Talk:Rudd Government (2007–10)

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New article[edit]

(initially from User:Merbabu's talk page):

I just created this article as a stub - it seems long overdue, and it's better to have something totally unsatisfactory than nothing at all... Nick-D (talk) 11:16, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

God help us. :-). I'd help you out, but I'd predisposed treading on POV egg shells in the two JH articles. ONe suggestion - why not create it as a kind of Timeline of the Rudd Government. It might stop arguments over notability and there seem to be more than enough editors with a penchant for recentism and just slapping in the latest news - a timeline style article would make great use of those tendancies! seriously. cheers --Merbabu (talk) 11:21, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
PS, that was just a suggestion, and if you go back through the history of KR you will find a lot of details that got removed that probably don't fit in the KR biography but could go here. Also, don't be afraid of some repetition and overlaps between the two articles - but not mirroring. Ie, focus is different. nice. --Merbabu (talk) 11:27, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm happy to argue a case against anyone who doesn't think that this is the correct term for the current government. I've got no views at all on a suitable structure for the article, and a timeline has a lot to recommend it (though if it was possible to create FAs on both the US presidential candidates during the election(!) then a neutral textual article on the government is at least theoretically possible...). I agree that I've probably just jumped in over my head, but will now go to bed. Nick-D (talk) 11:35, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe this article should exist at all. It causes confusion amongst both editors and readers as to which article information should be placed. This is because it's impossible to separate Rudd decisions and policies from that of his government.--Lester 12:25, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I thought my timeline idea would suit you nicely Lester - it could be updated weekly and produce a very nice reference source. There'd be no argument over notability - if it was in the newspapers this week, it could go in. Seriously. --Merbabu (talk) 12:42, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

It is a particular feature of the increased 'presidentialism' of Australia's (and often other) systems of government that the government becomes identified with the individual. It is a feature on which the political participants themselves often choose to play - witness the use of the phrases 'a Howard government' and 'a Rudd Labor government' by all members of the respective parties, both in and after election campaigns. There is no need for us as writers of encyclopedias / historians / critical minds / active citizens to cooperate in this conflation. It also becomes analytically problematic, for a range of theoretical and practical reasons. For example:

  • An entry on a government becomes host to personal details about the family background and schooling of an individual who will become a prime minister.
  • A prime minister who has significant other notable roles in life has them mixed in with a government, or they do not get adequately described. Imagine if there was no Edmund Barton entry, only 'The Barton government'. Equally, because there is no Barton government entry, the work of that government, and of the individual members and factions within it (a feature, incidentally, that is all the more important in the pre-1910 period), is relegated to being a backdrop to the life of the Great Man. Why encourage this approach?
  • An article on a government that splits or becomes subject to significant internal conflict needs a framework uncontaminated by a biographical focus on one member of it (who happens to be prime minister). Failing to create the two articles pre-judges - and predisposes the text against dealing with - possibilities of this sort.
  • Having all details under the prime minister is effectively taking a POV against the importance of cabinet in Westminster governance.
  • There is established literature on the work of Australian governments that is not framed as thought it was the work of an individual, while at the same time acknowledging that individual's central role - by the name of the books / articles, for a start. For example, Aulich & Wettenhall's Howard's Second and Third Governments, Howard's Fourth Government: Australian Commonwealth Administration 2004-2007, and the many volumes which preceded them. We can follow this approach.
  • Related to this, it is evident that generally the biographers of the Prime Ministers are not the authors of the work on the administration of their governments. This again reflects the distinct nature of the tasks.
  • and so on and so on.

Good on Nick-D for starting this ball rolling, temporarily inconvenient though it can be - as it was when John Howard and the Howard Government were separated. Incidentally, I would acceptMerbabu's timeline suggestion, particularly for a current government, while a more analytic article might be better written from that material, after the government has run its course. Cheers hamiltonstone (talk) 00:03, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

thanks for taking the time to develop a well-argued case. My summary is that we should not be afraid of (or worse exploit) the *apparent* complexities introduced with so called "splits". Indeed u outline a number of ways the approach removes complexity. I'd like to suggest that the case for these spilts is becoming stronger as I have been developing the jh related articles. I ask that the sceptics continue to keep an open mind and note that I have heard their reasons against what they term a "split".
as for rudd, I suggest that the bio be kept as is while this govt article finds a direction (I suggest a timeline style) and gets developed and refined. --Merbabu (talk) 00:57, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I welcome a debate, like this, before a split is made. Reasons why the John Howard personal/government split didn't work:
*The split in the Howard article didn't make it easier for the reader to find information. It basically created a second-fiddle article that generates a lot less hits than the original JH article. The lack of readers to the Howard Government article proves the reader wants a single master article which sums up everything. It's best to have daughter articles on particular topics that need more detail, which are summed up with a paragraph or 2 in the master article (example, see Bush and Obama articles). Splitting along the lines of personal/government issues confuses editors, and even more so readers.
*The vast majority of Australian Prime Ministers are not notable for a whole lot outside of their role in government. If split between personal/government, we are left with a personal article that says where he was born, where he went to school, and not much else. Ah, yes, the "opposition years" also goes into personal (which also doesn't make sense).
*Separating the PM's personal views from his government's view is often impossible. In recent governments, especially Howard & Rudd, the PM is the government. Howard shaped the government in his image (expunged the "wets" etc). Reports are that Rudd also makes most of the important government decisions himself, leaving few major decisions to his ministers. Rudds personal decisions are his government decisions.--Lester 01:26, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
As someone with a political science degree and who's worked in the Commonwealth public service for 5 years, I don't agree with your last point at all. The Prime Minister is clearly the centre of the government, but is far from being the only decision maker. Moreover, even if it is the case that the PM makes the final call on the big decisions (something we can't know until 2038 when the Cabinet Papers start to be released) the Cabinet plays a significant role in policy making, and ministers are expected to make dozens of policy decisions each day, and these can often be newsworthy and important to the government (for instance, Peter Garratt's recent decision on the Gunns Mill - I've seen no suggestions that Rudd was involved in this decision, and even if he was Garratt has the delegation under the legislation to make the decision, not Rudd) or turn out to be important later on. Anyway, leaving our personal opinions aside, 'Rudd Government' is the common name for the Federal Government and it seems like a massive blind spot to not cover this adequetly in an article. Nick-D (talk) 07:39, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Lester's arguments are incorrect and ill-researched. 'Presidentialism' has nothing to do with it. It is odd that Lester holds up the George W Bush article as an example, since there is a Presidency_of_George_W._Bush article, quite separate from the GWB (person) article. The amount of edit-warring at John Howard has reduced significantly since the split. To assert that the aggregated actions of the entire public service, parliament, and cabinet should be documented in the biography of a single person is ludicrous. --Surturz (talk) 04:38, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Timeline or text?[edit]

It would probably be best to settle the issue of whether the article should be a timeline or a textual description of the government upfront. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of structuring this article as a timeline. I agree with Merbabu's view that this would be a good way of defusing NPOV debates and make the article easy to update over time (IMO, what's held the Howard Govt article back most is that it's a bit daunting to add material to it). My suggestion for a structure is:

  • Introduction (more or less what's there now)
  • 2007
    • December
  • 2008
    • January
    • February
    • etc

Thoughts? Nick-D (talk) 08:00, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I say no to the timeline. Wikipedia is not a newspaper. We should (try to) get the article right, and I believe the right way to present a biogrpahy is topically, not as a timeline. Peter Ballard (talk) 08:36, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I say both, have a timeline section and a topical section. Should we have a 'legislation passed' section, too, like the Presidency_of_George_W._Bush article? --Surturz (talk) 00:17, 23 January 2009 (UTC) P.S. REASONING: It will be easier to add material to a timeline section since the Rudd Government is still in power. We've all seen how this "I read it in the paper this morning and this afternoon I am putting it in Wikipedia" stuff is of a low quality, yet more-or-less worthwhile (readers seeking more info about a newspaper article will come here and want some detail about the news item). Over time, this temporal stuff can be digested into the topical sections which will give a more considered view of the article's subject. Disparate events can be connected into a useful narrative. --Surturz (talk) 00:24, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Legislation enacted[edit]

I've put this here to see whether people think it is worth having a section like this --Surturz (talk) 06:16, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Cross-Border Insolvency Bill 2008 Enacted 26 May 2008 - Implements the Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law by: establishing access to local courts by persons administering a foreign insolvency proceeding; establishing conditions for recognition of a foreign insolvency proceeding and granting relief to its participants; permitting participation by foreign creditors in such proceedings; enabling cooperation between courts and practitioners from different countries; enabling coordination of proceedings to take place concurrently in different countries; and empowering the Governor-General to make regulations under the Act.

Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Review of Prudential Decisions) Bill 2008 Enacted 26 May 2008 - The Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Review of Prudential Decisions) Bill 2008 amends the several Prudential Acts to improve the efficiency, transparency and consistency of the process for disqualifying individuals from operating financial sector entities and enhance the accountability of the regulator for administrative decision-making under the Prudential Acts, RSA Act and FSCODA. The amendments introduce a court-based process for disqualifying an individual from operating an entity regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), streamline APRA’s directions powers where appropriate, and remove ministerial consent from, and expand the availability of merits review for appropriate administrative decisions made by the regulator under the Prudential Acts and FSCODA.

Is this practical? According to this document[1] there were 203 bills initiated in the House of Reps in 2008 alone. p.s. Don't know why there are so comparatively few at Presidency of George W. Bush. Maybe the editors were selective, or maybe their system works different. Peter Ballard (talk) 11:37, 23 January 2009 (UTC) Oops OK, it says "major" legislation, so they've been selective. Peter Ballard (talk) 11:38, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Australian Governments are judged more on their achievements than on the legislation they pass. Much of what Australian governments do don't require any specific enabling legislation beyond the budget bills and its not such a big deal for Australian governments to pass a controversial bill given that they always have dominance in the HoR and something close to a majority in the Senate. US Presidents normally need to talk their own party into supporting their legislation before even moving onto winning any additional votes needed to get the thing passed, so it's quite a different concept. Nick-D (talk) 22:47, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
"Is this practical?" is a very good question. I think selectivity would be essential ie. editors would have to decide which 'interesting' legislation to include. Many bills are related, e.g. I think the two examples I've included above each comprise about four bills each... so the 203 bills would distil to about 50 or so actual different pieces of legislation; we'd have to decide on which of those 50 are noteworthy. User:Nick-D's comments are also insightful, the US has a separation between executive and legislature so mimicking the US political articles is not necessarily sensible. --Surturz (talk) 00:10, 27 January 2009 (UTC) P.S. And not all bills introduced become acts; the Senate has a large number of bills that do not become law (unsurprisingly) --Surturz (talk) 00:16, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Copypasta from Kevin Rudd[edit]

I think it unfair of editors that dislike the concept of a Rudd Government article to edit war over text duplication. Copy-pasting is hardly a 'maintenance nightmare'. I remind editors that every time you submit text, you are warned: "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed for profit by others, do not submit it.". --Surturz (talk) 03:00, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

