Poll positioning

Fraught preselections aplenty as the major parties get their houses in order ahead of a looming federal election.

Kicking off a federal election year with an overdue accumulation of preselection news, going back to late November:

• Liberal Party conservative Craig Kelly was last month saved from factional moderate Kent Johns’ preselection challenge in his southern Sydney seat of Hughes, which was widely reported as having decisive support in local party branches. This followed the state executive’s acquiescence to Scott Morrison’s demand that it rubber-stamp preselections for all sitting members of the House of Representatives, also confirming the positions of Jason Falinski in Mackellar, John Alexander in Bennelong and Lucy Wicks in Robertson. Kelly had threatened a week earlier to move to the cross bench if dumped, presumably with a view to contesting the seat as an independent. Malcolm Turnbull stirred the pot by calling on the executive to defy Morrison, noting there had been “such a long debate in the New South Wales Liberal Party about the importance of grass roots membership involvement”. This referred to preselection reforms that had given Johns the edge over Kelly, which had been championed by conservatives and resisted by moderates. Turnbull’s critics noted he raised no concerns when the executive of the Victorian branch guaranteed sitting members’ preselections shortly before he was dumped as Prime Minister.

• The intervention that saved Craig Kelly applied only to lower house members, and was thus of no use to another beleaguered conservative, Senator Jim Molan, who had been relegated a week earlier to the unwinnable fourth position on the Coalition’s ticket. Hollie Hughes and Andrew Bragg were chosen for the top two positions, with the third reserved to the Nationals (who have chosen Perin Davey, owner of a communications consultancy, to succeed retiring incumbent John “Wacka” Williams). Despite anger at the outcome from conservatives in the party and the media, Scott Morrison declined to intervene. Morrison told 2GB that conservatives themselves were to blame for Molan’s defeat in the preselection ballot, as there was “a whole bunch of people in the very conservative part of our party who didn’t show up”.

• Labor’s national executive has chosen Diane Beamer, a former state government minister who held the seats of Badgerys Creek and Mulgoa from 1995 to 2011, to replace Emma Husar in Lindsay. The move scotched Husar’s effort to recant her earlier decision to vacate the seat, after she became embroiled in accusations of bullying and sexual harassment in August. Husar is now suing Buzzfeed over its reporting of the allegations, and is reportedly considering running as an independent. The Liberals have preselected Melissa McIntosh, communications manager for the not-for-profit Wentworth Community Housing.

• The misadventures of Nationals MP Andrew Broad have created an opening in his seat of Mallee, which has been in National/Country Party hands since its creation in 1949, although the Liberals have been competitive when past vacancies have given them the opportunity to contest it. The present status on suggestions the seat will be contested for the Liberals by Peta Credlin, who was raised locally in Wycheproof, is that she is “being encouraged”. There appears to be a view in the Nationals that the position should go to a woman, with Rachel Baxendale of The Australian identifying three potential nominees – Anne Mansell, chief executive of Dried Fruits Australia; Caroline Welsh, chair of the Birchip Cropping Group; and Tanya Chapman, former chair of Citrus Australia – in addition to confirmed starter Anne Warner, a social worker.

• Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie yesterday scotched suggestions that she might run in Mallee. The view is that she is positioning herself to succeeding Cathy McGowan in Indi if she decides not to recontest, having recently relocated her electorate office from Bendigo to one of Indi’s main population centres, Wodonga. The Liberals last month preselected Steven Martin, a Wodonga-based engineer.

• Grant Schultz, Milton real estate agent and son of former Hume MP Alby Schultz, has been preselected as Liberal candidate for Gilmore on New South Wales’ south coast, which the party holds on a delicate margin of 0.7%. The seat is to be vacated by Ann Sudmalis, whose preselection Schultz was preparing to challenge when she announced her retirement in September. It was reported in the South Coast Register that Joanna Gash, who held the seat from 1996 to 2013 and is now the mayor of Shoalhaven (UPDATE: Turns out Gash ceased to be so as of the 2016 election, and is now merely a councillor), declared herself “pissed off” at the local party’s endorsement of Schultz, which passed by forty votes to nine.

