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Day 15: Rudd struggles to turn negativity into a positive

Kevin Rudd has hard work ahead of his with polls pointing to electoral disaster for Labor. AAP/Lukas Coch

It was not one of Kevin Rudd’s easier days. Amid the pall cast by the poor Newspoll, the Prime Minister was in Lismore campaigning with Janelle Saffin, MP for Page and one of Labor’s more outspoken backbenchers, a critic on issues from live exports to coal seam gas.

Rudd was talking health but the local media were interested in Saffin.

She was a popular local member, a questioner said, but some of the things she was passionate about - increasing the dole, having asylum seekers processed onshore, stopping live exports - weren’t reflected in Labor policies. Why should people be voting Labor?

Rudd launched into a character reference, paying Saffin an over-the- top compliment: she was so hard working “she makes me feel like a slouch … She has a work ethic like I’ve never seen in my life”.

Anyway, the ALP was “a broad church. We have internal discussions all the time”.

The serious interrogation of the day was on how Rudd had promised to be positive but Labor’s advertising (and general) campaign is now relentlessly negative.

His answer to this charge is somewhat Jesuitical. He’d said at the campaign’s start that every ad would be policy-based and those on air now “are policy-based”. (Based on Abbott’s policy and how it would be funded.) The “spotlight” ad launched on Sunday put the attention on Abbott, who had been turning himself into a ‘'tiny target’‘ and not saying where the cuts would fall.

The ALP advertising has gone negative because Labor strategists have decided this is the best way of fighting back against the increasing Abbott momentum. With the material of the past six years, the Liberals are also focusing on negatives.

As former Labor heavyweight Graham Richardson said today: “Negative ads work”. Former Liberal staffer Grahame Morris agrees. “Negative advertising certainly works”; he adds the rider, however, that “its power is diminished if you spend three weeks saying you are not going to do it”.

But Andrew Hughes, lecturer in the Research School of Management at the Australian National University, is critical, from a marketing perspective. He says it goes against the positive pitch in advertising generally, which people are used to.

“Politics is not different – politics is just another thing they consume in their lives,” Hughes told The Conversation.

Hughes says the Labor ads are not giving people a reason to change to Rudd. If he were advising the ALP he would build a campaign of positive advertising around key policy areas where Labor had advantages, using lots of visuals, people in marginal seats and few words. “I probably wouldn’t put Rudd in. He’s been slipping. His brand is becoming tired”.

Just when Rudd needs an absolutely united front in his campaign, a crack appeared today. His Northern Australia policy has caused trouble from the start and now has brought more.

Rudd last week outlined a personal “objective” of cutting the company rate in the NT by one third. He said he had worked with the Treasurer, Chris Bowen, Finance Minister Penny Wong, and the leadership group on the policy – which when released was widely criticised for being ill-thought through, to say nothing of inconsistent with Labor’s previous attacks on similar opposition ideas.

Pressed on Sky today to endorse the one third fall, Wong shied around the hurdle more than once.

“What do you want the company tax rate to be?” Wong was asked. “Well I’m not going to be drawn on that. The Prime Minister has indicated what his preference is. We’ll go through the process that has been outlined”. That process which includes consultations with the NT government and business, with a 2018 timetable for implementation.

The Wong incident is particularly notable because normally nothing can drive her off message.

Later she issued a further comment to The Conversation: “The Prime Minister’s objective is a worthy one and I support the Northern Australia policy”.

But the damage was done – and “worthy” didn’t equal endorsement.

On the other side, Abbott felt confident enough to taunt those who had criticised last week’s controversial observation that his Lindsay candidate Fiona Scott had sex appeal. Appearing with Scott today, Abbott followed her answer to a question with the comment, “At the risk of exciting anyone, can I just say, obviously from that answer, she ain’t just a pretty face ok?” Of course it set off new debate, but it’s clear the Liberals believe (or know from their research) that people are taking a pretty relaxed view of his initial remark.

The day wasn’t entirely bad news for Rudd. Against a background of several recent discouraging polls, Essential had Labor on a primary vote of 40% and the two-party vote 50-50%. This contrasted with Newspoll’s 34% primary and 46-54% two party result.

Hard heads on both sides won’t be putting great store on the Essential showing. The bipartisan feeling is that the Coalition seems well-placed at this stage. But any poll that bucks the trend contains some comfort for Labor, and politics can always take strange turns.

Meanwhile the leader issued the war cry. “Kevin Rudd is a fighter”. Only the picky in Labor ranks would have found it slightly troubling that he was referring to himself in the third person.

Join the conversation

86 Comments sorted by

  1. Lee Emmett

    Guest House Manager

    'Positives' for Labor include an up-to-date' economic statement, fully costed, with real figures supplied by Treasury.

    'Positives' for the LNP include journalists reframing reality to suit the LNP narrative: eg. in this article, 'people are taking a pretty relaxed view of his initial remark' (about a LNP candidate's 'sex appeal').

