Convoy of no confidence

Today’s Australian reports on a “convoy of no confidence.”

The protest, organised by the National Road Freighters Association, has been under way since last week with 11 convoys of trucks, utes and cars snaking their way to Canberra from as far afield as Broome, Fremantle and Darwin. […]

Government sources yesterday sought to highlight radical views previously expressed by [Association president Mick] Pattel, including suggestions that international climate change action was part of a global conspiracy.

At the top of the linked page are some current polling data. Pretty grim for the Labor government: 47% first preference for the Liberal-National Coalition, against only 29% Labor; Greens on 12%. Two-party preferred 56-44.

8 thoughts on “Convoy of no confidence

  1. I wonder how that might play out in an actual election. Seems to me that in ridings where the Lib-Nat candidate come in short of a majority, the Green would be first to go, and his or her preferences would transfer to the ALP mostly. That might be enough to put him or her over the top in marginal ridings. But with a 2PP of 56-44, a lot of ridings may be won outright by the Lib-Nats. Any chance of the extra 2% for the Greens translating to a few more seats for them?

  2. (1) Schmaltz – “electorates”, please, or to be legalistic, “divisions”, but we don’t use the term “ridings” in Australia. Google “Craig Thompson” and you’ll see why Julia Gillard would be relieved that we don’t…

    (2) Losing the truckers’ confidence is an ominous precedent for any left-of-centre government: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chile_under_Allende#Crisis.

  3. If the federal election follows the NSW precedent it will be a polarising ‘throw the bastards out’ election where the minor parties and independents struggle to hold or win seats. The weird thing is that those 2PP figures reverse under a different Labor leader. The Gillard experiment has not been happy.

  4. This is a strange minority government in the sense that this government wants to last a full term. It seems like the Labor Party is desperate and will give anything to anybody including selling the kitchen sink.

  5. The confidence-and-supply arrangements with the Greens and independents mandate, at their request, that there be no early election. Gillard has somewhat of a reputation for gaming the system and, left to her own devices, would probably prefer to call an election at a time of political advantage. On the other hand,when your primary vote is 27% you are probably not eager to wait upon the governor-general.

    The opposition has been running an anti-carbon tax campaign that frankly makes Sarah Palin like a model of calm,pragmatic and rational scientific analysis. The government’s great hope is that once the carbon tax is in place it will not actually lead to a total economic collapse and a political takeover by the international climate conspiracy as the opposition is claiming.

    I suspect their problems run deeper than that.

  6. Incidentally the Convoy petition demands a double dissolution, even though the present Senate has only been in office since 1 June, has not rejected any legislation, and is required to reject legislation twice over 6 months before a double dissolution can happen.

    This is the same pattern as NSW before the election where the governor was repeatedly petitioned, and indeed bitterly criticised on talkback, because she declined to disregard the state constitution, reject her premier’s advice and call an early election.

  7. Contrary to The Australian, the convoy (unkindly if accurately dubbed the Convoy of No Consequence by one minister) drew 200 trucks and about 300 people. The Australian and the rest of the Murdoch press have yet to admit the numbers were not quite what they expected.

    The organisers explain that for everyone who could be there they had a thousand supporters. They did manage to inconvenience a number of country towns and businesses. The ACT government is chasing the federal government over the bill for policing the non-event. No doubt the border closure that did not happen will go into the mythos that drives these people.

    The Gillard government is in trouble but Canberra is not quite Santiago in 1973.

  8. This report does not actually advance the cause of political science in any way, but some headlines deserve to be recorded, even in blogs as august as this one.

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