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18 responses to “2009: The year ahead”

  1. Robert Merkel

    I don’t think it’s just younger voters, either.

    During the silly season, had lunch with some relatives of my SO. Your typical grey nomads. Spontaneously, they brought up climate change and ventured the opinion that Rudd had squibbed it.

    Anecdotes may not be data, but here were a couple of people you’d hardly categorize as hard-core environmentalists – if anything, they’re probably slap-bang in the middle one of the core demographics Howard hung on to all those years – saying that they wanted a more ambitious scheme, and were well aware it would cost them more money.

  2. Amanda

    Who really cares about Rod Blagojevich or whether Caroline Kennedy will or should be a Senator?

    Only people interested in US politics and democracy, I guess. I imagine Kennedy supports the things you name as the two most important policy but we don’t know for sure because she’s never publically said. And who knows what Burris’ price was — apart from his dignity. I don’t think I can agree the make up of the Senate has no relevance to what might be got through the Senate.

  3. Paul Burns

    Prediction : Many Governments, including the Australian Government, will continue to use the GFC as an excuse not to offend big polluting businesses and do bugger all about global warming regardless of what the electortate (as opposed to big business) wants.
    Rudd’s not too worried – he knowsa people thinbk the coalition is worse.
    Of course, we the people could really stuff him up and give poloitical parties who want to stop global warming control of the senate at the next election.
    Barring the ALP doing sleazy deals with extreme right wong minor parties, which wouldn’t surprise me at all.

  4. epicene

    I’m intrigued with the claims that, like Krudd, Frazer was coping with a collapsing world economy in 1978. Surely the better analogy is Whitlam, first ‘oil shocks etc’ in 1972/3? And a media that refused to admit that was even slightly affecting the shiney new government trying to sweep away the cobwebs of dacdes of conservative coma

  5. smokey

    Kevin05 has wasted an opportunity to do something really meaningful with climate change. With his popularity and goodwill with voters in the stratosphere, he came up with a lame policy that will accomplish bugger all.

    It’s certainly very disappointing for many people, a lot more than Rudd may realise. There’s quite a depth of feeling about it across the whole spectrum of the population, although not reflected in polls particularly as the questions there are about a choice between Labor and Lib.

    Whats more it may well face a very tough time in the Senate. With only 3% of all money’s raised going to encourage green industries I can’t see how the Greens are going to give it a red light like that. And with big business getting free permits while small business has to pay, how will the Libs support an unfair playing field like that?

  6. Katz

    However, Whitlam was attempting to arouse Australia from this coma.

    It could be argued that Rudd is attempting to apply Howard’s sleeper-hold, in a kinder and gentler way, of course.

  7. Paul Burns

    Didn’t you realisre back then in 1978 it was Ratty saving Australia even then. 🙂

    More like an attempt to deflect attention that the Fraser-Howard Government was doing dirty dealls with natural gas companies to sell out East Timor to Indonesia. So now the narrative goes, not that Ratty sold the East Timorese down the drain, but “I, John Winston Howard, have been here before. I know how to get Australia out of this situation, so vote me back in.”

    Does anyway else think it significant that we’re stuffing up in the cricket now that Howard the Great Cricket God is gone? 🙂

    (Sometimes I wonder if I should be extremely suspicious of people who follow cricket.)

  8. MikeM

    Kevin05 has wasted an opportunity to do something really meaningful with climate change.


    Kevin05 has wasted an opportunity to take a global leadership stand, set a stirring example to other world leaders, get brick-walled in the Senate and fail to actually achieve anything at all.

    I doubt whether Nick Minchin and his obstructionist mates give a stuff about any depth of feeling across the whole spectrum of population.

    The Libs will probably support his present position. A 20% target – no way. The important thing is to get started so that people can see that it’s not nearly the disaster for the economy that doom merchants predict.

    Let not the perfect drive out the good.

  9. Mark

    I don’t think I can agree the make up of the Senate has no relevance to what might be got through the Senate.

    Amanda, I don’t mean to imply that. What I do mean to say is that we don’t need to get bogged down in every twist and turn of the day to day machinations now that election fever is over. It’s possible – and it should be very doable from a distance where we can be somewhat more objective – to see the wood not the trees. While the composition of the Senate is important, whether Andrew Cuomo or Caroline Kennedy’s appointed in NY is neither here nor there in terms of how legislation will pan out.

