tip off

The power of Wilkie

Andrew Wilkie is playing a clever hand with his anti-pokies policy auction by promising a decision before the other three independents have barely started sweeping deliberations with department heads and senior big party politicians.

Julia Gillard met with Wilkie for an hour on Saturday and was given until today to respond to his letter listing 20 key areas of interest with the two so-called deal breakers being meaningful pokies reform and some funding for the long neglected Hobart hospital.

Tony Abbott is meeting with Wilkie today to receive the same letter and then the famous intelligence whistleblower expects to announce his decision by Wednesday.

Whoever wins Wilkie’s support gets into the driver’s seat by moving to 74 seats, assuming you allocate WA National Tony Crook to the Coalition and Green Adam Bandt to Labor. My money is on Wilkie’s choice determining the government because the successful applicant would then only require two of the three rural independents to form a government.

Whilst Katter is a wild card, Oakeshott and Windsor will probably stick together and pursue an outcome than retains their key balance of power position. Unless all three are emphatically behind one side or the other, the only way to take Katter out of the equation is to follow Wilkie’s decision.

If Wilkie supports Gillard, it is very hard to see how the three rural independents could prop up an Abbott Government which served for more than a few months.

For starters, various renegade Nats could bring the house down, although the two most voluble – Barnaby Joyce and John Williams — are in the Senate and irrelevant to any vote of no confidence in the House of Representatives.

The other destabilising element is the coming High Court challenge to two new Coalition MPs who foolishly failed to resign their positions on local councils before being elected.

Former Campbelltown mayor Russell Matheson, the new Liberal member for Macarthur, is even promising to stay on Liverpool council despite serving in the Federal Parliament.

And George Christensen, the new CLP member for Dawson, only formally quit the Mackay Regional Council last week after it was clear he’d scored a political promotion.

Both these chaps could fall foul of section 44 (iv) of the Constitution which prohibits anyone enjoying an office of profit under the crown from nominating for Federal Parliament.

Independent Phil Cleary and Liberal Jacqui Kelly both faced by-elections after coming a cropper in court challenges relying on this constitutional provision, but the High Court has never been asked whether this includes councillor stipends.

As a councillor in Victoria running for the Senate, I received very strong advice to quit before the election but this was ignored given there was no prospect of success.

The Coalition holds Dawson by just 2.08% and Macarthur by 3.17% so Labor sympathizers would definitely have a crack at the High Court given success would trigger two by-elections in winnable marginal seats that would bring down a minority Abbott Government.

As the major parties contemplate just how far they push the pokies reform agenda to secure Wilkie’s support, it is worth considering a report in the Fairfax broadsheets today which quotes an academic study showing John Howard’s guns buyback policy reduced suicides using a fire-arm by 200 a year.

If you can buy back guns and water licences, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t buy back pokies licences.

Sure, it will be expensive to compensate State governments, but think of the benefit to those citizens who are currently losing almost $10 billion a year playing the pokies. A whopping $4 billion of those losses are estimated to come from Australia’s 100,000 problem gamblers.

No other country on earth has comparable statistics, so why wouldn’t Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott take up the challenge and commit to things like the $1 maximum bet as the Productivity Commission recommended?

67
  • 1
    Robert Bromwich
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    One correction and one addition - the correction is for the member-elect for Dawson who was preselected for the LNP (put it down to fat finger syndrome).

    The addition is Jane Prentice, the Brisbane City Council representative for the Walter Taylor ward. My understanding is that she took leave of absence for the duration of the campaign and only submitted here departure notice with council after polling day.

    Given the tightness of the 2010 result, could mean that the ‘coalition’ could be reduced to 70 and independents/minor party reps up to 8.

  • 2
    Joan Fox
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    stephen thanks for such an incisive informed review of the current situation. general news type facts provided by most are fine but knowledge and insight of the kind you have provided here are really what makes an article excellent, and the exchange between reader and writer worthwhile.

  • 3
    Go for it!
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    The only government that has any chance of surviving is the ALP.

