Idle speculation: national conference edition

The Coalition has again narrowed the gap in this fortnight’s Newspoll, although it remains at a daunting 57-43. Lateline reports that Kevin Rudd’s preferred prime minister rating is down two points to 46 per cent, with John Howard’s up three points to 39 per cent. The Australian’s report is not online yet, but will be by the time most of you read this. In other developments from the past week:

• Labor’s national executive has acted quickly on the authority it received from the national conference to preselect candidates for 25 New South Wales seats, nominating military lawyer Colonel Mike Kelly to run against Liberal member Gary Nairn in Eden-Monaro. In his role with the coalition provisional authority after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Kelly is credited with efforts to blow the whistle on mistreatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and AWB’s payment of kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s regime. David Humphries and Andrew Clennell of the Sydney Morning Herald assess the state of play elsewhere as follows:

Greg Combet, the ACTU secretary, will be candidate for the Hunter seat of Charlton, replacing Kelly Hoare, who replaced her father, the former minister Bob Brown, in 1998. The right wing will decide replacements for Michael Hatton, who filled Paul Keating’s vacancy in Blaxland in 1996, and Julia Irwin, the MP for Fowler, also in Sydney’s south-west, since 1998. If Mr Rudd got his way, the likely candidate in Blaxland would be the University of NSW constitutional lawyer George Williams. But speculation is that the contest will be between Tania Mihailuk, the Mayor of Bankstown, and Bernie Riordan, the Electrical Trades Union boss. The favourite in Fowler, Warren Mundine, the former ALP president, may be overlooked because of demands to strengthen the number of women candidates.

• Following Senator Amanda Vanstone’s appointment as ambassador to Rome, the South Australian Liberal Party will hold its preselection to replace her on May 25, with nominations to close on Thursday. This is the third South Australian Liberal Senate vacancy in little over a year, following Robert Hill’s departure last March and Jeannie Ferris’s death earlier this month. As was the case with Santo Santoro’s vacancy in Queensland, the party administration has opted for a new ballot rather than promote an existing candidate for the coming federal election. The position would otherwise have gone to Maria Kourtesis, head of the nursing agency Prime Medical Placements. Kourtesis has been preselected for the unwinnable fourth position on the Senate ticket (which she also filled at the 1996 election), behind Cory Bernardi (who replaced Hill), Simon Birmingham (who will replace Ferris) and Grant Chapman, a Senator since 1987. Kourtesis’s defeat at the hands of the long-serving but little-known Chapman caused considerable angst due to the state party’s poor record on female representation. It was also a defeat for the beleagured moderates faction; Vanstone, also a moderate, is among those who have called for the balance to be redressed by having Kourtesis take her spot. Kourtesis will instead face opposition from the Right’s Mary Jo Fisher, workplace relations lawyer and manager at Business SA. The winner will not face election later this year, as Vanstone’s term does not expire until 2011.

• Also in South Australia, Labor has endorsed Nicole Cornes, columnist for the Sunday Mail newspaper and wife of football identity Graham Cornes, to run against Liberal member Andrew Southcott in the Adelaide seat of Boothby. Cornes admits to having voted Liberal in the past, and wrote in her column in 2004 that John Howard had “proved himself to be a fine PM”. In the other normally safe Liberal seat in Adelaide, Sturt, Labor has nominated Mia Handshin – a former Young South Australian of the Year and “founder of inspirational speaking and consultancy group Mana of Speaking” – to run against Christopher Pyne.

Western Australian Liberal Senator Ross Lightfoot announced he would retire from politics on Friday after it became clear he would lose the number three position to Mathias Corman, state party senior vice-president. Corman is linked with fellow WA Senators Chris Ellison and Ian Campbell in a pro-Howard camp opposed by forces aligned with indestructible powerbroker Noel Crichton-Browne. Last year, Lightfoot said he would have “no honourable course” but to quit the Liberal Party and serve out his term as an independent if he was dumped in an “undignified” manner. The Prime Minister reportedly instructed the state party to hold off on its preselection for as long as possible to minimise the effect of such an eventuality. However, despite Lightfoot’s complaint that the party should have chosen someone “more appropriate with respect to family values”, it does not appear that he plans to do so. The other incumbents, Alan Eggleston and David Johnston, have been re-nominated.

