Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Election comments

*  As I'm pretty sure I suggested a few months ago, the problem with a narrow win by the Coalition is that no one within it (or the broader public) will be entirely sure of the reason why, enabling both conservatives and the, um, not conservatives to blame each other.  This is particularly the case given the wildly divergent swings across different seats, which seems to be the odd characteristic of this election.

*  It seems that Queensland was much more "in play" for Labor than polling or punditry had predicted.  But by voting in large numbers for Pauline Hanson, the embarrassing low level of serious political thought in the State was, unfortunately, once again on display.   (By the way, who can doubt that her regular lightweight media exposure on Sunrise - as it was with Kevin Rudd - was largely responsible for her political re-emergence.   The producers of that show have a lot to answer for, come the revolution!)

*  I really wasn't paying that much close attention to interviews and such in this campaign, given I was trying to get enough work off my desk to go on a holiday.   But yeah, it did seem Turnbull was underwhelming as a campaigner.  Shorten was better than expected.

*  As for the "Mediscare" campaign:  I think it counted as an election campaign exaggeration, not a lie as such, and it is ridiculous for the Coalition to carry on as if they are above such tactics.   (Joyce and his $100 lamb leg roasts of campaigns past, to note one oft repeated example.)   The Coalition's "Labor's War on Business" was a pretty good example of silly campaign exaggeration from the other direction, too.

*  Speaking of scare campaigns, why on earth was no one in Labor running legitimate ads about "Remember the surprise the Coalition sprung on you about Tertiary fees after the last election?"   Especially given that no one knows what the ultimate policy on tertiary fees from the Coalition will be this term.  Maybe they decided no one under 25 was going to vote Coalition, anyway?

*  I think the Coalition's policy platform is disappointing, for the following reasons:

a.  the soundest economic view seems to be that the distortions in investment caused by negative gearing on residential property does indeed need to be addressed for the long term health of the economy, and the Labor approach to that was responsible and reasonable.   That the Coalition should reject any changes to it shows them to still be the captives of the modern equivalent of the "white shoe brigade", with the construction industry eventually paying the price for short term gain.   There is already plenty of concern being expressed about a large oversupply in unit construction in the 3 major cities, and there deserves to be a serious winding back on that.

b. As often happens, I know someone who voted against self interest, in that he works in the financial/retirement advice business and was bemoaning that the Coalition's superannuation changes were unfair and bad for his clients, and he even admitted that Labor's approach to reforming it was simpler and better in principle.  He still would not vote Labor, though, because - Labor.  Again, Labor, I think, had a better policy on something important for the long term.

c. Labor, of course, I can criticise for refusing to contemplate even a small increase in the GST as being "regressive", when I think it is an obvious helpful and fast contribution to budgetary issues.

*  Despite that last point, overall, I think Labor did act pretty responsibly and transparently in detailing its economic policy and plans, and I was satisfied that the scheme (short term slightly higher deficits pulled in  by the ongoing effect of its longer term policy changes) was plausible.   Of course, it might have got blown out of the water by a second global financial crisis within the next couple of years of some similar magnitude to the last; but then again, it's not as if the Liberals are going to be substantially better off responding under their policies.

*  It's also disappointing that climate change was a "no go" area for both major parties in this campaign.  With the Nationals feeling good after their performance, who knows what this will mean?   They worry about coal mines for the "wrong" reason, but at least they still worry about coal mines.   And then you have Katter, the Mad Hatter who seems all over the shop on climate change (in that he has been known to fret about the barrier reef and acidification) apparently trying to get government help for coal mining rail in Queensland.  The best we can hope for is that a Clinton win in the US, and possible aggressive climate change policies by her, will re-focus attention on what we're actually not doing fast enough.

So yeah, I voted Labor and am happy to explain why.  I think it's an entirely justifiable thing to do for a centrist voter at the moment, as its policy instincts are, on the whole, still sounder than that being displayed within the fractious Coalition.

1 comment:

Not Trampis said...

great minds think alike.

I had my say today on Mediscare where I pronounced it claptrap. It had no effect on the outcome.

I voted for the coalition for the last time given it is their second term.