Post-election lines I’m already sick of

Well, we’ve got our whingy it-isn’t-fair lines from the losing side:

1. 700,000 More Votes (provided you include the Nats but discount the Greens):

From News Ltd, bitterly disappointed after its election loss:

The overwhelming feeling in the Abbott office yesterday, where MPs and staff watched the press conferences that announced their fate, was disappointment after winning more seats and 700,000 more primary votes than Labor.

By my calculations from the current results (with 12% still to be counted), 5,349,531 people voted for the Liberals and the Nationals and the Liberal/Nationals. In contrast, 6,140,963 people voted for Labor and the Greens.

The Liberals appear to want to have it both ways: they’ll claim that they have more votes than Labor by including the Nationals, but – despite pretending that the ALP and Greens are in some kind of “coalition” – discount the Greens to make the 700,000 vote claim. Which is absurd, because the 1.4 million of us who voted Greens were very clear about not wanting Abbott in government.

If the Libs want to quote a figure that somewhat justifies their claim, it should be the 0.02% edge they currently have (less than two thousand votes in 12 million) on two-party preferred. But there’s a lot of counting to go.*

The 700,000 figure is so meaningless and stupid as to make me wince whenever they use it. And use it they are.

2. Tony Windsor Thinks The Liberals Would Win A New Election

Apparently a determination to chuck what the Australian voters just decided over the side and make us do it again is considered a democratic virtue. It’s just not democratic to stick with the MPs we just elected! Real democracy involves going back to the polls until our side wins!

As put by some Liberal supporter on The Punch:

Wrong. They lost because the independents chose Labor. They chose Labor because Labor is electorally weak and thus unable to go back to the polls. That gives the independents “stability” (at the cost of democracy, effectiveness, integrity, legitimacy, etc).

First, nobody knows if Windsor is right that the Liberals would win, but News Ltd certainly is convinced they would and has been pushing hard for a new poll (from which they, as a media organisation, would of course massively profit). The independents quite reasonably suspect that a Liberal minority government would very quickly go back to the polls whenever it looked like they could secure a majority in their own right.

It’s not “democratic” to make us keep voting till one side likes the result.

In any case, the independents’ main reason for picking the ALP on stability grounds was that when the new Senate sits from July next year, the ALP and Greens will have a clear majority in the upper house. Given to them by us voters, as it happens. (Not that any of these right-wing columnists will object to the present Senate that we’ve just voted to change holding us to ransom for the next nine months. Bolt even gloats about Fielding blocking legislation until July, without noting that voters resoundingly kicked him out.)

Voters clearly indicated that whilst they were ambivalent about the major parties in the lower house, they definitely wanted a progressive Senate. Things being essentially equal in the House of Representatives – we’re talking 49.99 vs 50.01% 2PP – they responded to the much clearer result in the other house.

Of course, if you’re a right-wing apologist, a couple of Newspolls in the independents’ electorates are much more a mandate for government than how the Australian electorate actually voted less than three weeks ago – but please don’t pretend that’s “democracy”.

I almost wish I could travel – very, very briefly – to the parallel universe where, say, Windsor sided with the Coalition, and bring back the justifications from these columnists as to why the independents’ decision there was entirely legitimate. The contrast would be amusing.

UPDATE 6PM: *The ALP is currently more than 500 votes ahead on 2PP. This could vacillate again, but clearly it undermines the Libs’ rubbish argument that the independents should’ve picked them because of some kind of clear indication from Australians.

UPDATE #2: Check out the breathtaking dishonesty of the front page of the Daily Telegraph today:

"The Big Steal"

“The Big Steal”? The great unhinging, indeed. The ALP, meanwhile, as at 9.30pm, is more than a thousand votes ahead in the 2PP. Some “steal”.

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36 responses to “Post-election lines I’m already sick of

  1. 100% correct… Barnaby was first out of the blocks yesterday on the ‘we won more votes’ lie in a truly grumpy (and quite spoiled-brat-ish) interview.
    He also followed up with a comment that the people in the Independant members electorates “…would prefer a coalition government”. Maybe they would, but then they really should have voted that way in the election. Clearly in the election (the ONLY poll that matters), they did not want the Lib/Nats and chose otherwise.

  2. opinion seems to be that voters will move to the right after a double dissolution/hung parliament. but i dont see any evidence of this happening before? maybe just wishful thinking by conservatives

  3. Bolt is apoplectic. I wonder if the Nats might break from the Coalition?

  4. Pingback: Election finalised thread – Pure Poison

  5. Even the 2PP argument is feeble or at least premature. Labor were ahead half an hour ago [ http://vtr.aec.gov.au/ ] and I’m fairly sure that still doesn’t factor in those 8 seats where the 2PP race was something other than Labor vs. Coalition.

  6. ^ Sorry, I overstated the case. The margin was merely down to about 800.

