What message does that send

    Also, in Whitlam, Greens witnessed stealing Labor corflutes and replacing them with their own , same spot same wire :idiots} and leaving Liberal and National corflutes untouched, not at just one location {sports oval} but another {power sub station} and who knows how many more that weren’t witnessed.
    The witness notified the Greens answering machine and Stephen Jones MPs office.
    They left them there
    know thine enemy :–D
    oh, and don’t get me started on the state seats inner city like Balmain

  36. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    1) Unfortunately you can’t argue with the MSM. They have the trump card in that they can publish what they wish, and ignore what they want. But unlike before, there are new ways for Labor to get their message out without using traditional media. If Labor want to get the MSM to behave, then they need to stop pandering to them, as to date it has not done them any favours. Start releasing statements on Twitter, or Facebook. See if they can get their message across without the media contorting it – they might as well try something new, as they aren’t getting any value from the MSM at present.

    2) In Germany there is a very strong union movement which actually work highly effectively with big businesses. Germany has successfully got rid of the us vs them mentality, and has highly efficient and safe businesses because of it. Germany have got a “right wing” PM, but has also got free university education, a very strong economy, high living standards, and they even tried to put in a refugee policy that would put our Labor’s policies to shame. But they also don’t have Rupert Murdoch…

  37. Freethinker

    cornlegend, I think that the Greens put their efforts in seats where people have similar ideas as them and not necessary where the ALP is holding the seat.
    It will be a waste of resources to try to get votes in the Abbott and Turnbull electorates.
    The next election will be the same, the Greens will try in the inner seats in all the cities.

  38. Dan Rowden

    Did the Greens seriously entertain toppling Albo?

    Australian federal election, 2013: Grayndler
    Party Candidate Votes % ±
    Labor Anthony Albanese 42,009 47.20 +1.11
    Liberal Cedric Spencer 21,981 24.70 +0.46
    Greens Hall Greenland 20,498 23.03 −2.87

    Greens lost ground this time by around -0.8% (ABC figures)

  39. Barry Thompson.

    What a great post Cornlegend, I agree with every word of it.

  40. Phil

    Here, here Bighead1883 and Dan Rowden. The way I see it, business accesses power via wealth, the rest of the people via solidarity. Business owns the Liberal Party and therefore dictates policy in its interests. One such policy is the emasculation of the source of citizen solidarity (Unions) because without solidarity, business stands free to exploit and discard individual labour at will thereby boosting profit and power. This was the foundational principle of Abbott’s Workchoices policy – every worker ‘free’ to negotiate wages and conditions with the CEO – the playing field would be vertical with the business operator sitting on top.

    Long may the Unions support their political party, at least as long as business is permitted to support its party.

    That this is no longer a prodictive nor useful way to pursue our politics is true and it’s time the entire political donations system was changed.

  41. Dan Rowden

    The thought of Labor having a close and more co-operative working relationship with the Greens is certainly an attractive one to many progressive voters, but it’s fraught. Not only that, but politically very complex. I don’t know how many times it’s been said, but apparently it has to be said again and again: Labor is a very complex political entity with a complex and diverse demography (making it, technically, the most democratically representative political body in the country). For every progressive in Labor’s ranks who’d be cock-a-hoop to see them get all smoochy with the Greens, there’s a Greens skeptic to match them.

    For every progressive vote Labor might pick up in its progressive-disenfranchisees from such an arrangement, it risks losing one to a centrist (Xenophon) or conservative candidate. That’s a pretty tricky political position to be in, but it’s the reality of it. I mean, does anyone think the Labor pollsters etc are not aware of these issues and their nuances?

    It’s funny how everyone points a finger at Labor and pronounces the need for them to do this and the other, but no-one ever asks the Greens to be similarly introspective and wonder why they just got the worst Senate result in some time (other than in Qld).

  42. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    In response to some comments:
    1) I’d like to see ALL political paid advertising banned. It appeals to the emotive, rather than logical brain. There are plenty of ways that candidates can get their message out very cheaply nowadays. The benefits – parties/candidates don’t need access to capital, hence donors (of whatever origin) have less influence. But Labor can’t demand changes to how the Coalition is financed unless it looks at its own funding first.

    2) I distrust ALL political parties – but particularly those on the right. They encourage groupthink which is rarely effective for developing quality solutions to problems.

    3) I’ve never, and am aware of nobody that has, decided their vote due to a poster, corflute or similar. If campaigners want to play silly buggers with each others corflutes, good luck to them, but I don’t think it makes much impact on the electoral results, other than making them look a bit foolish.

    4) I repeat again, I AM NOT CALLING FOR LABOR TO BREAK AWAY FROM THE UNIONS! NOR AM I SUGGESTING WE GET RID OF THEM! But I am saying that continuing to do the same sort of campaigning, in the same sort of way, will continue to get the same sort of results. Labor need to understand why people AREN’T voting for them, and work out how they can get them on board WITHOUT changing their fundamentals about being looking after society first.

    5) I’ve focused this article on Labor, rather than the Greens for two reasons. The first is that the Labor had a chance of running the country, the Greens didn’t. And secondly, the Greens haven’t come out cock-a-hoop about the result. I suspect they will go through a period of deep reflection on their results, I simply hope that Labor will do the same, and I’ve made some suggestions that I think might assist with that. I’m more than happy that people disagree with the suggestions, but I hope they can offer other ones rather than simply say, bad luck it’ll be better next time when the Coalition implode. I think that Labor need to somehow manage a seismic shift in voting patterns to be a long-term credible political movement. If you compare how Labor are tracking to Labour in the UK, you’ll perhaps better understand what I mean.

    6) Most voters are too time poor to be able to search out the details of the parties policies. And they are being encouraged to make judgements, not decisions based on information. Turnbull’s best hope was a presidential style campaign which could capitalise on his strengths, and tuck the losers out of sight till after the result. Labor followed a similar campaign.

    Was the final result simply more a reflection on the public perception of Turnbull versus Shorten? Rather than Coalition versus Labor? The Coalition had few strengths but what they had, they were clearly better able to use that Labor did in winning the election.

  43. Mim

    I found it really difficult to understand how people could keep voting for the LNP despite their lack of policies and the record of the last three years. However, in the lead up to the election I noticed on FB that many people were still accepting of the belief that the Liberal Party are better economic managers even though history shows otherwise. Then the Unions and Liberal spin again factored in. I can only assume that preferences factored in the win. In Western Sydney we made an effort to fill out our own preferences with LNP last and we succeeded. Western Sydney is now Red.

    One factor here that has not been mentioned is Western Sydney Airport. The location of Badgery’s Creek was dismissed as unsuitable in the nineties because of the proven environmental and health impacts. Yet here is is again. There will be no benefit for Western Sydney with noise pollution, air pollution, water pollution and the health impacts that accompany them. Then the World Heritage Blue Mountains will be severely impacted as well. If Eastern Sydney think they will benefit they are seriously deluded because air and water pollution will also impact on them. Road congestion will become worse and no escape for a peaceful weekend in the mountains. The job figures don’t hold up and it cannot meet international standards for bird and bat strike. With essential infrastructure for Sydney’s water, gas and electricity supplies in the high risk zone this is a matter of great concern. Like WestConnex it is the wrong project in the wrong location.

  44. ozibody

    ….. A great opportunity is being presented right now !! …………particularly since the LNP is currently experiencing a severe case of “Factiional-itis” !!…..

    When the whole world is crying out for Fairness and Stability! ….. Australian Labor could become ahead of the trend by finding their ‘Middle Ground’ ….. and presenting their ‘sole’ territory!! …. not posing for pics of Left / Right for Facebook for starters.!!

    Party Politics tries to cover all the bases ….. left … right … centre ….up … down … & be everything to all !! ….. Frankly, from a Marketing point of view, it spells disaster!

