Advertiser: 60-40 to Liberal in SA

The Advertiser has published one of its occasional self-conducted polls of South Australian voting intention, and while the sample is small (442, with a margin of error of over 4.5 per cent) and the pollster probably not the most expert going around, it adds to an impression of a government in terminal decline and a Premier long past his use-by date. Labor’s primary vote is at a New South Wales-ian 24 per cent compared with 50 per cent for the Liberals and 11 per cent for the Greens, with the Liberals leading 60-40 on two-party preferred. Liberal leader Isobel Redmond has a thumping 56-28 lead over Mike Rann as preferred premier, and Education Minister Jay Weatherill is favoured over Rann to lead Labor to the next election 34-26.

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.

295 comments on “Advertiser: 60-40 to Liberal in SA”

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  1. DL

    Chad Buchanan’s personal policies can be mostly summed up as “all you can eat”. He was hand picked by Atkinson and Co. to be run for Salisbury Council and is now the faction heavyweight there (no pun intended). He has to be told what to do by his masters, and passes that down to his new & old acolytes on Council. He was the most gormless creature on Salisbury Council until his new factional allies were elected in November.

    Woodman IS part of the Right, regardless of her personal opinions. Like all those of the pragmatic right, she is there to further her own interests whilst being told what to do. There are very limited opportunities on Council to vote on matters of interest to the SDA/Catholic Right, but as far as it goes, she will vote that way if told to, and to support other Right people when required, and vice versa.

  2. IT @ 248
    I’m genuine I’m allowed the few crumbs that the sub branch give me because although I’m not with any faction at all I’m the secretary of the sub branch and I’m allowed to go to state council! why? for the last 10 years I turned up to every sub branch meeting so I guess I’ve earnt something but I’m only an observer at state convention lest I vote against the “shoppies” interests.
    As to being identified couldn’t care less I didn’t join the party for the factional warlords be they left or right to tell me how to think.
    I don’t seek office or to become a staffer, and all I want is Labor to be the best it can be, and if that means kicking me out of our already dwindling numbers so be it! they need me more than I need them.
    Should some from the SDA read this! again couldn’t careless I think with some of the choices that have been made by the shoppies of late I’m the least of their problems.

  3. Unfortunately, for all of the media’s stories and the Left’s plotting, they don’t have the numbers – yet.

    Currently, there are 34 members of Labor Caucus in the SA Parliament.

    The Right have 18, unaligned 4 and 12 Left.

    That means that if a vote is taken now, Jay Weatherill (JW) needs 18 votes, or, 6 from the unaligned and Right to join the Left to vote him in.

    All of the Left have to vote together to dump Rann for JW. Even though as GG said there are many in the Left who are less than impressed with JW, I believe they would all vote for him as leader – they have nothing to lose by doing so and would love to stick it up the Right.

    So, JW needs all of his own faction (which is probable but not assured) plus a number of others.

    Of the unaligned, there is Tony Piccolo, who left the Left just after the last election, allegedly in disgust at JW’s push to be Deputy. Not sure where’d he would vote, he may not know himself, but I suspect his hatred of the the SDA Right (he is a progressive if arguably lapsed Catholic) may push him to seize the chance to stick it up the Right.

    The other unaligneds are Rann (no help there), Hill (who has never been in a faction)and Conlon, the latter of which also left the Left of which he was the leading MP. I doubt either will dump Rann, it is not in their nature to rock the boat. I will come back to both later.

    The Right is a combination of the Right (conservative Catholic & SDA – 10) and the pragmatic Right (joined for self aggrandisement – 8). I doubt any of the true Right (if I may use that term) will vote against Rann. Okay, they definitely won’t.

    That leaves the more recent converts to look at, in no particular order:

    Wortley: A trot deep down, I suspect Wortley will vote against Rann whom he personally detests and the SDA whom he also detests.

    Foley: A Rann ally 100%. Foley voting for JW would be like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. I suspect he will be out of Parliament within weeks and depending on when the vote is taken, could mean he doesn’t even get a vote. This would be crucial for numbers.

    Wright: A rather lukewarm member of the Right at best, and having been dumped from the Ministry by the SDA Right and having announced his retirement from Parliament at the next election, this is one vote JW should get.