    I cant see Wilkie ever supporting the LNP but if by some fluke Abbott gets to be PM he wont last that long and Labor will be back with a big majority.

  • 4
    sickofitall
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    That’s a very interesting statistic about suicide by gun. Is there any figure (I’m not pro-gun per se, but it seems worth asking) as to what the figures were before and are now. If for example it was 10000 people a year (I suspect it’s nowhere near that!) then 200 is better than nothing, but still negligible. If it was 1000, then that’s, well, 20%, which is pretty good. If it was 250…. and on…

  • 5
    David Sanderson
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Given that these stipends are little more than compensation for expenses incurred it seems unlikely that constitutional challenges will succeed.

    The general thrust - that a Gillard government is more likely - I do agree with, pretty much for the reasons stated in the article.

  • 6
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Yes it might have reduced suicide by gun but did it reduce over all suicide numbers? I don’t think so.

    As for the lieberals, they are making a dog’s breakfast out of everything and Chrissy Pyne was trying to defend Heffo and Schultz this am as if ringing and announcing the devil is calling is a good look.

  • 7
    Michael R James
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Neither ALP or Coalition will agree to Wilkie’s no pokies wish, but I reckon Gillard can agree to a conscience vote on the issue. It is hard to see such a vote not succeeding in the House. But I suppose I may be looking through rose-tinted glasses given that the Liberals combined with Labor to defeat the $1 limit in Tasmania so as to appease the gambling industry there! This is the first time in the 4 months of the Labor-Green coalition government that the Greens have put their foot down: are those people who continue to slur the Greens want to speak up and call them the Loonies?

    As to making up the “lost” revenue, that is like saying government should subsidize the losses of drug dealers when there is a heroin drought! In fact forcing this issue may just bring some clarity to the miner’s tax nonsense: Australians need to realize that there is no free lunch and if they want bigger pensions and all sorts of social welfare costs borne by the state (some created by the gambling problem) then ask them where they want that money to come from. Their salary taxes, problem gamblers, drinkers and smokers, stamp duty, higher road tolls or poorer health care — -or a fairer share of the booming mining profits?

  • 8
    sickofitall
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    @Michael R. James: very well put indeed.

  • 9
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I have no particular wish to support the Coalition.

    Even so, the two Coalition politicians currently facing electoral challenges have my sympathies, to some extent.

    I think the current, rather unclear legal situation that forces many potential candidates to resign public sector jobs or other positions and to reliquish dual nationality - BEFORE being successfully elected to the Federal Parliament - is neither reasonable nor justifiable.

    It needs to be sorted out by Parliament, followed by referendum if necessary. We need simple, clear and rational eligibility requirements that do not unduly discriminate against potential new candidates (thereby favouring the major parties and especially sitting members).

  • 10
    sickofitall
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    @Syd Walker: I must say I agree and was about to post something similar. Once you are elected, yes, you must leave your jobs. But, if a public servant decides to run for (say) the ALP, and has demonstrated fairness and professionalism, why not let him or her run, and go back to their job. If they are seriou0sly compromised, that can be dealt with. If not, what is the harm.

    Of course, the Lord Mayor of Sydney is the latest in a long line to hold two elected positions. she seems to be able to do both (whether one agrees with her or not is a different matter…)

  • 11
    Troy C
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I cant see Wilkie ever supporting the LNP but if by some fluke Abbott gets to be PM he wont last that long and Labor will be back with a big majority.

    That’s what you hope will happen. That might not be what happens.

