This is not a CABPOLL due to a rare night off work. Though the election campaign is unavoidable at the moment, so here goes. Last night I caught Labor's policy launch on both radio and television. On ABC's Lateline I watched Labor sex-symbol, Julia Gillard using the term, ‘a Latham Labor government...’. There’s something catchy about the term, ‘Latham Labor’ - okay then, let’s just call him, ‘La La’.
La La looked good launching Labor's campaign, presidential even, as he stoked the fires for the True Believers. Given it’s been a long time between drinks, they might as well enjoy it while they can. I liked his direct method of delivery, without a tele-prompter it seemed...
By contrast I’ve noticed a decided hesitancy in the delivery of the Man of Steel’s (MoS) election message, currently on high rotation around the traps. Undoubtably he’s showing signs of age and weariness this election. One suspects he’s plagued by self doubt and Labor senses this, with its confidence growing every day.
As a humble cabbie, I’m worried for MoS. However as a publishing mogul, I’m salvitating at the prospect of a Labor win. This will create a target rich environment for easy blog kills of deluded Lefties, drunk on cheap legitimacy. The Left tend to make such willing victims, for anyone who can put two words together, by often exhibiting brainless passion. To be fair though, I understand their disappointment after so many years in the wilderness. They must have thought the halcyon years of Hawke/Keating would last forever.
A big fan of Cablog has bemoaned my regular reporting the views of Liberal voters. So I reviewed my CABPOLLs which reveal I've reported on 18 non-Government voters, as against 13 for the Government.
However, in one respect his inference is right - how come I report on so many Coalition supporters. Especially given a large percentage of my passengers are young to middle-aged adults, tertiary educated, in professional occupations, and living within 10-15 kilometres of the CBD. More often than not these passengers are left-wing Labor or hard-left Greens supporters.
But I’ve given up reporting those who sing from the same song-sheet, with its mantra of irrational arguments, selective history and plain Howard hatred. I could report on these ideologically-driven raves all night long. But for the purposes of CABPOLL I’m more interested in how policies impact on my passengers daily routine. Invariably, these impassioned raves come from middle-class passengers who are financially comfortable and doing quite nicely, thanks very much. You’ve heard it all before,
I can’t believe this fascist Howard regime. He’s fucked our country by sucking up to the US and disgracing Australia in the eyes of Asia. He takes credit for a booming economy which Keating set-up. He’s destroyed Medicare, screwed the poor, trashed the environment, wrecked the ABC....blah, blah, blah.
I tend to switch off and concentrate on the road when I hear terminology like, ‘fascist Howard’ or ‘joke in Asia’. Similarly, any Letter to the Editor which commences, ‘I was appalled...’, has the same effect. A good indicator of a worthwhile report is a view acknowledging the Government has done something right. Or a considered response demonstrating a tangible impact of Government policy. Take this example from today,
My car was in service for an overdue tune-up so I took the opportunity of quizzing the boss mechanic. For him there is a distinct difference between the parties, namely in the economy and health. Being a small business operator with a family and mortgage, he states a 2% movement in interest rates will cause havoc. Already he has noticed a drop in activity with the latest 0.25% interest rate rise. And in my cab, I might add.
He forecasts many people will lose their homes due to their being financially overextended. He estimates the average mortgage is $500,000 and a 0.25% rate rise equates to some $15-20 per week. For many Australian in this boat, who I might add don’t catch cabs, this is a big deal. Hence their perception Howard is better able to protect interest rates. For them, everything else pales into insignificance. Their home is all.
My mechanic related how his wife recently had a kidney stone infection. She went to the doctor who quoted $3000 for a 15 minute procedure. Despite having private insurance she was only able to claim 45%, and baulked at the offer. The doctor then suggested if she could wait till the following week, he would get her into a public hospital bed, some distance from them. Which she did and had the operation done on Medicare. As a result of this, my mechanic understandably expressed doubt over the health system.
As an aside, I quizzed his young apprentice mechanic over Howards offer of a $600 toolbox for apprentices. He was unsure of the benefit of this and as an example showed me a toolbox on his workbench. It was a very average PC brand set of 200 pieces costing around $800. He just shrugged and went back to de-dusting my brakes.
Both these examples of considered responses are of more value when conducting surveys of voters than ideological raves devoid of rationale or reality. If I voice or video taped passengers, as I can, readers here would soon be sick of the rubbish my queries often elicit. So yes, I do tend to report that which is informative and interesting, rather than those of broken records full of illogical rage.
And I do try and achieve balance with CABPOLL, despite my own personal views. Or as quality media outlets proudly state, Fair and balanced - we report, you decide !