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Day to Day Politics: The average punter wouldn’t know.

Day to Day Politics: The average punter wouldn’t know.

Friday 13 May

So much happens ‘day to day’ in an election campaign. How much of it gets through to the average punter? How much permeates their minds and leaves such an indelible impression that it affects the way they vote? Take this week, for example.

1 The fact that the Prime Minister has been named in the Panama papers may or may not have any significance. However, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have questions to answer.

Arthur Sinodinos, himself under investigation for shady deals told Radio National:

“That is a dead horse being flogged, it’s a 20-year matter, its old news – they just want to run it because they can. The Fin Review on its front page should be debating policy instead of behaving like a down market tabloid”.

An observation.

“Time never diminishes the crime”.

A twenty year duration didn’t seem to matter in Julia Gillard’s case.

So Turnbull should give a full explanation of his involvement with the company in question and any others that were registered by Mossack Fonseca in Panama or other tax havens.

Mathias Cormann, the Coalition’s official campaign spokesperson (the fastest political mouth in Australia) said:

“Obviously this is more than 20 years ago. There is absolutely no suggestion of any wrongdoing”.

I think the Coalition appointed him their spokesperson because they didn’t want anything to be understood.

2 The rating agencies have been at it again warning the Government that our ballooning foreign debt, which has risen to 62% of GDP, up from 50% in the last three years could affect our AAA rating.

3 It seems that the National is somewhat upset with the Liberals focus on the ‘new economy’ (at least their version of it) and instead use the expression the ‘old economy’ instead. Now that’s forward thinking.

4 Many in the Coalition are upset with the retrospectivity of its changes to Superannuation. The rich and privileged are in uproar. Whatever angle you come from and however they argue it, it is retrospective.

5 A few days prior to Malcolm Turnbull announcing the election Greg Hunt, the Coalition’s second best liar released modelling by Energetics that he said those who said they couldn’t reach their targets were totality wrong. And he told The Australian Newspaper just that. “Who else?”, you might ask.

But Peter Holt, associate at Energetics, told Guardian Australia that the policies would only achieve those reductions with changes – either large funding top-ups to the ERF (estimated by others at least $6bn) or a strengthening of the safeguards mechanism so it turned into a baseline and credit emissions trading scheme.

Which all rather confirms what Turnbull said just a few years ago:

“If you want to … cut carbon emissions … in a very substantial way to the levels that the scientists are telling us we need to do by mid-century to avoid dangerous climate change, then a direct action policy where … industry was able to freely pollute, if you like, and the government was just spending more and more taxpayers’ money to offset it, that would become a very expensive charge on the budget in the years ahead.”

The ABC also did a fact check on an assumption of Turnbull’s.

The claim: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says that Australia’s emissions reduction target of 26 to 28 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030 is “second only to the emission cuts offered by Brazil” when measured on a per capita basis.

The verdict: Australia’s per capita reductions for 2030 will be 50 to 52 per cent lower than 2005 levels, which is smaller than the 53 per cent per capita reduction Brazil will make over the same time period, but the per capita cuts of Norway, at 57 per cent, and Switzerland, at 60 per cent, are even higher than both Brazil and Australia. Mr Turnbull is incorrect.

6 Cory Bernardi has been relegated to second position on the Liberal Party’s South Australian ticket. Education Minister Simon Birmingham as the senior member replaces him. Doesn’t sound much on the surface but with Nick Xenophon’s NXT party, the new Senate voting changes and the nature of double-dissolution elections, which see the full Senate go to the polls as opposed to the usual half-Senate there will be an element of unpredictability involved.

7 A Guardian Lonergan poll of 1,841 voters taken across the country from Friday to Sunday confirms other national polling results – the two major parties enter the eight-week election campaign neck and neck, each with 50% of the two-party preferred vote.

But Malcolm Turnbull’s election-eve budget may have harmed his prospects with younger voters, with a strong majority saying the “jobs and growth plan” had made them less inclined to vote for the Coalition.