It is a maintenance nightmare. Everytime something changes it needs to be done twice. Peter Ballard (talk) 03:29, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it's a maintenance nightmare. Where is the evidence?? It could be an implementation nightmare but that's different. While jh split was badly implemented, concept was fine and now works. --Merbabu (talk) 04:35, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Do you really need evidence that it takes more time to do an edit twice than it does to do it once? Or to replicate other peoples' edits who only edit one article? Peter Ballard (talk) 04:37, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
That's red herring argument. "duplication" or better "a degree of overlap with different focus" is all through wikipedia and inherently so. We have a history section in Australia and we have History of Australia. We also have The Beatles and John Lennon. In fact, the beatles/lennon articles covers some similar ground but the focus is different. As it should be with Rudd - and is increasingly the case with the Howard articles. If that really involves editing "twice" well, personally, I'm happy for it to be that way. But it's hardly evidence of a "maintenance nightmare" - let's keep things in a little bit of proportion. But, if you insist that it is a nightmare, then perhaps you can step aside and not revert peoples attempts to start developing articles that you don't like. That's actually what is problematic and obstructionist. --Merbabu (talk) 06:00, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Further, while i agreed in principal to the idea, I didn't actually start this article as I knew it had to be implemented better than Howard Govt. Indeed, i did say at the time, that I didn't think we needed to remove info from Kevin Rudd til Rudd Govt was sorted out. But this is clearly not the way you see it. I don't see why this article here can't be sorted out and developed to a point AND then we look at rationalising Kevin Rudd. The alternative is to start trimming info from Kevin Rudd now, but I don't think anyone wants that. Let's get this article correct first.
I think the objectors are trying to be too simplistic - it's not black and white, in or out, here or there, and there's nothing wrong with a sensible degree of focussed overlap or "duplication" as you put it. But for that nuanced approach, you do need some goodwill between editors, and none of this chopping out additions to an article that you don't want. --Merbabu (talk) 06:11, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I've no objection to a "targeted overlap", so long as it's not too great an overlap. I do object to a number of conesecutive paragraphs being duplicated in both, as is the case at the moment. My revert was an attempt to force people to choose one or the other, and was probably not a good way to go about it. For my thoughts on how to implement the split, see my comments at Talk:Kevin Rudd. Peter Ballard (talk) 09:01, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Targeted overlap is all i ask. And, yeah - a copy and paste was not meant to be forever, but there seemed to be a sense that those objecting to this article wouldn't stand for content being removed from Kevin Rudd article, which left us with a one-or-the-other-and-nothing-in-between position. --Merbabu (talk) 09:07, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree that copying and pasting isn't great, but it's a good way to get this article up and running. Once the material is moved here, it will change over time. Nick-D (talk) 09:16, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Having supported the idea, i must acknowledge that this and the KR article will be difficult, partly due to the fact that he's the incumbent. That's why i didn't start the article, even if i thought it was a good idea. As Nick points out, it's a work in progress. --Merbabu (talk) 10:09, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Copy-pasting is obviously the way to get this article off the ground. If I had simply moved info from Kevin Rudd to here there would have been a bunfight. At the risk of being inflammatory, I think the editors saying that it is a "maintenance nightmare" are really saying that is it an "ownership nightmare" ie. they want to stay on top of all ozpol articles and every extra article is more effort for them to vet new changes. It is much more effort to argue against duplication than it is to "maintain" duplication. More to the point, editors whom wish to continue editing the BLP are welcome to do so and ignore this article; there is no extra 'maintenance effort' required at all. There is no evidence of POV-forking yet, which is the only real concern with the article split. Bottom line: If editors don't like this article, either nominate it for deletion or leave the editors that do wish to edit it in peace. --Surturz (talk) 11:14, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Hey - while I agree that a copy and paste was a good way to start and didn't like the revert, I think it's a bit harsh to say it's about OWN. It might be other things, but not that. --Merbabu (talk) 11:17, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I meant what I said and I don't appreciate Surturz attributing other motives to me. BTW I've made wholesale moves into new articles work before, though admittedly not in political ones. Peter Ballard (talk) 11:20, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
I meant what I said too. If you don't want to edit this article, go away. No "maintenance effort" is required on your part at all. --Surturz (talk) 11:48, 4 February 2009 (UTC)


Over the last few months there was a cleanup drive in the KR article - seemed fairly well-supported. Perhaps there is stuff removed from that that might fit here. Maybe someone more familiar with what was removed can trawl through the history. --Merbabu (talk) 12:27, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Ministerial photos[edit]

I like the photos of the ministers for each portfolio. Nice. --Surturz (talk) 11:57, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Asylum seeker Newspoll[edit]

A Newspoll survey of 1200 voters with a 3 percent margin of error taken after the April 2009 incident found no change in voter support for the major parties, on 58 to 42 percent of the two party preferred figure. 27 percent favoured Labor to handle the issue of asylum seekers, against 26 percent for the coalition, with none/undecided on 41 percent. 57 percent said that tighter laws would not reduce the number of asylum seekers, against 36 percent.[1]

How is it not noteable? There's been a huge storm over the latest boat arrival/setting fire, many thought this would be a disaster for the Rudd government, but the polling shows there has been an incredible mood change in the electorate. I'd think it's very noteable. Timeshift (talk) 02:59, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