  • 12
    Michael R James
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    On gun law issues: see Table.
    Note that the big jump is between those countries with loose gun law (France and above — look in the big department stores like Gallerie Lafayette and be shocked by the gun displays) and the rest. Note also that low suicide rates in strongly Catholic countries (Ireland, Italy) are almost certainly mis-reported by officialdom.
    Also note that Switzerland is way up the list; the Swiss, home of the Glock semi-auto pistol most favoured gun by police around the world, are often the poster boys for “a gun in every home” (the law there, part of national defense); not only do the Swiss kill each other a lot but they don’t like themselves much either — fair judgement!
    (Omitted from table: all of South American and the newly independent ex-USSR states)

    Country………………Firearm-related
    …………………………..death rate………….Homicides……….Suicides
    United States……….15.22………………………..7.07…………………7.35
    Finland………………..6.86………………………..0.86…………………5.78
    Northern Ireland…6.82………………………..5.24…………………1.34
    Switzerland…………6.40………………………..0.58…………………5.61
    France…………………6.35………………………..0.44…………………5.14
    Canada………………..4.78………………………..0.76…………………3.72
    Austria………………..4.56………………………..0.42…………………4.06
    Norway………………4.39………………………..0.30…………………3.95
    Portugal………………3.72………………………..1.28…………………1.28
    Belgium………………3.48………………………..0.60…………………2.56
    Slovenia………………3.07………………………..0.35…………………2.51
    Israel………………….3.00………………………..0.72…………………1.84
    Italy……………………2.95………………………..1.66…………………1.11
    Australia…………….2.94………………………..0.44…………………2.35
    New Zealand……….2.66………………………..0.17…………………2.14
    Netherlands…………0.70………………………..0.36…………………0.31
    Scotland………………0.58………………………..0.19…………………0.33
    England/Wales…….0.46………………………..0.07…………………0.03

    *rates per 100,000 population.

  • 13
    Michael R James
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Marilyn, you may be right. The Swiss suicide rate is 17.5 per 100,00 and is comparatively high; one third (5.6) is due gun-related (see table in my other Comment that is under moderation because of its Table), so if guns were not available, the rate would probably drop but it could not be dramatic; say if the gun rate dropped by half then the overall suicide rate would drop from 17.5 to about 14. Clearly in Switzerland guns are not the main issue.
    Incidentally my throwaway line about the Swiss murder rate was just a joke but actually wrong on one count: despite the highest gun ownership in the world (every household by law must have a gun and the training to use it) they have a low gun-related homicide rate; only 0.58 barely different to Australia’s at 0.44.

  • 14
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Indeed Syd … IIRC the ALP candidate in SWentworth ran into the same troubles, and although he wasn’t elected (fairly obviously Turnbull was) it cast a pall over his campaign, based on the fact that he was an occasional member of some consumer disputes body.

    Simply dumb

  • 15
    David Sanderson
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Marilyn isn’t right. The analysis out to day used sophisticated statistical techniques that took into account other suicide methods, substitution etc.

    The results also chime with common sense. If you remove something that makes suicide very easy and pleasingly dramatic (in the ‘sending a message’ kind of way) then it is very likely you will reduce suicides, especially those that have a spontaneous aspect to them.

  • 16
    Nereus
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    The reason for requiring “public officers” to resign prior to being elected relates to any potential allegations that they have used knowledge or information acquired as part of their public employment to assist them gain office. For example a Treasury Analysist who has access to sensitive information that could damage an opponent or provide an unfair advantage. Basically it is an issue of managing any possible “conflict of interest”.

  • 17
    GlenTurner1
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    There is no need to buy back poker machine licenses. Just raise the regulated payback to 100% and they will all disappear from hotels overnight.

    The government might then need to get serious about continuous grants to sporting and social organisations. Which makes its balance sheet look bad, even though the balance sheet for society as a whole is much better. Why do we think it’s acceptable for small sporting clubs to have to weigh evils (such as accepting a sponsorship from a fast food chain) just so kids can run around and have fun?

    On the thought of serving on a local council being an “office of profit under the Crown”. “Office”, yes. “Of profit”, that’s so far from the reality as to be black humour.

  • 18
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Glad to get some supportive comments on the eligibility issue.

    I’m surprised this hasn’t come up more as an issue in the national media. In my small circle in one electorate, I know several people discouraged from standing in recent elections for these reasons alone. Either they weren’t willing to resign their public service/teaching jobs, or they were reluctant to relinquish dual nationality which helped them maintain a connection with their country of birth.

