Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

The Long View

Posted by Possum Comitatus on October 16, 2007


This election is about momentum, Barry.

Doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy when you start channeling Paul Kelly ? Although he can have that whole Sunday Morning Dressed By Tarocash look to himself.

During this election campaign, miles of column space will be written, every action of our politicians will be analysed to death, every movement in the polls however small will be used to judge the success or otherwise of the previous days and weeks political strategy.

But when the race is finished, when the marquis are pulled down and everyone involved goes off to nurse their hangovers, history will look back and identify the defining feature of the 2007 election as having occurred before the starters gun was fired.

The dominant characteristic of the political landscape since March 2005 has been the unstoppable momentum in the declining level of support for the Howard government. If we look at the monthly aggregation of the Coalition Two Party Preferred estimates from Newspoll over the period since the last election, the obvious speaks for itself.


One could almost ski down that slope. This decline hasn’t been an artefact of the minor party vote or preference flow issues either, for the same phenomenon can be witnessed in the primary vote of the Coalition. If we look at the primary vote swing of the Coalition, by month, using Newspoll estimates – the underlying cause of the Two Party Preferred decline reveals itself:


Coalition primary voters have simply done a runner.

No single defining policy event over this period can be pinpointed as the fundamental root cause of the desertion from the Coalition voting ranks – it’s been an incremental, almost drip feed of estrangement. While Workchoices has obviously had a large effect on some demographics voting intention, and has probably consolidated a lot of that movement – this alone doesn’t come within a bulls roar of explaining the chronological nature of the electoral decline.

These Coalition divorcees all have their own reasons for why the relationship broke down. The primary problem for the Howard government is that these reasons are many and varied, too many and varied. The Coalition is suffering from their previous supporters feasting on a veritable smorgasbord of political grievance, and doing so for a very considerable period of time.

In 2001 after the Ryan by-election, you may recall that Howard found himself in a similar electoral situation, but key backflips on the specific causes of his political problems, like petrol excise, allowed him to mea culpa his way back into political contention long before the toxic twins of Tampa and 9/11 unleashed themselves on the political system.

Yet today, as a result of there being no specific policy cause to the decline in the Coalition vote, there is no key identifiable policy solution available to sooth the wide variety of reasons that have driven pundits to abscond from the coalition voting community.

Voters have been changing sides since shortly after the last election, and have continued to do so throughout the intervening years. This momentum has already defined the way this election will be fought, it’s now only a short matter of time until it defines the political outcome itself.

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62 Responses to “The Long View”

  1. Leinad said

    So this is the ‘death by a thousand cuts’ theory of voter disenchantment? But why, if WorkChoices isn’t the main reason, does the decline start from March 2005?

  2. canberra boy said

    Apart from “this election is about momentum” there’s another phrase I’m starting to rebel against – “the election will be won and lost in the marginals”. The latest culprit was Fran Kelly on Radio National Breakfast this morning. I felt like ringing to point out that the marginals are not the only game if you stand to lose upwards of 20 safe seats…

  3. paul said


    Alot has been said about the ‘soft’ Labor vote, I had it in my head that the Cosnservative vote was firmed this year, recent poll are now showing 80% – 70% rusted on voters for Labor and the Coalition respectively. In my mind this is a further slip away from the Libs. Is this the case?

  4. Tim said

    I’m a self-funded retiree and I wouldn’t vote for El Rodente in a million years.

    He’s squandered the prosperity coming from the mining boom, drastically underfunded higher education and public health, wasted billions on the Private Health Insurance Premium Rebates, failed to spend money on infrastructure at anything more than a fraction of what’s needed and encouraged over investment in housing, through the tax system, which in turn has led to the price of it becoming stratospheric for new home buyers. And the Liberal Party has the gall to claim its the better economic manager?

    Since when does squandering today’s prosperity without any more than token concern for the future constitute good economic management?(BTW I’m looking forward to the new Labor Government investigating the investment practices behind the so-call “Future Fund”.)

