Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

The Final Countdown

Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 17, 2007

[odeo=http://odeo.com/audio/3326933/view]

We are about to enter the most dangerous week the Liberal Party has ever faced in the history of its not inconsiderable life.

The political and media system has caught up to what we’ve been saying for the last 5-6 months (this site has actually been running 6 months to the day, as of yesterday).

The message is clear – the game is over.

That is what makes it so dangerous.

The polls are consistent, the fantasy of “Liberal strategists” being able to hide under the petticoat of fictitious marginal seat polling because “they’re closer than the national polls suggest” now looks like the façade it actually always was. The media have picked their winner, Uncle Rupert has moved behind Rudd in The Oz to match what has in reality been happening with his Tabloids and the Smage for weeks. This very morning Centrebet blew out to $4.60 – reflecting that even the punters are starting to get it, punters which haven’t got very much at all over the last 5 months.

There is risk and plenty of it over the next 7 days to E-Day, but it’s not downside risk for the ALP vote, it’s the risk of a collapse in Coalition support.

As longer term readers here know well, the “soft vote”, that bottom draw cliché that’s been dragged one too many times around the commentariat’s back paddock of late, does exist even if it’s a magnitude of order less than some would have us believe. The polling on this has been telling us all year, from the Crosby Textor Oztrack 33 through to Newspoll and ACNielsen qualitivate polling that the “soft vote” is relatively small, but it’s also evenly split – perhaps with even a slight tilt toward the Coalition.

And here lies the danger. If Coalition members lose the plot, if recrimination starts creeping into the last week of the campaign as government members fail to come to terms with the electoral reality, if members become more concerned with saving their own skin now that the fight to save the government is lost – it could all get very ugly very, very quickly.

If the ever cumulating misdemeanours of an 11 year administration start leaking out, replete with documentary evidence from the many technocrats and political operatives with long standing grievances that now see the twin windows of opportunity and immunity offering the sweetest revenge of all, the loss could turn into a rout.

A soft vote of a few percent doesn’t sound like a great deal, and for the ALP it could lose all of it and still win comfortably. The only difference between 55 and 53 is the size of the majority and just where in the history books the size of the victory will be recorded.

For the Coalition however the story is stark – the difference between 45 and 43 is a functioning party. Gaining less than 30% of the seats in the House, the parliamentary consequence of losing their own soft vote, will repudiate the Howard years, the Howard agenda and what the Liberal Party has become under his stewardship. Labor, with the most powerful post-war mandate, the power of government and a litany of appalling government behaviour over the last 11 years as ammunition, will not only destroy the reputation and credibility of the current Federal Liberal Party – or what remains of it, but the credibility and electoral appeal of most of what remains of its leadership team.

This week will decide the fate of the Liberal party for the next decade, yet only some of that fate is in the hands of the Coalition itself – they can control their own behaviour, but they can’t necessarily control a stampeding herd. If the soft vote breaks, be it for reasons of poor Coalition behaviour, scandal or most risky of all – people simply running to the winner, this could well become the longest week in the history of conservative politics in Australia.

The Coalition needs to be very, very careful.

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129 Responses to “The Final Countdown”

  1. kwoff.com said

    The Final Countdown « Possums Pollytics

    We are about to enter the most dangerous week the Liberal Party has ever faced in the history of its not inconsiderable life.

    The political and media system has caught up to what we’ve been saying for the last 5-6 months (this site has actually been…

  2. disenfranchised Gippslander said

    Possum, you’re spot on. Of course my personal hope is first that the Libs implode like the UAP in 1942, and second that the Rudd government has Australia’s interests as much at heart as the Curtin /Chifley one.
    as for the Libs, I can’t see a Menzies anywhere on the horizon, but then Menzies himself didn’t loom large in 1942.
    Advance Australia, multicoloured!

  3. Cat said

    I pray you are right and if you are wrong I will hunt you down and do what cats usually do to possums for getting my hopes up. I also hope that Rudd’s discipline holds and that Tony and Alexander continue their sulking as publically as possible. Quite frankly though I think there is a pretty large chance that given how fed up joe blow is with the election campaign the donkey vote will come in third in a few seats.

    Any view on the WA poll showing the turn around in Liberal support? Does not the new Labor ads in Cowan etc suggest their private polling might be telling them something similar?

  4. Jan said

    What a wonderful post. Thank you for your blogging genius over this interminable campaign.

  5. The Doctor said

    Its amazing, Shanahan has finally acknowledged reality & with a bit of luck Senator Humphries will lose (just in case a miracle or two happens!!).

  6. KC said

    Interesting thing about Curtin, didn’t he get around 59% of the vote?

    If labor get that it will be good to see.

    And on the coalition breaking, apparently Bob Day, another lib candidate has said that he doesn’t see why employers can’t pay less than the minimum wage.

  7. Tom said

    If Rudd turns out as good as Curtin Australia will be blessed!

  8. Martin said

    got a call from an irate Mount Tamborine resident yesterday fuming at what he alleged was a $500,000 abuse of the Regional Partnerships scheme in Forde…you’re right, Poss, it’s already got real ugly.

    and if anyone beats Michael Kroger to the Magda Goebells award for denying the undeniable by next Sat, they’ll have earned it…

  9. KeepingALidOnIt said

    Poss, your post suggests that I should change my pseudonym – that the ALP can be openly confident of winning and that it is in fact the Coalition that needs to put a lid on it for the next week.
    But I disagree about the ALP. The amazing characteristic that I and other ALP watchers have noticed since Rudd became leader is his ability to keep discipline in the legendarily unruly ALP. Maybe his rumoured foul temper has been put to good use in whipping the desperate hordes into line and into shape. Given that this has resulted in a steady and high 2PP vote all year, I think if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It will do the ALP no harm to continue to be circumspect about their chances, their budget and their plans. That will provide an elegant contrast to the Coalition, which is beginning to fray, and not just at the edges (witness Vaile mouthing off at the ANAO, Abbott just existing, etc).
    Softly, softly, catchee possum-ee.
    And after the election as well, or they will only be a one-termer.

  10. Steve said

    I hope there isn’t a rout. If there is one thing I take away from the last decade of both federal politics and NSW politics:

    its that a government – regardless of its political persuasion – will descend into a swamp of incompetence, hubris, decay, and sometimes radicalism,

    if they don’t have a halfway competent opposition to keep them honest. If they don’t have an opposition to fight, they will start eating themselves.

    I hope that Rudd wins in a message-sending landslide, but not so big that the federal Liberal party is FUBAR for over a decade. I want Rudd to be good enough to hold government *and* constantly fight off a competent opposition, not grow fat and lazy and stupid making snide jokes about an opposition not in the race.

  11. scaper... said

    I really do hope the coalition self destructs in the next week, as in the interest of democracy, it is imperative that they totally rebuild on the philosophy that they never repeat the behaviour of their reign that achieved the division that threatened to destroy the fabric of our society.

    We have many challenges ahead to face and we have fallen behind because of Howard’s decade of nought!

    The cloud of despair will be lifted soon so we can again hold our heads up as a nation again.

    Advance.

  12. Evan said

    “If the ever cumulating misdemeanours of an 11 year administration start leaking out, replete with documentary evidence from the many technocrats and political operatives with long standing grievances…..”

    I wouldn’t discount the chances of something like this happening in the next week at all, now that the election is pretty-well done and dusted.

    After years of Howard’s politicisation of the top levels of the PS, I reckon there’ll be a boxload of pretty pissed-off mid-to-upper-level types fairly champing at the bit for a bit of payback for what he’s put them through.

    Perhaps we’ll get the real story behind Children Overboard, The Tampa, the AWB and assorted other fiascos and scandals of the Howard Years at last.

  13. pjk said

    I just met Rudd on one of his shopping centre visits in Adelaide. I said to him the fact that your favourite book is the Brothers Karamazov and you were a fan of Dostoevsky would make you a worthy leader. this guy is interested in serious books and reading which will make a big difference to this country following the howard years. here’s hoping for a thrashing next saturday.