    It depends on which people the author has been talking to.

    For most of the past six years his 'popularity' rating has been very low, particularly with women…

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    1. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Lee Emmett

      Lee, the electorate have a very simple choice to make based on the information the LNP have thus far provided about their savings on this so called massive ALP debt (a debt which still gets AAA ratings from all rating agencies, which the LNP never ever achieved). If they fail the biggest IQ test of their lives they will give the LNP as mandate to cut what and where they like. Call that blind and very dangerous trust based on LNP and old media propaganda.

      Of course, the ABC fact-checker panel of Chris Richardson, Dr Cato and Professor McKibbin expose Hockey as both fallacious and a great exaggerator in respect to the difference between LNP and ALP debt levels. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-19/joe-hockey-exaggerates-debt-figures/4897264

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    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Lee Emmett

      " 'Positives' for Labor include an up-to-date' economic statement, fully costed, with real figures supplied by Treasury. "
      Labor keep coming up with Kevins new thought bubbles and they have to be costed too.
      Last night, Chris Bowen could not even say where funding would come from for the NDIS or Gonski, some reforms eh!
      No need to read more of the same ranting from Lee.

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Chris Bowen could not even say where funding would come from with the NDIS or Gonksi!
      No more needing to be said.

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    4. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Greg North

      September 7, National Garbage Day, when the long stinking leftovers from the 2007 Howard loss are finally taken out.
      Kevin Cleans up the Conservatives.
      He's done it once and he can do it again.
      Why even Julia beat Tony.
      (but the voters got it wrong didn't they Greg)
      Wall to Wall Liberals, right around the country at state and at federal levels with just SA and Tassie as standouts; not very ambitious are they, these conservatives.
      Australian voters have never been so stupid as to give one mob all that political power in the past, why should they be so stupid now?
      The checks and balances of a federal system. Que?

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    5. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to James Hill

      I think you might even find a few years ago James that there was with Federal Labor wall to wall states Labor even more so than the opposite now.
      Not so surprisingly, a number of if not all incoming alternative governments found significant debt that has needed considerable measures to reign in.
      It is tough on people where jobs do get lost or where services are reduced and that is just a simple fact of recognising that Labor mismanaged very badly.
      I think you will find in 2010 that Labor retained government through the choices of a Greens representative support and that of three independents, hardly a Julia beating Tony when she had started with a sizable majority.
      But you keep with your garbage and stinking leftovers flavour if that is what turns you on.
      Mature people hardly need to resort to such mannerisms.

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    6. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Greg North

      Now, Greg you spoiled a promisingly sensible post by failing to recognise that mature people clean up garbage, instead of revelling in it, like some latter day Gaderene Swine prior to their departure over the cliff.
      It is not some sort of middle class parlour game, Greg, the future of the nation is at stake.
      What do you do with your garbage, Greg, decorate your house with it?
      No, of course not, so why then do you insist that the remnant, rotten, stinking political garbage from a rejected old…

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    7. Steven Waters

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      and dont forget that gillard went to the election saying no carbon tax, if she declared that she was bringing it in she would have been wiped out.

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    8. Steven Waters

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      i think you will find that Costello got our AAA rating back in 2003 after dealing with another labor debt. Rudd goes around claiming that it is because of his measures that we have a AAA rating. the debt has now risen again under labor and we are at risk of losing it again according to many economic analysts here. once again the LNP will come to the rescue and sort it all out when they win govt.

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    9. Lee Emmett

      Guest House Manager

      In reply to Lee Emmett

      Regarding his 'sex appeal' remark, there was a picture of Tony Abbott and the LNP candidate above the article by Donohue in The Conversation. They appear far too close for comfort. What on earth does his wife, and his children make of this?
      For all her (other imagined or perceived) faults, in a hypothetical, reverse-situation, I don't think Julia Gillard would say of a young, male candidate that he had 'sex appeal'. Nor can I imagine her getting so close, as in this picture.
      It's frightening to think that Tony Abbott is not man enough to take responsibility for his words and actions, and that the LNP and their supporters are prepared to brush aside this episode, allow others to air-brush over the meaning, and make excuses.
      His 'suppository' gaffe is worse than unfortunate; methinks it will dog him for a lifetime.

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  2. Comment removed by moderator.

  3. Brett Bailey

    Self Employed

    Abbott is normal and his comment was normal - the only ones who have seemingly whipped themselves up into a lather over his comments are those among us who are sensitive and fragile and dislike Abbott for any reason. Yet he like Gillard when you hear of them spoken of outside of the political arena are both viewed as warm, freindly, affable people with good sense of humour and a bit of fun - like most us actually.- the confected outrage fell flat dispite repeated attemps by some media to try and hype it beyond what everyone else saw - a comment with a bit of cheeky fun between two people who know each other.
    The constant denigration of the author is astounding really - just more of symptomatic insecurity so taking to killing the messenger because some don't like what is said.

