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Mar 23, 2012

Queensland election: the final countdown

Crikey media wrap: It's Anna Bligh's last full day as Premier of Queensland, with the Liberal National Party expecting an easy victory for new leader Campbell Newman at the polls tomorrow.

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It’s Anna Bligh’s last full day as Premier of Queensland, with the Liberal National Party expecting an easy victory for new leader Campbell Newman at the polls tomorrow.

The front page of today’s Courier-Mail shows just how grim things are for the Labor team …

Ashgrove, the seat that Newman is battling incumbent Labor MP Kate Jones for, has been the most contentious of the campaign. But a new poll from Galaxy shows a boost for Newman, writes William Bowe at Crikey‘s Poll Bludger:

“Just as Galaxy arrived a week ago to support ReachTEL’s contention that Kate Jones had hit the lead in Ashgrove, so it has emerged on the eve of polling day to confirm that Campbell Newman has surged ahead. Whereas last week’s Galaxy poll had the two locked together on 45% of the primary vote, the latest survey of 800 voters conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday evening gives Newman a resounding lead of 52% to 38%, with Jones’s 51.5-48.5 two-candidate lead transformed into a 55-45 lead for Newman.”

That poll represents the whole government, argues Dennis Atkins in The Courier-Mail:

“It’s the death notice of a 13-year-old government, being chased out of town by an angry mob otherwise known as voters.

It might just be a poll on one seat in Brisbane but this seat happens to be this election.”

Not that Anna Bligh is sitting at home waiting for defeat. Jared Owens in The Australian wrote a list of all Bligh’s ridiculous activities from the hustings yesterday (in order):

  • walked the shopping strip of Bulimba;
  • presented students with awards in Greenslopes;
  • played carpet bowls with seniors in Chatsworth;
  • announced an alcohol crackdown in Mount Coot-tha;
  • toured the Northern Busway in Stafford;
  • joined Bob Hawke in Ashgrove;
  • visited a leagues club in Everton;
  • was swamped by schoolchildren in Ferny Grove;
  • drank tea at a neighbourhood centre in Pine Rivers;
  • scored back-to-back spares in Morayfield;
  • lobbied RSL club patrons in Kallangur;
  • strolled a shopping centre in Murrumba;
  • exercised at the Dolphins Club in Redcliffe;
  • sang The Eagles’ Take It Easy with journalists in Lytton;
  • witnessed paper cup production in Woodridge;
  • canvassed night-shift workers in Logan;
  • inspected a warehouse in Algester;
  • cuddled a sick RSPCA puppy in Inala; and
  • greeted newborns at Ipswich General Hospital.

Journalists from the campaign trail have been tweeting various amusing photos and snippets from the leaders’ shenanigans. Bridie Jabour from the Brisbane Times offered up this pic of Bligh, adding “I would laugh but we [are] all dressed like this”:

It seems the LNP are serious about cost cutting, with Koren Helbig from The Courier-Mail tweeting that with no chairs offered to journalists at an LNP costings announcement, they were instead sitting on the floor:

But the journos are getting tired. As Jabour tweeted last night:

Labor’s most loved Bob Hawke was wheeled out yesterday to help Bligh and her team in the final straight and Hawke was in classic form, says The Age‘s Tony Wright:

“Hawke at 82 proved he still had the touch. Labor supporters, given less than 24 hours notice, trooped in to the Gaythorne RSL in the Brisbane suburb of Mitchellton, keen not just to hear him speak, but to line up to be photographed with him.

And Old Silver wasn’t about to disappoint.

”I didn’t come up here today to launch a personal attack on Campbell Newman,” Hawke declared innocently.

”But I’ve got to say, in all objectivity you’ve got to ask yourself a question …”

The question, of course, was about Campbell Newman’s qualities as man and as an Australian. And in Bob

Hawke’s estimation, he failed dismally on both counts.”

Where would Labor be without Bodgie? asks Andrew Fraser in The Australian:

“When Labor is in trouble anywhere in Australia, it sends for Bob Hawke.”

Bob Katter’s Australia Party has been engaging in dirty tricks, argues the LNP. As Adam Davies reports in Toowoomba’s Chronicle:

“Over the past two days, leaflets have started appearing in letterboxes across the electorate looking like campaign material from the LNP.

