So much trouble in the world

Upheaval in conservative politics in New South Wales over abortion law; a pickle for Labor in Tasmania over a vacancy in state parliament; and suggestions of a looming state by-election in Victoria.

In New South Wales:

A row over a bill to decriminalise abortion is prompting murmurings about Gladys Berejiklian’s leadership just five months after she led the Coalition to an impressive election victory, with tremors that are being felt federally. The bill was introduced by independent MP Alex Greenwich, but its sponsors included the Berejiklian government’s Health Minister, Brad Hazzard. It was headed last week for passage through both houses of parliament, before Berejiklian bowed to conservative outrage by pushing back the final vote in the upper house by nearly a month. Claiming credit for this concession is Barnaby Joyce, whose high-profile interventions have angered his state Nationals colleagues, most of whom support the bill (prompting Mark Latham, who now holds a crucial upper house vote as a member of One Nation, to tar the party with the cultural Marxist brush). Following suggestions the party room had discussed expelling him from the party, Joyce said he would go of his own accord if four of them publicly called for him to do so. It doesn’t appear that is going to happen, but if it did, the government would be reduced from 77 seats in the House of Representatives out of 151, costing it its absolute majority on the floor.

In Tasmania:

Labor MP Scott Bacon’s decision to end his state parliamentary career, citing family reasons, represents an unwelcome turn of events for an already understaffed state opposition, owing to the manner in which parliamentary vacancies are filled under Hare-Clark. This will involve a “recount” (as officially known, though “countback” is the generally preferred term for such procedures) of the votes that got Bacon elected to his seat in Denison (which is now called Clark), either as first or subsequent preferences. The procedure is open to any unsuccessful candidates from the previous election who care to nominate, among whom is Madeleine Ogilvie, a former incumbent who was defeated in 2018 – possibly because progressive sentiment had been alienated by her social conservatism.

The problem for Labor is that Ogilvie has since parted company with the party, to the extent of running as an independent for an upper house seat in May. If she wins the recount, and no reconciliation with the party is forthcoming, there will be nothing to stop her sitting as an independent, reducing Labor from ten seats to nine in a chamber of 25. As explained by Kevin Bonham, we can see from the 2018 results that this will produce a “first preference” count in which 33.1% of the vote goes to Madeleine Ogilvie and 28.4% to Tim Cox, a former ABC Radio presenter who ran unsuccessfully, and has confirmed he will nominate for the recount. More than half the remainder went to candidates who are not in contention because they’re already in parliament, so it will assuredly be one or the other.

In Victoria:

John Ferguson of The Australian reports the Liberals have been conducting internal polling for former party leader Matthew Guy’s seat of Bulleen, prompting speculation he will shortly quit parliament. The Liberals retained the seat with a 5.8% margin even amid the debacle of last November’s election, and the polling is “believed to show the Liberal brand holding up”.

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.

2,112 comments on “So much trouble in the world”

  1. Lizzie – it a disgrace to the Monarchy to not even seek the advice of the Speaker before acceding to the request of a weak PM who may not currently hold the confidence of the Commons.

    Cromwell would have already turned up to Palace with the Rozzers to nick her by now.

    The last English Civil War settled this shit. She seems to have forgotten that. And the terms of the Act of Settlement.

  2. Tristo says:
    Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Given that ridiculous level of intellectual analysis I no longer need to read your posts. Thanks.

  3. I’m still not quite believing this. “The Age of Trump”. Whatever next?

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
    · 5h
    There has never been a time in the history of our Country that the Media was so Fraudulent, Fake, or Corrupt! When the “Age of Trump” is looked back on many years from now, I only hope that a big part of my legacy will be the exposing of massive dishonesty in the Fake News!

  4. Boerwar says:
    Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 3:30 pm

    “Is it 4.4 or 44?”

    Doesn’t really matter as the analysis isn’t fit to compost the roses with.