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    1. Chris Weir

      Analyst

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      The same as Mr Rudds comment regarding Janelle Saffin isnt it?
      Oh wait. No, wrong party.

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  4. Chris Weir

    Analyst

    Hold the front page!
    Serious breaking news.
    Newspoll is not the only pollster in town.
    Michelle said so.
    At last some, if only fleeting, recognition that such a beast exists.
    Now we must search for the other bona fide 'discouraging' polls.
    Unless they came from the same place.

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    1. Dianna Arthur

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Chris Weir

      Chris

      Thank you for reminding the gentle reader of the continued use, by Ms Grattan (a journalist of such standing should know better) of a single polling group which just happens to be owned by Murdoch.

      I finding reading such articles time consuming as I must then search for evidence due to the scant investigation given these pieces of writing.

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  5. John Clark

    Manager

    Perhaps it is not too late to change leaders before the election?

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to John Clark

      Unfortunately for Labor, the polls have closed and with Julia not nominating, that option is gone and so they would have to choose from the likes of Shorten the PM assassin, Wong, another ship jumper and they would need another so Penny could get into HR via a by-election, Bowen who might not even get re-elected, Julie's heart throb Rob Lowe like Jason Clare, Tomy Burke perhaps or for another female, Plibbers.
      Somehow, the new leader of the opposition could come from that lot.

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    2. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      Unfortunately for the postal voters (who can vote from today), they will have no idea about the LNP's costings and savings to consider before casting their vote. The old media have not done their job in hounding the LNP to release their costings now. Poor show for Australian democracy. Just thought I would leave this observation in the electronic record for some future historian to find.

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      " Unfortunately for the postal voters (who can vote from today), they will have no idea about the LNP's costings and savings to consider before casting their vote. The old media have not done their job in hounding the LNP to release their costings now. Poor show for Australian democracy. Just thought I would leave this observation in the electronic record for some future historian to find. "
      Ah Ronald mate, you've been spending far too much time associating with those IA types me thinks.
      Sure if…

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  6. Peter Ormonde
    Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Farmer

    Gee it's gunna be interesting for future historians isn't it? How history happened post 2000ad ... his brand got tired.

    The ultimate answer to all subsequent political struggle.

    Maybe that ratbag who talked about the fall of the soviet bloc as being the end of history was right ... he just got the reason wrong ... their brand was tired.

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  7. craig sambell

    environment journalist (ret)

    Good piece Michelle..but Kevin is pitching his spiel at too higher level. Those with half a brain get it but he is going right over the top for the poo for brains majority.

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  8. Dennis Alexander

    logged in via LinkedIn

    In some ways I'm sad that I've finally got around to watching The Newsroom. Watching the Lateline interview with the idiot opposition customs spokesperson was painful. He seemed to think his briefing, I got the impression earlier that day, just before the policy launch, trumped facts - why the interviewer didn't say "So you developed policy based on that briefing just hours before the policy launch" I don't know. Reading the tripe above by a now journalism educator gives one absolutely no hope for a better future. Politicians might actually be willingt to engage in a policy debate if they thought there was anyone out there remotely capable of actual policy analysis, but no, all fluff and distraction.

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    1. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Dennis Alexander

      Dennis, you got Emma's point. I too would be noticeably understating it if I merely said she was good. The look on what's-is-name's face at interview end showed his discomfort in the knowledge that he'd been beaten at his game.

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  9. John H

    Writer

    The ALP is more racist, more protective of "Fortress Australia" than the pastoralist ever could have dreamed of. Who introduced detention centres? The ALP. Eric Abetz must be thinking he is on the wrong team. As for Rudd, like all sky rockets a dead stick falls to earth. By ALP and don't let the swinging socialist door hit you on the arse on the way out.

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  10. Ronald Ostrowski

    logged in via Facebook

    Michelle talks about Wong's off hand statement, later rectified, as a crack in the Rudd camapaign, but totally ignores how the WA Premier said no way Jose to Abbott's massively expensive rich mums paid parental leave scheme. Or the National Party's objection to it. Time for an article on Abbott's campaign cracks, Michelle. I am so over your absolute focus on Rudd. Time for some balance, here. There are two candidates going for the big job afterall. By the way Bowen creamed shouting and constantly interrupting Hockey on Q7A last night.

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    1. John Pollard

      Casual Observer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Too right! Michelle, I expect better from you. Your bias is showing. We also saw it on the ABC on monday night as Ronald pointed out. Tony Jones was a Hockey fan obviously, and Chris Uhlmann is a Rudd hater. So much for Aunty's balanced presentation. It seems that, as with Gillard, the media have generally given up all pretence of fair and even reportage and got on the Abbott bus. After all, Labor is the Titanic and rats always desert a sinking ship!