    It’s reasonable to give these things up on election IMO, but not as a condition for standing.

    If this ends up becoming a significant issue - and with lawyers whetting their lips, I imagine that’s not unlikely - maybe the cross benchers could take it up and get bipartisan agreement for reform that don’t just favour the majors?

  • 19
    Mack the Knife
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    @David S
    You may be correct that the stipend is compensation for expenses occurred in your area but in Queensland local government councilors occupy well salaried positions and are more often than not Liberal or Labor elected appointees.

    It has long been known about the necessity to resign these positions before competing for federal parliament and many others have had to follow suit in the past.

    Certainly the member for Mackay has no excuse for not resigning and is most unlikely to survive a constitutional challenge. I agree with you about the others though.

  • 20
    sickofitall
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    @Nereus: Eminently sensible of course, but would not a decent compromise be to have the officer stand down (Leave WO Pay if necessary) during the campaign (or whenever s/he nominates). If s/he abuses their advantages, they can be removed from the election (and their job if it is serious enough). If not, the usual law should apply…

  • 21
    Socratease
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    @GlenTurner1

    There is no need to buy back poker machine licenses. Just raise the regulated payback to 100% and they will all disappear from hotels overnight.

    As a government, before you float that proposal, what do you propose by way of recompense for the then valueless poker machine licences which in NSW are reportedly fetching around $100,000 per machine, not to mention the also valueless machines which cost around $10,000 each?

  • 22
    Mack the Knife
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Whilst Labor might be ‘owned’ or beholden to the unions, there is a big list of companies and corporations that own the fiberal and national parties and the hoteliers association are definitely going to squeal like stuck pigs if phoney accedes to Wilkie’s demands for poker machine operational changes.

    I’ve rarely played the machines but I have seen friends win large amounts only to gamble away the lot and much more in a very short time. Anything that can lessen the social impact of pokies is not just a ‘nice’ idea but seriously needed.

  • 23
    Scott
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Give Howard his due on gun control. He went up against his constituency in 1996. Not bad for a new PM. That is what they call leadership.
    Also Michael James, those figures are from 1994 (before the gun laws). If you look at the ABS death figures for Australia in 2008, you have intential self harm from firearms at 0.8 per 100,000 population. So when you look at it that way you have a huge reduction in self harm deaths from firearms over 14 years. There is no doubt some of the reduction is due to social safety nets, better identification of mental ilness etc, but the gun laws also have to have had some impact.

  • 24
    ronin8317
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Wilkie’s “list of 20 things” demonstrate his political naivety. When neither of the political party shows any interest in the list, what is he going to do? Hold his breath until his face turn blue?

    Remember Malcolm Turnbull’s challenge George Newhouse in 2007? Newhouse was HAMMERED when the press discovered he did not resign his position in NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal before nominating to run. Dawson sits on 52% LNP, while Macarthur is on 53%. LNP. The Australian constitution does not says much about councils, as they’re an invention of the State government. Given that State government employees have to resign their position before running for Federal office, what they did was stupid. Nevertheless, the Australian High Court justices are a pretty pragmatic bunch, and the LAST thing they want is to pick sides in a Federal election (unlike their US counterparts).

  • 25
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Ronin, the High court don’t “pick sides”, they read the law of the land and that is all.

  • 26
    SBH
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    well for some reason that got moderated but Vexnews attributes a range of choice comments to this big boy.

  • 27
    Socratease
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    ^ Posts containing URLs (links) are automatically moderated. If and when a moderator gets around to reviewing/releasing them is another question.

  • 28
    kevrenor
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I stood 8 times for State Parliament (obviously unsuccessfully for a minor party) when a state public servant .. and only required to resign before declaration of the polls - state law.

    I could not stand for Commonwealth elections - due to the national constitution.

    It all comes out of the19th c.

  • 29
    Fool
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    There is absolutely no need to compensate any of the businesses or corporations; they have not paid the full price for their poker licenses, which includes the social harm and crime caused by gambling addiction.
    No need to buy back the pokies licenses; just change the legislation!

