Week two flotsam and jetsam

Another review of the late counting situation, plus the Labor leadership vote, jockeying to succeed Bob Carr in the Senate, and prospects for electronic voting.

Yet another review of late counting, together with a few other things:

• With McEwen continuing to slip from the Liberals’ grasp, the only remaining lower house seat in doubt is Fairfax, where Clive Palmer received a very handy fillip yesterday when provisional votes pushed his lead out from three to 98. Follow the action here.

• Then there are the Senate races in Western Australia and Tasmania, which are unlikely to become clear until the below-the-line data entry is completed and the button pushed to calculate the outcome (there’s a dedicated thread for Senate counting here, although it’s not doing much business). In the former case, there are probably two seats which hinge on absurdly trivial combinations of micro-party votes and whether they work to the advantage of Australian Sports Party candidate Wayne Dropulich – the fates of Labor and Greens incumbents Louise Pratt and Scott Ludlam as much involved as those of Dropulich and the other potential micro-party winner, Zhenya Wang of the Palmer United Party. The early test for Dropulich is whether he stays ahead of the Rise Up Australia party (0.29%) after his own votes (0.22%) are supplemented by preferences from Australian Voice (0.09%), which has been touch-and-go but has improved for Dropulich on today’s counting. As TruthSeeker observes, Dropulich then needs for the current 183-vote lead of Australian Christians over Shooters & Fishers at Count 21 to hold, which it may not do when below-the-line votes are taken into account. Failing that, Dropulich could be saved if, at Count 19, Help End Marijuana Prohibition failed to hold its present 117-vote lead over the Animal Justice Party, for reasons which would do your head in. On any scenario in which Dropulich wins, the other seat looks set to go to Scott Ludlam of the Greens. If he fails, Zhenya Wang will be joined by Louise Pratt rather than Ludlam, as the Palmer United Party’s direction of preferences to the Greens ahead of Labor would no longer be a factor.

• For Tasmania, Kevin Bonham has the various scenarios neatly laid out in a flow chart, two of which (the final seat going to third Liberal Sally Chandler or Jacqui Lambie of the Palmer United Party) are rated more likely than the others (the win for Robbie Swan of the Sex Party currently projected by Antony Green’s calculator and, with a particularly small chance, a win for Family First). So far as the projection of Antony Green’s calculator is concerned, the trend of counting is towards Robbie Swan of the Sex Party in his fight to stay ahead of the third Labor candidate at Count 21. He took the lead on Tuesday, and it has since gradually opened to 382. However, Bonham’s rough calculation is that it will need to be more like 800 to save him from below-the-line vote leakage. Of the many absurdities in this state of affairs, I have two favourites. One is that the Liberals need the Labor vote to be as high as possible to help ensure Swan’s exclusion, which presumably means Liberal scrutineers are fighting with Labor ones to ensure potential Labor votes are included in the count. The second, noted by Kevin Bonham, is that voters confusing the Liberal Democrats with the Liberals is actually to the Liberals’ advantage, as they have various paths to victory which involve the Liberal Democrats staying ahead of the Palmer United Party or Family First, while their own vote total is essentially academic at this stage.

• Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes was thought by many to have jumped the gun yesterday when he refuted media speculation he might replace Bob Carr in the Senate, given Carr is yet to announce any intention on that front. However, the universal expectation that it will be so is indicated by jockeying to fill the spot. Troy Bramston of The Australian reports that Carr wishes to be succeeded by Graeme Wedderburn, who has been his chief-of-staff both as Premier and Foreign Minister. However, it is today reported that state secretary Jamie Clements has called for the position to go to Deborah O’Neil, who lost her seat of Robertson at the September 7 election, pleading affirmative action. Graeme Wedderburn held senior positions with Westpac and Origin Energy following Carr’s retirement as Premier in 2005, before being lured back to the job by Nathan Rees in 2009 in part by the promise of a Senate seat down the track. However, he was denied a vacancy at the 2010 election due to an arrangement in which Matt Thistlethwaite, who is now entering the lower house as Peter Garrett’s successor in Kingsford-Smith, was given a Senate seat to ease him out of the state secretary position.

• At the beginning of what promises to be a bumper season of electoral reform debate, the Electoral Council of Australia and New Zealand offers a paper on Internet voting in Australian electoral systems. A trailblazer on this score has been Estonia, which has provided for voting over the internet at national elections since 2007, and allowed for voting over mobile phones at the 2011 election, at which the overall take-up rate was nearly a quarter of all votes cast. However, simplifying matters somewhat in Estonia’s case is its national identity card. The paper observes that survey research by the Western Australian Electoral Commission found satisfaction that internet voting would be secured had increased from a third of all respondents in 2005 to a half in 2013. Electronic voting more broadly, including “kiosk” voting conducted within polling stations, is spruiked as offering lower costs, improved formality, more accurate capture of preferences (trials with overseas personnel in 2007 found a higher take-up rate for below-the-line voting), and opportunities for assisting vision-impaired or non-English speaking voters.