    There comes a time when the job of the electorate is to “Throw the rascals out”. The real time for the current mob (and the current NSW Labor Government) was at the last election. Unfortunately, the Opposition Leader in both cases was more able at accomplishing their own self destruction than convincing the electorate to vote for their party. I expect Kevin Rudd and Barry O’Farrell to win in 2007 and 2011 respectively.

  5. St Just said

    Is it only the marquis that will be pulled down? What about the viscounts, the earls, the dukes and the barons? What sort of democratic process is it that leaves these feudal predators in place?

  6. Thunderpaw said

    Pedant! LOL!

  7. John V K said

    It’s trust Poss.

    He hasn’t got enough time for couselling and mediation with whole segments of the population.

    Trust effects every other relationship with the punter.


  8. John V K said

    oops and over to Tim as well post 5.

    Sums it up. Everything has been exposed. So it’s Latham and Workchoices, concatenation.

  9. PJay said

    Very strange analysis from the media. JWH and Costello surprise Labor with tax cuts. Surprise? I dare suggest it was the most predictable thing since day followed night.

    Given the stereo speak by Rudd and Swan (who seemed to be interviewed at different times and places) then the echo from Gillard today – the whole thing appeared to have been rehearsed. Come in spinner. They have done nothing but push the “Rudd is fiscal conservative” line ad infinitum. Free kick after free kick. And don’t spend any money trying to get the media’s attention when you want to release your tax policy. Leave that to the dynamic duo – JWH and Costello.

  10. GS said

    Maybe this explains the sort of result the Oz’s online poll (the Oz I say!) is coming up with – coloured red all over the map and the pendulum. But I’m gathering its somewhat dodgy given the lack of weighting? But 11 thousand/so seems a big sample no?

  11. canberra boy said

    St Just (#5) it was a typo – he meant when the marquis are wolfed down…

  12. Charles said

    In an attempt to work out why the voters had turned I started taking an interest in this several months ago. I then believed his problem was a “wedge too far” ( a lot of minorities make a majority). I still believe Howard’s problem is “a wedge too far” ( a lot of minorities make a majority).

  13. imacca said

    Was playing with the Calculator on Anthony Greens page, and looking at where the ALP need a swing to win.

    Came up with the following:

    Looks to me that if they get 4.2% in NSW then they are winners with 3.0% or LESS, everywhere else.

    So, doesnt that make NSW the most important state, not Qld??

    Rattus Crew in deep deep doodoo.

  14. laughoutloud said

    It’s workchoices, and the effects of a long term relationship when the dearly beloved starts a sentence and you can finish it for them.

    That goes for the wedgies galore against every conceivable minority that everybody has been bombarded with since slicing and dicing the electorate became the method du jour for building a constituency for neoliberalism – (welfare bludgers, people speaking muslim, darkies, the ayleets, and ‘strong’ (don’t forget the tax cuts) ‘prosperous’ (don’t forget the tax cuts) ‘free’ (don’t forget the tax cuts)’rich’ (please don’t forget the tax cuts) ‘white’ (please please don’t forget the tax cuts) ‘hard working people like you’ (cop these ginormous $34 bill worth of tax cuts!).

    After a while you’ve heard it all before, and it’s well, it’s boring, and predictable and well, annoying really.

    The mob can read them like a book now, and they don’t like or trust the story teller anymore.

  15. Aspirational Aspirationalist. said

    So will this end up being the change of government we had to have ?

  16. ismark said

    I love how the MSM is using the betting market as represntative of the MSV (Main Stream Voter). Todays garbage – Rat Pack moves from $2.95 to $2.75 and Kev07 from $1.40 to $1.45 is indicative of a major swing to …. well u know who. I have not many people who bet on the elctions, I sincerely doubt that MSV’s do….I haven’t, do you?

  17. dave said

    I don’t think it would take very much money (relative to the cost of say political TV ads) to move the betting markets. Would be very surprised if such markets have any depth at all.

