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Day to Day Politics: Newspoll. Is that right?

Tuesday 20 February 2018

‘As one year merges its way into the next and one day bleeds into another,’ I hear my fellow citizens say with typical Aussie laconic abruptness. We are like that.

And look where we are now. The great rustic malaise of ignorance is eating away at our democracy, and most are blissfully unaware.

In a way it’s sad how for so many years we rode along on the sheep’s back and then what seemed to be a never-ending minerals boom. Of course, it all had to come to an end sometime, but our politicians didn’t want to tell us. They would rather have us confined in a vacuum of their creation than face reality.

Take yesterday’s Newspoll results for example. One would have thought that given the Barnaby Joyce scandal that lasted a full week a greater movement than 53/47 might have occurred. A margin of ten percentage points seems more appropriate given the dreadful governance of the Abbott/Turnbull governments.

But that is not the case. A good percentage of voters are sticking fast to the Coalition regardless. It’s as if the Joyce affair never happened. It could not have been any worse for a government than last week and with Labor’s National ICAC announcement it should be streets ahead. Is this the new norm, one might ask?

A move of a couple of points is normal at any time, but when you have a Deputy Prime Minister committing adultery with a baby on the way you would think there would be some community reaction. Not even a whiff of premature nappies. The Poll Bludger tells us that:

“Malcolm Turnbull’s lead as preferred prime minister is down from 45-31 to 40-33. All we have in terms of leadership approval at this stage are that Malcolm Turnbull’s net rating has weakened from minus 13% to minus 18%. Also featured is a finding that 65% of respondents believe Barnaby Joyce should resign as leader of the Nationals”

It looks to me that even had Joyce resigned – or the Nats gave him the flick – their vote might have remained around the same. It will be very interesting to see the Essential Poll today given it gave Labor a healthy lead a fortnight ago of 8 points.

Opinion polls in Australia are, generally speaking, fairly accurate because our compulsory voting system makes it easier. Newspoll is the poll the political media obsess about most, but they don’t call mobile phones, so their accuracy is questionable.

I’m trying not to be negative in my thoughts, but circumstance gives me no reason to be optimistic about our future. We seem rudderless waiting for the impending storm. Labor could very well lose based on these figures.

Good government is usually married to good leadership and we thought, even if it was just a mirage, that we had it in Malcolm Turnbull, however the evidence thus far would suggest that he has been worse than his predecessor. If that were at all possible!

He has morphed from calm and thoughtful Malcolm to angry Malcolm in a matter of months. Now he is self-obsessed and consumed by the Prime Ministership. So much so that he is prepared to countenance anyone’s demands to retain it.

Now this pandering to extremists within his party might help him retain his job until the next election but it will not help him get re-elected. The policies are out of sync with community expectations.

There are a great many people on the extreme right who feel the party is out of touch with society and the voters but the reality is that it may be they who are out of touch.

It has to be said though that if the polls continue to be overly negative then those in marginal seats will become anxious and we might see a scenario similar to that when Rudd replaced Gillard and Turnbull replaced Abbott. Although that might be the same as committing suicide.

However, all that said, unless something like a major balls-up happens then we will see Turnbull fumble along, taking further orders from the highly-educated but brain-dead of his party until the next election, where I cannot be sure that Australians will have woken to the fact that so many years have been spent in mediocrity of governance.

Years that have not served them well. How conditioned to it we have become? Those I described as occupying ”the great rustic malaise of ignorance” have little or no interest in policy or how it’s formulated. All they do is gain impressions of policy and people through their larger than life television sets.

Then they draw conclusions on character based on whether the fellow is a good bloke or not. Fact checking they have no time for but they do look for the liar and in Turnbull they don’t have to look far.

They have no credible policy on renewable energy and climate change. Decisions seem to be put off while they find another reason to blame Labor. The banks are making record profits and the Government wants to give them more of our hard-earned cash and other companies who don’t pay tax will also be given some more. It’s a Government having no desire for equality who will take from the poorest to pay for these taxes. We are fortunate that the Senate plans to block the legislation.

