Calm before the storm

A Seinfeld-ian post about nothing, as pollsters hold their fire ahead of tonight’s budget.

There seems to be a hardening view that Scott Morrison will take advantage of what he hopes will be a positive response to tonight’s budget by calling the election later this week, for either May 11 or May 18. Whenever the election may be called, its proximity makes this an awkward time for us to go a week without new poll results. Newspoll is set for a highly unusual four-week gap, having held off last week due to the New South Wales election and this week due to the budget, while Essential Research is in an off week in its fortnightly cycle. The dam is set to burst next week, with Ipsos joining the two aforementioned with post-budget poll results.

For now, all I can do for you in the way of poll news is to relate what James Campbell of the Herald Sun offered on Liberal internal polling last Thursday: that Pauline Hanson scores net approval ratings of minus 62% and minus 63% in the Melbourne seats of Deakin and Chisholm – and, incidentally, that Peter Dutton has been known to record minus 50% in Melbourne. Beyond that, there is one item of important preselection news to relate, in that the New South Wales Liberals are set to endorse child psychologist Fiona Martin as their successor to the retiring Craig Laundy in Reid. The Australian reports Martin has been chosen ahead of Tanveer Ahmed, a psychiatrist, and Scott Yung, candidate for Kogarah at last week’s state 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.

2,286 comments on “Calm before the storm”

  1. “@MsFionaScott on Labor’s Medicare plan: How is all of this going to be paid for?

    @David_Speers: By not doing negative gearing and franking credits. ”

    And there is the Libs problem in a nutshell.

    They have played ot their base, and have no maneuvering room. Leaky decrepit ship, locked on course with little idea what weapons the ALP will launch at them.

    Interesting that of the ALP front benchers tonight Chris Bowen actually looked to me like he may have the flu or something??

  2. Earlier I made a reference to Pyne finding employment as a “truffle dog”.

    I did so lightheartedly because he had made himself unemployed and would need something to do, because he is widely known here and elsewhere as “the poodle” for his yapping style of oratory, and because my post was preceded by a photoshopped picture of Pyne with an elongated Pinocchio nose which to me resembled a snout.

    Dogs, particularly poodle types, are commonly used in Europe to locate truffles.

    I have never heard the term “truffle dog” used colloquially or euphemistically to refer to homosexual people. Indeed,a subsequent google search of the expression refers exclusively to dogs that seek out truffles, with no other meaning afforded.

    I have never suggested or believed that Pyne is homosexual, nor do I care.

    It is only in the super sensitive mind of pica and of the malevolent halfwit that that conclusion has been seized upon.

    I regret pica’s misunderstanding caused him or her offence.

  3. Cud
    “In fact we could build our own high speed trains.”

    Yes but. Again it depends on the ownership and intentions of the parent firm, and consistency of orders. A steady flow of work is more important than size of market.

    Bombardier used to make quite high quality EMUs in Qld, and made the tilt trains there, good for 180 km/hr. But under Newman the orders stopped and then went to India. Bombardier has built a large plant there and is trying to centralise production. Even the US saw Siemens have a thriving LRT manufacturing business there in the 90s die under Bush in the 2000s with no new orders for 8 years.

    No reason Dandenong could not be expanded to supply a modified E class tram to Canberra, Gold Coast, Hobart and Adelaide. But the price would need to be less outrageous for a long term deal.

  4. Fulvio Sammut
    says:
    I have never heard the term “truffle dog” used colloquially or euphemistically to refer to homosexual people. Indeed,a subsequent google search of the expression refers exclusively to dogs that seek out truffles, with no other meaning afforded.
    I have never suggested or believed that Pyne is homosexual, nor do I care.
    It is only in the super sensitive mind of pica and of the malevolent halfwit that that conclusion has been seized upon.
    ___________________________________
    Seeing I was slightly involved in this I assume it is me that you are calling a ‘malevolent halfwit’. I’m not sure why you wrote this as any criticism of the term was directed at pica’s interpretation not what you wrote. So Foolvio, relax.

  5. The thing about wanting more representation is that it’s all well and good, but sooner or later you’re going to find yourself surrounded by CoryTories.

