Redmond quits

The South Australian Liberals will choose a new leader on Monday after Isobel Redmond announced this morning her increasingly beleagured tenure had come to an end.

Months after surviving a leadership challenge by a solitary vote, Isobel Redmond has pulled the plug on her three-and-a-half year spell as leader of the South Australian Liberals. Her successor will be chosen at a secret party room ballot at 9am on Monday. The hot tip had been that Alexander Downer would be drafted in to take the reins, but his denials today have been fairly emphatic. Deputy leader Steven Marshall appears to be a likely starter on Monday; the unsuccessful challenger from November, Martin Hamilton-Smith, is also presumably considering his options. This post will be feature updates on events as they transpire.

UPDATE (1/2/13): Daniel Wills of the Advertiser:

FIRST-term MP Steven Marshall is firming to become state Liberal leader after Isobel Redmond’s shock resignation, but senior party sources insist he will only take the job “on his own terms”.

Lucille Keen of the Financial Review:

The surprise move has pushed her deputy, Steven Marshall, into the leader’s position pending a party-room vote on Monday.

Insiders say he is likely to win that vote but speculation is still intense about the possibility that Mr Downer will lead the party to the March 2014 poll.

Paul Starick of the Advertiser:

It remains more likely, if he is to assume the leadership, that Mr Downer would wait until later in the year before declaring his hand.

Equally, he might just let the issue fizzle out if a new leader performs strongly.

UPDATE (2/2/13): Steven Marshall has appeared for a symbolism-packed photo opportunity with bitter 90s leadership rivals John Olsen and Dean Brown, who have both announced their support for his leadership bid. Olsen had “reportedly been a backer of the Downer option”. Downer was not available for comment yesterday.

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.

76 comments on “Redmond quits”

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  1. [Psephos – actually the states can make laws regarding marriage. It’s not an exclusive Commonwealth power.]

    That’s true, but the Commonwealth has already legislated in the area: the Marriage Act says that marriage is between a man and a woman. No state law can contradict the federal law. Any law that purports to do so will be struck down by the High Court at the first challenge.

  2. the editor of fridays advertiser certainly let the readers know which person they wanted for the job with the photos of marshall and downer on the front page
    nice photo of downer smiling, photo of marshall just awful

  3. Mick

    The APA does not say there are no genetic factors in sexual attraction. They say it is a mixture of genetics and environment.

    [There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.]

    There is clearly no single “gay gene”, but there are probably a few genes which slightly predispose you to being gay.

    There are huge meta-analysis studies on monozygous and dizygous twins which conclusively show genetics is important in sexual orientation. It’s only about 20% genetic, which is quite low compared to most other characteristics but it is still there.

    Gays argue that their poor health and mental illness statistics are due to discrimination causing depression. Personally, I don’t know enough to know if that is true or not.

    You point about disease and genetics is a huge issue for the future. We have found genes which predispose the person to committing violent crimes, as well as found differences in the functional MRI scans of sociopaths. Numerous cases in the US have had their sentence reduced as they argued diminished responsibility as they had the gene and MRI which predisposed to violent behaviour.

  4. William @39 – unbelievably, the Latin is still there, and according to Google translator, it reads:
    “This page is required to post a comment. Select a base that they want freedom. More clinical laughter from freight and throat, post it here. Read-time storage. Your investment, drilling shafts and arches, just a clinical impact, as a mass at the Olympic requirements. In order to obtain arrows nibh not a problem. China’s mass of visitors and school. Now a great job now. Contact.”

  5. Well done Alexander Downer helping destroy Isobel Redmond – member of his own conservative faction. And probably install Marshall from the other conservative Pyne faction.
    Finding a deputy will be another factional stoush.

    Be interesting to see if Marshall can restrain his impulsive and rather dogmatic tendencies.

  6. That latin “Lorem Ipsum” stuff is the default text for text boxes while using Microsoft Publisher.

    SA Labor really needs to get a professional web designer.

  7. Some readers of the SA SSM discussion may find my discussion of the Tasmanian SSM rejection of use or interest:

    Mick Wilkinson@46

    Any state who opens the door to gay marriage will eventually rue the day they ever considered it.

    I don’t see any sign that nations that legalised it many years ago are ruing it.

    2. Marriage as a cultural and religious institution should not be made to bend to the will of those currently outside its legal boundaries. It is akin to waltzing into vegetarian restaurants and demanding that meat be served.

