Phoney war dispatches: wacky Wednesday edition

• I failed to mention it at the time, but followers of this site no doubt picked up on the poll of Sydney and Melbourne voters conducted by Nexus Research over the weekend. Well, bless their cotton socks, for they have published their data in a form that allows cross-tabulation of responses to the various questions asked, including age, occupational status and vote at the 2004 election.

• After a nudge from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, the Australian Electoral Commission has ruled it will be business as usual this year for the National Tally Room in Canberra. This now performs a basically ceremonial role, and there have been frequent suggestions it might be scrapped. JSCEM argues that the tally room presents a “visible symbolism of transparency in the election process” (UPDATE: Seems I’m a bit slow here).

Greg Kelton of The Advertiser speaks of a 64-page report which translates last year’s South Australian state election results into federal outcomes, compiled by state parliamentary librarian Jenni Newton-Farrelly. I have not been able to locate the report, but it shows Labor gaining Sturt, Boothby, Makin, Wakefield and Kingston, with the Liberals dropping a Senate seat to “either the Democrats, Family First or the Greens”.

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports “evidence of a groundswell of support for Maxine McKew” among voters in Bennelong‘s conspicuous Chinese community.

Andrew Fraser of The Australian reports that the much-touted plebiscites on Queensland council amalgamations will be conducted by postal ballot after the federal election, as the Australian Electoral Commission does not wish for confusion to arise over postal election votes.

• Speaking of which, the Sydney Morning Herald reports the number of postal, pre-poll and absentee votes is expected to top 20 per cent at this election, due to the active promotion of postal voting by the major parties. This increases the chance that the result will still be up in the air when counting closes on election night.

Greg Roberts of The Australian reports that registration of Pauline Hanson’s United Australia Party will not be cleared in time for the election if it is called in the next few days. This would result in her list again appearing under an anonymous group name, which was deemed to have cost her votes in 2004.

• Anyone speak Portuguese?

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.

762 comments on “Phoney war dispatches: wacky Wednesday edition”

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  1. I have to admit, Hewson was very impressive. But at the same time I felt he was trying to be the Australian Al Gore lite. Still, he was articulate and made very good points,especially about the short term nature of Australian political thinking.

    He nailed Howard and Costello for throwing money at interest groups to buy votes and at how the boom has been squandered.

  2. ” the boom has been squandered. ”

    I think that is the great tragedy of the Howard era. Wonderful opportunities lost for short term political gain. What he nation could have become if only we had a visionary leader?

  3. Paul K arent you forgetting…

    10b Murray Darling Plan

    Future Fund

    Health Fund

    Higher Education Endowment Fund

    Seriously that is foresight and that is locking away the boom for future generations…Howard had that vision and not Rudd!

  4. Glen,

    Is that a joke? You call that visionary? No wonder the Libs are going to get creamed if that’s the sort of thing you think is inspirational.

  5. A pacemaker perhaps.

    Glen I note you state Howard *had* that. Already speaking about him in the past tense I see. Howard is the man of the past I suppose.

  6. Perhaps they can give Rudd the idiots guide to economics…im sure he’d appreciate that he needs all the help he can get…lol!

    Carn the Dees – Judd 08!

  7. HA HA Glen!
    Or how about “The Liberal Party’s Guide to Digging Dirt On Political Opponents”.
    They’ll probably give him a cake with 50 candles to blow out LOL

  8. Nah HH for someone who could be running the economy in a few months he far more needs the ‘idiots guide to economics’…

    Then he can lend it to Wayne Swan and compare notes lol!


  9. Jone’s later interview on about Climate Change was utterly depressing. The guy reckons it is going to be much worse than Gore predicts.

    Not good – Labor comes into power just as the world is going to descend into a chaos of Global Warming and fierce resource competition. Good of Howard to not sign Kyoto for a decade.

  10. What does knowing the tax rates help you do Glen?

    You think running the economy relies upon you memorising figures? You think the whole economy is managed by 2 people, the PM and the Treasurer, and not be a horder of advisors, public servants, departments, the world economy, industry etc.?

