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Paxter

Aussie Thread: Democracy Sausage

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16 minutes ago, Paxter said:

I think the former can be explained by the ascendency of climate politics in those seats. But I don’t really get the latter! I can only assume that Shorten and his progressive economic agenda was the problem.

I think the working class feel like they're "under siege" at the moment and that they're being squeezed with issues like living costs, wage stagnation and mass casualisation of the workforce. With the economy becoming shaky, many are probably feeling anxious and so perhaps would be spooked by some of the reforms Shorten was putting out there. Hard to accept big changes when you're not confident.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah that makes sense. Is one of the lessons here to not run positive campaigns? “Mediscare” worked well for Labor in 2016, “the Bill you can’t afford” won the day three years later.

Edited by Paxter

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Ask the average person if he cares about climate change and his answer will probably be yes.

Ask him if he cares enough about it to pay higher taxes or to have his job at the local mine threatened, and if he is truthful, he will probably say no.

That about sums it up for me. Tell me I’m going to pay a $100 more tax every month, which I previously would have spent on my kids, and you pretty much lose me right there. Even if you say this will prevent sea levels from being 5cm higher in 50 years time (which I have no guarantee of, but I sure am guaranteed to feel the loss of $100 every month).

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11 minutes ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

Ask the average person if he cares about climate change and his answer will probably be yes.

Ask him if he cares enough about it to pay higher taxes or to have his job at the local mine threatened, and if he is truthful, he will probably say no.

That about sums it up for me. Tell me I’m going to pay a $100 more tax every month, which I previously would have spent on my kids, and you pretty much lose me right there. Even if you say this will prevent sea levels from being 5cm higher in 50 years time (which I have no guarantee of, but I sure am guaranteed to feel the loss of $100 every month).

1) The last time Australia brought in a carbon price it was directly tied to a tax break to low-middle income earners. On a tax basis the vast majority of the population was better off.

2) When the Business Council of Australia (hardly a leftwing group, they represent the biggest end of town) is openly backing a large portion of the lefts climate policy it makes you stop and think. Without policy there's too much investment uncertainty. Especially around power generation, which the private sector has largely refused to fund over the past decade, leading to a massive increase in power prices.

3) We're not talking a 'in 50 years time' thing in the Australian context. We now have fire seasons which overlap with the Northern hemisphere making resource sharing far more difficult. Our major river system pretty much ran dry this year leading to unprecedented fish kills and no water for irrigators. Cyclones have increased in both frequency and intensity. We've experienced a year on year rise in temperatures which is well above the global mean. There's an economic and social cost which we're dealing with right now and that will only get worse.

The vested interests are running some very effective scare campaigns on this stuff, with the help of the Murdoch press. That's despite it making BOTH economic and environmental sense.

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I think @Free Northman Reborn probably sums things up for a lot of voters. And I acknowledge that climate policy was a key battle line won by the Coalition (except in seats like Abbott’s). I’m just a little surprised that the broader Labor economic agenda (putting climate aside) proved to be such anathema.

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I don't think the broader economic agenda had anything to do with it. Old people want everyone else to keep funding their shit and so they swung massively towards the LNP, and the same for rural Queensland voters and their mining jobs. This election was won on undeserving people wanting to keep their unearned free shit at the expense of everyone else. 

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1 hour ago, The Drunkard said:

I don't think the broader economic agenda had anything to do with it. Old people want everyone else to keep funding their shit and so they swung massively towards the LNP, and the same for rural Queensland voters and their mining jobs. This election was won on undeserving people wanting to keep their unearned free shit at the expense of everyone else. 

Aren't what you mentioned economic factors themselves?

Fact is, there are aspects of our economy that need re-balancing and balancing stuff inevitably has winners and losers. Many don't seem to realise there will always be losers and that it's the net benefit that should be considered. The LNP played on this ignorance with their "You'll be worse off under Labour's reforms" mantra and it worked - extremely effectively.

I voted for Labour hoping to finally see the atrocity that is negative gearing be wound back for instance....even though I'm a homeowner myself. If the value of my apartment takes a hit as a result, so be it, but we're better off overall without it.

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4 hours ago, Paxter said:

Yeah fair enough. I guess I’m wondering more at the possible narratives there and why Shorten’s progressive platform fell so flat. And the same question re: Victoria. 

ETA: On the question about external influences on this election - look closer to home than Russia or China. The Murdoch press was a major factor. I don’t necessarily “blame” the media for this result though - this is on Australians who gobble that stuff up like no tomorrow.

And another stray observation: in a weird way this was a great night for Tony Abbott. He lost his seat, but he showed that a Liberal party cast more in his image than Turnbull’s would have electoral success.

