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The Forum > Article Comments > Shifting politics > Comments

Shifting politics : Comments

By Mark Bahnisch, published 2/4/2007

Labor may not have yet won, but at this point in the election year cycle, itís eminently plausible to think that some tectonic plates have shifted mightily.

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Nobody expects Howard to serve through another term, if he wins. We are therefore offered a Government led by Costello - a smarmy, sarcastic, verbal bully whose principal skill seems to lie in cruel invective - Downer, so superbly characterised by Bill Leak - Abbott, presiding over an increasingly dysfunctional health system and, I suppose, Malcolm Turnbull. Hmmm. What a prospect.
Posted by Johntas, Monday, 2 April 2007 10:41:01 AM
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I agree with Mark about Peter Hartcher's unremarkable analysis. I used to have some respect for Hartcher, but he seems to have gone native and succumbed to the press gallery pack mentality.

By the way, it will be interesting to see how the next interest rate rise (now almost certain) plays out for Howard. That will be the FIFTH since the last election, which together with the infrastructure and skills crises, makes the Coalition's claim to being sound economic managers look ridiculous.

A lot of people held their noses and voted for Howard in the last two elections. But the stench has now become so bad - and the alternative much more palatable - that a change is brewing.
Posted by Mr Denmore, Monday, 2 April 2007 11:22:32 AM
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Mark,

I agree that a tipping point was reached some time ago. More of a ground swell of concern on the part of the public who have put on probation many Howard assertions that are now proving to be wrong. The starting point with all of this was Howard's obstinate position on Kyoto, followed by his bulldozing of the Iraq war (which cancelled out better thoughts from a perceived success in East Timor and relief at the disposal of the Taliban). Distraction came with the tsunami but soon came proof that Howard was impotent on interest rates. All along Howard abused his control of the parliament. So when the press finally started to report global warming, leading Howard to leap on the possibility of bulldozing nuclear power, Howard started to look shifty and dangerous. So the public were relieved when Labour put up a credible leader. The real decider in this, though, is environmental secutity. The states are all labour because people prefer to have health, education and social issues overseen by government with some feeling. Now the global warming issue has loomed large and this is a significant concern that falls within the Labour stable of issues and solutions. Exit Howard, stage right
Posted by Bill Bunting, Monday, 2 April 2007 1:22:18 PM
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The Coalition have lost and they won't turn it around. In a sense, I'll be glad, but in another, I know that the alternative won't be much better.

I think a lot of people are going to be shocked when the election of the ALP isn't like the Second Coming.

Rudd won't completely tear up WorkChoices, he won't stop industry disappearing offshore and he won't beat up on the banks. He won't get Australia out of Iraq, at least not until the Americans get out. He certainly won't tell the Americans to bugger off on anything. He won't "save" the environment because it will cost too much, although he will make a few token gestures in this regard. He won't stop interest rates going up. There are a lot of things that won't happen because there's no quick fix on any of this. It may be satisfying to get rid of a government that's clearly on the nose and long past its used by date, but I don't think that in itself will be a magic bullet. Do people forget that's how Howard and co. got elected in the first place?
Posted by shorbe, Monday, 2 April 2007 4:41:51 PM
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Times they are indeed changing, did anyone see Costello today?
He smiled and told jokes! outstanding!
Is he looking at post election Australia or has he information we do not have?
Howard must know he has become the problem not the answer just maybe we will see Abbott and Costello take the team into the next election.
Yes I understand it looks like the other two with those names have been around for a while.
Posted by Belly, Monday, 2 April 2007 6:52:53 PM
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Shorbe is right in saying there wont be much difference between John Howard and the Labour party but it might be good to just give John Howards government a kick in the bum by voting them out for three years. We can always vote them back in again in three years if labour proves to be disappointing which I'm sure it will be just like every other party that's ever been elected.
Posted by sharkfin, Monday, 2 April 2007 9:43:37 PM
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