• I’ve had too little to say on the Labor leadership election process, of which I’m all in favour, but there’s a useful review of the New Zealand and British precendents from David Donaldson in Crikey.

• Six months out from the state election, there was an EMRS opinion poll from Tasmania out yesterday, which you can read all about in the post below.

• Another new post directly below deals with the state by-election for Miranda in New South Wales, to be held on October 19.

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.

1,310 comments on “Week two flotsam and jetsam”

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  1. ltep,

    Actually, the truth is that it would be a total turnoff for the vast majority of voters and demonstrate, once again, that Labor is more focussed on peripheral issues rather than the bread and butter issues that affect most Australians.

  2. [1194
    Oakeshott Country
    Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm | PERMALINK
    Not sure of the constitutionality of states and territories making marriage laws (as distinct from registering marriages )
    S.51 xxi cedes laws regulating marriage to the Commonwealth.

    George Williams made the point that the HC may interpret the word “marriage” as what it meant in 1901. Not what people think it means now, ie same for hetero and same sex couples.

    This literalist approach could mean that the Cth has no jurisdiction over same sex marriages at all, as 1901, the concept did not exist.

  3. [Would any of our resident LNPers care to defend this new policy of hiding things from the public?]

    Scott Morrison has given a press release on this Labor spin.

    Read it. Comprehend it. Accept it.

    Boat arrival numbers will continue to be released at the time and choosing of the 3 Star General for most impact in smashing the people smugglers for Six.

    Please take note however, no boatpeople have arrived on Christmas Island since Operation Sovereign Borders has been announced. #Winning

  4. [Why not? Many laws are different in each of the States and Territories.]

    The ACT isn’t a state and can happily have any of it’s laws overturned by the Feds which is exactly what is going to happen.

  5. GG, vast majority might be stretching it. I know you don’t support changing the definition of marriage. I do, but accept others don’t feel the same.

  6. Sean Tisme

    Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink


    So much HATE and BILE from the lefties?

    What is it about lefties that they have to be so spiteful and hate filled? Not enough sex?

    with the level of abuse you throw at people you got no moral high ground here.

    At least when I have sex its with a woman and not my own hand

  7. I tremble at the thought of the HC seeing itself in a 1901 timewarp although I appreciate that was the view of Callaghan J. We have a constitution which has proved highly resistant to popular change. Judicial adventurism has been the mechanism that has prevented us being governed in a manner appropriate to the Late Victorian era,

  8. Incidentally, Kevin project a Palmer win by 1 vote if the 7 remaining postals are not accepted. If they are, he projects an O’Brien win by 1 vote.

  9. ltep,

    The vast majority of people are yawningly indifferent to Homosexual Marriage. It’s a scroll by issue kept alive mainly by self interested exaggerators that get their jollies by being outraged.

  10. http://www.smh.com.au/comment/strap-yourself-in-were-all-going-back-to-the-future-20130920-2u5ax.html#ixzz2fUfgq4V6

    read more
    So Tony Abbott would have you believe that the past six years were an aberration, a bad dream that never really happened. Now, suddenly, we have reawakened in the golden glow of the Howard years, or at least a very good imitation of them.

    The old team (well, most of it) is back in charge, and soon there’ll be a surplus in every budget and a freeway in every suburb, no more great big new taxes on everything, the debts will be paid and the boats will stop. And sport will be back on the front pages, the big story being Australia’s inevitable victory in the forthcoming Ashes series. God’s in his heaven, Tony’s in Kirribilli House, and all’s right with the world.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/comment/strap-yourself-in-were-all-going-back-to-the-future-20130920-2u5ax.html#ixzz2fUhqzIJk

  11. Speaking as a supporter of the legalisation of same sex marriage …

    in relation to Sprocket‘s remark:

    [This literalist approach could mean that the Cth has no jurisdiction over same sex marriages at all, as 1901, the concept did not exist.]

    The reasoning here is interesting. If it’s argued that “same sex marriage” is sufficiently distinct from whatever marriage ought to have meant in 1901 for the state not to have ceded powers to the Commonwealth, then one can argue that it fails the test of being “a marriage” by the general standard — which definition lies at the heart of the campaign for same sex marriages. Those most keen on it want it under the same rubric as that of opposite sex partners. The doctrine of estoppel doesn’t, as I understand it, apply in contitutional law (ready to stand corrected here) but for something so symbolic, it would surely make some wince.

    It seems to me that the better argument is the non-literalist one — that in a secular society marriage means whatever people think it means, and that the state has no part to play in restraining consenting adults for registering their marriages as having legal standing, merely on the basis of the sex of the applicants. Marriage registration is a service provided by the state to allow the applicants to mark a special relationship which could be of interest to other parties.

    Accordingly, the Commonwealth marriage power cannot be construed to include a power to restrain registration of marriages most people would consider fitting the criteria as no state ever had that power.

  12. [Boat arrival numbers will continue to be released at the time and choosing of the 3 Star General for most impact in smashing the people smugglers for Six.]

