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Thread: The Australian politics thread

  1. #1801
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Matteh's Avatar
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    Looks distinctly grandad-esque out of a suit.
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    3. Although Cow Tipping is a hilarious student game in backwater towns such as Bangor, there really is no need for Mitchell to cover one side of the cow in superglue

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    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Now that's a real Nationals man (one of the few left).

    Prime Ministerial material, ittbt.
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    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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  5. #1805
    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardj View Post
    Now THAT's good reading!!

  6. #1806
    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    Workchoices dead: http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/...740380935.html

    Had to go, in my view. Moreover, what the Liberals need to emphasise is that things like holiday pay, leave loading, redundancy etc are not up for negotiation. Granted, the Coalition put in place a Fairness Test, which seemed to be working reasonably well. However, I think the resounding message from the electorate is that, even though there may be a Fairness Test, workers (because of the perceived inequality of bargaining power between employers and employees) simply don't want such things up for negotiation to begin with.

  7. #1807
    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    Fears over 'another Cronulla-style riot'

    Why not get rid of Catholic or Anglian schools then? Freaking racist scum especially if they will do well to remember their own background and where and how some of them came to Australia.
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  8. #1808
    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardj View Post
    Workchoices dead: http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/...740380935.html

    Had to go, in my view. Moreover, what the Liberals need to emphasise is that things like holiday pay, leave loading, redundancy etc are not up for negotiation. Granted, the Coalition put in place a Fairness Test, which seemed to be working reasonably well. However, I think the resounding message from the electorate is that, even though there may be a Fairness Test, workers (because of the perceived inequality of bargaining power between employers and employees) simply don't want such things up for negotiation to begin with.
    Extremely dire, IMO.
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  9. #1809
    International Captain LongHopCassidy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig View Post
    Fears over 'another Cronulla-style riot'

    Why not get rid of Catholic or Anglian schools then? Freaking racist scum especially if they will do well to remember their own background and where and how some of them came to Australia.
    Agree. Education is the only long-term route out of this titanic balls-up, anyhow - the fact it's a school being targeted means breathtaking myopia from all concerned.
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  10. #1810
    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    For all of this hullbaloo about the banks raising the mortage rates, if people don't like their rate, why not go elsewhere, do a different bank or to a different lender as there is literally so many options out there, it isn't funny. If people are ignorant, well that is their fault.

    But from the election this looking to bite the ALP back on the arse.

  11. #1811
    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    There's a bit of a problem with the competition within the sector from my admittedly limited understanding. NAB is raising its rates to maintain its profit margin in the face of rising costs. But what seems likely to happen is that all the other major lenders will follow suit and raise their rates to match what the NAB is doing. If there was effective competition, at least some of the competitors would NOT raise their rates, and take the hit on their profit margins (while still probably making some profit) in order to increase their market share. But that never seems to happen. They've essentially formed an unspoken agreement not to compete in areas where doing so will affect their collective profits - its a cartel, but its unlikely anything can be done because they don't actually have to directly communicate to achieve this - they all just understand the system and choose independently to not rock the boat.
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  12. #1812
    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    This is something I banged out before the holidays last year and meant to post. It's my little review of the Election Year and the landscape going forward...

    You know you’ve had a good year in politics when you’ve made something that should be quite difficult seem inevitable. Up against a strong, experienced, respected duo that dominated Australian politics for more than a decade (such dominance shouldn’t be lightly dismissed otherwise one risks underestimating the brilliance of Rudd’s victory) and presided over an economy where Australians really have never been better off, the odds were stacked against a largely unknown Rudd.

    1. The Victory

    Despite the above, at least going by the polls, Rudd never looked like losing. As always with a loss, it’s a confluence of factors. Chief among them were:

    Work Choices: The unexpected Senate majority proved a curse rather than a blessing. I think Howard was determined not to be coupled with Fraser and be accused of squandering, of doing nothing, with the control of both houses. As a consequence, he overreached. Moreover, because the Senate majority was unexpected, Howard never made the case for Work Choices like he did with other initially unpopular reforms such as the GST. Rather, the Labor Party and the Unions got in first and coloured the canvass; they shaped public perception of the new laws. Once the canvass has been coloured, it’s very difficult (as the Government found) to scribble over; to play catch up.

