The Politics Thread 2020

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greeneyed
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Mickey_Raider wrote: December 11, 2020, 9:29 am
greeneyed wrote: December 11, 2020, 9:09 am Taxation doesn’t exist without the need for governments to provide public goods. The goods from defence to park benches that wouldn’t be provided by the market (because, by their nature, and once provided, everyone can consume them... without paying). The idea that taxation is not designed to fund government spending is fanciful. No reputable economist would agree with that proposition.

Taxation can be used to influence aggregate demand in the economy, but it isn’t that well suited to it. Tax rates are difficult to change, except if you’re cutting them. You could use the tax system to inject cash into the hands of consumers in an economic emergency... like a global financial crisis. But it is best to manage your tax system in a medium term context... to support sustainable fiscal settings. The key objective of the tax system is to raise revenue to fund public goods... and as a tool of redistribution. You can also use taxes to affect the relative prices of particular goods... and affect relative demand for products... but it’s not a good idea, unless you are correcting a clear market failure (like carbon pollution).

In a war, governments expand their spending in defence. If they need to go into deficit, or expand the deficit to do so... borrowing is precisely what they do to fund it. They might look for non market solutions too, like rationing or other means of acquiring property. But these are last resorts in market economies.
Interesting. I'll give the economics professor at the University of Newcastle a message and let him know "some guy on the internet" (to use the great Nickman's quote) thinks he isn't reputable. Don't know why the government of Japan (one of the largest economies in the world) would cop advice from such a disreputable crank.
Give us a quote of what he said precisely on it, and a link, and I’ll let you know. But given you’ve mentioned the University of Newcastle, I suspect you know what the answer will be!
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

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greeneyed wrote: December 10, 2020, 10:15 pm It’d be great if people commenting on economic policy actually understood the difference between fiscal and monetary policy. Or basic economic concepts. I guess we’ll press on regardless!
If you're referring to me, I have a very good understanding of the differences between the two. My references to governments printing money are not with the Australian system in mind.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by greeneyed »

Seiffert82 wrote: December 11, 2020, 10:20 am
greeneyed wrote: December 10, 2020, 10:15 pm It’d be great if people commenting on economic policy actually understood the difference between fiscal and monetary policy. Or basic economic concepts. I guess we’ll press on regardless!
If you're referring to me, I have a very good understanding of the differences between the two. My references to governments printing money are not with the Australian system in mind.
No I wasn’t referring to you.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by Seiffert82 »

Mickey_Raider wrote: December 11, 2020, 8:22 am
Seiffert82 wrote: December 10, 2020, 5:03 pm When talking about this stuff you can't selectively use the examples of the USA, Japan, and Australia with regards to running budget deficits, without talking about the extremes in places like Venezuela and Zimbabwe where money printing becomes a substitute for proper economic and financial management.

I would never seriously suggest that governments should always aim to run a balanced budget, but I equally don't think it's fair to suggest that governments should just borrow (or print) money in lieu of setting a sustainable taxation regime.
No it is not fair to suggest that at all. Thankfully I am yet to read of one economist who actually suggests this. What many do suggest, however, is that taxation be looked at through its correct lens.

taxation is not a means to provide the government the ability to engage in public spending, but a means to control aggregate demand in the economy.

The above is actually obvious if you pay attention to the actual REAL WORLD application of what happens when the government engages in public spending.

Very simple exercise for you - If we were plunged into war tomorrow - what is it that would prevent us from being able to defend ourselves? Is it the availability of real resources? Or the availability of a pot of "taxation revenue" or bond buyers in order to pay for those resources?

Could you actually imagine a scenario whereby we are being invaded, all of the resources are there (labour, hardware etc.) but we cannot act because we haven't collected enough taxes or conducted the requisite bond auction to pay the weapons and capability manufacturers to defend ourself?

It is absurd.
Why is it one thing or another? I don't understand why you think taxation doesn't achieve both objectives. Money is just a tool to convert and exchange one good or service for another. Tax allows the economic benefits from one activity to be redistributed to another. As you say, it can also be used to influence behaviour.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that countries solely rely on tax revenue to fund expenditure - especially in times of crisis. It's always through a combination of redistributing revenue through the tax system and borrowing money.

