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Labor's Follies « Previous | |Next »
March 31, 2012

In The Long Goodbye: Explaining Gillard’s Collapse in The Monthly Robert Manne argues that the strange and rather sudden collapse of the Gillard Labor government is grounded in a series of mistakes and miscalculations, beginning with Rudd in 2008, spiralling out of control in 2010, but only becoming irreversible and lethal with Gillard around the middle of 2011:

Federal Labor's woes rest on a string of particular, mostly avoidable, tightly interconnected, strategic blunders. As a consequence of these blunders, Tony Abbott now seems certain to be prime minister before the end of 2013

The grave structural weaknesses within the contemporary federal Labor Party and the deep factors threatening the future of all parties within the social-democratic tradition are not responsible for the federal Labor government’s present discontents.


There's nothing about the way that focus group research, polling, messaging and spin has colonized politics.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:02 PM | | Comments (3)


All true, but if the ALP hadn't lost its long-term policy marbles, wouldn't they be in a much better position both to avoid the tactical gaffes that Manne points to and also to respond to attacks from the Opposition and the media?

A party which has lost it's long-term vision is surely that much more likely to lurch from expedient to expedient in the way Manne describes, and would also be unable to construct a reply to attacks like that we have seen from the miners.

I heard the latest op polls result, nearly two to one running Abbott's way, on the radio and have been in a state of vexed contemplation since.
Gary has a post up on it, so am relieved am not the only one puzzling over oz politics just now.
I should say, haven't even read the link yet, this is a necessary therapeutic outpouring..
What has me utterly baffled is, the Australian public must know that even at its worst the current government won't be any worse than an Abbott government at its best.
Yet the polls aren't 50-50, or anything like it.
I could understand the public ditching Gillard Labor for a pre 2007 Rudd, for example. But this?

Manne also fails to allow for the pressures of coalition. Stuff-ups over carbon tax and pokie regulation probably can be traced directly to the need to offer something to the Greens and Willkie. I doubt very much whether Julia foresaw minority government when she made her famous statment about "no carbon tax".