  14. sculls said

    Hope that you are spot on in your predictions. However Lateline’s report on “More flack for the government over the Auditor-General’s Report” last night stated that a “Galaxy marginal seat poll to be published in full on Sunday has the two major parties almost neck and neck on primary votes, but on the back of Greens preferences, the Opposition’s still in the box seat for victory on 24 November”. What is going on with the primary vote? Is this the proverbial “narrowing” in the polls that the government and it’s supporters have been waiting on? Any more details available?

  15. Big Tofu said

    I’m a long time fan of this site Possum, you and your posting pals have been a source of comfort for this otherwise disconnected ex-pat living in northern Japan.

    Not too long ago John Howard’s political kin here got routed in the Upper House elections when the public sought to teach them a lesson for decades of comportment ranging from semi to thoroughly corrupt. I’m daring to dream the same thing might happen in the wide-brown land on Saturday.

    I’m in the middle of exam study, but even that won’t prevent me having a drink on Saturday. I have two glasses, one large and one moderate, and a bottle of very expensive sake set aside for the day. If Labor wins I’ll toast to Aussie freedom, down the moderate glass and get back on with the books, with a mind to showing the house in champagne once the exams are done. If the Rodent defies the odds and returns, the large glass gets filled and drained over and again, with the ensuing hangover being vicious enough to keep my mind of Aussie politics for a while.

    Congratulations on this fantastic site.

  16. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    The thing to watch for is the positioning and posturing by Government Ministers in anticipation of the vacant leadership position coming up for grabs. Will the knives come out this week – lets hope so.

  17. Stephen T said

    Poss I am such a happy chapy. Been keeping up with you, Oz Politics and good old Antony. You have saved me much angst fear and trepidation. You have allayed doubts and set the polling agenda in a way that will change election strategies in this country. A voice within a voice and damn clever strategy. We are rock solid and so I wish the doubters would just let go of the fear and get with the program. good old positive reinforcement. I remain as every a true believer and ain’t no one gonna rain on my parade.

  18. paull said

    in response to comment(8) by martin, Have you seen David Spiers on agenda this morning I think he has actually taken up campaining for the liberals, I imagine he will play the grand final for the award

  19. Enemy Combatant said

    “For the Coalition however the story is stark – the difference between 45 and 43 is a functioning party.”

    42, and the mothers get to ponder the meaning of life.

  20. Ivanhoe Fats said

    I agree with Steve (10) – the last thing we want is a total rout. We need a strong opposition to keep whoever is the government in order.

    I’m an ex-brit and remember the absolute destruction of the Tories after Thatcher (Major didn’t really count) and the subsequent abuses by the Blair government during his 3 terms while the Tories tried to recover.

    A small majority to the ALP would be perfect.

  21. paull said

    sorry Ivanhoe fats we want a massive majority because there is a chance that the upper house will still be run by the liberals
    unlike in Bririan where 50% of them are born into it. A huge majority will make the threat of disolving the whole senate and going to another election very scary for the sitting Libs and hopefully will tow the line, because it’s in their make up to look after themselves and not stick as united force when things get tough

  22. scaper... said

    Comment 20

    I understand where you are coming from, but the party culture that Howard created has to be obliterated completely!

    I believe politically, we have matured and it’s people like you and most I see around the blogosphere that can and will keep the pressure on to ensure this does not ensue.

  23. Rod said

    Ivanhoe Fats wrote:

    ” the last thing we want is a total rout. We need a strong opposition to keep whoever is the government in order.”

    I think the big questions after this election are going to be “is there room for two parties of the centre-right?” and, if not, “can the Greens ultimately occupy the centre-left role vacated by Labor and become, in effect, the new opposition. Some way off at present, of course, but it seems to me things have been heading in this direction for some time.

  24. Pancho said

    The Final Countdown! Brilliant! And beyond the humour, as always, a pleasure to read.

  25. Tom said

    This site truly is a revelation. I had no idea you have only been up and running for six months pos, but am very glad for your contributions over the last several months. The coverage in The Australian has been bordering on deranged at times this year, and it was a good day when I discovered your site for a dose of reality, and to pour some cold water on the hysteria masquerading as analysis from that formerly great newspaper.

    Time will tell regarding the 24th, but I have long held a sneaking suspicion that a comfortable victory for Rudd could turn into a proper smashing of the Coalition. And I disagree with the posting of Steve at 10 (with respect) in that I believe the smashing would be throughly deserved for this government. They really have become an unelectable rabble; and the hard years of opposition will give them plenty of time to reflect on what went wrong for them as a government presiding over an unprecedented mining boom.

    I don’t have any great animosity to the PM, although I firmly believe his best days are behind him. There is however, a fundamental absence of decency, integrity, truthfulness and accountability that pervades the Coalition. Sure the economy is strong, and I am sharing my thoughts with other bloggers on a broadband connection from home. Life is good in Australia, but it can be better.

    I’m very much looking forward to the result on the 24th, and am curious as to how I will first get the news, being in transit on a flight to Roma. Anyway, for me at least the die is cast as I have already voted.

    All the best for the future possum, whatever it entails for you, and thanks again for the analysis and graphs and stuff. You’re some guru!

  26. Neilbris said

    Personally, I think a complete annihilation is needed both to send a clear message that neocon politics is now political poison in this country, and to force the Coalition to rebuild and rediscover their values and, hopefully, to recruit candidates that reflect the Australian mainstream. I’m willing to pay the cost of a weak opposition for a term if that can be achieved.

  27. KeepingALidOnIt said

    PS Possum, could you please put up your Crikey posts, if any, from the last few days? I can’t access them. I am a lapsed subscriber and they won’t give me a free trial. Like the Catholic Church they treat lapsed members more severely than new converts!!

  28. George said

    Possum, an excellent analysis piece and on the mark. I for one believe in the scenario you outline above as the most likely this coming week: “If Coalition members lose the plot, if recrimination starts creeping into the last week of the campaign as government members fail to come to terms with the electoral reality, if members become more concerned with saving their own skin now that the fight to save the government is lost – it could all get very ugly very, very quickly.”

    There has already been some (albeit small) evidence of this during the campaign – some mumbling, some (self) leaking, contradictions, not-so-welcome admissions, etc. In my opinion, it will get worse very soon.

  29. Endgame?

    Possum’s Pollytics reckons the Libs will implode next week as the reality of their situation becomes apparent. Is it really that dire? If it is, what has Howard got left in the hat?

  30. davo said

    What time do the polls open on saturday? And what are the implications for the coalition if there are big crowds there in the morning to getting their voting over and done with ??

  31. Kirribilli Removals said

    Great post Possum, and pretty much what I’ve been telling my partner for the last few weeks, although I’ve been inclined to use the coarser expression for what will most likely happen in the last few days of Howard’s reign: it’ll all turn to sh!t in a bucket!

    When the much prophesied ‘narrowing’ failed to arrive, it was always going to be desperation time, and then the rates rise, Rudd’s superior campaigning and now the Auditors report, and all the while Abbott and Downer where behaving badly.

    Eleven years of this mob was never going to end any other way really, and if it all bursts at the seams, as you infer it might, then I for one will have no sympathy for any of them.

  32. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Scaper – Obliteration, annihilation and then some. My special hope is that Bennelong goes to Labor to ensure that Howard’s era is remembered in history for the wasted period of opportunistic space it truly was.

  33. paul k said

    Those of us old enough to remember the Hawke years will remember the countless times we were told that the Libs were finished for all time and Labor was the natural party of government which would be in power for ever. Well it wasn’t quite true. Before you bury the Libs remember parties get defeated and then rebuild and come back. If Rudd wins he’ll probably have two terms. That’s 5 to 6 years to prove Labor can handle the economy and prove Labor can rule for all Australians and not just the left. If Rudd stuffs it up, the conservatives will pounce and he may very well be the last Labor PM. Everything in life goes in cycles. The conservative cycle in Australia is drawing to a close but the new Labor cycle won’t last for ever. This is Labor’s chance, the Conservatives are going down but don’t make the mistake of thinking they have a stake thru their hearts.

