Monday, December 10, 2007

An obituary for the Coalition is premature

Every time a ruling political grouping in Australia is defeated the cries grow that the party is finished that it will never win another election and so on. The cries are partly just the triumphalism of the victor party and its supporters and partly just the press trying to manufacture a story out of ordinariness. It is refreshing therefore to see sensible press coverage of the future of the Coalition parties in Australia.

Labor was slaughtered in 2004. It now has 8 seats more than a bare majority majority. It could lose office with as little as a 2% swing against it. With inflationary pressures accumulating, with inevitable problems that stem from inexperience and daft labour market policies in place that will undoubtedly not reduce unemployment all is not lost for the Coalition.

Brendon Nelson has made a better start of it than I imagined he would. Time for the Liberals to focus and perform the role of a constructive opposition that does what Labor did. Search for what is positive in the competing party's platform and then to steal or adapt it. Labor is largely implementing the Conservative political agenda and the Conservatives can do it better.

35 comments:

Spiros said...

Harry, you are a professor, and obviously a very smart man, but I don't think arithmetic is your strong suit.

Labor with 84 seats out of 150. That is an 18 seat, not 8, seat majority.

On your substantive point, I think an obituary for the coalition is far from premature, because the National Party is in long term decline, and may be nothing more than a rump of 3 seats or less by the time Labor loses office.

In other words, the next time the Liberal Party is in governmnent, it will be in its own right, not as part of a coalition.

Slim said...

"Labor is largely implementing the Conservative political agenda and the Conservatives can do it better."

I agree that Labor is largely implementing the Conservative political agenda, but my long-term gripe with the Howard administration was that it wasn't actually that good at economic management. At best it was lucky and complacent, at worst lazy, inefficient, incompetent and negligent, particularly with building for the future. I suspect the Howard government's economic legacy will be subject to quite a bit of scrutiny in the year to come. Early signs are that it will look somewhat shabby and tattered.

Generally, the Howard government were lousy public administrators. So far Rudd is looking much more promising as a methodical administrator, so it remains to be seen who can actually do the Conservative agenda better.

Anonymous said...

Spiro

You sure carry a lot of arrogance for someone who cannot offer any economic argument against free labor markets.

Settle down you dunce, Harry never mentioned an 8 seat majority. It was quite clear to most readers except yourself.

You are getting more pathetic as each day goes along. What's wrong isn't the Centrelink money enough these days?

Anonymous said...

So far Rudd is looking much more promising as a methodical administrator

He sure looks likie everyones favourite perosnnel director you love to hate.lol

At best it was lucky and complacent, at worst lazy....

dea , right genius. They were always at the pub during working hours. Slim, you're becoming even less coherent than usual. Are you catching Spiro's disease? Lol

Slim said...

Harry - you have your very own troll! Lucky you!

"You sure carry a lot of arrogance for someone who cannot offer any economic argument against free labor markets. "

That's saying you can't offer an economic argument against economics and the economy. Of course you can't, anymore than than you can mount a biological argument against environmental science and the biosphere. And that's the whole point for those who are don't embrace the faith of the the free-market as the sole determinant of what it means to be human.

It's not about the economics. That's why Rudd will be successful. The age of the free-market dream of growth forever is coming to an end as the realities of climate change and peak oil draw inexorably closer .

Spiros said...

JC, while we all know that English is not your native language, and so we must make allowances, you really ought to learn to read. It is a must have skill for New Australians like yourself.

Harry clearly says that Labor has an 8 seat seat majority, which is wrong. And it wasn't a typo, because he says 8 is smaller than the coalition's 16 seat majority in the previous parliament (which was also wrong, incidentally).

Let me give you a tip, one wog to another. Learn to quit while you are behind.

hc said...

Spiros is right I have corrected the blooper.

Slim, It is far too early to make comparative judgments. What you say may turn out to be correct.

Anonymous said...

Slim:

When someone says it's not about economics it simply means they don't know enough about economics and offer up that idiotic argument.

You're even more incoherent than usual with this latest nonsense, unless what you are suggesting is that Kev is some sort of God-like being who can repeal economic laws? Is that what you're suggesting, you dope. LOL.