• Hawkesbury councillor Sarah Richards has been preselected as the Liberal candidate in Macquarie, where Labor’s Susan Templeman unseated Liberal member Louise Markus in 2016.

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.

3,175 comments on “Poll positioning”

  1. Maude Lynne (Block)
    Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:03 am
    Comment #2650

    Schools where the students do their Prac Teaching are now told they may not fail any student, even the most hopeless.

    ____________________________

    I am not surprised it has reached that stage. I know of a case some time ago where a failed student was simply sent to a different school in order to receiving a passing grade. I don’t know if pressure was applied. This was long before the present situation, which appears to have been streamlined to achieve the desired outcome.

    I assume there is some benefit to the organising body with regard to how many students are passed fit to teach.

  2. GG
    In light of the latest Fijian info on Prakessh, parliament should askk for Dutton’s legal advice. He is lazy. It may not exist.

  3. Socrates @ #2653 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:16 am

    GG
    In light of the latest Fijian info on Prakessh, parliament should askk for Dutton’s legal advice. He is lazy. It may not exist.

    It’s probably the equivalent of the advice from Charles Court’s firm in WA, that Eleventy Hockey and Abbott got before the 2013 federal election, that stated that their numbers added up!

  4. C@tmomma says:
    Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7:01 am
    Fraser Anning simply represents the dark underbelly of Australia, and the sooner he is kicked out of parliament, the better. He will never be elected as an Independent Senator, there just aren’t enough votes out there to do it.

    I think Anning has accepted that he has no chance of retaining his Senate spot. He sees this as giving him the freedom to do whatever he wants and can get away with. We should remember it was One Nation voters who gave us this genius.

  5. Teaching standards should be raised using the old methods of supply and demand – make teaching an attractive profession, and it will attract the best and brightest.

    At present, all raising entry levels will do is lead to an undersupply of teachers, which will see sub standard graduates who (up until then) haven’t been able to land a job get one and underperforming teachers retained.

    ATAR scores are just one measure of one’s worthiness to teach. It would be OK if they were recognised as a one off measurement but they basically last a lifetime, so that someone who has done well post-school can find it difficult to get into teaching later in life.

    My sister, who basically failed HSC, became ‘switched on’ to learning later in life. A few courses undertaken more out of interest than any intent to take her further led her into a teaching degree. Coincidentally, another friend of mine – a PhD who had done well in Silicon Valley but wanted a job more suited to family hours – did his teaching degree alongside her.

    She’s now recognised as having developed innovative educational programs (she’s given several seminars) whereas he lasted a year (despite being instantly employed by one of the most prestigious private schools in the state). She could connect with students (and understood why they were struggling) and he had no idea. What was obvious to him, he thought, should be obvious to anyone.

    The real crime around letting students with low ATARs into teaching is that many of them won’t graduate and will be left with a HECS debt. Exclude students from University courses on that basis.

    Our problems with education (which are real but also exaggerated – we don’t do too badly, we just don’t do as well as we could) have little to do with the quality of our teachers, but on cultural attitudes. Asian countries – and locally, Asian students – do ‘better’ academically than others (as a gross generalisation) because their culture values education in a way ours doesn’t.

    That a teaching degree is seen as a last resort by many is an indication of the low esteem our culture has for education. It’s a symptom, not the disease.

    Raising ATARs won’t change that.

  6. Peter Stanton @ #2659 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:22 am

    C@tmomma says:
    Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 7:01 am
    Fraser Anning simply represents the dark underbelly of Australia, and the sooner he is kicked out of parliament, the better. He will never be elected as an Independent Senator, there just aren’t enough votes out there to do it.

    I think Anning has accepted that he has no chance of retaining his Senate spot. He sees this as giving him the freedom to do whatever he wants and can get away with. We should remember it was One Nation voters who gave us this genius.

    173 days to go.

