Various stuff that’s happening

Sarah Henderson reportedly struggling in her Senate preselection comeback bid, plus yet more on the great pollster failure, and other things besides.

Newspoll’s no-show this week suggests last fortnight’s poll may not have portended a return to the familiar schedule. Amid a general post-election psephological malaise, there is at least the following to relate:

• The great pollster failure was the subject of a two-parter by Bernard Keane in Crikey yesterday, one part examining the methodological nuts and bolts, the other the influence of polling on journalism and political culture.

Richard Willingham of the ABC reports former Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson is having a harder-than-expected time securing Liberal preselection to replace Mitch Fifield in the Senate, despite backing from Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg and Michael Kroger. According to the report, some of Henderson’s backers concede that Greg Mirabella, former state party vice-president and the husband of Sophie Mirabella, may have the edge.

• The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has invited submissions for its regular inquiry into the 2019 election, which will be accepted until Friday, September 2019. Queensland LNP Senator James McGrath continues to chair the committee, which consists of five Coalition, two Labor and one Greens member.

Daniella White of the Canberra Times reports Labor is struggling to find candidates for next October’s Australian Capital Territory election, said by “some insiders” to reflect pessimism about the government’s chances of extending its reign to a sixth term.

• The Federation Press has published a second edition of the most heavily thumbed tome in my psephological library, Graeme Orr’s The Law of Politics: Election, Parties and Money in Australia. A good deal of water has passed under the bridge since the first edition in 2010, most notably in relation to Section 44, which now accounts for the better part of half a chapter.

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.

1,701 comments on “Various stuff that’s happening”

  1. sf –

    I’m not a monarchist, but until australia shows a lot more political maturity, I don’t think having a titular/pretend head of state who lives in another country is the worst model of government – particular if they are a decent human being and independent of party politics.

    This has been my view for the last 5 to 10 years as well.

    I’m no fan of the royal family, but short of some mechanism to (and I’m being serious) randomly select a mostly competent, mostly decent person to be our head of state and emergency-fallback sanity check, the royal family will do.

  2. “I recall the Fed Govt getting stuck into Sally McManus for ‘putting the unions above the law’ . Will they have similar comments about the Catholic church putting themselves above the law …?”

    I had the same thought Rex.

    the catholic boys daily writers at The Australian will be in lather and forget their earlier stance on the unions and greens re: when it is Ok to break a law. Protection or workers or the environment = not good. protection of child rapists = good.

    As an ex-Mick (if you truly get over it), I can’t understand why the catholic church does not declare that penance/act of contrition for child rape must include reporting yourself to the authorities and that you have not made a true confession until you do so. Priests should then be allowed to report those who have not made a true confession and act of contrition. absolution should be withheld until the act of contrition is made (I don’t believe this mumbo jumbo, but presumably rapist priests do).

    I tell a lie when I say ‘I don’t understand’ why the church doesn’t do this. It is for the same reason the libs and labor don’t want a national anti-corruption agency with the permanent powers of a royal commission. The catholic church has an entrenced culture of peodophilia and large sections of it clearly act as, at ‘best’, protectors of child rapists and, at worst, as actual organised paedophile rings.

    the Vic government should set a date for removal of the catholic church’s tax free status and funding to schools if they refuse to comply and see how quickly they change their mind. The government won’t because of the Mick-mafia in both parties and the murdoch media.

  3. There are merits in my opinion for Australian Republic to go for a Semi Presidential system, with a directly elected President. It is the system used in quite a number of countries, for example; France.

    In a semi-president you have a President who is directly elected who has considerable powers, however you have a prime minister and cabinet who are reasonable to the legislature. Both the President and Prime Minister would share powers, in France the President is usually in charge of foreign affairs, while the Prime Minister is in charge of domestic affairs. The only veto powers a president in a semi presidential system, is to refer a bill to their country’s equivalent of the High Court to determine if it is constitutional.

    A semi-presidential system, would favor the election of Presidents would be like Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop, in being popular with the people. Also it would put a check on the possibility of our parliamentary system become an elected dictatorship, if say a party gets a majority in both houses of parliament.

