Super size me

I guess we’re not getting a Morgan poll tomorrow, so a stand-alone post is required to note recent developments. To wit:

Antony Green has crunched the numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest state and territory population figures and concluded that yet another new seat will need to be created in Queensland next year, again at the expense of New South Wales. Queensland will thus have boomed from 26 seats to 30 in little over a decade, having earlier gained Blair in 1998, Bonner in 2004 and Flynn in 2007. New South Wales lost Gwydir in 2007.

• The Australian Electoral Commission has announced that the finalised new federal boundaries for Western Australia will be gazetted on December 18, and maps published henceforth.

• Possum reckons “it’s time to rethink political demographics&#148, and explains why across a two-part epic here and here.

• A constitutional crisis is brewing in Canada that has some excited observers invoking the example of Australia in 1975. The election on October 14 saw Stephen Harper’s Conservative minority government re-elected, but again requiring the support of Bloc Québécois. However, Bloc Québécois has now signed an accord with the Liberal Party and leftist New Democrats due to dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the financial crisis. Harper reportedly plans to ask that Governor-General Michaëlle Jean prorogue the parliament so it will not sit until the budget is presented in January. This would avert a sitting on December 8 at which Harper’s government would likely be defeated on a no-confidence motion, and allow him time to pick apart the Liberal-Bloc-NDP deal. This raises the question of whether Jean ought to grant a prorogation to a Prime Minister who might not have the confidence of the House.

UPDATE (5/12/08): Jean agrees to prorogue parliament until January 26. Ben Raue at The Tally Room expresses his displeasure, and proposes reforms to the appointment of prime ministers (citing the practice in the Australian Capital Territory), the scheduling of parliament and the timing elections. I am a little more sympathetic to Jean’s decision, on account of the Liberals’ evident state of disarray – although I can buy the idea that it’s not the Governor-General’s role to make such judgements.

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.

1,278 comments on “Super size me”

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  1. Diog, will see what i can do. But i am more interested in your debate on porn with Amigo Ronnie because One man’s porn is another’s fashion statement?

    btw: will this story got thru’ WB’s dragnet.

    [Porn law threatens traditions – KURULU (Indonesia) – WEARING nothing but feathers and a long, tapering gourd jutting from his groin, Papuan tribesman Suroba says the Indonesian government cannot force him to wear pants.

    Mr Suroba, who estimates his age in his sixties, remembers the last time the government launched a campaign to eradicate the penis gourd, known here as a koteka, in the 1970s. It was a dismal failure.

    ‘Back then we were wearing our traditional clothes, like the koteka, and we’re still wearing them now,’ he said.

    The latest threat to the koteka, and traditions like it, is a new anti-pornography law passed in October by mostly Muslim lawmakers in the capital Jakarta, 3,500 kilometres away.

    The law, which criminalises all works and ‘bodily movements’ deemed obscene and capable of violating public morality, was pushed through by Islamic parties despite stiff opposition and years of rancorous debate. ]

  2. Like I presume, Mr. Hat, I’ll be seated alone in front of the TV, watching the Liberal party devouring its young.

    My entre hopefully will be Howard on toast.

  3. Re 1040,

    Adam in Canberra
    Posted Monday, December 8, 2008 at 11:53 am | Permalink
    #1036, Julie I’m sorry to see you hate your native country so much. For that as for much else I blame George W Bush. I hope once he is gone you will get over it.

    It isn’t hate for America. I felt this way before GB came to power. It is love for Australia and as such, I can see my country of birth without rose coloured glassses on. If you like it so much, you go live there.

  4. Fulvio, just remember Howard was in for longer than Keating and Whitlam combined and made more of a mark on mainstream Australia!

    A good glass of red to see off a good Prime Minister at 8:30pm tonight!

  5. [Fulvio, just remember Howard was in for longer than Keating and Whitlam combined and made more of a mark on mainstream Australia!]
    LOL! Yeah right. Whitlam fixed us socially, Keating fixed us economically.