I must not understand what you're saying. What do you think happens with tax revenue if government's don't use it to engage in public spending? In 2019-20 the Australian government received $486 billion in tax receipts and expensed $579 billion. It seems to me that the vast majority of government spending is based on taxation earnings.
Last edited by Seiffert82 on December 11, 2020, 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by Mickey_Raider »

greeneyed wrote: December 11, 2020, 10:24 am
Seiffert82 wrote: December 11, 2020, 10:20 am
greeneyed wrote: December 10, 2020, 10:15 pm It’d be great if people commenting on economic policy actually understood the difference between fiscal and monetary policy. Or basic economic concepts. I guess we’ll press on regardless!
If you're referring to me, I have a very good understanding of the differences between the two. My references to governments printing money are not with the Australian system in mind.
No I wasn’t referring to you.
He was referring to me as he mistakenly believes that I don't know the difference between fiscal and monetary policy.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

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Seiffert82 wrote: December 11, 2020, 10:31 am
Mickey_Raider wrote: December 11, 2020, 8:22 am
Seiffert82 wrote: December 10, 2020, 5:03 pm When talking about this stuff you can't selectively use the examples of the USA, Japan, and Australia with regards to running budget deficits, without talking about the extremes in places like Venezuela and Zimbabwe where money printing becomes a substitute for proper economic and financial management.

I would never seriously suggest that governments should always aim to run a balanced budget, but I equally don't think it's fair to suggest that governments should just borrow (or print) money in lieu of setting a sustainable taxation regime.
No it is not fair to suggest that at all. Thankfully I am yet to read of one economist who actually suggests this. What many do suggest, however, is that taxation be looked at through its correct lens.

taxation is not a means to provide the government the ability to engage in public spending, but a means to control aggregate demand in the economy.

The above is actually obvious if you pay attention to the actual REAL WORLD application of what happens when the government engages in public spending.

Very simple exercise for you - If we were plunged into war tomorrow - what is it that would prevent us from being able to defend ourselves? Is it the availability of real resources? Or the availability of a pot of "taxation revenue" or bond buyers in order to pay for those resources?

Could you actually imagine a scenario whereby we are being invaded, all of the resources are there (labour, hardware etc.) but we cannot act because we haven't collected enough taxes or conducted the requisite bond auction to pay the weapons and capability manufacturers to defend ourself?

It is absurd.
Why is it one thing or another? I don't understand why you think taxation doesn't achieve both objectives. Money is just a tool to convert and exchange one good or service for another. Tax allows the economic benefits from one activity to be redistributed to another. As you say, it can also be used to influence behaviour.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that countries solely rely on tax revenue to fund expenditure - especially in times of crisis. It's always through a combination of redistributing revenue through the tax system and borrowing money.

I must not understand what you're saying. What do you think happens with tax revenue if government's don't use it to engage in public spending? In 2019-20 the Australian government received $470 billion in tax receipts, had $5 billion in future fund earnings and spent $550 billion. It seems to me that the vast majority of government spending is based on taxation earnings.
A taxed dollar is deleted out of existence, not placed in a little taxation pot and redistributed.

That is why the Australian "national debt" is nothing more than the aggregate of all government deficits since the inception of the AUD.

Another way to understand it is that the national debt is the aggregate of all private sector + foreign sector surpluses since the inception of the AUD currency.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

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Mickey_Raider wrote: December 11, 2020, 10:53 am
Seiffert82 wrote: December 11, 2020, 10:31 am
Mickey_Raider wrote: December 11, 2020, 8:22 am
Seiffert82 wrote: December 10, 2020, 5:03 pm When talking about this stuff you can't selectively use the examples of the USA, Japan, and Australia with regards to running budget deficits, without talking about the extremes in places like Venezuela and Zimbabwe where money printing becomes a substitute for proper economic and financial management.

I would never seriously suggest that governments should always aim to run a balanced budget, but I equally don't think it's fair to suggest that governments should just borrow (or print) money in lieu of setting a sustainable taxation regime.
No it is not fair to suggest that at all. Thankfully I am yet to read of one economist who actually suggests this. What many do suggest, however, is that taxation be looked at through its correct lens.

taxation is not a means to provide the government the ability to engage in public spending, but a means to control aggregate demand in the economy.

The above is actually obvious if you pay attention to the actual REAL WORLD application of what happens when the government engages in public spending.

Very simple exercise for you - If we were plunged into war tomorrow - what is it that would prevent us from being able to defend ourselves? Is it the availability of real resources? Or the availability of a pot of "taxation revenue" or bond buyers in order to pay for those resources?

Could you actually imagine a scenario whereby we are being invaded, all of the resources are there (labour, hardware etc.) but we cannot act because we haven't collected enough taxes or conducted the requisite bond auction to pay the weapons and capability manufacturers to defend ourself?

