Tuesday June 14 2016.
1 The 2013 election was called the worst in Australian political history. This one is very different in so much as there is a real choice between old economics and new economics.
I took a break from my day-to-day writing only to find that the dollar like confetti is still being thrown around by both parties and in my mind the Labor economic policy is more credible and honest.
Both parties are using Treasury figures as a baseline for their future plans. It is also said that the assumptions in their predictions are heroic and unlikely to happen but they are both looking at the same figures.
The conservative’s only response to Labor’s policies is to denounce them with hysterical language as was the case with Scott Morrison’s interview on ABC’s Insiders on Sunday.
I’m of the view that the Turnbull plan is to bore everyone to death over the eight week campaign so as they will lose sight of the fact that the Government has really governed deplorably during its tenure in office. Thus far the mainstream media have been mute on this point.
Labor is countering the boredom tactic with a policy of new positive economics. Shorten chose to take economic theory right up to Turnbull and fight him on his own turf by releasing policies on superannuation, negative gearing and capital gains early. He has and is continuing to lead rather than follow and has certainly been the better performer in day-to-day campaigning.
It’s hard to know if the electorate is listening but this campaign has real substance. There is a defining difference. On the one hand the Coalition wants to give company tax cuts and the Opposition wants to use the same money on health and education.
The question of course remain: Are the people listening?
The single biggest idea of the campaign has been Labor’s Negative Gearing policy. One that the Coalition is hellbent on stopping. It was high risk for Shorten and could have been fatal but so far it seems to have been well accepted.
So the election is about an existing capitalistic economic system as the best way to create wealth, or remodelling the system with a concern for social even-handedness.
There are of course many other issues. The two parties have different ideas about climate change, health care, superannuation, science, technology and many others but the campaigns of both centre around the ideology of each other’s economics.
Here is a reply from Scott Morrison to Labor’s proposed cost savings announced last week. It is typical of his exaggerated style but there are 8 key words that underline their budget predictions and their proposed tax cuts for business.
“based on the current assumptions around the parameters.”
“I mean, it is really embarrassing what we saw here today. These numbers don’t add up. At the end of the day Bill Shorten keeps digging a hole on his spending, and the hole gets deeper and deeper. And what they announced today doesn’t cover it, it doesn’t come close to covering it, and so the Australian people, I think, are faced with a very straightforward choice.. They can vote for Labor and vote for higher deficits and higher debt, or they are support the government’s economic plan which will keep us on that positive trajectory towards a budget balance by 2021 based on the current assumptions around the parameters.”
I think it was Abraham Lincoln who said:
“Labour came before capital and is not related to it. Capital is what’s acquired from labour, and would never have come about if it were not for labour. Therefore, labour is superior to capital and deserves the higher significance.”
Labor has extended the economics fight by drawing on 10 a year timeframe as a measure of policy. Something that may now become a permanent part of Government policy planning.
For me it is obvious that Bill Shorten has not been sitting on his backside for the past three years. He has developed policies, been prepared to take risks and be upfront and honest about his economic plans.
Malcolm Turnbull has spent most of his time being critical of the Opposition and being someone he is not.
2 Deputy Prime Minister came up with a Deputy Prime Minister’s “vice captain’s call” to force 170 Canberra public servants to move 800 kilometres from their homes to Armadale (in his seat of New England). It seemed he didn’t have permission from the Cabinet or the man handling the money. There was no cost analysis.
The NFF had voted against the move saying it was concerned that highly experienced staff who did not want to move could be lost.
On top of that he is reported as telling Nicola Chirlian, a Liverpool Plains beef farmer and anti-mining activist who had tackled him on the topic of coal and coal seam gas mining on ABC’s Q&A program in Tamworth on Monday to “piss off, just piss off.”
3 The latest ReachTell poll still has the two major parties on 50/50, however there were some other interesting outcomes. On a question of what do you support most “increased spending on health and education services” or “tax cuts for companies” 69.5% favoured Health and Education over 30.5 tax cuts for companies.
4 How strange it is that the electorate put the LNP ahead of Labor as the better economic manager when they have managed to triple the deficit in under three years?
It is an election that will be won in the marginal seats and it appears that if we are to believe the polling in those seats then the LNP seats. Might it be a repeat of Kim Beazley’s effort in 1998 when he won the majority vote but didn’t win the election?
5 The Arthur Sinodinos interview on Sky about taxpayer-funded contributions to the Liberal Party was excruciatingly painful. This has legs that will hopefully grow.
My thought for the day.
“Lying is wrong but lying to defend a lie is appalling immoral.”