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Axver 08-04-2013 01:18 AM

Australian federal election: 7 September
 
It's on, folks. Kevin Rudd called a 7 September election this arvo.

You can play along at home:
Kevin Rudd soundbite bingo | World news | theguardian.com
Tony Abbott soundbite bingo | World news | theguardian.com

I don't care what happens as long as Abbott doesn't win. I could even begrudgingly hack a Coalition victory if the leadership by some bizarre turn reverted to Malcolm Turnbull or somebody else not completely crazy, somebody halfway capable of formulating policy. If Abbott becomes PM, everybody in Australia will know how all sane people in the US felt during the Bush years.

Kieran McConville 08-04-2013 01:30 AM

Tony Abbott will never be the Prime Minister of Australia. I believe this to be the case regardless of what happened to the Labor leadership over the last few months. Now, it is time to evolve and let the chips fall where they may.

What exactly have these guys been doing for the last three years, six years arguably, other than coasting on resentment, nostalgia and Tea Party style demagogery? The Coalition, I mean. What are they gonna say now? What can they say?

Axver 08-04-2013 01:41 AM

I'd like to share your optimism, but I'm really not sure how the ALP is going to hold onto the House.

There are no gains left to make in Victoria, just marginal ALP electorates to lose - e.g. Corangamite. The Nats will probably regain Windsor and Oakeshott's seats in NSW now that they've retired. WA is fucked. The ALP will at least pick up Wilkie's seat in Tasmania and stop him from being a livewire, but that's not a gain, strictly speaking (same goes if they regain Melbourne off the Greens but Bandt's a popular local member). Now that Rudd's back, Queensland's not completely fucked, but gains need to be found somewhere, probably in Queensland or NSW, and I just don't think those gains exist. Don't know enough about SA's marginals to comment there.

The Senate will hopefully remain under ALP/Green control, so as long as that stays the case then I won't despair too hard even if the worst happens and Rudd loses, but I fear the House is gone.

Kieran McConville 08-04-2013 01:52 AM

WA and NSW are a worry alright. WA has been a weak spot for years. I wouldn't be so certain about the Coalition taking back New England. They had a decade or more to elect a Coalition member if that is what they wanted... although a figure of Windsor's stature will be sorely missed.

Queensland is critical.

I guess to wax optimistic, I'd hope they can hold most of what they hold now - surely not an impossible ask - and gain just a little. Somewhere, anywhere. It's all bums on seats in the end.

Oh yeah, and Katter. That's the other thing. I may not support him especially, but he represents two things:

1. Old style economic nationalism... I'd almost just go ahead and say old laborism... that is completely and utterly opposed to the modern neoliberal consensus. Both major parties talk the talk to an extent, but for the Coalition, it's gospel. It's in their bones. Why else did Katter abandon the Nationals in the first place?

2. A fly in the ointment for Tony Abbott. Not a Joh For PM scale fly in the ointment ... those days have passed... but a fly nonetheless.

There's Clive Palmer's party too, but I regard it as an irrelevance. Still, both sting the Coalition more than they do Labor.

Beyond all that, there is the outside possibility that the Coalition party room do blink where their present leader is concerned. I don't consider it very likely - Malcolm Turnbull is the inner city liberal's wet dream of Liberal Party leadership, but the present day Liberal Party, the up and comers, the creeps and boofheads from the Young Libs, despise someone like him - but it's possible. Either outcome amounts to Tony Abbott never being the Prime Minister of Australia.

cobl04 08-04-2013 02:56 AM

Yeah I don't know how you can be that confident either! I think Abbott wins, but it won't be the landslide it would have been vs Gillard.

I was quite happy when Rudd came back to be honest, just because it put an end to all the knuckle-dragging reporting that happened prior, but this asylum seeker policy has made me jaded. I don't know the answer, and I agree that reducing the number of people dying on boats is very important - but shutting the door, playing up to ignorant dickheads, just not the answer.

Will be voting Greens in whatever form I can, and I'm not really ashamed to say that's largely because they're more compassionate towards refugees and because of their stance on gay marriage.

I'll be away on a camp with little access to technology the day of the election.

Kieran McConville 08-04-2013 03:36 AM

Off to boot camp, eh? :wink:

I am pretty disheartened by Rudd's moves on asylum seekers, his 'PNG solution'... as much for forcing this one wretched issue even further into the centre of political life in this country as for the actual announced policy.


On the other hand, I'm not a typical Australian. It may not hurt him, although it ought to.

cobl04 08-04-2013 04:10 AM

It most definitely won't hurt him. It's a great move politically.

Kieran McConville 08-04-2013 04:42 AM

San Cisco say we should enroll to vote. I wasn't gonna, but now... I'M SOLD.

Axver 08-04-2013 05:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kieran McConville (Post 7689237)
WA and NSW are a worry alright. WA has been a weak spot for years. I wouldn't be so certain about the Coalition taking back New England. They had a decade or more to elect a Coalition member if that is what they wanted... although a figure of Windsor's stature will be sorely missed.