8 Finally, a response to my post yesterday “It’s about jobs and growth stupid” from a friend Bruce Beamish who lives in Moe Victoria. (We performed in the Australian play ‘Dimboola’ together):

“Yes it is all predicated on the concept that somehow the benevolent philanthropic people at the top of the income list will invest in the Magic Pudding of Jobs and Growth. When they may just as well send it to an overseas tax haven. It is their choice.

I have mentioned previously the cunning GST implementation which relied on those that are well off selling out those who are less so. Does anybody really think that tightening up the superannuation concessions will not see a transfer to the safety net of negative gearing?

Just another cunning plan that appears to be doing something but still looks after the well off because they still have a very tax effective vehicle to reduce their taxable income. No mention of family trusts, another method by which the well-off hide their money and minimise tax.

All these concessions and perks to our taxation system generally benefit the few at the expense of the many. They therefore skew the system and the revenue stream is diverted to individuals rather than services that everyone can benefit from.

Very cynical. Yes good economic management, for the few at the expense of those less well off. Dare I revisit that John Howard special? Un Australian.

Yes, the Car industry. We cannot prop it up any longer? The age of entitlement is over Joe Hockey (In his plumb overseas job). Yet we can lavish 50 billion dollars on a submarine program? Yes there will be some flow on, however the Car industry was an existing industry with an established supplier network.

It is also an industry of high-tech jobs. No one doubts that it has been subsidised, so are our farmers. The Submarine building will not see much real action for some time. In the meantime many people will be out of work. Could it be the main thrust of the Submarine building program was to shore up things for Christopher Pyne and his fellow liberals in SA?

There is a sop to WA shipbuilders, of course WA is home to Colin Barnett. He of the typically fractious WA type of politician. SO give him a bone and he will be quiet and also those pesky WA based federal LNP supporters who make trouble as well.

No mention of shipbuilding at Williamstown Dockyard in Melbourne which has been in existence since the 1850s and built many a ship, or Newcastle or Whyalla both which had shipbuilding industries. Must not be LNP seats or LNP seats under threat. Do we even need 12 submarines? Of course Defence will say yes, it is like Christmas to them”.

My thought for the day.

Words have special meaning when they are written by the intellectually rich but mean nothing when written by the intellectually corrupt”.



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  1. Terry2

    Did you know that the first leaders’ debate will be taking place today between Turnbull and Shorten ?

    Unless you subscribe to pay TV – we gave it away some years ago – you will miss the debate as it is on Sky, possibly less than 100,000 will actually tune in.

    Why has our national broadcaster been overlooked, again ?

  2. corvus boreus

    Today the high court will hand down judgement on Senator Bob Day’s (Family First) challenge to the upper house reforms, as he seeks to defend the system of opaque/blind preferencing above the line (1 box only) and onerous obligation below the line (all boxes).
    I predict (and hope) that he will fail in his bid, since his grounds have been declared as spurious/dubious by many/most experts in constitutional law, and since I like having greater electoral options than the restriction of 1 above or all below.

  3. Kaye Lee

    “The leaders debate has been organised by Sky News and the Daily Telegraph newspaper and will be broadcast live on Sky.”

  4. corvus boreus

    Slogans and sledges (aka ‘policy debate’) with Mal and Bill, available only through paying a subscription to Rupert TV.

  5. Michael

    Your 1 – I am no cartoonist but I envision a $200M bag of money on short legs, wearing dark glasses, topped up with a Panama hat, pushing a small wheeled toy engine with “agile innovation” on its sides, pulling a trail of broken down wagons with wheels of different sizes and shapes, each one labelled “NBN”, “2+2=5”, “Barrier Reef”, “Manus Resort”, “superannuation tweeks”, etc, etc with caricatures of appropriate ministers and NLP members atop.

    It would be a great summary of the election – can you imagine how long the train of wagons would be by voting day

    The fact that it is Friday 13th, rounds things off nicely.