New South Wales Labor Senator George Campbell has announced he will retire from politics when his term expires in mid-2008, rather than face an inevitable preselection defeat. Campbell’s seat will go to his successor as national secretary of the Left faction Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Doug Cameron, who by all accounts had stitched up the numbers to depose the 65-year-old Campbell long before. The other NSW Labor Senator up for re-election, Ursula Stephens, is reportedly at risk of being demoted in favour of the party’s high profile state secretary, Mark Arbib, who it was earlier believed had his eyes on Michael Hatton’s seat of Blaxland.

• The Northern News reports that the Liberal preselection for the safe northern Sydney seat of Mitchell will be held on an “unspecified date in May”. Under-achieving sitting member Alan Cadman, now 69, is apparently set on contesting again, despite having survived a challenge ahead of the 2004 election 58 votes to 55. Andrew Clennell of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the party’s state vice-president, Nick Campbell, has been “encouraged” by two federal ministers to nominate. Others mentioned as contenders are Australian Hotels Association deputy chief executive David Elliott and solicitor Mark Blanche.

• The Poll Bludger has just had to cough up $239 in web hosting fees for the privilege of keeping you all entertained for another year. Contributions are welcome.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

333 comments on “Idle speculation: national conference edition”

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  1. Let´s assume that the recent polls show a genuine downward drift in Labor support, and not just a bouncing around within the margin of error, which is an equally valid interpretation. If you look at the second table down the page on the OzPolitics blog ( you can see that Labor is at least 3 or 4% ahead of where they were at the same point in 2001 and 2004. So if Labor drifts downward at the same rate they did in those two years, they will still finish ahead in the 2PV. The problem with that is a 2PV of under 52% does not guarantee Labor a majority of seats, as Beazley discovered in 1998. So it all depends on where the swing is happening. The news on that is good at present for Labor, because the swing appears to be biggest in Qld and SA, where there are the biggest hauls of seats to be won. Obviously Labor is NOT going to win 105 seats, as the current Newspoll suggests: the Labor vote can drift slowly down from now till October and Labor will still win. That´s why Howard HAS to seize the initiative somehow – just hanging on and hoping will not be enough. So a lot hangs on the budget, and on whether he and Costello have enough credibility left in the bank for a giveaway budget actually to win voters back rather than just arouse cynicism. If the budget doesn´t give him a big bounce, it is hard to see what else he can do.

  2. I’m intrigued by the irony that affirmative action rules might exclude from Labor ranks its first indigenous MP.

  3. If Labor had a lead, these “celebrity” candidates are going to cut it right down. They are not people who will appeal to the middle–Mia Handshin is a nonsense, mind-in-the-clouds, spiritual nothing, whilst Mrs. Cornes is a rich prudish wife like someone straight out of a trashy TV programme.

    They are alienating and distant from most people. Far more alienating than the incumbent members. Labor should be concentrating on Makin, Wakefield and Kingston, and staying out of this territory.

    I believe that the poll numbers will drop in SA for Labor.

  4. after having the Mean Fiddler (large pub in Rouse Hill – edge of Mitchell) exposed for making patrons pay a public holiday surcharge on ANZAC day without paying the staff penalties – would the Libs be so silly as to endorse the AHA bloke?

  5. With traditional candidates (I was one of them), Labor has not won Sturt since 1969 and not won Boothby since 1946. Ms Handshin and Mrs Cornes couldn’t do any worse and may well do a lot better.

  6. Michael, Pseph, I completely disagree. While Cornes perhaps may appear like a character out of a trashy TV programme, a surprising amount of people like those shows and if that was the only demographic that swung towards Cornes she might have a shot.

