Election minus five weeks

Candidates on both sides of the aisle drop out of contention, Peter Dutton suffers a self-inflicted wound in Dickson, and Shooters Fishers and Farmers rein in their expectations.

Two days in the campaign, and already much to relate:

• Labor’s audacious gambit of running former Fremantle MP Melissa Parke in Curtin has proved short-lived, after a controversy brewed over comments she had made critical of Israel. Parke announced her withdrawal after the Herald Sun presented the Labor campaign with claims she had told a meeting of WA Labor for Palestine that she could “remember vividly” – presumably not from first-hand experience – a pregnant refugee being ordered to drink bleach at a Gaza checkpoint. Parke is also said to have spoken of Israel’s “influence in our political system and foreign policy”, no doubt bringing to the party hierarchy’s mind the turmoil that has lately engulfed the British Labour Party in relation to such matters. In her statement last night, Parke said her views were “well known, but I don’t want them to be a running distraction from electing a Labor government”. James Campbell of the Herald Sun notes the forum was also attended by Parkes’ successor in Fremantle, Josh Wilson.

• Meanwhile, Liberal Party vetting processes have caused the withdrawal on Section 44 grounds of three candidates in who-cares seats in Melbourne. They are Cooper candidate Helen Jackson, who dug her heels in when told her no-chance candidacy required her to abandon her job at Australia Post, so that the integrity of executive-legislative relations might be preserved; Lalor candidate Kate Oski, who is in danger of being Polish; and Wills candidate Vaishali Ghosh, who was, as The Age put it in a report I hope no one from overseas reads, “forced to step aside over her Indian heritage”.

• Peter Dutton has been under fire for his rhetorical overreach against Ali France, the Labor candidate in his marginal seat of Dickson. Dutton accused France, who had her leg amputated after being hit by a car in 2011, of “using her disability as an excuse” for not moving into the electorate. France lives a short distance outside it, and points to the $100,000 of her compensation money she has spent making her existing home fully wheelchair accessible. Labor has taken the opportunity to point to Dutton’s failed attempt from 2009 to move to the safer seat of McPherson on the Gold Coast, where he owns a $2.3 million beachside holiday home, and by all accounts spends a great deal of his time. Dutton refused to apologise for the comments yesterday, while Scott Morrison baselessly asserted that they were taken out of context.

Greg Brown of The Australian reports Robert Borsak, leader of Shooters Fishers and Farmers and one of the party’s state upper house MPs, concedes the party is struggling to recruit candidates, and will not repeat its state election feat of winning seats in the lower house. Nonetheless, it has Orange deputy mayor Sam Romano lined up as its candidate for Calare and plans to run in Eden-Monaro, Parkes and possibly New England. This follows suggestions the party might pose a threat to the Nationals in Parkes and Farrer, which largely correspond with the state seats of Barwon and Murray, which the party won at last month’s state election. Calare encompasses Orange, which Shooters have held since a November 2016 by-election.

• “I don’t trust our polling at all”, says “a senior federal Liberal MP” cited by John Ferguson in The Australian, apropos the party’s prospects in Victoria. It is not clear if the source was being optimistic or pessimistic, but the report identifies a range of opinion within the Liberal camp extending from only two or three losses in Victoria – likewise identified as a “worst case scenario” by Labor sources – to as many as seven.

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.

1,433 comments on “Election minus five weeks”

  1. Yes, it was in Mr Bowe’s summary but so were a number of other issues that BK linked to articles about.

    It headlines his summary. Top of the page.
    BK doesnt get paid for doing his daily summary. It is an amazing resource. I would choose not to complain about a free and treasured resource.

    If you think something has been missed you can always post the link.

  2. Rex Douglas @ #67 Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 9:40 am

    The voters of Dickson, I’m sure, are only interested in what she can deliver to them.

    The voters of Dickson, I’m also sure, aren’t interested in her personal life.

    I think voters, the undecided ones anyways, in Dickson and everywhere else, care about who they’re voting for. Not to the exclusion of everything else, but it’s an aspect they’ll consider.

    You’re welcome to disagree, though I doubt you’re as much of an expert on what people in Dickson want as you let on. If you are, just skip to the end and tell us the result. 🙂

  3. EB
    says:
    i bet Scotty would rather be holding the other woman’s hand. I know i would lol.
    __________________________________________
    I think both of those women are fine. I’d imagine that you’d be lucky to hold on to a paw.

