More Monday miscellany

A summary of federal preselection developments, much of it relating to Tasmanian Senate tickets.

We’re in an off-week for federal opinion polling, although we may get geographic and demographic breakdowns from Newspoll – the leadership change had broken up their usual schedule of quarterly publication, and they have already published the results from the end of the Turnbull epoch. So here’s a summary of preselection news. Note the post below on the Wentworth by-election, and the one below that on the US mid-terms, courtesy of Adrian Beaumont.

• After successful lobbying from Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and Mathias Cormann, Richard Colbeck will head the Tasmanian Liberal Senate ticket. Earlier reports indicated he would again be dumped, as he was in 2016 – initially costing him his seat, before he won it back on the countback that resulted from Stephen Parry’s Section 44-related disqualification. Claire Chandler, a conservative backed by Eric Abetz, is number two, with Hobart councillor Tanya Denison number three. The presence of two women on the ticket makes a change from the usual form of the state party, which last had a woman in federal parliament in 2002. Those who missed out included Brett Whiteley, who held Braddon from 2013 to 2016 and failed to win it back in the Super Saturday by-election, and Wendy Summers, political staffer and the sister of David Bushby.

• Tasmanian Labor, on the other hand, has persisted in dumping Senator Lisa Singh to number four, despite her historic success in having below-the-line voters overturn her demotion in 2016. This reflects the party’s persistence in favouring the claim of John Short, state secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, who will be number three. The top two positions go to incumbents of the Left and Right, Carol Brown and Catryna Bilyk.

• Ann Sudmalis’s retirement in the dicey New South Wales seat of Gilmore leaves in the field her prospective preselection challenger, Grant Schultz, a real estate agent and the son of former Hume MP Alby Schultz. However, Mark Kenny of Fairfax reports “the moderate faction of the Liberal Party believes it can retain its hold on the seat and find a replacement for Ms Sudmalis”.

Chris O’Keefe of Nine News reports Hughes MP Craig Kelly has been approached to run in the marginal state seat of East Hills, to smooth over his likely preselection defeat in his existing seat at the hands of Kent Johns. Kelly appeared to scupper his chances when he suggested forgiving Russia for the MH17 disaster was “the price we have to pay” for “good relations going forward”.

• Perin Davey, a Riverina water policy specialist, has won preselection to succeed the retiring John “Wacka” Williams as the Nationals’ New South Wales Senate candidate. The existing coalition agreement gives the Nationals the difficult third position on the ticket, but Joe Kelly of The Australian reports the party is considering breaking away to run its own ticket. To this end it has chosen a full slate of four candidates, rounded out by “small business owner Sam Farraway, Gunnedah Mayor Jamie Chaffey and Wagga-based farmer Paul Cocking”.

• Skye Kakoschke-Moore has been confirmed as the lead South Australian Senate candidate for the Centre Alliance, confirming that Nick Xenophon will stand by the pledge he made at the time of his failed run for state parliament that he would not run at the federal election.

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.

2,067 comments on “More Monday miscellany”

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  1. Aunt Mavis,
    It appears that, sometimes when you have had too many Reds (and I thought you were trying NOT to!?!), you can tend to get a bit, hmm, assertive. 🙂

  2. I take it that the Labor people here saying that the present policy on boat turn backs, despite the associated concerns, is correct, and that they also then acknowledge that Labor was 100% wrong when in power, and the Coalition were 100% right.

  3. jeffemu 819pm

    Almost “push polling”! Maybe they should ask “Do you support mining companies who completely abandon Australian towns when they shut down their mines because they are no longer profitable enough?”

    It reminds me – wasn’t it Newspoll that kept asking people when the business tax cuts should come in, not whether they should? And then Fairfax-Ipsos trolled them by asking whether business taxes should be higher-lower-about the same.

  4. poroti @ #2093 Thursday, October 4th, 2018 – 9:11 pm


    Nope. It was racism. All harking back to the days of White Australia. It was “Asiatic Hordes” full of disease,criminals, muslim terrorists and ‘swamping’, that was the language used. Self proclaimed Labor die hards today have rolled out the “swamping” and “criminals’ , if only they had of mentioned ‘disease carrying’, they would have had the 2GB trifecta.