    Think of it in terms of attempting to sell a motor car …. with all sorts of conflicting features ??…. benefits ?? … advantages ?? ….yet, huge sums of Money is spent on electioneering !! ….. selling a shambolic package…… e.g. motor cars are not marketed this way!

    It’s no wonder the final result gets down to a small number of ” swinging” electorates determining the outcome for the rest of Australia.! ….. . Pork Barreling …… such a farce! …

  45. cornlegend

    Similar ideas?
    Grayndler 2 Party Preferred

    CASEY, Jim Greens 32.87%

    ALBANESE, Anthony Labor 67.13%


    PLIBERSEK, Tanya Labor 64.88% 2pp
    ELLSMORE, Sylvie The Greens 12,608 first preference

    PLIBERSEK, Tanya Labor 30,040 “

  46. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Mim – it is the classic “perception” versus “reality” issue. In spite of all the evidence, belief trumps fact.

    Dan – thanks for your comments. I focused on Labor because the Greens aren’t likely to win an election anytime soon, whereas Labor are, moreover I didn’t see the Greens congratulating themselves on the result.

    Labor may very well be doing the soul searching on why they didn’t win. I’d be highly surprised, given the result, if the Greens weren’t. I guess the Greens focussed their efforts on the seats where they thought they had the best chance of winning, regardless of who was the sitting MP. At first look from their own perspective, this seems like a sensible strategy, although clearly it does (and it certainly has been made to) look like they are attacking Labor (again, perhaps that perception thing again) particularly when the incumbent is a highly regarded figure like Albo, and the Coalition certainly enjoyed stirring the pot on that one! So in the end, I’d say this backfired more on the Greens, than benefited them. Perhaps Labor and the Greens could agree to split which Liberal seats they should target instead? I do think being part of a “broader church” could be ultimately useful to both, particularly as Labor will need the Greens support in the senate, where they have much bigger clout than in the reps, if there is an early election (which could be reps only).

    In the short to medium term, the priority must be to rid ourselves of a government trying to enforce failed economic principles upon us. Anything that does that, I support.

  47. Freethinker

    cornlegend the election result does not have nothing to do with what I have said.
    What are you trying to say with that numbers?
    That because the ALP have more votes than the Greens it show that they do not have similar ideas?
    If that it is your argument, then what are you saying about the very close seats between the Labor and the Liberals?
    Greens are much closer the the ALP than the Coalition.
    The Greens dropped popularity because they like to bring 50000 refugees per year and people are worry about the “secure of our borders”
    If the change their policy by reducing that figure they will get more votes.

  48. cornlegend

    Steve Laing – makeourvoiceheard.com
    “Labor may very well be doing the soul searching on why they didn’t win. I’d be highly surprised”

    Some close scrutiny at the result but all through the campaign Shorten said it would be close, but Labor were underdogs.
    Internal polling was showing swings in safe seats but not in the seats necessary, as I commented often on AIMN
    predicting a loss by 5-9 seats
    The reality is, Labor are pleased to have dragged back 14 or so seats, seen of the Green challenge in highly targetted seats and got within striking distance,

  49. guest

    The repetition of the Coalition red herring about Labor getting a lower primary vote does not wash with me. Labor stripped off a large number of seats from the Coalition and came so close in others that the election did not finish for more than a week after the voting had finished. Besides that, the 80% preferred PM got a big shock with Labor sitting 50/50 for some time before election day, sometimes even better than that.

    Do not underestimate Labor’s achievement. It is clear that if Abbott had been PM, Labor would have won in a landslide. But some of the Coalition try to pretend that that would not have been the case. Some of them present Abbott as the real “answer”. How anyone could believe that is beyond belief. But the reporting of the argument pushes Labor into the background. Everything is always about the Coalition.

    Unless of course it is about criticising Labor, blaming Labor. One only has to look at posts made by people commenting on behalf of the Coalition to see the incredible array of myths, falsehoods and downright lies that are still being circulated three years after Gillard and Rudd. These falsehoods need to be addressed. But what has happened to The Drum on-line? Fact checker has been dropped. The Drum as a forum for discussion of opinions has been dropped. Thank goodness for the AIMN, but the lessening of discussion is just plain censoring and restriction of freedom of speech. The populace is being dudded.

    We can see how long it takes for inquiries to be concluded. It took years for Chilcott to confirm what was always known: that no WMD were found and investigators needed more time; that although Saddam was seen as a bad guy, nevertheless the USA sided with him in the war on Iran. The idea that the report on Yellow-cake from Africa was sufficient evidence was just bad judgement and decision-making. Blair and Howard were sucked in by the son seeking to finish Daddy’s business.

    But Labor has to attack the Coalition for its lies and misrepresentations. It must question the trickle-down policy – which jobs and what growth where; what the Coalition actually means by a transition economy – from what to what exactly; what is the role of renewable energy sources; what is the future role of Manus and Nauru…

    They must be queried at length relentlessly. What must be exposed is the narrow self-centred view of the world of the Coalition. Someone like Bill Shorten has dealt with business and workers. Labor’s policies involve all levels of society. The Coalition are clearly interested only in the wealthy; it is apparent in their policies. The idea that Labor needs to appeal to wider sections of the community seems to miss the point.The myopic view of some rusted-on conservatives is displayed time and again.

    That Bill refused to say that he might have had deals with the Greens was a backward step. The Greens are always going to be passenger, just as the Nationals are. To reject the Greens is to reject nearest cousins. Even the carbon tax was a false problem when time and again experts overseas said a carbon tax was the way to go. It was political skulduggery and lack of will which sank Labor. And climate change is an Achilles heel for the Coalition now they are saddled with a dud policy.. Sink the boot in. Talk Climate Change.

    At this stage it looks as if the following 3 years are going to be very tough for the Coalition for all kinds of reasons – global economy; Coalition policy or lack of; internal factions; further inadequacies of Turnbull.. Remember, it took even Howard years of training and failure for him to become the limited PM that he was. I cannot see that Turnbull has the skill or the judgement. He will be even more vulnerable over time, especially with the raggle-taggle bunch that he leads. Sooner or later, the Coalition’s house of cards will come tumbling down. Labor is well positioned.

  50. diannaart

    Terrific thoughts Steve.

    However, your ideas are lost on the old style Labor supporters, just as much as such thinking is lost on the entire LNP.

    Labor will continue as second fiddle to the LNP, unless it becomes more inclusive and stops deriding other progressive parties at each and every opportunity.

    Steve’s article was not about the Greens. Nor was it about scoring points. It was about ways to halt the cycle of Labor in for short term, LNP in for long.

  51. Florence nee Fedup

    The success of Labor, Getup and Unions over last few days campaign scared the daylights out of the Liberals. Not a grotesque lie as they claim but target phone, door to door and highly target groups on the net. Cleaned out 3 seats Tasmania alone. These weren’t robo calls but person to person lasting up to 30 minutes by tens thousands volunteers. Getup and Labor were funded by trens thousands small donations. Yes, standing together we can and will win.

    They are already looking at ways to throttle Getup, as well as their coming attacks on unions.

    Truth is, they can’t stop us. No more than the populace could be stopped with their pamphlets from the printing presses back in the French Revolution.

    The battle has just begun. All we have to do is strand together, have faith and keep the pressure up. Challenge every lie.

    Not about Labor catching the moment, is about us caring enough to.

  52. diannaart

    Getup has many supporters who are not Labor members – I am one of them.

    I am not sure I can see Labor gaining federal office in the near term, without the financial aid of the unions, however a more inclusive Labor would indicate that Labor is, in fact, more representative of middle and low income people and not just of unions.

  53. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Diana – thanks, I think I lost some readers in the detail, such that they lost the big picture message.