    The other thing about Cornes is that she is getting so much media she might swing the daytime tv demographic to Labor in other seats.

    Handshin on the other hand won’t have such a significant effect. She is a nonsense, mind-in-the-clouds, spiritual nothing who is also intelligent, ambitious and relatively young, except for being female she is a mirror image of Pyne. I cannot see any clear electoral strategy justification why she was chosen instead of running Barca again

    Hopefully the advertiser will do another poll soon so we can see what effect they have

  7. Snow, I was agreeing with David and his comment on the irony that Warren Mundine may be discriminated against on the basis of affirmative action rules.

  8. Cornes is a big mistake in Boothy. She’s a gossip columnist who couldn’t answer any questions about Labor policy in yesterday’s Adelaide Advertiser. Her candidacy was announced too early and without proper preparation (such behaviour is not unusual from Kevin Foley, SA Deputy Premier and all round idiot). This is generally a bad move for the Labor Party. Hanshin is an articulate individual who could do reasonably well but Pyne will be secure, his seat has a large bedrock of Liberal support which I don’t think will shift any more than 2-3% towards Labor.

  9. I think my fellow blosters are missing the point about these so-called “celebrity” candidates, especially those being run in Liberal seats with decent margins (eg Boothby, Sturt, Bennelong). Candidates like these will attract a lot of media attention (rightly or wrongly) and will require the Libs to divert a lot of time, effort and money into defending seats that probably should not be at risk. The rise of such candidates can be seen as yet more evidence of Rudd “playing with Howard’s head”.

    The other thing that these candidates signify is that it looks like that Middle Australia is swinging behind Rudd and Labor. After all, I didn’t see many candidates of this nature lining up to get ALP pre-selection in previous elections.

    Newspoll provides more of the same, despite certain media commentators suggesting the country was swinging back to Howard – the moves since the last Newspoll are well within a normal margin of error, and I don’t think the Libs can take that much comfort from them. As other blogsters have pointed out, the Budget is possibly Howard’s last chance to get onto the front foot.

  10. I don’t know much about Ms Cornes, but my instinct is that it doesn’t seem like a very good move. So far, the only media interest she has generated has been a front page backlash on the Advertiser. Surely this is not the sort of media coverage that Labor was hoping for … ?

    And on another front, the Labor-Business rift appears to be deepening not helped my Gillard’s unhelpful comments about business “getting injured” if they come in to bat for Howard. What are our thoughts on this development? Personally, I think it’s bad for Labor. The economy is the one thing Labor had no room for error and it looks like, even if it’s just perception, that they are not doing too well on this front.

  11. Ms Cornes has also indicated she has previously voted for Howard. She is also a long term resident of Boothby. So, she’s confessing that she has voted for Andrew Southcott, her now opponent. What better endorsement can Andrew Southcott get than his opponent having voted for him?

  12. Celebrity candidates and candidates who are drafted are always the worst.

    Celebrity candidates never understand actual politics, or the internal machine. They jump and down and cry when they dont get there way.

    Mckew may be different because of her husband, she may in fact understand what really goes on

    but if parties, and i mean all parties, think that people will vote for someone merely because they are famous, then they are greatly misinformed.

  13. That Australian report is extraordinary. Surely she or her minders could have come up with something better than ‘I won’t come on because you’ll ask hard questions’…..

  14. On Mitchell

    I thought political parties had rules that weighed heavily against preselection for those over 65? I’m sure exceptions are made for party leaders, senior ministers and such, but Alan Cadman is not exactly of that calibre……

  15. OMG. All the Libs need to do to smear Ms Handshin is link to her company’s website:


    A very long time ago in the islands of the Pacific there were wise men and women who looked at the world, observed the patterns of nature, the behaviour of animals, plants and human beings, and they came to some conclusions about life, about what life is all about, about how life works. This knowledge, known as Huna Wisdom, led to seven ideas or principles of which Mana is one. Those who practiced this knowledge had a special way of looking at life, a particular vision.