Queensland is critical.

I guess to wax optimistic, I'd hope they can hold most of what they hold now - surely not an impossible ask - and gain just a little. Somewhere, anywhere. It's all bums on seats in the end.

Oh yeah, and Katter. That's the other thing. I may not support him especially, but he represents two things:

1. Old style economic nationalism... I'd almost just go ahead and say old laborism... that is completely and utterly opposed to the modern neoliberal consensus. Both major parties talk the talk to an extent, but for the Coalition, it's gospel. It's in their bones. Why else did Katter abandon the Nationals in the first place?

2. A fly in the ointment for Tony Abbott. Not a Joh For PM scale fly in the ointment ... those days have passed... but a fly nonetheless.

There's Clive Palmer's party too, but I regard it as an irrelevance. Still, both sting the Coalition more than they do Labor.

Beyond all that, there is the outside possibility that the Coalition party room do blink where their present leader is concerned. I don't consider it very likely - Malcolm Turnbull is the inner city liberal's wet dream of Liberal Party leadership, but the present day Liberal Party, the up and comers, the creeps and boofheads from the Young Libs, despise someone like him - but it's possible. Either outcome amounts to Tony Abbott never being the Prime Minister of Australia.

I think both New England and Lyne will unquestionably go back to the Coalition. Classic cases of an ex-Nat retaining the seat as an independent due to personal popularity, but as soon as they retire the seat bounces right back into the Nat court. I just cannot imagine the ALP winning those areas at all, especially after the criticism both Windsor and Oakeshott endured for supporting Gillard from their constituents.

I was convinced that with Gillard, Queensland was so fucked that the ALP might lose every seat apart from Rudd's and maybe Swan's. Now with Rudd back, well, it seems some analysis suggests they could pick up seats. I wish I could remember which seat it was, it was either in the Cairns or Townsville area, which in 2010 the ALP lost for the first time - and lost it to some absolute nutjob too. You'd expect that might swing back. The one other thing the ALP really has going for it in Queensland is that they can campaign HARD against Campbell Newman. A lot of Queenslanders are fundamentally morons (I can say this as somebody who lived there for a decade) who routinely take out their hatred of a state government at the federal elections and vice versa.

Katter really is a huge problem for the Coalition. He has a good personal rapport with Rudd, and if he somehow even picks up seats, Rudd will have an easier time courting him than Abbott. Palmer, you're right - he's nothing more than a freak sideshow and I really doubt he'll win anything.

I'm actually starting to believe that had Rudd called a short sitting of parliament, the Libs would've rolled Abbott in favour of Turnbull. With Turnbull at the helm, the Libs would have the election in the bag; it would be an absolute rout. I think this is why Rudd has called the election now, to avoid that possibility - if he'd waited much longer, he would've had to call parliament. As it stands I don't think there's any way, barring truly extraordinary means, for the Libs to roll Abbott.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kieran McConville (Post 7689271)
I am pretty disheartened by Rudd's moves on asylum seekers, his 'PNG solution'... as much for forcing this one wretched issue even further into the centre of political life in this country as for the actual announced policy.

Co-signed. The fact that this a major political issue in this country ahead of absolutely crucial things like education, healthcare, the Reef, etc. is just mindboggling and the way it is discussed in the most callous, statistical terms with no regard for basic humanity makes me lose faith in this country's media, public discourse, and electors. I've tried to put into words exactly how this all makes me feel and I can't. It's a shitstain on Australia and it's going to look very ugly in the history books.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cobl04 (Post 7689277)
It most definitely won't hurt him. It's a great move politically.

This is possibly the worst part about it. Fuck you, voters of Australia.

Vlad n U 2 08-04-2013 05:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kieran McConville (Post 7689284)
San Cisco say we should enroll to vote. I wasn't gonna, but now... I'M SOLD.

I would vote for them to go away and never make noise again.

Kieran McConville 08-04-2013 05:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Axver (Post 7689290)
I think both New England and Lyne will unquestionably go back to the Coalition. Classic cases of an ex-Nat retaining the seat as an independent due to personal popularity, but as soon as they retire the seat bounces right back into the Nat court. I just cannot imagine the ALP winning those areas at all, especially after the criticism both Windsor and Oakeshott endured for supporting Gillard from their constituents.

Oh the ALP will absolutely not win either of those seats. I doubt they'd even stand a candidate. I guess I might hope for another independent in at least one case.