I shall finish by quoting from a speech given by Ross Gittens, of the SMH to the Australian Business Economists Annual Forecasting Conference Sydney, February 15, 2017:

‘’Let me finish by saying that the area of economic reform where the government’s performance has been most egregious is on policy to ease our transition to a low-carbon economy and honour our commitments at the Paris conference. Leaving aside Abbott’s role in our policy regression, Turnbull’s disservice to the nation was to swear off introducing a carbon intensity scheme the moment his hard Right party members, led by the now departed Cory Bernardi, expressed their disapproval. This scheme had been carefully worked up by people of goodwill hoping to provide Turnbull with a face-saving way of returning to a form of carbon pricing, which would help ease the transition from coal power to renewables and do it with only a small increase in retail electricity prices. Since then, Turnbull has done nothing but dig himself in deeper, in the process creating great uncertainty in the power industry, something that could easily end up adding to blackouts and price rises.’’

My thought for the day

We exercise our involvement in our democracy every three years by voting. After that the vast majority takes very little interest. Why is it so?


29 comments

  1. ace Jones

    ” they draw conclusions on character based on whether the fellow is a good bloke or not. ”

    So how long does it take to wake up to the fact that ‘the cold fish’ Shorten personality actually repels the people?

    Shorten couldnt lead a thirsty horse to water
    Labor doesnt even plan or mount tactical attacks on the spineless lying LNP egotists.

  2. Glenn K

    Ace, you underestimate Shorten. How quickly some forget his stong performance during the last election. Took Labor from oblivion to just one seat short of taking government. He and his team will wipe the floor with the LNP at the next election. Just remember, the swing voters decide their vote during the election campaign. I think Labor are holding back until an election is called – then all guns blazing. And i don’t believe Newspoll for current accuracy. It’s horseshit

  3. Alpo

    “Of course, it all had to come to an end sometime, but our politicians didn’t want to tell us.”…. But in fact, the Neoliberals in the Liberal Party did tell us. Just remember Hockey’s “great preamble” to the infamous Budget from Hell of 2014: “We have to live within our means”… We do have to do something to activate this country, it’s just that the Neoliberals don’t have any solution (as amply demonstrated by Howard and now by Abbott-Turnbull). “Living within our means” is translated from Neoliberalese into: bash the poor and middle class, privilege the top 1%, Big Companies and Multinationals…. just look at the trickle-up approach of Morrison in his first budget. The only way out of this mess, in my opinion, is to adopt a Social Democratic program that is effective at lifting the economy and also spreading social opportunities and fairness, whilst considering the environmental sustainability of our productive activities…. Labor is definitely proposing such a program and the Greens are also moving in that broad direction.

    I don’t concur with your pessimism, John. Yes, it’s also frustrating to see how slow are the polls to move up for Labor when the Coalition is sinking, so dramatically. But don’t forget that the MSM are currently all fascinated with Turnbull…. even The Guardian!!…. Perhaps commercial interests have “threatened” them? “If you want us to advertise with you, treat the Libs kindly”? Who knows, but the MSM are pretty much against the ALP…. and, suprise surprise, The Guardian even tends to favour the Greens against the ALP. I am not sure whether it’s because they do support the Greens or whether that’s a nice ploy to sink an inconvenient Social Democratic Party by supporting an irrelevant Progressive party, and so achieve the objective of damaging Labor whilst saving their “Progressive” image. But whatever the case, Shorten and the ALP have shown a remarkable resilience, an amazing political strategic capacity and I must say that it’s Shorten personally who must be congratulated for this. He listens and he negotiates, whilst also refining (and this has been going on in a crescendo) his Social Democratic stance against the Neoliberal-Conservative stance of the Coalition (in spite of some desperate Greens shouting in the air that “Libs and Labs” are just the same).

