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John Simkin
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The word on the street is 'he's gone'.

We'll see.

Selling public owned utiities to the public, (ie revenue loss), degrading Universal Public Health, turning good tertiary education into a 'free (relatively) ride' for the rich dumb kids while the poor struggle with each other for diminished resources, practically demolishing many many decades of hard won workers rights, this lapdog of Bush and Thatc..er Blair and his cohorts deserve to go.

Whether they judge the mess they made sufficient so a Labor Gov. is allowed in to clean it up before they have another go is another question. A good Labor Gov certainly will have it's hands full and the Media will play it's role in the scheme of things.

Labor frequently is first past the post which is often/usually NOT reflected in the final outcome. Preferential voting in it's present format is an extension of the massive gerrymanders of the pre Whitlam-Hawke days.

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I really don't know. The polls say it will be a Labor victory, but you know what they say about polls...

About 6 months ago, I was asking people if they thought Rudd could win. These were people I encountered occasionally - taxi drivers, cleaners, or just random encounters. Most were incredulous that I could even suggest such a thing.

People I mention it to now still indicate voting Liberal, but I haven't asked if they were always a Lib voter, etc.

If I had to make a call, I'd say it will be close but a Liberal victory.

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I think Maxine has a very good chance of defeating Howard; she is a very popular lady.

The Iraq war is of concern to some, but not all. I would not rate it any high than any other major issue - interest rates, financial stability, etc.

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Thank you for these comments. Is the Iraq War an issue in the election? What do you make of Maxine McKew?

John, it's going to be a fascinating election. The Government has been behind in the polls ever since Kevin Rudd became Opposition leader and there are several ministers, including the Prime Minister, who are at risk of losing their seats.

Maxine McKew is a former journalist and presenter who worked for the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commisssion), and is running against the PM in his seat of Bennelong. The PM has held this seat since his entry into Federal politics in 1974. The demographic profile of Bennelong has changed over the years and this, combined with recent changes to the electoral boundaries of the seat, has made the seat marginal. John Howard holds the seat with a margin of just under 5%. Like many inner urban electorates, the people of Bennelong are generally upwardly mobile and wealthy. The Labor Party vote is traditionally low. While economically conservative, the electorate is progressive on social issues and this is where the PM has a problem. His treatment of refugees and their incarceration in detention centres, his indifference to David Hicks and his detainment in Guantanamo Bay and his support for the Bush Administration's intervention in Iraq are all factors alienating him from his constituency. Moreover, the PM has until very recently denied that human activity has contributed to climate change, and used this as one of the reasons for failing to ratify the Kyoto protocol. The electorate, quite correctly in my view, sees him as a meek lapdog of George Bush.

McKew is media savvy and has played a smart campaign, stitching up preference deals with Labor and the minor parties, who are all equally keen to see the PM defeated. If John Howard loses his seat, he will be the first sitting PM to lose his seat since Stanley Melbourne Bruce in 1929. Further, we could witness the bizarre spectacle of the Howard Government being returned sans the Prime Minister. I would say there's a strong chance Howard will lose his seat, although they don't call him Lazarus for nothing. I rate it 50/50.

Interestingly, the Minister for Workplace Relations, Joe Hockey, faces a similar challenge in the adjoining seat of North Sydney from another ex-ABC employee, former weather man Mike Bailey. While Bailey is not as high profile as Maxine McKew, the electorate of North Sydney has a reputation for electing independent candidates. Ted Mack, former Mayor of North Sydney, represented that electorate for many years and earned a unique place in Australian political history by refusing to accept his parliamentary superannuation upon retirement. 70/30 for Hockey.

Yet another Government Minister, Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull, faces a battle to retain his seat of Wentworth, in Sydney's affluent eastern suburbs. His Labor opponent, George Newhouse, has a prominent profile among the electorate's large Jewish constituency. However, Newhouse's former girlfriend is also running for the seat with the express intention of fragmenting the vote of her erstwhile lover. I've seen her interviewed--she's as sharp as a whip. Real soap opera material. 60/40 for Turnbull.

As for the overall election result, I slightly favor the Labor Party, although they need to make a net gain of 16 seats nationally, not easy considering there are only 150 seats in the Lower House, with some 80 or 90 of them not considered marginal. A lot will depend on the performance of individual candidates. However, there's an overriding feeling that Howard is yesterday's man. He's already committed to handing over the leadership before his term is up, which reinforces the perception. The Workplace Relations legislation stinks like a dead cat and proves his right wing Thatcherite agenda. He should have passed the baton to Peter Costello 18 months ago when he had the chance, and he could have gone out a winner. This would have given his party the appearance of regeneration after 10 years of Howard rule. Some say his personal animosity towards Costello prevented him from doing this. I think he started believing the media talk of his own invincibility and he took counsel from his wife, who apparently loves living in Kirribilli House. I think Labor will win by 6 seats. There's a possibility they may need the help of Independent candidates to form a minority Government.

I'm going to a party on Saturday night, a traditional Federal election night custom. If Howard is defeated, we will celebrate well into Sunday.

Edited by Mark Stapleton
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Antony Green is regarded as one of Australia's top election analysts. I consider him a walking computer of election facts and figures. His analysis can be found on the ABC's election 2007 website, which provides readers with realtime results, swing analysis and other interesting stuff.

http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2007/

I will be watching. Over the last few years, the advocates of the invasion of Iraq have lost office in Spain, Italy and the UK. Only Australia and the US to go.

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Antony Green is regarded as one of Australia's top election analysts. I consider him a walking computer of election facts and figures. His analysis can be found on the ABC's election 2007 website, which provides readers with realtime results, swing analysis and other interesting stuff.

http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2007/

I will be watching. Over the last few years, the advocates of the invasion of Iraq have lost office in Spain, Italy and the UK. Only Australia and the US to go.