    An invalid comparison. A meat-eater who cannot obtain meat from a vegetarian restaurant can obtain what they want from the majority of other restaurants. The correct analogy for “waltzing into vegetarian restaurants and demanding that meat be served” would be that same-sex marriage was legalised and then typical mixed-sex couples demanded the right to have their wedding formally recorded and recognised as a same-sex marriage and advertised as such by a celebrant. You’re comparing vegetarian restaurants (the specialised exception) with mixed-sex marriage (the norm).

    A nearly correct analogy for restaurants for gay marriage would be if vegetarian restaurants were allowed to exist, but it was illegal for a vegetarian restaurant to call itself a “restaurant” or to advertise as such. That is the sort of discrimination that occurs at present – and that illiberally affects the economic rights of those celebrants who would like to conduct same-sex marriages and market them as such. And even that doesn’t go far enough because if vegetarian restaurants were not allowed to self-market as such meat-eating restaurants would benefit, while mixed-sex couples do not benefit from disallowing same-sex marriage.

    3. The ‘best’ claims for SSM appear to be that couples are ‘in love’ and ‘deserve marriage equality’, which was never the basis for the institution of marriage in the first place.

    The true origins of the institution of marriage are lost in the mists of time and irrelevant to the current debate. But in any case the institution has long had multiple purposes that are considered legitimate, and on that basis attempting to ascribe a single purpose to it (and thereby deny it to marriages not meeting that purpose) is utterly bogus and denies the legitimacy of many existing mixed-sex marriages.

    The ‘slippery slope’ arguments in such debates are always dismissed as strident ranting but once the heterosexual monogamous wall is breached on this issue,

    That pass was sold so long ago it never existed in the first place. Sexual monogamy is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for marriage to occur. It is a separate issue.

    a) related, sterilised, family members from marriage (as the famous ACA case from WA was reported in 2009 of a father and a daughter living in a de facto relationship)
    b) polyamorous relationships
    c) lowering of the age of consent (some countries already allow marriage at 13) and minimum age to wed

    All of these matters can be argued independently irrespective of the same-sex marriage argument and indeed your example in (c) points out that they have been. They are irrelevant. I would, however, point out that legalising polygamous marriage-type relationships would be much more complex because of the property complexities where more than two parties are involved. As for (c) since the assumption of the same-sex marriage debate is the equalisation of rights assuming adult consent, to wedge it to changing the age of consent is just spurious.

    (That said, Australians are way too hysterical in classifying some apparently willing and non-abusive relationships involving mid-teenagers and twenty-somethings as criminal child-abuse, that would be legal and unremarkable in some other developed countries.)

    Rights of children are paramount here. It matters not that ‘some homosexual’ couples would (anecdotally) make far better parents than some heterosexual couples’, some certainly wouldn’t… as you would find with ANY population of people.

    Same-sex parenting and same-sex marriage are again distinct issues. Substitute “fundamentalist Christian” for “homosexual” and “non-fundamentalist-Christian” for “heterosexual” in the above and tell me whether it is a valid case against allowing fundamentalist Christians to marry. Of course it isn’t.

    A more important point is that, wherever possible, we should ensure that children are able to grow up in an environment where the diversity and complementarity of both genders of parents is available to children. Where are their rights in this complex issue??

    If that is a point (which I don’t think it is in the absence of clear and strong evidence of adverse wellbeing impacts, as opposed to bogus evidence such as the fatally flawed Regnerus study) then it is a point in the debate about same-sex parenting rights which is again a distinct debate.

    Federal same-sex marriage is one of the biggest no-brainers being passed off as a complex issue of our time. The way in which it is passed off as all too hard or too dangerous is through the continual intrusion of irrelevant issues and distractions, of which your post is a premium example.

    We now know a great deal about the behaviour, in particular of gay men and a wall of research shows that cognition about sex, obsessive sexual behaviour and acting out of sexual acts with higher risk (in terms of unprotected sex, sex in a public place etc) are statistically higher than in the average male population.

    But these generalisations do not apply to all same-sex couples and in particular do not apply to those who are in long-term relationships with devoted partners. Such arguments are like taking evidence that a particular race, subculture, religion or age group is more promiscuous than another and trying to use such arguments as evidence against allowing people of that sort to marry. People should be allowed to have their own rights as individuals considered irrespective of generalisations about groups to which they belong and spurious conclusions drawn from those.

    Don’t want to get into a prolonged debate on a thread to which it is completely off-topic but thought I would indicate my more or less complete disagreement at length once.

  8. [I notice the ALP has now removed the Latin from their SA webpage.]