    With regard to Turnbull he is obviously finished. He may stay for as long as he genuflects to the will of the Hard Conservatives, but if he does so his relative minority in the polls is likely to be an even slimmer minority come election time. Let’s not forget that our two-party preferred system in the Lower House allows a winner to potentially control a large majority of the House with just a small difference in the 2PP vote. So, what matters is not so much to expect a large 2PP difference, but to fight the good fight seat-by-seat in order to win as many seats as possible. Having said that, I do feel the frustration about the polls, which should be far worse for the Coalition (just as they are far worse for the ALP when they are in troubles)…. but again, the ALP doesn’t control any MSM, whereas the Liberal Party controls most of them…. and now even Fairfax is fascinated with the Libs whereas the ABC is under their dictatorial boot!….. But we will win…. no matter what, there is a massive amount of life and activity going on beyond the MSM…
    Thanks for The AIM Network!!!

  4. Stephen H

    those that continue to vote for a personality, who in most likelihood is not even their local member, seem to have little understanding of the system. We are not voting for a president who will then pick and choose from all parties to form his government. We are electing a PARTY, ideally based on the policies they present. So to me in does not matter what someone looks like or if the leader is a good or not so good person. POLICY, that is the key (and the LNP policies stink to high heaven)

  5. Alpo

    ace,
    Shorten is hated by the Greens and the Socialists…. because they are deluded believing that he is a Neoliberal.
    Shorten is hated by the Neoliberal/Conservatives…. because they hate the Unions and because they believe that he is a dangerous Socialist who has betrayed the old Hawke-Keating Libs/Labs Neoliberal Consensus.
    … Hence the propaganda against him…. The reasons why Shorten is attacked across the spectrum are self-contradictory, as you can see. They don’t make any sense and just indicate that Shorten is a centre-left leader, a Social Democrat rather than either a “Socialist” or a “Neoliberal Capitalist”…. But the people are telling the ALP that that’s exactly what they want: a Centre Left party that will develop a Mixed Economy, Social Democratic form of Capitalism.

    In fact, the Shorten leadership has not affected the fact that the ALP has been ahead in the 2PP for a very long time and they have won election after election at both State and Territory levels: Qld, Vic, SA, WA, NT, ACT.

  6. Andreas Bimba

    Labor are more competent and are a bit better on environmental policy, social and taxation policy for example but they along with the Conservative Coalition brought us to where we are.

    The ALP are almost equally complicit in implementing the neoliberal disaster of high levels of unemployment and underemployment, stagnant or declining net incomes, increasing inequality, excessively exposed markets through globalisation, fatalistic acceptance of the loss of our manufacturing sector, corporate oligarchy especially by the finance, mining, property and gambling sectors, chronic tax evasion, the financialisation of the economy, the theft of our national mineral wealth by foreign and local capital, tax concessions that overwhelmingly benefit the most wealthy, the relentless increase in the starting age for the aged pension, the superannuation fraud that has management fees of $25 billion p.a. yet delivers mediocre returns that are less than the appreciation of the market indices, fraudulent privatisations, fraudulent public private partnership infrastructure deals, unnecessary government austerity and an economically baseless obsession with balanced federal government budgets, inadequate federal funding support for state and local governments, failure to deal with record private debt, unconstrained gambling causing great social harm, pandering to the real estate lobby and fostering the crazy property speculation bubble that has made housing unaffordable for most in our major cities, inappropriate development and an approval process dominated by developers, a political class that acts on behalf of its major donors, public asset sell offs such as ports and airports that lead to higher costs for users/consumers, inadequate public transport and public infrastructure, inadequate public housing, inadequate environmental protection for example Victoria’s alpine forests, the reef or the mega coal mines in the Galilee Basin, inadequate legal aid, excessive state surveillance of everyone, failure to deal with the concentration and right wing bias in the mass media, the militarisation of our police forces, poor oversight over many extremely wasteful military projects, the abuse of asylum seekers arriving by boat and many more.

    Labor are neoliberal-lite and also do not deserve electoral support. Their recent reforms are worthy but inadequate.

    The Greens also fall short especially on fiscal policy and on globalisation but their policy platform, integrity and values are significantly ahead of Labor who are in turn ahead of the Coalition.

