Working Papers

Rudd Gets the Mackerras Kiss of Death

One of our favourite political contrarian indicators is ringing alarm bells:

FUTURE history books will note that John Howard was one of two prime ministers (the other being Ben Chifley) whose governments were defeated as a consequence of abusing Senate power, one of two (the other being Stanley Bruce) to lose his own seat at the general election defeat and one of two (the other being Robert Menzies) to serve 10 years in the top job.

Mackerras’ enthusiasm for writing history before it has actually happened is matched only by his enthusiasm for the past:

I remember 1950 as though it were yesterday.

Of course, some of us also remember 2004:

”[Mackerras] pendulum swings to Kerry landslide” (The Australian, 1 November 2004).


posted on 08 June 2007 by skirchner in Politics

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Mackerras can’t add either. I remember on or about the 6th of November that year he wrote a simpering piece for the Australian explaining away his misprediction. In it, he incorrectly added the electoral votes of the states he mispredicted (he was out by a whole eighteen EVs, as I recall).

Mackerras’ main problem is that he tries to pass off what is merely the repetition of conventional wisdom, as some sort of mystic oraculation instead.

For instance, he is so convinced that IR is bad news for the government, that he expects marginal government seats in WA to switch. Seats with tens of thousands of AWAs in them.

You’re correct; he isn’t much of an analyst.

Posted by benson  on  06/08  at  09:22 PM

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