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    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      There's no secret that not all in the LNP or even with big business are happy with Tony's PPL Ronald and no secret either that the secret has been known for ages, ever since 2010 in fact.
      Many people do overlook that it is a leave provision and not a welfare benefit as the Labor policy is.
      That it offers greater benefits to all mums seems to be disregarded and people like yourself just think of the upper salary cap.
      The Greens actually like it and would even like it more if the cap was lower and…

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to John Pollard

      Chris like Leigh Sales will put any leader under the grill John, even if it may appear he has little liking for Rudd, though that is the image an intrusive interviewer will always have.
      You need to think back to Red K with Tony A or Leigh Sales with Julia, Julia one night seeming as though she could come off the screen and devour her and yet Leigh has been likewise with Tony A, it even being made much of in parliament once by Wayne Swan on how Leigh supposedly stitched Tony up.
      As for TJ, he may…

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    4. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      Michelle keeps her options open on a position at the murdochracy following noalition tertiary education cuts and closure of The Conversation if elected.

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    5. Ronald Ostrowski

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg, leave provisions are paid by an employer not me the taxpayer. Nor me through companies passing on the 1.5% company tax to consumers. This is middle-class welfare pure and simple. As for the Q&A winner you can say bananas all you like, I am sticking to saying oranges.

      The Labor costings are all there for Gonski, and the NDIS which has bi-partisan support in case you have not noticed There are not costings for the whole of the LNP program. The voters are asked to vote on faith alone. Well, not this punter. Not by a long shot do I vote on blind faith.

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    6. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      "Nor me through companies passing on the 1.5% company tax to consumers".

      That the 3000 'big business' milk cows will do this is a "no brainer". That there's been no mention of the millions of other businesses that obtain their inputs from the 3000 having to do the same in turn is brainless. The multiplier effect on the 1.5% must be staggering. Economy staggering...

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    7. ERIC KELLY

      retired

      In reply to Greg North

      Speaking of secrets, the best kept one so far is how a policy can be funded or even partly funded by a levy which is simultaneously accompanied by an equivalent tax cut. Even my ancient brain recognises this as an exercise in smoke and mirrors. If you take with one hand and give back with the other you haven't added one red cent to the public purse from which this leave is going to be paid.

      It's a brilliant idea, though. If it worked we could cut all taxes by 50%, substitute a levy to return…

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    8. christopher gow

      gainfully employed

      In reply to ERIC KELLY

      Spot on Eric; if employers were to pay the PPL directly in a similar way to sick leave or holiday pay then sure, pay it in proportion to salary. But we don't pay aged pensions or sickness benefits in proportion to salary, rather we means test them. To me this is the worst example of Howardist middle-class welfare I have seen and would set a very poor precedent for other benefits.
      If Abbott was serious about this then they should legislate PPL as a standard leave provision and reduce all company tax to compensate employers for the cost

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    9. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to ERIC KELLY

      You need to put your nose to the grinding wheel some more Eric.
      Think of it as separate entities.
      First, various taxes removals and changes such as the business tax reduction are being funded by savings that have been identified as stated in Tony Abbotts budget reply speech.
      Second step is that on business taxes, the top 3000 companies will in effect not get the reduction because of the levy applied to partly fund the PPL, that part in fact that is more than what the Labor welfare allowance costs.
      Nett effect is that the top 3000 businesses are no better off and their tax reduction is being used for the benefit of the PPL.
      No change to the public purse.

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    10. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ronald Ostrowski

      " The Labor costings are all there for Gonski, and the NDIS which has bi-partisan support in case you have not noticed. "
      Yep, and if you haven't noticed it is Labor who are the current government and Chris Bowen was very open on Q & A in not declaring where the funding for both would come from, nor what final costs for Gonski were likely to be.
      Perhaps you were too busy cleaning the cream of the whiskers to really notice!

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    11. ERIC KELLY

      retired

      In reply to Greg North

      Sorry, Greg, but having responded to your injunction to put my nose to the grinding wheel some more I went back again to Tony Abbott's budget reply speech but was unable to find where he "identified" savings to Government that would cover the cost of a 1.5% reduction in the company tax rate. Now my eyes are as old as my brain so I'd be happy to have you identify those savings if they are to be found there.

      In any event, I do recollect Tony Abbott saying that the levy on big businesses would be "offset" by the reduction in company tax so they are in fact to get the tax reduction.

      And I cannot see that "taxes removals" can be a saving unless the collection of the tax costs more than the tax brings in. Removing the carbon tax and the mining tax and reducing company tax represent savings to those who are presently paying those taxes but not to the public purse which is the issue here.

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  11. Judith Olney

    Ms

    Wow this is really melodramatic stuff! Someone in the ALP slightly disagreed with Rudd, and its all over bar the shouting.

    Interesting watching Q&A last night, with Hockey sweating and blustering, negative and whiney. If judged on audience reaction, Bowen won that particular stosh hands down.

    Bowen came across as calm, measured and mostly positive, particularly his end speech. Hockey alternated between nervous bluster, whining about what "Labor done", and trying to avoid a straight answer on everything. He even managed to be negative and whiney in his end speech, which I thought was particularly stupid given the audience reaction to his negativity throughout the debate, the groans should have made Hockey rethink what impression he wanted to leave his audience with, both in the room and in the wider TV audience.

