« profile & posts archive

This author has written 139 posts for Larvatus Prodeo.

Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

322 responses to “Weekly Election 2013 Thread”

  1. Paul Norton

    Poll in Grayndler shows a 5% 2PP swing to the Coalition relative to 2010, and a 9% swing relative to 2007. For some reason this is not the aspect of the poll that the story is focusing on.

  2. Chris

    Paul @ 1 – perhaps because the threat to Albanese in that seat is not the Coalition but the Greens?

    I think the article does bring up some reasonable questions about why Greens support is not increasing. but instead dropping in a seat that I’d at least expect it to have increased with the recent asylum seeker policy change by the ALP.

  3. Paul Norton

    Well, Chris, on that topic it’s interesting to note that recent election results and polls suggest that the Greens will be polling at least in the mid-30s and quite possibly in the 40s in Melbourne, yet are almost certainly not going to get beyond the 20s in Sydney and Grayndler. This contrast becomes even more interesting when one considers how much Labor is on the nose in NSW.

  4. Moz in Oz

    Usual warning on that link: don’t read the comments.

  5. Charlie

    Hall Greenland v Adam Bandt !!

  6. paul burns

    Should we be worried the Libs are ahead at the end of the first election week, or is it, as I hope but don’t know, too early to tell.
    Do we need to steel our psyches for an Abbott win, or am I just an over-paranoid lefty.

  7. Jacques de Molay

    I look at the Rudd move as purely about saving the furniture as we were heading for a belting under Gillard so if by some minor miracle Rudd were to get up, bonus.

  8. paul burns

    Ah! My worst fears. Gonna be a lot of really feral people around the morning after the election.

  9. Chris

    Paul @ 3 – Bandt gets a lot of news coverage though as well as having the benefit of incumbency. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has better name recognition than Milne.

    I look at the Rudd move as purely about saving the furniture as we were heading for a belting under Gillard so if by some minor miracle Rudd were to get up, bonus.

    Yea, that’s my view as well. An Abbott government with a small majority is going to be a lot different than one with a very large one plus control of the senate.

  10. Charlie

    Peter Brent (Mumbles, The Australian etc) says “Abbott is the opposition leader. He is difficult to vote for. So the Rudd government will probably be re-elected in 2013. ”

    Yes, Sunday night’s debate will be interesting. Flim-flam vs budgie smugglers.

  11. Moz in Oz

    Just watched “Australia Votes: The World Today” on iView. That was interesting, a bit of tension visible has Hewson, Brown and McKew tried to work out whether they wanted to comment on the election or campaign for their parties. I thought it was entertaining as well as vaguely informative.

  12. Terry

    It might be best for The Greens that Grayndler won’t be close, given that Hall Greenland was the selected candidate. He has the kind of history that was going to generate a lot of stories in The Australian in the last week of the campaign if it was close.

  13. Lefty E

    Gonna be a lot of really feral people around the morning after the election.

    Screw em. Theyll have voted for a chump – and theyll deny ever having done so 3 years later.

  14. philip travers

    I thought Paul Burns was talking about me,after the election.After all as a criminal in not voting,I must therefore be a Feral.Perhaps if I wear a Kempsey made rabbit felt hat no-one will notice!Any suggestions on what feather and its colours I should add to the hat!?

  15. paul burns

    Mind you, the last time Howard won I did walk through the Armidale Mall on the Sunday morning screaming abuse at known Nats. One thing I do miss, being immobile, is going into the Nats election offices every two or three days, distracting them from their work for the longest period possible, or trying to sell them GLWs. Or heckling the Nation Party candidate at election meetings. (Funnily enough despite me doing this Ian Sinclair became quite good friends, sort of.) Nowadays elections aren’t as much fun as they used to be

  16. Russell

    It would be dispiriting to see Abbott, Hockey, Pyne, Robb, Mirabella et al. forming government, but I would feel that a) the poison that had to be spat out had been spat out, and b) at least a tiny hope that the LNP wouldn’t be as bad a government as feared.

    If Rudd, Carr, Beattie, Albanese and Collins form government there will be the nauseous feeling that we have swallowed the poison, and not even a tiny hope that a new government allows.

  17. Moz in Oz

    Terry@12: you mean that he’s a socialist? Or is there some gossip that you can fill us in on?

  18. paul burns

    Don’t they check these guys out before they preselect them, or wot?

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/special-features/federal-election-2013-kevin-rudd-boots-abusive-candidates/story-fnho52jo-1226694708678

    So how quickly will they get fresh candidates in?
    Or have I just fallen for some foul Murdoch propaganda?

  19. paul of albury

    Picturing you as Hunter S Thompson to Sinker’s Nixon, Paul.

  20. Ootz

    The Solar Scorecard lets you find out where your local politicians stand on renewable energy. Use it to help make sure that no matter who wins the election on September 14th, renewable energy wins as well.

  21. Dave

    Kevin Rudd is doing a “John Howard”.

    Has a policy of large legal migration – while giving the impression that he is anti-migration by taking some machismo “hard-line” against asylum seekers.

    Awaiting him – electoral loss, a la John Howard (though he probably won’t lose his seat).

  22. Terry

    Moz in Oz @ 12, Hall Greenland has been a very public figure in the politics of the inner-west Sydney left for over four decades, so commentary on Hall would not be gossip in those parts, where he is a very known quantity to those with some political history.

    We may get a discussion of the Pabloite tendency of the Fourth International and their long struggle with the Healyites if Hall was elected to Canberra, as he was early in his life a part of that. More generally, Hall has been clearly on the left of the Greens nationally, coining the phraase “neoliberals on bikes” to describe the Christine Milne leadership group, a description that may surprise those outside of the party who would see it as having turned more to the left in the transition from Brown to Milne.

    On the question of socialism, presumably Albo would describe himself as a socialist who has been part of that struggle within the Labor Party for over three decades. The question for those voters in Grayndler would be whether Hall offers better prospects on the national stage than Albo, who is now Deputy PM. Certainly Tom Uren, a left icon in inner Sydney who has known both of them for a very long time, is apparently furious that Hall, who left the ALP in the 1980s, is trying so hard to take down Albo.

    More generally, with the commonly stated claim that the Greens represent a “new politics” that is distant from that of the “old parties”, the issue with Hall is not so much that dredge out issues from his past, as that he is so enmeshed with every campaign of the inner city left for so long that it is a bit hard to present him as bringing something new to Canberra were he to be re-elected. Albo presents him as:

    a sort of 1968 undergraduate leftism that condemns everyone who doesn’t agree with him for being a sell-out.

  23. Ronson Dalby

    GregM @ 43 on the Saturday Salon thread:

    “Can we all agree to discuss something we all agree on- what a nasty piece of work Sophie Mirabella is and how we all hope she gets her comeuppance? ”

    Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott nail it:

    ” BARRIE CASSIDY: Okay, so as you leave Canberra who will you miss the least, Tony Windsor?

    TONY WINDSOR: (laughs) I’ve got to say, Sophie Mirabella. She wins the nasty prize. Now that I might have a bit of time on my hands I know there’s an excellent independent running down there, I might go down and give them a hand. They’ve got a great group of people. So the people of Indi just have a look at your representative and see how much better you could do.

    BARRIE CASSIDY: Rob Oakeshott, do you want to add to the list?

    ROB OAKESHOTT: Oh look, I’m a lover not a fighter now, but in the interests of unity I’ll agree with Tony.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2012/s3792623.htm

  24. Paul Norton

    Paul B @18, the disturbing issue is how a misogynist creep like Geoff Lake gets as far as he did in the ALP. If he could carry on like that at a municipal council meeting, it doesn’t take too much imagination to guess how he would have comported himself in student politics, Young Labor, the factional system, etc. QED “from little finks big finks grow”.

  25. Paul Norton

    To pull together two strands of this thread. The NSW Greens have as problem preselecting old Trots. The Victorian Labor Right have a problem preselecting young misogynist bullies. It’s not hard to work out which is the bigger problem.

  26. BilB

    Thanks for the solar scorecard, Ootz.

    There is a lot of action to be taken there

  27. paul burns

    PN,
    Its a mystery to me they didn’t know about this before he was pre-selected. The various offences occurred years ago, and from a cursory reading of the papers appear to have been common knowledge.
    Insiders was suggesting there was a lot more to this than abusing women and disabled people – to be as euphemistic as I can – financial misadventures not of a personal nature.

  28. paul burns

    I like old Trots. Most of my political friends off-line are either Old Trots, Young Trots or Greens.

  29. Moz in Oz

    Thanks for that Terry. Interesting to actually read the guys blog. Reminds me why I don’t go to Greens meetings. Maybe I should, remind them that there’s more to politics than how far left you are.

  30. Terry

    Moz, I’ve known Albo for some time, and very much support his re-election as the Member for Grayndler – and hopefully Deputy PM in a re-elected Rudd government, so its not an issue for me. But it is an issue for the Greens to consider about how candidates are pre-selected for their front line seats, which are the ones where the candidate will be under the most public scrutiny. Particularly if, as the current polling suggests, the seat will go back to having the Liberals as the second party after this election.

    Also, the inner west of Sydney is changing a lot. There is an uncoupling of “social” progressiveness (primarily measured around support for same-sex marriage) and the sort of “progressive economic” platform that would be associated with a candidate such as Hall. People who support the first don’t necessarily support the second, for reasons that are ultimately class-based.

  31. Moz in Oz

    Terry, that de-coupling has been in progress for a while. The people paying $600+ a week for a two bedroom apartment in Newtown are definitely the borg-waysee. And they are assimilating us. It’s been amusing watching some die-hard socialist friends realise that if they want to stay in Marrickville when they have kids they have to buy a house. Much as it offends their sensibilities.

    I’m torn between some of the positive things Labour could do, and their record of not doing them. I’m sure Albanese is very nice in person, it’s one of the requirements for being a politician. I may even have met him, I’ve definitely been in the same room. But I definitely don’t want to wind the clock back and fight the old battles again under a Liberal-National-Hat-Palmer coalition. So my preference will eventually flow to the ALP, but I’m not volunteering for them. Or, after the last donation debacle, The Greens. Need to see if anyone else is likely to meet the funding threshold.

  32. Terry

    As Paul Norton pointed out to me elsewhere, the fastest growing party in the inner-west of Sydney is the Liberal Party.

  33. Robbo

    @12 Somehow I don’t think that the youngish newish demographic influx in Grayndler are going to give a hoot about what Hall Greenland did in his youth or what Ltd News has to say about him.

    He’s been a Greens member for going on 40 years, i.e. most of his adult life and good on him.

    Albo will probably resign if ALP loses the election, the most likely scenario, placing the Greens in a good position to take the seat in the subsequent by-election. Bring it on.

  34. Terry

    Robbo, I can’t foresee any scenario under which a re-elected Anthony Albanese would no be serving another three years as the Member for Grayndler. If Labor is re-elected, he remains Deputy PM, and the most powerful Left figure in a Federal Labor government since Jim Cairns during the Whitlam years. If Labor were to lose by 8-10 seats, then everyone would fancy their chances of making an Abbott government a one term government.

    The only scenario under which people like Albo may have quit was that prevailing 2-3 months ago, where Labor stood to lose 30-40 seats, with the top-slicing of a generation of potential new leadership (Bowen, Burke and Clare in NSW alone).

    The bearded baristas of Enmore Road may well not read the Daily Terror or have much interest in Annandale communes circa 1973. But they will be thinking this:

    1. If I support a continuation of the current government’s programs, and want to be sure to keep Tony Abbott out of The Lodge, then I should be going with Albo;

    2. If I reject this Labor government, then I should vote Liberal;

    3. If I vote Greens, then what do I get? Have they been in a partnership with the ALP government over the last three years, improving its legislative program, or have they been an oppositional force? If there is a hung parliament, should Hall Greenland support an ALP minority government, and the party that he rejected 30 years ago, or should he stick with his principles, even if that gives Tony Abbott power? Would Hall actually support the decisions of the Greens’ leadership, given his prior condemnation of them as “neoliberals on bikes”?

  35. Jacques de Molay

    How feral are News Ltd going? Just watched The Bolt Report, it’s comedic value is in how biased it usually is but it the whole show was Rudd this, Rudd that you wouldn’t even know Tony Abbott existed.

  36. Ambigulous

    If Labor is re-elected, he remains Deputy PM, and the most powerful Left figure in a Federal Labor government since Jim Cairns during the Whitlam years.

    Not out-ranked by our recent PM Gillard? Was she of the Left?

  37. Robbo

    Albo’s only claim to be left lies in his past as a member of the Trotskyist Bob Gould faction of Young Labor and his close collaboration with then fellow leftist the former Maoist, Ian Macdonald, later promoted and protected by current ALP foreign minister, Bob Carr, recent star of ICAC hearings.

  38. Debbieanne

    Sorry to lower the tone (and use a US website), but hope you have all had a bit of a laugh at this poor ‘Moran’
    http://touch.wonkette.com/wonkette/#!/entry/adorable-australias-sarah-palin-will-let-the-jews-stay-because,5204f57087443d6c8e5b45df

  39. Terry

    I think that Julia Gillard was expelled from the Socialist Left for supporting the Howard Government’s Pacific Solution.

  40. Katz

    Great debate:

    Fed Govt spend under Howard 24% of GDP

    Fed Govt spend under R/G/R 25% of GDP.

    Checkmate on Abbott/Hockey scare tactics.

  41. faustusnotes

    The guardian has a picture of Abbott and Rudd shaking hands, Abbott is doing the Latham handshake + boxer psycho stare. Not a good look at all…

  42. jules

    Anyone watching this debate?

    Faaaaarrrrrrk

    (Shakes head slowly).

  43. Megan

    I can barely contain my disgust at Mr Abbott’s ‘Direct Action’ spruik. We’ll plant a few trees, we’ll clean some soil, we’ll invest in a little bit of ‘smarter technology’ and we won’t tax anybody, just pay some rich people for the privilege of reducing their emissions.

  44. Russell

    I watched the last half. Abbott seemed to offer sooooooo very little, compared to Rudd. Rudd touched on so many big issues, while Abbott had nothing more than ‘we will scrap the carbon tax, we will scrap the mining tax, we will cut red tape and we will stop the boats” It was a pathetic script.

    Rudd looked intelligent and capable of dealing with the issues of today, while Abbott looked like someone from a time-warp. That said, we all know, from past experience, that Rudd isn’t capable of the job of Prime Minister, so, in this ‘presidential’ election, what a dilemma for the voters.

  45. Jewell

    I found the debate lacklustre. The questions were dull and unclear.

    I am biased against Abbott. But I still think Rudd did better on actual knowledge and detail.

    Neither of them did particularly well on style or language.

  46. Jewell

    Would love to know where Ch 7 was getting its worm from.