    Kevin Rudd: Put simply, Rudd exuded calmness and competence. In short, he was seen as safe. He in no way frightened the horses like Latham. Moreover, he looked Prime Ministerial – an important thing considering most voters only get to see you for 30 seconds or so, on the news at night. Perceptions do matter, and Rudd was perceived to be a safe pair of hands; someone who would not drop the ball.

    Time for a Change: After eleven years of the same old faces in the same old positions, people felt it was time for a change. No doubt that Howard, by staying on, exacerbated the mood for change. In the end, he had high approval and competence ratings, but people (even many of his supporters) were just over him. People knew his modus operandi, and consequently everything he did throughout the election year was looked at through the prism of cynicism - as a trick; as a tactic. Howard in 2007 has performed a service to all incumbents…he’s shown what happens when you hang around for more than a decade. How the media report and interpret you; and how cynically the public view you.

    The Neutralisation of the Economy: If I had to nominate one factor that influenced the election, this would be it. The biggest neutralising factor was the six interest rate rises since the last election. These rises meant that the Coalition couldn’t tie their superior economic management credentials to a hip pocket issue. If you recall 1993, 1998 and 2004, these campaigns (the Labor anti-GST campaigns and the Coalition interest rate campaign) were so effective because they were tied back to things that were very real for voters – i.e. the cost of food and essentials (1993 and 1998) and the cost of servicing your mortgage (2004).

    By contrast, because of the six interest rate rises, the Coalition really couldn’t tie their economic management argument back to anything tangible to voters. Rather, they made a general, generic (and thus less effective) economic pitch.

    Another neutralising factor was Rudd’s concentration on the micro household economy and cost of living pressures. Even just by talking about grocery and petrol prices, he made himself appear more in touch and reduced the economy to a more human level - whether people felt well off in their own life.

    Once the economy was neutralised, the Coalition was in deep trouble. They were never a popular Government (throughout their decade in Office, they were behind far more in the polls than they were ahead). The Coalition’s decade in power was down to the economy, and once that was neutralised, they were destined to struggle.

    Momentum: This was another huge factor. Labor played the whole year like a game – get ahead and do everything you can to stay there. They staggered their announcements and timed them to coincide with opinion polls. It seemed like they always had something to say or a stunt up their sleeve on a Thursday or a Friday (I was one of the first folk to notice this!) which then fed into that weekend’s opinion poll. The result of this momentum is that people became conditioned to change – it was like a Labor victory was expected (because they were so far ahead all year) and people became conditioned to it and therefore increasingly comfortable with it. This is reflected in the very high rating that Labor consistently scored throughout the year on the ‘who do you expect to win the election’ question.

    2. The Future

    There are several observations to be made:

    Brendan Nelson is not really a person of substance. I think he’s open to the charge of being ‘wishy washy’ and simply going whichever way the wind blows. I mean, look at his political beliefs for a start. He was a once a member of the Labor Party and also claimed that he never voted Liberal in his life…but then trailed his coat for Liberal pre-selection. Because of the lack of substance and what I think will be Rudd’s extended honeymoon in 2008, I don’t think Nelson will make it to the next election. Rather, I think Turnbull will contest against Rudd in 2010. This, in itself, presents another problem for the Coalition.

    That is, the electorate is by nature intrinsically fair – they generally give Governments at least two terms. This makes, regardless of the small swing required, Coalition victory in 2010 unlikely. Therefore, the Liberals could burn off their brightest star (given that Liberal leaders never survive an election loss) sooner than they might like. Still, it’s worth the risk. I think Turnbull will and should take over by mid 2009 at the latest. He is best placed to reposition the party on social and non-economic issues.

    Secondly, the Coalition is the first Government to be thrown into Opposition in 30 years with clean hands on the economy. They did not preside over a recession (unlike the Whitlam, Fraser and Hawke/Keating Governments). This will stand them in very good stead if, given the gathering storm clouds on the international front, the domestic economy sours. Moreover, people have become accustomed to good economic times, and thus Rudd will be marked down extremely heavily by the electorate if anything goes wrong on the economic front. To this end, the Coalition need to focus on holding Rudd to account on the expectations that he raised with respect to containing petrol and grocery prices. This is Rudd’s point of vulnerability.

