Action-packed mid-week stop-gap thread

So much going on at the moment that it can’t wait for the next opinion poll post:

• Brendan Nelson’s announcement he will vacate his blue-ribbon northern Sydney seat of Bradfield at the next election could initiate another of the classic preselection clashes for the NSW branch of the Liberal Party has become justly famous in recent years. Party sources quoted by Imre Salusinszky of The Australian say the preselection will be “the most open and hotly contested since Bronwyn Bishop succeeded Jim Carlton in the neighbouring seat of Mackellar in 1994”, with no clear front-runner and neither Right or Left controlling the seat. However, it is also “understood party bigwigs are intent on avoiding a repeat of the preselection debacle in 2007 in the southern Sydney seat of Cook”. Salusinszky’s report floated the possibility of his paper’s conservative pundit Janet Albrechtsen taking the field, but she promptly ruled herself out. Live possibilities apparently include another connection with The Australian in Tom Switzer, former opinion page editor and staffer to Nelson; Arthur Sinodinos, John Howard’s legendary chief-of-staff; Nick Farr-Jones, former rugby union international; Julian Leeser, executive director of the Menzies Research Centre; Geoff Selig, former state party president; Alister Henskens, barrister and local party office-holder; David Elliott, former Australian Hotels Association deputy chief executive; Paul Blanch, a sheep farmer who ran in Calare in 2004; and, as always, Adrienne Ryan, former Ku-ring-gail mayor and ex-wife of former police commissioner Peter Ryan. The Sydney Morning Herald reports we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for a result:

A state executive meeting tomorrow is likely to discuss the timetable for the preselection race but because of a redistribution of seats in NSW, the final ballot will not be held until the end of the year. Because of that, most Liberal insiders believe the final candidate has yet to emerge.

• The Electoral Commissioner’s federal electoral determination has been published, confirming redistributions will need to occur to remove a seat from New South Wales and add one to Queensland. There seems to be some confusion abroard as to whether this scotches any chance of an election this year. As Antony Green explains, it is indeed the case that Queensland cannot be deprived of the seat which it is constitutionally entitled to at the next election now that the determination has been made, and it is indeed true that a redistribution process takes the better part of a year. However, the Electoral Act lays out a set of procedures for “mini-redistributions” in these circumstances, in which the two most or least heavily enrolled adjoining electorates in the state are either divided into three or merged into two. This has never happened before, and there would be obvious political difficulties in justifying an election held under such slapdash arrangements if it could possibly be avoided.

• Could Western Australia’s May 16 daylight saving referendum be the catalyst for a super Saturday of state by-elections? It certainly seems war clouds are gathering over the electorates of the two most powerful figures in the defeated Carpenter government: Jim McGinty, the member for Fremantle, and Alan Carpenter himself, who holds the neighbouring seat of Willagee (surely I have not so pleased the Lord that He would grant me neighbouring same-day by-elections in my own backyard?). According to Jenny D’Anger of the Fremantle Herald:

In the face of persistent rumours that veteran state Labor MP Jim McGinty is about to trigger a by-election for Fremantle by announcing his retirement, the Greens have called a war cabinet to talk tactics and anoint a candidate. It is all but certain they will choose South Fremantle’s Adele Carles, who came within a whisker of taking the seat at last year’s state election … Ms Carles says if the powerbroker is considering calling it quits he should do it so the by-election can coincide with the daylight saving referendum in May, saving thousands of dollars … The tom-toms have been beating for weeks that Fremantle mayor Peter Tagliaferri was the shoe-in as Labor’s choice to replace Mr McGinty. But more recently a senior union figure has emerged as a front-runner, which a Labor insider says had Mr Tagliaferri threatening to run as an independent (Word around the campfire is that this refers to Dave Kelly, one of McGinty’s successors at the LHMWU – PB). The Herald’s Labor source said Alan Carpenter also had to be taken into account: If the former premier decides to quit politics the union figure may prefer Mr Carpenter’s safe Willagee seat, which is not threatened by the Greens. This would leave Fremantle open for Mr Tagliaferri. But both Mr McGinty and Mr Tagliaferri are denying a by-election is imminent. “It’s no more than rumour-mongering,” Mr McGinty barked down the phone, adding he stood by the Herald’s report last November that he had no plans to go early but was unlikely to run again in 2013.

