Posts Tagged ‘election



Today is your day

The election is here

You look shiny today!


We have great expectations

Our future rests upon it

Triennial amnesia

We all suffer from it


You’ll race to the bottom

With no element of care

You will pander to many

With souls that are bare


You will target the sectors

That need help the most

While preening to pundits

We’ve found savings! you’ll boast


You will go all imperial

On the arse of our neighbours

You’ll then act all wounded

When there aren’t any favours


You will denigrate, malign

You will put down and pester

While our national problems

Like sores they will fester


You’ll both strive to keep

Your true feelings under wraps

And in a moment of weakness

That façade it will lapse


You’ll kiss your constituents

Young bubs will be scarred

Back of envelope policy

When thinking’s too hard


But then you will realise

Three year cycles can’t fix it

As you walk through the door

One eye’s on the exit


You’ll rally against anyone

Who dares to find error

Experts are subjected

To weak minded terror


You’ll put on your best polish

And announce a new way

And then finally, the public

Knows it’s been led astray


Your fate will be chosen

By rich men with much ink

‘Robust media coverage’

You’ll either glow or you’ll stink


So as you make do

With a mandate democratic

If you remember one thing

Just keep it dramatic.



Dislclaimer: if you don’t like these opinions, I have others

Yesterday’s events were fascinating to watch. Barrie Cassidy called the spill two weeks ago on Insiders. Watch a pair of horses manoeuvring for first place can be more absorbing than watching a field of ten.

Whether a petition was circulated or not, Julia Gillard sniffed the wind and moved to end the saga once and for all, setting absolute sequelae for winner and loser. To Kevin Rudd’s credit, he agreed to the terms set out. The loser would exit this time. No, really.

The spill itself was a slow self-fulfilling prophecy. When Bill Shorten switched camps, it was confirmed. The stakes are so high that he saw fit to torch his short, medium and possibly long term leadership aspirations. To her great integrity, Julia GIllard was true to her word and immediately vacated the post without rancour or the sobfest that accompanied Kevin Rudd’s deposition in 2010. Then again, she had more time to compose herself. This spill had the same slow inevitability of the planet Melancholia contacting earth and destroying all on it.

Anyone who thought that Kevin Rudd was willing time to pass while sitting in the ‘nether regions’ as he termed it was seriously mistaken. His sound performance in Question Time yesterday was an clear message to the coalition that they will actually have to work for this. In the still likely event that we wake up to an Abbott government, the majority will be smaller, their mandate less overwhelming than anticipated in the last 6-12 months.

As the myriad post mortems on the Gillard period fill the web, the following were my conclusions:

The whole misogyny issue over the last 24 months has been overemphasized by the left and predictably dismissed by conservative commentators. Some of the twitter chat (of which I am a sad, sad addict) has brought up some overly emulsified emotional claptrap by blind GIllardistas who fail to see her flaws as a prime minister but instead only the attacks on her on the basis of gender by Alan Jones, Graham Morris, and numerous others. This is not to say that the said attacks were acceptable. Far from it. They were vile, sexist remarks from a bygone era when men were men and men were stupid. However it should always be possible to dissect the latter from the former.

Solely by virtue of her sex, it read like an absolute division by gender lines. I am certain there were feminists who found her decision to address the Australian Christian Lobby or as an atheist, to claim that her strong morals were from her Baptist upbringing as nothing short of bizarre. Did she speak for all women? Of course not, but not all men felt she didn’t speak for them either.

Pledging ongoing support (and tax payer funds) for the National School Chaplaincy Program is something I will never agree with, and logic prevailed with Ron Williams’ successful challenge in the High Court. Whether a believer, agnostic or atheist, placing the mental health of all children in the hands of one religious approach was simply an incomprehensible path to take, unless of course you are rather a fanatic.
Her stance on gay marriage was interesting given her justification of ‘traditional values’ that had roots in a Baptist upbringing, despite declaring herself to be an atheist.

Women are and have been for years ready and able to assume and execute positions of high office, despite Tony’s Abbott’s comical assertions of physiological difference. Australian though, to our detriment, was not ready for a female PM. This backlash from the aforementioned contrarians and others shaped Julia Gillard as much as she shaped the nation during her tenure.