    Geraghty: her late husband engineered the ETU move to the Right to effectively kill off the Progressive Left (she worked for PL founder Peter Duncan). Even though a progressive Catholic, not sure what she will do. Her staffer Gerry Kandelaars has been promised a sinecure in the LC but is finding himself in the middle of a long queue.

    Lyn Breuer: Speaker of the House, Labor’s only LH country MP, hates the SDA Right and has privately indicated will not renominate for her seat next election. JW could count her in.

    Chloe Fox: SA’s most marginal seat, and despite her issues with the SDA Right, she personally dislikes JW and owes her survival to the Right. Will stick with Rann.

    Alan Sibbons: A wimp who will not dare rock the boat. Rann fan.

    John Rau: As the anointed successor by the Right for Rann (eventually) , no logic in him voting for JW!

    So, in my assessment JW is actually a bit closer than the Right think, but not as sure a thing as the Left think. If either the MP currently under police charges resigns (which the word is he won’t be) or Foley does leave (and his only interest now is himself) then the numbers required for a change drops.

    So, now I come back to what I think will happen. If the vote is so close that Rann will win by only 1 or 2, then the Right powerbrokers will look to install Rau and tell Rann to shove off. He will need to be convinced to do this by Hill & Conlon whom he trusts, and of course Mr Rann is good at maths. More so than the Left.

    If the Left can get the extra 1, 2 or 3 on top of whom they should have depending on circumstances and can get the numbers quickly enough then they could pull off a coup. But I don’t think so as both sides will be counting very carefully, and the Right still have the upper hand.

  4. [LEFT-WING MPs are counselling Education Minister Jay Weatherill not to become involved in a leadership challenge to Premier Mike Rann.

    “Any challenge in the current climate would be an appalling mistake,” a source said yesterday.

    Labor sources said yesterday the party needed to settle down and let the dust settle from the poll, and the shock charging of a Labor MP with child pornography offences.

    The party’s preference is understood to be for a negotiated deal to see a leadership handover early next year from Mr Rann to either Mr Weatherill or John Rau.

    While Mr Rau is favourite as the Right has the numbers in Caucus, at least four Right MPs are believed to be ready to support Mr Weatherill.]

  5. Would be good if Prem served through his full term. It’s a despicable act that faceless union flops have so much authority over party personnel. Would not surprise me if JW is the chosen chook raffle, with a control order firmly noosed. After all, dirty deals mean business. As for the libs, VC should take control.

  6. One of the great things about a forum such as PB is the opportunity to hear other points of view, and get insights and information from other PBers. It is no bad thing after a period of reflection and hearing the views of others to change one’s mind about critical issues.

    I think, by and large, most of those who post on this forum have a centre to left of centre political view, though it is sometimes hard to articulate what that really means. In my case, it boils down to an instinctive and ingrained preference for a Labor Government over a conservative one. Why? I guess it is really because of a belief system – that a Labor Government should govern in the best interests of all, whereas conservative governments (in my view) have a bias in favour of certain sectional interests, albeit spanning a broad spectrum of business.

    In political terms, this presents a far greater challenge to the Labor side of politics: to remain positive, and pursue clear agendas for change, for the betterment of society at large. Someone once said (I forgot who) WTTE that the Conservative side of politics has a very simple political objective: to keep Labor out of government. Conservative politics can therefore always be oppositional, whether in Government or not. Geunine, reformist, conservative governments are a rare breed indeed (Kennett, love him or loathe him, pursued a change agenda, but ultimately paid the political price from his perceived arrogance). Howard’s lot – forget it.

    Successful Labor governments are those which can pursue and maintain an activisit reform agenda, AND successfully communicate the benefits of that reform to the greater community. This was the political genius of the first 10 years of the Hawke/Keating government. It served Dunstan well too for much of his time as Premier.

    This is where I fear the current Labor governments in SA and Federally are failing. Through a combined perceived “failure” to construct a coherent reformist narrative AND communicate that narrative to the voters, Labor’s woes at both levels will continue to grow.

