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The 2016 Election

Let us indulge ourselves and assume that Rupert Murdoch’s shonky Newspolls are correct and the incompetent, gaffe prone Tony Abbott wins the job of leading us after Saturday’s election and look ahead three years: what would happen in the 2016 election?

What would have voters learned after three years under Tony Abbott (and his moguls)?

The first thing they’d have learned would be the obvious: the Tony Abbott Government they voted in will in no way resemble the government they voted for. What they wanted, looks nothing like what they got. But I don’t think this will be the key issue so I will not address it here. The issue will be about where the country is going, which would be nowhere, rather than how bad Abbott has been in guiding it.

His term as leader would have reinforced our perception of him as he was in opposition. Tony Abbott would not have provided one tiny morsel of evidence that he had any plan of moving this country forward, let alone managing it. This was apparent in his term as Opposition leader. The preceding Labor Government focused fairly and squarely on moving forward but it was stalled not just by sorting through the mess left by the Howard Government, but also amid screams of horror from the opposition that the government was doing absolutely nothing. And as the government’s term progressed during a period when it could have meeting its commitments to the electorate and moving this country forward, it was further stalled by an obstructionist opposition, again, amid screams of horror from those causing the obstructions. Plus of course a fair amount of chest beating.

And by 2016 we would have learned that chest beating about stopping the boats (which will not be stopped) does not move the country forward. Unplugging the national broadband network does not move the country forward either. Nothing he has offered will.

There will be a different demographic in three years time and they will want to see the country move at a pace that keeps up with the rest of the world. And this new demographic is the key. In the three years leading up to the 2016 election youth will have become a powerful electoral tool. Boxlid, who has been a guest poster here commented that:

Our current youth is far more aware than generations before us, they don’t fall for spin and media proclamations, they know how to access information and share it between everyone else.

Ask the teachers in high school about their level of understanding of the students they are teaching. From what I hear, they have to spend extra time to keep up because they don’t have adequate resources available to them.

Our youth are adults at a younger age and capable of making decisions for themselves regarding their own lives. Difficult to accept isn’t it?

Our younger generation are not dumb and stupid. They are creating our future and from my interaction with them in many ways they are remarkable, skilled, talented and forward looking not just two years, not just five years or ten years: they are looking at fifty years or more and embracing all of the potential opportunities that the future has to offer.

The Abbott Government hasn’t offered this new demographic the possibilities of the future. By 2016 there will be hundreds of thousands of new voters demanding it. Hundreds of thousands of voters unhindered by the influence of a declining media and discontent with the country’s stagnation. They will have a voice.

Tony Abbott would have given no indication that he has any idea of what’s happening in the rest of the world. He would have shown also he has no idea that the mind-set of most people in Western world has been dragged out of the 1970s. The world is not flat and we now live in a global society.

Furthermore, we are in a new environment of border-less or global economies and markets. One major challenge he faced in this global economy was to think, plan and act globally as well as domestically. He will have failed. He remained entrenched in his 1970s mindset. He failed to develop an international focus amid the diminishing influence of domestic markets in the face of the competitive global economy and global ideas (think technology and climate change). This global village provided an opportunity he overlooked. In 2016 we would have expected that a successful government recognised it as an opportunity and would have initiated changes in response to those opportunities.

Mr Abbott didn’t have a global mindset and he failed to move the country forward. The new demographic will recognise this far more than the rest of us and their vote will be influential. More so than ever before. The older demographic that Tony Abbott has appealed to will have diminished significantly.

What, then, would happen in the 2016 election?

My prediction: possibly Bill Shorten to lead Labor to a win over an out-of-touch Tony Abbott.

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  1. iggy648

    History and media classes in schools will be teaching kids about this election and the influence of Rupert. What frightens me is if Tony Abbott gets in, will he REALLY be able to legislate for to make history appear more favourable to the rich and influential?

  2. Anomander

    You’re right Michael, the youth are the ones who will pay most dearly for the Noalition’s IPA-driven agenda.

