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The Election State of Origin

by The Wrinkle | August 5, 2010

Apart from the obvious comments about straw men or woman, “what price the lack of courage” is an interesting overlay to the current federal election campaign. Labour’s catch phrase “moving forward” was obviously designed to distance themselves from Kevin Rudd, and now that they are in trouble in the polls it’s all about our great handling of the economy during the GFC (hold on, wasn’t that when Kevin Rudd was in charge?). So the marketing difficulty is now how do you pitch your success during this time, while everyone knows you stood the architect of this success up against the wall and shot him.

Frankly the shabby way that Rudd was dealt with, smacks of cowardice and a large dose of panic from a raft of first-time MPs who saw themselves being out on the street without a job. Perhaps that’s closest to the real motivating factor at play here, good old vested interest. Seriously if the Labour Party had muscled up, seen off the mining tax drama and held tight for a much later election, they could well have been in better shape. Instead they’ve managed to harden the internal party factions, make public their dis-unity, and are no better off in the polls. Rather than “no pain, no gain” it appears to be a case of “all pain, no gain”.

Following on from Julia Gillard’s football analogues, the election certainly appears to be turning into a “State of Origin” contest of sorts. Victorians have moved squarely into the Labour camp, and the battleground is going to be in Queensland and NSW marginal seats. South Australia is looking to fall in behind Labour, and while the West is still up in arms over the mining tax, they only really have 1 or 2 marginal seats, the other 15 to 16 are primarily in the outer reaches of suburbia across NSW and Queensland.

While the Wrinkle doesn’t want to wander too far into the demographics of these seats, (people can draw their own dots), you can start to see why the advertising campaigns of both parties are so full of fear and associated BS. The campaign for both parties isn’t about the converted followers, it’s all about the swinging voters in 17 marginal seats and how to get or keep them on side.

This is a price of democracy; the balance of power (or strong influence) can be held by a small number of vested interest groups. Look no further than the Shooters Party in the NSW senate for an obvious local example. So about all I can say is expect to continue to be under-whelmed and enjoy the side-shows.

Family First seeking preferences from the Sex Party is a real cracker.

OK, let’s move onto stocks and see if we can build up a little vested interest of our own. The Wrinkle came across a small sound bit the other night from a presenter at a micro-cap seminar. This was the CEO of a cancer research company called Circadian CIR: ASX.

Apparently this stock is trading at less than cash on hand value, is squarely in the bio-tech area, thinly traded and not well researched. However it has been around since 1991 and the shares peaked at over $4.00 in 2000 (currently 67 cents). If anyone out there with longer or better memories than the Wrinkle or if someone has any knowledge or comments they would like to share on this stock please give me some feedback at

The last stock I came across and ended up following that was valued at less than cash was Troy Resources. Troy is a junior miner with a good CEO ex BHP currently with producing gold mines in South America. When the Wrinkle came across Troy (TRY) in late '08 the price was under 80 cents having been aggressively sold down. It’s now $2.69, and while it hasn’t regained its all time peak of $3.36 it’s certainly closing in on it.

So CIR goes into the research folder for now, any feedback is welcome. At this stage trading liquidity alone would make CIR a bottom drawer pick.

Have a good week.

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