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Day to Day Politics: Why would you vote for them really?

Friday 22 April 2016   -72

1 There is not an area in public life, be it sport, leadership, commerce, or whatever, where performance is not the key indicator of one’s success or otherwise. On that criteria you would think the Coalition wouldn’t have a chance of winning the upcoming election. That any opposition would be a mile in front of this excuse for a Government.

Under Abbott and then Turnbull they, by any standard, have governed poorly. So much so that they really don’t deserve to win. It would be fair to say that a vote for the Coalition would be a reward for governance that doesn’t even approach mediocrity.

Having said that, one then asks how come they are still favourites to win? Is it because people think Labor would be even worse. The perception that the Rudd/Gillard governments also governed badly is still strong in the public’s mind. I use the word perceived only because in reality they were, as governments go, no better or worse than many. Indeed, it’s true that for their tenure they suffered a crisis of leadership.

The truth is though that there is always a percentage of voters who will vote the same way every election regardless. The ‘mum and dad influenced’ me types.

Current polling would suggest the electorate is split down party lines and once again it will be the swinging voters who will sway the day. That of course is taking a universal view, whereas it might be individual seats with special interests that may decide.

Whatever it is the question remains: “Why on earth would you vote for a government whose performance has been so abysmal?”

2 Peter Martin makes some interesting points in an article for The Canberra Times. Here are some.

A About the Budget advertisements.

“Never before has a budget advertisement been prepared ahead of the budget itself. In fact, rarely before has a budget needed an advertisement”.

B About revenue.

“When you hear someone say we have a revenue problem, what they are saying is that Australians should be taxed more, that the tax burden on the Australian economy must be increased,” Treasurer Scott Morrison says. “Bill Shorten and Chris Bowen agree – that is why they are proposing, even boasting, that they will increase the tax burden on the Australian economy by over $100 billion over the next 10 years”.

C About debt.

“Under Tony Abbott’s and Malcolm Turnbull’s watch, net government debt has grown from $202 billion to $279 billion and over the next three years will head for $347 billion”.

“Morrison is planning to turn his back on reality on Tuesday week. Down the track, someone is going to have to do the hard work and put taxes up”.

An observation.

“People need to wake up to the fact that government affects every part of their life (other than what they do in bed) and should be more interested. But there is a political malaise that is deep-seated”.

3 Inequality is starting to play a role in this election. 40 prominent Australians have sent an open letter to the Prime Minister saying that “By allowing corporations and wealthy people to set up shell companies and shift profits offshore, our politicians are giving the mega rich the tools they need to hide public money through tax dodging”.

In addition, Labor is considering maintaining the 2% tax surcharge on the wealthy.

4 It’s still only early days. Labor is already in election mode but the Coalition seem unsure as it whether the starter has fired the gun.

My thought for the day.

“The right to vote is the gift that democracy gives. If a political party is not transparent in supplying all the information necessary to exercise this right. It is destroying the democracy that enables it to exist”.



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  1. Peter F

    The bare faced lies from the coalition are beyond belief. “the ALP will raise taxes by $100B” should , of course read ‘The ALP will remove $100B of tax benefits from the wealthy”. Meanwhile, the $16B which the government has now after ‘long and careful and considered action’ , is described as ‘savings’: the same money, different descriptors. I note that when you say ‘long and careful consideration’ you must remember that a week is a long time in politics- at least for this government.

  2. Terry2

    The increase in net government debt – from $202 billion to $279 billion – that’s a 40% increase in just 30 months of the coalition being in office – would have been screaming headlines in the Daily Telegraph had it been a Labor government but you won’t hear anything from the Murdoch media machine which dominates our national and regional press.

    It is not the debt increase that I find disturbing but the selective reporting and the campaigns run by sections of the media to obscure genuinely newsworthy information and the follow up questions that need to be put to Morrison.

    Peter Martin at Fairfax is doing his job as a journalist and must be commended for reporting facts but what are News Corp. doing and should we tolerate it ?

  3. Anomander

    Why is it that the Rudd/Gillard leadership tussle was a catastrophe of immense proportions that made Labor unelectable, yet the Abbott/Turnbull leadership change was reported as a good thing?

    The MSM have a lot to answer for in their misrepresentation of the facts, not only around leadership but also around debt.

    Rudd’s reaction to the GFC was a textbook case and widely lauded by eniment economists across the world, but was protrayed in our media as profligate.