  5. @AustralisTerry

    We got ministers who work for other countries, ministers who work for big business or religion and ministers who work for themselves. Just none who work for Australians. #auspol #Adani @stopadani

  6. And so it came to pass on the Advent of the Anniversary of the Miraculous Ascent that the Chief of the Tribe of Huck sent forth the disciples unto all the land saying —-

    The Disciples then with fire and scourge made law through the Link of Centre so that also the

    Should also suffer even unto the end of the world.

    May the Lord Zeus be kind to you as for certain sure none other will be!

    Here endeth the first lesson.

  7. Australian mining giant Oz Minerals says it is looking at use wind and solar to provide the bulk of the power needs for a giant new nickel project in a remote part of central Australia near the border of South Australia and West Australia, some 800kms west of Uluru.

    Oz Minerals says a 55MW hybrid power plant would look to harness solar and wind energy to provide 70 to 80 per cent of the power needs of the West Musgrave project, backed up and balanced by battery storage and diesel generators.

    Oz Minerals says lower cost wind and solar are a crucial part of the decision on whether to go ahead with West Musgrave, which is Australia’s largest undeveloped copper and nickel project, given that power costs account for around 40 per cent of the processing costs.

    “Large-scale solar photovoltaic and wind solutions are currently economically viable and technically mature solutions to reduce the project’s reliance on high cost fossil fuels for electricity generation,” the company says in a presentation released on Tuesday along with its half year results.

    “Baseline data collected over the last year has demonstrated a high quality, consistent solar and wind resource is available, with higher wind velocities at night offsetting the lack of solar power.”

    Oz Minerals is just the latest of a number of big and small mining groups that are now turning to wind and solar to deflect the soaring costs of diesel or gas generators, the traditional source of supply of mining projects. But this would be by far the biggest.

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/mining-giant-looks-to-wind-and-solar-to-power-huge-nickel-project-83753/

  8. Firefox @ #1785 Thursday, August 29th, 2019 – 3:44 pm

    Labor supporters attacking the Greens over climate change policy while their own Premier Adani is up there in The Police State doing everything she can to destroy the environment is the absolute height of hypocrisy.

    At least she’s a Queenslander and not a southerner flouncing in to tell the people of Queensland what to do.

  9. lizzie says: Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    I’m still not quite believing this. “The Age of Trump”. Whatever next?

    Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

    There has never been a time in the history of our Country that the Media was so Fraudulent, Fake, or Corrupt! When the “Age of Trump” is looked back on many years from now, I only hope that a big part of my legacy will be the exposing of massive dishonesty in the Fake News!

    ******************************************************************************

    President Trump has made 12,019 false or misleading claims over 928 days

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/08/12/president-trump-has-made-false-or-misleading-claims-over-days/

  10. Tristo
    says:
    Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 3:32 pm
    A collapse in demand for Australian coal, I believe is coming soon than a lot of people expect. Especially of countries across the world increasingly adopt Green New Deal style policies to decarbonise their economies. Given coal is our biggest export, that is going to hit the economy hard.
    ____________________________________
    Hasn’t Japan just started building new coal fired power plants?

    Most of the world is turning its back on burning coal to produce electricity, but not Japan. The nation has fired up at least eight new coal power plants in the past 2 years and has plans for an additional 36 over the next decade—the biggest planned coal power expansion in any developed nation (not including China and India).

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/05/bucking-global-trends-japan-again-embraces-coal-power

  11. On a selfish note, isn’t it going to be better for Australia if there is a hard Brexit? More export opportunities and the UK will treat us better than EU citizens.

  12. @Bucephalus: Are you seriously suggesting that it actually takes five weeks to prepare the Queen’s Speech, during which time the deadline will also “conveniently” run out on the biggest issue the Commons will face for a generation?

