tip off

Wisdom after the event

The Western Australian branch of the ALP has posted an expurgated version of a report conducted by former Senator Robert Ray into its recent state election defeat. The highlights for mine are as follows:

• Ray cites various elections over the past year-and-a-bit to observe that the advantages of incumbency are clearly not what they used to be. In particular, “a formerly inviolable rule of politics was that if opinion polls showed the country or State ‘heading in the right direction’ by more than 55%, re-election was a certainty”. The Howard government was nonetheless defeated with 58 per cent supporting such a proposition, and Alan Carpenter’s Labor joined the club with the figure on 54 per cent. Trumping the statistic in the latter case (and no doubt the former as well) was the belief of 53 per cent that it was “time to give someone else a go”.

• “As a rule, the higher the voter turnout, the better Labor does.” This time it was 82 per cent compared with 85 per cent in 2005. “Was the Labor vote lower because of the reduced turnout or was the loss of community support for Labor a driver of lower turnout? So far, no plausible explanation has been offered.”

• “Too many in the electorate thought that the surplus was just sitting around, unused”, when it was in fact being committed to capital works programs. Voters “readily formed the view that they, as individuals, had not benefitted from the boom and were resentful that the Government was not spending some of the surplus on them.”

• Colin Barnett “looked like he had made a personal sacrifice to resume the leadership and had been unfairly ambushed by the calling of the election”.

• “Dream team” candidates who were defeated in decisive seats such as Mount Lawley and Morley were placed in the wrong seats – though it’s unclear where they should have run instead. Bumping Bob Kucera aside in Mount Lawley is universally recognised as an error, though I do wonder what role the Royal Perth Hospital played in Labor’s loss of that particular seat.

• Ray faults The West Australian for “displaying a bias not seen since the Murdoch excesses of 1975”, which “spread to the rest of the media as though it was the norm”. On the former count, I wonder if Ray remembers the role Murdoch’s Adelaide News paper was said to have played in the defeat of Des Corcoran’s South Australian government in 1979, an election which had many parallels with this one.

• Ray rightly complains that Labor did not run an ad responding to the Liberal effort which gave viewers 30 seconds of silence to think of “three good things Alan Carpenter’s Labor has done in eight years of boom”, which would have written itself. The West Australian reported shortly after the election that such an ad had been considered but rejected on the grounds it would have seemed “reactive”.

• The Nationals “had a simple message, promoted it for 18 months and were allowed to get away with the fiscal irresponsibility of their promises and the illusion of their independence from the Liberal Party”. Blame lay with a “Perth-centric” Labor campaign, which was no doubt inspired by the new electoral landscape ushered in by one-vote one-value.

69
  • 1
    Frank Calabrese
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    • “Dream team” candidates who were defeated in decisive seats such as Mount Lawley and Morley were placed in the wrong seats – though it’s unclear where they should have run instead. Bumping Bob Kucera aside in Mount Lawley is universally recognised as an error, though I do wonder what role the Royal Perth Hospital played in Labor’s loss of that particular seat.

    Reece Whitby should’ve run in Cottesloe, considering he was a local councillor there and had “Runs On The Board”. Morley is an interesting case because of John D’Orazio being a bumbling oaf, and his indiscretions in appearing before the CCC in regards to meeting with Pasquale Miniti about his traffic fines which wasn’t a good look for a Police Minister, plus his other run ins. Mt Lawley is interesting, whether RPH had anything to do with it isn’t known, but of course the sentimental angle painted by the Libs may have played a part, despite the original buildings being so old and run down.

  • 2
    Frank Calabrese
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    “As a rule, the higher the voter turnout, the better Labor does.” This time it was 82 per cent compared with 85 per cent in 2005. “Was the Labor vote lower because of the reduced turnout or was the loss of community support for Labor a driver of lower turnout? So far, no plausible explanation has been offered.”

