822 NQ. ABC – repeat, repeat, repeat.

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8/22 NQ. ABC – repeat, repeat, repeat.

LHS temporary bottom but no follow through. Incentive move through the averages & into the kumo – doesn’t hold but does result in a higher low. Incentive swing off the higher-low results in fade & go – ABC. Optimistic entry was at break & hold of averages.

Fades back into equilibrium. Significant move bounces from spanB, breaks the averages & holds clear of the kumo. Optimistic approach is to view the yellow line as incentive. More conservative approach is to view blue line as incentive.

Fades back into equilibrium but this time there are no clear incentive moves. The first move runs from the averages but into spanB. The second move breaks the kumo but is extended from the averages and is nearing the first five-minute range. Optimistic entry is at the break during the second move with a target short of the open range top. Nice range entry at RHS.

Range entry turns into trend move followed by a Fade-into-ABC pattern … and again at late morning.

Ending the squabble over election mandates

Posted November 11, 2020 14:53:32

Until our major parties can agree on what policy promises must be honoured by an opposition, we’ll continue to hear the same tired debate over mandates after every election, writes Joff Lelliott.

Tony Abbott’s demand that Labor “repent” and wave his repeal of carbon pricing through the Senate is a curious mixture of breathtaking hypocrisy and sensible reform of the political system.

First to the breath-taking hypocrisy.

In 2007, Labor’s election campaign under Kevin Rudd centred on two key policies: a price on carbon and reversing the Coalition’s WorkChoices legislation.

It was Abbott as Liberal leader who insisted the Coalition block the carbon price in the Senate. This was despite Labor’s undoubted electoral mandate in the House of Representatives where Labor had 83 seats to the Coalition’s 65.

But the hypocrisy goes beyond this.

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Abbott had been a senior minister in the previous Coalition government which also fought the 2007 election promising a price on carbon. He happily went back on an election promise both he and his party had made.

And there’s yet more hypocrisy.

Through 2009, the Labor government negotiated with the Liberal opposition under Malcolm Turnbull to secure passage of carbon price legislation, even amending the bill to gain Liberal Party support. Then there was a last minute coup and, against expectations, Abbott squeaked into the Liberal Party leadership with a one-vote victory over Malcolm Turnbull. Abbott immediately reneged on the agreement.

So, not only did Abbott ignore Labor’s mandate, he abandoned his own election promise and shredded a deal his party had made just days earlier. As one Labor MP said to me at the time, “our mistake was taking the Liberals at their word”.

It beggars belief that Tony Abbott now lectures Labor about mandates.

Despite all this, Abbott is raising an important and reasonable point about who has what mandate. Labor made the same important and reasonable point after the 2007 election and other governments made it before them.

In Australia’s Westminster system, tradition says government is formed in the House of Representatives, not the Senate. The Prime Minister, Treasurer and Leader of the Opposition as well as most frontbenchers sit in the House of Representatives, and 90 per cent of legislation originates there.

As the undoubtedly dominant chamber, the mandate question should always rest in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, the constitution gives the Senate almost equal power and it is informal arrangements which make it the significantly weaker chamber. These conventions do not extend to election mandates.

Luckily, it is much easier to change informal conventions than to change constitutions. If the parties want, they can simply agree that election commitments should always be let through the Senate because the mandate from the public comes via the House of Representatives.

There is a precedent for exactly this. After British Labour’s landslide election win in 1945, Labour had 393 seats to the Conservatives 211 in the House of Commons, but the hereditary House of Lords still had an overwhelming and permanent Conservative majority against just 16 Labour peers.

The two parties resolved the potential for deadlock by developing the Salisbury Convention, ensuring election manifesto commitments are honoured by the opposition in the Lords.

Developing such a system in Australia would improve the ability of governments to function as well as help ensure the will of the public is reflected in legislation passed by parliament.

One reason the Salisbury Convention works is that British parties release a full manifesto at the beginning of the campaign, rather than dribbling out promises up to polling day. It is clear who has promised what, and exactly what the mandate covers.

If Australia is to have its own version of the Salisbury Convention, the parties need to start releasing manifestos of commitments at the beginning of elections. Alternatively, and more messily, they would have to work together to agree on what constitutes an election promise in a system without manifestos, and hence what should be honoured.

Agreeing to an Australian version of the Salisbury Convention would only be half the battle: parties then have to trust each other to consistently honour it in the real world of parliamentary politics.

Without a formal and lasting agreement, there will always be demands from the victor for its mandate to be honoured and oppositions will always find reasons not to do so.

Until an enduring agreement is reached, Labor should block to its heart’s content.

Dr Joff Lelliott is state director of the political think tank The Australian Fabians (Queensland). View his full profile here.

Why couldn’t they just be straight with us?

Posted May 14, 2020 07:30:55

From an economist’s viewpoint, the thrust of last night’s federal Budget was justifiable, but the faux rationale and the laughable spin only adds to disenchantment within the electorate, writes Ian Verrender.

