Something for the weekend

Parliament resumes on Monday, bringing with it an end to the silly season. We have had no Morgan this week, but there should be a Newspoll on Tuesday. Monday’s Essential Research poll had Labor’s two-party lead steady on 56-44; rated the relative importance of various issues; found a high level of support for Tony Abbott’s green jobs policy; and showed most respondents agreeing with the opposition after the emissions trading scheme issue was explained to them in a particular way. Other than that:

Antony Green and Possum offer common sense reflections on the state of the opinion polls at the moment. Possum in particular identifies the peculiarity of the 2007 federal result, which alone out of seven observations failed to deliver on a landslide which the polls had shown at long range. The question now facing us is whether the extraordinary factors of 2007 equally apply in 2010 – whatever they might have been.

• A day after Bob McMullan announced he would retire from his seat of Fraser at the next election, Annette Ellis announced she too would be vacating the other safe Labor ACT seat, Canberra. Ousted ACT party secretary Bill Redpath claims national secretary Karl Bitar’s refusal to allow an earlier preselection indicates they were pushed as much as jumped. Christian Kerr of The Australian reports Ellis in particular agreed to go after Left and Right failed to finesse a deal in which the former would take Fraser at the election, and the latter would take Canberra when it became available. Michael Cooney, former adviser to Mark Latham and Kim Beazley and current chief-of staff to ACT Education Minister Andrew Barr, was reportedly all but certain to take Canberra, while Fraser was likely to go to the party’s assistant national secretary Nick Martin. However, a new candidate for Canberra has emerged in Gai Brodtmann, runner of communications firm Brodtmann & Uhlmann Communications and wife of ABC report Chris Uhlmann.

• Peter Lindsay has announced he will vacate his knife-edge marginal Townsville-based seat of Herbert, and readily admits the timing of the announcement was chosen for “strategic reasons”. The Townsville Bulletin reports candidates for Liberal preselection are “thin on the ground”, no doubt reflecting a lack of confidence in Coalition ranks. Townsville deputy mayor David Crisafulli and V8 Supercars event manager Kim Faithful were rated as obvious successors, but both have declined to enter the ring. The one candidate known to have confirmed interest is Colin Dwyer, an economist and unsuccessful candidate for Mundingburra at last year’s state election. The Bulletin also reviews the achievements of Lindsay’s final term: a fact-finding mission encompassing 13 different countries, resulting in a report that plagiarised Wikipedia and featured a Photoshopped image purporting to show Lindsay at a Beirut war cemetery. Labor’s preselection process has turned up 2007 candidate George Colbran, former mayor and long-established local identity Tony Mooney, and Townsville councillor Jenny Hill.

Soraiya Gharahkhani of the Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser reports Paul Nunnari, wheelchair athlete and adviser to state Campbelltown MP Graham West will contest preselection for Macarthur, going up against presumed favourite Nick Bleasdale, the narrowly unsuccessful candidate from 2007.

Michelle Carnovale of the Oakleigh Monash Leader reports Monash councillor Joy Banerji is Labor’s unlikely prospect in Kevin Andrews’ seat of Menzies.

• Those of you who have about 30 seconds to spare are encouraged to fill out Crikey’s website reader survey.

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.

1,289 comments on “Something for the weekend”

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  1. [cats “know when their time has come” and discreetly go off to die somewhere.]

    Our cat of 19 years was blind but still wandered off to die. However a young kid found her and brought her back to our house. After week we sort of realised what she wanted and took her to a vet.

  2. Psephos

    Do you have any idea where Israel gets its Uranium from? It’s not a signatory to the NPT so Oz and Canada wouldn’t sell them it. I can’t imagine Russia or any of the -stans selling it. They used to get some from South Africa during apartheid.

  3. I’m thinking a newspoll of 52/48. The OO would not spruike a poll that had a shift to Labor. And Abbott has had ALOT of positive coverage lately

  4. Oh good, a column by Bob Ellis.

    [(Gillard) then intrigued against her leader Kim Beazley, mustering the numbers to depose him when Labor was on 54 per cent, and installed herself and Rudd as the leadership team that won with 52.7 per cent.]

    Labor was on 51-49 in the last Newspoll in 52.5-47.5 in the last Morgan survey under Beazley, and in both cases shot up in the first poll under Rudd. I can only think he’s cherry-picked an ACNielsen, fresh from blasting Newspoll as “the Fox News of statistics” on the two occasions in three years when it had the temerity to show a drop in the Labor vote. Is anyone reading this stupid enough to believe that Beazley would have done better in 2007 than Rudd?

    [Last Wednesday she said Australia’s carbon emissions reduction level would stay at 5 per cent, thus probably losing Labor the Greens’ preferences in the 2010 election.]

    Again, I don’t think I need to explain here that no honest person who was competent to discuss the matter would ever say such a thing.