  4. TPOF @ #88 Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 10:05 am

    Careful, expressing concern for the plight of the Palestinians has been known to get people banned from PB.

    ____________________________________

    Only when it is expressed in the form of holocaust denial.

    Oh really?

    Can’t say I ever noticed that.

    The Holocaust (note the capital which you omitted) is an unchallengeable historical fact.

    Interestingly, there have been Holocaust survivors who have likened the actions of Israel toward the Palestinians to those of the Nazis.

  5. Been away for awhile dealing with a family tragedy.

    Dropped in for some news from William just in time for a snide remark about shorten from one of the usual suspects.

    Should have stayed away

    See you on the other side

  6. ar: “You’re really reaching there with the suggestion that the comment could have somehow been about Australian Jews.”

    I wasn’t suggesting that the comment was directed at Australian Jews. I’m really not at all sure what was meant by it: assuming that it was accurately reported. Her point could have been much more carefully nuanced than it came across as being.

    But I have known people who have worked for the Palestinian cause, and who are acutely aware of the risk of being labelled anti-semitic, and they are well aware that they need to be extremely careful in using words like “influence” in relation to Israel or Jewish people in general.

  7. nath @ #103 Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 10:14 am

    EB
    says:
    i bet Scotty would rather be holding the other woman’s hand. I know i would lol.
    __________________________________________
    I think both of those woman are fine. I’d imagine that you’d be lucky to hold on to a paw.

    Go back to your Liberal (pretending to be a leftie) trolling. Your better at that Nath.

  8. meher baba @ #107 Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 10:18 am

    ar: “You’re really reaching there with the suggestion that the comment could have somehow been about Australian Jews.”

    I wasn’t suggesting that the comment was directed at Australian Jews. I’m really not at all sure what was meant by it: assuming that it was accurately reported. Her point could have been much more carefully nuanced than it came across as being.

    But I have known people who have worked for the Palestinian cause, and who are acutely aware of the risk of being labelled anti-semitic, and they are well aware that they need to be extremely careful in using words like “influence” in relation to Israel or Jewish people in general.


    She was offering a personal opinion on an issue – I don’t think she was asked to withdraw unless the Israel issue is a hot potatoe in WA, which I doubt. I hope she runs again in a LABOR seat next time.

  9. Tricot: “…it is difficult to work just whether the state of Israel is secular, or no different from Iran with the influence of the religious on day-to-day politics.”

    My impression is that it is a very strange mixture of both of these things. The Zionist ideology is, at heart, strongly anti-religious. However, the numerical strength of the orthodox within Israel has grown steadily. The Likud party under Netanyahu has increasingly sat down to dine with the orthodox elements, even though these generally refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Zionist state.

    It’s why quite a lot of right-wing politicians inclined towards Zionism have split from the Likud Party in recent times, and why the military is far from comfortable with Netanyahu.

    A change of government in Israel would lead to a significant shift, but the demographics are currently unhelpful to what I see as the forces of good.

  10. She Wuz Robbed! says the Herald.

    The SMH editorial posits the judgment in the defamation case brought by Geoffrey Rush will cost the newspaper a lot but asks what signal it sends about sexual harassment at work.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/judgment-on-rush-reveals-gulf-in-attitudes-to-metoo-20190412-p51djw.html

    The entire editorial is based on the following assumptions:

    * Eryn Norvill had a legitimate complaint about sexual harassment,

    * but was too scared of making it because she thought management would sack her,

    * Rush would wreak nasty vengeance upon her,

    * the entire theatre industry, including its enslaved women, thriving on a perverted culture of sexual harassment, was corrupted and would ostracise her,

    * only stupid old white men would be permitted judge her claims, and would automatically find them wanting (because no old white man can possibly understand anything to do with sexual harassment, presumably because they’re all in it themselves).

    In short, the theatre industry – including on and off stage personnel – and the entire judicial system have been rigged in order to effectively perpetuate the sexual exploitation of young women.

    The alternative explanation – that nothing happened, or that if it did, Norvill amplified it and negatively twisted it out of all proportion – is disregarded, because old white men were found to occupy every seat at the legal table (see above).

    Presumably the only way Norvill could get a fair hearing would be for all theatre administrators, lawyers and judges to be born post-1990, and for only women be involved in the legal process. I guess the older actors should be pensioned off too, as none of them – men or women – can help themselves when there’s an irresistable set if young boobs to tweak so that everyone can have a giggle and a leer.