Yes, but right wing governments have since been elected in France and Canada. And the Bush-Blair-Howard team's parties are all still in power. I'm hoping this will be the first public repudiation of the stinking interventionist mindset which this ultra-right trio represents.

Glad you'll be watching, John. If Labor doesn't win I'll be inconsolable.

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Rudd becomes PM as Howard loses govt.

"Labor leader Kevin Rudd became Australia's 26th prime minister as voters across the nation swept John Howard from power and likely dumped him from his Sydney seat.

The political career of Australia's second-longest serving prime minister will end with defeat after 11-and-a-half years in office, and he is also likely to become only the second prime minister in history to lose his seat.

And at least two of his ministers also lost their seats in the 5.5 per cent swing to Labor that will seal the ALP's hold on every (state and federal (ed.)) government across Australia."

YEEHAAA....luck the fiberals!

_____________

EDIT:: http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2007/guide/hasl.htm

had the Honor of shaking Sherryns's hand this a'noon at the voting booth, strong woman, solid presence.

Edited by John Dolva
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Rudd becomes PM as Howard loses govt.

"Labor leader Kevin Rudd became Australia's 26th prime minister as voters across the nation swept John Howard from power and likely dumped him from his Sydney seat.

The political career of Australia's second-longest serving prime minister will end with defeat after 11-and-a-half years in office, and he is also likely to become only the second prime minister in history to lose his seat.

And at least two of his ministers also lost their seats in the 5.5 per cent swing to Labor that will seal the ALP's hold on every (state and federal (ed.)) government across Australia."

YEEHAAA....luck the fiberals!

_____________

EDIT:: http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2007/guide/hasl.htm

had the Honor of shaking Sherryns's hand this a'noon at the voting booth, strong woman, solid presence.

Great news. According to a report on C4 the Iraq invasion was a factor in the election. Rudd has described the invasion as the "single greatest error of Australian national security and foreign policy decision-making since Vietnam". He has promised to initiate a phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Hopefully, politicians will think twice before they get involved in illegal invasions in future. Hopefully it will send a strong message to Washington.

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It's a great result for Australia. It seems the electorate is not politically illiterate after all. PM elect Kevin Rudd will face a hostile Senate when parliament resumes in February because most of the the newly elected Senators don't take up their seats until July, but he has already indicated that some changes will be immediate. Signing the Kyoto protocol on climate change and a phased withdrawal from Iraq are at the top of the list.

The Workplace Legislation was the real killer for Howard. This legislation was aimed at lowering the cost of labor by stripping away rights such as penalty rates, overtime, annual holidays and collective bargaining. Howard claimed he was the workers best friend because he presided over a large reduction in the official unemployment rate---at present around 3-4%. However, there were a couple of problems with this. Firstly, the figures were rubbery as many part-time workers were considered to be employed for the purposes of the statistics--a person who worked one hour per week was considered to be employed. More importantly, the vast bulk of jobs created by the Howard Government were part-time jobs in the service sector, mostly low paid with a minimum of conditions such as holidays or superannuation. My son's girlfriend, who is only 17, worked for a week in a childcare centre and didn't get paid at all, despite the intervention of her father. Employer groups keenly supported the Howard Government's dismantling of the IR system and the removal of unions from the process. Some employers behaved badly and used the changes to demand greater effort, such as unpaid overtime, under threat of dismissal. To me it looked like Howard was trying to emulate the American system of marketplace rule with no mandated protections. This would have resulted in Australia copying the American phenomenon of working poor and working homeless, where the pay rates in some sectors are so low that many are employed yet homeless, with the worker being little more than an indentured slave.

Howard should have realised that the boast of low unemployment is in itself not necessarily a great thing for working people. There was very low unemployment in Charles Dicken's day, too.

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It's a great result for Australia. It seems the electorate is not politically illiterate after all. PM elect Kevin Rudd will face a hostile Senate when parliament resumes in February because most of the the newly elected Senators don't take up their seats until July, but he has already indicated that some changes will be immediate. Signing the Kyoto protocol on climate change and a phased withdrawal from Iraq are at the top of the list.

The Workplace Legislation was the real killer for Howard. This legislation was aimed at lowering the cost of labor by stripping away rights such as penalty rates, overtime, annual holidays and collective bargaining. Howard claimed he was the workers best friend because he presided over a large reduction in the official unemployment rate---at present around 3-4%. However, there were a couple of problems with this. Firstly, the figures were rubbery as many part-time workers were considered to be employed for the purposes of the statistics--a person who worked one hour per week was considered to be employed. More importantly, the vast bulk of jobs created by the Howard Government were part-time jobs in the service sector, mostly low paid with a minimum of conditions such as holidays or superannuation. My son's girlfriend, who is only 17, worked for a week in a childcare centre and didn't get paid at all, despite the intervention of her father. Employer groups keenly supported the Howard Government's dismantling of the IR system and the removal of unions from the process. Some employers behaved badly and used the changes to demand greater effort, such as unpaid overtime, under threat of dismissal. To me it looked like Howard was trying to emulate the American system of marketplace rule with no mandated protections. This would have resulted in Australia copying the American phenomenon of working poor and working homeless, where the pay rates in some sectors are so low that many are employed yet homeless, with the worker being little more than an indentured slave.

Howard should have realised that the boast of low unemployment is in itself not necessarily a great thing for working people. There was very low unemployment in Charles Dicken's day, too.

Amen. At last, after 11 years one can combine "Prime Minister" with a name without gagging.

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