Newspoll minus three days

Some tidbits to tide you over through the middle of an agonising week-long federal poll drought.

• Chris Back, who narrowly failed to unseat independent Alfred Cove MP Janet Woollard at the September 6 state election, has been nicely compensated with the Western Australian Senate vacancy created by the retirement of Chris Ellison. It was initially expected that the position would go to Deidre Willmott, who stood aside as candidate for Cottesloe so Colin Barnett could cancel his retirement plans and lead his previously demoralised party to victory. However, Willmott withdrew from the race a few weeks ago when it became apparent she wouldn’t win, thereby continuing the state party’s sorry recent record on female representation. The West Australian reports that Back won the preselection vote “on preferences from party treasurer Dean Smith and the pre-contest favourite, senior vice-president Anthony Jarvis”. It also informs us that Back was “the veterinarian who controversially did not swab champion racehorse Rocket Racer after he won the 1987 Perth Cup by 10 lengths”. Back has more recently been “group managing executive of oil and gas company Equinox Energy”, but it’s “his role in the Rocket Racer affair which attracts the most attention”. Curious then that the paper didn’t say a single word about it prior to the state election.

• In case you missed it, George Megalogenis’s analysis of the grey vote in The Australian last week was essential reading like only Megalogenis number crunching can be.

• Courtesy of Possum comes a detailed breakdown of figures from Monday’s federal ACNielsen poll. Possum also weighs in on under-publicised Nielsen online polling.

• The recent Newspoll on issue perceptions inspired me to knock together the following chart based on its surveys going back to 1989. The chart averages the results for each year, in which time Newspoll usually publishes about three such surveys. Some issues are featured more frequently than others: immigration for instance is usually included once a year, so the spike to Labor in 2005 might not be all that meaningful. Note that “economy” wasn’t featured as a distinct category between 1991 and 2004.

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.

223 thoughts on “Newspoll minus three days”

  1. Thanks, William, for the Newspoll Issues chart. What is striking is that Labor is cementing in superiority on handling all major issues since the election. Remarkable. Is there anything the LNP are considered to be better at managing? Deafening silence? Thought so.

  2. Boerwar, those who would like to register their concern should send an email to

    HSO, look closer and you will see that one of the suggested names is “a mongrel called Trig”, a disgusting reference to Palin’s Down syndrome-afflicted baby. For what it’s worth, anyone who makes a joke like that here will get away with a severe censure if they’re lucky.

  3. in the context of the vitriol and hatred many of the MSM have for Rudd and his government, the “reviews” of the first year of Rudd and his ministers have been very good indeed. Sure, they might have a few jibes along the way, and allude to “problems” either present or future, but I think that Rudd must be doing a very fine job indeed to get these reviews. If Glen Milne gives Rudd and 8/10, the REAL score must be 10/10!!

  4. I did, Diogenes. I laughed, but still have no idea why Generic P. equates this with something published to do with with Sarah Palin’s little boy. Mind you, I often have difficulty with the reasoning of those of the more right wing of the LNP.
    I reckon First Dog is very funny, and particularly like his take on Jasper the cat. It amused me today that a piece by Michelle Grattan, virtually quoting big slabs of Rudd simply talking in response to her questions, had the PM describing everyone pretty much adjusting to the move to Canberra and The Lodge; the dog loving the big front yard, but the cat still being in therapy.

  5. Oh, William, I hadn’t twigged that that was the little boy’s name. I suppose I just took a cursory look and thought it’s one of those strange names Sarah Palin calls her children! How easy to not notice something which should be.

  6. It’s off topic, really, but about not noticing the things one should, I have a salutory tale from a friend of mine. Baby social worker, first placement asked to see a mother and son with severe cerebral palsy, in relation to proposed medical intervention. Ushers them into interview room and offers stupid, dribble proof baby book to the son, to entertain him while she speaks with the Mum. Asks Mum what he’s doing during the day, she says, completing second law degree at University. Friend hopes for earth to open up and swallow her.

  7. With the dramatic swings on Wall St, I think it’s a bit presumptuous to attribute a 6.5% rise in the DJ to Geithner getting the nod at Treasury, but that’s how it’s being called. With Summers and Volcker as his main competition, does anyone know why Geithner is so popular in finance circles and what he is likely to do differently, esp how it will impact us.