    So….if your are liberal and want to get some “momentum” going pretty quickly back yourself to win with couple hundred thousand at most, break the bets up and away ya go.

    Probably using money from the exclusive brethren anyway. Now wouldn’t that be ironic on behalf of the moronic.

    But early days…early days. At least the end now has a date !

  18. Leopold said

    Well put, Possum. And there’s a lot of logic on your side.

    But let me stick my neck out an enormously long way and say I think the government will be re-elected – with something in the vicinity of 78 seats. I’ll elaborate on why I think that by the weekend – bit rushed right now.

    I reserve the right to change my mind if, 3 weeks from now, Labor continues to lead by more than 10 points on 2PP (I currently estimate the lead to be around 55-45, notwithstanding published 2PP). But I don’t believe that will happen.

  19. Peter Schmidt said

    Interesting comment on Jon Faine (ABC 774 Melb) in interview this morning with Prof Patricia Asp (?sp) from Public Economics Dept University of Sydney who claimed and went through figures, that the new cuts shifted the burden to the working family.Contrary to the roll over praise oozing from MSM. Possums are immune to tummy tickling!Beware the tickler!

  20. KC said

    Momentum all right Poss, but it isa ll downhill.

    As to why it started before March 05 and Work Choices, Howard has never been as popular as he imagines, it is just that the opposition has not been as good as it should have been.

    The libs are facing a long overdue cleanout, each election win has made them more and more arrogant and believing in their right to rule.

    The wipeout when it happens will be a shock for some of them, Hockey is gone in North Sydney, his demeanor his attacks on Bailey over state issues, not federal ones shows how out of touch he is.

    The mood to remove Howard has been around since 1998 when he only got 48% of the vote after one term.

  21. Kirribilli Removals said

    You’ve never had so good, and here’s this humungous pile of your money that we’ve gouged out of you and all those WA miners, and well, we’ve decided to hand it back to you one milkshake and a sandwich at a time.

    Vision? For the future? Yeah, a conga line of voters all with their hand out for their milkshake and sandwich, I mean, we can lead Oz into prosperity with that!

    It’s going to take more than this cheap circus tent trick to change the slope of that graph, as the electorate has been bribed with its own money a few too many times now, and they’d rather have public hospitals and schools that don’t look like some dingy relic from the 1930’s.

    John Howard is passed the tipping point…the point he gets tipped out of office.

  22. jasmine_Anadyr said

    Love your work possum, still care about the outcome but the election I’ve waited so long for bores the c^%$ out of me. Oh and thanks for the halo friends, they’ll teach me right. Onwards and upwards St Kev of jas.

  23. jasmine_Anadyr said

    *friendlies perhaps …

  24. People looked at Latham before the last election and figured he had something funny about his eyes. Correctly as it turned out since he imploded after the election.

    People were often a bit white-knuckled with debt, and Howard promised to keep interest rates down. So they went out and voted for Howard but felt a bit dirty doing it. If they didn’t have that feeling about Latham, maybe they would have gone for idealism and not fear.

    People reach the point where all the indicators are for change, and only their innate conservatism, and/or an apparently ghastly opposition, keeps them voting for the government, which wins the election it shouldn’t have won. We have seen that many times.

    Wouldn’t be Johnny for quids.

    It is like a supersaturated solution. One speck of dust and the whole thing crystalises out. And then it is solid. One insult too far, a certain retreat of fear, a decent leader on the opposition benches, and it happens.

    Then it’s the baseball bats. Or, in our cultural tradition, the star pickets.

  25. I wear Tarocash 😦

  26. Enemy Combatant said

    “One could almost ski down that slope.”

    Bit mogully for me, PC. I prefer the smoother slide that only a Henderson Moving Average can provide.

  27. Howard Doubt said

    I voted Liberal the last three elections, simply out of ignorance and apathy. Since WorkChoices I am politically aware and hungry to vote the Liberals out.