  10. Amanda

    It also should be doable, from any distance, to take it both the wood and the trees. Neither of those issues are “minutiae” (Blago especially — and legislative agendas have been derailed by less) and an interest in them doesn’t imply an inability to look ahead. If it matters to Australians that American unions can have secret ballots, the circumstances of elected positions being farmed to and by alleged criminals is surely also of legitimate interest.

  11. Friendless

    @Paul Burns – the extreme right wong is Penny… I think she’s great :-).

    Although it’s obvious in Australia and the U.S. that the right wing has lost the plot, there’s lots of evidence in Australia and some in the U.S. that the new governments have assumed the centre – Rudd and his internet censorship and 5% cop-out; Obama and his reaching across the aisle. As someone to the left of Labor and to the right of the Greens, I feel like nobody is representing me – I didn’t get the government I voted for. Obama is safe – there’s no-one to the left of the Democrats in the U.S. and there won’t be, but Rudd has the Greens to watch out for. I just don’t feel that the people that have been mobilised to cause the changes we’ve seen are getting anywhere near the changes they wanted. While the right wing is disorganised, now is the time to make the changes that will be impossible to undo.

  12. Mark

    Amanda @ 10 – sure, but it’s more than possible that in a few months, the whole Blago affair will be history. Each to their own, but I think what I’m saying is that a lot of what’s being speculated at this point about where Obama will go and the circumstances he will face is based on ephemera.

    The significance of changes to labour law in America is that the state which has been at the heart of neo-liberalism may shift in a more social democratic direction, and the climate of opinion shifting away from neo-liberal globalisation and “there is no alternative” is going to have much more of an impact on us than Illinois politics.

  13. Amanda

    Or perhaps Queenslanders are just more blase about massive state corruption than the rest of us.

  14. Mark

    I doubt that Amanda. Quite the reverse, I think. But I don’t imagine people in Illinois spend their time thinking about Queensland state politics either.

    My point is that it’s not compulsory to follow US politics in all its minutiae relentlessly, and in fact not doing so might enable us to grasp more of what’s significant about its changing character worldwide. The whole “watch the US election day by day” thing had its interest, but a lot of people over-estimated the significance of many developments. I’m not at all sure making this point warrants snark in return. I’m not trying to criticise anyone. Just pointing out a view which I’d like to argue has its uses.

  15. Colonel of Truth

    Hey, Friendless at #11, if you feel “I didn’t get the government I voted for” then be not fraught. Nobody else did either, except perhaps for Mr Rudd and (literally) one or two others.

    It’s the same at every election regardless of which party wins; a new govt will never be a perfect reflection of all the wishes and expectations of all those individuals who voted for it. It can’t be.

    But fear not, for you need not “feel like nobody is representing me.” A good govt of any party will represent you and every other Australian rather well, as history demonstrates. You just won’t get everything to go your way, that’s all. But neither will anybody else.

    If you feel that not enough is going your way (compared with others in the electorate) then that’s unfortunate but tough. That’s democracy, with all its flaws, at work.

  16. Paul Burns

    friendless @ 11,
    re typos – I think I know what was wong with me – very slow recovery from very long party and quite a bit more to drink than I normally have. For a little while I couldn’t concentrate to see properly when I was commenting.

  17. smokey

    “Kevin05 has wasted an opportunity to take a global leadership stand, set a stirring example to other world leaders, get brick-walled in the Senate and fail to actually achieve anything at all.” – no. 8.

    Well he’s accomplished the last bit, but not the first two. Even if Rudd does get his scheme through the Senate however in it’s present form, he will still have failed to achieve anything at all. All it will be is a bureaucratic nightmare that shuffles money around without addressing the real issue.


  18. professor rat

    Respectfully Mark, As a political junkie I actually welcome the return of ‘politics without democracy’…as opposed to what seems like an eternity of democracy-without- politics.
    We have opened up a cut above Saint Kevin’s eye and discovered a couple of Oh-blah-blah’s Achilles heels. ( Rahmbo and nepotism ) I think we can promise all leaders who under-deliver interesting-times moving forward. ( Except you mate .)