Shorten is extremely unpopular in bass which includes Beaconsfield. The people there see him as using the mine collapse as a way to launch his political life. Also voting for Labor is seen as a vote for the greens who basically try to block any form of development. As an example they are blocking a project in Hobart that a poll in Hobart showed a 75 percent approval and 90 percent statewide. The greens also essentially destroyed a lot of jobs attached to the forestry industry

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1 hour ago, Skyrazer said:

Aren't what you mentioned economic factors themselves?

Fact is, there are aspects of our economy that need re-balancing and balancing stuff inevitably has winners and losers. Many don't seem to realise there will always be losers and that it's the net benefit that should be considered. The LNP played on this ignorance with their "You'll be worse off under Labour's reforms" mantra and it worked - extremely effectively.

I voted for Labour hoping to finally see the atrocity that is negative gearing be wound back for instance....even though I'm a homeowner myself. If the value of my apartment takes a hit as a result, so be it, but we're better off overall without it.

Yes, but I said it's the broader economic agenda I think was irrelevant, not every aspect of it. Anything other than franking credits and subsidised coal mining wouldn't have severely tanked the ALP's elderly and Queensland votes, imo.

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Some thoughts of mine (and in partial response to @Paxter and a few others, although I apologise I don't have the wherewithal to link all the quotes).

- Economically, I think Labor had the right idea on tax reform. And I think the vast majority of people, if they had the time to understand it fully, would have supported it too. However, it was too easy for the Coalition to run a scare campaign on pensioners. The franking credits would have affected only a subset of retirees, but the Coalition made it sound like Labor was grabbing money from anyone old and retired. The negative gearing was grandfathered in so no one was going to suffer who already had it, but the Coalition went on about housing price crashes so that meant everyone (including existing negative gearing people) was going to get hit.

- Yes, that does mean that negative campaigns win out over positive ones. Fair or not, in politics that is unfortunately the general case. As I pointed out before, people generally like the status quo (unless there is great injustice or suffering) and so it is easier to scare them than to push for change. Labor ran a generally positive campaign and I applaud them for putting out policies (which the sitting government neglected to do), although I should point out Labor did get negative at times, too - Shorten's constant mentions of the "big end of town" could be seen as a bit of negative campaign rhetoric.

- Morrison is the big winner here in more ways than one. Abbott is now gone from the Parliament and because Morrison made this campaign all about him (I could barely name any Liberal frontbenchers, they've all resigned) then he can rightly take a lot of credit for this amazingly unexpected victory. He should get a free hand with his Cabinet (which is mostly younger people who aren't owed anything) and because he was so light on policy, he can now pretty much start from scratch. For the sake of the country, I really hope he uses this opportunity to do something constructive and not just fluff around. He got lucky in this election because Labor presented him with a big target he could hit over and over again. They won't do that again.

- However much it should be on policy and the substance, personality does play a big part. Shorten's speech last night was gracious, but it's obvious his delivery is wooden and he does not present well in public and this hurt him. Contrast this to Abbott's concession speech. However much you hate Tony Abbott (and I know plenty do!), his speech was very natural, articulate, brief and (surprisingly) gracious. He told the crowd to stop booing when he congratulated Zali Steggall on "a magnificent win", he came up with some good lines, "I knew it would be tough, I might well lose, so be it. I'd rather be a loser than a quitter." Obviously Abbott's public persona was also very problematic for him, but in that speech you could certainly see some charisma and you could understand why some people like him.

- The pollsters got it so wrong. Antony Green on the ABC and I think he had a credible explanation. He pointed out that typically pollsters used to get a random sample of telephone landlines, but now they recognise that this is a biased sample (as it skews towards older people nowadays). Internet/online is obviously biased in the opposite direction. These days with the abundance of media and communication platforms it's just really hard to find a decent unbiased sample group. Annabel Crabb got off a good line last night when she asked Arthur Sinodinos, "Given the polls are getting it so wrong, are you going to stop sacking leaders based on Newspoll?"

And that's another thing - Morrison is now much more secure because the Libs changed the party spill bylaws. A PM who wins an election can only be challenged if two thirds of the caucus support the motion. That bylaw, plus the obvious public perception (no more knifing sitting PMs) means he should be as safe as he'll ever be.

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10 minutes ago, The Drunkard said:

Yes, but I said it's the broader economic agenda I think was irrelevant, not every aspect of it. Anything other than franking credits and subsidised coal mining wouldn't have severely tanked the ALP's elderly and Queensland votes, imo.

Yeah that’s interesting. It would suggest that Labor would have been better off not providing so much detail and costings around its economic agenda. Should’ve just run on a basic economic platform of “slightly less tax cuts at the top end/corporates; bigger spend on health and education”.

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Posted (edited)

Did the pollsters get it so wrong? The Coalition will either be in minority or a slim majority - that’s not completely incongruent with the polls showing 50-50 or 49-51, as they have in recent weeks.