• Killjoy Harry Quick has gone back on his threat to run against Treasurer Michael Aird as Greens candidate in the looming upper house election for Derwent. According to the ABC, Quick says “his family has played second fiddle to his political aspirations for too long”. An earlier report said he was “understood to be ready withdraw his nomination due to family pressure to stay true to the Labor Party”.

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.

1,270 comments on “Action-packed mid-week stop-gap thread”

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  1. “Ron!! … I was clear in writing that only if Pakistan were opposed,…”

    well mex , they ar opposed and publicly , so thats why Obama’s actions (AND Bush’s prev missile attacks lus Cia operatives crossing ) ar an ilegal missile attack on another countrys sovegn soil against there express wishs

    There reasons ar there right is reel answer Mex beemer There internal reasons too numerous to nmenton here but include trying to kep there Country as one , limit spread of extemist muslimism throughtout musli Pakistan , there prev Dictator proped up by US played both sides & didn;t get at Northern trouble makers early enoug , there’s social & econamic problams in north and customs to contend with etc etc

    Then tactics , like nothing will unit peoples behind Talaban than a FOREIGN (already disliked super power , being US ) “invading”there siovereign country ….and if apart from above specific problams if Govt sided with th Satan , then Govt gets eakend and unrest extemeism spreads deeper into Pkistan My worry is this Pakistan Govt mob do hav operational nukes right now & US ilegal actions ar making tham look ‘compliant’ or week to Pakistan peoples allowing such ‘invasions’ There’s a few reasons…and all those exclam things you put after my name , they for friendships

  2. Thanks for the link to Hewson’s job on Costello! That is a full frontal appraisal If I have ever seen one, I agree with the bulk of it but was Costello that lazy as Treasurer when you compare him to the work performance of other Howard Ministers

  3. Ron!! You are right in the reasons for Pakistan’s wanting to keep the country together and free of extremism I would suggest that approach is not working but time will tell.

  4. [Clinton to China: Avoid our mistakes in climate
    By Cui Xiaohuo and Zhang Haizhou (
    Updated: 2009-02-21 16:48

    BEIJING — Visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pushed forward a US-China partnership on fighting the global warming here on Saturday, as environmental deterioration has become a security issue for the world.

    “What we hope is you don’t make the same mistake we made, because I don’t think either Chinese and the world can afford that,” she noted, referring to the price the industrialized world has paid on environmental deterioration.]

    Hillary, You tell them. There is hope for the world. She is the only shining star in the Obama Admin right at this moment.

  5. Mex beemer , thats where cleer diplomacy , aid to actualk pvery peoples from US to fill there stomachs and not be angry , and a velvet glove ar needed Force rarely alone acheives anything except entrecnhing oand then strenghenin ‘resistanse’ fighters (incl extremeist Talaban)

  6. In theory you may be right except for one thing the people behind 9/11 are not interested on feeding the hungry for they aim to convert the world to their ideals.

  7. William 1208,

    Fair call, but (I really shouldn’t do this), in Glen’s defence it wasn’t strongly derogatory, and in the end I was really more interested in the ‘why’ of Glen than the ‘what’ of Glen (motivation as opposed to substance), and in pursuing that end I was perhaps a tad precious and smart arsey. However, I still feel he could have explained himself better.

  8. Ouch!

    [Moreover, all the polling that I have ever seen or heard of — Liberal, Labor or from wherever — has had you as unelectable.

    This should be enough to convince you, but if not, then you should have an honest look at yourself. You are bone-lazy. Just count your output, press releases/conferences, speeches, electoral visits, and other examples of your work ethic or “availability” compared with (say) Paul Keating when he was treasurer.

    I also doubt that you have the skills, experience or self-confidence to have accepted the obvious job for you, having decided to stay on after losing the last election: namely, shadow treasurer. You’d be lost without Treasury. You may have delivered 11 budgets, but ask yourself honestly how many of them were actually yours, rather than Treasury’s. I am told that Treasury is now drawing a sharp contrast between your little interest and involvement and that of Wayne Swan.

    You should also recognise that your indulgent “memoirs” released recently did not provide the platform from which you had obviously hoped to be drafted. They were received with a yawn. They are most unlikely to be a best-seller. Indeed, they were already being sold at a discount in my local bookstore in just a few days.]

  9. This is quite a broadside from Hewson. Using the bug 16 inch guns too. I wonder how Costello will react to this.

    We could be in for some great duelling over the next few days. Great sport, what?

  10. I would say by the deluge of “media beatups”, as Glen called it. Turnbull’s leadership and Cossie’s delusion of leadership are terminal. Next please.