It is absurd.
Why is it one thing or another? I don't understand why you think taxation doesn't achieve both objectives. Money is just a tool to convert and exchange one good or service for another. Tax allows the economic benefits from one activity to be redistributed to another. As you say, it can also be used to influence behaviour.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that countries solely rely on tax revenue to fund expenditure - especially in times of crisis. It's always through a combination of redistributing revenue through the tax system and borrowing money.

I must not understand what you're saying. What do you think happens with tax revenue if government's don't use it to engage in public spending? In 2019-20 the Australian government received $470 billion in tax receipts, had $5 billion in future fund earnings and spent $550 billion. It seems to me that the vast majority of government spending is based on taxation earnings.
A taxed dollar is deleted out of existence, not placed in a little taxation pot and redistributed.

That is why the Australian "national debt" is nothing more than the aggregate of all government deficits since the inception of the AUD.

Another way to understand it is that the national debt is the aggregate of all private sector + foreign sector surpluses since the inception of the AUD currency.
I'm not sure I'm following the connection.

Yep, like any balance sheet, national debt is the accumulation of net liabilities over the years, taking into account repayments and assets.

Tax is still a government revenue though. I'm not sure I follow your logic that tax revenue is deleted out of existence, to be replaced with borrowings (which requires interest repayments).

We may have to agree to disagree on that one.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by Mickey_Raider »

Seiffert82 wrote: December 11, 2020, 11:29 am
Mickey_Raider wrote: December 11, 2020, 10:53 am
Seiffert82 wrote: December 11, 2020, 10:31 am
Mickey_Raider wrote: December 11, 2020, 8:22 am
Seiffert82 wrote: December 10, 2020, 5:03 pm When talking about this stuff you can't selectively use the examples of the USA, Japan, and Australia with regards to running budget deficits, without talking about the extremes in places like Venezuela and Zimbabwe where money printing becomes a substitute for proper economic and financial management.

I would never seriously suggest that governments should always aim to run a balanced budget, but I equally don't think it's fair to suggest that governments should just borrow (or print) money in lieu of setting a sustainable taxation regime.
No it is not fair to suggest that at all. Thankfully I am yet to read of one economist who actually suggests this. What many do suggest, however, is that taxation be looked at through its correct lens.

taxation is not a means to provide the government the ability to engage in public spending, but a means to control aggregate demand in the economy.

The above is actually obvious if you pay attention to the actual REAL WORLD application of what happens when the government engages in public spending.

Very simple exercise for you - If we were plunged into war tomorrow - what is it that would prevent us from being able to defend ourselves? Is it the availability of real resources? Or the availability of a pot of "taxation revenue" or bond buyers in order to pay for those resources?

Could you actually imagine a scenario whereby we are being invaded, all of the resources are there (labour, hardware etc.) but we cannot act because we haven't collected enough taxes or conducted the requisite bond auction to pay the weapons and capability manufacturers to defend ourself?

It is absurd.
Why is it one thing or another? I don't understand why you think taxation doesn't achieve both objectives. Money is just a tool to convert and exchange one good or service for another. Tax allows the economic benefits from one activity to be redistributed to another. As you say, it can also be used to influence behaviour.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that countries solely rely on tax revenue to fund expenditure - especially in times of crisis. It's always through a combination of redistributing revenue through the tax system and borrowing money.

I must not understand what you're saying. What do you think happens with tax revenue if government's don't use it to engage in public spending? In 2019-20 the Australian government received $470 billion in tax receipts, had $5 billion in future fund earnings and spent $550 billion. It seems to me that the vast majority of government spending is based on taxation earnings.
A taxed dollar is deleted out of existence, not placed in a little taxation pot and redistributed.

That is why the Australian "national debt" is nothing more than the aggregate of all government deficits since the inception of the AUD.

Another way to understand it is that the national debt is the aggregate of all private sector + foreign sector surpluses since the inception of the AUD currency.
I'm not sure I'm following the connection.

Yep, like any balance sheet, national debt is the accumulation of net liabilities over the years, taking into account repayments and assets.

Tax is still a government revenue though. I'm not sure I follow your logic that tax revenue is deleted out of existence, to be replaced with borrowings (which requires interest repayments).

We may have to agree to disagree on that one.
No, the shortfall between dollars taxed and dollars spent is made up through the issuance of bonds ("borrowing").