On the evidence that she managed to oversee 485 passed bills (87% of these bipartisan) in a hung parliament speaks volumes for her tenacity in the face of the nauseating behaviour of Tony Abbott, Christopher Pyne et al who have spent valuable time with points of order, suspensions of standing orders and other means to simply enforce an early poll. The consumption of Question Time in the last sitting of 2012 by Julie Bishop’s wild goose chase on matters AWU was a blatant abuse of parliamentary resources, as were the almost comical volumes of electricity bills illustrating the carbon price’s immense adverse effect. Clive Palmer’s revelations on his meetings with Joe Hockey and Mal Brough show how intent the Liberal Party was to destroy the GIllard government by whatever means.

Should the ALP, as is likely, lose with an admirable swing (whatever that equals), or pull off a Keating, they can thank Gillard for tenacity in navigating through hostile waters. They can also thank her for committing to infrastructure, education and most importantly the NDIS as a worthy legacy. It is a great shame that both herself and her party could not sell those positive messages to the people. How much of that is mainstream Murdoch media and how much is the ALP’s doing is an argument that will never be won.

From here we are faced with a government that should have been returned on the sole achievement of positive jobs growth, avoiding a recession and achieving triple A ratings. But along the way there the disasters of pink batts and shall we say, rather non-selective approach to stimulus cheques. They have failed to address the highly complex problem of people smuggled to our shores. It has spent an ostentatious amount of time looking at itself rather than managing the ‘economy in transition’ that seems to be the line of the moment. If anything, the move to Rudd will hopefully refocus those remaining MPs who haven’t resigned or who are not resigned to defeat to put in one last effort.

But we have an opposition who has expended much of its intellectual and parliamentary resources trying to knock a house down instead of outlining how they would design it better. SInce Kevin Rudd PM v 2.0, Coalition MPs have been swift to outline policies released thus far, with Malcolm Turnbull at pains this morning to outline the Coalition’s vast roll call of policy announcements. A slower NBN, repealing  the carbon price and mining tax and a paid parental leave scheme that has business folk unsettled hardly sells as an array of policies. Nor does saying ‘we are not them’.

What we have now is a coalition that will have to work for the right to govern instead of the three columns of no, a pamphlet of aspiration and an as yet unknown algorithm to manage the economy. Given that Australia votes out governments (with the exception of Whitlam), this will probably suffice on polling day. The only worse in prospect than a hung parliament is a massive mandate for either party.

Yes the rumours are true. Clive will appear on Q&A alongside fellow passionate Queenslander Bob Katter.

Some of the parameters I have set for the show are as follows:

1 Tony Jones to be removed as host and Janet Albrechtsen in.

2 No questions on tax policy – we all know what happened last time a Queenslander advocated a flat tax.

3 Clive to have access to a cold spoon under the desk (see point 1).

4 Rider preshow as previously agreed with the ABC (including the specific brand and quantity of Chiko rolls requested).

5 Audience composition must be >75% QLD, with no Greens.

6 Warwick Capper to be given special security lanyard for the night in case any nut bags think of coming in to the studio.

7 Emma Alberici to take the night off as there will be no Lateline (2 hour Q&A clause).

Clive is ready for all questions and, unlike Abbott & Gillard, does not his questions vetted or screened. He expects a fair fight with his friend Bob Katter.

Any Qs, tweet away.


Today we sorted through the myriad candidates applying for UAP preselection since Clive reinflated the concept.

The BobKat and Clive twin threats have certainly forced some cranks out of the undergrowth they’ve been living under.

Warwick Capper is one of the more sane applicants, which should indicate the treacle I’ve had to wade through.