    [US shares have risen sharply, following a report that US President-elect Barack Obama has chosen his treasury secretary, reassuring investors.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 494 points or 6.5% to end at 8,046.66. The Standard & Poor’s 500 climbed 6.3%.

    The NBC television network reported the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Timothy Geithner, would be nominated as treasury secretary. ]

    And remember Rudd’s trip to NY in September, the “Kevin 737” trip. Who did Rudd meet to discuss the GFC? Geithner, I believe. What a complete waste of time for our PM to meet the man who will drive the US economy for the next four years during an economic crisis. He should have been in Canberra listening to Truffles tell him what to do.

  8. BoerWar @ 48, No idea …. I don’t get a subscription to the CT nor do I read it every day even at the newstand. Perhaps someone who reads it more regularly than I might have some idea. Adam and ltep to my knowledge are the only other blodgers who live in Canberra. I think, though, that this comparison grading wouldn’t be as easy because with the change in leadership in August/September, they haven’t had one person in the same position for 12 months.

  9. Yes, Adam, he is willing to put in the poloicy work and is bright. He has pulled back from some of his earlier silly publicity stunting behaviour. He is on the left side of the decent right. He is an inveterate networker and favour giver. Do you happen to know whether he is busying himself on the Liberal Party reform front?

  10. Juliem. I saw that article today and thought it was pretty good, with the Rudd mark a little hard. It shows that the women in Cabinet are doing exceptionally well.

  11. Not that I support verbally bashing the disabled, quite the opposite, but shouldn’t we be preserving the right to say what we want as long as we are not breaking any laws?

    ‘I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’

  12. So here we are on the eve of PM Rudd’s 1st birthday!!

    12 months ago saw the election of the ALP in what turned out to be a convincing result not necessaries the landslide some here me included were forecasting, I finished up underestimating the ALP result by 10 seats and 3%.

    Overall I have been Impressed with the Government’s performance! in particular the PM, Gillard, Tanner, Albanese and I’m slowly warming to Swan!

    The only ministers that I’ve been critical off have been

    Senator Conroy: He doesn’t seem able to handle the Internet and the new media, I’m not impressed with the new Internet filter and I’m still waiting for my digital T.V revolution

    Nicola Roxon: In general she seems to have done an okay job in Health but I’m not impressed with her view on what is bringe drinking but if that is the worst thing she does then Nicola still receives a tick.

    12 months ago many Liberal and swing voters were not convinced in Julia Gillard’s ability to be a PM, In my opinion she has been the star of this Government, I for one think that while the big test of rolling out the new I.R laws in a period of economy difficulties will be a big test but based on passed performance I believe the ALP can be confidence that Gillard can come though this period with flying colours.

    I have argued that Lindsay Tanner should be Treasurer but as I wrote earlier I’m warming to Wayne Swan, not sure why considering he made a miss of the bank deposit but in all fairness he has shown a great deal of professionalism in dealing with the criticism.

    I give the Government 8/10 which is the highest score that I’m willing to give any Government for no Government is perfect. while I have bagged aspects of the Government at times would I change my vote, in short NO

    Now for the Liberal Party, basically they have had several opportunities to hit the Government but instead appear unable or unwilling to land the blows on the Government, we can give them a tick for the campaign on Pensions but in a year that the economy has shown serious stress you would expect the alternative Government to be scoring bigger hits.

    I think part of the problem is Malcolm Turnbull while travelling better than Brendon Nelson, but Malcolm seems to be unsure how to attack the Government which in all fairness has played the issues well.

    Over all there are big issues facing the Government but with the $10.4 Billion about to enter the economy with addition Interest Rate cuts I’m confidence as I was back in March this year when I predicted that the U.S was in recession that Australia can avoid a recession this in itself will make the ALP nearly unbeatable.

    The other big issue is the ETS, I for one don’t believe I need a large increase in my power bills but I’m happy t see the Government invest in alternative energy as we have many natural sources.

    The big problem for the ALP is NSW! that state could be very tough for the ALP next poll with already an uphill battle to hold Roberston but I would also think Maxine has a fight in Bennenlong and Kelly in Edan-Monaro there are of-course other marginals in NSW.

    I heard an Interesting comment about PM Rudd in regards to his street walk in Brisbane after the storms, the person traditionally a Liberal remarked that

    “Rudd seems more real than Howard for Howard would just stand their with his chin sticking out while Rudd was looking around asking questions”

    Has anyone else noticed this.

