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Election Update And More Innaccurate Predictions!

Good morning,

As I wait for the counting of votes to resume, I thought that this would be an excellent moment to contemplate recent events. But hey, this is politics and the past is the past and we never look, back because the future’s much more exciting.

I mean, if we looked back, we’d be declaring Bill Shorten the Prime Minister because Labor won the two-party prefered and, in 2010 when we were previously in the position of having a minority government, the Liberals were pretty clear on the fact that they should be the government because they won the most votes on the two-party prefered. (Yes, I know that some of you Labor Party people will challenge that both on the grounds that they only won the two-party prefered when they add the Nationals votes making it the two party versus one party prefered. Also, the fact that it wasn’t true may be another reason to dispute it.) So surely, if we were looking back, they wouldn’t have the temerity to now argue that governments are decided on the floor of the House of Representatives…

That would be so inconsistent.

However, if there’s one consistent thing I’ve discovered about politics, then it’s the inconsistency of politicians.

After running a scare campaign on negative gearing sending house prices down, while simultaneously arguing that it doesn’t price people out of the market by pushing up prices, Malcolm Turnbull spends his election night (morning) speech moaning about Labor’s dishonest campaign on Medicare. Never mind that he belongs to the party that gave us the “children overboard” fiasco.

Of course, Turnbull overlooks the fundamental point. While it may be an exaggeration to suggest that all’s fair in politics, the fact remains that, whatever the truth about their plans for Medicare, the other side can only get away with what’s believable. In other words, Bill Shorten couldn’t get away with suggesting that the Liberals are really lizard people being controlled by aliens from another galaxy where the concept of empathy is unknown (however, were he to suggest that about Barnaby Joyce he may receive some traction), but if he were to suggest that Liberals were planning to raise the GST to fifteen percent or introduce a state income tax, people would believe it because we had Malcolm and Scottie saying what a good idea it was, before saying, “Oh wait, it’s not and that’s got nothing to with the upcoming election,” then more than a handful of people would find that convincing.

But I digress. The future’s the thing, so completely ignoring the fact that my prediction of Malcolm limping over the line with enough seats to form a majority government looks inaccurate to everyone except Malcolm and George Brandis, I’m going to declare Bill Shorten the next Prime Minister of Australia. I have several reasons for this:

1. I think most people will agree when I say that I really like what Mr Turnbull said yesterday. Now I know that some of you will be saying that they can’t remember what he said. That’s because he didn’t appear in public yesterday and I think that he’s worked out that people like that and wish he’d do more of it. Which, of course, makes it hard for him to be PM.

2. When it comes to negotiating with the cross-benchers, we have a Prime Minister who’ll probably tell them that this is the sort of chaos he warned against and if they think that they’re cross-benchers, well, he’s even more cross because he has to deal with them. On Labor’s side, we have a union organiser who’s spent his professional life making deals. Granted, the Royal Commission did seem to suggest that some of the deals benefitted Mr Shorten more than his members, but we are talking about who’ll be the best person to make the deal here!

3. Brexit! There is a suggestion that this could lead to some problems in the financial markets and while many Australians have swallowed the line that the Liberals are excellent financial managers, the Liberals have managed to ensure that they’re not in government when such things happen. The oil shocks of the seventies and the GFC are two obvious examples. In fact, they’re the only two examples, but let’s face it, we’ve had a lot of Liberal government over the past seventy years.

4. While Shorten will have the backing of most of his party in his dealings with the Xenophonics, the Independents and Greens, Turnbull will have several people on his own side determined to bring him down. It’s quite likely that, even if he gets the backing of enough Independents, then someone in his party (Abetz, Bernardi or one of those anonymous sources that I like to make up so I can sound just like someone who gets to drink in the bars at Canberra) will announce that such a deal is a betrayal of Liberal Party values, even if many of you think the phrase “Liberal Party values” is an oxymoron.

5. Assuming that Turnbull decides to leave his house in the next few days and manages to hold on as PM by convincing Parliament of the need for “stability”, then it’d only be a matter of time before an internal challenge was launched. Someone’s bound to work out that when you take away the Turnbull supporters who lost the seats and add the Liberals who only voted for him because they were afraid of losing the election, then Turnbull no longer has the numbers. If there were a challenge, he’d lose. Labor would immediately move a no-confidence motion in Parliament which would be likely to succeed. This would leave Shorten with the potential to become PM without going to a general election by convincing the Independents that going to an election would just be an expensive waste of time… And more importantly, it may lose them their seats. He could then go to the Governor-General and announce that he had the confidence of the House and should be appointed the next PM.