  7. @7NewsSydney

    There is an ecological disaster unfolding in Menindee with thousands of fish washing up dead along drought hit rivers and countless more expected to die. Authorities arrived this afternoon to investigate with furious locals blaming them for water mismanagement.

    ***
    Ben Eltham
    ‏ 9h9 hours ago

    This is the inevitable result of treating environmental flows as piggybanks to be raided for vested interests, rather than essential for the health of river systems

    Same with any ‘natural resource’. Just there for someone’s profit.

  8. The government will issue tax refunds during the shutdown, the White House said, breaking with a past policy that a shutdown would stall or freeze the tax returns process.

    The status of returns was uncertain after the Internal Revenue Service furloughed much of its workforce due to the partial government shutdown that started Dec. 22. But the White House has made a legal determination that it can continue processing refunds during the shutdown, senior officials say, and the IRS will begin bringing back staff shortly.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2019/01/07/white-house-decides-it-can-issue-tax-refunds-during-shutdown-will-bring-back-some-furloughed-workers/?utm_term=.ace5dfccf3d2

  9. Trump Betrays 248,000 Vets With His Government Shutdown

    According to a statement provided to PoliticusUSA by AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council Executive Director Will Attig:

    It is disgraceful that an estimated 248,400 veterans across the country are not receiving paychecks because of dysfunction in Washington, D.C. Our veterans who continue to serve by protecting our borders, guarding prisoners and stopping terrorist attacks at airport do not deserve to be used as political pawns.

    Financial instability is one of the main cause of suicides among the veterans’ community. These hard-working men and women who sacrificed so much for their country should not have their families held hostage by lawmakers that cannot relate to living paycheck to paycheck.

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/01/07/trump-vets-shutdown.html

  10. In the article I posted about Labor’s proposed changes to “mutual obligation’ there was this little snippet.Did the journo from The Australian let slip some ‘common knowledge’ over at Mordor Media ? Rupe and his minions would of course be the first to know.
    .
    .
    Business has backed the thrust of Ms Butler’s proposed ­reforms, which means major changes to the system are likely if Bill Shorten becomes prime minister after the May election

  11. poroti @ #2652 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 4:32 am

    In the article I posted about Labor’s proposed changes to “mutual obligation’ there was this little snippet.Did the journo from The Australian let slip some ‘common knowledge’ over at Mordor Media ? Rupe and his minions would of course be the first to know.
    .
    .
    Business has backed the thrust of Ms Butler’s proposed ­reforms, which means major changes to the system are likely if Bill Shorten becomes prime minister after the May election

    Insider information, insider misinformation, or an NFI guess?

    Take your pick! 😆

  12. Victoria says:
    Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 8:09 am
    C@t

    If Labor do indeed get rid of the likes of Sarina Russo, I will be mightly impressed.

    I have a grandson who is high functioning autistic and has trouble retaining employment. He lived with us for a while a few years ago. This gave me a good insight into the operation of these private replacements for the CES. They do nothing to assist the unemployed seek employment. They simple administer a pointless government paperwork process. I spent some time showing my grandson how to seek out work opportunities and effectively apply for them. When he left us to return to WA he told me the basic job seeking process I had showed him was more than he had learnt from some years of dealing with the so called jobs agencies.

  13. The majority of Australians care more about their mortgage or their electricity bill than they do about the future of the planet. To win office, Labor needs to get a big share of the votes of such people. The Greens don’t need their votes. This explains a lot of the difference.

    The existence of the Greens (and One Nation and other minor parties for that matter) is a result of our preferential voting system. If we had First Past the Post with single member electorates, like the USA or the UK, the Greens and other minor parties would be much smaller. The Nationals are a special case because their constituency is geographically concentrated.

    I like preferential voting and would not switch to First Past the Post. I would prefer proportional representation or something like MMP, as in NZ, but that ain’t going to happen. The Greens exist because about 10% of Australians more or less share their world view, as against about 35-40% for Labor. To win office, Labor has to chip away some of the 40-45% who think the “Liberals” or their country cousins have their interests at heart.