The leaflets have also been distributed at Toowoomba’s nursing homes and aged care facilities.

The leaflets carry the same colours and design used by the LNP in all their election material and intimates that a vote for Campbell Newman would be a vote for gay marriage.

They imply that the Liberal National Party’s leader Campbell Newman is a supporter of gay marriage.”

The mastermind behind the campaign is none other than former high profile National Party member Luke Shaw who is now campaign director for Bob Katter’s Australian Party.”

Not all Queenslanders will be casting their votes tomorrow, reports Tony Moore in Brisbane Times.

“More than one in 10 adult Queenslanders are not on the electoral roll to vote in tomorrow’s state election.

Although 2.75 million Queenslanders were expected to cast their votes this weekend, the Australian Electoral Commission estimated about 417,500 Queenslanders — 13.19% — were not on the roll.”

The Napoleonic Newman is soon to face his Waterloo, writes Terry Sweetman at The Courier-Mail:

“Napoleon’s first barrier was when he discovered there were only 46,000 combat-ready men left in his army.

Newman’s first hurdle will be in the first week when he receives a briefing from Treasury on the state’s accounts.”

Amber Jamieson —

Amber Jamieson

Freelance journalist in New York

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41 thoughts on “Queensland election: the final countdown

  1. DeeToo

    In 2011 in Townsville I went to my very last Labour Day march. If you were there you will know why.

    If you were there and don’t know why, you weren’t listening to the “annual report”; as you may have been amongst those who were there only for the free beer and a long, loud chat with your mates; the long, loud chats that meant those in the crowd who wanted to hear could not.

    The “annual report” and other components of the day included reports on such gems as the disingenuous and directionless campaign on Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Stolen Wages; the QCU Values campaign that is yet to happen; the failure to remove the ABCC questionably resting in Senate numbers; the failed “Shame Anna Shame” and other components of the half-hearted campaign against privatisation, amongst others.

    The deputy mayor of an LNP-based Townsville City Council (TCC) was permitted to address the crowd. This person was formerly a police officer with I am told a very poor relationships reputation and a representative of the Queensland Police well known as the suppressive and oppressive arm of governments. The QCU Townsville should not seek its sponsorship funding from the TCC at any time and irrespective of whatever party has control it should look elsewhere.

    If you are a true unionist from Townsville and weren’t there you already know why!

    If you have read your most recent union newsletter you may have already decided not to attend in 2012; it is as though the privatisation of tax-payer owned assets never occurred; it is as though the tripling of stamp duty on existing homes didn’t happen; it is as though a wide range of increases in the cost of living (way beyond inflation and wage increases), notably car registration, electricity and water, never happened; it is as though the forced amalgamation of local governments never happened; it is as though the state is not in debt of $85 billion; it is as though deputy premier and treasurer has not overseen the loss of a AAA international credit rating; it is though we have forgotten the continuing massive job losses, the increasing high rate of unemployment and the abysmal high rate of youth unemployment; it is as though all of the recommendations of the Black Deaths in Custody Royal Commission were finally implemented in Queensland; it is as though the Queensland Health staff pay debacle never happened; it is though police are no longer permitted to investigate the crimes committed by police against citizens; and on and on it goes.

    If you have paid attention to Anna Bligh’s defamatory campaign against Campbell Newman you may have already decided never to vote for the ALP again. It is a mystery how any of this personal smear campaign against a man and his family is related to good governance of the state.

    I know which side I am on – I am on the side of the workers – and I have been so since I entered the workforce in the 1960s.

    I also know the ALP parliamentary and administrative wings are on the bosses side.

    Whose side are you on? I am not sure at all of the QCU stance which is calling for honesty in politics?

    I know it is the fault of the ACTU, the QCU and the respective presidents and their predecessors.

    These people have let the religious far right AWU and SDA take control of the Party, at all levels.

    There is another disingenuous little gem that is solely the doing of the QCU; it is the Charter for Working Queenslanders. The false premise of this campaign is that once a candidate makes a commitment to do or not do something the Queensland ALP Cabinet will not over-rule any individual commitments made by a candidate or member. The retiring member for Mundinburra , the member for Townsville and the member for Thuringowa were all forced by the Cabinet to support the decisions on privatisation: these people failed to represent the people in their electorate. They also failed the people of their electorate again recently over the issue of a failure to fund the new Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Townsville Hospital.