    I recently watched a YouTube video of a conference with Bernie Sanders and the German ambassador to the US. The ambassador spoke of the many advantages of the social democratic approach in Germany such as their excellent trade schools, free childcare and education, affordable universal healthcare and so on in comparison to the ‘free market’ US with their record levels of inequality and declining living standards. In many ways the ambassador’s description of Germany could have been of Australia before the neoliberal era.

  7. ajogrady

    The L/NP is made up of criminally corrupt grubs. The L/NP have a conga line of disfunctional malingering bludgers eager to steal taxpayer dollars and place it into political donors pockets. The only thing the L/NP is good at is moving public funds into private hands and yet about 50% of the citizenry would still vote for the no policy, no direction, no morals corrupt L/NP. The corrupt and complicit propaganda arm of the L/NP, the Main Stream Media has its grubby hands all over a result like this. Joseph Goebbels said “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Emma Alberici from the ABC had her comments refuting the benefits of the $65 billion tax cuts to big business removed because of pressure from the L/NP government. The truth is out there but the Main Stream Media is running a protection racket to suppress the truth all the while promoting and telling the L/NP lies as frequently as possible. Who would have thought that Goebbels doctrine and mantra would be alive and well in 21st century Australia?

  8. Terry2

    Don’t forget that we are in an era of spin and media management where the mood of the electorate is massaged and manipulated to suit the message that the government are trying to project.

    Just today, we hear from the Joyce camp that they will fight what they call a witch-hunt for his scalp. No, acknowledgement of the chaos that Joyce’s judgements have caused to the lives of those around him and the wreckage within the coalition. No, it’s just about Barney and how he is going to fight to retain his job. Typical spin, turn the argument around and blame every body else.

    Just like the way we are told of the deep and abiding friendship between Barnaby and Gina Rinehart. Best friends forever we are told, goes back many years : Oh yeah. since when did a mining billionaire who lives in Singapore have a deep and abiding relationship with a bush accountant from SW Queensland ?

    We see it on a daily basis from the Whitehouse where Sara Huckabee Sanders stands up in front of the Whitehouse press-corps and tells blatant lies to protect the orange buffoon in the Oval Office.

    Last night on 7.30 we were told by Aussie Greg Norman that “Trump and Malcolm Turnbull now have an ‘incredible relationship’ “. I almost fell off my chair, they had a disastrous and terminal telephone conversation a year ago and one other superficial contact since and Trump hates the asylum seeker swap deal that Obama agreed to : they don’t yet have any sort of relationship, they are feeling their way and Turnbull will have to kow-tow to Trump to be accepted by this very vain man. It’s all spin !

    Emma Alberici called out their emperor as having no clothes in the middle of the government spin-cycle when she pointed out that there was no evidence to support the government’s argument that if large corporations pay less tax, we will all be better off. This turd has been carefully polished and managed by an army of media managers and for an ABC correspondent to pull the curtain aside and reveal this falsehood and the lack of any evidence to support the government’s spin, alarmed them : so they had the messenger shot !

    I agree with Kaye Lee when she said, the other day, ‘these people give me a headache’ !

  9. John Boyd

    Andreas: So what are you going to do about it?…vote for no-one?? I could argue on several points about your tirade about Labor; just remember what happened to the mining super profits tax, and the price on carbon. At least you acknowledge that Labor policies are better. Remember that incremental changes, eg winding back the negative gearing arrangements, have more chance of sticking than dramatic over-the-top changes.

  10. Kaye Lee

    Barnaby has blamed his hectic work schedule for the breakdown of his marriage. Soooooo….with a new baby on the way, has Barnaby decided he should move to the backbench so he can spend more time with his new family and not make the same mistake again? No way Jose!

    Barnaby and Vikki seemed to spend a lot of time in bars – that’s where Barnaby does his best work (cough). It is also said that they chain-smoked together in the courtyard (and outside the pub according to Miranda Devine). Obviously, that sort of good time party fun has now ended with a baby on the way. Will the attraction continue when you have to change nappies and take the garbage out?