    There was also the factor of people being unable to vote because they were interstate and/or overseas and that the shortness of the campaign hampered the delivery and establishment of polling booths outside of WA, plus the fact that not all of the candidates were pre-selected on both sides when the election awas called and thus there was delay of a weekl before all candidates were known.

  • 3
    Frank Calabrese
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Ray rightly complains that Labor did not run an ad responding to the Liberal effort which gave viewers 30 seconds of silence to think of “three good things Alan Carpenter’s Labor has done in eight years of boom”, which would have written itself. The West Australian reported shortly after the election that such an ad had been considered but rejected on the grounds it would have seemed “reactive”.

    Actually, while the Electronic Media campaign was a shambles, the ALP DID mention their achievements via their direct mail literature, especially in Swan Hills, as I mentioned frequently during the Campaign. The Libs didn’t get their direct mail stuff out until the 2nd to 3rd week, after the 500 Club kicked in with their donation. Also, the ALP Radio ads were aimed towards an FM audience, while the Liberal Ads were more AM friendly, and thus were more likely to be heard on 6PR & 6IX.

  • 4
    Boerwar
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Not sure if it is connected, but the editor or the West Australian has recently been given a kick in the pants. I presume at the instigation of Stokes.

  • 5
    Boerwar
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    The surplus issue is interesting. Kennett was sitting on one when he got tossed out. Howard saw what happened and bingo. It was all ‘rewarding’ people for this and that thereafter.

  • 6
    MDMConnell
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    On the incumbency thing, it’s probably more to do with the fact that most governments have been in office for a while now and are accumulating baggage. Whereas in the early-to-mid 2000′s the governments were still relatively new and fresh, making re-election much easier.

  • 7
    Albert Ross
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Frank

    How does one make an ad AM or FM friendly?

  • 8
    Albert Ross
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Ray could have been a bit more intellectually honest and summed it up as “The ALP lost because there was a public perception (unfounded or not) that the parliamentary party and machine was corrupt and bankrupt of ideas.”

  • 9
    steve
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    I didn’t think that running the first two weeks of a short election campaign clashing with an Olympic games was a politically smart move. It gave the Tory whinging about calling an early election too much oxygen.

  • 10
    steve
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Albert, I thought that what was Ray was saying with his criticism of the media performance (or non performance) during the campaign. The Curious Snail in Brisbane was roundly condemned by the Fitzgerald Inquiry for its lapdog support of the Liberal National Party during the Joh era but twenty years later the love affair continues.

  • 11
    Matt C
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    #9 – “I didn’t think that running the first two weeks of a short election campaign clashing with an Olympic games was a politically smart move.”

    Steve, I completely agree. I was quite taken aback by how much anger this move generated. Even staunch Labor supporters seemed quite aggrieved by the early election, and viewed as a cynical, transparent move aimed at maximising political advantage. People don’t like that. That’s why the ALP’s “clever politician” line worked so well against Howard.

  • 12
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Compared with the NSW Labor government, Alan Carpenter was a winner. Except that he didn’t. Good luck and goodbye Mr. Rees!

    The WA govt spent too much time in apparent if not real internal disarray. In both the Federal and State elections there was no meaningful attempt to harness the membership of the party or to sell the many excellent things happening in places like the Kimberley. My earlier reflections on the result at How the West was Lost:”…voters across Australia are angry. It is more than just a climate of change in politics. Voters are hurting and they will not tolerate perceived failure, weakness or arrogance from their politicians — especially incumbents. It is not just a case of protest voting. If you’re not delivering or are consumed by internal strife then you’ll be punished.”

  • 13
    Frank Calabrese
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    How does one make an ad AM or FM friendly?

    The FM ads were more humours and were making jokes at Barnett’s expense, while the AM ones were fairly bland and safe.

  • 14
    Tom the first and best
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    If only Carpenter had called the election a week earlier then Labor may well have stayed and the Greens may have won Fremantle.

  • 15
    Bird of paradox
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Frank:

    Reece Whitby should’ve run in Cottesloe, considering he was a local councillor there and had “Runs On The Board”.

