Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

John Howard: Peak Rabbit?

Posted by Possum Comitatus on July 10, 2007


We’ve all heard of “peak oil”, that point in time when oil production peaks, after which it becomes more expensive and simply more difficult to get hold of. Put simply, the bang you get for your buck starts to decline.

Has John Howard reached Peak Rabbit?

Not that long ago in a time when awful polls for the Coalition were still novel, rabbits were plentiful. We had the Burke Rabbit, the Sunrise Rabbit and the Rudd Childhood Rabbit. And the beauty was they were cheap. After all, it only cost an Environment Minister and surely it was worth it for the poll bonanza that would inevitably materialise for the Coalition.

But hat dwelling rabbits just aint what they used to be.

So we got some more expensive rabbits – the $10 billion Water Plan Rabbit, the $6 billion Superhornet Rabbit not to mention the biggest rabbit of them all, the budget rabbit. But as the longer term readers here know, budgets bounce like dead cats and these rabbits had a bad case of myxo.

Now we’ve got the latest Rabbit – the Aboriginal Children Rabbit. Now who can honestly tell me that if this is done properly, as it should be, there will be change from $10 billion over a decade?

And the results of Rabbit MkVII?

They speak for themselves. Morgan moved the Coalition primary vote from 40 to 35 in their telephone polls, and pushed the ALP primary up from 43.5 to 49.Newspoll kept the Coalition primary steady on 39 but had the ALP primary move from 46 to 48.

The top graph shows the primary vote swing of the ALP and the Coalition since the last election using Newspoll data. Two things have become crystal clear:

1. The country seems to have become not only rabbit proof, but positively anti-rabbit.


2. If Howard is going to win with rabbits, he’ll need to turn up to a Cabinet meeting looking something like this:


Because nothing short of some genetically modified mutant lepus is going to cut it.

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5 Responses to “John Howard: Peak Rabbit?”

  1. codger said

    Potted rodent, Possum.

  2. Stig said

    “This rodent was lying! He said he could fix everything for me!”

    Which one of the characters in this picture is saying this?

  3. bungs said

    excellent post. You may also remember that the rabbit in question (or in the photo) was sent to north Korea to start a breeding program that would feed the population: supposedly. turned it the rabbits were fed to North Korean leadership as raost for some celebration or other…

  4. The standard position for the state Liberal parties for some years has been that of a rabbit in the headlights. If Mike Rann or Morris Iemma can run you over you must be pretty slow. Looks like the federal Liberals are regressing to the level of their state counterparts.

  5. Tomasso said

    There are push rabbits and pull rabbits. Pull (from) is to make the alternative choice look worse. Push (to) is to make you look better. Beazley tried to avoid being “pull”ed by “heroically”/tragically being a small target. Current strategy seems to be to shadow the opponent (consolidate the middle) so that “pull”s are equally detrimental to both sides. Push (bribes, cred tokens, vision statements, etc) has usually been used sparingly by both sides, except during Latham’s extrovert effort. LP even uses “track record” more as pull (Labor doesn’t have the experience).

    The recent really big dollar rabbits could be seen as cred and vision items, but only can work if the punters believe the story. Specific punters called swinging voters, or undecideds, AND the preference tie up behind non-2 party voters.

    In the hypothetical Crosby focus group rooms, I can see issues arising where the swing voters are happy to say “I think that’s pretty important to me”. The dotted line is whether it leads to a committment.

    Or getting back to Possum’s thread: Them rabbits ain’t getting the kind of traction they used to…

    Labor consolidating the middle ground seems more effective at the moment than rabbits.

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