    So this leads to SA Labor’s political woes at present. There is a sense that Labor is continuing to govern for its own sake – whilst that is a perfectly natural (and accepted) political strategy for a conservative government, voters expect more from a Labor government. The same is also true at a Federal level.

    What is the problem? A lack of ideas? Fear? The MSM and ABC bias? Maybe all three? Yet media bias will always be a fact of life for reforming governments – it is far harder to change than it is to oppose.

    My Easter Monday musings do tie in with the need for change in SA Labor. My sense is not based on a factional bias – I am a Labor supporter, but do not identify myself with the interests of “Left” or “Right”. I know personally many SA politicians from both sides of politics and across the factional spectrum, but I retain my instinctive “Labor” bias. What I want to see is a good Labor government that is committed to change and will be electable in 2014.

    Labor has much to be proud of with its record over the past 9 years. It has been committed to infrastructure development. Things like the RAH project, investment in public transport infrastructure (yes, the tramway and Adelaide Oval redevlopments included!), road transport etc. So what is “wrong”? It really is one of communication. Kevin Foley has been a good and effective Treasurer but his aggression and antagonistic behaviour have caught up with him. Sadly his political use by date has come and gone.

    Pat Conlon is generally the smartest guy in the room. This has translated to his effectiveness as a minister – it is just a shame the way he comes across in the media, but maybe in all the current leadership skirmishing (and reflecting on an earlier comment that the person who is most fit to govern is most likely the best leader), maybe he should be seriously considered as Rann’s replacement.

    I have reflected on my initial posts advocating a change to Weatherill and beg the indulgence of changing my mind! Yes, I am concerned by his track record as minister – what agenda has he been able to successfully drive? More importantly, what capacity does he have to lead a united government, without a strong factional power base?

    I have been saddened to read some of the posts regarding Chloe Fox. I was not aware that her personal issues have affected her in the way it appears they have. In any event, to my knowledge, she has never been in a leadership role (either pre-politics or since being elected as an MP) so she should be ruled out of any leadership discussion on that basis alone.

    But Labor still needs rejuvenation. Tough as Rann is, when the voters stop listening, the time to go has come. I cannot escape that conclusion. And new blood does need to be introduced to the Cabinet. So if, as I would hope, Foley and Rann are out, and with Finnigan gone, a new leader will have the luxury of appointing 3 new ministers. I think Piccolo should be one. The other two – I would welcome suggestions.

  7. And good politics is really about just three things:

    Unity and Discipline

    A clear and articulate message


  8. sirbigfoot @ 257

    Anyone going into bat for Vickie Chapman must be related to her. As her late father was well known for his liking of ladies, the surname Chapman is optional. Well, at least he didn’t burn down the local towns like ‘the Viking’, he just helped repopulate them.

    If it wasn’t for Vickie Chapman’s jaw dropping gaffe at the last election, Maria Kourtesis would be the MP for Bright and not Chloe Fox. And they were factional allies.

    Indo08 @ 258

    Your post is quite sensible. You are allowed to change your mind. Weatherill has only been successful in furthering his own agenda. He is well regarded by people he deals with on the whole in his portfolios as he listens to them and is polite and has kind words. He also fixes little problems like as Disability Minister he was very good at getting things fixed for individuals. He has achieved nothing for his electorate and has been caught time and time again telling them porkies on matters such as the Parks Community Centre and Cheltenham Racecourse.

    When he is cornered he gets very nasty, even in public. He is playing favourites with the SA media which is very dangerous as those not favoured will remember that.

    Unfortunately for SA Labor, he is their best bet. Rau as intelligent and erudite as he is, will not be able to generate the enthusiasm and ‘change’ they need. Rau = electoral annihilation. Weatherill = small loss.

    The real matter of interest is if (and I say ‘if’) the Right agree to install Weatherill, what concessions he will need to give them. Those concessions may not sit well with the rest of his faction, but make no mistake, members of his faction know that Jay will compromise almost anything for the top job, which is why they are trying to get the numbers first.