  14. Polls have been scarce, but shortly after the shutdown began, we got a first taste of how the public is reacting to the shutdown in the USA. Respondents to three early polls agreed that President Trump was more to blame for the lapse in appropriations than congressional Democrats (or Republicans) were:

    YouGov asked about the shutdown for the Economist on Dec. 23-25. Fifty-one percent of respondents said Trump deserves “a lot” of blame, 44 percent thought congressional Democrats did and 39 percent said congressional Republicans did. But when asked who was most to blame, 46 percent said Trump, 35 percent said congressional Democrats and 6 percent said congressional Republicans.

    Reuters/Ipsos found that 47 percent of Americans said the shutdown was on Trump, while 33 percent said congressional Democrats were at fault. The poll was in the field Dec. 21-25.

    Likewise, 43 percent of respondents to a Dec. 21-23 survey by Morning Consult blamed Trump for the shutdown. Thirty-one percent thought congressional Democrats were responsible, and just 7 percent pointed to congressional Republicans.

    The surveys all pointed toward the same conclusion: In the minds of most Americans, Trump was largely to blame. But public opinion may be changing. Those three polls were all conducted before Christmas, when the shutdown was just a few days old. On Wednesday, HuffPost/YouGov released a poll, conducted Dec. 28-30, during the shutdown’s second week, that showed more people disapproving of Congress’s role in the shutdown than of Trump’s.

    In the poll, 49 percent of Americans disapproved of Trump’s handling of the shutdown while 38 percent approved. Meanwhile, 51 percent disapproved of congressional Democrats’ handling of the shutdown and 33 percent approved. Congressional Republicans got the worst score: 58 percent disapproved of the way they’ve handled the shutdown, and just 25 percent approved. That might indicate that blame is shifting from who caused the shutdown in the first place (pretty clearly Trump, who refused to sign a bill he’d previously signaled he’d support) to who is now preventing it from being resolved (less clear). Indeed, those numbers represented a slight improvement for Trump, and a more substantial deterioration for members of Congress, compared with HuffPost’s first poll of the shutdown, conducted Dec. 22-23.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-public-blamed-trump-for-the-shutdown-but-that-may-be-changing/

  15. Don and Zoomster,
    The Unis enroll lots of students into education just to make money out of them.
    It’s money that drives the current system. Not a desire to give late blooming students a chance.
    Money.
    They then ‘encourage’ academics to push them through, as any failure may mean loss of a paying student.
    A solution is to restore university funding (first) and then pressure them into raising standards.
    Yes, raising ATARS is a quick fix, made necessary by universities chasing the dollar.
    NSW tried to raise standards by imposing a restriction – new students must have 3 Band Five subjects (min). But the Unis get around this by enrolling lower grade students in a 1 year mickey mouse course, then transferring them across. Devious,but necessary to maintain the cash flow.

  16. Peter Stanton

    Your experience does not surprise me at all.

    The job providers are there to make money 0n the back of a newstart recipient who only gets a pittance each week in comparison.

    Especially with the oncoming advent 0f more automati0n in the service industry, the current system will become even m0re useless than it currently is.

  17. Unbelievably this was a Fox News host. Just shows how useless Sarah Sanders is.

    The amount of spotlight on the White House press secretary is often inversely proportional to the fortunes of his or her administration. When asked to handle dozens of questions on different issues with verbal dexterity, even the most capable can stumble and stammer at times. All that’s expected is to not create new mistakes that could have been easily avoided. So it really says something that current press secretary Sarah Sanders can’t even reach that low bar.

    On “Fox News Sunday,” Sanders tried to defend the president’s obsession with a border wall by arguing it would keep out terrorists. “We know that roughly, nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally,” she told host Chris Wallace, “and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border.” You’ll notice there that Sanders didn’t say those terrorists were coming through the southern border; she just put the two clauses next to each other and hoped viewers would connect the two.

