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Australian Election

What will be the outcome of the federal election?

  • Labor wins and increases its majority

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Labor wins and retains roughly the same number of seats

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Labor wins but suffers a significant reduction in seats

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • The Coalition wins

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5

Al Battani

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With a Federal election looming towards the end of the year and public 'debate' on major policies like the resources tax and emissions trading scheme in full swing, it seems a good time to wade in to some discussion on everyone's thoughts on what will happen and why come election time.

If current polling remains accurate it seems that the Greens will pick up more of the vote, although this won't necessarily translate in to more seats. The Greens have said they will not suggest their voters preference Labor as they have in the past although the chances that this will significantly reduce preferences that flow to Labor seems tenuous.

On the Rudd front, his popularity is at an all-time low, although this hasn't translated in to a meaningful increase in support for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

My thoughts are that a lot will depend on the outcome of negotiations regarding the resources tax (RSPT). If the Prime Minister can successfully navigate the issue, admittedly a very tough ask, I think he can retain power. Depending on the severity of any negative outcomes that result, I still think it's more likely than not that Rudd will remain Prime Minister. Abbott is too radical and lacks the nuance needed in a Prime Minister and his approval rating is still lower than Rudd's.

Thoughts everyone?
 

spud_meister

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personally, if i could, i'd vote in Gillard, she's spent almost as much time running the country as Rudd, she appears to be a lot smarter, and slightly better looking :mrgreen:
like you said, Abbott's too radical, and the mining tax will bugger up Rudd's chances unless he can resolve it before he calls an election.
 

donsutherland1

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I haven't really looked at Mr. Abbott or his philosophy in great detail just yet. My guess is that if Australia's economy remains on a robust growth path, Prime Minister Rudd has a reasonable chance of being re-elected, even as he currently trails somewhat in some polls right now. With Australia's economy increasingly integrated in the larger Asian macroeconomy, my guess is that Australia will likely maintain such growth, particularly in resource production sectors. I don't believe China's potential real estate bubble will burst this year, so that development and any other regional risks (e.g., a decline in growth would have an impact on Australia, as Asia accounts for about 60% of Australia's exports) is not likely to undercut Australia's economic growth through the election. Its finances are also in much better shape than in many OECD countries.

The resources tax offers one possible opening to the opposition and expectations concerning that tax have played perhaps the major role in pushing the opposition into a modest lead. However, even if it is left in its present form (consistent with prevailing expectations), it will not necessarily be enough to be a dealbreaker for the current government. During the campaign, other issues including the state of Australia's economy will assume a larger role. For now, the looming resources tax has gained disproportionate attention. That situation probably won't persist, especially if the issue is resolved sooner rather than later. Then, attention will move to other areas, particularly the economy.

In sum, even as it is a little soon for me to have a firm idea as to whom voters will elect--each candidate has a realistic opportunity--what is clear and far more immediate is that Australia's World Cup prospects have dimmed. A big rebound is urgently needed on Saturday.
 

Al Battani

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Haha, I wholeheartedly concur with your assessment on the World Cup. Luckily Cahill only got a one match ban!!

On the economy, I think it's fair to say that Rudd/Swan will go to great lengths to highlight the excellent recovery from the GFC and I think come campaign time, provided they can negotiate a not-too-controversial resolution to the RSPT, this will be the main economic issue for voters.
 

Civil1z@tion

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My knowledge of Australian politics is somewhat limited so take my perspective with a grain of salt.

I don't think the economy is going to be a huge issue in the election (beyond something like the mining tax). A good economy in no way hurts Rudd, but it might not help him much either given that the Australian economy didn't take much of a hit (comparatively) from the recession in the first place (so there isn't much recovery to take credit for). In such an instance, Rudd has a clear advantage over Abbott's extremism. The electorate may give Labor a hit but I doubt they'll do much more than that.
 

Al Battani

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Prophetic indeed spud, Rudd just announced that there will be a leadership vote at 9am tomorrow, with Gillard being the challenger.

Full coverage at Sky News Australia

Sky News seems to think that Gillard has the numbers to win and it's hard to see why she would challenge without them, especially this close to an election. On the other hand, Rudd supposedly gauged the caucus's temperature via his chief of staff and was similarly confident of having the numbers.