    We are in a war against people smugglers. In war, it is a good idea to keep unpalatable facts away from the people. This policy was used during the Vietnam War, and it helped the war effort immensely. We won that war, right?

  13. [Accordingly, the Commonwealth marriage power cannot be construed to include a power to restrain registration of marriages most people would consider fitting the criteria as no state ever had that power.]

    I think this is a very weak argument. Clearly the state has always had the power to prohibit any class of persons from marrying.

  14. Please take note however, no boatpeople have arrived on Christmas Island since Operation Sovereign Borders has been announced.

    At last, we have direct evidence of the stage at which Sean Tisme’s cognitive development has been arrested.

    There’s a developmental phase that most children go through by about two years of age, known as ‘object permanence’. That is, the understanding that objects continue to exist even if you can’t see or hear them. Like, for example, boats. Now, pay attention, because this may surprise Sean and others afflicted with similar impairments: Boats still exist, even when the government and the military refuse to tell the Australian people (their paymasters) about them.

    Tisme has yet to reach the developmental milestone of ‘object permanence’. Considering that he is profoundly arrested, without the normal faculties of a two-year old, we shouldn’t be too hard on him.

    His small business might actually be Old Kent Road on the Monopoly board.

  15. [Would any of our resident LNPers care to defend this new policy of hiding things from the public?]

    It’s the new open and transparent government.

  16. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-20/pope-francis-says-church-must-shake-off-homosexuality-obsession/4970058Pope Francis said the Catholic Church must shake off an obsession with teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality and become more merciful or risk the collapse of its entire moral edifice “like a house of cards”.

    In a dramatically blunt interview with an Italian Jesuit journal, Francis said the church had “locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules” and should not be so prone to condemn.

    Its priests should be more welcoming and not cold, dogmatic bureaucrats. The confessional, he said,

    greens ,,GROWLER

    a timely message from pop francis

  17. my say

    Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink
    The old team (well, most of it) is back in charge, and soon there’ll be a surplus in every budget and a freeway in every suburb, no more great big new taxes on everything

    That would be the old team that Abbott descxribed as “past its prime”.

    Interview August 2013
    TONY ABBOTT: As those of you who were around at the time would remember, we had a lot on our plate in 2007 and I suppose we were perhaps a little past our prime back in those days.

    So what has changed to make them any better?

  18. Remember this is the Prime Minister who stated;

    TONY ABBOTT: If you’re walking down the street at 2am in Kings Cross in Sydney, and you get king hit, maybe you shouldn’t be there.

  19. Sean

    Just because their has been a few days of no boats arriving doesn’t mean the policy is a success.

    If we go a few days without a road death the government doesn’t claim that it has stopped road deaths.

    The reality is Australia is and will remain an attractive place to migrate too.

    Hopefully the new policy does work and this subject disappears but that is unlikely as the issues which drive people to want to leave their homeland and move to this great country will remain.

  20. Mick77
    Posted Friday, September 20, 2013 at 11:42 pm | Permalink
    ….interesting place this, aint it?

    Sure is. I just came home and looked through earlier posts when I was online and there is some lunatic named badcat (should be madcat since tonight’s full moon seems to have affected him/her) screaming from the screen about how I claimed to have served 15 hard years in the Oz Army


    Oh …. Ok M(pr)ick 77 – I owe you an sincere apology. I sometimes confuse which Liberal TROLL is posting – I am never sure if its M(pr)ick 77 or Seanpissonme or Joe Jizz etc etc or the same person with multiple personalities with the ad nauseum empty sloganeering

    You know what, M(pr)ick – I was mentally prepared to cut you some slack thinking you can’t be all bad if you did some Army time – but if was NOT you as I thought – then I guess you really are as totally useless as I initially thought ….

    thought bubble follows :

    mmm .. imagining him – a fat, flatulent, Alan Jones Tea Party worshipping redneck windbag…a master of total inconsequence masquerading as a guru, mouthing off bilious Liberal Party platitudes at every opportunity and passing off his vast limitations as pious virtues.

  21. Who should lead the ALP.

    Ideally Shorten would lead with Albo as deputy and leader of the house and either Wong or Lundy leader in the senate.

    The reach this answer i asked myself is the ALP looking to fight the 2016 election or is it fighting the 1983 election.

    This is a reverse of the Turnbull/Tone contest.

    Shorten like Tone is better aligned with the aspirations of middle suburban Australia.

  22. guytaur

    Posted Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    “@ABCNews24: LIVE: NSW Opposition Leader @jrobertsonmp speaking following #ICAC raids on the offices of two MPs http://t.co/3YXdj7UeVK #nswpol”

    I’m shattered!! Liberal MP’s involved in corruption?

    After all the comments by Sean about the corrupt NSW Labor I was thinking the Liberals must really be holding the high moral ground and all be so squeaky clean.

    But alas they are being shown to be corrupt also.


  23. Diog

    Yes a farce due to fairly well accepted corruption, not proved though.

    I have seen European commentators saying it should have gone to Australia.

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