    Florence – absolutely, people power is what makes the difference. If we can’t rely on the media to get the message out, it has to be done in other ways. Interestingly GetUp didn’t endorse a party, but essentially disendorsed the Coalition, leaving the voter the choice of where to vote. I must admit that in 2013 I voted ABA, and 2016 ABT. (as in Anyone But…)

    The preference impact on results is a very interesting one. As are comparing them to the senate results. I still can’t believe that the Coalition were crazy enough to endorse changes that very clearly would result in them losing even more power in the upper house. But I think that simply reflects their capability for self-deception!

  54. Mark

    Guest – it isnt a red herring but a fact that Labor received its second lowest primary vote ever. Like most of the people on here you miss the point of the angry Liberal voters. Turnbull was installed as leader because the polls showed Abbott wasnt popular with voters. Turnbull was going to be the great saviour as he could talk the talk and his approval rating was through the roof. He could save all the marginal seats and deliver the election to the party.The liberals voters hated this and were prepared to do anything to vent their anger. They actively campaigned against anyone that was involved in the knifing and asked people to vote for anyone but them. The problem for the Labor party is that none of the protest vote went to them. Independents and the National got the lot. Therin lays the problem. If Labor cant intice the protest vote then where is it going. By the way Turnbull wont last out the year as people in his party are finally seeing what a poor performer he is. Everyone saw it on election night when he blamed everyone but himself just as he did when the republic vote went against him. Tony Abbotts fault if i remember.

  55. Florence nee Fedup

    The right to organise, to protest to unionise underpins all democracies. Without unions there is no democracy.

  56. Freethinker

    I agree with you Florence, I cannot believe how union members can be send to court because a legal action.

  57. Florence nee Fedup

    The Liberal primary vote was also 2nd lowest ever. What counts I suspect is where the preferences end up. Deliberate action by voters I believe, They seem to ended up with Labor.

    Abetz is right about one thing, Turnbull has barely a victory. The voter have been deliberate in the message they have sent, The number undecided still large even in post poll Essential poll.

    I suspect Shorten will read the voters message correctly. I know from what the Coalition is saying, they are blind to the truth.

  58. Michael Taylor

    Steve, your comment @ 3:26 had been caught up in spam. Our apologies for that.

  59. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    AMEN, Comrade Steven Laing!

    You took the words right out of my mouth! I think I hear Meatloaf calling …

    he’s saying Labor, Labor, wake up out of your malaise and make friends with the Greens!

    GO The ALLiance!

  60. Florence nee Fedup

    CFMEU works in one of the dirtiest industries in Australia. Bosses who can give as good as they receive.

    The question one should ask, is why do Liberals and Conservatives hate detest and fear unions so much?

    All we hear is screams from them, is that Labor lies. Likes of Kroger becoming a little boring.

    Democracy is about the people standing together against capital, the powerful.

  61. cornlegend

    “That because the ALP have more votes than the Greens it show that they do not have similar ideas?”

    What I am saying is the Greens long ago lost their way and are now “the Greens only seriously target the most inner-city urbanised, gentrified seats.”
    Outside the inner city cloisters the Greens attract about 2% of the vote.They do not sell their message well to the electorate and outside where they spend the bulk of their resources they have minimum/little support.
    As reported “Christine Cunningham, the national co-convenor of the Australian Greens in 2013 and 2014, said: “In a world desperate for change and hope, we offered a centrist position summed up in a vague slogan.

    “We can continue to be led by a nice-guy, mainstream footy-playing doctor and negotiate incremental change … Or maybe as a party of really smart, but often too-privileged-to-quite-get-it members, we should take a long hard look at ourselves and make some radical changes.”
    Time for the Greens to worry about their own backyard and leave Labor to get on with providing an effective Opposition

  62. Florence nee Fedup

    “1) Unfortunately you can’t argue with the MSM. They have the trump card in that they can publish what they wish, ”

    Could be true, but the last few months has shown we can argue and win. They no longer carry the power they once did. People are shunning them, finding other outlets to get their news.

    We have to stop saying we can’t beat them. We have and we can.

  63. Mim

    Social media is the way to go when the MSM are against you. Labor in supporting the imposition of the Western Sydney Airport by the Liberals, despite the previous EIS in 1996 proving the location as unsuitable, lost their way. So we voted Green in the Blue Mountains but put Labor as second choice as being the lesser of two evils. Labor needs to acknowledge the health impacts of air pollution at this location and that this location can never meet international standards for Bird and bat strike. This is significant when essential Infrastructure for Sydney’s water, gas and electricity is within the high risk zone. Go to http://www.rawsa.info for well researched fact sheets regarding this airport. The west rejects a 24 hour airport as social injustice and the imposition at that location as environmental vandalism. Western Sydney is now red but Labor needs to listen to the people or they will go the way of the Libs. No airport!

  64. susan

    A good article but I too disagree about the disassociating of Labor from the unions. They are Labor’s grassroots as opposed to the LNP’s church grassroots. Labor needs to fund a film about all the good that unions contributed to Australia’s wellbeing so that way more people understand the lies behind the LNP’s slogans.
    I also believe that Labor should learn from Abbott – keep it loud and simple for the voters because they don’t want to pay attention to serious problems and the visual of Abbott’s blue tie worked well because it made it very obvious what party the speaker was from. The Greens also need some sort of quick visual identification for the voters.

  65. cornlegend

    AH Jennifer, will you never learn ALLiance, dodo, brontosaurus ……………

  66. wam

    diludbran have fully adopted the lnp pragmatism and the extent of ‘any lie will do because my purpose is pure’ should become clearer in the first parliament.
    The electorate decided to give turncopperman another go and albo has given billy another go.

    I am excitedly waiting to see the cabinet and to see billy smiling as he and the team demolish suss, if she survives, keep cash’s neck bulging. baffles barnaby, out nige nigel, laugh at the rabbott, out flank andrews and keep referring to the poor negotiating skills of current and past leaders, treasurers and ministers.

  67. guest

    Mark, the low Labor vote is a red herring, because it still wrecked the Coalition dream – as Abetz said, it was a kick in the pants.

    No point in talking about the”angry Liberal voters” because they were never going to vote for Labor, even in protest. Remember what they say:We are not Labor.

    What does affect Labor is the propaganda, lies and deception from the Coalition supporters, including Abbott himself, which hangs over Labor no matter what they do, in the eyes of the rusted on Coalition supporters. So, as you say, the angry Liberals went to Independents and Nationals.

    Your attempt to denigrate Labor by trying to claim they should have gained disenchanted voters from the Liberals is a failed hypothesis.
    Labor kicked the Coalition in the pants (Abetz’s words) by themselves, even with a lower voter count. Labor showed that the Coalition deserved to be kicked in the pants.They did not need deserters from the Coalition to do it.

    If Abbott had been PM, the Coalition would have been kicked in the pants even more. But Turnbull stabbed Abbott in the back to save the furniture. From what we have seen of Turnbull – recently and in the past – he is in for a rough time because the angries are still there and still angry. Bernardi is to form his own Conservative party and there is talk about what to do with Abbott.

    It cannot turn out well with all the fragmentation, an unwieldy Senate and headwinds still blowing. The Coalition is in for a rough time and Labor is back, waiting, preparing to pounce. Just a little step to go.

  68. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Again please can I reiterate – I don’t expect Labor to break with the unions, and never said so. But I do think (my opinion) they need to be financially independent of them, because until they are they will always be accused of being the unions puppet (just as the LNP belong to the IPA). Cutting the financial tie puts moral pressure on the Coalition to stop taking money from business. The idea is a strategic one, not a tactical one. As I said, they should only cut this tie IF significant concessions are made. If these aren’t made, then don’t cut the financial ties. The offer to do it should hopefully be enough to show the electorate that Labor are calling the shots rather than the unions.

