Monday miscellany

An assembly of Section 44 detritus and recent federal preselection news.

Some Section 44 and recent preselection news to kick off a sorely needed new federal politics thread:

• The Australian Electoral Commission will today push the button on Senate recounts mandated by the High Court to determine replacements for Fiona Nash (New South Wales, Nationals), Larissa Waters (Greens, Queensland) and Scott Ludlam (Greens, Western Australia). It is a known known that this will result in the election of, respectively, Hollie Hughes, Andrew Bartlett and Jordon Steele-John. The first of these raises a complication in that Hughes is from the Liberals rather than Nationals, which upsets finely calibrated provisions of the coalition agreement.

• Tasmanian Liberal Senator Stephen Parry’s Section 44-related vacancy is set to be filled by Richard Colbeck, the highest placed unelected candidate on the Liberal Senate ticket last year, in keeping with the established precedent of dealing with disqualifications by recounting the votes as if the disqualified member had not been on the ballot paper. Colbeck was a Senator from 2002 until his defeat in 2016, which followed his dumping from top of the ticket in 2013 to fifth place. This was widely seen as an exercise of power by Senator Eric Abetz against the only Liberal MP in the state who had supported Malcolm Turnbull’s challenge to Tony Abbott. Many Liberal voters rebelled against this arrangement by voting for Colbeck by the line, although he failed to match Labor’s Lisa Singh achievement in defeating the party colleague listed above him.

• Parry’s departure also opens a can of worms in that a recount would not just result in Colbeck being elected in his stead. As a recount from the published raw data conducted by Grahame Bowland shows, the vagaries of below-the-line preferences are such that the final spot would be won not by Greens Senator Nick McKim, who made it to the final seat by a margin of 141 votes, but by Kate McCulloch of One Nation, who on the new count would finish 227 votes ahead of McKim. As Kevin Bonham explains, it is debatable whether the High Court would indeed declare McKim retrospectively unelected, or if it would deem his election beyond its remit on the grounds that only Parry had had his election annulled by disqualification (the latter being Antony Green’s view).

• An earlier report on the Tasmanian Liberals’ Senate preselection in The Mercury indicated Claire Chandler, a risk adviser at Deloitte Australia, had emerged as a challenger for the next election to incumbents Jonathon Duniam and David Bushby. Chandler could potentially lay a strong claim if only by promising to break the persistent male domination of the Tasmanian Liberals’ federal contingent, which stood at seven out of seven before three lost their seats in 2016.

• Voting is to open this Friday on the preselection for the Greens Senate preselection in New South Wales, in which incumbent Lee Rhiannon faces a challenge from state upper house MP Mehreen Faruqi. According to Sean Nicholls in the Sydney Morning Herald, this is being a viewed as a challenge by the party’s moderate tendency, associated with Faruqi’s Legislative Council colleague Jeremy Buckingham, against Rhiannon’s hard left faction.

The Guardian reports that “Greens internal processes” appear to encourage Senators to make way for their preselected successors before their election, by vacating their seats and having them fill the casual vacancy. On this basis, Larissa Waters, who has confirmed she will again seek preselection after losing her seat to the vagaries of Section 44, may replace her designed successor, Andrew Bartlett, following a preselection to be held over the coming months. However, Bartlett appears non-committal as to his own longer term aspirations. The report also notes that Lee Rhiannon might be expected to relinquish her seat to Mehreen Faruqi if she loses the New South Wales preselection discussed above.

Andrew Clennell of The Australian reports that Lucy Mannering, a Commonwealth Bank lawyer and ex-wife of former Australian Workers Union national secretary Paul Howes, is emerging as a potential compromise candidate for Labor preselection candidate for the Sydney seat of Banks, which the party uncharacteristically lost in 2013 and 2016. The preselection has loomed as a contest between Chris Gambian, a union official favoured by the CFMEU, and Paul Garratt, who has the backing of the Maritime Union of Australia, of which he is an assistant secretary. Another potential contender is Jason Yat-Sen Li, a Chinese community leader and unsuccessful candidate for Bennelong in 2013.

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.

940 comments on “Monday miscellany”

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  1. Trump Can’t Hide On Foreign Trip As Mueller Has Enough Evidence To Charge Mike Flynn

    The fact Special Counsel Robert Mueller has enough evidence to charge Mike Flynn strengthens the obstruction of justice case against Donald Trump.

    NBC News reported, “Federal investigators have gathered enough evidence to bring charges in their investigation of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and his son as part of the probe into Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation. Michael T. Flynn, who was fired after just 24 days on the job, was one of the first Trump associates to come under scrutiny in the federal probe now led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.”

