OPINION FOLLOWERS September 29, 2004Posted by wmmbb in Uncategorized.
Following from my previous posting, the answer is that I do not know. This ignorance does not justify the mixed metaphor and strangled syntax of my posting today at Back Pages:
I am in agreement with tb and others.I think that Latham will come out his launch looking good. He can take Howard’s ground away in terms of economic management and the terrorist fear.This, I believe, is critical. Maybe he has to take other positions, for example the Federal Government effectively taking over health, to confirm the momentum of the rolling maul, with options to snipe around the sides and attack out wide. Latham can position himself with the mood change in the electorate at large,[for which I have no evidence] that will like a tide flow through to the swinging voters who will be caught up in the groundswell. After nine (?) years, Howard has the disadvantage of incumbency. Hope and the realization of success are my touchstones.
I still think, despite lack of comment, other than a statement of over optimism, not doubt true that the points are valid:
1. Howard’s case for re-election has not been convincing. The sound or prudent economic management, with obverse cruelty to the less advantaged, has been undermined by his splurge. The terrorism thing was a fiasco, if not treason.
2. Health was clearly an area on which Latham could clearly position himself. I do not understand the position he has taken. This was perhaps a breakthrough moment.
3. The seemingly obvious insight that swinging voters are more likely to be opinion followers, which is why they do not have an opinion, does I think lead credence to the idea of the mood of the electorate, although we may in reality be dealing with six electorates complicating matters somewhat. Ceribus Paribus, Queensland may be the key to the fortunes of the parties and leaders.
4. As I admit, this is mere, hypothesis, or more exactly wishful thinking with a measure of plausibility, and not evidence or observation based.
5. There are advantages and disadvantages of incumbency, and I think the latter are shown particularly when promises are made at the election without the support of consistent pattern of policy development through the terms of the government. In these circumstances, it seems to me appropriate to be sceptical.
I tried to write down twenty reasons why Howard would be returned, and I was not convinced by any of them. The way to do would be think of Howard’s return from a trade association (if not trade union) point of view, such as the Business Council of Australia.