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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

the sluggish state « Previous | |Next »
March 14, 2009

This time next week we Queenslanders will be off to the polls, but this fact could easily pass you by unless you were paying close attention. Suspense levels are around zero.

We've had a cyclone and now we're having an oil spill catastrophe to relieve the tedium, which is just as well because the one election debate wasn't even broadcast on telly.

One friend said "Why is Anna Bligh spending money on a stadium when our hospitals are in crisis?", which perfectly echoed Lawrence Springborg's line. Since she lives on the Gold Coast and the local paper has been getting stuck into Springborg all week over the stadium, it said something interesting about media consumption. She's voting for a Daylight Savings mob instead of Springborg, which may or may not be worthy of note.

Another friend is peed off because Anna Bligh made his favourite fishing spot a no fishing zone, but he can't stomach Springborg either.

The younger voters I know got a kick out of Springborg saying 'oblivity', when he presumably meant oblivion, but his chances of being able to keep them supplied with the stuff of linguistic sport won't stop them voting Green or, failing that option, someone with a silly name.

One theory has it that the campaign will begin in earnest this week and voters will start paying attention. That may be right, but it's hard to imagine at this point. Bligh and Springborg will both be up against footage of wildlife rescuers crash tackling oil-slicked pelicans. No prizes for guessing which news segment is more likely to get viewers' attention.

| Posted by Lyn at 4:31 PM | | Comments (17)


As one who lives on the Tweed Coast I have to say I've never understood the fuss about daylight saving. People who make it a major election issue must be very relaxed and comfortable about life.

It is hard for me to gain a sense of what is happening. The Australian's line is that Labor is on the ropes and bunkered down in the face of a resurgent LNP riding a swell of discontent. Bligh is hopeless, it will be a hung Parliament etc etc.

I see most of this kind of commentary as a beatup, given the lack of analysis of marginal seats or how Brisbane is swinging en masse between The aggressive Borg to cull the fat cat public servants etc .

Anthony Green says that if Labor falls behind in key seats in 2009, it will need every Green preference it can to win after preferences.

A big swing is on for sure: will it be not quite enough to change government, or just enough to do it?

the ALP from what I can gather is appealing to the conservative and fearful side of voters in a climate of uncertainty, and it is encouraging them to stick with who they know rather than risk the unfamiliar. As Martin Leet says on the Bribane Line (above link):

The politics of minimalism, of appealing to the electorate’s desire for stability, often holds sway in Australia and around the world. It is opposed to a politics of vision and far-sightedness, a politics that seeks to respond to long-term developments and trends. The politics of vision tries to capture the public’s imagination and forge bold plans for a progressive future. The politics of minimalism dresses itself up in a few apparently ambitious proposals but is focused only on changing things here and there in an ad hoc way.

He adds that it seems that here in Australia the politics of minimalism still holds sway and we are left with the option of picking only between different brand names for what is essentially the same product.

I sometimes think the fuss over daylight savings is only there because it's part of the South East vs the rest thing.

It's hard for anyone to get a sense of what's happening, maybe because there's nothing happening to get a sense of.

With LNP 51-ALP 49, swing doesn't strike me as the biggest thing going on.

I'd hardly call the LNP resurgent or riding any tidal waves. That sort of language suggests they're winning, when they're not actually doing any such thing. The ALP is skating on thin ice and that's about it.

Swing doesn't distribute evenly here, population movement from other states makes things hard to guage and the state/federal relationship is different now. You'd need way more polling in seats than we've seen to have any real idea.

Nan, we have OPV up here, so preferences don't work out the way you'd expect.

what is OPV?

It is very close but I would say that LNP is in front at present.

Whats important though is the voters seem to buying this new cereal LNP's (lotsa nice pops)
2 years ago both the Libs and the Nats were dead here and now they have repackaged and the shoppers are buying it.
It will take a year or so after the election for the shoppers to realise they were perhaps better off to have eaten the cardboard box it came in.
But one would have to say they made the correct decision to re-brand.

Optional preferential voting. Preferences still count for something, but not as much.

You may be right, but Springborg is still the one on the telly.

I just realised the LNP guy running in our seat is the same one who ran here for local council under the developer bloc arrangement. He lost that. I wonder whether anyone else around here will notice?

I have voted this morning at the local electoral office as I will be on a yoga weekend.

I didn't have my little white identity card and was not asked for it or any other proof of who I was other than them telling me my D.O.B and asking if it was correct.

Ah yes, the little white card. I'd love to know why you don't get asked for it, but I did in 2007. You must look more upstanding and trustworthy than me.

Have a good weekend Les, and here's hoping you don't come back to find we now live in the Borgish state.

so there is a 6% swing on. Is it too close to call? The Borg has come so close but it just slips out of his clasp? Is the LNP coming across in Brisbane as a new conservative party, or does it still sound as a thinly disguised National Party?

Both Brian Costa and William Bowie give the LNP as winning around 17 seats. The swing is not enough to get to 22, and a uniform swing needs to be qualified because most of the seats are in urban strip from Gold Coast to Sunshine Coast. It still all depends on Brisbane, and The Borg sounds like a National Party throwback. Brisbane now dominates the state.

Brian Costa talks about Queensland and politics on an Inside Story podcast. Brisbane is still the key. The key question for him is which party can best manage the economic crisis in Queensland.

A swing is on according to the numbers, but it doesn't feel like one if that makes any sense. None of this has been sudden or unexpected.

As to what Springborg's LNP looks like, I suspect it looks rather like One Nation to people on the wrong side of the education divide, with clever people making fun of Springborg's natural disadvantages.

There are odd goings on with Gold and Sunshine Coast resentment of Brisbane, so neither can be taken for granted. Yes, the Borg sounds like a Nationals throwback, but in unexpected pockets of Qld, that can be a good thing.

It would be wise to bow to the collective wisdom of Possum and William any day, but even they have more qualifiers on this than the city to surf. On William's advice I'd put money on the ALP, but not more than I could afford to lose.

Having said that, the one and only lifelong Nationals voter of my acquaintance is voting Labor for the first time ever, no preferences, no doubts. He's in the building industry and says this is no time for indulging in a risky vote, and the LNP is really the Liberals. Far be it from me to question the wisdom of a Nationals voter, but the last came as a shock to me.

Maybe the claim is that the LNP is really the Liberals is because the LNP in Queensland--- as with the Liberals and Nationals in Canberra--- are arguing for a more restrained role for government and avoiding budget deficits and debt to the maximum extent possible.

All we hear in Adelaide is a new AFL stadium being built in the Gold Coast. The LNP is going to build new hospitals instead, even though the Bligh Government has maxed the bankcard and the LNP is opposed to government intervening in the economy. How is the hospitals and public transport going to be financed----slashing government spending during a recession?

Nothing that deep Gary. The LNP are really the Liberals because they care about the city more than the bush.

Lawrence's logic is a bit poor, but the stadium slogan is catchy. He's not bothered about recessions, because we're apparently not having one. It's an ALP fib.

The stadium is the larger part of what we hear here too, although messages are diversifying a bit this week. We've got unhappy Liberals, Anna promising to keep on hopeless ministers, oil spill stuff ups.