4thofeleven: (Eden)
Another election, another long delay before the results are known. While a hung parliament is still a possibility, though, it seems to me pretty much inevitable that the Liberals will take power.

I suppose if we have to have a Liberal government, Baillieu is at least tolerable. And the state Labor government needed a kick in the pants. I’m not convinced these results are part of a national trend – considering Victoria actually swung towards Labor in the federal election, I suspect this result reflects more that the electorate feels it’s time for a change. And there are more than enough local issues for people to be dissatisfied with – the complete mess that Myki turned out to be, for example…

Disapointing that the Greens did so poorly – though with both parties failing to make preference deals with them, and Labor seeming to spend more time campaigning against them than the Liberals, hardly surprising. Plus, in a close election, you get a decrease in third party votes, due to people failing to understand how our electoral system works…

Plus, I have a theory – see, I didn’t vote Green. I voted Sex Party, with Greens as a second preference. The Sex Party seemed to pick up about 1.5-2.5 per cent of the vote everywhere they ran candidates, and those votes had to have come out of somewhere… I’m wondering if there was a small swing towards the Greens that doesn’t show up in the figures because just as many traditional Green voters switched their first preference to the Sex Party.
4thofeleven: (Eden)
Julia Gillard has just scraped back into office as Prime Minister after the independent MPs Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott announced they would support Labor to form a minority government.


 - Windsor and Oakeshott hand power to Gillard

 
Thank the gods; Labor needed a kick in the pants, but I wouldn't have been able to stomach Abbott as PM...
4thofeleven: (Eden)
A SENIOR Federal Liberal MP was forced to apologise to independent MP Rob Oakeshott after calling and claiming to be the "devil" when his pregnant wife answered.

The MP's apology left the family stunned when he said he thought he had been speaking to one of Mr Oakeshott's young children.

It is the second such incident in as many days involving Coalition MPs reportedly harassing independents.
-
Furious independent Rob Oakeshott harassed by rogue Liberal MP
 
So, do the Liberals not want to form government, or what?

And who the hell thinks "Sorry, I thought I was harassing your small children, not your wife!" makes you sound better?!
 
4thofeleven: (Default)
You know, I've despised Barnaby Joyce for a long time, but I wasn't expecting hatred of him to turn out to be the biggest single factor in Federal politics...
4thofeleven: (Eden)
- Labor held on to Deakin, with a small swing towards it in the two-party prefered vote. Interestingly, looking at the numbers, on first preferences both ALP and Liberals had a swing against them, Labor just picked up the Green second preferences. I think that sums up the whole election a little bit - nobody liked either major party.

- Wilson Tuckey has lost his seat! Never thought I'd be glad to see the Nationals win something.

- DLP wins a Victorian senate seat? I guess they picked up Family First's preferences. Annoyingly, checking the numbers, on first preferences they were barely ahead of the Sex Party...

Aftermath

Aug. 22nd, 2010 11:40 am
4thofeleven: (Eden)
Well, I suppose if we have to have Prime Minister Tony Abbott, this is the best possible circumstances...

Going to be a very interesting few weeks. I remember seeing a few comments before the election comparing the situation to the 2000 US election in terms of voter mood - didn't expect the analogy to turn out to be quite so perfect...
4thofeleven: (Default)
At the polling station, Phil Barresi and the Liberals seem to be continuing his policy of bombarding the electorate with advertising; two large banners, a handful of posters and three people handing out how-to-vote cards, utterly drowning out the much more subdued Green and Labor advertisements.

(For that matter, I was still getting automated phone messages from the Barresi campaign at five PM last night. God, I hope he doesn’t win back this seat.)

No sign of Family First whatsoever; I guess whatever momentum they once had has finally died.

Did manage to convince my mother to vote for the Sex Party; their opposition to internet censorship persuaded her to give them a shot. Hope they do well; it’s an issue that didn’t get much discussion during the campaign.

Then again, not much of anything got discussed during the campaign, with both parties adopting small target strategies and the Greens marginalized by the media.

Not sure if I’m even going to bother watching the results come in.
4thofeleven: (Default)
Vaguely disappointed to notice while checking some election details that due the most recent redistribution of electorate boundaries, the old electorate of Kalgoorlie has now been split in half. Sadly, this means our largest electorate is now only two and a quarter times the size of Texas, not three and a half...