    Thirdly, the Coalition really needs to undertake some internal reform. The biggest item of which is a merger of the Liberal and National parties. The main reason for this is that the Nationals are a declining force in their own right – in terms of seats, they barely have Party status in the current Parliament. A merger will be a painful process, but it’s a drain on resources for the Nationals to continue to exist in their own right. Another item of reform is the need for the Federal arm of the Liberal Party to be able to guarantee star candidates from the business/corporate sector pre-selection, without subjecting those candidates to a local branch vote.

    Finally, the Coalition need to remember that Oppositions win from the Centre and they win by looking safe, yet active. These are the iron laws of politics from Opposition – the Coalition need to remember these things in the wilderness years that lie ahead. They also need to modernise their positions on social issues and flesh out a broader agenda than just managing the economy; than just dry issues such as workplace relations and school curriculums.

    3. Predictions

    Rudd will make it very tough for the Coalition by being economically responsible and very anti-inflation. Expect the surplus to be perhaps even 2% of GDP. He knows that the souring of the economy is the Coalition’s quickest route back into Office, and will do everything he can to try and shut this down; to demonstrate a steady hand, and immunise himself from any blame should the domestic economy, because of international factors, sour.

    Secondly, Gillard will be star of the first Rudd Government. Knowing that she is eight to ten years of hard work away succedding Rudd and becoming Australia’s first female Prime Minister, it’s in her interests to be loyal (which she will be) and for the Rudd Government to perform well.

    A real sore point for Rudd will be his overreach on hospitals. To say that ‘the buck will stop with me’ is all very well during the campaign, but to actually assume political responsibility for the efficient running of 750 incredibly complex institutions – with all the problems that that entails – is to open yourself up to a potential nightmare.

    Finally, as stated, Turnbull will be the Liberal leader by mid-2009 (I expect Costello to bow out next year) but will be defeated by Rudd in 2010 and will have the fight of his life on his hands to remain Liberal leader thereafter. My best guess is that the next Liberal Prime Minister is more likely to come from the next political generation - Julie Bishop or Mal Brough (who would need to emulate Rudd by winning the big prize despite not having been in Parliament at the start of his party’s stint in Opposition).
    Last edited by howardj; 06-01-2008 at 02:51 PM.

  13. #1813
    Cricketer Of The Year Mr Casson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardj View Post
    My best guess is that the next Liberal Prime Minister is more likely to come from the next political generation - Julie Bishop or Mal Brough (who would need to emulate Rudd by winning the big prize despite not having been in Parliament at the start of his party’s stint in Opposition).
    I enjoyed reading that post, however I just have one question (and forgive me if it sounds green): why is not being in parliament at the start of the party's opposition an obstacle to becoming the party leader? I would have thought it a marketable asset that the leader wasn't tainted by any of the failings of the party's last incarnation as government, more or less in the same way Rudd was able to use the 'new face' image to convince voters that the party has changed for the better.
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  14. #1814
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Casson View Post
    I enjoyed reading that post, however I just have one question (and forgive me if it sounds green): why is not being in parliament at the start of the party's opposition an obstacle to becoming the party leader? I would have thought it a marketable asset that the leader wasn't tainted by any of the failings of the party's last incarnation as government, more or less in the same way Rudd was able to use the 'new face' image to convince voters that the party has changed for the better.
    I think it can be, but it can also be a weakness on the "experience" grounds. It just depends on how the campaign plays out, and what the issues at hand are. Rudd's "inexperience" was essentially an advantage because Howard was seen as dated and out of touch. Latham's "inexperience" was generally a disadvantage.
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  15. #1815
    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Well Brough, if he gets back in 2009/10, will be able to point to his experience with the Howard government as "credentials" should he be leader by the 2012 election.

    Very good post HowardJ - enjoyed it, and think you're right on almost everything you say.



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