  47. Jumpy

    Abbott 1 Rudd 0

  48. paul burns

    I thought the debate was okay – that is not quite as dull as ditchwater. Watched it on 9 where the worm gave it to Rudd. On 7 it gave it to Abbott.
    A bit soporific IMHO.

  49. paul burns

    Re the worms. I’m not really up to date on this new mobile phone computer/technology, but I gather its not just a selected audience in a TV studio nowadays. People are also worming on mobiles with apps and tablets as well as PCs. (If I understood the pre debate instructions on 9 and yesterday on 7.
    Labor needs to organise its troops more I suspect.
    Certainly with the 9 Twitter-feeds Clive Palmer, the Greens and the Libs got more up than the ALP.
    I thought Labor was supposed to be ahead on all this technology.

  50. jules

    Is it too much to ask Abbott to give a straight answer to a question?

    Megan @ 42 – too right.

  51. Terry2

    We obviously need at least two more debates as Abbott is still dodging fiscal questions with “all in good time”: mate we are four weeks away from the election!

    I get the impression quite clearly now that, on the question of boat arrivals, LNP policy and Labor are harmonised with the only wild card being ‘turning back the boats’ and Abbott will rely totally on ‘ when it’s safe to do so’ which means never.

    Twice Abbott mentioned that he would be saving personnel at nursing homes from red tape and paperwork: what was that about , they all use computers anyway.

  52. Russell

    Terry, my impression was that the nursing home charging thing is really a level of detail that Tony didn’t have a clue about. Also, I’m sure he said that both his grandparents ended up in nursing homes ….. both his grandparents?! He only had two?

  53. Chris

    I think that Julia Gillard was expelled from the Socialist Left for supporting the Howard Government’s Pacific Solution.

    I thought that Gillard wasn’t a member of the Socialist Left, but the Ferguson Left which isn’t really that left wing despite its name.

  54. zorronsky

    Impressions so far..Rudd’s supporters are dropping off or going very quiet as each day provides more examples of his annoying, patronising and so obviously staged demeanour.
    Abbott’s support is growing as the supporters of Turnbull realize they’re not going to have a change of Leader.
    The ‘Tabloids have no effect on the result’ meme is, as usual total BS.
    The Greens are still dancing around the cauldron chanting magic words and waiting for them to work while in the real world most people see good sense in the direction but don’t want to leap all the way with them and probably never will.

  55. paul burns

    The big worry for Rudd last night, which I didn’t realise till this morning, was that he used notes when it was against the rules of the debate. You’re only allowed a pencil and paper. Rudd apparently read from notes for his opening and closing speeches.
    This is now described as cheating, which it probably was, and will no doubt resonate through the weeks in tabloid and talkback land.
    The way Rudd got back to the leadership is seen as unsavoury by some, and this will no doubt feed into perceptions. [I think Rudd's actions were both justified and necessary but that's not part of the point I'm trying to make here]
    My fear, because I definitely don’t want an Abbott government, is that this ‘cheating’ meme with give the Libs an election winning strategy. I’m far too war-weary or something to believe this election will be decided on debates about policy.

    At the moment Abbott is deftly avoiding debates on ‘where is the money coming from.’ Rudd is right to press Abbott over possible increases to the GST. If Abbott does get in he will be in for at least two terms, ans sure, he won’t raise the GST in the first term, as he promised, but the tax review, which has not yet been ubdertaken, under influence from ‘business’ [WTF is that?] will definitely extend the GST to food and increase it. We all know that decision has already been made, before the tax review is even established. It will definitely happen in Abbott’s second term. The only way to prevent it is to stop Abbott from getting a first term. a prospect which had driven me to pessimism and mild depression over the past few days. Australia can’t take it and doesn’t deserve it.

  56. Moz of Yaramulla

    Chris: I wasn’t aware that the ALP *had* an actual left, unless we use the USA as our point of reference (which makes Abbott a hard left militant… confusing). Those terms are all relative to the party, so you have the generally left-ish and right-ish sides of whatever it is the ALP stands for on the day. Same as the Liberal party has the small-l and big-l sides of whatever they stand for. Or wets and dries, I dunno, I don’t pay that much attention to their antics.

  57. zoot

    PB @55: how could they not allow Abbott notes?
    We all know (because he told us) that if it’s not written down he’s probably lying.

  58. paul burns

    zoot @ 57,
    :)

  59. Brian

    pb, The CM made much of the ‘cheating’ allegation but if you read down the article Rudd says he was working on a different interpretation of the rules.

    I marked the debate as a win to Abbott, not least because Rudd came across as anxious and Abbott maintained the studied calm that he has adopted and practised assiduously since late last year.

    The best thing is that in a couple of weeks no-one will remember, but it could play out in terms of momentum.

  60. Brian

    On costings, this morning an economics commentator was complaining about a lack of detail on both sides. Labor’s costings are in the recent Government economic statement. What more does he want? Hartcher’s question as applied to Labor was ridiculous.

    Abbott’s continued reference to his budget reply which was said to contain $17 billion of savings is shameful and he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. Since then there has been a $33 billion revenue write-down which he’ll have to find saving to cover just to get back to where he was, assuming that made sense.

  61. paul burns

    Brian @ 59,
    True. But is that the way its going to play out in Murdochlandia and Jonesville, both of whom I suspect will play up for all they’re worth? And is it what will stick with the voter who only ever thinks impulsively about politics a day or so before polling day?
    These undecideds who don’t make up their minds till the last minute can make or break an election if they live in the right seats.

  62. faustusnotes

    I think Gillard would have stomped Abbott last night. Furthermore, as the stompage unfolded there would have been a good chance of a warp spasm of man-rage, leaving his campaign in tatters.

    I worry that Rudd’s appeal is going to flounder as people see more of him, and by election day we will be back to where we were at with Gillard. I think she had a long-term strategy and teh expectation that things would unravel for Abbott in the election campaign. Maybe that isn’t going to happen now …

  63. Mindy

    Twitter last night gave it to Rudd by a reasonable margin, on the radio today it was back to evenly balanced maybe slightly in Rudd’s favour. Safe to say that Rudd won’t be enjoying too much in the way of positive publicity I suspect.

    @Paul B – I am not taking the bait today in the Rudd v Gillard zombie stoush. Just going to say that I agree Rudd was the best option to retrieve Labor’s slim chances in this election, but that that situation was largely of his own making since he spent 3 years whiteanting Gillard. Also, I am starting to fear, as you do, that the Abbott Government is almost inevitable.

    The most depressing and enraging thing is that the Opposition have spent the last 6 years whinging and moaning and acting as if losing the elections in 2007 and 2010 was somehow depriving them of something they had a right to and generally being complete shits. I sickens me that that behaviour is going to be rewarded by the electorate.

    By the time Hockeynomics has a real impact on the actual economy and Abbott’s lack of ability as PM really becomes apparent it will be too late. We can only hope that their winning margin is slim and that enough backbenchers get fed up and become independents to either create a minority government and force Abbott to negotiate, or live up to his pledge that he won’t work in a minority government.

  64. paul burns

    re costings. As you point out I think we know where the ALPs coming from. After all, Bowen set out the budget position pretty honestly. Sure, there was probably some flim-flam there, but isn’t there always?
    Abbott is just avoiding the issue. If he were to take it up he would probably have to admit that he was definitely going to adopt the ‘austerity’ policies taken up in Europe, GB and, God help us, Queensland. He won’t do that because if he did voters would run a mile from him and he knows it.
    Apart from his natural ideological bent in that direction, he’s already planning to adopt a Newman like Audit Commission.
    What I’d like to know is how his massive ‘roads and bridges’ “vision” is going to fit in with the punishing austerity cuts?
    “Roads and Bridges” in a Federal campaign? !!! Weird, and a very easy way for Abbott to change the subject. This election looks like it will be won by rat cunning. And despite his internal politicking against Gillard in the ALP, I wonder if Rudd has enough of it.

  65. Chris

    We all know that decision has already been made, before the tax review is even established. It will definitely happen in Abbott’s second term.

    Given the level of mistrust in politicians generally however I think this is the right way to do it. I think the GST should have been covered in the recent tax review – it was a mistake not to do so. Its silly to ask the experts for their opinion on reform and forbid them from looking at some possibilities purely out of political strategy (especially mid-term). The government is still free afterwards to reject proposals or to compensate low income earners for a GST rise.

    pb, The CM made much of the ‘cheating’ allegation but if you read down the article Rudd says he was working on a different interpretation of the rules.

    That may be true, but I still think it was mistake – the Rudd team should have been a lot more careful about this. One of the advantages for putting Rudd back in was an opportunity to drop the pereception of mistrust in the government. This just reinforces the opposition claims even if fundamentally the error may have been pretty minor or technical.

    I think Gillard would have stomped Abbott last night. Furthermore, as the stompage unfolded there would have been a good chance of a warp spasm of man-rage, leaving his campaign in tatters.

    With a primary vote in the 20s it wouldn’t have mattered how well Gillard did in the debate. Abbott probably could have gotten away with not turning up at all and still won the election because much of the general population had simply stopped listening to what Gillard and the ALP were saying.

    Ever since Abbott became opposition leader people have been speculating that he’s going to explode and the ALP will just walk all over him. It simply hasn’t happened and I don’t think it will – he’s got a lot more disciplined and careful. Still makes mistakes in public (everyone does), but nothing Latham like.

    Twitter last night gave it to Rudd by a reasonable margin, on the radio today it was back to evenly balanced maybe slightly in Rudd’s favour.

    Heh, if Twitter didn’t give it to Rudd, it would mean in general population terms a landslide to Abbott :-)

  66. Chris

    Moz @ 56 – yea I agree it’s all relative. With Doug Cameron’s recent conversion on asylum seekers I think the last of those I’d normally consider “Left” in the ALP have disappeared.

  67. paul burns

    Mindy,
    I wasn’t trying to provide zombie bait. I was trying to avoid it. :)
    I agree with you. And, as in my earlier reply to Brian, I think the latest bait and switch was this “Roads and Bridges” stuff Abbott’s been on about this morning. “Roads and Bridges” is I think generally understood to apply to issues which are very definitely local or state government and it must be being brought in to distract from his deceit over costings and possibly to avoid getting caught up in the gay marriage debate. As the Guardian I think points out, Abbott can only lose on that one in terms of the impression he gives out.
    (politically I think its a break-even. What Rudd will win on the gay vote he might lose on the fundy vote, so they’ll cancel each other out.)

  68. Mindy

    The roads and bridges is actually a very smart tactic. The Barton Highway is a big election issue down this way, in this bit of the electorate at least. So many people will probably take that as a promise of funding and vote accordingly. Then of course Abbott (or any politician really) would just point out that they never named names blah blah blah. Tell the people what they want to hear.

  69. Jewell

    Jeff Kennett is quoted in this morning The Age as saying the Victorian govt should be borrowing to build rail, the Australian public should be educated about the virtues of debt, and PPP is not a suitable funding model for public transport infrastructure.

  70. Helen

    Jewell, you’re kidding. What an arse. The very man who (for the benefit of anyone who’s in another state and missed all this) who imposed a huge tollroad project on us, funded by a PPP and with all kinds of dreadful corporate guarantees built in, including a requirement to indemnify the private company running the tollway if any alternative is built (E.G. RAILWAYS JEFF!) which take money / customers away from it.

    Ugh.

  71. Paul Norton

    On the subject of “What an arse”, Tony Abbot stated during a campaign launch this morning that “No-one… can be the suppository of all wisdom.”

  72. Russell

    That is hilarious – will interrupt the message for a day or two.

  73. Russell

    Meanwhile, I thought this was a bit picky:

    “someone should be sacked for allowing Tony Abbott to face the nation with a crooked tie.” (Natalie Mast at The Conversation)

    I looked again, and I would say the tie was well within the bounds of acceptability.

  74. Helen

    Well, we knew he’d be pulling policies from his arse.
    (Apologies – no more bottom language today)

  75. Malcolm

    I think the debate was pretty average. Neither leader excelled or significantly faltered but both performances where underwhelming and both too often evaded the questions or answered them with empty platitudes. I thought Rudd faltered a bit at the start but improved as the debate progressed. Abbott was pretty solid and consistent throughout the debate -although his eagerness to invoke his stupid “stop the boats” slogan at every opportunity made him look silly -but his mocking laughter at Rudd toward the end of the debate made him look very childish and immature and belied his efforts to present himself as statesmanlike

    Of course I have my biases, but I’d give this debate narrowly to Rudd. He could have done better in some aspects but I thought he made the more convincing case. I doubt the debate will make any difference to the result though -debates in Australia rarely do

    For the argument that Gillard would have stomped Abbott in the debate and provoked a self-destructive response from Abbott, I think that’s probably both underestimating Abbott and overestimating Gillard (and that’s not meant as a slam on her). It’s possible that, heading for a landslide defeat and with nothing to lose, Gillard might have unleashed all fire and brimstone on Abbott but it’s equally possible that she would have adopted that all-too common tendency to subdue her inner passion and resort to the same kinds of empty platitudes and clichéd slogans that she seemed to use too much of during her time in office. That was one of the things that let her down during the 2010 campaign. And, even if she did go all fire and brimstone on Abbott, it is equally possible that Abbott would have been able to control his inner rage and present the image of taking the high ground against a mudslinging opponent. There’s no guarantee that Gillard would have done any better in the situation

  76. Chris

    Paul @ 71 – looking on the bright side, Abbott as PM may provide more rather amusing quotes :-)

  77. paul burns

    If Rudd looking at his notes during the election debate was cheating, what’s this?
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/11/tony-abbott-twitter-followers-spike

    And I bet we don’t hear about it outside the Guardian.

  78. alfred venison
  79. Jumpy

    And I bet we don’t hear about it outside the Guardian.

    And on the subject of bets, sportsbet after the debate has ALP blown out from $4 to $5.50 and Lib/Nat at $1.15.
    Also they’re giving Labor a 14.5 seat headstart!
    Money for jam if you interested.

  80. Mk50 of Brisbane

    paul Burns:

    I’m far too war-weary or something to believe this election will be decided on debates about policy.

    In a way I think this is precisely what has decided it, the outcomes of failed policies which have not been repaired (ie: the continued slaughter of hundreds of illegal immigrants at sea and the loss of control of the borders*), and the outcomes of successful policies badly done and not stopped at appropriate times (ie: GFC stimulus done with a 30-50% waste rate and not stopped since).

    Any government must be seen to be competent. The ALP governmanet of the last six years has been anything but, and so has no record to run on, hence the ‘new way’ nonsense, which is being correctly interpreted as ‘please forget the last six years and pretend it never occurred.’

    People are just not that stupid, especially when Rudd then reminds them with the shambolic ‘oops out by $33Bn since 11 weeks ago’ and ‘screwing people over on salary sacrifice for cars’.

