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 Will Labor Take Shorten to the Election?
Charles
 Posted: Jun 30 2018, 01:52 PM
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Labor suspects an election is imminent, so what does that mean for Bill Shorten?

By Laura Tingle

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Photo: Captain's call overturned: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. (ABC News: Matt Roberts)

There weren't a lot of Opposition frontbenchers fronting up to the cameras between the time on Tuesday that Bill Shorten announced that Labor would repeal tax cuts for companies with turnover between $10 and $50 million and the time on Friday when he announced it wouldn't.

One of the few who did was deputy leader Tanya Plibersek: "As for the questions about who talked to who when, honestly, Canberra journalists might be interested in these process stories — what ordinary Australians are interested in is what you are for and against," a rather testy Ms Plibersek said.

"We are against tax cuts for the big end of town, $17 billion tax cut for the big banks, we are against that."

And that, at its heart, is what Labor is now desperately scrambling to get back to: talking about what it is against.

It's not clear that the partial backdown announced on Friday — that it would not repeal tax cuts already in force but would try to stop those that have been legislated but which don't come into force until 2025-26 — is a clean enough bandage to stop the political bloodlet this week.

How the Captain's Call unfolded

Some senior frontbenchers believe the Opposition Leader just stuffed up on Tuesday.
Others remain convinced he did it to lock in a divided cabinet about the decision.

Mr Shorten and his Shadow Treasurer and finance spokesman suggested yesterday that a decision had been taken on the issue by them as Labor's expenditure review committee.

And, whatever Ms Plibersek says, process does matter.

What is not in dispute is that the strategic question of whether to wind back tax cuts for companies under $50 million turnover has been hotly debated by the frontbench for months.

Some sources say that while a decision had not been formally taken, it was becoming more of a certainty that at least some form of repeal would proceed.

That it was only a question of deciding the cut-out, once costings had come in from the Parliamentary Budget Office.

Whether or not ERC had made a decision, or was just sort of heading that way, it was certainly not a decision put to shadow cabinet.

The more sympathetic version of Mr Shorten's "Captain's Call" was that there had been so much discussion he had got to the point where he thought a decision had been made.

Whatever the case, the tactical decision then had to be to batten down the hatches for the remainder of the parliamentary sitting, minimise the opportunities for media scrutiny, then make and announce the formal decision once Parliament rose.

The campaign against One Nation

The Opposition believes that once the focus on "process" disappears, it is left with a potent policy position for the looming by-elections on July 28.

That is, it will be campaigning on local services like hospitals, particularly in the crucial electorates of Longman in Queensland and Braddon in Tasmania.

They believe the Government's tax cuts for companies with turnover over $50 million remains political poison for the Coalition — and for One Nation if they can tar the party with the brush of doing a secret deal to support them.

This week, polling in Longman, on Brisbane's northern outskirts, put One Nation's support at 14.7 per cent, Labor's at 39 per cent and the LNP's at 35.5 per cent.

You can see why One Nation's preferences are seen as crucial. But it also makes Labor's decision to ratchet up attacks on Pauline Hanson rather perplexing.

Labor certainly isn't expecting One Nation to do it any favours in Longman on preferences.

But it does believe that One Nation can still deliver Longman to it. And that is by painting Ms Hanson as a Liberal in not very good disguise.

It believes what worked in the Queensland seat of Logan last year can work in the federal by-election in July 28.

One Nation polled 30.9 per cent of the Logan primary vote.

When preferences were distributed, Labor won the seat on Brisbane's southern outskirts, despite having won just 42 per cent of the primary vote.

The LNP's vote crashed almost 20 percentage points to just 18.9 per cent, which went to One Nation.

Do the maths on this: Labor, much to its own surprise, ended up winning the seat on the back of One Nation preferences which went to Labor because it portrayed One Nation as a Liberal front.

Amid all the uproar and confusion this week, the Opposition devoted considerable attention to planting the idea that the Turnbull Government has done a secret deal with One Nation to pass the company tax cuts for big business once the July 28 by-elections are out of the way.

Ms Hanson's heated reaction last week to Labor robocalls in Longman suggesting she was doing a deal shows she understands how toxic the Government's company tax cuts for "the big end of town" and particularly "the banks" remain.

Labor believe election is imminent

But there is something else that almost anyone in the Labor Caucus will volunteer that they believe.

That is that they don't believe the Parliament will return, after the winter break, on August 13, but that Malcolm Turnbull will up stumps after the July 28 polls and call a general election.

Now, this is not a new theory, and there have been various versions of it, including that the Government would actually cancel the by-elections and call a general election on July 28.

But as politicians left Canberra this week, it is compelling that so many in the Opposition believe this, and why they do so.

Will Labor take Shorten to the election?

The prospects of Labor losing at least one of those by-elections is not out of the question, and if that happens, the focus on Mr Shorten's leadership will intensify.

Since the Coalition's political strategy is focused on destroying Mr Shorten, the last thing it will want is for a change of leaders, the argument goes.

Kevin Rudd's legacy is that it is now hard for Labor to change leaders between elections.

There is no organising going on to desert Mr Shorten. Anthony Albanese is a leadership rival, but he is not a challenger.


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Photo: In a May Newspoll on preferred Labor leader, Mr Albanese was on 26 per cent, followed by Mr Shorten and Ms Plibersek on 23 per cent each. (AAP: Lukas Coch)

But Labor is a party of cool-headed pragmatists.