  5. Mmm, headline on home page is Rudd warns MPs Labor could lose power, which is not a reference to newspoll but dovetails nicely into a poll with a shift to the opposition

  6. If you want to do something about companies avoiding the hiring of older workers do something about workcover. At the moment the risks are great and after you get caught a couple of time you get very weary, which is very sad because they are a great resource with heaps of skills.

  7. And while America’s protected super leaches siphon the money into their pockets because they deserve it so much………….

    Dr Doom reckons things are going to get worse….

    [Roubini Calls US Growth ‘Dismal And Poor,’ Predicts Slowing

    “The headline number will look large and big, but actually when you dissect it, it’s very dismal and poor,” Roubini said in a Jan. 30 Bloomberg Television interview following a U.S. Commerce Department report that showed economic expansion of 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter. “I think we are in trouble.”

    Roubini said more than half of the growth was related to a replenishing of depleted inventories and that consumption was reliant on monetary and fiscal stimulus. As these forces ebb, the rate will slow to 1.5 percent in the second half of 2010.

    Roubini, who chairs New York-based Roubini Global Economics LLC, has become famous for his pessimistic projections. In 2007, he correctly predicted a “hard landing” for the world economy. He said last year that the global recession would shrink through 2009, only for growth to resume in the middle of the year.

    He says now that while the world’s largest economy won’t relapse into recession, U.S. unemployment will rise from the current 10 percent amid “mediocre” growth.

    ‘Feel Like Recession’

    “It’s going to feel like a recession even if technically we’re not going to be in a recession,” he said in the interview. ]

    Time for Obama to bring in a 95% tax for huge salaries…and then let the Republicans try and block it in the Senate against public sentiment who I imagine would be very angry.

  8. From Mother Christine via Malcolm Farnsworth:

    [ senatormilne

    Constructive meeting with Penny Wong. Discussions will continue. #CPRS 31 minutes ago from web Retweeted by mfarnsworth ]

  9. The report on the compassionate release of the Lockerbie bomber comes out tomorrow and it’s not going to be pretty for the UK government, esp the Scottish arm.

    [The following day (20th August 2009), MacAskill granted his release on compassionate grounds, stating that Megrahi was in the final stages of terminal prostate cancer and expected to die within three months.]

    Well, he’s still alive almost six months later so I guess the likeliest explanation is that Libyan medical care is a whole lot better than Scottish medical care.

  10. Yeah Gusface, they’re a pair of Abbott groupies 😛

    Newspoll would have to be good news for the Libs otherwise there’d be little said about it as posible, wouldn’t there?

  11. Rua@1197:

    [A sprightly young woman of 71, who I know, spends a few hours a week making meals for “meals on wheels” she applied for a job at the local McDonalds. She would be a great burger flipper – would love to do it.]

    I didn’t realise it at the time, but the best thing I ever did for retirement was to train as a maths teacher when I was a young bloke.

    An experienced (I started in 1964, “retired” in 2007) maths teacher of high school students can have as much work as they can handle. At $50 an hour for tutoring, more if you live in capital cities I am told. And casual work at schools at the going rate.

    Helps the part pension something terrific. And it is a great thing to do. No marking, no exams, no parent teacher nights, no reports, no playground duty, no teacher meetings, no photocopying. It is a delight to do, stimulating and rewarding, and tutoring is one on one, kids who want to learn, so no twits to deal with. And you can stop at any time, or take time off to go bushwalking or touring.

  12. [Oh good, a column by Bob Ellis.]

    Bob Ellis (though I enjoyed some of his past books) can be an almost unbelievably small, spiteful and petty man. His fued with Julia Gillard is gone into in some depth in the Crikey article from last May:

    Obviously he is still not over it.
    Excerpts below:

    “Asked why he had criticised Julia Gillard in the book, he said pithily that “redheads are trouble.”

    Her problems are that “she is Welsh, she sounds like my Australian grandmother and I fear there maybe falseness at her heart.”

    “Like (Margaret) Thatcher, she may be brilliant on her feet, but she makes no friends and devastates her enemies. She will bring a plague of trouble for the ALP because she is childless and not married.”

    On top of this, “she organised the numbers for Mark Latham and that should be a capital offence,” he intoned.

    In question time, Meredith Burgmann leapt to her feet to challenge Ellis on his views about barren spinsters, but he slid off into a story about the Bakhtiari family. When they were faced with deportation in 2004, he said, he had planned to send them to New Zealand, and rang Gillard to ask for an introduction to the NZ government.

    “She said, ‘Save your money, Bob, the New Zealanders will never do anything to offend the Howard government.’”

    “I have detested the woman ever since.”

  13. The ones they spruiked last year, what were they like?

    I can remember a 52-48, but nothing consistent…

    23 mins to go…..

  14. don

    I think I need a few hours of your time. I’m about 3/4 of the way through a book on the Riemann Hypothesis and my brain is telling me that it is in pain but I’m going to finish the book if it kills me.

