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Forget Good Government. It’s All About Winning

Politics in Australia has descended into the pit of the abyss.

Take note! The conservative forces in politics are about to unleash one massively negative campaign upon an unsuspecting Australian electorate. The Liberal/National Coalition, devoid of any remaining life-saving credentials, will be unrelenting in their efforts to demonise and defecate on the Opposition, all in the name of winning at any cost.

They will employ all manner of fear, skullduggery, deceit, confusion, wedging and sheer deviousness, in a desperate effort to regain lost ground and minimise the damage their behaviour over the past five years, has created.

Take note! We can expect that they will say anything, claim anything, make full use of their sympathetic right-wing media attack dogs, misuse their departmental offices, produce misleading reports and make desperate, unsubstantiated claims about any issue they feel might reflect poorly on Bill Shorten and the Labor Party.

In doing so, they will try every known trick in the book and beyond, to deflect attention from their own shortcomings, their disunity, their own disgraceful behaviour. They will do everything they can to ensure all the media attention is concentrated on Labor.

As sad and pathetic as that might sound right now, that is the state of play. The Coalition has its back to the wall. They realise only too well, that their only hope of winning the election in May, is to paint the Opposition in the darkest possible light and to aim their artillery directly at Bill Shorten. One can only imagine how low they will stoop and the depths of deceit they are willing to go.

We are witnessing it already being played out in a warm-up run, if you will, with outrageous claims by Christopher Pyne and Peter Dutton about all refugees on Manus and Nauru being brought here on medical grounds within weeks.

Pyne, Dutton and others are claiming that the boats (not those bloody boats again) will be cranking up their wobbly, unserviced engines, as if they are already lined up, full of asylum seekers, just waiting to leave some undisclosed Indonesian port, once this week’s Storer, or Phelps Medivac bill has been passed.

Those bloody boats. Really? This pathetic mantra has been played and played and played now for nearly twenty years. The Coalition believes its venom is still virile enough to strike fear into the hearts and minds of a gullible electorate. One wonders though, whether Australians are not so heartily sick of it today that they have turned off already and wonder why Morrison et al bother.

Then there is the economy and this obsession with producing a budget surplus. Are we not also sick to death of that as well? But sick of it or not, it is about to be thrust down our throats once more. All this and more because, for the Coalition, the thought of losing the election, makes them shudder. For them, it is Armageddon.

Not for them a turn on the Opposition benches. That’s no fun. That’s too hard.

Never mind the failures they refuse to own; the underutilisation of our workforce, their soft pedal on the banks, their inability to develop a sustainable national energy platform, not to mention any semblance of a climate change policy, a properly funded health service or a cutting edge education standard.

For the Coalition, it is all about winning, not governing, just winning. Christopher Pyne has said as much. “Politics is trapped in a self-obsessed and panic-prone spiral that is damaging Parliament’s ability to work for the good of voters.” That is code for not being able to get anything of substance done.

He also explained (finally), some of the thinking inside the party room meeting that saw Malcolm Turnbull sacked.

David Wroe in Sunday’s Sydney Morning Herald wrote, “Opening up on last year’s leadership turmoil, Mr Pyne also said Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was “electorally unpopular” outside his home state of Queensland and would have damaged the Liberal Party’s chances of winning the federal election had he been installed as leader.”

One suspects that’s all the Liberal party thinks about….It’s all about winning. Not governing, just winning. Let government take care of itself. Any idiot can govern, but better us idiots than some other idiots.

But here’s the kicker. Never underestimate the ability of the electorate to fall for their rhetoric and vote against its own best interests. For a party devoid of policies and effective leadership, a negative campaign by the Coalition is all they have and for them, as lazy as they are, it’s the path of least resistance, one in which they have form. Remember the ‘debt and deficit’ farce?

But, the results can be devastating for an Opposition. Take note! The election is not won, until it’s won.

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  1. Christopher J Ward

    Don’t try to tell me that the ALP has any monopoly on integrity in politics. The changes will be inconsequential and as you said: “Politics in Australia has descended into the pit of the abyss.” Precisely!

  2. Max Gross

    The absolute priority is removal of the corrupt, self-entitled and utterly discredited LNP federal government. The only party capable of forming a new government is Labor. End of argument. This is Drover’s Dog time!

