TE-BO: The Election Trail – 1

the-eyeball-opinion6This week’s election trail began with ‘The Debate’ – and by the week’s end it was dubbed the worst debate since Hawke and Hewson had a go in the late 80’s. I agree, I turned it off after 20 minutes. Abbott was as stoic as usual and the snake-oil sales pitch of Rudd with his hand gestures and monotone makes him more untrustworthy the more he speaks.

Both Abbott and Rudd are suffering from overexposure – not so much in the image context – but they have already run out of things to say. The media are fighting a war to fill their air-time and news pages with stories that don’t repeat the same stump speech’s.

The electorate swing is happening and Rudd’s preferred PM status has been paired back. I have to be honest, I take 1-2 hours of morning news from 24, and 9, and then I only read the RSS feeds from a half dozen or so of the major publications. Of the 3-400 or so RSS feeds that come in – 80% are about the same story and the bias talked about between Murdoch press and the others is so evident.

Since Gillard was outed, Dennis Shanahan from ‘The Australian’ has dumped on RUDD more than he ever dumped on Gillard.   You just can’t read his stuff anymore – there is no objectivity nor does his stories provide any balance where the alternative is projected.

Overall – the print press coverage is fish and chip paper and not worth the purchase price paid.

The Vision coverage has had a few good moments – the ‘sex appeal’ gaff by Abbott built into much more than it really was, it was the low point of the week for him.  Earlier in the week, the Liberal candidate in Western Sydney Mr Diaz gaffed big time – it was distraction value at best during a campaign with no highs and many lows.  Rudd continues to struggle with his hair tick’s,  and The Greens struggle to get any value coverage.

Predictably, both sides are coy on their costings and state they won’t release their numbers until the last week of the campaign trail, or so they say.

Of outside interest – some 200k voters enrolled themselves in the week after the announcement of the election.  That still leaves about 1.2 million still not enrolled and that in itself says so much.  That represents about 8% of the eligible vote count [15 million] – and about equal to The Greens total 1st preference vote count assessed by the latest polls.

That 8% is more that enough to determine the election result.   What can be said is the ‘compulsory voting’ rule is challenged by this number, and for those who don’t agree with the compulsory vote statute, get yourself un-enrolled.

An interview with a Media spokesperson for the AEC stated the AEC’s position on un-enrolled voters as ‘encouragement’,  as opposed to a seek and ‘fine’ those who persistently avoid enrollment.

The AEC operate under Federal Legislation and can only do what they are mandated to do.  The ‘compulsory voting’ stand is policy astride a barb-wire fence … the ‘fine’ system is there as the deterrent, but the AEC don’t have the funds to seek and prosecute 1.2 million unregistered voters with the ‘fine’ value as it stands.

It was also advised that of the 1.2 unregistered voters, 500k were aged between 18-24, with 18 yo’s having a one in two enrollment stat.

Who understands politics and the policy structures in the under 30 age bracket, is it 50%, is it higher or lower.

I know 50 yo’s who argue about a party and all the good they will do,  yet don’t know a thing about that party’s policies.  They offered an opinion based on what they believed and had been passed down and around.  They were talking about something they had read somewhere.

That brings the debate – it is the media/journo that explains the party policy in a format that allows them to slant the story whatever way they want – and that can be called a ‘paid for editorial’ or a ‘party donation’ without money ever changing hands.

You have to be honest with yourself – who is really interested in who leads the Nation?  Are any of them really any different – they’re politicians and you now what they say about politicians,  zebra stripes today, and leopard spots tomorrow.

If it be the case where the majority of the electorate don’t understand the policy differentials, why do we have the compulsory vote scenario?

What is Rudd and Abbott selling – personality, because to explain policy without the headline ‘candy handout’ … who would listen?  All they are trying to sell is creditability and trust, the ALP have proven they don’t have it, or do we take Abbott on trust because he is the lesser of two evils.

the-eyeball-opinion6 […EYE-BALL…]

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5 thoughts on “TE-BO: The Election Trail – 1

  1. I agree with much of what you have written but not all. When it comes time to vote on Sept 7 I will choose the person who has displayed and still displays personal and political integrity even if I don’t agree with all their policies.
    Right now, after 3 years of jumbled, convoluted governance Australia needs to be led by someone or group who has/have integrity. That gives me a choice from two, Milne led Greens or Abbott led Coalition. While the Greens display political integrity the also display fairyland policies that would destroy our economy, so I guess you know my voting intentions.

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    • OK Barry … but can I ask – the person you are looking at for ‘personal and political integrity, is that in the Leader, or the electoral candidate in your area?

      If it is top of the ticket, what is the purpose of local candidates rubber stamped with a Party seal …

      If it is local – then well and good … but will the local candidate stand alone or behind the Party line?

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      • In this case I can say both. During the past past 18 months I have had 3 ‘serious discussions’ with my local Member when I have not agreed with his personal response to questions I asked about the ADF Skype Affair. After initially thinking I was a ‘redneck’ he was big enough to admit my points were well reasoned and not those of a redneck (but was coming from being a father of 2 daughters). As for Abbott I defy anyone to claim he lacks integrity.
        As a principle I vote for the Party who I think will serve our country the best. That has had me voting for Hawke and Howard. That principle failed me when I voted for Rudd Labor based purely on the Work Choices scare. I knew what Rudd was like but chose to ignore that because I believed the pendulum had swung too far on IR under Howard, Reith and Andrews. Rudd and Gillard could not have cared less about our country over the past 6 years.

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        • Thanks Barry,

          I agree on the mess made by Gillard and to some degree RUDD – I did agree with the stimulus package and although the distribution failed on so many levels – it did have some success in maintaining employment. The failure was in the wind back of that stimulus funding under Gillard/Swan, and the failure to recognise the changing economics in the Nation – i.e. increasing labor costs under the high A$, the downturn in Industry’s impacted by the same, and the greater attention needed to the corruption within Government …

          In the end Gillard/Swan oversaw a traditional ALP spendathon thinking that t would give them popularity. To this issue the current campaign is yet to offer up anything that has engaged the public – and Rudd is already ‘sulking’ as was mentioned on ‘Insiders’ this morning. Abbott is no natural Leader – nor was Howard and I detested every moment Howard was in Power – from the 1998 reversal on the 1996 GST promise, to the ‘children overboard’ weeks before an election he was going to lose, to the failure to build infrastructure the booming Miners were screaming out for, to the middle-class welfare handouts, and the $60 billion gift to the Parliamentary Super Fund (Future Fund) from Telstra sale proceeds. And this after the cock up under Fahey as the Minister in charge of the Telstra float in the late 90’s.

          Costello was weak in not going after Howard – and I don’t see the current Opposition Front Bench endowed with talent that gives confidence – i.e. the likes of B Bishop, Mirabella, Robb, MacFarlane, and many more non-achievers. If Abbott is elected, Julie Bishop is a heart beat away from being the next PM, and that is too soon after the failure of Gillard.

          I think you might agree – mediocrity is our only option.

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