  34. Paul said

    Folks,

    Laurie Oaks has some good thoughts – its time for the “Embassy Rooftop Strategy”. http://thebulletinelection.ninemsn.com.au/the_embassy_rooftop_strategy.htm

    Have we got any bloggers in Canberra to keep a watch on staff movements? Any bloggers near the Collins St bunker?

    Paul

  35. greggowa said

    #25 “I don’t have any great animosity to the PM, although I firmly believe his best days are behind him. There is however, a fundamental absence of decency, integrity, truthfulness and accountability that pervades the Coalition”
    To me that is a discredited govenment and the results will be there for all to see.
    And Poss, got a vivid image of the twin towers (like a capital L or perhaps H) collasing while reading with soundtrack – was that intentional? … no need to reply.

  36. Dark Rose said

    Thank you possum for a most delightful opinion piece. The words flow like honey and are a salve to the weary. I personally will savour this week as no other as I see the Coalition set fire to their halls before the Great Australian public cast them into oblivion.

  37. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Cool! Rudd is really sticking the boot in on Coalition pork barrelling:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/17/2093767.htm

  38. Neil Cammack said

    #34 “Have we got any bloggers in Canberra to keep a watch on staff movements?”

    Paul, from my front door I can discern the flag atop Parliament House a few clicks away, but all I see is a darkening sky – ah, yes, it seems to be caused by vast flocks of angry Black Orpingtons coming home to roost, amid the smell of pork wafting in from Eden-Monaro to the east.

  39. Rod said

    paul k writes: “That’s 5 to 6 years to prove Labor can handle the economy and prove Labor can rule for all Australians and not just the left.”

    It is a long, long time since Labor has ruled “for the left”, paul. I really don’t see this as the end of a “conservative” cycle, rather, perhaps a move from “right with neocon flavouring” to “centre right”. There is certainly very little in Labor’s current industrial or economic agenda one could really call “leftist”.

    The interesting thing to watch with the Libs (and Labor too, to some extent) will be the extent to which they are able to sort out their own internal balance between the true “liberals’ and the “social conservatives” on matters like the environment, religious and cultural tolerance, etc. etc. Interestingly there is probably more divergence WITHIN both parties on such matters than there is difference BETWEEN them in the economic and industrial arena! This produces potential for some interesting re-alignments in the political firmament over the next decade or so, I reckon.

  40. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Rod – the problem for the liberals is that they cleaned out their small l contingent years ago and have moved further and further to the right under Howard’s dry dogmas learned at the knee of mother Thatcher.

  41. Andos the Great said

    Paul @ 34: Great article, thanks for the link.

  42. Beach Ball said

    Kirribilli removals. The theory goes that if there is a long queue waiting for the polls to open at 8am the punters are coming out in force to either defend or destroy the government they vote too. Also, any late voters who have been working since early morning will queue up prior to 6pm to ensure. If there’s a pervading “who cares” attitude (such as a 2nd or 3rd term election) the punters tend to vote evenly throughout the day.

    Another phenomenon happens in the West, as they hear what’s happening with the first 2 hours of counting from the East, they make a final hour rush to vote before 9pm edst.

    So get to your booth at 10 to 8 and check out the queue and make your own judgement.

    Of course, if you’re David Flint, this is proof positive that the Labor Party has organised a mass fraud of multiple voting. Wake up Flinty-poo, the Rodent is about to suffer from what you enjoy.

  43. whynot said

    This peice (and quite a few others like it in the blogsphere) is proving to be somewhat prophetic …

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/after-howard-the-deluge/2007/02/15/1171405368379.html?page=fullpage

    .

  44. Rod said

    Partly true, GMT, but balanced by similar action from Labor to clean out its own “left”. Essentially, as I said, the ground the two parties occupy on “traditional” left right issues like the economy and Industrial relations is very similar really these days.

    On a vaguely related note it is interesting to see Andrews getting wheeled out today by the Libs, after they’ve kept him hidden for most of the campaign after the first couple of days. Are we going to see an immigration / values related scare campaign over the next few days, in an attempt to hang on to whatever is left of the “social conservative” vote? If so, I wonder what Turnbull thinks of the approach!

  45. The strangest thing over the last week or so is the advertising and other spin by Liberal candidates about hoons, anti-social behaviour and vandalism. They are all pretending that it is a “local” issue that they have discovered themselves. Not a national strategy.

    When facing a landslide it’s everyone for themselves but they are still locked into dong what Howard’s cronies say. A habit of nearly 12 years is hard to break, specially when you have purged yourself of any personal opinions.
    ‘Labor View from Broome’

  46. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Maybe Howard has organised some African boat people to arrive of the coast of Darwin on Thursday?

  47. John Wriedt said

    Possum : methinks you can smell blood…

    Paul K : @ 2:45 pm , totally agree with your comments mate !

    John
    Melbourne

  48. Ijon Tichy said

    Hey, Possum, the phrase is “order of magnitude”, not “magnitude of order”.

  49. Hemingway said

    Elegant analysis, Poss. This website is an oasis of Psephsanity in a desert of silly nonsense.

    Paull @ 18 says: “Have you seen David Spiers on agenda this morning I think he has actually taken up campaining for the liberals, I imagine he will play the grand final for the award”

    Comment by paull — Nov

    Good call, Paul. This morning Speersie was in Bennelong in a last ditch effort to rescue Howard from historic humiliation by going the mongrel in an interview with McKew, who floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee. Incredibly, Speersie decided to attack her for the heinous act of being a union member, and McKew retorted, “You’re probably in the same union as I am, arn’t you David?”. Speersie replied through pursed lips, “I’m not in any union”. What a shock!

    After failing miserably to get McKew to bite on his “killer” questions, even Speersie’s Dororthy Dixer phone yarn with Howard couldn’t pull the boy wonder out of his trough of despond. Don’t know whether that’s because he’s dumped on any scrap of journo-cred he might once have had to become an ardent Team Howard Cheerleader.

    More likely, Speersie is simply scared poo-less anticipating what cruel fates Rupert has in store for all those Murdoch Empire Cheerleaders if they fail to bring about “The Narrowing” for Team Howard. To prepare for the worst, Speersie should rent the DVD of “Borat” and start doing some serious research on housing affordability in Kazakhstan.

  50. flute said

    I am very excited about the upcoming week of lunacy.

  51. scaper... said

    Hemingway

    Totally agree mate.

    He will have to learn to chew his corn!

  52. Troy C said

    Gaining less than 30% of the seats in the House, the parliamentary consequence of losing their own soft vote, will repudiate the Howard years …

    If Ruddism was the opposite of Howardism, then that statement would be accurate. As we have seen so far, Ruddism is, for all intents and purposes, a copy of Howardism with minor modifications. Regardless of who wins, the result will be an endorsement of Howardism.

  53. The Doctor said

    Possum,
    Next week maybe Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction” might be apt!

  54. Possum Comitatus said

    Troy – History is written by the winners, not the losers.

  55. Mark said

    Possum, congrats on your 6 months. How much is that in Possum Years?

  56. Possum Comitatus said

    I might keep that in mind Doc!

  57. Marktwain said

    Jeez, Poss, did you have to do that to me? I’ve been forced to close the windows in this neighbourhood of doof-doof lovers while reading your post. The bogan within was finally let loose, giving full bore to those cats in oestrus from Europe, while the outward latte-sipper wept tears of immense joy.

  58. Possum Comitatus said

    Mark – feels like around 30😉

  59. Socrates said

    Possum you are spot on. For me the turning point was not teh polls but the press. When Howard denied his “record-low-interest-rate” promise a few weeks ago and some MSM journalists finally called him on it and dug up the archival footage to prove he was lying, it was the beginning of the end. The MS have given him far too much latitude for years with blatant lies.