    I don’t believe Jay will win in a coup, he will need to convince the Right they need him when either Rau fails when replacing Rann early next year; or, Weatherill’s numbers are so close to topple Rann in the next few weeks or months (especially if there are further crises) that the Right bosses decide to move. I feel this is the likely scenario as Foley is likely to depart within weeks, one of Labor’s safest seats will be lost to an independent (and ex-Liberal local Mayor) and there will be further fall out over the charged MP (who will not be resigning from Parliament anytime soon) and there are other nasties in the pipeline for Labor.

    Of course the Right may also just bully their way through, but I firmly believe that will not work any more in SA.

  9. Adam @ 261

    The ALP have written it off themselves, assuming that IF Foley went early.

    It would be the lightning rod of discontent much as other by elections have done so in the past. It also assumes that the media would back him, the Liberals and Greens would preference him and no other high profile independent would run. The only guy who might stand a chance would be Russell Ebert but he has indicated he is not interested in politics.

    Max James, former Port Adelaide Mapgpies full back, who ran at the 2010 state election got 11% with an amateurish campaign and no money. Mayor Johanson has a lot of money.

    Why don’t you think he’d win?

  10. Because it’s Labor through and through. You or I would win that seat if we came with the ALP stamp of approval. We’ll see who they put in to replace Foley but I’d be very surprised if that entity didn’t win the seat comfortably. Foley is despised and he got 63% a year ago, come on.

    I doubt very strongly they’ve written it off too, sounds a bit like the usual “private polling was saying we were going to lose x amount of seats and we only lost y amount, great job everyone”.

  11. Don’t forget that Semaphore fell to an independent back in the ’90s when Labor similarly was on the nose.

    There’s a nasty piece by Mark Day in the Media section of The Australian yesterday. It begins:

    [THE law that prevents publication of the name of a state Labor MP charged over child pornography was passed in 1976 by the Dunstan government. I believe it was constructed because Don Dunstan knew he and some of his colleagues were vulnerable to privacy intrusions and they changed the law to protect themselves.]

    Day then goes on to dirt the dirt on Dunstan and his associates but near the end of the article says:

    [The law that prevents the publication of the name of the South Australian Labor MP applies universally.]

    Does he mean the name cannot be published in Jupiter or Mars? Sydney or Melbourne?

    Or just that similar laws exist around the world?

    In which case, the whole article is simply an exercise in prurient self-indulgence.

  12. TT

    I saw Day’s article, it seems he hasn’t improved since his days in the Truth.

    The SA laws can only apply to anything that is published in SA, they can’t have jurisdiction outside SA but that does mean that is why it can’t be published on a website anywhere in the world as that can be accessed by someone within SA. I know the story was published in The Age but that edition was not sent for sale to SA.

    I think Day meant that the law applies to all people charged with sexual offences in SA, not just MPs. Or maybe he doesn’t. His article seemed more about exposing Dunstan’s sexual proclivities than anything else. Dunstan died 12 years ago. Everyone who was interested in the former Premier’s sex life is also either dead or knows it all anyway.

  13. I meant to say “dig the dirt on Dunstan”.

    The article’s theme is that South Australians are in the dark about the name of the recently arrested MP because of laws passed by the Dunstan Government 35 years ago. It poses as a clarion for press freedom while tipping a bucket on DAD.

    And it’s totally wrong and illogical to “blame” Dunstan, because Liberal and Labor governments for 35 years have had the opportunity to change these laws and have not done so.

  14. Indo,

    And there was me thinking good politics is about representing and working hard for your community.

    Good Government is about leadership, economic management and employment. Always has been.

    But you can spin away with all you’re modern guff.

  15. GG I am not trying to pick a fight with you because I agree with what you say! Of course good government should equal good politics. I absolutely agree that “Good Government is about leadership, economic management and employment”. Bad government can never be good politics! But we can have “good” governments (ie, I genuinely think even with some fraying at the edges, Rann has led a “good” government) but poor discipline, or muddied messages, or disunity, is bad politics. I think there is a difference. The debacle in NSW was the result of “bad” government – no amount of spinning could hide that away. The task ahead for SA Labor is to stick with governing well AND being able to communicate an effective political message. Good communication, for mine, is a key component of political leadership. That’s all.

  16. I’m guessing Rann isn’t going to give much leeway on this.

    [“I will not talk about that particular case,” he said. “But as a father and as a Premier I can’t think of anything that sickens my stomach any more than child pornography or child sexual abuse.

