The night before Christmas

There is no polling to report, and I have my head buried too deep in my forthcoming federal election to report anything of substance on my own account. But with the announcement of the election universally anticipated on the weekend for either May 11 or May 18, a new open thread is very much in order, so here it is.

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.

801 comments on “The night before Christmas”

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  1. If any of The Greens’ partisans, or misfits and malcontents like Rex Douglas, try to tell you that Labor and Bill Shorten want to satisfy their mates in the CFMMEU and approve the Adani mine in Queensland, just ignore them or alternately, laugh out loud at their propagandising for The Greens, because it’s just not true:

    Labor has warned the government against making any major decisions on the Adani coalmine before the election, while Scott Morrison and his environment minister Melissa Price face internal pressure from some Queensland MPs to take action.

    While playing down reports of a “split”, government MPs from Queensland, including James McGrath and Matt Canavan have kept up pressure inside Morrison’s office and the party room for key approvals for the Carmichael coalmine, including the ground water plan, to be signed off on as soon as possible.

    But Labor’s environment spokesman Tony Burke cautioned the government from rushing through any approvals before the coming election.

    “There are very strict rules about how a decision like this should be made,” he said.

    “It is important that it not be rushed or made under political pressure. It’s concerning that another minister, minister Canavan, is trying to put pressure on the environment minister.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/05/labor-warns-government-not-to-make-adani-coalmine-decisions-before-election

  2. So let me get this straight – if Bernie wins the Dem nomination, centrists will boycott the election … ?

    How can they do that given their criticism of those who didn’t turn up to the 2016 election ?

  3. Opposition leader Bill Shorten told radio station 3AW “more eyeballs” were needed on waste operators, because there were “too many cowboys” in the industry which was “too unregulated”.

    The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP strikes again. She is challenging the Hon. Lisa Neville MP as Victoria’s most incompetent minister.

  4. C@tmomma @ #655 Friday, April 5th, 2019 – 7:57 pm

    If any of The Greens’ partisans, or misfits and malcontents like Rex Douglas, try to tell you that Labor and Bill Shorten want to satisfy their mates in the CFMMEU and approve the Adani mine in Queensland, just ignore them or alternately, laugh out loud at their propagandising for The Greens because it’s just not true:

    Labor has warned the government against making any major decisions on the Adani coalmine before the election, while Scott Morrison and his environment minister Melissa Price face internal pressure from some Queensland MPs to take action.

    While playing down reports of a “split”, government MPs from Queensland, including James McGrath and Matt Canavan have kept up pressure inside Morrison’s office and the party room for key approvals for the Carmichael coalmine, including the ground water plan, to be signed off on as soon as possible.

    But Labor’s environment spokesman Tony Burke cautioned the government from rushing through any approvals before the coming election.

    “There are very strict rules about how a decision like this should be made,” he said.

    “It is important that it not be rushed or made under political pressure. It’s concerning that another minister, minister Canavan, is trying to put pressure on the environment minister.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/05/labor-warns-government-not-to-make-adani-coalmine-decisions-before-election

    What has that got to do with Labor caving in to their political donors ?

  5. On Adani, as on NDIS, as on everything.

    These fuckwits are completely divorced from reality.

    Do the world a favour. Vote 1 ALP to send the clearest possible message to these imbeciles that they either try and get back on speaking terms with the real world or they remain no where near government.

  6. Starting a massive new coal mining operation now would be like starting a massive bullock dray factory in, say, 1930, or a gigantic steam locomotive factory in 1960. Why would anyone want to do it?

  7. Rex Douglas says:
    Friday, April 5, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    So let me get this straight – if Bernie wins the Dem nomination, centrists will boycott the election … ?

    How can they do that given their criticism of those who didn’t turn up to the 2016 election ?

    It’s a flaw with noncompulsory voting,

    You have to inspire people to turn up and support you.

  8. Via a media release from Parliament House earlier today, the strongest indication that an election will be called this weekend or Monday.

    As the 45th Parliament draws to a close, the House Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training has released a paper for its Inquiry into the Status of the Teaching Profession.

  9. I don’t know about a Royal Commission, but an incoming Labor Government needs to get to the bottom of what’s going on with Adani. Why are Coalition figures so desperate to get this thing up? It looks dodgy as all getout. And if jobs are the issue then an infrastructure project to provide gainful employment for 1,500 people in Central Queensland should be a doddle.