  6. EGW @ #2200 Thursday, April 4th, 2019 – 9:42 pm

    swamprat @ #2195 Thursday, April 4th, 2019 – 10:09 pm

    I was shocked to learn how second rate medicare is.

    I assumed all needed services for cancer treatment was automatically part of medicare. I wonder how any other essential treatments aren’t covered.

    I may be wrong, but I think it is essentially free in the public system.
    Any treatment I have had as a patient in the public system has been free, but I have not had cancer.
    If your GP refers you off to private MRI services etc then it would cost you and be expensive.

    Part of the problem seems to be waiting times to see specialists, get scans done, get needed appointments. I was shocked to hear of a 65 year old lady with stage 3 lung cancer waiting weeks for an appointment to see a specialist. That dreadful thing was growing all the time while she was waiting to see someone. And the spot on the X-Ray was missed whomever read it, when it was just a tiny spot. After being treated for chest infection, etc for a couple of months someone did another x-ray and found a effing big cancer in her lung. It still took eight weeks to see the specialist, and by the time anything was actually done, it was into some glands or nodes or something.

    It has been a story of fuck-up from day one, and now her doctor has decided not to recommend her for immuno-therapy. She is trying to get transferred to the RAH for treatment and to get a second opinion.

    She is a public patient, and the docs just told her she had three months to live, 18 months ago, and I think they just wrote her off.

    I reckon I would have camped in the waiting room until someone was late for their appointment and jumped in the spot or sat up a pole in front of Parliament House until a specialist gave me an appointment.

  7. zoomster @ #2191 Thursday, April 4th, 2019 – 7:02 pm

    So what is the thinking on Shorten’s suggestion that we make EV tech here? It sounds exciting, but I’m not techie enough to understand the issues.

    The WA government are already working on it. I asked the Bill Johnson the relevant state minister about this at a Labor function a few months ago and he said there were five (IIRC) major stages in lithium production and that four of them could and probably would be done in Australia. He went on to say it was unlikely that batteries would be produced in WA.

  8. Socrates I’m thinking about ultra-modern design. Not just building off an overseas design. Poaching engineers for sure, but actually making an effort to build something innovative.

  9. So, is anyone taking bets on the next LOTO? It would seem the field is wide open. Pynes gone, Bishops gone, Abbott and Dutton are doubtful. Could it be Morrison by default?

  10. If Shorten is talking making batteries/electric cars in Aust – I’d say he’s already had it pitched to him by industry players. He wouldn’t put these things in a notable speech without knowing if any of it is able to be put into motion. When he talked about the electric car policy – he spoke about a network of charging stations and mentioned a QLD company that makes them for the overseas market and had a reputation as the best in the world.

    So I expect there’s been extensive logistical discussion etc. about all these possibilities with the players who could deliver. Like SA with the big battery.

    Unlike the pie-in-the-sky stuff that came from Turnbull and now Morrison – Labor does the groundwork and are ‘shovel ready’ with a lot of stuff (e.g. infrastructure under Albo).

  11. swamprat
    “I assumed all needed services for cancer treatment was automatically part of medicare. I wonder how any other essential treatments aren’t covered.”
    That’s an excellent question. Almost all cancer services are cost free in public hospitals (discharge medications are paid for by some bizarro reasoning. I know everyone is thrilled about the cancer package but all that money is for private services, esp radiology. The money isn’t for public hospitals. The reason Shorten did it is because lots of public hospitals just can’t cope with the number of patients and say if you need a CT/MRI etc scan, the wait is a month. That is too long for many cancer patients so they get sent to the nearest private radiology practice who does their scan that week. Same goes for seeing a surgeon when you have cancer. This means they can see the surgeon in private at no cost who can organise their care, probably in a public hospital though. I often see people with melanoma who have been waiting more than a month to get in to public outpatients with a diagnosis of melanoma. They give up and decide to see someone in private and are week that week but they have costs. This will help with that.

  12. The main truffle dog in Italy is a lagotto which looks like a big poodle. I think we use spaniels in Australia. We’ve got truffles in the Adelaide hills so Pyne can stay here.