  7. ^ They are actually ahead right now by 500.

  8. Blah blah blah… Hate those “more people voted for me” arguments … well:

    66,128 people voted for Julia Gillard
    50,062 people voted for Tony Abbott

  9. Wisdom Like Silence

    Jesus those Constantin Film bastards are quick.

  10. Best Downfall parody I’ve seen in a long while.

    “We won more seats, if you count Crook but don’t count Bandt! Those independents have gone against the 44% of Australians who cast their number 1 vote for us and sided with the 49% of Australians who voted Labor or Green! How could they betray their fellow Australians like that?”

    Exactly.

  11. 3. Julia Gillard is an unelected PM.

    This one portrays a severe ignorance of the Australian Constitution. Plays well with the rabid right.

  12. jordanrastrick

    There was always going to be bitching and moaning from the side that lost, and spurious appeals to all kinds of arbitrary metrics of “the true will of the people”.

    What’s funny, or perhaps just disheartening, is that Abbott has been the most measured balanced of his colleagues, who in turn have actually so far proven less shrill than the columnists, and for that matter the newspaper editors. Compare that telegraph front page, for example, with abbotts press conference:

    http://www.liberal.org.au/Latest-News/2010/09/07/Tony-Abbott-Transcript-Election-Result.aspx

  13. I suspect that’s quite deliberate and cynical – Tony can stand there looking gracious and measured, knowing that the Liberals’ attack dogs in the media will be hysterically running these lines on his behalf. You won’t see him decrying their dishonesty, and you’ll note he repeated the fundamentally misleading 700,000 figure in that transcript.

  14. Splatterbottom

    What will happen now with the mining industry is that Swan gets to rape the goose that laid the golden egg. While he will probably end up with egg on his dick, I doubt that it will be golden.

  15. “I doubt that it will be golden.”

    It depends largely on whether the goose was free range SB.

  16. It’s more like asking a goose-egg merchant, who has found himself able to gouge massive and unexpected profits because of the sudden appearance of a gigantic a local omlette factory, to accept a small price rise from the farmer who is selling them the eggs.

    Sorry – I’ve ruined the analogy now haven’t I?

  17. Splatterbottom

    Duncan, the goose was once free range, but the covetous eyes of the tax-and-spend merchants are lusting after it. I fear it will not prosper when it is penned up and screwed over by porky politicians.

    Mondo, unfortunately you took the fun bits out! The preening Swan is jealous that people now understand that in fact the goose saved the economy, not Swan’s limp stimulus measures. Now addicted to spending, Swan is going to make the goose pay for having the impertinence to be more socially useful than an inept and incompetent government. Sadly, Australia will learn the hard way that Swan is in fact a complete turkey.

  18. in fact the goose saved the economy, not Swan’s limp stimulus measures.

    Well I think it was probably a combination of the two, but you’re certainly correct that the sudden increase in the value of Australia’s vast mineral deposits played a critical role in our recovery.

    It would play an even bigger role if the useful idiots would allow us to increase the price we’re charging for those deposits so that we get some of the benefit of this windfall.

  19. Not wishing to feed the troll (SB) but…
    One of the drivers for the stimulus package was the collapse in demand from China for resources post ‘Lehman-shock’. Stimulus packages kept the economy going until that demand came back… that’s how I read it, based on demand for Chinese made goods falling due to economic crash leading to demand for resources to fall away.

    PS… why troll? well, no where in the original post was the mining tax mentioned. This discussion has been hijacked.
    Back on topic pls.

  20. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, a good government tries to do the essentials with as little waste as is possible. A leftist government dreams at night about who it can tax and how it can piss the proceeds against the wall. For them it is the size of the spend that inflates their egos.

    The ALP is wasting billions with its misconceived schemes and now wants to double down with a big dose of tax and spend. We already have a good example of the difference between public and private expenditure with the BER. We can see the destruction of the insulation industry resulting from the governments arsonist expenditure in that sector. The NBN is just a trough for Labor mates to slurp their swill at.

    Right now, I would not change something that is so previously not broken like the mining industry. As the profits rise, the tax take rises as it is designed to do. Why take steps which will inevitably reduce mining investment, especially in uncertain economic times? And why go for an arbitrary compromised tax designed in collusion with the biggest miners to the detriment of the rest of the industry?

  21. Whether or not a particular government will piss the resulting revenue up the wall or not is irrelevant to the issue of whether Australia is entitled to participate in the massive and unexpected windfall being generated from the sale of its mineral reserves.

    We are, and we should. Even a cursory examination of the unbelievable profits being earned by the mining companies will immediately expose the empty dishonesty of their ridiculous threats to pack up and leave.

  22. SB: Stop ducking the question so we can talk turkey, you goose. It’s merely Swan’s Way.

  23. Splatterbottom

    Craig: “PS… why troll? well, no where in the original post was the mining tax mentioned. This discussion has been hijacked.”

