Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Last week spins: the maybe, the should

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-11-19


I expect the last scare from the Howard/Costello libs will be to create the bogeyman of the potential for radical abuse of power by a too-dominant ALP in parliament if Rudd wins in a landslide, and I’ll note some thoughts on pre-emptive messages the ALP could use.

The irony is that the scare of an out-of-control ALP would not have any traction because the Howard regime has taught voters that an executive can act in such a way.

The Liberal scare will probably air just before the curfew on electronic electoral advertising, preventing rebuttal.  So, if I was an ALP spinner, I’d think about putting out the following messages pre-emptively, pointing out…

  • The errors of polls, the huge swing required, and that Beazley won the popular vote but not the election.
     
  • ALP control of the Senate is almost impossible, so legislation will need either Liberal support, or both the Greens and Family-First/Pauline parties.
     
  • Point to the warnings in The Economist about the comming slump, and ask, in those conditions:
    • "Who do you trust to support hard-hit people?"
    • "Who do you suspect to leave people in the lurch?"

More importantly for the long term, the ALP should publicise a caveat that if the burst market bubbles and tightening credit leads to a significant economic slump, as The Economist warns, then a change to fiscal policy will be required.

To absolve from charges of breaking "promises of keeping the budget in surplus" under such circumstances, the ALP should announce before the election that the highly respected and independent Reserve Bank will have the added roles of:

  • Advising if an when Keynesian policies become relevant.
     
  • Comment on the way some government spending programs are less damaging to the long-term economy than others, allowing…
    • not bringing in promised tax cuts to the wealthiest; and
    • introduction of spending programs that support the most vulnerable
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