Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Words fail me

Posted by Possum Comitatus on December 5, 2007

For those among you not living in Qld, it is really hard to describe just how absolutely useless the Queensland Liberal Party is. The problem is such that no amount of words can adequately convey the enormity of their dysfunction, nor the magnitude of their really unique brand of defectiveness.

They are inutile in every respect.

Nowhere else in Australia has a political party experiencing anything like what is happening to the Queensland Libs (I’d be surprised if anywhere in Australia ever has) – unless you actually live here or follow it closely from afar, it’s just hard to fully grasp.

Normally when a party starts approaching the hopeless state the Qld Libs are in, they implode and become permanently erased from the electoral map – think One Nation and the Democrats. But the Libs are in the situation where they have a certain critical mass of popular support (albeit rather small these days) that will simply continue to vote for them regardless of what they do.

This absolute rusted on level of political support allows the Qld Liberal Party to descend way beyond the level of dysfunction that would normally result in political death. As a result of never really having to face complete political oblivion, they have become paralysed in a state of permanent political palliative care. They are essentially confined to nursing the end days before their political death, but a political death that will never arrive.

It really is a unique situation.

We have the 8 members consisting of two rough groupings and representing anything up to about 14 different micro-factions all being locked in a room over the last few days trying to figure out who gets to lead this fiasco.

Dysfunction turned to theatre, theatre turned to farce, farce quickly turned to comedy and now it would seem that comedy has descended into slapstick.

News Ltd today reports that:

Gold Coast MP Ray Stevens said today MPs last night agreed to elect a new leader by “lucky dip” if there was no decision by noon (AEST) tomorrow.”

WTF? Lucky dip?

The winner gets the Qld Liberal Party leadership. What’s second place get – two Qld Liberal Party leaderships?

Someone please put these idiots to the sword.


And the winner loser is Mark McArdle with Toss-Up Tim Nicholls as deputy.

That wasn’t so hard now, was it kids.


137 Responses to “Words fail me”

  1. steve_e said

    I am waiting for their next election campaign when they talk about the quality of their TEAM.

    They can take a leaf from the LIBS 2007 platform:

    1. TEAM

    In the past few days a request to Dr Nelson to help out has been ignored.

    It must be hard to get the smile from Anna Bligh’s face.

  2. Doug said

    The ACT Liberal Party has seven members and four factions. the current leader is safe because none of the other three factions can gather sufficient numbers to bring on a spill because no one has confdience they would get the numbers to succeed if they did.

    and an ACT Assembly election is less than a year away.

    The governing ALP is not bad but has had a few hiccups – a great chance for the Libs to peg them back.

    Also a great chance for a centrist independent if one emerges or just possibly an extra Green to sneak through

  3. Lord D said

    Sounds like Anna Bligh will be laughing all the way to the polls.

  4. MsLaurie said

    What a group of rabble!

  5. mate said

    Lol Queensland my old home state

    Corrupt and unbalanced one day

    Completely insane the next

    I think the Libs suit the whole state pretty well. 😉

    If it walks like a duck… 🙂

  6. ViggoP said

    It’s beyond me why any of the eight would want the job. Must be the money, there certainly is no glory.

    As Groucho Marx might have said “I don’t want to be in charge of a bunch who want me to lead them.”

  7. Aspirational Aspirationalist said

    *chuckles*, maybe Rusty* will be running next election *(Beattie’s Dog).

    One has to think of the quality of the governance they will provide during the spare time they have to govern when they arent trying to shiv each other. What’s wrong with splitting the party…. probably that neither new party will get in…

  8. Rocket said

    When I lived in Queensland I saw Goss win the 1992 state election – I had felt for years that the ~50,000 people per year from NSW and Victoria going to live in Queensland in the 80’s would slowly transform the Politics there. Most of these “Southerners” would be Labor or Liberal voters and be unlikely to ever vote National. Thus the Nationals vote would decline (relative in the bigger population), and the Labor and Liberal votes would both increase, but the geography and electorate set-up would translate into many more seats for Labor than Liberal. This has happened, and there is now the strange situation where the Liberals do outpoll the Nationals on the statewide vote but end up with many fewer seats than them, so the “junior” partner pulls in more votes.

    What is to be done? People have suggested a CLP-like “new party” as in the NT, but maybe that is past its use-by date even in the NT. Will the next non-Labor Premier be a Liberal or a National? – could be an interesting betting market.

  9. Detest National Socialists said

    It does seem hard to countenance that a political party could be so inept, but just when you think that you’ve seen the depths that conservative politicians can sink to (witness the Nelson/Turnbull debacle of the Federal Liberals) another group of reactionary clowns emerge to plumb the abyssal trench of stupidity.

    A new leader drawn by a ‘lucky dip?’ If it wasn’t reported as fact from within, you’d believe it to be ALP propaganda.

    As if it wasn’t a circus having only 8 MPs in the Queensland parliament to begin with, the Liberals have given new meaning to the word ‘imbecile.’

  10. Helen said

    Possum, spot-on. Even the TV news etc made much of the Monty Python ‘parallel’, with Eric Idle providing a long sound bite and a bit of a song. Seems fitting.

    Definitely feels like ‘the unravelling’, with neither Fed nor State Libs apparently able to manage the reality of dealing with positive, energetic ‘new’ Labor.

    I’m guessing that any ‘leader’ chosen by this CCP (Children’s Party Process) would have to be constantly hyper-alert, knowing (from the maths) that more than one of the ‘team’ would always be waiting, seething and sharpening the knives.

    And that isn’t a budget hotel they holed up in, unless they’re getting mates’ rates, so maybe they’d be better off buying some team relationship counselling, and if that fails, some mid-life change-of-career guidance.

  11. HarryH said

    I was talking politics to a mate the other day. He is politically aware but not overly interested and is the archetypal swing voter. His favorite politicians are Kennett and Keating. We liv in Vic.

    Anyway we were saying that the Libs have to get in power in a few states before being competitive again at Fed level, and he said”well the Labor government here are going bad but the Libs are just hopeless and unelectable.

    The funny thing that hit me was that our Parties are pretty ok compared to other states. Imagine having the NSW labor Gov running you, i said, and knowing there is no alternative due to the diabolical NSW Libs. Imagine having the Qld Libs as your alternative Gov. Imagine having Omedei’s Libs as your alternative Gov.

    The mind boggles.

    Everyone says(and normally it would be sane comment) that the Libs have to sustain because they are ensconced in a 2 Party system.

    But how? What is their relevance in future? What is their direction? Where is their recruitment prospects? Where is their fundraising capability? What are their future policies? Where do they fit in?

    There current members and supporters seem diametrically opposed to each other. I think a fair swag of rusted ons toyed with voting Labor this election but couldn’t go through with it. If the State and Fed Parties continue this decline into farce then they mightn’t be so lucky from here on in.

    A Lucky Dip??? WTF indeed

  12. Enemy Combatant said

    “They are inutile in every respect.”

