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2001 Pre-Election Commentary

This is a selection of posts from 2001, in the lead-up to the federal election.

  1. The Australian Ugliness: Terrorism, Asylum-Seekers, Terrorism and Politics (September 19, 2001)
    There is a palpable sense of unease in the ALP and newfound optimism in the coalition. The polls indicate that even the dramatic unemployment and other economic effects of the Ansett collapse have not dented the government’s popularity. What is disturbing about this turn of events is not the mere reversal of fortunes for the major political groups, but the issues which appear to have prompted it. FULL REPORT
  2. Competence, Philosophy and Future Challenges (August 1, 2001)
    In a speech to the National Press Club today, the Prime Minister, John Howard, has defended his government’s record after 5 years in office and set out a third term agenda. In so doing, it is clear that campaigning for the federal election has begun. FULL REPORT
  3. Is the Ground Shifting? – The Current Electoral Situation (August 1, 2001)
    With the Federal election now only months away, speculation about the likely result is taking on a distinctly different tone from that which has prevailed for much of the year. In the words of Laurie Oakes in the latest edition of The Bulletin, “you can feel the ground moving. Things are looking better for John Howard, shakier for Kim Beazley.” FULL REPORT
  4. Few Surprises In Federal Budget (May 22, 2001)
    The Budget delivered tonight by the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, contains few announcements that had not already been leaked to the media in recent weeks. The Budget surplus is forecast to be $1.5 billion, somewhat higher than predicted. Economic growth is forecast to be 3.25%. Inflation is predicted to be 2.25% and unemployment is expected to increase to 7%. The Budget is intrinsically political, as one would expect from a government behind in the polls and facing an election by the end of the year. FULL REPORT
  5. Fahey Retirement Avoids Nasty Pre-Selection Contest In Hume (May 15, 2001)
    The Finance Minister, John Fahey, has announced that he will retire from politics at the election to be held later this year. His decision clears the way for the re-endorsement of Alby Schultz as the Liberal Party candidate for Hume. FULL REPORT
  6. Casting A Statistical Eye On The Coming Election (May 13, 2001)
    The best way to understand what is likely to happen in this year’s Federal election is to look at the results of the 1998 election. The detailed statistics are very revealing. FULL REPORT
  7. More Straws In The Wind Over Election; CHOGM Meeting Crucial To Timing (May 11, 2001)
    There have been two further signs this week that the 2001 Federal Election will be held in November or December. Earlier this week, the Prime Minister, John Howard, made it clear that a by-election for the seat of Aston would go ahead in June or July. This follows the death of the sitting Liberal member, Peter Nugent. The Liberal Party holds Aston with a margin of 4.24%. FULL REPORT
  8. How Important Are Preferences In Australian Elections? (April 15, 2001)
    As the vote for the major parties in elections has declined in recent years, preferences have become more important. It is now common for minor parties and independents to determine election outcomes via their preferences. This has been seen in relation to the Democrats, the Greens and One Nation. FULL REPORT
  9. Stott-Despoja and the Future of the Democrats (April 11, 2001)
    In the aftermath of poor electoral performances in the Western Australian and Queensland state elections, and being beaten by the Greens in the Ryan by-election, the Australian Democrats is now being promoted in some parts of the media as the resurgent party of Generation-X. FULL REPORT
  10. The Importance of How-To-Vote Cards (March 24, 2001)
    Overall, how-to-vote cards tend to work for the major parties. Voters for minor candidates are not necessarily so easy to predict. All parties know that it is important to have polling booths staffed on election day so that every voter receives a copy of the how-to-vote card. FULL REPORT
  11. John Howard: Philosophy & Political Tactics In Action (March 14, 2001)
    With the Ryan by-election only days away, and polls continuing to show growing support for the ALP, Prime Minister John Howard has made a number of speeches and statements in recent days that reveal much about his approach to politics. FULL REPORT
  12. The Difficult Task Of Winning A Third Term (February 11, 2001)
    The landslide victory for the ALP in the Western Australian election is further evidence of a phenomenon that must concern John Howard’s Federal Government. Elections over the past 10 years have indicated that governments of all persuasions are finding it next to impossible to win a third term in office. FULL REPORT
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Malcolm Farnsworth
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