    And yes the risks now are huge. Here are just a few incidents I’d love to see the full story on this week:
    David Hicks (did we ask for him to be gagged?)
    Haneef and Andrew’s role (due in court this week)
    US Free Trade Agreement (was Iraq support a payoff?)
    More Pork-gate (its hard to beleive DOTARS was the only department used like this)
    Immigration Visa deals (Ruddock has reportedly intervened on many)

    Who knows?

  60. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Poss – what is your reading of the poll showing the LNP ahead on primaries in marginals?

  61. George said

    Hemingway @49, LOL🙂

    You know, I’m tempted to start a website on all the Howard/Lib MSM cheerleaders throughout this year, just in case anyone forgets their disgraceful behaviour. Problem is, it will be a looooong page to scroll through.

  62. Neilbris said

    In spite of all this pseph-inspired optimism it’s only fair to remind you all that our dear Kevin can’t win! Have we forgotten that the good Lord Himself has spoken through another of Howard’s collection of strange right-wing religious friends – Pastor Danny Nalliah of ‘Catch the Fire Ministries’. Apparently God has declared through Pastor Dan that Howard will win the election.
    So while the rest of us are watching government ministers fall like 9 pins, Pastor Dan can console himself in the knowledge that it can’t really be happening. At the same time he will no doubt be considering the Old Testament remedy for giving false prophesies….death by stoning. The local quarry should do a brisk trade.

  63. Possum Comitatus said

    Mr Thatcher, it’s a Galaxy, so who knows.

    It depends on what marginals they polled.Urban marginals will have a much higher Green vote than the boondock and outer suburban marginals in most cases, so a focus on the former type of seats could well have a high Green vote, leading to a lower ALP primary. But those greens preferences in those places run 75-80% to the ALP so it all quickly becomes an argument of semantics in terms of where the TPP ends up.

    So saying, I dont have a lot of time for Galaxy and take them with a grain of salt.But it is the pointy end of the campaign where all the pollsters are now going for kudos on the most accurate estimate, so who knows – maybe they’ll stop playing silly buggers. We’ll find out tomorrow when the poll is released.

  64. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Thanks. I notice they are now predicting an 18 seat Labor gain.

  65. George said

    The Speers interview Hemingway mentions is here:

    http://www2.skynews.com.au/video/video.aspx?id=4

    Watch McKew eat up Speers for lunch!

  66. KC said

    Main negative about worry about a landslide is that Howard may just sneak back in on those “worry votes”

    16 seats is a big ask.

    Big positive about a landslide is the new members and talent brought in, not just in this election, but in the next one when there would be the inevitable swing back after a landslide.

    This would also bring in new, and hopefully more liberal, liberal members.

  67. John Button said

    What do people think of the ltest Galaxy Pole on Channel 9?

  68. scaper... said

    65 George

    Thanks for the link and this Speers or however you spell it, can’t chew corn as he lacks ideological
    or intellectual teeth…. grub!!

  69. booleanbach said

    I too thank you for your analysis and comments they beat the pants off anything in the MSM who have largely abrogated one of their their main roles – educating the public about the challenges and questions of the day and how best (party independently!) to meet them.

    From first the US and then Europe I have watched my beloved country throw away so many of the core attributes that made it unique, and wonderful and instead embrace the poisonous ideology of an insane superpower.

    I too hope for a wipeout – A split ala Labour in the 50’s would be the best outcome. Then we might get a true liberal party rather than the radical religious right Liberal one we have at present.

    I am moving back home next year and all I can hope is that Rudd can move OZ back some way towards what used to be an open, unwedged, inclusive society.

    Your last few months of comment have helped counter my anguish of the past 11 years and I thank you for it.

  70. Rod said

    A mate of mine died of mesothelioma last night. I’ve just been told by his wife.

    If I see one more ad from the Libs/Nats attacking unions I’m going to be tempted to throw the nearest brick through the television screen.

    May the very worst of Possum’s predictions for the Coalition come true. May those who wish to take the Labor Party closer and closer to the same piece of political territory share the same fate.

    For goodness sake, we are a wealthy enough country to be able to deal with these sorts of issues in a fashion that involves both compassion and justice, and surely an honest enough country to hold those who perpetrated such monstrosities to account.

    Jim spent the last three years dying, in a lot of pain and with a lot of unanswered questions, paying a fortune that he didn’t have for medication that the Federal Government refused to put on the free list until it became an election issue a couple of weeks back, upset that his family had to watch him going, trying not to let his terrible , terrible situation impinge on those around him.

    I’m not a religious man, but a curse on all the money men, the number crunchers, the people who couldn’t give a damn about such things in the super sanitised, indifferent, politically neutered world we live in today.

    Jim was a fine man.

    Rod

  71. happy chap from Griffith said

    Heya Poss,

    Have you seen this? http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/17/2093778.htm

    This is the best Howard pic since Dave from Albury (?) fiddled with that one where Howard was caught standing there twiddling his thumbs and looking at the lass who had just fallen over….

  72. Goodbye Mr Thatcher said

    Happy chap – looks like the stick theyre using to prop up his head finally snapped.

  73. scaper... said

    Rod

    I share your anger and Jim was let down by the people that are supposed to rule and look out for all of us.

    Hey, I’m willing to do or pay whatever to ensure that my fellow Australians are ensured the best when they are afflicted.

    We have to return to being a fair society if we as a nation want to prosper.

  74. ho_hum said

    Thank you, Possum, for wonderful insights and analysis presented in an immensely readable style, clear and concise. Well done indeed.

    TroyC #52 “Regardless of who wins, the result will be an endorsement of Howardism.”

    In fact the diametrically opposite when it comes to probity, honesty and integrity. Should Rudd adopt the Howard lies, duplicity and failure to take responsibility for anything even slightly negative he can expect the same richly deserved fate.

    I think of David Hicks arrested at a bus stop in Afghanistan and his subsequent five years in Guantanamo with no support from the Oz Government, and compare his fate with the cowboys of the AWB, still running around free spending their $quillion$ despite blatant corruption and support of terrorism, in Howard’s jargon anyway.

    I think of Richard Pratt enjoying his fraudulent billions instead of incarceration, still running around free when Howard ‘promised’ to introduce jail terms for such behaviour several years ago.

    I think of those people who have been persecuted by a vengeful and petty bureaucracy under the dreadful Ruddock, then Vanstone, then the incredibly incompetent Andrews who have lost years of their lives through stupidity and vindictive incompetence.

    And I think of Howard’s reported booze bill of $30K per year, more than twice the single Old Age Pension.

    There’s more but I am very relaxed and comfortable about a final outcome of 103 seats to Labor, 2 or 3 Independents, and The Remainder. Hopefully the small ‘l’ Liberals can rebuild, otherwise it is no loss. Nature abhors a vacuum – perhaps the Greens will mature into the Progressive/Left party leaving Labor as the centre right in place of the sorry Dems (thank you, Meg Lees) and what’s left of the Libs and Nats.

    Thank you Possum.

  75. Picked up a copy of Pamela Williams’ The Victory today on the 1996 campaign. Some mythmaking after the event I suspect but I noted Bob Hogg advising Keating months before that voters saw Howard a ‘decent man’ and I suspect Rudd has a similar advantage. Also that the Colaition kep up the pressure in the last week when there were faint hints of a Labor revival and poured resources into off the rader seats that come into play such as Lindsay.

  76. CK said

    Possum, oh Possum, can you tell me why this survey of 18 marginals should be given any credence at all?

    On my rough calculations it works out to 194.l44 voters repeater per electorate. Which means that it is comprehensively crap.

  77. Enemy Combatant said

    CBet
    1. LABOR 1.17
    2. COALITION 5.10

    Who’s gonna break it to Miranda Devine? For mercy’s sake, be gentle!

  78. Appu said

    Galaxy Briggs is on Sky right now, predicting 18 seats for ALP including Bennelong.

  79. Moondark said

    “You know, I’m tempted to start a website on all the Howard/Lib MSM cheerleaders throughout this year, just in case anyone forgets their disgraceful behaviour. Problem is, it will be a looooong page to scroll through.