    Political Imbeciles of the first order, indeed. What these Lucky Dipsticks don’t realise is that he wages of inutilism is death.
    But as long as the machine that they are hooked up to keeps going “beep….beeep…..beep”, someone is making money from the process. Maybe one day, towards one Randian “Golden Sunset” somebody, anybody, might lead them (even by default) to the Holy Grail-Trough that is their manifest destiny.
    So rusted-on “family” don’t want to pull the plug just yet because they’ve got shares in The Business, and where there is business, for these people there is hope.

  13. Rudi said

    Is there is a two second rule like at kids parties where if you don’t like something you can put it back and try again. I hope not because if there is it could turn into an eternal lucky dip.

  14. amused said

    I don’t understand why they don’t just all take turns. That way the electorate would know how each one performs, and if starts now, while they are Opposition, the electorate will have time to evaluate all of them, and let them know which one they would vote for in sufficient numbers to permit them to form government! It should only take two terms of Opposition for electorate to get a ‘feel’ for the quality on offer form the Party so far as leader goes! You know it makes sense.

  15. ViggoP said

    Did they draw lots to work out who should call in with a sick relo?

  16. Testcard said

    I feel obliged to point out that Mike Rann became leader of the SA ALP when they had been reduced to a mere 11 MPs. And look where he is now!

    However Rann has a great deal of political nous. Something not in abundance amongst the beleaguered Qld Libs.

    But anyway…

    Let’s say they 4-4 deadlock can’t be resolved, and it all goes down to a lucky dip. Does that mean that the losing side can launch another challenge, to be resolved by lucky dip? And so on, and so on…

    Perhaps the Libs should make a new start. I suggest Lou Bega, of ‘Mambo #5’ fame, as their new leader.

  17. Ronin said

    Reading the ABC article, the politician actually states that ‘Lucky Dip’ is not an acceptable way to select the leader. However, once the sound bite got out, all everyone hears is “Lucky Dips to decide on Liberal Leader”.

    In the game of politics, it’s all about impression rather than the facts.

  18. Helen said


    Good questions!

    Also, seems obvious no short to medium term succession planning has been allowed to happen federally, but I suppose it’ll be mildly amusing until they sort themselves into a useful opposition

    But I reckon their long term planning looks really scary, if they’re relying on the Young Libs, who seem to have produced some very forceful extreme far right ambitious hopefuls.

  19. Bruce said

    Sadly the NSW Libs are not much better – almost completely over-run by right wing religious extremists.

    This is not a good thing for our democracy. In the absence of a viable alternative, the people of NSW recently re-elected an incompetent Labor government because it was clear the Liberal alternative would be worse. Arghhhhh!

    It would be nice to see the Greens or another party becoming a viable 3rd force.

  20. Andos the Great said

    Anna Bligh embarrassed by Qld Libs:


    “All I can suggest, as I have for the last seven days, [is] stop embarrassing the rest of us,” she said.

  21. Rocket said

    14 – Amused – “I don’t understand why they don’t just all take turns.”

    The Democrats tried this, and look where it got them!

  22. Enemy Combatant said

    Anybody noticed how brilliantly Dr. Sanstud Libleader V.C. has exercised his quiet authority over this fiasco? And all from behind cheap motel closed doors.
    The guy is such…. a….. Mensch!
    How will the tories ever be able to thank him enough?

  23. Jim said

    I am enjoying every minute of the implosion of the Liberal Party. From what I understand the party organisation up here in little better than the parliamentary party. It it had any fortitude it would disendorse the lot of them and call for nominations for preselection for all 8 currently held seats. A decision that gave the current 8 till a set date to sort it out of face disendorsement (or even expulsion for bringing the party into ridicule) might forus their tiny minds. If Mickey Mouse was endordsed for Flegg’s seat and Donald Duck for McArdle’s seat and other Disney or Python characters for the rest they might sort it out but I don’t expect sanity to prevail in the Liberal Party.
    Long live the Minister for Silly Walks

  24. James said

    Testcard @16, Rann’s ALP didn’t fester at those numbers for decades, or have a bigger coz on the same side of politics eating their lunch every election time.

    To be fair to the Qld Libs, they did go and ask the feds if they could please cease to exist, but computer said no. The Naberals weren’t to be.

  25. James said

    And Ronin @17, the bloke might have been against the lucky dip, but some of the news reports are clearly claiming they’ll go that way tomorrow if there’s no breakthrough. The Courier-Mail, for instance:


  26. ViggoP said

    Enemy C.

    “Mensch” is quite a complimentary word, almost like “gentleman”. You could try something like “untermensch”. Urban Dictionary defines this as

    “Under Man” A term used by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to describe the common man. Likened to sheep, the Untermensch is a social animal spouting pacifist and liberal morality. In this way, he can rationalize his subservience to social and political mores. His existence is solely for the purpose of providing statistical “filler”.

  27. tooweird said

    The Courier Mail is running an online poll asking.

    “Do you care who leads the Liberals in Qld?”

    With 1473 responses so far two-thirds (67%) are saying they don’t care – one third (32%) somehow think it matters.

    Talk about irrelevancy.

    While we’re on the Liberals woes – I still haven’t heard who was expelled from the NSW’s Liberals for the Lindsay fiasco.

    Just how high up was the rot?

    Anybody know if the names have been made public yet?

  28. Bert said

    The Queensland Liberals at best were only a tiny rump on Joh’s incompetent and corrupt government. Nothing has changed.

    Any group that allowed Joh and his fellow accomplices carve up Queensland amongst themselves as they idly stood by deserve all they get.

    They are blind to what their problem is.

    State Liberal groupings are in electoral trouble for the same reasons. Enough of the electorate has woken up to their blind allegiance to corporate wishes.

    At the moment we have Labor Governments everywhere and it is one of my greatest fears that these same Governments get too close to corporate wishes as has happened in the USA by both alternate party flavors.

    All corporations have the total list of psychopathic behaviours in their CV.

    It is up to US to stop it. Yes US is the latte and chardonnay sipping chattering classes as labeled by the columnists at the GG for want of a better term that the proletariat (aspirational?) classes are oblivious to.

    The last election result has turned back the tide I hope. Only eternal vigilance will hold it there!


  29. Kina said

    Useless, unfit for anything – 不中用

    They could choose by height, weight, alphabetical order ,highest % of votes obtained, hair colour, poker, toss a coin or draw straws. AND true, why would you want to be leader of this lot?

  30. GrahamS said

    The imbecile who is causing all the trouble, the moron who is hell bent on taking the Qld Liberal leadership from Bruce Flegg is some knob called Tim Nicholls. A more determined man you will never find. One thing to mention though is that this Tim Nicholls bloke has had very little parliamentary experience – 5 minutes or so. He’s only been around since smoko and is having his second or third tilt at a job that nobody wants – not even the current leader Bruce Flegg.

  31. B1 said

    Maybe they could go the WA way and try a bit of biff to work it out; with eight of them they could have a round robin box off; last one standing gets the job.

  32. Rate Analyst said

    Maybe they should figure out which [losing] Liberal at the last election got closest to winning their seat. In essence, they have the next largest claim on a vote in this farcical 8 vote ballot.

    Then whoever this losing candidate votes for is leader. Or at least the other candidate steps down and allows the other to be elected.