    As for the civil unions legislation it might be considered genuine if it was actually marriage equality for all people but as it is now it is just an election stunt perpetrated by the deputy premier.

  2. Frank Campbell

    Marks: “The labor (sic) movement is far less relevant than it was in the 20thC”

    We’re going to see many comments like this in the coming days. The website Marks quotes from is headed “For people who are socially liberal and economically rational”

    The proposition is simple:
    “the Labor movement itself is far less relevant any more. It was born from an era when manufacturing was the largest employing sector. It isn’t any more, and it is shrinking all the time.”

    It’s a simple yet moronic proposition:

    (i) low-paid “service” jobs have replaced manufacturing. these jobs, as well as middle-class service jobs, are insecure. Therefore we need a workers’ party more than ever.
    (ii) The ALP embraced economic rationalism in the 1980s. It also shared the social liberalisation which began in the 1960s and accelerated from the 80s. The ALP tries to mitigate the impact of economic rationalism, but generally fails. Credit capitalism’s phony prosperity masked the vicious tendencies of economic rationalism. The crisis now is mainly to do with managing the decline. Hence the paranoia over the mining super-profits tax: fear of killing the last remaining golden goose…

    The ALP is not in a fit state to represent underclass or working class interests. It is hopelessly compromised by corporatism. Little more than an incestuous clique of upwardly mobile lawyers who morph into corporate consultants when their electoral time expires.

    Note that the Greens’ hubris in claiming Labour’s reformist mantle is just that- hubris. The Greens are overwhelmingly a low-postcode party, a party of myopic, sanctimonious, well-heeled carbon gluttons. As Bob Brown said “we Greens are great travellers”- he wasn’t referring to bicycles. The Greens are incapable of realising that their magical short-cut to social and environmental nirvana, climate millenarianism, has merely facilitated the rise of the Right. Ironically, Green-driven hysteria has also crushed any prospects that the promising hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming had of being taken seriously.

  3. Edward James

    @ Frank Campbell. Crikey.com may have lost its way! Like other subscribers I supported Crikey.com with my subscription because I considered it a good electronic soapbox for activist like me. Perhaps I am, living in the past when Stephen Mayne owned it? It is difficult for me to write things about big picture politics because I just do not have the broad base of political knowledge which others seem to have. When I spend time and reword my comments to avoid defamations as best I can, it sucks to have stuff censored by very an automated programe until it is no longer part of current conversations. After all I am not an unknown sock puppet! I was well into my fifties before I voted, I became involved over ten years ago when our local council tried to standover my father. Some years after I starting demonstrating outside NSW Parliament, I was resting in the back of my ute in the lane behind NSW Parliament one night. When I realized what a hypocrite I was; To be screaming out in front of Parliament in the pouring rain. “There is more democracy flows down the gutter with the rain than flows from the oldest Parliament in this country” I went home to the Central Coast and registered to vote. Crikey.com has let its subscribers down with their woeful almost non existance coverage of the Queensland elections on the weekend. Which was a watershed in Australian politics. Post mortums or nothing at all may be on a par with News Limited work product but it is not worthy of what Crikey.com once was! Edward James

  4. Jenny Haines

    Frank Campbell – and the Coalition has no lawyers? Please! Each party has to have its training ground . Its true there are a plethora of lawyers and trade union officials in the ALP. I prefer the trade union officials because they are often better trained for politics. Mind you, even trade union officials are now eyeing off the Greens in their disgust with Labor. And the training ground for the Coalition – business, the law, finance, public relations, peak employer organisations. Stop pussyfooting around and recognise that the major parties represent particular social forces, classes and vested interests in this country. The ALP is no more evil than any other party in this respect. That is not to say that there is no room for reform in the ALP but I despair after each election loss. Enquiries are held and the wrong conclusions are drawn. In the face of defeat the party becomes more conservative, more cautious. More members drift away as they see more and more of the party taken away from them. Mind you, you also have to remember there is a passing of the generations here – a lot of ALP members are over 50, over 70 even, and there must be a natural attrition rate as that generation dies. But they are not being replaced by the younger generation who by and large are not party joiners in the traditional sense and prefer the Get Up type campaigning. Get Up has its place but to really learn and understand politics you need to be a member of a party.

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