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416 responses to “Queensland election roundtable”

  1. Terry

    Thanks mods.

  2. Terry

    So, discussion starters. How many ALP seats by night’s end? And will South Brisbane be close? My predictions: 12, and yes.

  3. Pauline Gambley

    Watching with interest from South Australia.
    I will be interested in the KAP outcome. The recent ads were simply dreadful, inexcusable. But, they have a couple of newish candidates with a degree of credibility. How will they figure?
    The turbulent waters will wash the ALP away. A great shame for the many talented, committed, and hard working. Root and branch national ALP reform is no longer a priority, it must be a given.
    The ghosts of the L&NP past will be swirling. The new version will require gumption. Hope they havent made too many promises to their friends.

  4. lindsayms

    I don’t want to appear cynical, but I don’t think that I’ll be hanrahaning no matter who wins. I would like to see Peter Wellington retain the seat of Nicklin (my electorate) I feel that there has been an unwarranted amount of negativity applied to him. But I suspect that that is just par for the course.

  5. Fran Barlow

    A great shame for the many talented, committed, and hard working.

    If there were many, this would not be occurring.

    Hope they havent made too many promises to their friends.

    Why would that be a worry? That would be a good thing, surely?

  6. uniqerhys

    6:05pm, Seven News – Kay McGrath was reporting where Anna Bligh will be making her concession speech from – apparently neither leader will be going to the tally room. Five minutes into counting and the media is already talking about Labor’s concession speech!

    I’m hoping for a hung parliament just to watch the right-wing media’s heads explode when the landslide they’ve been trying to manufacture for weeks doesn’t happen. Probably hoping in vain though, worse luck.

  7. Pauline Gambley

    Hi Fran
    Yes if there were more, as you say. (Sighs)’
    Depends on who the friends are.
    So we wait regardless.
    Pauline

  8. Sam

    A quick quiz: who was Percy Tucker?

  9. Terry

    First figures showing a 20% swing against Labor. KAP polling strongly.

  10. Lefty E

    Antony declares a winner before 7pm – unprecedented?

  11. Terry

    Anthiny Green called the 1996 Federal election in 1996. Not sure when NSW was called. But, yes, very early.

    Anna Bligh in some trouble in South Brisbane. Much may rest on whether Greens voters went 1 Greens 2 ALP, or just one, or 2 LNP.

  12. Lefty E

    Antony declares Ashgrove for Newman at 7.05pm. It’s an annihilation.

  13. Mercurius

    Was just on ABC 24 and at one point the ABC computer had awarded only 4 seats to the ALP! Pretty funny, well kinda, well, OK, no not really. They’ve been a one party state in the past — it does make voting simpler!?

  14. Nickws

    My prediction: this triumph of city boy Campbell is the beginning of the end for the independent National party divisions in NSW and Victoria. I see them being absorbed into greater LNP organisations over the next decade or two, whenever those states swing back to Labor landslide territory. WA is a different matter, as their Nats are crypto-Independents.

    You weren’t expecting that sort of longterm view (one that isn’t predicated on the Greens assuming their rightful place as a major), eh?

  15. su

    Percy Tucker was one-time mayor of Townsville, in the seventies I think. The Regional Gallery in Townsville is named after him. Why the quiz though, because that was the Joh era?

  16. Joe

    KAP polling strongly

    So much for my prognosis. Guess gay-bashing isn’t a “core-issue” :(

  17. Lefty E

    At what poi t can the ALP be assured of retaining party status?

  18. Terry

    KAP 13.5% of the vote. Greens 7.6%. Read into that what you will.

  19. Robert Merkel

    Nick, dunno about NSW but compulsory preferential voting in Victoria makes the impetus for an LNP-style merger less strong.

    However, much of the stupid crap from the Baillieu government is either the result of the National Party (plugging the pipe – they were bloody lucky it started to rain, alpine grazing, the Overland affair) , or moronic Liberal country conservatives (Bill Tilley, I’m looking at you).

  20. uniqerhys

    7:35 ABC web site declares that “LNP sweeps to power in landslide victory” (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-24/lnp-sweeps-to-power-in-landslide-victory/3910476), while the ECQ web site doesn’t have a single tick next to a single name indicating “seat won” (http://virtualtallyroom.ecq.qld.gov.au/elections/state/State2012/results/summary.html). Sure, the win is projected, but for goodness sakes – could the media at least pretend to follow the democratic niceties?

  21. Nickws

    Robert, I’m thinking of the politics of simple momentum, and the Vic Nats have a number of seats that will become swing electorates with demographic change and future redistributions.

    Anyway, I’m watching Michael Kroger on Sky leading the Liberal narrative charge in the national MSM, so I think you’re mistaken about all the bad in Victorian toryism coming from teh bush.

  22. Michael

    Joe @ 15, I suspect that gay bashing IS a core issue in those electorates who have voted KAP, they’re very much in favour of it…

  23. Robert Merkel

    Can any of the more political-science inclined readers of the blog point me to evidence on the extent to which state and federal election swings are correlated?

    My understanding was that there isn’t much connection.

  24. Sam

    Queensland is Queensland.

  25. Mercurius

    Well, the QLD LNP now have a very nice problem to have — their party whip is going to have sit *very* hard on all the newbies until they’ve learnt how to behave! Expect a lot of unforced errors until they settle into some sort of groove…

  26. Mercurius

    D’ya reckon that the LNP will allow Labor to retain official party status if they (Labor) fall short of the statutory ten seat requirement? I doubt it…when your political opponent is drowning, shirley you throw them an anvil, right?

  27. Lefty E

    ALP not entitled to party status on current figures. Relying on LNP generosity.

  28. Sam

    Did the Labor Party allow the Liberals to keep party status when they were reduced to 3, a couple of elections ago?

  29. Michael

    Oh well, unfettered power to the Tories – just in time for the Chinese economy to crash. Good luck Campbell, you’ll be needing it.

  30. Mercurius

    KAP 13.5% of the vote. Greens 7.6%. Read into that what you will.

    Greens on roughly the same peg as their results in 2006 and 2009 (8% average). KAP doing about half as well as Hanson did in her hey-day. Sun is still setting on the bigot fringe. That’s what I read into it…

  31. Sam

    Sun is still setting on the bigot fringe.

    But .,. but …Bob Katter is an ally in the fight against coal seam gas.

  32. Pauline Gambley

    Mercurious
    Yes between pork barrell and the investors in campaigns, the newbies are going to be jostling the budgetry pecking order. Newman will have to be a management supremo.

  33. Nickws

    I think Labor in Victoria lost office at just the right time, before the pendulum swung too far (and before the scare campaign about the Carbon Tax kicked in). The swing against them was painfully small compared to NSW and Qld; and now Baillieu is talking about privatising state property! It’s as if he doesn’t realise he running a Coalition govt with a one seat majority in the post-Kennett era.

    I’d be more comfortable if someone like Tim Pallas was ALP leader instead of Andrews. Not certain if Daniel’s the best person to utilise the limited opportunities an Opposition leader has to sell himself.

    I know I can barely pick him out of a line up.

  34. Chris

    Uniqerhys @ 19 – I don’t think the electoral commission will be putting ticks against any seats until early next week when the results are declared. But most people would understand the difference between results being officially declared and the media reporting who has in practice won a seat. Hardly an attack on democracy!

  35. uniqerhys

    As far as I can tell from the ECQ web site, not a single seat in QLD has yet got to 50%+1, not even Ashgrove. I think it distorts how people view elections for the media to be posting counts on “seats won” when no such thing has occurred. Thankfully I’m not visiting my parents this election, but I can attest that in a previous election they actually took the media’s counts seriously, thinking that the media’s totals were authoritative. The ABC was declaring 50+ seats won by the LNP when less than 2% of the vote was counted! That’s deliberately misleading and treats the election like a glorified opinion poll. IMHO of course.

  36. Terangeree

    Nickws @ 32:

    I’d argue that Labor lost this election a couple of years ago with the mass-privatisation, and Commonwealth issues are not a factor.

  37. Terangeree

    Sam @ 8:

    Percy Tucker was the mayor of Townsville from 1976 to 1980.

  38. Lefty E

    Queensland Smotes

  39. Phil263

    A party with 79 seats out of 89 in a one parliament legislature! Is this really democracy. This is the kind of numbers you see in ex soviet republics. In my view, this says a lot about the “maturity” of the Queensland electorate. IMO Labor certainly needed a big kick in the butt, but an opposition party of “8 ” members… Many people will feel sorry they voted the way they did in a few months time. For my part, I am glad I left Queensland, not so much of a ” smart state” after all!

  40. Joe

    But what if something like this happened in the Federal election? How serious are Labor’s problems?

  41. Terry

    Federal Labor is gone in Queensland alone on these figures. Swan, Emerson, probably Rudd, all gone. Ten seats to the Coalition, unless one goes to Katter. And Anna Bligh’s personal approval ratings have always been a lot higher in Qld than Julia Gillard’s.

  42. Nickws

    @ 35: I’d argue that Labor lost this election a couple of years ago with the mass-privatisation, and Commonwealth issues are not a factor.

    Terangeree, yes, I wasn’t arguing otherwise. I was just stating that I think Labor in Victoria lost office at the least worst time vis-a-vis their own difficulties; they avoided the heavier swing that would have been guaranteed by another term in office (who knows what the politics of 2014 will look like, let alone what it might have looked like for a hypothetical Brumby govt.)

    I accept that Bligh lost because she sold the family jewels without an electoral mandate. But I’m convinced this defeat is more savage than it had to be, thanks to the manufactured white noise machine of the Carbon- and Mineral-tax backlash. The tory lies about the feds have probably gifted Newman an extra ten seats, at the very least.

    I’m sure Anthony Green will come up with an analysis that has giant question marks next to all those incredible LNP 1st preference victories—we should be mindful to superimpose ‘anti-fed lies, scare campaign’ over plenty of those question marks.

    (I hope none of you Leftwingers are feeling pleased that Bligh was defeated because of her apostasy, because that defeat you’re savouring isn’t actually the one that has reduced the Qld caucus to the size of a netball team.)

  43. Joe

    So, watched the acceptance speech, which was completely vacuous. Wrote down the following notes:

    - Voting for change
    - it’s all about you– you are great!
    - priority is get the economy moving -> states finances
    - long and hard, no end– requires total devotion.
    - Queenslanders walk tall, greatest state in greatest country– you are greatest!
    - the job starts tomorrow…

    I mean, as an acceptance speech it was a poor conclusion to the election campaign, perhaps that will come when the parliament convenes, but there was no analysis of the result. What role did young voters play? And new media? Why does he want a strong economy?

  44. Geoff Henderson

    Phil @38 So what is the limen then Phil? The people voted, each in his own right. Why should some votes be denigrated in the interests of democracy?

    The real question, is how well will the new government perform. Their majority is handy, to say the least, but the labor government had sufficient majority to do whatever they wanted anyway. Now the shoe is on the other foot – so what? Democracy at work.
    You exercised your democratic right to live somewhere else – not all bad then.

    Nickws@32 you might add council amalgamation as an issue that wrankles with many. It made little sense, was arbitrary and cruel. His talents didn’t seem to emerge as treasurer either. No sympathy for the little swarmy architect of the amalgamation who has been comprehensively flicked from parliament.

  45. Nickws

    Phil263 @ 38: A party with 79 seats out of 89 in a one parliament legislature! Is this really democracy.

    I give you what is perhaps my favourite piece of trivia about an election in a first world parliamentary democracy.

    Of course it was in a rustic, peaceful Atlantic Canadian province, not quite the same as one of the contenders for dodgiest state in Australia.

  46. jumpy

    A massive mandate, unlike Gillard.

  47. Nickws
  48. Paul Norton

    Terry @40, whether Federal Labor is gone on those figures is partly a function of the extent to which the LNP can limit their legislative and policy imagination in the broader political interests of the Coalition nationally.

  49. Phil263

    It seems that KAP + the non compulsory preferential system have cost Labor 4 or 5 seats. A case in point is Ipswich where the swing to LNP was only 6.2 % but where KAP scored nearly 15 % and another independent scored 10% leaving the sitting ALP member with a swing against her of nearly 29%.
    The comparison with NSW is interesting. In both states, Labor was on the nose and the swing to the opposition was comparable, but in NSW Labor managed to keep 20 seats. Notwithstanding the fact that Lib/ Nat do not have a majority in the LC!!!

  50. Nickws

    Geoff Henderson @ 43: you might add council amalgamation as an issue that wrankles with many.

    I don’t know much about Quinceland politics, but wasn’t that some time ago, like during the previous parliament?

    If so, I think it’s a tad too, how you say, non-linear to attribute this election swing to that issue.

  51. Katz

    Ouch.

  52. Phil263

    Nickws@44
    Thanks for the link.

    Interesting! even more so since the “Liberal” party in Canada is the progressive party and the “conservative progressive” are really … conservative.

  53. Paul Norton

    The bottom line nonetheless remains that tonight’s Queensland election result is a catastrophe for we left-of-centre folk.

  54. Lefty E

    Well, it’s fair to say that this result is far worse than even the pessimists were predicting

  55. Nickws

    10:28, and Red Kerry finally raises the late unpleasantness with the federal leadership ballot; i.e. would it have changed anything if it had gone the other way?

    No doubt Barry Cassidy is somewhere furiously sticking pins into both his Rudd doll and his Red Kerry doll, what with O’Brien being a weak c*nt for failing to blame KRudd for the defeat of the Bligh government.

  56. Grey

    Anna Bligh
    Jo-Ann Miller
    Curtis Pitt
    Bill Byrne
    Desley Scott
    Annastacia Palaszczuk

    At least there will be jobs for everyone. If they aren’t granted party status does that mean there is no official leader of the opposition?

  57. BilB

    Look on the bright side.

    Everyone in the opposition gets to be a shadow minister!!

  58. Terry

    South Brisbane – the new bellwether seat. No chance of Anna Bligh leaving state politics now – they would lose the seat.

  59. lindsayms

    Still watching Nicklin, with 72% counted Peter Welington in front by 5%, has remained in front most of the evening. Still a substantial swing to the LNP, hoping not quite enough to carry Conolly over the line

  60. Nickws

    Heh, maybe Anna gets to continue the proud Newmanesque tradition of being a party leader who isn’t actually leader of the Opposition.

  61. Fran Barlow

    The bottom line nonetheless remains that tonight’s Queensland election result is a catastrophe for we left-of-centre folk.

    More accurately, the behaviour of the regime over the last 14 years was the disaster. This night was merely the settlement of the bill

  62. Grey

    Forgot Di Farmer and probably Tim Mulherin in Mackay (but only if he gets a healthy swag of Katter preferences).

  63. Don

    Hi All

    I’m posting under a psuedonym but I’d like to contribute my view. I am a (now former) Labor staffer. I spent all of today on a booth battling for votes, though my heart wasn’t really in it.

    My view on why Labor lost its way so badly? The desire of most of the ALP front bench to be media darlings and comedians. Honestly, you wouldn’t believe the insane amount of energy and time senior Ministers wasted trying to come with a clever tweet. If the choice was between reading a vital policy brief or coming up with a clever gag to throw in your Shadow’s face next sitting week, I think you can guess which one won out. Politics was seen as a contact sport where your primary goal was to get your face on the 7pm news saying something withering about the Tories. A passion for humiliating an opponent was raised to an art form.

    The ‘Campbell’s Web’ nonsense is a case in point. There were serious questions to be asked about Newman’s finances, but rather than playing it straight and showing some decorum, Labor chose to go down the ‘whimsical’ path because they didn’t just want to beat the LNP, they wanted to humiliate them and show the electorate that Labor was the party of clever gags and putdowns.

    I don’t think any of this means that the Caucus was full of evil men and women. I just think they looked at the electorate, saw your average Aussie as a bit of larrikan, up for a laugh and sledge, and made that the foundation of all party strategy.

  64. Geoff Henderson

    Nickws@48 It still wrankles in this region. So many lost jobs, so much insecurity, so much contempt. Many folks still carry deep resentment. Many people believe that the original author was Peter Beattie shortly before he left office. Ms Bligh then appointed Fraser to carve up the local government areas. He was then moved away from that portfolio and “rewarded” by being hoisted up the government ladder to become premier-in-waiting.

    Jason O’Brien (Cook electorate) stood up at an anti-amalgamation rally in his constituency and blasted the thousand plus people present, even saying that he hoped there would be more amalgamations. Good for him for taking such a brave position on that day, but he was not representing his electorate.

    You are right, there was an election since then and he was returned. No idea how he did that – maybe poor quality campaign opposing him?

  65. AT

    Poor Anna – I think the result was indeed partly a referendum on the federal issue of the carbon price, and that probably cost her a hefty proportion of the swing and about 6 seats.

  66. Katz

    So what will the LNP actually do with this huge parliamentary majority?

    A quick perusal of election promises on the LNP website revealed a thicket of snooze-inducing motherhood statements.

    Now that suburban SE Queensland has a major voice in conservative government, won’t they and the various and sundry interests of the Qld hinterland find themselves at odds with each other?

    Will we have the unedifying spectacle of conjoined twins who cannot stand the sight of each other?

  67. jumpy

    Good news,
    Qld Labor Party transport cost slashed.

    Ring a Maxi-Taxi.

  68. Lefty E

    Worst wipeout Ivw ever seen in Australian politics. Worse than QLD 74, worse than national 75, way worse than national 96 or NSW 2011.

  69. jumpy

    @ LE

    Biggest win, glass half full and all that.

    And Greens maintain their numbers on the floor.

  70. BilB

    I think that there has to have been a huge chunk of prefering to have the face of a man as premier in Queensland, from the male point of view. This is the macho state after all. And from the female side, this is Idol all over again. Women will vote for the guy at the end. It is pathetic, but that is the way that it is. Women do not vote for their gender, the female competition thing gets in the way. And Campbell iced it off nicely by being public and cuddly with his wife, while Bligh came across as being picky and bitchey to Campbell.

    That is why the swing was so huge.

  71. Lefty E

    With a swing this huge we have to accept three things:
    1. It was time
    2. The govt was considered terrible. Really terrible
    And 3. They ran a lousy campaign

    Swings like this don’t occur with just two of the above .

    But…. It also attests to volatility. LNP could easily lose in 2018.

  72. Patrickb

    So … nobody thinks the “it’s time” factor played a large part in the result? I do, I’d say that it was worth between 30-50% of the swing. The rest is down to media ineptitude and ALP atavism. And good luck Queenslanders, the N tail will be wagging the L dog.

  73. Brian

    At @ 65, I don’t think the carbon price had anything discernible to do with it. Bligh is probably right in saying Labor should have lost in 2006 and 2009 if the LNP had been up to it. In 2001 the Libs were left with about 3 in Brisbane. Paul Williams on radio was talking about an inevitable Liberal restoration in Brisbane. But they wouldn’t vote for The Borg in 2009.

    After the asset sales announcement in the 2009 budget Labor sank to 40/60 and has been there pretty much ever since, except a bit after the floods, which the LNP responded to successfully with the Newman putsch.

    Continuing disasters in the health portfolio didn’t help, although Bligh reckons our hospitals are now in good shape, better than most in Australia.

