Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tired Government Syndrome

Some months back I was caned for supporting a Democrat win in the mid-terms. Caned for not talking about the shortcomings of the alternate majority.

I accept that, but now I’m feeling like the shoe is on the other foot. I’m not totally wrapped in the alternative; but any thing other that Howard!

Having said that, I will try to take a step back to a non partisan analysis as I did when I wasn’t in exile.

In recent weeks Australian politics has become increasingly personal as the Coalition has launched its campaign to destroy Kevin Rudd's credibility (the Labor alternative.).

Labor leader Kevin Rudd and the Seven Network say reports they asked Vietnamese authorities to hold an Anzac Day dawn service early so it could be broadcast live on television are fabricated.

[Murdoch’s] papers said Rudd's office and the television network hatched a plan for a dawn service at Long Tan, Vietnam, to be shifted an hour earlier to take advantage of peak morning TV ratings in Australia.

It was Easter Monday here and I was up early and caught the particular ‘peak morning’ show in question. The presenters were bloody furious that what they saw as well considered presentation should be cast as a political scandal.

Presenter, David Koch was furious: Perhaps like you, I woke up on Easter Sunday this morning to see a screaming headline that we're somehow trying to undermine the Anzac spirit, by staging our own "dawn service" in Vietnam for Kevin Rudd's benefit. I couldn't believe it. The story was totally from left field.
I thought you deserved an explanation.

As you know, I've long had a passion to tell wartime stories. I think it's crucial that younger generations get an understanding of earlier sacrifices. It's for that reason we went to Kokoda last year.
It's for that same reason that we started talking to Vietnam veterans about visiting Long Tan this year. We were briefed at our office by a group of men who fought. They wanted us to travel with them.

If you want the story from Koch, please follow the link. But my point is that this is just the last of a series of desperate attempts to head off the growing popularity of the Alternative. Put another way, the Howard government is going into panic mod and screwing nearly every effort to stop it.

Anzac Day is probably the major ‘religious’ festival in Australia, not religious as such but sacred all the same. If Rudd had been guilty it would have been a good hit for Howard. But using it cynically will only speed up Howard’s plummeting support.

I am, drawn to the economic election predictor, the three indicators - the unemployment rate, inflation and interest rates.

If two or more of these rise over a full, three-year electoral cycle, the government will lose.

But I have suggested other potential. predictors, including the tired party (government).

The Howard government is showing all the signs of tired government. This has included attacks on Labor blowing back in their face, ministers sacked for misconduct and a fair difficulty replacing them with acceptable candidates and a Federal Police into some Queensland Liberal members.

Still, the NSW Labor government, economically challenged and increasingly tired, was returned with a large margin last month. Perhaps it is just a different state/federal dynamic.

8 comments:

reality-based educator said...

How does the Hicks case play into the elections (if at all)?

Cartledge said...

It slots right into the chain of Howard fuck ups. I expect the gag on Hicks until after the election just adds one more level of cynicism and doubt.
Labor had called for him to be bought home, over the past year or so. But it appeared mainly lip service with no great commitment.

reality-based educator said...

Will Hicks eventually be able to tell his side of his story? I can see why they would want to gag hum before the election, but why not let him publish afterward? (I assume they won't though.)

Praguetwin said...

Inflation looks to be somewhat contained, Interest rates are not that bad, but still a little high (probably won't be raised soon I suppose) and tomorrow's job report will probably be another positive. 4.6% is like a 30 year low, is it not?

You are going to have to revise your model, but I think you ought to apply it anyway just to see how it does, and to refine it.

Underemployment may need to be added (i.e. average work week), and wage parity.

Perhaps a ratio between wages and corporate profits: a "fairness" index. That might be useful.

Just brainstorming here.

Cartledge said...

PT, the figures don’t support the argument at face value. There is a fair bit of discussion here over the veracity of the reporting methods. I argued the same during the mid terms, the reporting methods skew the reality.
Like the mid-terms where the rust belt was hurting despite a ‘booming economy’ the swing away from the government here is in a raft of marginal seats, suggesting people are hurting out there.
Our central bank has said it won’t touch rates for fear it will be attacked for being political. That seems political in itself, but does not take away the underlying problems.
Employment now is being claimed on the basis of just a few hours a week. So yes, underemployment is a factor and mis-stating it does not change the facts.
I’m not an economist, just an interested bystander. But I expect the facts are out there to build an accurate model. Just getting back to honest reporting would help.

Kvatch said...

The Howard government is showing all the signs of tired government.

Howard's government has been office for quite a stretch, and so I don't find this a bit surprising.

We have something similar in the states, what I would would characterize as the "confused movement" syndrome. Though Bush's bungling has certainly contributed to the present state of the GOP, I think that it goes deeper. The whole conservative movement in the US seems confused as to what it wants to be. Jingoist or isolationist, spenders or savers.

Cartledge said...

Yes kvatch, we talked about it during the mid terms when the GOP were doing attack ads on themselves

reality-based educator said...

Howard now wants to ban HIV+ people from emigrating to Australia. Thoughts?