This coming from the editor that wrote "I only edit wikipedia to add Labor bias and advance the Labor cause" [2]. Surely the real issue is the treatment of illegal immigrants and Rudd's proposed policies to deal with them, rather than the effect on his popularity. Your proposed text is a total waste of article space. There should be more to this article than ad infinitum quotes of handout amounts and opinion poll figures. Let's try some actual content. --Surturz (talk) 04:04, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
INdeed, case in point is Timeshift's detailed and quality addition to this page about the economic stimulus. But, i question whether the detail really needs to go here in a biography. Rather a brief mention here of the punchline or two, and the detail belongs in the govt article. Some overlap with different focus is not a mirror or duplication. --Merbabu (talk) 06:16, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Me? A quality addition? Impossible! Apparently I only edit wikipedia to add Labor bias and advance the Labor cause! Hehehe ;) Timeshift (talk) 06:36, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
But back to the topic at hand - are you saying that the major shift in public opinion on boatpeople since Rudd's ascention to power is not noteworthy? Timeshift (talk) 04:09, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Correct, I am saying that the effect of border protection issues on Rudd's popularity is not noteworthy. In general I don't think opinion polls are particularly encyclopedic (though Rudd's overwhelming popularity does rate a mention in this article). Opinion polls on nebulous concepts such as 'tighter laws' are useless, and your assertion that this poll implies a 'major shift in public opinion' is tenuous.
Election results are noteworthy where they are related to specific policies (e.g. Howard's increased majority after Tampa), but opinion polls on the topic of the day are made to sell newspapers, not to inform. If an opinion poll caused something to happen (e.g. dumping a leader) then perhaps it rates a mention but an opinion poll in itself is not noteworthy... with the possible exception of the more scientific, consistent polls such as the 2PP newspoll which asks the same questions each week. Let's aim for quality analysis of the actual issue, rather than mediocre coverage of the perception of the issue. Outsourcing border protection to Indonesia as an alternative to the pacific solution is the interesting part of this issue, not Rudd's preferred PM rating, nor parallels with Children overboard. --Surturz (talk) 04:47, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

The shoe is on the other foot, but I still maintain that the effect of immigration issues on Rudd's popularity is not notable. I have thus removed Ottre's recent addition of opinion poll data. --Surturz (talk) 02:34, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Disagree, the latest newspoll is notable for two reasons. Firstly, the debate over the "Indonesian solution" is remarkably conventional, and is not likely to have been affected by media perceptions. Secondly, the editorial board of The Australian has for weeks been predicting that voters will not react strongly to Rudd's border policies. Ottre 02:52, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
Opinion polls are not notable nor are they factual. If we are going to devote more space to current events, it would be far more informative to cover the failure of the "Indonesian solution" and the 78 illegal immigrants/asylum seekers on board the MV Oceanic Viking. Those are issues of much more substance than the opinion polls. --Surturz (talk) 12:29, 4 November 2009 (UTC)
All the other regular opinion polls are showing no notable movement away from Labor at the moment. See [3] for the most recent data. Nick-D (talk) 07:23, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, there was a half-hearted defence of the Newspoll's accuracy (from Megalogenis) on Insiders two weeks ago. After last week's episode though I think it's safe to say it's considered a rogue result. Ottre 02:50, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Defence section[edit]

I've just reverted User:Ottre's recent semi-reversion of my changes to this section which had the odd edit summary of 'gibberish' (the diff of my reversion is [4]). My concerns with the material I just removed are:

  • It mentions the withdrawal of Australian combat forces from Iraq in two different paras, with the first mention wrongly stating that the Overwatch Battlegroup was engaged in 'force protection' - a claim not supported by the citation provided
  • It claims that the withdrawal of the combat force was 'Labor's 2008 plan' - this is plainly incorrect as the ALP has had a policy of withdrawing Australian forces from Iraq since at least 2004 and this was its policy at both the 2004 and 2007 elections
  • The para which begins 'Before going to the election, Fitzgibbon reticulated that a Labor government would only consider pre-emption...' didn't make much sense. Even if I take it on good-faith that Fitzgibbon said what's attributed to him in the offline source the wording is vague (what was meant by 'pre-emption'?) and the sentances claiming two additional deployments to Afghanistan are not supported by the citation to the Australian, which talks only about a single big reinforcement of 450 personnel (not 100 as claimed). It also doesn't support the claim that this deployment was a 'personal commitment' from Rudd - military deployments normally go through ADF channels and the national security cabinet so it's a big claim to say that Rudd is personally deploying the ADF overseas without going through the usual processes. Nick-D (talk) 06:58, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

As a general comment, a particular editors changes to the defence section have been particularly baffling. They are often not supported by the references provided. The changes often focus in on either a fringe theory or something trivial/tangential that's completely out of place to a broad scope article such as this (and even more so in the case of Kevin Rudd article). I've used the term indecipherable but gibberish (ironically) is also an appropriate descriptor. Really, what is going on? What planet do you think we are on? I think the editor should list everything they feel is wrong, and provide their suggested solution here on talk page. be specific. it's very tedious--Merbabu (talk) 07:08, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Ahem. You are referring to this long, pointless discussion at 3am in the morning concerning edit summaries and the phrase "withdraw from the war/war effort"? My apologies if English is not your first language, but really, this getting beyond a joke. Cut it out already. Ottre 07:38, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Cut what out? I've merely reiterated a request by another editor to "please explain". I extended it to be specific here on the talk page about your (seemingly numerous) concerns with this section and how to fix them. The problem is not one of my English ability language - that I can assure you of.
Perhaps you could reply to Nick's comments instead. --Merbabu (talk) 09:52, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Cut out these nasty comments. You are clearly rehashing an earlier point to accuse me of making unsourced claims. I seen Nick's comment, and there shouldn't be any real problems when I give it another go. Ottre 15:38, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Iraq update[edit]