    In the campaign the strategy was to eliminate Newman with corruption allegations and then spread fear about what a rabble they’d be without him. Two weeks ago it looked like working, but then Bligh said she had nothing, just questions and the CMC gave him an all clear. The blowback destroyed her standing and with that the party

    At 40/60 it meant that 1 in 10 had crossed over to the LNP. Now we have better than 1 in 7. It’s going to be a long way back! At least three terms for the LNP to stuff up and to build a credible alternative.

  74. Lefty E

    And Greens maintain their numbers on the floor.

    Well Jumpy, they would have in the average democratic system. We tend to forget that single member districts are an aberration in the democratic world – a weird peculiarity of the Anglophone world – NZ and Ireland honourably excepted of course! :)

    “what do they know of England, who only England know”.

  75. Brian

    LE @ 71, you said it more succinctly than I did. I think 2018 is ambitious though.

    BilB, I don’t think being a woman had anything to do with it. When farmers are interviewed on TV it’s often the woman who does the talking. In this CSG thing, I think there are more women than men up there on the stump.

  76. Lefty E

    I think we can all accept at this point that the ALP would have done better focussing on the LNP and its policies, than focussing on Newman.

    But hey, I spose it seemed like a chink in the armour. Nothing would have saved them anyway.

  77. John Edmond

    @ Lefty E I don’t think they ran a lousy campaign. They chose to run a high risk campaign and it backfired, but I’d take the same choice. Better a chance of winning at the risk of a massacre than a guaranteed major loss. As Brian notes there was a point it looked like it was going to work (and in 06 it probably would have), but no. The LNP gain no extra magic legislative powers from their masses. And when all is said and done the ALP will be competitive in 2018 (as you note) massacre or not. Return to mean will see to that, numbers this bad/good are invariably soft.

  78. Brian

    BTW, I believe an online betting show was paying out on an LNP victory before the election.

  79. Jacques de Molay

    Should be the last we see of Bruce Hawker with any luck.

  80. paul walter

    We should have listened to Hanrahan. Hanrahan warned us.
    Hanrahan knew.

  81. Fran Barlow

    Don said:

    I don’t think any of this means that the Caucus was full of evil men and women. I just think they looked at the electorate, saw your average Aussie as a bit of larrikan, up for a laugh and sledge, and made that the foundation of all party strategy.

    What tosh.

    I dont believe in evil, but I do believe in banality, in intellectual indolence and incoherence and in the pernicious concequences this can have on the morale in the context of a system in which Rinehart, Palmer and Murdoch rule.

    Last night, a set of clueless demoralised patsies of the boss class was kicked to the kerb after the bosses decided that they were past their use-by date. Doubtless, that hurts. Few like to be confronted with unpleasant truths about themselves. Funding out that you were kidding yourself about your worthiness after people everywhere have fawned over you is about as disturbing as it gets.

    No, they weren’t evil, but they were lead in the saddlebags.

  82. tssk

    This being a wipeout is of course all about a judgement on the ALP at both a state and federal level and I think we’ll be seeing Tones calling on Julia to call an early election at a Federal level ASAP as the Australian people obviously want regime change.

    Good thing Campbell Newman won his seat so convincingly, proved that the gamble was worth it and I think the Libs have found a winning formula for ripping away safe seats from the ALP.

  83. Thom

    Shire mergers, carbon pricing, sexism, all barely relevant if at all.
    The Labor government appeared not to support unions and workers when they failed to convince on asset sales and then treated staff badly in the nursing payroll computer bungle. (e.g. nursing shift worker finds police on doorstep at dawn over alleged minor overpayment).

  84. Terry

    Last night, a set of clueless demoralised patsies of the boss class was kicked to the kerb after the bosses decided that they were past their use-by date.

    I thought it was the Queensland voters who kicked Labor out.

  85. BilB

    This result is more than an issues result. QALP lost ALL of their support. That means all ages and both genders. And it is this that has implications for the federal election. Australia has shown that it elects women as leaders on probation, and is happy to kick them out again.

    The negativeXfactor in this Qld election I believe was the female vote. And I believe as I said above, that those women who do not have a political connection found comfort in releasing Anna Bligh in favour of Campbel Newman’s wife who delivered a very prominant and pleasing supporting wife image. It was a very positive emotional connection that appealed to the “chick flick” lovers of the state. If we are talking chemistry ….I believe…that women have their strongest bonds to family, secondly to a very small cohort of close friends, but beyond that female to female bonds are very weak and are easily flipped. And all of that means that women supporting other women in office is more negative than positive. It only becomes strongly positive if the male candidate is seen as being an obvious threat or incompetent.

    How does that translate to the federal situation? Fortunately Abbott is no Campbell Newman. He does however carry a degree of macho appeal that seems to have some sway. But he also parades his family in cardboard cutout mode, which is neutral. Gillard is in a no win position because to be seen as being sentimental with her partner would be taken as weakness by many, if the partner was an appealing dude then Gillard would be seen as a threat and some jealousy factor might be a negative, and if her partner was seen as being insipid then that might play back on her as weakness unless it invoked sympathy as the strong woman striving on in all hardships.

    But whatever Gillard is going to have to find a way to bring women strongly onside for this election. If the margin is going to be tight then the wild card of a female to male appeal is too great a risk to have left as an unknown. Gillard should win on issues and performance, but the negativeXfactor is the danger

  86. Wantok

    Plaudits need to go to Lawrence Springborg for unifying the two disparate conservative parties. For once, the LNP brand has been recognized and seen as a viable, unified alternative. To my mind this unification of the conservative vote is a Queensland phenomenon that worked but that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t work well on a federal basis and Tony Abbott would do well to acknowledge this. If Abbott tries to use the the good old carbon tax as evidence for the impetus for change in Qld he will miss an opportunity.
    There are other factors influencing the big swing and these have been mentioned elsewhere but I can’t see how ‘can-do’ can bring down the cost of electricity or petrol, but you never know.

  87. verity violet

    Our public discourse now resembles the 24 hour news cycle in its shallow desire for instant gratification. Of course the general population follows the trend. It started in the Vic and NSW elections, carried over into the last federal election, and has reached its zenith last night.

    To be offered shallow and mindless platitudes around the theme “only in QLD” from friends down south only serves this trend towards tribalism and division fostered by the main stream media. WE ARE YOU, we aren’t some backwater anymore folks. And if Abbott sees a resurgence because of these attitudes and incivility, you will see and feel it in Thorn-bloody-bury and everywhere else in this nation.

    Its not a disease of Labor alone, its a festering wound nurtured in countries like the US which has infected our national discourse and our behaviour towards each other.

    I blame Howard for fostering it! But with more fury and outrage I blame the Labor party federally and at a state level for lowering themselves to that level and mimicking Howard’s nastiness and selfishness, for playing that awful game of chicken with our lives, and of abandoning its constituency along the way. And I blame all those members who lost their seats for allowing their leadership to CONTINUE to shit on those who can least resist the onslaught. I am very upset, and very angry.

  88. Geoff Henderson

    One thing I really like about LP (I am a newbie) is the quality of argument and the dexterous use of language. But at times I think the language is too clever, obscuring the argument somewhat, even developing into a word-smiths pissing competition.
    I appreciate most of the wordy insights into yesterday’s electoral outcome. But as one from the north region (Daintree) may I offer my plain (and maybe so parochial – you decide) account of why the swing was so massive.

    First, the regional perception is that way too much of State resources land in Brisbane. E.g billions poured into insoluble traffic management issues. Generally, infrastructure seemed heavily biased to the SE of Queensland, the exceptions being where mining was king. OK so the SE is where all the people are that has to be taken into account. But the perception is that too much funding failed to make it to the regions, except for coal/aluminium.
    Infrastructure for mining is vast, especially railways and ports. If you just drive the coast road in the mining areas around Gladstone, you will be staggered by the rail infrastructure that exists just for the mining trains. powered by overseas-made loco’s, 5 or 6 per train, there is a massive electrification web established for the trains, but a significant number are diesel powered. Electric is nice, but don’t lose sight of the massive power supply infrastructure needed to supply the electricity for these 100+ car trains. I wonder at the rate of return on the out lays, and I wonder if there will be a net benefit for all the mining activity.

    Second, the amalgamations still bite, even if many have given up on revering them.

    Third, it became apparent that government was bull shitting on everything. So much spin, so much glitz on everything. People no longer trusted their government to tell the truth. OK nobody expects politicians to be honest all the time, but under that there is a need to believe that dig deep enough you can find a level where truth prevails. That belief was lost in Queensland.

    Fourth, chronic ineptness. Queensland Health as an example. Where does one start? Lack of services in the regions – get cancer in our area and you have to go hundreds or thousands of kilometres for treatment, after you wade through (survive?) a waiting list that never shrinks. Or employing a doctor in Bundaberg who had been de-frocked in Oregon, USA, and who was subsequently jailed here for his skills. How about a new payroll system that cost taxpayers $200 millions, and was/is so stuffed that people went months without pay, whilst others were hugely overpaid.

    Fifth the mining myth that delivers massive benefits to Queenslanders. True if you are actually working for a mine, a dump truck driver can earn $120K per annum. But he might also be paying >$1,000 per week rent. At those rates, ordinary people who are not home owners are forced into higher rent brackets that they can’t meet and are squeezed out. Motels in Mackay cost 35% more than in Proserpine. Community benefits can be seen in those towns, but they are not dispersed to greater Queensland.

    Sixth, roads in Queensland regions are terrible, and it does not matter whether it is city or trunk. In cities and towns, it is all patches and patches on patches. Asphalt is repaired long after it has dried out and lost it’s integrity.

    Well I could go on but probably I have ranted too much already. Anyway how many more reasons do you need to change government?
    I remind readers that it is my subjective opinion, and there is room for argument of course.

  89. Fran Barlow

    I thought it was the Queensland voters who kicked Labor out.

    That’s political correctness talking. In a purely formal sense, that’s true. It was indeed the registered voters of QLD who indicated by marking ballots a strong preference for the rebranded and reconfigured boss class party known as the LNP. In our system, when the regime is seen to have run out of reasons, most vote for the other mob in an exercise of political Morton’s Fork.

    Of course, that’s not to say that the choice was in any real sense, a free or informed one. Was there, during the campaign, a wide and rigorous discussion of all of the options in the MCBM? Of course not. Did Newman or Bligh bother to set out in any detail a set of proposals with their feasibility and rationale for the voters? Of course not. Did the voting system suggest that ideas in the parliament would roughly correspond to the preferences voters had? Of course not. So was thinking outside the square of any use at all? Of course not.

    Who owned that square? The boss class and its media. Who uttered its firm boundaries? Their parties: the ALP and LNP. Even today Bligh is standing by her decision to privatise.

    The voters vote but the boss class determines what is salient and possible. Hence my description:

    Last night, a set of clueless demoralised patsies of the boss class was kicked to the kerb after the bosses decided that they were past their use-by date.

  90. Terangeree

    I think Thom @ 83 has ‘nailed’ it: it was the asset sales and the Qld Health debacle that lost Labor the election.

    But the new situation, I feel, is going to be worse.

    No government — no matter what their party name and party philosophy — should have a majority like the one that has come out of yesterday’s election.

    Queensland, I fear, is facing at least three years of very bad government and poor-quality governing because a government with such a large majority in Parliament is unaccountable.

  91. Fran Barlow

    Australia has shown that it elects women as leaders on probation, and is happy to kick them out again.

    Ah BilB … back to your blame the wimminz claims. You and Bill Ludwig … so edifying.

    What I take from this is that having a woman in charge can’t help if you’re planning to spit on the values and vision of your core supporters. Mostly, women get the ALP’s hospital pass. This time, Anna Bligh gathered, fumbled, held onto it and then decided to drop it with the line wide open. More fool her.

  92. BilB

    Here is another thought, and I know that I am inviting ridicule here which I am happy to take as I see that I see there is a pressing need to understand the mechanics of why women do not vote for women to at least the average level. And I’m not the only one asking the question

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/10/15/phyllis-chesler-delaware-odonnell-harry-reid-sharron-angle-republican-democrat/

    Possible influences

    Women may vote for strong success men (perception) to balance out or feel that they have some redress for the failings in their partner…?

    Women may vote for strong men as an extension for their bias towards security from success and strength…..”when did you first realise that you loved him?”…”I believe it was when I first saw his grounds at Pemberley” ….?

    Why do I vote for women where available? Because a woman will generally do a job more compassionately, thoroughly and competently than a man, with the only rider being that where there is something that is beyond their understanding they will not necessarily let you know about it (but men have far worse traits in this area).

    So there is the question.

    Why do you think that women do not vote for women. Or maybe you think that that is a false premise…

  93. BilB

    No, Fran.

    Anna Bligh lost of issues and performance, yes, but she, and the QALP were demolished out of sight by something more.

  94. Helen

    Yes BilB, you seem to be employing very rigid gender stereotypes when choosing who to vote for.

  95. Helen

    Ugh, just read your @85 BilB (I have a bad habit of reading bottom to top sometimes.) You really think women are stupid. That’s just offensive.

  96. calyptorhynchus

    Reminds me of 1998. At that election a far-right party got far more seats than expected. That ended well too.

  97. PeterTB

    I wonder if Queenslanders might be missing their upper house now?

  98. Fran Barlow

    Personally, I think the LNP could well lose in 2015. By definition last night, the voters rid themselves of nearly everyone they could hold responsible for the policies of the ancien regime. It’s a pity Anna Bligh survived but there will now be an opportunity, if the ALP chooses it, to reinvent itself as a party with a primary interest in equity rather than patronage towards sections fo the boss class. If it declares this explicitly, repudiates its past and acts in ways that bolster this reborn ALP, their core vote should return*. (If the do this perhaps they could call themselves (The Renaissance ALP – in a place as religious as QLD this might help) CDC then only has to stumble badly once or twice and start sounding dishonest and the new ALP is back in the game.

    * This is what the NSW ALP should have done in 2007, but of course, having won, it had no incentive and most of the architects of the Carr era were still about. The trajectory was predictable.

  99. Fran Barlow

    I wonder if Queenslanders might be missing their upper house now?

    I can’t begin to imagine why they would. Most of them voted for the LNP. Presumably they trust them. Had there been an upper house, they’d have voted similarly. The LNP should have at it and take the consequences for good or ill. Let them have no one else to blame for overreach.

    It will be a shame if they make a mess, but out of mess comes insight. If voters came to acquire insight in 2015 and voted for someone better, it would be a shame if hangovers from this election had stood in their way. And why do we want more politicians anyway? Aren’t there too many already? I’d say so.

  100. Des O'Neill

    Everything which happened on 24th March, serves the ALP right. The Heiner Affair will now come to mop up the ALP crumbs. There will be a by-election in the seat of South Brisbane as a result of Heiner.

  101. verity violet

    Fran, I agree with most of what you say but can we please ease up on the QLD bashing? I and many other miss an upper house, the problem is there hasnt been one since before I could vote and I am now over 40. Noone up here remembers what they are for at a state level. Secondly, if I recall a large portion of NSW and Vic and Sth Aust. and WA have voted Liberal or National lately and a number of levels. It aint a QLD disease. Its national.

  102. tssk

    Des at 101. If there is anything in the Heiner affair then the incomiming government should create a commission poste haste.

  103. Katz

    Any chance of some mirthful outcomes from this election? Qld Tories have seldom failed us in the past.

  104. BilB

    TigTog, Helen, slash away I ‘m happy to be wrong. In the process offer your perspective on what really happened here. But if all you have is “the voters felt betrayed and changed their mind” then that is just shallow BS.

    TigTog, of course Elizabeth was teasing her sister, as was I. Elizabeth also says in the same sentence “I hardly know, it has been coming on so gradually, but I believe….”. She had started to develop her regard for D’arcy, who was besotted with her at first sight, almost from the beginning. It is that slow alignment of apparent opposites in a true intellectual and emotional contest that is the delight of the story. For me anyway.

  105. Paul Burns

    Lesson to the ALP (and others) everywhere. Don’t privatise stuff. The voters hate it.
    So, how long before the Nats start behaving like Bjelke-Petersen? A week?

  106. Hal9000

    there hasnt been one since before I could vote and I am now over 40

    Since 1922. Mind you, the old Legislative Council had no connection with democracy – all its members were Governor in Council lifetime appointments. The Ryan Labor government loaded the LC abolition pistol in 1919 IIRC by appointing a stack of union officials when a gubernatorial interregnum allowed the Speaker of the Parliament to act as Lieutenant Governor. These new Legislative Councillors were dubbed the ‘suicide squad’. The Theodore government, with a threadbare majority and with the opposition playing silly buggers with pairs, decided to implement abolition while they still had the chance.

    Fran, I’m not optimistic about any renascent ALP. The branch structure is in ruins. Now there are no career paths for thrusting young opportunists, recruitment will wither further. Many of the old stalwarts have left suffering broken hearts. It’s hard to win elections without troops on the ground. You will no doubt be pleased to hear that the Greens mounted a creditable army of volunteers in western Brisbane.

  107. BilB

    Fran,

    “blame for overreach”

    I think that is a perceptive comment. That is the danger of ultimate power. But the end result is potentially equally dangerous from a voters point of view. But to say that all of those people who voted for Newman did so from there knowledge of Queensland political issues, is a fantasy.

  108. BilB

    Hal9000,

    I think you are right. Early comment an t he ABC this morning was refering to the difficulty the ALP will have in being any form of an opposition. The Courier Mail it was pointed out have more resources than the ALP do now and will take up the “holding to account” roll at the outset.

  109. Lefty E

    I’m not sure there’s much more to this than the time, and the fact that privatization = electoral death sentence. QLD is a bit different in the sense that the traditional right in the state *also* hates privatizations.

    How senior figures in the ALP could misunderstand this is staggering to me. I suspect the treasurer was just too young to know the state he was living in, and grew up in a post – Goss Brisbane bubble. Older figures should have put him straight

  110. Socrates

    Obviously a bad result for Labor, but as Fran said, it is hardly a rejection of left wing politics when the defeated government did not practise any.

    The labor campaign must once again come under scrutiny. They were always headed for defeat but not this bad. This is worse than NSW and I don’t think Qld Labor were worse than that lot. A worsening of polls in the past two weeks shows that the negative attacks were counter productive as usual. They just confirmed that Labor had no new ideas.

  111. Katz

    Qld Labor had no old ideas, either.

  112. Socrates

    I agree Katz, but it isn’t wise to underline that to the voters of that, in the two weeks before the election.

  113. Fran Barlow

    Verity Violet said:

    Fran, I agree with most of what you say but can we please ease up on the QLD bashing?

    I’m not singling out QLD. It is indeed a national disease.

    I and many other miss an upper house, the problem is there hasnt been one since before I could vote and I am now over 40.

    The LC in NSW shows that you aren’t missing anything. Between the shooters and Fred Nile we are getting even worse politics than if it weren’t there — and I say that despite the fact that it’s the one place where Greens have some representation and some related resources and some good people.

    Personally, I think some bona fide representative democracy is preferable to having two unrepresentative houses. Better yet, let’s lose the states altogether, develop regional government and have an inclusive system of governance regionally and federally.