    There’s no record to run on except tax and spend, incompetence and policy failure.

    * The current wastage rate of illegal immigrants is reputed by leaks from Immigration to be 4.48% as a known rate. As 50,000 have now arrived, that means this appalling fiasco of a policy has killed 2,240 people. AWM says we lost 500 dead in the Vietnam war.

    There is absolutely no conceivable excuse for the continuance of a policy failure which has killed nearly 5 times more people than we lost during the Vietnam War.

    For that alone, Rudd should be pilloried.

  81. Luxxe

    Unfortunately for Rudd, the “no notes” rule was clear. He did cheat – and how typical that he blamed his team. Even more unfortunately, his clear win in the debate was completely devalued by his reading from prepared notes. What a bloody idiot he is. Gillard would have shone off the cuff and wiped the floor with Abbott.

  82. Katz

    Abbott is too modest. He could easily be the suppository of all wisdom.

  83. Nickws

    GFC stimulus done with a 30-50% waste rate and not stopped since

    I’ve never read anything from reputable economic writers about either of these claims, and yet what you write would be among the most important facts about the simulus _if_ _at_ _all_ _true_.

    The current wastage rate of illegal immigrants is reputed by leaks from Immigration to be 4.48% as a known rate

    And this sounds like outright conspiratorialising.

    Why do so many of you Coalition supporters have these Hansonite sounding attributes to your arguments?

  84. Ambigulous

    No, not Tone.

    A “suppository” should be
    a physick for Ailing Ar*eholes,
    a present Help for Hemmoroids,
    a Balm for the Bum of righteousness;
    that’s not our Tone.

    We will decide what enters our sphincters, and the manner in which it enters……

    Perhaps he meant “repository”, as in
    The Service for the
    Repose of ‘S’oles ?

  85. Nickws

    Luxxe @ 80, slamming Rudd with MSM-generated fauxtroversies, that doesn’t actually do anything to promote the former PM’s debate skills, you know.

    It actually does nothing but empower the MSM to just inflate trivial stuff; that’s a dynamic that never actually helped Julia Gillard, or so I’m lead to believe…

  86. zorronsky

    “There is absolutely no conceivable excuse for the continuance of a policy failure which has killed nearly 5 times more people than we lost during the Vietnam War.”
    Tell that to the Coalition of the Willing.

  87. Lefty E

    Channel 9: Cheating Allegations backfire on Abbott

    He did the same thing in 2010.

  88. Casey

    slamming Rudd with MSM-generated fauxtroversies, that doesn’t actually do anything to promote the former PM’s debate skills, you know.

    “fauxtroversies” Is that a word?

    Anyway, whatever it is, it’s not a faux controversy. Rudd was dumb to do that in a campaign where he is behind. Everything counts. In fact, it’s not like him at all. He was not on the ball and he fumbled the Syd airport question. It was surprising, to say the least.

  89. faustusnotes

    I think Rudd was too busy micromanaging everything in sight to prepare for the debate.

  90. Nickws

    Lawrence O’Donnell, former US senate staffer, and the writer of the ‘West Wing’ debate episode, calls modern televised debates “memorising contests”.

    It stands to reason that a technocrat like Rudd would be willing to disrespect a format like that, because purely-memorised-speechmaking doesn’t exist anywhere in regular politics (with the possible exception of the British House of Commons).

    Anyway, whatever it is, it’s not a faux controversy.

    A handy distraction for the Coalition, which doesn’t even have merit in low info swing voter land=/=fauxtroversy.

    This stuff is lower than normal spin contests.

  91. Mk50 of Brisbane

    NickWs:

    And this sounds like outright conspiratorialising.

    Nope. Even Bowen noted that 4% never make it, and he was rounding down. So use his figure – that’s 2,000 dead. Or hit the research and check what has actually been reported in the media and start adding up. They report about 60-70% of the losses and only miss the ones that vanished (there’s four of them that I know of, two were big loads, too.)

    Do you actually deny that illegal immigrants are dying en route? If you do not deny it, how can you find that acceptable? I cannot.

    Why do so many of you Coalition supporters …

    I am, and always have been, a swinging voter who decides on policy positions and government competence – especially financial competence, economic competence and national defence competence as these are the fundamental responsibilities of government. Is this contentious? I voted solidly for the Hawke government due to its focus on IR and micro-economic reform: it was a 2/3 government for me. I voted for Howard too, he was a 2/3 government also. I am neither a conservative nor a libertarian, and I am profoundly non-tribal. At this stage, and knowing what I do of teh way the international scene is turning, the country very badly needs competent governance, and the record of the last six years gives me no reason to expect that of the ALP, does it? They even dismantled the Hawke-Keating IR reforms and that is just bizarre.

  92. faustusnotes

    you got links or any references for the 4.48% and the 50,000, MK50?

  93. Jacques de Molay

    People don’t get sucked into Mk50′s rubbish.

    This quality human being on Catallaxy often refers to former PM Julia Gillard as “the lying slapper”.

  94. Ronson Dalby

    Rudd seems to very tired and slightly incoherent sometimes whenever I’ve seen him on TV in the last few days. I can’t remember ever seeing him so ‘out of it’ before.

    On a side note and just for interest’s sake, does anyone know if Rudd moved into The Lodge for the few weeks he’s PM before the election. My guess would be he didn’t.

  95. mindy

    @Ronson Despite the misleading headline “Look who’s back at The Lodge…” this Canberra Times article from July suggests that Rudd is staying at the Hyatt instead. I have not heard that they have moved back in and I suspect that it would have at least made the Canberra news if nowhere else.

  96. David Irving (no relation)

    Russell @ 73, Abbott always reminds me of a kid who’s roughed up some smaller child for his lunch money. Although a four-in-hand is harder to get right than a windsor knot, it’s not impossible. If Abbott can’t do it himself, he should ask his missus to do it for him.

    As for the suppository of wisdom, is that supposed to help him shit the stupidity out? If so, it hasn’t helped …

  97. Helen

    David Irving, look at the #suppository hashtag on Twitter – I don’t think there’s a bum joke that hasn’t been made yesterday :)

  98. Luxxe

    David @96, did you not see the footage of Kevin Rudd roughing up that photobomber kid by pinching his finger? That was scary!

  99. David Irving (no relation)

    Yeah, I’m late to it, Helen. I got an SMS about it from a son yesterday, with no context, then last night eventually read far enough down on Crackbook to see where it had originated.

  100. paul burns

    Luxxe @ 98,
    vid or image please, Luxxe. I’ve gone looking for the image, footage you are citing for about ten minutes and have not been able to find it. Perhaps you have it?

  101. jules

    It was an understandable mistake given Tony Abbott:

    a) talks thru his bum.

    b) is an arsehole who thinks he knows it all.

    c) has shit for brains.

    d) all of the above.

  102. paul burns

    Laura Tingle, after goingb throught the PEPO papers:

    The projections, if anything, suggest that whoever wins government will enjoy a natural improvement in the budget balance as revenue collections start to lift and, with little policy change, would be able to project significant budget surpluses as they go into the 2016 election campaign.

    Tingle can read and interpret financial data better than anybody else in the Coalition, and probably many in the ALP. Interesting, no?

  103. Tim Macknay

    Paul @100 – I could be wrong, but it seemed to me that Luxxe was joking.

  104. Jacques de Molay

    I noticed Nick “Income management” Champion the ALP member for Wakefield is under fire for supposedly telling porkies in one of his propaganda letters to people in his electorate that the ALP have secured the future of Holden’s Elizabeth plant until 2022.

    http://indaily.com.au/news/2013/08/08/mp-defends-his-holden-claim/

  105. Luxxe

    Paul Burns @100. Search “Rudd” and “photobomber” on youtube.

  106. paul burns

    Had a good look at that clip, Luxxe. If Rudd had hurt him, the kid would have burst into tears.
    Personally, I think the mother should have had the courtesy to remove him from the room the moment he started acting up.

  107. Chris

    paul @ 106 – I think that’s the standard danger of electioneering around kids and animals :-)

  108. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Faustusnotes:

    links or any references for the 4.48% and the 50,000

    TABLE AT DoI (see Link)

    1452 crew

    44156 illegal immigrants

    Total 45,608

    to 30 Jun 13 and these are the official figures, trust them as you will..

    Source: http://www.aph.gov.au/about_parliament/parliamentary_departments/parliamentary_library/pubs/bn/2012-2013/boatarrivals

    Since then the average has been about 2000 per week or so.

    Media has reported this: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/special-features/asylum-emergency-off-christmas-island-pushes-number-of-boat-arrivals-under-labor-to-50000/story-fnho52jj-1226692388773 back on August 6th.

    For the number who have drowned, these figures are simply not available from government sources. If Howard were not releasing the figures like is being done here, would people here be just as calmly accepting that these figures are being hidden? I do not believe can continue to be a partisan issue. A good array of public policies which stopped people smuggling was deliberately dismantled in 2008 for (lets face it) partisan political reasons (ALP) and emotive feel-goodism (greens). That was a policy mistake. It has not been repaired, and in the meanwhile at least 2,000 have died (and likely more than that). This is not acceptable, and far too many have died and continue to die for it to remain a partisan issue. Restore the suite of public policies that worked at the very least.

    On Monday 12 September 2011 there was a leak from the ALP Federal Caucus meeting held that morning: Immigration Minister Chris Bowen “urged colleagues not to forget that 4 per cent of asylum seekers who got on boats drowned at sea”.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-09-15/asylum-feature/2901134

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/the-fatal-cost-of-asylum-debacles/story-e6frezz0-1226136084592

    This US Coast Guard uses a ‘rule of thumb’ for a 10% ‘wastage’ rate on the trans-pacific people smuggling route via Mexico, so Bowen’s figure is credible for the shorter hop (the Chinese transnational criminals at least use larger, more seaworthy vessels, often superannuated 500-1000 ton fishing vessels).

    The Canberra leak-mill is currently saying 4.48%, is that a rolling %? We do not know. It’s not being released to the public. We DO know that the responsible ALP Minister said it was 4% back in 2011 and that looks like a ‘rule of thumb’ figure.

    4% of 50,000 is 2,000 dead. I do not find this acceptable: I find it deeply immoral not to address a policy failure (as Gillard said every boat arrival was) which results in mass fatalities. Those responsible for not addressing the policy failure when they have the power to do so bear the moral responsibility for each death. This is not controversial, is it?

  109. faustusnotes

    apparently according to Mr. Rabbit some chick running for Lindsay is sexy. I guess given the Liberals are a policy-free zone, he’s got to find something appealing about his candidates, so why not raise their sex appeal on national tv?

  110. paul burns

    fn,
    yesterday on The Drum Annabelle Crabb observed that Abbot’s slip about the suppository [its impossible for it to be a pun free zone] may have been intentional. Which I thought was interesting, maybe even likely.
    Now, with his comment on the member for Lindsay being ‘sexy’, I’m sure. I suppose it might be designed to appeal to supposed Western Sydney troglodytes, but I rather suspect its real intention is to distract from any real discussion about the Coalition, PEPO and costings. If the commentariat twitter or whatever about Abbott’s poor use of language nobody’s asking difficult questions, or if they are, they’re not being heard.

  111. faustusnotes

    Well Mk50, your figures are possibly out by a factor of two. The conversation has a fact check which suggests no more than 1000 dead. Out of 44,000 that is 1 in 44, or just over 2%. Note that between 350 – 700 died under the Coalition, which saw just over 13000 arrivals. That’s about 1 in 20 to 1 in 40, or 2.5 to 5%. Your Chris Bowen figure is nothing more than a “reportedly.” The conversation article presents something resembling facts.

    Are you “outraged” at the Coalition’s failed policy, and the fact that it failed to keep adequate records? Also, can you explain why there was a sudden tripling in numbers of people attempting to reach Australia last year? If this is all the fault of ALP policy, then you can presumably point to some identifiable policy change in 2011 that caused this flood, right?

  112. faustusnotes

    ooh pb, sinister theory! That’s often suggested as a way of fooling peer reviewers – put in an obvious and easy-to-correct error so that they miss the massive underlying problems in your analysis.

    I would never do that, of course!

  113. paul burns

    Fn,
    I haven’t looked at the TV today, but I bet Abbott’s ‘she has sex appeal’ remark is further up the top of tonight’s headlines than anything the ALP has got to say, at least on commercial TV. Doing it once might be a slip of the tongue [there I go with the puns again], but a second piece of inflammatory trivia the night after etc. Come on.

  114. faustusnotes

    didn’t the last candidate for Lindsay come acropper through some terrible scandal involving fake pamphlets? Maybe that electorate is ill-fated for the liberals …

  115. zorronsky

    Hell want to come up with something..the Treasury figures out today have exposed them big-time. Laura Tingle’s comments are going viral on Facebook and several others are joining in.

  116. mindy

    Or worse PB and FN it might not be deliberate and this is our future PM. At least the political cartoonists will be happy.

  117. zorronsky

  118. faustusnotes

    mindy, I’d love to agree with you that he is that stupid, but it does seem to me that this kind of gaffe comes down to extreme stupidity, of the kind that even TA couldn’t have. I mean, he *knows* this stuff plays badly and he’s been reminded of it continuously but he still does it. I think if he’s not doing what Paul Burns suggests he must still know what he’s doing – surely his minders have drilled him on this continuously if it’s a problem.

    The suspicion that springs to mind for me is that he is dog-whistling the boofhead vote, and has calculated that the loss of women votes is balanced by the greater number of boofheads he needs to get back from Rudd.

  119. paul burns

    mindy,
    Oh, absolutely!
    OTOH, you’d think his political minders would caution him about making costly political mistakes, esp. on sexism etc given his record. He’s on a very tight rein.
    Google News indicates Rudd has accused him of being sexist etc. No, I think this is a calculated political distraction. Lets face it, people who find today’s faux pas offensive aren’t going to vote for him anyway.
    Lets see what tomorrow brings. Three times proves it and so on.

  120. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Well Mk50, your figures are possibly out by a factor of two. The conversation has a fact check which suggests no more than 1000 dead. Out of 44,000 that is 1 in 44, or just over 2%. Note that between 350 – 700 died under the Coalition, which saw just over 13000 arrivals. That’s about 1 in 20 to 1 in 40, or 2.5 to 5%. Your Chris Bowen figure is nothing more than a “reportedly.” The conversation article presents something resembling facts.

    I read that report. it is incomplete, and actually rather lazy – they just used the Monash study group’s figures (they did not even search Sri Lankan media, which has some details on two missing boats). Still, let me grant your premise. Do you find ‘only’ ~1000 people killed to be acceptable?
    Because I sure don’t. And Mr Bowen has absolutely refused to discuss his 4% figure since that leak (which was probably from Rudd). I also find it unacceptable that the DoI intelligence section’s accounting of the death toll is not available; neither is the AFP-Border Protection&Customs joint intel group’s older assessments. After 6-12 months, that data is of merely historical value, not operational value. I suspect they are not releasing it as it would contain data enabling the wastage rate to be calculated.