  6. ShowsOn,

    The first even broadcast will be Obama’s inauguration

    Bloody hell ……. Grrrrrrr ……. I’ll be half way across the Nullarbor, out of communication …… Grrrrr again …… the best I can do for news from the middle of January to Australia Day is 1) in the US have my brother save newsprint editions of several newspapers for Inauguration stories and read them a month after the fact when I get his mail in Perth and 2) for Australia news, the ABC once an hour on the top of the hour during the day and what free to air I can manage in hotels/motels across Australia …….

  7. If all it took was a good glass of red to see him off, Glen, I would have sent him a tanker load of quality plonk twelve years ago!

  8. The one thing we can be sure of on the Howard Years tonight is that Tony Smith will complain about Howard not giving to Costello and saying how upset Cossie was…

  9. [The one thing we can be sure of on the Howard Years tonight is that Tony Smith will complain about Howard not giving to Costello and saying how upset Cossie was…]
    And Costello blaming Howard for all his character flaws.

  10. Interviewing Tony Smith must have been so laborious.
    His comments are hardly required we know how pissed Costello was when he never got to be PM.

  11. [A-SPAN will initially be available in Sydney…….

    That’s what I said.

    I have absolutely no idea why it can’t be included with the ABC2 multiplex.

    Standard definitions channels are currently broadcast with a very high bitrate 18,000 Kbps. Thats almost double the highest bitrate DVDs can take. I see no reason why they couldn’t drop the bitrate, and include a second channel on the ABC2 frequency.

  12. [I have absolutely no idea why it can’t be included with the ABC2 multiplex.]

    What does ABC2 have to do with it? It’s not an ABC venture. It’s a private operation by Foxtel, Austar and SkyNews. I presume that means it will have ads. Also, this is those companies first step into the digital FTA market which means the first time they’re leasing terrestrial towers and buying radio bandwidth. A limited initial rollout makes sense in that context.

  13. I like how they are going to show the US Congress, NZ Parliament and British Parliament…i hope they include the Canadian House of Commons should be roudy next year!

  14. 1166,

    Don’t know if you were watching the launch of this live just before midday (from 11am onwards) but they showed a 10 minute or so promo film to explain how it will work, what they will be showing, etc. etc. The clip of the NZ Parliament showed some guy who I could best describe as dressed in native clothing? 😉 ……. so lots of interesting experiences in watching others parliaments ….


    That is not so

    IF anyone breached your comment , it was Diogenes (although I didn’t actualy think he did in context) who wrote directly to me this morning & afternoon , after your post

    I then replied to his post , as I’m entitled to do (and corrected his wrong Wiki defintion)

  16. Abbot currently onthe 7.30 Report claiming that Labor is spending “10 years of accunulated surpluses”…

    WTF? Accumulated? Howard got rid of his surpluses as fast as he raked them in.

    Poor pathetic fools. Did they worry about their Baby Bonuses being spent on booze? Pokies?


  17. And William Bowe

    I also notice diogenes was able to then make a further inaccurate post …..followed by th usual mispresentation nonsense spam of ShowsOn

    If there is a rule , it needs to be both ways

  18. That ABC report was ridiculous.

    Starts out with one of the most respected economists in Australia, Saul Eslake, echoing the opinions of every other economist I’ve heard in the public sphere saying that this is best form of stimulus that could be given by the government.

    Somehow, from that, Brissendon manages to make it into a question of “Is it?? Are all the economists right or is Turnbull right?”

    Wait a second, Turnbull supports the package! But if it only creates a “moderate” boost it will have failed. In which case the government should have opted for tax-cuts instead.

    This guy really knows his rainmaker stuff.

  19. Now Turnbull conveniently forgets about the pensioners lol and says tax cuts would have been better for the economy than the $10.4 billion stimulus.


    The only time Diogenes has been wrong since Nov 1 as far as I know is his tip Zipping in the Melbourne Cup. Of course my tip, the stablemate at 26.00, came in third. 🙂

  20. [Now Turnbull conveniently forgets about the pensioners lol and says tax cuts would have been better for the economy than the $10.4 billion stimulus.]
    That’s because – according to his side of politics – tax cuts are the universal answer to all problems.

