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Thread: The Australian politics thread

  1. #136
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt79
    All sounds very good in theory, the problem is that Beazley's performance is deteorating rather than improving, or even holding steady. I was a big Beazley fan in 1998 and 2001, but honestly, that was 7 and 5 years ago and he's done squat since, and if anything has weakened his case to be PM in the interim.

    It was honestly probably a couple of years ago that I stopped caring about Australian politics because I dislike Howard, but found myself thinking every single alternative was an absolute waste of space. I doubt I'll be able to raise any interest again until Howard pulls the plug. People talk about Rudd and Gillard - honestly, nobody who doesn't live in Canberra or is a member of the ALP knows who they are. Rudd comes across as too clever by half for people to vote for him (stupid I know, but hey that's democracy and voters dislike people they suspect of looking down on them), and from what I've seen of Gillard she lacks any ability to engage people at the emotional level - she's a classic example of another woman in Australian politics whose had to turn herself into a hardnosed caricature simply to make it in the boys club.

    The important thing to realise is that NONE of them are going to make things better on the issues that are actually important. I mean a new government will dick around the edges - an ALP government would probably moderate the worst IR excesses of the Howard government - but the running of the economy will remain in the hands of the economic experts, so we'll get the same economic isomorphism that's gone on for the last two decades. Whichever party is in power will continue to centralise power in its hands, to remove realistic avenues by which they (the politicians) can be held accountable, to make a mockery of FOI and other measures supposed to assist voters in having access to proper information, and to protect the interests of the wealthy. Some things never change and the most basic rule of human governance is that "he with the gold makes the rules".

    Sorry about the rant, but all this teenage/university political angst reminds me of when and why I used to care and why I stopped.
    To be fair, you've probably just lapsed into abject cynicism, which I believe has a lot to do with how toads like Howard preserve their power. There's a level of pragmatism that recognizes that one side is worse than the other, even if neither option is ideal.

    The problem I have with your rant though is that much of it is just lazy fatalism. I'm 36, not a member of the Labor party, I don't live in Canberra, I've never attended a University, and I know who Gillard and Rudd are. So do most people I know, including at kids events (where the demographics are very mixed) I attend with my child. I just read the papers. Amazingly, despite our readiness to write off everybody but ourselves as morons, many people do.

    And saying things like "some things never change" and "the basic rules of human governance are" just seems absurdly limiting when you consider how much change we've seen over the last century, even over the last forty years. In reality the thoughts you're expressing don't differ that much from what C_C constantly brings up, in terms of the inevitability of the curtailment and corruption of those values. If history tells us anything it's that change can come very fast - both for the good and the bad.
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  2. #137
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    ^^ Not that anything's gonna change that radically in the ALP with Beazley in charge, bwahahaha... *cough*

  3. #138
    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    To be fair, you've probably just lapsed into abject cynicism, which I believe has a lot to do with how toads like Howard preserve their power. There's a level of pragmatism that recognizes that one side is worse than the other, even if neither option is ideal.

    The problem I have with your rant though is that much of it is just lazy fatalism. I'm 36, not a member of the Labor party, I don't live in Canberra, I've never attended a University, and I know who Gillard and Rudd are. So do most people I know, including at kids events (where the demographics are very mixed) I attend with my child. I just read the papers. Amazingly, despite our readiness to write off everybody but ourselves as morons, many people do.

    And saying things like "some things never change" and "the basic rules of human governance are" just seems absurdly limiting when you consider how much change we've seen over the last century, even over the last forty years. In reality the thoughts you're expressing don't differ that much from what C_C constantly brings up, in terms of the inevitability of the curtailment and corruption of those values. If history tells us anything it's that change can come very fast - both for the good and the bad.

    Indeed, couldn't agree more. On a roll tonight SL.
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  4. #139
    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    Meh, all opposition leaders have to deal with this particular issue. It's not like the majority of opposition leaders who are elected into office are three-time losers like Beazley. Some, like Bob Hawke, cruise into the party leadership but weeks before the election. Who'd heard of Steve Bracks prior to six months before the '99 Victorian elections?.
    Hawke had an extremely high profile and was a well-known public figure, as the President of the ACTU. As for Bracks, that's in the State sphere - people aren't as cautious.

    The electorate is very cautious at the Federal level. Further evidence of that is that there have only been four changes of Government in the last 57 years.


  5. #140
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardj
    Hawke had an extremely high profile and was a well-known public figure, as the President of the ACTU. As for Bracks, that's in the State sphere - people aren't as cautious.

    The electorate is very cautious at the Federal level. Further evidence of that is that there have only been four changes of Government in the last 57 years.
    So what's your point, again? Don't expect the government to change hands. Don't promote somebody more competent to lead the party. Don't ever try a woman, and choose the man most likely to echo the government's policies. Watch Beazley lose again. OK, I think I've got it.

  6. #141
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pasag
    Indeed, couldn't agree more. On a roll tonight SL.
    Actually I was probably a bit harsh, but Matt's teenage/university angst comment probably made me bristle.

