Monday, February 26, 2007

Monday Politics

Maxine McKew seeks pre-selection to face off against John Winston Howard in Bennelong! Can she do it? Argh, probably not.

I applaud the strategy of running her in a non-safe Labor seat, which avoids the usual shit fight surrounding parachuting celebrity candidates into safe seats. She would also be well placed to run in any by-election should John Howard lose the election. Rudd is playing a strategic game here, and obviously thinks he is pretty clever. I doubt that McKew running will unsettle the PM, as Rudd hopes. But it is good that McKew is keen to fight for a difficult seat, unlike Cheryl Kernot who complained bitterly that the seat she had been assigned was not safe enough. I think it also shows the electorate that Rudd has more of a fighting spirit than the Beazley, that and his odd habit of ‘marking’ or following around the Prime Minister on official engagements. But I think there is also a risk that the electorate are starting to get a bit restless, forget the strategy, forget the spin, they want some policy ideas. The ‘education revolution’ was a bit light on in terms of actual policy details, so I think Labor will have to lift its game in this department.

I just heard Prof Nick Economou on 3RRR who thought that the government might just be in serious trouble at the moment. The areas where they have done well in the past are no longer resonating with voters. The public is growing tired of the war against terrorism as the memory of S11 fades into the middle distance, and mistreating refugees seems to have lost its electoral appeal also. The threats to return 85 Sri Lankan refugees to Indonesia have not been as popular electorally as the Tampa incident. The public may be sick of the government throwing money down the drain building detention centres, and shipping refugees to Nauru, or they may be growing morally weary of extended detention and inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. Kevin Andrews move to the immigration portfolio seems to have signalled a hardening of the policy approach towards asylum seekers.

Water has also been a big issue with the PMs plan to centralise control of the Murray. I applaud Steve Bracks for showing some backbone in this department, and refusing to cave in to the other States and the PM on this issue. Water rights are clearly of great importance to Victorian agriculture and industry and should not be sold out to other interests. SA are happy with water guarantees, and to a certain degree NSW and QLD are simply happy with more money- So it is only fair that Victoria take a self interested stand like the other parties at the table.


Post a Comment

<< Home