The bonds act as a "currency drain" removing the principal amount (which will be equivalent to the shortfall) from the private/foreign sector and in its place will be very small, typically biannual interest payments, based on whatever interest rate said sector is willing to accept for what is essentially a risk free asset. The principal will then be paid out at maturity.

The bond is risk free and anyone with a proper grasp of fiat money knows it. The Australian government can not default unless it chooses to, because it is the monopoly issuer of the AUD, and all borrowing, taxation and spending is happening in AUD's.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by Seiffert82 »

Mickey_Raider wrote: December 11, 2020, 11:57 am
Seiffert82 wrote: December 11, 2020, 11:29 am
Mickey_Raider wrote: December 11, 2020, 10:53 am
Seiffert82 wrote: December 11, 2020, 10:31 am
Mickey_Raider wrote: December 11, 2020, 8:22 am

No it is not fair to suggest that at all. Thankfully I am yet to read of one economist who actually suggests this. What many do suggest, however, is that taxation be looked at through its correct lens.

taxation is not a means to provide the government the ability to engage in public spending, but a means to control aggregate demand in the economy.

The above is actually obvious if you pay attention to the actual REAL WORLD application of what happens when the government engages in public spending.

Very simple exercise for you - If we were plunged into war tomorrow - what is it that would prevent us from being able to defend ourselves? Is it the availability of real resources? Or the availability of a pot of "taxation revenue" or bond buyers in order to pay for those resources?

Could you actually imagine a scenario whereby we are being invaded, all of the resources are there (labour, hardware etc.) but we cannot act because we haven't collected enough taxes or conducted the requisite bond auction to pay the weapons and capability manufacturers to defend ourself?

It is absurd.
Why is it one thing or another? I don't understand why you think taxation doesn't achieve both objectives. Money is just a tool to convert and exchange one good or service for another. Tax allows the economic benefits from one activity to be redistributed to another. As you say, it can also be used to influence behaviour.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that countries solely rely on tax revenue to fund expenditure - especially in times of crisis. It's always through a combination of redistributing revenue through the tax system and borrowing money.

I must not understand what you're saying. What do you think happens with tax revenue if government's don't use it to engage in public spending? In 2019-20 the Australian government received $470 billion in tax receipts, had $5 billion in future fund earnings and spent $550 billion. It seems to me that the vast majority of government spending is based on taxation earnings.
A taxed dollar is deleted out of existence, not placed in a little taxation pot and redistributed.

That is why the Australian "national debt" is nothing more than the aggregate of all government deficits since the inception of the AUD.

Another way to understand it is that the national debt is the aggregate of all private sector + foreign sector surpluses since the inception of the AUD currency.
I'm not sure I'm following the connection.

Yep, like any balance sheet, national debt is the accumulation of net liabilities over the years, taking into account repayments and assets.

Tax is still a government revenue though. I'm not sure I follow your logic that tax revenue is deleted out of existence, to be replaced with borrowings (which requires interest repayments).

We may have to agree to disagree on that one.
No, the shortfall between dollars taxed and dollars spent is made up through the issuance of bonds ("borrowing").

The bonds act as a "currency drain" removing the principal amount (which will be equivalent to the shortfall) from the private/foreign sector and in its place will be very small, typically biannual interest payments, based on whatever interest rate said sector is willing to accept for what is essentially a risk free asset. The principal will then be paid out at maturity.

The bond is risk free and anyone with a proper grasp of fiat money knows it. The Australian government can not default unless it chooses to, because it is the monopoly issuer of the AUD, and all borrowing, taxation and spending is happening in AUD's.
Yeah, I understand the shortfall between tax revenue and expenses is largely made up of government borrowings. However in you previously said:

"taxation is not a means to provide the government the ability to engage in public spending"

and then...

"A taxed dollar is deleted out of existence, not placed in a little taxation pot and redistributed."

It's those statements which I don't understand...especially now that you're saying that issuing bonds is the way the Government manages the shortfall between tax revenues and expenditure. I'm really just trying to fully understand what you're saying about tax.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by gangrenous »

Mickey_Raider wrote:
gangrenous wrote: December 11, 2020, 6:01 am
Mickey_Raider wrote: Secondly, as alluded to above, government spending is a homogenous monetary operation irrespective of whether the budget sheet of paper says that we in in surplus, balance or deficit.
This seems entirely beside the point. Me spending money is a homogenous operation as well, same process whether I have 1M in the bank or $1000 and a $1M debt. The homogeneity of the operation does not in itself imply equivalence, the context is the important aspect.