  3. whatever

    Compulsory Voting is the only thing that will save us from the Trump-style dystopia they are having wet dreams about.

  4. Matters Not

    Whether Labor ought to win might be debatable in some circles, and given its mediocre governing performance over the last decade or so there are grounds for discussion … but there is no doubt that the LNP ought to lose. And badly. Moral degeneracy, degradation, depravity, decadence and that’s just some of the pejorative descriptors beginning with the ‘d’ letter which can be reasonably applied.

    Having said that I can’t get too excited about the prospects a Shorten led Labor government. Sure there will be a profound sense of relief but not much more than that unfortunately. Hope I’m wrong.

  5. Ashleigh Rice-Quinnell

    Whom should we blame, the voters who showed their political ignorance, or the politically astute who used this farce of a government to justify their opposition to something they were not previously prepared to fight against until an election was due?
    I raised m hand several months ago and said that I would be available to be the Booth Captain (and Scrutinee) at pre-Poll for all, and any candidates, at both the State and Federal elections, who were prepared to contest a seat against an incumbent member of Parliament who should NOT be returned.
    If you really mean to show your support, get on a polling booth, wear the shirt of Your chosen candidate, and make a positive, physical, constructive difference.
    It is alright to speak through Your vote…but it is better to promote the right candidate through the votes of those who would waste their’s by casting a ballot the same way that they have always done.

  6. John Kelly

    For some weeks now I have sensed complacency among Labor supporters as if the election had already been won. It hasn’t. Complacency will be the ruin of those who think the ALP is a shoo-in. They may be in front but a full frontal assault on Bill Shorten by the Coalition could see a tightening of the margin. It ain’t over till it’s over.

  7. Kaye Lee

    A lot of my friends and family couldn’t give a toss about politics and one of them asked me this evening, so what do you think about the Labor leader.

    I was honest with her – he is an ambitious man and that makes me wary but he knows his stuff and Labor policies are better.

    It’s really bad that I have hesitation about trusting the party I will vote for….I am hoping that it is the cynicism caused from writing about politics for years. I know I will breath much easier if Labor are elected – at least initially. I so hope they don’t disappoint me. Could I make a request that they not use private jets to go to sporting events?

  8. wam

    Wow ‘their own best interests’.
    Words like indue, intervention and benefit cutting in the bush for truancy spring to mind?? We could add ‘political ignorance’ to complete the arrogant claptrap of the loonie left??

    In my mind Labor wins when the lnp is shithouse and they have a leader with ‘something’.. I have a bias but I thought keating exceptional, the cake was both a great plus in keating’s and a terrible loss in resurrecting howard.

    Sadly bill since beaconsfield has none of the ‘something’ we saw then and torpid tanya has faded.

    We can hope the lnp produce enough ‘petards’ to get ‘hoisted’ and lose this election because, for reasons as outlined by Mr Kelly, labor’s billy is struggling against the lying son of a small pommie car, the diludbransimkims and.the figjam senators. All have ready access to the morning snippets of nonsense.

    Billy just be honest get all your colleagues to be honest with you pick a simple situation and get your message that these people are not fit to rule.

  9. Zathras

    The bottom line is simply whether this current Government deserves another term.
    Despite being in power for 18 of the last 24 years they still blame the ALP for anything and everything that is wrong in the country.

    It’s certainly not a time for complacency. The ALP’s last big mistake was adopting the “me too” stance during the Howard years and acting against their true beliefs and thus painting themselves into a political corner, particularly with refugees.
    Stand for something and shout about it.

  10. Jexpat


    Don’t look now, but Captian Cave-In and his Labor right faction have just stood up again and shouted for all to hear: “We don’t stand for anything!”

    and btw: if you crossbenchers do- try to stand for something- and dare to stick your neck out, we’ll knock you right back.

  11. Kronomex

    Oh jeez, it’s Mitch McConnell’s little brother. Nooo…

    And look at the “Senator apologises to Kevin Rudd…”

  12. New England Cocky

    “One suspects that’s all the Liberal party thinks about….It’s all about winning.” Correct!! Because that means the unelected political hacks who control pre-selection in the Liarbral Party gets all the perks of working for government that are less beneficial when in Opposition.