  11. No but it doesnt instill public confidence in someone’s ability to run things when they dont understand at least basic economic premises like productivity and tax thresholds…now i dont know much about it but im not running for PM Kevin Rudd is…

    The least alternate PM’s can do is know the material…that’s why Rudd should still be in Opposition next year to allow him enough time to know these things before he takes over in 2010.

  12. Glen: if your idea of economic management is taking too much tax and then locking it away in investment funds, no wonder you have no idea about economic management. I also can’t see how its good policy to have a policy unvetted by Treasury that needs to go to the High Court.

  13. Glen it all goes to show what a facile view you have . Get a job as a suburban tax agent! Leave ecomic policy to those who know that it’s about management so that the wealth of the country is fairly distributed

  14. Glen: Even Costello said Howard was an inept Treasurer and mismanaged the last Budget with excessive spending. Both Howard and Costello made mistakes on the tax threshold and the money saved by tax cuts. Bigger mistakes then Rudd.


  15. Just goes to show how hight the standard was back in Keating’s time. Hewson was the loser but impresses far more than either Howard or Costello. In fact I think there may be a position for him in the Liberal party shortly.
    Costello and Howard must cringe when they saw this – revealed their mantra as total fakery.

    kina 692

    IIRC, Keating also (later) said that Hewson was a decent opponent and he (Keating) would have been okay with losing to him (presumably compared to Howard or Downer).

  16. re the Rudd smear
    maybe his hiking companion decided to spill the beans about his transplant and then the carrion of the smear squad did the necessary trawling

    voila -one nice and shiny smear that goes to the heart (pun intended ) of Leadership (roosevelts polio was hidden from the public among many other afflictions leaders past and present have had )

    all i know is that all people of a good disposition will say a little prayer for rudds good health and forthcoming prime ministership (hopefully at least thrre terms to fix up the mess theses buggers have created)

    blaggards one and all

  17. “Gusface, nice to see a compassionate response in this blog.”

    compassion is my middle name -not 🙂

    gave me a laugh Gippslander actually that was my daughters (9 yrs) idea after watching the 6 oclock news “that everyone should be nice and why would they want Mr Rudd sick”

    its a bit hard to explain politics sometimes 🙁

  18. I suggest you go to the Government Gazette and read Shanahan’s article headed “Key states, bush warm to Howard”. That heading is based on the 3 month analysis of Newspoll. How can he keep making it sound good for the government? I was worried by the headline and checked the figures. It shows the government in heaps.

  19. The last 3 months of Newspoll have been a littany of bad news for the Govt with no weakening for the entire year. Not once dropping below 55/45. Given there has been no change I doubt that the quarterly figures would be much different to that in Possum’s analysis which, spelled doom for the Govt.

    However I guess he is tasked [by himself or by his masters] to make something positive for the govt out of it – tyring to add to the fake momentum/bandwagon?

  20. The quarterly newspoll figures are up on The Australian website.

    There is a small movement back to the government in SAFE government seats. In marginals Labor retains a huge lead.

    It seems the government’s attempt to rally their base using scare campaign about unions is partly working, but it isn’t shifting votes in marginal seats.

    In Victoria the ALP’s vote has actually improved!

  21. By the way, I thought Philip Adam’s mentioned one night that Christian is John Kerr’s grandson.

    Found this on the net..andrew elder is a former? lib
    Politically homeless
    Cast your mind back to 1997 – or even 1987, when I first met Christian Kerr as Chris Pyne’s right hand – and imagine John Howard losing an election for …

  22. Gusface @ 727

    Don’t worry, you’re not going mad. I don’t remember anything controversial, nevertheless Gippslander’s post has vanished into the memory hole.

  23. Matt Price.

    [Some people might file this under M for Mildly Interesting. I’d bung it under W for Who Cares? Armies of Kevinistas, however, thought Oakes’s story a heinous slight on their leader and declared the ticker tale had been maliciously shopped around by a government dirt unit.

    Practically every Labor frontbencher who could find a microphone yesterday was screeching smear campaign. Jenny Macklin and Anthony Albanese challenged the Prime Minister in parliament to deny Liberal slimemongers had been poking round Rudd’s personal medical records.