  10. nath @ #658 Friday, April 5th, 2019 – 8:02 pm

    Yep. Tony Burke will have it covered. Look at all the mining now going on in the Tarkine.

    https://www.australianmining.com.au/news/tony-burke-allows-tarkine-environmental-protection-to-drop/

    And the useless Tasmanian Greens, led by Nick McKim, really made the difference:

    The 2010 Tasmanian state election was held on 20 March 2010 to elect members to the Tasmanian House of Assembly.[1] The 12-year incumbent Labor government, led by Premier of Tasmania David Bartlett, won a fourth consecutive term against the Liberal opposition, led by Will Hodgman, after Labor formed a minority government with the support of the Greens.

    Not. And, as per usual.

  11. It’s a flaw with noncompulsory voting,

    You have to inspire people to turn up and support you.

    Normally I’d agree, but the BernieOrBusters aren’t demographically the type of people disenfranchised by non-compulsory voting and people like them know how to be ratf**kers in compulsory voting systems too. The people who are poor and African American people who, assuming they haven’t been purged from the electoral roll or disqualified, have to jump through hoops to get an opportunity to vote and are discouraged by hard to access polling booths with long lines, and often have to do so during breaks in shifts from work. Eventually it becomes too much to bother with and they’re ignored. That’s the real tragedy of non-compulsory voting.

  12. #Galaxy Poll Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 47 ALP 53 #auspol— GhostWhoVotes (@GhostWhoVotes) April 5, 2019

    Karl Marx would be leading 60-40 right now. Just saying.

  13. So let me get this straight – if Bernie wins the Dem nomination, centrists will boycott the election … ?

    According to the squawking centrist minority, defeating Donald Trump is their number one priority.

    If they intend to honour that commitment, they will vote for Bernie Sanders if he is the Democratic nominee. They will be annoyed about being wrong about politics again, especially after failing to find a way to be gracious about their wrongness in 2016. But they will fall in line and vote for the Democratic nominee. We are talking about people who take conformism to giddy heights.

    Bernie Sanders doesn’t just have stratospherically high approval ratings among Democratic voters; he also polls well with Independents. His authenticity and his emphasis on radical reductions in inequality of income, wealth, and power resonates with the disaffected Obama voters who voted for Trump last time.

  14. Steve777 @ #667 Friday, April 5th, 2019 – 8:15 pm

    I don’t know about a Royal Commission, but an incoming Labor Government needs to get to the bottom of what’s going on with Adani. Why are Coalition figures so desperate to get this thing up. It looks didgy as all getout. And if jobs are the issue then an infrastructure project to provide gainful employment for 1,500 people in Central Queensland should be a doddle.

    I would say it has a lot to do with who Matt Canavan’s brother is. Plus the Queensland Resources Council and its members, and what do you know, one of them is Adani:

    https://www.qrc.org.au/our-members/

    Also, they are led by former Coalition Minister, Ian Macfarlane.

  15. As has already been mentioned, Galaxy polling was done 25-28 March, so old info really, no reflection on the budget. Probably just the TPP from the poll done mostly for leader attributes in the News Corp papers today. Also, there is no new Essential poll. That will be Tuesday.

  16. Tony Burke, 19 November 2018:

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/19/labor-to-face-pressure-on-environment-policies-after-embarrassing-stuff-up

    Labor’s Environment Action Network (Lean) has warned the ALP it will not give up on securing a significant overhaul of federal environment laws in the first term of a Shorten government, and a national environment protection authority to police the framework, despite an embarrassing process stuff-up with the draft policy platform.

    A draft policy platform signed off by the ALP national executive and circulated to conference delegates last month suggested both policy commitments and a national environment commission would be adopted by the party’s national conference in December – but the shadow environment minister, Tony Burke, has now put the brakes on.

    Burke has written to the party’s national secretary, Noah Carroll, arguing the initiatives were not signed off by the national policy forum in September, and the specific commitments were included in the draft platform in error.

    It is unclear why the mistakes were not picked up by Burke until last week, given they have been in circulation since September, and reported by a number of media outlets. In any case Burke wants the commitments deleted before the December conference, and says they will now be debated on the conference floor.

    16 December 2018: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/dec/16/labor-announces-environmental-overhaul-avoiding-pre-election-internal-battle

    Shorten made the commitment in his opening address to the 48th Labor national conference in Adelaide on Sunday, kicking the event off with two key concessions to the Labor Environment Action Network (Lean).