    Face the facts: (1) BoJo white-anted Theresa May out of No. 10 over the Brexit issue – where he has been one of the biggest bomb-tossers. (2) A majority of Parliament does not want a no-deal Brexit, and has communicated this repeatedly, both formally and informally. (3) BoJo has publicly endorsed no-deal Brexit. (4) MPs from all parties have publicly mooted passing a law to require BoJo to seek an extension and prevent no-deal. (5) BoJo prorogues Parliament – to prevent passing such a law.

    Those are the facts.

    The man is a Constitutional vandal on a grand scale.

    He’s hiding behind a convenient fiction that it will somehow, for the first time in history, take five whole weeks to prepare the Speech from the Throne – and you’re hiding there with him.

  13. Whatever else she is, she’s 93. That she doesn’t step down for the meddlesome adulterous Prince is no surprise, but that doesn’t make her any younger. Thinking the brain keeps on keeping on while the body noticeably sags is an arrogance.

  14. Bucephalus @ #1807 Thursday, August 29th, 2019 – 4:04 pm

    There’s going to be a Queen’s Speech – do you have evidence otherwise?

    Occam’s razor. What evidence do you have that Johnson’s core motivation is anything other than the glaringly obvious ‘obstruct Parliament from preventing no-deal Brexit’ one?

    Because certainly if you look at the words that come out of his mouth, he’s a hell of a lot more interested in forcing no-deal Brexit on the UK than he is in anything the Queen has to say. 🙂

  15. Denise Shrivell @deniseshrivell
    ·
    1m
    I once heard Alan Jones call Labor’s ubiquitous fast broadband plan ‘socialist’.

    Well – his Party sure fixed that ‍♀️
    Now even our internet is neo-Liberal #auspol

  16. “At least she’s a Queenslander and not a southerner flouncing in to tell the people of Queensland what to do.”

    ***

    Speaking of Queenslanders…

  17. It’s normal for new governments to shut down Parliament in order to hold a Queen’s Speech.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it doesn’t appear this happened under the “new government” of Theresa May in 2016, and if ever a Queen’s speech was wanted mid-term, surely it was in the wake of the Brexit referendum. That said, it’s pretty clear to me that the Queen was right to accept Johnson’s advice. If parliament doesn’t like it, it can pass a no confidence motion.

  18. Denise Shrivell
    6m
    If Liberal MPs are ‘pretty satisfied’ – then you just know it’s bad #auspol #thedrum

    Jane Norman @janeenorman
    · 19m
    Liberal MPs appear to be pretty satisfied with the draft religious discrimination bill, saying it’s in line with the consultations they’ve had with the Attorney General.

  19. I don’t think I’d quite read the quote I was citing in my previous comment properly. Yes, it’s normal for prorogation to occur to hold a Queen’s speech — indeed, I believe this is the only circumstance in which this happens. But the notion that all this must happen upon a change of prime ministership is, it seems to me, a novel one.

  20. ‘Firefox says:
    Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Labor supporters attacking the Greens over climate change policy…’

    I am not. I am saying that since 1984 you have sucked the environmental vote into an electoral dead end. Di Natale has promised another 20 years of this sort of stuff.
    There is no point in attacking Greens policies, whatever they are.
    Because they have not and cannot make a difference.

  21. William Bowe @ #1824 Thursday, August 29th, 2019 – 4:25 pm

    It’s normal for new governments to shut down Parliament in order to hold a Queen’s Speech.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it doesn’t appear this happened under the “new government” of Theresa May in 2016, and if ever a Queen’s speech was wanted mid-term, surely it was in the wake of the Brexit referendum. That said, it’s pretty clear to me that the Queen was right to accept Johnson’s advice. If parliament doesn’t like it, it can pass a no confidence motion.

    A no confidence motion the blocking of which seems to be the whole point of this particular prorogation.

  22. ‘Firefox says:
    Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    “At least she’s a Queenslander and not a southerner flouncing in to tell the people of Queensland what to do.”’

    Yeah. Like a certain flouncing convoy.

  23. Who sets those dates for the prorogation? Johnson? Are there no limits in the constitution or guidelines on the duration? What colour coat dress will the Queen wear? Where is my coffee?