  7. #142
    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    No, just that he's the person most likely to beat Howard. Anyone else, even just on the basis of the 'experience' angle, would just be blown away. The Labor Party could be doing worse than being in front for the last eight months in the most reliable poll in the Country. And it has not been that way in previous years - it's bobbed around at 51-49; 50-50; 52-48. Their lead was never this prolonged in the year before the election in 1997, 2000 and 2003.

  8. #143
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    Actually I was probably a bit harsh, but Matt's teenage/university angst comment probably made me bristle.
    Haha yeah, that bugged me a little as well, mainly because there really hasn't been any of that in this thread. It's really been pretty well reasoned posts all round, and I don't think that people merely discussing the relative merits of candidates and arguing for those they prefer to the alternatives qualifies as some sort of naive optimism. I'm sure we are all quite aware of the failings of our political system, but there are choices to be made and some of them are better than others.
    Last edited by FaaipDeOiad; 20-11-2006 at 06:08 AM.
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  9. #144
    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    Actually I was probably a bit harsh, but Matt's teenage/university angst comment probably made me bristle.
    Haha nah, you're right on the ball. If you won't stand by your comments I certainly will.

  10. #145
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Samuel_Vimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt79
    In a period when the Iraq war has gone to crap, petrol prices have risen almost 90% compared to the last election, and interest rates have been increased five or six times in a row, it's hardly a sign that you're a genius either. And how long has it taken for Beazley to completely squander that opportunity? Last poll I saw, late last week had the Coalition back in front.
    From a quarter to a half of what's normal price in the rest of the world...

    Anyone who portrays a raise in fuel prices as a bad thing right now is pretty daft.
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  11. #146
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel_Vimes
    From a quarter to a half of what's normal price in the rest of the world...

    Anyone who portrays a raise in fuel prices as a bad thing right now is pretty daft.
    Still a fair bit higher than the US or Canada, relatively speaking. Our petrol prices aren't particularly high though, and the issue is a huge beat up based mostly around the fact that there's a huge excise imposed on fuel by the federal government (like in most nations) which increases the prices beyond where it otherwise might be.

    It shouldn't really be a huge electoral issue, but it certainly is very important to many voters, just like in the US.

  12. #147
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardj
    No, just that he's the person most likely to beat Howard. Anyone else, even just on the basis of the 'experience' angle, would just be blown away. The Labor Party could be doing worse than being in front for the last eight months in the most reliable poll in the Country. And it has not been that way in previous years - it's bobbed around at 51-49; 50-50; 52-48. Their lead was never this prolonged in the year before the election in 1997, 2000 and 2003.
    I don't know - maybe you watch the polls a lot more closely than I do, but I could swear that Latham had a long, extended period where Labor was well in front, on a two party preferred basis, prior to the '04 debacle. Just a month or two before the 2004 election, AC Nielsen had it 53-47, two-party-preferred. Of course, the primary votes were a different story - around 42/43 (coalition) to 39 (ALP). I don't believe things are any better than that now. In any case, we continually see (including in Beazley's case) a quick snap back to the coalition when the election comes around. I simply don't have a lot of faith in these mid-term polls, they generally favor Labor, because the Libs are very adept at how they release policy, and people like to send the govt midterm messages when the consequences aren't that serious. And they're occasionally samples of 800 people or less.

    Beazley will lose, though I don't really think it matters who leads the party up to this election anyway (in terms of victory), because I think the margin to be gained in particular seats is too great. However, I do believe that Rudd or Gillard are capable of performing far better in opposition. It is unfair to wield Beazley's name recognition against potential candidates - as said previously, every opposition leader has to deal with this to begin with - and the process of getting that degree of recognition does not begin until they are introduced to the public AS opposition leader (or deputy). Even considering that though, in polling I saw near the start of the year, Gillard was already preferred over Beazley as ALP leader when it came to voters (which spawned a frenzy of press on her leadership aspersions), so there surely must be some degree of recognition out there already. In a sense, the longer we hold onto Beazley the longer the delay for the party to actually get serious about winning the election after.

    There's simply no sense in hanging on to a leader just because the public knows him when he's generally regarded as not very competent and a loser, lacking "ticker". I suspect the ALP is aware of this and is ready for the transition after the election, once it's proved to a few troublemakers (and Beazley faithful) that Beaz isn't worth persevering with. You can only flog this dead horse so many times. For god's sake, Howard talks Beazley up every opportunity he gets - he's never been scared that the guy's a genuine prospect, and he never will be.

  13. #148
    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Rudd and Gillard both have greater levels of recognition than the current deputy leader, and opposition treasurer anyways.

    EDIT: Hehe, nation building.

  14. #149
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    If Beazley takes the ALP to an election victory, I'll have Big Kim for my avatar for a month.

  15. #150
    Cricketer Of The Year Mr Casson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    If Beazley takes the ALP to an election victory, I'll have Big Kim for my avatar for a month.
    Good luck - there's a 100x100 pixel limit.
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