Happy trails

As the election campaign enters a hiatus, a look at where the leaders have been and why.

As the Easter/Anzac Day suspension of hostilities begins, it may be instructive to look at where the leaders have travelled during the campaign’s preliminary phase. Featured over the fold is a display listing the electorates that have been targeted, as best as I can tell, and a very brief summary of what they were up to while they were there. Certain entries are in italics where it is seems clear that the area was not targeted for its electoral sensitivity, such as Bill Shorten’s visit to Melbourne’s West Gate Tunnel project to get some good vision presenting him as a champion of infrastructure, which happened to place him in the unloseable Labor seat of Gellibrand. There are also a few entries that clearly targeted more than one electorate, in which case the margin for the secondary elected is listed on a second line.

What stands out is that Scott Morrison has hit a number of Labor-held seats, consistent with the optimistic impression the Liberals are presenting about their prospects – an assessment which, on this evidence, does not look to be fully shared by Labor. The only activity of Shorten’s that had Labor territory as its primary target was his visit to the Northern Territory on Thursday. Of equal interest to Shorten’s pattern of travel is the clarity of Labor’s early campaign theme of health policy, in contrast of the grab bag of messages promoted by Scott Morrison.

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.

720 comments on “Happy trails”

  1. With easily distracted, zombie voters out there like Lovey I can totally understand why corrupt, crony capitalist coalition governments continue to get elected in this country. On a more serious note though, Lovey’s distraction by reality TV gambits is exactly the point Rick Wilson was making in the podcast I heard this morning.

    Democrats (insert Labor as the equivalent), can have their serious policy plans, but when faced with an opponent like Trump (insert the federal coalition as the equivalent), their policy plans don’t mean a hill of beans because in the face of them, Trump (insert Morrison in this specific instance), will simply make a fart joke, or tell a humongous and egregious lie, and the voters like Lovey, who prefer reality TV gambits to serious policy debate, will applaud the fart joke, and issue boos and hisses at Labor for having the temerity of formulating serious policies like a sensible, adult opposition.

    Morrison upends a can of beer on his head in a crowd of people edging away from him in embarrassment, and the Loveys of voterland applaud and scream MORE! Barnaby blames an opposition Senator for his signing off on millions of taxpayer dollars going to overseas held entities for Australian water that doesn’t exist, and the Loveys in voterland say Labor is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    The coalition govt gives away $1B in taxpayer funding to two little-known companies, without due process or any kind of transparency, and the Loveys in voterland just shrug ‘meh’. Liberal MPs threaten to sue journalists for doing what they are paid to do by holding the govt to account in what is supposed to be a democracy, and the Loveys in voterland say it’s Labor’s fault.

    What to do? Thankfully something Labor is doing is ignoring the Loveys in voterland by refusing to kowtow to the Murdoch media, something no other Labor opposition has done before in my lifetime.

  2. Bluey may be lounging in a crevasse in his rockpool but my dogs are on duty.

    Morrrison came on TV and Sammie went outside and peed on my pot-plant. I assume that is -1 for the
    Coalition and +1 for the ALP. Being a carnivore he is not interested in Greens.

  3. And anyway, the ALP get a +10 from the house-hounds because the ALP actually has an animal welfare policy and will re-institute a Federal Commissioner for Animals.

  4. I am asking anybody who is interested in Mueller report on Trump to please please please watch Rachel Maddow take on ‘Obstruction of justice’ . It is not only funny but at the same time it is deadly.

    https://m-huffpost-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5cbabd56e4b06605e3eecd1f/amp?amp_js_v=a2&amp_gsa=1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffpost.com%2Fentry%2Frachel-maddow-mueller-report-ragu_n_5cbabd56e4b06605e3eecd1f

  5. Ven @ #610 Saturday, April 20th, 2019 – 7:50 pm

    I am asking anybody who is interested in Mueller report on Trump to please please please watch Rachel Maddow take on ‘Obstruction of justice’ . It is not only funny but at the same time it is deadly.

    https://m-huffpost-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5cbabd56e4b06605e3eecd1f/amp?amp_js_v=a2&amp_gsa=1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffpost.com%2Fentry%2Frachel-maddow-mueller-report-ragu_n_5cbabd56e4b06605e3eecd1f

    I am a consistent watcher of the Rachel Maddow show and think she is brilliant at simplifying complex information and making a narrative out of it which is easy to follow, even for people with little knowledge of the issues and players. She does it with humour and irony too.

  6. Today we have:

    1. Shorten’s penalty rates announcement.
    2. Shorten’s NEG announcement.
    3. Joyce, Taylor, Water, Tax Avoidance, and the Caymans.
    4. Turnbull reminding everyone that the Liberals do instability best.
    5. Shorten treating Newscorps journos with the contempt they have worked so hard to earn.