  114. BilB

    Katz,

    It has to be explained what happened to the “rusted on” voters.

  115. verity violet

    I would have to agree with you re abolishing the states!

  116. WallyTheDog

    Alot of talk about renewing…rebuilding…salvaging…
    Perhaps its time to start afresh with a brand new party that reflects true left values, and can embrace defectors to the Greens such as nyself.
    The rise of KAP and the effectively new creation of the LNP has given the right an advantage, the left should perhaps follow suit.
    What should such a party be called?

  117. Fran Barlow

    Hal9000 said:

    Fran, I’m not optimistic about any renascent ALP. The branch structure is in ruins. Now there are no career paths for thrusting young opportunists, recruitment will wither further.

    This is the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions. A defeat on this scale is almost certainly a necessary condition for a renaissance. It probably won’t be a sufficient condition. I suspect you’re right. They will hope this is an anomaly and they can go back to b-a-u in a while. That’s what will sustain Newman for a 2nd term.

    Many of the old stalwarts have left suffering broken hearts. It’s hard to win elections without troops on the ground. You will no doubt be pleased to hear that the Greens mounted a creditable army of volunteers in western Brisbane.

    I am. Unlike the ALP, our people are motivated not by being able to feed at the big table and be admired by important people, but the quaint old idea of a more equitable world. Win, lose or hold, we know what we’re doing and why.

    Sidebar: In Melbourne, in the Niddrie by-election yesterday, our Greens candidate Joise Lester secured a record vote behind the ALP candidate. well done her.

  118. Fran Barlow

    oops … Josie Lester …

  119. Terry

    Labor has a party to its left for the disaffected. Its called The Greens.

    Problem is that they are seen as an inner city lifestyle party, with foreign policy ambitions that exceed their reach.

    They can’t trump outfits like KAP in offering up economic nationalism for the downtrodden, as the Qld vote makes very clear.

    Its the third state election in a row where The Greens have electorally underwhelmed.

  120. Fran Barlow

    It’s the third state election in a row where The Greens have electorally underwhelmed.

    Malapportionment and the fact that state elections don’t lend themsleves well to The Greens. It’s very difficult for a non-governing party to campaign seat by seat on parish pump issues. It’s doubly so and more in an effectively plebiscitary form of government and where the media is under the effective control of one man who can simply shut them out.

    In a PR-based system The Greens would have had about 8-9 seats. The Katterites would have had 10-11. The ALP would have had about 27. That’s about half the parliament on some issues. That in turn changes what election campaigns are all about in ways that would favour us.

  121. Terangeree

    Peter Beattie has popped up on the radio news this morning, saying that Anna Bligh (my local MLA) should be removed from her seat in the run-up to the next election and a new parliamentary leader appointed from outside parliament. Beattie suggested Andrew Fraser, with Annastacia Palaszczuk keeping the Leader’s seat warm for Fraser between now and 2015.

    With advice like this, one begins to wonder if the Queensland ALP really want to retainany seats in Parliament.

  122. Katz

    Was there a voters’ gender gap in the recent election?

    Misha Schubert implies there was one:

    http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/pm-gets-a-blokey-lesson-in-trust-20120324-1vrcw.html

  123. Chris

    So the Katter party gets 11% of the primary vote despite the controversy over their anti same sex marriage ad. What does that say about QLD voters! It certainly wasn’t the death knell for the party as some had predicted.

    If there’s one aspect that federal alp should be concerned about is that disaffected voters did not turn to the greens. They went to KAP and the LNP. That’s bad. There must be quite a few greens scratching their heads as to why unionists would vote for the LNP or KAP instead of them.

  124. Mercurius

    @101 Heiner!

    Please Des, tell us more. Is the CIA involved?

    And, can I just add:

    BWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    *snort*

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

  125. Ken_L

    @111 ‘Obviously a bad result for Labor, but as Fran said, it is hardly a rejection of left wing politics when the defeated government did not practise any.’

    Surely then voters would have turned to the Greens but their vote went BACKWARDS. One Nation reborn under Katter grabbed more of the ex-ALP supporters than anyone else including the LNP. Looks like a pretty comprehensive rejection of left wing parties to me, no matter how you spin it.

  126. Fran Barlow

    So the Katter party gets 11% of the primary vote despite the controversy over their anti same sex marriage ad. What does that say about QLD voters! It certainly wasn’t the death knell for the party as some had predicted.

    There are a lot of bigots in the north where the Katterites are concentrated and of course they fancied their chances of winning seats, so even those who don’t care either way (and know that Katter’s mob can’t do anything about gays) can vote on other more populistic grounds. Katter admitted this morning that the ad was a media stunt.

  127. Hal9000

    Unlike the ALP

    I think we need to distinguish between the parliamentary labor party and the utterly compromised central administrative and policy apparatus on the one hand, and the diminishing mass of members on the other. The membership is mostly composed of people whose motivations do not include personal advancement.

    This election marks the end of the process that began in 1979 to defeat Bjelke-Petersen and elect a Labor government. The many members who joined back then have formed the core of the branch membership structure across the state. They’ve been appalled by the dreadful government they’ve worked to install and maintain. A former minister once remarked in my hearing when policy and administrative issues of grave concern to branch members were raised: ‘f*** the members’. I suspect they all got the message.

  128. BilB

    Helen 95

    “you seem to be employing very rigid gender stereotypes when choosing who to vote for”

    What it is, Helen, is that I have a natural aversion to hyper egotistical a**e holes who are mostly men, and over represented in the political arena. I have to deal with these types in business too, but at least here I have more scope for avoidance. I could write a three volume novel about the stupidity that I have witnessed from these tortured soles, and maybe some day, perhaps when I have launched the boat and can while away my days in peacefulness of the Hawkesbury River, I will.

  129. Tyro Rex
  130. Fran Barlow

    Ken Lovell said:

    Surely then voters would have turned to the Greens but their vote went BACKWARDS.

    The election was a plebiscite — what do you think of ALP rule? It had almost nothing to do with the open question: “what would you prefer?”

    The Greens are not a governing party. Nor was it likely that Greens elected could make a difference to public policy. The Katterites were perceived as having a chance of doing that, and their support base was concentrated rather than scattered. They had populistic issues to run on that were local — CSG, biofuels for example — and had chances of winning seats.

    Left-of-centre politics was not rejected so much as not raised in any serious way. The campaign was dominated by other issues.

  131. Lefty E

    Actually, in the context of this wipeout the Greens vote held up well. They’ll be thinking ‘not a bad result ‘ today – and remaining confident of a 2nd QLD senator next federal election.

    Of course, the wider joke is on all of us: somehow 55% 2PP converts to 90% of seats in our single member district system.

  132. Fran Barlow

    I think we need to distinguish between the parliamentary labor party and the utterly compromised central administrative and policy apparatus on the one hand, and the diminishing mass of members on the other. The membership is mostly composed of people whose motivations do not include personal advancement.

    That’s as may be. It rather underlines my point. Why would you volunteer to further such ends?

  133. uniqerhys

    “One Nation reborn under Katter grabbed more of the ex-ALP supporters than anyone else including the LNP. Looks like a pretty comprehensive rejection of left wing parties to me, no matter how you spin it.”

    Which ex-ALP supporters? The old school rusted on progressives and union voters? Or the first-time ALP voters from the Beattie era when the Nats were landslided into irrelevance? I suspect KAP got the latter – the swing voters, not the heartland left-wing. The heartland split between the Greens and the LNP. The question is how we get the first-time LNP voters back in subsequent elections. The pro-corporate Beattie/Bligh era of being little more than “LNP Lite” has clearly failed.

  134. Sam

    The spinning on behalf of the Greens in this thread has to be a joke.

    The number one issue on which the Labor Party was on the nose was privatisation. The voters were livid about it, right? So you’d think that some of them might turn to a party that is against privatisation, like, you know, the Greens.

    And yet the Greens got no more votes.

    This makes two state elections in a row that the voters have been seethingly angry with the Labor Party. The Labor Governments in each case could be fairly summarised to have sucked up to the big end of town while ignoring the concerns of their core constituents, that is, people who get rogered by the big end of town. (At least, that is what contributors to this blog have said ad nauseum.)

    And on each occasion the voters have gone Right, en masse. No voters at all (to speak of) decided that their electoral response should be to go Left.

    Any Greens supporter who thinks this is all hunky dory is delusional.

  135. Russell in Glendale

    Based on proportional representation Labor and the Greens would have picked up about 30 seats. (Numbers from the ABC of 26.6% Labor and 7.6% the Greens total 34.2% just on first selection. 34.2% of 89 seats being 30.4) Not a win by a long shot, but enough to keep the party organisations in place to keep democracy working. Labor could have stopped worrying about keeping the greens at bay and at least dealt themselves back into the game by moving to a proportional representation. Finally, even the Liberals would have been able to score in their own right to deal with the Nationals. Having spent time in QLD in Joh’s day, it is possible that yesterday’s outcome may bring back the same nasty brand of belligerent leadership.

  136. Lefty E

    Bollocks Sam. They had a negligible swing against them of 0.7%. They’ve never been a force in state politics – but are hoping for a 2nd senator, and on this result, look likely to get it.

    Bottom line is they maintained their vote in an election in which the focus was totally elsewhere.

    Focussing on the Greens in the middle if this carnage is the delusionary trend on this thread!

  137. Paul Norton

    I never cease to be amazed at the willingness of ALP supporters, when their party has gone massively backwards, to seek solace in the fact that the Greens haven’t gone massively forward. There is little real doutb which of Australia’s two significant left of centre parties has lost more skin in the current round of Federal and State elections.

  138. Sam

    It is meaningless to say that the same votes under proportional representation would have translated into x seats, because people tailor the vote according the electoral system. You see it all the time in federal elections with the same person voting differently in the Reps and the Senate.

  139. Paul Norton

    P.S. Sam, I didn’t have you in mind when I wrote my last comment.

  140. verity violet

    Anna Bligh has just resigned from Parliament!

  141. Tyro Rex

    Has Campbell Newman got QLD back on track yet?

    http://isqueenslandbackontrackyet.com/

  142. Katz

    FB asserted:

    The election was a plebiscite — what do you think of ALP rule? It had almost nothing to do with the open question: “what would you prefer?”

    If this were the case, then you’d expect the voters who deserted Labor to scatter to all points of the political compass.

    Clearly, the strong rightward surge of the electorate contradicts this assertion.

  143. Sam

    Paul and Lefty, you can’t avoid the issue: why did the Greens not pick up any of the voters who hated Labor guts?

  144. Tyro Rex

    Jesus, that’s one less seat we will win then.

  145. Ken_L

    Fran @127 & 131 I think you misrepresent the outcome; as somebody else wrote earlier the result of the election was obvious long before the campaign began. Your interpretation of the Katter Party’s vote is just spin and not supported by the figures. KAP got more than 15% of the vote in Ipswich/Ipswich West for example, which is hardly in the north; likewise Beaudesert (27%), Gympie (23%), Logan (13%) and Hervey Bay (12.5%). Moreover KAP did not stand candidates in many electorates – fewer, I suspect, than the Greens. If they got 13% in Logan I would have expected a similar result in an electorate like Woodridge but they did not have anyone standing.

    However I’m not sure what bigger point you are trying to make – that if someone raises left-of-centre politics (not sure what that means but anyway) in a ‘serious way’ in future they might be embraced by the electorate? I don’t see any evidence for that at all so it just seems like wishful thinking. I share the wish but lets not kid ourselves it has any connection with reality.

  146. Sam

    Paul, my last comment crossed with yours.

  147. drsusancalvin

    Watch now as Bob Katter and his “Kattermites” © gird up their loins for Federal seats. Go on. Try to get that image out of your skull.

  148. Rococo Liberal

    Fran

    Morton’s fork means something diffrent to what you think it means.

    Talk of a ‘boss class’ is so old-fashioned that I thouhgt we were back in the 1950s. Are you saying that the trades unions, to whom the ALP is completely beholden for its existence, are now part of the ‘boss class?’

    Maybe you have a very good point. It would seem that the remnants of the union movement do indeed act very much like bosses in relation to union membership.

    PR is awful because it removes our right to pick whom we want to represent us and severs the relationship between the voters and the politicians who can thenride roughshod over our rights.

  149. Katz
  150. Hal9000

    I think it’s a mistake to characterise Katter as wholly of the right. Much of his appeal lies in opposition to the liberal economic agenda pushed by both the major parties. Although he’s a climate science denier, he runs on a range of local and regional green issues – particularly opposition to the Deadwood-style resource community growth and promotion of sustainable agriculture.

  151. Sam

    Actually, it appears that the Greens picked up John Quiggin’s vote, according to his commentary. But there’s only one of him. (If only the franchise could be restricted to left-leaning professors …)

    I hate to bring this up, but, could it be that chorus of agreement that appears on blogs (not just Left blogs, all political blogs), where people spend an unhealthy amount of time, blinds said people into thinking that everyone thinks as they do?

    Just askin.

    (I haven’t seen anyone yet claim that the election was rigged because no one they know voted LNP or Katter, but it can only be a matter of time.)

  152. Helen

    Who are you calling a chorus of agreement, Sam? Certainly not this blog, even if you hold your head sideways and squint. If you’re referring to the endless comment threads on the News Ltd sites moaning about “JuLIAR” and the lefty latte sippers, you do have a point.

  153. Terry

    Now Anna Bligh is cutting and running. After so many people took her at her word that she would serve out a full term in Opposition even if Labor lost.

    I suspect the voters of South Brisbane will take great delight in finishing off what they nearly did on Saturday, which was kick Labor out of its last inner city bastion. Especially if Head Office takes this as the opportunity to try to recycle Andrew Fraser or Cameron Dick.

    She had to do 12 months as an opposition MP, even if she was sick of it.

  154. drsusancalvin

    @149 Katz I unreservedly apologise and withdraw my claim to copyright. I assume today they are “happy little Kattermites”.

  155. Ken_L

    Hal9000 I surmise KAP, should it ever get enough MPs to have to behave like a real party, will be as fragmented as Hanson’s mob was. It’s just a loose coalition of people who feel alienated from contemporary society.

  156. verity violet

    The ALP is again demonstrating their total disregard for their constituency by having Anna Bligh resign from parliament to ‘parachute’ a potential leader in. They are insane and will not listen or learn.

    And Hal9000, I agree Katter is not just a right wing thug. He speaks to the concerns of many regional people. Not visitors, but long term residents of the north. Heck, if it was worded correctly, I would still support buying local, import tariffs and some protectionism, more money for infrastructure like railways and even a federally owned bank ffs! Some of what he espouses what Labor policy few decades ago. He is at heart a small minded bigot though, and at heart he still supports low taxation and is anti union and so will always side with the coalitioin when it comes to the crunch.

  157. verity violet

    pardon the spelling, iphone finger.

  158. John Edmond

    Petulant and embarrassing behaviour from Bligh. She’d rather Labor lose her seat than be inconvenienced or laughed at. And if they run a name candidate (CD, AF*) they risk ruining the candidate as well for no good reason. You can’t keep being given easy seats.

    *Obviously you may think Dick and Fraser don’t deserve their reputations, but the ALP does and you would think they would act accordingly.

  159. Lefty E

    Actually, what the last 10 years demostrates is this: the GRNs vote *never* goes significantly backwards. No matter what’s happening elsewhere.

    High proportion of rusted-ons. This is what distinguishes it from other smaller parties.

    I might add: if there’s a good local candidate, and a particaulrly bad parachute exercise from the ALP, and a favourable preference set up, I wouldnt rule out a GRN taking Sth Brisbane in the upcoming by-election.

  160. Doug

    The point about the outcome under a proportional system was I take it simply to make the point about what happens under the existing system when there is a substantial swing on. The result is an outcome that is not good for governance, or democratic representation of the divergent views and interests in the community.

    The issue as to whether there would be any prospect of change is entirely another issue and not one that was being raised in the exchange.

  161. Lefty E

    Btw, I dont blame Bligh for resigning her seat. That actually industry standard for this situation. Ease up on her!

  162. Katz

    And Greens are a younger demographic.

    The future is green.

  163. Jesterette

    I do blame her for resigning, instead of taking it on the chin. There is no one left. She’s taking all the remaining senior experience with her. It might be the industry standard, but in industry, you can readily recruit. Not so easy in politics.

  164. Paul Norton

    Paul and Lefty, you can’t avoid the issue: why did the Greens not pick up any of the voters who hated Labor guts?

    Sam, fair question (even if our comments crossed). My immediate response is that in circumstances where people were stampeding to vote out a Labor government, they went for the obvious anti-Labor option rather than an option which they might go for if they just wanted to give Labor some curry without voting them out. Nonetheless it’s not hard to imagine ways in which the Greens could have achieved some increase in the vote. Running hard on reproductive rights is one example. All this should be the focus of the analyses which we need to conduct, painful as it may be.

  165. Jesterette

    Not to mention the fact that Labor will almost certainly lose the seat.

  166. drsusancalvin

    They’re happy little Kattermites as Right as Right can be,
    They all enjoy election funds at 4%, you see,
    There’s plenty of pea-nutters there to
    reach this humble mark because they love
    the loony right, they really love the poofta fight,
    They will oppose the lefty clique!

  167. Lefty E

    Hopefully theyll lose it to the GRNs!

    Frankly, 1 seat of 90 is the least a party deserves with 7.5% of the statewide vote.

    Stupid single member district system *mutters to self….*

  168. Paul Norton

    I’m not sure that either Dick or Fraser would go down too well in South Brisbane. We’ve had 26 years of a woman from the Left as our State MP and I’m not sure we want to go backwards on that score.

  169. Ken_L

    But Lefty E @159 if the Greens couldn’t go forward in this election, when will they ever be able to do so? We’ve had other parties in this country over the years who sat on a reliable 5-6% of the vote every election thanks to a rusted-on group of supporters – think DLP and Democrats for example. Eventually they decline, usually due to the departure of key individuals. What in the end do they achieve?

    Labor is in terminal decline due to the collapse of the union movement that used to sustain it. Australia needs a new non-conservative movement roughly equivalent to the Democratic Party in the USA. I believe Rudd was trying to steer the ALP in that direction and we all know how that turned out. As of now I am buggered if I can see what institutions will facilitate its emergence, although I have little doubt it will happen sooner or later.

  170. Lefty E

    Yep – ALP would be wise to bring in a local party member with a community profile. Otherwise you’re practically begging to come third and get the GRN home in a nailbiter.

  171. Lefty E

    Ken-L – Ive never seen a single example (and I mean ever) of the GRNs doing better when the baseball bats are out in force for the ALP.

    So, non-growth in the GRN vote yerterday doesnt surprise me. Who yesterday was thinking of anything beyond Newman and Bligh?

    If the GRN vote has dropped signficantly, Id be concerned. But it didnt.

    That said, It may be the QLD GRNs didnt run an espeically good campaign. Im too far away to tell. But the results were fine. Thats the 2nd QLD senator, right there.

  172. BilB

    Good one DrS.

  173. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Anna Bligh is – well, was my local member, and I was planning to send her flowers as a mark of appreciation for being my member. If she’s resigning… well, that’s a different story.