    Fascinating facial and body language.

    Newspoll? fffftttttt, who cares.

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    1. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Interesting how John P above and Ms Olney both watched Q&A - one says Tony Jones was a Hockey fan and the other says Hockey was whiny and negative.
      Then there is the negative comments about the Authors article - it never ceases to amaze me how much the messenger is shot at because the readers don't like what's written.
      Is there an issue with the facts that Rudd is on the way out and Abbott is headed for being our next PM. All the talk about what he "might" do has nothing on what the ALP "HAS " done. That's for all to see.

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    2. Chris Weir

      Analyst

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      How's business Brett? Is there a long wait for your services?
      Clairvoyancy wasn't it? Being as non partisan as you are the crystal ball must be pretty good if you can tell us the outcome for September 7th.

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    3. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      Watching the Q&A Hockey and Bowen debate - You must have watched a different version Ms Olney - Joe Hockey was confident and competant and he called Bowenb out repeatedly - and funny enough Bowen represents the Governement and he couldn't outline the Governments plans but spent an allfull lot of time lambasting State Governemnt (Qld) - Hockey happily took up that line and trotted out a litany of ALP falures -= Bowen shut up - seriously it was a no brainer - Bowen is a lovely guy I like him - but he cannot defend the record of the ALP and if all he has got a scare campaign he showed how light weight he came across.
      Take of the rose coloured gallses - don't shoot the messenger just accept the ALP has masqueraded as a Government for 6 years. Time for the other side to have a turn.

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    4. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Chris Weir

      Chris - you are an analyst? - so how did you analyse my business - if you were good at whatever it is you analyse you might have not worried about suggesting I use a crystal ball. However I am not an analyist but I can read - one of those essential attributes that enable someone like me to observe media and results of polling and feedback from "letters to the editor" you know all the non-navel gazing methods that will result in an outcome of a sensible Government being voted in on 7 September with those currently sitting on ther RHS of the speaker taking up a position on the LHS. The ALP is gone - seriously there are none so blind as those who will not see - they have failed Australia and the electorate is obviously showing the signs of sending the ALP to opposition.
      Even I can see that - and I am not an analyst.

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    5. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      Bowen was comprehensively worked over because he spoke in constant motherhood staements and negatives on LNP lpolicy - the classic question of funding for better school prgram was skirted around by Bowen and despite repeated requests he couldn't answeer - even the audience called out for answers and still bowen declined - so I am glad I watched my version of Q&A - it was a better one than the one you watched Ms Onley.

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    6. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      No Brett, I just watched without bias towards either ALP or LNP, I'm not voting for either major party, so had no skin in the game so to speak. I do know that when there is no barracking for one or the other, a much clearer view is enabled.

      From your past posts you appear to be just another LNP barracker, so I expect from you exactly what you predictably write.

      As for negative comments about the article, (melodramatic is what this article is, and I did not mention the author), if you think this piece of partisan propaganda is good journalism, then it is not surprising that you are an LNP fan. Barrack on blindly Brett, your good at that.

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    7. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      Your reading bias toward "methods that will result" simply aligns with that of a murdochracy Newspeaker desire.

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    8. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Graeme Smith

      or just about everybody else actually that knows something about governments that have lost their way - I have in fact voted across the elctoral spectrum - however there can be no ignoring where this Government is headed and if the replacement does deliver then they will be tossed out.
      To presume to know that one Government will be like that which their opponents assert is pure speculation every time - was Rudd a howard lite as he claimed? You see for all the complaining about what the News Press is doing it remains the fact that the ALP tossed out Rudd first time - tossed out Gillard and reverted back top Rudd - why is that why did a political party do that? And they are not alone in removing leaders - removing a PM that was a probably a first - so I say blaming the messanger isnt the important issue the party making the changes certainly is.

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    9. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Ms Onley it isn't a matter of partisan propaganda its a matter of waht is actually going on with the ALP and even to the most enamoured will be disappointed - now if you are not peruaded by either ALP or LNP thats perfectly fine - I have voted for others outside those two myself - but sometimes it just falls to havingt to make the decision to let a Government that has lost its wayu to go refresh and thats no doubt what will happen. Your comments about Hockey show you were more interested in his performance…

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    10. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      "...but sometimes it just falls to havingt to make the decision to let a Government that has lost its wayu to go refresh..." sure, unless as here the cure is worse than the disease.

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    11. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      I'm just saying what I saw Brett, and it obviously doesn't agree with what you saw. So I'm going to agree to disagree with you. Otherwise this discussion will simply go in circles.

      I watched the entire show, and the audience reaction was not in Hockey's favour. Going by the audience reaction, Hockey lost the debate. This is my interpretation of what happened, and as I said, I don't favour either side, and will not be voting for either party. I don't think there are that many people already locked into a position, as both major parties are not much different on policy, apart from only one or two areas, such a PPL.

