Introducing Pollie Waffle

I am very lucky to have a very smart spy on the ground who is willing and able to cut through the political spin that is EVERYWHERE here in the Australian Political Landscape. I will call her Pollie Waffle.

Pollie Waffle will be providing us with a weekly update on all the BS so we do not have to torture ourselves by watching the news. Please join me in welcoming Pollie to Woogsworld.

Hands up if you feel like there is nobody left to vote for?

After the NSW State Election over the weekend, which made NSW Labor look like a cluster fuck of amateurs, Shooters rising up in the country and One Nation take potentially two upper house seats (Mark Latham with parliamentary privilege for 8 years? God help us all), the main fight, the federal election, is looking like a bruiser. 

From my humble position on the sidelines, I’m going to walk you through where I see it sitting right now post NSW election. 

First up, the PM will announce the date for the federal election after the budget which comes down Tuesday 2 April. The hot tip is an 11 May poll. The budget will be an election budget (obs!) playing to the Liberal heartland and middle Australia. After the disastrous showing of the National party in the NSW election, expect more regional announcements too including water management and coal power station funding (yes, seriously, coal) underwritten by the Government. But more on the budget next week. 

Post the NSW election, the ground has shifted. Let’s look at the regions first. We’ve seen a chunk of the Nationals vote move to the Shooters Farmers and Fishers Party (SFF) – and they’re now going to run in the fed election, buoyed by their results. One Nation, on the rise again, have just suffered a seemingly big blow with revelations they have been talking about donations with the NRA in the US. How this translates with One Nation’s primary vote is unclear. Sure, we’re all horrified over our macchiatos, but we’re of no consequence to One Nation’s vote. There will be some fall out but the likely winner will be the SFF or the Australian Conservatives rather than either major party. So says my reading of the tea leaves anyway. The NSW election demonstrated just how dissatisfied the regions are with major political parties. 

In the cities, we saw Labor take only one seat from the Coalition over the weekend. One! The seat of Coogee fell and frankly, the Liberals seemed to give up on it well before polling day throwing everything behind Penrith and East Hills. Labor’s failure to make inroads can’t just fall to their hapless leader Michael Daley and his shocker of a campaign. The electorate does differentiate between state and federal politics and NSW still remembers the awful dying days of 16 years of Labor Government and frankly, they were pretty light on with policies. And snaps to Gladys, she ran a cracker of a campaign. 

The federal ALP will now be looking at NSW and their broader electoral strategy very closely after the disappointment of the weekend poll. Expect big announcements in the regions, on healthcare across the board, superannuation increases and tax relief (which we will also see in the budget next week) for the middle and lower end of town. The Coalition will continue to bang on about stopping the boats, the budget surplus and avoid any discussion about our stalling economy and their still confused energy policy. 

Bottom line is though, most of us are just over (O-V-A-H) major party politicians. We don’t believe them, don’t like them and don’t feel like they give a shit about us, the punters. Times are bloody tough and likely to get tougher with a global economic downturn very much on the cards. Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and there’s barely a policy between them with ScoMo announcing new coal plants and Shorten suspiciously quiet on any real energy and climate change policies. Don’t get me started on the appalling representation of women in parliament or running in winnable seats. Labor is well ahead of the Coalition on gender balance but both major parties fall well short of anything getting close to parity. 

So what to do? If you’ve got a local candidate that you like the look of, get out there and give them a hand (please don’t help One Nation though, please). Getting involved in the political process will give you a sense of empowerment. On election night, no matter what happens, you’ll feel like you did your bit to improve the outcome. It’s basically that or switch off all the news and just drink wine for the next 6 weeks. 

How do you feel about Australian Politics at the moment?