Well may the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, restore the Budget to surplus. But will he ever be able to repair the damage inflicted to the credibility of high office?

Having embarked upon a ferocious campaign while in opposition against Julia Gillard’s broken promise on a carbon tax, the new Government has introduced a raft of new taxes after repeatedly and categorically ruling out such action during an election campaign just nine months ago.

It was always going to be that way. From an economist’s viewpoint, the general thrust of last night’s federal Budget was entirely justifiable if the nation’s finances are to be put on a sustainable path. There was no way it could be done without tax hikes and without spending cuts.

The Treasurer Joe Hockey has cleverly extended the cuts and the savings out until 2020 so as not to put too much strain on what clearly is a fragile economy right now.

But the faux justification and the laughable spin that led to last night’s show – from the confected debt crisis, the feigned shock of a budget shortfall and the untruths about the underlying causes for the deficit – only adds to disenchantment within the electorate about the cynicism that now pervades federal politics.

Where once were statesmen and orators, we now have inarticulate spin doctors. Why could there not have been a cool and rationed argument outlining the need for long-term budgetary repair?

At the very least, it would have avoided the stunning collapse in consumer confidence witnessed in the past month. Just hours before the Treasurer was due to deliver his inaugural budget, ANZ-Roy Morgan delivered a poll that showed an 11 per cent decline in consumer confidence in the previous three weeks.

But after years of unrelenting negativity, it was too big an ask for the Coalition to change the tune once in Government. In fact, the new Government went out of its way to widen the deficit and increase the debt almost immediately after being installed.

Former ALP powerbroker Graham Richardson once wrote a book called “Whatever It Takes”. It was more his candour than the revelations themselves of lies and deception that stunned the nation and even then, much of it was derided as a function of Labor backroom brawling.

Not any more. It appears Richardson’s book has become a manual for modern day politics, where the ethos is victory at all costs and where you can say or do anything on the basis that, in such a fast pace world, no one will ever remember.

Every new government piles on the pain in its first budget. You can always point the finger at your predecessors for the problems and by the time the next election comes around, hopefully things would have improved and there will be enough spare cash to start lashing out again.

In this case, there is no doubt the stimulus spending of the Rudd years pushed outlays higher. And the commitments during the Gillard years on education and disability insurance will further strain expenditures into the future.

The real culprit, however, for the budget deterioration since 2008 has been a dramatic shortfall in revenue, most of which can be sheeted home to the extended series of income tax cuts of the Howard era. You won’t hear any talk of that. It’s been excised from the annals.

For all the rhetoric about sharing the burden and heavy lifting, it is the poor, the infirmed and the disadvantaged who will be slugged the hardest. But we all knew it was going to be that way.

None of us complained back then, when our pockets were being lined by tax cuts coming thick and fast. A few economists like Saul Eslake warned the strategy could lift inflation and lead to higher interest rates. But it was applause all round, including from lobby groups like the Business Council, when the cuts were doled out.

Having benefitted through that era, it is only reasonable now for everyone to accept that it was taken too far and a partial unwind of those income tax cuts was required.

Instead, the prospect of higher taxes drew every self-interested lobby group out of the woodwork, not to mention some handsomely superannuated and highly paid former politicians, to denounce the temporary tax on high income earners as “poor economics”.

If there is anything poor about the deficit levy, it is that it is temporary and woefully insufficient. And in a stunning testament of the twisted values to which Labor now clings, the Opposition last night could not bring itself to declare that it would support this new tax.

For all the rhetoric about sharing the burden and heavy lifting, it is the poor, the infirmed and the disadvantaged who will be slugged the hardest. But we all knew it was going to be that way.

There’s been some impressive unwinding of the vast amounts of middle class welfare. But higher income earners can rest easy. There’s a spanking new and hugely expensive parental leave scheme in the offing, no real threat to the lurks and rorts built into the superannuation system, all of which are designed to benefit the wealthy.

Unlike the rest of us, the resource giants, mostly owned by foreign investors, face a less taxing regime. It is to this group that Tony Abbott dutifully has kept his promise.

Despite our budget emergency and our debt crisis, the Government has opted to eliminate the Resources Rent Tax on minerals (not on petroleum, where it has been extended) rather than fix a poorly designed instrument.

The global tech giants like Google, that earn profits but sheet them home through tax havens, must also be cheering at the Government pledge to gut the tax office.

The Australian economy is entering an uncertain phase. As resource investment begins to taper and as the new mines head into full, largely automated production, a new growth engine is required if we are to avoid a sharp lift in unemployment.

The Reserve Bank was counting on a housing boom fuelling a big lift in dwelling construction. Joe Hockey is banking on an infrastructure program. But I’m just wondering: is that WestConnex road project in Sydney the same one that various governments have been committing to for several years now? Clearly not.

Ian Verrender is the ABC’s business editor. View his full profile here.

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