      The MSM/LNP are trying to tell people how they will vote, and this piece of melodramatic propaganda is just another in a long line of articles adding to this. This is not about giving people information.

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    12. ERIC KELLY

      retired

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      Sometimes it's all in the eye of the beholder but I confess that I share Ms Olney's assessment of the relative performances of Chris Bowen and Joe Hockey and of the overall reaction of the audience. Those who are in doubt can watch the program again on iView and another look might lead me to think my present belief is awry though I do not think so.

      My on-the-spot assessment was that Mr Bowen was crisp and clear in his answers and only faltered on the question of the funding for the NDIS and education…

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    13. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to ERIC KELLY

      It was very interesting to see and hear the audience reaction to Hockey saying that there is no more telstra to sell, no more commonwealth bank, no more assets in general, when trying to make the argument about an ALP government not being able to get the economy back into surplus. Particularly when the so called surplus from the Howard government was created by selling what was left of Australia's publicly owned assets, (telstra anyone?), and from not building infrastructure, and running down public…

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    14. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      BTW Brett, the name is OLNEY, if you are going to address your comments to me, at least have the decency to spell my name correctly.

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    15. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to Judith Olney

      My apologies Ms Olney - no offence was intended and was entirely unintentional. You will notice through anything I type there will be typos - I make no great claim to typing but I do consider myself a decent person and I will endeavour to do a better job of names in future.

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    16. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      Thanks Brett, there is a place for an edit function for posts on the site, but so far it hasn't been implemented. It would make correcting typos a lot easier.

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  12. Greg North

    Retired Engineer

    " Rudd launched into a character reference, paying Saffin an over-the- top compliment: she was so hard working “she makes me feel like a slouch … She has a work ethic like I’ve never seen in my life”. "
    Now I wonder just why he would feel like a slouch!
    Possibly because he is and is himself wondering where all the 07 Euphoria has gone.

    " Anyway, the ALP was “a broad church. We have internal discussions all the time”. "
    And now he is attempting some practice for a new stage job is he, a very near word for word lift of John Howard's words!
    Both parties might want to a bit more consulting with electorates for not that too many Ads are worth watching unless there's a bit of fun with slicing lemons ( Maybe Kevolemon's in a dome too ) negative ads are for most I suspect an even bigger turn-off than the whole campaign and in Labor's case they just reek of the same old attempts to persecute Tony Abbott, it seeming desperation knows no depth.

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  13. christopher gow

    gainfully employed

    If I was on the ALP campaign team I would be attacking Abbott's PPL scheme for all it was worth. It is divisive among the Liberals, business doesn't like it and it is an absurdity; what other government benefit pays you more if you're well off and less if you're a low income earner?
    Go positive on health, on education and on the NBN but avoid these itzy-kitzy hand-outs to each marginal seat - it is a bad look and won't be a momentum changer.

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  14. Graeme Smith

    Citizen

    The ALP pointing out the bleeding obvious somehow in Grattan's mind becomes a struggle to turn negativity into a positive? No less struggling for a negative spin than to be positively expected from her form.

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  15. James Hill

    Industrial Designer

    Complete with a "specially" selected photograph to illustrate an "apparently" struggling Kevin Rudd, (in accordance with the header of the article).
    I'm surprised that after all those articles and all that feedback, that the audience here on The Conversation are taken to be the same as the mainstream media's; apparently unaware of just when they are being relieved upon from a great height?
    A practice unlikely to be sustainable as we move further into the new century.
    Here is a pertinent quote…

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  16. James Hill

    Industrial Designer

    Oh I don't know about fighter, all we want from Kevin is to finally empty the stinking garbage bin of Howardism" left half empty, half full?, in 2007.
    Just might be the man to finish that job, so that the Opposition, can in the next three years finally develop itself as a government that Australians might deserve.
    And, the way things are going, the demise of the mainstream media may have been accomplished by then as well.
    They are sort of connected, (arrogant, and incompetent media and "Howard's Walking Dead" ) on the getting rid of the garbage front, aren't they?
    Go for it Kev, don't forget your hi viz vest.
    Labor will finish the job!
    We cant afford Wall to Wall conservative garbage politicians complete with Wall to Wall garbage Mudorc media right across the country.
    The "take out the garbage" election.

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    1. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to James Hill

      James - the ALP has masqueraded as a Governemnt for the past 6 years. Times up and it is more than obvious that they are headed to the opposition benches on 7 September and why not - all parties end up there once in a while and helps them focus the collective mind to come back with a better narrative into the future. Howard was thrashed - Rudd should have been in Government for many elections - the ALP almost lost it in 2010 but they didn;t trust Rudd to do the job then - why trust him now? Because the polling - you know the polling that is despised by the left NOW - showed Rudd was failing agaionst Abbott - guess what James - he is failing a second time. Thats the reality - ALP in opposition for a stint will be good for Australian politics at large - both parties need refreshing from time to time - ALP's time has come.

