When Scott Morrison first talked about “shaking and baking” the economy, I just ignored it as one of those things that just slip out when a person does a lot of public appearances. I mean, as someone who’s spent a lot of years in front of a classroom full of students it’s easy every now and then to accidentally say something which – on reflection – you would have phrased better. While you meant to encourage poor Freddy for improving his handwriting skills, you didn’t really mean to say: “This is great, Freddy, now I can actually read your work and give you feedback on all the ways that you’ve stuffed up and not just hand it back to you with my usual comment of suggesting you concentrate on your science subjects because you have the handwriting of a doctor!”
Obviously, I thought, Scomo was up late watching “Talladega Nights” and the phrase just stuck in his head. Completely forgivable.
However, it seems that Morrison repeated it, suggesting that it was something that he – or someone in his marketing team actually worked on… By the way, does anyone else wonder about car model names? I mean, does someone have the actual job of deciding that we’ll call one Hyundai a Tucson but we’ll call the bigger one Santa Fe and let’s call one of the smaller ones an Accent and the other an i30? Or do they just grab some passerby and say, “Quick, first thing that comes into your head1”?
So, we’re “shaking and baking” the economy. I guess it does rhyme and it’s probably better as a slogan than rootin’ and lootin’ even if the latter best describes their performances over the past few years.
Of course, it did make me wonder exactly what the PM meant by “shaking and baking” so I looked up the meaning of the phrase. Among its many meanings were: improvised, unprofessionally done, a simple crude action and a process in the production of crystal meth.
I trust some intrepid journalist will follow up and ask Scotty which of the meanings he was applying to the economy.
And speaking of the economy, isn’t it great to have the economy in the hands of someone like Josh Frydenberg, who has to be the best treasurer since… well, I’m almost tempted to say Scott Morrison but that’s terribly unfair to both of them. Neither of them deserve to be compared to the other.
Before explaining Josh’s latest genius move, I’d just like to mention the North Shropshire by-election. This UK electorate had been in Conservative hands since its creation in 1832, but a recent by-election elected a Liberal Democrat with a 34% swing. Someone was suggesting that this was brought about by Labour voters deciding that they had no hope of unseating the Tories, so rather than splitting the vote they voted for the Liberal Democrat candidate. UK elections use a simple majority so if you have too many left leaning or too many right leaning candidates on the ballot, it can have the effect of splitting the vote and a candidate that sixty percent of the electorate find objectionable gets elected.
Of course, in Australia, we have a preferential system which means that a voter can vote for one candidate who’s not likely to get elected without wasting their vote because their preferences will counted if nobody has more than fifty percent of the vote.
Now, I’m not wishing to make a case for either system here. I just want to point out that there’s only one way that the “Voices Of” candidates are likely to be elected and that’s if they can stay ahead of the Labor candidate until he or she is eliminated. If the Independent gets eliminated before Labor, I suspect that their preferences will leak more strongly to the Liberal candidate but Labor are likely to direct their preferences to the Independent ahead of the Liberal.
I’ve seen a number of people suggesting that these Independents were more closet Liberals and that voting for them would just be the same as voting for the government.
Which brings me to North Shropshire and Josh Frydenberg. The most likely way for the “Voices of” candidates to be elected is if enough voters vote for them ahead of Labor, which dyed in the wool Labor voters are unlikely to do.
Yet, Mr Frydenberg seemed ecstatic to discover that his potential nemesis, Dr. Monique Ryan was once a Labor member. While it might be true that this might scare some of the more conservative voters off voting for her, I suspect that there are more likely to be people who would have voted Labor in the seat who may go, “Oh, she must be ok then. I’ll vote for her.”
And like I said, unless there’s a North Shropshire situation where traditional Labo(u)r voters decide that it’s more important to sink the conservative candidate than vote for their actual party of choice. then most of the Independents in the various seats will have little chance of succeeding. But if any of them are actually still in the race after Labor and The Greens are eliminated, then they’ll probably get a strong preference flow from those two parties.
But thanks, Josh, you may have actually sent enough votes Dr Ryan’s way to give her a realistic chance of toppling you. I suspect you’ll still limp over the line, but, if you don’t, well, at least you gave it a real shake and bake!
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