  33. Humpy said

    I hated nearly everything Howard stood for, and was elated when it was clear Labor won the Fed Election. I was totally over the moon when Bennelong fell an hour or so later.

    I feel that the Qld Liberal fiasco, is in some strange eerie way, a satirical prophecy on what will happen over the next 2-3 years in the Federal Libs.

    While I find this comical tragedy in Brisbane hysterical, it also makes me a little sad.

    Howard got to be so powerful (& evil), thanks to an unelectable opposition. The same goes for the Labor Gov in NSW, where I live.

    Our Westminster system requires competent opposition, to function properly for the people of the country. At this point in time, I just don’t see any angles for the Libs/Nats, on which to make an assault on the “centre politic”.

    Hence the in-fighting Federally on Kyoto, “Sorry” & SlaveChoices.

    Malcolm waits in the wings, but there is still much, much conservative blood to be spilt yet…

  34. Testcard said

    Wait… it gets better. Is this genius putting himself forward as a ‘compromise’ candidate?

    Gold Coast MP Ray Stevens – who has leadership ambitions himself – told AAP today they might have to elect a new leader by “lucky dip” if the stalemate was not resolved by midday tomorrow.

    “If Mr Nicholls were to win that particular toss of the coin or ballot or whatever, he would be forever known as ‘Toss Up Tim’, and from the Liberal Party’s point of view we cannot have the leader of our party being denigrated from the outset,” Mr Stevens said.

  35. Mike Keating said

    This is so funny – you couldn’t script it really

  36. Don Wigan said

    [Dysfunction turned to theatre, theatre turned to farce, farce quickly turned to comedy and now it would seem that comedy has descended into slapstick.]

    You then go on to report on Gold Coast MP, Ray Stevens.

    Ray Stevens, eh? Isn’t that the name of that bloke who used to do those comic pop songs (Guitarzan, Along Came Jones, etc.) a generation or so back? Well, that might explain part of it.

    Bert 28 and Humpy 33 have a point. While happy to accept the perks and privileges of Joh’s travesty of democracy pandering to populism, there is yet a price to be paid. The Qld Libs are now paying that price.

    If nothing else, it ought to sound warning bells to all those federal Libs who have silently ridden the coat-tails of Howardism abuses. Turnbull was a lot closer to the truth than most of them dare contemplate at this point. The quicker they face up to the modern age, while returning to the proper checks and balances needed in a civilized democracy, the less like they will be to face irrelevance.

  37. Kay said

    Like Bert, I too remember the Qld Libs in Joh’s time, when they were the junior partner in the Coalition, with the Nats kept in power by gerrymander. I used to be amazed that the Libs would let the Nats get away with whatever Joh wanted when they could have stood up to him. We used to call them lily-livered-Liberals. Looks like nothing has changed in 20+ years.

  38. Belconnen Shredders said

    Maybe they should borrow that shelia’s coffee beans from Perth.
    I believe the coffee beans predicted a win for the Rat.
    Rotten old Joh was too cunning for them. Serves them right.

  39. Greeensborough Growler said

    Can’t even pretend to know what’s going through their minds. But here’s a cheer song to promote a bit of team unity.


  40. Enemy Combatant said

    VP to EC:[“Mensch” is quite a complimentary word, almost like “gentleman”. You could try something like “untermensch”. Urban Dictionary defines this as….]

    ViggoP, Brutal sarcasm is a mainstay of my schtick. The etiquette of the “sleeper cell” and savage bouts of “water boarding” have contributed to my vitriolic nature. Check the link to see the barbarities dished out by ASIO goons to Azhar Al-Haque, here defended most valiantly by Howard appointee and chief spook, Paul O’Sullivan. Just doing his job, of course. Al-Haque wasn’t “kidnapped” and “tortured” because his treatment is not “defined” that way. I’ll wager Senator Faulkner is itching to have a little chat in an official inquisitorial capacity with Mr. O’Sullivan in the not to distant future. People might be forgiven for thinking that Australia has become part of the Project for a New American Century and that Dick Cheney our go-to guy on the niceties of “24”-style interrogations in the aftermath of Haneef and Al-Gaque. New legislation is required quickly to restore some sanity, justice and fundamental human decency to these draconian anti-terror laws. As Pastor Niemoller said: if we don’t stand up for the likes of Al-Haque, then basically, we’re fucked.


    Viggo, only when possessed by “better angels” do I make rudimentary attempts at subtlety.

  41. ViggoP said


    Touché! I must have been watching too much Chaser.

  42. STAR said

    Well, after an absence of 30 years from the political scene I got involved again and helped in the campaign to rid Australia of Howard.

    Now, I do not know if that stirred the sleeping giant in me, but my next campaign is to get rid of our local Councilor and my sights are firmly set on Gold Coast MP Ray Stevens who was once the Albert Shire Mayor before it got amalgamated with the Gold Coast Council.

    Stevens, when out of office was a major proponent of the ill fated Springbrook eco train which caused much dissension amongst the local populations but was said to be of great economic value to a few who lived outside its zone.

    So, when the Qld State elections come around again,. I will be making my name to the Local Labor candidate offering my help.

  43. I Matt said

    The Queensland Liberals chose to meet at Eric Idle’s Hotel (from Monty Python) to resolve differences. This was truly fitting, as they have both been great comedy teams for over 30 years.

    The trouble the Liberals have, however, is that they failed to disband when on top (maybe they never were). Python has managed to flourish by repeating old movies and clips. The Liberals have had many unsuccesful cast changes, and the script writers have long outworn any ideas.

    However, “Declaring the leadership vacant, and failing to agree on a new one” is the next sketch they have come up with in years. It has reminded voters that they do exist and, yes, they are still as truly useless as ever.

    The idea of picking the Leader out of a hat is a bit passe though. In these days of Reality TV, surely they could have modeled themselves on “The Biggest Loser” or “Survivor”. “Baby Brother” where MPs could be voted off would be fitting, and would get the decision making out of their dysfuctional hands.

    The most senior Liberal Leader is currently Campbell Newman, Mayor of Brisbane. The Queensland Liberals leadership fiasco makes his political future wobbly. Who’s next?

  44. steve said

    Are they going to put the whole eight names in the lucky Dip hat and if so, what happens if the first name drawn out is Bruce Flegg? Would that mean they could lock themselves up in a hotel at a secret location next week and redraw the raffle?

  45. I Matt: Maybe the Liberal need to take a leaf out of Python to sort out their leadership woes.

  46. Thanks to Howard et al said

    To the left in Australia, Conversative forces are of much more value alive than dead.

    And dead, thanks to Howard and his ilk who did much to kill off the ‘liberal’ thing, it soon will be. Characteristically, Howard, with his well known love of history could have but didn’t understand what Menzies was doing when forming the Liberals. Thus Howard, the sorceror’s apprentice, unravels the work of his master.

    But I hope none will overlook that the ALP is also thereby in a very dangerous position. One of its challenges is not to loose focus (assuming it has one), given that it is unlikely to have an effective opposition virtually anywhere in the country. Yet I am also very concerned that in order to maintain its discipline the federal party will paradoxically and inappropriately move still further to the right. Of course the logic of a Liberal implosion would require this, yet I think it would be far more wise for the ALP to ensure that it *keeps its options open*, but refrains taking the opportunity to usurp the Coalition’s structure vote or its raison d’etre.

