Back in January of this year, Josh Frydenberg was telling us:
“With $424 billion accumulated on household and business balance sheets since the pandemic began, there is now a war chest of private sector savings to support Australia’s economic recovery, With tax cuts boosting savings, falling unemployment, a strong pipeline of business investment and one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, Australians have every reason to be confident about the year ahead.”
That was before all that demand led to inflation and the Reserve Bank increasing interest rates. Of course, when I say that it was demand that caused inflation, there’s a bit of debate about that. And when I say debate what I mean is that the government is unable to get their story straight. You see, interest rates are being caused by overseas factors like the Russians invading Ukraine and they’re really nothing to do with the government… except I have noticed the odd Liberal ad telling us that average interest rates were higher under Labor than they’ve been under Liberals. I guess this means that Labor is responsible for interest rates when they’re in power, but Scott Morrison is responsible for nothing when he’s in power because anything that isn’t Labor’s fault is someone else’s job.
But back to Josh. He’s a very worried man. I mean, why else would he agree to debate an independent in his seat. Not that isn’t a nice idea. The Treasurer taking time from his busy schedule to debate someone who has no hope of forming government. Or rather, no hope of being part of the government. There’s still a chance that the independents will play a large part in the forming of the next government.
This has led to a lot of people screeching about the need for the independents declaring who they’ll support in the event of a hung parliament. This has also led to people using the phrase “so-called teal independents” when referring to them. I presume this must be about the colour because it’s really more turquoise, so the “so-called teal” is an attempt to point out their colour blindness.
As far as the need for the declaration of support goes, this is quite interesting. I can’t recall anyone standing as an independent in previous elections being asked to do the same. Neither do the Liberals demand that the Greens, PHON or UAP tell us who they’ll support after the election if they by some miracle – which Scotty believes in, by the way – should hold the balance of power. Surely their decision would depend on such things as what part of their agenda either of the major parties was prepared to support, as well as which party was best placed to get legislation through. I mean, if one party is two seats short of a majority, then it’s a lot easier to support them than one who needs the support of every independent to pass bills.
This is quite strange when the Liberals and the Nationals tell us that their coalition agreement is a secret and we can’t know the details, but surely we need to know – before the election – under what conditions the agreement would break down.
Ok, pretty much the Liberals doing anything positive about climate change. The Nationals agreed to committing to net-zero by 2050 so long as we do nothing about it until someone else is in government. As far as the “technology not taxes” slogan goes, I wonder if any of you noticed this little contraction from Jane Hume on Radio National the other day:
Patricia Karvelas: They may not have to buy them (carbon offsets), Labor says, there may be technology opportunities.
Jane Hume: And that will cost businesses and that’s why it’s been referred to as a sneaky tax.
So technology will cost and it’ll be the equivalent of a “sneaky tax”. But only under Labor apparently.
Anyway, it seems like we’ve had a few major blunders by those facing the independents. The hardest thing about getting votes in an election is letting people you know that you exist and what you stand for. How many people would have been aware that Zoe Daniel was even standing if it weren’t for Timmy Willson’s dummy spit about the signs?
Similarly, I suspect that Josh thought that by debating Monique Ryan, he’d be able to impress people with his superior qualities. Leaving aside the terrible hubris of that, the simple fact is that giving an Independent any publicity is a poor strategic move. As I wrote the other day, if Scott Morrison were to say under no circumstances should you vote for Person X, you’ve probably just delivered them several thousand people wanting to vote for them before they even know what Person X stands for.
I was checking the betting markets on some of the individual seats. Not because I was planning to bet on them, but to get a better idea on reality. While it’s true that the polls and the markets got 2019 wrong, at least we know that the betting markets are trying not to lose their money so they don’t offer good odds on things that they think are highly likely. I notice that a number of seats that are being touted by the political pundits as a “close race” have, in fact, Labor as close to a certainty in terms of odds. The ones that are too close to call are the ones that would give Labor a comprehensive victory.
I know that this isn’t foolproof, but I find it interesting that the betting market I looked at had the independent (Georgia Steele) as the slight favourite in Craig Kelly’s old seat of Hughes.
Whatever, it’s going to be a long fortnight.
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