    This would’ve made a bit of sense, but Cottesloe’s a safe Liberal seat – Labor nearly didn’t even come second. The idea of him running in a winnable seat was probably that he’d be a minister, or at least spokesman for something… the photogenic TV-friendly Mike Rann of the WA govt.

    I notice Kwinana only gets one sentence in that report. Considering that was a glaring example of a seat they should never, ever have even thought about losing, it deserves more than that. Morley ain’t quite the same – Ballajura before it was safe Labor recently, but was Liberal in the 90′s.

  • 16
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Can’t especially see the comparison with the SA election of 1979, William. The press was rougher with Dunstan than Corcoran who succeeeded but otherwise it was par for the course.

    I think Labor’s problem with the assessment of the WA election is that it can’t really get its head around the fact that it stands for so little that it only takes a little bit of cynicism over the election timing, and out it goes.

  • 17
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    PS, I personally couldn’t tell you a single thing about press coverage of the 1979 SA election, apart from what it said in Political Chronicles in the Australian Journal of Politics and History (which was that the News conducted a concerted campaign against the government before and during the campaign). The other parallels to which I refer are an eight year old Labor government, facing election for the first time under a new leader, at an election called a year early, against a Liberal leader who had failed once previously, producing a surprise change of government.

  • 18
    Antony GREEN
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    I think there is one comparison. Corcoran is said to have given the party organisation little warning that he was going to a snap election. They had done no research work when suddenly they were thrust into the campaign. I think one of the criticisms in the west is the party didn’t get enough input to the decision to call the election.

  • 19
    luke
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    I think Labor’s problem with the assessment of the WA election is that it can’t really get its head around the fact that it stands for so little that it only takes a little bit of cynicism over the election timing, and out it goes.

    That is precisely on the money.

  • 20
    Jasmine
    Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    ‘it stands for so little’ …

    I really don’t know how anyone could say that having any awareness at all of the Party, its history and its current make-up, it is so far from the truth I just cannot understand it at all.

  • 21
    Boerwar
    Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    I would be interested in people’s views about how this Report compares with the efforts of the Federal Liberal Party to come to terms with the reasons for its loss in the last election?

  • 22
    John Ryan
    Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Well as a Labour Voter I have not seen a more disordered mess than Labours campaign,plus I don,t know if Frank will agree with me on this but the people running it and about to my mind three quarters of the parliamentary party should have shut up.
    Ripper et al may be a nice person but comes across like god knows what,his lady friend has all the charm of Belinda Neal,as have the ministers were just incompetent bottom of the barrel stuff.
    Also we had the situation where both the Worst and 6PR hammered the Labour and allowed the Libs to get away with any old rubbish,Beamont could not even say Carpenters name with out slagging him off,and having Reynolds and Co acting up and being reminded of the faction thing all the time was not good.
    As with the aftermath as far as I am concerned the entire front bench with the Exception of Alaina and some of the new people just voted in should all exit the parliament,they are not worth feeding that was the election they should not have lost,I think Johnstone should go as well he was also one of the causes of the mess

    a

  • 23
    Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    Jasmine, I’m not talking about then (whenever) I’m talking about now. If you find that view incomprehensible you must find a good many Australians unfathomable.

  • 24
    castle
    Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Ray rightly complains that Labor did not run an ad responding to the Liberal effort which gave viewers 30 seconds of silence to think of “three good things Alan Carpenter’s Labor has done in eight years of boom”, which would have written itself.

    Rays point here backs you up PS, if they couldn’t think of or were not prepared to issue response then they truly didn’t know what they stood for.

    Seems like an approach an opposition may take against an unpopular govt, low profile, low target, as per Howard in 96, yet they also seem to have forgotten that they were the govt not the opposition.

  • 25
    Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Absolutely castle (24), although I think Howard’s low profile in 1996 was not a tactic, but reality for the Liberals as well. They really had nothing to do, as was shown when they got in.