    But Wallace was having none of it: “Wait, wait, wait — I know the statistic,” he replied, “I didn’t know you were going to use it. But I studied up on this. Do you know where those 4,000 people come — where they’re captured? Airports.” Flummoxed, Sanders could only stammer, “Not always.” Wallace then administered the final blow: “The State Department says there hasn’t been any terrorists that they’ve found coming across the southern border with Mexico.” Unable to contest the administration’s own data, Sanders was reduced to repeating the just-discredited talking point.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/01/07/what-is-point-sarah-sanders/?utm_term=.baae7e01fe40

  18. Maude

    I wouldn’t diss ‘mickey courses’ too much – my son (who was dux of his school, with a very high ATAR) couldn’t get into Engineering because he failed English, did a bridging course and is doing very well.

    As a result, I know several other students who have taken much the same route. Most of them are now doing very well.

    Particularly when we’re talking small regional or disadvantaged schools, doing poorly with regards to ATAR results can be due to a failure of resources – an inexperienced teacher, for example – rather than an irredeemable flaw in the student.

  19. Maude Lynne @ #2671 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:45 am

    Don and Zoomster,
    The Unis enroll lots of students into education just to make money out of them.
    It’s money that drives the current system. Not a desire to give late blooming students a chance.
    Money.
    They then ‘encourage’ academics to push them through, as any failure may mean loss of a paying student.
    A solution is to restore university funding (first) and then pressure them into raising standards.
    Yes, raising ATARS is a quick fix, made necessary by universities chasing the dollar.
    NSW tried to raise standards by imposing a restriction – new students must have 3 Band Five subjects (min). But the Unis get around this by enrolling lower grade students in a 1 year mickey mouse course, then transferring them across. Devious,but necessary to maintain the cash flow.

    And the result of the ‘mickey mouse’ course (at least in NSW) is that a student’s english, maths, science etc have to meet an agreed standard prior to entry into a teacher education. At least that’s how it was in the major uni that I worked in – they took it quite seriously and were using this process prior to being asked. Although, I do largely agree re: taking excess students for money alone.

    Many years ago, during the Howard years (around 2000 or so) my boss (a pro vice chancellor) had me do some research that showed that our uni was nearly 60% funded by Fee payers (non government).

  20. C@tmomma @ #2645 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 4:39 am

    The Australian reports that Labor plans to revamp job search criteria that could ditch a need for job seekers on welfare to apply for 20 jobs each month.

    To this can be added the added policy, announced last year by Shadow Minister, Ed Husic, that Labor will take back the Job Agency portfolio into government. Bye, bye Sarina Russo taxpayer ripoffs! Ditto the rest of them.

    I also imagine that, with this added announcement about the number of jobs applied for, Labor have looked at the successful area of job placement, the Disability Job Services providers, one of which my son attends.

    They don’t have the punitive attitude to their clients that the others do and, because there is no Work For the Dole component that they have to inflict on the job seeker, and a requirement for the unemployed person to only look for 10 jobs a month, which they help you with, it’s a lot less stressful. They also organise for a specific person in the business to be a roving job advocate, who goes around the local area liaising with employers and advocating on behalf of job seekers on their books. They have a pretty high success rate as a result.

    The article states the following:

    John Howard privatised the old Commonwealth Employment Service and although re­nationalisation is not part of Labor’s plan for reform, it is understood the opposition is considering an expanded role for the public service in delivery of parts of the system while leaving the intensive work for people who need it the most to outsourced providers. “People delivering our labour market programs … need to be freed up to build … connections in the local community so they can become ­experts on the local ­labour market,” Ms Butler says.

    So, nope, Labor has no intention of “re-nationalising” job service providers. Instead the providers will have to actually spend their time contacting employers rather than policing jobseekers.

    So the spivs will still have their snouts in the trough. The system will just be less draconian than it currently is. Same basic system though.

  21. ..and I repeat: raising ATARs will simply result in a dearth of graduating teachers.