  2. Finally, Kellyanne Conway Gets Called Out For Spreading Misinformation By CNN’s Brian Stelter

    When Kellyanne Conway tried to lie and say that the Steele Dossier was completely unverified, CNN’s Brian Stelter called her out for spreading misinformation on his show.

    Conway said, “CNN has been obsessed with this dossier for over a year now, and now that we know that the DNC and the Clinton campaign paid the same firm for said dossier, which is completely unverified, we can’t get you excited.”

    Stelter called her out, “Parts of it have been verified. That is misformation that you’re spreading on my program Kellyanne, and I don’t appreciate it. Much of the dossier, you just said the entire dossier is unverified. That is inaccurate…Pieces of the dossier have been verified, and when you say it’s unverified, you actually mislead the American people.”

    No one is sure what Kellyanne Conway’s job actually is. It appears that her job is to go on television and lie for Donald Trump. Stelter anticipated the complaints that he will get from viewers for booking her on his show. There is value in debunking falsehoods by someone like Conway in real time as they are spoken.

    Kellyanne Conway’s job in the White House is to spread disinformation.

  3. Robert Mueller now has enough evidence to charge Mike Flynn and his son in Russia probe: report

    NBC News reported on Sunday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has gathered enough evidence to charge former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his son, Michael G. Flynn.

    According to NBC News:

    Federal investigators have gathered enough evidence to bring charges in their investigation of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser and his son as part of the probe into Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election, according to multiple sources familiar with the investigation.

    Three sources told NBC that Michael Flynn’s could be charged at the same time as his father.


    Offshore Trove Exposes Trump-Russia links and Piggy Banks of the Wealthiest 1 Percent

    A new leak of confidential records reveals the financial hideaways of iconic brands and power brokers across the political spectrum.

    A trove of 13.4 million records exposes ties between Russia and U.S. President Donald Trump’s billionaire commerce secretary, the secret dealings of the chief fundraiser for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the offshore interests of the queen of England and more than 120 politicians around the world.

    The leaked documents, dubbed the Paradise Papers, show how deeply the offshore financial system is entangled with the overlapping worlds of political players, private wealth and corporate giants, including Apple, Nike, Uber and other global companies that avoid taxes through increasingly imaginative bookkeeping maneuvers.

    One offshore web leads to Trump’s commerce secretary, private equity tycoon Wilbur Ross, who has a stake in a shipping company that has received more than $68 million in revenue since 2014 from a Russian energy company co-owned by the son-in-law of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    In all, the offshore ties of more than a dozen Trump advisers, Cabinet members and major donors appear in the leaked data.

  5. Paradise Papers

    Russia funded Facebook and Twitter investments through Kushner associate

    Institutions with close links to Kremlin financed stakes through business associate of Trump’s son-in-law, leaked files reveal

    Two Russian state institutions with close ties to Vladimir Putin funded substantial investments in Twitter and Facebook through a business associate of Jared Kushner, leaked documents reveal.

    The investments were made through a Russian technology magnate, Yuri Milner, who also holds a stake in a company co-owned by Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser.

    The discovery is likely to stir concerns over Russian influence in US politics and the role played by social media in last year’s presidential election. It may also raise new questions for the social media companies and for Kushner.

  6. Thanks William.

    If I read correctly next week the senate sits (without the house) and they have to pick a new president.

    One question, does the president get a casting vote , does it work like the house? From the SMH today Labor may back a National candidate (not that would change the balance much). Also I believe Labor said they wouldn’t pair Parry’s missing vote, and so the government will be one down until a replacement is appointed by the Tasmanian parliament.

  7. I like the timing of the Paradise Papers expose, wait till Trump is offshore with a busy schedule and a string of pressers with unfriendly foreigners, and even unfriendlier US media.

    This NY Times piece shows the type of meticulous research we sadly don’t see here

    “After becoming commerce secretary, Wilbur L. Ross Jr. retained investments in a shipping firm he once controlled that has significant business ties to a Russian oligarch subject to American sanctions and President Vladimir V. Putin’s son-in-law, according to newly disclosed documents”

  8. JR

    No, the Senate is different to the Reps. The President gets a deliberative vote.

    Given the disqualification or resignation of 6 Senators, 2 Greens, 1 Nat, 1 Lib, 1 PHON, 1 NXT including the President and Nats and NxT Leaders, with none of these positions likely to be filled soon, we are descending into chaos.

    The AEC should pull their finger out and get on with some recounts.

