Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

morale central « Previous | |Next »
November 15, 2007

After the Labor launch yesterday Andrew Bolt conceded on behalf of John Howard. He live blogged the event and, for Bolt, was quite generous in his assessment. His fans are furious, which suggests they also suspect that "Howard can start packing now". Bolt concludes "Play it safe from here on, and Labor has won".

The symbolism was perfect, from Whitlam, Hawke and Keating burying their differences for the occasion to Kevin remembering his wedding anniversary. Nostalgia for the party faithful and suburban sentimentality for the masses.

A the end of the John Show an appropriate assortment of important people climbed up on stage to stand with Howard. We know they'd all rather bury forks in their own thighs than spend time with one another, but there they were, smiling, waving and trying to look comfortable. Janette was first up, although it's not as though it was a race.

At the end of the Kevin Show the man of the moment left the stage on his own and went to Therese, who hadn't moved. We were treated to footage of an empty stage and a room full of happy people, one of whom was Kevin. High symbolism, but the real question is how many gold ties will be sold over the coming days?

This whole election thing had been sliding into tedium with a daily grind of confusing and pointless to-ing and fro-ing over which mile of road was worth an upgrade and which school would get a new roof on the toilet block. It's been like watching a cockroach refuse to die for hours on end. But yesterday livened things up a bit.

Howard made a pitch to private school parents seeking to promote division (again) and did his level best to paint Labor as a risky proposition, without too much success. If the response in the blogosphere is any indication, Kevin has given the whole election an energy boost even Shanahan grudgingly acknowledges.

Tim Dunlop has a roundup of the usual media suspects who are all fired up but seem to be having problems spotting the negatives. Give them time. Of course, what the opinion columnists think doesn't tell us anything other than what the opinion columnists think. But they do have a small moon effect on the tide of morale.

Liberal HQ must be a depressing place to be at the moment. There'll be some frenzied polling going on and the bookies will be busy. Simon Jackman says the odds in the marginals have started to look more like the polls.

We're nearly there. Nine more sleeps. Then we can wake up on the 25th November and wonder what we've let ourselves in for.

| Posted by Lyn at 12:08 PM | | Comments (8)


I am expecting the whimper, not the bang. Still comparing the two "campaign launch" speeches, by Howard and Rudd, and reading between the lines. there are important qualitative differences e.g. statements about foreign policy and indigenous affairs. So maybe the lights will turned back on, and the long dark age of Australian politics will be over for the time being.

more parliamentary government, more police-state laws, and, i hope, more plumbers and electricians to install the vastly more rain water tanks and roof-top solar cells.

but no real changes, the juggarnaut of state is still pointed toward environmental and political disaster.

not my problem, but young ozzies are going to see some large scale changes. they will spit on your graves, if they can spare the moisture.


Agreed. There's been no indication that a Rudd government would transform us into some miraculously perfect society overnight. But an end to the nastiness and bloody mindedness of the Howard era would be nice to see. I suspect that's over anyway, even if Howard did somehow manage a win.


The optimistic flip side is that the young 'uns who do seem to have a better grasp of these things have found their influence and their collective voice in this election. In the not too far distant future they'll be the ones deciding the relationship between the environment and the economy, and the circumstances under which they relation.

They're the ones who'll be paying for the lifestyles of the vast elderly demographic, but unlike their elders, they're more likely to bugger off to environmentally aware California should the fancy strike them.

With any luck they'll save themselves the bother of spitting after a lifetime of MTV and PS2 has taught them it's all a big game. If they don't like it they just don't play.

re your comment:

But an end to the nastiness and bloody mindedness of the Howard era would be nice to see. I suspect that's over anyway, even if Howard did somehow manage a win.

Rudd and Swan arre the ALP Right. So we can expect to experience the effects of their particular brand of nastiness and bloody mindedness.


I guess that means there are interesting times ahead for Gillard. It will be interesting to see how control freak Rudd deals with the dynamics of the party, which you have to figure will continue regardless.

Howard surrounded himself with the like-minded. Apart from Swan, Rudd doesn't seem to have done that.

I think Rudd's leadership would be more of a of a Presidency. I would think he would be quickly given a nick name like his previous one "Dr Death" when he was the go to guy for Goss.
I think " El Presidente" would sit well on him.
Gillard will be given enough stripes on her uniform to make her useful but not enough to make her powerful.
All the ministers will live under the threat of having their stripes ripped off publicly if they displease or embarrass their illustrious Leader.


You could be right about that, but he'd have to have a very big stick. The ALP is notorious for being difficult to manage. If they win, chances are they'll behave themselves for a while out of gratitude.

John Wanna in the Australian says that Kevin Rudd has form in government--in the Goss Government in QLD. Rudd was initially principal private secretary to Goss, then director-general of the new cabinet office in 1991. Wanna says:

The Goss administration (1989-96) was a control freak's dream. Under the iron grip of the premier, the government was dismissive of caucus, ministers were periodically relieved of policy responsibility, and media control and political spin were highly centralised in the premier's department. Goss famously told his supporters to "take a cold shower", cautioning them not to get carried away with their enthusiasm for change.

As director-general of the new cabinet office Rudd was regarded as a centrist controller, somewhat distrustful of professionals, and someone who did not suffer fools gladly. He was convinced there were "right answers" to political and policy problems.

Wanna says that Rudd has learnt from mistakes and excesses of the Goss years.