    “Anyone found guilty of such offences is unfit for public life.”]

  17. Rann’s time is close to being up. He’s too smart not to know that. However, he will last until the end of this year or early next year in my opinion. History will look favourably on his period of government – particularly in regards to a massive investment in infrastructure, unprecedented in modern times in this state. The one major stain on his legacy is the removal of certain conditions from public sector workers outside of the enterprise bargaining process. This really was a deplorable act and one that no true labor supporter could condone. If the SDA and the LHMU get together to support a motion at state convention, you know you’ve screwed up. This has just hastened his end (and Foley’s). The Libs wouldn’t have even had half as many balls required to try this stunt. But overall, I’m still grateful for much of Rann’s work.

    As for the Gary Johannsen thing in Port Adelaide should Foley resign – he would sh*t it in. This is one reason to think Foley would never resign and force a by-election since they are arch enemies. I suspect Foley would rather put gaffer tape on his mouth and sit on the backbench. Even if Johanssen stands in 2014 – Foley would have made him wait.

  18. Is Rann trying to hold on so that he can be the longest serving SA Labor premier?
    It mustn’t be too long until he passes Bannon and/ or Dunstan.

  19. [Is Rann trying to hold on so that he can be the longest serving SA Labor premier?
    It mustn’t be too long until he passes Bannon and/ or Dunstan.]

    Yes he is. I think he would become that in mid-late next year. Can’t see him holding on that long.

  20. Rann clocks up 10 years next March. I expect he’s planning to go quietly some time around then – if not, it’ll be a sign that he’s gone into full-on Nero mode.

  21. Indo

    You can claim that the Liberal are evil children eater all you want and the ALP, like NSW ALP are saints, who happens to get on really well with Developers (employers).

    Facts are there are very little difference between the ALP and the Liberals. They are both looking after themselves, ie to have 50.1% of people voting for them, so they keep their jobs. Those voters, are also looking after themselves, ie what will make me happiest. There is no modern spin to this.

    Both the ALP and Liberals are looking to make people happy, they do it in a slightly different way. The Liberals/ Right champions efficiency, ie if the pie is larger, everyone is better off. The ALP/ Left champions equity, ie we are only as good as the least of us.

    The Right/Liberal do champion employer’s occasionally. for example, in the 90s, the waterfront and the mining sector. In those cases, they broke the Unions of those sectors.

    By increasing efficiencies on the waterfront, and decreasing red tape in mining employment, the Liberals paved the way for Australia to enjoy the mining boom efficiently. The workers in the mining industry and the waterfront are now enjoying record wages, that increase much higher then other industries.

    The Liberals wants a bigger pie, that has in turn paid for our flat screen TVs for the last 10 years, and that is why they were a successful government. They made everyone happier. It is not science

  22. That’s an interesting post @275 Dovif, and I agree with much of what you say. I am not sure how much credit the Liberals can really take for the minimg boom by increasing efficiency in that employment sector – I would have thought the boom had far more to do with increased demand, over which in these deregulated times Governments have little control, and that most employees in the mining sector were already operating outside the award system, so any employment law “reforms” would have had minimal impact. There was an awful lot of spin about Workchoices from both sides – as to its merits and weaknesses.

    But both in my professional and personal life, I have come across many politicians from both sides of our Party divide, and almost without exception, all are genuinely driven by a desire to make life better for their fellow Australians. It takes a certain measure of ego to seek a role in public life, and for many “money” is not a key motivator – I would hazard a guess that many politicians earn far less than they might earn in the private sector (whilst acknowledging that is by no means the case universally). I seem to recall that in broad terms Federal backbenchers are remunerated on an equivalent basis to the lower ranks of the SES. We Australians have been well served over the years by a political class that has as its primary motivation the betterment of our country.

    It is one of the great political ironies that the closer the two sides have come together over the years in political outlook, that the viciousness of political debate has increased. In a way, politics has become far more oppositional – oppositions oppose for the sake of political differentiation, and that has been at the cost of good government and good decision making.

