Sunday January 17 2016
This election I will be voting for the 41st time. I can’t imagine how many promises parties have made in that time. I do know that if they had all been kept then I should be living in utopia. I am not.
1 What chance does Labor have of victory at the next election? I am not talking policy, strategy but simply votes required.
If you go by the polls you would say Labor has very little chance of winning. But then Polls only ever give us a snapshot of how people are thinking at the time. They can change very quickly.
There are some important lessons to be learnt from the last election.
None more so than the political apathy that now grips the electorate. There is something fundamentally wrong when, despite a huge recruitment drive by the Australian Electoral Commission at the last election 1.22 million citizens failed to enrol to vote and 400,000, or one-third of the non-registrants, were aged 18 to 24.
Additionally, 760,000 House of Representatives ballots were informal – about 6 per cent, – up more than 0.3 per cent from the 2010 election.
3 Million Didn’t bother to cast a vote. A kick in the guts for our democracy.
It would seem that a large portion of eligible voters no longer have any interest, or confidence in the institution of our parliament, or politics in general for that matter.
The big challenge for both parties should be to engage more people in the process. I use the word should because I fear the right of politics has little interest in doing so.
But the wipe-out of the Labor Party at the last election as predicted by the pollsters did not occur and it highlighted the implausibility of polling small samples in individual seats.
Now if we take a dispassionate look at the last election results we find that Labor did not suffer the resounding defeat that many commentators have suggested. The landslide argument doesn’t stand up in light of the figures. The figures simply do not support the assumption.
Fifteen of the Coalition’s new seats are held on very thin margins. Eleven seats have margins of less than 4000 voters. In essence the election was a lot tighter than was first proposed. In effect this means that it would only take about 30,000 people to change their vote to change the government. This of course can be misleading because ups and downs vary from election to election.
Note that under proposed redistribution by the AEC announced Friday 15 January Labor gained three notional seats in Barton, Dobell and Patterson and would lose one. The percentages I quote below represent the state of the seats after the election.
Anthony Green the ABCs guru of all statistics on elections and anything else says that for Labor to win it would need a uniform swing of 4.3%
‘In summary, the round of redistributions reduces the Coalition from 90 to a notional 88 seats, while Labor increases from 55 to a notional 57 seats. Assuming a uniform swing, the Coalition can retain majority government despite losing 14 seats on a swing of 3.0%, while Labor need to gain 21 seats on a uniform swing of 4.3% for majority government.’
This is how the seats stand.
Barton (NSW) (**) LIB 0.3% Petrie (QLD) (**) LNP 0.5% Eden-Monaro (NSW) (**) LIB 0.6% Dobell (NSW) (**) LIB 0.7% Capricornia (QLD) (**) LNP 0.8% Reid (NSW) (**) LIB 0.9% Lyons (TAS) (**) LIB 1.2% Solomon (NT) CLP 1.4% Banks (NSW) (**) LIB 1.8% Hindmarsh (SA) (**) LIB 1.9% Page (NSW) (**) NAT 2.5% Braddon (TAS) (**) LIB 2.6% Gilmore (NSW) LIB 2.6% Lindsay (NSW) (**) LIB 3.0% Robertson (NSW) (**) LIB 3.0% > Deakin (VIC) (**) LIB 3.2% Bonner (QLD) LNP 3.7% Corangamite (VIC) (**) LIB 3.9% Bass (TAS) (**) LIB 4.0% La Trobe (VIC) (**) LIB 4.0% Brisbane (QLD) LNP 4.3% Forde (QLD) LNP 4.4% Macquarie (NSW) LIB 4.5% Hasluck (WA) LIB 4.9% Dunkley (VIC) LIB 5.6% Leichhardt (QLD) LNP 5.7% Herbert (QLD) LNP 6.2% Flynn (QLD) LNP 6.5% Swan (WA) LIB 6.5% Dickson (QLD) LNP 6.7% Longman (QLD) LNP 6.9% Boothby (SA) LIB 7.1% Casey (VIC) LIB 7.2% Cowan (WA) LIB 7.5% Dawson (QLD) LNP 7.6% Bennelong (NSW) LIB 7.8% Pearce (WA) LIB 8.1% Aston (VIC) LIB 8.2% Ryan (QLD) LNP 8.5% Bowman (QLD) LNP 8.9% Hinkler (QLD) LNP 9.0% Fisher (QLD) LNP 9.8% Paterson (NSW) LIB 9.8% Higgins (VIC) LIB 9.9% Sturt (SA) LIB 10.1%
2 Yet another Jamie in trouble. This time the Labor figure Jamie Clements has quit as the general secretary ( NSW) after facing mounting pressure over harassment allegations, while insisting he had “done nothing wrong”. It’s all alleged of course and we shouldn’t pre judge but what is it with men that they cannot keep their hand off women.
‘Most problems that society faces arise from the fact that men have never really grown up’
3 The rebellious right, or Abbott’s attack squad of the Liberal Party seem intent on antagonising Turnbull in every way they can. Pure of heart and leading Christian right-wing advocate for war Kevin Andrews criticises Defence Minister Marise Payne advocating that our troops should be head butting ISIS on the ground. Eric Abetz, aggrieved former Minister comes out in support.
Whilst backbenchers are entitled to air a view Andrews crossed the line when, as the former minister he disclosed information he had received in the job. That is totality inappropriate.
Why is that when the shelf-life of politician’s passes we simply don’t digest what they say?
4 For those of you interested in the future of our NBN and its progress here is an excellent piece by Mark Gregory.
‘It has been an inauspicious beginning to 2016 for NBN Co and the year only promises to go from bad to worse as the rest of the world moves ahead with NG-PON2 Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) rollouts and Australians slowly realise that the spin from Turnbull about how his NBN was going to be fast, affordable and here sooner is nothing more than a bad joke.’
And it really is very strange that the ABC has made no mention of Turnbull’s stuff up.
5 Further to my post on ‘’free speech’’ yesterday. There is no guarantee of free speech in the Australian constitution. It is only implied.
My thought for the day.
‘Life is an experience of random often unidentifiable patterns and indiscriminate consequences that don’t always have order nor require explanation’.