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    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to James Hill

      Communication analysis would seem to indicate that it is not just the Ads that take a change as desperation sets in, a tendency that seems particularly common with Labor and Laborrusties.

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    3. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      Garbage, Brett, old stinking garbage, and it has only become worse since 2007.
      The conservatives need a good clean out, and rebuilding, in time for the 2016 election.
      Anyone who cares about democracy recognises that there will be changes of government and that after nailing down the Gillard legislation beyond any political vandalism Labor will have run their course in the next term two years less than Howard's eleven.
      There are signs that the state Liberal regimes fear a Wall to Wall Liberal story…

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    4. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Greg North

      See my reply to Brett, above, Greg.
      Some arguments you should responsibly consider.
      Abbott is a wrecker, and a vandal.
      No responsible Liberal, in their heart of hearts, can stand a bar of this fake.

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    5. Brett Bailey

      Self Employed

      In reply to James Hill

      Wow James so much to say and so little said - in summary I think the ALP is going into opposition - I think that will be a good thing fo rthemn because seriously they are a complete mess now - Rudd is leader with a veneer of authority - Abbott maybe no good we won't know - we didn't know what Rudd was like - other than he was Kevin from Queensland and here to help? Anyway you clearly have some issues with anything remotely LNP and as such I guess you would not be persuaded to any view other than the one you hold - but be aware of the rubbish - ther will be so much ALP rubbosh going about from 8 September onwards - and as I say I really believe given their fractious state that opposition will refresh them and that is never a bad thing - both parties need to do it and as a result the political structure in Australia is enhanced.

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    6. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Brett Bailey

      You must be getting a bit desperate, Brett, trawling around looking for a three day old post to blow a raspberry at?

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  17. Greg North

    Retired Engineer

    One thing that will likely be needling Kevin and a few of his tribe, not Mark Latham btw and maybe he is saving himself for the final weeks.
    We will have had the equivalent of just about two full terms of government with two PMs that Labor parliamentarians themselves ( with a little help it could be said on one occasion, though they were hard to see without faces ) decided should be somewhere else.
    It may transpire that neither PM will have been returned at an election following having served near…

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  18. John Pollard

    Casual Observer

    Yes Rudd might be gone for all money but prepare yourselves for ministers Mirabella, Pine, Morrison, Hunt, Robb, etc with Abbott at the helm! God help the good ship Oz then!

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  19. Stewart Scott-Irving

    Education Consultant

    I have been co-ordinating a proposed Team of Independents nationally to offer voters a 3rd alternative to the current 2-party-by-default-preferential system. Those endorsed will submit all legislation to their constituents in a referendum-type vote... the exceptions being those requiring emergency responses... natural disaster, epidemic or urgent security risks. A true polling outcome. The role of the member will be to gather supporting and non-supporting material, seek contributed amendments, educate and vote according to the polling of constituents. Some of the first will be to remove State Governments, make home loan interest tax deductible for all and provide income splitting tax benefits for "married" couples. The raising of the GST levy to 15 % would receive strong consideration.... wallabistew@yahoo.com.au

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  20. Stewart Scott-Irving

    Education Consultant

    I have been co-ordinating a proposed Team of Independents nationally to offer voters a 3rd alternative to the current 2-party-by-default-preferential system. Those endorsed will submit all legislation to their constituents in a referendum-type vote... the exceptions being those requiring emergency responses... natural disaster, epidemic or urgent security risks. A true polling outcome. The role of the member will be to gather supporting and non-supporting material, seek contributed amendments, educate and vote according to the polling of constituents. Some of the first will be to remove State Governments, make home loan interest tax deductible for all and provide income splitting tax benefits for "married" couples. The raising of the GST levy to 15 % would receive strong consideration.... wallabistew@yahoo.com.au

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  21. John Pollard

    Casual Observer

    That's right! Tony Jones was in Hockey's corner all night. Hardly a balanced moderator. Remember that Hockey the arrogant blowhard will most likely be our treasurer. Well his family did have a small business, as he keeps reminding us.
    Don't forget that the Libs will share some token power with the Nats, inflicting us with minister Barnaby Joyce and DPM Warren Truss etc. Spare us also from their wise hands please!

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  22. Steven Waters

    logged in via Facebook

    rudds negativity after making such a point of being positive feeds into the mistrust many have about labor. like with gillards broken promise on the carbon tax everytime Rudd says something and does the opposite it just compounds the point. so there negative campaigning is actually working against labor and Rudd in particular. its the same when he makes these policies on the run and grand announcements about some plan he has just come up with that he hasn't costed or consulted anyone on that wont happen for years to come. they haven't even costed the policies they have now like the gonski and NDIS. so people dont believe them anymore. i guess the party insiders were right in the end he is dysfunctional and a control freak.