    Kevin Foley once said to me WTTE that the role of a good State Labor Treasurer is to ensure that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely, and not wasted on particular, narrow, sectional interests. He saw that as a key differentiation between the Labor and Liberal sides of politics – that the Liberals are too inclined to spend taxpayer money in a way that only benefits a minority. The primary enemy of a good State Treasurer, of course will be his/her Ministerial colleagues who want to spend money on pet projects in their particular portfolio!

    In a way this captures the dilemma that now faces Labor. How does it define itself politically? The task of the Liberal/National coalition – as the anti-Labor force – in defining itself politically, is therefore much simpler, even though the Coalition membership arguably spans a much broader spectrum of political opinion than that of the Labor party. It is an interesting time in our national, and State, political evolution.

  23. Indo08

    In relation to the mining boom, the Chinese did not do business with Australia in the early 90s because there were too many strikes in Australia, at both the waterfront and at the mines. Their metals came from Canada/Brazil etc, because the supply could be relied on.

    Steel mills in China relies on steady source of supply, if the metals do not arrive at their mills on time, they loses money, so supply reliability was a big issue for them. The reforms in the mining industry ensures mines works almost 24/7 and deliver reliable supply. The “peace” on the waterfront also ensure the metal are delivered to China on time and reliably.

    Australia has become the principle supplier of metal to China, because we could prove we can supply to China reliably and we are closer to Brazil. I think the reforms made a big difference.

    Both party are beholden to interest groups, NSW ALP for example did not privatise electricity because the unions told them not to.

    I agree the Liberals does have an easier job then the ALP, they got rid of their Greens (One Nation) while the ALP let the Greens take a large slice of their support. Therefore the ALP are being attacked from both sides of the political spectum

  24. [Gamers – people who play hi-tech computer games with worldwide followings – will be happy with the news that South Australia has reversed its long-time resistance to allowing games with an R-18+ rating to be sold here. Solstice Media’s special publications editor KEITH BARRETT looks at what the decision means for the virtual warriors of Battlefield 3:

    THE announcement of support by South Australian Attorney General John Rau for the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games is a radical shift from the State Government’s previous position.

    Rau’s proposals go further than previous plans to overhaul the ratings system. He is also calling for the eradication of the MA15+ rating, which is currently the highest restriction placed on the sale of games.

    “What we want to do is make sure there is a clear gap between material for adult and material for children and empower responsible parents by making sure game classifications are helpful,” Mr Rau told Gamespot.

    Former attorney-general Michael Atkinson was widely credited as being the insurmountable obstacle to passing the rating on a number of previous attempts, despite a campaign that saw the collection of tens of thousands of signatures from across Australia to support the move.

    The issue entered the election arena when a group called Gamers for Croydon stood a candidate in Mr Atkinson’s seat in the March 2010 election.]

  25. TT

    Computer games are just another recreational pursuit, others may prefer sports or shopping or gardening or politics…

    Speaking of politics in SA, the pot will be boiling over this week.

    Monday:ALP State Executive are having a meeting Monday night where it is expected to temporarily suspend the ALP membership of the charged ALP MP.
    Tuesday:Mike Rann will be missing the first ALP Caucus meeting as he will be in the bush at a presser announcing (again) mining exploration in the Woomera Exclusion Zone.
    Mike Rann will be making a major statement to Parliament about the charged MP, without naming him I am told…

    The charged MP, who I am led to believe will be contesting the charge, has reportedly hired arguably Adelaide’s top QC as well as retaining the same solicitor as Mike Rann.

    The ALP have already deleted him off their website. The ALP may well suspend his membership. What happens then if he chooses to sit in Parliament as an Independent? Do the ALP expel him then? The ALP’s constitution does allow it to expel a suspended member.

    OK, so let’s forget the short term mess, and look long term.

    If the charged MP who by now may well either be expelled, or even resigned from the ALP, loses the case and is convicted, then his seat becomes vacant. As this is an Upper House member, the convention is the seat is replaced by a member of the same party of whom the outgoing member is a member. But what happens if that member was in a party but turned an Independent?

    Has there been a precedent for this? No, never.