  13. [a tick for the campaign on Pensions]

    The biggest load of cynical, dishonest, cheap, populist, irresponsible, hypocritical cr*p I have ever seen. They spent 11 years not raising the pension, they didn’t raise it in the 2007 budget, and then as soon as they’re in opposition, oh! the poor starving pensioners! They’re eating cat food! And it’s all cruel Mr Rudd’s fault!

  14. I still don’t buy the argument that people will vote out Maxine because of the NSW government but overall a good summation mexicanbeemer 71.

  15. Kelly has a very high profile and is a very good local member. That counts for more in a country seat than it does in the suburbs. It won’t save him if there’s a really big swing in NSW, but he could buck the trend against a moderate swing.

  16. Adam I agree with you but doesn’t that go to show just how poorly the Liberals are travelling!

    Rudd & co have nullified that has an issue with the stimula package. in fact between that package and the $300 million for local government we can say that Rudd has wredged the Liberals.

    The economy is now starting to play into the Governments hands and will continue to do so has long as we can remain recession free.

    Gary! Bennenlong is a interesting seat for Maxine could be a oncer or that seat may be the ALP’s version of Lindsay that was unwinnable for the ALP while Jackie Kelly was the MP. the only reason why I Bennenlong being a fight is it has such a strong Liberal party history but if the ALP have won it once they can win it again.

  17. Dario! Nothing in particular I only raised it as a talking point for its history of being a maringal but as Adam points out Kelly appears to be a strong local MP which as Adam points out is an asset in any seat but more so in a rural seat.

    I would imagine the local government grants would go down well in Edan Monaro.

  18. mexicanbeemer, the 2007 election was a landslide, and is reported so by sections of the media. Not just the 52.70 2pp, but also the 5.4% 2pp swing, which is the third largest swing (ie, the political landscape slid) since 2pp estimates began in 1949, only beaten by 1969 and 1975.

  19. Tunrbull’s ascension to the leadership was at the most critical time for Govt and Opposition. He had the benefit of the doubt from some of the public and some goodwill/honeymoon time to use if he got things right.

    Rudd performed well and Turnbull used the wrong tactics the net result being Rudd ensconced as the ‘real deal’ PM going about some tough business and, Turnbull pigeon holing himself as a traditional carping opposing for the sake of it Opposition. Turnbull went negative on everything, Rudd positive. Rudd won and the polls show it.

    Sept/October/Nov activity pretty much crystallised the public’s feeling and opinion on Rudd and Turnbull.

    I do believe they should have graded Rudd as ‘A’ since he had to take a party that had been out of power for 11 years and create government from scratch, putting them into action, give coherence, direction, discipline and manage the whole thing. Whilst also dealing with a press trying its hardest to undermine him and Opposition playing spoiler at every chance. That the whole thing has gone so well with no disasters or glaring idiocy from anyone is a credit to his leadership skill.

    Rudd’s only problems have not been with managing the country or dealing with the business of government, they have been with the game of politics and press, something of no consequence to the lives of the public. Government or politicians if they are to be graded should be graded on their benefit to the public present and future, not on how well they play the game of politics.

  20. Gary! I was basing my comments on election history and was looking to see what response would come from those closer to the seats I mentions.

  21. bob1234! yes it was a landslide but I as many here saw poll after poll with the ALP headed for a TPP of mid to high 50s and into the 60s.

    I’m not taking anything away from the result but I sort of wanted the polls to be right!

  22. “bob1234! yes it was a landslide but I as many here saw poll after poll with the ALP headed for a TPP of mid to high 50s and into the 60s.”

    Correct, from a few months in to Rudd’s leadership until the election campaign.

    “I’m not taking anything away from the result but I sort of wanted the polls to be right!”

    They were. The last polls before the election for the ALP were Newspoll/Galaxy 52%, Roy Morgan 53.5%, and ACNielsen 57%. ACNielsen totally borked it up. The rest were less than a percent off.

  23. There are at least two things stopping Tanner being treasurer
    1 It would be seen as a bit of a capitulation to the Libs to replace Swan (they were attacking him earlier this year)
    2 He holds a marginal seat

  24. Dio 64

    Geithner has a lot of previous banking experience and as head of the NY Fed Reserve Bank has been directly involved in the bailout attempts so far. It ensures there are no misunderstandings of what has been done so far, while still allowing for new ideas. I’m not aware he has any strong ideological views either way, or if he does he has kept them well hidden. Lawrence Summers is brilliant but can be divisive.