    Absent that fair hearing, Norvill has doubled-down on her claims, repeating them outside the court before the ink was dry on the judgement. She has gone from reluctant complainant and witness, to Joan of Arc in the space of a few months. She now owns the results of her words, having uttered them directly to the nation. There is no Daily Telegraph to blame anymore. Good for her! I’m sure she has a fine future in community repertory theatre. She may have just enough common sense for that.

  11. EB: “She was offering a personal opinion on an issue ”

    Something that is not usually permitted within the ALP universe, other than on controversial social issues such as euthanasia, abortion or SSM (and, indeed, I think the scope for ALP members to express personal views on abortion or SSM has now been effectively withdrawn).

  12. meher baba @ #111 Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 10:23 am

    Tricot: “…it is difficult to work just whether the state of Israel is secular, or no different from Iran with the influence of the religious on day-to-day politics.”

    My impression is that it is a very strange mixture of both of these things. The Zionist ideology is, at heart, strongly anti-religious. However, the numerical strength of the orthodox within Israel has grown steadily. The Likud party under Netanyahu has increasingly sat down to dine with the orthodox elements, even though these generally refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Zionist state.

    It’s why quite a lot of right-wing politicians inclined towards Zionism have split from the Likud Party in recent times, and why the military is far from comfortable with Netanyahu.

    A change of government in Israel would lead to a significant shift, but the demographics are currently unhelpful to what I see as the forces of good.

    The religious nutters in Israel don’t contribute to the society, are exempt from military service and breed like rabbits. Things can only get worse.

  13. Ilhan Omar is a leader with strength and courage. She won't back down to Trump's racism and hate, and neither will we. The disgusting and dangerous attacks against her must end.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) April 13, 2019

  14. BK @ #99 Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 10:11 am

    And Bucephalus, I chose also to not directly link to the story that a clutch of Liberals have withdrawn due to s44 concerns.

    You claim to be balanced. But, there’s nary a word about Winx final race today in Sydney at Randwick at 3.05pm. She’s the best horse ever to race in Australia and nothing but crickets from you. Also your total neglect of articles about MAFs tells me you have a hidden agenda to exclude issues of importance to mainstream Australia.

    Lift your game!

  15. meher baba – Netanyahu has just won his 4th (I think or is it 3rd?) election despite the controversy surrounding him and on track to become the longest serving PM. Doesn’t say much for the opposition to him and Likud. I wonder why HAMAS decided to have a massive missile campaign during the election? Didn’t want a more amenable Israeli Government?

  16. I’d like to see a journo ask Dutton “Will you categorically rule out challenging for the leadership for the next term if the Liberals win?”

  17. Eryn Norvill had a legitimate complaint about sexual harassment

    She certainly did have a legitimate complaint and a defamation proceeding brought by Geoffrey Rush against News Limited is obviously not designed to deal with that type of complaint.

    The Sydney Theatre Company failed to respond appropriately to her complaint. Someone there leaked the story to News Limited – which was disrespectful and damaging to both Eryn Norvill and Geoffrey Rush.

  18. Bushfire Bill @ #113 Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 10:25 am

    How about a third interpretation?

    Something happened that was perceived differently by those involved.

    Norvill felt aggrieved and grumbled about it to various people. Management should have stepped in and mediated but did nothing.

    Word got out to the gutter press and they did a major beat up attacking Rush.

    Rush sued the media and won. He has not attacked or sued Norvill.

  19. Also your total neglect of articles about MAFs tells me you have a hidden agenda to exclude issues of importance to mainstream Australia.

    GG to do a weekly MAFS roundup!

    With pictures.

  20. Many Palestinians are also Semitic, especially around the Occupied Territories, the Hebron and the Golan area. One needs to be careful when talking about being anti- Semitic, it cuts many ways nowadays.

  21. Greensborough Growler,

    Completely agree on the disgrace of ignoring Winx unless the assumption was that everyone knows anyway.

    BUT – no mention of the mighty thrashing that Westcoast Eagles are going to give to the Shockers.

  22. Thanks BK for the Dawn Patrol.

    What’s this I hear about you not posting to order ❓

    Why not a lot of reference to these splendid items ❓

    Lift your game my friend –

    On the other hand (the one with 6 fingers and two thumbs) you spared us from —

    For which I, together with Brown Bear and Bobo Bear will be forever grateful. 🙏

    *************************************
    On a not unrelated item – I just a few days ago watched what I thought an interesting move (wot we used to called picture when I was alive) – entitled Denial. Please no Denise and Denephew jokes.