  174. Jacques de Molay

    Pretty poor by Anna Bligh stepping down as leader when clearly her party desperately need her and then also resigning as the member for South Brisbane and sending her electorate back to the polls again in a by-election.

  175. Katz

    The objective conditions for the growth of the Greens are propitious.

    Conversely, the DLP’s folkish Irish Catholic anti-communist paranoia didn’t survive the Vietnam War, and the Liberals’ decision to cease being religious bigots and actually deigning to share their sweet sherry with Roman Catholics.

  176. Lefty E

    I mght add, I agree with Sam on one thing: a % of people do tailor voting behaviour to the electoral system.

    If there was a genuine hope of a member (eg if we had multi-member districts like Tas) the GRN vote might easily have been 10% or higher yesterday.

    The evidence for ths is quite clear in the regular 2.5% increase the GRNs get in in the senate, compared to the house of reps. Its just a fact of Australian politics.

  177. Fran Barlow

    One might add as well that the Greens are not the best campaigners in state elections. The fairly obvious thing to do here was to run a “we’re the ALP you all really wanted — vote for us to send the right message to the ALP” style campaign.

    Instead, localism wins out every time, mainly, one suspects, because elections are seat-by-seat contests for non-governing parties. This is something we are going to have to get our heads around in the very near future if we are going to get seats in the lower houses on a regular basis.

  178. duncan

    Lefty,

    how can you say -0.7% (now -0.8% according to the ABC poll watch) on a base of 8.4% is not significant? That’s a 10% movement away from the greens.

    As Sam pointed out above… Greens supporters are deluding themselves if they think that isn’t significant in an election where the swing was ‘anything except labor’.

    Where did the ALP’s left support go? Are they the rust belt?

  179. Lefty E

    Thats right Katz – a global environmental crisis is driving growth of GRN parties around the world. That’s an objective circumstance supporting the parties, and one unlikely to shft in the long-term, let alone short or mid.

    Whereas the Democrats ‘base issue’ could never truly be articulated, never made a lot of sense, except as a place to park a protest. Not much of a base in the end.

    And what you said about the DLP.

  180. John D

    Now that Bligh has resigned it would be a shame if Frazer got her seat. Frazer and his push for QR privatization was one of the things that destroyed Labor. First term performer Cameron Dick seems a much better prospect as leader.

  181. Sam

    Paul 164

    Sorry, not buying it.

    On this occasion everyone knew that Labor was gone; there was nothing to stop (say) an additional 5% of the electorate voting Green knowing full well it would make no difference to who formed the next government. And they could have justed voted 1 Green, and so not felt dirty about giving Labor their preference.

    But of course it did not happen. Faced with the choice of going Left to the Greens or Right to LNP or Katter, all the pissed-off Labor voters – and there was a shitload of them – went Right. All or them! What is it about the Queensland Greens that they can’t attract a single extra vote when the major left of centre party is imploding before their very eyes?

    I suppose it comes down to whether the Greens are happy being a high single digit party. Evidently, some Greens on this blog are. But as someone uptrend said, single digits is a precarious existence.

  182. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    And Queensland needs a proportional representation system. Not because it favors minor parties, but because the “winner-takes-all” system is unhealthy. A lot of us have the heebie-jeebies over Newman. There’s probably a lot of people on the other side who had the same feeling about Beattie or Bligh when they were running the joint. Maybe not the same fear of Joh Mk II that a lot of the Left has, but perhaps a feeling of powerlessness that made people go for Katter or Hanson. Without an absolute majority, Bligh would never have got privatisation through.

    Fraser and Dick can DIAF.

  183. Fran Barlow

    Ken, Sam

    Approximately how many voters in Qld thought that the Greens would

    a) win enough seats in the election to select a premier?
    b) win enough seats in the election to support a minority government?
    c) win any seats at all?

    Just a rough figure will do …

  184. Lefty E

    Dare I suggest it may be missing the point of 24 March 2012 to focus on the -0.7% swing against the QLD GRNs?! :P

  185. Lefty E

    Sam, I’m a GRNs member, and unless I was enrolled in Sth Brisbane or Mt Cootha (the only seats anywhere near approaching winnable for the GRNs) yesterday I’d have actively considered voting ALP.

    (Actually…. no I wouldnt, Id have gone 1 GRN, 2 ALP. But see, Im rusted on. )

    A more casual GRN voter might easily have made that choice, in this deluge.

    I actually dont get the thinking behind the thesis that a left party will “likely benefit” from a rampant right resurgence, and the collapse of a long-running centre left government.

  186. Terry

    The objective conditions for the growth of the Greens are propitious.

    Very impressed that it was not Fran Barlow who said this.

    Now I’m off to re-read Karl Kautsky.

  187. Terangeree

    @ 173:

    I also live in the South Brisbane electorate, although I wasn’t planning on sending any flowers.

    She got elected for three years, and ought to fulfill the terms of that contract with her employers.

    Personally, I’d argue that the only valid reasons for any MP — whether local, State, or Federal — leaving their seat early and forcing a by-election are:

    Death;
    Criminal Conviction;
    Serious Illness;
    Major crisis involving immediate family (e.g., caring for a terminally-ill spouse or child).

    Otherwise, the politician ought to see out their full term. Bligh would not have resigned from politics today if Labor had retained the Treasury benches, so why should she resign from politics just because she is no longer Premier?

    South Brisbane has been an ALP seat for 88 of the last 97 years. I suspect Bligh’s premature resignation (and the likely “parachute politician” presented as a replacement) will poison the local well against the ALP for a couple of elections.

  188. Katz

    Aren’t rising levels of CO2 and mass extinction of species objective enough for you, Terry?

  189. John D

    The Green’s vote was only slightly reduced from last time on Saturday night’s figures. This was a good result given that they had to compete with the new KAP for the protest vote and a possible reluctance to risk a hung parliament with the Greens likely to support the ALP when they clearly wanted change. It is worth remembering that there was considerable overlap between the Greens and KAP. (Ex: Coal seam gas.)
    It is interesting to note that the combined major party vote dropped by over 7%.

  190. Sam

    Fran

    The Greens were never going to win any seats. That was always obvious, and totally beside the point. What is the point is that they couldn’t get any more people to vote for them on the basis of their philosophy, their policies, their candidates – whatever it is that causes people to vote Green.

    Now, as for Bligh, the phrase cutting and running was invented for situations like this. This may be the most “I’m all right, Jack” act in the history of Australian politics. Does she not realise that when -not if -Labor loses the by election it will lose 20% of its parliamentary representation? Or does she not care?

  191. verity violet

    Thats the choice I made in Sth Bris. yesterday Lefty E. Most of the people I know who voted Green 1 put ALP down as 2 as a result of memories of the past. I think that was more than enough of a reason to see the .7% swing.

  192. Sam

    Lefty 185

    Why is that an election where the voters are angry about privatisation must involve a “rampant right resurgence”? Couldn’t it lead to a bit of a resurgence to the only party on the left that is against privatisation?

    John D 189

    “risk a hung parliament”

    Because, like, everyone thought it was going to be a cliff hanger. LOL.

  193. Darryl Rosin

    The Greens never do well at “change of government” elections, particularly when there’s a big swing on. When the swing is on, more voters have their minds made up going into the polling place, and if you’ve made up your mind beforehand, you’re either going ALP or LNP, because that’s all you’re reading about in the papers and seeing on TV. (Or, in this case, ALP, LNP or Katter.)
    Which, by the by, is the reason HTV cards work so well for the Greens. People are walking up thinking “Labor or Liberal, Labor or Liberal” and HTVing gives us a chance to get ‘Green’ added to the set of options.
    Another big issue that’s unique to Qld is *why* would you bother voting for the Greens since they’re not going to get elected anywhere?
    My last reason for this little list is simply that a proportion of the Greens vote (but not a large proportion) is the “I’m not voting for any of those bastards” vote. KAP sucked a bit of that out of the Green vote this time.

    d

  194. Fran Barlow

    The Greens were never going to win any seats. That was always obvious, and totally beside the point.

    To you maybe, but not to most people. Most people are attached to the idea that what they do makes a diference. This stops them from doin bad things and encourages them to do good things.

    Symbolism tends to appeal most strongly to those who are keen on high principle. Sacrificing your vote on the altar of high principle is a very hard sell outside of us high principle types.

    If The Greens were to get disaffected ALP types to vote for us, we needed to convince them not that high principle was involved but that their votes for us would heal the ALP of its malaise. If they think the disease is incurable or not curable by voting Green, then we aren’t getting them.

    We’ve never tried to sell voting fo us in this way. At state level It has always had the feeling of 50+ resident action groups pitching “local issues”

  195. Sam

    John D 189

    “the combined major vote dropped by over 7%.

    Yes, and Sean Penn and I have won a combined two Academy Awards for best actor.

  196. Fran Barlow

    On Bligh … suspect that she can work out that there’s a Federal election in 2013.

    Senator Bligh, anyone?

    PS: apparently she is related to Captain Bligh … which is interesting.

  197. Lefty E

    Here’s my problem with the “Greens should have benefitted” thesis: it assume a zero-sum game in which left-of-centre voter x can simply swap allegiance.

    But in fact, a significant % of ALP voter hate the Greens (do I really need cite evidence of that on an Oz pol blog?). Those that were inclined to move probably already have, over the last 10-15 years.

    The mistake in this thesis is the assumption that allegiances will still shift. I’d suggest you’re barking up the wrong tree: Id argue they *already have* shifted, about as much as they will, and the overwhelming prospects for growth in the GRN voteshare will come from younger voters, entering for the first time.

    This has been true for some time, I’d add.

  198. Sam

    Fran

    Not even the Queensland Labor Party would be stupid enough to put Anna Bligh on the next Senate ticket.

    “Hi voters, we’d just like to remind you who led the Government you eviscerated last year. Here’s a chance to take out your anger on us again”.

    The Labor Party should buy Anna Bligh a one way ticket to Greenland.

  199. Sam

    Lefty 197,

    That’s an interesting thesis. You’re saying that a “left of centre” (your words) voter would rather vote LNP or Katter than Green.

    What is it about the Greens that makes them so hard to like?

  200. Katz

    Because folks don’t like being told that they are shitting in their own nests, especially when they have gone deep into debt to produce that rich harvest of manure.

  201. Lefty E

    Sam, there are a large number of former ALP voters who not only *would* rather LNP, but do, in actual elections. They’re sometimes called the ‘Howard battlers’. This aint rocket science.

    To answer your question, GRN politics is too challenging for some, implies a fundamental change in political consciousness, and some fully formed adults will not go through this process. GRN Votes will more likely grow through new enorlment.

    Back to my point, the corollary of what Im saying is this: those peddling the “zero-sum centre-left voter shifts” thesis are assuming (hoping) that GRN vote can one day return to the ALP mother ship. But in fact, election after election suggests that it wont.

    If it isnt already clear, we are instead entering an era where when the ALP wins, it doesn so with GRN support. In every proportional consituency we have (Federal Senate, Tasmania, ACT) that is already the case, today. Its even happened now in a non-proportional constituency – federal parliament.

  202. Sam

    Hey, Katz, are you calling my 6 plasmas (18 months interest free) a pile of manure?

  203. Katz

    What do you call it?

  204. danny

    Thank you Dr Sue @ 166, I’m finding it a tres efficient earworm

  205. Sam

    Lefty, I’m not saying that your aspirational tradie is ever going to vote Green. But there is a bloc of voters who have been attached to the ALP, because they have been attracted to its better policies, who could be switched.

    As I said upthread, John Quiggin has outed himself as one such voter. Why aren’t there more like him? Do you have to be a professor to ‘get’ green politics?

  206. Sam

    Katz 203

    I call it my Home Theatre.

  207. Nick

    Queenslandhas high migration – in and out. More than the entire Greens vote.

    Possible a lot of Green voters are leaving Queensland, and non-Green voters arriving?

  208. zorronsky

    One thing that seems to be overlooked here is the number of voters that did not vote LNP. However you look at it they are substantial group. They are also the rump that have the most to offer an opposition. Unity would be their only hope of effective deterrence against what will in all likelihood wil be a very arrogant, unbridled and inexperienced Government.

  209. Paul Norton

    Ken @169, Sam @182, and others, it’s instructive to reflect on other elections (State and Federal) where voters have brought out the pitchforks and axehandles, going back to NSW in 1988, the Feds in 1996, NSW last year and Queensland yesterday. In all those cases the left/green alternatives on offer (beginning with the two proto-Green independent tickets of Jack Mundey and Milo Dunphy in 1988) made little headway. Whatever specific criticisms could be made of said left/green alternatives in each of those cases, I think we would not be too rash in generalising that when a mood for massive rejection of Labor is rife, there would not be a high level of interest in electoral alternatives which stand for something other than giving the corpse a proper burial.

  210. Grey

    Labour NSW 2011, primary vote 25.5 – 20 seats
    Labour QLD 2012, primary vote 26.5 – 7 seats

    Labour NSW didn’t privatise electricity – seen as big mistake
    Labour QLD did privatise assets – seen as big mistake

    Labour NSW had disorderly leadership changes
    Labour QLD had orderly leadership transitions.

    Labour QLD Feb Newspoll primary vote 30%
    Labour QLD Newspoll eve of election primary vote 28%
    Actual primary vote 26.6%

    What does it all tell you? Anna Bligh might as well as spent the last 4 weeks on the beach rather than campaigning, for all the difference it made. Most of the political commentators could probably do the same thing.

  211. Paul Norton

    Then again, perhaps Patric Cook was onto something 30 years ago with his cartoon of a cage overcrowded with crazed rats, and one of the two experimental scientists observing them telling the other “they just elected a conservative government”.

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcu1sm_the-smashing-pumpkins-bullet-with-b_music

  212. Gabrielle

    The Greens in Queensland are not really a left alternative as far as I can see. There are some social democrats in the party with the environmentalists but most of them seem really apolitical about many issues. Many members and people running for seats that I have spoken to are quite anti-union and even when they have made preference deals with the Labor party do not stick to them and often advise voters to preference however they want. I’m not a Labor party member and I’ve thought about joining the Greens but they are far too wishy washy and ignorant about politics it seems. I don’t see any evidence that they have the organising skills to win any seats in the state or federally. I also am a South Brisbane voter and I don’t blame Anna Bligh for leaving. If they parachute in Cameron Dick or anyone else then they will lose the seat. It must be a left local.

  213. Sam

    Paul, as I recall NSW 1988, quite a lot of independents were elected (maybe 4, which was a huge number in those days), including Dawn Fraser in the classic inner city, basket weaving, latte sipping, electorate of Balmain. So the voters, or some of them anyway, were not reflexively swinging right when the Labor stench was too much to bear.

    In 1996, Peter Andren got elected as an independent in Calare. There might have been others; can’t remember.

    In any case, yesterday was an election when the issues were such that you would expect the Greens to make some progress, let’s say to 12% of the vote. It shouldn’t be a big ask.

  214. Lefty E

    Shorter Sam: the unprecedented shouldn’t be a big ask.

    Welcome to QLD! :P

  215. Darryl Rosin

    Gabrielle@212 “Many members and people running for seats that I have spoken to are quite anti-union and even when they have made preference deals with the Labor party do not stick to them and often advise voters to preference however they want.”

    I’m really surprised you’ve come across “many” Green members and candidates that are anti-union. There are some, certainly, but they’re ‘loan nutters’ by and large.

    And your comments about the ‘preference deals’ are completely unfounded. I suspect you don’t know what the deal actually says.

    d

  216. Russell in Glendale

    To those who seem to think The Greens are only a party of protest and that “the fad will end soon” have a think about structure of the Australian Senate and the Tasmanian state system. Further, as the Labor party declines if will become apparent that fighting the greens will not help their own cause. It is likely over time that a mainland state will in time go proportional thus locking in a multi-party system. This will not only have an effect on the left but the right will also split into groups of libertarians, social conservatives, rural, religious and so on. First past the post seems to invite corruption through rewards to patrons and the like. Whilst the current benefactors coming from Labor or NLP, Liberals etc say the system works with a good clean out every generation or so I believe the New Zealand and German way would have far better outcomes.

  217. Paul Norton

    Sam @213, there were certainly independents elected in NSW in 1988, but their profile wasn’t primarily that of a ‘left alternative to Labor”, certainly not in Dawn Fraser’s case. Those independents who did present such an alternative (the Mundey and Dunphy tickets for the Legislative Council) garnered 3% between them.

    There were other independents besides Andren in 1996, but IIRC most of them were disgruntled Liberals from WA who had been done over in internal preselection brawls, plus a certain fish and chip saleswoman from Ipswich, plus a certain gentleman with a big hat from North Queensland who famously denounced his critics as “slanty-eyed ideologues”.

  218. danny

    Sam@181:
    “What is it about the Queensland Greens that they can’t attract a single extra vote when the major left of centre party is imploding before their very eyes?”

    Hating to rain on your histrionic parade there, haven’t looked at the figures myself, a tad premature and all that, but nonetheless…

    His Bobness’ parting observation to the the brisso greens party party ( and no, it’s not true about watermelon wine being the tipple of choice) last night were ” We increased our vote in 25 seats” (sic).

    One of them being, (admittedly by a chapati thin amount, .7% atm) South Brisbane. Green voters of which saved, (for a very short time it turns out), Anna’s arse, via their famously rusted on preferences.

    Which were harvested by means fair and foul …. Being a neighbourly sort of a cove, I handed out HTVs for my friend the SB candidate. For part of the day I was the only sbgHTVer there, and from deep inside the somewhat sylvan site, ( I’m not standing in the sun all day for anyone, shady’s my middle name) it was puzzling that many times my offer of a green htv card ( 100% recycled! blank on one side for re-use as note paper!) was indicated unnecessary: “No thanks, we already have one”. Unbelievably diligent types, and maybe a bit thick, there’s only 4 names, thinks I, these greensters, bringing their HTV cards with them from home.

    What was really happening was the ALP at the front gate were handing out a customised-for-the-greenoid-cutout propaganda leaflet and accompanying HTV card with “GREENS 1″ in big appropriately hued letters at the top, and a much more discrete “ALP 2″. Needless to say the authentic sbg HTV did not suggest preferences at all.

    Quite a lot of those Greens->ALP Anna’s arse-saving preferences were slyly ( but no doubt authorised by A Jism, Peel St, and duly approved by ECQ Electoral Anomolies Inc, you might remember them from such favourites as “No Upper House”) harvested from trusting simple super-urban country folk who believed they were just voting per what the SB Greens wanted them to.

    Suckers.

  219. Grey

    Whilst the current benefactors coming from Labor or NLP, Liberals etc say the system works with a good clean out every generation or so I believe the New Zealand and German way would have far better outcomes.

    Having lived in New Zealand and lived next door to Germany I think it is easy to place to much significance on electoral systems. In the end government depends on opinion, so it is the opinion makers both in the media and elite circles which finally determine policy. Governments that don’t respond to these influences rapidly find themselves being portrayed as incompetent.

    I don’t think the outcomes in New Zealand or Germany are really that much better – with the exception that you need larger shifts in opinion to get clear cut changes in government.