    The reason that unions have got a bad name is because the Coalition and their friends in the MSM are happy to further the myth of evil unions by taking any example and making it front page news. This either reinforces prejudice in those who already have it, but also scares those who aren’t sure. It has been the most highly effective scare campaign of the last forty years, thanks in much part to Thatcher, but it did have roots in certain unions making requests that were sometimes simply financially unfeasible. As said, the German model of Workers Councils have managed to exert more influence and are usually represented on the boards of many German businesses. With this exposure, their requests are much more informed and related to how well the business is actually doing, or otherwise.

    Perhaps the union movement could encourage its members to do things that might be seen as being more socially positive – like encourage members do some volunteer work for homeless shelters for example. Not only does that do good for the community, but does a lot to debunk the myth that union members are only in it for themselves.

    The point is, I think that there are lots of ideas around that will help progressive politics be advanced in this country, and I’d encourage people to put their thoughts out there. I’ve thrown in a few, some liked, some hated, but hopefully I’ve sparked some discussion, and some reflection, because that was the objective. We need to be innovative and agile, just like Turnbull said, if we want to kick this Coalition mob out and keep them out, and I’d like to hear others thoughts on what has worked towards achieving this goal.

  69. Mark

    Guest – how could it wreck the Liberal dreams when they have won the election and will govern outright. They have a spud of a PM and he is the one that lost the voters. He waffled his way through the 9 months before and during the election. Coming up with ideas one day then ditching them the next. Im not convinced that Abbott wouldnt have done a better job campaigning and could have saved a couple of the marginal seats. Labor isnt ready to pounce that is wishful thinking. Shorten had piss poor opposition and still fell short by 9 seats.

  70. cornlegend

    Steve Laing – makeourvoiceheard.com
    “Again please can I reiterate – I don’t expect Labor to break with the unions, and never said so. But I do think (my opinion) they need to be financially independent of them,”
    What are you gonna do, start buying them Lotto tickets?
    You seem to just neglect the fact that the Labor Party and the Unions are, in a sense, one .
    125 years ago the unions founded the ALP and there has been a connected bond there for the whole 125 years,Why should a Party, which needs funds to exist, caampaign, pay wages ettc cease to accept donations and contributions from the very body that created it and worked hand in hand for the whole 125 years?
    As a lifelong unionist I am proud of the historic links of the Trade Union Movement and the Australian Labor Party and hope that relationship, both connected and financial continues for a bloody long time,
    For those who want to accuse Labor of being a puppet of Unions, I say, get stuffed !
    Labor is hardly likely to get their vote anyway, and they are probably the ones willing to accept the hard fought gains of Unionists without any hesitation and never likely to consider the struggle workers past had endured
    Let the accusers kiss my arse

  71. cornlegend

    Actually, I wrote this on another site for a different readership a year or two ago,
    Nothings changed my mind,
    “We joined a Party, the Labor Party because we wanted a better way .
    We had the visionaries who sat beneath the Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine and saw ahead of them a better way for the workers of this nation and those who believed in a fair go for all .
    We know how to lead this Nation, all the way from 1904 when John Watson became Labors first PM, through to the Rudd/Gillard era, and in the intervening periods such luminaries as Chifley, Whitlam Hawke and Keating.
    We know what policies work for Australia, from Medicare, Health and Education reform and a willingness to give those in need a help up, not a handout .
    We have the life experience to just “know” what is right and fair.
    Anthony Albanese, when talking about our current P.M. said “In your guts, you know he’s nuts’
    Sometimes, those of us who have been in the ALP for a long time have that “in your guts” feeling about policy and direction and we need that gut feeling to drive us on, to work to correct the policies that “in your guts” don’t feel right and support the policies that do.
    It was the ordinary people, the rank and file , if you like, who sat beneath the Tree of Knowledge and forged this great Party.
    Nothing much has changed in all that time in this regard and it is the rank and file, with their shared visions, Knowledge, gained from lived experience and comittment to the cause that can keep the Labor Party centred around a common thread of putting our fellow citizens first .
    Policy that takes care of its people is policy that is ultimately good for our nation.
    Advancing years may have slowed our bodies, but it never affects that “in your guts feeling” about what is right for the Party and the direction it should be on .
    Use you years of knowledge and wisdom to to continue to fight for what is fair,good and just …………………….

  72. olddavey

    July 14, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Spot on, old buddy.
    And all Labor really has to do is stay united under Shorten and the prize will be ours at the next election.
    Any dissenters need to be told to keep a lid on it, else all will be lost for at least another term. Unfortunately that’s something I’m not confident will happen.

  73. Wayne Turner

    Well said cornlegend and bighead too.

    Labor has to continue to stick up for themselves,against the MSM and against the ignorant LIES.Yes use social media,but also do it whenever talking in the MSM aka multi task.Do NOT take crap from anyone.NO PANDERING TO IGNORANT WRONG LIES ie: Labor are the better economic managers.Liberal party are just puppets for their BIG BUSINESS BRIBERS.Correct EVERY false hood.

    Labor continue to be proud of all the good work workers unions do for workers.Change the ignorant misconceptions.

  74. Matters Not

    Someone wrote above re the forces aligned against Labor and explaining why government benches eluded them. Mention was made of the MSM, (broadly defined to include newspapers, TV stations and the like) and there’s a mountain of evidence to support that claim. In addition, that contributor claimed that united in opposition to Labor were also The State Education Departments (and) Every Public Service . A very, very curious claim. And one made without any (provided) evidence.

    One wonders where the evidence of that claim can be found. My understanding is that State Education Departments would be in raptures with Labor’s promise to implement the Gonski funding model for schools across Australia. Indeed, today when I dropped my grandkids off at school, there was a sign that said ‘This school benefits from Gonski’. A link would be appreciated.

    Departments of Education applaud the movement towards ‘funding’ based upon educational need and away from the Howard funding model which favoured schools populated by already advantaged students. If the truth be known, the brains behind Gonski was Dr Ken Boston (KGB) who in a previous life headed up Departments on Education in a couple of Australian States as well as in the United Kingdom. Like ‘educators’ here, there and everywhere, allocating educational resources based on need is central to their ‘beliefs’.

    Certainly there would be some resentment towards the Rudd/Gillard Terms of Reference which demanded that no (private) school would be worse off but that legitimate resentment would not prevent them from applauding Labor’s promise (limited as it was) to move towards a school funding model based on student ‘need’.

    Can anyone ‘put me right’? Where is the evidence that Departments of Education opposed the election of a Labor government that goes beyond hearsay?

  75. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Steve Laird @ 7.49pm,

    I have 2 anecdotal examples of where unions would be wise to take heed of your good advice.

    1) I marched in Melbourne for Climate Action in 2015 and when we had walked together from Trades Hall down to Federation Square, the Union leaders including spoke to us with great promise and amongst the chants I thought I would throw in “asylum seekers” thinking the chants would repeat because you know, that’s the right thing to do. But when I said my bit … deathly silence despite being surrounded by ‘decent’ people. My point is if unionists want to be taken seriously, then be KIND to every other vulnerable person in and out of our community.

    2) I was sauntering along a Melbourne pathway one fine day and saw a group of people attempting to engage with members of the public such as myself. Unfortunately I soon realised these people with whom I would normally have a good affinity proved to be the workers of the Alcoa aluminium processing plant at Anglesea, down the Great Ocean Road which was about to be closed on environmental hazard grounds. Regardless of that serious situation, they put their needs for steady income above the needs of all of us.

    For someone who knows what it’s like to do it tough, I don’t appreciate having the perception that both examples represent unacceptable selfishness that supposedly puts themselves above others.

    Don’t get me wrong; I hate irresponsible Big Biz and am suspicious of Big Biz generally. But I won’t ever tolerate any wolves in sheeps’ clothing either.