    Some time ago on the vast island of Australia Mia Handshin was born. She looked at the world as she grew, she observed, explored, participated, engaged, debated, wrote, heard, felt, developed, advocated, articulated, absorbed and came to some conclusions about what she could do to be creative in her own unique way.

    Then again, Sturt has lots of rich hippies/’spiritual’ people south of Payneham Rd. Maybe she’s just the ticket.

    Bloody hippies.

  16. More Mia Handshin:

    Mia Handshin is from Australia and attended in 2004. Below is a letter she recently sent to the friends who made the journey to the retreat that same year.

    Hi all you magnificent souls,

    Just want to send a twinkling smile your way in appreciation of the special part you play in my almost daily memory of our time on Molokai. You all dance in my mind each time I sit in my meditation space and see the photo I have there of my favourite spot at the Hui. It offers a beautiful reminder to keep my heart as open as it was during that week we shared.

    I am moving closer to my wedding now and I want you to know that you have been magnificent, vibrant threads in the tapestry of blessings that I will take with me into my marriage and next stage of my life.

    Gees, what was Labor thinking ? She sounds very flakey.

  17. Perhaps rather than focussing on personal aspects of the Labor candidate for Sturt, readers may care to read her actual biography. (see link below)

    Mia was appointed by John Howard as a South Australian representative at the Constitutional Convention in 1999, has been involved in the South Australian Youth Affairs council, been the governor-general of the youth parliament, south australian UNESCO youth network representative, was co-chair of the Federation Youth Advisory committee, and has worked as an associate to an Adelaide Barrister.

    A much more impressive CV than many of the labor and liberal candidates I can think of !

  18. Yes, there has been a fair degree of jaundiced feeling on this site towards these two candidates. Surely Jackie Kelly and Dana Vale show that you don’t need to be terribly bright or switched on politically to make a decent backbencher. But the real point is that these two seats probably lie outside what is possible for Labor (when compared to Kingston, Makin etc), so putting in a high-profile “non-Labor” ALP candidate could be a masterstroke. Even if they don’t win, they (like Maxine in Bennelong) will chew up a lot of time and money that I’m sure the Libs would rather spend elsewhere.

  19. The northern half of Sturt is Labor territory–and like typical working-class Labor territory, it’s been gradually getting more Liberal over the past few elections.

    The southern half of Sturt is blue-ribbon Liberal territory–and so the ‘doctors wives’ effect has been working well, with a nice chunky green vote (spiritual people).

    These two effects cancel each other out to a degree, and that’s why Sturt’s margins haven’t changed much at all. Look at the both results and you’ll get what I’m saying.

    Mia will absolutely alienate northern Sturt without gaining anything new from southern Sturt.

  20. Why all the angst over Boothby and Sturt? Unless it’s a huge swing to Rudd, the ALP is unlikely to win either or both.
    Yes, the News Ltd media is going after Rudd in a big way today: obviously that chat with Rupert didn’t go too well LOL
    The Ruddster hates bad publicity: I bet he delivers some sort of compromise on AWAs, in the next few months.

  21. Perhaps rather than focussing on personal aspects of the Labor candidate for Sturt, readers may care to read her actual biography. (see link below).

    I already had.

    Mia was appointed by John Howard as a South Australian representative at the Constitutional Convention in 1999.

    Her diary of her time at the ConCon doesn’t even spell out how she voted, but is full of seemingly-reasonable, conservative pro-republic claptrap:

    There were some heated moments between divided republicans at the closing dinner. Some were prepared to concede, adamant that they would support a referendum and a republic regardless of the model. Others were vehement that they would not vote for a referendum and did not intend to rally for just any republic.

    Note how ‘prepared to concede’ for the people who knuckled under to the point of view she supports, while ‘vehement’ describes those who refused. Since I voted against a republic on the grounds (because the fake republic we were being offered was a joke), that doesn’t impress me very much at all.