  11. helvityni

    Yes Terry 2, Greg Norman is not half Finnish to me anymore, even though his mum (Toini) is of that background, hardly not even a real Aussie…..
    Being Trump’s best friend makes him a fully fletched American of a wrong kind….

    Just sayin’… being flippant…

  12. Kronomex

    I think Shorten and Labor are doing the right thing at the moment by not doing anything regarding the LNP. He knows that if he starts on them the Murdoch Sleaze Media will go into overdrive in an attempt to rubbish and, sigh, blame Labor for just about everything whether it’s true or not. Anyway, Bill is sitting back and enjoying watching the LNP imploding.

    Kaye Lee, Joyce go to the back bench? Just think of all the grunting pig snout in the trough benefits and corruption that he’ll miss out on.

  13. Mark Needham

    Ace Jones.
    “Shorten couldnt lead a thirsty horse to water”

    But Shorton could ensure that, monies be paid to ensure the water trough is clean., and then ensure that the horse gets no where near the trough.

    Being Flippant,
    Mark Needham

  14. Andreas Bimba

    John Boyd, I’m voting Green and I have had enough of the neoliberal good cop bad cop policies of the duopoly. The sooner we can get a true multi party system the better.

  15. philgorman2014

    Willful Ignorance is a horrible corrosive contagion that has infected the body politic. Since Howard it has spread like the flu in this country, particularly in Canberra, and in the very media whose role it is to combat public ignorance, apathy, cynicism and corruption.

  16. Harry

    Of course if big business gets a tax cut some of it will be saved into stocks, bonds and expensive real estate and some will be spent on luxuries. When those stocks, bonds and luxury real estate rises in value from the cash and demand injection the rich get another payday as well.

    This is what the tax cuts are all about, more income for the rich. Seen from their perspective it is good and as they run and control things.

    Its like a perverse Robin Hood but a nasty one: pretend that federal taxes pay for federal spending, seek to place as much of this pretend burden on the much less well off majority as possible, direct government expenditure towards your income and assets as much as possible. It is about collecting as much economic rent as possible for as little effort as possible.

    The most important fact to understand is the strategy of deception and that neoliberal politicians do not act on behalf of most of us !

  17. Regional Elder

    It is just a little alarming that NewsPoll has come to assume such an important place in political affairs.
    We should indeed be sceptical.
    First, there is their methodology of sampling not calling mobile phones, only landlines, which the late Bob Ellis frequently alerted us to several years ago.

    But NewsPoll is an arm of the most influential corporate player in Australian politics, and its aim always is to help sell more newspapers and have more citizens persuaded by Rupert’s minions as they absorb these views either in print or on the screen.
    I say, treat NewsPoll results sceptically.

  18. Harry

    Andreas Bimba: a devastating run-down of neoliberalism. On that I wholeheartedly agree.

    Whilst Labor has been similar to the Coalition in its embrace of the nasty uber capitalism, along with its counterpart in the UK under Blair, I still regard Labor as the only party that is a viable alternative and as Alpo argued, Labor is showing signs that it will be significantly less neoliberal under Shorten.

    Conversely, I do not see much evidence that The Greens understand macroeconomics and Bill MItchell regards them as “Neoliberals on bikes”. Steven Hail presented a talk on MMT to the Greens and I was left with the impression that they did not get it.

  19. I.T.

    “We exercise our involvement in our democracy every three years by voting. After that the vast majority takes very little interest. Why is it so?”

    Because we’re compelled to vote, and more so involuntarily. The dearth of leadership and qualified candidates amongst the many reasons. And by “qualified” I really mean possessing “integrity”. It’s not that we take little interest. You only have to look at the number of Change.org, GetUp, ThePetitionSite, and other social media organizations, objecting to proposed government policy on every front. And yet, such policy and legislation is invariably rushed through, usually in the wee hours of morning, by a handful of “representatives”. Which is hardly representative, really.