    Fascinating movie –

    Denial (2016 film) – Wikipedia
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial_(2016_film)
    $8 million. Denial is a 2016 British-American biographical drama film directed by Mick Jackson and written by David Hare, based on Deborah Lipstadt’s book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier (David Irving – later sentenced to 3 years for Holocaust denial).

    That’s more than enough from me. Toodles. ☮☕

  23. Management should have stepped in and mediated

    ha ha ha ha!!!! Management stepping in and… managing? ….. oh thats gold.
    Most managers I know never stop whinging that they have to spend time managing staff. Um…. hello!

    I had one manager who first put my name to my face on the day I resigned.

  24. EGW: “The religious nutters in Israel don’t contribute to the society, are exempt from military service and breed like rabbits. Things can only get worse.”

    Yes, for the time being. But I’m perhaps a little more optimistic. The younger generation of the ultra-orthodox in Israel might roll just a little differently than their parents.

    Similarly, I think that, contrary to the views of the doomsayers about the “death of Europe” due to the demographic impact of rapidly-growing Muslim communities (which, it’s no good beating about the bush, is looking likely to be quite significant in a demographic sense), the increasingly radical mixture of cultural and religious influences (more people going to mosques, synagogues and fundamentalist Christian churches, but also more same sex marriages, more openly transgender people, etc.) in the modern economies of the world will, in about 50 years time, start to produce a society that is surprisingly different to what many people expect or, in some cases, fear. I only wish I could be around to see it.

    So I really hope that Israel might come right sooner than many people expect. But, right now, Netanyahu is a definite impediment to this.

  25. To those of you who may have thought that this was a photoshopped picture to prove a point, the only addition to this ABC promo shot is the LNP logo!

  26. Bucephalus @ #130 Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 10:37 am

    Greensborough Growler,

    Completely agree on the disgrace of ignoring Winx unless the assumption was that everyone knows anyway.

    BUT – no mention of the mighty thrashing that Westcoast Eagles are going to give to the Shockers.

    Repent, comrade or feel the wrath of WB and be cast out of the house of PB. In some matters he is just not a benign dictator.

  27. Red13,

    It is generally accepted that Anti-semitism is referring to attacking Jews. The leftist anti-Jewish pedantry that claims that Anti-semitism is anything else than being anti-Jewish is a load of bollocks.

    As I said – it’s as bad as the UK Labour Party around here.

  28. ‘Methinks BILL is going to have KK with him for the duration of the campaign’

    But he should also have Mark Butler and Jim Chalmers and Chris Bowen and Penny Wong…..especially Mark Butler….

  29. EGW says:
    Saturday, April 13, 2019 at 10:14 am
    TPOF @ #88 Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 10:05 am

    Careful, expressing concern for the plight of the Palestinians has been known to get people banned from PB.

    ____________________________________

    Only when it is expressed in the form of holocaust denial.
    Oh really?

    Can’t say I ever noticed that.

    The Holocaust (note the capital which you omitted) is an unchallengeable historical fact.

    Interestingly, there have been Holocaust survivors who have likened the actions of Israel toward the Palestinians to those of the Nazis.
    _________________________________

    I omitted the capital because I was lazy. I don’t know what other point you were making about that.

    As for the banning, I was talking about DTT, who posited that the Warsaw Ghetto was not such a bad deal because it only went on for a few years and didn’t seem to want to know about the liquidation of the Ghetto and Treblinka, doubling down on the assertion.

    If you have someone else in mind, please let us know. And if you agree with her, perhaps you should start corresponding with David Irving rather than here.

  30. Rossmcg @ #106 Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 10:18 am

    Been away for awhile dealing with a family tragedy.

    Dropped in for some news from William just in time for a snide remark about shorten from one of the usual suspects.

    Should have stayed away

    See you on the other side

    I echo others in wishing you and your family well. Sometimes the nastiness is difficult to take. Be kind to yourself. ☮

  31. Bucephalus @ #128 Saturday, April 13th, 2019 – 10:34 am

    Rex,

    Price was a Federal ALP Minister. Or did I not pick up on an attempt at sarcasm?

    Melissa Parke was a Labor minister.

    As Labor policy on asylum seekers and other social issues moved to the right, she stayed true to her values and eventually gave it away.

    Why she re-nominated, only she can answer.

    To me, she seems more a Green or progressive Indy than Labor these days.

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