(No, there's not a lot of interest going on in the campaign. Why do you ask?)
4thofeleven: (Default)
God, I hate living in a marginal seat sometimes - keep getting automated phone calls leaving pre-recorded political messages. Will be very glad when the election is over.
4thofeleven: (Default)
Found an excellent article on the absurdities and creeping puritanism that affect Australia's current media classification and censorship system written by the leader of the Australian Sex Party. 

I'm very seriously considering preferencing them first in the senate this election - the internet filter might be dead for the moment, with Abbot finally announcing the Liberals won't support it, but the underlying philosophies that let such an idea get as far as it did still exist and dominate, and there needs to be someone in politics actively working against this sort of thing - and, unfortunately, even the Greens don't have a perfect record in this area.
4thofeleven: (Eden)
Senate Group Voting tickets for the Federal Election are up.

No real surprises this time around; Labor’s directing preferences to the Greens, so we shouldn’t see a repeat of the idiotic deal that gave Family First a senate seat.

On the subject of Family First, they’re preferencing the Greens dead last. Personally, I’d have thought the Sex Party or the Secular Party would be their ultimate enemy, but apparently they’re that determined to keep the Greens out.

Amusingly, the Greens are preferencing (Communications Minister) Stephen Conroy after all the other Labor candidates. So’s the Sex Party. Probably not enough to make him lose his seat, unfortunately.

In the lower house, looks like my seat’s got a wealth of choices, with seven candidates on the ballot, including an independent – who, amusingly, uses Livejournal for his campaign website. ([livejournal.com profile] keen4politics )
4thofeleven: (Eden)
The Gillard government would be swept from power according to the latest poll, which shows Labor trailing the Coalition 48 to 52 on a two-party vote.
 - Blow to Labor as Abbott surges

So, prediction*: Labor’s stuffed. There’s no way they’ll claw back enough ground before the election to recover.

In hindsight, dumping Rudd was a mistake – it effectively killed their incumbency advantage, fostered a narrative of a government in collapse, and all in order to quietly silence the mining tax issue, something which probably wasn’t going to win or lose the election on its own. If anything, it might have helped Labor – it would have forced them to defend a policy and their record, rather than their current strategy of fleeing at the slightest hint of controversy. And Gillard can’t present herself as a clean break from the past when she was deputy leader under Rudd the whole time.

(Nor should she try – Labor went to this election with a sound economic record, something it seems completely incapable of capitalising on.)

Of course, in hindsight, Labor should have kept pushing for emissions trading, with Rudd calling an election over that issue ages ago. Climate change is the one area where Labor was making an effort to clearly distinguish itself from the Libs, and it’s one of Abbott’s big weak points. Unfortunately, first Rudd put the whole issue in the political too-hard basket, and now Gillard’s making only the most token effort to keep the idea alive. Sooner or later Labor will have to realise it’s at its strongest when it stands for something… they needed a big issue to campaign on, like they did with Workchoices in 2007.

*sigh*

Trying to put a positive spin on things – the Green vote remains level, so any government will probably have to negotiate with them to get anything done… the image of Abbott negotiating with the Greens and Xenophon is almost amusing enough that I can stomach the idea of him as PM…


*I do tend to be hillariously wrong when making predictions, and hopefully this will be one of those times.
4thofeleven: (Eden)
I’m going to say Gillard won a slight victory – she came across as a lot more focused, positive and relaxed than Abbott, who seemed unable to articulate his own policies rather than just criticize the government, and often looked slightly confused or irritated whenever he wasn’t talking.

The issue of Gillard’s ousting of Rudd is, unfortunately, one that I think we’ll hear a lot more of. I’m actually going to give credit to Abbott for not making too much of an issue of it. The question asked about how many warnings Gillard gave Rudd before ousting him was idiotic, and I was irritated to see the questioner on ABC after the debate still whinging that he didn’t get a clear answer to his irrelevant question.

Asylum seekers continue to be the only issue discussed in any detail. Points to Gillard for phrasing her responses to focus on stopping people smugglers, rather than Abbott’s ongoing dehumanising references to ‘boats’. Negative points to both parties for letting refugees, of all things, become the bogeymen of their campaigns.