  25. bob1234

    Posted Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 10:59 pm | Permalink
    Not that I support verbally bashing the disabled, quite the opposite, but shouldn’t we be preserving the right to say what we want as long as we are not breaking any laws?

    ‘I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’

    This was th LAST comment made on dog naming affair , and was not challenged… and so I will

    There is absolutely no “right” to say anything just because it is not illegal to say so A right always comes with a responsibiloty , an unemployed benefit “generaly should carry responsibilty to train or seek employment IF one freely speaks then resonsibility is to speak not indecently

    I hav challenged posters irrelevant innuendo about daughtar Chelksea Clinton (to condoned silense) I hav challenged posters irrelevant inuendo questioning sarah Palin’s even being pregnant daughter & other nasty innuendo about her (but it was continued forover a month by many , with glee) When posters query Crikey about a blog , I wonder where decency standards were when Chelsea Clinton and Sarah Palin were vilified …..on a politcal site …I of all consistently to Obamaites everlasting delight criticised Obama severely on numerous politcal judgement & policy fronts but not his ‘disabilities if any nor Michelle Obama or his kids , none of thats is part of th playing fields

    Problam and responsibility of regulation of indecency should not be left with moderator alone , he’s not here 24/7 Above repeated examples of Chelssea Clinton and Sarah Palin is now histary , but will it be repeated is th queston I also might adds its quite unfair to make posts here to th moderator complaining about what appears elsewhore on Crikey , any more than complaining to Enemy Marsupial up there on his tree about what appears elsewhore on Crikey…complain direct to he who writes or not at all

    So Bob , there is absolutely nothing in your #70 that has merit I tink , perhaps you hit “enter” to quick on reflecton

    And GROG , your proitest is quite justified….but suggest it may be far more efective writing a series of “sharp” messages to he who wrote what you did not like , so that he learns & then there is some minor upside from this matter , rather than denying yourself th pleasure of my company and lingo’s cultures to cut mustard on

  26. I think a number of MSM commentators are missing the surplus/deficit politics that the Govt is playing out here.

    Rudd and Swan know that the Murdoch media and Turnbull would love to wedge Labor on planning to go to deficit to keep the economy working.

    Swan and Labor are quite deliberately singing the surplus / qualified non-deficit tune knowing that they more than likely will need to use deficit at some stage. And what is happening? People are coming out more and more saying that the Government must consider going into deficit if it gets to that, that deficit isn’t so bad and so forth.

    So there will be a weight of commentary out there in the public domain telling the govt that it is OK to go to deficit for the purpose of keeping the economy healthy and that it is actually the correct thing to do. So later when the government does go into deficit it will be following the advice and public pleading of MSM and other commentators.

    Come election time no one will remember much or care much that Swan was saying deficit wasn’t necessary but will recall that the deficit was used in accordance with all the opinion, thus Turnbull election wedge negated.

    [Wayne Swan can’t face necessity of deficit],23739,24686888-3122,00.html

  27. The Opposition Scorecard, the First Twelve Months.

    OK, guys, here it is. Given that nobody has scored the Coalition’s first year in Opposition, I thought I would give it a go. I have tried to be fair but it has been hard. It has not exactly been a labour of love. In terms of bias, most of you would know that I maintain an utter contempt for Howard. I have tried not to let that influence my judgement of the individuals below. In some cases it is a little bit difficult to know what to say because it is not immediately evident that the subjects have actually done anything to rate or to make comments about.

    I have used the same ratings matrix as that used for Government Ministers and have added some comments. I have only judged the Inner Shadow Ministery, but have attached the list of the Outer Shadow Ministery and Parliamentary Secretaries in case you have not noticed who they are. Golly, life in Opposition must be tough.

    General Comments

    When you add up the individuals, some patterns appear. What the individual assessments throw up generally is that the Opposition is struggling across the board. The general lack of focus, talent and energy has been exposed in Opposition. The Shadow Ministry needs some serious injections of talent before it will even begin to look credible as the solid core of an alternative government. There is a serious lack of contribution to policy development and to much-needed Party reform.

    After a year in Opposition, most, but not all, of the crew essentially appears still to be waiting and hoping to get lucky. They are all bark and no bite. Between a quarter and a half of them should do their party, and their country, a favour and resign now.

    The talent depth problem in the parliamentary Liberal Party is such that the outer shadow ministery and parliamentary secretaries include ‘performers’ such as Sophie Mirabella and Barry Haase.