    And they wonder why people have disengaged from politics? It is because we feel helpless, that our votes don’t really count, and that our voices fall on deaf ears. We have not failed democracy. Democracy has failed us.

  20. John Boyd

    Andreas….fine, just remember to put Labor ahead of the LNP, and don’t forget that it was the Greens that sank the original CPRS and the ‘Malaysian solution’, for their own selfish reasons, ie to not allow Labor to get traction on the key issues that they relied on for support.

  21. Freethinker

    John Boyd, perhaps I am wrong but was not the Greens the principal barrier to stop the Malaysian Solution, was David Manne a refugee activist lawyer.
    He brought to the high Court the case of a refugees coming by boat where was a 16 years old boy.
    He managed to stop it based on the Migration Act Section 198a .
    If the Greens have part on it was simple because they alleged that the Government was not comply with the international obligations.
    As simple as that.

  22. Phil

    So many voters treat their politics like the footy – my team is the best and nothing will ever make me barrack for the other team – it goes without saying. Many Aussie struggle with their politics – they can’t deal with the political process largely because they don’t understand it. Why don’t they understand it? Well, I suspect it’s because they don’t want to understand it. And so when politics gets antsy and the game heats up they throw up their hands and shout “they’re all a bunch of bastards”.

    This is exactly what I’m hearing today from those with whom I casually drop a line about the Joyce/Turnbull issues.

    The other issue as I see it is that the US has an abiding hatred – and fear – of an ascending political left and will do whatever it takes to prevent any threat of a rise in its support – this includes the very real risk of a centre left administration in one of its most important vassal states. We have seen this before and its the reason the ALP plays neolib-lite. The MSM in Australia is under majority US corporate fealty and the politics of conservatism requires careful adoption of policy that meshes with US corporate and geopolitical goals.

    The ALP is the only political party we have that has a chance in hell of helping Australia become more an independent nation state in Oceana than a vassal of US corporate and military hegemony. We can trade peacefully and profitably with China and still support the US but not while the US is talking war in our region.

    I will be supporting the ALP next election. I like the Greens, but they don’t have the means to do any more than spoil at present.

  23. diannaart

    I will be supporting the ALP next election. I like the Greens, but they don’t have the means to do any more than spoil at present.

    …and the Greens never will while people keep saying this.

    (I’m not having a go – but just think things through)

  24. paul walter

    Sad to see no appreciable change in the polls and a third of the country still backing Joyce. I just don’t get it.

  25. Wam

    Good on you, phil. I wont be liking di’s boys or Labor (but the preferences dictate billy and tanya will get my vote) but 4%-10% of the community will give them their dollar.

    As for barnaby, he shows us how we vote for the individual by getting 65% and the other 16 candidates shared the 35% (di’s party got 4%).’

    why is it so? We have fullfilled our obligations to vote, we are rich and, as long as we believe labor cannot manage the economy, malcolm your uncle.

  26. helvityni

    Wam, I think that ought read ‘we HAVE rich people’ instead of ‘we ARE rich’….

    Plenty of homeless sleeping on the streets, in tents, and in the warmer parts of Oz,even on the beach….

  27. Andreas Bimba

    The right wing corporate oligarchy centred mainly on the finance sector has a web of control over both main party blocs in our binary political system as it does in the US. Australia has been drifting towards the bastardised US economic/social/oligarchic/state security model with obscene levels of wealth inequality for over 40 years, away from the generally egalitarian, full employment, affordable home ownership, affordable education, welfare state, private and government sector economy, social democratic post war model that was implemented largely by a power balance between the union movement and a business sector that had some social conscience back then as well as a somewhat functional democracy and mass media.

    Malcolm Turnbull was chairman of Goldman Sachs Australian operations from 1997 to 2001 and this ‘investment’ bank is a central element of the global financial sector oligarchy.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405

    In the neoliberal era Australia has been like a huge ship with big turns to the right by the Coalition followed by little turns to the left on some issues and to the right on others by Labor for the last 40 years.