  76. Matters Not

    Bighead1883 July 14, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Thanks for that response, I didn’t appreciate you were talking about the ‘distant’ past while I was talking more about the last two decades or so. But even now it’s risky to generalise about government departments and their ‘thinking’ and therefore ‘ideological’ orientation over time – both then and now.

  77. Michael Taylor

    The MSM has been mentioned a few times. People may be interested to hear that a poll in the USA during the week found that 70% of respondents don’t trust the mainstream media. Would it be similar here? For as long as I can remember the Murdoch media has helped parties win elections. The 2016 election is an indication that this influence is waning. From 2019 onwards we might actually start to see democracy working in Australia.

  78. jamess

    You can affect Murdock’s media by not purchasing any product of corporations who advertise in his papers.

  79. Bighead1883

    Michael Taylor July 14, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    For the boom growth of Independent media in Australia,I for one am thankful in that getting voices previously never heard is now a reality with the Internet Michael

    I was rather late to use computer,2001 but it was still hard to get points or one`s own opinion across in the tightly bound up MSM
    I clearly remember having many a banter with Antony Green when he was editor of the ABC`s Drum and moderator
    He was a fair man though and things got out of hand when Chip Rolley took over {Right Wing bias central]

    Arianna Huffington showed what an Indie could do in the US and many bloggers cut their teeth there especially during the primaries of 2006 when Obama was the worlds ” Great White Hope”
    I remember how so many of us thought that here it comes,sanity and an end to wars,what fools we are

  80. Matters Not

    70% of respondents don’t trust the mainstream media

    But I am not sure how useful polls like that are in explaining the problem we face. The MSM mightn’t be trusted (fair enough) but it’s the MSM which decides what will be ‘discussed’. It’s the MSM that ‘frame’ the parameters of the ‘daily’ debate. But perhaps more importantly, they decided what won’t be debated through deliberate ‘omission’.

    Tonight, the MSM will decide that X is important while at the same time decide that Y is not worthy of consideration. They decide in large part what will be ‘reacted’ to and what will remain below the surface.

  81. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Attention: Cornlegend
    Attention: Bighead,

    got any comments to make regarding my anecdotes @ 9.55pm?

    Usually, you’re both falling over yourselves to make some inane comments, so what do you say to the perceived inability and/or reluctance of many unionists to treat the Australian community and other vulnerable people inclusively for change for the better?

  82. cornlegend

    What reaction do you want?
    I’m mnot responsible for what someone said somewhere on a sunny afternoon,
    Who knows,? maybe their reaction was to you ?
    “But when I said my bit … deathly silence despite being surrounded by ‘decent’ people.”
    maybe they couldn’t believe whatever you had to say.
    ” reluctance of many unionists to treat the Australian community”
    unionists are the local community, your neighbours, the bloke up the road, the lady in the shop.
    ” reluctance of many unionists to treat the Australian community”
    What are you trying {poorly} to say?
    Do you think unionists are some exotic breed, aliens, ? they ARE the local community
    Pity you didn’t come up with half way decent anecdotes
    You didn’t bring up the Meyer-Smith ALLiance did you?
    That could explain it 😀

  83. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Just saying cornlegend,

    that if unionists are involved in People’s movements, they should represent People and not just their clicky, little, self-interested groups!

    I’ll give you 2 more minutes to respond otherwise I’m off to bed.

    Goodnight nice people. (Nasty people not included.)

  84. Florence nee Fedup

    Has anyone notice how all and sundry think it is OK to tell Labor what they must or must not do everyday. One never hears the same people telling other parties what to do.

  85. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I’ll let that one go through to the keeper,
    When you have had time to re read this you will see how utterly bloody stupid your response was and may want to do an edit

    Florence nee Fedup
    I’ve noticed REGULARLY

  86. Bighead1883

    Florence nee Fedup July 15, 2016 at 6:08 am

    How true,that Flo

  87. Turnthetide

    Yes they all enjoy the spoils of Unions and the Labour Party’s involvement and in the next breath screaming that all Unions should be banned. Idiots the lot of them. If it wasn’t for Unions these idiots wouldn’t be enjoying the benefits they have today!

  88. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    do you watch Twitter? You will notice many astute anti-LNP Degenerates comments there coming from me and my compadres.

    As for other parties, where they put a foot wrong, I let them know. OMG, even the Greens!

  89. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    cornlegend, Bighead,

    as above for FnF. I don’t resile from my words.


    many of us have been and/or are members of unions, so I speak with personal experience.

    I agree the Labour Movement and Unions historically have proud histories of protecting workers’ rights and helped raise their standards of living.

    Unfortunately, this grand tradition risks being tarnished by the types of behaviour I cite above because it gives people the perception that if you’re not part of their click, your needs and your children’s healthy environment interests, don’t count.

    No sane people would condone that discriminatory conduct.

  90. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    My heart bleeds, Bighead.

  91. diannaart

    If Labor continues to include only its members and unions and dismisses anyone else from the left, Labor will continue to occasionally win a federal election, maybe.

    Australia is far more than the LNP, it is also far more than Labor, it is about all of us.

  92. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear diannaart.

  93. Turnthetide

    All I can say is that
    You can please some of the people some of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time but you can’t please all the people all the time.
    No one is ever happy!

  94. diannaart


    I agree. Which is why we need to be as inclusive as possible. All too easy to divide us, given our disparate views.

    Inclusive representation requires a generosity of spirit. Stooping to divisive tactics keeps us vulnerable to further erosion of fundamental human rights by the LNP.

  95. cornlegend

    I refer you to above
    Florence nee FedupJuly 15, 2016 at 6:08 am

    And your comment
    TurnthetideJuly 15, 2016 at 9:48 am
    “You can please some of the people some of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time but you can’t please all the people all the time.
    No one is ever happy!”

    Some, you could please ALL of the time if you just voted Green
    or joined a bloody ALLiance.
    Sometimes it better to be happy SOME of the time

  96. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    You can’t please all the people, but at least try and please a majority, rather than a significant minority. The current combatative politics we see here, but also in the UK and US in particular, is getting divisive and leading to much more significant issues than simply winning elections.

    Brexit will not be good for the UK, and in the US, the very fabric of their society appears to be opening at the seams. Law enforcement officers are edgy, and citizens are dying in not small numbers. Who knows what Trump will do to win power, and what that will cause to happen with angry white men with lots of guns.

    And here we have seen the rise of our own angry whites. A hardly surprising reaction to Abbott’s legitimisation of Bolt’s and Jones’ bigoted race hate. At least Turnbull has tried to stop the inflammation, but its a hard genie to get back in the bottle as we’ve seen abroad.

    Unfortunately the Liberal attitude of “everything that Labor does is bad” (which they have to keep on repeating because to admit one thing was Ok, then suddenly everything becomes open to question) means that even on these matters, it will be hard to find a true central position. And of course it doesn’t help that the Coalition has so many MPs who actually would be more at home in One Nation.

    People don’t like the constant attack politics, and they are increasingly demanding a change as can be seen by the decline of primary votes for both major parties. At previous recent elections the protest vote was the Greens, then it was Palmer United, and now it is Xenophon and One Nation. Perhaps this is the way that the electorate demand that political parties start to work together – they won’t have a choice – but on evidence the LNP are really not very good at this, meaning that we are probably in for another three years of absolutely no progress whatsoever.

    This would be an excellent time for Bill to start reaching out. It is a statesmanlike thing to do. Wherever possible, find the common ground. Now is the time to do it.

  97. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Steven. Labor and its allies need to find the common ground.

  98. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    I think even its non-allies Jennifer! They won’t find any with the Coalition, even though they exist, because they refuse to play ball, but they should be with every other party and independent, including One Nation.

    Of course, they also need to be very clear where they disagree too, but many One Nation supporters are just regular Australians who feel disenchanted, fearful and ignored.

