Does this mean we can all pack up and go home?
by Tory Maguire
If today’s Newspoll is an accurate reflection of voter intentions across the board, Julia Gillard won’t just win the election, she’ll deliver Labor candidates into almost 100 of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives.
The Newspoll bump for the ALP, putting it at 55 per cent on the 2PP, compared to 45 for the Coalition, has been attributed to a boost in the Green primary vote, from 10 per cent to 12 per cent. Both those points have been automatically awarded to Labor on the preference assumptions.
This looked a little presumptuous until Bob Brown confirmed this morning the Greens had done a deal to send Labor preferences in 50 key Lower House seats, in exchange for some love the other way in the Senate. - the Newspoll figure seems so out of kilter with the previous few months that one can only assume that Gillard fans were targeted. But then whenever the conservatives win, Newspoll is wrong, but when the ALP win, Newspoll is right. One gets the feeling that Newspoll is as biased as the worm. Gillard has done nothing to deserve favorite status, she has failed everything she has done, and she cannot even claim incumbency. She has had one day in parliament as PM. She is attempting a Bligh tactic, which was successful for Bligh, but may not be good for the long term ALP incumbency. The joke with Bligh is that she could claim that two parties uniting were divided and the media ran with it. Gillard has claimed she is a conservative, like Rudd before her, and the media are spruiking her. But the truth is different to Gillard'c claim, just as it was wide for Bligh's fantasy claim. Maybe Newspoll is right and Queenslanders will support those that lied to them. Maybe. -ed.
Election 2010: Meet the Kingmakers
by David Penberthy
It’s the electorate where the Howard era began in triumph and ended in farce.
Reward for effort: Lane and Jade Melrose shopping with their kids in South Penrith.
The electorate where “Trackie Dackie” Jackie Kelly was elected not once but twice in 1996, scoring a thumping by-election victory after being dudded out of office on a constitutional technicality. The electorate where Kelly’s dentist husband was implicated when a group of Liberal Party activists were photographed in the dead of night in 2007 distributing stooged, misspelt pamphlets reading “Alu Akbar” on behalf of a fictitious local Muslim group claiming Labor support for the construction of a mosque.
Lindsay, on the westernmost edge of Sydney at the foot of the Blue Mountains, was named after the artist, writer and bon vivant Norman Lindsay, who these days would probably be regarded as a weirdo in this proudly suburban, no bullshit seat where the biggest source of local entertainment is the Penrith Panthers Leagues Club, a venue so preposterously big that it can be seen from space. - I'd forgotten how the media inflated the stupid Lindsay thing out of all proportion before the '07 election. I won't be participating in any such tricks .. I don't have the time or the desire. Instead, all I have to do is talk about what my opponent has done in office, delivering record debt from surplus, weakening border protection so that desperate people drowned and were fleeced by pirates only to be denied a secure accommodation. Prices rises and lower pay with fewer in full time work. Or I can refer to various corruption issues and policy failures. I don't need to lie and obfuscate, as Gillard does, and hammer a slogan about not looking at my mistakes. You see, it doesn't matter that I am fat and middle aged while my opponent is a young failure. I have stood up for things that matter, and that is what counts. - ed.
Game of two halves: a sports lover’s guide to the election
by Anthony Sharwood
Politics schmolitics. Everyone knows that sport is the one true obsession in this country. So let’s translate this bewildering election business into sporting speak. Ah, that’s better. Now we can all make sense of it.
An early Kevin Rudd prototype breaks down in 1984.
ELECTION CAMPAIGN: A tedious, drawn out equivalent of the football finals which is essentially pointless, given you know the two grand finalists six weeks in advance.
THE ECONOMY: A huge, volatile entity which no one can control, though everyone claims they can. Like Barry Hall. - the demarcation is wrong here. It is actually the Haves and the Have Nots. - The ALP have government, have abysmal policy and have damaged the economy. Meanwhile, the ALP have not got a clue how to fix their mess, have not got a leader and have not got a united party, being divided from the top down. The conservatives have a clear record of excellence, have a good plan to fix the mess the ALP have left us in and have many good leaders. The conservatives have not got Rudd, they have not got Gillard and they have not got Swan, so the economy would prosper under them. - ed.
Why a vote for Labor is a vote for science
by Richard Marles
I recently learned a few things about the desert. You think you know about its vastness, but it is another thing to actually see it. When the sun goes down it’s bloody cold. And on a cloudless night the sky is simply breathtaking.
Science: Australia's conservatives don't have a formula.
Last month I had the privilege of witnessing the re-entry of the Hayabusa spacecraft into the Earth’s atmosphere. Standing on the side of the Stuart Highway about 170 km north of Woomera, I was with a couple of dozen others – government representatives, media and hard-core stargazers – who had made the pilgrimage to witness the finish of the longest return space journey ever.
At precisely 11.23 pm a star appeared, grew brighter, developed a trail and then spectacularly exploded across the sky, lighting up the ground around us. Reminiscent of the final moments in Return of the Jedi, it is a scene I will never forget. - Don't confuse the placing of cash into pork barrels with supporting science or having a science program. You give the conservatives no credit for anything but claim everything for the ALP, when there is no evidence that such a demarcation is valid. I have heard some fools from the CSIRO claim that the world will end if some conservative is elected, but the world hasn't ended yet, and the truth is that the ALP do not deserve to be applauded for their efforts. I love science. I love Astronomy. I want Australia to have a space elevator. I want Australia to be a clever country. But Australia will not achieve that if money is poured into political hacks to divert funds from research. - ed.