    Students aren’t saying, “I won’t go into teaching because the ATAR is too low”. They’re saying things like “I don’t want to teach, it sucks” or “Teaching doesn’t pay enough.”

    We have a drastic undersupply of Maths and Science teachers now. Raising entry requirements will do nothing to fix that.

    Teaching has to be made a more attractive career – then the rest will follow.

  22. Dan G

    I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if Labor’s review of the social security system also makes recommendations on the role of job providers.

    Indeed, it might be ‘where the money comes from’ to raise unemployment benefits (or at least some of it).

  23. Greens votes flow to the ALP because the majority of Green voters would be Labor voters if the Greens didn’t exist.

    If the Greens no longer existed I would continue to not give my first preference to Labor but would cast my first preference for another left-leaning minor party or independent. I doubt I would be alone in doing so.

  24. zoomster @ #2664 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 4:59 am

    Dan G

    I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if Labor’s review of the social security system also makes recommendations on the role of job providers.

    Indeed, it might be ‘where the money comes from’ to raise unemployment benefits (or at least some of it).

    That’s the problem when policy is looked at in isolation.

    It may only be one small piece of a much larger puzzle!

  25. zoomster @ #2678 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:59 am

    Dan G

    I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if Labor’s review of the social security system also makes recommendations on the role of job providers.

    Indeed, it might be ‘where the money comes from’ to raise unemployment benefits (or at least some of it).

    Good point. Until Labor actually does announce what it’s going to do when it’s in office, we can only speculate.

    Having dealt with these spivs in the past I’d like to see them shut down entirely and all their duties returned to a resurrected and well staffed Commonwealth Employment Service.

  26. Pegasus @ #2665 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:01 am

    Greens votes flow to the ALP because the majority of Green voters would be Labor voters if the Greens didn’t exist.

    If the Greens no longer existed I would continue to not give my first preference to Labor but would cast my first preference for another left-leaning minor party or independent. I doubt I would be alone in doing so.

    So you don’t know what that Party would stand for, just that it’s not Labor!

    Interesting insight into your critical thought processes.

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

  27. Confessions @ #2656 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 7:20 am

    How would you narrow the 2020 Democratic field?

    Broadswords at 20 paces. Winner take all.

    Holden Hillbilly @ #2669 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 7:42 am

    That might indicate that blame is shifting from who caused the shutdown in the first place (pretty clearly Trump, who refused to sign a bill he’d previously signaled he’d support) to who is now preventing it from being resolved (less clear). Indeed, those numbers represented a slight improvement for Trump, and a more substantial deterioration for members of Congress, compared with HuffPost’s first poll of the shutdown, conducted Dec. 22-23.

    Both sides of Congress almost always poll abysmally low on approval rates.

  28. zoomster @ #2677 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:56 am

    ..and I repeat: raising ATARs will simply result in a dearth of graduating teachers.

    Students aren’t saying, “I won’t go into teaching because the ATAR is too low”. They’re saying things like “I don’t want to teach, it sucks” or “Teaching doesn’t pay enough.”

    We have a drastic undersupply of Maths and Science teachers now. Raising entry requirements will do nothing to fix that.

    Teaching has to be made a more attractive career – then the rest will follow.

    When I went into teaching, it was the only way I could get an education, despite excellent marks. We simply did not have the money for me to go to university, so I applied for and got a teachers fellowship, starting in year 10.

    Looking back there were other avenues I could have explored – scholarships into engineering or to banks for example, but that was simply not on the radar.

    Maths/science graduates would be foolish to go into teaching if they got a half way decent degree, unless they really wanted to teach, and did not mind the fact that their lifetime income would be far below what it could be in industry or banking. A former HOD of maths in my school went into an actuarial job, for which she was well suited, and got a huge pay increase.

  29. B in GD

    The Democrats went by the wayside. The Greens increased its vote as a third party. If the Greens go the same way, which I highly doubt, another party will arise from the ashes and attract those same votes if its policy platform resonates.