    And note how she doesn’t say how she voted at the ConCon.

    has been involved in the South Australian Youth Affairs council

    And junior political networking helps the average voter exactly how?

    been the governor-general of the youth parliament

    Some politician or bureaucrat appointed a nice conformist youngster to a totally meaningless charade.

    South Australian UNESCO youth network representative

    See above.

    was co-chair of the Federation Youth Advisory committee

    Which means she did what, exactly?

    and has worked as an associate to an Adelaide Barrister.

    Oh, an actual job. The only one you’ve mentioned.

    Oh wait, she’s also eben a newspaper columnist. For the Advertiser. Well, that makes me sure she’ll stand up for a left-wing agenda.

    A much more impressive CV than many of the labor and liberal candidates I can think of !

    You haven’t met many young aspiring politicians, have you? They all collect these glorified CV-filling positions, and most of them have worked as lawyers or in legal offices.

    To me, she sounds like the typical, New-Agey but ultimately very conservative (Oh no! We can’t have conflict – even if it’s caused by people standing up for themselves).

    She says she supports Mr Rudd because he talks of bringing back ‘compassion’ into politics. Presumably Ms Handshin also supports Mr Rudd’s destruction of the right to strike? After all, if there are fewer strikes, there is less conflict. And that’s nice.

  22. She might be bright, but people who “sit in meditation spaces” should be running for the Greens, not labor.

    If you follow the link I provided.. is Mia wearing a Che Guevera singlet ?
    I hope not.

    (btw – she fills it quite distractingly)

  23. David:

    I think we are attacking her from different directions, however I agree with your analysis about her only ever having had one real job.

    I’d rather some no-name mum with two kids who works with her hands for a living (ie a real person) than a new age crystal worshipper.

    I wonder if she gets her “Aura Rebalanced” ?

  24. OK enough about girls filling tops, when ever does any of this kind of analysis go on with the twit boys ((whether they be ‘celebrity’ or just the run of the mill idiots who hang around until they get preselection to enusre they get out of the way of whoever is wasting taxpayer money on them until them)) both sides seem to have in never ending supply. Got to say it is all smelling a bit sexist to me.

  25. Preselections have been called for the remaining NSW seats. I understand something like nine or ten marginal and/or contentious seats will be determined by the national executive to get the process over and done with, and the remaining seats to be decided by N40 ballot.

    Among those going to the National executive, obviously Charlton will go to Combet, Blaxland will be fought out by Tania Mihailuk and possibly George Williams/Bernie Riordan, and Fowler between Julia Irwin and Warren Mundine.
    Other seats to have clear favourites are George Newhouse in Wentworth, David Bradbury in Lindsay and Michael Kelly in Eden-Monaro.

    The difficult position the ALP has found itself in in delaying NSW preselections so long is that it now must contravene the normal rank-and-file process and determine the seats among the top brass. The difficulty lies in the fact that any further delay will put candidates behind the proverbial eight-ball, but the circumvention of the party’s grassroots leaves them open to criticism.

    Confirming a candidate like Bradbury for Lindsay will allow the party big guns to deny they have ignored the will of the branches, with Bradbury (a popular former Mayor and current councillor) understood to have long held the numbers to win either an N40 or a rank-and-file ballot. This will be contrasted by the more bitter stoushes likely to occur in Charlton once Kelly Hoare is given the boot and Combet shunted in. Even in Eden-Monaro, where the going is relatively smooth, the would-have-been candidate came out in the press to express his disappointment, albeit with a good word for the in-coming Colonel Kelly, at being overlooked.

    Having candidates in marginal NSW seats should turn the pressure up on a number of Coalition backbenchers, who will in turn ramp up the pressure for Howard to claw back some popularity in the polls. Things will become very interesting indeed.

  26. Jasmine:

    when ever does any of this kind of analysis go on with the twit boys..Got to say it is all smelling a bit sexist to me.

    Answer: Debnam and Beleau wearing speedos.

    I await your apology.

  27. Got to say it is all smelling a bit sexist to me.

    Are the qualifications and resume of a female candidate off-limits for discussion?

