As negative news story after negative news story swamps the Rudd Government, 2010 looks like 98 redux.
The election is due by early next year, but with the Government already playing the double dissolution election trigger game this year, I’m betting it will be sooner rather than later. Unlikely a double dissolution, but Rudd could go early.
via Wikipedia (well, to get the section right anyway)
Section 28 of the Constitution says: “Every House of Representatives shall continue for three years from the first sitting of the House, and no longer, but may be sooner dissolved by the Governor-General.
Despite the constant attacks in the media, Tony Abbott is doing a solid job and isn’t causing a lot of damage; sure, he’s a love him or hate him sort of character, but people can respect a leader with convictions, even if they don’t always agree with them. The rank opposite to Turnbull, who although a highly talented individual was a dithering fool as Opposition leader.
Of note is that the last 4 Federal elections were held in October or November; Hawke/ Keating liked March, but the last quarter of the year (and the odd September) constantly pop up through Australian election date history (full list here.) It’s the favored time for elections, and it would be a fair bet at this stage to guess that Rudd wont wait for the new year. I’m guessing he will try to avoid looking like he’s going very early (well, polls aside) so late October or November.
It’s not impossible that Rudd will lead a one term Government, but it’s unlikely, despite the various issues. History shows that: I can’t find a definitive list, but if memory serves me right, there’s only been a handful of one term Governments: Scullin in 29, Cook and Fisher in 13/14 respectively.
Indeed, it smells like 98.
In 98, Howard was on the nose, and scrapped through the election by the skin of his teeth.
I’m going to bet that Rudd might just scrape through as well.
However there is a catch: Rudd looks like Howard in 97, lost at sea in a pool of scandal, although admittedly Howard sacked his Ministers, Rudd just seems to ignore serious issues among his team.
But so far Rudd seems like a dithering fool (well, not Turnbull like, but close.) Mr Waffles would be an appropriate nick-name.
But Howard turned things around by retaking the agenda; so far, Rudd continues to seem to be lost at sea.
People’s houses are burning down, interest rates in Australia are the highest in the Western world, the Government has spent like a wounded bull..oh, and the nanny state has ballooned beyond Howard’s efforts to include the introduction of Chinese style censorship (Note: I don’t believe the ABC push polling on censorship: most people are concerned. If you want a lesson in push polling, I can come up with any result to suit 🙂 )
I should note there that in some ways there’s not a huge amount of difference between the two parties: the flaw of the Howard Government was that they were gigantic socialists who oversaw huge amounts of middle class welfare. The only difference with Rudd is who gets the money, and they’re spending more of it.
But at least Howard could balance the books; Rudd can’t, and the Australian public remembers what happened the last time the Government racked up shit loads of debt.
My prediction: October election, ALP by 2 seats, less than 50% of the vote.
The rough prediction: increased minor party support in the Senate: more green seats (“young” people don’t like Rudd either, which will help the Greens) and maybe some other minor parties breaking through.