  28. Grumblebum said

    Tim at #4

    I was shocked when I read your post. I thought I’d written it!

    Thanks for saving me all that typing:-)

  29. Don Wigan said

    ( a lot of minorities make a majority) Charles at 4.

    A very interesting take, Charles. Almost like a reverse-Dunstan. Dunstan stood up for (then) unpopular minorities, when there were no votes in it, simply because it was right. Although a lot of people were irritated by him at the time, he eventually won widespread respect. A lot of diverse minorities can eventually lead to a majority.

    Howard has won temporary populist support by beating up on minorities. It works well for a while. Remember Hanson? And, of course, anyone watching The Simpsons or South Park will have noticed that the easiest way to win acceptance was to pick on the most defenceless at school.

    But in the long run, it may well lead to a lot of minorities adding up to a majority. I’d also add, as per Leinad’s post, that Workchoices was the major turning point. It is not so much that it is on everyone’s lips. But it was a major breach of trust and credibility. After that it became so much easier to see through the rest of Howard.

  30. Bushfire Bill said

    The pundits forget the approval ratings: Rudd ahead on PPM, way ahead on Job Performance, differentials bad for Howard, and “trust” a winner for Rudd.

    These all show that the voters want Rudd to win, and by implication they’re prepared to cut him some slack.

    The pundits’ and the government’s premiss is now that tax cuts are announced the punters will instantly about face and turn away from Labor in droves because they’ve just been waiting for an excuse to do it (and tax cuts are as good as any). This may have happened with Latham, but there’s too much goodwill for Rudd for this to happen.

    Possum calls this “momentum”, but I prefer to go into why there is momentum, and the answer is “goodwill”. In either case, the result is the same: Labor’s popularity will be hard to budge with traditional electoral tricks like tax cuts and ambush flip flops.

    The voters haven’t put in a year of getting used to the idea that they’re going to vote Labor to be easily turned off Rudd in the space of one day with a simple, predictable tax cut stunt from the Coalition. Or a reversal on aboriginal reconciliation… or any of the the other dozen or so detours from established Coalition orthodoxy Howard has announced.

    Put simply, the “goodwill” quotient – approval versus disapproval – for Latham and Beazley was low. For Rudd it is high. People want Rudd to succeed, and will require an awful lot of bulldozing to be distracted from that sentiment.

    Thus, Rudd can delay his tax announcement as long as he likes. He can refuse to debate Howard on Sunday and let him go up on that lectern of his in the Great Hall and shout at the walls all he likes. I’ll be watching, if only to witness the humiliation of the little fella talking to himself and a couple of hundred rusted-ons in that cavernous space. It will be pathetic.

    Yes, it’s all about momentum, but that momentum derives from fundamental goodwill. The punters want to listen to Rudd.

  31. codger said

    Channeling the cheerleader Possum? Crikey!

    Nightie minus crotch moment’s in the journey to Growth Removal Day 07: The early daze

    #1 apologist-at-Loose pings ‘g’ spot; ‘Rudd’s genius’ Everyone’s a genius, eh Paul; but it does beg the question of just where and when the previous genius…nah…

    .#2 Probe on AWB scandal stalled; Responsibility, Rampant. The Howard Government established a committee sorry, taskforce…and… a… err “senior co-ordination group”- ‘Sherg’s Undies’-no skid marks here…

    #3 The 70% Rule: Labor’s front bench or Rodent’s Cabinet?

    #4 The last time Rodent & SmirkTip did a deal, what happened? Is Tax Plan/Goal Goal/Plan ‘the 07 Medicare Gold’ on the Never Never. Checks wallet; phones Macca.

    #5 CH 7’s Mmmmm…&…CH 2’s I’m sure…klunk…Rodent Rambler(‘The Pinguid’) stalls; out of oil.

