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WHAT WAS THE ELECTION ABOUT? September 6, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Australian Politics, Democracy.
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Who knows, whether it is nothing much, or something significant? Does it really matter that Tony Abbott is due to become Prime Minister, at least for the next three years?

Tony Abbott promised to abolish the Carbon Tax and stop the boats. Stopping the carbon tax or the Emission Trading Scheme will not stop Climate Change. Nor for that matter will achieving a 5% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, if in fact that can be done with the Direct Action policy – whatever that might be. But we, so it is said, we will have a balanced Federal Budget and be on track for “a believable surplus”. Apparently the Coalition has identified $17 Billion of waste to be cut. Of course that is not $70 Billion but it is a significant amount. Since, for some unknown reason, we are trusting.

Anyway the costing of policy proposals will be released tomorrow in good time before the election on the following day. I am just catching up,if indeed doing that with what was said in Tony Abbott’s policy launch. I don’t think I will be able to process the budget costings overnight. I rather missed Joe Hockey’s talk of a structural imbalance in the budget, which at least made sense in relation to loss of revenue from mining. And I liked the idea of the Five Pillars of the Economy, if only to show we are all in spirit Islamist now.

Stopping the boats and the Sovereign Border policy seems to me to sum it up. The humanitarian refugee intake will not be lifted until the business men that run the boats are stopped. If necessary funding will be made to buy boats, which as Kevin Rudd pointed out should incentivate the Indonesian fishermen to build more and better boats (an election slogan was missed) The brave warrior conservatives standing in the path of history. Let us hold fast to the insularity of the Island Continent Nation with its colonial tread of history to a dead empire and its’ mindless subordination to gross and evil superpower (war crimes are evil, especially those perpetrated with impunity), while around us through communication and trade we ignore our integration with planet and global society.

Perhaps I do not listen carefully enough to the conservative narrative that seems so patently to exercises in delusion, particularly in relation to climate change. Inaction, through cultivated ignorance or fear, may be effectively stupidity. Let’s unquestioningly spend big on weapons of murder and defence and see what good that does us. Better to spend on murder that life. Obviously in answer to the unspoken question, so we can be strong (No laughter please. You will be banned like the Get Up TV Advertisement.)

Kevin Rudd announced a policy of values and vision. I don’t remember the boats even getting a mention. The policy differential is that you have to be cruel to be kind. Kevin Rudd in his election launch said it was a fight. He declared: “I believe in this election we can and will prevail”. In summary:

And that’s the jobs of all Australians. The pay packets of all Australians. And an Australia which still believes in a fair go for all.

The ALP has made the big calls. Furthermore:

Ours is always a positive vision that points optimistically to the future. Theirs a negative vision that points back to some imagined point in a mythical past. These have always been the competing narratives of Australian history. The conservatives know what they are against. But they never really seem to have worked out what exactly they are for. I have never seen a decent reform that the conservatives haven’t set out to destroy.

So what, if anything is wrong with this vision? To what factors is Kevin Rudd blind? He does not mention the impact on the budget of an aging population, and perhaps the Coalition appreciate this factor in the structural problem, but they intend to treat the aged in the same manner as the treat refugees. He says that “big business is a part of Australia’s future”, which suggest the modern labor party has neither a critique of international corporatism or an understanding how technology has changed employment. For example,there is no mention of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. For Kevin Rudd the upgrading of the TAFE system is a practical measure. By contrast, Tony Abbott sees it as an article of faith:

While the EMS is preferable to the Coalition’s, or more specifically Tony Abbott’s dismissal of climate change, Kevin Rudd is both far too complacent about the possible impact of climate change, suggesting achieving the 5% reduction might be too modest. It could be argued that Tony Abbott is more astute since he realizes that technology is not sufficient and change in cultural paradigm is required. Alternatively, both are captives of the fallacy of conservatism. He declared:

Choosing a trade, no less than going to university, is a good way to make something of your life

This begs the question of what is human life for? Let alone, what is education for? A question that would seem has never been asked, or if it was ditched for pragmatic electoral reasons. The Coalition, I believe, are planning to introduce Charter Schools. The ALP education proposals followed the drills and skills regime to meet the requirement of employment. Elections reflect what is thought in the time between them.

Rupert Murdoch declared that Tony Abbott was a conviction politician. On the contrary, a reading of their campaign launch speeches would suggest that Kevin Rudd was the one with convictions, which may reflect his need to make ground. Much like his costings, Tony Abbot has kept his convictions, his principles and his purposes for the most part well hidden. And then the costings are released late before voting denying the possibility of careful analysis.

Abbott has emerged as the supreme political cynic. and successful political operator. The wheel has turned since the days of Labor triumph and the doctrine of “whatever it takes”. And yet there is another factor to be judged- the aforementioned American citizen and British media proprietor, Rupert Murdoch. He has used his front pages and journalists in a very transparent way to attack Rudd to the electoral benefit of Abbott. One supposes, that Tony Abbott will be compelled to make good and offer access, with the implicit threat that the same methods could be and could have been used against him. The more success, Murdoch has achieved the greater the corruption of the democratic process.

Elections come down to who wins. And we are told the polls make this a clear win for Tony Abbott and the Coalition. We will see on Saturday evening. Then Kevin Rudd so it seems will be making the concession speech. It will be of interest to see whether he matches the standard set in the past:

(1) 1993: John Hewson concedes he has lost  election to Paul Keating:

(2) Paul Keating in the next election in 1996 loses to John Howard:

3. John Howard concedes in 2007:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Postscript:

Kevin Rudd seems to have hit his stride in the final lap of the race. The election of Tony Abbott’s to lose, so he has said as little as possible on the assumption that people have made up their minds. For example he has not taken up the offer to appear on a special ABC Q&A. I have found it very hard to follow the campaign, since it has seemed back to front. Obviously, the campaign launches should be at the beginning not the end.

Kevin Rudd addressed the National Press Club yesterday and here is an extract:

I have decided that the Senate ballot with its’ 110 candidates is just too overwhelming to vote below the line, partly because I don’t in principle accept the idea that it should be committed to the internet privacy prior to voting at the polls.

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