    What a pile of rot.

    In truth, Oakes’s exclusive was first revealed by Rudd himself during his weekly stint as Captain Happiness on the Sunrise breakfast show. This was around the time newly sensitive, private Kevin was starring in corny music video clips and being filmed half-naked walking the Kokoda trail. If the heart yarn was a smear, it was a case of smear thyself on national TV. ]

  24. “Don’t worry, you’re not going mad’

    John W dont worry im already certifiable-just making sure my sight wasnt going

    king malcolm just taked about dam or damns not sure

    now costello again
    poo by albanese
    costello rattling about tax rates or mates not sure

  25. The quarterly polls still look on the verge of Pollycide to me – tantalisingly so close to obliteration yet could still end up a tight finish. I suspect there will be lots of pork thrown in Qld.

    Amazing how Rudd is popular across all party supporters.

  26. Gusface,
    poos, as you call them, are a standard way of limiting an oppositions time in debate. A spurious point of order is raised by the govt, & the speaker rules against it, showing impartiality,, but eating into the member’s time. Joan Child (speaker in Hawke’s era) was proud of how much time could be stolen in debate by this device.

  27. Some clown on Tony Dellroy is saying that not only did Labor release the Rudd heart stuff but also the stripper story. All to deflect attention.

    Just read Shanahan’s spin re Newspoll..load of.

  28. [Some clown on Tony Dellroy is saying that not only did Labor release the Rudd heart stuff but also the stripper story. All to deflect attention]

    Was the name of the caller similar to some of the usual suspects here who sprout similar bizarre comments ? 🙂

    Shamaham – I wonder if he’s Rupert’s version of the Iraqi Information Minister ?

  29. God what a fool Rudd is…

    Firstly Rudd claims this to be part of a smear campaign ok so then how come his heart condition was common knowledge as RUDD himself said that he had such a condition on Sunrise on Channel 7 several years ago…and yet Rudd now claims this to be part of a dirt unit…

    It was funny watching Rudd get ‘angry’ he looks like a whimp whose trying to look tough and act tough but he can’t make it work…Costello pumped him in QT today…Rudd is getting the jitters.

  30. rudds speech has got real reasonance with facts re the kelly smear

    that SHOULD be the real lead article but like most transgressions by the Libs they are let off scott-free by the MSM

    ps frank gippslander
    poos are probably worth that-poo

    night all

  31. It was an important performance today by Rudd. It went to building his character. Not just the mild mannered nerdy type but also strong, firm and can stick it right in to Howard and Costello point blank. If the public got to see Rudd attacking it would have done him the world of good. A little bit of mongrel is appreciated.

  32. Only Rudd is a coward and a liar…

    He was gutless had his shadows ask questions about smearing the Government and then when he had a chance to air the proof he had none…Rudd is a phony!!!!!!

  33. An observation from Ozelection 2007:

    This is still close to Pollycide as per Possums analysis and presents a very important dilema to Howard.

    If Howard chooses the wrong campaign approach – the negative, smear dirt, personal denigration, sniping etc on Rudd and Co [or anyone for that matter for it will be assumed that it comes from the Govt] then there could be rebound to Rudd that will certainly create pollycide.

    Thus today’s question time was important to Labor – it raised the issue of Govt smear and dirt and bought it right out into the public domain in the news. A very, very useful reminder and prompt to the public that any smear that comes will probably have come via the govt. AND people find it very easy to believe because of things like Tampa, Children Overboard, Hicks, Iraq, Haneef, Burke and so on – hence Howard’s low trust level.

    Costello made a tactical blunder by making Question Time about defending the smear/dirt allegations – it was exactly what Labor wanted. Any smear at all Labor can say is low smear by or via the Govt – regardless of where it comes from – the public will naturally assume it.

    Thus what does Howard do? He can do the sensible thing and play the percentages and look to limit losses through fair campaigning OR he can go the smear method in the hope of getting close or wining but risk causing a total obliteration.

    Howard only needs one smear effort to go astray and the whole lot will blow up in his face and, bye bye Liberal party.

    Howard could conceivably destroy the Liberal party if he takes the high risk route.

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