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  23. Thea Biesheuvel

    Writer/Editor

    We have Rupert Murdoch setting the National Agenda even though he is an American a liar and not a politician. We have a population seemingly unable to sift the facts and look at more than a year ahead. We also have a small group of people commenting (and frothing at the mouth) about what politics now amounts to. We have nothing - rubbish - and will pass that on to the next generation. Now - for the good news - It won't take long for the truth to emerge, just as it has done in Queensland AND don't blame me, I voted for the sitting member, not Campbell Newman. I'm fast contemplating returning a blank ballot paper or voting for Katter/Greens/Palmer/anyone but the two major parties.

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  24. John Clark

    Manager

    Judith - ALL income is trickle down! Workers are employed by business enterprises that create wealth and pay tax. No enterprise - no jobs - no income. The role of Government is to establish the environment for this to occur. Even the Labor party acknowledges that.

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    1. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to John Clark

      No John you are wrong. All income today, under our economic system is flood up, not trickle down. This is why we are seeing increasing inequality of income.

      No workers = No jobs = No enterprise = No economy.

      You cannot have one without the other.

      What we are seeing today is business enterprises paying little tax, offshoring its labour costs, and socialising its losses.

      The whole thing is broken and needs fixing, unless you are one of the 1% that are benefitting from the current system.

      The ALP are only marginally less ignorant economically than the LNP, so excuse me if what the ALP acknowledges, and the LNP wholeheartedly, although stupidly believes, doesn't impress me much.

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    2. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Geez ... class struggle erupts in our election commentary!!!! S'mine... nah s'mine ... gimmee ... we did it ... did not ... get yer hands off ... and so it goes. The giblets of our system spread out for all to see...

      Now why don't our leaders tackle these real issues at the core of our conflicting weltanschauungs?

      Where does Barnaby Joyce really stand on the Labor Theory of Value? What does Chris Bowen think of Pierro Sraffa and the complexity of modern technology in the production process?

      You skitch 'im Ms O!

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    3. Dianna Arthur

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Judith

      Now you've gorn an' dun it, telling John that without workers there can be no widgets, is not what the upwardly entitled like to hear. Employers employ as a favour to workers, a form of charity for which workers should be grateful.

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    4. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Just saying what I see Mr O, isolated as I am from the miasma of lies that surrounds current economic debate. I like to pare it back to the bare bones.

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  25. John Pollard

    Casual Observer

    Wow Judith! You are a monster! I really love it! Couldn't say it any better. The party needs you ....NOW!

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  26. John Clark

    Manager

    Judith - The system of which you are critical may not be perfect but it has produced the strongest economy in the world, and given Australians the highest standard of living. It is also the one sought by former socialist nations that have experienced the failure of socialism. You are quite correct in the observation that some individuals gain a greater share, but this is an inherent characteristic, and taken to the extreme this greed impacts on the less advantaged, as in Greece. We have a balance that enables the wealthy to become more so, but they raise the level for us all, ie trickle down.

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    1. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to John Clark

      No John, wrong again, the fact that we have abundant natural resources is why we have one of the strongest economies in the world, that and the fact that we are, or at least were, a more egalitarian society than those capitalist nations that have failed. This meant that we had a good social system, that meant that most people have access to health care, minimum wage, welfare, pensions, and until very recently, pretty good union representation for workers.

      All these socialist things mean we have…

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    2. John Clark

      Manager

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Judith - A well presented argument, some of which I would be inclined to support. You should perhaps have included union officials in the groups involved in corruption. The unions themselves are accountable for the decline in membership. I am not sure the good old days were all that good. I certainly agree that the last 6 years of abysmally incompetent Government, with the worst leaders in recent times have reduced politics to an all time low. Indications are that we will be able to put it all behind us in 3 weeks.

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    3. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to John Clark

      Yes there is some unions, (not all or even the majority), that suffer from the same disease of greed and corruption. This is true, but I doubt very much this has led to the decline in membership. People have been sold the pup, of individualism, over collectivism, even when it goes against their interests.

      Now John, you had to go spoil your argument with a partisan rant, complete with hyperbole. This government is by no means the worst in recent times, nor has this government been incompetent, this is just parroting of LNP propaganda, and not worthy of someone who is a critical and intelligent thinker.

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    4. Graeme Smith

      Citizen

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Labor fought the 'one big union' IWW idea with lethal force backing 'trade union' ideas for decades. Decades later along comes that bastard careerist Hawke. Accord? Bullsh*t. Trade union sellout backed bosses lowering wages and conditions and wage theft redirected to the never-never of future depreciated low income earner superannuation paying for the boon to high income earner tax subsidised fortunes, shoes taken from the feet of needy children for year after bloody Hawke "no child will live in poverty" then Keating year. I for one will always recall the wry sh*t-kicker lament oft heard around the traps "Hawke? ... Best prime minister the liberals ever had". Then along came Howard, a closed shop no longer, and everybody out of there lickety-split. Unions nearly all lost the plot and haven't got it back continuing to think they have ALP careers in store.

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