    The announcement defused tension as a deal was reached before a possible conference-floor fight
    :::
    Lean had called for two new agencies – a science-based EPA to oversee development decisions and a national environment commission to develop legally binding plans and standards for protection.
    :::
    The grassroots environmental lobby group was locked in an arm-wrestle with the shadow environment minister, Tony Burke, who forced the policies out of the draft platform after they were included by administrative error.
    :::
    “And today I announce that a Labor government will pass a new environment act and create a new commonwealth environmental protection authority to preserve our oceans, rivers, coasts and bushland and to protect the native species that call Australia home,” he said.
    :::
    Amendments to the Labor platform state the new law will be introduced in its first term of government. The EPA will conduct inquiries, provide advice to the minister, and enforce environmental laws, the platform states.

    But rather than create a national environment commission, Labor will instead direct the environment department to establish national environmental plans that will set non-binding “targets and approaches to proactively protect the environment”.
    :::
    The national director of the Wilderness Society, Lyndon Schneiders…

    “Labor’s failure to establish a national environment commission is a setback to the development of clear environmental targets and goals against which the effectiveness of the promised new laws can be judged,” he said.

    The Greens welcomed the Labor proposals, but its environment spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said “without proper investment and committing to no new coal, oil and gas they will fail”.

  17. Shorter Pegasus: ‘The Greens naysayed.’

    Useless in government, useless out of government.

    Thanks, nath, for making that clear to us all over again tonight. 😀

  18. A big advantage of compulsory voting is that it does make efforts at voter suppression more difficult.

    Exactly. That’s the point I was trying to make in my awkwardly-worded way. Disadvantaged voters are the real victims of non-compulsory voting – not bratty or apathetic upper-middle class ones.

  19. Jaeger @ #651 Friday, April 5th, 2019 – 6:48 pm

    Russian trolls ‘spreading discord’ over vaccine safety online
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/aug/23/russian-trolls-spread-vaccine-misinformation-on-twitter

    I posted this comment in the morning while thinking about our pending election, but it may be applicable to anti-vax trolls.

    I think we are a touch naive when it comes to Facebook. The current smell of an election is overpowering. We should expect bucket loads of political propaganda. To some extent as a population we have managed to build up a level of resistance or scepticism towards traditional media (print, radio, TV), but social media is much more personal and much faster.

    Shutting down Facebook would never work. (Although to me it is that serious of an issue.) But maybe a mass education campaign along the lines of Safe Sex campaigns could help. The campaign would have to come from a trusted independent source or even better a collection of trusted sources. (Maybe it would be worth asking Facebook if they are interested in a bit of brand recovery, but my guess is they’d be dis-interested in that.) The campaign might include warnings to be sceptical, examples of the dangers, and information about fact-check prophylactics. I know snopes got burned by allowing itself to be used by Facebook, but maybe their credibility is still good.

  20. C@t

    “I would say it has a lot to do with who Matt Canavan’s brother is. Plus the Queensland Resources Council and its members, and what do you know, one of them is Adani:”

    Crony capitalism at its worst.

  21. C@tmomma says:
    Friday, April 5, 2019 at 8:34 pm
    Useless in government, useless out of government.

    Thanks, nath, for making that clear to us all over again tonight.
    _________________________
    Yes the Tas Greens failed to keep the Tarkine on the Federal Heritage Register when Burke was Minister. You might think it’s funny that another temperate rain-forest gets disassembled.

    I wouldn’t trust the SDA backed Burke to do anything in the environment sector than to look after right wing union numbers at national conference.

  22. Steve777 @ #693 Friday, April 5th, 2019 – 8:43 pm

    C@t

    “I would say it has a lot to do with who Matt Canavan’s brother is. Plus the Queensland Resources Council and its members, and what do you know, one of them is Adani:”

    Crony capitalism at its worst.

    They’re all trying to make off like bandits before they get booted out the doors of parliament from the Min Wing.

  23. Macfarlane was charged by Turnbull to negotiate a Carbon Price outcome with Wong

    When broad agreement was reached along came Minchin, just in the nick of time, installing the “Climate change is crap” Abbott

    And look what he is doing today

    On the Coalition tax pitch there will be a demographic with the opinion Labor is pinching their relief from paying tax – no matter that the relief is 5 years into the future

    It allows a narrative however that under Labor we will pay more tax

  24. Fess

    A couple of workers were injured, but nothing serious.

    Last I heard, they were going to get excavators in over weekend to bring down what’s left of premises

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