    You really can be idiotic and offensive all at the one time sometimes. Oh, and you appear not to have been awake over the last few months when the majority of Australians were not very positive, at all, about White South African Farmers coming here as refugees. But whatever floats your boat. 🙂

  5. lol, I love this, ‘you’re not a true Labor person unless you agree with The Greens’ asylum seeker policy, you’re a Liberal!’ malarkey. 🙂

  6. #ReachTEL Poll Federal Seat of Wentworth Primary Votes: LIB 40.6 ALP 19.5 Phelps IND 16.9 Heath IND 9.4 GRN 6.2 Other 1.8 Undecided 5.6 #auspol

  7. Jackol:

    [‘No mistake on my part.’]

    Fair enough, mate; but may I quote:

    [‘Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you…drink…’]

    I categorically refuse to accuse you that you’ve been on the piss tonight, like me.

  8. Andrew Bolt and the bloke standing in for Steve Price played part of a recording of Morrison praying for the victims of the Indonesian tsunami on 3aw tonight. The PM was basically appealing to God to intervene and help the poor buggers out (my terminology, not his). Apparently God would not have thought of that without these very caring people giving him a wake up call.

    I couldn’t help thinking that since God is so influenced by what they say, it might have been handy for them to suggest that next time He sees something like that coming he should step in and do something to prevent it. That would seem to be a far more practical course than letting the shit hit the fan and then having all these people pestering Him to help with the clean up.

    And then I thought, it must be very difficult being a supreme being. You would never get any peace. There is always someone who thinks they know how to run things better than you. Just think of what our own supreme being here on PB goes through every day with us. You wouldn’t take it on for quids.

    Anyway I must get on with my own evening prayer. Bless me William for I have sinned……………..

  9. Wow! Over 1,000 and counting US Law Professors signed an anti Kavanuagh confirmation petition – check the link to see them all listed out..

    “The following letter will be presented to the United States Senate on Oct. 4. It will be updated as more signatures are received.

    Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge. As the Congressional Research Service explains, a judge requires “a personality that is even-handed, unbiased, impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result.” The concern for judicial temperament dates back to our founding; in Federalist 78, titled “Judges as Guardians of the Constitution,” Alexander Hamilton expressed the need for “the integrity and moderation of the judiciary.”

    We are law professors who teach, research and write about the judicial institutions of this country. Many of us appear in state and federal court, and our work means that we will continue to do so, including before the United States Supreme Court. We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on Sept. 27, Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that would be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land.”

  10. Re refugees:
    I currently own a business in Thailand and meet a lot of European tourists. Without doubt the single most discussed topic is the consequence of refugees in their home countries. All types of people right across the spectrum… educated to stupid… progressive to dickwad. To a man they think Australia has the best solution. Not my view … but a surprising weight of numbers and worth sharing.

  11. Gecko

    The UNHCR solution to the refugee crisis in Europe is largely based around ‘stopping the boats’ and putting people smugglers out of business.

  12. On the boats, bodies at sea thing.

    Being a person who did spend a night alone in their teens, “lost” at sea in seriously crap weather, thinking “OMG i am going to die a virgin”…. before a long swim to the beach. 🙁 this did push a bit of a button for me and i supported the Rudd response that started Manus and Nauru.

    But, what that has evolved into is just fwarking evil on so many levels, and we need to have a different approach. I’m happy to declare i thought Gillards “Malaysia Solution” was a damn good idea. May have worked, may not, but was worth a try. Nope, i dont have much in the way to suggest a solution to an issue like this that has been so used for nasty fear based politics, that would be acceptable to everyone. But i do know there are people out there who get paid a shed load more than me who have a responsibility to do the best they can to do that and it pisses me off.

  13. Diogenes says:
    Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 9:50 pm
    Bolt is an atheist.

    Yes, he mentioned that and then went on with a long rambling explanation as to why he would prefer a Christian to be running the country. Strange things happen it seems when your political bias comes up against your religious beliefs (or lack there

  14. ” Just think of what our own supreme being here on PB goes through every day with us. You wouldn’t take it on for quids.”