  220. Doug

    Amazed at the focus in this discussion on the fate of the Greens rather than on the dysfunctional outcomes of the current electoral system under this sort of scenario.

    However seeing the subject is being aired a critical difference when prognosticating the future of the Greens needs to be noted; unlike the Democrats for example, they now have substantial representation at local government level across a number of jurisdictions. That is to say they have a degree of engagement at the local level that the Democrats never had. Under proportional electoral systems once elected they have showed a fair bit of resilience and proved able to convince people to re-elect them with improved margins.

  221. Terry

    Katz @ 188: my short answer is no. Longer one is that I have no idea what current and future capacities for human ingenuity in solving problems will be. A working hypothesis would be that they will increase, as more and more people are lifted out of absolute poverty, move from the country to the city, and are able to access basic levels of health and education. I believe the word for it is modernity, and I do recall that many on the left used to believe in it.

  222. Gabrielle

    Daryl I have handed out how to votes for the Greens in several previous elections and have been surprised by the anti union attitudes of candidates when I’ve spoken to them. They also have not reflected much understanding of politics which I found depressing. On the other hand I have thought that Labor and the Greens should stop attacking each other and talk as though political alliance is possible as it seems that there is no alternative for either. Maybe the Greens could learn to organise from Labor people, although sometimes I think that those skills may disappear with the membership of the Labor Party.

  223. Katz

    Katz 203

    I call it my Home Theatre.

    You can watch nature docos about extinct species in HD.

    Better than the real thing.

  224. Sam

    Extinct species? You mean, like the Labor Party in Queensland?

  225. Katz

    Nup. That’s a sub-species of the Greater Provincial Philistine.

  226. Katz

    I believe the word for it is modernity, and I do recall that many on the left used to believe in it.

    When the facts change sane people change their minds.

    Wiki informs me that most Pacific Islanders have got over their belief in cargo cults.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

  227. Terry

    600 million lifted out of absolute poverty in China since 1978.

    Anyway, I thought the point of this post was to admire the tactical nous of the Queensland Labor Party.

  228. jumpy

    Nick@207 in going somewhere with

    Queenslandhas high migration – in and out. More than the entire Greens vote.

    I believe(could be wrong) around half the QLD population are from interstate or overseas.
    That makes the ( eluded to up tread ) assumption that QLD is a breading ground for bigoted redneck sexist homophobic{sic} conservatives, absurd.

    In my work crew (9) alone, I am the only ” born n bred Qlder”.

    Brians summery@73, as usual, is spot on. ( sorry Brian if my endorsement taints you in the eyes of some)

  229. jumpy

    Anyway, I thought the point of this post was to admire the tactical nous of the Queensland Labor Party.

    *GOLD*

  230. Nickws

    I don’t think the carbon price had anything discernible to do with it.

    Brian, after reading today’s comments of the state Labor secretary, to the effect that carbon tax didn’t show up in his campaign voter research, I’d have to agree with you and others here that the overriding reason for the election result was: the desperate stupidity of Labor going negatively personal against Newman; the it’s time factor; and the simple fact that Bligh has been unpopular for so long (ever since she sold off the family silver, or ‘family jewels’ as I put it last night :-) ).

    However, I do suspect that the mining tax played some part in the massive swings up North, regardless of the fact that the LNP only opposes the federal revenue sharing structure of said policy, not the tax itself.

    In fact, I’d go as far as to say that a better explanation for the Gillard taxes’ (plural) impact on the election is that, overall, they were subtext. The national scare campaigns against the fed’s decision making processes, their dealings with the ‘watermelon party’ and the Indies, their basic supposed illegitimacy as a minority govt—these things tap into deep ideological resentment, not so much policy resentment. And this helped make the swing worse than it might otherwise have been, IMO.
    It’s no different that the classic Quinceland states’ rights nonsense, only this time it’s built off the back of Clive Palmer and Alan Jones et al.

    Think of this subtext as the small ‘c’ conservative version of the old Left people here explaining how this electoral overkill was nothing but a simple vote to punish Bligh on behalf of real working class values.

  231. Eric Sykes

    Proud to be living in Woodridge, a Labor hold; happy to have voted Labor and at least helped in a small way to stave off some of the local swing.

    Not happy, but resigned to waiting for those who voted LNP to see the LNP completely f up the State and then tear itself apart argueing over who gets to spend all that lovely developer baksheesh.

    Unhappy that the CEO of the Scripture Union got up, a marker of how bad (and how far right) the LNP actually are. As if religion in schools wasn’t bad enough already up here.

    Happy to give my time. Because it is time isn’t it? For all those who did vote Labor to get active locally, and help the party clamber back into some sort of sensible postition.

    Onward.

  232. Eric Sykes

    whoops..that’s “position…”

  233. Nickws

    So, any mention here of Bligh’s decision to pull the plug on politics altogether, even causing a bye election in South Brisbane? http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-25/anna-bligh-resigns-from-parliament/3911416

  234. danny

    Tez@227
    “the tactical nous of the Queensland Labor Party” … you mean like impersonating greens htv cards to sandbag Anna in her own seat? It worked, but what a wasted effort it turned out to be.
    As it was in Mt Cootha, where they went surrealistically further and bussed in … “Rent A Hippie”s!!…(volunteers dressed in ‘hippies’ clothes’) to hand em out. (That’ll go down well if they try and parachute fraser into SB.)
    I guess it goes to what Don the soon-to-be-former labor staffer upthread was saying about the “desire of most of the ALP front bench to be media darlings and comedians”.

  235. joe2

    Mob boss gives one party state the nod.

    Rupert Murdoch
    ‏ @rupertmurdoch
    Queensland , Oz, wipes out Labour govt. must scare Feds. Well deserved.

  236. Chris

    There’s two ways that ALP voters who dislike the move to the right to signal that they are not voting for them because of this. The first is to vote 1 Green, 2 ALP. If they’re really pissed off and want a change of government then they can vote 1 green, 2 LNP knowing that the greens aren’t going to win anyway. But this didnt happen with the green first preference vote dropping.

    If this happens in the federal election then the ALP/Green coalition is in big trouble! A huge Abbott majority would be very bad, though at least it’s highly unlikely they’ll control the senate.

  237. George in NZ

    The problem with the Greens is that they refuse to run proper campaigns, with strong local candidates and sufficiently resourced electorate campaign machinery and volunteers. When they sort this out, they’ll do better. They should focus as much of their energy as possible on a few winnable seats, and then fight like hell to get them. When Greens have done that internationally, they’ve stamped themselves as reliable and not merely ideologically clean vote wasters.

    Well, that, or proportional representation. But the current ALP would be at the gates of hell and still hold out against that, and they’re your only chance.

  238. Wantok

    In my electorate, Dalrymple, the sitting member Shane Knuth was LNP so we were ignored by the Labor government and our roads and general infrastructure remained neglected ( the Gillies Range road, our access to Cairns and the coast, was hit with mud slides on Monday last & remains closed). Knuth then jumped ship to KAP and yesterday retained the seat: so he remains in opposition and we will continue to be ignored by government. Go figure !

  239. BilB

    I see your dilema, Wantok.

    ‘Knuth said!!

  240. amortiser

    Bilb@115

    It has to be explained what happened to the “rusted on” voters.

    It would appear that the “rusted ons” have now flaked off and the ALP is left with the “welded ons”.

    Some time ago it was thought that the base vote of the ALP was about 40% of the primary vote.

    This has now been revised down with successive poor polls especially since the 2010 Federal election.

    It was then thought that the base vote was now around 30%. The “rusted ons” are now flaking off and the base vote has dropped through the 30% level to 27.5% at this Qld election.

    We are now in “welded on” territory which the faithful believe will never be lost.

    Welds can fracture and fail and Gillard, federally, in ignoring and denying the implications of this result, is setting the stage for the welds to fracture and the vote to plummet into free fall.

    Can the situation get any worse? Sure can!!!

  241. Nickws

    amortiser: Some time ago it was thought that the base vote of the ALP was about 40% of the primary vote.

    This has now been revised down with successive poor polls especially since the 2010 Federal election.

    I somehow doubt there’s a rock solid two year electoral trendline proving the demise of Labor’s primary vote, at least not in grand historical terms.

    In the short term, in the state election defeats of NSW and Qld, sure.

    However, as much as it pains me to put it this way, I can imagine some good electoral fundamentals underwriting a Bill Shorten ALP Opposition going up against a second term Abbott government.

  242. Martin B

    (One of) the (many) remarkable thing(s) about last night is the extent of the LNP surge into Brisbane. Not since 74 has the ALP failed to gain a majority of greater Brisbane/Ipswich. Not in 95, not even in 86 or 83.

    Now this could go one of two ways. Perhaps the finally gained Liberal dominance of the Qld conservatives will reassure Brisbane voters and LNP gains will be consolidated over the next few elections.

    OTOH after an outlier election like this we might expect to see a reversion to the mean and, like in 77, the ALP will bounce back to again capture half, or very nearly half, of Brisbane. This would suggest something like at least 15 seats that the ALP might hope to win back. In fact it wouldn’t be too hard to start listing them out (Ipswich, Nudgee, Stretton, Waterford, Logan…). How the party approaches the next election will be quite interesting. If they don’t recycle some old talent then they might end up with a partyroom that is ~80% newbies or 1 termers. Of course they won’t want to (or probably be able to)overdo it on that score.

  243. Terry

    Anna Bligh’s resignation is an absolute disgrace. Having insisted that she would serve out a term in opposition, he has betrayed those who voted for her, the few surviving Labor MPs who would have needed her experience in Parliament, and her electorate, who now need to go to the polls again in a month … and for what?

    it would be no surprise if the voters of South Brisbane vote LNP in large numbers, simply to say again to Labor that it is not simply about yourselves.

    Which would mean an LNP MP overseeing festivities at the West End street festival, which would a sight in itself.

  244. Martin B

    Peripheral note: the fact is that the proportion of Australians who understand PV (let alone OPV) is considerably lower than the proportion of posters here who do. Any suggestions that we would expect large numbers of anti-gov protest votes to go via 1 GRN is a largely hypothetical argument only marginally related to how people actually behave.

  245. Fran Barlow

    It’s probably worth restating the point I made above: the behaviour of most people is goal directed, owing much more to the prospect of achieving a desired outcome than the service of high principle.

    People know when they vote ALP or LNP that there is a reasonable prospect of them voting for a person who will support a government, or at least, oppose a government in parliament. There is a close connection between the act of voting and some measurable result. Once they cease believing in that connection, most people will abandon ship and either not vote, or vote for someone else where the connection exists. Voting for someone purely out of principle (i.e despite the view that the prospect of their vote making a difference is for all practical purposes, zero) is something only a minority can bring themselves to do.

    That, essentially, is what Green supporters do. We were thrilled that Adam Bandt was elected in 2010, yet in every electorate in the country, we turn out to support our candidates knowing full well that it won’t make the slightest bit of difference to the final result. We do it because it’s the right thing to do. We want to look at ourselves in the mirror and know that we did all we could to foster a better world. If it doesn’t happen, at least our hands are clean.

    That’s not a pitch which in my experience wins many votes though. Most people want a pay-off, even for their symbolic acts — which voting surely is. What’s the point of voting for someone who is going to lose?, they reason. Telling them that their vote may help cure the ills of the ALP and punish those responsible for the mess the party is in has long struck me as the strongest pitch, at least for those demoralised by the ALP‘s current culture. Of course, it would be far stronger if I could show them that their vote would elect a Green in place of the (failing) ALP candidate. It would be even stronger if I could show them that a Green government was in prospect. That I can’t means that many of them will reluctantly cast their vote for some party that can meet one of those standards. Katter’s party does that, and it opposed privatisation of public assets.

    So I’m not surprised that KAP did modestly well. Nobody on the right thinks it is left of centre, and some ALP folk probably see it as a kind of refuge from neoliberalism. There’s your 15% right there.

  246. Joe

    Sam said:

    Why is that an election where the voters are angry about privatisation must involve a “rampant right resurgence”?

    Bumping this, because I think it’s a very good question.

    I don’t think there’s a good answer. Political science is a misnomer. And on this blog, we’re mostly involved in opinion making, persuasion, or attempts to do so. The question is then something like, what made voters perceive the LNP to be the better party, especially if one assumes that voters were disaffected by Labor’s privatisation policy? (There was a similar response here in Germany after the GFC– with people turning to the FDP in droves.) One reason is that voters perceive the LNP as being if not better at managing the economy, then at least they are closer to the people that do so. The subtext here is that voters don’t really understand what the economy is, and certainly have no real idea about what privatisation is.

    It’s interesting that the Greens in Germany are very successful in state elections. The policy concerns of state governments should actually suit green politics more. They’re even stronger at local government level– our Mayor is green, for example, and has been for 20 years or more. Conceptually, the levels of government should be something like the layers of an onion, with local government issues being the ones that effect most our personal space.

    Australian greens seem very ideological, but not very practical. There’s a lot of noise about the global warming, (again, which nobody really understands) while there are some important issues like the Murray, which need to be dealt with.

    So, bit of a digression, but my guess is that, in an election campaign with very little substance, perception is king. (Given that perception is always important.)

  247. Fran Barlow

    Anna Bligh’s resignation is an absolute disgrace.

    No it isn’t. It’s a good thing. I’d be stunned if a single person who voted for her thought she’d serve out her term. It’s best for the ALP that she go as well. One seat is neither here nor there when you’ve only got 7 out of 89.

    Let’s face it — she was responsible for the shambolic campaign. Who would listen to anything she had to say?

  248. Joe

    I don’t think that Anna Bligh’s resignation is a disgrace– I don’t think there’s much honor in showing anal rectitude, when you know you can’t go on. Sure, she’s in a public position and many people have put their trust in her, but it’s also a personal decision and I can respect her for it and for what she’s done as a politician.

    Terry, it’s not going to make a difference to the Labor Party at this stage.

  249. Sam

    One seat is neither here nor there when you’ve only got 7 out of 89.

    Au contraire, one seat is huge when you’ve only got 7 out of 89. Every shadow minister could now get lumped with an extra shadow portfolio. It’s not like they won’t already have plenty to do.

    If Bligh had to go, she could have hung on until after Newman’s honeymoon is over when the Labor Party would have stood a chance of retaining her seat.

  250. adrian

    Terry’s selective outrage is a wonder to behold.
    Bligh’s just engaging in modernisation after all.
    Get with the program, Terry.

  251. Geoff Henderson

    So much speculation about the Greens! My preferred Party, but it’s vote proportion is probably well correlated with the number of people who give a toss about the environment.
    Green just won’t make any headway until there is a greater awareness that we are in deep environmental poop, and even then voters will need to understand that the Greens have always been banging on about Earth. That awareness will be inhibited by the powerful detractors led by Oil, Gas etc.
    It is also unfortunate that the progress achieved by the Federal Greens has been spun out as a reason for federal Labor shortcomings.

    Perhaps a topic along the lines of “What should the Greens do” would throw up some interesting concepts??

    Saving Earth is really kind of a priority. Maybe it is even the rope to haul Labor out of it’s confinement.

  252. paul walter

    I’ve just had a friend point out an ABC story that includes comments from Peter Beatty, that demonstrate just how intractably and anally out of touch and behind the times even Labor Queenslanders, or at least their leaders are, let alone the rest of the QLD public..
    He proposes Andrew Fraser or Cameron Dick be parachuted into Anna Bligh’s seat as she cuts and runs by March 30th.
    They just can’t adjust to what’s entailed in a viable concept of what “renewable”entails. Putting hidebound and rejected righties in charge just reproduces what had them smashed in the first place.
    It seems akin to switching on the air conditioner, on discovering the house is on fire?

  253. Darin

    I can’t imagine why Bligh thinks it is a good thing to resign. The ALP are going to have to be pretty lucky to get a candidate up. The elected caucus is pretty much already talent-free. It would have been much better to wait until, at least, her partner was let go and claim a new direction for their family.

    All it’s done is reinforce the whole “liar” meme. There are thousands of swinging voters going “told you so” tonight.

  254. Martin B

    I do think that political junkies like company presently assembled are a bit too wont to read grand historical narratives into election results. The conservatives were smashed in 2001 and the ALP was smashed in 2012. Has the political orientation of Qld and Qlders had such a dramatic shift in just a decade? Or were perhaps most decisions in both elections driven by other than deep-seated ideological commitments.

    I don’t think 2001 symbolised a staunch pledge of allegiance to a fabian ideal and I don’t think that 2012 indicates a headlong lurch to conservatism.

    That’s not to say, as others have said, that elections don’t have consequences. It’s just that it’s a mistake to hink that most voters are thinking about and endorsing all of the potential consequences when they vote.

  255. Joe

    Don’t take this personally, Geoff, but it reminded me very much of:

    “Son of Orange County”, from the great album, Roxy and Elsewhere:

    And in your dreams
    You can see yourself
    As a prophet
    Saving the world
    The words from you lips
    (I AM NOT A CROOK)
    I just can’t believe you are such
    A fool

    I just can’t believe
    You are such a fool
    I just can’t believe
    You are such a fool

  256. Sam

    I think 2018 is ambitious though.

    Queensland history suggests it will 20 years at least until Labor is back. One parties are out, they stay out.*

    * The Borbidge interregnum was an aberration.

    So … if any of you have any babies at present or on the way, their entire school education will be under the LNP. You know what they will do to the school system. Frightening, no?

    Better save your pennies so you can send them to Churchie or Gregory Terrace or whatever.

  257. Joe

    Sam said:

    Au contraire, one seat is huge when you’ve only got 7 out of 89. Every shadow minister could now get lumped with an extra shadow portfolio. It’s not like they won’t already have plenty to do.

    Well, that should make the small target concept easy to implement!

    Maybe they should have a jungle survivor camp first to decide who can run? Might turn a dollar, as well…

  258. Darin

    @257… God no.. Not Churchie.

  259. Terangeree

    Fran @ 248.

    Premiership aside, Bligh in South Brisbane campaigned to be re-elected for three years to represent the electorate and its people in State Parliament.

    After the vote was counted, the majority of voters in South Brisbane — either through their primary vote or their preferences — agreed to employ her as their local representative for three years.

    Not remaining as Premier is not really an acceptable reason to break that three-year contract when there are two years and 364 days remaining.

  260. Sam

    Or were perhaps most decisions in both elections driven by other than deep-seated ideological commitments.

    Of course. State government is about service delivery, nothing else. It wasn’t ideological. The voters decided to take their business to another supplier.

    Tribalism aside, can you blame them?

  261. Martin B

    Every shadow minister could now get lumped with an extra shadow portfolio.

    You really think Bligh should be taking on shadow portfolios in opposition? Yes I can see that woeking well for the ALP. OTOH by allowing the possibility of a new member who could take on those roles, resignation is a more effective way of reducing those workloads you are concerned about.

    Personally I do prefer it when ex-leaders hang around for a term or a goodly portion of it after defeat but that only works if they stay leader or can go to the backbench. In any case as LE said, and as William Bowe has detailed over at PB instant resignation really is the standard from both sides and vociferous condemnation does look like partisan sniping.