  47. Rate Analyst said

    Now even the Ntionals are telling the queensland libs to get their act together. Quite understandable really.

  48. Makes for good election slogans though. “Vote Liberal! Take a Dip!” “Stick with the dips!”
    BTW, I know you’re mathematically savvy Possum, but I can’t work out how 8 members can be divided into “13 micro-factions” – and I’m an old Trot!

  49. hobosexual misanthrope said

    but I can’t work out how 8 members can be divided into “13 micro-factions”

    funny, I was telling my “lib loving” old boy about the Qld libs thingy last night and I couldn’t explain that bit either!

  50. The Keegan said

    Kina 29, I pasted your Chinese characters into Google and asked it to translate the first page it brought up, and it was a weird, rude site! What do those characters mean? Save me from going to places I ought not….

  51. Grumps said


    Whilst enjoying the ineptied of another state branch of the liberals, it does starkly demonstrate the paucity of the two party system with preferential voting.

    All the sins that have been exposed of the labor party, have been well hidden for years in the liberals until the death knell of ‘El Rodent’, showed just how factionalised the liberals are.

    Little wonder the Rodent expectated to win on 49% plus postals. The electorates choice is akin to the poisoned duopolies that austrlain buisness is famous for.

    From the view point of the electorate it must be a pretty poor choice in NSW (the liberals there must be in a poor state if Iemma presents a reasonable choice)and what a lot in QLD. In Vic the Liberals with time (Fast Approaching) will become appealing to the electorate.

    It is disappointing that the australian electorate has willing accepted a dunbing down of democracy to this point. Blog on Poss, hopefully you will provide an educating voice.

  52. Kina said

    The characters 不中用 bu zhong yong mean : Useless, unfit for anything – the closest I could get for inutile

  53. Possum Comitatus said

    It’s a special thing that happens with the Qld Liberals. Put 4 of them in a room and they form 7 factions, stick 8 in and you’ve got 14. There’s three basic groups up here in the Libs – the old Santoro group, the Western Suburbs group (or what it has devolved in to) and another growing but disorganised group that you could roughly describe as the “Someone please drown these tools in the bay” group.

    In each of the first two groups (which are the active groups in the current manifestation of the Qld Liberal Party) you have factions within factions, and as there are only 8 members of Parliament, the various sub-factions that make up these two groups(which are more akin to gangs of 50 and 60 year old white men based around dominant personalities) jostle for influence with the Parliament members (and likewise, the Parliament members jostle for support of these sub-factions). When it all comes out in the wash, it descends into the farce we see today where internecine warfare (both between and within the groups and factions) prevents anything constructive from happening – including the most basic of acts like electing a leader.

  54. hobosexual misanthrope said

    righto!, thats cleared that up then lol 🙂

  55. Ferny Grover said

    That’s quite mouthful for a Possum whose words have failed him! Anyhow, quoting from today’s ‘Courier Mail’:

    “Breaking his silence on the Liberals farce, Coalition leader Jeff Seeney yesterday insisted the Nationals would not be in partnership with a political party that decided its leadership by a game of chance.

    “They need to abandon this stupidity of a lucky dip, come to their senses and walk out of there with a leader with some credibility,” he told The Courier-Mail.

    “It would be impossible for me to continue in Coalition with a Liberal leader that has been elected by lucky dip.” ”

    Personally, the Nationals would do no worse if they held their own lucky dip. If they’re really lucky they may even end up with a ‘leader with some credibility’….though the odds are very loooooong.

  56. Mathew Cole said

    Looks like Keating was right:

    “The [Liberal] crowd couldn’t organise a chook raffle in a pub!”

    Gods, but I love the Scumbag Archive. At least QT was worth listening to when PJK was in charge…..

  57. Ron Brown said

    So if one of the 8 in the lucky dip substitutes the name

    do you get ‘ Pluto ‘ a a bonus ?

  58. Ferny Grover said

    Geez Mathew…that’s a bit pedestrian for The Great PK.

  59. Ron Brown said


    I should get over it but I still can not reconcile HOW 3 Polls showed Labor’s primary vote at at least 46% / 47% for 9 months up to
    AND INCLUDING 5 days before the Election but then 4 days later Newspoll & Morgan polls drop Labor’s primary vote by about 3% !

    I can accept changes in the Greens & other small Partys but for the biggest Party’s primary vote to drop so significantly means:

    a/ a huge block of voters in 4 days changed their vote from Labor

    b/ Newspoll & Morgans polls are faulty

    c/ over 10% of voters DO decide their vote in the last week BUT
    the polling companies are not properly reflecting this large
    undecided block and/or not allocating it 2PP correctly

    Any views ?
    Galaxy got the ALP primary drop 5 days out but the other 3 did not

  60. Rod said

    OT, but McEwen seems to have come “alive” again, with Mitchell cutting Baileys lead by 104 votes out of a thousand absentees, to now trail Bailey by just 90, during counting this morning.

    All coming down to the last 1000 absentees, plus a few hundred outstanding postals and pre-polls, plus 1100 provisionals.


  61. Ordem e Progresso said

    Just how long have the Libs been in trouble for? They were wiped out in the 1998 Qld state election if I remember well – only 9 MPs. One Nation split the right-wing vote. In a state where you don’t have to list an order of preferences on your ballot paper, conservative voters could and did register their vote with Pauline and that was it.

    As a consequence of that, they lost certain entitlements as Parliamentary Party under Qld law. Bettie, however, waived it away and allowed them to retain staff and so on.

    And yet they’re still only got a handful of MPs!

  62. Ferny Grover said

    Yes Ron, it troubles me too. If the election hadn’t been held just after those polls we would have been tempted to see them as outliers (and some pseph experts would have boldly predicted a return to TPP 54/46 in the following polls). As it turned out, Neilsen was the outlier – and how! It does tend to temper my faith in polls – and even in poll trends. In percentage terms this election was far closer (particularly on the primaries) than any of previous 9 months of polling suggested. The one thing that can be said is that all the polls consistently predicted the winner – but not the margin.

  63. Ferny Grover said

    One other thing about the polls: The swing back to the government in the final days was incredibly counter-intuitive. Everything that could have gone wrong for the coalition DID go wrong. They were exposed as cynical, spiteful and completely bereft of ideas, ideals and values; they were outclassed and outcampaigned by Labor at every turn and they were hit with an interest rate rise and a scandal in Lindsay. Yet they get a massive swing in their favour at the death. It made no sense to me – unless all the previous polling was exaggerating the ALP vote.

  64. Ferny Grover said

    Nelson’s shadow ministry:

    Minister for Workplace Relations – Julie Bishop.

    Minister for Education and Apprenticeship Training – Tony Smith.

    Minister for Health and Ageing and Business Opposition – Joe Hockey.

    Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water – Greg Hunt.

    Minister for Families and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs – Tony Abbott.

    Minister for Communications, Broadband and the Digital Economy – Bruce Bilson.

    Minister for Tourism – Steve Ciobo.