  24. Boerwar @ #1826 Thursday, August 29th, 2019 – 4:31 pm

    ‘Firefox says:
    Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Labor supporters attacking the Greens over climate change policy…’

    I am not. I am saying that since 1984 you have sucked the environmental vote into an electoral dead end. Di Natale has promised another 20 years of this sort of stuff.
    There is no point in attacking Greens policies, whatever they are.
    Because they have not and cannot make a difference.

    Yes our environmental credentials have nothing to do with the LibNat and Labor politicians in the pockets of the coal lobby.

  25. A no confidence motion the blocking of which seems to be the whole point of this particular prorogation.

    Parliament will sit for three days the week after next. Were it otherwise, I would agree that the Queen should not have accepted the advice.

  26. William Bowe @ #1833 Thursday, August 29th, 2019 – 4:35 pm

    A no confidence motion the blocking of which seems to be the whole point of this particular prorogation.

    Parliament will sit for three days the week after next. Were it otherwise, I would agree that the Queen should not have accepted the advice.

    Quite correct. The parliament still holds the reins….

  27. “That said, it’s pretty clear to me that the Queen was right to accept Johnson’s advice. If parliament doesn’t like it, it can pass a no confidence motion.”

    Given that Johnson’s advice was calculated to deny Parliament the opportunity to pass legislation that opposed his policy and that as a consequence his confidence is at best dubious then in my books this is a textbook case where the Queens should not have automatically followed the advice of a PM that may well lack the confidence of the Commons.

    The foundation of the British Constitution is Parliamentary Supremacy. The role of Speaker is actually the most important one under that constitution. When a PM is seeking to thwart the ability of Parliament to sit and legislate when he probably doesn’t have the numbers on the floor to prevent that legislation and as a consequence may not have the confidence of the Commons itself then the only advice the Queen should be taking is that of the Speaker.

    Not only is this a blunder, I’m now wondering whether it’s actually treason.

  28. William Bowe @ #1835 Thursday, August 29th, 2019 – 4:35 pm

    A no confidence motion the blocking of which seems to be the whole point of this particular prorogation.

    Parliament will sit for three days the week after next. Were it otherwise, I would agree that the Queen should not have accepted the advice.

    At the very least, it’s a very disruptive tactic. And maybe just too clever by half. Talk about galvanising the opposition forces.

  29. Boerwar, you may choose to ignore the historical facts if you wish. You don’t even have to look at history, just look at the present. The ACT MINISTER for Climate Change, ACT Greens’ Leader Shane Rattenbury, is ensuring right this very moment that Greens’ policies are making a difference.

  30. “Parliament will sit for three days the week after next. Were it otherwise, I would agree that the Queen should not have accepted the advice.”

    Sorry. I’ve missed that bit. That changes things, if true.

  31. lizzie @ #1825 Thursday, August 29th, 2019 – 4:28 pm

    Denise Shrivell
    6m
    If Liberal MPs are ‘pretty satisfied’ – then you just know it’s bad #auspol #thedrum

    Jane Norman @janeenorman
    · 19m
    Liberal MPs appear to be pretty satisfied with the draft religious discrimination bill, saying it’s in line with the consultations they’ve had with the Attorney General.

    Whatever happened to ‘religious people’ where did this fecking people ‘of faith’ crapola come from….I’m a person of faith, I have have faith that one day before I die Labor will form government…..

  32. ‘Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    Boerwar @ #1826 Thursday, August 29th, 2019 – 4:31 pm

    ‘Firefox says:
    Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Labor supporters attacking the Greens over climate change policy…’

    I am not. I am saying that since 1984 you have sucked the environmental vote into an electoral dead end. Di Natale has promised another 20 years of this sort of stuff.
    There is no point in attacking Greens policies, whatever they are.
    Because they have not and cannot make a difference.

    Yes our environmental credentials have nothing to do with the LibNat and Labor politicians in the pockets of the coal lobby.’