  4. I can’t see one thing the royal family have got going for them other than being very rich thanks to a public teat that never dries up, and having a bit of practice at it, being heads of state I mean, and going around calling themselves Majesty or Highness.

    When ERII falls of her perch, the adulterous meddlesome prince will be our head of state. If you don’t think we can do better than that, I give up.

    Surely it is not beyond us to nut out serious constitutional reform, become a republic, and engineer a head of state whose powers are subservient to the Parliament, not above it.

  5. C@tmomma @ #2205 Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 – 1:25 pm

    Never stops the Warmies conflating the two issues.

    So now we have a dismissive contemptuous put-down of the people who actually, like, believe in what the Climate Science is telling us, and basically what we can see with our own eyes going on around the world right now?

    How puerile can you get? About this puerile.

    Forget it Jake C@t, it’s Chinatown Compact Cowhead. He’s just another one of Twiggy’s lost boys (he likes his planet rapers, does CC), who gets his pathetic kicks by poking PB. He’s what the gNATh will become when he gets older and bitterer.

  6. Bucephalus @ #149 Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 – 1:46 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Given it is a Victorian issue I don’t see why the Federal Government has to have an opinion. Has the Government expressed an opinion supporting the Catholic Church in this case?

    Porter has publicly backed proposed laws forcing the reporting of child abuse confessions , so I’d expect a response to the Catholic Church’s belligerence.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/ag-backs-laws-forcing-priests-to-break-confession-over-child-abuse-20180610-p4zknp.html

  7. sustainable future @ #152 Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 – 1:53 pm

    “I recall the Fed Govt getting stuck into Sally McManus for ‘putting the unions above the law’ . Will they have similar comments about the Catholic church putting themselves above the law …?”

    I had the same thought Rex.

    the catholic boys daily writers at The Australian will be in lather and forget their earlier stance on the unions and greens re: when it is Ok to break a law. Protection or workers or the environment = not good. protection of child rapists = good.

    As an ex-Mick (if you truly get over it), I can’t understand why the catholic church does not declare that penance/act of contrition for child rape must include reporting yourself to the authorities and that you have not made a true confession until you do so. Priests should then be allowed to report those who have not made a true confession and act of contrition. absolution should be withheld until the act of contrition is made (I don’t believe this mumbo jumbo, but presumably rapist priests do).

    I tell a lie when I say ‘I don’t understand’ why the church doesn’t do this. It is for the same reason the libs and labor don’t want a national anti-corruption agency with the permanent powers of a royal commission. The catholic church has an entrenced culture of peodophilia and large sections of it clearly act as, at ‘best’, protectors of child rapists and, at worst, as actual organised paedophile rings.

    the Vic government should set a date for removal of the catholic church’s tax free status and funding to schools if they refuse to comply and see how quickly they change their mind. The government won’t because of the Mick-mafia in both parties and the murdoch media.

    Taking away the tax free status is the least one would expect given the potential crime committed.

  8. The thing is, who knows the child abuser has confessed to the priest anyway? The state can’t act on what it doesn’t know, isn’t told.

    Time for confessions to be recored for quality control and training purposes.

  9. This is absurd.

    The child abuser goes and tells the priest he abuses children, so he can be forgiven and feel better about himself, now cleansed, and is told not to do it again, and go and get help, and tell the authorities (yeah, right).

    Until the next ‘occasion of sin’ presents itself, and another child life is destroyed, and the child abuser goes back to the priest to get forgiven again, and …. this is absurd.

  10. Bucephalus:

    [‘Game and Kerr acted completely appropriately in both situations and their decisions were overwhelming ratified by the voters at the subsequent elections.’]