  262. Darin

    No, Terangeree. It’s 2 years and 359 days. She resigned with effect Friday assuming the poll is declared before then. Otherwise it might have got ugly.

  263. Martin B

    I don’t think it has nothing to do with ideology – and it’s not straightforward to distinguish between ideas of service delivery and ideology – but I think there is an impulse to over analyse the ideological zeitgeist with respect to elections.

  264. Joe

    Sam,

    because in a free market, we’re all free as the wind…

    Free to be meeeeeeeee
    Free to be youuuu tooooooo

    or When in Rome, do as the Romans.

    I would be ultra impressed if someone would bust out a couple of appropriate Zen koans.

  265. Sam

    You really think Bligh should be taking on shadow portfolios in opposition?

    This is a special case. There are only seven Labor members to shadow the whole government.

    You think, had she stayed, she could have had the quiet life on the back bench while her colleagues covered 5 portfolios each?

  266. Darin

    The burden, Joe. The woman is gone, but people are still arguing about it and carrying the problem.

    I’m assuming you already knew this one? It’s famous.

  267. Jolly

    Quenslanders have spoken. Labor has been thrashed. Labor is beyond dead. Now the rest of us are simply waiting for the Fed election. The labor that most of us came to know is gone. In its place we have a ruthless, undignified, power greedy, treacherous thugs who will not bat a lid to brutally attack their own or to eat their own! Utterly repulsive and truly gutter behavior. The presence of Carr is not going to make an iota of difference to the standing of Fed Labor. Fed Labor is a sinking ship and Carr is doomed, too. Labor cannot expect to garner respect or support from the general public when it holds both their own party members and the general community in the upmost contempt. Words and pious platitudes are useless. It is the current Labor’s behavior that reveals Labor;s true colours.

    Queensland election result = Fed Labor election result = complete decimation of ALP
    Quod erat demonstrandum (Q.E.D)

  268. Martin B

    You think, had she stayed, she could have had the quiet life on the back bench while her colleagues covered 5 portfolios each?

    Well no, but that is why criticising her for taking one of three options, all of which are bad, seems a bit petty. By all means argue for which horn of the trilemma you prefer, but tone down the outrage.

  269. Terry

    What Sam @250 said re. Anna Bligh’s moral obligation to stay for at least six months.

    Fran, I thought Anna Bligh had an escape plan but thought that she’d stay at least six months. What I am aware of is the extent to which those who invested heavily in trying to staunch the looming catastrophe took Anna Bligh at her word on her preparedness to hang around going from being Premier to hanging around at local sausage sizzles, for the good of the team. How many more times will Labor betray the trust of people who took them at their word?

    Adrian, another referendum on the Bligh government will go down just great. Perhaps Bruce Hawker can run the campaign!

    Paul, Peter Beattie was saying that on Insiders this morning. The lesson he drew from the election was that the LNP could parachute in a leader from outside and make it work, so why couldn’t that with Andrew Fraser or Cameron Dick? Well, I guess we’ll see how that goes down with the voters of South Brisbane.

  270. Joe

    Darin!! Great work. And Thanks!

  271. Darin

    @Joe.. No probs. It’s my favorite. It’s all full of sexual repression and bigotry.

  272. Joe

    Terry,

    if Labor had managed even 20 seats, she would have stayed on…

    But when the good ship Bligh hit the reef and all was lost, the captain went down with her. It was a C-atastrophe. And anyway, her hereditary maritime gene obviously kicked in.

    We all know, in her position, You would have stayed on. There is no doubt in my mind about that. But, we can’t all be the same.

  273. Joe

    Bruce could be parachuted in from one of the more affluent suburbs… That could work… brmmm-brmmm.? Hah!

  274. Terry

    So are we meant to empathise with her selling her few remaining colleagues down the river?

  275. Lefty E

    Yeah, she should have done the decent thing and lost her seat. Like John Howard.

    Dudes, get over it. Leaders who lose elections resign their seats. Industry standard. This line of attack really is daft.

  276. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Terry: as far as I know, you don’t live in South Brisbane. So using the word “disgrace” is a little bit of a long shot when she’s not your local member. She’s mine. I’m annoyed at her – a little bit less than a couple of hours ago, but still a little angry. However the person I’m most angry at is Peter Beattie – for suggesting that Anna Bligh resign in the most public way possible and then suggest his own replacements. That just lacks class.

  277. Joe

    Terry,
    You think she sold them down the river? It depends, I guess on what you think she has to gain from quitting. A normal family life, comes immediately to mind. Maybe in a few years a memoirs?

  278. John Edmond

    Basically what Terry is saying. Even if you believe Bligh can’t act as a shadow minister, she’s denying Labor the opportunity for a replacement who can in 12-18 months. And reinforcing the belief that Labor members are in it for themselves rather than the party, or QLD.

    Beattie has given up being a media tart and is now actively trolling the Labor party. He’s too smart to actually believe the crap he’s spouting, so one can only presume it’s to piss Labor off for fun.

  279. smssiva

    Grey @211
    It does bring home the point that in most elections the voters have made up their minds before the campaigning starts and the last five weeks of campaigning makes little headway

  280. Terry

    If Anna Bligh wanted out of the circus, she should not have recontested her seat.

  281. John Edmond

    Actually read William Bowe’s comment, instant resignations are not industry standard and can easily cause party losses. And this is not a normal time. If Labor had 30 odd seats, fine; if this was a safe seat, fine. They do not. This is Bligh throwing away one of Labor’s few seats to make her life easy.

  282. Joe

    OMG Terry, which firmware version are you running? This isn’t Rudd’s seat! She lead the party to almost complete defeat. Who’s to say that Labor won’t win the by-election, anyway? This is South Brisbane.

    Gawd, I hate professional politics.

  283. Joe

    John, this is Labor’s safest seat in Qld, I believe.

  284. Geoff Henderson

    Joe@256 no not personal Joe, thank you. It’s a good bit of verse. Anyway, being a fool can be interesting:

    “Mark it, nuncle:
    Have more than thou showest,
    Speak less than thou knowest,
    Lend less than thou owest,
    Ride more than thou goest,
    Learn more than thou trowest,
    Set less than thou throwest;
    Leave thy drink and thy whore,
    And keep in-a-door,
    And thou shalt have more
    Than two tens to a score.”
    King Lear’s Fool

  285. Terry

    In 2001, Rob Borbidge lost heavily to Peter Beattie, decided that he’d had enough, and the Nationals lost the subsequent by-election to an independent called Lex Bell. Two points here:

    1. Surfers Paradise was a much safer seat then than South Brisbane is now;
    2. Rob Borbidge was a much less unpopular figure with voters than Anna Bligh is now.

    When you have seven seats in an 89 seat parliament, the idea that you would risk one of them straight away is complete lunacy.

  286. John Edmond

    Ummm, professional politics is when you quit your seat when it is no longer convenient to your career. It’s South Brisbane, but have you seen the new margin?, it’s about the percentage an incumbent premier would bring. Labor has an ok chance of winning it now, but why take the risk – just wait like Kirner, Keneally or Goss.

  287. Joe

    Geoff!! Great, great verse… We all live in fool’s paradise, I guess. There’s some good music on Roxy and Elsewhere, if you like that kind of thing.

  288. Terry

    The other factor here is that the LNP now have the opportunity between now and a South Brisbane by-election to find something really damaging in the files of one of the departments (Queensland Health?) with which to further humiliate a seriously damaged ALP, and to bring on a big swing in the electorate.

    The LNP now have the resources, they certainly have the motivation – I wonder if Labor now regrets targeting Campbell Newman’s wife during the campaign – and they have momentum. At the very least, voter in South Brisbane will resent having to go to the polls again.

  289. Joe

    So, the electorate should have had their chance to vote and they should just suck it up until next time ’round? That’s professional politics!

    C’mon, Terry loves this kind of thing. Sounds like you do too, John. I respect her decision. She’s also allowed to be a person, you know. And, I imagine, as a person, she’s feeling pretty down at the moment.

  290. Terry

    So, Joe, I take it you’re relaxed about the LNP holding South Brisbane in a month’s time?

  291. jumpy

    NEWS FLASH
    Anna Bligh quits!!
    Labor leader says one thing before election and changes after!!
    What a surprise.
    Voters punish Labor for dishonesty !! Again!!!
    Amazing !!

    Next up; How it’s Ruperts fault.

  292. Joe

    Terry, I guess, we’ll see.

    But, from where I live, I’m fairly relaxed about it, yes.

    You need to speak to Down and out in Brisbane and Saigon. I reckon he’d have a better idea anyway, about what the chances are that LNP can win the by-election.

  293. Jesterette

    Terry – Lex Bell was actually a former mayor of the Gold Coast. Which is almost funny in the current predicament. Also, we have upcoming local elections, and Bligh pointed out when resigning that the election could be timed to coincide with that, at Newman’s discretion, which may mollify the electorate somewhat.

  294. Geoff Henderson

    Joe287 I was there but had no idea where I was – you know how things were in those days.
    I am listening to Frank right now

  295. John Edmond

    I’m not sure what “this kind of thing” is, precisely anyway. I was sympathetic to Bligh, but I’m simply not a fan of risking one of Labor’s few remaining seats for no good reason. Oh, and pushing back against such stupidities as “Industry Standard” which is so inaccurate it would be wrong even if the basic premise was correct.

  296. Fran Barlow

    So, Joe, I take it you’re relaxed about the LNP holding South Brisbane in a month’s time?

    Again, why should this matter? I don’t see the pertinence. It wouldn’t matter if they had 100% of the seats. Indeed, it might be somewhat more amusing and farcical.

  297. Sam

    Fran

    are you sure you’re a Trot? You sem like an anarchist to me.

  298. melbournehammer

    How anyone could possibly accept this resignation is beyond me. I remember Kennett resigning and the libs losing burwood and only just recovered it – 11 years after the by election for the “so called” industry standard.

    Bligh has an unambiguous obligation to support the party that has fed and compensated her for years – and due to her being a pre lathamite superannuant will continue to do so for years.

    At least Keneally has shown the personal courage to fight on.

  299. Martin B

    which is so inaccurate it would be wrong even if the basic premise was correct.

    PB describes 5 recent Lib/Nat premiers and 6 recent ALP ones.
    3 L/N premiers resigned from parliament immediately upon losing/resigning party leadership and the other 2 did so 1 year later.
    1 ALP premier resigned immediately and 3 did so 1 year later.

    He doesn’t describe the federal level but there of course Rudd is the only one of the previous 7 PMs not to have left parliament immediately upon losing/resigning party leadership (or in Howards case just before…)

    So instant resignation is not the only thing that ex-leaders do, at a state level hanging around for a year is equally popular. But seeing out a full term is very much the rarity. In living memory there is only Goss, presumably Rudd and possibly Keneally.

  300. Martin B

    South Brisbane is not Burwood and a strong local independent is unlikely to be a factor. The Greens could sneak it – but almost certainly not if the LNP ‘vigorously contest it’ like they say they will do. I would not be taking it for granted by any means if I were the ALP, but it would be a fair way down the worry list.

  301. John Edmond

    Well we’re talking about state level, and I definitely was talking about instant resignation. And the point was even if the basic premise was correct (that instant resignation is the thing to do) it would still be the wrong thing to do by Labor and Queensland because of the specific context of not having any seats to spare.

  302. Martin B

    would still be the wrong thing to do by Labor and Queensland because of the specific context of not having any seats to spare.

    Carefully weighed up, of course, against the negative to the ALP of having Bligh hanging around in a senior leadership role in the opposition.

    I mean, sure, perhaps you’re right and this is a worse course of action. But it’s not such an obvious proposition to justify all of the frothing going on. Bligh’s position seems at the very least reasonable, and quite possibly correct.

  303. John Edmond

    My point is that she didn’t have to hang around in a senior opposition role, just sit on the backbench long enough that the polls looked slightly better, 6-18 months.

  304. Martin B

    just sit on the backbench

    And as your friend in argumentation up there pointed out, having Bligh as the sole backbencher while the rest of the caucus is drowning in an overload of responsibilities is also going to be a terrible look for the ALP.

    The fact is that none of the options on the plate – Bligh remaining as leader, Bligh remaining on the frontbench, Bligh remaining as the sole backbencher, Bligh resigning instantly – are going to look good. It’s just a s**t of a situation that the ALP are in and there’s no getting away from that.

  305. Joe

    John,
    I think this is the kind of “sophisticated” thinking, which trips Labor up all the time.

    They should just get this out of the way, and then concentrate on the self-analysis and the rebuild.

    And if they’re smart they’ll give the National ALP, Senior Labor Figures and other advisers the bird, before Qld Labor knows what it wants to accomplish.

    Be interesting to see if Gillard comes out tomorrow to rally the troops. She’d be well advised to. But, IMO, she’s another candidate for avoiding her advisers, and getting her mojo back. I still have faith in her, but bugger me, it’s going to take some doing now.

  306. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Can the LNP win South Brisbane? It’s possible but unlikely. The first thing is that there are quite a few people having second thoughts about the LNP getting so much of a majority in parliament. Giving the ALP a good kicking is one thing; putting it into a coma is another. The party is probably going to lose more primaries to the Greens.

    The LNP got 44% on 2PP. They need an extra 5% to get the seat. If it was just an ALP-LNP contest, it might be doable – but the Greens give another place for people to transfer their vote in protest.

    Rather than transplanting someone else, the ALP could pick Helen Abrahams, the current councillor for The Gabba Ward, to take Anna Bligh’s place. She’s a pretty hardworking member, and The Gabba has pretty much the same boundaries as the South Brisbane. If the ALP does that, I reckon they’re home and dry. The problem is that Helen Abrahams might be a lot happier where she is.

    The other thing is that the Greens could win, but I think unlikely. They’re on 18% on primaries; I think they have to almost double that in a month to be in with a chance. Even with one seat out of 89 to to put in all the resources, I feel they’re going to put in an amateur effort anyway.

    Prove me wrong. Please.

    I would like to

  307. Chris

    MartinB – I don’t think there are enough ALP members for there to be a backbench!

    I think Bligh’s resignation is no surprise given the result. No one should believe a leader when they say they are going to stay on if they lose government. It’s what they are expected to say but everyone knows its unlikely.

    It’ll cost a bit but really it’s no different for normal employers. They aren’t able to control when people resign and you don’t really want an employee who doesn’t want to be there anyway.

  308. John Edmond

    Joe this isn’t sophisticated thinking, it’s basic human precaution. Self-harm bad! level stuff. In fact ALP’s cutesie thinkers probably support/argued for Bligh’s resignation – as per Beattie and his proposals.

  309. Martin B

    Oh, in the interests of accuracy I should correct myself above: Howard, Keating and Fraser all left parliament upon losing elections (and thus stepping down as leaders), Hawke did so 2 months after losing the leadership and Whitlam did so 7 months after resigning the leadership.

    The previous PM to Rudd to have served out a full term after losing an election/the leadership was McMahon.

  310. Lefty E

    The ALP will probably hold it if they pick a decent local. But if they dont, whats the difference between 7 members and 6, exactly?

    If we’re going to keep our crazy, bullshit, unrepresentative single member districts system (with joke results like winning 87% of seats on 55% of 2PP – this wouldnt even fly in Putin’s Russia), I cant see the point in worrying about margins like this.

    It was a disaster – its done. How Bligh could possibly help matters by hanging around is beyond me.

  311. Lefty E

    Especially after a thrashing like this. Wot, she should hang around like Banquo’s ghost? Are you serious?

    How exactly would that help the ALP rebuild?

    Ive rarely heard such nonsense on this venerable blog.

  312. John Edmond

    We’ve already explained a dozen times. It helps ensure Labor holds South Brisbane at a later by-election. Despite your scoffing this makes a big difference to the load of work shared by a party reduced to seven. Practicality beats rumoured ghosts.

  313. Martin B

    this makes a big difference to the load of work shared by a party reduced to seven

    Except that you are also suggesting that she sit on the back-bench (*as* the back bench) and thus, by definition, will be doing very little to share the load.

    Hence the argument to try and get someone in sooner rather than later who can actually help to reduce the workload.

  314. Lefty E

    Well, she resigned dudes. Like most leaders have, do, would and will in the same situation. So get over it!

    I dont know if you’re familiar with Sth Brisbane, but I grew up there: the main chance of losing it will be from parachuting someone in. In which case it’ll be the ALPs fault, not Bligh’s.

    This’ll cheer you up, the view from KAtter:

    “A majority of 30 doesn’t keep you warm at night in Queensland. It’s the most volatile voting state,” he told AAP today.

    “Two elections ago the Liberal Party had five seats. Now they’ve got more than 70.

    “Two elections from now, you might be back down to five seats.”

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/the-lnps-huge-majority-wont-last-katter/story-e6frfku0-1226309683313#ixzz1q82HjoiA

  315. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    What Katter said.

    And remember folks: it wasn’t too long ago that Campbell Newman was the most senior Liberal in Australia… as the Lord Mayor of friggin’ Brisbane.

  316. John Edmond

    Well I agree with that.

    Except that you are also suggesting that she sit on the back-bench (*as* the back bench) and thus, by definition, will be doing very little to share the load.

    Good trolling but you’ve tipped your hand. It’s been abundantly clear that that the argument here was that she shouldn’t have forced a by-election now with the polls the way they are. You know that, I know that. As such the new member could still assist for 2/3rds of the term. And Bligh’s limited assistance is better than nothing.

    We can’t pointlessly argue about whether a decision was good or not on the day it was made? Why bother having an internet then?

  317. John Edmond

    Eh, that second paragraph was meant to be a bit more tonguepokeish.

  318. John D

    Labor desperately needs some serious heavies now to give it a bit more bite and possibly a better leader. In this context Bligh did the right thing to go now and create a vacancy for either Dick or Frazer. Some of the other members in safe seats might ask themselves whether the best thing for the state and party is to stay or create a spot for someone else who is crucial who lost their seat.
    Newman is a fool to have decided to run a candidate. The people who were saying “time for a change” will now be saying we need to strengthen the opposition. For this reason, the likely outcome will be a swing to Labor large enough take some of the shine off his big win.

    Bligh got only 39% of the primary vote so Newman could have avoided the risk of looking stupid while hoping that the Greens would get up and block the return of the party heavy Labor needs.

  319. Fran Barlow

    are you sure you’re a Trot? You seem like an anarchist to me.

    1. I’ve noted a number of times that I no longer regard myself as a Trotsky|st or Len|n|st. These days, I’m a lot more sympathetic to anarchism.
    2. In the long run, all Marxists are anarch|sts. We all beleive in a classless stateless society of material abundance on a world scale. In the short run, there are disputes about ends and means.
    3. I’m not sure that my remark actually alludes to anarch|sm in any event. Perhaps you can explain that.

  320. Chris

    As for those complaining about the first preference vote not being reflected in seat percentages, that’s what we have upper houses for (as well increasing the chance that you won’t have a government that can push anything it likes through parliament). If you got rid of yours then put it back!

  321. Socrates

    I just saw the news of Bligh resigning. I think it is quite sensible of her to do so. Forget the Senate, her career is over. But it gets her out of the way and allows any new leader to start again. Plus it is one more seat to establish a new face in.