  • 30
    Outstanding Outcome For Australia
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Gillard will be PM

    The 3 will split with Oakeshott, Windsor, Wilkie and the Green giving Gillard 76 and Katter will make it 77 when he see the writing on the wall.

  • 31
    Sausage Maker
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    So, Wilkie is a rank political opportunist but Crikey, and other centre left publications, are singing his praise as an angel fighting for truth, justice and honesty. Like Bandt, Katter and Crook Wilkie only has 1 viable option that doesn’t make him look like a power grubbing hack. Here is a guy who made his name as a whistle blower against the Iraq war while working at the ONA. Whistle blowing against the same very goons that are leading the Coalition and that got us into Iraq.

    But wait. Its only the “faceless, nameless” faction leaders of the ALP that are power hungry, morally and politically bankrupt apparatchiks and Wilkie the sweet, innocent hero.

  • 32
    David Sanderson
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    Easy there Sausage, your hysteria is showing.

  • 33
    David Sanderson
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    There such comedians over there at Centrebet - they have Wyatt Roy as a 50 to 1 chance to lead the Liberal Party at the next election. Wyatt Earp is more likely to lead them - he may be dead but at least he has some experience.

  • 34
    Outstanding Outcome For Australia
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Newsflash

    Coalition now ahead of Labor on 2 party preferred by 500 votes, see AEC website

    Wonder how Gillard will spin that now.

    They are still ahead by 500,000 votes on first preference.

  • 35
    Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    then 200 is better than nothing

    I think 200 less suicides is a lot better than nothing. Even if it is a small proportion of the total (which is about 2000 per year), the immediacy of action available to follow intent and the finality of that action has devastating results. There is no time for a person to pass through a crisis point, less preparation is needed and less chance of just sustaining and injury, plus there is an erroneous illusion fostered by movie/tv images that it is a painless and instant. There is a reason the high rural suicide rates features males and firearms.

    The only good thing Howard did, IMO.

  • 36
    Puff, the Magic Dragon.
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Fool,
    Seems fair to me! There should be no buy-back of pokie licences. Just cancel them. The licence holders went into this gig hoping to make easy money off the misery of others, now they lose their gamble.

  • 37
    Socratease
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Those of you who are proposing blanket cancellation of pokie licences, etc, seem to think that governments can destroy legal businesses, in the shape of pubs and clubs, by legislation without the those affected having recourse at law.

    That is the sort of thoughtless nonsense I’d expect of Fielding.

  • 38
    David Sanderson
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Thank you, Socratease. Wilkie’s proposal is doable, cancelling licences is not.

  • 39
    AR
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Sausage - Wilkie was meticulous in resigning the Onanists before making his views public. He revealed nothing secret at any time. Everyone able to breath with undue intellectual effort knew the Rodent, Shrub & Bliar were mendacious - Wilkie simply conformed it.

  • 40
    Gotsumptintasay
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Newsflash

    Wilkie votes before the Independents for…………..Labor Oh what a surprise that is!!!!!!!!
    Former coalition whistleblower, publicly hates Liberals, Tasmanian constituents rusted on Labor and an ex Green party member. Awww cmon is this a real story?

  • 41
    Glenn
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Ahemmmmm………

    Coalition snatches vote lead from Labor
    By Sarah Collerton
    The Coalition has pulled ahead in the two-party preferred vote as three key independents held more talks with party leaders in an effort to decide who to support.

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard had been using Labor’s two-party preferred lead as a reason why four independent MPs should back her party to form a minority government.

  • 42
    TheTruthHurts
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Wilkie is Irrelevent in the scheme of things.

    Abbott just needs the 3 conservative MP’s and it’s done like a dogs dinner.

    Abbott can now claim:

    1. The most seats won
    2. The highest primary vote
    3. Won the “Gillard Test” Two-Party Preferred popular vote.

    OH YES WE CAN…. OH YES WE DID!

  • 43
    TheTruthHurts
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    I knew the moment Gillie took her desperate line that Labor got the highest Two Party Preferred that it would come back to bite her in the ass.