Ok, well, I guess I’d better go and check the latest voting, so that I’m not making predictions based on flawed information. That’d be pretty silly. It’d be like accusing a PM of corrupt behaviour concerning a ute, based on a fake email. I’d feel pretty silly if I discovered that Turnbull’s prediction of the Liberals coming from behind in all seven doubtful seats that they need to gain a majority had just been proven correct.


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  1. Freethinker

    Quote from Chris Bowen in Q&A:
    “We said before the election it was a firm agreement — no deals, concessions, with any minor party; Greens, Xenophon, anybody else. That was our decision before the election, and that’s our decision now,”

    If the ALP brake the commitment or promise before the election and also after it the ALP will loose more credibility and also there will be a lot of internal unrest.
    They have only themselves to blame for their arrogance and lack of respect for the electorate that expect a government and politician to have some kind of maturity.
    Their arrogance is nearly to a narcissists behavior.
    Assuming that this time they are going to honor their promise we have to discard the ALP from office if they do not get 75 seats plus one independent ready to do the speaker job.

    Regarding the opposition, that it is a different matter. Before the election they made the same promise than the ALP plus rubbished the other parties and independents.
    Now they are negotiating with them.
    What it is interesting is that the right faction it is nervous about the possibility of Turnbull and the moderate faction arrive to some deals with Nick and other 2 independents that have Liberal-National background and between them implement some more moderated and progressive policies like the ones in the pass by the “old” Malcolm.
    That will bring an internal revolt which can bring self destruction of the party or the extreme right count the loses and wait for the next opportunity.

    IMHO we can have 2 outcomes, one a weak coalition government that will not last 2 years and the other a new election.

  2. David Stephens

    I recall following the postal votes counting in 2010 and the Coalition definitely did better.

  3. Steve Laing

    Given the state of the lower house and upper house, I think that Labor have a far better chance of navigating legislation through both than the Libs, who will need to be centrist in the lower and Neo-nazi in the upper. Won’t wash.

    Also Bowen was stupid not to accept that the only reason that Labor have many of the seats they have is due to a significant number of Greens preferences due to 2PP. He would be smarter being conciliatory rather than pompous as this is exactly the behaviour voters hate, and won’t lead to the goodwill they need to succed if Bill does get up.

  4. Kaye Lee

    I am waiting for Tuxit where Turnbull decides, having chosen to go a DD, that he will resign to let someone else deal with the mess he has created.

  5. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, that is an age old tory trait lol.

  6. bobrafto

    words for thought
    John Swinton, former Chief of Staff of the most powerful and prestigious newspaper on earth, The New York Times, when asked to give a toast to the “free press” at the New York Press Club stated:
    “There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.
    If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

  7. kerri

    I read something on the weekend that suggested Bib Katter for speaker?
    Would he replace 94a with his Smith and Wesson?

  8. gee

    something just clicked.. fake email… fake sms.. fake outrage..

  9. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, looking at that, I wish I could feel as optimistic as yourself.

  10. wam

    1 he didn’t appear on sunrise either, why?
    2 imagine returning to the rabbott for negotiating skills?
    3 it is their turn to shine at last.Quick it’s the future did we leave any money in costello’s fund?
    The current situation is like the dinner party waiting for heston’s feast with a slight apprehension at the final combination.

  11. James O'Neill

    I have been listening to the claims made by the politicians since the election. A persistent theme is that the Liberals were somehow robbed because Labor lied about medicare being privatised. They may well have done so, but if we start arresting politicians for lying then pretty soon the HofR and the Senate would be empty.
    What I find especially galling however, is that not a single journalist raises some spectacular lies told in the past. How about “children overboard” for example? That helped raise the level of xenophobia, bigotry and race based hatred that persists to this day. The author of that claim? The now sainted John Howard.
    Another example: Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. That particular lie has led to untold misery and carnage across several nations, at least a million dead Iraqis, an existential threat from terrorism, and much else to be appalled by. Again, the author of that lie, to Parliament this time, was John Howard, a war criminal still walking free.
    Beside those lies and their consequences, claiming the Tories are going to flog off Medicare seems rather small beer.

