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SA Election: lost opportunities « Previous | |Next »
March 9, 2006

The SA state election coincides with the Adelaide Festival of Arts so few citizens are paying much attention to the endless claims, promises and rebuttals being made. What is noted as everybody is having fun and preparing for Womald that is the presidential style and the glossy television advertising stating that Rann gets results, he has delivered for SA, so let him get on with the job.


The election is boring because the result is a foregone conclusion. The Liberals are in a mess and there is no need for a dirt unit in the Premier's Office. The Liberals are riven by faction, they will lose seats, and end up little money to rebuild a divided party. So Rann effectively becomes the CEO of SA Inc.

Graham Young in his commentary on the SA state election says that only one thing at issue in this campaign - the size of Rann’s margin - that’s the thing to campaign on. He says:

So, the only thing really at issue in this election would appear to be the size of Rann’s winning margin, or put from the other direction, how badly the Liberal Party will be mauled. If Rann runs a positive campaign, keeps himself in front of the cameras, and makes modest and achievable promises, it will be huge. If he goes negative on the Liberals, or voters start to think about just how large the margin will be, then he will be cut back down to size, but should still win handsomely. For me, the real interest from a campaign perspective will be whether the Liberals grasp this and shift their campaign appeal from personalities and policies, to an appeal for a tactical vote.

I concur. The opportunity is there as Rann is on the public record as abolishing the Legislative Council to ensure executive dominance. The strategy is to ensure that Rann does not control the Legislative Council, given the ALP's control of the lower house and to boost the committee system of the Council. You won't hear the Liberals arguing for that, though.

Rann hasn't delivered on health. He has had few results on making SA more ecologically sustainable. Getting on with the job means ever more law and order to reduce crime not social reform. The Rann Government is run by the Right in the ALP, and it has moved a long a way from its reforrmist Dunstan heritage of the 1970s---it effectively repudiates it. They are more or less business managers and public administrators concerned to keep the economy ticking over and a lid on the social discontent. Jobs and cops are what is offered the aspiring but embattled working class caught up in the politics of (downward) envy.

The model is that of Bob Carr, the ex-Premier in NSW:--play the newspaper headlines and the media politics hard and let the infrastructure run down. The professionalism of polling, spin-doctoring and temporary political tactics covers up the hollowing out of the social democrat project of redistributing resources and attacking inequality. There is very little policy about the power of education in the new knowledge economy; or ensurign that he inequality of the old industrial (manufacturring) economy is not transferred to the new social diviide between information rich and information poor.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:50 AM | | Comments (0)