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  • Blood of Dragons
    Galfrid Velaryon

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  • Lord Commander, Night's Watch
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    Sydney, Australia.

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  1. The inner city seats are an interesting one. While it's true that historically they've gone to the Liberals, there are a few inner city seats that have a more Labor / Greens bent, especially if they're full of younger demographics, socially conscious voters and (for wont of a better term) the "progressive elite". For that reason I think inner city can always be a bit of a toss-up. The Greens always perform much better in those types of seats than anywhere else. I think the real blue ribbon seats for the Liberals are wealthy suburbia - the types of well-off nuclear families that are likely to have more conservative values than inner-city wealth (which is more likely to be affluent young couples or retirees). My electorate of Bradfield (in Sydney's North Shore) has been continuously held by the Liberals since its creation in 1949, and even in the recent election Paul Fletcher held onto it comfortably, with more than twice the primary vote of the second-ranked candidate (an Independent). The Liberal party will be in real trouble if they lose seats like Bradfield. The question is that there aren't too many of those seats around, so they need to find appeal somewhere else. One constituency which fits their (at least in theory) avowed strengths of traditional family values and small business are meritocratic immigrants, which would expand the map for them in some places, but it's hard to see the predominantly white-oriented Liberals doing that well.
  2. Yes. There is a tendency to write off the losing side in any election, which is understandable, but the Liberals/Coalition and Labor have dominated politics for the last 50-odd years. While this was a solid win for Labor (and the Liberals did lose 20-odd seats), it was not by any stretch of the imagination an electoral wipeout of the Liberal party. These things come and go in cycles. For the Liberals it will be a question of whether Labor is in power for the next 3 years or whether it's in power for the next 10. With Dutton at the helm, I'm not sure they'll be able to win back power straight away, but another leading candidate with broader appeal hasn't really emerged and may take some time. I view him more as a placeholder than anything else; he's not really going to win an election (although to be fair, Abbott did, so we can't really write him off completely either).
  3. I don't think getting back into government is the top priority right after an election loss, at least from a practical point of view. The dust needs to settle and the caucus needs to get used to working out the practicalities now that the composition and leadership has changed - and that will be without many moderates in the room. Long-term, there are a few areas (e.g. taxation reform, business-friendly policies) where the Liberals can differentiate themselves from Labor. Labor will save them the trouble of a federal ICAC and green targets etc but they shouldn't attempt any rollbacks. Rollback campaigns are doomed to fail (e.g. Labor's rollback of the GST).
  4. Dutton looks all but certain to be Liberal leader. I don't think he's the man for the Liberals and would much prefer a moderate, but there was always likely going to be a Dutton leadership at some point and following this loss is probably the best time to get it out of the way, as he may not last until the next election. Maybe he'll be Brendan Nelson 2.0? Hopefully that rather than Abbott 2.0...
  5. Totally agree with this. Labor will have to tread pretty carefully with the budget and may end up having to focus on non-monetary wins like ICAC. As much as the latest iteration of the Coalition did not really practice any budget discipline, Labor shouldn't really try to blow it out any further. As hairy as the next 12-24 months are going to be, this could be Chalmers' time to shine and show that Labor can be good economic stewards ala Keating/Hawke. Unfortunately they've already promised the third stage of tax cuts will go through which hamstrings them a bit.
  6. I don't know that you could blame the moderate faction for the Liberal leadership issues. The fact they blocked Dutton as PM and ushered ScoMo instead was more a recognition of the fact that the Right had enough votes to knife Turnbull in any case and ScoMo was a compromise candidate acceptable to the Right. Even though he wasn't a card-carrying member of the Right, his strong (and public) religious affiliation meant that he was not a moderate Liberal in the usual sense of the word. Despite them not getting an outright party leader, the Right has generally been the most united (and hence powerful) faction in the Liberal party for years. Turnbull was an aberration and remember he only just defeated Abbott. In the aftermath of all this election coverage, I am also cautiously optimistic that we might see some progress out of this Parliament. Labor will install a federal ICAC, and probably instigate more action on climate change and will be pushed by the Greens and Independents to do so. Less certain is their economic management; they've been handed a very tough situation to manage, and in an inflationary environment they won't (or at least shouldn't) spend their way out of trouble. They don't have any big economic ideas but usually Labor governments find some good things to spend money on and they're better for closing inequality than the Coalition. It'll be fixing the budget that will be the problem.