Defence announced Australia would conclude its military commitment to Iraq on July 31. Timeshift (talk) 11:26, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I think we can wait until the troops are actually home, rather than including yet another ALP promise in this article. This edit was particularly awful too, btw. --Surturz (talk) 13:17, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Treasury Advice[edit]

Surturz, if the independent Treasury state that without Rudd's stimuli, unemployment would be up to double what it is now, that is a noteable part of an overall mention of the stimuli. Timeshift (talk) 13:19, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Is this the same Treasury that was raising interest rates 12 months ago as unemployment was rising? Seems like they have their finger on the pulse. --Merbabu (talk) 13:22, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
But that's noteable is it not? It's not up to us to judge if these are correct judgements and decisions by Treasury, it is up to the reader. Timeshift (talk) 13:25, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
No - it's not notable. But it might be "balanced" if you include something from the link I put below. Or you could just leave it out if you just wanted to be neutral instead of balanced.--Merbabu (talk) 13:27, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Or from here if the Murdoch press is not to your liking. --Merbabu (talk) 13:31, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict). This was in The Australian today. Yes, it's an opinion piece, but there are plenty of good angles that can be taken up upon (since we're into taking up different angles in the neutral Oz Pol project). An interesting read. --Merbabu (talk) 13:27, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict)The treasury is independent? Yeah right. Your reference simply quotes Rudd. I'm going to leave that rubbish text there, I've reverted it once and made my point. Which is, that Timeshift shows once again (to use his own words) that he only edits WP to "add Labor bias and advance the Labor cause". --Surturz (talk) 13:35, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
You maybe have a point about the addition, but do you think your approach is the best way to convince Timeshift? --Merbabu (talk) 13:37, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I have no ability nor intention to convince Timeshift9 of anything. I'd rather convince other editors of his POV pushing, which leaving that text in will do. --Surturz (talk) 13:43, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Besides, Treasury forecasts are famously bad and Rudd quoting them is just funny. "Rubbery figures? They don't get more rubbery than Treasury's forecasts of the budget surplus."[5] Treasury forecasts 1% growth then changes its mind four weeks later [6] etc. etc. --Surturz (talk) 13:50, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Oops. We're talking about treasury. Not the RBA. That's different. Independence is like beauty - it's in the eye if the beholder. --Merbabu (talk) 01:46, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, someone needs to educate Timeshift9 about the Australian system of government and its roots in responsible government. To assert that the Treasury is independent is pretty funny, because it implies that Wayne Swan has lost control of it. Maybe the tail is wagging the Swan? In any case even the Treasury itself acknowledges that its forecasting is poor at guessing turning points in unemployment [7]. Reading between the lines of that article, the practice of redefining the term "unemployment" is rampant too.
You are right though, the RBA completely misread the economy a year ago when they continued to raise rates in the face of the GFC [8]. Idiots. Even the Daily Telegraph worked this one out when they called Stevens "the most useless man in Australia".[9]. Why Rudd hasn't sacked him is a mystery. "Independence" doesn't mean that he shouldn't get the boot for incompetence. --Surturz (talk) 03:39, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) My view on this is that the sentence added by Timeshift9 re Treasury advice reads as POV, and should be deleted. While it would be possible to write a para that was more legit and neutral, that would be out of proportion to the subject's notability. Really, Treasury issues all sorts of models and estimates, in budget, out of budget, and in other contexts, and is also not indpendent of the government. These facts taken together suggest this is not notable or helpful material. I, like Merbabu, am going to leave it be at present, but might other editors express a view? hamiltonstone (talk) 04:02, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