    In contrast Jeremy Corbyn in the UK and an upsurge of influence by the grass roots supporters in the UK Labour Party has led to a return to social democratic values, electoral support has greatly increased and UK Labour is now likely to win the next UK general election.

    In the US Bernie Sanders and other more progressive representatives and candidates are gaining ground within the Democratic Party and that party may gain a majority in both houses of Congress and the Presidency after the next Presidential elections. Sanders and many allied progressive organisations are building a people’s movement so as to counter the right wing and ‘progressive’ corporate oligarchy controlled establishment.

    New Zealand with their superior proportional representation mixed member proportional (MMP) voting system which they first used in 1996 after a referendum in 1993, now has a true multi party political system and currently have a Labour, NZ First and NZ Greens coalition government led by Jacinda Adern which promises a more social democratic direction after 40 years of ever more neoliberal economic policy delivered by all previous governments.

    Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tossed the TPP in the bin but now faces the onslaught of the international corporate oligarchy. Unfortunately Canada continues down the economically incompetent fiscal austerity path and also has a mad property speculation bubble and excessive private debt levels.

    Bill Shorten and the ALP leadership may be just choosing to remain a small target given our rubbish right wing corporate dominated mass media, an economically neoliberal ABC and a generally ignorant electorate but I can’t really envisage much improvement. Will Labor break free of the forces driving us to ever more neoliberalism? I don’t think so.

    Penny Wong still argues for more FTA’s and even the secretly negotiated TPP with its appalling undemocratic ISDS protocols. Chris Bowen accuses the Conservatives of being fiscally irresponsible and promises an earlier return to surplus than the Conservatives. Labor was largely silent on the forced exit of Australia’s automotive industry even though they could have suggested to Holden and Toyota to mothball their plants until a favorable industrial policy environment could be delivered by a Labor government. Many in the Labor Party want the Carmichael mega coal mine, the first of a series in Queensland’s Galilee Basin to proceed and are sceptical of the global warming crisis. The list is long!

    ……………

    The Liberals and other right wing parties are a total disaster. The Greens may well be ‘neoliberals on bikes’ in regard to the vitally important area of fiscal policy but they are closer to the social democratic policy path than all the other parties in all other respects. Even in regard to fiscal policy the Greens have a policy of federal deficits of 3% of GDP while both the Conservatives and Labor have a goal of a return to surplus. The Greens also have a policy of manufacturing electric and other renewable fuel source vehicles and much of the components needed by a environmentally sustainable economy in Australia.

    If we had a proportional representation voting system such as the Tasmanian and ACT Hare-Clark voting system or the New Zealand and German mixed member proportional (MMP) system, then the Greens and other minor parties would have real influence in the vital lower houses of our parliaments and we would then have in most cases widely based coalition governments. The federal Senate has proportional representation voting within each States allocation and the cross bench exerts real influence when the ruling government does not have an absolute majority, which is likely to become the norm.

    If we want meaningful change then I think we should not vote for the Coalition or Labor but one of the minor parties or independents. The share of the first preference vote for the Coalition and Labor is declining. Unfortunately far too many are voting for awful right wing parties like One Nation and Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives. The South Australian elections may finally see a more widely based coalition government due to the popularity of Nick Xenophon and his SA Best party and it would be great if South Australia also adopted the Hare-Clark voting system for their state elections.

    Given that the Conservative Coalition’s policies and values are in general diametrically opposite to those of the Greens, preferences whether decided by voters or by the Greens leadership, will generally go to Labor.

  28. Linda

    Anyone who actually hears Shorten in the flesh will realise that he is one of those rare politicians who actually listens. He is at his best amongst the people rather than in front of the cameras. He is genuine. Albo is a sleazebag and a hypocrite who has long discarded his labor Values. Putting him in charge, or indeed keeping him in the ministry, would be as dangerous step as the Liberals electing Joyce. What needs to be made clear to the electorate and others, is that Joyce actually faught against providing young people with a vaccine to prevent cancer. CANCER! He was basically saying that ‘promiscuous’ people (which includes himself) deserve to get CANCER! That is abominable beyond belief.

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