    If you want to see the quality of leadership and judgement, here it is. How bloody stupid could you be that only a day or so after the election, with a mere 50.5% lead in TPP and knowing that a ton of postal votes were yet to come in that mostly favour the Libs, to use the TPP as the reason why Labor won.

    Stupid, absolutely STUPID. I’m not too sure this redhead isn’t in fact a blonde in disguise.

  • 44
    Gotsumptintasay
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Please Bryce hurry up make a D. Every day before July 1 is precious. We’ve blown 1 billion in interest sice election day and the coalition need to ram through the stops on school canteens and the ‘nice to have’ but not essential NBN. Don’t cry for Julia there is a spot at full forward in the Doggies line up during the finals.

  • 45
    kevrenor
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Lord preserve me!

    The frickin counts aren’t all completed or writs returned yet.

    Also what financial bullshit are you peddling, Gotsumptintasay?

  • 46
    gregferguson
    Posted Monday, 30 August 2010 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    Thetruthhurts…I can’t wait to see your face when, quite apart from the TPP, quite apart from the number of seats, quite apart from Tony’s pronouncements to the contrary, the ALP returns to the Government benches. Why?

    Because the LNP may have nearly won the won the war, but they totally blew the peace. Idiots like Joyce, Truss and Heffernan have shown the true face of a LNP Government..nasty, mendacious and vindictive. Tony’s and his “faceless men” routine has no comparison the fools in his own camp.

    Do you really think the independants are going to give these guys Government after the disgraceful performance they have shown since election night?

    Ya dreamin!

  • 47
    Socratease
    Posted Tuesday, 31 August 2010 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    Reality check: these guys are politicians. Mendacity is part of their stock in trade.

    At the end of the day, self-interest will dictate their choices. The rest is window dressing.

  • 48
    TheTruthHurts
    Posted Tuesday, 31 August 2010 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Do you really think the independants are going to give these guys Government after the disgraceful performance they have shown since election night?

    Absolutely.

    There is no doubt in my mind these independents will do a deal with the coalition. All the stuff you see currently is posturing. The Nats/Libs and Independents are natural enemies and have long been so because the seats they fight in are conservative seats almost always stolen from the Nats. But IF it was a two horse race between the Nats/Libs and Labor in these same electorates, the Nats/Libs would romp home.

    The Independents know this. They know that the Libs are their enemies in their electorates, thats why they put on a bit of a show. It’s what I like to call Similar Difference.

    The thing is though, in these electorates Labor is simply UNELECTABLE. Not a threat to the Independents in their own seats, but a threat to them if look like they ARE Labor supporters. That would kill em at the polls.

    Now I know you inner city latte sippers have troubles getting this… heck what would I know, being a former Charters Towers resident right smack bang in Katter country, and now residing in Townsville smack back in swinging voter country. You academics from the hub of out-of-touch latteville sure have a pulse on the nation with your great predictions of solid Labor wins.

    Nope sorry fella’s, as I have stated in previous threads in the poll bludger forum it’s the semi-urban centres that will decide the election, inner city seats are irrelevent. What you would like to happen just isn’t in touch with what WILL happen.

  • 49
    Sausage Maker
    Posted Tuesday, 31 August 2010 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Socratease,

    So why is Crikey giving Wilkie, and the other independents, a pass and treating them like saints? Crikey is constantly (and correctly) pointing out News Ltd’s biased and one dimensional reporting yet applies the same technique when discussing “those who can do no wrong”, ie the independents.

    At the moment we have the usual suspects like Paul Sheehan and Gerard Henderson and News Ltd treating the independents as four horsemen of the apocalypse and Crikey and non right wing sources treating them as holier than Jesus, Mother Teresa and Mary Mackillop combined.

    So much for the crappy Australian media improving after the election.

  • 50
    Socratease
    Posted Tuesday, 31 August 2010 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    @Sausage Maker:

    So much for the crappy Australian media improving after the election.

    But why would that happen? We don’t elect the media.

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