  7. Yes, totally agree with this. The moderate Libs have lost their seats because of the hard right faction, which has held onto theirs. Both sides will use the results to fuel completely opposing arguments. The Right faction will say that because their candidates survived, it shows that Dutton etc have the winning formula and the moderates are losers. The moderate faction will obviously say that the hard right Liberal brand which got a national airing (transgender etc) was what lost them their seats. It's pretty obvious with the types of people that captured those lost Liberal seats (Labor, Independents) that the moderate argument is best, but I have a feeling it will be a pretty wild year or two in the Liberal party. Hopefully the moderates get themselves in order before the next election. On a completely different note, I do have a lot of schadenfreude for Kristina Keneally. Fancy parachuting her into a safe Labor seat in multicultural western Sydney when she lives on the (very white) northern beaches. I'm glad that didn't work out. Keneally is one of those people that seems to get a lot of chances in politics. Maybe she is actually a quality operator but in terms of electoral history she is poison (apart from winning her first NSW state seat). She became Premier without contesting an election (party room knifing of Nathan Rees), then lost the ensuing state election in a historic landslde with a 16.5 swing against, then stood as a federal candidate for Bennelong and lost that byelection, then was appointed (without an election) to a Senate seat to fill Sam Dastyari's vacancy. Following Labor factions refusing to give her a safe Senate seat, she was then parachuted into the safe Labor seat of Fowler which she promptly lost. So basically twice she gained a significant position of power without being chosen by the electorate (NSW Premier, federal Senator) and the three times she actually went to the polls she lost (NSW Premier, federal Bennelong and federal Fowler). How she rose to become deputy Leader of the Senate and one of the key voices in Cabinet and Albo's senior leadership team is beyond me.
  8. Well, you can hardly blame ScoMo for going. When you've been the PM, it's hard to stomach another 3 years (at least) in opposition. I can't think of many contemporary party leaders who have stayed on in the immediate aftermath of a lost election, and those that have (Shorten, Abbott) did so after having lost an election as Opposition Leader, not having lost as a sitting PM.
  9. The problem is that Dutton will be elected leader all the same - his hand is strengthened by the losses of moderates from the Liberal caucus.
  10. ScoMo has conceded - and will resign from the leadership.
  11. Yes, unfortunately it's the moderate Libs who have been wiped out (which kind of makes sense, in that the hard-right Libs are the ones who have a firmer hold on their electorates when the going gets tough). If it is Dutton, then I think it's likely to play out as a Tony Abbott 2.0 situation. He'll probably be good at skewering Albanese and score points as Opposition Leader, but would be a hopeless actual PM.
  12. Yes, certainly looks like the Coalition have lost. Labor will win - either outright, or eventually through minority government, but looking likely that they might just squeak in on their own. I must admit to very mixed feelings about PM Albo. When I think of people like Keating, Howard, Turnbull (PMs I liked)...and then even PMs I didn't like, such as Rudd, Gillard, Abbott, even ScoMo...the little we've seen of Albo so far doesn't fill me with confidence that he has the skills and strength required. One can hope that the rest of the Labor frontbench is strong - Chalmers supposedly quite a good Treasurer. Kristina Keneally in trouble - Labor made a big mistake importing her into a multicultural seat. That will be a blow to the current senior Labor leadership.
  13. Correct. The Greens would make the argument for being a third party, but they've never had quite enough seats in the House of Representatives to make it count. The Democrats were another minor party that had a little bit of sway from time to time but they're history now. In Australia, the vagaries of the voting process generally limit the minor parties to Senate seats (which are based on proportion of votes won across the state). To win a seat in the HoR they have to outright win an individual electorate and usually Labor/Liberal/Nationals will take those. The upshot of this is that a minor party can really only amend legislation (the Senate's role) but cannot introduce new legislation or budgetary motions (the HoR role). Government is formed in the lower house and generally the Senate, which has a big crossbench, then acts as the supposed check and balance on the government and lots of wheeling and dealing gets done. At this stage, certainly looks like ScoMo has lost but not in the bag that Albo has won. A very tasty possibility that if ScoMo resigns, Frydenberg and Dutton lose their seats, and with Porter and Hunt retiring, there will be quite a vacuum of experienced leaders on the Liberal frontbench. Who would then be the leader if not ScoMo/Frydenberg/Dutton? Probably Payne, Taylor or Fletcher? Birmingham is in the Senate so he can't do it.
  14. Well, soon it will be time to vote. This has to be the most policy-light election campaign I've seen. I don't even really know what each party is proposing to do apart from casting the other one as something bad. By nature I'm a Liberal voter (and I live in one of the safest blue seats in the country) and I can't help but think that Albanese is a bit underdone to play the role of PM. At the same time, I'm very disappointed that the Coalition doesn't seem to have put in any effort into reforms and have no structural ideas for the economy. Maybe we need a hung parliament where some independents who actually have (good) ideas will be able to force the governing party to adopt something. How depressing!
  15. Well, some will be worse off if they're carrying mortgages greater than the eventual value of their house. But they won't realise that loss until they sell, so you could argue that they're just locked into higher repayments than they needed to be. I think the best chance for house prices is stagnation rather than a crash. A crash scares people and the government will try to prop things up. But if prices just stayed stagnant for a decade while supply kept up and investors got less interested in the market, that would be more politically tenable. They could grandfather in the abolition of negative gearing, really.
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