    Minister for the Treasury – Michael Keenan

    Minister for Foreign Affairs – Andrew Robb

    Minister for Justice and Border Protection – Christopher Pyne.

    Minister for Trade – Ian MacFarlane.

    Minister for Human Services – Nigel Scullion.

  65. Rod said

    Ron writes:
    I can accept changes in the Greens & other small Partys but for the biggest Party’s primary vote to drop so significantly means:….

    A fourth possibility, Ron, is

    d) those people who don’t normally respond to opinion pollsters start getting interested enough to give opinions in the last couple of days. I wouldn’t be surprised if such people tend to vote for the status quo. Impossible to know, though, through normal polling methods, unless responding to the pollsters earlier requests become compulsory! 😉



  66. Cat said

    My take on the farce is seen through the eyes of a couple of old ladies. I was sitting on a train yesterday listening to a couple of old ladies dissect the election result and the Liberal leadership in some detail. Was interested that they both regarded People Skills as too weak for the job. When they got to the topic of Costello they agreed he did not deserve the liberal leadership because he had not been prepared to fight for it and had never faced the electorate directly for endorsement. They had a fair bit to say on the subject. As I was listening to the story on NewsRadio of the lucky dip proposal and Nicholls’ refusal to give up (for some reason I keep wanting to call him Riddle as in Tom Riddle from Harry Potter) I wondered if the old ladies would have approved of his “fight” for the leadership.

  67. Cat said

    Minister for Families and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs – Tony Abbott

    How lucky can the Kooris get?

  68. Belowra Boy said

    Doug at #2 mentions the Libs debacle in the ACT, the next election on the calendar. The Libs currently hold 7 seats and have a leader (Stefaniak) chosen because the two main factions cancelled themselves out. The two factions each have at least two people who consider themselves candidates for leadership. The membership of the party rank and file is dominated by the usual assortment of used car salesmen and real estate spruikers, but is (was) leavened by the inclusion of parliamentary staffers and lobbyists who were the camp followers of the former govt. This leavening will now be drastically reduced as the camp followers depart, looking for employment prospects in the real world.

    I suspect the fate of the Qld branch could well face the ACT branch. Normally I would be reluctant to be so brave as to predict the demise of an organisation so seemingly established, and potentially close to a return to power federally on the statistics, but gee, things don’t look flash for them.

  69. Ron Brown said

    Rod Says:
    December 6, 2007 at 11:40 am
    A fourth possibility, Ron, is
    d) those people who don’t normally respond to opinion pollsters start getting interested enough to give opinions in the last couple of days. I wouldn’t be surprised if such people tend to vote for the status quo.

    Ron says,
    thanks Rod. Like Ferny Grover , my faith in polls is eroded by the large primary vote drop of the BIGGEST Party in just 4 days !!!!

    Rod , you make a good point. However the pollsters should include that % of ‘non respondents’ as favoring the incumbants in their parameters…perhaps also the % of ‘undecided’ similarly ?????

    If one is believe in Polls ,then the Polls parameters seem flawed

    PS/ What I do not accept is the Newspoll’s assertion that 20% make up their mind in the last week , with 10% of that 20% on the day because this is a ‘CATCH ALL” COP OUT excuse by the Pollsters when they get their polling wrong !!

    OTHERWISE if you accept the 20% make a decision in last week ,…then no need to do a Poll before the last week of a campaign !

  70. Melbcity said

    Does anyone here have an explanation as to why the AEC is reporting having received more ballot papers back then they have issued? Take a look at Bennelong and Swan

    I am trying to finalise my analysis of the senate vote BUT the main problem is not knowing how many votes have been issued,

    It looks as if the AEC has no idea as it has published three documents and each one provides a different figure.

    the AEC should have stopped issuing pre-poll and postal ballots prior to the November 24 election. and should should well and truly know how many ballot papers have been issued.

    yet something is still amiss.

    I was told that this blog had the answer but I can not find any reference to it. We were to the AEC requesting daily stats on the number of ballot papers issued and returned and to give them some credit they did produce a running tally on the number of postal votes issued but it stopped one week out from the election. There is no details on absentee, prepoll or provisional votes but what information is available on the scrutiny pages does not tally.

    The AEC’s efforts are not as bad as Tully;s in Victoria, (Tully having stuffed up on the Victorian count embarked on an exercise of cover-up and refused to publish the details of the Western Metro count. votes between count A and Count B went missing and no explanation was given. amde worst by the fact that he refused and still has not provided copies of the preference data file for the primary count. So there was no way in which we could undertake independent analysis or ascertain where he screwed up. Questions have been raised and complaints lodges with the parliament but still Tully has refused to provide detailed information. So much for Victoria maintai8ning an open and transparent election system)

    Thankfully the AEC is not so much into denial and has made some effort to provide statistics on the total number of votes out there. Problem is they do not tally with what they have published as being received back. Could it be that they are still printing and issuing votes…) 🙂

    We have written to the AEC but still have not had a reply. Sorry but I expect far more accurate stats from the AEC.

    PS I do not want anyone to just second guess where the mistake is…. and think that all is forgotten. That’s the Tully approach to counting. Dodgy and dubious. Near enough is good enough until something goes wrong. Then you seek to avoid and coverup.

  71. David Richards said

    It should be noted that the figures on the night (before postals and other declaration votes were counted), was more in line with Nielsen and Morgan than Galaxy and Newspoll. The big change has come with the 20% of declaration votes which have suspiciously overly favoured the Libs to the extent that it has shaved a couple of % off the ALP vote. When 20% can affect 80% so significantly… something smells to me.

  72. Ferny Grover said

    Ron and Rod,
    The result would also call into question Antony Green’s assertion that undecided voters tend to break 2/1 in favour of the trend. In fact, if the poll trend was accurate, it appears they may have broken 2/1 against the trend and in favour of the incumbent (with the exception of Qld where we clearly followed Antony without question!)

  73. Andos the Great said

    How long until Tim Nicholls challenges for the Qld Liberal leadership again? Give it a few weeks?

  74. Jenny said

    Re Horatio’s shadow ministry – looks as if Pyne is being punished for having the temerity to consider a challenge. He’s not even in the shadow cabinet, though the noted underperformer Eric Aids and Abetz is still there. Also, Coonan has been moved out of telecommunications, which is probably a good thing, and Billson has been put there instead.

  75. Fleetmac said

    Abbott and Coonan look to be the big loosers in this line up and Hockey looks to be a winner. Is this an age thing or perhaps a Howard alliance thing? I would have thought Abbott would have thought had more mongrel in him than Shrek.

  76. Rod said

    Ron wrote: “Rod , you make a good point. However the pollsters should include that % of ‘non respondents’ as favoring the incumbants in their parameters…perhaps also the % of ‘undecided’ similarly ?????”

    Difficult to do accurately because of the inability to access this group, I think , Ron. My “guess” might be wrong, or the number may vary from election or the time of year or some such! It would be interesting to know if there are changes in the actual number of “reject being surveyed” responses as the election gets closer. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find such figures published anywhere.



  77. steve said

    Frankly, the Lucky Dip option might begin to look good unless we get a better explanation of this than we have had so far.