Some of the applicants (with key points) include:


-42 year old truckie who wants preselection in any state of SA, NSW or QLD as he drives through all 3 states on a weekly basis
-‘the bastards who represent their constituents are only there every other month so I’d be more easy to talk to and stuff. They can ask me whatever the fuck they want’
-lists his address as: cabin of my Kenworth ‘Loretta’
-couldn’t give ‘rat’s toss bag’ about the carbon tax
-wants immigration increased so we can fill the spaces and get this country going again with big country towns

Colleen from Byron Bay
-58yr old Greens voter with a thing for rich altruists
-once cleaned Sir Joh’s office
-ready to take on more then just running a herbal soap shop on weekends
-once shared a joint with Brendan Nelson after they shared similar views on same sex marriage
-feels there is no need anymore for states and boundaries

-77yr old retired doctor from Charters Towers
-married for 58 yrs with 5 kids & 13 grandkids
-pro RU486
-wants legislation passed banning Tom Waterhouse’s image being seen anywhere
-rejected by the Bob Katter Party for being too liberal in his views

-24yr old law student
-thinks the tax system should be based on a 15% flat tax & GST of 20% with no other taxes
-wants at least 50 of the IPA’s 75pt wish list carried through
-will only join the UAP if Clive signs this last point

So as you see, the entry of Clive & Bob into the political marketplace had certainly spread the available talent thinner than a Brazilian Samba dancer’s G-string.

I may as well get all the applicants in a room, throw 120 rocks in the air and sign up the fallen. But we’ll spare Warwick. He’s had enough head injuries in his time.

Well, as usual I’m told last minute that Clive is:
1 sick of lobbyists
2 offering a difference
3 running for Fairfax
4 aiming to be Australia’s next PM

While still:
– running Mineralogy
– overseeing Titanic II

As you were then.

Politicalexicon (The electoral non sequitur edition)_January 2013 Edition

With the 2013 election called and what will feel like a decade until polling day, I thought a refresher on the terms you are likely to encounter before and during the campaign would be helpful.

Twitter   The newest way to effectively share your wisdom or expose your stupidity. No one is immune. So dangerous that Liberal Party backbenchers have been banned from tweeting leading up to the 2013 poll lest they cough up policy. Biggest time waster since the slinky. Underestimated by the LNP at their peril. Will probably explode at 9.30pm on election night.

Facebook   Excuse me?

Wind Assistance   Mainstream media’s predilection for ignoring actual policy details and analysis of the incumbent, in favour of fluffing the persona of an aggressive man’s man with a popularity lower than syphillis. See also Newsfilth, The ABC.

Border Protection   A term dating back to the golden days of JW Howard. Involves pandering to true southern cross adorned Strayans that may or may not inhabit the seat of Cook. Both parties competing for the vote of Boganistan in a battle to the bottom given that the aforementioned Strayans seemingly carry clout. See also Fuck Off We’re Full

Gotcha   A gotcha can be mild (@greghuntmp being called out for climate change denial despite his A Tax To Make The Polluter Pay thesis) or downright stupid (@bernardgaynor tweeting that he would not send his children to a school with gay/lesbian teachers). See also gaffe.

Industrial Relations   A more flexible (read $2/day) workplace is needed for international competitiveness, argues the opposition, while the ALP government have a clear agenda to keep worker’s rights protected. The main divider between the two parties. Don’t mention the words Work and Choices together.

Specs Appeal   Notwithstanding (shock horror!) that people who have reached a significant political station usually require glasses, the media’s scraping of the barrel for stories includes what specs our pollies are wearing. Recent optical forays from Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott though are rumoured to have influenced John Faulkner’s decision to retire from politics.

Gaffe   Part of the Venn diagram relationship linking own goals to gotchas, gaffes. These proliferate as the stakes get higher. Examples include:

Joe Hockey’s ‘Go to hell’ interview

Andrew Laming’s tweet

Steve Gibbons tweet

Cory Bernardi’s senate speech

Jenny Macklin’s ‘live on $35 a day’

After the froth and bubble from the media, things usually settle down as people realise that we are, well, flawed to put it nicely.

Elephant In The Room   Subject/s that demand answering but remain mute. For the coalition these include Ashby/Brough currently, and Slipper/Thomson as a past example.

Slim Majority   A nice novelty that arguably caused the current parliamentary disquiet. Ironic given that people outside the major political frameworks got through to the lower house and have the balance of power. Not so ironic that Tony Abbott has been spitting the dummy ever since.