Quote:

I was convinced that with Gillard, Queensland was so fucked that the ALP might lose every seat apart from Rudd's and maybe Swan's. Now with Rudd back, well, it seems some analysis suggests they could pick up seats. I wish I could remember which seat it was, it was either in the Cairns or Townsville area, which in 2010 the ALP lost for the first time - and lost it to some absolute nutjob too. You'd expect that might swing back. The one other thing the ALP really has going for it in Queensland is that they can campaign HARD against Campbell Newman. A lot of Queenslanders are fundamentally morons (I can say this as somebody who lived there for a decade) who routinely take out their hatred of a state government at the federal elections and vice versa.
I live in Queensland and sadly must concur a little bit. The fall of Goss (in retrospect a minor blip in two decades of wall to wall Labor hegemony; we Queenslanders like our autocracy) was a harbinger of Keating's loss in 96.

Quote:

Katter really is a huge problem for the Coalition. He has a good personal rapport with Rudd, and if he somehow even picks up seats, Rudd will have an easier time courting him than Abbott. Palmer, you're right - he's nothing more than a freak sideshow and I really doubt he'll win anything.
Precisely. Katter and Rudd are close, close enough that Katter might have granted supply to the minority government in 2010 had Rudd been leading it.

Oh and I see today Abbott lays it on the line: he will not be party to a minority government. So in the event of another hung parliament: Tony Abbott will never be the Prime Minister of Australia. He's a gutless wonder.

Quote:

I'm actually starting to believe that had Rudd called a short sitting of parliament, the Libs would've rolled Abbott in favour of Turnbull. With Turnbull at the helm, the Libs would have the election in the bag; it would be an absolute rout. I think this is why Rudd has called the election now, to avoid that possibility - if he'd waited much longer, he would've had to call parliament. As it stands I don't think there's any way, barring truly extraordinary means, for the Libs to roll Abbott.
Possibly, quite possibly. I'm also convinced that Rudd is enjoying himself in the way that Keating used to enjoy himself. It's not necessarily good for the country, but it is entertainment. When asked why he wouldn't call an early election in 1992, Keating replied to Hewson on the floor of the house: 'the answer mate, is that I want to do you slowly.' I guess the reverse applies here.

As to whether it would be a 'rout' under a hypothetical Turnbull leadership, i dunno. Yes, Labor might well lose in such a situation, but: they'd be losing to someone who probably, in his heart of hearts sees eye to eye on them regarding matters like the NBN and carbon pricing.


Quote:

Co-signed. The fact that this a major political issue in this country ahead of absolutely crucial things like education, healthcare, the Reef, etc. is just mindboggling and the way it is discussed in the most callous, statistical terms with no regard for basic humanity makes me lose faith in this country's media, public discourse, and electors. I've tried to put into words exactly how this all makes me feel and I can't. It's a shitstain on Australia and it's going to look very ugly in the history books.
it sure is. Now, there's a chance Rudd isn't a total sociopath, there's a chance he's messing with the opposition's collective head here, heading them into crazy land. If so, it's quite audacious... but it still stinks.


\

cobl04 08-04-2013 05:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kieran McConville (Post 7689284)
San Cisco say we should enroll to vote. I wasn't gonna, but now... I'M SOLD.

David Bridie told the crowd at the Northcote Social Club the same thing a few weeks back. But he's only heard on the Rs, not the Js, so who knows.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Axver (Post 7689290)
I'm actually starting to believe that had Rudd called a short sitting of parliament, the Libs would've rolled Abbott in favour of Turnbull. With Turnbull at the helm, the Libs would have the election in the bag; it would be an absolute rout. I think this is why Rudd has called the election now, to avoid that possibility - if he'd waited much longer, he would've had to call parliament. As it stands I don't think there's any way, barring truly extraordinary means, for the Libs to roll Abbott.

What's all this about? What is calling parliament?

cobl04 08-04-2013 06:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kieran McConville (Post 7689298)
Oh and I see today Abbott lays it on the line: he will not be party to a minority government. So in the event of another hung parliament: Tony Abbott will never be the Prime Minister of Australia. He's a gutless wonder.

What does this mean? If there was a hung parliament we'd all have to keep voting until there was a definite answer?

Kieran McConville 08-04-2013 06:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cobl04 (Post 7689304)
What does this mean? If there was a hung parliament we'd all have to keep voting until there was a definite answer?

No, it means what it meant the last time, in 2010. Neither major party had a clear majority. Both major parties entered into negotiations with the independent members of parliament (then, principally Windsor, Oakeshott, Katter, Wilkie and (Green) Bandt). Said negotiations to secure at least support for supply on the floor of parliament, in return for some concessions obviously. Guess who was serious about it?

The chances that anyone involved would subject the nation to another election within days are, infintisemal.

Kieran McConville 08-04-2013 06:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cobl04 (Post 7689303)
What's all this about? What is calling parliament?

Well parliament has certain scheduled sitting times, and depending on how late the election was called there would be the prospect of it returning from its winter break and sitting again before the election.

That said, it's not as though a party can't gather its elected members any old time, if the occasion is pressing enough. I mean, you know, if Tony Abbott murdered a dog and drank its blood on tv or something.


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