    Are you “outraged” at the Coalition’s failed policy,

    Which one? The one prior to development of the policy suite that stopped the boats? Yes. People died because of it. I am more outraged that the ALP failed to learn from their experience and restarted the trade, so many more people have died. Aren’t you? If not, why not?

    and the fact that it failed to keep adequate records?

    Please provide links etc as I did which shows they ‘failed to keep adequate records’. What records? How was the record keeping faulty?

    Also, can you explain why there was a sudden tripling in numbers of people attempting to reach Australia last year?

    Yes. At least one and probably two Iranian transnational criminal groups entered the market and set up two new routes. This has been covered in South Asian media. Routes are now being set up by Iraqi and Egyptian criminal entities. The rate is going to increase: “you ain’t seen nuthin yet”.

    If this is all the fault of ALP policy, then you can presumably point to some identifiable policy change in 2011 that caused this flood, right?

    Yes. The policy change in 2008 caused this. You will note a lag time before the boats started to move even from Indonesia. Thats the ‘logistics lag’: it simply takes time to set up the route and get things organised. It took the Indonesian criminals a 3-12 months, the Pakistan-based transnational criminal groups 12-24 months, the Iranians 18-24, the Vietnamese and Guangdong- based transnational criminal groups are now just starting to enter the market. Guess they had too much meth and coke to move (see Michael Yui’s articles on the trans-pacific cocaine route they operate), this would be just a minor sideline for a young up-and-comer to cut his teeth on for those guys. Took them a while to get started but the Iranians are very good at this, they have a vertically integrated structure for their routes, so it’s one-stop shopping: one payment over teh counter in Tehran and you are off, and they clear ~$10,000 profit per illegal, at no risk. It’s exceptionally lucrative and risk-free for the organisers.

  121. Mk50 of Brisbane
  122. Chris

    No, I think this is a calculated political distraction. Lets face it, people who find today’s faux pas offensive aren’t going to vote for him anyway.

    yea I’d agree its unlikely to hurt him much politically. And there’s probably some truth to his comments – a bit of “sex appeal” whether the candidate is male or female is likely to help their electoral prospects. He’s just not meant to say that sort of thing publicly

  123. Jacques de Molay

    He’s just not meant to say that sort of thing publicly

    Plays to the base? We saw a bit of the real Tony Abbott today, there is only a limited amount of time until he snaps and starts headbutting everyone in sight, trying to bite the noses off of the gallery etc ;)

  124. Jacques de Molay

    Disturbing news about Ch 9 reporter Kerrie Yaxley being heckled & then kissed by over excited males during a live cross when covering Kevin Rudd’s political campaign in Queensland:

    http://www.tvtonight.com.au/2013/08/live-cross-interrupted-by-hecklers.html

  125. Linda

    faustusnotes@118 “mindy, I’d love to agree with you that he is that stupid, but it does seem to me that this kind of gaffe comes down to extreme stupidity, of the kind that even TA couldn’t have. I mean, he *knows* this stuff plays badly and he’s been reminded of it continuously but he still does it. I think if he’s not doing what Paul Burns suggests he must still know what he’s doing – surely his minders have drilled him on this continuously if it’s a problem.”

    Let’s face it, the comment in question is totally pro status quo and actually acceptable to society generally. It will sit quite well with right and left wing males – how can he go wrong?

  126. Flann O'Brien

    Re Tony Abbott’s comments today: I was wondering if Jackie Kelly’s feistiness extended to her last contribution to Australian political life – turning up on ACC radio to laugh off the fake pamphlet her husband and his mates distributed in the electorate of Lindsay in the dying days of the 2007 election to incite hatred against Muslims and smear Labor. It was “the gaffemeister himself, Abbott … according to Liberals, who advised his old friend Kelly to deploy the defence that it was just ‘a bit of a Chaser-style prank’”. (Damien Murphy, “Jihad Jackie on the Nose”, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 November 2007, http://www.smh.com.au/news/federal-election-2007-news/jihad-jackie-on-the-nose/2007/11/23/1195753310970.html. For the interview see http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2007/s2097573.htm)

  127. paul burns

    Perhaps all has already been revealed in regard to Abbott’s suppository &
    sex appeal remarks as a smokescreen. In the midst of the TV coverage, mostly about the above, it was revealed the coalition would not reveal its costings till 2 days before the election. (On the ABC. Don’t know how it was covered on SBS or commercial TV.)

  128. Liz

    I agree Paul Burns. The more time taken up with Abbott’s ridiculous remarks, the less time there is to be spent on his policies. Or lack of them.

  129. Chris

    Paul @ 127 – if it was planned, then I don’t think anyone told Abbott’s daughter ahead of time. Her reaction to his comments looks like a pretty authentic WTF to me!

    http://www.news.com.au/national-news/federal-election/federal-election-2013-tony-abbott-talks-up-the-8216sex-appeal8217-of-lindsay-candidate/story-fnho52ip-1226696004514

    I do agree that criticism over policy would be a lot more damaging to them though

    btw do you have a reference to them not revealing their costings until a couple of days before the election? I hadn’t heard that.

    Jacques @ 124 – I really don’t understand this fascination with hassling reporters during live crosses. If I heard correctly on the radio some guy dropped their pants during one of Antony Green’s interviews.

  130. Fran Barlow

    Now that ‘sex appeal’ has become, according to Abbott at least, a valid criterion, for assessing a candidacy, it seems to me that we need more detail. Abbott may claim he needs more time to release his substantive policies, but surely the following questions could be answered:

    1.You say Mr Abbott, that your candidate has ‘a bit of sex appeal’. How much is “a bit”? Were you being coy and understating it so as not to embarrass your wife and children, or overstating it because you don’t think she has much?

    2. What is her most ‘sexy’ attribute?

    3. How does she compare with:

    a) other women in the electorate?
    b) other women you’ve met over the years?
    c) other parliamentarians?
    d) your wife and daughters?
    e) other members of the Coalition or the ALP?
    f) Women from other age groups?
    g) Malcolm Turnbull?

    3. What is the scoring system you use and how does it work?

    4. Would you have won in 2010 if all your candidates in marginal seats had had as much sex appeal as this candidate?

    5. What do you plan to do about the sex appeal deficit, if any, on your side of politics?

    6. Is there a case for making the unemployed or under-employed more sexy? Should there be a program, perhaps funded by a levy on big business to raise the sex appeal of the underemployed? Would this be wasted on older workers, like that group at Holden for example?

    7. How much significance should people attach to the sex appeal of candidates? Should the judges of say, Australian Idol, run the ruler over your candidates, perhaps in swim suits, so as to achieve full transparency and to stop it from being a purely party political matter?

  131. Paul Norton

    Trade unionists, feminists, supporters of indigenous rights, supporters of queer rights, anti-racists, democrats of all kinds, civil libertarians, opponents of neo-liberalism, supporters of science-based public policy, all please take note: Tony Abbott will announce today that the Greens are the *real* enemy of the Coalition and will be preferenced last by them.

  132. zorronsky

    Fortuitous or planned the ABC has found Tony Abbott the larrikin blokey bloke to the complete exclusion of any mention on News 24 of yesterdays Treasury statement.

  133. David Irving (no relation)

    So no change from the circus of the last three years, then, zorronsky.

  134. zorronsky

    Joe Hockey has joined the fun by claiming that his colleagues refer to him as ‘George Clooney’.

  135. David Irving (no relation)

    Joe Hockey sure is a funny guy.

  136. zorronsky

    All predicted too DI(nr) I must admit I’m drawn to it like moth to a flame. The sight of Trioli and the self described punster apologising for all that’s ill with the Libs and the cheer squad reporting from Canberra all smiles when they kick a goal, ‘tho’ dead serious and looking for a Labor downer to ‘balance’ a Lib stuff-up, horribly fascinating .

  137. Ambigulous

    Paul Norton @131

    Does that mean Adam Bandt will lose Melbourne to Labor? Do Liberal voters in Melbourne dutifully follow their party when choosing preferences?

  138. Paul Norton

    Ambigulous @137, in 2002 I scrutineered for the Greens candidate in Richmond in the Victorian State election. On that occasion the official Liberal ticket preferenced the Greens, but the actual split of Liberal preferences was 70/30 between Greens and Labor. At the 2010 Federal election, Liberal preferences in Melbourne split 78/22 between Greens and Labor. Most pundits I’ve read that have considered the matter have conjectured that if the Liberal ticket favours Labor the preference flow will split 70/30 in Labor’s favour.

    I have seen two published polls for Melbourne. One (Galaxy) has Bandt polling about 48% of the primary vote, Cath Bowtell (Labor) polling 29% and the Liberals about 22%, which would translate into an easy win for Bandt. The other (ReachTEL) has Bowtell polling 36%, Bandt 34% and the Liberals about 22%, which would translate into a 55% 2PP win for Bowtell. If we split the difference of the two polls it’s too close to call.

  139. paul burns

    Chris @ 129,
    ABC News ABC 1 last night.

    Well, all sides can forget about campaigning today. Some SPORT scandal or other is totally dominating the news.
    We get the government we deserve etc.

  140. Ronson Dalby

    It might be my imagination but it appears to me that just about every time there’s political discussion on ABC radio or tv, it’s Tony Abbott (or another Liberal) featured. It’s often as though the ALP doesn’t exist (Greens? who are they?).

  141. Helen

    The suspicion that springs to mind for me is that he is dog-whistling the boofhead vote, and has calculated that the loss of women votes is balanced by the greater number of boofheads he needs to get back from Rudd.

    FN, I think you’re absolutely on the money. Also the “Pee Cee Gorn mad Nanny State OMG you Can’t say Anything Any More” vote.

  142. Ronson Dalby

    Adam Bandt on Facebook a few minutes ago:

    “Labor and Tony Abbott have done a preference deal to try and oust me. I must be doing something right! We have seen this coming. The Greens are on track to win Melbourne in our own right.”

  143. Mk50 of Brisbane

    faustus

    I have been civil and courteous enough to answer your questions.

    May I ask that you be civil and courteous enough to answer the ones I asked of you at 1741 on the 13th?

  144. Liz

    A tumblr devoted to that ‘half-wit sexist Abbott’. And ponies.
    http://tonyandponies.tumblr.com/?og=1

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the media called out Abbott’s comments for what they. Not a gaffe, not ‘exuberance’, but misogyny.

  145. Martin B

    In the 2010 election, when the Libs recommended a Greens preference, the flow to ALP/GRN was about 22/78.

    In the 2010 state election in the state district of Melbourne, when the Libs recommended an ALP preference, the flow to ALP/GRN was about 66/34.

    So the Lib voters certainly seem to follow preference recommendations, but not incredibly tightly.

  146. paul burns

    The Tele is now apparently attacking Rudd’s youngest son for fooling around on Facebook pretending (I think) to smoke a cigar. The Tele claim, apparently, they’re attacking Rudd’s tax hikes on smokes.

    Look, go the pollies as hard as you like, but leave their families out of the attack, even if, on both sides/ all sides they’re helping to campaign. Throw the bucket only at those actually standing for office, or the real powers that be at the campaign office HQ.
    (I did say this kind of nepotism would cause Rudd problems, but in this case its just plain unfair.)

  147. faustusnotes

    Mk50, I provided you with a link that actually presents numbers. You provided me with a link that presents rumour about something someone said. If you think the report I offered you is “lazy” then you will have to do better than telling me rumour about something that Chris Bowen said as a rebuttal.

    That report I linked to also makes clear that the Howard govt didn’t collect numbers on deaths at sea. Is there anything in Abbott’s policies about changing that?

    As for whether I consider 1000 to be too many deaths – yes I do. But if you are genuinely worried about the welfare of asylum seekers, why do you support a policy that leaves them to rot in Indonesia? Or are you going to vote Greens, and choose a party that genuinely aims to help all the people languishing there? There is a simple solution to prevent all these deaths and to address the welfare of people living in Indonesia: process them quickly and bring them to the Australian mainland. But you don’t support that do you?

    Also, is it true that at catallaxy you referred to Gillard as “a lying slapper”?

  148. Ronson Dalby

    The LP candidate for Greenway just gets worse:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US2wQrMnCow

    He must be costing the LP a fortune for minders. :)

  149. Chris

    Also the “Pee Cee Gorn mad Nanny State OMG you Can’t say Anything Any More” vote.

    That’s the line Hockey was taking this morning.

    Re: the Liberals preferencing the ALP ahead of the Greens – does that apply to the Senate as well? I’d guess that would really hurt the Greens where most people vote above the line and given SHY is already doubtful it’d probably make it impossible for her now. Is it possible that the Green’s would be left without balance of power in the Senate if the ALP end up picking up more of their seats?

  150. Terry

    Kevin Rudd declares an end to Labor being in minority government. Farewell the “new paradigm”.

  151. Ambigulous

    Thanks Paul Norton @138 and Martin B @145.

  152. paul burns

    Apparently in NSW the font size for the senate paper is .6 and we are gioing to be provided with a magnifying glass to read it. I tried to copy a .6 New Roman font over to demonstrate how small it was but was unable to.
    No doubt in NSW at least everybody will be voting above the line.

  153. GregM

    What happened to the good old days, Paul, when the NSW Senate ballot paper was the size of a picnic rug?

  154. John D

    Abbott’s comment about the Lindsay candidate was text book sexual harassment. Big boss rolls in, makes a sleazy comment to a subordinate who is afraid to retaliate and walks away unscathed. CEO’s get sacked for things like that these days – Looks like this leader of the opposition doesn’t.
    The other thing that stood out in the video was that Abbott hesitated before dropping the sexy comment. It came across as deliberate, not a slip of the tongue.

  155. Moz of Yarramulla

    Terry@150: That’s going to make life interesting. Abbott has said he will not lead a Liberal minority government, now Rudd has ruled out his whole party from the same thing… we might be facing a National-Green-Hat-Palm coalition. Or they’ll just keep sending us back to the polls until we get it right.

    I wonder if Rudd is just being realistic about his ability to play nice with others? And hoping like hell that he doesn’t have to.

  156. Moz of Yarramulla

    pb: 0.6pt is beyond most printing processes even today, unless they go to gloss paper (expensive). Mind you, they’d have to do that to get the contrast up enough for magnification to work. That’s letters about 0.2mm high, so many people will not be able to distinguish a line of text from a simple line drawn on the page, and a substantial number will not be able to see it at all.

  157. GregM

    Abbott’s comment about the Lindsay candidate was text book sexual harassment.

    John D, it is only sexual harassment if the comment is unsolicited and unwelcome.

