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Thread: The Australian politics thread

  1. #121
    World Traveller Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    Interesting question that underlines some of the pragmatism in politics. IMO Costello's a toad and a fraud, who's happy to occupy whatever package will make him go down best. If he has to appeal to the worst in people, he'll do it. If he sniffs something different in the wind, he'll be that, too. On the other hand, Abbott's fairly open and honest in his convictions. I've long thought that Abbott is more Howard's favorite than Costello is, but some of Abbott's positions on health issues have probably placed him at odds with a fair section of the party, so his leadership aspirations have been largely curtailed for the time being.

    Personally, I think Abbott is a far more effective politician than Costello, and articulates his ideas and opinions extremely well. In fact, he writes much better op-eds than the majority of professional conservative commentators.

    Having said that, if my choices were down to these men only, I'd prefer Costello. Basically, Abbott simply represents too much of what I oppose. In the long run though, we'll probably find our choices are different to what we expected, post Howard.
    Surely Howard won't go on for much longer?

    I suppose that could be a factor if people want a change, is just that because he has been in power for 10 years and people might want somebody new.
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  2. #122
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  3. #123
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  4. #124
    RTDAS pasag's Avatar
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    Get him to change the anthem while he's there.


  5. #125
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig
    Surely Howard won't go on for much longer?
    Nah, I don't think he will, although I am pretty certain he will stand the next election, unless things start to go really pear-shaped (in which case he'll get out while the going's good).

    But noises are being made about other potential leaders - Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop, etc...
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  6. #126
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    Interesting question that underlines some of the pragmatism in politics. IMO Costello's a toad and a fraud, who's happy to occupy whatever package will make him go down best. If he has to appeal to the worst in people, he'll do it. If he sniffs something different in the wind, he'll be that, too. On the other hand, Abbott's fairly open and honest in his convictions. I've long thought that Abbott is more Howard's favorite than Costello is, but some of Abbott's positions on health issues have probably placed him at odds with a fair section of the party, so his leadership aspirations have been largely curtailed for the time being.

    Personally, I think Abbott is a far more effective politician than Costello, and articulates his ideas and opinions extremely well. In fact, he writes much better op-eds than the majority of professional conservative commentators.

    Having said that, if my choices were down to these men only, I'd prefer Costello. Basically, Abbott simply represents too much of what I oppose. In the long run though, we'll probably find our choices are different to what we expected, post Howard.
    Good post there. I can't believe people seriously see Costello as some sort of honest joe. He's every bit as slimy and fake as Howard, but he doesn't have the genial nature or skill as a politician that has helped Howard become extremely popular. Abbott certainly represents just about everything I hate in the political world, but as least he's honest and to the point, rather than towing the party line most of the time and stepping aside with supposed strong convictions whenever it presents a chance to steal the leadership.

    Rudd's a good guy I think, he is certainly further to the left than someone like Gillard and closer to my own political beliefs, and is also a capable politician, a good speaker and generally someone who I think could lead the party in both opposition and government with distinction. Gillard I don't think so highly of, but I think she'd have a very good chance of winning the next election, particularly if she's up against Costello. It's an unfortunate stereotype, but I think the "woman's touch" thing will play quite well with Australian voters, much more than in say the US, and the fact that she's female, relatively inoffensive and importantly seems quite different from Howard, Costello, Beazley and everyone else will all stand her in good stead.
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  7. #127
    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Love™
    Nah, I don't think he will, although I am pretty certain he will stand the next election, unless things start to go really pear-shaped (in which case he'll get out while the going's good).

    But noises are being made about other potential leaders - Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop, etc...
    Howard's already declared his hand earlier this year. He's going to contest the next election. People, in my view, are crazy if they think either Rudd or Gillard are a better bet than Beazley next year. I was reading something today about elected PM's - the average age is 52, and the average number of years in Parliament prior to them being elected as PM is 19.

    In short, the electorate like to be familiar with a person before they'll hand them the keys to the Lodge. The electorate is cautious and careful about who they elect to run the country. Experienced, familiar, older men are invariably preferred. Many people who don't follow politics would not know the first thing about Kevin Rudd, and may not even know who he is. You'd be surprised.

    I mean, look at Beazley's election record - he won the majority of the two party preferred vote in 1998, and did very well in impossible circumstances in 2001. He's only deemed a failure by association - he's associated with the Labor party's wilderness years. The reality is though that his election record is quite good. Federal elections are not a fashion parade, they're won by who looks the steadiest and the safest.

  8. #128
    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Two things I'd say to that.

    Firstly, you've got to keep in mind that statistics about who wins election are obviously controlled by who runs. It's relatively rare that anyone who isn't already a familiar face gets the leadership position, let alone holds it through to an election, so it doesn't necessarily mean a lot that most people are well known. It is true however that many PMs lose an election before they win one, and it is certainly more difficult for a less known person to win, as you say. It is also more difficult for a long-term leader to keep winning though, so it works both ways.