  13. According to the SMH, Justin Fields, a Greens MP in the NSW State Parliament, has left the Greens and moved to the cross bench, so he can stop yelling at the Government and can vote for them.

    Loyal, steadfast, committed bunch, these Green MPs.

  14. Fulvio
    The bigger the party, the bigger it’s gravitational pull. One Nation, X, Conservatives, PUP etc have a centre which cannot hold. I can’t believe how many MPs leave them.

  15. There should be some mechanism in place whereby if they forgo affiliation with the party under whose banner they were elected, they lose their seat, and it be allocated to a nominee of the original Party.

    What is it with politicians with the word “Field” forming part or all of their name, anyway?

  16. Fulvio
    It’s highly undemocratic. They get voted in because of the party they represent and then ditch it for a better offer or after a dummy spit. At least in the lower house the voter actually put a number next to your name.

  17. Great budget in reply by Bill Shorten.
    A uniting, calm and measured policy suite (with more to come) V a loud and divisive rabble incapable of seeing beyond their own entitlement.
    The Coalition’s demise is nearing the end game. Shorten’s Labor is all over them, and for mine, this campaign will be a surgical annihilation of historic proportion.
    The only question we need to ask ourselves is how far Labor?

  18. swamprat:

    I assumed all needed services for cancer treatment was automatically part of medicare. I wonder how any other essential treatments aren’t covered.

    I had a stroke in my 20s in 2006, and literally had bills for pathology (I was having 6 blood tests a day in hospital) arriving in the mail every week day for several weeks after being discharged from hospital. Granted, I chose to be treated as a private patient in a public hospital for the admission, but I was still shocked. Thankfully, I had a family member who took care of all of the Medicare rebate paperwork for me, as it was too overwhelming for me to deal with then, even though I had recovered quite quickly.

    I’d hate to think how someone without family support or with significant neurological deficits/lack of transportation afterwards could cope with that.

  19. Diogenes says Friday, April 5, 2019 at 12:21 am

    The main truffle dog in Italy is a lagotto which looks like a big poodle. I think we use spaniels in Australia. We’ve got truffles in the Adelaide hills so Pyne can stay here.

    In WA I believe they use beagles.

  20. The federal government’s policy target on health care should be to make zero out of pocket, publicly funded health care so good that private health insurance is redundant.

    Resource the public system adequately, particularly at the primary care and community-based preventative care end, where you get the most bang for your buck and you reduce the burden on hospitals.

    Doing that, combined with some extra resources for public hospitals, will bring down surgery waiting times for public hospitals and render private health insurance largely obsolete.

    Each year there are about 650,000 medical (non-surgical) patients taking up hospital beds in Australia in circumstances that are completely avoidable if primary care and community-based preventative care are done right. These 650,000 avoidable hospitalizations contribute massively to the long waiting times for surgical patients.

    There is a lot of scope to render private health insurance obsolete. It just requires a commitment to using existing resources more intelligently and to adding supply to some parts of the health care workforce.

    Medicare is much more efficient than a private insurance company. Medicare doesn’t have to market itself, doesn’t have to pay shareholders, doesn’t have to earn a profit, doesn’t have to tolerate exorbitantly paid senior executives. The federal government has immense bargaining power with health care providers and can therefore put downward pressure on the prices that providers are paid.

  21. Nicholas, can I tell you, as someone who has parents that have paid for and used Private Health all their lives and as someone who has had one procedure and stay in a Private Hospital herself, that there is no way that our Public Hospital system could make the sort of changes that would make every Public Hospital a Private Hospital.

    Every room is a single room. With its own en suite and balcony. Higher nurse to patient ratios and the equivalent of a restaurant kitchen providing all meals freshly-cooked on site. All the therapists you need for your recovery. Including Aromatherapy and Yoga. You get what you pay for and you pay for what you get.

  22. I regret pica’s misunderstanding caused him or her offence.

    Thanks for your considered reply, v good, no offence taken, I’m just a bit pedantic about how we use some everyday expressions, as they will inevitably uncover an underlying tension and/or uncomfortable vision of ‘normality’. I have banged on about this in previous posts. Anyhow back to gloating about the poor state of the national LIBs…..geeze what a train wreck……

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