  6. Kronomex

    Gosh, I wonder who will win the Rupert and Malcolm…oops, Bill and Malcolm, debacle?

  7. Wam

    Friday the thirteenth shows the measure of this contest. I watched billy little pre-birthday run and thought of beasley and a bra. Sure enough man boobs is all over the paper.
    Corey is pretty safe it should be 5 libs 4 lab and 3 Xs.
    Super should be a loser for turnball but hopefully, the tax avoidance and the development of your debt in point 2 plus bill’s bashing of turnball’s changes of heart on climate and low quality NBN (tassie?) perhaps why the French subs (Thales is in mulwala and benalla) at more than twice the axis power bids (although that might have to wait till 2019.) might be used to raise questions directed to those pro-abbottians even bolt?
    Wow terry, I have hardly seen our nationall broadcaster do anything on the election to make them worthy of holding a debate.
    Indeed they seem to be relying on a dodgy compass with a liberal dose of ‘don’t mention the bias’ mentality.
    Come to think of it, I don’t remember them giving labor a fair go last time despite being told the contrary by my friends who only watch 7/9.
    As for rupert I went to one in darwin, it was a joke. so rupert’s mob can refurbish any outcome of his hidden debate for airing on 2/7/9 with impunity!

  8. nurses1968

    Kaye Lee
    Retweeted P.McGee (@pepeMcGee):

    To watch tomorrow nights people’s forum with Malcolm and Bill without paying Rupert for pay TV- download the Foxtel Go app, Sky news is free

  9. Bighead1883

    nurses1968 May 13, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Thank you and I`ve just downloaded this app and it works fine on PC {Windows 10}

    The biggest shame of this is how Murdoch has stolen the political debate in the UK and Australia

    Foxtel has a 100K subscribers and they`re not there for the politics [sport]
    The Telegraph has a questionable readership as it`s given away at so many outlets

    Murdoch is letting Australians see what he wants them to see and only social media offers any open veins of difference
    Besides,the IPA/LNP wouldn`t have it any other way

    Hmm,quite quiet in the AIMN Greens political party comments section with only three digs at Bill

  10. kerri

    Wouldn’t watch it on principle Kaye Lee.
    It will be highly targetted, which will be the only reason Mal agreed to it.
    Let Tony Jones or Sarah Ferguson at them I say?

  11. Shaun Newman

    Turnbull is complicit in the Panama papers as a director of a company that made no profit? Obviously it must have been involved in a taxation bludge in some regard, then we have his and Abbott’s non action on this http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-17/almost-600-companies-did-not-pay-tax-in-2013-14/7036324 with taxpayers mainly confined to PAYE tax payers and the swindle of the tax system attracting no attention from the LNP so it has come to the stage now where we the patient has to fork out for the Medicare levy plus our own pathology tests, be that a blood test or an X-RAY Cat scan or anything else. The poorest of Australians are being bleed dry while corporate Australian go untouched. This has to change, we urgently need a Labor government which has vowed to close the loop holes so that the community gets some benefit from all these parasitic businesses. Thanks for the tip Kaye.

  12. jimhaz

    Shorten should not have agreed to this debate as part of an election campaign. Any such debates during official campaigns must be available to all via the normal channels. I think it is immoral on both sides, but we expect that from the Libs. I wonder what the ALP is being paid for this.

  13. Terry2

    If, as we are told, there is nothing illegal and no tax avoidance in washing sorry, parking money in the Cayman Islands or Panama or any number of tax free havens and ,as we are told, the income is taxed here before it goes offshore and any proceeds being returned to Australia are then taxed here, what is the point of sending it offshore in the first place ?

    Sorry to be so naive but I really don’t get it.

  14. ImagiNation

    20 years ago Turnbull didn’t work for Goldman Sucks. No-one who has anything to do with Goldman Sucks needs a tax haven because it is a tax haven. Der…

  15. corvus boreus

    Thank you, that is good to know.

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