  78. Ron Brown said

    Thanks Rod & Ferny Grove

    What we DO know for a fact is the pollsters owe the public a credible explanation….even if it means an acknowledgement that
    eg. their samples are too small or ‘non respondents neede to be treated differently or undecided need to be treated differently OR
    a MORE sophisticated way in questioning than morgan of differentiating between firm ALP/LCP voting intentions
    vs ‘soft’ ALP/LCP voting intentions vs how did you vote last election…..???

    cause I don’t know

  79. Rod said

    Poss writes” The winner gets the Qld Liberal Party leadership. What’s second place get – two Qld Liberal Party leaderships?

    Almost makes it possible to understand how Joh survived there for so long!

  80. scaper... said

    About six months ago one of my connections was feeling out Flegg for a breakaway movement to offer the people an option for the next state election.

    He was not interested and he was disillusioned with his party.

    Then he fights tooth and nail to remain leader???

    I just can’t make out where he is coming from at all!

    I fear the eventual demise of the libs will mean a one party state and democracy has been denied.

    Surely there are some great Queenslanders out there that could organise a political movement that might be a party of the future, so where the bloody hell are you???


  81. STAR said

    Rod 79

    Says What’s second place . Sounds like the old Abott & Costello skit.

    “WHo’s on first, no What’s on first Who’s on second. etc ” that’s what I asked you.

    ‘Who’s on first, no What’s on first, What’s on second. I dont care what’s on second I want to know who’s on first.

  82. rossco said

    The shadow ministry at 64 is not completely accurate. They should be listed as Shadow Ministers, not Ministers, or are they suffering amnesia and forgot they lost the election. Further, Turnbull should be listed as Shadow Treasurer – he doesn’t seem to even be on this list. Michael Keenan is Shadow Assistant Treasurer. Just as a matter of interest does anyone remember who was Assistant Treasurer under Howard, or who was Shadow Assistant Treasurer before the election. Sounds important but on the bigger scheme of things not much more significant than being a back bencher.
    Keenan is my local member and to date has never shown any interest in any thing beyond graffiti, potholes and local policing. He is a West Australian and that is probly why he was given a position, but what about others from the West, such as Dr Mal Washer or Wilson Tuckey. If Bronwyn Bishop can be recycled whu not old Iron Bar?

  83. El Nino said

    Three words Poss – “United Australia Party”. It’s happened before – it’ll happen again.

  84. David Richards said

    The Libs and the Nats should just bite the bullet and merge.

    Outside of Queensland the Nats are nothing, and inside Qld the Libs are nothing.

  85. scaper... said

    El Nino

    I believe the Australian people are screaming out for a new option, as Howard disfranchised so many former lib supporters to a point that they will never return to the fold!

    This has to be addressed or we risk a government too long in power and that corrupts absolutely.

  86. El Nino said

    My old politics lecturer (may he enjoy retirement!) said the only difference between a one party state and a two party state – was one party. Please may that party be robust!

  87. Rod said

    Scaper writes:

    I believe the Australian people are screaming out for a new option, as Howard disfranchised so many former lib supporters to a point that they will never return to the fold!

    The problem for any new party here, Scaper, is that Labor have already cut the legs out from under their feet. Simply put, we have Labor running a centre right agenda perfectly tuned to the needs of such people, and the Greens as a party of the progressive left dealing with contemporary versions of the things that used to sustain Labor before it headed to the conservative side of the spectrum. The only remaining question is who is going to occupy the far right niche – the Howard style Libs, One Nation or Family First?

    Really if Turnbull and Nelson had any sense and personal ambition they’d simply cross the floor. Ideologically there isn’t much real difference between them and Labor and I’m sure they would both score a real ministry if they made the jump. They could then have some hope of a political future while leaving the Abbott’s and his ilk to fight it out for third party status with the other far right groups. 😉

  88. ho_hum said

    Goodness me!

    $weetie can’t get his trotters in the MacTrough for 18 months …

    Onya, Kevin!

  89. scaper... said


    That is a very informative post and food for thought.

    So I understand at this stage the middle ground is the best philosophy to take this nation into the future.

    Maybe just, a possibility of a bipartisan approach will be taken, as we have got some very serious issues to deal with and crossing the floor would go a long way to working to a solution.



  90. happy chap from Griffith said

    Hi Rod,

    You’re forgetting the IPA-libertarian type folk who camp in the lib fold. Labor aren’t running a central right position on everything. Two interesting examples,

    1) Rudd says, ‘he’ll let the ACT implement its civil union legisation’= take that social conservatives!
    2) Rudd is implementing an industry policy (‘up yours libertarians) and effectively rejecting a reactionary approach to this as well (take that conservatives!).

    I could go on…but my point is that, while to the right of some in the Labor Party, Rudd is certainly not nearing the orientation of the ‘Liberal Party’…well at least to the extent that we could claim that the LNP is defunct.

  91. Ferny Grover said

    There is room for two centrist parties. If Labor now controls this political turf, the challenge for the coalition will be to show the electorate that they can do it better. It’s naive to think that because Labor is centre-right (and I think this summation is a bit glib) the the Coalition has no option but to move further to the right. They will go fishing where the majority of the votes are (in the centre). They’ll just have to use better bait!

  92. scaper... said

    Ferny Grover

    A long term vision, a goal and a stategy would draw the people…but that would that be too much to ask from these people?

  93. Ferny Grover said

    Scaper – right now they don’t have a vision for what to do tomorrow. Hell, they’ve dug up Bronwyn Bishop and called it renewal!! It’s not renewal – propping up the walking dead does not count as rejuvination! It is, however, a reasonable metaphor for the dead men walking that will stare zombie-like across the chamber at the Government in February. No Scaper, there is no chance of this lot coming up with a strategy anytime soon.

  94. David Richards said

    Not while they cling to the relics of the past and refuse to ditch WC and other detritus from the Howard Reich.

    I can just picture the Libs ex ministers eyeing the treasury benches fondly, with a tear in their eye – “Mummy, that naughty boy/girl is sitting in my seat!” With no tame speaker to make their job easy.

  95. Rod said

    Ferny grover writes: There is room for two centrist parties. If Labor now controls this political turf, the challenge for the coalition will be to show the electorate that they can do it better.

    This may well be true, Ferny, but the situation eventually arises where the difference amounts to something akin to choosing between a Folden or a Hord as your mode of transport. One might be a better bet for while and then the other but there isn’t much difference between them in reality. Politicians of the Turnbull and Nelson ilk could probably really be equally happy and successful in either.

    I’m not really suggesting that the Coalition as a whole will inevitably have to move to the right. But I doubt that the Howardites and Abbott section of the party will ever be really happy in the centre with the Libor/Laberals.

    Of course, as someone whose own politico social views lie on the progressive side of the equation I’m personally hoping that the movement of Labor to the right actually opens up some ground for the Greens on the left and that the Howardites et al exit stage right in ongoing disarray, leaving the “centre” somewhere between Bob Brown and Kevin!

  96. scaper... said

    Ferny Grover

    You might be very well right, but there is a shining light there.

    He might just be a megalomaniac in a lot of people’s eyes, but he has a green tinge that can be an asset.