    And “The Federal Minister’s of South Australian Labor” bit on the link on the front page has been changed to “The Federal Member’s of South Australian Labor”. The apostrophe’s still there, but y’know, little victories …

  9. Today’s Sunday Mail in SA has a story that the Deputy Lib Leader position is likely to go to Vickie Chapman.


    She won’t get more than her own moderate faction votes and conservative Iain Evans is also dead in the water.

    It is true Dan van Horst Pellekan is receding as a contender due to his inexperience, when combined with that of the equally inexperienced Marshall. He will pull out Monday morning if he thinks he will bomb.

    Marty Hyphen-Smith is still negotiating with Steven Marshal to be deputy asking that he gets it without a ballot after all Marty did for him. He has a point. It will be interesting to see which way Marshall, who is technically a moderate, will go, as he is very much a listener to moderate warlord and mentor Christopher Pyne.

    As those opposed to Vickie ‘it’s all about me’ Chapman are more than half, and Marty is non-aligned, if a ballot was held head to head, Marty would win.

    The Liberals would be wise to allow MHS the deputy role without a ballot. I don’t think that will happen.

  10. IT, the Liberals seem to very wisely be pulling their heads in lately and thinking of the future. I think the mood is that, if they screw up next year, the subsequent despair could haunt them in the long term. Ultimately, the deputy race will probably go to MHS in the name of unity and as a reward for not making a fuss this time.

    I will note that some have made comparisons between the current situation and when Dean Brown and John Olsen faced off to succeed Dale Baker in the early 1990s. While there are similarities (and certainly, when Premier, Marshall should watch his back), the political conditions were quite different. Back then, the government was so on the nose that anybody could win. Baker probably would’ve won too but not by the huge margin they were aspiring for. OTOH, now it is a case of a vulnerable government that can lose but it might not either. Which is why unity and moving forward is their priority.

  11. What an odd outcome if the MHS – Marshall ticket from last time ends up as the Marshall – MHS ticket this time. History repeating itself backwards somehow.

    Sunday Mail predictions – be interesting to see if they improve with David Penberthy as Editor.

  12. Marshall leader Chapman deputy.

    Abbott has held news conference deploring knifing of Redmond.

    Pyne at same conference compared Marshals actions to a crazed Nazi regime and called for a bomb in the bunker approach to correct this travesty.

    Laming tweeted that Marshall should have been helping kids on first day back at school insted of knifing leader.

    Bernardi has lamented misogynistic SA liberals for knifing a woman leader for a man.

    Hockey has asked whens lunch.

  13. The Libs are crazy. Dan XYZ Pelleken should have been deputy to complete a brand new team and mollify the dries.

    Now the deputy will be tempted to unseat the leader, and the dries will be out to dehydrate the wets.

  14. Indep Thinking – need to review your intelligence.

    Anyone able to put up a list of who voted for who and compared with last leadership vote. Suspect Redmond must have voted voted for Chapman?

  15. As the Left has gotten a total win out of today, who will Marshall have to keep an eye on more? Chapman or somebody from the Right?

    MHS looks like he has the potential to be this generation’s John Olsen, TBH…

  16. Wakefield @69

    I know, I am deeply embarrassed but my source had admitted to being overly optimistic about Chapman coming unstuck and Chapman was brilliant. Some in the Liberals wish she could show that level of political nous outside the Liberal Party, but anyhow…

    What happened was Chapman put her hand up, confirmed votes from her faction were solid very quickly, and then refused to back down.

    Iain Evans of course did much the same with his faction a little later.

    It left the unaligned candidates and unaligned MPs nowhere to go but for the factional candidates as they didn’t have enough to do anything but come third.

    Marshall realised Sunday it had to be a Wet vs Dry argument and he would always vote for a Wet in that case so Evans was then always going to, at best, tie.

    Avoiding the tie was paramount so someone voted for Chapman to ensure a name wasn’t drawn from a hat (how dopey would that have looked).

    A certain prominent wet Fed MP was deeply involved in the number crunching, but I wouldn’t want to say who he is, or cast asturtions.

  17. [Carey – calling the Pyne faction Left Liberals is a bit off beam. They are right wing. The others are rural conservatives?]

    I wasn’t commenting on their ideology, I was just referring to the label they are known as.

  18. [New Liberal shadow ministry announced. Rather an odd setup. Trying to behave like a buisness board?]

    Underwhelming is the word I’d use. He’s just shuffled the same hacks around.

    Marshall hasn’t had the best start, in my view. He’s made a few errors of judgement. Luckily for him, he’s still in a honeymoon period and he has a little sympathy, however, if he doesn’t improve by the end of the year, he could end up being a total dud.

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