Spiros>

We're still waiting for you to blow the free labor markets argument outta the water. I’m sure it's a good argument as I'm even holding my breath. LOL.

Don’t be a pedant twit. We all knew what Harry meant... that the ALP could lose the next election if there is a 10-seat swing against them.


Can either of you two answer this. If workchoices is repealing, would eith of you want to take a bet that the level opf permanent unemployment rises?

Slim?

Spiro?


Odds please.

derrida derider said...

"Labor is largely implementing the Conservative political agenda and the Conservatives can do it better."

I don't agree with the second phrase (this government is above all competent), but the first is basically correct. And I think that is really poor politics - if people wanted that agenda they'd have reelected Howard.

We've already seen Rudd betray his supporters on climate change and on human rights (the control order on Hicks, the threatened and totally egregious overriding of the ACT gay couple legislation, the refusal to act on the court finding that ASIO officers appear guilty of illegal kidnapping). Betraying your supporters has to be done sometimes when they're clearly wrong, but that aint so in these cases.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with the second phrase (this government is above all competent

1 1/2 weeks in and DD is reaching the conclusion they're competent.
Can it get more silly than this?

derrida derider said...

As a followup to the last comment I think Rud has decided to learn from Howard's disastrous first term and decided that if in doubt he should follow his public servants' advice.

The trouble is that Howard throroughly politicised some specific parts of the PS - not so much in a party-political way (despite what lefties claim), but by infusing that conservative agenda.

Rudd is now listening to the disastrous and corrupt greenhouse mafia (which he should have scattered to the four winds) and his Attorney-General is taking the self-interested advice of discredited goons in the AFP and ASIO.

derrida derider said...

Anonymous -
On competence, I've dealt with both these people and their predecessors for some time and am in a reasonable position to make some personal judgements.

Yes it's early, but all their words and actions convey the impression that administrative competence and self-discipline (not to mention arrant workaholism) will be rated highly within a Rudd government - in stark contrast to (say) the Keating one.

True, this is not a sufficient condition for them to be a good government. It certainly means that they are a less colourful and perhaps less inspiring one. But I didn't say any of that - I just said they were competent.

Bring Back CL's blog said...

JC doesn't appear to understnd that if you slowdown the economy because inflation is rising then as a result unemployment will rise!

Anonymous said...

What will you be saying after 3 1/2 weeks , DD. You'll run out out of superlatives after the 5th week.

Homer, don't be an idiot all your adult life. I have already said I'll pay for your redemial economics classes this summer.

Slim said...

JC/Trollster, whoever you are hiding behind Anonymous:

"You're even more incoherent than usual with this latest nonsense, unless what you are suggesting is that Kev is some sort of God-like being who can repeal economic laws?"

I wasn't aware that economic theory had been elevated to immutable economic laws? Perhaps you could list them here for our general edification?

It's not called the dismal science for nothing, and as we all know, if you laid all the world's economists end to end they still wouldn't reach a conclusion.

Screaming incoherently from the sidelines that everything is about economics simply reveals your blinkered vision and general ignorance to those who do not share your blind faith, and does zilch to further what I you imagine to be your arguments.

If you have all the answers enlighten us all with your own blog and send us the link instead of sullying Harry's efforts.

Mark U said...

Slim said of economics:

"It's not called the dismal science for nothing, and as we all know, if you laid all the world's economists end to end they still wouldn't reach a conclusion."

Is this meant to be a rigorous critique of economics?

The original of the term "dismal science" was by Thomas Carlisle who was arguing for slavery against the freeing up of the labour market through liberation of slaves. It is a cliche used by lazy people who don't really know what they are talking about.

As for the second cliche about laying economists end to end.... There is a large amount of consensus amongst economists on the underlying concepts that need to be understood to adequately analyse economic issues. However, the issues themselves are often very complex and the resulting analysis can, therefore, prove inconclusive.

Anonymous said...

It's you slim that is sullying Harry's blog with your mendaciousness, ignorance and stupidity. it's not me.

