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political sleaze « Previous | |Next »
March 8, 2008

The Liberals are not looking too good at the moment are they?

All the Liberals need to do, says Kevin Andrews, is to hold their conservative philosophical ground, not allow Rudd to entrench himself in the Centre and hope that Rudd will shift or be forced to shift from the Centre and adopt more progressive policies.

Parliamentarians.jpg Alan Moir

For conservatives such as Dennis Shanahan, writing in the Conservative's noise machine, the Rudd Government's reputation is in tatters as economic reality is mugging its social democratic rhetoric. So there is no need to repudiate the past.

The strategic argument is that the union movement will push Rudd away from his centrist, me-too position leaving the Liberals occupying the centrist ground. The extent of Rudd's movement away under pressure will define how much space the Liberals have to move in. They infer that there will be lots of room.

The Conservatives appear to hold that the principles of social and fiscal conservatism of John Howard is the political centre in Australia. The political centre? That's wish fulfilment. It doesn't stop Christopher Pearson from arguing that

Unless Wayne Swan's management of the economy is unusually deft, its [the Rudd Government's] survival at the next election may well depend on how assiduously Rudd cultivates the Christian vote in the meantime.

The crucial defining issues, says Pearson, are cloning, the law governing stem cell research generally, euthanasia, the elements that constitute a properly informed decision to abort or children's unrestricted access to internet pornography.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 4:02 AM | | Comments (13)
Comments

Comments

"not allow Rudd to entrench himself in the centre" Bit late for that isn't it? Andrews can't have been paying attention.

"the Rudd Government's reputation is in tatters" Another master stroke from the country's leading poll analyst. Genius.

Cloning. Now there's a barbecue stopper. Or maybe Christopher meant clowning.

(insert crickets here)

I am surprised you's lot aren't chomping at the bit to announce the "Fear Campaign" that the coalition has embarked on over $1600 for carers and the latest pensioner $500 bonus axing.

Les,
It's what you expect from self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives trying to be muscular on economic management isn't it?

Lyn,
Christopher's Pearson riffs off the work of one John Black, a former Labor senator from Queensland who now leads a demographic research and marketing group called Australian Development Strategies. He says that Brown has a stern demographer's take on the latte-sippers as a bloc of voters:

He notes, for example, that some of them exhibit "downward envy of family tax benefits" and warns: "If the ALP doesn't take this into account when planning family tax benefits in their future budgets, they could be in all manner of strife, especially from inner-city professional Greens with high rents to pay and no kids to minimise tax." As a group, they make "extensive use of public transport and have few religious convictions. Some of them still wear sandals and long socks and hang around university refectories but increasingly now this is a well-heeled professional group and many of them are aged 70 plus with worm farms and backyard chook pens, tending to their raised vegetable beds every week according to Peter Cundall's weekly guide.

What a joke. That intense conservative dislike of the Greens totally ignore the whole creative economy that is increasingly plugged into a global economy.

Gary,
I actually found it quite amusing that all the media jumped on the story even though they all knew it was speculation. Though it did show the difference between a political fear campaign and a media fear campaign.
Also it shows the media is united on the thirst for negative Rudd/Swan stories that will begin now. I wonder how long it will be before the 6:30 shows have single mothers standing out the front of high schools with their kids saying "Where's our laptops Keven? You dun promised us"

Gary,
These attempts to pinpoint the latte set are tedious. That description applies as much to Kel from Kath and Kim and urbane Liberal voters as to well-heeled Greens voters.

I can't imagine a lefty cosmopolitan couple going over to the conservatives over Family Tax Benefits. Why the hell would they want to be on the same side as Christopher Pearson? Besides, it would irritate their compulsory gay friends.

Are these the same rent-a-crowd who walked over bridges seeking reconciliation? How do they feel about Andrew Bolt's take on global warming? Yet they're going to vote Liberal because they apparently have no understanding of politics? Gimme a break.

Les,
If carers and the aged deserve a better deal – and they do – then increases should be built into their fortnightly payments and guaranteed by law. To offer them occasional Christmas presents when their votes are needed at election time is patronising, insulting and bad economics.

Lyn,
what a joke:

As a group, they (inner city professionals who vote Green] make "extensive use of public transport and have few religious convictions. Some of them still wear sandals and long socks and hang around university refectories but increasingly now this is a well-heeled professional group and many of them are aged 70 plus with worm farms and backyard chook pens, tending to their raised vegetable beds every week...

This people live in fantasy land. Brown is mean to be a demographer in touch with electorial reality. They have no idea about the young university educated people moving into the inner city to live.

In Adelaide there is a huge increase in young Chinese people, as well as well as creative economy types.

Lyn,
Pearson says that the defining political issues in the Rudd Government's first term of office are:

cloning, the law governing stem cell research generally, euthanasia, the elements that constitute a properly informed decision to abort or children's unrestricted access to internet pornography.

He must have somehow missed global warming and greenhouse emissions. Oh, of course, he denies the existence of this problem along with Nick Minchin. The problem of saving the planet now is not seen as big a threat as abortion or internet pornography! Amazing.

I wonder what he makes of the 2 week heatwave Adelaide is now suffering from? A quirk of nature? Or the lack of rain southern Australia? Drought?

Nan,
Vote buying is part of the political system.

Nan,
Populations move around and change so much now that a demographer's job must be a nightmare. Some areas are stable, but the urban areas are definitely not. I get a laugh out of the thought of these columnists sitting on their urbane balconies composing this garbage about their own neighbours with no appreciation of the irony.

Pearson is clearly talking about his own defining issues. He made the mistake of stoushing with Mark Bahnisch over at LP a while ago, over same sex marriage if I recall, and didn't come out of it at all well.

Les,
Would increasing payments not be better than bonuses? Bonuses are arbitrary one-offs, no guarantee there'll ever be another one. You also made the point about uneven distribution of other benefits like those war veterans get. Wouldn't carers and pensioners be better off with that than a one-off payment in time to pay the power bill?

One concept/position I can never get my head around is "progressive." What do people mean when they describe themselves as "progressive?"

John,
'progressive' used in this post referred to conservatism's understanding of 'progressive' by which they mean left of centre.