    Bull feathers! Both dismissals were establishment plots against democratically elected governments.
    The fact that both governments weren’t subsequently elected was heavily influenced by the establishment, its satellites, predominantly an extremely partisan press (read, the Murdochcrazy), nothing much having changed. But do keep going with your neo-liberal critique; I believe you, thousands wouldn’t…

  11. You guys, I don’t know what the hell you’re going to do. You don’t want to make widgets, right? You don’t want to make — do you want to learn how to make a computer? A little tiny piece of stuff. … You put it with those big, beautiful hands of yours like … you’re going to take these big hands, going to take this little tiny part. You’re going to go home, ‘Alice this is a tough job.’ Nah, you want to make steel, and you want to dig coal — that’s what you want to do

    Just what is it you want to do?
    We wanna be free. We wanna be free to do what we wanna do, and we wanna get loaded and have a good time. That’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna have a good time, we’re gonna have a party!”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsHly9UuQ-A

  12. Itza:

    [‘Surely it is not beyond us to nut out serious constitutional reform, become a republic, and engineer a head of state whose powers are subservient to the Parliament, not above it.’]

    Precisely, but don’t try and convince Bucephalus. He’s obviously a dyed-in-the-wool monarchist.

  13. head of state whose powers are subservient to the Parliament, not above it.

    Don’t you remember the cries of horror when it was suggested that the head of state of Aus should be appointed by Parliament?

  14. Eddy Jokovich @EddyJokovich
    1h
    “Faster, sooner, cheaper”. Just received NBN brochure in the letterbox. Same download speed as current internet cable service. Same upload speed. Costs $20 more per month. What was the point of the Liberal’s shitty NBN plan? Slower, later, dearer. #AUSPOL #NBN

  15. Simon Katich says:
    Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 2:59 pm
    You guys, I don’t know what the hell you’re going to do. You don’t want to make widgets, right? You don’t want to make — do you want to learn how to make a computer? A little tiny piece of stuff. … You put it with those big, beautiful hands of yours like … you’re going to take these big hands, going to take this little tiny part. You’re going to go home, ‘Alice this is a tough job.’ Nah, you want to make steel, and you want to dig coal — that’s what you want to do

    Just what is it you want to do?
    We wanna be free. We wanna be free to do what we wanna do, and we wanna get loaded and have a good time. That’s what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna have a good time, we’re gonna have a party!”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsHly9UuQ-A

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zv1w9bg3bMM

  16. It amazes that there are contributors to this blog who are of the view that we can’t have one of our own as head of state. I wonder if their view will change when King Charles III and Queen Camila are crowned?

  17. It amazes that there are contributors to this blog who are of the view that we can’t have one of our own as head of state. I wonder if their view will change when King Charles III and Queen Camila are crowned?

  18. Mavis Davis

    . I wonder if their view will change when King Charles III and Queen Camila are crowned?

    Nah, they will still be expressing horror at the thought of someone ‘appalling’ being elected by the hoi polloi and so support the staus quo

  19. I predict if Queen Elizabeth II dies and Charles takes the throne as possibly as George VII. News Corporation will start agitating Britain and Australia become a Republics, it is possible since News Corporation has backed Scottish Independence. For Rupert Murdoch it is better to have a President who will be likely to obey you, rather than a King who is likely not to.

  20. “It amazes that there are contributors to this blog who are of the view that we can’t have one of our own as head of state. I wonder if their view will change when King Charles III and Queen Camila are crowned?”

    I’d vote for a republic if there was a referendum, but having a referendum is not a high priority for me. I’m not in favour of monarchy, but I’d want a republican model that was better than the status quo. King Charlie would be OK and mostly harmless.

    I am not convinced we wouldn’t go straight to a trump-like character or political partisan if we had an elected president. The potential for conflict between parliament and the president is too great, and I can see what a president would give us that we need as a nation. I quite like/don’t hate that we have a mostly hands off head of state who is not politically aligned and lives in another country. Better yet the UK taxpayers pay for our head of state! & how many people in the street could name the current GG? that’s a perfect state of affairs so far as I am concerned. one less ego to deal with.

  21. Of course the Hanovarians and their Saxe-Coburg successors are not the rightful monarchs at all.

    The rightful monarch is King Francis 2nd, currently Duke of Bavaria (German: Franz Bonaventura Adalbert Maria Herzog von Bayern; born 14 July 1933) is head of the House of Wittelsbach, the former ruling family of the Kingdom of Bavaria.