Abbott’s repeated use of ‘Fair dinkum’ began to grate far more than Gillard’s ‘moving forward’ – probably because Gillard used it while discussing her overall philosophy of how Australia should be moving, while Abbott seemed unable to discuss any topic without insisting he was being ‘fair dunkum’.

Abbott probably shot himself in the foot a little, opening the debate discussing how he has a family, he understands the pressure of rising costs of living… and then later, admitting he doesn’t believe there’s anything the government can do to directly bring down living costs.

Finally, I thought that Abbott’s comment in his closing remarks about choosing leaders based on ‘their record, not on their gender’ was a remarkably nasty and mean-spirited shot. Considering the problems the coalition already has with women voters, I can’t help but wonder if that throw-away line might prove to be the most significant of what was otherwise a remarkably subdued debate.

Either way, it’s still going to be a very close election.
4thofeleven: (Eden)
The federal government has censored approximately 90 per cent of a secret document outlining its controversial plans to snoop on Australians' web surfing, obtained under freedom of information (FoI) laws, out of fear the document could cause "premature unnecessary debate".
 - Sydney Morning Herald
 

I realise governments would generally prefer there be no public debate of their policies before they become fait accompli, but generally they're not as blatent as this.

But hey, the opposition will be sure to pick up on this and take the governement to task, right? It won't just be buried again and forgotten...

*sigh*
4thofeleven: (Eden)
JULIA Gillard says she is aware of public concerns over the mandatory internet filter interfering with ''legitimate use'' but has vowed to push ahead with the controversial proposal.
- PM Vows to block 'dark side' of the net

Figures that would be the one policy where the government is wiling to stick to its guns. Emission trading? Too hard, dump it! Taxes? Can't alienate business! Vaguely human refugee policy? Hahaha, no.

But internet censorship? CANNOT BUDGE AN INCH!

*sigh*
4thofeleven: (Eden)
JULIA Gillard has embraced her own version of the Pacific Solution, pledging to send asylum seekers to be processed in East Timor as she toughens her stance on the issue in preparation for calling an election.
- Battle lines drawn on boats


Well, I guess it was nice to be vaguely optimistic about the government for a few days. Lets see, Labor's position is now functionally indistingushable from Howards, and the Liberals are now moving further to the right to compensate.

You know, sooner or later Labor's going to have to realise they can't outflank Abbott when it comes to 'border protection'. Let's hope they work it out before this race to the bottom goes any further... *sigh*
4thofeleven: (Eden)
Julia Gillard Prime Minister after Labor Leadership Challenge

What the hell? Seriously, what the hell?

You know, this is why I don’t do political analysis. My opinion had always been that the ‘leadership questions’ were purely a media-driven phenomena, and I wasn’t even considering that Rudd wouldn’t be leading the party to the next election. I guess one must admire Federal Labor’s ability to keep this under their hats until it was a fait accompli…

Anyway, Gillard. Not convinced she’s going to be as big a break from Rudd’s policies as some people seem to be assuming – I think her leftishness has always been overstated. On the plus side, this does give Labor a fresh and popular face –and an excuse to move away from some of its less popular policies without losing face.

Regarding Rudd; well, my opinion of him is basically the same as most people’s – very impressed with him initially, and then a stream of disappointments. On immigration, he seemed determined to engage in a fruitless race to the bottom with the opposition. Emissions trading was abandoned. Aboriginal issues are being handled largely the same as they were under Howard. The internet filter remained on the table. There’s very little positive you can point to and say “That was Rudd’s work” – and he suffered from the Obama syndrome of making very nice speeches that don’t actually mean anything when analysed. When it came to actually defending specific policies – eg, the mining tax – he seemed unable to actually communicate his position.

On the other hand, I do think he would have won the election nonetheless – Abott remains deeply unpopular, and while Labor was losing votes, they were mainly flowing to the Greens. Gillard probably will mean Labor will hold onto a few seats they would have lost otherwise. Whether she will actually govern differently than Rudd, though… well, I’m sceptical.

As for “Australia’s first woman Prime Minister” – eh, I’m going to save the celebrations until she wins the election. It is kinda fun that we’ve now got a female monarch, a female governor-general and a female head of government at the same time… Has Canada or New Zealand ever had that?

EDIT: And, you know what? After glancing at a few sites, I think I'm going to avoid all online discussion of Gillard for a while. *sigh*

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