    Do you have any male candidates you’d like to name who you think are worthy of harsh criticism?

    I don’t vote for “twit boys” either.

  28. Mr Speaker, saying people who meditate should run for the Greens, means all religious people should do so, something I doubt FF agrees with.

    Meditation is used to communicate with a being not visible, eg: God, Jesus, Allah. It is also known as praying.
    Yes meditation is used to relax, but its primary use is to communicate.

  29. It seems to me that the disagreements on this board regarding selection of candidates comes down to what one considers as a good candidate. Its easy to knock someone because theyve been on this committee or that, or been a success in business. Its also easy to knock people if theyve been columnists in dodgy newspapers. Hell if the Advertiser came knocking for me to write a dull as dishwater column I’d be interested. Whether they’d be interested in a column on quantum chemistry, I’m not so sure. A

    At the end of the day, the liberal party will have plenty to think about in Adelaide at the coming election, and things are looking rather ugly for them at the moment. The Mike Rann effect is giving labor a feel-good vibe in the state, especially as he got a huge amount of credit in the local media regarding the river murray deal.

    My personal view is Mia Handshin will be an excellent candidate in Sturt, but I have my doubts about Nicole Cornes in Boothby. If I was on the ALP executive, I would have made the preselection the other way around.

  30. I most certainly are not going to apologise for expressing my suspicion that a level and kind of evaluation of candidates was going on because the candidates in question were female.

    As a strongly labor person I have no kind words to say about Jackie Kelly nor Dana Vale but I will say that there are much bigger dimwit males (on both sides of the isle) about and the negative press they get seems to be disproprotionate to that other deadweights in Parliament get, assuming they deserve the deadweight tag in the first place.

    And attacking a leaders chosen public appearances in swimwear or italian suits (Keating) is hardly comparable to scrutinising candidates for election.

    And I have no problem at all with considering the qualifications and cv’s of any sitting members or candidates but my suggestion was, and remains that these candidates are getting a focused attention disproprotionate to there significance to the election and campaign.

    And where do boys jokes about filling t-shirts, the suggestion the candidate is not a real person, and the speculative snide comments about non-traditional forms of religious and / or personal health practice fit into the whole qualifications and cv discussion.

    Give me any male candidate whose CV has been torn apart line by line on this blog?

    I wait your apology but expect it about the time the PM delivers his to the stolen generation and actively pursues reconcilliation.

  31. This airy-fairy spiritual stuff is grossly distant from the working slug that most Australians go through. They don’t spend their lives as a media darling, giving inspirational speeches and seminars, and going on vacation in Hawaii.

    She’s an outright insult to the ‘battlers’ that both parties want to win. So why–why on earth–when Labor wants to win back the battlers, would they nominate someone like this? Her target base is tiny and the Greens already have it.

    In her little feel-good clique, she is adored, but by the average person, and with good reason, she will not be seen in the same light.

    Sexism? No. She’s getting ripped apart like any candidate with these characteristics would be.

  32. Why can’t people have “airy-fairy” spiritual attitiudes, if thats your interpretation. Its no different than having a particular religious conviction after all. But that’s “normal” I suppose. We all have different aspects to our personalities, and to me its nothing short of discriminatory to attack someone for these beliefs. Its no different to having a go at someone because theyre aboriginal or gay. Does it affect their ability to think, and perform well for their electorates ? I think not. After all, Bill Heffernan is still in parliament.

  33. Speaking of airy fairy can you define what spiritual beliefs she has that are relevant to her ability or her election.

    Can you tell us what the good reasons that an ‘average person’ will not like her are?

    The only other media darling I can think of is John Howard who can say and do some really stupid things without risk the Australian or most capital city newspapers will even pick it up. What has that go to do with either her abilitiy or electability. And profile, whether you approve or not is an electability issue.

    Again I don’t see how her holiday reflects on her ability to be elected or her ability if elected. The PM holidayed in Broome, not many of us can afford that but how is that relevant to his election in Benelong?