Economics is the study of scarcity and saitsfying human wants and needs.

I wasn't aware that economic theory had been elevated to immutable economic laws? Perhaps you could list them here for our general edification?

Now why would I do that seeing you don’t understand even the slightest thing about economics proven by this sludge?

It's not about the economics. That's why Rudd will be successful. The age of the free-market dream of growth forever is coming to an end as the realities of climate change and peak oil draw inexorably closer.

You total moron, if man is good at anything he is good at finding substitutes if say oil becomes scarce. Peak Oil is a crock of shit that only dumbasses like you would believe. And please spare us the moralizing, you nimcompoop as we don’t need it, especially from you.

As for the end of the age of freer markets. Well that may be so under this lot of rat bags. However don’t even try to explain why that offers the best outcome in terms of raising our standard of living because you would end falling in to your fevered swamp of stupidity.

It's not called the dismal science for nothing, and as we all know, if you laid all the world's economists end to end they still wouldn't reach a conclusion.

Don’t include the obvious charlatans in that group. There are plenty of those around.

If a troll is anything it is someone who basically has nothing substantial to say about a particular subject other than nonsense. So look in the mirror

Slim said...

"A troll is a person who is deliberately inflammatory on the Internet in order to provoke a vehement response from other users".

And to that I would add 'resorts to abuse while as the original thread is derailed to suit the purposes of the troll'.

Above all else they are tedious and irksome.

hc said...

I am interested in Derrida Derrida's comments.

As I have posted I believe Rudd has done a backflip on climate change that makes his policy (apart from the meaningless ritual of signing Kyoto) a clone of the Coalition's.

His comments on civil rights issues also sound.

DD's claim is that in both cases Rudd does get a set of advisers who John Howard selected. Maybe true but Rudd is a conservative and went into the election with a conservative agenda. No real surprises that that is the way he is acting.

Spiros said...

Harry, how has Rudd done a backflip on climate change? When he was opposition leader he said he would wait until Garnaut reported to him before deciding what the 2020 target should be, and that he is prime minister he has said that he will wait until Garnaut reports to him before deciding what the 2020 target should be.

Now you may argue that he should forget about Garnaut and announce the target anyway, but if he did that, then that really would be a backflip.

a different anonymous said...

Oh dear, the crazies that normally inhabit catallaxy comments threads have descended on harry's blog.

Anonymous said...

A troll is a person who is deliberately inflammatory on the Internet in order to provoke a vehement response from other user

That must be you then, Slim. You make truly pathetic and ignorant comments about economics which you admit you know nothing about and then crticise others for bringing it up and pointing it out to you.


That makes you a totally, ignorant and pathetic troll slim.

Anonymous said...

Spiro

We're still waiting for your economic argument against free labor markets. It's been weeks now and you still skulk away from the challenge.

I'll take it that like slim, you're just a pathetic ignorant troll who tries to shove political talking points down people's throats rather than presenting substantial arguments.

Slim said...

You make truly pathetic and ignorant comments about economics which you admit you know nothing about and then crticise others for bringing it up and pointing it out to you.

Um... at what point did I admit that I know nothing about economics? And where did I criticise others for bringing it up? Anon is doing a lot of projection here.

That makes you a totally, ignorant and pathetic troll slim.

I'm shattered by the coherence of your razor sharp logic.

Slim said...

...you're just a pathetic ignorant troll who tries to shove political talking points down people's throats rather than presenting substantial arguments.

Ah... the irony! A classic troll.

Slim said...

We're still waiting for your economic argument against free labor markets.

Why not treat us to a post on your blog about the supreme role of free-markets in human affairs (along with the list of economic ideas which have become laws) and we can all come over to your blog and and have a good old chin wag there!

Anonymous said...

Um... at what point did I admit that I know nothing about economics? And where did I criticise others for bringing it up?

Above. Referring to economics as the dismal science: that it’s just not about economics. Proving again what an idiot you are.


Why not treat us to a post on your blog about the supreme role of free-markets in human affairs (along with the list of economic ideas which have become laws) and we can all come over to your blog and and have a good old chin wag there!