  99. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Allies can be found everywhere when people open their eyes.

  100. Turnthetide

    Oh here we go again. The bloody race card! Can there ever be a general discussion where it doesn’t comes down to racism, sexism or MP’s such as Pauline Hanson again! It’s no bloody wonder this country and many more are screwed with issues like this raising it heads over and over again. It’s no wonder that people turn to MP’s Such as Pauling Hanson because we are disenchanted with what the major parties policies are. In general, people have to be treated the same! Like you say Steve a lot of Australians feel they are not being listened to because they are the minority. Playing ball as you put it, this is not a game, it’s the future of this country and it’s people. Politicians should be there for all regardless of which Party you belong to!

  101. cornlegend

    Steve Laing – makeourvoiceheard.com, Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    I’ll get back to you later, or after the weekend.
    This is the weekend of the Corny big bash, 2 days of celebrating Labors good effort with 150 or so people who worked for it,
    Hangi, pig on a spit Plenty of fun and games to celebrate and put the feet up

  102. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Good for you cornlegend! You guys deserve it, plus you need to get ready for round 2 which will be coming soon.

    And Turnthetide, you are absolutely right, this is not a game. Which is why I am a little disappointed that the “players” sometimes seem to treat it like such. The real “losers” aren’t the vanquished MPs, they are those members of the electorate who struggle in the increasingly hostile environment that the current government imposes on us.

  103. guest

    Nice try, Mark. You condemn Turnbull with your own words. But Shorten was not opposing only Turnbull; there was the whole Coalition propaganda machine going back years which has destroyed the political ambience. You need to remember that the TURC, for example, was a political attack which kept unions in sight even if the TURC was a restricted inquiry. Mud sticks.

    But I see you are an Abbott supporter, which for me is totally unbelievable. The Coalition dream of total domination as the best government for everything has been shattered. Certainly Turnbull has been shattered, hence his angry response on the night of the election. He could not believe that things had turned out so badly, that he had been kicked in the pants. He now has opponents in his own party and in the MSM.

    Turnbull has been in poor form before and after just 9 months as PM he must realise that 3 years for him will be a long haul.

    So Labor is waiting to pounce. You yourself acknowledge they might have won this time. As for policies, you must admit that the Coalition had nothing but some idea of reducing company tax and inspiring investment and innovation. Is that not a dream of the cloud-cuckoo kind? Labor has policies for people – and Shorten assured us they are costed; so far no one has found black holes and the Labor costings were signed off by the same people who signed the Coalition’s.Which is surprising in the case of he Coalition, given they have doubled the Great Big Debt. Sssssh! Don’t mention it.

    No good criticising Shorten and Labor; they came back from no-where just a few months ago to be real contenders

  104. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Have a good time, cornlegend!

    Give your mates this message: GO The ALLiance!


  105. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith
    You must be joking!
    These are the ones that went on the road trip to help Albo and Tanya squash the Greens menace, the scrutineers for the 3 local Electorates and all those that fought for Labor.
    They know there is not and won’t be an Alliance.
    They are going to have a good time with the hangi, vegetables and a whole goat named Dicky D went into the hole, and Sarah the pig is already slowly rotating on the spit 😀
    Actually Jennifer, it is a good time now for ALL Labor tto sit back and do SFA for a few months politicians included and let the LNP war it out with the cross benchers and Senate .
    Bill managed the second biggest swing ever against a first term Government and the LNP now have 14 seats with a less than 2% margin
    He can wait, then no need for anyone he will have a bloody big majority

  106. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    I’m not sure “guest” if your post was directed to me (but I can’t see a Mark anywhere in the thread). I’m also not sure how you believe that I am an Abbott supporter! Nothing could be further from the truth!!

    The purpose of my article was not a criticism of Labor per se, but a reflection as to what they need to do in order to gain the trust, support and votes of the majority of Australians IN THEIR OWN RIGHT. I don’t want them to win just because the Coalition are bad, because we simply return to the revolving door of politics where one side simply destroys what the previous mob did – and this isn’t good for the country. I mean, it was based on that perception of the Gillard/Rudd government is how Abbott managed to get in, and a fat lot of good that did.

    I’ve stated that Labor had great policies. I’ve stated that the LNP had nothing. So why did the LNP still win? That is my great frustration, and I’m frustrated that Labor don’t seem to be as frustrated as I am!

    BTW – a few months ago Labor were nowhere, but a few months before that they were a shoe-in. What does that say about how people vote? Are our elections now just personality competitions? I’m beginning to think so (and its given me another idea for an article…)

  107. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Don’t get too cocky, cornlegend,

    it might come back to bite you on the bum.

  108. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    I’d like you to be right cornlegend, and if Labor can encompass some of the Greens thinking to certain policy areas then I’d be happy with that too. Personally I don’t care which party is in charge, if they enact the right policies, that has my support.

  109. cornlegend

    Labor- Greens never the twain shall meet.
    The sooner everyone just accepts that and gets on with it the better.
    Labor will look after it’s issues
    I suggest the Greens do something about theirs.
    After Di Natale, Grayndler, Sydney, and State seats Balmain the wounds are too great and will never heal.
    As the Greens are telling LAbor what to do, how about this?
    Dump Di Natale install Ludlam and see how you go
    “Personally I don’t care which party is in charge,”
    Greens / pull up a comfy chair and wait a few decades, or 75 seats more

  110. cornlegend

    Jennifer Meyer-SmithJuly 15, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    “Don’t get too cocky, cornlegend,
    it might come back to bite you on the bum.”
    It might too, but life is a gamble Jennifer,
    If it all goes guts up, you will have Mal or his replacement {Dutton or Scomo}
    for another 3 years.
    I hope people are sitting back now and reflectig on how they voted ,and all I can say is

  111. diannaart


    I voted Labor for the HoR this time.

    Am wanting to see Labor/Shorten do what you are not – work with other progressives/independents/conservatives towards kicking out the LNP – they’re the ones crowing they have a mandate to do whatever they believe jobs’ngrowth means to them, remember?

  112. cornlegend


    I think the Greens have more problems than worrying about coalitions
    “Incumbent Greens senator Rachel Siewert is at risk of losing her seat as she slugs it out with former Green turned Nationals candidate Kado Muir for WA’s last Senate spot.”

    “Am wanting to see Labor/Shorten do what you are not – work with other progressives/independents/conservatives towards”
    All I can say is my position does not vary from Labors.
    No one can say they weren’t clearly told BEFORE the election that there would be no alliances/coalitions whatever,

    Shorten even signed a pledge, Albo, Tanya, Penny Wong, Dreyfus, Bowen and a conga line of ALP candidates all said the same.
    Those who voted for Labor, or against them for that matter were clearly informed beforehand. so can’t be under any misunderstanding of Labors position.
    Actions by the Greens during the campaign only hardened that resolve

  113. cornlegend


    “they’re the ones crowing they have a mandate to do whatever they believe jobs’ngrowth means to them, remember?”
    technically, the do have a mandate now they have won a majority
    Jobson Growth didn’t appear much during the campaign, but he was one of their policies that they put out there so I guess they can rightfully claim a mandate

  114. Bighead1883

    cornlegend July 15, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    “To be successful you need friends and to be very successful you need enemies.”
    ― Sidney Sheldon, The Other Side of Midnight

    Your success grows with every comment Cornie as the Greens express ride has only two stations,Denial and Dreaming

    We know what liars cheats and thieves the Liberal Nats are and we know they aim to flog off all Australia to their corpse mates,just like Baird is doing now

    The ALLiance that brought us these electoral changes so quickly as to time in the DD we just had has proven to be an absolute smash for one ALLiance member at least,Nick Xenophon
    That`s the only ALLiance I`ve seen in the last 3-4 months { The LNP/Nationals/Greens/Xenophon ALLiance}

  115. Freethinker

    cornlegend said, quote:
    Jobson Growth didn’t appear much during the campaign, but he was one of their policies that they put out there so I guess they can rightfully claim a mandate. end of quote.

