You’d have to think that the odds are narrowing on the possibility of an early election, towards the end of this year.

At best, the Rudd Government’s second stimulatory package will just buy some time — simply delay the inevitable. As long as the global recession continues to deepen and, as a consequence, China’s growth continues to stall, the best Rudd can hope for is to hold up consumer spending by the cash handouts sufficient to avoid a technical recession — namely, two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

The so called “infrastructure spending” will take time to have any effect, especially given the scope for many a slip between the cup and the lip where the States are concerned.

Australia has not “decoupled” from the rest of the world. It’s hard to see how we can avoid a recession later this year (if we are not already there), even if our exchange rate is “allowed” to collapse, and the RBA ultimately catches up with reality with its interest rate policy.

Moreover, the ETS is to be introduced next year with all the scaremongering opportunities that carries for the major polluters.

So why not go the people for a “mandate” to continue with the strategy, especially now that Turnbull has so clearly nailed his colours to the mast, becoming such a fixed target, from both outside and within?

Of course, there will be much about this being a contest of ideologies, but it will never be anything more than base politics!

Peter Fray

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