    Gillard managed to negotiate and hold together a tenuous coalition of parties and independents to form a government that functioned and managed to pass numerous pieces of important legislation, yet the MSM waged a war of misinformation that prevented the average mug punter from seeing the truth.

    Abbott on the other hand swept to power with a majority, but was so insane with his ideological agenda, he had to be removed from office, yet the MSM managed to turn this into positive, despite the fact Turnbull has shown no ability to move away from the destructive and divisive policies and direction of the Abott years.

  4. Lee

    I await the outcome of the election with bated breath, I hope labor can maintain its momentum, and win the election. Have you noticed the little amount of time the media has given labor to get its message across the media have a lot to answer for. The only trouble is I feel I’m preaching to the converted, make it not so.

  5. James O'Neill

    Can I suggest the fundamental question to be posed is this: what type of society do we wish to achieve? Once that framework is settled, then the ancillary question is: what revenue is needed to fund that society and how might that revenue be equitably raised.
    Morrison is frankly an incompetent idiot because he refuses to acknowledge that revenue and expenditure are two parts of the same equation; and that the present tax system is manifestly unfair in that, as the ATO figures show, the biggest Australian companies pay little or no tax and certainly nowhere near the nominal company tax rate.

    Given a chance, I suggest that the majority of Australians would answer my first point by saying: comprehensive world class education at all levels; a first rate medical care system at public expense; and security in old age. That is what the Scandinavians have formulated and their tax system is geared to pay for it accordingly. There is no reason in my view why Australia could not follow a similar model.

    One important key to improving the quality of the political debate would be to reform (and I use that word in its dictionary meaning) the electoral system. Australia is, I think, unique in the world for its current system, and it shows in the abysmal quality of our politicians and the policy choices that flow from that.

  6. Backyard Bob

    Whatever it is the question remains: “Why on earth would you vote for a government whose performance has been so abysmal?”

    Cognitive dissonance.

  7. Gangey1959

    The FIRST thing the mad monk did was scrap the revenue raised FOR Australia by the ETS and what was termed the mining tax.
    Why didn’t turdbullshitartist just say “Ooops. He was a nut job, but I’m here now so I’ve put them back on because there is nowhere else to get the cash from unless we belt the voters. Again. And I don’t want to do that just yet cos I’ll lose.” when he took over from rabbott ?
    We all would have thought he was a brilliant bloke, the reef wouldn’t be dying in large lumps, we would have gotten something from corporate Australia, and the libs would have been a shoe-in regardless of which moron was called money jar monitor.
    But Noooooooo!!!. He’s malcolm of the entangled testicles, and he doesn’t say “Oooops” for anything. Not even when he gets them caught in the dunny seat.
    “Luuuuuucy. I’m stuck again. Somewhere between bernardi and the cistern and the chinese iron people, and I’ve an appointment at 2 with coal.”
    Can we have a new prime minister after July 2 please. This one’s broken.

  8. Matthew Oborne

    Why is it not an issue that Turnbull’s job as Australian CEO of Goldman Sachs involved siphoning money out of our economy?

  9. wam

    Rudd lost because he was a lemon. Gillard was done by labor, the rabbott, rupert, the miners and misogyny. With most of those suspended or playing with injuries and the banks desperate there is a chance of a palmer-like ‘bye bye liberal boys byebye
    loved ‘abysmal’ and certainly hope labor reads the lines and ads the ‘s’ to make abyss mal.

  10. Rezblah

    The msm should be tried for sedition, you would think it would be an open and shut case

    Failing that, Murdoch should be declared persona non gratis and unfit to do business in this country, and his empire busted up in addition to being charged back taxes to the beginning of time

    As he is effectively the J Edgar Hoover of the 21st c with thick files of juicy dirt on anyone who enters politics, I’m guessing this won’t happen any time soon. How else can he wield so much power? At the very least I imagine he has everyone’s web browsing history, plus anything else you can gain from illegal phone tapping operations for starters

    Gutless wonders the lot of them

  11. François

    Cheers again John,
    I agree with you. Our representative democratic system, the right to vote every 3 years only gives an ephemeral sensation of democracy. We have had 9 years watching the Libs or Labor’s rivalry and deceit and in that time we only voted 3 times. We could have advanced so much more on issues like Marriage equality, Carbon tax, refugees, education, heath… If only we could have a little representation of the people in shaping the future of our country instead of having to suffer the agendas of the biased Major parties.
    Support Online Direct Democracy Party
    François 🙂

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