    When the young people see how badly affected are their entitlements and workplace rights by the resurrection of WorkChoices (albeit under a brand new name and obligatory 3-word slogan).

    When they have watched Abbott’s austerity drive kick-in (to make that surplus) and jobs start disappearing.

    When the only news they can see comes from Murdoch, due to the ABC and SBS being privatised and sold-off to Murdoch.

    When they see major polluters being paid to spew their pollution into the atmosphere, while our weather continues to set new temperature records and disasters increase.

    When they watch the rich pillage more and more of our public assets, while services and amenities decline markedly.

    When access to a hospital is impossible, unless you’re prepared to pay a hefty fee or have outrageously expensive private health cover.

    When the cost of buying Indonesian boats and running the 45 off-shore detention centres, throughout the Pacific, how exceeds the entire education budget.

    When they watch water supplies polluted and environments raped in the insane race to extract mineral resources.

    When they see access to quality education denied to everyone except the wealthy.

    When they watch the the whole world laugh at our aging, decrepit NBN-light solution, which Uncle Rupert has promised to replace with his new FoxCable at the modest cost of only $350 billion.

    When they finally realise they have the weight of numbers and the power to affect the outcome of elections.

    Then… ol’ Tone and his mates will be ‘out on their collective ears’.

    However, by then damage will already have been done, and the road back to equity, equality and protection of our environment will be much, much harder and far more costly. If only someone had the foresight to make the right decision in 2013.

  3. J.Fraser

    Bill Shorten makes lacklustre positively glow.

    If I was in his electorate this election I would be voting for paint drying.

  4. Colin Thai

    Maybe I’m a dreamer !! It seems that the MURDOCH – ABBOTT media team have got everybody conceding defeat, even the die-hard labor people, being in the winter of my years I can remember two things. 1. Kennett Victoria over the line, what happened. The newspapers had to change headlines, he got tossed !!! . 2 . Being a punter I remember the great BIll Collins race caller “Kingston Town cannot win” well we all know what happened, what I’m trying to say is “NEVER SAY DIE” by the way that name is the horse that the great LESTER PIGGOT won his first ENGLISH DERBY, yes I’m going back in time, they may say I’m a dreamer, thanking you….

  5. revellyr

    I would like to see the Labor Party elevate Andrew Leigh. He’s intelligent, well spoken, well written and actually cares for the people. I don’t understand why he’s still a backbencher again.

  6. Mark Rich

    In a perfect world Abbott will get a hung parliament and Rudd will lose his seat, both deserve that outcome

  7. rossleighbrisbane

    Of course, there’s always the danger that the Murdoch press will spin the blame on the Left for their lack of achievement. For example, when the Malaysia solution was struck down by the High Court it was an example of “Labor incompetence”; when Abbott has a similar judgement against one of his pieces of legislation, it may be condemned as judicial activism. And I’m sure that anything Labor blocks will be because they’re bloody minded and negative.
    Mind you, in the end, people usually notice when it’s them that loses their job, or has to pay more tax, so I’m sure that the “Yes we said that the average household would be $500 better off and they are $500 better off than if Labor were still in power because prices would have risen even more” will only work for a little while.

  8. kayelee1

    I refuse to believe that this election is lost. We cannot afford three years for Tony to make a fool of himself. Not only will he waste a huge amount of money on an archaic NBN building the fridge on the corner, and a huge amount of money on a ridiculously unfair PPL scheme, he has reverted back to “climate change is crap”.

    “Mate, mate, I know I am a bit of a weather vane on this, but…..”

    “I think people are very passionate about the environment. I regard myself as a committed conservationist. I think people are less anxious about climate change, for three reasons.

    First, I think they’re more conscious of the fact that the argument among the experts is not quite the one-way street that it might have seemed four or five years.

    Second, the drought, which was a fairly severe drought, has well and truly broken in most of Australia anyway.

    And third, Copenhagen changed any idea that there was some international consensus on how to deal with climate change.”

    This on the tail end of the hottest winter on record.