just to clarify, my comments about sitting back and laughing was directed at an apparent ensuing edit war. Although I dont really like timeshifts addition (for all the reasons above) I was not mocking the edit or him. Rather I was mocking the reverts and edit summaries. I forgot One should not edit when they are suffering a cumulative lack of sleep! --Merbabu (talk) 04:29, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Maybe we are wrong and Timeshift9 is right! This article in the print version of today's The Australian features an entire article on Rudd's quotation of that statistic by former NSW ALP Treasurer Michael Costa. He points out that the model used to generate that statistic is completely incompatible with Rudd's essay in The Monthly and claims it is evidence of Rudd's populism and lack of underlying philosophy. What does everyone think, could a line be added after the extant text, something like:
Former NSW ALP Treasurer Michael Costa claimed Rudd's quotation of this statistic contradicted the economic philosophy Rudd outlined in his essay in The Monthly
--Surturz (talk) 00:22, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
No: that would violate WP:UNDUE as it's just someone's opinion (articles in the opinion sections of newspapers are generally not suitable sources for anything other than their author's views - see Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Statements of opinion). Why not state something like "The 2009-10 Budget papers stated that the Government's stimulus had reduced unemployment. The Liberal Party's response was [...whatever it is they've said about this]". Alternately, it could be left out as its a storm in a teacup - a graph of the unemployment rate since November 2007 would be more useful and neutral. Nick-D (talk) 08:54, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I've just added the ABS' graph showing the trend and seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from April 2008 to April 2009 (the ABS has made almost its entire website available on a Wikipedia/commons-friendly creative commons license) Nick-D (talk) 09:03, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
On what basis is it WP:UNDUE? The article fulfils WP:N by my reading. I like the addition of the graph. Where do we put how the Treasury's predictions turned out for the 1st Swan budget? --Surturz (talk) 11:11, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
P.S. I personally don't like seeing Lib party stuff in ALP articles and vice versa. The opposite side can be assumed to oppose. In this case it is an ALP ex-parliamentarian criticising Rudd, so it is more notable. The 2009 Australian federal budget article has the Lib response. --Surturz (talk) 11:14, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
It violates WP:UNDUE as it's only his opinion, and there's no particular reason why his view deserves prominence. Other writers (for instance, The Sydney Morning Herald's long-standing economics editor Ross Gittens) have supported Treasury's analysis in opinion articles - their individual opinions don't deserve prominence either. Nick-D (talk) 23:40, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Costa has his own axe to grind with Labor. The only thing the Liberals would do differently with the $57b deficit keynesian budget (Menzies never ran a surplus budget, it ended up being McMahon that gave Australia the first surplus budget under an LPA government due to a *drum roll*... mining boom!) would be to introduce a tobacco tax instead of cut the private health insurance rebate. And of course not carp an extremely similar slightly alternative budget. And now support the alcopops tax. But does Costa criticise the Liberal plan? No. As I said, he has his own axe after his personal brawls with Labor, and we on the encyclopedia shouldn't allow that to work it's way in to the encyclopedia (except in his own article of course if one was to write a broad overview of his conflict). Timeshift (talk) 04:02, 16 May 2009 (UTC)
(outdent) Axe or no, Costa's article is in a WP:RS and can hardly be said to be an attack piece. Here is an article from a former deputy secretary of the Treasury that not only supports Costa's piece, but also claims that Rudd's use of those statistics shows that the Treasury has been compromised in its ability to provide independent advice. This article also indicates that those treasury estimates are controversial. If the stats in your edit are notable, then we should be covering the full story. --Surturz (talk) 06:13, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
All those articles are from the opinion section of The Australian (note how the tag marked 'opinion' is highlighted at the top of the page). Wikipedia:Reliable sources#Statements of opinion provides guidance on using such sources - in short, they shouldn't be portrayed as anything other than their author's personal opinion and are not reliable sources for statements of fact. Further, it would be a violation of WP:UNDUE to give any particular prominence to these individuals' views (or the views of commentators who happen to agree with Treasury's analysis for that matter). Nick-D (talk) 08:23, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
My point is that the quotation of treasury figures by Rudd is being presented in this article as fact. It isn't fact, it is opinion. There is no way to prove the assertion that unemployment would be double what it is now except for the stimulus package. All we have is some dubious treasury model, selectively quoted by politicians. WP:RS allows opinions to be presented as long as all major opinions are presented. Timeshift9 has had his fun, we either cover the other major opinion (it's all codswallop), we change it to an assertion by Rudd or Swan, or we remove this rubbish piece of POV text. --Surturz (talk) 11:57, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Fun? Timeshift (talk) 12:09, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Treasury Secretary Ken Henry rebutting claims that the budget forecasts are unreliable. Nick-D's assertion that criticism of the budget forecasts is limited to one or two people just does not hold water. WP:UNDUE does not apply. And yes, I can only assume it is fun for Timeshift9 to push in rubbery unprovable economic modelling and (elsewhere) opinion poll figures as encyclopedic content. Just because something is reported using numbers does not make it a fact. --Surturz (talk) 07:02, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed with Nick and Timeshift - the Costa piece (and could be applied to Des Moore's piece too) is simply one bloke's opinion and to be honest, an ex state treasurer is not even what I would call informed commentary let alone reliable (plus the obvious POV issue highlighted by Timeshift). As another example, Peter Walsh, former Minister for Finance in the Hawke government, writes a lot these days - but much of it is simply vitriol directed at his own party for whatever reasons he has for doing so (I was trying to find sources for the 2001 WA election and stumbled upon one of them - my god.). We're not even pretending this is an article, it's in the opinion section. The separate issue of "presented as fact" - it shouldn't be, it should be stated firmly and clearly who made the claim and on what basis (i.e. Treasury forecasts or whatever). We shouldn't be stating anything about the future as fact. Orderinchaos 01:53, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
They're not even predictions. The (now deleted) text hypothesised what the current situation would be if the stimulus payments had not occured. Totally unfalsifiable conjecture. Thanks to Merbabu for deleting the text. --Surturz (talk) 02:17, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Ah OK - yeah, that is somewhat in the realms of economic clairvoyancy rather than science I think. Orderinchaos 22:33, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Hmm... wasn't economics invented to make fortune telling look respectable? :-) --Surturz (talk) 03:51, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Fighting inflation[edit]

Why is it that we need to purge any mention of the first Swan budget's theme of "fighting inflation"? --Surturz (talk) 01:05, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Downward pressure on intellectualism, of course. Ottre 17:04, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Who removed it? It should remain. With 20 20 hindsight we're all experts, but both sides at the time thought inflation was a problem that needed tackling. Timeshift (talk) 17:27, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

I assumed it was you, since you removed it at Wayne Swan [10]. It's possible it got lost during one of Merbabu's big edits. --Surturz (talk) 00:17, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Assumptions are the mother of all f-ups. All of this info should be in this article and the two budget articles, which are linked to in the succinct sentences under the Treasurer of Australia heading. Timeshift (talk) 03:07, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Two succinct sentences that say nothing. Reverted. Ottre 06:02, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Added the phrase [11], it gives context to the sentence that follows. --Surturz (talk) 08:13, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Inverted commas[edit]

I'm not entirely sure why User:Merbabu is kicking off a revert war over quotation marks[12]. Either we use quotation marks to indicate it was a quote (The budget was "designed to fight inflation"), or we are explicit in the narrative (which [Swan] said was designed to fight inflation). We don't need a belts and braces approach with both "he said" and the quotes. To do so reads like a novel, not an encyclopedia. I'm all for distinguishing between fact and opinion, but Merbabu's preferred text:

