Saturday, 9 July 2016

Labor should let a Coalition government govern

And now for something completely different. That's what the re-installed Bill Shorten should embrace. Instead of following the traditional path of obstructionism, let the Coalition government govern.
Accept that the Liberal-National Coalition has won an election and let their major policies pass through the parliament. Forget about whether Labor can marshal a majority in the Senate to obstruct and delay. Make the minor parties and independents an irrelevance. Just state your objection as forcibly as possible to government plans and promise to undo them when you win the next election. And in the mean time let them become law.
Leave it to the people decide the next time they go to the polls whether the conservative way was the right way. Don't let the Turnbull team hide behind a defence that it was a Labor opposition and/or a hostile Senate that prevented it from solving the nation's problems.
A daring strategy but I think a winning one.

My tweet of the week

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The rise and rise of the non-major parties

The steady decline of the major political parties in Australia shows no signs of ending.
This graph is from the ABC's website this morning:
Click to enlarge
Liberals should be thinking about adding someone else to their Coalition alongside the National Party.
And the Labor lot should stop complaining about the Greens. With their vote in the mid-30s Labor shoulf accept that it will not be winning anything in its own right.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Predicting the election result: They'll all sink or swim together

No one among the media pundits is prepared to be different. From what I have seen, every last one of them reckons Malcolm Turnbull is going to be a winner. There's safety in being one of the herd. If Turnbull doesn't stay Prime Minister then at least the experts will be able to say "we all went down together".
But let me dare to be different. I don't have one of those shrinking jobs in journalism to worry about. Being wrong has no potential monetary loss for me. I can dare to venture that the circumstances have never been better for what I call the underdog effect in electoral politics.
When there's an overwhelming consensus among opinion leaders and the public that there is a near certain winner, those members of the public are prone to act in a perverse fashion - especially when they don't particularly like the short priced favourite. It's as if they want to curb potential future arrogance by not allowing the victory to be too large and wake up the next morning surprised that so many acted in the same fashion. Think Campbell Newman in Queensland and Jeff Kennett in Victoria you'll get the picture.
Hence a Bill Shorten win will not surprise me and I have adjusted my gambling on the result accordingly. Should the pundits and the betting market prove correct I will get out all square and if the outsider gets up there will be a nice little win.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

The power of a ratings downgrade - the UK example

A peripheral issue in the Australian election campaign is the danger of a downgrade by those dreaded ratings agencies. Listen to some of the political talk and you would think that the danger of the Australian government losing its triple A status would send us to debtors prison because of higher interest rate.
I was intrigued this morning to look at what has happened in the UK since the post-Brexit downgrading of its credit rating. From London's Financial Times:

A decline in rates across the range!
From memory the same pattern of a government being able to borrow at a cheaper rate following a downgrading occurred in the United States.
The power of the ratings agencies indeed.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Opinion poll of the week

The NT News does it again.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The political speculator's diary: Punters losing faith in the pollsters - the Brexit...

Believe the opinion polls and the punters would have the choices in the UK's Brexit referendum at even money take your pick. For several weeks now there has been nothing between stay and leave in the measurements of public opinion. If anything, leave is ever so slightly in front. But over at the Betfair betting exchange the stay option is the clear favourite.

The punters, probably influenced by the media pundits, clearly have no faith in the predictive power of polls. The memory of how wrong the polls were before the last British general election must be strong.
From my far away distance it just seems strange to me.