Sep 3, 2013

Richard Farmer’s campaign bites

The media has given up on pretending this election campaign is actually a contest and is now focusing on what Tony Abbott will do when he is prime minister.

Richard Farmer

Crikey political commentator

Campaign reading. Journalists have moved on from writing about who will win to consider how Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will actually be able to govern. Laura Tingle gives her version of "Abbott may be forced to reap what he’s sown", behind the paywall in the Financial Review:
"After Tony Abbott’s hard line in opposition, the prospect of Labor taking an equally no-holds-barred approach to respect for mandates is pretty strong."
Back in the days when rugby league players worked for a living before going off to training, Glenn Lazarus was a used car salesman in the national capital. Come July next year he might return as the senator who prevents the Laura Tingle horror scenario for Abbott from coming about.

That at least is one interpretation of the latest Nielsen poll of voting intentions in Queensland by Tingle's Fin teammate Phillip Coorey as he asks "Could Clive Palmer really be a force in the Senate?"
"Former rugby league player Glenn Lazarus has an outside chance of winning a Queensland Senate seat for Clive Palmer’s new party, and Labor is clinging to its eight seats in the Sunshine state and will struggle to pick up more. "If the former Brisbane Broncos prop is elected, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will be a step closer to being able to abolish the carbon tax without relying on the agreement of Labor or the Greens."
The country's deep problems, such as a budget stuck in deficit, will not change just because the government changes on Saturday, says The Age's Tim Colebatch. "Labor's problems will soon be Abbott's woes", he cautions, saying the difficulties the Opposition Leader has exploited against Labor will become his to manage:
"One reason Labor had so much trouble governing is that the problems are so tough, and it did not control the Parliament. "From Monday, these will be Tony Abbott's problems. Wish him luck."
The 1991 defeat of John Hewson's Liberals after they told the Australian people in a 650-page manifesto exactly how they planned to govern has influenced our political parties ever since, explains Peter Hartcher in "Fearful leaders can’t see voters seek truth". According to this analysis, the evasions of the politicians are all our own fault.
"We had shown the political parties, as clearly as possible, that we were not interested in the truth. 'Don’t tell us your real plans. We prefer political fairy tales. Tell us that story again, the one where we get lots of goodies at no cost.' "This is precisely what Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd are telling us today. Fairy tales."
"Goodies, baddies and the ugly ALP" -- Defence correspondent Ian McPhedran in the Sydney Daily Telegraph believes if there were a moment in this election campaign when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Labor Senator Penny Wong and Labor’s brains trust proved how far out of touch they had become, it was their ludicrous over-reaction to Abbott’s "baddies versus baddies" Syria comment. "PM’S interests too vested for comfort" -- Jacqueline Maley on the trail with the fluoro vest-wearing PM for the SMH finds a man who, despite the message of the polls, for the moment at least is still "the Man" with young Australians. Our campaign honour board:

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5 thoughts on “Richard Farmer’s campaign bites

  1. CML

    Richard – Re: the article by Tim Colebatch which you mention: I have no sympathy for Abbott in relation to the state of the current federal budget. If you want to know why, read Alan Austin’s article in the Independent Australia newspaper, ‘We really must talk about the Howard and Costello economic disaster’.
    The previous Coalition government, in which Abbott was a senior minister, caused the current mess, so it is only fitting that he (Abbott) should clean it up! Why is it that not even in Crikey do we hear the FACTS this comment piece contains?
    There are a lot of misguided LNP drones parroting a lot of nonsense it seems, particularly in the MSM!!

  2. Matt Hardin

    Could the coalition numbers be broken into National and Liberal, after all Mr Abbott has refused to do deals with minor parties to firm a government. We need to know the Liberal numbers.

  3. klewso

    Then there’s Katter and Tony Crook (a “WA Gnat”)?

  4. AR

    I think you’ll find that Hewson lost the unlosable in 1993 not 1991.

  5. Richard Farmer

    AR -Quite right. I just cut and pasted from the SMH without thinking.
    Thank you.

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