    The election is NOT WON BY LABOR! The date for the election is yet to be announced so sign up to your favourite candidate and make a real physical contribution to electing a proper Australian government dedicated to re-establishing egalitarianism by removing this dysfunctional gang of self-serving deceitful servants of foreign multinational corporations.

    @Jaxpat: Funny … I only heard Morriscum wetting his pants and Prissie Pyne blathering about Benito Duddo losing the election for the Liarbrals ….. then there is Barnyard, Adulterer-in-Chief for the Nat$ ….. supporters (for a fee) of SW Qld and NW NSW broad acre farmers stealing MDB environmental flows to the detriment of down-steam communities, agricultural enterprises and fish.


  13. Michael Taylor

    This Labor voter is yet to be convinced that Labor has it in the bag. I’m confident, of course, but there is no doubt that with defeat staring at them the Libs (and the Murdoch media) are about to go feral. In previous years the feral approach has won votes. There are too many stupid people in this country, and that worries me.

  14. Luke Daglish

    Why is the Labor party not hitting the airways day and night about the National Debt, Tony Abbott’s won the election just repeating, Labors debt, Labors debt, Labors debt, we are all going broke, that’s all he had to do to win the election. Well these idiots have more than doubled it in six years and in the next four months they will be spending like drunken sailors to buy an election win. All Labor has to do to win is, do an Abbott. Liberal debt, Liberal debt, Liberal debt, and our children will have to pay for it.

  15. Evelyn Taylor

    John, it’s not who they vote for but what they being force fed to vote for, Pericles, “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics wont take an interest in you” politics always was will be about the people and not what media tsars and corporate union want to force feed via their indentured lackeys, come on does anybody really honestly believe the media tsar hoovered print, screen, radio for fair equal Australia, really?, nah it was all about the business model, hell the tsar even wanted to hoover up ABC/SBS. Shame on the self absorbed with their own self importance journalism/journalist, they really have no comprehension. For way too long the masses actually trusted and believe the force feed of from the silo of filtered news/views, the what, how who, and when of mainstream media (guilty as charged), big mistake and the mantra “we need economic reform to reform to sustain our standard of living blah blah” as the masses reformed into poverty as they came after all the hard fought gains the shrinking that hole of that bloody trickle down economics. Here’s the rub as the hole kept shrinking and the tsunami of booty shoveled off shored at industrial scale. Come surely no one really still believe the media tsars and corporate unions will stuff the booty back into Australia “to lift our standard of living blah blah..”, really?, when the booty can and will be off shored to a balmy Island elsewhere for safe keeping.

    MSM always made and will make it about Mr/Ms Congeniality and the standard of living of the wealthy (hell journos were enthralled by the loquacious Turnbull, confused by Abbott, have no idea what the current one is all about), just connect the bloody dots, as Australia was/is being snookered out of any semblance of 21st century, no price on carbon and the new economy (corporate union bleat it will cost jobs), no digitised Australia (the media tsar business model threatened), no educating for the future Gonski MK1(it’s a teaching issue not a money and this from a mob of journos that skipped comprehension class), better deal for the natural resources (corporate union sovereign risk), as they also came after hard fought gains that made for an equal and fair society, go figure. So if not for the advent of social media viva, the masses would still be force fed the what how when and who from toxic silo of the media tsar and corporate union, they treat Australia as the proverbial family farm. Time for the great unwashed plebeians to get connected, stand up and be counted as past generations did for us. If not for us how about we do it for future generations viva social media viva.

  16. DrakeN

    The underlying problem for the average political punter remains the consistent propaganda published by the IPA et al via the resources of the mainstream commercial media.

    Only by regulations which apply conditions on commercial media similar to those imposed on the ABC by its charter, do we have any hope of a fair and honest election process.

    Presently, it is the most convincing liars who are likely to attract the most votes.

  17. New England Cocky

    @Max Gross: I agree with you Max. It’s time ….. again!!

    @MN: Why do I perceive your whinging as Liarbral Party propaganda? Is it because you have little positive to add to the discussion, or simply that your logic is contradictory; identifying the reasons for removing these self-serving politicians with their snouts in the trough of public monies, then denigrating the “best” possible solution to this problem of the Australian voters being misrepresented by politicians?

