Don’t ask me how, but Peter Brent at Mumble seems to have the scoop on Newspoll. Labor’s lead is up slightly on a fortnight ago, from 55-45 to 56-44. Better news for them still on the primary vote, up four points to 46 per cent with the Coalition down one to 34 per cent. Despite this, Kevin Rudd has recorded his weakest personal ratings since October, his approval down six points to 58 per cent and his disapproval up five to 31 per cent. Malcolm Turnbull’s position has improved, his approval up four points to 40 per cent and his disapproval down three to 42 per cent. Kevin Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed from 64-19 to 58-24.
1,580 comments on “Newspoll: 56-44”
I do like your avatar, William, but does it mean you’re suffering from delusions of grandeur?
I did once, in a previous incarnation, compare Brian to God because he created the world in which we exist.
[To take the immortal words of chopper Reed ” Harden the (SNIP: See article 2 of comment moderation guidelines – The Management) up”]
Do something unpleasant to demonstrate how tough we are? Thought I’d heard it all, but I have to admit that’s a new one.
[jv, what about when Bob Brown employed Christine Milne in his office? Or are they not friends?]
See what I said at 1537 about party members working in electorate offices. The circumstances of party members working in the offices of politicians seems to me to be well accepted by the Australian people, and not seen as a conflict of interest – hence no perception of unethical behaviour. Family members are a different proposition – or if Bob paid a ‘boyfriend’.
#1551: Do you mean Bryan, or are you making an extended point about Monty Python?
Bryan. The one who used to let us blog.
Itep @ 1549
[Backbench MP staffers are not public officials.]
Backbench MPs are – and they have the purse strings.
[What is the conflict of interest?]
Between paying public money to a family member and not.
This discussion shows a great deal of ignorance about what MPs’ offices are for. They are there to serve the MP and no other reason. They are not businesses, thay are not a branch of the public service, they are not service providers. The essential criterion for employment is that the MP trusts you and that you are competent to do whatever it is the MP wants you to do. If the only person the MP trusts is his mother, then so what? I don’t see what “conflict of interest” there can be.
jv do you think the employment Christine Milne in Bob Brown’s office between her election and her employment as a senator could be perceived as a ‘job for the boys’?
Given that you think mere ‘perception’ is enough.
[What is the conflict of interest?
Between paying public money to a family member and not.]
Please define “conflict of interest” for me, and then tell me how this creates one.
The Heysen Molotov @ 1516
Actually they aren’t all members of the union. Labor staffers, unsurprisingly, join the union. Liberal and National staffers, equally unsurprisingly, don’t. I know that Democrat staffers used to join the union and I expect Green staffers do too; with Independents I guess it would vary from case to case.
The point you make is excellent but you have neglected to mention the effects of an extra day of sunlight on Perth. The “urban heat sink” would make Perth a radiator of heat with all those extra photons absorbed and warm southern WA. The effects could have been catastrophic. I suspect the concern for what would be significant AGW was the real reason and I applaud their actions. Of course, the big winners will be Big Coal who can emit more now under Rudd’s ETS. 😉
Malcolm Turnbull caught assaulting shoppers in Karrinyup Shopping Centre.
Was probably trying to cop a feel.
Anyway he should of gone to the other end of the Seat of Stirling and visited the shoppers at Mirrabooka Square.
“What is the conflict of interest?”
Because the Member will benefit by giving a family member a job? The ‘benefit’ need not necessarilly be financial.
Are the staff at an MPs office paid for by the tax-payer?
Sorry I forgot the smiley after the ‘benefit’ line…
[Are the staff at an MPs office paid for by the tax-payer?]
Yes. The taxpayer will be paying the same amount of money regardless of who is being employed with it.
Nepotism is very much a cultural issue and a western concept. In other cultures, such as in the East, the so called Nepotism doesn’t exist. It is called your obligation.
It is your obligation to look after your family, clan and friends, in that order. Everyone accepts it, so there is no issue, no conflict of interest.
Methinks, it is not such a bad idea because you dont expect the State to look after you.
[jv do you think the employment Christine Milne in Bob Brown’s office between her election and her employment as a senator could be perceived as a ‘job for the boys’?
Given that you think mere ‘perception’ is enough.]
Yes, I certainly think it could – now you’re getting it. It isn’t covered by the current ministerial guidelines, but I think that sort of thing should be precluded by a mandatory code broader than the current ministerial code and covering all members.
I’m waiting for someone who understands what the expression “conflict of interest” means to explain to me how employing a relative in an MP’s office constitutes one.
So jv, you think Bob Brown acted unethically in employing Christine Milne in his office?
[Yes. The taxpayer will be paying the same amount of money regardless of who is being employed with it.]
Using that argument, the CEO of the Department of Health could employ all of his family and you’d be happy because the tax payer doesn’t lose any money.
[Please define “conflict of interest” for me, and then tell me how this creates one.]
OK *reaches for top of head* – here goes – A conflict of interest arises in the ethical sense when for example a public official obtains a benefit for him/herself, family or friend from public funds due to the office that public official holds. The conflict there is clear between on the one hand the public interest that should be paramount for the official, and on the other, the benefit he is providing to himseelf and/or those close to him.
If you are interested the St James Ethics Centre is a good resource for such issues – I have attended many sessions for my work over the years:
[A 36-year-old woman imprisoned in Thailand for the “prank” theft of a bar mat has compared her experience to that of convicted drug runner Schapelle Corby.
Montrose mother-of-four Annice Smoel, who was reunited with her family today at Melbourne Airport, says she had endured the worst experience of her life and would never return to Thailand.]
Oh please, another dumb ugly Aussie tourist got herself into trouble and now she wants to compare herself to Schapelle Corby. As a hero or a criminal? If the later, they should put her away at the Bangkok Hilton.
My understanding – as a local councillor – was that a conflict of interest existed where my thinking on an issue could be influenced by personal considerations.
So, for example, I couldn’t be a part of decisions to do with grants to the local sporting club I was the secretary for.
If I voted for it, the perception would be that I did it to curry favour with the rest of that sporting community; if I voted against it, it could be seen as over compensating for my involvement.
In other words, either way my vote could be interpreted as being due to my association with that club.
Now, now, Finns, everyone knows that Schapelle is as pure as the driven snow.
She’s an Australian. She is good looking (apparently). She was in Bali.
[Using that argument, the CEO of the Department of Health could employ all of his family and you’d be happy because the tax payer doesn’t lose any money.]
If they were the people best qualified to do the jobs, I’d be very happy. Of course, in most jobs that is unlikely to be the case. But since the job of an MP’s staffer is to do whatever the MP wants and enjoy the MP’s absolute trust, it may well be that a family member is the best, or perhaps the only, person qualified to do it.
A conflict of interest exists when a person or organisation has competing loyalties. Such as employing a wife with the tax-payers money at $35,000 a year to perform functions such as addressing constituents concerns.
If the spouse is crap at her/his job, the MP has a conflict of interest. Should I sack my wife and cost my family $35,000 and pi$$ off my wife, or should my constituents just suck it up because I like the extra money.
[A conflict of interest exists even if no improper act results from it, and can create an appearance of impropriety that can undermine confidence in the conflicted individual or organization.]
What responsibilties does the backbench MPs staffer have to the general public?
[Should I sack my wife and cost my family $35,000 and pi$$ off my wife, or should my constituents just suck it up because I like the extra money.]
Your wifes’ money is not your own.
For instance, what impact to the general public would there be if I employed my sister as my speech writer?
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