    Another pattern that is striking is just how weak the National Party contribution has been. Most national shadow ministers are struggling in a very serious way in Opposition, and, as a group, form a very weak link for the Coalition. There are some better Liberal Party prospects that could be drafted in to replace the National Party shadow ministers.

    The final pattern that is obvious across the inner and outer shadow ministery and amongst the shadow parliamentary secretaries is how pitiably thin on the ground are the Wets and the small L liberals. Had they been there now the Party would now be undergoing a post-defeat dynamic with some prospects of policies inching towards the ‘centre’. The broad church is broad no longer.

    Ratings used:

    A+: A star performer
    A: Excellent on both policy and political fronts
    A-: Stellar work
    B+: Rising star
    B: Above average but short of a star
    B-: Showing talent
    C+: Solid performance
    C: Average bordering on mediocre
    C-: Struggling

    Individual ratings

    Malcolm Turnbull, MP Leader of the Opposition B- (Showing talent).
    Comments: Has considerable potential, good presence, and has shown adaptability, but has yet to realize his potential. Hasn’t quite cottoned on to the fact that banking and barristering are different from being leader of the Opposition. His appetite for risk may lead to utter disaster. Reflexive negativity at a time when the nation is searching for confidence is likely to return to haunt him. Has yet to start a serious reform of the Liberal Party. Has yet to inaugerate a serious policy development process.

    Julie Bishop, MP Shadow Treasurer Rating: C (Average, bordering on the mediocre).
    Comments: In Opposition has been exposed by lack of departmental resources and by her shallow understanding of the issues. Has demonstrated a lack of sure-footedness in terms of responding to the media. This has been exemplified by her refusal to clearly disavow Howard’s silly critique of the next President of the United States.

    Warren Truss, MP Shadow Minister for Trade, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Rating: C- (Struggling).
    Comments: Totally lacking in policy impact. A plodder in Parliament. Has failed to take any useful steps to stop his party disappearing from under his feet. Should be put out to pasture.

    Nick Minchin, Senator Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Rating: C (Average, bordering on mediocre).
    Comments: Another who performed better in Government than he has in Opposition. He has potential and his rating should be at the stellar level considering his opposite number is the weakest performer in the Government Ministery and that the Government has yet to deliver in these areas. Has yet to hurt the Government where it is most vulnerable. Totally lacking in policy contribution. His kingmaker role in establishing Nelson as leader of the Opposition was an utter disaster.

    Eric Abetz, Senator Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
    Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Rating: C- (Struggling)
    Comments: A hopeless plodder in Opposition. Policy contribution in 12 months: nil. Is probably frightened of innovations. He appears to think that being narky is a useful approach but has not made a serious contribution to hurting the Government in the Senate where the numbers favour Opposition tactics. Has been there, but not done that. Should retire to make way for new talent.

    Andrew Robb, MP Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and COAG and Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on Emissions Trading Design Rating: C- (Struggling)
    Comments: Has some potential but he is saddled with the Howard history of Climate Change denial and hence has serious credibility issues with the electorate. He is also saddled with Howard history of failure in terms of infrastructure development. Vis-a-vis COAG, he is also saddled with the late Howard Government political ploy attempt to foment fights with state and territory governments. Has shown little policy nous or adaptability in the face of all this. As the Shadow Minister responsible, he must bear some responsibility for the way in which the Opposition has been all over the shop on Climate Change responses. Has shown some insight into the need for Party reform but has done nothing about it. If he is still around, has the potential to make a useful contribution to the next Liberal Government.

    Helen Coonan, Senator Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs
    Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate Rating: C- (Struggling).
    Comments. Would have an E- rating, were one available. She just does not get it. She should retire to allow an infusion of fresh talent into the Liberal Party.

    Joe Hockey, MP Shadow Minister for Finance, Competition Policy and Deregulation
    Manager of Opposition Business in the House Rating C- (Struggling)
    Has some talent but has mostly misdirected it. He is heavily saddled with Howard Government baggage. Has yet to contribute a skerrick to policy development. In terms of parliamentary tactics is learning the bitter lessons of being in Opposition and has generally been completely outwitted by Albanese, his opponent in the Government. Has helped inflict considerable damage on his own party in the leadership shenanigans. Has lately mostly not said much at all, which is a considerable improvement on his first three quarters of a year as a Shadow Minister. Should improve from here.