    #6 Jason K with a crotch ripper in the age: Can anyone remember the size of the tax cuts handed out in the May Budget? It was only six months ago, so it shouldn’t be too hard. In case you have forgotten, let me remind you: $31.5 billion in tax cuts over four years. And the Budget before that? A massive $36.7 billion. Again, the year before that? $21.7 billion. That’s some pretty big numbers. Yet what has happened to the Government’s poll ratings in response to those apparently wondrous numbers over the last three years? Nothing. Nothing except going down, that is.

    #8 Nov 24 Growth Removal Day with apologies to Bill Leak.

    #9 Now he wants a wormless quickie. Panic, fear, and liberal lashings of loathing.

    #10 apologist-at-Loose says understand this: ‘There is only one way to combat Rudd’s accusation of a stale government and that is by being fresh.’ Then consider the following: ‘This exercise is the latest in governing by surplus politics, the technique that defines Howard’s years in power. It ruined Labor in the 1998, 2001 and 2004 campaigns.’

    Don’t you just love the stench of fresh genius in the morning?

  32. mark said

    Hi Bill – that’s a brilliant concept about ‘goodwill’ and people ‘wanting’ to listen to Rudd; I was concerned that this would change once the campaign started but it seems this trend is continuing……so many letters to the editor blasting the tax cuts! Interesting indeed – are ppl as a mass finally waking up to this?
    I take heart from ‘Howard Doubt’ who said: “I voted Liberal the last three elections, simply out of ignorance and apathy. Since WorkChoices I am politically aware and hungry to vote the Liberals out” – this is not the first time I’ve heard ppl say this kind of thing and I suspect it’s a fairly widespread trend
    LOL – that would be kinda funny seeing Howard debate himself! Won’t happen though, Rudd will have to turn up or it’ll be spun into him being “chicken” to debate JWH (David Speers already said this yesterday afternoon in Agenda – though he was talking to Albrechtsen at the time!)

  33. Hey Possum, Do you Know Polly Ticked?


  34. David said

    Rudd would have seen the tax cut coming months ago (although he may be a bit surprised at its size) – it’s what Howard does. I hope his coyness about the debate is just to mess with Howard’s head, lining him up for a king-hit on Sunday.

  35. Pedro of Canberra said

    Picking up on the ‘trust/goodwill’ angle.

    Last election Labor tried to exploit this by arguing that Howard was not to be trusted. By and large, people agreed with them. Howard had serious form, stretching back to his first term.

    As we all know, he ‘cleverly’ turned this around with the argument: ‘who do you trust to keep interest rates low?’. In effect, he didn’t deny the Labor charge – he simply refocused it on a single issue, and invited people to think about their wallets.

    5 interest rate rises later, he’s seriously exposed, credibility worn too thin.

    In the meantime, to cap it all off, he rammed through Workchoices without ever having raised it as an election issue.

    He says now; “like me or loathe me, at least you know what you’re getting”. Well, JW, that’s just the point!

    Despite saying that all politician lie, people want to be able to trust their leaders – at least to some degree. IMO, this is why people want Kev to win. Here’s a guy that can put their trust in again – simply because he has no form. That’s the nature of trust – you gotta start somewhere.

    In 3 or 6 years or 9 years, they’ll hate him too. Guaranteed.

  36. Rex said

    I think the long view is an apt title. In the long run a resounding loss will allow the Liberal Party to go away and reflect on their agenda – work choices is a stinker in anyone’s terms and represents hitting a ideological low point. Nothing sharpens the mind better than a humiliating loss. Modesty, reason, memory, and sensibility are all products of a good psychotherapy session on the post electoral hammering couch. Fraser and Hewson are prime examples of this phenomenon. If the Liberals zealotry is rewarded with another term I am afraid we are looking at a pretty grim future.

  37. Alex McDonnel said

    Well done Possum – I see the graph as the course of a super tanker (rather than a ski slope) . It takes a long time to get the ship to change direction and JWH just doesn’t have the time to do it.

  38. steve_e said

    The trend in the grph above shows the public support slowly eroding. The text below shows part of the reason (see The Bulletin 17/10).

