Abbott government day one: open thread

Breaking news: Abbott wins.

Nothing actually further to add at this stage, but the new day requires a new thread. Please observe the plethora of new posts below for those wishing to follow late counting, and especially the fairly detailed one attempting to review the Senate situation. These extend on to the second page; I’ll do something to make them more accessible in the morning.

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.

3,780 comments on “Abbott government day one: open thread”

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  1. [Mike Carlton ‏@MikeCarlton01 1h
    I’m betting Brandis is going to make some monumental stuff-up in government, a fustercluck so profound it’ll ruin him. Happy days ahead.]

    George certainly isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

  2. [Maybe the Coalition, remembering most of the Howard years of not quite having the numbers in the Senate, may decide to expand the numbers to 14 per state?]

    This is impossible. The nexus clause means that 12 new Senators would be accompanied by 24 new MHRs. Parliament House cannot accommodate any more members – certainly not 36 – and because of its unique design it cannot be enlarged. So enlarging the Senate would require a New New Parliament House at a cost of eleventy billion.

  3. [IF that makes you sleep easier at night ShowsOn. The reality is ALP leadership elections are as independent and unpredictable as those of the LDP of Japan, ie not at all.]
    I always sleep easy at night.

  4. [It will be an independent impartial process headed up by Peter Costello!!!]

    If it is by Costello it will be incompetent and ignorant, but surely he can’t do as badly as he did in Queensland. I assume he hates Qld and tried to wreck the joint deliberately.

  5. [So enlarging the Senate would require a New New Parliament House at a cost of eleventy billion.]
    Joe Hockey specialises in those sorts of figures.

  6. Who is this ‘Emerson’ has-been on telly?

    I wonder what Brian Howe thinks of leadershit? Lets ask him. Where does Laurie Brereton stand on this important issue?

  7. There are only 3 KPI”s WWP

    1. Find , the situation is much worse than was publicly thought

    and 2, repeat 1 ad nauseam

    3. COnfirm we will have to adjust our plans because of the terrible situation we inherited.

  8. The Commons does not sit all members and was designed not to do so. Allegedly Churchill felt members milling in the aisle added to the dramatic tension

  9. [I wonder what Brian Howe thinks of leadershit? Lets ask him. Where does Laurie Brereton stand on this important issue?]

    I get the point you’re making, but neither of those two served in a Rudd Cabinet.

  10. [There are only 3 KPI”s WWP

    1. Find , the situation is much worse than was publicly thought

    and 2, repeat 1 ad nauseam

    3. COnfirm we will have to adjust our plans because of the terrible situation we inherited.]
    We already know what the figures are because they were published by Treasury and finance in the second week of the election campaign.

    Any deterioration in the budget position is the Coalition’s problem now.

  11. confessions@3573

    Rudd failed miserably but what I do not understand is the religiosity of your support of him.


    They are too emotionally invested with the cult of Rudd. Their inability to see clearly is their problem, however.

    The only cult that has been active on PB is the Gillard cult which, contrary to all the evidence, maintains she was a successful political leader.

  12. 3653

    Old Parliament House housed just a few less parliamentarians than the current Parliament House does. It would have been crazy to not provide capacity for more expansion. I remember that when the capacity of the chambers has come up previously, it has been mentioned that the Senate is designed for about 90 Senators and the HoR for about 200 MPs. If there is an office space issue then I am sure that something can be worked out.

  13. [Psephos

    I thought the Parliament House was built to last two hundred years and wasn’t it designed to have 200 HoR seats.]
    There’s certainly a lot of free spaces with 150 house of reps seats. Less room in the Senate, but I’m sure the seating could be modified a bit to fit more.

  14. Rishworth? No. She’s a great MP but not someone who will climb up too high for various reasons (nothing to do with her gender either, if anyone thinks that.)

    Really, the Labor “stars” in SA are Butler, Ellis and Wong.

  15. Bemused as has been argued innumerable times Gillard’s prime ministership has to be taken in the context of what Windsor described as having 2 LOTO Abbott and his Aide de camp RUDD

  16. [The Commons does not sit all members and was designed not to do so. Allegedly Churchill felt members milling in the aisle added to the dramatic tension]

    It’s not the chambers, it’s the offices. Staff numbers have greatly increased since 1988, and the invention of the Parl Sec has created more semi-ministerial entourages. There is simply no more room.

  17. 3648

    The general consensus is that odd numbers are better for STV as they allow a majority vote in an electorate to lead to a majority of seats in that electorate.

    The only reason that we currently have even numbers (in the States) is that the Hawke Government was to scared of a public backlash to expand Parliament by 72 politicians.

  18. OC:

    I can’t find the transcript of the Windsor interview. Are you sure it was ABC and not some Sydney-specific radio station?

  19. Puff, the Magic Dragon.@3607

    CTar1
    I ain’t letting the Rudd whiners who made this blog unbearable for three years until “The Ruddster” got his chance to rodent-cuddle the party at a second election, rewrite history with the villain as the HLV hero-victim.

    Puffy, you don’t just re-write history, you fictionalise it.

  20. [ShowsOn – your about to be given a tutorial in doing transition from oppo to govt proper. You will see!]
    Oh, I’m sure the Coalition will continue spreading lies, but the net savings they have come up with so far is $6 billion over 4 years which won’t make it through the senate. Their budget position without a single bill going to parliament already means less revenue and more spending than the existing budget position.

    And yet Abbott in his victory speech claimed he will be on track to pay off debt within 3 years.

    He has made too many promises mate!

    Also, why should I believe anything you say? You think Amanda Rishworth has red hair and Billy Hughes only represented one state in the House of Reps.