    What does the SA Constitution say?
    (5) Where a casual vacancy in the membership of the Legislative Council is to be occupied by a person chosen by an assembly of the members of both Houses of Parliament, and the member, whose seat has become vacant, was at the time of his or her election publicly recognised by a particular political party as being an endorsed candidate of that party and publicly represented himself or herself to be such a candidate, the person chosen by the assembly to occupy that vacancy shall, unless there is no member of that party available to be chosen, be a member of that party nominated by that party to occupy the vacancy.

    So, clearly the ALP want this chap gone from the party and parliament too I would suggest. Never mind being innocent until proven guilty (or admitting it).

    Of course what would happen if the charged ALP MP is either found not guilty or has the charges dropped, and if they’ve already booted him out of the party…the said member is there until 2018 if he chooses to be. Wouldn’t he be a pest then?

    It is indeed interesting times in SA politics.

  26. IT,
    I agree with pretty much all you have written on the “MP,” but what is Redmond likely to do and for how long?
    Labor is on the nose here as we know, and we need clear air! the upcoming budget will be a hard sell we have the unions and others offside,which makes this is just another distraction where we get bogged down defending him rather than getting the message across.
    He should resign form the party and the parliament until this is sorted one way or another, if he’s found to be innocent he has enough influence within the party for the 2014 election.

  27. [A SOUTH Australian MP facing child pornography charges has been suspended from the Labor Party.

    ALP state secretary Michael Brown said the move was unanimous and followed a request from Premier Mike Rann.

    The move allows the MP to remain in Parliament as an independent. However, conviction would result in immediate expulsion from office and the party.

    Mr Rann led the push to have the Labor MP charged with child pornography charges suspended from the ALP during a phone hookup this morning, which included members of the state and national executive.]

  28. [MULTICULTURAL Affairs Minister Grace Portolesi has been hospitalised in Singapore after falling ill during an official visit to India.

    Government sources said she was “very ill”.

    Ms Portolesi became ill with a bacterial infection during her one-week trip to India.

    “Her condition worsened during her flight home on Saturday and she has been hospitalised in Singapore,” a spokeswoman said.

    “We hope her recovery in the next few days will enable her to return to Adelaide late this week.”

    The illness means Ms Portolesi, who is also Youth and Aboriginal Affairs Minister, will not be able to take her place in Parliament this week.]

  29. So the SACA yes vote was successful. By a landslide too. Quite a shock. Usually this kind of thing is the stage when any idea in SA dies.

    Although Valdman’s (a far right, sexist, racist waste of oxygen) sour grapes political cartoon in the Advertiser today probably foreshadowed it.

  30. [Although Valdman’s (a far right, sexist, racist waste of oxygen)]

    And worst of all he’s not even funny.

    On the subject of the CP MP scandal, a friend of mine sent me an email saying PETER LEWIS WAS RIGHT!!! It was tongue-in-cheek of course, but then again who knows.

  31. [STATE Parliament resumes today with twitchy government backbenchers reportedly unhappy with Premier Mike Rann for ducking the first Labor Caucus meeting of the session.

    Instead of being on deck to calm nerves at this morning’s Caucus, Mr Rann was in Woomera re-announcing plans to allow mining exploration within the restricted Defence zone.

    Indaily understands that some Labor MPs believe the Premier, as the party’s leader, should be showing more front-and-centre leadership instead of going into his usual spin mode for an easy headline.

    The ALP is feeling pressure from woeful opinion polling – the worst of the Rann premiership – and the suspension by the party of an unnamed MP who is facing child-porn charges.]

  32. Actually, I think the Adelaide Oval win is exactly what Rann needs. It shows his govt is still in control. It won’t, of course, give them great poll numbers or anything but it has given Rann’s leadership a bit more foundation and brought it out of the critical stage. Just a couple of week’s ago, he looked like he was finished within a couple of months, now he has got a little more time.

    Some important things to remember is: if Rann survives past November, he beats Bannon’s tenure, if he survives past January next year, he beats Dunstan’s. I think he will go at the end of March next year, after the festivals and leave on a personal high. (by personal high, I mean the festivals are one area he is very personally passionate about.) It will also give his successor two years to work with.