  11. [Disloyal, lazy, no balls: it’s time to move on, Peter]

    Oh my gosh

    I think the time has come for the libs to have a bex and a good old lie down.

    ps hewson

  12. I cannot remember the last time someone has given a sitting MP from their own side such a bucketing.

    Costa had a go at Rees & co but this is more brutal then that and by Liberal Party standards this is extreme, this is nearly ALP standard.

  13. hewson on the hammock king –

    [You are bone-lazy. Just count your output, press releases/conferences, speeches, electoral visits, and other examples of your work ethic or “availability” compared with (say) Paul Keating when he was treasurer.]

    Wow! Hewson says Keating was a better people person, what a monumental sledge for Cossie.

  14. Pica!! This has so many points to it its clear Hewson wants Costello gone, I’m wondering is this designed to help Turnbull

  15. “what a monumental sledge for Cossie.”

    abit exaggerated there I suggest you re -read it very careful

    Hewson actualy seems to be holding back and giving Costello some respect and th benefit of th doubt

  16. mxbeema, (and any body else)

    Do you know anything about the relationship between Turnbull and Hewson? Are they aligned in any way?

  17. And a couple of quick pot shots in Howard’s direction before he finishes Costello with a shot to the cajollies.

    [Both sides of politics know from painful experience that disunity is death in politics, although, like you I’m sure, I found it a bit galling to hear Howard saying so, having been disloyal to, and sought to undermine, every leader that he ever worked for.]


    [After the damage that you have done, the best you can now do to help our chances is to leave.]

  18. To a point Hewson is keeping it polite but if we look at this in corporate language this would be considered a very nasty reference!

  19. This is the most incredible implosion of a political party I have ever heard of or seen.

    The Federal Liberal Party is no more, there remains just the dismembered limbs of what was once an intact but rotting carcass.

    It’s over.

    Plant the Cross.

  20. [By Invitation Only is a space for people of influence to have their say. Edited by Kerry-Anne Walsh.]

    You’re welcome back anytime, Dr John.

  21. Pica!! I would be guessing but they both represented Wentworth and I’m guessing Hewson is still a member of the Wentworth Liberal Party even if that was not the case they would share a similar professional maybe social network as well.

  22. Ron

    When in political circles is the expression ‘bone-lazy’ anything but a huge sledge? Esp. if it’s coming from your own side? Sod the nuances, this thing will be read as a Hewson knife job on Cossie, there’s no need for a Kremlinologist to decipher this, its a monumental sledge.

  23. To use corporate language “bone-lazy” is a massive sledge remembering business types like to appear professional meaning polite.

  24. GOODNESS ME! Tickle me pink and talk about the pot calling the kettle black! I have never seen such nonsense from John Hewson in my life. Take a chill pill Hewy! God knows what he will write if Costello does become PM!

  25. Obviously the learned commentators here do not understand the nuance of the article

    Hewson almost singlehandedly destroyed the libs-he is trying to regain cred by attacking costello and rather childishly considering hewson own record

  26. Bree!! Hewson has just supplied the ALP with a massive weapon to use on Costello, the voters will not care except they will note that a Liberal is calling another Liberal bone lazy and that will hurt Costello.

  27. Yes Gusface you are correct and this will further hurt Hewson’s standing in the Liberal Party and associated business community which makes me think this mayb be a move to support Turnbull, for this article is extensive in its attack which makes me wonder what if any input did Turnbull have.

    Hewson will know that this will not look good.

  28. Kerry-Anne Walsh is trying to make out that it is only because Bishop is a female that she got turfed out of the Shadow Treasurer position. I’ve got news for K-A W.

    Bishop got the chop because all those things you consider of no consequence are actually of consequence. Being female had nothing or very little to do with it. Julia seems to be cutting it ok and it’s tough going in the ALP I can assure you.

    [ THERE was a certain inevitability about Julie Bishop’s demise as shadow treasurer. Not because she was incompetent. She wasn’t. Not because she handled herself badly, made shocking errors or backstabbed her leader. Ditto, ditto, ditto.

    Bishop wasn’t a bad performer. Yes, she made a few stumbles but the one that was most often thrown at her – plagiarism of a Wall Street Journal article – was a cut-and-paste mistake by a staffer.

    Kevin Rudd was accused this week of borrowing somebody else’s observations and plonking them into an essay he penned over the Christmas break. -But there was barely a murmur in relation to the claims, compared with the haranguing of Bishop, which helped force her resignation on Monday.