    Even in the U.S. some Republicans think the way out of this economic crisis is for a lowering of capital gains tax, even though the economic conditions means there aren’t capital gains to tax.

  21. Tax cuts are not the way out of this crisis as respected economists such as Easlake have said.

    However this crisis does show what an absurd tax on capital gains truly is.

    Fasten the seat belts guys, where heading towards the downhill section of the (Howard Years) ride.

  22. It’s not too bad, Oz. From my totally selfish perspective, they’re not doing the east-west road tunnel connection, so 10 out of 09 for that. There’s probably not enough for public transport and too long a lead time for some projects, and again with the road spending, already. Rudd and Brumby turned the first sod on an upgrade to the Western Ring Road yesterday, which should help, as should the project on shifting freight from the port and getting heavy trucks out of Yarraville.

  23. “The only time Diogenes has been wrong since Nov 1 as far as I know is his tip Zipping in the Melbourne Cup. Of course my tip, the stablemate at 26.00, came in third”

    Well clearly you nothing about how many times he has been wrong nor th diog ‘you were wrong’ ledger of errors complied by FINNS

    As for racing , ar either of yous in th know …Zipping well back in field , normal ‘lib’ Diogenes….my horse Bauer 2nd losing my a nose , with electro charging

  24. I have to admit a selfish infrastructure skeleton in my own closet: the Sydney North-West Metro runs practically underneath my house! At only 30 metres underground!

    Lest youse think this is a Nimby approach…my suburb gets nothing from it, except noise, vibration and destruction of virgin bushland.

    That’s why I’m REALLY glad the NW Metro goes not ahead.

  25. Zipping was robbed. There were dark forces working against him. I’m almost positive I saw Ron at Flemington with a horse whistle. 😈

  26. juliem,

    He’s done nothing to implement Labor’s election policy of 20% renewable energy by 2020 and whilst dallying he has sat back and watched Australia’s only solar plant go offshore and the loss of hundreds of workers in the industry, and at the same time, is subsidising and giving support packages to coal and metal workers.

    A decade of neglect under Howard put our head on the chopping block in terms of renewable energy and unless Garrett acts very quickly, like he promised, he’ll drop the guillotine.

  27. The east-west road tunnel had a lot of folk really fired up. We’ve got No Road Tunnel placards in most windows up and down the street, and we’re not the people who would have been the most closely affected. I think Labor may have gotten whiff of electoral vulnerability in normally safe Labor areas. My brother and sister-in-law, who’ve never been politically active in their lives, became so in relation to this proposal, and while they, like me would see hell freeze over before voting Lib., have been very impressed with how the Greens have been active while the local Labor MP equivocated and wouldn’t show up for community consultations or locked out significant groups from other community consultations. They were quite shocked. Me, not so much, having worked for a Labor controlled council during the Whitlam years.

  28. Oz

    The Rudd Government is endlessly sooking about being called all talk and no action. If you look at Water, Renewable Energy, ETS and Carbon Emission reduction, Wong, Garrett and Rudd seem to be doing a fantastic job of masterly inactivity. If it’s just an impression, it’s a bloody good one.

  29. dave
    great article
    I never knew that tidbit but it certainly fits the meme of an obsession with power for powers sake

    “so far”

  30. Gus,

    We all run into a lot a different types of people in out lives. I simply cannot recall a pathological liar to the degree little johnnie coward.

    Certainly in a select class by that measurement

  31. Will not watch this one and have not watched any of the others.

    I have no desire to hear that dead, mechanical, uninflected and monotonous voice again!

    But Fiberals crying does seem like a good start 🙂

  32. god I miss smacked bottom (wish i could remember who tagged dolly so)
    the best stockinged minister australia has ever had

  33. Best one-liners by Australian PMs competition:

    “Because, mate, I want to do you slowly.” (Keating to Hewson)
    “The idiot sun of the aristocracy.” (Keating on Downer)
    “A lying c*** with a limited future.” (Hawke on Hayden)
    “One of the last to betray you in a crisis.” (Whitlam’s defintion of a ‘close personal friend.’)
    “Last year he promised you the sun, the moon and the stars. This year he has left out some of the stars.” (Menzies on Evatt)

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