    He is the legitimate successor to the Stuart kings of England, France, Scotland, and Ireland.

    (He and his family spent time in concentration camps for their anti-Nazi attitudes).

    🙂

  22. Mavis Davis says:
    Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    The Westminster Constitutional Monarchy system of Government is one of the most successful in history and has served Australia particularly well.

    Having a Constitutional circuit breaker who is not beholden to politics has worked very well.

    Anyone who thinks that we should change from the current system has to demonstrate how it improves the governance of the Nation. Whining about not having an Australian Monarch doesn’t demonstrate an improvement.

    I don’t care who the Monarch is as long as they continue to do their job the same way as the previous Monarchs have.

  23. @sustainable future

    I don’t believe either if we had a elected president, they would be a Trump style character. US Presidential elections have low turnouts and voter suppression which made it possible for Trump to be elected in the first place.

    I am more concerned about a Trump figure becoming Prime Minister. Because a party can win an election on primary vote as low as 40%. Scott Morrison in my opinion can go full on Trump, if he believes to be politically expedient and really ramp at authoritarianism, if say an economic crisis was to occur. Although Peter Dutton would have gone full on Steve King (a White Supremacist Republican Congressman) if he had become Prime Minister.

  24. The baffling part about the referendum on the republic is that some people voted “No” because they didn’t like the idea of politicians (i.e. parliament) appointing the president. By doing that they voted to retain the current system where a single politician (i.e. the PM) appoints the GG by making a recommendation to Betty Windsor. Remarkable stupidity!

    I know some people that voted “No” believed that momentum for a republic was unstoppable and they would quickly get a chance to vote “Yes” to a republic with a directly elected president. Remarkable lack of judgement!

  25. @Jolyon Wagg

    The Republican movement should have put into their model, that a President must be elected or dismissed by a minimum two-thirds vote of both Houses of Parliament.

  26. Here’s my latest for The Conversation on the US presidential election:

    https://theconversation.com/biden-still-leads-us-democratic-primaries-trumps-ratings-fall-slightly-after-gun-massacres-plus-australian-preference-flows-121439

    Biden continues to easily lead the US Dem primaries, Trump’s ratings have fallen slightly in the last month, and are much worse than they should be given the good US economy. State by state polling suggests Trump will be unable to repeat his 2016 feat of winning the Electoral College while losing the popular vote.

  27. ID
    “The child abuser goes and tells the priest he abuses children, so he can be forgiven and feel better about himself, now cleansed, and is told not to do it again, and go and get help, and tell the authorities (yeah, right).”
    Imagine if you were the priest and the kid being abused was one of your nephews etc. Wouldn’t you write an anonymous letter or something?

  28. The prime minister of a tiny Pacific Island nation has described it as “immoral” to believe that a $500 million funding package from Australia would make him shut up about climate change.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison will met with Pacific Islands Forum leaders today in Tuvalu and is expected to unveil a $500 million climate change and oceans funding package.

    But the funding does not appear to have dampened demands from Pacific Island nations, which want Australia to address climate change, end coal mining and not open any new mines.

    While he accepted Australia’s $500 million package was a good gesture, Mr Sopoaga said it did not give anyone the right to not do things, such as cut emissions back in their home countries or stop coal mining.

    “It’s just immoral,” Mr Sopoaga said. “Giving money in a sense to people to shut up — not to talk about their rights to survive.

    https://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/tuvalu-prime-minister-enele-sopoaga-says-australias-500-million-funding-package-wont-make-him-shut-up-about-climate-change/news-story/917be97c75104ab3e31bbb7cbf5576ba#.XVOjHX3I-wQ.twitter

  29. ItzaDream @ #154 Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 – 2:12 pm

    Surely it is not beyond us to nut out serious constitutional reform, become a republic, and engineer a head of state whose powers are subservient to the Parliament, not above it.

    It should be neither subservient nor above. Co-equal should be the target. Co-equal, but with different responsibilities.

    Like, leave Parliament in charge of drafting laws, but take away all the executive powers. Those go to the head of state, who gets to appoint ministers to handle them and who cannot appoint a sitting MP as a minister of anything (bonus: ministers can actually be subject-matter experts in their nominated areas instead of politicians who may or may not have a clue).