  9. Douglas Evans

    Of course what Boxlid writes in correct at least insofar as it suggests that the rising generation won’t automatically fall for the bullshit of the LNP. I would say of course that it means that they won’t automatically fall for the bullshit of the ALP either. On another thread someone posted the following breakdown from Gary Morgan polls.

    Some rough averages off the last 4 full Morgan polls by age group.
    18-24 2 Party Preferred ALP 60% LNP 40% (Greens 20%)
    25-34 ALP 58% LNP 42% (Greens 15%)
    35-50 ALP 50% LNP 50% (Greens 11.5%)
    50-64 ALP 46% LNP 54% (Greens 8%)
    65+ ALP 42% LNP 58% (Greens 3.5%)

    Now what does that tell you about which party is likely to go forward as the demographic changes and which PARTIES are likely go backwards (including one already propped up on the second preferences of which minor party)? The times, they just might be a’changing. Too slow and too late (probably) but changing anyway. When you add to that the shrinking and increasingly aged membership of both ‘old’ parties and the steadily growing and definitely youthful membership of the Greens whose members in the age group highlighted here already outnumber their equivalent in either of the ‘old’ parties, the demographic shift comes even more into focus as a game changer.

    On the other hand however neither Boxlid nor Michael mention the 17% of potential voters in the 18 – 24 age groups who the AEC estimates are not even on the electoral roles. Nor do they allow for the substantial number of informal votes that will be cast just to avoid a fine. Laura Tingle highlighted this on Insiders on Sunday as a pointer to the disillusionment and cynicism afoot in an electorate which confuses governments of either persuasion with Santa.

    Of the substantial number of informal votes I guess that a disproportionate number will have been cast by young voters utterly alienated by the absurdity, blatant self interest and patent insincerity of the politicians they have seen nightly displayed across their wide and wonderful choice of screens in the last (let’s say) five years. When those disenchanted young folk who remain below the electoral radar are added to those disillusioned young folk who will deliberately vote informal what percentage of the rising generation is taken out of the equation (25% anyone?) and what does that portend for the progressive vote in future?

    I’ll share a story. Door knocking for Adam Bandt in the seat of Melbourne I had an enlightening conversation with a young woman who nominated marriage equality as a key issue that the parties should address. Thinking I was on fertile ground I suggested that the Greens had the best policies in respect of this issue. She agreed. However when I asked if this meant she would be voting for Adam she said. ‘You know what. I’m going to vote informal.’ A bit shocked I asked her why she would do that. She repeated a couple of times that the policies of none of the parties appealed to her so she intended to opt out. Make of that what you will but I think the situation is clouded and complex, not simply a matter of cowboys with white hats on palominos versus cowboys in black hats on black horses. I suggest that the rising disillusion of the very group who Boxlid and Michael highlight is a powerful countervailing factor. Who knows how these forces will play out?

  10. jagman48

    Laura Tingle. She is so coalition orientated. A shocker on the Insiders last week. However when the ABC and SBS are sold to Murdoch we will see what happens.

  11. Sally

    I am finding most ABC journos coalition orientated.
    Are they charmed by the rabbit?
    Why aren’t they doing their job.
    Actually it will no longer be a huge dent if the ABC is defunded under the LNP.( which it will be) I for one wont miss their bipartisanship.
    It’s subtle.
    Does anyone else notice how they always put T.A.’s name first.
    Shame aunty!!!

  12. diannaart

    To paraphrase Paul Keating; maybe the Abbott government is the government we have to have.

    Perhaps the only way to reveal the awful truth of the current LNP team of horrors is to have them in government. My dream is that they will be a minority – teetering on the edge, a la Gillard, but unable to negotiate or compromise leading to a double dissolution thus evading a full term of these inhumane, power-hungry, self-entitled, (words fail me) substitutes for politicians.

    I have already voted BTW – Greens for Lower House and my choice of preferences below the line for the senate.