    Comment by George — November 17, 2007 @ 5:09 pm”

    I would be one of the first readers and would also relate this information to anyone who would listen.

  80. ismark said

    Point 1. I believe that Australia has been led by a mean spirited, self interested group of idealogs for 11 years and that this will leave its stain on Australian Society for years to come. I will not be at all sorry if this election sees them off and hopefully they will return with a more postive approach to our country because they will return as sure as eggs.
    Point 2. This election has seen a significant change in the way people get their information and this change will only beome more significant over time. The blogosphere reminds me somewhat of the pamphlateers of the 18th & 19th Century. Bereft of an untainted channel of communication another was created. Whilst I recognise that this channel is currently only used by citizens from particular socioeconomic backgrounds, the introduction of “popular” channels such as facebook and youtube will change this. The fragmentation of channels will weaken the power of media moguls and make them less relevant. (Mind you they have proved their relevance already…. haven’t they?)

    Thank You Poss for your relatively dispassionate coverage and analysis, yours and others work has made this the most facinating election that I have ever participated in apart from my first – my first being “It’s Time”.

  81. Belconnen Shredders said

    71 Heya Poss,

    That is the classic version of the mad Monk’s “Sleepwalking”

  82. adam said

    hi all

    i’m hoping for a smashing personally. not because i want to see the liberal party impotent, but because i want to see them destroyed.

    the liberal party has become a vacuous hole. a policy vacuum in search of air. an organization where the only concern for freedom is for the ministerial individual. a small government party that equates small with herculian. a repulsive den of thieves, and the pointless incompetents who enable them. a warlord’s fiefdom in which the peasants are there for the abusing. that all sounds like mighty rhetoric. it isn’t. it’s the response i have to hearing yet another story (rod’s above) where this government has failed its constitutional masters in pursuit of its own selfish agenda. at this point, where we deny the sick the care they could have over maintaining a budget surplus, values are all we have to maintain our humanity.

    what this country needs is a realignment. maybe the liberal party will survive in name, maybe it could be reformed. if hundreds and thousands of good-thinking aware and caring people like ourselves got involved, setting the agenda for them in get-up style, then maybe it might work. two accountable parties fighting to actually be better and more ethical than each other, rather than dragging each other down and rorting the system, would be an excellent change.

    either way, i trust the smashing to come sets free the dogs of self-interest, that they may go tear each other to pieces on the veldt of liberal party headquarters. a few criminal prosecutions for rorts and assorted bastardry might not go astray at this point as well. i’m sure the public service has the requisite data.

    roll on december.

  83. Mick Quinlivan said

    If the vote is 55/45 as predicted then the election will be over
    before wa polls close ….. can this give labor an extra couple of seats?
    Is it possible that tony abbott could cause a loss of his seat?
    CAN OTHERS GIVE OPINIONS ON THIS? please

  84. […] Possum Comitatus has written about the danger facing the Liberal Party this week. It has taken some time, but almost every commentator now agrees that they are destined to lose. The question is whether they will actually face the annihilation their Captain warned about some months back. The discussion in Possum’s thread has questioned whether the disintegration of one of the two major parties would be a good thing – the argument is that, even though they might be repugnant in many ways, a severe defeat would hand unfettered power to the Labor Party, which would almost inevitably corrupt their own actions in government. […]

  85. Stig said

    I think it is now time to reveal the Libs strategy going into the campaign. As is now clear, they were hoping that Rudd would spontaneously combust.

    They have moved on from that, and their strategy has changed. they are now relying on Rudd spontaneously combusting.

    Adam, I have a fair bit of agreement with you – I hope this election is seen as a complete repudiation of Howard, his brazen opportunism, crony capitalism, and reckless squandering of national potential. We will need to have a plausible opposition grow out of it though, whether they are still called the Liberal party or something else born from the remnants; incompetent oppositions allow governments to be incompetent. However, first things first – repudiation before rebuilding.

  86. Wingnut said

    Mick @ 83

    I like the ambition but at 11.3% Abbott’s a longer stretch than my current fantasy of Costello going down. Newspoll has Vic TPP @59% which would lose Higgins. I’m susbtituting my Lotto dream for a week.

  87. adam said

    hi stig… can’t agree more on the repudiation. a rump opposition would be a good place to start, though. approx 30 coalition members, with next to no senior figures left, would require a radical engagement in the public sphere to rebuild a competent opposition – and would cut the greens some slack to argue that their time was arriving. that alone would shake the liberals from complacency into some real thinking about appropriate values for the 21st century…

    my simple proposal for them to chew on: wealth creation got us in this mess, so how will wealth creation get us out of it? that’s not a necessary call to avoid wealth creation (— though we might have to consider that), rather, its a chance to rethink its purpose and direction, and thereby find a real solution that combines traditional liberal values of freedom and free enterprise with social responsibility. This is hardly anything out of the ordinary in a liberal tradition. But given Howard was never a liberal after his stint as treasurer, it might surprise some of the younger party members. hence an implosion and meltdown might be useful.

  88. Steve_E said

    The LIBS strategy to win is a bit like their strategy to deal with the shortage of water around the country – pray for rain.

    Since December 2006 there has been no strategy, just an expectation that like Latham, Rudd would self destruct.

    When it was clear that wedges would not work (me too was the defence), then next step was fear (70% Unionist, etc.).

    The problem with Economic Managment (the CT strength issue for the LIBS) was interest rates and most recently the AG report of Regional pork barrels. This “strength” has been at least made neutral by Go For Growth = Interest Rates Increases.

    The 2 key issues for the voters are: health and environment. Apart from the impossible Mersey Hospital situation, have the LIBS addressed health at all? With Abbott running point on this, their policy has been a bit like the debate with Roxon – they have not even been present for most of the time (and swear when they turn up late).

    The environment issue will become more clear as the weekend report form the UN now makes it clear that there is no more than 10 years before it gets so hot, there is will be no way to undo the process. The LIBS denial of this issue will be their legacy. This issue is why the under 35s support a change – it is in their direct self interest.

    Since the last election there has been Polling showing a mood for change and compelling evidence since December 2006 (the Rudd factor). Betting markets are meant to be the working man’s version of poll analysis. After all this is a gambling country. See #77 above. We now have a convergence of views – polls and betting markets.

    The reason why it is necessary for a comprehensive victory in this election is this is what it will take to end the NeoCon alignment of the “Liberal” Party, any outcome other than a cleaning of the stables will leave all the straw and poop around.

  89. STAR said

    Steve-E a@ 88 says.

    The Liberals strategy on water was to pray for rain. Well in future they will have to be more specific because of the saying ” be careful of what you wish for, because it may come true.”

    Well not only are they likely to get Rein, Therese, that is but they also get Kevin 07 as well.

  90. Jay said

    Couldn’t agree more about the risk of a wipeout, and while the rodent certainly has it coming, I hope the Greens get the balance of power in the Senate to keep Labor honest.

    Signs of fraying around the edges already. The delightful Kevin Andrews is now saying that if they win the election, they’ll change the law to keep people banged up in detention http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/17/2093868.htm?section=justin

    Following on from Vaile’s attack on the Auditor-General, it suggests a government that has absolutely no respect for legal and administrative process.

    Oooh – Gary Nairn has been caught as well – undisclosed conflict of interest porking projects in Eden-Monaro: http://canberra.yourguide.com.au/news/local/general/grants-scandal-nairn-drawn-in-conflict-query-in-eden/1088107.html

    And, on the subject of public servants starting to blow the whistle, there are a few posts on the MSM blogs and comments sections re the Rural Rorts affair that suggest this is starting to happen. The anonymous tips in Crikey could be interesting to watch as the week goes on as well.

  91. Stephen T said

    John Howard

    DEAD MAN WALKING

    Gives me a sort of thrill.