    Case in point; Dutton wouldn’t be able to have a role in both drafting and administering border policy. He’d have to pick one and only one of those things to do, and leave the other aspect up to someone else.

  30. @AAPMick · 57m
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives for the Pacific Island Forum in Tuvalu #PIF2019 #auspol #ClimateChange

    Be serious. Does this bloke give you confidence that he knows what he’s doing?

  31. lizzie @ #185 Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 – 4:17 pm

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    @AAPMick · 57m
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives for the Pacific Island Forum in Tuvalu #PIF2019 #auspol #ClimateChange

    Be serious. Does this bloke give you confidence that he knows what he’s doing?

    He’s obviously hamming it up for the cameras. Successfully, as it turns out. He got you to reproduce the photo here. 😐

  32. Tristo @ #179 Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 – 3:49 pm

    The Republican movement should have put into their model, that a President must be elected or dismissed by a minimum two-thirds vote of both Houses of Parliament.

    Nah. For the same baffling reason already described.

    The people should choose, in a straight up national popular vote (retaining preferential voting). No gerrymandering. No divisional boundaries. No vote-distorting electoral-college equivalents. Just one vote for each eligible citizen, and whomever wins gets to be President regardless of what anyone in Parliament thinks.

  33. Given Morrison appears to have successfully engineered his rise to the PMship, and then won the unwinnable Federal election, I think it would be prudent to assume there is a bit more going on inside that noggin than his carefully cultivated ‘daggy dad’ routine would indicate.

  34. C@tmomma @ #2252 Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 – 4:20 pm

    lizzie @ #185 Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 – 4:17 pm

    <a href="” rel=”nofollow”>” rel=”nofollow”>

    @AAPMick · 57m
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrives for the Pacific Island Forum in Tuvalu #PIF2019 #auspol #ClimateChange

    Be serious. Does this bloke give you confidence that he knows what he’s doing?

    He’s obviously hamming it up for the cameras. Successfully, as it turns out. He got you to reproduce the photo here. 😐

    …and that’s how you fool enough of the people, enough of the time, to satisfy the Crank…

  35. Why would Scrott give a shit about climate change ? His church believes that the ‘end times’ are upon us. Compared to that climate change would be a real meh.

  36. Jackol @ #188 Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 – 4:26 pm

    Given Morrison appears to have successfully engineered his rise to the PMship, and then won the unwinnable Federal election, I think it would be prudent to assume there is a bit more going on inside that noggin than his carefully cultivated ‘daggy dad’ routine would indicate.

    As Nikki Savva attested to in her conversation with Richard Fidler. She said he is the most Machiavellian politician she has ever come across in her lifetime. And successful with it.

  37. @a r

    Without limits on Presidential power, a directly elected President would turn Australia’s government into a Semi-Presidential System. Although in semi presidential systems, the president does not have the ability to veto legislation like a President would if they had the powers of a governor-general. Also such a President can dismiss the Prime Minister, dissolve parliament and call fresh elections at will.

  38. “Does anyone recognise this bird species, taken on a golf course. I’d be fascinated to know. (video)

    @angie_karan Aug 13
    This bird has just discovered that golf balls bounce on concrete and he’s absolutely loving it
    https://twitter.com/i/status/1161150700002263040”

    One of the comments mentions the Secretary Bird, but it doesn’t look like one to me.

    The closet appearance to a bird species I’ve personally experienced would be the Bush Stone Curlew. It would help if the geographical location of the video was identified.

  39. @Jackol

    I describe Scott Morrison as Donald Trump, expect Morrison is disciplined, shrew and rather pragmatic. Which is why I argue Morrison is a bigger threat to Australian democracy than Donald Trump is to America’s.

    Especially given the government has control of our equivalent of the FBI. Also both Morrison and Dutton have been building a police state for some years now.

    Could Australia become a corrupt, authoritarian, ‘illiberal democracy’? I say the answer it is possible and I am predicting this could occur.

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