Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A snake pit and a Rubik's Cube

Labor was rubbing its hands with glee over the weekend in the wake of Costello bad-mouthing the boss in the new Howard biography creating speculation of Liberal party leadership rumbles. Labor's Lindsay Tanner has been the most eloquent to date over the Liberal's leadership shambles:
"If the Howard Government gets re-elected, it's going to be a total snake pit, it'll be a complete internal free-for-all.

For years, John Howard's been there in his office with a Rubik's Cube, trying to find some future leadership arrangement that isn't Peter Costello.

So it's Peter Reith, it's Tony Abbott, it's Malcolm Turnbull, it's Alexander Downer. He's been furiously fiddling away. Now, if he gets re-elected that Rubik's Cube's going into meltdown."
You'd think that the ALP was laughing its way to the polling booths when the latest Newspoll was announced yesterday, suggesting that "a change of Liberal leadership would not improve the Coalition's election chances".
The poll shows that 60 per cent of voters say a Liberal leadership change would not affect their vote.

Twenty-nine per cent say it would make them less likely to vote Liberal, while only 8 per cent say it would attract their vote.
Then again, it's still a long way to the election and you'd think that Rudd wouldn't get cocky and stuff up, especially with many fervently hoping he wont. Too late, by the look of the blogospheric wrath at Rudd's forestry policy: an old-growth forest bulldozing deal with the devil (the forestry union). They probably calculated it would only lose the ALP a few votes in a Greens leaning seats in Tasmania and inner-city seats in Melbourne and Sydney. Are they so cocky that they didn't think it would lose them seats?

Ironic, considering one of the federal Labor's more eloquent frontbenchers, Tanner, nearly shat himself at the Green push last election. He shares similar boundaries (Melbourne) to Victorian MP and State Minister, Bronwyn Pike, who faced a huge swing to the Greens at the 2006 Victorian elections and barely holds the seat by 1.9%.

I wonder where the snake pit is now.

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At July 25, 2007 8:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its not just seats

Clearly the Tasmanian seats will be crucial, and Labor will not risk them. But now attention is turning to control of the Senate. have a good analysis of the situation.

In short, Labor is most unlikely to win what it would need to control the Sentate. However, 2 extra Green Senators (1 in Tasmania, 1 in Victoria) although unlikely, is just possible. That could at least deprive the Coalition of Senate control.

At July 26, 2007 9:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alas, I have to disagree with you on the political (obviously, not ethical or environmental) soundness of Rudd's ditching Latham's Tassie forest policy.

Whatever numbers of Green preferences Rudd might lose, it is far less than the huge percentage of votes gifted staight to Howard after the PM basks in another rock-star reception from an adoring mob of timberworkers during the upcoming campaign.

If the Greens choose to ban all Labor preference deals and, consequently, enable the re-election of an egregious environmental vandal like Mr. Howard, then Bob Brown will be the next Meg Lees in performing a suicidal demolition job on a once-influential alternative party.

The other likely dysfunctional outcome of a Greens boycott of preferences for Labor is in the Senate. There would be a significant boost for fringe groups like Family First to manipulate preferences into Senate seats. There is ample evidence for this already in the NSW upper house with the Shooters, Fred Niles' cabal, and worse, for decades now.


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