Asked this week about the technical difficulties of changing leaders, a senior Labor figure observed "when have technicalities actually stopped such things if they need to be done?"

Labor has every reason to talk down its prospects. The Prime Minister has insisted the election will be next year.

The by-elections will be fought on perhaps the most clearly delineated policy grounds that we have seen for years.

But we go into them with a reminder that a couple of slip-ups can completely shift the psychology of the political battle.


Laura Tingle is 7.30's chief political correspondent.


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-30/bill-shorten-company-tax-election/9925112

Bill Shorten is becoming more and more of a liability to the ALP and I'm sure the ALP powerbrokers are aware of this.

They, no doubt, don't want a repeat of the Gillard v Rudd fiasco but as Shorten's popularity dwindles and Anthony Albanese keeps presenting as he has in recent days they may have to tackl;e the issue sooner than later.



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Michael.W
 Posted: Jul 2 2018, 08:38 PM
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Curly forgetting his marbles again
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scepo
 Posted: Jul 3 2018, 06:51 AM
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The longer they keep Curly as leader, the less chance they have of winning government.

I hope they stick with the little grub. http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/smiley_don_t_know.gif

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charka
 Posted: Jul 3 2018, 07:36 AM
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Hard to choose is it not We are told our vote to minor parties is wasted How dare they
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Bill
 Posted: Jul 3 2018, 03:14 PM
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The rule changes brought in by KRudd virtually precludes any change of leader mid term, because it takes about 3 months to hold a membership ballot and the government would almost certainly call an election while that ballot was taking place. Political suicide to even contemplate it.

The only time that a leadership ballot can practically occur is immediately following an election, (win or lose).

If as seems to be the case according to polling, Labor wins the election, it would be unlikely that Curly would be removed. If Labor loses he will certainly lose his job.

Interesting that Brian Trumble is insisting that the election will be 'next year'.

My guess is before Xmas for a couple of reasons.

1 The last Budget was framed as a pre-election Budget, so leaving it for almost 12 months to call an election is dangerous as things could change.

2. All indications are that, with the Chinese economy on the wane and with the possibility of trade wars and sanctions on the horizon, the economic outlook (revenue), for Australia will deteriorate.

3. The MYEFO (Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook) is due out in December, and I can't see that ever being delivered prior to an election if it confirms that there is not the revenue to finance the government's tax cuts and promises.

So for me, it's an election before Xmas, possibly just after Trumble delivers his apology to the victims of institutional child abuse, conveniently overlooking the fact that we wouldn't have had a RC, had it not been for the efforts of Julia Gillard. http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/biggrin.gif .

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Charles
 Posted: Jul 3 2018, 04:11 PM
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Bill, you say "The rule changes brought in by KRudd virtually precludes any change of leader mid term."

Rules are made to be broken and, apparently, there are those within the ALP who are prepared to follow that saying. If you read the initial article there is an interesting paragraph:

Asked this week about the technical difficulties of changing leaders, a senior Labor figure observed "when have technicalities actually stopped such things if they need to be done?"

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Bear
 Posted: Jul 3 2018, 06:39 PM
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How right you are Charles, how many rules have been broken by politicians in recent times - most of them have set a very poor example.

TB will applaud Labor if BS remains as their leader.

If Labor keeps BS they will not win the next election, Labor's best chance is Anthony Albanese.



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charka
 Posted: Jul 3 2018, 09:53 PM
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And worried about breaking tier word for the pars agreement Liars one and all 2 traitors did this
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Bill
 Posted: Jul 5 2018, 06:56 PM
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So.....Are we are now quoting the mythical 'senior Labor figure' (so often referred to in the past http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/biggrin.gif ), mentioned in the article as a trusted accurate source, instead of the actual rules for changing leaders Charles ? http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/biggrin.gif It's a three month process and can only be held after an election unless the leader resigns.

You do realise that Laura Tingle, in spite of being appointed as the ABC's 'political editor' for 7.30, still works for Fairfax where Fairfax's "Kill Bill' campaign is still running full bore. Laura's forte is economics, not the internal machinations of the Labor Party.

Meanwhile back in LNP land, a real leadership struggle is going on and the media doesn't want to know about it.

If an election were held today, Curly would win at least 85 seats to the LNP's 58 based on the Poll Bludger's analysis of ALL of the polls done in the last month.

Still.....whatever gives you hope, I suppose. http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/biggrin.gif http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/lbill.gif


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lee
 Posted: Jul 5 2018, 08:40 PM
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QUOTE
You do realise that Laura Tingle, in spite of being appointed as the ABC's 'political editor' for 7.30, still works for Fairfax where Fairfax's "Kill Bill' campaign is still running full bore. Laura's forte is economics, not the internal machinations of the Labor Party.


You mean it is not Murdoch? I am shocked; shocked I tell you. http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/laugh.gif http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/laugh.gif http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/laugh.gif

"Over the past few weeks, Bill Shorten has washed up in the doubt zone, largely because the people around him are doubting, shifting, reflecting, worrying, chattering.

At its simplest level, that’s what’s going on. That’s the static you can see coming from the Labor side of politics. That’s why political journalists are leaning in with their ears pricked – not because we are addicted to crass spectacle or can’t be bothered following policy debates, but because we are close enough to detect the shift in the barometric pressure."

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jun/30/how-long-a-shadow-will-labors-bout-of-doubt-cast-over-shorten

Oh no; the guardian.

This post has been edited by lee: Jul 5 2018, 08:45 PM

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