  12. Matters Not

    there is a chance the HoR will end up 72 each with 2 Xenos, 1 Green, Wilkie, McGowan and Katter

    Very worrying. Shorten sipping from this poison chalice is not in his personal interests and certainly not in the interests of either Labor or the Greens. Let the LNP self-destruct.

    Bring back Abbott, Abetz, Andrews and the like. Give them a free hand to set the agenda.

    There is a political ‘cliff’ within their purview. Let them jump.

  13. Carol Taylor

    On the subject of whether or not Labor lied on ‘Mediscare’, I find it difficult to believe that the Libs do not have themselves to blame due to headlines such as: Medicare and other government payments to be privatised This dating back to February. “The $50 billion-plus outsourcing would be the first time the private sector had delivered a national service subsidised by the government”.

    There you are, the private sector being outsourced to take over a section of Medicare. Privatised it is.

  14. Carol Taylor

    Here’s another one:

    Plans for a private player to take over Medicare, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and even some Veterans’ Affairs payments date back to 2014, and were well advanced until being dumped this month by the Coalition, under pressure from Labor’s claim the Turnbull government was bent on full privatisation.

    It remains unclear what will happen to the $5 million, 20-strong public service taskforce set up to plan the outsourcing.

    Conclusion: the LNP was well along the road to privatisation however the plan was put on hold (presumably until after the election) due solely to Shorten putting pressure on Turnbull.

  15. Kaye Lee


    And this…

    The federal government has awarded a contract estimated to be worth up to $220 million to Telstra Health to construct and manage a new National Cancer Screening Register.

    We are paying taxes to fund a healthcare system geared toward generating corporate profit for private companies.

    Pro Bono says the “controversial move” will see sensitive medical records placed under corporate management and “signals an end to the current state-based registers for cervical cancer screening programs and the national bowel cancer screening register”.

    “Previously the responsibility of compiling and maintaining the registers had fallen to state-based not-for-profit organisations, including the Victorian Cytology Service (VCS) which was overlooked for the national contract in favour of Telstra, despite its experience in the field,” the statement on its website says.

    “We call on the government to provide details about who the data owner and custodian will be, who will control access to the data and how much it will cost.

    “There must also be clarification on what public reporting on the data will be done and on who will compile those reports,” AHHA chief executive Alison Verhoeven says.

  16. jimhaz

    [I think maybe the AIMN should have a media watch like page]

    A Fact Checker like system would be excellent.

  17. Michael

    At the end of the day – the decision for all voters is above what political parties tell us is good for us – it is “what are we prepared to give up in order to get what we want” or put another way – a gigantic feedback loop describing the society we would like to live in, on the territory we stand (what we want) then evaluate these features in terms of medium of exchange (money) and co-production (reciprocity co-production) (what we are prepared to give up or cost)

    We may end up with highest corporate tax rate but live attractively and sustainably in the best place in the world – the mantra should be “it is the whole, stupid” – not just Jobson Growthe, etc

    Would anyone be interested in exploring further?

  18. James O'Neill

    Michael, I agree with your general approach. I had the benefit of spending a good chunk of my working life in Scandinavia where the approach is: what do we want to achieve as a society? Then the second question is: how do we pay for it? The solution is then to levy taxes that are fair and equitable to raise the desired revenue. Our system is so riddled with distortions and cross subsidies that we have moved a long way from fair and equitable to basically pandering to special interest groups.
    I would also query the notion put about by obviously self-interested parties about our allegedly high rate of corporate tax. There are two major issues here. The first is what is the effective rate of tax actually paid? News Corp for example is one of Australia’s biggest companies yet pays no tax at all. There are many other examples.
    The second issue is that we do not compare like with like. Many European counties have a nominally lower rate of corporate tax than Australia, but employers are also required to meet a range of other costs to the benefit of their employees that are effectively an additional tax, but that is never mentioned by Australian companies. Our msm are either too ignorant or more likely their reporters are following the party line, to ever point the out.

  19. Michael

    Thanks for your encouraging response, James – I have a picture of putting everything on one page (with granulation as a 3rd dimension).

    Distortions and built in self interest will slap the reader in the face! – what an education – and it will be evident that there are many ways to cut a cake!

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