  21. Yes but other parliaments, the US congress,NZ and NSW as examples have overcome that problem by building less grandiose buildings behind the main structure. Congress even has an underground train to take members to divisions.

  22. [Really, the Labor “stars” in SA are Butler, Ellis and Wong.]

    Ellis? I don’t think so.

    Best youngish talent in the new Caucus: Butler, Parke, Husic, Marles, Thistlethwaite, Feeney, Rowland, Chalmers. I’m told Clare O’Neil (Hotham) is very good too.

  23. [Rishworth? No. She’s a great MP but not someone who will climb up too high for various reasons (nothing to do with her gender either, if anyone thinks that.)]
    What reasons?

  24. Fess it was drivetime on 702 which is Sydney local ABC. Warren Mundine was also on and more scathing about the party and Rudd but I don’t necessarily have the same respect for his opinions. As far as I can see there are no transcripts for ABC local but I will keep looking

  25. If the Senate is increased to 14 per State, the Reps would need to be expanded to about 175 because of the constitution requires the HOR to be twice the size (as close as practicable) to that of the Senate.

  26. [Yes but other parliaments, the US congress, NZ and NSW as examples have overcome that problem by building less grandiose buildings behind the main structure. Congress even has an underground train to take members to divisions.]

    There is no “behind” APH – it’s a circular building. There is nowhere to build. Capital Hill was designed as a unitary entity and cannot be changed without ruining the whole design. Believe me, greater minds than ours have pondered this problem. Parliament cannot be enlarged without building a whole new building.

    Besides which, it costs $1m a year to fund a backbench MP. No government is going to argue the need to spend $36m a year on more politicians.

  27. Bluepill (your name isn’t angus is it?)

    [Serious Question: Someone asked me the other day why any proposition to plant vegetation seems to get reduced to “Soil Carbon” when, by far, there is more effective sequestration from quickly growing, harvesting and using those products. Why don’t those who make decisions count this as sequestration?]

    I tend to agree with you. The main issue will be how long the products stay in use (would have to be many decades for it to matter in AGW/GWP timeframes) and what happens at end of life. If biodegradables go to landfill they produce methane and few landfills recover enough of this potent greenhouse gas to claim carbon neutrality. They could probably make a case for timber/bamboo products though if they could get high gas capture. the timber industry has done some LCA work on this – but not very objectively to my mind. the best option would be recover the end of life products for thermal energy recovery – no landfilling.

    I also like the idea of rapidly growing /high rotation woody crops for gasification to produce energy and biochar, and even liquid fuels and inputs into synthetics and fertilisers. Biomass could alsobe converted into compost soil conditioners and fertilisers. the ETS could promote these. DA may as well – but will cost taxpayer 5-6 times more than the ETS.

    The libs seem stuck on 1970s/80s ideas (let’s plant trees) and greg hunt either believed or peddles the biggest load of BS on soil carbon. if you can talk them out of it, and to focus on biomass cropping, then I say go for it.

    FYI the libs are not centre right – labor is – if you voted LNP you voted right tending far right.

    FYFI – the assertion that the greens do not have environmental policies other than AGW is patently wrong check the policies that unlike other parties are available on line 365 days of the year.

    and also – I have issue with people who think they’ve won an argument by calling an idea ‘socialist’. I’m proudly a small ‘s’ socialist /social democrat and therefore, along with most Australians, support medicare, public health, public education, public spending on shared infrastructure, welfare support, etc as well as the means of production being owned by the workers (just slipped that last one in there for fun). Direct Action is far more capital ‘S’ ‘Socialist’ than the ETS, which is market based – in fact DA is almost corporatism-socialist (i.e fascist) in that taxpayers are paying/supporting big businesses and the system is designed to promote the interest of industry over individuals.

  28. I know what -why don’t we have a referendum to abolish the nexus then we could reduce the Senators to 6 per state :smiley:

  29. [There is no “behind” APH – it’s a circular building. There is nowhere to build. Capital Hill was designed as a unitary entity and cannot be changed without ruining the whole design. Believe me, greater minds than ours have pondered this problem. Parliament cannot be enlarged without building a whole new building.

    Besides which, it costs $1m a year to fund a backbench MP. No government is going to argue the need to spend $36m a year on more politicians.]
    Clive Palmer could fix it.

    Something like a big brontosaurus with an elevator in the tail and a series of offices in the neck region with a casino in the head.

  30. [There must be a way to add more offices to Parliament without building a whole new Parliament House.]

    Well there isn’t. All MPs’ and Senators’ offices must be within 4 minutes’ walk of the chambers, because of divisions. It simply isn’t possible to install 36 new offices in that space.

  31. [I know what -why don’t we have a referendum to abolish the nexus then we could reduce the Senators to 6 per state :smiley:]
    It wouldn’t pass. 🙂

  32. Even NT statehood would create a serious problem, with the need to accommodate 10 new Senators. The manager of Senate services told me last year that the prospect gives him nightmares. And the Reps side is much more crowded.

  33. [Well there isn’t. All MPs’ and Senators’ offices must be within 4 minutes’ walk of the chambers, because of divisions. It simply isn’t possible to install 36 new offices in that space.]
    Well there’s a solution to that. Electronic voting using finger print scanners.

    Keating tried to bring it in around 1995 by the Coalition wouldn’t accept it.

  34. Hopefully this will get wider support.

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/greens-push-to-fix-senate-vote-process-20130909-2tgcf.html

    Im pleased to see Abbott expressing ‘in-principle support’ for Senate reform here.

    X is also saying there’s a “need for greater transparency on preference flows”.

    Id be happier for all parties to take this one up collectively. Electoral reform has to have cross-party support.

  35. [Even NT statehood would create a serious problem, with the need to accommodate 10 new Senators.]
    NT Senators would be fine in a small shack.

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