Harms Election Watch: Rd-8 The Final Word

I reckon I’ve said enough.

Disappointing campaign, despite the opportunity.

Thought that the independents shone a light on a few issues which weren’t taking up.

Thought that there was a real opportunity to discuss the funding of education and how that all works when Bob Brown presented his private education policy.

The proposed re-structure of the federal-state health model was deemed too hard.

I just hope you have been punting on Betfair:

Aug 19 – you could still get $4.20 on the coalition,

Aug 20 (this morning) – Coalition in to $3.

Prediction: ALP out to $1.66, Coalition $2.50

My call is ALP by 5 seats.

And the Greens to get 11% of the primary vote.

Good punting today and tomorrow.

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. Andrew Fithall says

    As a heterosexual married male, allowing gay marriage will not make one iota of difference to my life or my marriage.

    And asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat will have absolutely zero impact on my day-to-day existence or that of my family.

    We allow these non-issues to drive debate and determine who governs. I despair. I’m going to the football!

  2. Peter Flynn says

    I’ve enjoyed reading Rounds 1-8. Thanks JTH.

    I also miss reading Matt Price and his pee-funny take on things.

    This campaign has largely been dull and cringe-worthy.

    Julia and Tony have been ordinary and are ordinary. Do we deserve what we get dished up?

    The race to the bottom will conspire to create one of the more exciting election nights.

    The outcomes in Queensland, sections of NSW, Eden-Monaro (of course), Melbourne and Solomon will be interesting. There are other hot-spots.

    There is a real possibility of a hung parliament.

    The last parliamentary term saw three opposition leaders and 2 PM’s. Hmmmm, I reckon we might see more of this in the future.

  3. David Downer says

    Is there a Betfair book relating to % of primary vote?

    The Greens vote will go gang-busters …and moreso based on complete despair at the other two – the Greens just happen to be next in line of the serious contenders. For those still undecided, or in the Mark Latham “blank ballot paper” bucket, they might just tick Greens for the hell of it. And plenty of first-timers and Gen Y/Z’s will jump on that bandwagon too.

    As H.J.Simpson once trumpeted in victory: “De-fault! De-fault! De-fault! De-fault!”

    If the Democrats were still of relevance they’d have had a decent outing tomorrow too…


  4. Andrew Starkie says

    Harmsy, haven’t read all of your entries, however, think I get the drift of your thoughts. I agree – it has been an ordinary campaign for many reasons,mainly due to the major parties ignoring or twisting the major issues. Firstly, where was debate about our involvement in two wars? Will a new govt bring the troops home? Who knows. Also, the predictable adoption of fear politics by Julia and Tony in regards to asylum seekers is shameful. We do not have an illegal immigrant problem in this country. How many boats show up in our waters each year? 20? 30? Other Western countries receive that many on a slow morning. The USA and Mexico border is like the ring road on a Friday arvo. Julia especially has pissed me off with her attitude on this issue. When will our politicians consider why these people are risking their lives to come here? That is the real issue. Labor is more Liberal every year. I’m so disinterested this time around due to the uniformity of the major parties, I had to remind myself to vote today. I almost went for the Shooters and Hunters Party.

    I cheered myself up this arvo by watching West Preston and Lalor smack the suitcase out of eachother. Footy always restores my faith in the world. Except when it destroys it.

  5. Pamela Sherpa says

    Yes JTH -like many,I have found the campaign a disappointment and I agree Andrew F- the issues focused on were ones that are not going to affect our lives much.
    Issues that do affect us all such as health were overlooked. The next state elections will reflect more on where we are heading. Ironically on voting day I had to take my son to Cooma Hospital emergemcy dept but because he was ‘still breathing’ it was deemed to be not an emergency and therefore a Dr was not going to be called. What a joke. Services are going backward and we are supposed to accept it. Not good enough.
    As son was ‘still breathing’ today we headed for the hills and gorgeous snow to de-stress, then returned to watch Bombers on TV. We didn’t lose by as much as some teams but no doubt will cop huge flak.

  6. The absurdity with which both parties threw themselves at the only votes that mattered reminded me of an old F Troop episode, entitled “The Ballot of Corporal Agarn”.

    I live in the electorate of Batman (another old 60’d TV show. I lived for a while, years ago, in Macleod and then moved to Rosanna. As I remarked at the time, after getting out of both suburbs, I moved from a bad 70s TV show to an even worse 80s song. But I digress). Ferguson holds Batman with a 25% swing. There is little point to vote. On a positive note, we are not slaughtered by politicians, the media and pamphlets telling us everything they think we want to hear.

    Poor old Agarn, of Fort Courage was not so lucky. In an election for Mayor of his home town of Passaic, New Jersey the vote is tied. Turns out his is the last remaining vote. The two candidates descend on Fort Courage to win his vote. They throw everything at him, including a daughter. One of the candidates is an old song and dance man (the writers were having a pot-shot at Ronald Regan, who was leaving acting, if you can call it that, to enter politics, another performing art).

    One of the funniest bits of the episode, as an aging mind recalls, was how the second candidate would just have to start humming a tune and the song and dance guy would break into dance. It cracked me up. It’s a pity Julia and Mr Rabbit’s advisors, spin merchants and media controllers didn’t watch that F Troop episode. They may have learnt a thing or two. If they had watched the whole series they may even have developed a sense of humour, something sorely missing from these times.

  7. Pamela

    The issues Andrew mentioned will of course affect homosexuals and people who might have arrived here seeking asylum. Andrew was careful to point out the issues didn’t affect him whereas you have spoken for the collective in your post. Or is it the case that no homosexuals or asyluym seekers are in fact involved in footy?

  8. Andrew Fithall says


    My badly made point is that politicians look to make issues out of non-issues. Politicians no longer lead, they follow. They run focus groups to find out where people are (thought-wise) and then follow them. They appeal to base values including fear and xenophobia. Imagine if today’s leaders were in charge during the Vietnam war. How would they have treated the asylum seekers of that time? Similar to today, we fought wars without care for the consequences. However, the leadership of that time actually lead the general population into acceptance of people who sought to come to this country. I won’t go into any further depth on my personal views. In my original post, where I said they didn’t affect me, I worded it badly. I understand the direct implications for individuals. I cannot understand how we allow our politicians to use what should be non-issues become matters for debate and then determination of government.


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