    It’s just a matter of development…and I’m sure that will ensue.

    Will he stay true to the party ideology?

    What ideology???


  97. Rx said

    The party itself must take much of the blame for the wholly dysfunctional state of the Queensland Liberals.

    A fair amount of blame must also go to the rusted-on retards who keep supporting these loonies come hell or highwater.

    Supporters get the political parties they deserve.

  98. Ferny Grover said

    Rod, I can’t see Abbott et al moving to the Centre anytime soon. My point is that the only way for them to win an election will be to capture the middle ground from Labor – and to do that they’ll have to convince the ‘middle Australia” that they can manage their welfare better than Labor can. So they can both trawl the same lake and the one with the better bait will win.
    My own hope is that Labor will have the heart to address the concerns of the left re social justice, climate, etc while also managing the ‘right’ issues like the economy. I doubt the Greens have the capacity to be anything but a minor party.

  99. scaper... said

    Ferny Grove again

    Who will hold the balance of power in the Senate in July?

    That is their place in the scheme of things.


  100. Ferny Grover said

    Scaper, the balance of power is likely to be held by the Greens and Jesus First…oops…Family Farce

  101. scaper... said

    Ferny Grover

    Do you believe that on the sensitive issues of our times……there is a possibility of traffic across the floor??


  102. Ferny Grover said

    Crossing the floor is a rare thing Scaper. What sensitive issues do you have in mind? I doubt we’ll see Liberal wets voting with Labor on things like WC and saying sorry.

  103. The Doctor said

    The Coalition as I see it have 3 Herculean tasks :
    1. Disavow the content of WorkChoices;
    2. Disavow the process of WorkChoices;
    3. Somehow get enough people to actually trust them – after they provided backup for Howard’s lies for the past 11 years.

  104. David Richards said

    You forgot Mr X

    There is always the chance the Nats could cross over to support ALP when it suits as well

  105. smokey said


  106. David Richards said

    The Doctor – you make it sound so easy lol

  107. Socrates said

    Great topic Poss, but I don’t think the Qld Liberals situation is a farce. I look on it as situation comedy that is bringing joy to at least 53% of the population on a daily basis in this non-ratings season.

    Seriously, with optional preferential voting in Qld, surely it is time for Nats and Libs to merge. Otherwise Bligh will be able to hand over the premiership when she retires at age 65.

  108. Ferny Grover said

    David, you’re right I forgot Mr X. I actually have some optimism that the government will find him reasonable to work with…and certainly less eratic than FF

  109. steve said

    Anybody know what history repeating looks like?

    NEW Liberal leader Mark McArdle stumbled in his first hour over the same issue that infamously derailed his predecessor, Bruce Flegg.

    Mr McArdle yesterday could not say who would be premier under the remote scenario of the Coalition beating Labor and the Liberals winning more seats than the Nationals.

    “The issues in relation to the Coalition are not for today,” he said, before cutting and running from his first press conference, where he sought to convince Queenslanders he would build a credible alternative government.

    The blunder came after rival contender Tim Nicholls and his supporters capitulated after a nine-day standoff and handed Mr McArdle the leadership.

    In a compromise, Mr Nicholls has taken the deputy position, while Dr Flegg will be demoted to a lower-profile shadow portfolio. The deal avoided the mooted leadership “lucky dip” draw that threatened to tear apart the Coalition.


  110. Crikey Whitey said

    Who is Ferny Grover?

    A recent apparatchik on this and William’s blog.

    Many appearances.

    Strange and sudden.

    Puts me in mind of Minchin, Downer and Co.

  111. hannah's dad said

    I’m more than a little worried about the populist vote-for-me Mr X and others.
    A few days ago he promised he’d work to get the SA Murray irrigators more water.
    Then Mike Rann gave them some more. Well lots actually, I estimate about a 100 gig. [thats almost equal to Adelaide’s average annual usage of R. Murray water].
    Then Rann says we’ll pay more for electricity to build a desal plant in 5 years time that will, at a cost of billions, provide about the same quantity of water that was just given to the irrigators.
    Meanwhile the ferries are being closed cos the river is too shallow and lagoons have dried out and no one has figured out that taking 660,000,000,000 litres a [normal] year for irrigation from the river may just possibly NOT be an economically, environmentally and physically sustainable practice.
    And we’ll just produce more greenhouse gases to replace the water we gave to the irrigators for free.
    Irresponsible by all concerned.

  112. Styx said

    Actually I seem to recall one of my Philosophy lecturers at Sydney Uni devised a system wherein all public office bearers where chosen by ballot. Maybe the QLibs are simply showing us the way to the future … 🙂

  113. Rod said

    Scaper asks whether we are likely to see opposition members crossing the floor.

    THis probably depends on how often they actually find themselves having to. I can certainly imagine situations where the smaller l libs in the HR will think of crossing the floor if their leadership oppose Labor on quite a variety of social justice and environment issues, but I suspect Nelson et al will be trying to align the party pretty close to labor on much of this sort of stuff, despite ructions from their hard right, for at least the early part of the term. Maybe we will see some of the coalition right voting against both Labor and their own party in some circumstances, too, as a result. Labor, I suspect, will be trying its best to “split” them.

    In the Senate, Barnaby J will go his own way on occasion, as he threatened to do while in government. Probably has less to lose by doing so now they are in opposition, in fact.

    I can see a fair amount of tension between the coalition partners on various matters in the senate. Urban / rural divide stuff like water. Probably on some social issues, too. Maybe even economics when it comes down to matters affecting exchange rates, or AWB machinations and the like.

    My bet is that the first term will see more than its share of turmoil in the coalition. There will be regular calls for “unity” of course, but it is going to take them quite a while to work out what to “unify” about, I suspect!



  114. Rod said

    Getting back to the “8 Stooges” show they call the Queensland Libs, the Qld party president has now put out a statement indicating that the voters will forget all about the leadership kerfuffle in next to no time. – see http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/12/07/2112113.htm

    I doubt that amnesia will set in quite so quickly. Comedy is hard to forget. If amnesia does occur I suspect it will simply be because the electorate have forgotten about the Liberal party altogether in Queensland next time an election comes around!

  115. steve_e said

    Bores to be banned in Adelaide

    Is this the end for Downer?

  116. David Richards said

    I wonder if Dolly can say this: Je suis une gênant pompeux git, qui c’est maintenant dans opposition.

  117. Ferny Grover said

    Crikey @ 110.
    I’m not sure what has upset you or why I qualify as an ‘apparatchik’. Nor am I sure why my appearance on here is ‘strange’. Like many on here I’m simply passing comment – sometimes serious, sometimes silly – on the topics at hand. The kicker, however, is your comparison of my contributions to Minchin, Downer, et al. Anyone who has followed my posts over the last few weeks (both here and at PB) would realise that my political leanings are left-wing Labor and decidedly pro social justice – which would indicate your comparisons are uninformed. I do try to give some thought and balance to what I write (when I’m not just being plain silly, or playing for a laugh), but the reality is that these blogs are for people who have a range of views on things political. Discussion and respectful argument are what bring us here. There is nothing ‘strange’ or sinister about my contribution to it.

