Getting it wrong in Queensland

Rosemary Lynch writes: Re. “Poll Bludger: why everyone (including me) failed to see Labor’s Qld win coming” (February 3). It is important to consider what happened here in Queensland because the political culture is quite different.  My impression after 35 years here (yep, I thought I needed a passport when I first came), is that Queenslanders have learned, often to their cost here, that politics has personal impact.  It reflects the possibility of your not being able to get a permanent job in the public service, or sometimes to get a job at all, if other people know your preference. I put up an ALP support poster on my house and got a notice from Brisbane City Council telling me to remove trees with an overhang of a 2 metre fence.  My neighbours didn’t.  I have come home from holidays to find three trees in my yard poisoned. Fun, fun, fun.

In relation to the ABC Vote Compass there were a whole series of questions that misfired in Queensland. Concern for law and order is usually a conservative voter issue, but in 2015 Queensland the co-option of the Crime and Misconduct Commission by the LNP and the appointment of a ring-in as Chief Justice reminded people how corrupt Bjelke-Petersen’s system was — thanks to the help of lawyers, Tony Fitzgerald and others in the media, even Alan Jones! Vote Compass had me picked as Green, but the Greens could not get the LNP out.  That is what the people wanted.

The other standout was the media coverage. The Courier Mail was a nightmare, more than usual, the radio journos pushed the LNP, and many ALP candidates didn’t speak, seeing what the media did to Annastacia Palaszczuk.  But what was even more interesting was that the ALP ran an Obama-style telephone campaign. They phoned electors on mobiles and line phones, canvassing the issues, initially offering candidate followup.  People asked “am I speaking to a person?” and the reply was  “yes, our candidate does want to know your views”.  They did not welcome robocalls.

The ALP letterboxed and doorknocked with the help of unions and local volunteers committed to get the LNP out, in 37 degree heat and in pouring rain. Huge saturation. They didn’t need the media, except for the proposed budget. And, no-brainer, people didn’t want the assets sold and they are frightened of fracking.  The Queensland Rail sell-off the ALP did last time cost lots of jobs. Bill Shorten’s presence may have been good, but I can’t recall him saying anything relevant to the local election. Get ready for this sort of campaign in NSW:  it will work, as it did in Victoria.  Mr Bowe needs to think about that.

Lenovo has form

Kerry Henry writes: Re. “Lenovo screwed by the Superfish: a cybersecurity nightmare” (Friday). Not surprised at Lenovo. I bought a laptop in 2014. Have since requested via their ‘”unsubscribe” link to be deleted from their newsletters.One goes to a new webpage that confirms the ‘unsubscribe’ that will take up to 10 days to occur. It should be instant, and I’ve had to put in at least a dozen requests since. What The?

Stop The Sloganeering

Chris Davis writes: Re. “Would you want the Immigration Minister as your legal guardian?” (Thursday). Whilst I am not sure I agree with his final points, I do like that we should all be discussing the possible humane solutions to the refugee issue. There has to be a solution that does not have off shore gulags and the inherent cruelty we are administering. Was Chris Bowen’s regional processing centre a good idea? Will there be a flood if we closed the camps or have they historically just coincided with nasty world events like our invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Arab Spring revolts and the Sri Lankan civil war? How big is that flood and can we manage it? Is the “refugee threshold” too low? Are we being taken advantage of by the people smugglers? Do we gain anything locking up poor fisherman for 20 years with no famous artists or their family visiting them? Can Indonesia make it harder for smuggled people to fly in? Can we talk more about the questions, choices and solutions, and have less partisan slogans and lies (e.g. 50,000 deaths at sea) and victimisation of people who are already victims? This needs to be a bipartisan issue again.

On Michael Danby

Marcus L’Estrange writes: Re. “Danby challenged” (Friday). When I stood for ALP preselection against Clyde in 1995 with Danby’s support, there were 800 members of the ALP in Melbourne Ports. To ensure democracy nearly every patient in Jewish nursing homes rapidly became ALP members. For Michael or the Member for Israel to claim the stability pact as his guarantee of preselection is amazing. Holding did the same thing but Michael, a member of the same faction (Labor Unity) totally ignored the stability pact then.