    Talk of moving Andrew Fraser or someone similar there is crazy. He now has less credibility than Bligh after the privatisations; at least Bligh showed leadership in the floods.

    They need to begin from scratch. It is a Humean election – Qld Labor is tabla rasa.

  322. faustusnotes

    In the long run, all Marxists are anarch|sts. We all beleive in a classless stateless society of material abundance on a world scale. In the short run, there are disputes about ends and means.

    which is why the anarch|sts are always high on the marx|sts’ hit list.

    The Ms have very little in common with the circled-As, and are definitely not anarch|sts “in the long run.” In both the short and the long run, marx|sts are authoritarian bastards.

  323. Jacques de Molay

    Don’t a lot of Marxists end up becoming hardcore right-wingers?

    *runs off*

  324. Joe

    To be really honest though, Marxists and Anarchists really only exist in the minds of those who think they are such.

    There is no empirical evidence to suggest anything like these political systems are any kind of optimum– it’s total speculation. I think they have some value in that they are interesting to think about for a bit, but they are not timeless types, concepts, or something. But thankfully, either is capitalism.

    I think they should be now thought of in historical terms, probably. Industrialisation and all that stuff is such a long time ago, now…

  325. Mercurius

    ABC Monday morning news carries story of how the Newman LNP government will rule Queensland.

    They’re going to:

    - ‘Work hard’ because ‘there is a lot of work to be done’.
    - ‘Rule with dignity’
    - Have a meeting on Wednesday to discuss all the work that has to be done.
    - Target a 4 per cent unemployment rate, lower the cost of living savings and cut waste and inefficiency.

    In short, they have no f@$%$ idea what they are going to do…haven’t thought about it, really.

  326. Katz

    Nationwide, the ALP is wedged between a senescent union apparat and an insurgent green movement. The Queensland debacle is just the most recent and most dramatic evidence of this crisis.

    At the moment, despite the ravages of the GFC, the majority of voters believe that their ever-increasing material expectations will be satisfied by globalising capitalism. Both the green movement and the union movement doubt this orthodoxy, preventing the ALP from unreservedly representing the interests of globalising capitalism.

    The centre right, on the other hand, suffers fewer internal stresses over promoting the interests of globalised capitalism.

    The ALP faces a future of electoral failure until it learns how to resolve its internal divisions and establishes itself as a useful servant of globalised capitalism, or until voters stop believing so unconditionally in the benefits of globalised capitalism.

    In many ways the current political climate replicates that most interesting period in the US at the end of the 19th century when robber barons, populists and progressives vied for power. Notably absent from this struggle was a strong, politicised labour movement.

  327. Fran Barlow

    You’re saying I’m an authoritarian bastard, DM?

  328. Terry

    Kristina Keneally is blaming Kevin Rudd for Anna Bligh’s election defeat:

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3911666.html

    A similar meme will no doubt be coming from Barrie Cassidy shortly.

  329. Socrates

    Putting aside debates about the future of political parties, it will be interesting to see the changes in government today. I imagine there would be a few pretty nervous souls in the Qld Health department executive. In fact, outside Emergency services (good flood response) and the roads bit of Transport and Main Roads (Newman’s pet area) I doubt many are safe.

  330. Socrates

    I think Rudd was a factor in the extent of Labor’s loss, but you can’t put this train wreck down to one person or decision. A dumb campaign, Rudd’s gambit, privatisation, massive incompetence in health admin, and a few lies all contributed.

  331. Geoff Henderson

    Terry@329
    “Kristina Keneally is blaming Kevin Rudd for Anna Bligh’s election defeat:”

    She is also asserting that the result will not be reflected in the Federal poll.
    As far as can tell, she is a bit lonely taking that position.

  332. Terry

    I think that Kristina Keneally’s “position” may have more to do with her own aspirations – inherit Bob Carr’s Senate seat, be endorsed as Federal member for Kingsford-Smith – than an objective assessment of the Gillard Government’s prospects. I would say the Labor Right fix is in on this – blame Kevin Rudd, and blame Bruce Hawker. Mind you, the latter source of blame is a valid one.

  333. Geoff Henderson

    Socrates@330 I sure hope there is not a bloodbath. Sure there will be some on their way, but let’s hope they are not vengeful losses.
    Definitely Queensland Health needs lightening at the top – their incompetence merits an entry in the Guinness Book.

  334. Down and Out of Sài Gòn
  335. Lefty E

    If you got rid of yours then put it back!

    OR! we could adopt an electoral system in which voteshare determines number of MPs. Call them krazy, but that’s what the majority of the democratic world does, including our very own Tasmania and ACT.

    Bilbo appears to agree, in the link above referred to by Down & Out, which incidentally, is as good an analysis of the QLD election as Ive seen.

  336. Sam

    I am all for blaming Bruce Hawker – for anything and everything, including stuff that happened before he was born – but unless he was directing everything that the Bligh government was doing for the past three years, I don’t see how it’s his fault.

    Maybe the very sucky campaign made the outcome a bit worse than necessary. Maybe.

    Last night I spoke with a guy who knew Anna Bligh when she was a student activist at Queensland Uni. This was over 30 years ago . He knew her very well; they were close allies, friends even.

    His take: “I always thought her political career would end this way. I’m just surprised it took this long”.

  337. The Curmudgeon

    The relevance of Percy Tucker in this saga is not that he had been Mayor of Townsville, but that he was state ALP leader in the 1974 election which left Labor with a cricket team. His last words in parliament, before the election were “Come out on the hustings Joh and I’ll slaughter you”. He went on to lose the election and his seat.

  338. Sam

    It took a while, but we have a winner! Congratulations, The Curmudgeon,

    The unofficial Labor election slogan in 1974 was “Point Percy at the Premier”.

  339. Paul Norton

    I’ve had a look at the Newspoll series for Queensland since the last State election, and the figures support the view that Labor’s support tanked with the privatisation announcement and never really recovered apart from the sentimental surge in Bligh’s support during the floods. Apart from the broken promise element, privatisation has never been a popular policy and it’s particularly damaging to Labor’s brand when Labor governments privatise, or attempt to privatise. Remember too that the voters were almost but not quite ready to change the State government in 2009, so Labor was already running on empty in terms of political capital when is decided on the privatisations.

  340. Jennifer Marohasy

    Labor proved themselves totally incompetent, unable to properly govern… to the extent that Anna Bligh’s husband ran a government department that flooded Brisbane. Yes that flood last year was man-made.
    We know that Federal Labor is also incompetent and has also appointed the most useless people to oversee the most inane programs. You can only fool some of the people for a while.

  341. Jenny

    It all shows how little I know. I’ve spent a bit of time in Brisbane over the last few years on conferences and stuff and it always seems a great place – attractive, effective infrastucture, services working, plenty of money about. Anna Bligh seems a lovely lady.

    And yet an election result like this shows real animosity by the voters. It was obvious coming up to the election that it was going to be a big win, yet for the voters, it apparently wasn’t enough to just change the Government; they wanted her humiliated. What the firetruck are Qlders so pissed about. Privatisation? Surely not. Anyway, I think it fully reasonable she take her bat and ball and go home. Why would you hang about after the electorate has treated you like that?

  342. su

    Kristina Keneally is blaming Kevin Rudd for Anna Bligh’s election defeat:

    No she isn’t. She is blaming the Rudd challenge for stealing some of the limelight from Bligh’s campaign. She also blames the negative campaign against Newman for making the loss worse than it otherwise might have been, but overall she is blaming the loss on exactly the same set of factors mentioned in this thread; privitization of state assets without prior mandate or preparation of the electorate and a long incumbency. It’s a good piece.

  343. Duncan

    Why suddenly all the bleating about this majority not being democracy, (including the crikey link @335) ?

    I don’t recall any complaints from the left in 2001 when it was 66/15 in the ALP’s favour.

  344. Chris

    LeftyE @ 336 – well I actually like that we elect a single representative per electorate and vote for a person, not a party. As soon as more than one person is responsible, no one is and as it is many MPs already use the party excuse for voting against their electorate’s interests. And we elect the least disliked rather than the most popular. Most states and federally we have an upper for proportional representation so it is not like political party interests do not have a place.

    Although I’ll admit that many people these days vote for a party, not the candidate (there was a news story about the ALP candidate who in the QLD election who never visited the electorate because of university commitments but still managed to come second!)

    Proportional representation is not a magic bullet that protects minority interests either. For example in the QLD election under proportional representation there would either be a majority LNP government anyway, or more likely one with the Katter party having balance of power. If I lived in QLD I’d rather the former.

  345. Paul Norton

    Update: Labor ahead in Mulgrave, and Di Farmer increasing her lead in Bulimba due to pre-polls and postals. Looks like eight seats for Labor if those two and Mackay hold.

  346. Sam

    Why suddenly all the bleating about this majority not being democracy, (including the crikey link @335) ?

    It’s about the Greens not getting any seats.

    Although, you’d have to think the Opposition will have no capacity to hold the Government to account over the next three years. With 15 seats you can have a shadow ministry; you can’t with 6 or 7.

    Unless there is some extraordinary extra-parliamentary scrutiny placed on Newman, he’ll be able to get away with anything.

  347. Sam

    Looks like eight seats for Labor if those two and Mackay hold.

    Or 5 if they don’t. Or 4 once South Brisbane goes.

  348. Martin B

    John E: I promise I won’t keep dredging over this, but if you read what I actually wrote you will see that I have no objection to arguing about the correctness of the decision.

    But precisely because it is arguable I think that there is absolutely no grounds for and no call for all the accusations of ‘disgrace’, ‘in it for herself’ etc. Maybe she has made the wrong decision, maybe she’s made the right one. There’s absolutely no reason for thinking that one way or another the decision has not been made sincerely.

  349. Lefty E

    Id like to see someone try to justify getting 87% of seats from a primary of 50% and a 2PP of (maybe) 60%. Go on, Im listening. Whaddayagot?

    Like I said, this shit wouldnt fly in Putin’s Russia – it’d look like too obvious a fix.

    I don’t recall any complaints from the left in 2001

    Im a GRNs member, so you can rest assured I was complaining then too. Accuse me of many things, but not hypocrisy!

    well I actually like that we elect a single representative per electorate and vote for a person, not a party

    Agree Chris, and thats why Im not a fan of “pure” PR (eg where QLD would be treated as a single electorate). But multi-member districts eg Tasmania, are an excellent balance. In fact I would argue they offer better representation than sngle member districts, as you can go talk to the member from your district who is from the party you support, and more likely to agree with and address your concerns. Thats superior representation, and contains the much needed element of PR.

    Seriously, its got well beyond a joke when 40% of the electorate gets 13% of seats. Its actually embarrassing. Im not sure how many Australians realise how unusual a system SMD is in the democratic world. Its a minority of systems, deried from England – and we invented an awesome alternative called Hare-Clark.

  350. Lefty E

    Or MMP. Also a good system which balance local representtion and proportionality.

  351. adrian

    You’re right of course Lefty E.
    However in political reporting these days, we’re only allowed one narrative, and that’s ‘Labor brand toxic’ at the moment. Expect variations on this one for the next couple of weeks.

  352. Jenny

    Lefty E @ 348

    Agree Chris, and thats why Im not a fan of “pure” PR (eg where QLD would be treated as a single electorate). But multi-member districts eg Tasmania, are an excellent balance. In fact I would argue they offer better representation than sngle member districts, as you can go talk to the member from your district who is from the party you support, and more likely to agree with and address your concerns. Thats superior representation, and contains the much needed element of PR.

    I also like our Tasmanian system very much. I like that representation reflects the level of support. And an additional advantage is that the opposition is virtually guaranteed to have sufficient Parliamentary Members to enable it to prepare to form Government in the future. Looking at Qld, the ALP are going to have very few Members acquiring Parliamentary experience, so that even if the LNP stuff up big time, the ALP won’t be ready to take over Government at the next election.

  353. Sam

    the ALP won’t be ready to take over Government at the next election

    At the next election?

    This is a joke, right?

  354. Martin B

    You can’t imagine – as a hypothetical question – any possible circumstances in which the new LNP government is widely determined to be unfit for office over the next three years?

  355. Jenny

    Sam @ 352

    Not at all

    Not at all. (1) These days a Government can get on the nose quickly – the media wouldn’t have it any other way. (2) Food and energy prices will probably increase cos that’s what they do. (3) There is also a reasonable liklihood of a global recession and voters won’t forgive any state or federal Government for a world downturn. (4) The LNP can be confidentally expect to become a hotbed of in-fighting as big winners at the election get impatient for their ‘deserved’ Ministry. (5) At some point the grumpy, whinging QLDers who chucked Bligh out are going to realise that nothing is improving under the LNP.

  356. Fran Barlow

    I also like our Tasmanian system very much. I like that representation reflects the level of support. And an additional advantage is that the opposition is virtually guaranteed to have sufficient Parliamentary Members to enable it to prepare to form Government in the future.

    Actually Jenny, while I agree that the Tasmanian system is better, the fact that there are only 25 members of parliament (of which 13 may be the government) doesn’t really work all that well, in terms of allocating responsibility for portfolios.

    I don’t agree with the idea of states, and in my view Tasmania would be one of perhaps 30-35 regional governments with much more limited responsibilities than for state governments now. Much of existing state power would pass to the Commonwealth.

  357. Sam

    I can’t imagine any possible circumstances in which Labor would win enough seats at the next election to win back government, regardless of what people think of the new LNP government.

    Changing tack, the Bank of Queensland has just announced a first half loss of $91 million on the back of a tripling of home loans gone bad.

    Newman is going to find, if he hasn’t been briefed already, that his revenue stamp duty on house sales and GST have dried up like a puddle in the Sahara.

    I expect big cuts to the public service to be announced in due course, say by lunch time tomorrow.

  358. Jenny

    Whoops – I stuffed up my quoting. the post should have been …

    Sam @ 352

    At the next election? This is a joke, right?

    Not at all. (1) These days a Government can get on the nose quickly – the media wouldn’t have it any other way. (2) Food and energy prices will probably increase cos that’s what they do. (3) There is also a reasonable liklihood of a global recession and voters won’t forgive any state or federal Government for a world downturn. (4) The LNP can be confidentally expect to become a hotbed of in-fighting as big winners at the election get impatient for their ‘deserved’ Ministry. (5) At some point the grumpy, whinging QLDers who chucked Bligh out are going to realise that nothing is improving under the LNP.

  359. Fran Barlow

    Agree Chris, and thats why Im not a fan of “pure” PR (eg where QLD would be treated as a single electorate).

    And as I’ve said, LeftyE, Chris, PR and SMDs are not mutually exclusive. In some cases, the member would not be a strict local but would probably come from a neighbouring district.

  360. Sam

    At some point the grumpy, whinging QLDers who chucked Bligh out are going to realise that nothing is improving under the LNP.

    Any state government worth its salt can spend at least two terms successfully blaming everything on its predecessors. John Brumby was still blaming Jeff Kennett after 10 years.

    Eventually, Queenslanders will realise that things aren’t any better under the LNP and that it’s the LNP’s fault.. But that time might not come for a very long time.

  361. Martin B

    I can’t imagine any possible circumstances in which Labor would win enough seats at the next election to win back government, regardless of what people think of the new LNP government.

    Because of the electroal system, which is precisely the point that was being made.

    If (as a hypothetical) events transpire such that people decide that the LNP government actually is worse than the old ALP government and want to replace them, then the current electoral system means that to do so they will have to install an unprepared under-experienced team. Other electoral systems that are more proportional do not have this problem.

  362. Brian

    Jennifer @ 341, it’s bollocks to say that the Brisbane flood was man-made. Babister’s modelling showed that 30cm would have been taken off a 4.6m flood with aggressive early releases. But he also found that it would have been risky to do so, given the information available at the time.

    And the flood was managed by a unit of four engineers, only one of whom came from DERM.

    And Bligh’s husband wasn’t running DERM.

    I’m doing a post on all this, so if you don’t mind we’ll leave it there for the moment.

  363. Fran Barlow

    I don’t recall any complaints from the left in 2001 when it was 66/15 in the ALP’s favour.

    Certainly at the time, I thought it was wrong. You don’t have to be sympathetic to the Libs (plainly I’m not) to see that it is wrong to disenfranchise so many.

    That said, some maths is interesting. At that election Beattie got 48.93% of the primaries and got 66/89 seats — (74% of seats). The Nats got 12 seats — roughly 13% on 14.16 % — so a touch light but not outrageously so — a rounding error. The Libs got 3 seats despite getting 14.32% of the vote — so they were the ones who got seriously rorted.

    Interestingly, Beattie picked up 22 seats on a 10% swing. Previously, in 1998, he had held 44/89 on 38% — still too generous but a lot less so. Presumably that 10% swing in 2001 was very efficiently distributed.

  364. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    The Tasmanian system is that they take the federal electorals (all 5 of them) and then allow 5 successful candidates from each: allowing one 25 candidates.

    Something similar could be used in Queensland. We have 30 federal seats; let’s say we give each place 3 successful candidates each – leaving us 90 – one extra on the current system. It’s a little bit tougher for the Greens than in Tasmania: they have to get 25% on quota, rather than 16.6%.

    (As for malapportionment for the country electorates – 4 successful candidates for Maranoa and Flynn and Kennedy and the other big ‘uns – let’s say I’m persuadable. We’re now up to 95, which is still not too much of a jump over the current system.)

  365. Lefty E

    there are only 25 members of parliament

    Yes, that was a Lab-Lib move to try to reduce GRNs influence. It used to be 35.

    Didnt work to reduce GRN influence, but did reduce the general use and value of MPs as representatives.

  366. Fran Barlow

    A better system might be as follows

    1. Keep the existing/similar electorates
    2. Each party submits a list of candidates who will actually present as the candidate for a specific seat. We keep optional preferential.
    3. The primary votes for each party/group are tallied. Each party that exceeds 3% of total primaries qualifies for allocation of seats.
    4. Candidates are ranked by their percentage of primaries in each seat.
    5. Seats are distributed according to the rankings until each party has received its full quota of seats (with rounding down). When that occurs to each party, the next highest ranked candidate is awarded the seat he or she attempted to win. When all parties over 3% have full allocations all remaining seats are allocated by optional preferential means, so that the winner in unallocated seats is whoever would have won under the old system. This allows for strong locals to win seats despite falling under the 3% electorate-wide rule.

    Under this system, there is a close (albeit not exact) match between party support and representation in parliament — there are few wasted votes. Any supporter of a major party can expect to have a representative in parliament who lives in either their seat or one not so far away. This gives people an interest in looking after people outside their seats and discourages excessive parochialism, at least from major parties. Supporters of groups under the 3% can hope to get their local member up unallocated, or express a preference as they do now.

  367. Sam

    A peculiarity of the Tas system is that candidates campaign in their own right. It’s not like the Senate where there are party lists.