  118. Neil Cammack said

    Ever since I first became involved in politics and joined the ALP in the mid-60s I’ve heard people lamenting the party’s rightward drift and branding it a pale shadow of its glory days as a left-wing party.

    Me, I doubt that any such golden age ever existed, or if it did it never survived the (occasional) transition from opposition to government. It’s largely forgotten that even the now-canonised Gough was the NSW Right’s pin-up boy and had to wage a successful war on the Victorian Left to secure victory. He also began the process of lowering the tariff walls that protected our inefficient manufacturing industries.

    Certainly the old party placed more faith in state-owned enterprises and industry protection, but that was a symptom of the times everywhere. Even that enthusiasm faltered after Chifley’s Quixotic campaign to nationalise the banks led to his government’s defeat and ushered in 23 years of conservative rule.

  119. Ferny Grover said

    Neil C – we share the same first name and point of view. Labor was never really ‘left’ wing in a global context and has always sat in the general ‘social democrat’ political sphere with its emphasis on justice, the rule of law, the community and protections for the poor and vulnerable. In that sense today’s Labor is still in line with its historical position. The rise of neo con thinking under Thatcher has certainly influenced the rhetoric – the ‘economy’ is now seen as the dominant policy with which all other policies must conform. Many on the Labor left would argue that social policy should be dominant but even they would accept that without a strong economy their social ambitions won’t be met. So the old left vs right/social policy vs economic policy has always been too simplistic. It’s always been about BOTH. In power, Labor has a long history of managing the economy while not losing sight of its social goals. Rudd Labor will continue this tradition and it is finding this balance that sets it apart from the conservatives it replaced.

  120. Clement Atlee said

    What’s with all this talk about the decline of the Libs being bad for democracy? Why would any sane person shed tears for the decline of this rabble. When Labor was in the wilderness, do you think the Tories were discussing how bad it was for democracy? Do you thinK they were worried about how weak the Labor opposition was? Of course not, they were rubbing their hands together planning their real agenda, extreme right wing legislation. Rather than bemoaning it, Labor should be taking advantage of it. BTW The Tories wouldnt have allowed Labor official party status if we had fallen blow the minimum seats. Beattie made a serious blue doing that!

  121. David Richards said

    Ferny – that is true. The Liberals/Nats have over the last 11 years sacrificed social policy on the altar of Mammon.

    While I disagree with much of what the current ALP has adopted as policy, they at least still have some social justice/equity objectives as part of their package, as well as a modicum of credibility on the environmental front.

    The Liberals have been a one-act play – The Economy.

  122. Ferny Grover said

    Clement, its that in-built sense of decency and love of democracy that sets us apart from the conservatives. They may gloat – and while we’re happy to see the Coalition get thumped – we do worry that weak opposition doesn’t help us get good governance. In the current situation the Coalition will be only 8 or 9 seats from winning the next election. That’s far from being on the verge of oblivion. We’re going to have to thump them twice as hard next time to achieve that!

  123. Crikey Whitey said

    My apologies,Ferny Grover. Unreservedly withdrawn. I was rather puzzled by something you posted last night at William’s, in response to my post.

    I still haven’t relaxed enough, finding myself even jumping at the word Howard on TV, when it actually referred to a character in a comedy series.

    My neck is still slightly cricked, but is responding well to physio, though it still auto tenses into spin detection mode, for no justifiable reason, at the moment. Except maybe for the Liberal not Party speakers, but I am learning to laugh instead of seeth or throw up, when one of them is heard or seen.

    I even had a go at someone on the ABC, who I suspected of pronouncing ‘Rudd’ a trifle too emphatically, and without an honorific.

    Thanks for your link at William’s, by the way, to the excellent Australia Policy on Line. I was about to do that at William’s as soon as I had read the article, so I take the opportunity here.


  124. Clement Atlee said

    Politics is serious business and its winner take all. The only thing that serves is ruthlessness. All this protection of democracy stuff is self indulgence of the highest order. Remember Nov 1975 and don’t for a moment think that the Tories wouldn tdo it again. They would do it in a hearbeat. Ask for no quarter and give no quarter!

  125. Ferny Grover said

    No problem CW. I hope you’re feeling better.
    My post last night was just me being flippant (I actually didn’t understand the events you were referring to) and working up to my comment about banning bores and Bronwyn Bishop.
    As for the APO site – there’s lots of good information and articles on there and it’s worth bookmarking. The one on Murdoch’s political bias is well written and is a good foil for those who say that Rudd was given an easy ride in the press.
    As for comparing me to Minchin and Downer – you sure know how to hurt a guy!
    All the best.

  126. Ferny Grover said

    Clement, that’s just hairy chested bullsh*t. The protection of democracy and justice is foundational to our country’s governance. You’re fight fire with fire approach would simply leave us with a scorched earth. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The fact that the Tories may usurp power does not mean Labor should behave as reprehensibly. Politics IS a serious business and our ruthlessness should be directed at ensuring that our people enjoy the freedoms and civil liberties that our system of government is based on.

  127. Rod said

    OT again, but for those interested, the margin in McEwen is now down to 21 votes in favour of Bailey.

  128. Clement Atlee said

    How is it Labor’s responsibilty to protect the democratic process because they cannot get their act together? Politics is serious business, at least it is for me. These Tories want to destroy my way of life, they want to lower my standard of living, so sorry Ferny Grover, I consider your hand wringing over their plight as self indulgence.

  129. Rod said

    Don’t think Ferny is wringing hands over the Libs problems, Clement. Rather he is simply saying that it should stand up for its own principles, rather than getting sucked in to the approach of those who don’t have any! I suspect the original Attlee would actually have understood, despite his unfortunate enthusiasm for British atomic bombs!



  130. Clement Atlee said

    Rod, I’m not aying that Labor should do anything underhanded, I’m just saying dont shed any tears for the Tories, dont give a sucker an even break. As for Clement, he was a REAL Labour leader. He had a program and he carried it out. Yeah, take your point Rod but allowances have to made given the historical context re atomic weapons. On balance National Health Scheme as against Britain’s pursuit of atomic weapons, I’d still go with Clement. My Labour hero. Well one of them anyway.

  131. Rod said

    Some signs that the Federal Libs might be trying to emulate the Qld mob when it comes to chosing a leader – see http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22889363-601,00.html 🙂

  132. Aspirational Aspirationalist said

    I dont think i’ll ever understand politicians.

    Turnbull had a opportunity to dispute the leadership vote process before the vote, didnt, didnt win then disputes. would he have disputed if he’d won ? At best he makes them go through it all again, worst plays sore loser.

    Nelson as AMA vice-president probably just made a stupid off the cuff (short & jocular??) remark when he told a rally “I have never voted liberal in my life”, but later says “Well, it wasn’t true, so you can describe it as a lie if you want to.” puts him up there with comments like not going back and honouring every single promise when you want people to do things for you.

  133. bilko said

    Many years ago a friend of mine put a number of names, for their new puppy, into a hat and had their young son pick one out, he pulled one out and the pup was named 7 and 5/8 ths, rather like the Qld libs.

    Now that Fran Bailey has lost her seat by 7 votes is her leadership vote invalid.will MT ask for a recount??

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