The price paid for discounting the social and political impact of your decisions is going to be high.

The federal government continues its journey south …


Six Quarters Update Post Election Rudd (Nov 2007) V Abbott Sep 2013

Two - party preferred results Labor (Rudd) V Coalition (Abbott). Source: Newspoll voting preferences House of Reps 2007 election and House of Reps 2013 election and subsequent six quarters.

In our earlier post we suggested that the LNP was battling an ongoing downward trend that was likely to continue unless something dramatic happened to turn things around. Not long after that posting, the Newman government was rejected by Queensland voters and a spill motion took place in the Liberal party room in Canberra. The key point made in that original piece was that Australians do not abide arrogance whether perceived or real, and that politicians could expect to be thrown out if they displayed these characteristics in office.

Well things appear to have gotten worse for the federal coalition government given the latest Newspoll data based on the March quarter average two party preferred comparison for the federal House of Reps.

At the time of our previous report, the government had just completed five quarters in command. It is now three months later and six quarters have been posted. More importantly, the far more stable quarterly Newspoll data continues to show a downward trend for the Coalition. In contrast, it was not until the ninth quarter that the Rudd government started to slip from its 56/44 position of dominance on two party preferred. This was immediately prior to Kevin Rudd being “rolled” in the caucus in favour of Julia Gillard. In contrast, the present Liberal leader continues his journey south and in sore need of a second chance from voters.

Since that last post, the present Liberal leader has faced an uprising in the parliamentary party leading to a spill but was given a chance for redemption by his party. The public appear to be less forgiving at this stage if we are to believe the Newspoll numbers. Is the "we know best” still in play despite the promises? Has the backbench been offered greater input into decision making and have cross- benchers been invited into the discussion?

We predicted the demise of Newman government in Queensland after just one term despite Labor’s previous history on the basis of a perceived non consultative "we know best" approach and that came to pass.

Our experience in political research indicates clearly that Aussies don’t like being talked down to; not only by other nations, but even more so by their own leaders or major corporation bosses. It is not a strong fit with the egalitarian mindset we believe we possess whether real or imagined. Moreover, backbenchers do not abide any short shrift from the executive branch as Kevin Rudd Mark 1 discovered.

Our previous report on this topic suggested that if the opposition were being led by half-charismatic spokesperson then the present condition of the LNP along with its ability to get things through the parliament would be even more parlous. But the present opposition leader’s ability to inspire seems to rival that of the Prime Minister if we are to accept Newspoll’s satisfaction with the leaders data for the same period i.e. March Quarter 2015.

Noted newsletter critical of conservative politics Crikey, through political writer Alex Mitchell surprised recently when it had this to say about how the Coalition leader in NSW, Mike Baird compared with the national LNP leader Tony Abbott:

Mitchell on April 2 writes:

“…having obtained his own mandate in a highly praised election campaign, the 47-year-old premier (Baird) has taken on the entrenched factions and moved to the middle ground. It is a bold flourish and one that most of his immediate predecessors were too timid to take.

“While Prime Minister Tony Abbott, is fashioning a quite different federal Liberal Party in Canberra that thrives on fear, division, conflict and devotion to the free market, Baird has decided to be neither dry nor wet but moist.”

Could it be a case of "moist" is best as Mitchell suggests!





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