    I disagree with you IMO technically to have a mandate they have to have majority in both houses and they not.
    If they do not have the political maturity to compromise with the other senators they can call a new election.

  116. guest

    Steve Laing, Mark appeared twice (14/7 @ 4.54 and 8.14pm) re my posts where I rejected the emphasis on Labor’s low vote.

    Kaye Lee addresses that issue also, when she points out numbers of seats:

    Lib + Nats = 60+17 = 77

    Lab + Gr = 68+10 = 78

    I would need to know more about Green policy, but I see them as near neighbours. The alliance 2010 saw a Carbon “Tax” implemented, a measure widely acclaimed as best for abating emissions. I can see how Green policy upsets fossil fuel people and loggers. What else hinders a Lab-Gr alliance?.

    As for Labor’s low vote, the lies, misconceptions and propaganda going back nearly 9 years at least has continued to befuddle discussion and perception. See the failure of Climate Change discussion, the TURC fiasco, the dissembling re debt and deficit, the fear mongering and the rise of Hansonism, etc.

  117. cornlegend


    The Senate a place of policy of Bills or legislation,
    The house of Reps is the “Government” , the place laws Bills and Legislation is formulated and passed .
    The Senate is strictly a House of review and are the States represenatives to act as a place of review .
    They play no role in policy development

  118. Freethinker

    Cornlegend, the Senate have the constitution power to reject policies or asking for amendment.
    The electorate give the mandate to the senators to act in their behalf.
    I voted for the senate to block the policies put forward by the coalition or as the constitution say “refuse to pass any bill.”
    The Australian constitution say:
    .The powers of the two houses of the Commonwealth Parliament, the Senate and the House of Representatives, are defined by the Australian Constitution. All proposed laws (bills) must be passed by both houses. The Senate’s law-making powers are equal to those of the House of Representatives except that it cannot introduce or amend proposed laws that authorise expenditure for the ordinary annual services of the government or that impose taxation. The Senate can, however, request that the House of Representatives make amendments to financial legislation and it can refuse to pass any bill.

  119. cornlegend

    Labor has made it clear, it does not want Alliances and the electorate know that when they are making their voting decisions .
    Bill is wise to sit back and let the LNP self-immolate.
    Once the LNP have had a few months to reap havoc and chaos on the community, then when an election roles around voters will have a clear choice.
    They can vote LNP– and they will get more of the same
    They can vote Independent — and they get whatever the mood of the Independent on the day takes them
    They can vote Labor–and they will get a stable team Bills 100 policy initiatives and protection of landmark ALP past policies Medicare NDIS, NBS,etc
    They can vote Green– and get,,,,um,,, one or two Greens, to…um……..be Green

    The choice is obvious to me any way, let’s hope the electors agree, but they will make their decision knowing exactly where Labor stands

  120. diannaart


    I fully aware of your grievances against the Greens. I do wish you put as much energy into dissing the LNP as you do the Greens. Is this because you can only accept a two-party system of governance?

    That we have a larger senate and and increasing number of independents and small parties mean anything to you?

    As for a mandate, the LNP believes that winning the lower house by a slim margin gives them the right to implement whatever it is they think are their policies – not a lot of detail has been given. We do know they have not been able to pass a bugdet in 3 years, so I must guess this means cutting further into Australians’ infrastructure and benefiting the extremely wealthy – the LNP don’t even govern for the majority of their own.

    That you and Bighead cannot see beyond a very limited view of Labor, a party which needs to grow and expand its horizons, you can only slag off the Greens and/or anyone who dares to hold a differing opinion. I laughed out loud when you called Jennifer a dinosaur – projecting much?

    Enjoy your BBQ, Cornie – you’re lucky, many will continue to spend this winter in doorways. I know I could lose my home, I’m on a DSP and still have a mortgage AND I consider myself lucky, I could so easily be homeless.

  121. cornlegend

    They can refuse to pass Bills but can’t formulate them, and technically, they are there to look after the interest of the State from which they came

  122. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Sorry guest – somehow missed Mark’s posts (and probably just as well 😉

    As part of that majority of the electorate who aren’t fully signed up members of any party, I see Labor and the Greens as parts of the larger “progressive” side of politics, and as such I’d rather they found ways to work constructively together than to bicker and fight. I’m not on the “inside” so the constant bitching I see just turns me off, particularly given the fact that Labor has easily the bigger voice. If Labor supporters are dismayed at the lack of MSM coverage, they should at least recognise that the Greens were almost totally ignored – except when they could be used to wedge or provoke Labor!

    Labor, and their internal supporters, need to try to be a bit more empathetic to the Greens and their internal supporters, if only to understand their position AND to not come across as being authoritarian and inflexible. The Greens, for example, got the free dental care provisions into legislation when Labor weren’t planning to – so they aren’t all bad (though still often politically somewhat naive at times). But like them or not, they command a large enough portion of the primary vote (and about a quarter of the progressive vote) that their supporters wants shouldn’t be ignored or talked down. Suggesting voting for them is a wasted vote is both disingenuous and inaccurate in the current system. Additionally the idea that if Labor get in with a big enough majority then everyone else can just suck it up is not what I want either. That approach is equally dangerous. True democracy should not be a winner-takes-all strategy, and if Labor take that approach, expect the electorate to stack the senate against them as they have for the Coalition, and see how effective that is.

    The fact that the Coalition got in truly worries me. It suggests that the game is stacked, because even with a hand which at best is a pair, they still got passed the post.

    Perhaps the leadership stability that will come from the changes they made to how the leader is elected will start working in Labor’s favour, and the electorate will start to “invest” in them more. For this election it may be that they simply haven’t accumulated enough experience to show how this mechanism is far more stable than the old one, and certainly more than that of the Liberal’s who only need a majority of about 43 or 44 (?) to install a new, unelected PM!

  123. Freethinker

    cornlegend said:
    They can vote Labor–and they will get a stable team Bills 100 policy initiatives and protection of landmark ALP past policies Medicare NDIS, NBS,etc
    They can vote Green– and get,,,,um,,, one or two Greens, to…um……..be Green””
    Or can vote the Labor on the HoR and the Greens in th senate to make sure that if the ALP is in power do not change the mind or make some of the policies weaker.
    The Greens have similar health, education and environment polices as the Labor.
    Having said that regarding negative gearing and tax reform they are better.

  124. cornlegend


    “I do wish you put as much energy into dissing the LNP”
    believe me, I put more, just can’t let some of the guff and continued bleaating about coalitions go 😀

    “That you and Bighead cannot see beyond a very limited view of Labor, a party which needs to grow and expand its horizons,”
    Labor is continually growing, 10,000 new members since Bill took the reins , and I personally have signed up 8 more since election day .

  125. Freethinker

    Good on you cornlegend and I hope that the 8 members that you have signed will support the left faction in the party.

  126. diannaart


    By ‘growth and expansion’ I meant Labor’s outlook towards other progressives and that Labor continually adapts its policies to suit changes as they occur. Not how many members have signed up or, for that matter, abandoned Labor.

    You dismiss thoughtful commentary as “guff” and “bleating”. You refuse to consider working with others.

    While the left(progressives) continue to bicker the LNP are laughing all the way to the bank.

    I know my words are falling on deaf ears – I too can expend my energy far better than trying to hold any kind of discussion with you.

  127. Bighead1883

    cornlegend July 15, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Fiona Phillips is fighting back in Gilmore as postal votes are favouring her

    There`s a turn up and I wish her winged feet as Labor has been short of luck as gains were all bloody hard work

  128. cornlegend

    They do 😀

    “You refuse to consider working with others.”
    yep 😀

  129. Freethinker

    Bighead1883 that results will help on the senate as well?