    Ian Macfarlane, MP Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Rating C- (Struggling)
    Comments. A useful performer in Government but is now just a time server until the next election. A wasted talent. Should resign now to make way for new talent.

    Tony Abbott, MP Shadow Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Rating: C (Average bordering on mediocre)
    Comments: Lives in the past. Has shown repeated major failures of judgement. For example, he still thinks Howard was ‘magnificent’. Has caused considerable damage to his own party with his uncontrolled public chatter. Has been trounced by his opposite number in Government. Has some potential but would need to exercise a much greater degree of application to policy development, a much greater degree of self-discipline and a much greater degree of team work in the Party than has hitherto been the case.

    Michael Ronaldson, Senator Shadow Special Minister of State and Shadow Cabinet Secretary Rating: C- (Struggling)
    Comments: Might learn from experience, but has yet to demonstrate the potential to do so. Given his position, he must bear some responsibility for the demonstrated lack of party cohesiveness, for the lack of integrated policy development, and for the poor parliamentary tactics.

    Nigel Scullion, Senator Shadow Minister for Human Services
    Rating: C- (Struggling)
    Comments: Has talent, and knows his electorate well, but is not very interested in the topic, and it shows. Has not made a contribution to anything much in Opposition.

    Greg Hunt, MP Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Water Rating: A (Excellent on both policy and political fronts).
    Comments: After some early silly PR stunting has settled down to serious policy development. Has good political skills. Is likely to be a key player in any future Liberal Government. In that respect, has the youth to wait for it, but may not have the patience to wait so long.

    Peter Dutton, MP Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing Rating: B- (showing talent)
    Despite the poor history of the Howard Government in this area, has at least been involved in causing some anxiety for the government in terms of pensions. Has yet to demonstrate that he is prepared to do the work necessary to induce people to believe that he can lead credible policy development.

    David Johnston, Senator Shadow Minister for Defence Rating: C- (Struggling)
    Comment: Who? What?

    Christopher Pyne, MP Shadow Minister for Education, Apprenticeships and Training Media Rating: C (Average bordering on mediocre)
    Comments: Did some flashy stuff immediately after the election when the leadership was wide open, but has virtually disapeared from sight since. Saddled with the woeful outcomes of the Howard years. Has shown no appetite for hard policy work. Has shown some party discipline.

    George Brandis, Senator Shadow Attorney General C+ (Solid performance)
    Comments: Has shown hints that he might be able to be a major contributor, but his contributions to date have not been sustained. Major law reform was let go by the Howard Government for eleven years, and the Rudd Government looks like it might be going the same way, but it is too early to tell. This provides a real opportunity for a major piece of much-needed policy development and one that would be welcomed by the public. However, while he has the talent for it, Brandis has yet to show that he has the desire for the hard work. Could make a major contribution to the next Liberal Government.

    John Cobb, MP Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Media C- (Struggling)
    Comments: Likable and in touch with some of the special interest groups in his country base, but just does not get it as a Shadow Minister. Is being beaten by an opponent with no background at all in the area. Should retire in order to allow for an infusion of new talent.

    Michael Keenan, MP Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Rating: C- (Struggling)
    Comments: Saddled with the most unpopular policy of the Howard Government, has yet to lay a glove on his opponent and has yet to show an appetite for serious policy work. Has been done like a dinner in parliament by his opponent. Perhaps not a fair test for a newbie, and perhaps should be given a chance in safer waters.

    Sharman Stone, MP Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Rating: C+ (solid performance)
    Comments: Is saddled with Howard Government policies and with the Howard Government’s record of dog whistling. Is not herself a dog whistler. Will have to do some policy work to draw blood. Has shown some propensity for hard work and has demonstrated some political savvy. May have the opportunity to draw blood as pressure against absolute immigration numbers is likely to grow at a time of increasing joblessness. Will need to show judgement and strength to prevent the Opposition slinking back to dog whistling.

    Steven Ciobo, MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors, Tourism and the Arts Media C- (struggling)
    Comments: Who? What?