    That’s not to say that it’s not stupid.

  158. Ronson Dalby

    Tony Abbott, speaking on a radio interview about marriage equality today:

    “I’m not someone who wants to see radical change based on the fashion of the moment.”

    The next few years are going to be just horrible.

  159. Mk50 of Brisbane

    Mk50, I provided you with a link that actually presents numbers. You provided me with a link that presents rumour about something someone said.

    Yep, and I gave you the source they got them from, and noted that there were lacunae in their research.

    If you think the report I offered you is “lazy” then you will have to do better than telling me rumour about something that Chris Bowen said as a rebuttal.

    A media report is a media report.

    That report I linked to also makes clear that the Howard govt didn’t collect numbers on deaths at sea. Is there anything in Abbott’s policies about changing that?

    Abbott is not in office, and since 2008 the ALP government has not collected numbers. What’s Abbott got to do with that?

    As for whether I consider 1000 to be too many deaths – yes I do.

    Good. Then we are actually in agreement. Are you also in agreement that as Rudd says, any policy, irrespective of its toughness or ‘nastiness’, is worth doing if it stops the deaths? The only quibble I have with Rudd, BTW, is that he is not following through on this concept of his.

    tbc

  160. Russell

    John D – I just watched it again: Abbott, as always, hestitated with ums and ahs between every two words, he always does. He was thinking of positive things to say about her – young, feisty, and then, I think, as a sort of compliment, “sex appeal”. Of course a lot of people would not think of it as a compliment, but intention counts for something, even if he is so out of touch. It didn’t seem sleazy to me.

  161. Casey

    it is only sexual harassment if the comment is unsolicited and unwelcome.

    She’s in a bit of a bind isn’t she? She is hardly going to tell the Leader of the Liberals that it’s unwelcome even if it is. Better to look at the face of Abbott’s daughter for all you need to know as to how welcome it really was.

  162. faustusnotes

    I’m with Casey on this one: it’s a classic arsehole boss technique to say things like this in public-facing situations, where they can’t be confronted about it because of having to present a united front.

    If he’d said it privately and she didn’t mind the “complement,” that would be completely different. But still creepy – I would never, ever say anything like this to someone I work with, not just out of fear of the possible ramifications for me, but because it’s seedy and dodgy.

  163. Paul Norton

    Moz @155, it’s the Bacon/Lennon “Labor majority government in Tasmania” ploy that failed in Tasmania being trotted out on the mainland.

  164. Chris

    Terry@150: That’s going to make life interesting. Abbott has said he will not lead a Liberal minority government, now Rudd has ruled out his whole party from the same thing… we might be facing a National-Green-Hat-Palm coalition. Or they’ll just keep sending us back to the polls until we get it right.

    He’s said he won’t have any formal agreement. But technically a government doesn’t need one does it? If the Greens had balance of power in the lower house it’s a no brainer as to who they’d support. And even with other independents it would be possible for them to govern on a bill by bill basis wouldn’t it? All they would need is the initial vote of confidence.

  165. Tim Macknay

    Moz @155, it’s the Bacon/Lennon “Labor majority government in Tasmania” ploy that failed in Tasmania being trotted out on the mainland.

    Exactly. And if the voters decide “neither”, like they did last time, then we’ll get a deal-making scramble from both leaders, regardless of what they’re saying now.

    Although, going by “the vibe”, it seems to me more likely that September 7 will produce “I’m proud to appoint George Pell as our Governor-General” than a hung parliament.

  166. Paul Norton

    Chris @163:

    He’s said he won’t have any formal agreement. But technically a government doesn’t need one does it? If the Greens had balance of power in the lower house it’s a no brainer as to who they’d support. And even with other independents it would be possible for them to govern on a bill by bill basis wouldn’t it? All they would need is the initial vote of confidence.

    That’s basically right. If the GG asks a party leader (or someone else) to form a government, and they can secure confidence in the HoR, no formal agreement is required. Governing on a bill by bill basis is basically what has been happening for the past three years in any case.

  167. Casey

    Of course a lot of people would not think of it as a compliment, but intention counts for something, even if he is so out of touch. It didn’t seem sleazy to me.

    No, intention counts for zero, actually. It’s no excuse at all for how a person might feel as a result of what, in any other situation, would be regarded as harrassment. If he were a boss in an organisation and this went to court as part of a suite of behaviours towards a complainant, it would not count at all.

    At any rate I think he knows what he is doing and he knows he will get away with it too. He’s creepy to make that statement in front of his daughter. Something is very wrong with him.

  168. David Irving (no relation)

    GregM @ 153, the Commonwealth used to have a huge printing press in Canberra – we used to get Tactical Planning Charts (1:500 000 maps that would cover all of Queensland, for example, and were the size of a bedsheet) – the presses at the Regiment would only print normal-sized maps (a bit smaller than A0). I guess they’ve got rid of it.

  169. Katz

    The Liberal Party has an ample share of frotteurs, coin jigglers, cleavage gazers, gropers, and chair sniffers.

    Any woman who chooses to join them may choose to protest openly, thus curtailing her political career. Alternatively, she may suffer in silence. Or she may decide to become a voluntary co-dependent and enabler.

  170. paul burns

    Abbott is now busy making similarly offensive comments about gay marriage. Since gay marriage is a topic on which I’m absolutely neutral, if I think they’re bad, they must be really bad.

  171. paul burns

    I also think Abbott’s remark about everybody thought a republic was inevitable, but it wasn’t, in reference to gay marriage is little more than subtle homophobia.
    This is going to be a terrible election campaign. On can only hope the Libs get so vicious they shoot themselves in the foot, and Rudd realises even he can’t follow them down whatever garden path Abbott is leading him.

  172. Moz in Oz

    Paul@162: I know the ploy, and it might work. But it’s also a ploy that simultaneously (and deliberately) annoys the minor parties while presuming that they will ignore the slight if there’s a hung parliament. It’s not quite in the same league as Murdoch’s “here are your voting instructions” headlines, but it’s in the same vein.

  173. paul burns

    This is really exercising my mind. I think Abbott’s policy on gay marriage will be to have a plebiscite in the hope its defeated at the ballot box after a very nasty anti-gay campaign. We haven’t had the election yet and I already hate Abbott’s Australia.

  174. Terry

    The Abbott decision on Greens preferences may well be good news for Julian Assange and the Wikileaks Party in Victoria. The sixth Senate seat in Victoria is very open, with a strong vote for the Sex Party in Victoria being another interesting variable.

  175. Tim Macknay

    This is really exercising my mind. I think Abbott’s policy on gay marriage will be to have a plebiscite in the hope its defeated at the ballot box after a very nasty anti-gay campaign. We haven’t had the election yet and I already hate Abbott’s Australia.

    Nah, he’ll just ignore the issue when in office. No way he’d risk a plebiscite on it – the population might vote yes!

  176. Casey

    Everyone knows my brother @TonyAbbottMHR & I have differing views on #marriageequality He doesn’t speak 4 me and I don’t 4 him #auspol

    says Christine Forster on Twitter.

    And yet she allows him to use her sexual orientation to ameliorate the impact on the voting public of his extreme pre Vatican One views on gay marriage, every time the subject comes up for him.

  177. Douglas Hynd

    Abbott’s attitude on Green Preferences may well make a difference in the seat of Melbourne – not likely to have significant impact on the Senate result for the 6th seat under most plausible scenarios – particularly in a case in which the Greens are in competition with the coalition for that seat.

  178. mindy

    I don’t know that she does so willingly Casey, I am guessing that there is a fair bit of pressure from the family for everyone to play nice so that Tony can achieve greatness his destiny as ordained by someone apparently.

  179. Terry

    In the 2004 election, the sixth Senate seat went to Family First, and in 2010, it went to the DLP. It is clearly a state where complex preference distributions produce curious results, and the Greens are generally disliked among most of the minor parties (e.g. the Sex Party always preference Labor ahead of the Greens).

  180. Moz in Oz

    Paul Burns: I’m more annoyed at the positive press Rudd is getting. He’s being explicit that he is setting up the same situation we’ve already seen, where the ALP conscience vote plus “liberal” bloc sees same-sex marriage defeated.

    And can people stop calling it “marriage equality” when it is nothing of the sort. Until any consenting adult can marry the likewise consenting adult of their choice, we don’t have equality. That’s like the people who refer to women getting the vote as “universal emancipation”. Yeah, and a mere 30 years later aborigines could vote too.

  181. Russell

    Casey, “Something is very wrong with him”. Well, he’s like the 1950s, the DLP, conservative Catholics – he still has those attitudes, and, as his sister says, is moving very slowly, while most of us have moved a lot faster.

    I don’t think it’s creepy that he made the statement in front of his daughter though she might have been mildly embarrassed by how out-of-touch he is. He used the fateful words “sex appeal” as if he suddenly had thought of a more exciting phrase for “a very attractive lass” which I would have thought more his style. He doesn’t have much of a facility with words.

    Intention counts when you’re judging a person’s character, rather than the effect of the action. I don’t claim to know much of Abbott’s character since, as with Rudd, I find him too repulsive to look at. But I think it’s a bit harsh to call his gaffe sleazy.

  182. paul burns

    Moz,
    Rudd’s position is slightly better than a flat out No! or “I think they’ll all go to Hell.”

  183. Paul Norton

    In Victoria the Greens achieved a Senate quota in their own right in 2010, and there were swings to the Greens in the 2012 Melbourne State by-election and Victorian Local Government elections (against the trend in other states). The poll trend has the Greens on slightly over 0.9 of a quota on the primary vote in Victoria, which easily translates into the election of a Greens Senator.

  184. Paul Norton

    This is not to deny that the count for the final Senate seat in Victoria could be fascinating, simply to say that it is not something Greens are likely to become transported about.

  185. mindy

    Possibly because you aren’t, to all appearances Russell, a woman. To this woman it was sleazy. It made my skin crawl and from her reaction I think it made Fiona Scott’s skin crawl too. But as Casey says, there is sweet bugger all she can do about it in front of the cameras when it is her boss.

  186. Ambigulous

    If the next Senate were finely balanced and Mr Abbott had to plead with the Sex Party Senator for support, would that be a Sex appeal?

  187. Ambigulous

    …. and the thinking voter is still waiting for this Sex Party to announce the venue, date and time.

  188. paul burns

    Russell,
    He was doing it on purpose to swamp the nightly headlines. He’s been doing the same thing with the gay marriage debate all day today. That, IMHO, is a bit more sinister, but it has the same purpose – avoid scrutiny on policies or lack of policies that might lose votes.
    And, of course, everybody’s falling for it.

  189. paul burns

    Whereas the sexism was sleazy. Casey and mindy have nailed that. And
    how bad it was.

  190. Liz

    Russell, look at the pattern that’s emerged with Abbott over the last two days. There’s the ‘sex appeal’ remark, asking Rudd if he’s ‘man enough’ to not form a minority government, calling same sex marriage ‘a passing fashion’. What we have is an old-fashioned masculinist world view, in which women and gay people are shoved to the side.

    Meanwhile, he’s always accompanied by his daughters to soften his image. Rudd also likes to be seen with his daughter, Jessica. As Annabel Crabb has pointed out today it’s a contest between two daggy dads. I’d also add they’re like flip sides of the same coin, the nerd and the jock face off.

    Who’s the absent figure here? An autonomous woman. And who would that be? Gillard. Who struck a productive deal to run a minority government. Something these two are eager to run away from. They both seem to forget that their job would be to attempt to form a government with the Parliament the people have given them. If that’s a minority one, so be it. But, apparently real men don’t do negotiation and compromise.

  191. Ambigulous

    Mr Rudd didn’t say he wouldn’t lead a minority govt., he said he wouldn’t enter into a formal agreement to underpin one.

    More fool he!

  192. Ambigulous

    Real men don’t lose their elections, Liz.

  193. Liz

    In reality, Ambi I’m sure both would turn triple back somersaults to get the PMship. My only hope is a hung parliament. Let them both cope with Bandt, Katter, Wilkie. Plus, I’ve heard full new about the independent in Indi, Cathy McGowan, I think her name is. Mirabella being rolled would be one good thing.

  194. Casey

    Russell, all this is contingent on whether the candidate experienced it as sexual harassment. She may not have, I don’t know. As I said, even if she did, she would have no choice but to grin and bear it.

    But: Let’s say she did experience it as sexual harassment – then to reiterate – his intention does not matter. Many, many men think they are giving women a compliment when what they are doing is sexually harassing them. They seem surprised when they get reported for it. It’s still sexual harassment, regardless of intention. Even if he didn’t have the woman as sex object on his mind, even if it was a dumb gaffe, something to fill in the spaces with, the words coming as they do from a boss type of figure, is harassment and he’s creepy really. I just can’t handle him at all, nope. In the SMH there’s all these pictures of him kissing women and I nearly threw up over my keyboard. What’s with all the fracking kissing women? Ugh.

  195. Casey
  196. Ambigulous

    Liz, very encouraging reports so far on Cathy McGowan’s campaign. I hope she’s successful!

  197. Chris

    No, intention counts for zero, actually. It’s no excuse at all for how a person might feel as a result of what, in any other situation, would be regarded as harrassment.

    Well maybe not if he was running a model agency ;-)

    I wonder if anyone has done any studies into how much sex appeal/attractiveness affects how people vote. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t a factor. Physical attractiveness seems to account for about 10-15% difference in salary, almost the same as the gender gap in Australia. Of course that’s all from the point of view of why a party might pre-select someone for a seat, not a reason you’d give the voters for voting for someone.

    As Annabel Crabb has pointed out today it’s a contest between two daggy dads. I’d also add they’re like flip sides of the same coin, the nerd and the jock face off.

    Who’s the absent figure here? An autonomous woman. And who would that be? Gillard.

    I doubt this is an accidental strategy by either Rudd or Abbott. For sure Abbott would have been pushing the whole family campaign angle if Gillard was still around.

    Who struck a productive deal to run a minority government.

    In retrospect I think the ALP could have gotten away with not having a formal agreement with Greens and just dealt with Windsor and Oakshott which is why you’re seeing the change in policy from them now. The Greens were never going to support Abbott – there would be a huge backlash from their supporters if that happened no matter how uncooperative the ALP were.

  198. Russell

    “What we have is an old-fashioned masculinist world view, in which women and gay people are shoved to the side. ”

    Yes, we’ve seen that in Abbott since forever – I just think it’s different to ‘sleazy’, and I don’t think it’s a deliberate tactic.

    Liz – if you didn’t see it on The Drum yesterday, I was pleased to see Kerry Chikarovski say that in time Gillard’s achievements would be recognised.