Treasurer Wayne Swan delivered the Rudd government's first budget in May 2008, which he said was "designed to fight inflation".[5]

signals a quotation three different ways ("he said", the quotes, and the ref). --Surturz (talk) 11:42, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

What's wrong with my proposal? If you put a quote in you put in inverted commas. You added the inverted commas but you did not attribute it. I cannot see why my edits were an improvement. --Merbabu (talk) 11:49, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

FuelWatch and GroceryWatch[edit]

It think there should be a sentence to note the election promise and stillbirths of FuelWatch and GroceryWatch(GroceryChoice?) Here's a ref for the demise of both. I'm not sure which section it should go in. --Surturz (talk) 08:03, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

What election promise exactly? Timeshift (talk) 08:07, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Both FuelWatch and GroceryChoice were election promises ref describing FuelWatch as an election promise, ref describing GroceryChoice as an election promise (for both refs, search for the word 'election') --Surturz (talk) 08:22, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't want retrospective news articles from the mass media. I'd like some evidence that Rudd promised to do anything more than attempt to tackle the cost of living. I don't believe "FuelWatch" or "GroceryChoice" were ever election committments. Timeshift (talk) 08:33, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
If wishes were horses then beggars would ride. I have provided WP:RS refs that say that they were election commitments. It is now WP:V that FuelWatch and GroceryChoice were election promises. The onus is now on you to provide better references to refute my refs. It is possible that the names were coined after the election, but my memory is that Rudd definitely made an election promise to monitor fuel prices and grocery prices. Here is a link from December 2007 (just after the election) referring to FuelWatch as an election promise [13], although it implies the "FuelWatch" name came after the election (inspired by the WA scheme). Fuel and groceries were specifically mentioned during the election campaign, it was NOT a general "cost of living" promise. What a pity the ALP didn't keep all its election promises on its website! --Surturz (talk) 09:40, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
There were no specific promises made. Rudd even said during the campaign there was no silver bullet for rising petrol and food prices, and FuelWatch/GroceryWatch were never election committments. If you want to add it then surely you'll be able to find pre-election references showing what you claim. But I know you won't be able to because he never did. EDIT: Actually, what I do recall is petrol prices, and I really shouldn't extend that to grocery prices. Some pre-election refs for both would be good though. Timeshift (talk) 09:47, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
References please, I don't believe you. --Surturz (talk) 11:54, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Where is the notability? It's a slow news day story. Outside of political tragics, no one cared. Rebecca (talk) 10:00, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

I think that they're worth a brief mention - significant amounts of money were spent on both schemes and Fuelwatch's defeat in the senate received a lot of coverage. A sentence or two would be adequate though. Nick-D (talk) 10:20, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree, a one liner covering both topics is adequate. They were notable election promises, and something like $13 million was spent on GroceryChoice. I think User:Rebecca's assertion that 'no one cared' needs to be backed up with references - fuel prices were extremely high during the election campaign. Over $100 for a tank of petrol. My recollection is that GroceryChoice was a subsequent spin-off policy because the fuel monitoring policy was well received. --Surturz (talk) 11:54, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

rejuvenated NSW Right faction[edit]

There was a front page story in The Age today about the strengths of the "rejuvenated" NSW Right.[14] Do we mention the emergence of new factions? It clearly affects national politics. Ottre 06:56, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Why? A single news story about internal ALP politics hardly warrants inclusion here. Nick-D (talk) 07:12, 21 September 2009 (UTC)


I have made several significant trims of this section. --Surturz (talk) 02:27, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

Resource Super Profits Tax[edit]

Should we cover the proposed RSPT? [15] It's not actually law yet, but it has been getting a lot of newspaper attention. --Surturz (talk) 00:00, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Yes we should discuss this issue, as it appears to be a defining issue for the Rudd Government. (talk) 12:33, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

New Gillard Government article?[edit]

I suggest renaming this article Rudd-Gillard Government (per Hawke-Keating Government) for now. If Gillard wins the election then we can split to separate Gillard & Rudd govt articles. If the Mad Monk wins, we leave this article as Rudd-Gillard govt. --Surturz (talk) 03:25, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

I certainly wouldn't start a Gillard article now. Even after the election I'm not sure it needs a new article - at least not in a hurry, per WP:CHILL. --Merbabu (talk) 09:40, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

A separate Gillard Government article now seems fully justified, particularly as the loss of the ALP's majority means that it will inevitably be significantly different to the Rudd Government. Nick-D (talk) 11:26, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

There would be bugger all content in it at the moment. Shouldn't we wait until she achieves announces something? --Surturz (talk) 11:41, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
IT makes sense in theory, but I still like the idea of WP:CHILL. On the other hand, if there's momentum, then use it. (geez, those pickets hurt my butt) --Merbabu (talk) 11:56, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm in agreement with Nick-D. Surturz: the Rudd Government article would have been rather short in January 2008, too. Orderinchaos 04:52, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Nature of Gillard Government[edit]

Is the Gillard Government a minority government, or a coalition government? Is there even a difference between the two terms? I tend to think of a coalition government as one in which the cabinet contains members of different parties, while a minority government is one where the cabinet is all of one party, with an agreement with the cross-benches on confidence and supply. If Oakeshott accepts a cabinet post, does that make the Gillard Government a coalition (small c!) government? --Surturz (talk) 00:15, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Not sure on this one. I just find it funny that Abbott criticises the new government’s right to make a coalition when the Libs have been winning government for decades with a coalition (not that I'm suggesting anything wrong with coalitions). I suppose as opposition leader he is expected to object.
I would like to forewarn against WP:OR and WP:SYN when all we've really got is very limited precedence and wide opinions to quote of various qualities. --Merbabu (talk) 00:21, 10 September 2010 (UTC)
Your concerns about WP:OR and WP:SYN are valid, but I do think that the fact that the Gillard Government is a minority/coalition government is notable enough to warrant a paragraph or so. --Surturz (talk) 02:46, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