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Nicolas Stuart says ignorance is no defence for these dual-citizen idiots. A good article.
    The Australian’s Jennifer Oriel says Turnbull’s losing his touch. It’s going from bad to worse she says. Google.
    Adam Gartrell says the Libs/Nats enmity is swelling up. BTW if the Libs install Ian McDonald as president it will be national disgrace.
    Michelle Grattan on Turnbull’s call for citizenship disclosure.
    Urban Wronski declares this to have been Turnbull’s worst week ever.
    Jennifer Hewett writes that the citizenship fiasco is flaying the Turnbull government alive. Google.
    It’s Melbourne Cup week so Stephen Koukoulas has provided a political and economic form guide.
    America is exhausted. The US is tired and somewhat forlorn as it endures yet another bout of painful introspection about its national character and role in the world. In the year since his election Donald Trump has only intensified the cultural crisis that has gripped the country in the past two decades, sapped its energy and brought its calling into question. Google.
    Special Counsel Robert Mueller has collected sufficient evidence to charge Michael Flynn, US President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, and his son, NBC News reported on Sunday, citing multiple sources familiar with the investigation.

  10. Section 2 . . .

    Amanda Vanstone tells us that “fake news” has been around longer than Donald Trump. Perhaps she’s been reading The Australian.
    Funny business in Saudi Arabia.
    The ABS is about to launch a very detailed survey.
    A massive leak of tax haven records exposes ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s billionaire Secretary of Commerce, and that Kremlin firms backed investments in US social media giants. Google.
    The world’s biggest businesses, heads of state and global figures in politics, entertainment and sport who have sheltered their wealth in secretive tax havens are being revealed this week in a major new investigation into Britain’s offshore empires. The paradise Papers.
    What in the hell is going on at the Gold Coast Council?,10899
    What does the future hold for modern service stations?
    Greg Jericho on capitalism. He concludes with ” It’s not hard to see failures in capitalism when its advocates struggle to see the lives of people who have been failed by that system.”
    What to expect from Pauline Hanson during the Queensland election campaign.

  11. Section 3 . . .

    Erin Stewart tells us not to believe the hype. You just don’t need the new iPhone.
    The US defence department knew that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction but kept Britain in the dark, according to an explosive new claim from Gordon Brown. This is extraordinary!
    A global oil price surge is set to drive up the cost of petrol through the Christmas holiday season and experts are warning the pain at the bowser is likely to intensify in the New Year. The cartel has been (not) busy!
    Here we go again! A man walked into a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday morning and started shooting, leaving multiple people dead.
    Dutton has brushed off an attack by a Greens MP that labelled him “a terrorist”, saying “it says more about Mr Adam Bandt and the Greens than it does about me”.
    Turnbull has rejected a revived refugee resettlement offer from New Zealand, dashing the hopes of hundreds of men who remained barricaded inside the Manus Island processing centre.
    Ross Gittins returns to the recent Productivity Commission report and concludes with ” . . if you’re not game to take on powerful rent-seekers, you won’t get far.”
    David Brooks on how to spot a sexual predator.
    Gonorrhoea has been making a big comeback.
    Here’s an essay from Year 12 student on why he is a staunch republican.

  12. Section 4 . . . Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe takes Dutton to Flemington with his special millinery.

    Matt Davidson lines up the predators.

    Matt Golding continues to pour scorn on Potatohead.

    Mark David and Trump’s entourage.

    And he has Bandt upsetting Turnbull.

    Paul Zanetti and the citizenship moral high ground.

    Matt Golding and refugee negotiations.

    Mark Knight has Frydenberg in a spot of bother.

    Alan Moir returns to Gollum’s world.

    And he has a fun-filled time for Turnbull.

    Moir introduces Turnbull’s “My Brilliant Hubris”.

    Pat Campbell takes Turnbull to Egypt.

  13. Some good has been done. Cash has helped spotlight the injustice of the Coalition’s war on workers. Since 2013, it has used politicised commissions and investigations to pursue its sworn enemy the unions and The Australian Labor Party, with extreme prejudice toward Julia Gillard and Bill Shorten, in show trials assisted and amplified by a tame MSM.

    Cash may well have done her dash. Certainly she has put her government and her PM between a ROC and a hard place. She is one of the few cabinet ministers who don’t show up in Jerusalem – apart from Turnbull who misses the start.

    Dithering only for a couple of days, agonising whom to leave minding the red teapot, Turnbull opts to put Ms Julie Bishop in charge. It’s no easy delegation. The Foreign Minister’s diary is already chockers with work-related Flemington Spring carnival engagements. Still, Julie will read out the day’s talking points and evade any ABC questions splendidly.

  14. Thank you BK.

    Zanetti’s cartoon is a bit on the nose, IMO.
    Labor has been extradordinarily well-behaved on the dual citizenship stuff.
    It has been internal factions who have been dumping the dirt on their colleagues.
    Not Labor.
    It was Turnbull who first launched a witch hunt on Shorten’s citizenship and now rages about how naughty witch hunts are.

