There can be no doubt now that Bill Shorten wept profusely as he plunged the dagger, first into Kevin Rudd’s back and then Julia Gillard’s, (notwithstanding that she is a woman). Or that he cried and tore at his face as he signed away his AWU members’ penalty rates in return for a handsome subvention to the union from some corporation. Or, like the Emperor Nero, he sadly called for the weeping vase as he transferred substantial union funds to a GetUp!, already obese from foreign donations, and then to his own and other comrades’ campaigns so that they could undergo that greatest sacrifice of all, going to Canberra to become the 21st century equivalent of a slave to the people, a politician.
It was only when he welled up over a report in the Daily Telegraph that the nation realised that not only were we considering choosing the most generously bountiful prime minister the nation has ever seen, but that he has even greater thespian skills than the late E.G. Whitlam. That he revealed this over an unquestionably accurate Telegraph report, towards the end of one of the most boring campaigns in the history of this Commonwealth, was seen by his minions in the party and in the media as the silver bullet which would restore Labor’s position in the polls.
Alas, it did not. Australians are not that gullible.
Were the electorate better informed they would realise that they may well be about to install the government of thieves, thugs and constitutional vandals about which this column has warned. That they are not so informed is only because a vast part of the mainstream media have not subjected the Labor-Greens to the degree of accountability normal in a robust democracy. So I was surprised to hear The Australian’s Niki Savva tell the ABC about ‘respected’ journalists’ concern about relating to that newspaper’s direction. Surely they should be more concerned about the ABC’s direction and about a Canberra Gallery which sees almost all political news through a Labor-Greens prism.
From my experience when we ran the No Case in the 1999 referendum, the polls are understating the No (this time “no” to Shorten) vote. According to Newspoll, Coalition support is 39% and Labor-Greens 45 per cent leaving 16 per cent for the minor parties, all now essentially conservative. This varies across electorates, thus rising to 27 per cent in Herbert.
Minor party voters tend to have more common-sense and be more patriotism than, say, the wealthy global-warmist believing elites who fly the world, air-condition their mansions and constantly drive between them, their weekenders and hobby farms in gas-guzzling SUVs. I recognized minor party voters’ self-evident virtue when I recently chaired a candidates’ forum in Hahndorf in South Australia. These minor parties present a headache to pollsters, with most allocating their preferences according to the last election. But that was after Malcolm Turnbull plotted successfully to overthrow Tony Abbott and then foolishly turned on the self-funded retirees who were arrogantly told they had nowhere else to go. No wonder he lost their votes and their preferences.
How minor party voters allocate their preferences this time will be significantly different, not only because of the UAP deal and that Pauline Hanson was not provoked by Scott Morrison’s foolish decision to preference Labor before One Nation. They’ll be guided by self -interest for themselves and their families, something about which they should not be at all embarrassed. Self -interest is, after all, the basis of the world’s most successful and beneficial economic system.
So when the Labor-Greens target the thrifty and hard-working and announce they will steal their tax refunds, plan to fill the hospitals with vast numbers of retired elderly immigrants, are likely to open the borders and ridicule independent and expert warnings about the calamitous results of their global warming measures, is it little wonder that they will vote for or preference the Coalition?
Relying on how preferences were allocated in 2016 may not be appropriate. The alternative is to ask them how they are going to vote, as Morgan does. Given the attacks on small parties, it’s not surprising that some respondents will not answer or embarrassed, will give a misleading response. Then we have the small size of each sample which increases the margin of error.
I am suggesting an unscientific way to estimate how people endowed with common sense and independence will vote especially in the crucial marginal seats. This is by looking at two sets of statistics. One is of marginal electorates where the number of people receiving franked dividends is above the national median. I find 10; six Liberal, three Labor and one independent.
The other is to look at the number of voters claiming losses from rental properties ranging from $3000 to just over $15000. Surprisingly every marginal electorate, every one of the thirty one I thought could change representation, falls into this group. It’s reasonable to assume that these voters ( nd spouse, partners and children) would not be happy about being a target of a Labor government concerning both leveraged leasing and capital gains taxation.
I know readers will find this very difficult to believe, but a large proportion of these people will normally vote Labor or preference Labor, including Labor politicians. When they go into the booth, they may well think: “Not this time”.
That is why I believe that, notwithstanding the considerable degree of fraud which our electoral system allows and I suspect has been designed to allow and which may well be reflected, for all we know, in the polls, a Coalition victory or a hung parliament is at least plausible. If this is not to be, the fallback will be that the Coalition and a small conservative cross bench should be able to block extreme socialist measures and even the budget.
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