I disagree with most of your post, and its basic argument. I realise your job is to gee up people on the left and get them mobilised, but you do people a disservice by misleading them in the hope that they'll get fired up and forgive you afterwards. Maybe that's the difference between being "of the left" and just being broadly supportive of the Gillard government over the Abbott alternative.
OK, so the Gillard government has done some good things, some bad things. Sounds like every other government really - including, as you point out, the government of the US.
The government will change if they can be convinced that those who are now in Opposition will do the good things better and the bad things less badly. This is how Howard beat Keating in 1996, it is the same basis on which Rudd beat him in 2007, and it is the same basis on which neither Beazley nor Latham beat Howard.
Abbott cannot convince anyone that any policy area would be better managed by him and his crew than by the incumbents. That's why they can't and won't win. It's in the media's interests to pretend it's a tight race and that there is intense political competition, but there isn't really. The competition isn't there - people who follow politics see it now, and those who don't follow politics closely will see it when they choose to look, which will most likely happen closer to the election.
You can shove your polls up your arse. Really. Without a known polling date polls are pretty useless, and the wider the gap between the polling and the election date the less reliable it is. The statistical busywork applied to polls to convince people of their validity is much the same as that applied to astrological forecasts; the a priori assumptions are bullshit, the output is bullshit, so don't try and impress me with the process.
The fact that there is no real competition between the parties, while journalists engage in increasingly stupid tricks to insist that there is, diminishes mainstream media rather than leads a credulous population buy the nose. You're wrong to take the power of the mainstream media as given.
The potency of the AWU/Gillard thing diminished within the final sitting week of parliament last year. The idea that it will retain the potency it had earlier in that week, or that it will increase, is rubbish. I notice you didn't mention Ashby, which is OK as I'll do it for you.
James Ashby will have to appeal, but in doing so will make it difficult for the Coalition to escape the taint of sleaze. It will also make it difficult for Ashby, a man who has lived his life in pursuit of publicity and is about to learn in the harshest way possible that "there is no such thing as bad publicity" is, in fact, bullshit. The story of Ashby is all wind and no candle, leaving the protagonist without any redeeming legend or other benefits of superstardom - and, indeed, almost no grace.
Any inquiry into Abbott's earlier slush-fund attempts depends entirely upon whether Pauline Hanson will play along, which will require her to give up her dream of a parliamentary pension to carry her into old age.
These issues will negate any lingering benefit to the Coalition from Gillard/AWU and start to eat into core Coalition strengths (e.g. stewardship of the economy). They will work against the Coalition particularly hard in Queensland, where the effect will be like cutting out a melanoma with a broken bottle. Abbott has repeatedly proven powerless to stop the LNPQ from self-harm that spills over federally.
As for asylum-seekers, there is a real bind: yes, there is an active push toward exclusionary policies, but also revulsion at the impacts of those policies (e.g. children self-harming, Australian citizens being deported). Mostly, the media just present these facts; sometimes you'll see a story where someone goes into bat for one side or the other, but you get that.
The question on asylum-seekers is: who do you trust to resolve this impasse? Nobody trusts Abbott to resolve it, you can only trust Abbott to be harsher while playing stupid media games with those exposing cruelty. The Coalition loses credibility when it appears to criticise the government for doing something it would do if it had the chance.
And the bottom line is, it won't get the chance. The link between state and federal politics tends to be weak, but state governments in Queensland and Victoria are acting in such a way that it is possible to say to voters in those states: state Coalition policies are a dress-rehearsal for what an Abbott government would be like.
Labor will win 4-5 seats in each of Queensland and Victoria. Labor will win at least one seat in South Australia; it is not beyond the realms of possibility that it could win both Boothby (knocking off Andrew Southcott) and Sturt (Chris Pyne), which would make Adelaide as much a Labor town as Canberra or Wollongong. This will be offset by winning/losing one seat here or there in NT or WA, but you get that.
Labor is more likely to win Denison than the Libs. The Libs have a chance in Braddon and/or Bass.
God only knows what will happen in NSW. The Labor Right in this state has collapsed as a governing model. The O'Farrell government has had the fresh paint knocked off it, but on one side is a non-Opposition, and on the other it is not as threatening as the Abbott-led federal Opposition.
The Coalition will not win Greenway, Robertson or Page, where Labor has a strong local presence and (except in the case of Greenway) representation independent of the NSW Labor Right. Any Sussex Street stink wafting around Michelle Rowlands will be more than countermanded by the smell of sulphur emanating from the Lib, owing to the branch-stacking in that area by the religious right.
At this stage it is hard to tell what Lindsay, Banks, Reid or Lyne might do, but then Labor could pick up Cowper and/or Hughes. Windsor will win New England if he runs again.
As for Dobell, if Craig Thomson is vindicated as comprehensively as this suggests, Labor would be mad not to run him and the Coalition wouldn't have a chance, given that their candidate's only pitch is how awful Thomson appears to be if you accept everything of which he's been accused.
What Abbott will achieve in NSW is what 1980s-model Howard did - big swings in safe Labor seats (not enough to win them though) while losing close battles in the marginals. MPs like Laurie Ferguson and Chris Bowen will have their arses handed to them, but not their heads.
I don't expect Abbott to be Prime Minister at all, which is why I'm not spooked by your Abbott Government scare campaign.
The spectre of a Royal Commission into the union movement didn't save the Fraser government in the early 1980s, and that was when a majority of working people were also union members. If the unions aren't tightening their administrative practices in the light of HSU and AWU then they deserve what they get. Say what you like about the SDA, but that union's leadership has been vigilant against the kind of abuses and slackness that seem to be prevalent at
It was the spectre of a return to WorkChoices in 2010 that stopped Abbott's momentum in the first week of that election campaign. Because he's a moron, and because people like Abetz and others on his frontbench are too, he hasn't developed an alternative policy or a strategy for "playing down" those vote-losing concerns. People didn't vote Coalition until they got over their promise to dismantle Medicare, and people won't vote Coalition until they develop a workplace relations policy that is substantially different to WorkChoices.
So Alex White, what does that leave you with? Your no-brainers about
Your idea that people will be like so many turkeys voting for Christmas, as instructed by The Daily Telegraph, is ridiculous. You assume that the Federal Coalition is more substantial than it is, and that the government is the supine outfit Kevin Rudd left it as: enough of these bullshit assumptions. Let us start the new year with Reasons to be Cheerful: