Itchy trigger fingers

Seems Morgan are having one of their occasional weeks off. Plenty of federal preselection action to report, as the parties prepare contingencies for a potential early election:

The Australian’s Michael Owen reports South Australian Labor is finalising its federal preselections, which “senior factional figures” link to a potential early election. Mia Handshin is keen to run again, either in a second tilt at Sturt or where Nicole Cornes failed in Boothby. Cornes herself has found an interesting new line of work as an industrial officer for the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association, but is “unlikely to win preselection”. A “senior ALP figure” nonetheless claims she is a genuine future prospect. Owen also reckons Labor Senator Dana Wortley faces electoral oblivion through “moves to relegate her to an unwinnable third spot”, although it was from that unwinnable position that she actually won her seat in 2004.

• Institute of Public Affairs director John Roskam has withdrawn from the contest to succeed Petrio Georgiou as Liberal candidate for Kooyong. He has thrown his support behind industrial relations lawyer John Pesutto, who looms as a threat to merchant banker Josh Frydenberg’s long-held designs on the seat. Rick Wallace of The Australian reports Pesutto also has the support of Ted Baillieu, who angered the Frydenberg camp by attending a function they “claim was to support Mr Pesutto”. Wallace also notes the June preselection will be “one of the first carried out under the Liberal Party’s new constitution, which empowers all eligible members within a seat to vote instead of only specially chosen delegates”. Andrew Landeryou at VexNews is told that “many of them … will be swinging votes with a history of supporting Baillieu/Petro or at least having a significant amount of affection for them or an in-built objection to the recruiting enthusiasms of Joshua”.

• Another interesting preselection for the Victorian Liberals looms in the eastern suburbs seat of Deakin, where two former members are hoping to make a comeback. One is Phil Barresi, who lost the seat to Labor’s Mike Symon in 2007. The other is Ken Aldred, whose eccentric reign extended from 1990 until his preselection defeat by Barresi in 1996. Aldred won a preselection ballot in Holt ahead of the 2007 election, but it was overturned by wiser heads in the party. Rounding out the field of known contenders is Deanna Ryall, a “local businesswoman”. Labor holds the seat with a margin of 1.4 per cent.

• New Queensland Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek foreshadows a more “flexible” approach than his predecessor in negotiating fixed four-year terms, improving the prospects for a referendum on the matter during the current term. Langbroek says it is not a priority, but Anna Bligh has apparently put the matter “on the agenda”. A referendum in 1991 for unfixed four-year terms was defeated with a 51.2 per cent no vote.

Antony Green on the slow death of the election night tally room:

The next South Australian election will be the first conducted without a tallyroom. Both Victoria and NSW have also decided not to hold tallyroms at state elections due in November 2010 and March 2011. These state decisions may yet play a part in deciding whether free to air broadcasters attend the next Federal tallyroom. There were serious noise problems in the tallyroom in 2007, Sky News already bases its coverage from studio, and hosting from a studio would save the ABC and other free-to-air broadcasters considerable amounts of money and allow greater use of studio technology.

• I am maintaining elsewhere progressively updated posts on two looming electoral events: the May 16 Fremantle by-election and May 2 Tasmanian upper house elections.

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.

759 comments on “Itchy trigger fingers”

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  1. I actually think that at this stage, unless there are really significant changes with the government’s legislation, The Greens won’t vote for it.

    I don’t really think this is a point worth arguing over as it’s pretty much just our own opinion but when I look at what the Greens are saying both publicly and privately, it doesn’t bode well for the passage of the legislation.

    Garnaut , who’s no environmental radical, himself believes it’s too close to call. What do you reckon the feeling is of The Greens then…

  2. Brown will be looking for a “Hail Mary” play on ETS. He’s spent years in the Senate and never achieved anything much depsite his reputation. At 65 and looking down the barrell of political and personal demise he will want to go out with something he can call his own.

    Who can help him achieve this?


  3. [Garnaut , who’s no environmental radical, himself believes it’s too close to call.]
    I don’t get it, the Greens and their advocates insist the 5% – 15% is CLEARLY insufficient. How come Garnaut says it’s line ball then? How come there is that room for doubt?
    If it is line ball surely it is better to do something rather than nothing.

  4. I think there’s a high chance the Greens will oppose the CPRS bill if Labor won’t budge on 5-15%/2020, which I doubt we will. In which case it will go down, and we will have to wait until 2011 to do anything, while the climate clock will go on ticking. With a new Senate in 2011 it may then be possible to get a bill with higher targets up, but the carbon lobby will be just as powerful then as they are now, so re-selling a bill with higher targets won’t be easy and will entail yet more delay. The more we faff around now the bigger the mountain we have to climb later.

  5. I apologetically (due to thread crossover) refer to pedant from the previous thread:

    My memory of the 1969 campaign is a little rusty, …

    Get thee to the nearest purveyor of fil-um and aquaint yourself thoroughly with the most accurate surviving documentary of that election: Don’s Party!

  6. [I don’t get it, the Greens and their advocates insist the 5% – 15% is CLEARLY insufficient. How come Garnaut says it’s line ball then?]

    Because Garnaut is not The Greens?

    And I don’t think Garnaut is talking specifically about targets but the broader parts of the ETS which he argued against in his report. Specifically, limiting free permits and splitting the money raised between compensating households and investing in renewable. And of course there’s the other points regarding it’s structure – ignoring individual efforts, overcompensating increases in petrol etc.

  7. [but the carbon lobby will be just as powerful then as they are now, so re-selling a bill with higher targets won’t be easy and will entail yet more delay.]

    I find it depressing that you’re openly admitting that the ETS is designed to make it attractive to polluting industries rather than what’s good for the environment or what the people of Australia actually want.

    Implementing strong targets is not something that needs to be “sold” to the voters, the ones that elect the government, so the government should tell the short-sighted business groups to get stuffed.

  8. Oz,

    Dose yourself up with some reality.

    Then rejoin the debate with something other than invective for your fellow Australians.

  9. [Because Garnaut is not The Greens?]
    Not my point. If it is clearly an inadequate ETS then someone like Garnaut should be saying that also. He isn’t.
    [And I don’t think Garnaut is talking specifically about targets but the broader parts of the ETS which he argued against in his report.]
    We don’t know? So the targets maybe ok? He may not be objecting to the targets set?

  10. [An Advertiser survey reveals all but two of the 27 Government and Opposition ministers and shadow ministers have at least one traffic fine on their driving records.]

    Bob, wonder if they did a survey of Adelaide journalists would they came up with similar results? The Advertiser is getting weird following that line.

  11. [tell the short-sighted business groups to get stuffed.]
    Only the Greens can ignore the political consequences and go in boots and all.

  12. Whig Party

    Ecological wisdom
    Social justice
    Grassroots democracy

    1. Could mean anything. I’m in favour of sound and sustainable environmental policies – see ALP platform
    2. I’m in favour of social justice – see ALP platform.
    3. No, I’m in favour of parliamentary democracy. Most people have better things to do with their time than go to endless meetings, and are happy to have politicians be bored on their behalf.
    4. No, I’m in favour of world peace through armed deterrance and the use of force against evil-doers as required.

  13. Tears ptui. Both my grandfathers served in both world wars, and both my parents served in WW2. (My maternal grandfather is the second image in that YouTube clip, purloined from my website without permission.) All would have regarded such maudlin defeatist sentimentality as Eric Bogle’s dirges with utter contempt.

  14. I thought Labor were going to discontinue the first home owners grant. I just heard on the newsflash after the footy that they may extend it. So where does that leave Turnbull and Bishop? First they supported it, then they were against it, then they supported it. I suppose now they may have to be against it again?

    Btw I saw both League games and Vera if you are there? The Broncos will make mince meat and rabbit stew out of your bunnies when they play!

  15. On that FHOG a couple of days ago they were saying it would end but in the budget there might be something leaning more towards new building.

  16. [Discussion groups in capital cities and regional centres in March 2009 were negative about stimulus measures, particularly the cash hand-outs. Criticisms included: “It’s meant to make Kevin Rudd look good, that’s all”; “The stimulus package is not a solution. It worries me deeply” and “How are we going to pay it back? Who’s going to pay for it? Our grandkids?”]
    The polls must have it all wrong then.

  17. Speaking of the budget, the Liberals are going to be so ROYALLY WEDGED over Labor taxing the rich to fund pension increases. How are they going to justify blocking that one – hilarious!

  18. GB, It was OK for Howard to splash handouts when unnecessary but it isn’t for Rudd when it is necessary. If Howard hadn’t wasted the money in the first place, we probably could have avoided going so much into deficit.

  19. GG, you catholics have the big families. I went to school with a couple of Catholic girls, one had 11 kids in her family the other had 14 🙂
    Just got through reading that article you posted before I hit the hay.
    This is unbeleivable!
    [More starkly, the Treasury reported that from the 2004-05 budget to the 2007 election, the China boom and a robust economy had added $334 billion in windfall gains to the budget surplus.

    Of this, the Howard government spent, or gave away in tax cuts, $314 billion, or 94 per cent.]

  20. Adam,

    One at a time. No batching possible. You’ll be pleased to know I get lots of affection and tousled hair, but absolutely no respect.

    However, the Head bitch has organised a legalised gelding.

    Apparently, she’s worked out where the brood came from.

  21. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir looks like winning. Well in coalition with the Left/Greens. Lesbian Lefties are taking over the world. Oh and her name is pronounced “Raymond Luxury Yacht”

  22. The Left will probably win because they had the good luck not to be in government when the economy completely collapsed. They won’t be able to do very much since the country is bankrupt. They will join the EU as fast as possible (abandoning a 50-year policy of rugged independence) so they can get on the EU fiscal tit and live as pensioners of the German and British taxpayers. All rather sad really, but it’s obviously kharmic revenge for inflicting Byerk on the world.

    Good night.

  23. Adam:

    I agree with you about Eric Bogle – you also once gave the best smack down ever about Green-related pacifists – “If we’d listened to such people during WWII, we would never have stood up to Hitler, because ‘innocent German civilians’ were being killed by Allied bombing”

  24. TWP,

    So how do you celebrate Anzac Day? I’m pretty sure that Australian leftists and rightists were slain in equal opportunity batches.

    I’m equally sure that people can celebrate any way they like. If you don’t like Bogle, fine. But, there is no need to bring a bad hair day down on everybody.

    Maybe it is a day for reflection and review for all and not an excuse to propogate an ideological agenda.

  25. I would partly agree with some of the above.

    All wars are not equal and arguing from one war to all wars is a risky business. I believe I was write to actively oppose the Iraq War and the Vietnam War. Between them they killed about 2 million people. Not a light matter.

    Of the other wars Australia has engaged in:
    1. The Boer War – very silly for Australians to go over and killed for some greedy british goldbugs and mad imperialists.
    2. World War 1. Australia should have avoided getting pointlessly slaughtered in this war.
    3. World War 2. Stopping Hitler was a worthwhile objective but not at the cost of us being what was it? Seventh or Eighth on the list of British War Priorities. I would, on balance, have supported our entry into that war. But the ‘freedom’ thing is greatly overdone. The heavy lifting in that war was done by ally Stalin who was even more blood-drenched than Hitler. Japan would probably, but not certainly, have forced us into that war later.
    4. Korean War. Should not have joined it.
    5. Vietnam War. Should not have joined it.
    6. Iraq War. should not have joined it.
    7. Afghanistan War. I have changed my views on this as it has gone along. My main point now would be that we should not have joined it unless there was a reasonable prospect that our allies would allocate sufficienct resources to do the job properly. No point in fighting a loosing war.
    So, out of the 7, maybe the Second World War would have been an on-balance Join. The Afghanistan War was an on balance Join but the balance is looking not too good with the resources currently applied.

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