Election blogging

I didn’t realise until late last night that The Age had listed this blog among their ‘Essential election websites’, along with Lavartus Prodeo, Club Troppo, and Road to Surfdom. I wonder if I am there serving what seems to be one of my main media functions, to provide ‘balance’ – with the list otherwise containing two left-wing blogs and one centre-left blog (Liberty and Democracy Party candidate Jacques Chester is an obvious exception to that, but most of his recent posts have been on technical blogging issues).

Though I was glad that the Coalition wasted no time following my advice to offer tax cuts, I don’t plan on adding much to the general overload of election reporting already provided by the mainstream media. My main area of policy expertise, higher education, isn’t likely to generate much discussion in the campaign. Indeed, despite Rudd announcing an ‘education revolution’ in January, he has entered the official election campaign in mid-October without even having a higher education policy and with a near-invisible Shadow Education Minister (Stephen Smith, for all those who have forgotten). And that’s about as close as I am going to get to the partisan point-scoring that will bore the Australian electorate for the next six weeks.

9 thoughts on “Election blogging

  1. Well, as the leader of a left(ish) party, Mr Rudd may know a bit about revolutions, but judging by the performance of his state counterparts, not much about education.

    Seriously, is the man capable of anything but slogans repeated ad nauseum?


  2. Andrew, you may want to watch the senate result in WA. Democrat Andrew Murray is retiring, and why shouldn’t his place be taken by a Green? (I’m not sure the Democrats still exist in WA).

    The Green keeping hope alive is a good-looking young fellow by the name of Scott Ludlum – I’m looking at his full-page colour ad in Nova magazine (given away free outside health shops – indispensable if you’re looking for a psychic or a special on colonic irrigation). And young Scott promises:

    “Senate candidate Scott Ludlam will take action to ….. restore free university education and abolish HECS”. So, good to have someone to vote for.
    BTW what did they say about Kim Beazley over there – The West Australian had this: “As Education Minister between 1972 and 1975, he oversaw the abolition of university fees which allowed many who otherwise had no hope to go to university”
    Stephen Smith in The Sunday Times: “We were among the first to take advantage of it [free university] Many people couldn’t afford a university education otherwise”


  3. Russell – Yes, that is one of the reasons I regard the Greens as a loopy party, and will be ignoring the Liberal how-to-vote card and preferencing Labor in the seat of Melbourne. Being good looking is no excuse for having bad policies:)

    I thought of saying something about Kim Beazley Snr’s disastrous legacy of Commmonwealth interference in universities and price control, but as the West Australian said he really just ‘oversaw’ it – Labor was promising to do it before they came to office.


  4. Maybe Beazley Snr’s reforms were not first-best policy, but they were undeniably a great enabler at the time for people who really had been locked out of the unis by the previous system. I know – I was one of them, and I knew quite a few students from working-class backgrounds who, like me, were the first in their extended families to go to uni. I’d never describe those reforms as “disastrous”.

    Which is not to say we can’t do better now. But we need to make sure that the barriers to entry to uni are academic rather than financial or class-based.


  5. DD – The alternatives at the time were making it free for everyone and entirely subsidised by the Commonwealth (which happened) or continuing with the previous mix of subsidies and scholarships from two levels of government plus some fees. It would be have been more effective to target the relatively small number of people from working class backgrounds than to make it free for everyone. And while as I understand it the states were happy to transfer the expense to Canberra, in doing so they lost control of their workforce supply in key education and health fields. Their biggest political problems are in part due to that 1973 Premiers Conference in which they handed responsibility for higher education to the Commonwealth.


  6. Hey Andrew, thank god you’re going to give us a break! that said, I would like your view on the announced tax cuts, ie how well do they fulfil your expectations? As a student i’m in the lowest tax bracket, and I’m pretty sure the raised tax free threshold (available though the low income tax offset) is only kicks in 2009!


  7. Dan – As you are only temporarily in the lowest tax bracket, you should keep an eye on the other brackets as well. Indeed, these tax cuts are favourable for returns on education investment – though of course our friends in NUS want the benefits restricted to themselves rather than spread across all taxpayers.


  8. i think stats say it all look back to when labour last lead our country……. some one had to die before you could get a rental property with home loan interest rates at 60cents to the american…BUT should this really be about $$$? Rudd cant be trusted he visits strip clubs and forgets about his family to get a cheap gawk at naked chics.. so if you want a MAN to run this country look at Johny he’s hard as nails and loves his wife. Whats important here is to maintain Australian economics and reputation lets give the job to the MAN who has successfully been doing this not RUDD the cheap wannabe… If you want change get a new haircut.


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