    The ‘sex appeal’ issue was discussed on The Drum, and naturally I evaluated the panel – Kerry Chikarovsky has it, Bernard Keane, not, host Steve Kinane has it, guest Greg Turnbull, not so much. So, this is fairly subjective, but certainly some people do have more charisma/personal magnetism than others. For Abbott, who still lives in the world of Playboy bunnies, this comes out as ‘sex appeal’.

  199. Chris

    Casey @ 194 – I think its bit like the reasoning behind the LNP not running ads of all the ALP MPs criticising Rudd. Everyone already knows what he’s like and more coverage won’t change people’s minds.

  200. Casey

    Actually, I’m changing my argument. Even if she didn’t experience it as sexual harassment, it was sexual harassment. He’s a moron and he just engaged in a bit of sexism and harassment in front of the nation. Now watch him become PM.

  201. Liz

    Of course, it’s not an accidental strategy, Chris. That’s the point.

    Casey, it’s sad to see where we are. But, I disagree with Judith Ireland when she doubts the sincerity of the ‘gender wars’. I’m not sure what she means by it, actually.

  202. Tim Macknay

    And can people stop calling it “marriage equality” when it is nothing of the sort. Until any consenting adult can marry the likewise consenting adult of their choice, we don’t have equality.

    I’m not sure I follow you there, Moz.

  203. Casey

    Yeah, Liz, I agree with you on Ireland’s closing statements.

  204. Robbo

    The trog right has long made a big deal about “their” sheilas being more attractive than left sheilas. Abbott can’t help himself. Like them he likes nothing more than to twist the left’s tail. He’s feeling more cocky since the last national polls. I’m sort of fascinated in nightmarish way to see how bad he’s going to get, prior to and post election, presuming the Libs win.

  205. Ronson Dalby

    Tim @ 201,

    “I’m not sure I follow you there, Moz.”

    I’m glad you asked that, Tim. I’ve read Moz’s comment a few times and I have no idea what he is getting at. The ability to marry a consenting adult of your choice is what the fight for marriage equality is all about.

  206. Tim Macknay

    Hopefully Moz will enlighten us.

    Meanwhile, Abbott is trying to backpedal from the “gay marriage is a fad” remark.

  207. Chris

    Abbott always used to poll a bit better when he went on holiday. I wonder if they’ll start reducing his media appearances given he’s managing to stuff up at least once a day?

  208. Ronson Dalby

    Tim, @ 205,

    Wyatt Roy looks like a miniature cloned version of Abbott in the pic on your link.

  209. Jewell

    The Liberal Party have just announced that they will preference Labor’s Cath Bowtell ahead of sitting member The Greens Adam Bandt in Melbourne.

    The seat splits 3 ways, so Liberal preferences are the deciding factor. But Liberal voters don’t follow ticket all that much.

    Which polls convince you on Melbourne? What do you think the primary will be?

  210. Chris

    Yet another example of where the ALP have been just as bad as the LNP when it comes to the war on terror:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/14/australian-attorney-general-attacks-snowden-manning

    If there’s one Green senator I really want to see re-elected its Ludlum.

  211. Terry

    Antony Green has a good article on the relevance of Liberal preferences in the seat of Melbourne.

  212. Justin

    Those two polls in Melbourne are ridiculously different. A 14% difference in Bandt’s primary vote??? They are so far apart it makes you wonder if both were stuffed up, in opposite directions (pretty hard for one to stuff up that badly).

  213. furious balancing

    Moz in Oz @ 179, Indigenous men had the vote in South Australia (& other jurisdictions, I think) before women. When women got the vote in SA in the 1890s, Indigenous women also got the vote.

  214. Justin

    In relation to Abbott’s two recent ‘gaffes’, and Judith Ireland’s article about the ALP not jumping on the ‘sex appeal’ comment, I find it fascinating they are doing just that on his same-sex marriage one.

  215. furious balancing

    The history of Indigenous voting is quite interesting, for those who might be interested, I found this:

    http://www.aec.gov.au/indigenous/milestones.htm

  216. GregM

    furious balancing@212

    Aboriginal men got the right to vote in Victoria in 1858.

  217. Russell

    “If there’s one Green senator I really want to see re-elected its Ludlum.”

    Oh, I don’t know. The last state election was the first time in decades I didn’t vote Greens 1 – - because I didn’t really like the candidate’s views. (I did vote for the Green Independent who had actually won the seat of Fremantle as a Green, but then had to go Independent).

    This time I don’t really care whether Ludlum or the National candidate wins, and again, it’s because I wonder if I have much in common with Ludlum’s views. I’ve heard/read him over the years and his enthusiasms aren’t mine. This is the latest – no doubt FN will approve of Ludlum’s infatuation with Tokyo – which I read, and thought: “you and I have nothing in common”. John Keane, who I always enjoy reading, seems smitten by Ludlum – I was slightly embarrassed for Keane.

  218. Chris

    Only Latham could take something bad that Abbott has said and make it even worse!

    http://www.news.com.au/national-news/federal-election/sex-appeal-controversy-tony-abbott-had-beer-goggles-on-says-mark-latham/story-fnho52ip-1226697322107

    Russell @ 217 – Ludlum is one of those very few federal MPs (even amongst Greens) who seems to understand and is capable of talking about the concerns around internet freedoms. Something I put a very high priority on. I’ll admit its a niche issue so probably doesn’t get him that many votes.

  219. alfred venison

    its the anniversary of the start of the 1890 maritime strike tomorrow.

    gruen nation is a great antidote. among many worthwhile observations: q-what do labor and liberal ads have in common? a-children in schools, blokes working hard, and women in high techy jobs. and sure enough, on replay, it is exactly that. do they think we don’t get it, they guy asks.

    datum fwiw: there were a lot of labor ads on big brother tonight, no liberal but i may not have been paying attention throughout. -a.v.

  220. Tim Macknay

    Ronson @208 – that is very disturbing.

  221. Terangeree

    Just back from Peoples’ Day at the Brisbane Show (“Ekka”), and was surprised / disappointed to see that the Liberal-National Party had a stand in the John Reid Pavilion — and they were handing out helium-filled balloons to all of the kiddies.

  222. Su

    Plibersek, Wong and Ellis all used similar formulaions (people can make up their own minds), I think they were told to do so to increase the impact of Rudd’s statement. Plibersek has always jumped on these kinds of things with glee.

  223. Moz in Oz

    Tim@202 & Ronson@205: currently we’re fighting for two legally male persons to be allowed to marry, or two legally female persons, provided they are over 18 and not close relatives. That deliberately excludes (adult) incestuous relationships, transsexuals and polyamorists. So it’s not marriage based on consent, it’s extending the existing privilege to more people.

    There are very strong voices in the pro-marriage camp arguing that we should not mention any of these because it might endanger their chance to get married. Others argue for an incrementalist approach, which is at least less selfish.

  224. Moz in Oz

    furious balancing@213: yes, legally aboriginal men and women had the vote, at least in some places. But it was contentious, and often impossible for them to actually vote (voting was often actively resisted by the government officials supposedly there to make sure they voted). There is more detail on the AEC site: http://www.aec.gov.au/indigenous/indigenous-vote.htm

  225. Moz in Oz

    Sorry, fb, didn’t see your link when I posted, but mine does have a little more detail.

  226. Chris

    Gruen Nation is definitely worth watching! http://www.abc.net.au/tv/gruentransfer/gruennation/

  227. Graham Bell

    Time for an interim scorecard:

    The Biggest Loser: the credibility of the whole news media: only a simpleton would be bothered with all the biased advertainment pretending to be news or commentary about the faux-election.

    The Biggest Winner: ABC Classical FM. First, for for their 100 greatest film themes followed by their second 100. Now, for being a true refuge for the sane and undeluded during this five-week campaign against reason and truth. Wouldn’t be surprised if ABC Classical FM is out-polling all the shock-jocks and profound fibbers put together.

  228. Brian

    John D @ 154:

    CEO’s get sacked for things like that these days – Looks like this leader of the opposition doesn’t.

    The only body that can sack Tony Abbott is the Liberal Party parliamentary caucus, isn’t it? Then surely they, severally and collectively, should stand as the most condemned.

  229. Paul Norton

    Justin @212, I’m also sceptical of each of those polls on its own. Interestingly enough, the Victorian State by-election for Melbourne showed a 2PP swing to the Greens of about 5%, which is about what Bandt needs to stay ahead if the Liberals preference as expected.

    7:30 last night showed a bigger group of volunteers with Adam Bandt than with Cath Bowtell. Reports in The Age this morning suggest that ALP HQ is starting to panic about Cath Bowtell’s “low profile” campaign in Melbourne. I’m more inclined to think that she has decided, and could be right in so doing, that the sort of campaign that will work for her in Melbourne isn’t the sort of campaign that Labor’s political technocrats prefer or are good at. It will be interesting to watch in any case.

  230. zorronsky

    Kevin Rudd defeated the enemy a few months ago. Unfortunately it left precious little time to bring his considerable talents to bear on the next battle.
    Maybe he placed too much faith in the oh so helpful media mates who assisted his three year campaign against the real foe.
    History was\is against him keeping his faux friends on side and it was always a colossal leap of faith to believe otherwise.
    Probably the best illustration of an under-prepared arsenal is the cartoon by Spooner who, on the scale of popularity, here on the left at least, would come in just above the vile Larry Pickering.

  231. zorronsky

    Russell @ 198
    Reminds me of ‘The Dude’ in ‘The Big Lebowski’
    “That’s , like , your opinion”

  232. paul burns

    That term ‘plain’, describing a woman. I don’t think I’ve heard it since my childhood.

  233. paul burns

    And if the ALP is going to go hard on the Libs about cuts to services in their ads, good on ‘em. Penny Wong is killing them on ABC TV at the moment, btw.

  234. zorronsky

    The spooner cartoonhttp://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/rudds-honeymoon-just-a-sugar-hit-after-all-20130814-2rwr1.html#comments

  235. Chris

    Sarah Hanson Young was on ABC radio this morning complaining that Xenophon is going to preference the ALP and LNP ahead of here. If that’s true I’d guess that there’s no way she’s going to be reelected. In 2007 Xenophon’s primary vote was about double the Greens vote.

  236. paul burns

    Have suggested ages ago Xenophon wasn’t a paragon of radical politics. Not surprised. Its really all out war on the Greens.

  237. Chris

    Paul @ 236 – reportedly Sarah Hanson Young and Xenophon don’t get along so that might have something to do with it as well. I think it is true that Xenophon is a lot more centrist in his policies than the Greens and is more likely to prioritise a local SA viewpoint over a progressive agenda which is probably why he’s more locally popular.

  238. Paul Norton

    Chris @235, in 2007 SHY was elected on Labor preferences. Xenophon’s surplus was minuscule and in any case split between the Greens and Family First. This time Xenophon almost certainly won’t have a quota in his own right and I’d say he’s counting on being able to get up with major party preferences. If SHY polls as well as Penny Wright did in 2010 (0.93 of a quota on primaries) she will almost certainly get up on preference leakages and funny party preferences.

  239. Paul Norton

    Also, Xenophon never did like Malcolm Fraser.

  240. Brian

    On the “sexy” comment issue, Dennis Atkins says this morning that Labor has adopted a deliberate strategy of being positive. He thinks that Rudd making a comment on Abbott’s clanger may be an indicator that Rudd is about to switch the lever to negative, out of frustration that he is getting no purchase in the economic management arena.

  241. Chris

    Paul @ 238 – I think The Greens only did so well in 2010 because Xenophon wasn’t running. I don’t know why you think he won’t get a quota in is own right again. In 2007 when he did run against the Greens he got 1.03 of a quota and SHY got 0.45. There’s a lot of people out there that will vote above the line for Xenophon if he’s around otherwise will go to the Greens. The ALP got around 2.49 and and the Libs 2.47.

  242. Martin B

    This time Xenophon almost certainly won’t have a quota in his own right and I’d say he’s counting on being able to get up with major party preferences.

    Why do you say that? I mean, it might be true, but it seems that it’s awfully hard to know. I wouldn’t want to have that level of certainty about it.

  243. Paul Norton

    Chris @241, Martin B @242, on reflection you’re both right that I’m getting ahead of myself with my guess about Xenophon’s likely primary vote. It’s possible to think of reasons why his vote might decrease from 2007, but it’s also possible to think of reasons why it might increase. You’re both right that we don’t really know.

  244. furious balancing

    I put Penny Wright first last election, I plan to put Hanson-Young in the bottom 6 on my senate ballot. I think the Greens have been awful in the last couple of years – I’ve a lot of respect for Milne on energy/enviro policy, but on asylum seekers & marriage equality the Greens desire to boost their own standing has come at the expense of negotiating for better policy. Ironically they probably helped Rudd, and as a consequence the biodiversity fund gets dropped. So their one great negotiated policy is no more.

  245. faustusnotes

    That’s weird logic, furious balancing. Why do you think their position on asylum seekers and marriage equality is being pursued just to boost their own standing, rather than out of principle? Do you somehow think that a party that was formed and led by a gay man for 15 years is only pursuing its marriage equality policy for media reasons? And why do you blame the Greens for Rudd dropping a policy they negotiated with Gillard? That’s ridiculous and counter-productive.

  246. furious balancing

    I guess my preference is for a Greens party that is more willing to discuss nuance & negotiate for better legislative outcomes (as they did with carbon pricing), rather than the all-or-nothing approach of other issues.

    Increasingly, on issues like environment/agriculture/population we will need to have some very nuanced discussions and I don’t think the Greens are helped by the what I would call the Hanson-Young approach. I think SouthAustralians would be doing the Greens a favour by voting against her.

  247. faustusnotes

    I would say the opposite furious balancing. Increasingly on issues like environment/agriculture we are going to need to act firmly and in line with strict green principles. At this late stage in the environmental disaster slowly unfolding, compromise is going to be a waste of time. If the greens don’t hold our major parties accountable, we’re going to be in deep deep doo doo.

  248. Justin

    FB I’m curious what ‘less than perfect’ outcome you have in mind with marriage equality, and in what way you think the Greens have missed opportunities presented by the ALP to achieve it?

    And by placing them in the bottom 6, ie below the ALP and Libs, you presumably don’t think either of the majors is guilty of any grandstanding on this or other issues. I must say I find that incredibly bizarre.

  249. Justin

    Also surely the last three years have been testament to the Greens’ willingness to negotiate for a wide range of outcomes?

  250. furious balancing

    fn – we will need a more nuanced discussion about GMOs/pesticides and I would definitely not like to see those discussions in the hands of people like Hanson-Young. Likewise population/land tenure…where they are either wishy-washy or hypocritical. Greens policy to reduce foreign ownership is an appeal to rural/ag demographic & plays to very nationalistic sentiments.

    Justin, my understanding is that the Greens undermined ALP on the issue of marriage equality, as they wanted to ‘own’ the issue politically and pushed for an earlier vote that was certainly going to be defeated. I think they should stop treating certain issues as their hobby-horse and work on cross-party agreement, which would hopefully lead the LNP conscience vote too.