    Andrew Southcott, MP Shadow Minister for Employment Participation, Training and Sport Media Contact

    Bob Baldwin, MP Shadow Minister for Defence Science and Personnel and
    Assisting Shadow Minister for Defence Media Contact

    Bruce Billson, MP Shadow Minister for Sustainable Development and Cities Media Contact

    Chris Pearce, MP Shadow Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law Media Contact

    Louise Markus, MP Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Media Contact

    Luke Hartsuyker, MP Shadow Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs
    Deputy Manager of Opposition Business in the House Media Contact

    Margaret May, MP Shadow Minister for Ageing Media Contact

    Scott Morrison, MP Shadow Minister for Housing and Local Government Media Contact

    Sophie Mirabella, MP Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare, Women and Youth Media Contact

    Sussan Ley, MP Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs Media Contact

    Tony Smith, MP Shadow Assistant Treasurer Media Contact


    Barry Haase, MP Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Energy and Resources

    Brett Mason, Senator Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education

    Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Senator Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration and Citizenship
    Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Leader in the Senate

    Cory Bernardi, Senator Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector

    Don Randall, MP Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Energy and Resources

    Fiona Nash, Senator Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Water Resources and Conservation

    Ian Macdonald, Senator Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Northern Australia

    Jason Wood, MP Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Justice and Public Security

    John Forrest, MP Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development

    Marise Payne, Senator Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance
    Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Indigenous Affairs

    Mathias Cormann, Senator Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health Administration

    Peter Lindsay, MP Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Defence

    Richard Colbeck, Senator Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

  28. [bob1234
    Posted Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    but shouldn’t we be preserving the right to say what we want as long as we are not breaking any laws?

    ‘I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’]

    I understood the quote to be about the right to free political speech, not a right to
    be bad mannered and insulting.

  29. Re 84,

    There are at least two things stopping Tanner being treasurer
    1 It would be seen as a bit of a capitulation to the Libs to replace Swan (they were attacking him earlier this year)
    2 He holds a marginal seat

    Why would the marginality of his seat make any difference??

    And for the record, what is it? I find it hard to believe that Tanner’s seat in Melbourne (known to be leftist leaning) would be more marginal say than Smith’s in Perth (which should be more right leaning in WA). Might be an interesting exercise to see what the two are …..

  30. “So Bob , there is absolutely nothing in your #70 that has merit I tink , perhaps you hit “enter” to quick on reflecton”

    Not at all, I stand by my comments. Free speech? No such thing.

  31. bob1234, thanks ……

    still doesn’t answer the original question though posted by #84 of why it makes a difference what the margin of his seat is or isn’t in order to merit a switch to Treasury …….

    OT, but …… get on your mobiles and vote for Luke to 191010 before 8:30pm tonight 🙂 { off my Australian Idol soapbox now 😀 }

  32. Generic Person

    Georgiou is a bloody wet that belongs in the Labor party.

    And if the few people left in the party can’t get past that it is unlikely the Liberal party will ever govern again.

    One by one the people that could reform the party leave.

  33. Bob1234 and Ron,
    My first post in response to Bob is caught in the moderation filter, though I have no idea why.

    I agree with your premise, Ron, that free speech is not an absolute right, and carries with it a degree of responsibility to act fairly and appropriately. I stopped reading a blog I had enjoyed over the gleeful whooping that went on over some of the MSM comments on Hilary/Chelsea. But Hilary and Chelsea are adults, and players in their own right (as in Sarah Palin) so some degree of comment is to be expected. However, commenting on the players, Hilary, Chelsea or Palin, should be about them, and insults that impune others by implication are not acceptable. I am struggling to explain this, but what I mean is that a derogatory comment about Hilary is one thing, a comment about Hilary that demeans all women is not.

    People seemed to have no problem with this with Obama. For example, it was Ok to sling off about his history as a Community Organiser, because it wasn’t appropriate experience for high office (not that I agree with that point), and it was OK to mouth off about his association of people with certain past histories (not that I agree with that either), but I think everyone would agree that it would be wrong to imply that all community organisers were terrorists. But it is OK to insult Hilary in ways that reflect on all women, or even Sarah on ways that reflect on all Alaskans.

    Trig Palin is not a player. All the children of all politicians should be off limits, until, like Chelsea, they chose to become players in their own right. So the Crikey article is wrong on two levels – it insulted an innocent bystander, and in doing so, insulted by implication, every person with Down Syndrome.

    I’ll refrain from more at the moment, as I don’t want to get caught in the filter again.

  34. I think it is unfair to rate down ministers and shadow ministers just because their portfolio has not had any oxygen during the first year of the Rudd Government…criticising junior shadow ministers simply because they havent had media air time or that their main issues of concern havent had the national spotlight is unfair…i am talking of course about Michael Keenan, Steven Ciobo, John Cobb ect.

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