Plus the poll showing Morrison as preferred PM was very, very accurate! Perhaps that poll result needs to be factored in to the general two-party preferred...

Edited by Paxter

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7 minutes ago, Paxter said:

Yeah that’s interesting. It would suggest that Labor would have been better off not providing so much detail and costings around its economic agenda. Should’ve just run on a basic economic platform of “slightly less tax cuts at the top end/corporates; bigger spend on health and education”.

This is purely speculation, but I would assume the broader electorate sort of already "knows" that Labor are going to tax the rich more (or give them fewer tax cuts) and spend more on health and education. It presents Labor with quite the conundrum - do they give more detail (resulting in scaring some people but hopefully soothing others) or do they stay general?

6 minutes ago, Paxter said:

Did the pollsters get it so wrong? The Coalition will either be in minority or a slim majority - that’s not completely incongruent with the polls showing 50-50 or 49-51, as they have in recent weeks.

Well, it's not so much that they got it wrong on the numbers, which as you've pointed out were close (49/51 was the one I'd seen the most often) but that they got it wrong over a long period of time. For six months we've been hearing that Labor is slightly ahead and that was repeated over and over again, which compounds the error. Even if the published difference was only slight, in the past six months we haven't heard a pollster or political commentary that took a Coalition win as a serious possibility.

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2 minutes ago, Jeor said:

Well, it's not so much that they got it wrong on the numbers, which as you've pointed out were close (49/51 was the one I'd seen the most often) but that they got it wrong over a long period of time. For six months we've been hearing that Labor is slightly ahead and that was repeated over and over again, which compounds the error. Even if the published difference was only slight, in the past six months we haven't heard a pollster or political commentary that took a Coalition win as a serious possibility.

I have a feeling there was some herding going on. As I said a few days ago the polls were so consistent and close together. They were looking at each others polling and weighting them so they weren't the outlier. And as Pax said, outside of Queensland all the polling was inside the margin of error.

There's the other factor, polls don't pick up late movement. I would've thought that'd be towards Labor given they seemed to have the momentum, but that might just be my bubble. And things do seem to have swung back towards them over the course of today (Libs are looking at only just scraping a majority, looked much more comfortable this morning), I assume that's based on the prepolls, which would fit that hypothesis.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Jeor said:

Even if the published difference was only slight, in the past six months we haven't heard a pollster or political commentary that took a Coalition win as a serious possibility.

I guess I just don’t buy this “the pollsters are so wrong!” hysteria. The Coalition is going to have a majority by, at most, two seats. That’s not highly inconsistent with even money polling on a two party basis, plus a clear preference for Morrison as PM, as well as the late movement factor.

A similar thing happened in the 2016 US election - most models I saw gave Trump a decent shot, but people were assuming the polls were grossly wrong just because they have Hillary the edge.

ETA: I feel a bit sorry for Phelps. Gave it a red hot go in Wentworth but no cigar this time. Sharma seems like he would be a good MP anyway, but will be less influential than Phelps would have been as a key cross-bencher.

Edited by Paxter

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11 hours ago, Jeor said:

Tasmania has always been volatile and marginal. I think I read that Bass has flipped in 7 of the last 9 elections.

Tassie has large swaths of the island that are genuinely fucked, there are no economic prospects and you're hitting regions with over 50% genuine can't read illiteracy. And neither party does jack shit for them, so they go back and forth hoping someone will eventually address it and no one does.

Re: The polls - Labor apparently had internal polling that was only available to leadership that showed them never getting a majority so they knew this was coming. We met Albo at our polling booth yesterday (we won a raffle and he happened to be there so had a couple of photos with him) and Brook caught a glimpse of it in his reaction to a question. The members at large had no idea though. It means the polling can still be done right.

Re: Messaging that cut through that I haven't seen mentioned here - Facebook memes were a big deal among the older cohorts this time and a big chunk of that was apparently "Death Tax" scare mongering which is wholly fabricated (despite being a very reasonable form of taxation) that actually cut through for what a lot of volunteers saw people talking about. Which is utterly fucked, another win for dirty politics.

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The Financial Review has the Senate composition with a smaller crossbench, likely at:

Coalition 34

Labor 27

Greens 9

One Nation 2

Centre Alliance 2

Independents 2 (Jacqui Lambie, Cory Bernardi)

If it turns out as predicted, the balance of power probably lies with the 6 remaining crossbenchers who would tend towards conservative. Labor would need to hold the Greens and convince two of those crossbenchers (likely Centre Alliance, or maybe Jacqui Lambie) to join them if they wanted to vote down legislation (38 against is a tie, which in the Senate means it is voted down).