  251. furious balancing

    Justin – other than carbon policy (most of which had now been dropped in Rudd’s attempt to distance himself from Greens), where do you think the Greens have negotiated & influenced better policy outcomes?

  252. faustusnotes

    Sounds like you don’t agree with most of the Greens’ policies, furious balancing. That’s not a case of them grand-standing or disappointing you in the delivery of policies you like. You just disagree with them.

  253. Paul Norton

    Denticare (with credit due to Labor as well).

  254. faustusnotes

    what about the river? And didn’t they get some old growth forest changes?

  255. Justin

    Fb, Denticare and the Parliamentary Budget Office, off the top of my head. And (so far) Rudd has only brought forward the ETS start date and cut unspent Biodiversity Fund allocations – the rest of the clean energy package the Greens negotiated is still there.

    Many other major reforms were advocated by the Greens long before the ALP picked them up – paid parental leave, NDIS, fairer funding of schools being probably the three biggest. Oh and the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse.

    Not won in parlt but important awareness raising nonetheless – Marines in Darwin, the role of Pine Gap in US drone strikes, national security violations of basic civil liberties (all thanks to Russell’s friend Scott Ludlum) come to mind.

    And then there is the myriad small amendments the Greens and other cross benchers won on hundreds of bills, which never get noticed.

    The Greens also opposed the cuts to the single parent pension, which infamously passed on the day of ‘that’ misogyny speech, blocked the company tax cut, opposed the watering down of the mining tax, etc.

    I just checked SHY’s website and another ‘under the radar’ win she’s claiming is the new Commonwealth Commissioner for Children and Young people (and the related national working with children check).

  256. furious balancing

    I don’t know how you draw that conclusion, FN.

    Thanks for that Paul, I’d forgotten that one.

  257. Jacques de Molay

    The Libs candidate for Adelaide has criticised Rudd’s PNG solution:

    Refugee advocate and Liberal candidate for Adelaide Carmen Garcia has criticised Kevin Rudd’s Papua New Guinea asylum seeker resettlement policy – which her party supports – saying Australia is dodging its responsibility on asylum seekers.

    Asked yesterday whether she supported mandatory resettlement in PNG for asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat and are found to be genuine refugees, Garcia said “I think it’s handballing our responsibilities.”

    “I think it’s really unfair that a country like PNG that has its own social development problems is going to get lumped with ours because we’re not prepared to take responsibility, put hard-line policies in place for long-term outcomes that not only will support Australia but it will support those humanitarian entrants that are genuinely seeking refuge.

    “The document that they keep referring to is so thin, so there’s nothing to analyse and assess in terms of what that policy’s actually going to look like.”

    Last month Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison announced his party would support the PNG resettlement policy.

    http://indaily.com.au/news/2013/08/15/aust-dodging-asylum-responsibility-lib-candidate/

  258. furious balancing

    Thanks Justin, the biodiversity fund & fixed price were the two major gains re: carbon. What we are left with is not very different to the ETS the Greens rejected.

    I acknowledge the many points of difference, I was more interested in the changes the actual legislated reforms that they had input on.

    Their parental leave policy is closer to the LNP policy than the one the ALP has implemented.

  259. Chris

    we will need a more nuanced discussion about GMOs/pesticides and I would definitely not like to see those discussions in the hands of people like Hanson-Young.

    Yea I don’t like their blanket opposition to GMO either, but I think its probably in line with the core Green supporter. I’ll vote Green but I’m not sure I’ll vote for SHY either (but will definitely vote for the other Greens). A few years ago I heard her say something I thought was really stupid and thought to myself if I ever move back to Adelaide I’ll make sure I put her near the bottom when I vote.

    However, now that I actually am in Adelaide I can’t remember what it was that she said that I didn’t like, only that I wasn’t going to vote for her. Can’t decide how much I should trust my judgement from a few years ago ;-)

  260. Chris

    Their parental leave policy is closer to the LNP policy than the one the ALP has implemented.

    I suspect the main reason the ALP oppose the LNP parental leave policy is that they didn’t come up with it themselves.

  261. Paul Norton

    I suspect the main reason the ALP oppose the LNP parental leave policy is that they didn’t come up with it themselves.

    I predict that if the Coalition wins the election and introduces their proposed PPL policy, no future Labor government will scale back entitlements to middle- and upper-middle-earning women under the scheme.

  262. Douglas Hynd

    On economic rationality, in overall policy terms, particularly on climate issues the Greens are looking clearly the most rational party. On the Oppositions’ Direct Action policy package read Giles Parkinson’s account of the Climate Institute analysis and weep.
    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/the-black-hole-in-tony-abbotts-frat-party-climate-policy-26074

  263. Helen

    I remember when “Direct Action” used to be a union newspaper.

    Probably no accident, that. Libs erasing labor memory in favour of silly “solutions” to problems which smack of marketing departments rather than activism.

  264. Terry

    I can’t imagine a discussion at ALP HQ about whether to preference Xenophon ahead of SHY in SA going for very long. All the blocked legislation of the last three (actually four) years would be on the minds of those assembled, and TWU delegates would note that Xenophon was very supportive during the QANTAS lockout.

    It is hard to work out where, with the possible exception of Denison, the Greens as a party can offer any preference deals to Labor that they would not get simply from the individual decisions of Greens voters.

  265. paul burns

    SHY was terrible when she first went on the media, but since then she has improved out of sight. IMO she is now one of the Greens’ best media performers. I haven’t followed her parliamentary work that closely but I would assume that after the initial butterflies she became highly professional her job. SHY’s critics are being unfair to judge her just on her earliest days.

  266. David Irving (no relation)

    SHY has grown into her job, and is now a pretty impressive performer. (I thought she was a bit of a flake 6 years ago, although I still voted for her.) In fact, I think she’s much better value than Xenephon for SA. After all, Xenephon really is a shameless opportunist, except for his anti-pokies stance, and that’s been completely ineffective.

  267. Paul Norton

    In the past thirty minutes the “northern development” zombies have shambled aimlessly about on ABC 24.

  268. David Irving (no relation)

    I heard something on the radio this morning about extending the Ord scheme, Paul.

    I don’t know why anyone would do that – I was under the impression that everyone who’d tried to grow any crops there had gone spectacularly broke.

  269. Paul Norton

    Well, it’s a great idea if you want to cause magpie geese to become regionally extinct from obesity-related disorders.

  270. Terry

    Xenophon has announced that he is preferencing Coalition/Labor (two tickets) ahead of the Greens in SA. He says it is based on the overwhelming feedback of his supporters and volunteers to put the major parties ahead of the Greens.

  271. Russell

    Chia seeds – I had with them quinoa and amaranth for breakfast this morning.

  272. Jacques de Molay

    Xenophon has announced that he is preferencing Coalition/Labor (two tickets) ahead of the Greens in SA. He says it is based on the overwhelming feedback of his supporters and volunteers to put the major parties ahead of the Greens.

    Ann Bressington?

  273. furious balancing

    I’m not basing my view of SHY on early career. I have no time for Xenophon either, he’s always made obtuse pref. deals, but landing SA with Bressington is reason enough to shun him. He’s also come out with a bit of anti-wind farm guff as well – he should be promoting SAs natural advantages in renewables not indulging anti-science.

  274. GregM

    Alfred Venison@219

    its the anniversary of the start of the 1890 maritime strike tomorrow.

    Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the strike and occupation of the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, which sparked the formation of the independent Solidarnosc trade union and, ultimately, the collapse of the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe.

    Hooray!

  275. David Irving (no relation)

    The thing is, Saint Furious, you’re never going to get anything particularly sensible from most Greens about GMOs and herbicides. (I get funny looks from a few people because I’m quite happy to use glyphosate and atrazine to get rid of certain weeds.) SHY isn’t unique.

  276. Paul Norton

    Ann Bressington, for those who would like to know more.

  277. Graham Bell

    Everyone.
    Peter Slipper might get himself re-elected after all – stranger things have happened.

    Paul Norton @ 267.
    The reason the advocates of northern development have turned into zombies is because they died of old age waiting for well-planned development instead of the usual get-rich-quick thought-bubbles from corporate CEOs, politicians, senior public servants and misdirected academics in the Deep South …. anyway, don’t worry about it, we no longer own large slices of The North; so it’s no longer our responsibility, is it? .

  278. Doug

    Southern caricatures of Green candidates are out of order in the NT.
    In Lingiari they have an indigenous activist from Alice Springs. In Solomon a muso from a rockabilly band The Swamp Jockeys. As much in touch with the real Australia than lots of candidates form the major parties.

  279. Russell

    Rudd’s plan for lower taxes in the N.T. seems to have gone down like a lead balloon. What will Campbell Newman do with this proposal to attract business away from Northern Queensland and into the N.T. instead?

  280. Chris

    I think Xenophon is just plain wrong on wind farms and choosing Bressington as his running mate was definitely a mistake. But I’ll still tend to preference a reasonable independent over a major party. Because the big party reps have shown many times that when it comes down to hard decisions they don’t represent the state, nor even the people who voted for them at the election, but instead their faction or those who preselect them. And they make some fairly weak excuses about not voting the way they want because of party solidarity. Whereas when Xenophon makes decisions that people don’t like he is willing to take responsibility for them.

    Russell @ 279 – I think Rudd’s proposal for cutting the corporate tax rate in the NT is pretty stupid. As is the LNPs. Hopefully whatever party wins it will die quietly after the election.

  281. Paul Norton
  282. Casey

    In my PhD I looked at Andrew McGahan’s The White Earth. McGahan was exploring Australia during a period in our recent history – the passage of Native Title into law. In the book there are a bunch of angry white racists who, during the course of the novel, become violent. It is clear that McGahan is referencing the Hanson supporters in his depiction of a group called The Australian Independence League. In order to talk about what this violence meant, I used Ghassan Hage’s ideas from his book White Nation. Hage’s explorations of white violence suggest that people who feel empowered to act violently paradoxically operate from a position of disempowerment. Where others with a high degree of “governmental belonging” are secure that the state will act for them, disempowered subjects use violence when they feel they have lost a relationship to state power.

    So I’m thinking that although John Howard began the process of normalising this racist paranoia (relaxed, comfortable enough are we now?) and all other leaders followed suit since then, this is the true moment in which the racist minority gain access to state power and become secure that the state acts for them.

    I’m looking back to all those years ago, when the jostling ‘what about me?’ Hanson constituency first raised its head and I’m longing for the Keating years, not because the interests of anti racist whiteness al la Keating were squeaky clean but because the interests of racist whiteness are so, so much harder to endure.

  283. Casey

    I’ve just put this comment on the new Asylum seeker post.

  284. Ronson Dalby

    I thought Leigh Sales was a bit soft on Abbott last night on the 7.30 Report. On the GST question she let him get away with saying, at least 2 or 3 times, that the Coalition wouldn’t be able to raise the GST without all the states agreeing and the ALP ones never would agree. I found that hard to believe: what state is going to knock back more money?

    And Abbott managed to slip in the LNP’s estimated $90m cost for the ALP’s NBN scheme. How many times has this figure been debunked but LNP politicians still get away with using it?

  285. Helen

    “Southern caricatures of Green candidates are out of order in the NT.”

    They’re out of order in the South, too, Doug. Supporters of the major parties should take a look at some of the colourful characters in and around their parties and wash their damn mouths out. Seriously.

  286. furious balancing

    Hi to the unrelated David Irving (I hope the doomstead is coming along). The problem with the Greens ongoing stance on GMOs and pesticides is that they find it increasingly difficult to rationalise that stance and to present themselves as pro-science. I’d also think it’s a stance that is incompatible with an agenda of social and environmental justice. In fact if you believe in the science of climate change and its impacts, then you need to start talking to and educating your constituency about the science that will be needed to feed more people on less land, because the alternative will be to continue to clear landscapes with natural integrity to accomadate more agriculture. If you want food to be grown without the chemical (and organic) pesticides that harm pollinators then you’ll need to clear even more land to allow for crop losses.

    The idea that the Greens can continue to play political brinkmanship with complex issues and call on the major parties to compromise is ludicrous to me. To not want to offend inner city professionals by having a nuanced position on GMOs etc and then complain that the major parties have failed to have a grown up discussion about asylum seekers is hypocritical. The Greens wasted a situation where they had both the opportunity to negotiate and a Prime Minister who was skilled as a negotiator to start to evolve the conversation away from the ugly, punitive & xenophobic politics of asylum and they blew it in favour of tears in the parliament. They dealt themselves out of the conversation and any hope of some policy imapct and have left the ALP and LNP to compete for the cruelest policy.

    I think most people vote for Independents and minority parties in the hope that it has a ‘civilising’ effect on the parliament and policy directions. If the Greens continue to be all or nothing on issues that require nuance, they risk being seen as irrelevant and ineffectual.

  287. Helen

    Yes of course, the competition between the two major parties for Who Will Be the Bastardest is completely all the Greens’ fault.

  288. paul burns

    I think its going to be a very dispiriting couple of weeks. I’ve already resigned myself to living in Abbott’s Australia for at least 3 years, depending on the strength of the Coalition majority.
    I wouldn’t want to take bets on who gets control of the Senate either, not because of attitudes to political parties, but because in NSW the print is so small if one is going to vote below the line the AEC is providing magnifying glasses to voters. Does anybody know if that’s also happening in other states?
    OTOH, Socialist Alliance has first place above the line, IIRC. You never know, they might have BoP through the Donkey Vote. :)

  289. Terry

    I think Furious Balancing is right here. Christine Milne has reaped what she has sown with the Greens obstructionist tactics of the last three years.

    Julia Gillard offered the best option for a kind of coalitionist politics, as she came up through Socialist Forum rather than the conventional factions (noting that emnity for the Greens on the ALP Left may well be greater than that among the Right). The inability of Milne to deliver numbers on key votes, and the endless grandstanding opposition against both “old parties”, weakened here own hand in the Labor caucus, to the point where she was virtually alone in defending any sort of arrangement with the Greens.

    As it was, Christine Milne ditched the partnership anyway, on various tenuous and seemingly opportunistic grounds, and at that point Gillard’s leadership was in deep trouble, as the NSW Right – led by Carr, Burke and Clare – began to have another look at Rudd. Rudd’s argument that he could deliver Katter preferences in Queensland began to sound appealing, and the risks associated with preferencing others ahead of the Greens appeared low, as 80% of Greens preferences end up with Labor anyway, outside the electorate of Melbourne.

    Whether the 2013 result will prompt any rethinking on tactics towards the ALP among the Greens remains to be seen. But the politics of division as pursued over the last three years will ensure the ultimate winner is Tony Abbott. Abbott has long pursued a strategy of championing the erstwhile ALP working class base, with the eulogising of Martin Ferguson on his retirement being one of many examples of this.