    @DrakeN: That matter is easily resolved by making all donations to the IPA limited to natural persons and disclosure within 24 business hours of the IPA receiving that donation. many corporate bully boys support the IPA but are unwilling to be exposed as corporate donors fro fear of secondary boycott backlash from their customers.

  18. Kronomex

    Scummo and crew are dragging us into their warped worldview now –

    This is madness and fascism writ large. I used to think martial law was a bit of a joke but now…

    Little Billy buckling, shit, what a coward!

  19. Harry

    John Kelly:

    Given your forecast of “ the mother of all scare campaigns” from the Coalition I think Labor could try to pre-empt it by warning, at every opportunity, that a ruthless, desperate scare campaign is not only coming but is already happening.

    By trying to “inoculate” the voters againstvthis campaign it just might blunt the attacks?

  20. Kaye Lee

    Interesting stuff going on in the Michaelia Cash AWU case. David de Garis refused to answer who told him about the raids on the grounds that it might incriminate him (I think he has been watching too much tv). The judge wouldn’t have a bar of it so de Garis was forced to reveal that Cash’s ex chief of staff Ben Davies told him. You can’t tell me that Cash knew nothing about it if her chief of staff did. And how come he never fessed up at the time?

  21. Shaun Newman

    The burning question of the day will be given Australian apathy, will the ordinary Aussie change their vote for a $20 a week pay rise due to a tax cut, or will they see that for what it will be, an election bribe from the tories? An even money bet I would have thought.

  22. John Kelly

    LUKE DAGLISH, if Labor were to go hammer and fork on the doubling of the debt, the Coalition would say that it was all Labor’s forward spending. It’s not true, but they would make it sound very convincing. Yes, they should be “doing an Abbott” but not on debt. There are other issues, i e. Soft peddling on banks, insurance coys etc. They can beef up their stand on negative tax credits for millionaires.

    HARRY, yes they should be mounting ads on fear campaigns. The government will throw Mediscare back at them but that will only open the door on what they have done on Medicare, which is significant.

  23. Shaun Newman

    Christopher J Ward makes a good point, we must replace these vicious anti-people, pro-corporation tories, however, there has been absolutely no commitment from any political party that I am aware of to the working people of this country as a demographic, at least I haven’t heard it. I am happy to stand corrected if anyone can spell out what has been promised?

    And my thanks goes to Christopher J Ward who distinguishes himself from the infamous Christopher A Ward.

  24. Trish Corry

    I’m really not sure what the central argument of this piece is. Yes, the Liberals will (and have been) running a negative campaign. That’s a no brainer. They always have and always will.

    With regards to Labor, I’m not sure what John is suggesting Labor should do. Do they feed into their negative campaign and give the parasites a host to feed on; or do they continue to run their positive campaign based on Fairness for all?

    I don’t know where the complacency you are seeing in Labor supporters. It’s not evident on FB or Twitter. Twitter is especially interesting with key politicians like Chris Bowen having open debates with Frydenburg and eating him alive.

    The Labor campaign essentially mocks every claim with very professional ads.

    It’s no shock to Labor they will run a negative campaign.

    Perhaps when Shorten is Prime Minister he will be good enough for the commentariat here, who never have anything positive to say about Labor or say something positive- but with caution or with some painful point that there is no other choice. Only time will tell.

  25. Harry

    Trish, I think Labor not only needs to respond to the usual scare mongering by the Coalition, but actively try to counter it as I suggested in a comment above.

  26. John Kelly

    Trish Corry, you may not have detected any complacency, but I have, both on Facebook and in various social gatherings, such that it reminded me of the movie, ‘Don’s Party’ when a gathering of dead-set bogans met one Saturday night to celebrate Gough Whitlam defeating John Gorton in 1969. By the time they were too drunk to realise it, Gough didn’t quite get there. The central argument of the above article is to caution those who, like myself, might have allowed our zeal for a Labor victory to exceed our better judgement in what we say and do. If no such person exists, then no harm done.

  27. andy56

    Its simple, really, the liberals just dont deserve to be in power. Labor seems to have learnt some lessons and have developed policies. Now I aint jumping over the moon on some of them, but policies non the less. This crowd were so damn lucky last time to scrape in, but it was a false victory. Since Tony Abbotts day, they have NO POLICIES worth mentioning. But they stopped the boats, is such an intellectual fraud on australians. Hope Howard rots in hell for that one. One just has to list the litany of insanity vested on us., from WMD in Iraq to Fraudband . How people can vote for them is beyond me. My hope is for a proverbial 40days and 40nights to sort themselves out. Winning at any cost is so f’n christian , no?