  130. Freethinker

    diannaart do not worry about the Labor or some of the members refusing to work with others, it will take couple more elections and they will ask others to work with them’
    It happens in all the countries where political parties are maturing in their attitude.
    If not people from the left faction will start walking out in more numbers that now.

  131. Bighead1883

    FreethinkerJuly 15, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    “If not people from the left faction will start walking out in more numbers that now”.

    Big statement Freethinker,,you have verifiable numbers to back up this statement of course?

    As to Fiona,yes

  132. Freethinker

    Bighead1883, the people that I referring are not members but people that have voted for the ALP before and moved to the Greens or other small parties.
    I know that because I know many when discussing matters about the internal problems in the ALP on the pass and now.
    Many of them looked for alternatives when Crean was the leader and from then on.
    I agree that are people from the left the ones that I am talking.
    If you like to see a proof just look at the low votes for the ALP in this election and the increase in micro parties with more left views than the ALP.
    Those people did not moved from the coalition.

  133. Rick

    ALP + supporters needs to continue to raise its facebook social/online media profile inc Get Ups support group profiles, Suggested quality independent media sites.

    Needs to go to war on MSM – lack of analysis critique on Lib/LNP terrible government means continued poor outcomes. Throw a figure out there like 70% dont trust the MSM (draw up list of key reasons)

    Raise the “evil” IPA awareness narrative (Murdochs history, MSM control perception bias, pursuit of more media control, List their Privatisation desires. Their NeoLiberal policy and raise the narrative on that damage to economic growth (trickle down). The IMF report on damage done to economies, and their call to end these policies the as they are one of the leading causes of inequality.

    Target the Lib/LNP slogans with disgust/how dare they align brand themselves with JOBS GROWTH INNOVATION STABILITY TRUST LEADERSHIP then label us with LIAR, SCARE. Expose the strategy using words like “let me explain or key analysts have pointed out the strategy employed by Libs/LNP” will align themselves with their weakest most vulnerable areas of government over their 3yrs as a strength, as well as projecting forward a strong plan moving forward (expectation) “To the Australian public I say this, nobody can predict the future, however we can gain significant insight by analysing our past performance as a guide of what to expect. (then frame it) “One of the key disappointments I regularly heard voiced from the voting public after the last election “was how the hell did they scrape back in on empty slogans? where were the MSM? where were the political commentators giving them a whack over this?”

    Segway into ICAC – get angry, its become extremely clear, the Australian people have had enough of dirty politics, less fact checking, no accountability, lack of integrity, disillusioned with the current governments lies, broken promises, surprise policies they didnt campaign for. We are sick of trying to raise the Coalition to meaningful debate in Question time in Parliament. Their disdain for truth, refusal to comment, evasiveness and say nothing approach borders on arrogance as they know the less said the sooner their bad news will go away/be swept under the carpet. We say to the Australian public that is how those grubs operate, dont let anyway say “theyre both the same/bad as each other” thats not the case we are equally disgusted with the Coalitions false narrative, manipulative misinformed misdirection. MMM

    Educate – use every opportunity to articulate exactly what is going on. Why something doesnt work. Just as Bill did with his Zombie Measures discussion on morning show with Kochy was significant moment it as Kochy was trying to proj Turnbulls economic management credentials over Bills/Labors as hopeless. Theres 40yrs of data that says the exact opposite. Educate!

    Reinforce – DAMAGE DAMAGE DAMAGE they are doing to (reel off a list)

  134. Bighead1883

    Freethinker July 15, 2016 at 6:46 pm
    Firstly,the LNP vote was down so numbers had to move,simple math

    An unquantifiable amount till counting is finished then but certainly something the Left of politics should be alarmed about concerning the toxicity of the Abbott/Turnbull government

    My personal strategy was to get 6 people I knew who either never voted or who voted LNP to vote Labor
    I managed to get 3 who never voted before to register and to vote Labor as per HTV
    I managed to get 1 LNP voter to do the same
    I managed to get 1 KAP/PUP voter to do the same as well

    So I failed in my personal target of 6 in achieving only 5

    Online double that number of previous Greens voters assured me by tweets they came back to Labor,but I only know these folk vis SM and not personally like those I garnered

    MSM propaganda is winning and Brexit and Greece`s Syriza are rare losses for them [but Syriza went against their referendum,will the UK follow?]

  135. Freethinker

    Bighead1883, It is interesting how people judge their parties and move from one o the other.
    Many Greens believe themselves that are more lefty that the left faction in he ALP and many of them are very upset with Richard Di Natale
    At the same time many ALP voters were not happy when Albo was not elected leader.
    That have made movement in both parties.
    IMHO we need political maturity in Australia and politicians from the progressive parties need to learn to work together to not let the extreme right gain power permanently.
    If that happens they will not surrender power in a quite way.

  136. Bighead1883

    Freethinker July 15, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Nice thoughts but pipedreams in reality as Europe clearly shows

    As long as people are sheep with an MSM shepherd then nothing changes

    Maturity is being whom you are and being true to yourself

    We all know how to f*ck anything up,just form a committee

    Cheers all I`m over this rap sheet

  137. Florence nee Fedup

    The only way one gets legalization through under our system is to have majority MPs or negotiate with others. Passed by majority on floor both houses. No other mandate I am afraid,

    Why would there be. One would have to believe in winner take all. If that is the case, why have a opposition at all. There is no way anyone agrees with all policies and promises of any party.

    There has only been handfull times since Federation that any PM has had control both houses. has led to disaster on most occasions. Definitely not good governance.

  138. Florence nee Fedup

    I know it is not the norm but I seem to recall bills being launched in the Upper House, the senate. Could be wrong.

    They can definitely be amended, therefore more than review. Have to be passed in both houses. Can be rejected outright.

  139. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear diannaart. One of the voices of reason in this thread.

  140. diannaart


    Excellent knowledge – although the LNP will blame senate as deliberately blocking their lovely ‘cut public good’, ‘promote the uber rich’ as being anti mandate rather than learning to negotiate.

    Which brings me to:


    Thanks for the words of reassurance. I agree a level of maturity, which has been absent since Whitlam, is required. I don’t foresee any adults appearing within the LNP for generations. Labor will have to learn the hard way to collaborate – I don’t know if I’ll live long enough for this to occur. Gonna have to strap myself in and pray I keep my home.


    We do need to bring the fifth estate into the mainstream – by which I mean public awareness not a take over by Murdoch. 😉

    If the public were better informed the choice would be much more obvious. LNP and the ALP have not been behaving at all with respect for the public. Labor has learned a little bit, but need to rethink their strategy – this nonsense of “we don’t work with anyone” childish and regressive. People will continue to support alternatives, as we have seen, on both the left and the right.

    Thanks, Jennifer, but there are far more knowledge people out there than I.

  141. Freethinker

    diannaart, if you read the last article “The facets of Australian fascism: the Abbott Government experiment (Part 43)” you will see that the Labor lost the plot and need more than maturity.
    That is one of the reason why my last vote for the ALP was to remove Fraser, the moderate right in the ALP it is not good and is getting worse.
    IMO the only alternative is to vote for the Greens and progressive micro parties.

  142. diannaart

    I made a big exception this election and voted Labor for the lower house.

    Labor still has to understand economic rationalism does not work, treating refugees as criminals is as regressive as it is inhumane and climate change needs far more than Micky mouse policies – working towards a sustainable future not only nation wide, but globally requires a a change of direction; ‘unlimited profits’ cannot and will not support concerted action on pollution and retaining limited resources.

    I agree our only hope is in the progressive side of politics and Labor needs to find its way back.

  143. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Freethinker and diannaart.

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