    Ahhhhhhhh…..but the POWER!!!

    sorry, my inner liberal surfaced a bit then. slapped down to go back and play with my inner bitch 🙁

  15. Arthur Calwell’s speech written by Graham Freudenberg is often quoted as the best ever delivered to Federal Parliament.

    Read it here:

    Arthur Calwell, the ALP Leader of the Opposition, announced the ALP’s opposition to the commitment of troops to South Vietnam in a speech to the House of Representatives on May 4, 1965.
    Don Watson, speech writer for prime minister Paul Keating, described Calwell’s speech in these words:
    “Among Australian speeches, Arthur Calwell’s 1965 speech in which he declared Labor’s opposition to the war in Vietnam stands out. The speech, when I last read it, seemed to have something of the sinewy intelligence and courage that FDR’s speech had. It is not eloquent for the sake of eloquence, but in proportion to the argument and the conviction that underlies it. Graham Freudenberg built it on a proposition, not a political convenience; that is why it is free of both cliche and condescension and the phrases still ring long after we have ceased to care about the subject. Speeches like this are rarely written nowadays because the political climate does not allow of much intellectual effort or, in general, politicians of much character. Perhaps they should bear in mind that while Labor lost the election that year it did help them grow a spine and eventually they won because of it.”

  16. Being a person who did spend a night alone in their teens, “lost” at sea in seriously crap weather, thinking “OMG i am going to die a virgin”

    You were lost at sea and that was your first thought??!! 😮

  17. No one is ever 100% right just as no one is ever 100% wrong

    What you do is make decision based on the best available information and advice at the time

    Mt Barker, WA

    I recall such a place, having visited a couple of times

    There was a true story of 2 brothers who farmed the divided and adjoining former Family holding and did not speak

    One died about 30 years ago with the surviving brother told not to come to the funeral service

    Then to 1993 and the wool price – but that is another story!!!

  18. Observer @ #2030 Thursday, October 4th, 2018 – 10:15 pm

    No one is ever 100% right just as no one is ever 100% wrong

    False. For example, when Trump goes on Twitter and tells his followers to go check out a sex tape and then literally the next day goes on a nationally televised debate and denies ever having tweeted that, he is 100% wrong. Both factually and ethically.

  19. And I agree that Vietnam and the deaths of Conscripts along with those maimed and otherwise damaged finally impacted on just so many Australian families that a change of government was a given

    The Liberal Party needing an enemy, hey

    Look at the bothersome, bumbling Borrison – including today

  20. The Malaysia solution was worth a try but what if it had been tried and didn’t work? Or more likely it had worked until places ran out? I rarely see this discussed.

    Thing is, if we did have a policy of no resettlement in Australia for boat refugees alongside a policy of overseas resettlement and lets suppose the conditions of resettlement weren’t totally inhumane. What happens? Certainly not hundreds of thousands, but potentially tens of thousands would take the boat, get picked up, put into a camp and then resettled in some other country.

    How does this “fix” the problem if the problem is dangerous boat journeys. Even leaving aside that very likely that at some point the resettling country or countries would say the bleeding obvious “why don’t you take them?”.

    As much as I think a “regional solution” is the least insane policy (short of open borders which frankly is a solution), I have serious doubts that its a lasting solution.

    And if you adopt any kind of overseas resettlement solution alongside a “no resettlement in Australia” policy and the resettlement deal runs out, what are you left with? At best a few thousand people in indefinite detention and lots of damaged, tortured people.

    Lets suppose Labor wins next year and does manage to negotiate resettlement for (say) 2,000 people. Problem solved? Well, lets suppose you are a desperate refugee fleeing persecution. You know if you get on a boat and head towards Australia you’re going to be picked up and resettled somewhere that isn’t exactly wonderful but you’re not going to be persecuted. What would you do? Exactly. And so would many other people in the same situation.

    Do you get my point?

    If we can’t get a long lasting agreement with other countries to resettle a lot of people. Not just the remnants of our current detainees but, tens of thousands or more over the longer term, we don’t have a viable policy.

