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LABOR FACES EXIT IN NSW January 24, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics.
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We are told by the Murdoch press on Sunday that the current NSW Government is finished. Most people knew that, so it is not news. The suggestion is that if the Galaxy poll was replicated in voting in the March election, the ALP would get 13 seats in the Legislative Council.

Kristina Keneally’s response was identified by the ABC News report:

New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally says she is well aware of the fight she faces in the March election, in light of a new poll showing that Labor faces a crushing defeat.

The Galaxy poll suggests that if a state election was held today, Labor would lose 37 seats, leaving it with a primary vote of just 20 per cent.

But Ms Keneally says the poll also shows a majority of voters want Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell to better explain his policies.

“It is very clear that the people of New South Wales are aware of the fact that the New South Wales Opposition has been light on when it comes to policies, has been light on when it comes to plans for the future,” she said.

“People want to see their policies, they want to see Mr O’Farrell outline his vision for the state.”

Premier Kristina Keneally still leads Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell in terms of the most likeable leader, but voters overwhelmingly believe Mr O’Farrell would make a better premier.

It does not help when former Labor Premier adds disparaging comments. Why was it necessary to ram the electricity privatization prior to the election, when it looks like Labor would lose, and now it would seem a certainty.

The Greens should do better than ever, but how many seats that will translate into is another story, and regardless of their success they will not be in balance of power situation. Political polarization will probably work against the Independents who have been a silent presence in the Legislative Assembly, but who knows how that will work in Legislative Council, although in a state-wide electorate well known entities and well funded ones will have the edge.

The Liberals will more than likely success, but as a political party they are as much of a rabble as Labor, and equally subject to top-down influence. Fundamental changes to the Local Government and Planning Acts are not likely. The Labor Government has fallen apart spectacularly which in part is attributable to the failure of the Liberals to win the previous State Election.

The major political parties, as basic institutions in the democratic process do not seem to be working as perhaps they once did. While electoral loyalty has been retained, membership has fallen. The major political parties are not seen as means for political participation.

So what are the possible explanations? The electoral process has become one of media manipulation rather than mass participation? Propaganda is more important than policy? And if that is true, Kristina Keneally may be on to something. (There has to be better explanations for this development somewhere.)

ELSEWHERE:

At ABC Drum, Jeff Sparrow expresses concern about our “increasing dysfunctional political system”, quoting Tim Dunlop.

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