In through the out door

Sarah Henderson returns to parliament via a Senate vacancy and a hotly contested preselection, as Coalition MPs blow bubbles on electoral “reform”.

Two brief news items to relate on Australian matters, as well as which we have the latest of Adrian Beaumont’s increasingly regular updates on the constitutional mess that is Brexit.

Sarah Henderson, who held the seat of Corangamite for the Liberals from 2013 until her defeat in May, will return to parliament today after winning preselection to fill Mitch Fifield’s Victorian Senate vacancy. This follows her 234-197 win in a party vote held on Saturday over Greg Mirabella, a Wangaratta farmer and the husband of former Indi MP Sophie Mirabella. After initial expectations that Henderson was all but assured of the spot, Mirabella’s campaign reportedly gathered steam in the lead-up to Saturday’s vote, resulting in a late flurry of public backing for Henderson from Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg, Jeff Kennett, Michael Kroger and Michael Sukkar.

Also, The Australian reports Queensland Liberal Senator James McGrath will push for the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, of which he is the chair, to consider abolishing proportional representation in the Senate and replacing it with a system in which each state is broken down into six provinces, each returning a single member at each half-Senate election – very much like the systems that prevailed in the state upper houses of Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia in the bad old days before the advent of proportional representation.

Ostensibly motivated by a desire to better represent the regions, such a system would result in a Senate dominated as much as the House of Representatives by the major parties, at a time of ongoing erosion in public support for them. The Australian’s report further quotes Nationals Senator Perin Davey advocating the equally appalling idea of rural vote weighting for the House. The kindest thing that can be said about both proposals is that they are not going to happen, although the latter would at least give the High Court an opportunity to take a stand for democracy by striking it down.

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.

1,740 comments on “In through the out door”

  1. Greensborough Growler
    says:
    nath’s a dickhead and is playing you for fun.
    _______________________
    Poor GG is just suffering from 2 decades of Carlton collecting wooden spoons. Bad luck mate.

  2. @Dandy Murray,

    Ahem, so, ah, what happens to the fresh water that comes out of the other pipe at the desal plant?

    Thanks so much for saying this. Just checking into Pollbludger for a flavour of the conversation today, and discover that desalination plants are going to pump so much saline (i.e salty water) into the oceans that all the fish will die, or WTTE.

    So, seriously, with the amount of water humans need for drinking, and ever irrigation, desalination can only cause local ocean problems – this can be dealt with without depriving humans who live in deserts of fresh water.

    Seriously, there are shitloads of things we can do to stop local salinity in ocean water around where desal plans pump the excess salt back into the ocean. Like, pump it further out, or evaporate it and quarantine the salts on land.

    Dandy Murray, Simon K, Barney in interesting places, and lots of others who actually do understand science and engineering, thanks so much for keeping on posting here.

    Please, I beg you, keep posting.

  3. Dandy Murray

    Here’s a maths riddle.

    You have a half-full glass of water and a half-full glass of wine. The glasses are the same size.

    Take a tablespoon of wine and put it in the water glass, and mix completely. Then take a tablespoon of the mix in the water glass, and add it back to the glass containing the wine.

    The question is, which is more: the amount of water in the wine glass, or the amount of wine in the water glass?

    Is it African wine or a European wine?

  4. Douglas and Milko @ #1706 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 10:36 pm

    Dandy Murray

    Here’s a maths riddle.

    You have a half-full glass of water and a half-full glass of wine. The glasses are the same size.

    Take a tablespoon of wine and put it in the water glass, and mix completely. Then take a tablespoon of the mix in the water glass, and add it back to the glass containing the wine.

    The question is, which is more: the amount of water in the wine glass, or the amount of wine in the water glass?

    Is it African wine or a European wine?

    Are you at high altitude or low altitude?

  5. Large numbers of people being “shit at maths” (or “maths phobic”) and getting “shittier” is a very large part of the problem given we now have a world (economy, ecosystem, politics, marketing, pricing etc. etc.) that is far more based on maths than ever before.

  6. Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #1705 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 10:32 pm

    Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #1688 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 7:09 pm

    So, 50 cubic km represents 3.71 x 10^-8 % of the oceans waters.

    That’s 0.000,000,037,1 %.

    Sorry slight error, should be;

    So, 50 cubic km represents 3.71 x 10^-6 % of the oceans waters.

    That’s 0.000,003,71 %.

    It never hurts for a second calc. According to my calculation (using NASA’s figure for the volume of the ocean) 50 cubic km is 3.61E-06% of the volume of the oceans. I figure we’re within a gnats elbow of it mattering. (BTW I like how you put commas into your fractions. I may have to adopt this.)

  7. Dandy Murray, wine is mostly water. So once some “wine” is added to the water it becomes all wine, just diluted. There is now wine in both glasses, and no water in either.

  8. EGT,

    Thanks for your detailed post earlier today. Full respect.

    Cédric Villani reviewed a paper of mine once. Suffice to say, he was not particularly impressed.

  9. Matt…..video-gaming is a metaphor in this instance for pretending to take action….for fantasy, distraction, avoidance….for repetition of nothingness…

  10. briefly @ #1730 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 11:26 pm

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/15/we-must-stop-brexit-in-any-form-councillors-tell-jeremy-corbyn

    Labour’s position on Brexit is absolutely feeble.

    I posted something in the Brexit thread, but now that the Lib-Dems are the Remain Party in all but name, Labour needs to come up with something or become irrelevant. (Well, at least as long as it takes for Brexit to settle.) And the Tories have a similar issue with Farage’s party.

  11. Just a thought, where does the fresh water that falls as rain come from? If it evaporates from the oceans then eventualy it will turn the whole ocean into toxic sludge, but wait, the oceans are getting a fill of melting ice right now so are getting less salty. We have to crank up the desal plants to return the oceans to their former saltiness. If there is less rain falling then we need even more desal plants to keep up.

  12. Dandy Murray @ #1732 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 11:53 pm

    Righto.

    So Diogs and Barney are correct.

    The rest of you – to see it for yourselves, compare the start and end states.

    Not convinced. You’ll need to explain that some more. If you add a tablespoon of wine to water you don’t have water any more, just dilute wine. Depending on the size of your glasses it might be very dilute or not very dilute at all. If you add water to wine you still end up with wine, just diluted. So both glasses end up 1/2 full of wine, though one is more dilute wrt to whatever “impurities” turn water into wine. (I am assuming the tablespoon of wine was taken from the glass that was 1/2 full of wine and each glass holds more than 2 tablespoons when full.) Or do it with salt water instead of wine. Both glasses end up 1/2 full of salt water.

  13. RM
    Assuming 1/2 glass of each you would end up with 2 equal 1/2 glasses with a mix of both. The problem for me in Dandy’s puzzle is what is wine? Since water is ‘pure’ there isn’t any water in either glass at the end. Since wine isn’t pure you end up with more wine than water.

    (to bed though for me now, happy to resume tomorrow)

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