  15. KayJay

    Good morning 🙂

    I was just posting at random to try to get on board as the blog seemed to be asleep. Then, like buses, they all appeared at once.

  16. The “Load More” seems to have stopped working. A colour progress ring shows briefly, but nothing new. I need to force reload to see new posts (Chrome, using C+)

  17. phylactella
    This is consistent with the problem I had seeing the Dawn Patrol I posted this morning – hence all the diagnostic test messages. I have disabled the C+ extension for the time being.

  18. I am stunned at the way that a supposedly ‘brilliant’ man can make such a total hash of leadership. Yes, I know that the brightest brains are not necessarily suited to politics, but Mal seems to be able to take failure to a whole new level. I am assuming that he listens to no one and won’t take advice.

  19. Apologies, BK — it was not meant to be a snark, but to alert you in case you didn’t realise your posts were showing up.

  20. For Steve 777 from last night (if he is about today) re the big green steam train with the pointed nose that ran from Newcastle to Sydney. It is the famous 38 01. The Newcastle Flyer.

    The 3804 is the standard non-streamlined loco. Sometimes had a green livery or black. But no pointy nose.

    I am a child of the Sutherland Shire and had relatives that lived at Heathcote on the Illawarra Line. “Back in the day” the line was serviced by the old railmotors before electrification of the line. When they were out of service sometimes were replaced by good old steam locos. I can remember doing a few wonderful trips in the steam train from Sutherland to Heathcote. Absolutely loved it.

  21. ‘What is the email referred to in the cartoon “My Brilliant Hubris”?’
    His attempt to bring down Labor with a fake email in 2009. The dead cat is clearly a reference an old relationship of his.

  22. Morning all.

    Thanks PhoenixRed and BK for today’s wrap up. I see there’s been yet another mass shooting in the US, 20 dead in Texas church shooting.

  23. Your Thoughts And Prayers Aren’t Working: At Least 20 Killed In Sickening Church Mass Shooting

    To GOP politicians: When you repeatedly shed crocodile tears over mass shootings, then follow it up by refusing to do anything to prevent the next one, nobody hears you anymore.

    Fifty-eight in Las Vegas just last month. Forty-nine in Orlando last year. Thirty-two in Blacksburg in 2007. Twenty-six in Newtown in 2012. Fourteen in San Bernardino in 2015. Thirteen in Littleton in 1999. Twelve in Aurora in 2012.

    These are just a handful of high-profile mass shootings that have shocked the United States over the past two decades – but, unfortunately, it hasn’t shocked us into taking meaningful action to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

    It’s time for these spineless guardians of the status quo to either do something or just shut up.

  24. CTar1,

    Exactly, it’s the no brainer part of the debate.

    Even if ALL the Scientist are wrong, then we’ve made the transition to a cleaner more sustainable future sooner.

  25. Sohar,

    It could also be a reference to Mal, who “invented” the internet in Australia, f@#king it up with the NBN.

  26. lizzie @ #31 Monday, November 6th, 2017 – 8:26 am

    I am stunned at the way that a supposedly ‘brilliant’ man can make such a total hash of leadership. Yes, I know that the brightest brains are not necessarily suited to politics, but Mal seems to be able to take failure to a whole new level. I am assuming that he listens to no one and won’t take advice.

    Keating (and others like Jim McClelland) pegged him long ago – including the label “Fizzer” –

    When Malcolm Turnbull took the leadership of the Liberal Party, Paul Keating decided he had some useful insights into the man. He decided to offer them to Kevin Rudd.

    The previous Labor prime minister told the incumbent Labor Prime Minister three key things about Turnbull.

    First, he should know that Turnbull was brilliant. Second, that Turnbull was utterly fearless.

    His third point: Turnbull has no judgment.

    Keating must be feeling vindicated today. (article dated 2009)

  27. It makes you wonder how much of a bubble politicians live in.

    You just had to listen to Hans Blix to realise it was not the last resort, just like you only had to listen to Bush to realise it was their first resort.

    In an extraordinary allegation, the former prime minister states that a secret US intelligence report into Iraq’s military capabilities was never passed to Britain and could have changed the course of events. The revelation leads Brown to conclude that the “war could not be justified as a last resort and invasion cannot now be seen as a proportionate response”.

    From article posted earlier.

  28. Morning all

    BK, PhoenixR. Thanks for today’s reports.

    I hear that The Paradise papers apparently is just the beginning. There is going to be much more relevations.

  29. PhoenixRed

    I wonder if Trump will say anything about this mass shooting. So far it seems he only reserves comments for muslim jihadists.

    Also according to team patriot, Flynn senior has flipped to save Jnr

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