  33. [It’s not the same MP Peter Lewis was talking about. Peter Lewis has never been right about anything.]

    I know it isn’t the same MP Peter Lewis was talking about, but he was alleging a far wider conspiracy of paedophiles amongst the elite in SA.

    But then again he did talk about people having sex with ducks stuffed into hollow logs as well.

  34. Jason @ 281

    The charged MP has no intention of resigning from Parliament, and frankly nor do I believe he should, he is still innocent until proven otherwise, regardless of how much I despise him (for his politics).

    If he resigned and was found innocent he would never be given a seat ever again and he knows that, and I am sure you do too.

    Liberals will be asking government embarrassing questions about this situation but not once will they ask about the charged MP. They know they’ve got the ALP by the s&cs.

    cb @ 285

    Ah, Peter Lewis, Parliament is not as interesting without him, who can forget his claim that he euthanased a severey injured fellow Aussie soldier (at his mate’s request) whilst fighting in Vietnam, only for Army records to show he had never been there…

    Latest update from Parliament…Kevin ‘KFOL’ Foley and Leon ‘Biggles’ Bignell spent a lot of their time in the House yesterday trading invective sotto voce, and sometimes more audibly. KFOL is more of the focus for backbench hate than any of the Liberals could ever be.

    As if the ALP don’t have enough problems…

  35. Yes Pebbles (288), the Adelaide Oval decision is wildly unpopular in the bush where we have issues like the South-East forests sell-off and the Keith Hospital debt problem, but Rann seems to be getting on the front foot in the city (where most of the seats are).

    Adelaide Oval is a great win for the sporties, but not perhaps justifiable in socio-economic terms. Still, it was an election promise – and the Libs promised to spend more.

  36. IT @ 290,
    I guess the only thing he has in his favour is he’s not a teacher, social worker policeman or in any other profession where he might come into contact with children!
    Anyone else that works for the Government is stood down and so should he.
    As you seem to know is he paying for his defence or are we the tax payer?

  37. Jason, you are right there. No, not anyone else who works for government is stood down under the same circumstances. I know of a public servant of no high office, a back office pen pusher, who was not when charged with a similar offence, and the charges were dropped. Maybe he should have been but didn’t tell anyone – I don’t know if his colleagues knew at the time or not.

    I agree someone in a role dealing with minors or where ‘of trust’ should stand down.

    A lot of employers have a policy of sacking employees for bringing their firm into disrepute, even if they are later found innocent or the charges are dropped. This happened to a friend who was just a factory worker, was charged, sacked and the the cops withdrew the charges and charged (and successfully convicted) someone else for the (nothing like what we are talking about) crime. My friend went to a lawyer to sue for unfair dismissal but was stunned to find that the firm were within its rights to sack him for simply being charged!

    Anyway, back to our favourite MP. Mr (name suppressed) is paying for his own defence. The only way the taxpayer could be forced to pay was if the offence was allegedly committed in the course of his duties. I think it is a stretch to see how the alleged offences could be seen to be relevant to his employment as an MP. If he tried that on I would suspect he would be pilloried and it would also have to be made public through his application through the President of the LC. No chance that would be approved the President either.

    A criminal lawyer (is that a tautology?) friend of mine tells me he estimates that the case will cost Mr Name Suppressed around $200,000 of non-tax deductible expenses.

  38. Interesting article on the history of The Advertiser and the Murdoch takeover:

    [IN JOURNALISM, power arises from being the one who asks the questions – and from never being afraid of asking a dumb question.

    “The dumber the better,” says John Scales.

    “The question that no one else would ask but you can. Quite often it elicits an answer that possibly no one else would have thought of.”

    Typical Scales, always up for a debate about the finer points of the craft.

    The erstwhile editor of The Advertiser has just been elevated to the SA Journalism Hall of Fame, announced at the SA Media Ball at the weekend.

    It’s an accolade shared by former Tiser colleagues Des Colquhoun, Don Riddell, Stewart Cockburn and John Doherty – all old-school and hardcore when it came to journalistic standards.

    The same gang was all were there when Rupert Murdoch took over the old broadsheet Tiser in 1987.

    Scales, 73, talks sadly of it as a kind of Year Zero.]

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