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The Forum > Article Comments > Publicís heart not in it > Comments

Publicís heart not in it : Comments

By Susan McDonald, published 6/9/2006

The 'battlers' are Howardís as long as the Coalition delivers for the hip pocket.

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Yes he has certainly delivered to the hip pocket, the G.S.T. we we "never" going to have, the interest rate rises "we had to have" the lack of investment in bio fuels, so we pay $1.40 lt for petrol, ah yes true conservative hip pocket philosophy, what more could we battlers want?
Posted by SHONGA, Wednesday, 6 September 2006 10:02:06 AM
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I think Susan is correct to say that the majority of Australians are a lot more progressive than the policians they elect to represent them. The danger is that the conservative right wing are very effective in making their views known and I think that public sentiment is being shifted slowly but surely to the right.

When you talk to people in their 20s they think its quite normal to work a cocktail of part time jobs that have no job security. Call me old fashioned, but I didn't study at university to have that sort of employment outcome forced on me.

When you look at the high number of households that are supported by some form of social security payments currently running at $1 in $7 of household expenditure and note that existing social welfare recipients are shielded from the latest changes to the social welfare regime, you can see that the government has shielded many of the "aussie battlers" that vote conservatively from these changes.

Because many of Howard's "aussie battlers" are socal security recipients who are shielded from changes to the welfare regime and also insulated from economic downturns the government will be re-elected.
Posted by billie, Wednesday, 6 September 2006 10:15:20 AM
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One of the most cowardly tricks a government can pull on its country is to "protect" its citizenry from the truth.

We all smirked at the antics of the communist countries who fed their people a never-ending stream of propaganda on bumper wheat harvests, how well-off they were, and how decadent, corrupt and poor the capitalist countries really were.

We are now in exactly that situation. The world is changing rapidly around us, and we are saddled with a government that is in total denial. As an economy, ours will be overtaken by countries that we presently perceive as "third world" within the lifetime of many who read this, and the impact of this change will affect all of us. Is this a discussion item in the Cabinet room? Hardly. The focus is on dog-whistle politics to ensure their re-election.

The opposition hardly inspires confidence either, being solely focussed on gaining power.

But the saddest aspect is us. According to Ms McDonald:

>>a clear majority of the population thinks Australia should not have a military presence in Iraq... Australians think the current [asylum] laws are tough enough... approve of using embryonic stem cells ... believe in a womanís right to choose an abortion... favour making the abortion pill available... support a law to recognise same-sex unions... regard global warming as something that should be acted on now... want a republic than donít.. donít support IR reform or privatisation.<<

While these are all terribly worthy views, in the face of the massive economic changes that we will experience as a country over the next fifty years, bickering over them seems to be a bit of a luxury.

It is not as if we have a choice. We have built the country to its present level of prosperity on the back of economic and trade factors that are now in the past. Protectionism won't help, isolationism won't help. We have to face the reality of lowered standards of living and a less important world role.

There isn't a politician alive who will tell you this.
Posted by Pericles, Wednesday, 6 September 2006 10:47:05 AM
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All I can say is yes, I agree.

I think the public impression that the coalition has managed the economy well is largely due to an effective PR campaign.

The resources boom is what has led Australia to a positive financial position.
What's more, Howard is not the lord of interest rates - that honour belongs to the reserve bank, but Howard still won an election on it.

That being said, when it comes to the economy, labour wouldn't do much better... the one piece of credit I'm willing to give Howard is that he is being a bit more of a realist - the changing world environment is going to mean that businesses are going to have to be able to be leaner and meaner, which means less rights for the unions -anathema to the labor party. Though clearly, Howard has gone too far.

The worst possible outcome of the next federal election would be the liberal party maintaining or strengthening its overwhelming majority in the senate, meaning the liberals still don't need to negotiate to pass whatever legislation they want.

The second worst outcome would be the labor party winning with such a margin, that they have the same ability to abuse their power.

I'd like to see labor win, by a comfortable, though not overwhelming margin. Won't happen though. Not until labor realises the union base isn't strong enough to support them anymore, and they become a little more open to new ideas. As it stands, it is a party made up of union hacks, and not a genuinely left party.

What's more, it hasn't chosen a leader that would revitalise the party, and has adopted the labor stance of clinging to the past with Beazley. Rudd or Gillard would have been the better choice, but it has cost labor another election to discover that.
Posted by TurnRightThenLeft, Wednesday, 6 September 2006 11:47:43 AM
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With a leader who tries to become as small a target as is possible?
With a Treasury spokesman who is...(?)
With deputy leader who is and won't ever be leader and who's name is not male or ... Costello.
With hugely photogenic Foreign Affairs spokesman who disappeared from our TV screens, almost totally, throughtout the Lebanon invasion but who resurrected, almost miracluously, at it's conclusion, while commenting on another irrelevant issue to do with neighbours to our immediate north.
With a health spokeperson who has a surprisingly liberal attitude towards stem cell research ... unlike the Liberal Health Minister.
With an invisible spokesperson on the anti-labor legislation of the Government.
With the most virulent opposition to that legislation coming not from the alleged labor centered Opposition but from the Unions...who are largely held in contempt by the public at large.
With a seeming non-spokesperson on the excesses of the Government's recent attempt at Immigration legislation.
With the most virulent and effective opposition to that legislation coming from a mixed crew of respected liberals, a maverick but loved National Senator, an Independant who draws his idealogy from the fundamentalist Judeo/Christian belief system (Someone with who Tony Abbott has much in common).
And finally with a Liberal Heath minister who decries people who in his view are 'left/liberal'.

Yep I'm proudly liberal, recognise liberalism in others, and am not intending to vote for John Howard because of Tony Abbot, who is so fundamentalistly captive that he besmirches liberalism and liberals, his supposed supporters and allies, with attitudes and beliefs that are absolute anathema.

Conservatism is tolerated so long as it is marginalised to economic issues and that was the point of the article. I agree and I've said the same thing ... differently and pointedly.
Posted by keith, Wednesday, 6 September 2006 2:55:29 PM
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I have to wonder how much of Howard's "good economic management" is simply dumb luck.

Howard has benefited from significant reforms put in place by Labor between 1983 - 1996. He has also been lucky with demand for world commodities and the impact that has had on our exchange rate.

Having made the (right) decision to give the RBA carriage with interest rates it is rather hollow to claim great success for his Government in keeping rates low, it was the RBA that did it.

And if the last Labor Govt had been taxing the guts out of us like Howard then "Beazley's black hole" would have been a massive surplus.

I also have to wonder that if he is such an economic genius why was Australia so buggered when he was Treasurer between 1977 - 83 ?

Seems to me the answer may be less to do with the skills of John Howard and more to do with decisions taken by Deng TsiaoPing ?
Posted by westernred, Wednesday, 6 September 2006 3:38:18 PM
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