    Then we are back to a very simple truth. Deterring people means hurting them, badly. I don’t think as a nation we have faced up to that. And I don’t think as a nation we have faced up to the possibility that open borders is not actually a bad outcome. Put aside the “we’ll all get swamped”, what are the actual facts? How many people would actually come? What would be the consequence? Can we manage that? We have never actually had a rational, evidence based discussion on those questions.

  21. I agree with Jackol. There were quite a few posters on this site who were taking the ‘let them come’ line before Christmas Island — and changed that to ‘no one should die trying to get here’ afterwards.

    For the life of me, I cannot see how not wanting people to die is racist, but there we go.

    What makes it look like mealy-mouthed bullshit, I believe, is that no-one seems to give a fuck about the dying when it happens in our immigration prisons.

  22. ar

    I am referring to normal people

    The extension is that anyone who is of the view they are 100% right are not normal

    The rest of us absorb knowledge – and absorbing knowledge can see us change our views

    It was once said to me that the things you most strongly believe in are those where you have changed your view over time

  23. Sprocket

    “Wow! Over 1,000 and counting US Law Professors signed an anti Kavanuagh confirmation petition ….”


    It escapes me why a country who believes it has the right to invade any country it wishes,; that it can commit extra-judicial killings at will; that will not acknowledge international law would have much need of law professors, much less over 1,000 of them.

  24. ‘Lets suppose Labor wins next year and does manage to negotiate resettlement for (say) 2,000 people. Problem solved? Well, lets suppose you are a desperate refugee fleeing persecution. You know if you get on a boat and head towards Australia you’re going to be picked up and resettled somewhere that isn’t exactly wonderful but you’re not going to be persecuted. What would you do? Exactly. And so would many other people in the same situation.’

    Most of the refugees coming to Australia by boat have already reached somewhere where they’re not being persecuted.

  25. Great Calwell speech
    I particularly liked:
    …If, by the process of misrepresentation of our motives, in which you are so expert, you try to further divide this nation for political purposes, yours will be a dreadful responsibility, and you will have taken a course which you will live to regret.

  26. Cud Chewer

    No. But they’ve already reached safety (even before they get to Indonesia). So if the possibility of entering Australia goes from absolutely guaranteed to ‘maybe, or you could end up in the Phillippines of Malaysia or…’ the incentive to get on a boat does diminish.

  27. Diogenes

    Sorry about the “push polling” comment – I was looking for another word or phrase which I still can’t think of.

    I think Kavanaugh is almost a certainty to be confirmed by the Senate. But I predict his health will lead to him leaving the Supreme Court at an earlier age than is usual.

  28. preferred solution (which isn’t in the remit of any single country to achieve) is that all refugees, regardless of where they claim that status, go to a UNHCR camp for processing. From there, regardless of where the camp is, they are resettled in suitable countries. (So you might seek asylum in Greece and be resettled in South America, as an example).

  29. We are a recognised country of resettlement. We are also a signatory to the UNHCR Convention. Saying that a person who transits another country is not a refugee is a nonsense. By definition a refugee is outside their own country.

    As for the silly suggestion of numerical limits as applied to boat arrivals what is it for on-shore claimants, those who have flown here, and how is this dealt with in practice?

  30. …originally, a refugee was (i) someone who faced an extra danger no one else in their country faced and (ii) was simply seeking safety. Refugee advocates seem to be extending that into (i) anyone who is facing any kind of hardship in their home country and (ii) is trying to maintain the standard of living they had at home.

    After all, when the Convention was drawn up, the majority of the world’s population had only recently been living in war zones. The idea that simply escaping from war made you an asylum seeker would have been an absurdity.

  31. ‘As for the silly suggestion of numerical limits as applied to boat arrivals what is it for on-shore claimants, and how is this dealt with in practice?’

    Firstly, the number of on shore claimants (and particularly, successful on shore claimants) is tiny. Secondly, it is dealt with the same way we deal with boat arrivals; the number comes off the total number of refugees we accept that year. Someone who arrives by boat deprives someone who is in a camp of a place (I’m not saying there’s a queue, but that’s how the numbers work; if we are going to take, say, 1000 refugees and 600 come by boat or plane, we only take 400 from camps).

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