Baby Kissing   No, no and no.

Stunt   Any act  undertaken by a politician with the sole criterion that its duration lasts as long as a camera flash. Such activities include gutting fish, driving trucks, sandbagging (1 whole bag), baby kissing, posing in a CFA firesuit and welding without appropriate safety goggles (while espousing the importance of work safety). Catnip for Herald Sun, The Telegraph & Channel 9.

Marginal Seats  Any seat where a 6% or greater swing equals a change of party. In this case, this means 26 seats the ALP could lose. Let’s just say that there will be likely be less marginal seats after this poll than we currently have. See also sphincter tightening.

The ABC   One of the last remaining media institutions that actually probe either party to explain themselves. eg Leigh Sales v Tony Abbott. Once a bastion of progressive politics, now bending over backwards to accommodate LNP views/biases, especially on The Drum. Slowly being infiltrated by moles. As a guide, only trust interviews conducted by redheads.

Great Debates   A clear misnomer. The PM and Opposition Leader share time equally while shit canning each other. Constructive policy debate will more likely be found on an episode of Yo! Gabba Gabba than here. Expect the worm to be benched and a live SMS/tweet poll to be used. That and some hellishly annoying KFC ads featuring the tattooed Yank brothers no one asked for.

Costings   Where the eager-as-pie opposition attempt to reconcile rhetoric and aspirations with numbers. A bit like trying to mix cordial with crude oil and seeing through it.

Newsfilth   In the main, a triumvirate of The Australian, The Daily Telegraph & The Herald Sun. Interested in running the agenda for Rupert Murdoch and nothing else.

Sphincter Tightening   Anyone in an ALP  seat with a margin of 6% or less.

Mackerras Pendulum A handy do it yourself way to see which seats will matter the most. Much more useful than watching the Kroger & Richo shitfest.

Left/Right   An obsolete term for political parties’ traditional viewpoints and execution on core issues. eg The ALP is progressive on education/health but defiantly alienates gay/lesbian folk from marriage. Also leans in competition for nastiness when it comes to refugees. Left and right are more mixed than ever within parties as well as people.

The IPA   A think tank espousing small government and free market theory. Proposed a 75 point wishlist for Tony Abbott to implement on Australia so as to have the same magnitude of change that Gough did, albeit in a vastly different political direction. Prickly when asked anything, especially on twitter. Likes inhabiting the ABC whilst ironically claiming it is a leftist mouthpiece.

Antony Green   Revered figure amongst politicomathematical tragics, actuaries and nerdy female groupies who slobber over their pizzas on election nights. Distills polls, local factors and electoral trends so you don’t have to.

Preferences   Far too complex an issue for this humble piss take to cover completely. Suffice to say the major parties will put each other last, and then anyone they mutually loathe next to last.

Fiscally Responsible   We’ll cut, no, raze education, health and anything else that does not fit with our constituents’ desires to get the business sector all aroused and moist.

Class Warfare   If rhetoric represents cuts of meat, class warfare is tripe. Trotted out (sic) where a party wants to make their policy distinct from the other. Main culprit: Wayne Swann.

Pissing On Your Shoes   A classic Australian trick as executed by Tony Abbott at his National Press Conference love-in on the 31/1/2013: “Look I have nothing against the Unions”

Trolls   More often than not, people who need a job, a life and probably less alcohol. Characterised by unsolicited snark and usually highly sensitive themselves. Sensitive enough to block anyone who dares question their tweets.

GFC   Almost made the rest of the world carpet itself to death. Curiously forgotten here.

Own Goals   These inexplicable brain freezes vary in duration and impact. Usually even out between the ALP & LNP but some have held more gravity than others.

Pundits   A wide term defining anyone a channel can get to express their gut feelings, inanities and in some cases, incisive analysis. Some appeal come from the Grumpy Old Men aura surrounding the Kroger v Richo banter, while others who take election night seriously look elsewhere. It is surprise that the word stupid lives inside it. For the purposes of definition only, Andrew Bolt and Piers Akerman are pundits. As well as clowns.

Life-raft Jumpers   Political figures who announce their retirement in the last year of government with the knowledge that the party’s fortunes are well and truly trucked.

Political Wilderness   see ALP 1996-2006, LNP 1983-1996

Caretaker Mode   A period (starting from the dissolution of parliament by the governor-general and ending with the swearing in of a new ministry post election) where the incumbent operates hard and fast rules, desisting from any major appointments, international visits, policy decisions or legislation. Coincides with the period of pork barrelling  baby kissing, faux debates, staged managed opportunities and much sought after gotcha opportunities by the failed fourth estate.

Repeal   What the opposition will seek to do to the Carbon Price, the MRRT, as well as the 18K tax threshold that is seemingly close to the liberal ideal of lower personal taxes. With so much time repealing, one expects Tony Abbott to ask for a double term to fit the above in and actually propose and implement his vision.

Political Cartoonists   Geniuses who can capture & express political ideas, fallacies and hypocrisies in less words than in this sentience. Best examples are Tandberg, Nicholson and the King of them all, Bill Leak. Try and get your hands on Leak’s 2007 election series. They are the Vermeer of our times.

leak 1

Feel free to suggest more terms and definitions if you wish in comments below, or to my twitter handle @PAforClive.

One of the more infantile pieces of cinema that marked the futile attempt of mainstream America to execute slapstick was 2001’s Dude Where’s My Car? The drive through scene sticks in my mind the most. You know, where the boys order Chinese  only to be infuriated by the annoying ‘And then?“, resulting in the destruction of the speaker box.

My link? Well, as I have previously written, the ALP at the Federal level is headed for at best a hearty paddling. It really is just a matter of degrees, a 2 or 3 termer. But what of the incumbent Abbott government? Only recently do I detect some degree of analysis of what Abbott would bring  to the job of PM.  A great analysis of what he has hinted at, both through his interesting acts of diplomacy in the USA, China and Indonesia are dissected expertly by Dr Tim Soutphomassane ( I’ll let you read this and decide for yourself.

Beyond this, what would Tony Abbott do with a large mandate? Surely he will not be able to resist imposing his forceful will and his own vision of what Australia should be on all of us. The key word being should. Most certainly he will reward big business antagonism towards the ALP by dressing Workchoices in different clothes, citing changing circumstances. Climate deniers will also be acquiesced, with the blood oath enacted in repealing the carbon tax. The MRRT will go with the same fervour to strip back the previous government’s reforms. What will stay untouched though is the 18K tax free threshold, as such a move would represent the first scaling back of tax cuts in Australia’s history, an act of bastardry a bridge too far even for Tony Abbott.

In the light of the above changes to tax revenue, just how would Abbott, Hockey et al conjure the fiscal prowess they claim is the hallmark of Liberal governments? Will “eleventy” be able to magically produce more tax revenue? The simple answer is no. Unless of course the GST is augmented, which appears an obvious option despite Abbott’s assertions otherwise. If either party was serious though about tax reform, they would show leadership and tier the GST to reflect the necessity of the taxed item (a discourse too voluminous and complex to flesh out here in this humble rant).

Basic services like health & education, foreign aid, welfare (whether merited or not) and education will be trimmed to the necessary degree, and the area of immigration will again return to the demonic practice of housing the statistically insignificant number of asylum seekers on boats on Nauru. To be fair though, the ALP have fluffed few issues in a worse manner than this human one. The one issue that could have defined the ALP as clearly distinct from the Coalition has been ruined by the me too approach from the start, with Abbott & Scott Morrison able to fan the lowest common denominator racist sentiment with ease.

So we have an opposition leader who has had a prolonged period of little or no scrutiny due to the chronic malaise of the ALP, even if you account for whatever degree of media wind assistance you care to believe in. He has wielded the drill bit that has worn enough bricks in the wall to ensure it comes down for the Coalition to take up residence. But once the house has changed owners, it takes a person with a clear vision that relates to Australia’s future and not with its roots firmly in the Anglophillic past. Tony Abbott is not that man. And while the ALP can have no complaints when it is sent from office, those frothing at the mouth about Ju-Liar this and Ju-Liar that will need to think ahead of their next slab.

And then?