  290. furious balancing

    Well there ya go. What did I say about the Greens and nuance?

    Pointing out how the Greens not budging on anything that appeals to their political tribe isn’t dissimilar to what the major parties are doing in their race to the bottom over asylum seekers is interpreted as blaming the Greens? FFS.

  291. Jewell

    Apparently the ballot paper for Victoria for the Senate is going to be 1 metre long.

  292. faustusnotes

    Furious balancing, you’re starting to recycle LNP propaganda here. First, re: GMOs:

    they find it increasingly difficult to rationalise that stance and to present themselves as pro-science. I’d also think it’s a stance that is incompatible with an agenda of social and environmental justice.

    If you think that the reason many people in the world are starving is that they don’t have access to GMOs, you’re very very naive. If you believe hte converse – that suddenly making GMOs available to cash cropping nations will magically fix the inequitable distribution problems in the world food supply – you’re also naive. GMOs have nothing to do with social and environmental justice, and a lot to do with cementing the control of agribusiness over the crops used by the poorest farmers. They are also going to have serious environmental effects if they enable increased use of pesticides (such as the infamous roundup-ready), and in practical use they don’t have the same yield gains as in experimental use. The claim that GMOs are a panacaea for world food supply problems is ignorant right-wing propaganda, and a foolish conflation of food distribution and productivity issues. Science doesn’t solve inequity.

    As for the idea that the Greens are sticking to their guns because they “don’t want to offend inner city professionals”, are you reading what you’re writing here? It’s plain old lazy right-wing stereotyping. If this is how you analyze political parties you really are in trouble.

  293. jules

    fb its possible to anti gmo and pro science for a variety of reasons – some of the best are to do with economics, control of seed stock and who currently owns genetic material that is introduced into the environment.

    Also – why is it “blowing it” to not compromise a core position? There are people opposed to offshore processing – in the senate at least the greens represent those people and yet you think they should no longer represent that view? Seriously if the 90% of people who don’t vote green support this race to be the biggest bastard on the block then the other 10% should not maintain their vocal objection to it?

    Why even have a party then?

  294. Tim Macknay

    The problem with the Greens ongoing stance on GMOs and pesticides is that they find it increasingly difficult to rationalise that stance and to present themselves as pro-science.

    This is a common propaganda line, and is garbage. Regardless of what one thinks about the Greens’ stance on GMOs, holding a principled or philosophical position with regard to a particular issue that happens to have scientific elements to it is not “anti-science”.

    Who here believes that medical researchers shouldn’t do experiments on human beings without their knowledge or consent? ZOMG! You’re anti-science!!!1!

  295. furious balancing

    Tim, a total refusal to be willing to assess the merit of GMOs on a case by case basis is anti-science. It is a position that is entirely without nuance; simplistic and reactionary.

    As we see GMO crops that have been modified to be resistant to disease that would eliminate the need for chemical pesticides (as in GMO oranges) the stance becomes increasingly illogical.

    Not to mention GMO rice that has the potential to reduce diarrhoea and improve nutrition outcomes amongst the poorest people.

    Yes, of course there a issues in regards to seed licensing, genetic pollution & greedy corporate shenanigans. Lets talk about that stuff, lets debate it, argue it, whatever, but lets not completely rule out looking at the technology and its potential.

  296. Su

    Also – why is it “blowing it” to not compromise a core position? There are people opposed to offshore processing – in the senate at least the greens represent those people and yet you think they should no longer represent that view?

    Politics should be about outcomes for the people affected though, not just representing views. Who knows,if the Greens had compromised, perhaps we still would have ended up with the exact same race to the bottom, for reasons of internal ALP politics, but it was hard, at the time, not to see it as an opportunity to lock in slightly better conditions that was lost, and that loss had human consequences that far outweighed the warm glow of sticking to your principles.

    I agree with fb on SHY, she of all the Greens, seems to think that moral righteousness is where politics should begin and end, but what about the unintended consequences,where the perfect is the enemy of the good? At its worst this can be a very self-serving kind of politics. I’m not arguing the Greens should go Richo, but there is plenty of room to negotiate better outcomes without becoming a moral and ethical deadzone.

  297. Obviously Obtuse

    Furious Balancing, a total refusal to be willing to label foods as GMO and have real legal consequences for contamination problems is anti-human. It is a position that is entirely without nuance; simplistic and reactionary.
    I personally would be happy for fb to eat as much GM food as he likes. However I also want to be able to eat food that is not GM. Oh that’s right, GM food contaminates crops almost wherever it is grown. +1 for the idea that fb is a dissembling right wing troll. Try again, or argue with a stupider audience.

  298. Helen

    Just had the dubious pleasure of seeing a few minutes of Tom Switzer chumming up to interviewing Joe Hockey on SKY, something I don’t usually watch. It’s interesting and depressing to see how hugely skewed towards Liberal propaganda these commercial channels are and to think that many “swinging voters” are tuned into them exclusively.
    “Every one of our policies has a number [costing] on it,” sez Hockey. Well, why won’t he come out with them then?

  299. David Irving (no relation)

    St Furious @ 295, we seem to pretty much agree about GMOs. That said, I’ll still be voting Green.

    The Doomstead’s slab has been poured, in answer to your earlier question. There will be photos when I get around to posting on my blog (hopefully this weekend).

  300. Helen

    On the GMOs thing – sorry, there’s no overflow thread and I can’t get to the back door via this firewalled puter – What Tim McNay said.

    Also, this “GMOs will feed all the poor” argument is as garbage as the “Bombing these countries will Rescue the Women”. We have been able to feed all the poor last century, but there is a failure of distribution due to inequality. GMOs won’t make any difference to that. They may make it worse, because of seed patenting, forcing poorer farmers to buy their seed every year.

  301. Tim Macknay

    Tim, a total refusal to be willing to assess the merit of GMOs on a case by case basis is anti-science.

    Nope, it’s anti-GMO. As I said before, calling it “anti-science” is just propaganda. Being opposed to a particular type of research programme is not inherently “anti-science”. Perhaps it is without nuance, and simplistic, as you say (although from what I’ve seen neither side of that debate does nuance or complexity particularly well), but it’s not “anti-science”. The debate about GMO is mostly about ethics, governance, and risk management.

  302. Tim Macknay

    In light of the fact that the GMO debate is off-topic, I won’t make any more comments on it on this thread (I’m not particularly of a mind to debate it at all actually, I just hate the “anti-science” BS). Sorry Mods – no intention to derail.

  303. alfred venison

    just before the gmo topic shuts down i’d like to thank Tim Macnay & Helen for speaking my mind. -a.v.

  304. faustusnotes

    Here is the Greens’ GMO policy, which is broadly similar to existing systems for pharmaceutical regulation. They don’t have “a total refusal to be willing to assess the merit of GMOs on a case by case basis”, in fact they want assessment and release on a case by case basis:

    A rigorous peer reviewed approach to assessing and licensing GMOs which sets objective benchmarks, standards and quality assurance systems in advance of the use and release of GMOs.
    A strengthened, transparent, precautionary regulatory and monitoring system which prevents GMO contamination.
    Assessment and research processes that ensure GMOs are safe for the environment, and that derived foods are safe for consumption.

    Note that the process they seek would be independent of their political interference.

    How is that “anti-science” or even “anti-GMO”?

    I wonder how many other people in Australia are going to the ballot box as ignorant of the Greens’ actual policies as furious balancing is?

    su, the greens have compromised on a range of issues, so I don’t think you can argue that in general they have made the pure the enemy of the good. I think the problem with asylum seeker policy particularly is that they did not foresee that the ALP would cross all the fundamental moral red lines that all the major parties have stuck to for the last 40 years. It’s like negotiating with your bank manager on the assumption that he’s not going to pull a gun on you. Failing to predict that he’s going to pull a gun on you doesn’t suddenly make your negotiating strategy bad, it makes the bank manager a shark-jumping arsehole.

    Like Kevin.

  305. mindy

    I have set up a new Overflow thread for discussions of GM policy if people so desire.

  306. Jess

    Rudd stole my carpark this morning at CSIRO. Made me walk though the rain. :(

    That’s it, he’s lost my (non-existent) vote…

  307. Liz

    It’s been tweeted that KAP will preference Labor in Queensland. So, that will help them.

  308. Helen

    Thanks, Mindy!

    I think the problem with asylum seeker policy particularly is that they did not foresee that the ALP would cross all the fundamental moral red lines that all the major parties have stuck to for the last 40 years. It’s like negotiating with your bank manager on the assumption that he’s not going to pull a gun on you. Failing to predict that he’s going to pull a gun on you doesn’t suddenly make your negotiating strategy bad, it makes the bank manager a shark-jumping arsehole.

    YES. This.

  309. Casey

    YES. Anything FN has said lately.

  310. Helen

    Just in response to FN’s quote of Greens policies on GMOs – which is totally on topic for this thread, because: isn’t it typical that people have this impression of the Greens as wild-eyed dreadlocked hippies whereas in reality they are a bunch of rather well-educated, on average, techie/engineering/science types whose approach to policies is much more thought through than, for instance, Joe Hockey’s? And yet the wild-eyed hippie impression persists and persists? It’s interesting, and depressing. And the canard that Greens have no policies other than environmental ones, that persists too, against all evidence i.e. their published policies. Labor isn’t the only party which is “failing” to “cut through” the mess of half-baked political commentary and poor reporting.

  311. Chris

    If the Green’s position is misunderstood on GMO then perhaps statements like this are part of the cause:

    ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury used to work for Greenpeace and says he is not surprised the group has taken such action.

    “It’s always very controversial these sorts of actions, but you have to stand up for what you believe in sometimes,” he said.

    “Greenpeace has clearly formed a view that the best way to both draw attention to this issue and to potentially protect the human food chain in Australia is to take this action.”

    Mr Rattenbury says Greenpeace has a track record of breaking the law to highlight problems.

    “I’ve certainly been involved in action in the past where Greenpeace has broken the law and that has been necessary to highlight what we’ve considered at the time to be a greater issue than perhaps a simple trespass,” he said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-14/20110714-greenpeace-gm-protest/2794272

    That was the case where Greenpeace activists destroyed research being undertaken by the CSIRO. Pretty much endorsing the destruction of research into GM crops isn’t exactly supporting a peer reviewed approach to the matter.

  312. Su

    I disagree with the bank manager analogy though, because the majors have been playing fast and loose with that red line since Howard, I think the trend was well and truly set. Obviously the Greens really didn’t foresee what would happen, but it was not a bolt from theblue, it was exactly the kind of move that people have been lamenting since Beazley was ALP leader. Continuing to be surprised is a problem, when it has become so obvious that the majors will sacrifice principle with alacrity. I think the Greens still are trying to be both lobbyists and political party.

  313. Jumpy

    Personally I think it would be great to see some of the massive, job seeking, migration from south to north end up in the NT.
    Eventually the NT will be recognised as a State ( with 12 senators instead of 2 ).
    Encouraging their population growth to the point where Statehood is deserved is desirable.
    Although Tasmania had Statehood in the 40s/50s with a similar population so why not do it now?

  314. Jumpy

    Oh, come on, how long don’t one get in the ” sin bin “?
    I expected longer than the NRLs 10 minutes but really, give us a clue please.

    [spam filter has taken a liking to you ~ Mod]

  315. faustusnotes

    I dunno su, there’s lurching to the right and then there’s jumping the shark. Previous incarnations of the ALP (e.g. under Gillard) always managed to pull up short of the worst decisions. Not so this govt. I agree you could expect that maybe at some point an ALP govt would go all Children of Men on our arse, but predicting which govt that would be is hard, and one would have thought there would be warning signs. In this case there weren’t : there weren’t even negotiations ongoing in parliament, so the Greens had no time in which to say “oh actually if you’re going to start rounding ‘em up and sending ‘em to PNG, maybe we’ll talk”.

    So I think you’re being a tad unfair.

  316. Jacques de Molay

    Not really fn, Su is spot on.

    Helen @ 298,

    Take solace in the fact no one watches Sky News it gets terrible ratings (of course it exists for other reasons if anyone outside of the Canberra bubble watched it that would just be a bonus).

  317. faustusnotes

    So what, the Greens refuse to negotiate offshore processing of any kind with Gillard. A few months later – after parliament has stopped sitting – the person they were negotiating with and her entire frontbench are obliterated. The new “leadership” – which is headed up by a man who refuses to negotiate with or even meet Greens leaders – calls an election and simultaneously announces it is essentially going to completely change the context in which the ALP views asylum seekers, including introducing a new country to the offshoring process through a negotiation that occurred entirely in PNG and took three days and was never ratified by either the ALP caucus or the parliament.

    Then, this new paradigm is somehow the fault of the people Rudd never talked with and refused to ever talk with?

  318. Su

    Previous incarnations of the ALP (e.g. under Gillard) always managed to pull up short of the worst decisions. Not so this govt. I agree you could expect that maybe at some point an ALP govt would go all Children of Men on our arse, but predicting which govt that would be is hard

    I think the moment fb was referring to, and the one I had in mind, was the defeat of Oakeshott’s bill last year, after which things took a turn for the baroque. It is only a mild criticism of the Greens, from a supporter, and probably has a lot to do with their relative inexperience in parliament.

  319. Jacques de Molay

    fn, because Gillard was obsessed with her Malaysia Solution.

  320. Martin B

    What “blocked legislation”? What “obstructionist tactics”? AFAICT there is only one bill in the life of this parliament that was voted down in the Senate (and technically it was a private members bill not a government one but with the governments blessing so I won’t quibble.)

    Terry appears to be telling the story that he would like to tell about the Greens rather than one that is backed up by, you know, facts and stuff.

    But I have no doubt Terry is right and the preferencing decision was easy. One no longer has confidence in the ALP to recognise strategic disaster.

    If the ALP were just short of a majority in the Senate it would make sense to have X as an alternative negotiating partner to the Greens; it would be easier for an ALP government to pass legislation and harder for a LNP one.

    But if the LNP are just short of a majority then the reverse is true. The presence of X makes it easier for an LNP government to pass legislation and harder for an ALP one – they would still have to get Greens support but would need X onside as well.

    Since anyone with half a psephological brain knows which of these scenarios is more likely it is easy to see which would be best for the ALP. But I don’t expect rational thought to overcome fear of the Greens.

  321. Ambigulous

    According to an interview in the Saturday Age the PM of PNG says that PNG will take some – but not ALL – of the refugees for resettlement.

    Seems to me that ruins Mr Rudd’s pose as The Big Scary Tough Man, and thereby loses him several percent of voters in several States.

    Doesn’t this bring his PNG caper into line with Ms Gillard’s East Timor caper? Mr Abbott is going to love it.

  322. tigtog