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Day to Day Politics: The state of play.

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.”

An observation.

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.

Other things.

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.”


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  1. Glenn K

    the LNP are caught money laundering public funds back into their party. this should be headline news. corman’s dissmissive response is insulting. where is the afp on this? why are voters not reacting? perhaps because no one is surprised? this is our new normal?

  2. Michael Taylor

    Glenn, apparently the SMH have a big story about this breaking today.

  3. Kaye Lee

    The Greens have referred it to the AEC and the Dept of Finance.

    “We know that Parakeelia has already been investigated by the AEC in 2012, and the compliance review report emerging from that investigation found two errors regarding the reporting of receipts. It is time for another investigation.”

  4. Bighead1883

    Well written John and didn`t Bill Shorten do well on QandA last night
    His Zinger of “Sorry for interrupting your question with an answer”to Tony Jones sat him on his proverbial arse

    Parakeelia`s problem is not the collection of data and how the LNP uses it to garner voter intentions [all political parties have a similar information gathering model to some degree] it`s how the resultant leftover funds are then donated back to the Liberal Party for their war chest
    We now know and Dennis Jensen is asking any media outlet to question him on Parakeelia that it was/is a money laundering operation

    A similar function done by Labor is handled by a private company and all is kept in a proper business like manner

    Whereas the LNP require MP`s to put in $2.500 PA from their electoral allowances and leftover funds are then passed onto the Liberal Party [laundered] our taxes blatantly embezzled

  5. helvityni

    Bighead, I too was pleased with Bill last night, and so was the Western Sydney audience; plenty of approving clapping.
    I was delighted by the way he dealt with the cocky Mr Jones.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Interestingly, James Brown is Malcolm Turnbull’s son-in-law

  7. Oscar

    Ill take intelligence, thoughtful and holistic views wherever I can find them.I’m still waiting for little Johnny Howard to be tried for war crimes.We need a buffer protection for morons for impressionable LEADERS like Howard. Who would say ah ii a oh ye oh ye oo yea George! “where right with you George”.”Me and Janet might even come over and stay for a bit” .Imagine George’s response “Whatever John; glad to have you on board Jon Boy” gotta go maate !

  8. Arthur Plottier

    John, during my 48 years in Australia the electorate was bombarded with “we must reduce the debt”, “we must balance the books and have no deficit”
    Also the intense advertising in the media that the coalition are better with money that the Labor is something that we saw all these years
    No we can say that people are brain washed with that theory without analyze the plus and minors on it.
    This is one of the reasons why we found contradicting data on the polls.
    It appears to me that people would like to have good health care, good education and good infrastructure without investment.

  9. king1394

    Likewise, the concept of the ‘surplus’ has been raised to become a marker of fiscal responsibility and wisdom, rather than being an indication that taxes are both too high and that they are not being spent appropriately on the services, infrastructure and social supports that they are for. Government Surpluses do not indicate effective of financial management at all.

    People need to be reminded that the recent surpluses have also depended on the sale of national assets which once provided income to the Governments and now are a charge on us all, as they are placed in the hands of companies which need to make profits from them.
    The privatisation of assets has benefited wealthy people and overseas-based investors who have been able to buy them, not the ordinary Australian citizenry.

    Furthermore, our neo-Liberal parties continue to find the last scraps of our shared State and national assets – for instance the NSW Government plan to sell the Land Titles Office

  10. OldWomBat

    My greatest fear is that should the lnp win this election the changes they propose will affect the basis structure of Australian society, embedding inequality and selling out to overseas interests, changes that will be virtually impossible to reverse. The lnp sprout jobs and growth, but for whom? Not the majority of Australians.

  11. Möbius Ecko

    king1394. More importantly they need to be reminded that government surpluses depend on the shifting of sustainable public debt to limited and unsustainable private debt.

  12. Steve Laing -

    How come Sky appears to the only MSM news channel that is giving the Libs the real grilling they deserve? It makes utterly no sense, but I’m glad that someone is. Perhaps its a long game for after the election to make the overthrow of Malcolm a little easier…

  13. SGB

    OldWomBat, daid abpve
    My greatest fear is that should the lnp win this election the changes they propose will affect the basis structure of Australian society…

    I agree I am really concerned for our future, we are on a part pension, if they get back in I know they are going to attack the baby boomers and in particular people like us; and I am one of the lucky retirees who have a modest home to sell, though god knows where we would live, on site caravan or granny flat I suppose!

  14. wam

    4 is great, lord!!!
    it is time to expose the libs:
    labor made the AAA economy praised by the world
    liberal economy only praised by liberals and the world uses profligate for howard.
    the rabbott screams debt crisis like greece media repeat up to sept 2013 then the libs spend billions by oct on planes with their record probably 100s of billions then for xmas the loonies vote to double the debt.

    “Australia has remained one of the strongest performing economies in the ‘AAA’ universe since the global financial crisis began.”

    “Australia has built up the capacity to absorb shocks due to a combination of low public debt, a free floating exchange rate and liberal trade and labour markets, which allows the authorities to run strong countercyclical policies during downturns and the economy to adjust.”

    [29 March 2013]

    yet on the tv morning shows the rabbott and hockey went ‘greece-ifying the economy of gillard and swan without challenge????? Why???
    Labor is still taking the economic body punches with reaction??? Why??
    At the golf club today one of only 3 overt labor(golf club full of ‘hands off my super’ welfare haters yet they have a health card??? ) was worried by shorten’s treaty??? I thought he did well on the question but he thought a treaty was a great loser. We are racist so care?????

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