Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Winning the election and the poisoned chalice

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-11-27

Not-a-lefty-at-all Ross Gittons of The Age (Business section, 2007-11-25) in "Poisoned Chalice for Economic Neophytes" points out the current state of the economy and world trends are a poisoned chalice for Rudd.

But that means this is a bad election for Kevin Rudd to win.

My thought’s exactly.

Gitton’s article goes on…

But should the recession occur during Mr Rudd’s first term, it’s easy to see him being dispatched at the first opportunity … That would be through no fault of his own…  He would simply be a victim of the vagaries of the business cycle….  But try telling that to the punters. They have no deep understanding of economic cause and effect.

A while back (2007-09-12), mistaken that Costello would happily suffer a single term in opposition, I made the following comments:

To mix metaphors horribly, Costello is hoping that, after passing the poisoned chalice, the dead cat stops bouncing, the chickens come home to roost, the dollar will drop, but not the penny.

As for Costello’s resignation (pun intended), the "renewal" fits in with the following quote from the same piece.

Even though a late change to Costello might save a few votes, but not necessarily seats, why would you risk exposing the heir apparent to the odium of defeat and have a “loser” as the new opposition leader?  The Liberal Party’s best interests may be served by Howard acting as a sacrificial lamb.

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4 Responses to “Winning the election and the poisoned chalice”

  1. Raf said

    Two points here.

    It sounds like a great excuse for getting whupped in the election.

    But more importantly exposes the idea that economies are determined by a cycle which is out of the control of politicians and therefore should not be a political issue which of course it is.

    A good example of this is Howard promising low interest rates. I mean what kind of nonsense is that? And then apologising when rates go up.

    Is there some kind of mass psychosis taking place or is it time for the men in white coats to take me away?

  2. Dave Bath said

    I think it is psychosis of the masses. I wonder if Rudd’s “Education Revolution” (which needs to be a Permanent Revolution if you don’t mind Mao’s turn of phrase) will involve broader education, so most kids coming out of secondary school have some basic economic (or at least econometric) literacy.

  3. Raf said

    Education is certainly a way forward but of course what type of education?

    Financial literacy is poor at best and even when education is provided it is aimed in a certain direction (investing in equities and property) and founded on a misunderstanding of how money works.

    But budgeting skills would be very useful. I work as a volunteer budget advisor and receive a constant stream of people who are mired in debt which they have got themselves into.

  4. Dave Bath said

    What type of education?

    Education for productivity is one thing, but ultimately, such a narrow approach is no good.

    It needs to be broad, from Snow’s Two Cultures (and of the “dismal science”, economics), so that electors understand issues, see past spin, and vote appropriately, as well as pressure their pollies.

    I’ve been planning a post on this for some time.

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