    Regardless of right or wrong, the fundamental issue for the Greens is that they have failed electorally since 1984. Despite numerous assurances from Greens supporters, there is little to demonstrate that the Greens are doing anything other than oscillate irregularly around 10%.

    To make sure nobody makes any mistake about this, Di Natale has promised another 20 years of failure.

    It could be argued that the one thing that has caused Greens failures are their policies. IMO, Australians will never support gutting the ADF, for example.

    Anyway, if all the Greens want is an platform for futile fulminations against everyone else, then the Greens HAVE succeeded. Everything else you have touched is dross.

  33. Boerwar @ #1841 Thursday, August 29th, 2019 – 4:45 pm

    ‘Rex Douglas says:
    Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    Boerwar @ #1826 Thursday, August 29th, 2019 – 4:31 pm

    ‘Firefox says:
    Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Labor supporters attacking the Greens over climate change policy…’

    I am not. I am saying that since 1984 you have sucked the environmental vote into an electoral dead end. Di Natale has promised another 20 years of this sort of stuff.
    There is no point in attacking Greens policies, whatever they are.
    Because they have not and cannot make a difference.

    Yes our environmental credentials have nothing to do with the LibNat and Labor politicians in the pockets of the coal lobby.’

    Regardless of right or wrong, the fundamental issue for the Greens is that they have failed electorally since 1984. Despite numerous assurances from Greens supporters, there is little to demonstrate that the Greens are doing anything other than oscillate irregularly around 10%.

    To make sure nobody makes any mistake about this, Di Natale has promised another 20 years of failure.

    It could be argued that the one thing that has caused Greens failures are their policies. IMO, Australians will never support gutting the ADF, for example.

    Anyway, if all the Greens want is an platform for futile fulminations against everyone else, then the Greens HAVE succeeded. Everything else you have touched is dross.

    It’s wonderful to see you attacking the LibNat and Labor politicians in the pockets of the coal lobby all these years.

    The more people like you who are awake to their weaknesses the sooner we finally address this global warming catastrophe. Well done Boerwar !

  34. ‘Firefox says:
    Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Boerwar, you may choose to ignore the historical facts if you wish. You don’t even have to look at history, just look at the present. The ACT MINISTER for Climate Change, ACT Greens’ Leader Shane Rattenbury, is ensuring right this very moment that Greens’ policies are making a difference.’

    You may not be aware that the Greens political representation in the ACT is the lowest it has been for many elections. It is down to one person. I have previously noted that the Greens operate the occasional BOP. This is a fringe political activity with fringe practical outcomes.

    The core political activity is to form a government.

    As noted previously, the Greens electoral success has flatlined at around 10%.

    I am sure that this situation concerns you. I am not sure what the Greens intend to do about it. Sticking to policies that would gut the ACT, reduce company tax by $100 billion or so by instantly destroying the coal industry, destroying all agricultural activity based on GMOs and destroying all aspects of the uranium industry is electoral death as you would be well aware.

    The Brisbane Greens Party achieved votes of up to 10% around 1984. In 2019 the Greens Party achieved a vote of around 10%. I am not asking you to be disheartened about this. What I am asking is for you to reflect about the larger consequences of Greens Party failure, past, present and future.

  35. Rex
    I hadn’t expected you to respond in a constructive way to the implications of Greens electoral futility. And you did not disappoint.

  36. “Yeah. Like a certain flouncing convoy.”

    ***

    The Greens received very healthy swings of +1.49% and +3.12% in the QLD House and Senate, respectively.

    Labor received terrible negative swings in Queensland of -4.23% in the House and -3.81% in the Senate.

    You’ll understand if we don’t take your advice on how we should campaign in Queensland lol

    House: https://results.aec.gov.au/24310/Website/HouseStateFirstPrefsByParty-24310-QLD.htm

    Senate: https://results.aec.gov.au/24310/Website/SenateStateFirstPrefsByGroup-24310-QLD.htm

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