    I simply could not, in all good conscience, vote for Labor. This hurts because I do have significant Labor sympathies, however Rudd never impressed and has not improved since his time of exile. The Papua Plan revolts me, there has been no discussion on AGW, or many other basic infrastructure (apart from pie in the sky ‘fast train’); I do support the NBN and so do the Greens. As a number of you are aware I have openly discussed my preferences here and on other blogs.

    All I have left is hope that this wonderful country can progress from the solicitation to the lowest common denomination to which both the LNP and Labor have been applying their campaign promises. Australia is a wonderful, diverse, cosmopolitan nation which has lost its way. I hope that this election will help Australia back on course – even though that road will be hard and not quite what we desire immediately – we do need to see the LNP and affiliated uber-conservative groups for the menace to freedom that they are.

    Malcolm Fraser said “Live isn’t meant to be easy” – this is only partly true, one thing I do know is, with all its mess and pain:

    “Life is meant to be Lived”.

    All my love to all who contribute here – whether or not we have agreed, I enjoy thinking about your views and appreciate the courteous discussion I have encountered here.

    Thank you.

  13. Tina Turvey

    Hope so – that would be awesome – re Bill Shorten PM

    Tina Turvey

  14. Boxlid

    Douglas enjoyed your response very much,thanks.

  15. Boxlid

    Diannaart,I think the word your looking for is not “substitute”,but “Prostitute” politicians and that’s calling an honourable profession a bad name.

  16. diannaart

    You have insulted sex-workers.

    Prostitution is something else entirely, I agree that LNP have bent over to accommodate Murdoch, Mining, IPA and other big money. Since they are incapable of feeling anything, I guess such prostration doesn’t hurt.

  17. Realism

    You have not put into the equation one thing, Mr Turnbull could be looking to challenge Mr Abbott, how do you think that would change things?

  18. Sally

    I agree with the sentiment re the Rudd Government etc BUT I fear that without scrutiny that the libs will be around for a long time.
    I guess on line media is the big hope
    and the younger engaged voters rising up.
    Thank you for the article btw.

  19. johnlord2013

    What is missed here is not the age of the electorate at the time of the next election but the age of the LNP MPs.

  20. Fed up

    Many here, along with me , must have it very wrong.

    What we are seeing, is a man, that has convinced a majority of voters, to vote against their own best interest.

    Has convinced them, their hip pocket does not matter.

    Has made them see this wonderful country, as buried in debt.

    This, indeed must take great skill.

    Now, one could say, the voter is indeed naive, or just plain stupid. I could never bring myself to believe that..

    That would be saying, one can fool all the people, all the time.

    One saving grace, is that we could be back at the polls in six months. That is if Mr. Abbott is not actually successful in getting a real mandate, that involves in getting the numbers on the floor, of both houses.

    If that occurs, I suspect, it will be poor man, my country.

    Yes, sadly that will be the reality.

    The only silver lining in such a dark cloud, would be, that the Australian voter grows up, and never allow themselves to be conned in such A WAY AGAIN.

    Sometimes humans seem to have to learn the hard way.

    Yes, there is much to lose with Abbott, little to gain.

    No movement in interest rates.

  21. Fed up

    This is the one I like the most. Could it be, Mr. Abbott realizes he will be lost on the world stage.

    I thought we have moved on from our cultural cringe, and now believe we are as good as anyone. It appears not, if you follow what Abbott is saying.

    “………..ABCnewsIntern @ABCnewsIntern

    Tony Abbott: “I don’t think we should be having ideas that are above our station.” #ausvotes #abc730
    7:51 PM – 2 Sep 2013……………”

    Yes, we must never get above our station in life. Pity, Abbott is reaching above his, believing he is fit to be PM.

  22. Boxlid

    No diannaart,if you think that your sorely miss the point.I did not and would ever not insult sex workers,some of them are my friends and the most intelligent and socially aware people I know.

  23. Boxlid

    Further more,I actually know both young women and men doing just that,selling their bodies cause they can’t a job too sustain them as they try to pay for educational opportunities.If you have any young adult children,do you actually know what they are doing?