  28. Kaye Lee

    Interesting going on re the medical evacuation bill. The government has advice that , because it is a money bill (the panel of doctors would presumably be paid), it is unconstitustional for the bill to come from the senate. But Anne Twommey just said that the house has the right to make the decision to allow it so if the bill passes, if it is considered a money bill, it is effectively a vote of no confidence in the government’s ability to control finances.

    What a can of worms.

  29. Matters Not

    ‘Tis a can of worms and the chief wriggler’s presence might be unconstitutional.

    Perhaps it’s the opportune time for a referral? Or at least a test of the political water. Put him on the back foot.

  30. David1

    @matters not….you posted in part “Whether Labor ought to win might be debatable in some circles, and given its mediocre governing performance over the last decade or so there are grounds for discussion”. Are you seriously suggesting, in her time as PM, Julia Gillard’s Govt was mediocre!! Seriously?

    You know the numbers as well as I do and they are not mediocre.

  31. Matters Not

    David1, so you measure the performance of a government based on pieces of legislation? How very quaint. I tend to look somewhat deeper and with the benefit of time I note that under the Rudd, Gillard, Rudd government, for example, Public Education lost (relative) ground when compared with private schools.

    So when I say – mediocre – perhaps I am being more than generous. I could provide any links to demonstrate Labor’s shameful record in that regard but I wouldn’t know where to start. And besides I wouldn’t want to colour your voyage of discovery.

    By the way, I hold Labor to a much higher standard than the LNP (isn’t hard) who lack standards altogether.

  32. Kaye Lee

    Interesting tactics – Tony Bourke made an amendment for the doctors’ panel to not be paid….and 20 million divisions later, they won 75-74.

  33. Kaye Lee


    I know your passion is education and I know Gillard made a few mistakes but I think she was an excellent leader and the legislation she got through was substantive not just in numbers. She got important things started. Sadly nearly all that hard work was trashed by Abbott who I loathe more than words can express.

  34. David1

    Thankyou matters not…. exactly the response I expected. The years are not diminishing your tinged view of the world. Oh well hope springs eternal, cheers 🙂

  35. Paul

    Seems most have forgotten the negative campaign waged by the Libs in Victoria and where that got them…

    All is well on the good ship Labor people, it is just a matter of time…….

  36. Ill fares the land

    It seems to me that the LNP shreiking replicates Trump’s comments (although that is probably a kind description of the turgid swill that leaves his mouth). However, be very afraid – Trump’s comments are utter garbage but still stir his voter base and I expect that will happen here in Australia.

    By any logical measure, the notion that amongst the refugees are “rapists and murderers” would be seen as nothing but a vaccuous lie (since if they are known to be criminals, they won’t be permitted into the country anyway unter Labor’s “soft laws”), but there will be those who find it persuasive. That happens because there are many who are reasonably intelligent intellectually, but stupid politicially and will support the LNP because they fear what disasters Labor will wreak on the entitled (I know people convinced Labor will reintroduce death duties). That is before you get to those who are not smart intellectually, but still “barrack” for the LNP

    From an election that was Labor’s to lose, we have shifted to an election that is Labor’s to win. Since the LNP will, I think, allow one or two boats to get into Australian waters because of the fear and hysteria it will generate, Labor need to proceed with caution. This could well end badly – for Labor and Australia if the worst government and the most brain-dead and incompetent PM in living memory are re-elected and thereby convinced they have a mandate to continue their corrupt and incompetent downward spiral into covert authoritarianism – it is happening and no-one seems to be taking much notice.

  37. Paul Davis

    The Drum tonight …… Philip Ruddick of ‘children overboard’ fame was shirtfronted by Shen Narayanasam.

    Fantastic TV… as Shen said, she has been waiting years to tell him what she felt .. and Philip of course was outraged claiming Shen called him a liar. He said he only repeated what had been stated by RAN eyewitnesses..

    I hope Shen’s heartfelt statement will go viral.

