“Dr Napthine also mentioned Victoria’s wins on the Gonski education reforms, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and law and order as significant improvements.”
The Australian, 30/11/14
Actually, Napthine referred to the “so-called” (?) Gonski reforms. And he didn’t use the word “wins” as far as I can recall, but there needs to be a little spin on it, as both Gonski and the NDIS were introduced by that “dysfunctional” Labor Government, so his decision to sign up has to be seen as a “win” by The Australian, because, God knows, Napthine has nothing else that could be described that way during his short time as Premier.
When Julia Gillard said: “If I could put it as clearly as I can . . . ‘don’t write crap. Can’t be that hard. And when you have written complete crap, then I think you should correct it”, she pretty much hit the nail on the head. Over the past few weeks, the media have been feeding us such gems as:
“This election will be decided in a few key marginal seats.” Compared to all the elections where the marginal seats aren’t key?
This was followed by: “Labor will need to win a majority of these to claim government.” What, you mean they can’t just have a military coup?
And on Friday, we had a wonderfully considered analysis which told us that Dr. Napthine was “closing the gap” and the election – which everyone was saying would be tight – would be tighter, because, well, one opinion poll showed it tighter than the opinion poll that predicted a Labor landslide the week before. Let me point out for the 237th time, polls have a margin of error and any individual poll can be an outlier, so it’s never reasonable to make any conclusions about a single poll – beyond, of course, this poll is consistent/inconsistent will all the previous polls.
But no, the media concluded that the trend showed that if the drop in Labor support of 2% from the week before the poll, then the election would be close. I’m surprised that they didn’t also conclude that if the election could be delayed until next February, then, according to the trend, there’d be nobody that was voting Labor .
We’ve also been told the Daniel Andrews was adopting a small target strategy at the same time the press was attacking him for his decision to “rip up” the East-West Tunnel contract. The Liberals are insisting that ripping up the contract is impossible owing to the fact that one of the conditions of the contract was that it would be locked in a secure location and hidden where nobody would ever see it, and that the contractors would just get whatever payments had been agreed to in the contract without the need for anyone to ever read it.
Whatever, Andrews policy on this doesn’t strike me as someone who’s adopting a “small target” approach.
Now I’m sure that we’ll have various articles from the Murdoch press talking about how Labor was risking $1,000,000+ by their stance on the East-West link. Never mind that the Liberals signed the contract just a few weeks ago, and according to the (ex) Treasurer, the Government will still have to pay the billion or so, even if the Court challenge by the various city councils prevents the road tunnel from proceeding. Never mind that it was the Liberals who couldn’t delay the contract because – after all – didn’t they know that there was a risk that Labor could get in and refuse to build the road.
But I found the most awe-ispiring comments last night came from the defeated candidates and the Liberal commentators.
Apparently, the timing of the election made it hard. I mean, there was the Grand Final just last September and it was really hard to get people interested in state politics while that was going on, and, of course, it was followed by three minute race just a few weeks ago, which apparently is still occupying our minds to the extent that we can’t even remember Michael O’Brien’s name. Yes, the footy finals and the Spring Carnival really hampered the Liberals in spite of the fact that they always happen at this time of the year and the state election only happens every four years – just after these events.
And there were some great comments from a couple of the candidates complaining that unions got behind Labor and helped them. Apparently, Labor had people turning up to support Mr Andrews at various events. Well, not so much people, as unionists – you know, those ambos, and teachers, and firefighters and nurses and construction workers and factory workers and butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. I was half-expecting one to say that the other problem was that the unionists votes were counted just like they were actually members of the public, and if democracy could be restricted to the proper people like it was in Ancient Greece then the slaves would be excluded from voting.
But one final observation, McMahon replaced Gorton and was promptly trounced at the next election. Kirner replaced Cain mid-term and went on to lose. Gillard took over from Rudd and managed to cobble together a minority government, but still had less seats than the LNP. Bracks resigned, but even then, Brumby lost the next election. I’m sure there are a few other examples, but it does seem – with the exception of Paul Keating in 1993 – that the electorate don’t respond well when leaders are changed mid-term.
Perhaps it would be a mistake for the Liberals to replace Tony mid-term.
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