    That is an excellent day’s work by Labor and your classic state of chaos and confusion by the Liberals.

  7. I’m a humble volunteer, one of many thousands and make no claims other than that. I listen to voters and hope to learn from them; and am pleased to present a human face-of-politics to my fellow voters. I’m privileged to be a part of this and give what I have, such as it is.

    There are bludgers who like to bludge. Go for it. I could not care less. I’m more than happy to join my comrades and to serve Labor; to work for the election of government of hope and purpose and achievement.

  8. A number of PBs who want to make weeping condemnations about others (grouper, libling, garden fairies etc) is usually only enlightening about their own limitations. The fact is if you listen to what people say over time, even the most one-eyed partisans have different ideas from their parties – as anyone who has been in a party knows the range of views can be pretty wide). Attacking parties on the basis of one or 2 member’s views makes little sense. Labelling usually produces heat rather than light. And most PBs are not in a party – which doesn’t necessarily add anything to the value of their input. Trying to label people generally just looks a bit silly. Most of us are quite capable of letting dross flow by.

    The power of a large and broad group of interested political participants to get good information on the screen is the huge value of PB. The process is not helped by the few clowns who simply want to run interference or the inability of others to mostly ignore the irritations.

  9. Puffy
    Thanks. I had not realized that Labor had such an excellent animal welfare policy. Mr Fitzgibbon has obviously learned from his previous experiences.
    What is especially good is ensuring that monitoring and oversight is separated from the Minister. Joyce in particular demonstrated that having the minister look after animal welfare does not work.
    Good stuff.

  10. Currently rereading The Two Towers for the nth time and just passed that scene.

    I flew my drone over Edorus (aka “Mt Sunday”) and snapped a 360 panoramic. Does that count?

    Wallet fell out if my back pocket there too, so I guess the Orcs got it. What would Orcs buy with a Mastercard?

  11. I read somewhere that GetUp will campaign against Craig Kelly in Hughes electorate. As far as I know I there is not much campaigning in Hughes other than some posters of Kelly and Labor candidate.
    Even the betting odds are in Kelly’s favour.

  12. BW – a few days ago you raised a query on the Yarra Pygmy Perch. The extinction concern does only relate at this stage to the population in the lower lakes area in SA. Not in the upper Murray catchments. Some of the stories in the media were confusing.

  13. Of course, it absolutely has to be said that the efforts of the many thousands of volunteers who work for the election of the coming government of hope, of purpose and achievement stand in total contrast to the miserable obstructions of the Lib-kin, who dread the success of Labor almost as much as the Lib-Libs themselves.

    The closer we get to a win, the more they scheme to prevent it.

  14. “Morrrison came on TV and Sammie went outside and peed on my pot-plant. I assume that is -1 for the
    Coalition and +1 for the ALP. Being a carnivore he is not interested in Greens.”

    Lol! 🙂

  15. BB

    Drone images are a great addition to landscape photography and to understanding landscape itself.

    I was checking some of his drone shots for a photographer friend when I noticed that something peculiar was happening in some of the images.
    Parts of the image were flat and look rather map like.
    Other parts of the image which had natural verticals, (tree trunks, cliffs) were foreshortened but you definitely could read them as verticals.
    However, the third part of all this was that in some cases dark shadows formed diagonals.
    So, strange structures.
    They reminded me of some of the paintings of William Robinson.
    A key to reading some of Robinson’s works is that sometimes the viewer is placed in several different places at once, and the perspectives sometimes make sense in a nonsensical way. Quite paradoxical.
    https://australiangalleries.com.au/artists/william-robinson/

  16. Outside observers noting the LNP-Labor same same analysis or the LNP – Greens same same analysis (or enemy of my enemy is my friend path to the same conclusion) on PB would mostly be rubbing their eyes in disbelief.

  17. Spence @ #623 Saturday, April 20th, 2019 – 8:39 pm

    BW – a few days ago you raised a query on the Yarra Pygmy Perch. The extinction concern does only relate at this stage to the population in the lower lakes area in SA. Not in the upper Murray catchments. Some of the stories in the media were confusing.

    How did the Yarra Pygmy Perch get from the Yarra to the Murray? Or is the name confusing?

  18. EGW

    Good conclusion, kind of what I meant. None of the people here are in charge of the ALP tactics, we are all just sounding off, but with proponents like them, Labor could lose this obvious gimmee.

  19. ‘Spence says:
    Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    BW – a few days ago you raised a query on the Yarra Pygmy Perch. The extinction concern does only relate at this stage to the population in the lower lakes area in SA. Not in the upper Murray catchments. Some of the stories in the media were confusing.’

    Agree. They should use ‘extirpation’ when talking about part of a species range. I note that little is know of its breeding ecology. When I was a child I observed what were almost certainly spawning runs when drains/watercourses were in spate during spring. I used to catch them by hand. Spraying of bullrushes in drains, the arrival of Gambusia and of European Carp smashed the local populations where I grew up.