  38. helvityni

    Yes,Paul Davis…I was clapping after her ‘speech’, heart-warming, hope-giving, simply WONDERFUL…

  39. Colin Herring

    and despite the wisdom of most of these posts, most will still vote in a manner that supports this corrupt duopoly. Both major parties are smug in realising the vacuums created by one party are simply an opportunity for the other. So as they play out their power games good governance is forgotten amidst acrimony, blame games, smoke and mirrors. Leading up to another election is there much discussion on the birds and insects that are dying in unprecedented numbers, the rotting stinking corpse of fish, the theft of water, the bush fires, the fracking, the old growth forest felling, them good ole cotton fields out back of Bourke?… nah mate we are all divided because some humanitarian legislation permits proper treatment of refugees who have been imprisoned for up to 5 years for being homeless. So amidst the fear and mongering and the opening of a merry christmas island in anticipation of the hordes of otherness who are waiting for the complacency of legislative weakness to persist with their armadas, we are divided and that terrible twosome will keep their preferred status quo of being different teams playing the same game. Is every one ready to see the Grand Final in May – it’s compulsory, can’t wait, kangaroos, meat pies and (offshore) holdens…..Can’t Wait for season 119 of that great soapie called smug mugs amongst the gums.

  40. Andreas Bimba

    “….. indeed meat pies, kangaroos and (off shore) Holden cars”

    The ship of state will likely be steered a little to the left after being steered hard right for two terms. Will the LNP’s cuts be restored? Some of them – maybe 10%.

    Chris Bowen will dutifully deliver bigger surpluses so unemployment WILL BE HIGHER than it otherwise would have been. A few tax concessions will be cut and taxes on the wealthy might be increased which is fine but this won’t allow much improvement to government services. The unemployed will no doubt continue to be punished and humiliated for being unemployed and the Job Service providers will continue to implement their sociopathic demands. Single mothers might even get another kicking but Bill wouldn’t allow this, would he?

    The big end of town will continue to run off with the nation’s mineral resources wealth and any spare cash from a populace that is getting screwed by the big guys from all sides. This trajectory may slow a little under Labor so for that should we be grateful? A bit but not much.

    The housing bubble in our major cities that was fuelled by the crazy negative gearing and 50% CGT concessions as well as illegal foreign investment and loose lending practices, has meant most Australians will no longer be able to purchase a dwelling and will struggle to pay rent. This process continued unabated under the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government just as it has under the appalling conservatives. Bill Shorten has seen the light and has promised changes – three cheers but what took you so long?

    Our car industry suffered a major blow at the time of the GFC with the US blocking our exports, reduced demand elsewhere and a flood of cars from Thailand as well as Europe, Japan and Korea as our currency went up to record levels. The Thailand Australia FTA that was implemented by John Howard was the biggest killer along with the reduction of the car tariff for non FTA countries from 15% to 5% but what did the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government do to turn things around? NOT MUCH! Toyota’s new $1billion Altona plant was even in Julia Gillard’s electorate – now most equipment has been sold off or scrapped. Most of the trade exposed part of our manufacturing and heavy industry sectors has now gone for good. ‘Not much’ from Julia and Kevin was however a big improvement on the incoming Abbott government that smelt blood and kicked with all it’s might to kill off the Australian car industry and other ‘leaners’ and they were desperate to sign more FTA’s with anyone with a heart beat including Korea, Japan and China. Was it the LNP’s fault? Yes. Was it the ALP’s fault for leaving the Australian manufacturing industry to slowly die before that? Yes. Was all of this avoidable? Yes.

    Labor implemented the carbon tax and the LNP killed it but Labor have looked the other way instead of at the climate science if it meant money and jobs from coal or LNG. Have Labor recognised the urgency of our global warming predicament? A bit. Have the LNP? No way they are driving global warming.

    On issues like the abuse of asylum seekers arriving by boat, improving the lives of the MILLIONS of Australians that have had their lives adversely affected by 40 years of neoliberalism that was implemented by the duopoly, the excessive influence of big business over our democracy, concentration of media ownership and blatant lying by much of the media, inadequate protection of the environment, misallocation if scarce water, the destructive influence of gambling or drugs, inadequate legal aid or homelessness and on and on, is Labor better than the LNP? A bit. What about ethics and competence? A bit , no wait the LNP moved the goal posts on that.

    Have the ALP got my vote, nope, just a second preference with the LNP last.

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