    I think the fact the WA Liberals could even run that ad showed what feedback they must have been getting from the focus groups.

  • 26
    Jasmine
    Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I find the view, in a comment on an internal post election report on a blog for the politically very aware incomprehensible.

    If this leads you to the conclusion that I should find ‘a good many Australians unfathomable’ (which was a nice insult thanks for that) then I think you are missing not just one or two but a whole plethora of issues and facts.

    You suggest and / or imply that an internal labor party report really needed to find that the labor party stands for nothing and that this was the reason for Alan’s recent election loss. Perhaps this was just a cheap shot, and illconsidered, but whether or not it is considered doesn’t really change my view of it.

    So lets start with a few things of relevance.

    Firstly this party that stands for nothing only needed to win one more seat, something you clearly have missed. Riverton, Morley, Mt Lawley or Frank’s Swan Hills, I could go on. So given the election result, which after all this post / stream is all about, the group of Australians who agreed with you in WA and voted against Alan’s Government isn’t nearly as big as you try to imply. And it is incredibly generous to you, to assume that many of these voters agree with you.

    Secondly you have a problem establishing a link between ‘what a party really stands for’ and votes. This report was about an election result. You seem to imply the result turns on party policy, or lack thereof. I am not sure how you would argue this. I would put it to you, that most people, a great majority of people do not vote on this basis. So analysis of the election result on the basis of policy or lack thereof as the key factor in a one seat loss might be a bit difficult.

    Finally. I think Alan was lucky to do as well as he did. I think he misread the public mood, I think he misread their perception of him, and I think he misread the strength of the liberals. That is I’m not sure he got much at all right, save for governing pretty damn well after Dr Gallop retired.

    I also think his grasp of the labor party and the image he portrayed of the labor was incredibly limited. So for if example you said “I think they should have considered that they went to the election with a leader that looked like he believed in nothing” then I would have agreed with you heartily.

  • 27
    steve
    Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    So for if example you said “I think they should have considered that they went to the election with a leader that looked like he believed in nothing” then I would have agreed with you heartily.

    An interesting concept, Jasmine, but debatable in my view when one considers that WA was the leading state economically. Even Ray’s argument about the unspent surplus seems a strange explanation considering the good position the economy was in.

    Too many in the electorate thought that the surplus was just sitting around,
    unused. They readily formed the view that they, as individuals, had not
    benefitted from the boom and were resentful that the Government was not
    spending some of the surplus on them.
    Getting credit for fiscal responsibility is helpful, but not at the expense of
    appearing miserly.

    I still can’t understand why Labor in Western Australia didn’t make better use of their achievements in Government during the campaign. It defies belief that a Government so competent in some areas could not convert that into votes.

  • 28
    Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jasmine,

    It’s probably my failing but I find several points on your post hard to follow.

    All I am saying is that a view that you find “so far from the truth I just cannot understand it at all” is hardly just held by me, but I would suggest by many Australians – namely that Labor, especially at the state level, doesn’t stand for very much. Clearly by implication if you cannot understand that view at all, you would not understand why other Australians might also have that view. I can, just as I can understand why others would be offended by that view.

    Labor’s lack of a distinctive agenda these days doesn’t necessarily translate to votes because the Liberals don’t stand for much these days either. This was something under-estimated by those who predicted that Barnett would upset Rudd’s federalist agenda when, of course, he has done no such thing. With two parties vying in a vacuum, I would suggest that is why cynicism is high and why trivial issues like whether an election is called a few months early can make a big difference. It is also why I could believe the ad that challenged the voters to think of “three good things Alan Carpenter’s Labor has done in eight years of boom” might have been effective.

    I think policy is an important part of why people bother to vote for a party, in fact I struggle to think of another. It is also why people join political parties and perhaps why the membership of the major parties in Australia is in decline. That latter development might be why some Labor and Liberal party members have also been concerned about this very issue.