  368. John D

    Many Australians are uncomfortable with what happened in the last federal election. Firstly, because the government was decided on the basis of negotiations after the election (rather than directly by the voters.) Secondly, because there is the constant threat of the government collapsing if a very small number of the people holding the balance of power change their minds.
    On the other hand, the differing voting patterns of the House of reps and the senate suggest that Australians prefer a senate where minor parties hold the balance of power. Australians put a high value on checks and balances.
    Taking the above into account the above, proposals for reform of the lower house voting system should:
    1 Deliver power to the party/coalition that wins the TPP vote.
    2 Provide government with enough buffer that they won’t lose power if a few supporters change their mind.
    3 Avoid many of the problems associated with single member electorates including the tendency inflate the %of government members well beyond the % of votes the winners received.
    4 Retain the opportunity for independents to win seats in the lower house. (It is very hard for them to do so in the senate.)

    I am putting together a post on the potential of a system of two member electorate to provide all of the above as well as resolving other problems that are an unavoidable feature of single member electorates.

    The results of this election reinforce the desirability of an upper house in Qld with a system based on proportional representation. It is worth noting that Qld would have had a hung parliament if the % of members matched % primary votes. (Basis: % primary votes at the end of counting on Sat night.)

  369. Darryl Rosin

    JohnD@369 “The results of this election reinforce the desirability of an upper house in Qld with a system based on proportional representation.”

    Rubbish. Hankering for an Upper House is just about the most Quixotic, short-sighted and reactionary response I can imagine.

    If you have PR in the Assembly, what purpose does an Upper House serve, other than to frustrate the will of the Lower House?

    d

  370. Lefty E

    Looks like a local candidate (and a reasonably well-known one) for South Brisbane http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-26/labor-heavyweights-shun-battle-for-south-brisbane/3912998

    Im pretty confident the ALP will hold it in the by-election as a result.

  371. Terry

    It is sounding like Peter Beattie has installed himself as de facto Leader of the Opposition in the interregnum. Perhaps thinking that if Campbell Newman can run the LNP from outside the Parliament, perhaps he can do the same with the ALP.

  372. John D

    DR @370: I am strongly opposed to PR in the house that decides who is to govern because it is a recipe for hung parliaments with back room deals deciding who is going to form government. This should hardly be surprising as PR fails to satisfy points 1, 2 and 4 in the list @369.
    On the other hand it is highly desirable for houses that don’t decide who is to govern because it increases the probability that the governments will not be able to push through legislation on its own and we get the check and balance.

  373. Huggybunny

    Wello it looks as though the secret federal government program to increase the average IQ in Queensland to the National average by sending people like me to live in the state has been a total failure.
    All Hail – Il Douche Superman.
    Huggy

  374. John D

    Terry: There is a vacum at the moment and Beattie is probably the only one who has the authority to fill it in the short term. However, once caucus elects a leader he should retire gracefully and let the new leader get on with it.

  375. Chris

    I lived under the ACT multi member electorate system and I still prefer the lower/upper house in SA. It is perhaps too much overhead for such a small population as in the ACT though.

    My principle argument against ACT/Tasmanian like systems is that it gives parties and as a result party politics too much power. We end up voting for parties rather than individuals. Political parties can get pretty lazy knowing that they are pretty much guaranteed to get a good percentage of the seats no matter they do because a significant portion of the population will vote for their team even if they’d nominated Hitler (and a dead one too).

    But if we were going to go to a proportional based system there’s a some aspects from the ACT system that I think would be very important.

    - Parties do NOT supply lists of candidates that are elected in the supplied order. This starts reduces the amount of power that groups within parties have over MPs (they’re meant to represent the people who vote for them, not who nominates them).

    - You vote for individuals, not a party. Their party affiliation is visible, but you have to make a choice about who to vote for and important you can choose not to vote for someone

    - Robinson rotation for voting slips – different variations of the voting papers are printed which have the candidates listed in random order. So there is no donkey vote effect and parties do not get to list their candidates in preferred election order.

    - Ban distribution of HTV cards within a few hundred metres of polling places.

    I think a senate/house combination has one advantage that a single house but with proportional representation does not have. And that is because you only elect half the senators at a time it restricts how fast change can occur. So if the electorate gets really mad at one party you are less likely to have one party completely dominate the parliament.

    Perhaps this feature could be incorporated into single house parliaments by also only electing half the MPs at a time.

  376. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Peter Beattie can have a drink on me.

  377. Jacques de Molay

    You’re saying I’m an authoritarian bastard, DM?

    No no Fran just being silly and forgot to put one of these ;) in there. Was just thinking of characters like Keith Windschuttle etc.

    Back on topic heard Richo say today he thinks Gillard Labor won’t win a single seat in either WA or QLD at the next federal election.

  378. Terry

    John D, Peter Beattie is a vacuum, insofar as he sucks all media limelight into his own vortex. He’ll shut up about the Labor Party in the same way that Mark Latham, Graham Richardson and Bruce Hawker have done.

  379. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    John D: having hung parliaments is a feature, not a bug. The Qld parliament I have the fondest memories of is the Wellington-Beattie combo of 1998. Better that than one party dominance. You sometimes get the odd dropkick like Steve Fielding holding up process, but obstacles like him eventually get removed from the picture.

    Adding a second house in Queensland? That dog won’t hunt. People don’t want to pay more for politicians, basically. It’s an unnecessary means to an end, rather than an end in itself.

  380. Fran Barlow

    Actually Jacques, the phrase was by faustusnotes but my android changed it from FN to DM … hmmm DYAC!

    Don’t a lot of M@rx|sts end up becoming hardcore right-wingers?

    There have been some prominent examples over the years — James Burnham, Max Shachtman, Max Eastman, Jay Lovestone, Lynn Marcus (aka Lyndon LaRouche) , Irving Kristol. Laurie Short in Australia was on the far left for a time.

    On the whole though I don’t know that it is true that a lot of M@rx|sts end up being hardcore rightwingers, any more than it’s true that a lot of Russians end up being good tennis players. One notes the prominent ones and they leave an impression, but on the whole most people I know who have parted company with Marxism have either simply dropped out of serious politics, or have embraced one or other variant of centre-left politics.

    It’s probably true that those who are attracted to M@rx|sm are more likely, if they see it as a failed doctrine, to be attracted to the right than random members of the public at large. Those of us who think we have a responsibility to play a part in making the world a better place by thinking the polity through in a systematic way and coming up with ideas are more likely than the apathetic or fatalistic to try something different if we come to believe that what we thought was viable turns out to be unviable. The passion remains. That may partly explain the ‘neocon’ phenomenon.

    faustusnotes said above …

    The Ms have very little in common with the circled-As, and are definitely not anarch|sts “in the long run.”

    The doctrine is clear, so you are wrong on that. We all avow a classless stateless society as an end goal. The avowed an@rch|sts of course privilege the process of achieving change over the goal. In the long run, they would argue, we are all dead. I’m sympathetic to this view, and share their concern over arbitrary divisions between process and goal and the ways in which this fuzziness can be used to derail the empowerment of working people, reducing them to bystanders in a process said, after all, to entail their transformation in the first instance into a class for themselves.

    The problem is that in the short run, empowerment is a hard thing to achieve and such as one achieves it, it doesn’t meet the immediate needs of working people. There is no good alternative to working with existing structures to achieve empowerment and the service of needs, even if the means are not as inclusive as we’d like. That’s not being authoritarian — it’s simply recognising the constraints that existing usage imposes on working people.

  381. Fran Barlow

    Down & Out in Saigon said:

    Adding a second house in Queensland? That dog won’t hunt. People don’t want to pay more for politicians, basically. It’s an unnecessary means to an end, rather than an end in itself.

    Absolutely. It would be utterly retrograde. Get the process for the lower house right and perhaps bring in some form of direct democracy to cover the more controversial stuff, set the overall framework within which decisions are taken and so forth.

  382. Darryl Rosin

    JohnD @373 “PR fails to satisfy points 1, 2 and 4 in the list #369″

    John, I think there’s some problem with your list, but that might be us holding different opinions on what’s desirable. But just quickly:

    1. 2pp is only meaningful in a 2-party system. Once a third party starts to come second in a bunch of seats, 2pp no longer measures anything useful, and is not even strictly calculable.
    2. Size of ‘buffer’ for the government is not a function of the electoral system per se, but comes from the specific details of the votes cast in a particular election. There’s no way to avoid the edge case of a hung parliament. (BTW I think your suggestion of two person electorates would make hung parliaments much *more* likely, but I can’t check that just now.)
    4. Independants could win seats more easily under PR. It’s only the “whole state as one division” in the senate that makes it hard. MMP would keep the single member seats, for instance.

    d

  383. Fran Barlow

    I’ve just checked the virtual tally room here.

    Here’s what each of the parties would get based on my proposal above @367.

    LNP 44 (49.73%)
    ALP 23 (26.94%)
    KAP 10 (11.5%)
    GRN 6 (7.24%)

    As things stand, 22,324 votes gets you one seat. On the current arrangements, the difference between the seats the ALP will probably get (7) and what they ought to get (23) means that approximately 357, 196 ALP voters (and a further 143, 937 Green voters) have been disenfranchised. The LNP as things stand, with a likely 78 seats has had the benefit of 759, 042 extra voters. It’s as if they’ve embezzled the votes of more than 500,000 ALP/Greens and a further quarter million others and counted them in their own column. No wonder they had a landslide. There are just under 2 million voters.

  384. Sam

    Terry, you’ve got your astrophysics concepts mixed up. I think you mean that Peter Beattie is a black hole.

  385. Terry

    I thought Peter Beattie was a supernova

  386. adrian

    Heard/read the words ‘toxic’ and Labor or ALP combined about 452 times today and I haven’t even been trying. Together with the black hole that is Peter Beattie and it’s enough to make a sane person turn off the MSM altogether.

  387. Paul Norton

    Fran @381, I wouldn’t classify Max Shachtman as someone who became a “hard-core right-winger”, even if some of his stances very late in his life on some issues did seem to place him in that company. Having a social-democratic disdain for Castro or Ho Chi Minh is not the same as being hard-core right-wing.

  388. Paul Norton

    Back on topic, I’m going to bravely call Bulimba for Di Farmer.

  389. Lefty E

    1 Deliver power to the party/coalition that wins the TPP vote.
    2 Provide government with enough buffer that they won’t lose power if a few supporters change their mind.
    3 Avoid many of the problems associated with single member electorates including the tendency inflate the %of government members well beyond the % of votes the winners received.
    4 Retain the opportunity for independents to win seats in the lower house. (It is very hard for them to do so in the senate.)

    John D, it sounds like you’re after our very own Hare-Clark system. Unlike pure PR, it allows you to select individual candidates (you can even do it out of the order the party put them in) and of course indies. You can modify it (eg odd numbers of seats in each multi-member district) to enhance the chance of regular majorities ( where they are deserved), but without the sort off silliness we see in QLD today.

    As a general rule though, I dont think parties especially deserve a majority until they get a majority of primary votes. I suspect Newman would have got a majority under any electoral system last Saturday – even pure PR has round-ups from a figure like 49.7.

    You can also exclude parties getting less than, say, 3% from calculations, to remove micro-parties from the equation, etc.

  390. Lefty E

    See Antony Green on this score:

    Candidates are elected from multi-member constituencies, but not using the proportional representation methods common in European countries. Candidates are elected by achieving a quota of votes, and those votes can be made up by votes cast for the candidate, or votes transferred to the candidate as preferences. Hence the term ‘quota-preferential’. Quota preferential systems are used for the Senate, to elect upper houses in New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, and from 2006, the Victorian Legislative Council. It is also used for local government elections in some states.

    In terms of how the count is conducted, there are only minor differences between the Senate-style systems and Hare-Clark. The real difference is created by the way the Senate system favours parties, while Hare-Clark gives greater weight to candidates.

    And – no ticket voting! (*leaves before autorant starts*)

    http://www.abc.net.au/elections/tas/2006/guide/hareclark.htm

  391. Chris

    LeftyE @ 390 – Hare Clark with Robinson rotation as practiced in the ACT means the parties don’t even get their preferred candidate order on the ballot (order is random with multiple types of ballots printed). Which I think is a good thing.

    There is one downside (but not significant) to Hare-Clark in that you really need to do electronic counting of votes (not electronic voting though it helps). Before the ACT used electronic counting it could literally take a week work out who was now elected to parliament when someone resigned. They don’t have bi-elections, but there is a lot of paper shuffling to be done.

    I guess someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but under multi member electorates I think you’re less likely to get true independents except for those who are exceptionally good at publicity. The electorates are much bigger and so a lot harder and a lot more expensive for a single person to cover. So independents have to sacrifice quality of contact for quantity.

  392. Nickws

    Why didn’t Beattie ever consider reintroducing a legislative council to Qld, one elected by PR?

    Surely he would have got the Libs on board with such a proposal back when they were reduced to 3 friggin’ MPs. It would have been a lifeline for the likes of Lib powerbrokers Santoro and Brandis, I don’t see how that type of polly could have rejected the chance to rebuild their little empires.

    And it might have been a pretty good wedge against the Rightwing parties, ergo it’s not like it wouldn’t have met Peter Beattie’s leading criteria.

  393. Sam

    Why didn’t Beattie ever consider reintroducing a legislative council to Qld, one elected by PR?

    Because he didn’t foresee the day 11 years later when Labor would be reduced to a basketball team.

  394. Joe

    What Fran said above– we need to move to some form of direct democracy.

    Direct Democracy’s the only way to get voters interested in politics.

    DD also reduces the importance of politicians as actors, and lets face it, today, they often don’t know more than anyone else out there interested in any particular subject. Politicians require no qualifications, other than to be liked by a distracted population.

    It also fits better to the new-media world we inhabit. Although, on this last point, you can’t be too sure. In any case, technology can be used to reduce the cost of ballots.

  395. Sam

    What Fran said above– we need to move to some form of direct democracy.

    I think that Fran meant that we need to move to a form of people’s democracy, Honecker style.

  396. Sam

    I am disappointed by the absence of familiar commentators on this thread.

    Mark Bahnisch — where is he? Has he gone bush again?

    Steve at the Pub — why isn’t he here rubbing our faces in it?

    Razor — as above.

  397. Fran Barlow

    I wouldn’t classify Max Shachtman as someone who became a “hard-core right-winger”, even if some of his stances very late in his life on some issues did seem to place him in that company.

    He was an ally of McCarthyism in the labour movement, supporting the purge of CP-led unions. He refused to condemn the Bay of Pigs invasion and declined even to call for the unconditional withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam. That puts him on the hard right in my opinion — arguably further right than Orwell.

    Yes, others were further right than him, but he still makes the cut.

  398. Lefty E

    Re: Bulimba, yes, Antony predicting 8 seats for ALP now.

  399. Fran Barlow

    I think that Fran meant that we need to move to a form of people’s democracy, Honecker style.

    From incipient anarch|sm to Stal|nism … LOL

  400. Sam

    Antony predicting 8 seats for ALP now

    Break out the Dom Perignon.

  401. Chris

    Joe @ 395 – we can have monthly referendums :-)

  402. wpd

    Can Do is now moving on the public service. The head of Treasury is now in his sights apparently. Not for the first time will he be sacked (and then recruited to head treasury in South Australia and then head hunted to return to Queensland.)

    Shakes head!

  403. amortiser

    What’s going with the ECQ site with the doubtful seats?

    The figures for the primary votes do not reconcile with the notional distribution totals. The discrepencies are significant yet the progressive margins being reported on the notional distribution figures which are way behind the primary vote figures. In Mackay the difference in the figures is 2,457 votes which have not been distributed.

    It doesn’t make any sense. If they have the primary vote ballot papers surely they can provide an accurate preference distribution.

  404. Joe

    Chris,
    yeah, something along the lines of Switzerland, would be good. Love to see how the media would react to such a change.

  405. John D

    Chris @376: Rudd had a a very clear mandate to introduce an ETS. What stopped him were the senators elected when Latham was Labor leader and circumstances were quite different. The full senate should go go to the voters whenever the house of reps goes.

  406. Lefty E

    The full senate should go go to the voters whenever the house of reps goes.

    Absoutely, that’s just an outdated conservative check mechanism we dont need. Away with stale mandates!

  407. Brian

    I’ve put up a new post.

    Great discussion on voting systems, but I don’t see any interest in Qld. As to an upper house, proposing more politicians is a bridge too far.

  408. dave

    Katz @327 my thoughts almost exactly. However teaching old dogs new tricks takes time and in some cases its easier to get a new dog.

  409. Chris

    JohnD @ 406 – I think thats a feature, not a bug – hysteresis deliberately designed into the system. That way we don’t have the country flip flop its major policies between elections. A government needs to get good support of the people two elections in a row to get controversial changes through. Yes, it makes change harder, but it also provides stability for the country as a whole.

  410. Tim Macknay

    I am disappointed by the absence of familiar commentators on this thread.

    Mark Bahnisch — where is he? Has he gone bush again?

    Steve at the Pub — why isn’t he here rubbing our faces in it?

    Razor — as above.

    On the other hand, we’ve had a rare visit from Jennifer Moarohasy, who’s now saying that she thinks climate change is man-made – but only when it’s caused by the Labor Party.

  411. Terangeree

    Ah, Jennifer Marohasy.

    I now have this image of Greg Withers as the mad-scientist villain of a really bad Batman-type movie, hiding in his secret lair in the depths of an extinct volcano’s crater with banks and banks of supercomputers, rings of electricity continually rising and falling on columns of insulators and many “machines that go PING!” at his disposal so he can control entire weather systems and thus enable Brisbane to get flooded so his wife can step into the breach and be seen as the ‘saviour’ of Brisbane 12 months before a general election in which she and her party get demolished at the polls.

    That Brisbane has historically had very high rainfalls causing its namesake river to flood every 30 years or so since at least the 1820s had nothing to do with the floods of 2011.

    It was all Greg Withers’ — sequestered as he was with his evil laugh, hunchbacked assistant and many computers in a cave deep under Tibrogargan — who was responsible. :)

  412. Terangeree

    Oh dear.

    I’m trapped in moderation :(

  413. Brian

    Tim @ 411, I can assure you that Mark is alive and well. I had a long talk with him on Tuesday about his experiences during the elections and his perceptions about it. He has good sources and is a mate from university days of the new leader.

    There are times when your opportunities to assist may be compromised by making public comments. I’d guess that no-one in Labor is ringing Peter Beattie for advice. I’m sure Mark is contemplating how he can best contribute.

  414. Tim Macknay

    Thanks Brian. The original query was from Sam @397. But I’m glad to hear Mark is alive and well and fighting the good fight. :)

    Terangree, I suspect a certain name triggers the automod. ;)

  415. Tom R

    Tim @ 411: “I am disappointed by the absence of familiar commentators on this thread. Mark Bahnisch — where is he? Has he gone bush again?”

    Whatever floats yours. For me, the regular I’m missing most is Dr_Tad, though I guess he’s busy right now with the galley proofs for On Toulouse: Mohamed Merah, Leftist Preening, BDS Hysteria, The Hampering of Police Anti-Terrorism Investigations by Misplaced ‘Anti-Racism’, And The Folly Of Buttering Up Islamic Fundamentalists As A Clayton’s Substitute For Recruiting Actually Existing Workers To The Cause Of Socialism (Sydney, Verso, 2013).