The Federal election is not a foregone conclusion, despite what the overwhelming majority of pundits might say, says Bruce Whiteside.
It is only in very recent times that I have taken to reading and contributing to web logs. It has been a very interesting experience.
I started out reading Pickering Post, largely because Larry Pickering the cartoonist was well known. He writes very well and some of his articles are thought provoking. Nevertheless, he writes with the express purpose of denigrating Julia Gillard and in putting the knife into the Labor Party. Whilst he writes with more panache than many of his ‘bloggers’, he certainly makes no attempt to moderate their unfettered use of often disgusting and foul language.
I wandered over to Shane Dowling and his Kangaroo Court, but soon found that he has a soft underbelly that brooks no criticism. He claims fairness but he also ventures in areas that cause one to raise the odd eyebrow. It is not hard to gather the impression that Shane likes to believe that he is ahead of the news and therefore just one step ahead of all others.
Michael Smith News seems to me to revolve around the police force and certain Union people that, according to him, hold the keys to information that will, in the end, crucify Julia Gillard.
I was drawn to Independent Australia by a comment about David Ettridge suing Tony Abbott, written by a blogger, on Pickering Post. To some extent this was picked up because of my ‘MarilynS like persistence’ in raising the issue of Tony Abbott and his less than honest involvement in the ‘rise and fall’ of Pauline Hanson on the blatantly pr0-Abbott site. The comment of ‘rise’ here may surprise many readers but be patient, clarification of that may well surface before long.
Reading the article I responded to the article featured on Independent Australia, and then later was impressed by the aims of David Donovan. However, as it transpires, no matter how well the lead article is put together, sooner than later contributors resort to near rabid comments born of political bias. Although IA may not necessarily advocate such thoughts, the main thread is decidedly anti-Abbott.
It is this that has got me to thinking about the greater community. How many are really sufficiently interested in sitting down and writing to their newspaper, their local MP or even contributing to a blog? Very few, as is evidenced by any web blog you may care to visit. This in turn begs the question: how many seriously read their newspapers, listen to the news or even take in the television nightly ritual of commentators doing ‘their thing’.
Much has been made of the mainstream media bias and the effect this is having on Australians. I suggest not as much as we might think.
I have not voted for a major party in thirty years and, in recent times, I have turned the television off when Gillard begins spruiking. I am not alone in that.
However, I have detected a growing irritation at the vacillation of a man who, by his own arrogance, is gnawing away at any confidence that swinging voters might have in his ability to lead. People are growing tired of the nodding head and the mantra:‘This is a bad, bad government’. Where is the dynamic enthusiasm of a prime minister in waiting? Where is the scintillating brilliance of the man who is biding his time to win, as many anticipate, by default? In an odd sort of way, I have been grudgingly looking for some of the issues the Gillard leadership can claim credit for.
Whatever else may not please the Coalition pundits, you have to admit that Gillard's resilience to lead from the front is nigh on fearless. In the final analysis, given a reasonable performance by what she now has at her disposal and the ability of the back bench rebels to remain silent, I have this feeling – a really strange feeling that Tony Abbott will lose – what should be the unloseable election.
I have to say that I am at odds with my natural instincts here, but I cannot shake off this feeling. Perhaps in the wider community, away from the coloured rhetoric, come election day, voters will not be influenced by much more than their own gut feeling, rusted on political loyalties, or just plain indifference.
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