  92. Rain said

    Evan @ 12
    “After years of Howard’s politicisation of the top levels of the PS, I reckon there’ll be a boxload of pretty pissed-off mid-to-upper-level types fairly champing at the bit for a bit of payback…”

    As just one Canberran pube, no time for payback, just enjoying the peace and quiet of living in safe Labor seats ((we never lost faith!)watching the country finally coming to its senses. Thats all the payback I need! *grin*

    Some ACT car license plates say “Heart of the Nation” After 2004, some locals put stickers on reading “Heart of the Nation – With No Heart”

    That ANAO Report is just the tip of a huge Antarctic iceberg in all of the major portfolios. In my own, the last 6-8 weeks have seen quite a few strategic “relocations” with *grins* on faces. And I havent seen so many sudden “retirements” announced on All-Staff Bulletins in so few weeks either!
    The Canberra Times will probably be really fun to read for a few days after as we see high-profile Secretaries and their cronies heads roll on the guillotine. One even got a promotion for the children overboard scandal.

    We don’t need payback, Sat night will do *snirtle*

    we’re hoping we’ll be far too busy developing sensible policies, programs, development planning for 3, 5 and 10 year reform programs in NATIONAL education, health, transport and communications, environment and you-name-it, and based on ABS Statistical Divisions and Census figures, instead of “Electoral boundaries”.

    On a purely personal level, I would like to see payback for these bad years, for me and for now young adult kids, one of whom is disabled and don’t get me started on Centrelink, and Costello cutting disability pensions!

    I’d like to see such extreme right-wing fascism be thoroughly decimated by the Australian people next Saturday. Having their front-bench thinned and sitting as a weakened Opposition for at least two terms will do them good.

    Being a pessimist though, I’m betting a small working majority for Labor, but with the extreme bad luck of a hostile Senate. The Greens are holding firm as strong reliable allies through this campaign – which is great to see. Labor lost its minor party support. The Democrats imploded, and the Greens wouldn’t stop bickering at everybody and everything, standing too Independent and “out there”. I hope they stay firm, and dont start playing their own power games to divide from within.

  93. Rain said

    90 Jay: “And, on the subject of public servants starting to blow the whistle, there are a few posts on the MSM blogs and comments sections re the Rural Rorts affair that suggest this is starting to happen.”

    After nearly 12 years of being gagged, these last days will be *interesting times* indeed for Canberrans and our marginal neighbours in Eden-Monaro.

  94. Jay said

    Agree entirely, Rain. It’s a pity that the Canberra Times doesn’t take reader feedback seriously; reckon there wd be some interesting stories coming out.

    BTW, Fairfax has a new Taverner poll of mortgage-holders, which looks even more disastrous for the government: http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Mortgage-holders-turn-against-govt-poll/2007/11/17/1194767027043.html

  95. wantok said

    Great analysis as ever, Possum. I can’t shake this feeling that Saturday will be a once-in-a-generation event. I see Labor holding government for a very, very long time: the Liberal party is in severe financial straits, organisationally they are about to fracture after the rout, and politically they’ve been Blaired – there is not enough room to the “right” (as much as that term means) of Labor any more to sustain a major party. No, I think we are moving into a period of very weak Oppositions to an extremely strong incumbent. I see more space on the “left” opening up; I see Greens starting to build up Reps seats; and perhaps the end of the “two big parties” era.

  96. Stephen T said

    Jay that is certainly great news and more negativity for Mr Rodentus. I suppose he is reading the same news I am if so he must be very, very depressed. I wonder if Howard’s aperarcics trip off to your sight now and again Poss. Sure it would frighten the clappers out of them. Howard’s great dream was to be the conservative doyen even greater than super hero Menzies: and must I say vying with God for kudos. He so much wanted to outdo Menzies. Oh! My what a pity how sad Boo Hoo!. Poss still stand by 12 point lead though I think that may be conservative. Could be the slaughter of all slaughters. Gonna live short and party hard. Getting so excited feel like a naughty kid again.

    Wantok that is a really interesting take on the future and with global warming seeming to accelerate could well become the case. Can you imagine the greens as the new left. We live in mysterious and interesting times.

  97. imacca said

    I have made a pact with myself to enjoy the squirming of the forces of evil and darkness to the full, just in case an asteroid hits, or some other equally unlikely disaster means that Rattus does not lose his seat on Saturday.

    Thanks for the analysis over the last few months Poss. I wonder how many of the hits your site, and PB, have had from Rattus Crew HQ during the campaign?

    And to JWH and Co:

    That low rumbling you can hear Rattus??

    Its the Hordes, the Great Unwashed, with their polite little pencils coming to do you and your lot big time.

    Hear and Despair little man. Hope your lot have an “Embassy Rooftop Strategy”.

    What is Good? To drive you Enemies before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

    Prepare to be driven, its all that left you.

  98. […] Read Possum’s explosive post: The message is clear – the game is over…For the Coalition however the story is stark…the parliamentary consequence of losing their own soft vote, will repudiate the Howard years, the Howard agenda and what the Liberal Party has become under his stewardship. Labor, with the most powerful post-war mandate, the power of government and a litany of appalling government behaviour over the last 11 years as ammunition, will not only destroy the reputation and credibility of the current Federal Liberal Party – or what remains of it, but the credibility and electoral appeal of most of what remains of its leadership team. […]

  99. Amaranthus said

    “The Final Countdown” inspired me to remember another old(ish) song that is entirely appropriate. Perhaps use this next Friday: Scorpion’s “Winds of Change”

    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=5muLIq9PqUk

  100. Clement Atlee said

    No, the Torues must be HUMILIATED, they must be DESTROYED. I don’t want any talk about balance in the Senate either. To get rid of Serfchoices Labor will need control, despite the Greens commitment to get rid of it too. After 75, only control of both houses wil suffice, otherwise labor will only have won office and not power.

  101. Jay said

    Possum – Here’s one sign of what you’re talking about: the public service breaking its silence, from George M’s Meganomics blog:

    We need more than an independent auditor. We need a Royal Commision type review on how much Coalition members have been able to ignore rules and conventions for their own purposes.

    Public servants are expected to jump everytime a coalition member (even the backbenchers) snap their fingers.

    I’m a public servant and I have witnessed several events which have left me with concerns. Means tests and other eligibility criteria only apply if you don’t personally know a member of the Coalition. Public servants have been ordered to do things which woud not withstand the scrutiny of an anti-corruption review.

    Next time your kid gets knocked back for something like Youth Allowance because of your income, just think of the now senior member of the Government front bench (some times touted as a future leader) when a mere Parlimentary Secretary tried to force his department to ignore the income test for a friend. When ask if he meant the means test should be eased for everyone said no – just that family (apparently they weren’t rich, just an annual income of more than twice the income threshold, poor darlings).

    Journos should also look at the Drought Force version of Work for the Dole and how farmers have been allowed to rort it to the extreme (not subject to scrutiny because as we know farmers never lie). By the way which electorate has gained the most benefit from the scheme? Couldn’t possibly be the electorate of the minister in charge could it?

  102. Bert said

    Let us all just calm down comrades. Victory will be sweet but the reality of the hidden problems in the national fiscal balance wil be found out to be a scary reality. They changed the accounting methods and I will go so far to say that they did not need supply to fund anything!

    Their nearly two billion advertising escapade was just one of these.

    We are in deep trouble as a nation. Nearly everthing needs rebuilding or a decent service.

    It will be a long hard haul in the context of a world downturn.

    At least we will stop being divisive!

    Bert

  103. Katrina said

    The Sunday Telegraph editorial: Why Kevin deserves a chance

    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/opinion/story/0,22049,22774600-5001031,00.html

  104. Rain said

    94 Jay. Its *everywhere* even blasted all over Skynews every 15 minutes, and also on early editions in the tabloids for the Gammas and Deltas. I guess everybody loves to declare themselves on the winning side.

    Reminds me of the events in my corner of public service offices on the Monday after that March 96 election.