    There wouldn’t be a politician in Canberra who hasn’t had a staffer write a speech or essay for them. Does this make it plagiarism because it is not their own words?

    One of the biggest things Bishop had in her way was her gender. It was all well and good to make her deputy leader – a political play under Dr Brendan Nelson, which owed much to gender politics – but whoa!

    Under Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership she went that audacious one step further and seized a portfolio that blokes firmly believe belongs to blokes. Women should take social policy or softer jobs than Treasury. Don’t give ’em the country’s purse strings, for crying out loud.

    Bishop was never given a chance to grow into the job, as, say, Wayne Swan was allowed to do after a nervous start in Treasury.]

    Yeah, but after 5 months in the job Swan was already well into preparing his first budget and was performing well in the job before that. Wayne wasn’t accused of plagiarism or the litany of other gaffs that Bishop made.

  29. mexicanbeemer @ 1236

    John Hewson is the Liberal version of Mark Latham. He is a sick bitter man. He is just jealous that Peter Costello was the longest serving Treasurer and that he still has a chance of becoming PM, unlike him. Most Australians won’t take this article by Hewson very seriously. He was soundly rejected by Australia in 1993. This Hewson attack will make Costello even more glossy!

  30. Gusface,

    Fair nuff, and I understand that Hewson is a spent battery politically speaking, but in the current climate it’s unavoidable that most observers, from the less to more interested, will chalk this article up as another instance of the internal warfare that is ripping the LIBs apart. The fact that Hewson and his legacy don’t matter doesn’t mean his pronouncements in the current climate don’t matter; he’s very deliberately stoking the fire. I reckon it matters regardless of his hypocrascy, 😉

  31. [This Hewson attack will make Costello even more glossy!]

    Actually Bree it will just drag both further into the quagmire known as irrelevance

    Hewson dont want to dwell in purgatory on his own and is trying to ensure he has a playmate.

  32. [I reckon it matters regardless of his hypocrascy, ]

    I think it wil matter to the trogs fighting for the “hearts and minds” of the libs.

    To the ALP is just a bit of bumfluff polished as analysis,poor at that

    to joe avg its- who the hell was hewson and whats rattled his cake (pun intended)

  33. Hewson: “You know Howard was never in any position to deliver, even if he ever recognised that he had made such a “core” promise.”

    He even attacks Howard. Hewson is nothing but a Turnbull lover. Turnbull probably asked Hewson to write this. Howard might come out in the next few days and condemn this Hewson rubbish.

  34. [the “hearts and minds” of the libs]

    do they have both?

    [just a bit of bumfluff polished as analysis]

    hard to disagree with such delicate phraseology! I tip my hat to you sir.

  35. Bree
    I can, with afair degree of confidence, assure you that hewson aint a turnbull lover

    The attack is to restore some cred to hewson

    all else is just incidental

    Ps- hewson actually is quite gutless to wait soooo long to voice his feelings.

  36. pica

    I am neither lib nor lab when it comes to integrity.

    I despise the ones who,when thrust out of the spotlight, seek to gain relevance from others “pain”

    As much as I dislike costello (well known on this site) I think a certain level of caution is prudent when a complete and utter failure like hewson tries to “man up’

    he had his chance whilst howie was in power and wimped it then,now it is just pure grandstanding by a rather ineffectual character who opened the gates for howard and his minions

    eternal damnation for hewson- not matter what his “remorse”

  37. [Howard might come out in the next few days and condemn this Hewson rubbish.]

    Bree, I’d be willing to bet that Howard won’t touch it with a barge pole. Hewson is an ex staffer of Howard and would have enough on him to forever destroy the little remnants of his “so-called” legacy.

  38. What a load of 1970’s style feminist crapola this Kerry Anne Walsh is spouting

    Bishop was given the second top job. Twice.

    She proved herself to be incompetent, parrot like, and intellectually and tactically sterile.

    She got sacked. Get over it.

    This whining appeal for sympathy on the grounds she was victimised over her sex is codswallop, pure and simple.

    The allegation of “plagiarism” on the part of Rudd was dismissed for one simple reason: it wasn’t plagiarism. It was a fully accredited quotation. Even the febrile mind of the press, other than the Australian and a half witted radio announcer in Western Australia, refused to run with it.

    I am so over the aging remnants of the sisterhood trying to resurrect their glory years, those years long ago when they at least had something they could legitimately complain about.

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