  24. Douglas Evans

    Fed Up
    Are they voting for Abbott or against Labor? MSM have some culpability but do you really think Labor do not? Is it all just a vicious self interested media conspiracy or do Labor maybe have to bear just a bit of the responsibility for what is about to happen? Big time corruption? Musical PMs? Another incompetent campaign – two in a row now?

  25. Boxlid

    I’d love to see Tony Abbott shaking his maracas in a new tour of “The Boy from Oz”.
    Hugh Jackman has no competition.

  26. Bill Morris

    – LET”S NOT – Indulge ourselves in negatives.

    – BE POSITIVE – promote Labor’s values!

    Bill Morris

  27. diannaart


    I thought the rest of my post indicated I did not “miss the point”.

  28. Fed up

    Doug, I agree, there are many in Labor that will have much to answer for.

    Are you telling me, that Abbott has in anyway, run a decent and believable campaign.

    The last few days for Abbott, has been shocking.

    Do you really believe, that he is PM material.

    If so, maybe you can tell me why.,

  29. Boxlid

    Ok diannaart after review and consideration I admit you didn’t miss the point

  30. diannaart


    Sometimes I am so tired that I may be less than clear, but this time I thought I was. Anyway, we appear to be simpatico on this issue.

  31. cornlegend

    Doug Evans
    Your theory that
    “Now what does that tell you about which party is likely to go forward as the demographic changes and which PARTIES are likely go backwards (including one already propped up on the second preferences of which minor party)? The times, they just might be a’changing.
    Does not necessarily head the way you assume.
    Could it be, that as the youth mature, their “ideologies” modify as well..
    If your theory was to prove correct, would it not be obvious that the Greens would have a greater support base by now.?
    If we go from Jo Valentine,1990, or the Greens 1992,
    that has given the Greens over 21 years for your supposition to work.
    18-24 of the early 90s, are now the
    of your table above, don’t show that theory working.
    Maybe the 18 year old idealist, grows into 40+ realist

  32. Douglas Evans

    I don’t know. I was really responding to the article which seemed to be suggesting that the rising demographic would have values incompatible with those of the Abbott LNP. I was agreeing with this proposition for the sake of the discussion and suggesting that they don’t seem to be so keen on Labor either. Of course people’s values change as they age but in which way is not so certain. The stereotype is that they become more conservative which would certainly fit with a shift to one or other of the ‘major’ parties. But as any political junkie knows, party allegiances once formed, are not readily changed and the ‘evidence’ of the breakdown of the Morgan polls is that today the younger you are the less likely you are to favor either ALP or LNP. Who knows what support the Greens had in 1990 among 18 – 24 year olds or how the views of today’s 18 – 24 year olds will change in the future? Not me for sure and not you either I guess.

    My reason for constantly pointing the finger at the ALP and reminding folks ‘hey them too’ is simply that in dire times I think that it is important to see as clearly as possible the circumstance we are faced with. All is plainly not well within Australia’s oldest political party the ALP. Endemic corruption, the usurpation of the Party and its policy agenda by its most conservative elements. Shrinking and deeply disillusioned membership. Increasing isolation of the party from the electorate. These are not figments of the imagination. They are real and they have serious consequences. They need to be acknowledged, thought about and discussed along with the other elements of the disaster. The rise of the teapot right in the LNP. The impact of an angry, cynical deeply uninterested electorate that can’t distinguish between government and Santa. The role of a disingenuous, economically challenged over-concentrated media.

    I’m not accusing anyone of anything but it seems to me that the default position of most discussions of this sort that I find online is is to heap blame on the other players and ignore the mistakes and shortcomings of the ALP as if they didn’t exist. This is not helpful either the the Party or to those trying to make sense of what is going on. It may be comforting but it is not useful.

  33. diannaart


    I wish when applying some critical thought to the Labor Party that this was not immediately interpreted as favouring the LNP. This is very unhelpful thinking. Labor has moved to the right in recent years, the proposals for the treatment of asylum seekers is a clear indication of this move.

    Whether Labor wins the 2013 election or not (and I hope they do win), this once grand party needs to think carefully just whom they represent.

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