Historically the power of the Senate is a bit overplayed, they don't often vote down legislation - but on a big issue like national energy there could be real tension in the upper house.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Jeor said:

Historically the power of the Senate is a bit overplayed, they don't often vote down legislation - but on a big issue like national energy there could be real tension in the upper house.

I don’t necessarily agree with the above. It’s true that the Senate rarely votes down legislation, but that’s because the Government won’t put things to a vote without advance crossbench support. Take Turnbull’s recent corporates tax cuts - the failure to get One Nation and Centre Alliance Senators across the line was a very big deal and basically killed off the centrepiece of the Federal Budget. But the Senate never voted on the proposed reforms.

The Medivac Bill is an even more recent example of both the House and the Senate passing a sensitive piece of legislation without Government support. On that occasion there was of course a formal vote.

ETA: I guess my overall point is that without a majority in the Senate, the likelihood of obtaining advance crossbench support is a major factor for the Government and its advisors for every piece of leg. The Government’s increased Senators from 31 to 34 won’t change that too much in an 76-seat Senate, though I’m sure they’ll take the increased representation!

Edited by Paxter

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Posted (edited)

ABC: Clive bought the election and got nothing out of it. The scare campaign won it for the coalition. The ALP agenda isnt that left wing and climate change is a major issue for coalition.

The dislike for the media is understated on the right and in the regions. When i lived in Emerald, it was seen as the Canberra/inner city/SE bubble, ignorant of regional Australia and its issues. On polls, they generally get thought of as media. Even a robot is going to get told lies. I saw posts (on social media nobody here would ever be caught dead on) talking about lying to vote compass and the left wing abc just to try to push them further left. The exit polls even showed a late swing to labor. I saw 48/52 at one point. Some people voting have given the wrong impression to anyone interested. The only media that picked the result prior to Saturday was sky news after dark. Hilarious. Are social media, old media and people here out of touch? No, it’s the children who are wrong - Seymour Skinner.

For a laugh i listened to RN breakfast this morning and Fran "im an activist" Kelly.  Arthur Sinodinas got asked about how Clive Palmer bought the election for coalition but got nothing in return. I sometimes doubt whether anyone on the left knows where or what the Galilee basin is, or what is stopping it from being mined. The result in Queensland will push qld alp to approve Adani, if not an lnp govt will approve it in 18 months (if results are mirrored). If adani gets approved, they will build the rail link which will open up the Galilee basin including Clive Palmers mines just north of Alpha which is likely to bring him in 3.2B in revenue per year. Not a bad return on a 50M investment. Why can't anyone put that together?

The extremely unbiased Michelle Gratton was on as well. The "scare campaign' was the big factor apparently, Bill made himself too big a target even though their agenda "wasn’t especially left wing". Lol. No recognition that policies may have been issue. Maybe the alp should keep them for another election...

Zali Steggall and Fran agreed that climate change was an important issue in inner city seats like Kooyong, Higgins and Warringah and that the coalition would need to do more on climate.  Nobody seemed to realise the actual cost of the alp climate change policy was the election. Come to think of it, how many of our recent leaders have died on the hill of climate change? Turnbulls run as opposition leader ended because of it. Rudds great moral challenge was apparently too challenging. Gillards carbon tax and now Shortens courageous uncosting.  Given coalition is at 75, they’re more likely to deal with Katter to get 76 than a climate zealot. Although i think 77 is now predicted.

Joel Fitzgibbon was on as well and explaining how much the left is out of touch with regions. Says he might even run for leader. Which i think is a mistake. The ALP couldn't go for another straight white man as leader. Surely its time someone more woke. Tanya Plibersek would be a perfect leader.

 

Edited by Squab
Palmers costings are just out at 49M, not 80

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Yes, it's almost certain that if they fall short, the Coalition will deal with Katter to secure that majority than deal with the other independents who are likely to drive a hard bargain on climate policy. That being said, Zali Steggall already said pre-election she would support the Coalition (which was a smart move, as I'm sure this peeled off a lot of Liberal voters in her electorate who were disenchanted with Abbott) so it'll be interesting what leverage she tries to get on climate, which she ran on.

@Paxter re: the Senate - yes you're right, I guess if the government knows it's going to get defeated it doesn't bring things to a vote. I think the Centre Alliance may have a part to play in the Senate. Assuming the Greens line up with Labor and Cory Bernardi goes with the Coalition, that gives you 35-36 Coalition/Labor split. 

I suspect a lot depends on how much the Coalition can woo the Centre Alliance. If they can't, they'll have to cobble together deals with all the crazies and I'm guessing that will result in some pretty dodgy business. Probably not a bad thing if Morrison tries to govern as a moderate Liberal - it's popular with the wider electorate and has broader appeal (ala Turnbull), and for now at least he can't get outflanked on the right by anyone especially threatening.

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