    One of my team was Argentinian. When he arrived that morning he bounced in with a big smile saying “well, I voted for the winners!” I was puzzled, as his casual conversation in previous weeks had indicated he was a Labor voter – when I queried it, he said “In Argentina, you always say you voted for the winners. It was dangerous to say otherwise under the junta”
    How prophetic his words were! I’ve often been reminded of them in the years since.

    One of the worst legacies of the Howard years, has been the ruthless squashing of dissent, or debate, even questioning, on even the mildest of issues.

    “Can you imagine the greens as the new left. We live in mysterious and interesting times.”

    That is somewhat ironic methinx, but like a breath of fresh air (if you’ll pardon the pun🙂

    I haven’t felt this optimistic since the 1970s,with the “Its Time” campaign jingle, which I always expected to end on a burst of a huge chorus of “This is the DAWNING of AGE of AQUARIUS… Harmony and understanding,.. Sympathy and trust abounding…”

    As for climate change, I’m not convinced that any govt can do much except try for Damage Control. Cutting emissions with strict “targets” might sound great, but its basically symbolic rhetoric, to be perceived by the general public to be “doing something”.

    I support the simplistic rhetoric anyway because, underneath the rhetoric is the willingness to lead Australia in being involved as an active participant in the global think-tanking, which will be needed over the coming years. It will be a test of international collaboration and co-operation.

    Way back in the early 90s, I saw a documentary of some of the strategies Europe were instituting, like around Holland, Scandinavia, even the UK with its Thames gates etc.

    One of the Dutch scientists said in relation to being trashed by American colleagues at an internationial academic symposium ” I often wonder what asteroid the Americans think they live on, because they obviously dont believe in planetary atmospheres”

    Did you know that US censors the Weather Channel? In 2005, I was travelling criss-crossing US & Canadian border … and the Weather Channel on the USA side was “blacked out” on Canada (So was Mexico, but Hawaii & Alaska were PIP inserts).

    Like “Here Be Dragons” at the border? Weather patterns just *stopped* and then reappeared further east 2 days later. It was hilarious!
    Bizarre folks the yanks.

  105. Rain said

    Wow! Jay, hate to say *me too* in health, check on just who got Medicare Safety Net benefits and who didn’t. And requests for information that would normally be considered a breach of privacy/confidentiality of individuals or organisations.

    And Bert, you are spot on about the economy and the money, and the service structure, “scorched earth” policy, national assets including Gold Reserves sold for peanuts, and massive cuts to State payments reversing nearly a century of federation.

    Do you know we are the only country in the world to use public funds (uncapped in the billions) to maintain a private health industry? Its considered a “unique experiment” in world health and medical journals.

    And Nicola Roxon was right when she said Abbott and his predecessors waited until the 11th hour, then threw the hospitals agreements on the table to the states with a ‘Take it, or Leave it’, along with substantial cuts.

    States payments have dropped 2% of GDP and have had no choice but to cut services, raise their own taxes etc, eg DOCS, police, hospitals, and local govt. Thats why Shire Councils don’t have 2 cents to maintain local roads and families of 5 die. The Coalition have progressively starved the states into submission, and in some cases desperation. I think its a credit to the states they’ve been able to maintain as much services as they have through these years.

    Or put ideological conditions on payments, like say to the States, we’ll only give you some of the education funding, if you make all your schools “Raise The Flag” every morning, or put Howard’s version of Oz history on the curriculum. They are forced to agree to such stupid conditions in order to get anything at all.

    The list goes on, and on, and on. For example, the true state of poverty in Australia was a closely guarded secret of the Coalition.

    “We are in deep trouble as a nation.”

    TRUE.

    “Nearly everything needs rebuilding or a decent service.”

    TRUE.

    “It will be a long hard haul in the context of a world downturn”.

    TRUE.

  106. Peter Kemp said

    Well said Possum. Bring forward the night of the LNP long knives. An 11 year collective nightmare is coming to an end by virtue of people waking up, ……at last.

    If they do indeed implode this last week I guess for their rebuilding it’s better sooner rather than later. Twenty three years in the wilderness (like the ALP in the Menzies to McMahon governments) is what I hope happens: they so richly deserve it for putting power, at any cost of probity and decency, before any other considerations of national wellbeing.

    Let history record, (paraphrasing Christopher Hitchens):

    The Australian voters gave the LNP an enema, their remains were buried in a matchbox.

    Paraphrasing Keating, (who must be taking some vicarious pleasure in all of this!) on the failure of Hansonism and those who benefited by it (yes Johnny Boy, that’s you):

    Some very ugly xenophobic cats have been put back into the bag.

    I’m also looking forward to the remnant rump remaining ratbag rightwing religious LNP trashing Howard’s record.

    Hopefully a true “liberal” party arises from the ashes, as Sir Humphery would say, “In the fullness of time.”

  107. Styx said

    I know what the polls say, I know from Possum’s analysis what they mean, and I wanted the nasty, lying, corrupt, smug and incompetent bums to be thrown out three elections ago when the writing was already on the wall. The fact that they have survived three elections longer than I expected confirms, in my mind, the innately conservative nature of Australian electors. Maybe this time, not because of the lies and deceit, but because of the effect on their hip pocket caused by concerns about job and income security enough of the undecided voters will throw their vote behind Labor. I’l believe it when I see it, the morning after the election (I suppose that’s why I won’t win a motza at the betting shop)

  108. Philmour said

    Possum, haven’t said anything before this but have been an avid reader and admirer of your work for 6 months now. I did a little stats (Biometry actually) at uni and I am in awe of your number crunching. As a teacher I will be spending the evening of the 24th at the ‘School’s Spectacular’ in Sydney. Watching the kiddies of our Public Schools doing their stuff will be all the better knowing that their nemesis will more than likely be getting a good flogging at the hands of the voters. Can’t wait!

  109. David of Burwood said

    65 George
    Thanks for the lik to Maxine’s interview with that creep Speers. Did you notice in the back gound the young exclusive brethern heavies – in Ryde Rugby League jumpers with their yellow and blue liberal balloons. In my several visits to Labor events in Bennelong I have noticed one thug as seen on ABC Four Corners. This is a very simple picture of Howards Australia. Thanks Possum for all the fantastic enjoyment you have given over the last six months. Knighthood in the Queens Newyuear honours.

  110. interested bystander said

    Gentlefolk, before you get too carried away, recognize that the economic tsunami that Costello spoke of is in fact a high probability in the first year of the next government. I want to see the rodent gone as much as, nay, more than, the next person. However, if the US subprime contagion pans out in the way that some have been (so far correctly) predicting then we are in for some hard economic times [Google “Mike Whitney” in an Advanced Search and exclude sites with “cricket”]. The Plunge Protection Team may have been able to postpone the day of reckoning but that day is coming. We will not be immune. A lot of ordinary people are likely to get badly burnt. It won’t be the fault of a Rudd government but that does not mean that a Rudd government will not pay the political price for the economic carnage. The Goebbels-style lying from the coalition – now at head-spinning, breath-taking levels – will be just as shameless. You can see the narrative now: “Liberals = economic good times, remember all those good years under Howard and Costello. Look what the evil union-dominated Labor economy wreckers have done!!! How many lessons do Australians need until they learn that things will only be good when we are in power.” It will not matter that, as Ross Gittins put it, Labor did the “heavy lifting” of economic reform that laid the foundation for the prosperity that the rodent claims credit for. It will not matter that the recession/depression will have been caused by external factors or that it was made all the more worse by the chickens of Howard/Costello economic sins of commission and omission coming home to roost. It will not matter that a Rudd government will have had no opportunity to take effective preventative action. The average voter doesn’t get the opportunity to understand the truth in relation to these matters. Call me a pessimist, but I fear that a Rudd election win will turn out to be a poisoned chalice for Labor for reasons utterly beyond Labor’s control. Nevertheless, I still want to see the rodent erased. For starters, serious action on climate change and the winding back of WorkChoices are critical matters.