    Get out of your straight-jacket man. I was just discussing another post-election line that Jeremy will soon come to hate. Anyway good to see you couldn’t help but comment.

    Mondo: “Australia is entitled to participate in the massive and unexpected windfall being generated from the sale of its mineral reserves.

    Here you are at your wanking best. “Unexpected” has nothing to do with it at all. “Windfall” is also emotive and irrelevant. What you seem to be trying to argue here is that more profitable companies should have extra taxes imposed on them.

    As with all businesses, the higher the profit, the higher the tax payable. You seem to want to take extra tax on top of this, but without any other logical reason than sheer naked avarice.

    Australia has already benefited by virtue of its increased tax take, and by the fact confidence in our economy that the exploitation of mineral wealth brings. You want to increase the tax take, but seem blind to the fact that in doing so will reduce future investment.

  24. “You want to increase the tax take, but seem blind to the fact that in doing so will reduce future investment.”

    Fact eh? Well time will tell.

    Resources are finite SB, if the miners want to go and rape Canada and Africa first then go for it… I don’t understand the hurry to dig it all up and sell it to China. I do understand that most of the time governments govern for the short term, the mining tax is a refreshing change.

  25. ‘Unexpected” has nothing to do with it at all. ‘

    So, you’d be a billionaire, you must be able to accurately pick the price of resources at any point in time, so, you know, you can buy low and sell high?

  26. Splatterbottom

    I don’t see how the fact someone did or did not “expect” particular industries to be particularly profitable at particular times is relevant.

    Also, I don’t see why we shouldn’t sell resources now. It is not likely that we will be running out of iron ore any time soon. Who knows if it will even be valuable in the future?

  27. I don’t see how the fact someone did or did not “expect” particular industries to be particularly profitable at particular times is relevant.

    I agree that it shouldn’t be, but since the mining industry (and you, from memory) have been running the line that this tax is unfair and ‘retrospective’ because it was ‘unexpected’ when the initial cost projections for the mines were completed, it is entirely appropriate to point out that the super-normal profits now being enjoyed were also ‘unexpected’. You can’t have it both ways.

    What you seem to be trying to argue here is that more profitable companies should have extra taxes imposed on them.

    I’m not actually, but if you replace the word ‘companies’ with ‘industries’ then you’d be closer to the truth. The economics of such an approach are certainly interesting to me.

    You want to increase the tax take, but seem blind to the fact that in doing so will reduce future investment.

    I’m not blind to it – I just think that the overall impact of any loss of investment will be more than offset by the increase in national revenue.

  28. Why is this clown hijacking the thread? 90% of Sb’s posts here are not remotely relevant to the topic at hand.

    Typical retarded fanboy troll behavior. If there are some unanswerable criticisms for the “team” the fanboy is barracking for, the troll will quietly change the topic.

  29. Alright, everybody calm down and back to the topic.

  30. Labor is ahead in the 2PP, even without those seats being added back in. I expect this to be given front page headlines just like when the Coalition was ahead….

  31. “If there are some unanswerable criticisms for the “team” the fanboy is barracking for, the troll will quietly change the topic.”

    If increased taxing of the mining industry is bad for business what the hell was the GST all about? That taxed EVERYONE!!!! Surely not a good thing for the country….. Oh, sorry, that was a Lieberal move so must have been OK.

    You see, simplistic attacks are so easy…..

  32. Businesses, including mining companies, don’t pay GST. It is a consumption tax – i.e. it is levied on the consumer.

    Increased tax is bad for business, but that’s not to say that it’s necessarily bad for the economy. SB’s argument confuses the two issues.

  33. If you strangle the goose that laid the golden egg, are you left with a bill or is it a deducktion?

  34. That it’s bad for business is a dubious proposition.

    Most business’s expect a certain level of instructure to enable them to carry out their business, and then there’s the infratructure that supports their employees, i.e, schools, hospitals etc.

  35. “Businesses, including mining companies, don’t pay GST. It is a consumption tax – i.e. it is levied on the consumer.”

    Exactly….. But to the ignorant (let’s be generous and say only 75% of the population) any spin you like can and was be put on it.

    Remember how Keating first proposed it and the Libs were furiously against it? Then the Libs under Hewson had a go at promoting it and Labour derided it… Finally Howard gave it to us after famously saying “No coalition government would introduce a GST” !!!
    It was of course the right thing to introduce, but this is a classic example of how one side AUTOMATICALLY takes the opposite point of view on key issues. The average pleb has the memory of a goldfish and is thus played like a pawn in the process of getting teams elected.
    It’s my firm belief that enough goldfish have woken up to this and the election result we have was only a matter of time.
    Some people wear their pary allegience like a badge of honour. I see it as a statement of blinkered life…..

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