    Some of us want more than a binary choice between the political duopoly who essentially maintain the status quo for their own short-term self-interest or tinker around the edges when public pressure is brought to bear and can no longer be ignored.

  30. C@tmomma @ #2645 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 4:39 am

    The Australian reports that Labor plans to revamp job search criteria that could ditch a need for job seekers on welfare to apply for 20 jobs each month.

    To this can be added the added policy, announced last year by Shadow Minister, Ed Husic, that Labor will take back the Job Agency portfolio into government. Bye, bye Sarina Russo taxpayer ripoffs! Ditto the rest of them.

    I also imagine that, with this added announcement about the number of jobs applied for, Labor have looked at the successful area of job placement, the Disability Job Services providers, one of which my son attends.

    They don’t have the punitive attitude to their clients that the others do and, because there is no Work For the Dole component that they have to inflict on the job seeker, and a requirement for the unemployed person to only look for 10 jobs a month, which they help you with, it’s a lot less stressful. They also organise for a specific person in the business to be a roving job advocate, who goes around the local area liaising with employers and advocating on behalf of job seekers on their books. They have a pretty high success rate as a result.

    I’m glad your son has had success with his job searching.

    In general, until we address that for most skills areas there are vastly more job seekers than there are jobs, anything else we do is a scandalous waste of human capital, time and money.

  31. “..and I repeat: raising ATARs will simply result in a dearth of graduating teachers. ”

    Only if you do nothing else. This whole treating a single aspect of a tactic as the complete strategy is dumb really really dumb.

  32. fess:

    “How would you narrow the 2020 Democratic field? A fun interactive of all the candidates according to various backgrounds and groupings.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/democratic-2020-contenders-demographics/?utm_term=.6412d2ed2028”

    Amy Klobuchar is the only woman who comes from a state that Trump did well in according to that (however, I think Hillary actually won the EC in Minnesota, but I could be wrong). When one applies the “generational change” filter she drops out – which is a nonesense as she is only 58. She clearly represents a generational change from the clamour of septuagenarians that are the early front runners for the nomination.

  33. Pegasus @ https://www.pollbludger.net/2019/01/03/poll-positioning-2/comment-page-54/#comment-3044733 – “If the Greens no longer existed I would continue to not give my first preference to Labor but would cast my first preference for another left-leaning minor party or independent. I doubt I would be alone in doing so.”

    Personally I prefer to vote for the “best” candidate, be that ALP or otherwise – the one whose policies are sensible and generally align with my ideals and who will actually represent their electorate with the countries best interests at heart and not their own.

  34. Maude Lynne @ #2650 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:03 am

    Thanks BK!
    Denis Fitzgerald tears into the Australian Council of Deans over their self- interested opposition to Labor’s proposal to raise the standards of teacher education.

    For the first time in Australian history a group of academics is vehemently arguing in support of the sustained lowering of intellectual standards for students in their faculties.

    This extraordinary circumstance is brought about by the Australian Council of Deans of Education arguing against recent proposals by the federal opposition that would seek to establish higher intellectual standards for education students commencing their undergraduate years of study.

    https://www.smh.com.au/education/betraying-our-children-academics-stifling-teaching-standards-20190107-p50pyc.html

    He is quite correct when he says there is academic research linking teacher’s knowledge of their subject ( i.e. Academic ability, or, if you like, how ‘smart’ they are) with teacher quality.
    He destroys Prof Aspland’s argument against raising the ATAR entry level, where she says, in part:

    “Our brief is always to go to politicians, have the discussion and try and reach a consensus because we all actually want the same outcome” she told the Herald yesterday.

    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/they-should-try-me-universities-reject-labor-call-on-raising-atar-20190106-p50pvk.html
    Well, no they don’t.
    Education deans in many Australian Unis are under instruction by Vice Chancellors to return student course money to the university. Education courses, and their students, are used as cash cows.

    Schools where the students do their Prac Teaching are now told they may not fail any student, even the most hopeless.
    Plibersek is right to try and raise the standards.
    The universities never will.