  • 29
    Mr Orange
    Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    c’mon luke (#19) ….enough of the Greens rhetoric!

    Get on with being a Union official and leave politics to people who have a clue.

  • 30
    steve
    Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    It is yet to be seen how the new government will handle things but they will have their work cut out with these issues in the 2009/2010 year.

    Growth in the State’s economy is forecast to slow to 1.5% in 2009-10 due to a decline in business investment, fairly weak consumption growth, flat dwelling construction and modest growth in net exports. This is significantly weaker than the 6.25% growth forecast in the PFPS, due mainly to weaker investment and net exports.
    Business investment is forecast to fall by 5% in 2009-10 (the first decrease since
    2000-01), as the pipeline of projects currently underway is completed, and fewer new
    large scale projects replace them. Even so, business investment will be at historically
    high levels, with activity in 2009-10 still higher than in 2006-07.

    http://www.dtf.wa.gov.au/cms/uploadedFiles/myr2008_09.pdf page 37

  • 31
    Frank Calabrese
    Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    It is yet to be seen how the new government will handle things but they will have their work cut out with these issues in the 2009/2010 year.

    Yet Brendon Grylls can afford to throw money to his friends in the bush via Royalties For Regions.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/12/17/2449447.htm

    And free Fuel Cards for Rural Seniors.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/12/17/2449240.htm

  • 32
    Jasmine
    Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Not only is it the new government but it is the old opposition who said taxes should have been massively cut. Ripper was so right to say that you can’t set taxes as if the boom was going to last forever, and these idiots are now all belt tightening and forgetting the mess the State would have been in if their previous position had been applied.

  • 33
    John Ryan
    Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    I think Jasmine,that Carpenter was or would have a good Premier,done in by the gross stupidity of the people who were some of his ministers,you would not put more han a few of them in charge of anything.
    Also the damage caused by the constant stream of rudicule in the Worst and on 6pr by all presenters,and the willingless to accept unchangled the views of the Libs,who to me are barley competent,and in power only because of a bribe,cause thats what it is.
    And I still think that the front bench of Labour and a lot of the backbench should resign,bar some of the new blood and Alania,who at least got something done, McGinty should just go away and show some backbone and jump first

  • 34
    steve
    Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Jasmine, it’s looking pretty messy already. The half year economic statement is an eyeopener.

    A range of risks have crystallised since the publication of the Pre-election Financial
    Projections Statement (PFPS) on 16 August 2008.
    The key changes to the financial outlook presented in this mid-year review include:
    • a more rapid decline in revenue than previously forecast, driven mainly by a weaker
    than expected housing market and deteriorating international conditions;
    • the impact of implementing the Government’s election commitments, including the
    Royalties for Regions program;
    • a sharp rise in net debt levels, reflecting the impact of the issues noted above and
    other parameter1 changes (including a weaker operating outlook for the State’s major
    public corporations); and
    • pressure on the State’s financial targets, including the operating surplus and net debt to revenue ratio targets.

  • 35
    steve
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Oh Dear, the non-core targets have set in already. Check out the blowout in the net debt to revenue ratio targets. Back to the drawing board for the great economic management party by the looks of this trainwreck.

  • 36
    Frank Calabrese
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Oh Dear, the non-core targets have set in already. Check out the blowout in the net debt to revenue ratio targets. Back to the drawing board for the great economic management party by the looks of this trainwreck.

    According to tonight’s ABC News, the projects that will get the axe are Labor’s Pet Infrastructure projects such as the new Museum and the Football Stadium – which will NOT go down well with Eagles and Docker Fans .

  • 37
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Lucky we’ve all switched our allegiance to Richmond then.

  • 38
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    Frank

    Melbourne AFL supporters say “Go, Col”.

  • 39
    steve
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    I think you will find all the cuts listed in the appendices at the bottom of the Treasury document, Frank.