P.S. please don’t respond with “personal finances are not the same as federal finances”. If that’s what you’re taking from the above, that’s not my point.
Did you skim over or miss the part where my post is about the phrase "money printing"?
Nope didn’t miss it. My point is that using the phrase money printing encompasses the context of the spend also. That’s why it’s used.
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The Politics Thread 2020

Post by gangrenous »

Seiffert82 wrote:
"A taxed dollar is deleted out of existence, not placed in a little taxation pot and redistributed."

It's those statements which I don't understand...especially now that you're saying that issuing bonds is the way the Government manages the shortfall between tax revenues and expenditure. I'm really just trying to fully understand what you're saying about tax.
I think what he is saying is that the precise tax dollars don’t have to be reused in spending. If a computer error occurred which wiped the balance of an account that collected the tax, then the government can simply issue the same money in spending and nothing actually changes.

Although whether the dollar continues to exist or not there is no fundamental difference to what happens. So I’m not getting the purpose of the argument.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by Mickey_Raider »

gangrenous wrote: December 11, 2020, 12:55 pm
Mickey_Raider wrote:
gangrenous wrote: December 11, 2020, 6:01 am
Mickey_Raider wrote: Secondly, as alluded to above, government spending is a homogenous monetary operation irrespective of whether the budget sheet of paper says that we in in surplus, balance or deficit.
This seems entirely beside the point. Me spending money is a homogenous operation as well, same process whether I have 1M in the bank or $1000 and a $1M debt. The homogeneity of the operation does not in itself imply equivalence, the context is the important aspect.

P.S. please don’t respond with “personal finances are not the same as federal finances”. If that’s what you’re taking from the above, that’s not my point.
Did you skim over or miss the part where my post is about the phrase "money printing"?
Nope didn’t miss it. My point is that using the phrase money printing encompasses the context of the spend also. That’s why it’s used.
So using a misnomer as a phrase, in context, no longer is a misnomer?

What is the context exactly?
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by greeneyed »

:shock: :nooo

Heated Oval Office meeting included talk of special counsel, martial law as Trump advisers clash: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/19/poli ... index.html
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

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This is why this letter was penned to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff back in August

"“. . . All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic”: An Open Letter to Gen. Milley - Defense One" https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/0 ... ey/167625/
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by The Nickman »

Dr Zaius wrote:Image
This is why this letter was penned to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff back in August

"“. . . All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic”: An Open Letter to Gen. Milley - Defense One" https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/0 ... ey/167625/
While I still genuinely believe Trump will eventually give it up and move aside, it’s eerie how close to what that guy predicted would happen back in August is actually happening now
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by Mickey_Raider »

On another note, does anyone/everyone buy into what appears to be a groupthink consensus that Albo's goose is cooked when the next Federal Election rolls around in 8-18 months?

There seems to be an agenda which is gladly pushed along by the usual media suspect(s) which says that Albo cannot get any cut-through, there is disillusionment amongst his ALP colleagues, he can't beat Morrison, and so on.

The power of incumbency (particularly in a crisis), compounded by Morrison's ability to deflect and insulate himself from all unwelcome attention and scandal doesn't bode well for the ALP, IMO.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

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Honestly there's times I forget he's the opposition leader

He just doesn't seem to appear, he's just coasting in the background, least Shorten was in the limelight a lot more

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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

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18 months is a long time in politics. Particularly in the current environment.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

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I personally don’t see any chance that Albo beats ScoMo at the next election, but as Zaius said, 18 months is a long time in politics

At the start of 2020 I thought Trump was gonna win
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by Mickey_Raider »

I will be very pleasantly surprised if the Coalition doesn’t walk back from a 2021 showdown with Labor on IR.

That is a battleground on which Labor can actually win.

Unfortunately I think Morrison is way too savvy and too much of a political creature to get drawn into an actual substantive policy debate (you know, what politics actually should be about, a contest of ideas) lest he is exposed as the marketing fraud he is.

More likely, like a coherent energy policy (see NEG circa 2018) it is put on the permanent back burner and an election can instead be fought on Morrison’s home ground - a superficial, Presidential style clash of personalities and who can propagate the most relatable daggy dad photos.
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Re: The Politics Thread 2020

Post by Coastalraider »

The Nickman wrote: December 29, 2020, 11:14 pm I personally don’t see any chance that Albo beats ScoMo at the next election, but as Zaius said, 18 months is a long time in politics

At the start of 2020 I thought Trump was gonna win
But he DID win? Just ask him :hmmm
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