It’s not like laws in the legal sense, you dummy. It’s about credible truths such as demand/ supply curves, price signals, comparative advantage….. those sorts of things.

And no, I don’t want to operate a blog as I’m far too lazy. Yours is very boring by the way.

Slim said...

It’s not like laws in the legal sense, you dummy.

Well duh! I meant in the sense of the Laws of Physics for example. I thought that would have been obvious from the context. You mentioned economic laws. So what are they? What the hell is a 'credible truth'? Are there 'incredible truths'?

And no, I don’t want to operate a blog as I’m far too lazy. Yours is very boring by the way.

I thought it might have been because you can't write or string together a coherent exposition or argument.

You're right about being lazy. Have the courage of you convictions and blog for our edification. At least I'm prepared to put my views on my own blog. At least I have some serious readers and not just irritating trolls bludging off the efforts of others.

Anonymous said...

Slim

You owe Harry an apology for your behaviour on his site.

And you also owe me an apology for being so stupid and ignorant about things you obviously know very little about.

Please apologise for being so opprssively dopey as it isn't funny any more.

Slim said...

Thanks for the belly laugh, anon! Pure gold!

You haven't answered any of my questions from my previous comment. Just typical troll behaviour of change the topic and abuse the other person.

May I remind you that my original comment here was civil, appropriate and relevant? The substance of your first comment was personal abuse.

What aspects of my behaviour should I be apologising for? Abusing other commenters, calling them peurile names?

Anonymous said...

You haven't answered any of my questions from my previous comment. Just typical troll behaviour of change the topic and abuse the other person.

I haven’t changed any topic, Slim. I have frequently gone back to the fact that you’re an economic illiterate pretending otherwise.

May I remind you that my original comment here was civil, appropriate and relevant? The substance of your first comment was personal abuse.

Your comment was just slimey bullshit that need to be corrected.

What aspects of my behaviour should I be apologising for?

The lies, distortions, the political posturing. But mostly the effrontery of ignorance disguised as knowledge.

Harry deserves an apology and I do as well.

Slim said...

I haven’t changed any topic, Slim. I have frequently gone back to the fact that you’re an economic illiterate pretending otherwise.

You have not addressed the substance of Harry's post at any stage. You have merely taken incoherent and abusive potshots at the other commenters introducing any number of standard troll red herrings along the way.

Any questions concerning your comments are met with ridicule and abuse, while you fail repeatedly to address the substance or respond rationally.

Your comment was just slimey bullshit that need to be corrected.

On the contrary - I agreed with Harry on Rudd implementing a Conservative agenda, and furthered the opinion that Labor would likely be better managers. You have neither addressed nor corrected my opinion, unless you consider incoherently throwing around abuse and irrelevancies to be addressing the substance of the post and the succeeding comentary.

The lies, distortions, the political posturing. But mostly the effrontery of ignorance disguised as knowledge.

I have neither lied, distorted nor politically postured. I have expressed my opinions and my understandings in a civil manner. I fail to see how not agreeing to the abusive ravings of an anonymous troll constitutes the effrontery of ignorance disguised as knowledge.

Simply because I do not share your faith in free-market ideology does not make me ignorant of economics. Nor does your faith in free-market ideology make you an economic expert.

Harry deserves an apology for your repeated abuse of his comments policy and the dis-service it does his efforts to engage in intelligent and civil debate.

I like to read Harry because I find him interesting to read. I often don't agree with his politics and will offer my responses accordingly. I come here to engage in civil conversation with Harry, not suffer the incoherent abuse of the uncivil.

I'd heartily recommend that a better use of your time might be writing your own blog. It helps sharpen your thoughts and ideas into something focussed and coherent. You may consequently feel less inclined to act with hostility toward those who you do not agree with, and if you are any good you will soon gain a following of loyal readers. Unless, of course, you enjoy anonymous trolling, But as far as either political discourse or writing is concerned, trolling is merely indulging in the irritation of others.

Anonymous said...

Slim

You have made som many senseless comments that it behooves your apologise to harry for wasting his time and to me for having to endure your oppressive silliness.

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