  • 40
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    William,

    Ricmond apparently ahve a new theme song……

    Oh we’re from Tigerland
    The druggie’s haven
    We’re from Tigerland
    We’re always dealin’

    Down in Swan Street you will see us with a grin
    Needle in the skin
    If we’re behind
    We’ll do a line
    And we’ll all get high and win

    Oh where from Tigerland
    We won’t stop snortin’ til the copper’s siren goes
    Like the tigers of old
    We’re stoned and we’re cold
    Oh we’re from Tiger…
    COCAINE AND SMACK!
    Oh we’re from Tigerland

    Oh we’re from Tiger…
    COCAINE AND SMACK!
    Oh we’re from Tigerland

  • 41
    Bird of paradox
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    As a Dockers fan, Ben Cousins was one of the two main reasons last season was bearable. Basically, “The Toasters (1) are doing even worse than us, and (2) have Ben Cousins”. That said, I wish he was on the telly a lot less.

    I don’t much care about the oval – I don’t like being surrounded by 40,000 footy fans even if my team’s winning, and if the money ain’t there it ain’t there. I prefer the small WAFL games, anyway. As long as the Libs don’t privatise Freo oval and give it a stupid name like Perth (Phoenix) or Bassendean (Steel Blue), I’m a happy footy fan.

  • 42
    Frank Calabrese
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    From the Treasury pdf.

    Royalties for Regions
    2008-09
    $m
    2009-10
    $m
    2010-11
    $m
    2011-12
    $m
    Purchase of non-financial assets
    Unallocated balance 13.1 106.3 101.1 86.7
    Total expenses 13.1 106.3 101.1 86.7
    Purchases of non-financial assets
    • This table represents the portion of the agreed funding for Royalties for Regions that
    is yet to be allocated. In total, the Royalties for Regions program allocates
    $2.4 billion in spending in this mid-year review, with $307.2 million to be spent on
    projects yet to be identified.

    Hmm, to say the least – this should be the one to watch…

  • 43
    steve
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    Have just reread the whole document and there is no mention of football ovals or stadiums, they are all being sacrificed on the alter of bigger and more numerous prisons by the looks of the funding being doled out. I find that astounding that prisons would be the prime attraction for infrastructure spending. I’d have thought there might be some more useful projects that would have a higher priority.

  • 44
    Frank Calabrese
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    I find that astounding that prisons would be the prime attraction for infrastructure spending. I’d have thought there might be some more useful projects that would have a higher priority.

    They need those prisons with the scrapping of the “Truth in Sentencing” laws, and the Mandatory Sentences for Assaulting Police Officers :-)

  • 45
    zombie mao
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    WA: From Boom to Doom.

  • 46
    steve
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    That’s the explanation they give in the document too Frank.

    If Ray was right in identifying people being annoyed earlier this year that voted this mob in on to spend their surplus in this manner, there must be very angry voters over there now.

  • 47
    Frank Calabrese
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    If Ray was right in identifying people being annoyed earlier this year that voted this mob in on to spend their surplus in this manner, there must be very angry voters over there now.

    As if, according to Westpoll it’s 55-45 to the Libs and Col is doing a Bonza Job, with poor Eric at 12%. And you wouldn’t know it with the Media still in Honeymoon mode.

  • 48
    steve
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    I’m sure the local media will have read the Treasurer’s Press Statement where he expresses alarm.

    http://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/ByPortfolio.aspx?ItemId=131073&search=&admin=&minister=&portfolio=Treasurer&region=

  • 49
    Frank Calabrese
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    I’m sure the local media will have read the Treasurer’s Press Statement where he expresses alarm.

    Yes, but The West will emphasis the bit where he mentions it was Labor’s Fault :-)

  • 50
    steve
    Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    Indeed Frank but at least the honeymoon is over and Labor has some tough figures to get in their face with now. Labor always has to beat the Tories and the conservative press so there is nothing new there. It will also dent the conservative line that they inherently handle things better than Labor. One could almost say on this evidence that losing the last election could be a Godsend.

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