It's a minority government. Labor has no deal on anything beyond confidence and supply with any of the four crossbenchers it is reliant on. Rebecca (talk) 12:24, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Rebecca is correct. A government which functions only on the assurance of supply is a minority government, such as we have in Western Australia. A coalition is basically a situation where the two parties share a party room and vote together on legislation - even the Greens haven't agreed that with Labor, despite all the hype. Orderinchaos 02:12, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Silly point, but...[edit]

This article documents *two* governments - the Rudd Government, and the Gillard Government. They're separately commissioned, and it really should be split on that basis. (The Hawke-Keating one should be similarly split.) Orderinchaos 02:11, 11 September 2010 (UTC)

Weak disagree if for no other reason than it keeps what is often related matter in the one article. Timeshift (talk) 02:16, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
How is it related? It's a different government - it now even has a different ministry composition, and to whatever extent that a government takes on some of the style, strengths, weaknesses etc of its leader, the governments are of a somewhat different character. Orderinchaos 04:51, 11 September 2010 (UTC)
Of course it's different. There was a Labor government in power between 1983 and 1996, but that doesn't mean we don't distinguish between the different PMs in office in that time. Same for Rudd and Gillard. I somehow completely missed this merge and the Hawke-Keating one till now, but I would strongly disagree with their existence, for the same reason that we don't have an article called Menzies-Holt-McEwen-Gorton-McMahon Government. And don't go getting any funny ideas ... -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 12:08, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Oakeshott. Eventually, yes, there should be two separate articles. However, the Gillard government has not actually done anything yet. No doubt they will soon announce a few policies. After they've reannounced them twenty or thirty times we can consider that as "doing something" and then split off a separate article. I think it is a bit early to start a separate article due to lack of content, but if someone wants to do it now I would not actively oppose it. --Surturz (talk) 12:27, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
If there's a good rationale for regarding the Gillard Government as merely an extension or continuation of the Rudd Government (about which I disagree), then why do we have separate articles for the Rudd Ministry and the 2 Gillard Ministries? Why not merge them into one Rudd-Gillard Ministry? -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 20:56, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I see some sanity now prevails. Good. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 08:35, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

So at exactly what point differentiates Hawke/Keating to Rudd/Gillard? Why is Hawke/Keating one article, but Rudd and Gillard two seperate articles? Timeshift (talk) 09:47, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Because one is current and one ended 15 years ago. Ie, it's easy to load it up with daily newspaper crap in one versus the need to get out some books for the other. --Merbabu (talk) 09:51, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
That is no justification for having two articles in one case but only one article in the other case. The only thing Hawke and Keating had in common was that they both led the Labor Party. You'll find biographies of them as separate individuals and separate leaders; you won't find a book about the "Hawke-Keating Government", whatever that is. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 10:17, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Boat Arrivals image POV[edit]

A discussion is underway at [16] about whether more detail needs to be added to the boat arrivals image to improve its POV. Please have a look and contribute. Djapa Owen (talk) 04:55, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Graph with 24 years of synth data.[edit]

Operation Sovereign Boarders is not relevant to the Rudd Government period between 2007-2010. Why is it included in this graph of boat arrivals? Producing / modifying possible WP:Synth graphs is not the answer. This runs the risk of the reader forming an opinion not directly related to the individually presented facts. Shorely this problem is not unique to this article. I have removed the graph.CamV8 (talk) 23:35, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

This is a subject under discussion, and you should wait to see what other editors have to say. --Pete (talk) 01:08, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
ffs it was removed by Timeshift9 because it *didn't* have 2013 included. I added that as requested and now CamV8 is removing it because it *does* have 2013 included. --Surturz (talk) 11:52, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
I think some people find it embarrassing and will seize whatever argument falls ready to hand. It is a good thing that we do not have to worry about argumentum ad baculum, which is where one person hits the other with a stick until they agree with him. --Pete (talk) 15:57, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
1. It is highly relevant to include the dates for the introduction of Mandatory detention and the Pacific Solution to give context to the Rudd decision to end the Pacific Solution in 2008.
2. Although this article specifically covers from 2007-10, Rudd returned to the PMship in 2013 and introduced the PNG solution in 2013, so it is therefore relevant to cover 2013 in this article too.
3. OSB was introduced in direct response to changes to made by the Rudd government in 2008, so it is relevant to include OSB in the graph as part of the effect the Rudd Govt (2007-10) had on later governments.
4. CamV8 has claimed there is a WP:SYNTH vio, but not provided any evidence of a WP:SYNTH vio. --Surturz (talk) 02:24, 3 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback. My thoughts are as follows: The addition of 2013 data to the graph does not directly relate to this article as this article is for the first Rudd government article and not the second Rudd government article. The use of this graph in relevant articles such as the Pacific Solution and possibly Operation Sovereign Boarders is in context with the articles.
Personal attacks about what I may find embarrassing is inappropriate please refrain.
2013 data is not highly relevant to this article.
OSB did not exist until 2013.
I agree that the source data is correctly referenced for the graph. However the data source is very substantial and cherrypicking data to combine in this graph may leave the reader with a view not balanced with the entirety of the available data from this source.CamV8 (talk) 04:45, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Newspoll: April 17-19 2009 - Fortnightly polling and asylum seeker questions