    Twenty-five years ago it would have been a piece of cake. Where did all those neurons go? Intelligence definitely goes down with age. I’m not sure what it is replaced by.

  15. OK, here is a little bit of balance from our ABC:

    Onya, Marieke!

    [First person politics are virgin on the ridiculous

    By Marieke Hardy

    Posted Mon Feb 1, 2010 6:43am AEDT

    Well, thank goodness somebody’s finally broken through the bullshit and started speaking sense about this whole ‘precious gift’ palaver.

    Mere seconds after Tony Abbot thrilled virginal types nationwide by suggesting their chaste choices were the height of coolness and La Gillard bit accordingly (get a room, you two), Liberal MP George ‘stop me before I kill again’ Brandis cut to the core of the matter.

    “Would someone please shut this barren heathen up before she drags us all down to her hideous amoral level?” he seethed, or words to that effect, adding that J. Gillard should immediately cease and desist passing comment on anything related to: a. parenting and b. children, as she simply does not get it.

    “I think Julia Gillard who is – has chosen not to be a parent – and, you know, everybody respects her right, in the vehemence of her reaction, in fact, shows that she just doesn’t understand the way parents think about their children when they reach a particular age,” was one particular point made, along with the fact that Gillard is “very much a one-dimensional person”.

    Too true, Brandis. You forgot to add “in my day, women knew their place” and “I SAW GOODY GILLARD WITH THE DEVIL”, but I’m sure those particular press releases can be attended to in time.

    Brandis wasn’t the only officious type wading in with huffs and puffs and red-faced unbridled indignation, either. “Where was Julia Gillard’s moral outrage when Kevin Rudd … visited a strip club,” shrieked Julie Bishop, perhaps forgetting in her confusion about which potential Liberal leader to buddy up to next, that Kevin Rudd never oiled his way through the pages of Women’s Weekly doling out parental advice on how much one should pay a lap-dancer for a private session. ]

  16. heaven forbid the Coalition actually nudges ahead of Labor on the TPP. I’d call outlier on it, but still, it would create waves in the rest of the media.

  17. Obama taking a little bit of revenge on WJBao and send a strong message to China.

    [The arms package was doubly infuriating to Beijing coming so soon after the Bush administration announced a similar arms package for Taiwan in 2008, and right as tensions were easing somewhat in Beijing and Taipei’s own relations. China’s immediate, and outraged, reaction — cancellation of some military exchanges and announcement of punitive sanctions against American companies — demonstrates, China experts said, that Beijing is feeling a little burned, particularly because the Taiwan arms announcement came on the same day that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton publicly berated China for not taking a stronger position on holding Iran accountable for its nuclear program.]

  18. IQ scores, memory scores, bone density scores and sperm counts usually go down with age.


    Still, a good wine seems to go down better with age.

    *sighs contentedly*

  19. Dewgong @1270

    If the tories are in front TPP tonight, then I’ll have lost faith humanity!

    Then again….politics is a funny game

  20. A word of caution on the age issue and expectations of (from? what the bloody hell is the right preposition here?) older workers.

    Some older workers are physically worn out and are all used up. Typically these would be workers who have done a lifetime of physical work. Not their fault. In fact the ‘better workers’ from among them are the more likely to be worn out.

  21. Dio@1246:

    [And you continually whining about being criticised when your first post of the day is a pig-ignorant runt in the ground at Greens.]

    Couldn’t agree more with your estimation of the worth of that poster, as well as previous posts on the same subject.

    Good to see somebody else here who I respect has the same opinion of ratsars.

  22. As to the newspoll ad – sam maiden did it last time – pretty sure it’s going to be a regular thing for The Oz to release it at 10:15 and beat the LL crowd!

  23. Diogenes @1267
    [Twenty-five years ago it would have been a piece of cake. Where did all those neurons go?]
    I lectured med. students in maths and it seemed to me the the mathematics neurons go in about second year uni. when you have to learn all those lists of unrelated things.
    … or you could be having a particularly stressful time at present.
    … or you are expecting too much from yourself. Number theory is not for amateurs.

  24. This from the We Could lose story:
    [Mr Rudd’s warning today follows the first Newspoll for 2010 finding a fortnight ago that while Labor retained an election-winning lead, Mr Abbott had reclaimed support among the Liberal Party base since his election and the proportion of voters satisfied with how Mr Rudd was doing his job had fallen six points to 52 per cent.]

    From memory the LIberal Party Primary vote didn’t change.

  25. Gus@1261:

    [Both are crap]

    Now, now.

    Annabelle is one of my favourite reads. A great addition to politics. She is improving all the time from a very high baseline. I loved her “under the flag” opinion pieces.

    And others see her worth and are paying her heaps.

  26. [And others see her worth and are paying her heaps.]

    I agree. Some view her as all that is wrong with parliamentary reporting. I think geez, she writes good copy.

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