    Also, there's never been a candidate like Gillard before in a federal election, so you can't really say that she won't win because she's not an old, safe male. Personally, I think Australia's political climate is very well attuned to a female candidate atm, and she would almost certainly do well, particularly against someone who is seen as smarmy and heartless like Costello.

    Secondly, the political situation in any country changes over time. It was assumed in the US that a non-protestant would never be elected to Presidential office, and for good reasons at the time, but it didn't stop Kennedy from being incredibly popular, and I doubt it would have any significant bearing on any Presidential campaign these days. Similar things apply to Australia. Elections are a very different business to 50 years ago, and I don't think the same rules apply at all.

  9. #129
    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    I think you've almost got think of it as a football match. Who is the best person to match up against Howard, and what are Howard's line's of attack going to be. To me, offering up someone (like a Rudd or a Gillard) who has never sat on the Government benches before, let alone around a Cabinet table, is just leaving yourself massively exposed to a scare campaign against an experienced, steady pairing of Howard and Costello.

    By contrast, Beazley has been deputy PM; has a good record against Howard in elections; and for the last eight months the Labor Party has lead the Coalition in the AC Nielsen poll (which has proven to be a more accurate predictor than Newspoll for the last few elections). There's just no reason to change leaders.

  10. #130
    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardj
    Howard's already declared his hand earlier this year. He's going to contest the next election. People, in my view, are crazy if they think either Rudd or Gillard are a better bet than Beazley next year. I was reading something today about elected PM's - the average age is 52, and the average number of years in Parliament prior to them being elected as PM is 19.

    In short, the electorate like to be familiar with a person before they'll hand them the keys to the Lodge. The electorate is cautious and careful about who they elect to run the country. Experienced, familiar, older men are invariably preferred. Many people who don't follow politics would not know the first thing about Kevin Rudd, and may not even know who he is. You'd be surprised.

    I mean, look at Beazley's election record - he won the majority of the two party preferred vote in 1998, and did very well in impossible circumstances in 2001. He's only deemed a failure by association - he's associated with the Labor party's wilderness years. The reality is though that his election record is quite good. Federal elections are not a fashion parade, they're won by who looks the steadiest and the safest.
    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.
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  11. #131
    International Coach howardj'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

    .
    I wouldn't call leading the Coalition for the last eight months in the most reliable poll in the country, a deterioration.

  12. #132
    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    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.

  13. #133
    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    To paraphrase/rip-off The Late Show -
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    Interviewer: "Yes, you lost that one as well... twice"

  14. #134
    International Captain Slow Love™'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardj
    Howard's already declared his hand earlier this year. He's going to contest the next election. People, in my view, are crazy if they think either Rudd or Gillard are a better bet than Beazley next year. I was reading something today about elected PM's - the average age is 52, and the average number of years in Parliament prior to them being elected as PM is 19.

    In short, the electorate like to be familiar with a person before they'll hand them the keys to the Lodge. The electorate is cautious and careful about who they elect to run the country. Experienced, familiar, older men are invariably preferred. Many people who don't follow politics would not know the first thing about Kevin Rudd, and may not even know who he is. You'd be surprised.

    I mean, look at Beazley's election record - he won the majority of the two party preferred vote in 1998, and did very well in impossible circumstances in 2001. He's only deemed a failure by association - he's associated with the Labor party's wilderness years. The reality is though that his election record is quite good. Federal elections are not a fashion parade, they're won by who looks the steadiest and the safest.
    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?

    The reality is that on polling, many Labor voters have little faith in Beazley, and I believe he runs extremely poor campaigns, where he fails to differentiate himself from Howard, and parrots coalition policy, either giving a "softer" version, or feebly trying to look even harder. Even with a definite vote winner like the new IR regulations, he's pathetic, and it's only the unions advertising keeping him in the game. '98 was deceptive because of Howard's GST platform, and One Nation, and the coalition, in spite of some retconning by particular commentators, was not a popular government initially. But Beazley really is a poor performer in opposition, IMO.

    Personally I think rusted on Liberal voters love him, 'cause he makes Howard look good, and he presents no challenge. So they talk him up at every opportunity. They'd never consider voting Labor anyway, though. And Beazley's ability to convey his politics, and articulate or debate ideals and policy are woeful. And worse still, I believe genuine questions can be asked about his competency and his health, given his Schaltenbrand's syndrome diagnosis, and his recent, rather strange gaffes.

    On the bright side, at least you didn't mention scaring the horses.

  15. #135
    Global Moderator Matt79'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.
    Yeah, good point SL, I completely forgot to add, "in a period when the government has just introduced the most draconian IR laws this country has ever seen, and the ACTU is spending millions on ads for you" to my list above.

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