    “Most of the critics of the Howard Government say that it’s into zealotry now. So, the idea that if the Liberals lose, it will become more zealous overlooks the fact that most of its critics say it’s too zealous now,” commentator and Liberal historian Gerard Henderson said.

    Dr Hewson says the Liberals can’t get any further to the right.

    “Any further to the right? I mean, they’ll fall off. To a lot of these people the earth is flat,” he said.

    “If you go any further to the right you’ll drop right off. No, no, I don’t think so.”

    But Dr Abjorensen argues that the right faction in New South Wales will not easily be dislodged from its power base and moderates could leave the party.

    “I don’t see the right in New South Wales disappearing overnight. They’re so well entrenched within the party machine,” he said.

    “I think we’re going to see an exodus of moderate Liberals, not only in New South Wales, but elsewhere.”

    It is because the Liberal Party is so far to the Right that people are moving to the Centre with Kevin is located.

  39. Crikey Whitey said

    GS # 10

    Following your comment, I did my own electorate, Boothby SA, which a recent Advertiser poll showed Labor pretty well behind..though, you know. Anyway, the seat poll shows Coalition 24% Labor 53%. Which bit tells how many have voted?

  40. Crikey Whitey said

    The Australian’s poll page moved me to an online qualitative poll, which I completed. My answers around why ‘no Howard’were on the capacity and practice of deception in process and issues, control and (ab) use of the Senate. On ‘yes Rudd’, it asked for a single issue. I cited no single issue, but his apparent intention to restore governmental fiscal responsibility for the public good, social justice issues, rather than in the interests of big business, the profit motive to the exclusion of. Will be interesting to learn the results.

  41. Andrew said

    Mark @ 32.

    I’m sure the “Goodwill” quotient of BB’s is as close to the mark as any other analysis around. I’m certain that is also explains Howard’s success. In 95 (and earlier judging by Dolly’s honeymoon, and even Hewson’s popularity for the majority of the time pre March 93) enough people were simply over Keating (and Labor) and were willing someone to turn up to give them a chance to get rid of him. Along comes Johnny making soothing noises, recanting past positions (Asian Immigration, GST, Medicare), and the voters just wanted to believe it. He’s been able to hold enough of that goodwill for a long time to keep in power. He was essentially fighting Keating in 98 with Beazley’s Black Hole, 01 with his Tamp play (battling elite opinion and political correctness) and again in 04 with his rates schtick, and enough punters still remembered how bad they wanted Keating gone to get him across the line (aided and abetted by Labor’s failings each time). How’s he going to beat Keating again this time? I don’t think he can. He’s tried interest rates, but after 04 that dog ain’t gonna hunt, he’s tried the black card but he’s losing the wet Libs over past sins, in short he just can’t rely on any goodwill except for the rusted ons.

    Rudd now owns the goodwill of the voters that will decide the election. It has been moving against Howard for a while now, but never like this, and he always found a way to get it back – even his current highish approval ratings attest to how strong the residual goodwill for him has been. Latham’s early high ratings weren’t for anything he did, but because plenty of people were hoping he would give them a chance for change. He blew that goodwill and Howard reclaimed it. But now the goodwill is araldited to Rudd. He would have to blow up deluxe to lose it. Howard can’t win the election, only Rudd can change the result. A few gaffes here or there won’t make a lick of difference because he has the goodwill. Howard made plenty of gaffes in 96 (tax policy for instance), but they were forgiven in the name of the greater goal – get rid of Keating. I believe the same mood is at play today. For a whole bunch of reasons Howard has blown a big enough hole in his goodwill that can’t be regained. I don’t think WorkChoices is the problem so much as a policy on it’s own, but the way it was implemented without forwarning at the election and then rammed through without debate focussed plenty of people’s minds on who Howard really is. Added to that the interest rate increases this term after his election ‘promises’ and you have a whole bunch of people who had in the past given him the benefit of the doubt on a whole host of issues, but were now reassessing that and not liking the feeling that they’d be taken for fools.

