Sunday, 8 September 2013

Early analysis.

Early and arguably bound to be wrong in the end, because

(a) A substantial proportion of ballots remains uncounted (there were three million postal and prepoll votes out of about 15 million electors).

(b) The Senate makeup isn't settled yet, at least as regards minor parties.

First of all, of course, the wailing and the hate have begun. Particularly the hate: this fucking disgrace of a page (called "Tony Abbott should be assassinated") exists on Facebook, and I strongly encourage all and sundry to go and report it in the strongest possible terms. I also encourage you all to take a screencap of the thing, just so that the disingenuous murmurs of "What? Where? Nobody did such a thing!" that will no doubt issue when its creators realise their mistake and delete it (or Facebook does it for them) can be rebutted with proof.

Second, Kevin Rudd seems to have retained his place in Parliament (on Greens preferences, if I understand correctly; his chief opponent gathered more primary votes than he did). He claims that he won't re-contest the leadership, but he said that before and look at what happened. I don't believe him for an instant. So long as he's in Parliament he'll be plotting a return to centre-stage, which is where his ego loves (needs?) to be. There will always be some excuse for why it all went sour - possibly "You forced me to an election before I was ready, you fools!" - and a refusal to accept that he was part of the problem. Or much of it. He wasn't all of it by any means. There is an entire party of equally purblind fools behind him, chanting in unison that the cause of their problem was disunity. IT WAS YOUR POLICIES AND BEHAVIOUR, YOU FUCKING IDIOTS.  It was IMO also the attitude they held toward the demographic which was once Labor's heart and soul, blue-collar Australia - you do not get voted back in as a Labor government when you have just spent six years accusing a large swath of your voting base of being dumb-as-dogshit homophobic misogynist racists, and when your by-the-length-of-a-bee's-dick win in 2010 was based on a lie ("There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead") and a pair of turncoats.

Well, the turncoats are gone - retiring rather than staying to cop the thrashing they knew they had coming - but the one lower-house Greens MP, Adam Bandt, has most likely survived. It looks like a couple of his compatriots will not. Again, it's too early to comment on Senate makeup, but the evidence so far suggests that Labor and the Greens have lost their combined Senate majority.

In other words, the strategy of ditching Gillard and "bringing Kevin in to save the furniture" (i.e. preserve that majority in the face of an inevitable Lower House loss) has been a failure. And speaking of failed election strategies, what about the idiocy of Rudd's camp importing three of Obama's campaign strategists to help out with the "social media" aspect? Fearsome thought at first, but once you analysed it, it was always going to be a paper tiger. Why? Let's go into it. (This is of course written after the event, but I've said a lot at Catallaxy Files on the same theme, so I think I'm safe from any serious accusations of "retrospectoscopy".)

The Obama team had the advantage (on its home ground) of knowing who was registered Democrat or Republican, which - while not an absolute guarantee of voting intentions, as proved by the good ole' boy who before the 2008 Presidential Election declared that he was "voting for the nigger" - gave them useful targets for directed advertising. Australia does not have partisan registration (and hopefully never will) and this vital datum was lacking. They had the advantage (on their home ground) of being able to concentrate on getting ONE guy across the line on national issues; in Australia they had to get 76 guys (and gals) across the line based on a complex mixture of state, national and local issues in order for their One Guy to count. And finally there was no ability to rely on a concentrated ethnic voting bloc (the likes of which does not exist in Australia) or to mobilise a wave of otherwise uninterested electors who might otherwise not have bothered (because they are all obliged to bother, something else I hope remains). Finally, the Australian and American systems of government are substantially different, even though they are both bicameral democracies.

Getting back to Bandt, though, he is very much today's rooster made tomorrow's feather duster. The result his party had hoped for - a Hung Parliament, with the Greens holding the balance of power in the Lower House (effectively both Houses) - has evaporated, as did a large percentage of their overall support. He is now irrelevant, and can do nothing more than beat his fists in impotent fury against the harsh brick wall of a Liberal/National majority. I would like to go out on a limb here and predict that this second term will be his last; that he will find such fist-beating not to his liking, and will find an excuse to leave rather than re-contest at the next election. Whether he goes so far as to walk out early and cause a by-election for the seat is quite another matter. If that happens, it will probably fall to Labor - it was safe Labor before he came in, but I suspect the demographic of the area has changed radically (a whole lot of Greenie types seeking the comfortable inner-city latte culture they love so much) - unless another Green feels like having a go.

We live in interesting times, but the far-left block lunacy of the Greens would seem at this point to have been replaced with a gaggle of centre-to far-right small parties and Independents which will not stand for any of the bullshit that the Greens were able to foist on Labor (or give Labor the cover of having had them foisted) and thence on the Nation.

While not normally a heartless chap, I shall enjoy watching the wailing and gnashing of teeth of those whose government-sponsored Gravy Train is about to come to a sudden and violent stop.

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