    Before we actually do anything about standards to enter a teaching course it would be best if we first determined what it is that makes someone a good teacher, and those requirements are going to be different depending on what type of students are being taught and the subject matter.

    I contend that ATAR (or equivalent) is a very poor indicator of whether someone will be a good teacher or not.

  35. Jake TapperVerified account@jaketapper
    2m2 minutes ago
    Kristol: Trump speech ‘last card’ before losing GOP support on shutdown https://cnn.it/2RiGguX @amandacarpenter @BillKristol @JFKucinich @finneyk discuss @TheLeadCNN

    It certainly smacks of desperation.

  36. Andrew_Earlwood @ #2689 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 6:27 am

    fess:

    “How would you narrow the 2020 Democratic field? A fun interactive of all the candidates according to various backgrounds and groupings.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/democratic-2020-contenders-demographics/?utm_term=.6412d2ed2028”

    Amy Klobuchar is the only woman who comes from a state that Trump did well in according to that (however, I think Hillary actually won the EC in Minnesota, but I could be wrong). When one applies the “generational change” filter she drops out – which is a nonesense as she is only 58. She clearly represents a generational change from the clamour of septuagenarians that are the early front runners for the nomination.

    I like Mitch Landrieu, but admit that he is untested campaign-wise.

  37. don @ #2652 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 5:12 am

    Maude Lynne (Block)
    Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:03 am
    Comment #2650

    Schools where the students do their Prac Teaching are now told they may not fail any student, even the most hopeless.

    ____________________________

    I am not surprised it has reached that stage. I know of a case some time ago where a failed student was simply sent to a different school in order to receiving a passing grade. I don’t know if pressure was applied. This was long before the present situation, which appears to have been streamlined to achieve the desired outcome.

    I assume there is some benefit to the organising body with regard to how many students are passed fit to teach.

    When I was at uni I sat on the Guild Council in several different positions, including President. In the 3 years I was involved, the Schools of Nursing and Education were responsible for more academic appeals than every other school at the university put together despite being about 10% of the student population.

    With education placements, the feedback that we consistently got from students was that you should do whatever it took to get a male teacher as your prac placement supervisor, and if you couldn’t do that, you needed to make sure that you clicked personally with your female prac placement supervisor. If you didn’t personally get along with your female supervisor, you could kiss goodbye your chances of passing the prac placement regardless of how good you otherwise were.

  38. grimace @ #2690 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:28 am

    I contend that ATAR (or equivalent) is a very poor indicator of whether someone will be a good teacher or not.

    Agree. Knowing a subject (or subjects) well and being able to effectively teach it to others are two completely different skills.

    WeWantPaul @ #2694 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 8:31 am

    … really smart people may well make hideous teachers but if you can’t do math the chances you can teach it are limited.

    To an extent. But to an equal extent you also don’t need to be Euler (or someone of Euler’s stature/ability) to teach Euler’s formula.

  39. @peg

    “The Democrats went by the wayside. The Greens increased its vote as a third party. If the Greens go the same way, which I highly doubt, another party will arise from the ashes and attract those same votes if its policy platform resonates.

    Some of us want more than a binary choice between the political duopoly who essentially maintain the status quo for their own short-term self-interest or tinker around the edges when public pressure is brought to bear and can no longer be ignored.”

    Taking a wild stab in the dark, I’m guessing your parents are libs, perhaps from toorak – definitely establishment and you are having a very extended gap year in bohobostan before succumbing to the lure of the city and the Prada suit (and marriage to a chartered accountant with 3 kids) that is your destiny.

  40. don @ #2623 Tuesday, January 8th, 2019 – 2:07 am

    https://www.networkworld.com/article/3326831/data-center/computers-could-soon-run-cold-no-heat-generated.html

    The important thing about that is that batteries in, say, laptops or mobile phones would last an order of magnitude longer!

    Goodness! You mean even a iPhone battery would be able to last the time it takes me to walk from my car park to my office desk?

    I predict a boost in the Apple share price!

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