    You haven’t given any characteristics I can pin down at all – so I’m back at sexism as the only credible explanation.

  34. It is so easy to cry “sexism” when you do not like the arguments being presented; it is a crutch, an excuse, for those who cannot stand on their own two feet.

    It is sickening to think that for some the criterion for someone’s electability is their gender (or race/sexuality/etc).

    People are judged–and voted for–on their characteristics and beliefs. I think that Mia’s characteristics and beliefs are alienating and distant to the voters of Sturt. It’s just like putting a capitalist bible-basher in Grayndler; it’s bizarre and won’t work.

  35. The preselection of Cornes just shows the Labor parties contempt for the local electorate and shows that it has no credible members who could be candidates. Imagine her in parliament another yes person, with no brains or independent thinking and who actually believes in anything.. that is the problem with todays politicians they are rigid control freaks without policy or ideas. Cornes once voted liberal, this just shows the lack of difference between the major parties on ideology and just how much Labor will do if it wins… and finally Rudd will be the most conservative leader of the labor party ever if he wins..

  36. This is not even an affirmative action issue so don’t start me on the boys club and the affirmative action fictions used inconsistently and pathetically to justify the unjust. But I’ll illustrate an organisation where at the top levels you’d say ‘they should only make it if they are good enough – business shouldn’t have to carry deadweight for some hippy reasons.

    At the bottom level where 70 – 80 of the best candidates are female they boys at the top employ pretty much 50:50% in the interests of ‘balance’. Wouldn’t want too many hormone driven graduates filling up a workspace. It is a great double standard, some affirmative action at the bottom to save the medicore boys but nothing at the top.

    And other than imbalance, which remains unanswered and seems unanswerable, I do not complain about any of the ‘arguments’ that are being put, it just seems to me much more like petty personal attacks without much argument at all.

    I take it she is much better known locally and these views and things your refer to are matters of common knowledge. For your conclusion to be sound the people of Sturt are pretty stupid rednecks? You know ‘You might be a redneck if …If your dad walks you to school because your in the same grade… you might be a redneck.’

    I support pragmatism and for example it would be better for all concerned if Labor didn’t run not christians in that red-neck bible bashing area near Sydney. But where they do it is not an excuse to attack the persons religion. And not the time to attack the brave decision.

    For the record I think voters are a lot lot smarter than you give them credit for, even those right-wing religious red-necks from Hillsong.

  37. Pseph Says:
    May 1st, 2007 at 11:48

    Ms Cornes has also indicated she has previously voted for Howard. She is also a long term resident of Boothby. So, she’s confessing that she has voted for Andrew Southcott, her now opponent. What better endorsement can Andrew Southcott get than his opponent having voted for him?

    now thats funny

  38. From what I know, Nicole Cornes is not just a pretty face. She is a fighter. She has suffered pain in her life but is very determined to succeed. Her detractors do not know her. She will not be a pushover.

    Mia Handshin I do not know, but she is very articulate. On state election figures, Sturt would be a Labor seat.

    It’s a big ask, but I wouldn’t write either seat off for Labor.

  39. News from my workplace. Voters are drifting back to Howard. These are blue collar workers not huge numbers yet but i will predict a close election with Howard over the line. And sorry Adam but minor parties will play a huge part if the ALP wants to win

  40. jasmine_Anadyr I believe women make as good MPs as men do. In fact they would be better i believe in blue collar areas where the struggle is day to day. The problem with Cornes is shes been thrown in at the deep end with no political history etc. Shes probably a very nice woman but is way out of her depth. The good thing for her shes had the media heat straight away so it will die down now and she can find her feet.

  41. According to the latest Your Rights At Work email-out we must now line up
    behind the ALP, even if it’s “not 100 percent perfect”:

    “Nearly 10,000 Rights at Work supporters took the time to write to Kevin
    Rudd and the Labor team asking for them to give us an alternative IR policy
    we can fight for”.

    They ask for feedback and I think they need some:

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