  111. Neil Cammack said

    Yes, the signs are looking good, but unrestrained glee is premature. I think everyone should take a metaphorical cold shower and leave the celebrating to next Saturday night. This election, like all others, is in the hands of a mass of confused “swingers” with the attention spans of ADHD-afflected gnats. They won’t be voting on the basis of sober analysis of policies but half-formed impressions of where their self-interest llies. Without compulsory voting most of them wouldn’t even turn up.

    They couldn’t care less about lies, ministerial propriety, AWB, refugees or any of the other moral failings that outrage the Left. Not unreasonably, they do care about keeping their heads above water financially, and for the moment they’ve decided that Rudd probably won’t do any worse than Howard. But they’re a fickle lot.

    As for the Greens as reliable allies – this may depend on how long Bob Brown has his steady hand on the tiller. Small parties are especially prey to the cult of personality, as shown by the decline of the Democrats – who despite their lofty rhetoric owe their origins to a fit of pique on the part of Don Chipp after Fraser denied him what he saw as his just desserts.

    A recent poll (sorry, forget which) found that Green voters’ top concerns were (1) health, (2) education, (3) environment. Talk about a “soft vote”!

  112. Chatswood Statsman said

    General Wenck MIA in Queanbeyan!

  113. Mick quinlivan said

    re post 104…… couldn’t agree more
    different opinions dissent are not tolerated
    “you are free to agree”

  114. Frogg said

    Thanks Katrina for the Sunday telegraph link to their editorial. In case people don’t bother to read to the end, here is the final line:

    “The Sunday Telegraph advocates a vote for Labor, provided Mr Rudd give these assurances”.

    From this journal, and following on yesterday editorial in the GG by the last of the cheerleader, the shanananic: It is clear Uncle Rupert is on board … sweet, sweet, sweet!!

    The final countdown indeed!!!

    But in the tide of joy, I agree with interested bystander comments, unfortunately (interested bystander can’t I recognize some APK parlance in the tone ????).

  115. Ivanhoe Fats said

    re 104 and the censored weather forecasts – this is because Canadians along the border can receive American broadcasts. I don’t fully understand the legislation but in essence if Canadians watched American weather reports then they would not see Canadian advertising. So the weather, and many other things, have to be censored so that Canadians are obliged to watch the Canadian channels.

    Presumably the same applies with Mexico

  116. Rx said

    May I wish the Coalition every disaster, outburst, cock-up and humiliation in its final week in power. Thank you.

  117. davo said

    This is very interesting, the mortgage belt have deserted Howard:

    The revolt of the homebuyers;

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/federal-election-2007-news/the-revolt-of-the-homebuyers/2007/11/17/1194767020837.html

  118. otiose said

    i regularly ask yanks in my taxi to nominate 4 american presidents NOT buried in the US of A – MOST fail😉

  119. otiose said

    sorry – about as off topic as one could get – but it’s late – labor seems a shoe-in and i’m VERY happy – no i’m ECSTATIC – these mean, viscous, dangerous, heartless janette supporting/prue tickling soft-sorts – sorry – tim fischer thinks they are farked – he said so personally to me

  120. Hemingway said

    This morning on “Insiders”, Barry Cassidy was purse-lipped about Rudd’s no-show, so replacement Julia Gilliard was forced to ask whether he wanted to continue acting like a “jilted lover” or get on with a real interview.

    Barry got his revenge by inviting two rabid anti-Labor pundits from Murdoch, Farr and Bolt, who reckoned that Rudd was totally gifted the election when the Liberals did not replace Howard with Costello and by the media going totally soft on Rudd who has spun his way to victory.

    Paul Kelly was more a bit more sensible in his report via tv link. On the panel, a woman from “The Age” tried to offer a bit of balance, so Barry restricted her to half the time to speak than each of the blokes.

    At least no one tried to pretend that Howard was likely to pull a last week miracle.

  121. otiose said

    Hemingway — November 18, 2007 @ 9:54 am – i agree – a definite anti-rudd bias clearly demonstrated – is cassidy still a journalist or just a hopalong? w/o the white horse

  122. Kirribilli Removals said

    Well Barry, we do know the answer to that question (which dares to speak its name)! If Rove asks Rudd who he’d turn gay for, the answer will be “Not Barry Cassidy”.

    Are ya miffed now, Bazza?

  123. Peter Kemp said

    “Call me a pessimist, but I fear that a Rudd election win will turn out to be a poisoned chalice for Labor for reasons utterly beyond Labor’s control.”

    Well interested bystander, better the poisoned chalice under Rudd than the pure cyanide added to the chalice by a continuing LNP sparrow’s nest (“all shit and sticks”, Nicholson paraphrasing PJK)

    I see an eventual economic recession due to the US’s inevitable decline as a superpower, in process now: an economy run on the status of its currency as the world’s reserve and the printing presses cannot go on much longer. Some might say it’ll be a depression, but China is and will be the saviour,
    buying up our resources now, but becoming along the way the world’s biggest consumers of non-resource based goods/technologies.

    Given time of course, the big if, I believe Rudd intends to leverage our resources boom into making us a “clever country” ie his education revolution, as for example Norway did with its oil. A lot of our natural talent and ingenuity now lives abroad, one million of us to be precise, which illustrates my point that we need to be more the innovative nation and if necessary pick the winners in technology where we are good, ie solar energy, and become the best. A billion or so to the CSIRO tied into our universities and research facilities should do the trick for starters.

    (On that line I think global warming is our greatest threat, another reason for allowing a Rudd government to address it.)

    But anyway back to the Chinese, throw out the French and Japanese classes and make it compulsory to learn Mandarin which is rapidly becoming the world’s second language of business. (Having Rudd give the first lesson at a school in Mayo–assuming Dolly’s still in the H of R–will be a minor but notable hilarity)

    Our future as Keating foresaw is in Asia, that’s where we live, and it’s engagement and economic interdependence with nations such as China and India that will see us succeed. Only Rudd has the vision and capacity to push that barrow, and I rather suspect that the Oz public will see it that way, despite any short term economic downturns. They see a current government bereft of any such ideas, vision, competence and capacity.

    In Chinese terms the LNP has been the Kuomintang of Australian politics, sucking up to the US but when the real battles are to be fought, (ie the KMT v Japan in WW2) they were, and are still conspicuous by their absence, instead, always, lining the pockets of their rich supporters.

    (Of course we must create new names here, will Shrek Kai-Shek be the new leader of the LNP?)

  124. Neilbris said

    Galaxy looks bleak. It completely dampened my mood this morning. Why the divergence from all the polling that has gone before?

  125. rossco said

    Galaxy polled my wife in Stirling yesterday afternoon (Saturday) This suggests there will be another Galaxy marginal poll published before Saturday. Don’t be surprised if this shows a late swing to Labor so Galaxy can say we got it right closest to the election so you can just forget about the previous polls when we got it wrong!

  126. […] Possum Comitatus has written about the danger facing the Liberal Party this week. It has taken some time, but almost every commentator now agrees that they are destined to lose. The question is whether they will actually face the annihilation their Captain warned about some months back. The discussion in Possum’s thread has questioned whether the disintegration of one of the two major parties would be a good thing – the argument is that, even though they might be repugnant in many ways, a severe defeat would hand unfettered power to the Labor Party, which would almost inevitably corrupt their own actions in government. […]

  127. […] It has been suggested that this last week of campaigning could be dangerous for the Coalition. Any slip-ups, scandals or internal sledging could worsen what seems like an inevitable loss. A loose comment here or there could be the difference between a simple defeat and ‘annihilation.’ But some candidates don’t seem worried. […]

  128. wpolscemamymocneseo said

    You got a really useful blog. I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.

  129. […] The Final Countdown « Possums Pollytics Possum you're spot on. Of course my personal hope is first that the Libs implode like the UAP in 1942, and second that the Rudd government has Australia's interests as much at heart as the Curtin /Chifley one. on the failure of Hansonism and those who benefited by it (yes Johnny Boy, that's you): Some very ugly xenophobic cats have been put back into the bag. I'm also looking forward to the remnant rump remaining ratbag rightwing religious LNP […]

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