My question is this: Why are leadership challenges such as this even possible? I can understand the need for accountability but my feeling is that if someone is elected Prime Minister by a majority of the nation then they are entitled to remain as such until the majority of the nation decides otherwise or they are shown to have committed a crime/engaged in serious misconduct etc. Instead Gillard can take advantage of the current climate and claim the Prime Ministership with the votes of several dozen caucus members as opposed to the usual millions of citizens required....
 

spud_meister

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i think Gillard will take over the leadership, its obvious a lot of the ALP has lost faith in Rudd, and if she doesn't take the top spot, it could lead to a chaotic power vacuum, in which case labor would more than likely lose the election.

My question is this: Why are leadership challenges such as this even possible? I can understand the need for accountability but my feeling is that if someone is elected Prime Minister by a majority of the nation then they are entitled to remain as such until the majority of the nation decides otherwise or they are shown to have committed a crime/engaged in serious misconduct etc. Instead Gillard can take advantage of the current climate and claim the Prime Ministership with the votes of several dozen caucus members as opposed to the usual millions of citizens required....

well, i suppose you can't have a proper leading party of no-one is backing the leader of that party, and being done just before an election, its not really a big deal, but if it was done only shortly into someone's term, i suppose the governor general could call a dissolution of parliment, or take a similar course of action.
 

Yossarian

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In a Westminsterial Parliamentary system like we have in Australia the Prime Minister is not 'elected' to their position, though they are of course elected to Parliament. They are appointed as party leader by the party itself. The executive branch of government is chosen from within Parliament itself and does not exist as a separate entity a la the US. This means that removing a Prime Minister from office is perfectly legitimate (if somewhat morally suspect).
 

spud_meister

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that makes more sense

but now all us Aussies can celebrate, we elected out first female, red haired, welsh born PM
 

Yossarian

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Under Gillard I think we can expect more of the same policy-wise, since she had a big say in government decisions beforehand anyway. What it means more broadly, however, is that factions still rule the Labor party. Rudd was dismissed by union-controlled backroom powerbrokers similarly to Nathan Rees in NSW purely for the purposes of political point-scoring. This shows a disturbing lack of respect for the legitimacy of an ostensibly-elected government - just imagine if such events were to happen on a regular basis. Basically Labor has shown that party factionalism remains ever-present, that it is a slave to polls and trade unions and that it cannot put forward an executive government that can last for a single parliamentary term. For this they will likely lose my vote.

If Turnbull was fronting the Libs I would not think twice about voting for them; although they have their fair share of infighting, it is not rooted in the entrenched power blocs of the ALP that can and do flex their muscles. However, with Abbott in charge I am not so sure because he represents the overtly conservative side of the LNP rather than the more 'liberal' approach of members like Turnbull, Georgiou etc. At this rate, it looks like the Greens at least will fill the gap for the disenchanted many.
 

Al Battani

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Yossarian,

I understand the mechanics of the Westminster system, I was more trying to generate discussion on whether people thought this was a good thing or not.

In any event, I would argue that the potential Prime Minister is an influential factor in a lost of people's votes and most, if not all, voters are aware of the implicit vote for a prime minister when they vote for their local candidate.
 

Al Battani

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Discussion has hit a lull (no doubt a response to the constant lull that is the entire campaign thus far) so what are everyone's thoughts on some of the policies that have been released?

I think Gillard was fairly criticised for her mental health plan, especially by the same critics of Rudd: McGorry, Hickie, Mendoza et. al. It certainly seemed rather innocuous compared to the $1.5 billion dollar plan offered by the Coalition (although there were differences in the ways each policy would be implemented).

On the other hand, I think Abbott's decision to limit immigration to an apparently arbitrary number of 170,000 is a poor one. Kerry O'Brien pointed out on the 7.30 Report that independent analysis suggests that overall migration numbers will fall to below this figure anyway over the next few years, making the plan largely redundant. Even if this analysis proves to be incorrect, 'boat people' make up less than 1% of the overall immigration number so applying a numerical cap is going to be largely ineffective against the supposed problem it is attempting to resolve.
 
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