    Rudd will win not because he’s anything special. He’ll win (and win well) because the voters are projecting unbelievable amounts of goodwill on him, because they want him to beat Howard.

  42. stevet said


    I wouldn’t call it ‘goodwill’. It is more like a betrayal of trust. Keating’s betrayal of trust was his supposed reneg on L-A-W tax cuts after the 93 election which Howard had a field day with. This time there are two betrayals: IR and don’t worry I’ll keep your interest rates low.

    He is going to pay big time.

  43. Andrew said


    Don’t necessarily disagree, just think it’s the two sides of the same coin. Keating was seen to have broken the contract so the voters were willing to overlook Howard’s faults (and Keating’s positives) to see him punished. To do that they projected a whole bunch of hate on PJK and projected their hopes for something better on JHo. It’s a binary system, zero sum game if you will. I think the percentage of ‘a pox on both your houses’ types is never particularly high, otherwise the two party duopoly would be broken. Generally people get a (negative) set against one side and therefore conversely project their positive hopes on the other as a ‘saviour’ from the ‘other lot’. I don’t think many of us who are locking in behind Rudd are really all that taken with him, we’re just convinced that Howard MUST go, and are hoping KRudd will turn out better.

    But that’s the genius of Rudd (and Howard in 96) I reckon. By presenting as blank a slate as possible, it allows the voter to project their own hopes and aspirations on the opposition leader. It’s a trick that can only work after the incumbent has been around long enough to have alienated the people that got him elected, but once that tipping point is reached the less you say the better.

  44. Johnny Rotten said

    Andrew: Keating’s L-A-W tax cuts went into non-inflationary super something the coconut poo-pooed in 1985 in the following terms.

    Howard in 1985 (could have been 1885 for the mentality it displayed) 
“This superannuation deal will do more damage to the small business community of Australia than many other actions that this Government has taken.

  45. Andrew said

    Again Johnny, no disagreement. Wouldn’t mind seeing Rudd propose something similar as an alternative to tax cuts, could make a good case as it’s non inflationary, but still gives the money back to the people. The compulsory super system is one of the greatest gifts to the nations prosperity, and PJK will always be fondly remembered by me at least for it.

    Howards words against compulsory super should be thrown back at him every time he tells the “we supported all of the Labor reforms” lie. No doubt with a bit of research you could find other examples.

    But, the voters absolutely saw Keatings move in 96 as a broken promise, and with good reason. The promise wasn’t for super, it was for tax cuts. A good example of what Harcher was talking about today in the SMH. Lying to win an election might work, but then you have to deal with the consequences, and the voters memories.

  46. stevet said


    I don’t agree with evreything Rudd has done so far, but I have been a fan of his for quite some time. I saw him speak to the ALP faithful at a dinner about six years ago. Before I saw him speak, I liked him, but that was because like me, he majored in Asian Studies at university. He spoke my language.

    Up until when I saw him spoke I was a little sceptical on how the electorate would take him. The night he spoke to the faithful he just blew everyone away. The feeling in the room was, “where in the hell did this guy come from?” I wanted him to run when Latham got the job, but in hindsight it is probably better that he didn’t because he may have lost, albeit not as badly as Latham did.

    This time I think he’s a lay-down misere. Touch wood.

  47. Just Me said

    Outstanding thread. One of the best I have read anywhere on this election. Thanks all.

    All I can add is that I think the problem with WorkChoices is both the way it was implimented (not presented before the election) AND the policy itself. They both stink. If Howard had transparently put this policy to the electorate before the last election he would have lost, or at the very least not gained control of the senate, and he knew it.

  48. JD said

    The problem I’ve got with a labor government spending big on health and education is that most of that money is just going to be allocated to inept state governments. The current NSW government has proven that adults can’t neccessarily run a state better than kindy kids, so having rudd let them get their sticky hands on more money that is going to go straight down the toilet is not something i’m looking forward to.

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