  20. ‘Lovey says:
    Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    EGW

    Good conclusion, kind of what I meant. None of the people here are in charge of the ALP tactics, we are all just sounding off, but with proponents like them, Labor could lose this obvious gimmee.’

    haha. I doubt whether Bludger has ever changed a single vote. Although for a while the Informal Party ran some robust positions and the subsequent election did have an unusually high informal vote. So you never do know.

  21. EGW – “common” names of animals and plants are often confusing. The name often relates to the first area where europeans observed them. For example Warrego Summer Grass (Setaria jubiflorum) is quite common in SA and other places. Not sure whether the Yarra Pygmy Perch has recently been living in the central Murray areas – possibly the weirs have affected their habitat but not sure. Widely separated (disjunct) populations of plants and animals occur sometimes, reflecting environmental changes over time.

  22. EGW
    It is always a bit of a mystery how fish which do not have a marine element in their distributions may be found in different catchments.
    Massive floods like the recent one in Queensland might help explain some distributions.
    Then the fish are there for millenia and there might be times when separate catchments are joined.
    Some fish eggs are known to have survived being carried on birds legs.
    But still a bit of a mystery.

  23. Boerwar @ #607 Saturday, April 20th, 2019 – 7:47 pm

    Puffy
    Wow!

    I just started a social media share. I emphasised that the ALP are one the two parties in the run for a win and power in 2018. I notice someAnimal Welfare people, mainly for banning live-export, tend to go Greens. That won’t help even one animal ever. With the policy the ALP has, the oversight and conditions will probably make live export non-profitable for exporters. They send 2nd rate animals which have been run on bushland doing immense damage to the environment on those ships, and flout all welfare rules. The evidence gets tossed over the side, so to speak.

    But the policy also looks at puppy farms, testing cosmetics on animals, and welfare of other animals.

    It will be up to the Labor animal welfare group (which got this up) to make sure the policy is enacted, of which I have no doubt it will be.

    Unlike The Greens, the ALP can get these things done, if somewhat incrementally.

  24. Spence @ #638 Saturday, April 20th, 2019 – 8:37 pm

    Puffy – can we expect a scare campaign from Michaelia that “LNP will save your pets”.

    Well, when I see a policy to make pet ownership by renters and residents of care homes a human right, I might look twice at Michaela. (Feck knows how the care home pet situation can be handled but providers make enough from the fees, so they can go work it out.)

    I would be a but wary of Cory Bernardi though. He has unclear attitudes to animals and ssm.

  25. EGW
    The species author was a Klunzinger who described the species 1872. This seems late to me. It was almost certainly collected before then. I can’t access the scientific literature.

    http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=26177

    Indigenous people could possibly have eaten it from time to time. There is some flesh on the very largest fish. The smaller ones might have been eaten as we eat sardines: whole fish, bones and all.
    I don’t know.

  26. Confessions @ #620 Saturday, April 20th, 2019 – 8:06 pm

    PuffyTMD @ #389 Saturday, April 20th, 2019 – 6:24 pm

    Boerwar
    It is all in here.
    http://www.joelfitzgibbon.com/labor_s_animal_welfare_policy

    I must start sharing this on social media.

    I didn’t realise their policy extended to banning animal testing for cosmetics. Well done.

    Thanks for that.

    I like the Greens policies on animals but again, I am in the pragmatic wagon, and I am an ALP member. But I hope the ALP and The Greens/Crossbenchers can get this through with a good united push. I would rather the Inspector General not be attached to the Agriculture Dept, but I suppose it is to include farmers in the mix. I am not sure what other dept it could be run from. Perhaps a parliamentary secretary could take on that project, like Bill Shorten did with Disability. One with a bit of fire in the belly.

  27. Sadly, the Greens and GetUp are equally useless when it comes to fighting dirty. Labor’s not much good at it either.

    That’s why Morrison’s still in with a chance.

  28. Diogenes.

    Freud had a term explaining the GreenLaborShit we see on PB; he called it the Narcissism of Small Differences.

    I’m sure the psychology/medical people could probably produce a variety of diagnoses to explain various fixated behaviour?

  29. Toff….Labor are a positive political expression. This is deliberate. Voters really deeply resent the negative campaigning by the non-Labor voices. It’s very alienating. The more the Libs and their echoes publish hostility, the worse it gets for them.

  30. PuffyTMD says:
    Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    Bluey may be lounging in a crevasse in his rockpool but my dogs are on duty.

    Morrrison came on TV and Sammie went outside and peed on my pot-plant. I assume that is -1 for the
    Coalition and +1 for the ALP. Being a carnivore he is not interested in Greens.

    I would thought pissing on the pot plant was also a clear indication of anti-Greens sentiment. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *