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.

2,838 comments on “In through the out door”

  1. Boerwar,
    The fulcrum around which this debate turns is if the dual allegiance facilitates an external ;power’s ambitions which are contrary to Australia’s interests.

  2. Sorry, gotta go. My bodily presence is requested at an Indigenous Central Coast protest of one nation against another’s encroachment. Talk later. 🙂

  3. C@tmomma
    says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 11:32 am
    Sorry, gotta go. My bodily presence is requested at an Indigenous Central Coast protest of one nation against another’s encroachment. Talk later.
    _____________________________
    Haven’t indigenous people suffered enough?

  4. ‘C@tmomma says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Boerwar,
    The fulcrum around which this debate turns is if the dual allegiance facilitates an external ;power’s ambitions which are contrary to Australia’s interests.’

    The problem is that Australia is a melange of conflicting interests. It is in some Australian’s interests to welcome foreign investment in various industries for example. It is in some Australian’s interests for Amazon and eBay to enter the retail market. But not so for all Australians.

    The military and security domains are different because potentially all Australians’ interests are negatively affected.

  5. Boerwar,

    Anything is possible within the Victorian liberals. In many ways they leave NSW labor in the shade.

    It would not surprise me if the inspiration for ‘ Game of Thrones “ came from the Victorian libs.

    Dark Arts 101.

  6. Rex Douglassays:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #1348 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 11:28 am

    Rex Douglassays:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Politically, Tom Watson and his Blairite colleagues would better serve themselves by defecting to the Lib Dems.

    You do understand what the LibDems are?

    Yes, do you ..?

    Yes, which is why I find it interesting that you would be advocating for them.

    Then again they’re not Labo(u)r, so it’s not so strange.

  7. ‘KayJay says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Boerwar @ #1351 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 11:30 am

    The plain fact is that our Prime Minister lied to the people of Australia this week.

    However will we live with the shame?’

    God probably gave him the free pass.

  8. briefly @ #1363 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 11:38 am

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/14/to-see-how-extremism-has-taken-root-in-britain-look-at-islington-north

    Boer….thanks for posting this link. It should be read and re-read.

    Ah yes, Nick Cohen, a frontline soldier in defence of the establishment. The brave warrior leading the charge in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the interventions in Libya and Syria which has delivered the global instability we now endure.

    Give me a spell…! 😆

  9. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-brexit-incredible-hulk-commons-eu-jean-claude-juncker-a9105786.html

    Comic books are providing the characters and plot lines for Johnston’s Brexit. It is as if video gaming has taken the place of parliamentary democracy and the rule of law. The escapism is very obvious and seemingly is contagious. We have no immunity to it in this red land either. The narrative is always about seeding moral outrage and playing good/evil tunes.

  10. Nick Cohen accuses others of being ‘extreme’ when he is a great defender of the establishment which defends the 1%.

    Now who really is extreme …?

  11. Dandy Murray:

    ULAR, reverse ileostomy, etc… crikey, glad you are still with us!

    Coeliac/Crohn’s/BC run in my family. It scares the shit out of me.

    1. I have found CRC less scary once active therapy is in progress, though everyone is scared from time to time:
    a – I have had anxiety attacks (but no panic attacks) and often one can think one’s way through. For example, prior to his making quaternary referral for PE, my surgeon for the primary said he was concerned about left sciatic nerve involvement of the local recurrence, correctly as it turned out, there is now un-resectable but SABR-treatable residual lesion near where left S2 nerve emerges, currently well controlled by system therapy chemo plus VEGF inhibitor. This induced an anxiety attack that same evening, in which all of a sudden I noticed tingling in my left foot – as if the sciatic nerve had become symptomatic, right on cue! The mid plays tricks and eventually I noticed tingling also present in right foot, left hand and right hand, and was able to rule out left sciatic nerve as root (pun intended) cause and immediately get to sleep;
    b – Waiting for next therapy to get under-way is also troubling. For the primary I had about 10 weeks wait between end of neo-adjuvant (pre-operative) chemoradiation and resection. It turns out this wait period is about optimal for down-staging from the chemoradiation. The most modern rectum ca treatment plan (for T3N2M0) would probably insert consolidation chemo with two to six fortnightly cycles of some FOLFOX regimen, so potentially a longer wait for surgery but something is underway. For the recurrence I filled the time between chemoradiation and surgery being the world first in human patient for a cancer vaccine targeting KRAS-mutant CRC, which was a lot of fun and good for morale (and may have an enduring benefit – therapeutic cancer vaccine typically don’t have dramatic results, but can have benefit over a long term)

    2 – Australia has the world’s best outcomes for CRC. The two quaternary referral centres for advanced CRC are absolutely world leading, and nothing will ever convince me that comprehensive cancer centres (both public, BTW) are not the way of the future.

    3 – The success in treatment is despite widespread acknowledgement by clinicians (including surgeons) that “we just don’t know” much about a lot of it:
    a – there is a concept of “oligometastatic” disease, which is a subset of metastatic disease disseminated to a small number of liver/lung/other lesions that is potentially curable via multi-disciplinary therapy including resection of the mets. No-one really knows what causes the difference between oligometastatic disease and incurable metastatic disease;
    b – recently there has been some evidence that metastatic dissemination is an early process when it occurs (based on looking at the genetic history to find the point at which the vector for dissemination “broke off” from the primary). “Born to be bad” as it is said. Now my oncologist recently said that he would have expected disseminated disease to have appeared by now if it was going to, and both he and my PE surgeon have independently advised change to six monthly PET scan intervals, so it might be the case the that disease in my case is “born to be local”: a fourth class which tends not to disseminate but presents other challenges to therapy;
    c – disease seems to be refractory to 5FU, but has been well controlled with some regression (and with almost no toxicity) by old hat irinotecan + slightly newer hat, bevacizumab (VEGF inhibitor, retards growth of blood supply to tumours). No-one really knows why but keeping a strong immune system seems to help, could be some combination of immune effect from bevacizumab (which is the subject of several trials), enduring effect from cancer vaccine, aerobic and (for unknown reasons) resistance exercise program and possibly other things;
    d – so called micro-satellite stable (MSS) or mismatch repair proficient (pMMR) CRC is between 85 and 95% of all CRC and is resistant to immuno-therapy with checkpoint inhibitors (CTLA4, PD1, PDL1, PDL2?), and I have MSS/pMMR. There are lots of impediments, but one is lack of immune cell “infiltration” into MSS/pMMR tumours, and it possible that cancer vaccine has resulted in enduring infiltration, so we might try checkpoint inhibition at some point;
    e – things are being added all the time: a third line systemic agent (TAS-102) has recently been added to the PBS, and seems to combine well with bevacizumab (and also is particularly good for patients without liver mets);
    f – PD1 inhibitors are being added to PBS too (for non MSS/pMMR only), but there are also lots of trials for PD(L)1 + something that might make it work + maybe bevacizumab or regorafenib (a multi-target inhibitor, aka. tyrosine kinase inhibitor or TKI), both of which may encourage immune system infiltration into tumours.

    4 – In fact the multi-disciplinary therapy is likely to be fascinating for any scientist, and this helps greatly with morale:
    a – The main challenge is “calibration” – knowing what new approaches (or fine tuning. at least as often) in clinically significant. The summary slide decks of the four major GI oncology meetings (ASCO-GI, ASCO, WCGIC, ESMO) at http://www.esdo.eu/publications/gi-slide-decks/?no_cache=1 are a great resource;
    b – For advanced solid tumours, MDMs are usually chaired by medical oncologists, with various kinds of surgeons, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologist and even some people who are starting to call themselves “interventional oncologists” playing important roles as providers of services (information and intervention). In my case exceptionally good reconstructions from both surgeries appear to have provided almost uncompromised QoL (I work full time) on an enduring basis which acts as a “platform” for trying a whole lot of stuff. In fact the main problem has been secondary to the cancer therapy – frequent UTIs as the inevitable consequence of cystectomy (bladder removal) and replacement by ileal conduit (made of small intestine, hence not sterile, unlike bladder). Those slightly anterior people can (somewhat experimentally) grow new bladders for teenagers I believe, but not for adults, so ileal conduit and urostomy (the slightly anterior person “implants” the ureters, and one of the colorectal surgeons makes a stoma) is the best one can do with a reconstruction after PE involving cystectomy;

    As I commented previously, the war on cancer has moved on from a WW1 paradigm to a WW2 paradigm – patients are still the infantry but it’s no longer completely hopeless. Young patients (under 50) are probably over-treated in an individual sense but typically want this and in a community sense contribute their experience to improved understanding of the various diseases to which they are subject.

  12. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-third-democratic-debate-in-7-charts/

    Warren, Buttigieg and O’Rourke appear to have done well in the third debate. Interesting. Warren also appears to be the most favoured ‘second choice’ among the contenders, meaning that if ‘first choice’ candidates were excluded, Warren would collect more support than any other candidate. She has high favourable and low unfavourable rankings and is the only leading contender whose support is growing. In this context, supporters of Sanders and Biden also include the largest shares of those unwilling to express possible support for alternative candidates.

  13. From what I can tell from afar, Gladys Liu is in the Michael Sukkar Liberal faction – the equivelant of the NSW Liberals ‘Uglies Faction’. Nikki Savva is from the ‘Wets Faction’, who generally are not as idiotic, but are either from the 1% or are wanting to join.

    The Wets turn their noses up, some indeed ‘clutch their pearls’, when the “Uglies” go troppo on social matters, niche discrimination issues, and running proxy for their Big Dirty donors.

  14. “The plain fact is that our Prime Minister lied to the people of Australia this week.”

    as he does pretty much every time he opens his mouth. at least he hasn’t dismissed it as being from “the canberra bubble” but I am sure he will in the coming days.

  15. sprocket_ says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm
    I wonder what the Greens policy on Gladys Liu is?

    They’re political kin. They will like her hostility to Labor. They will like her Chinese heritage because they can both defend it and use it against her. They will like the possible corruption because it will give them something to campaign on. They will like Morrison’s defence of her against the fake claims of Labor racism. They will like the HC action and be hoping she loses. They will be hoping there’s a by-election and they can run again on coal with the intention of aiding the return of a Lib-Lib.

  16. Someone is doing the research on Gladys Liu’s (which paranethically SpellCheck keeps changing to IOU) – more to come, but this is a good start. Maybe if PVO got off his arse and did some work, he could uncover even more…

    “Ms Liu’s associations don’t themselves promote communist ideals. Rather, they are networking and trade associations that answer to the local government wherever they are formed, and that local government itself answers to the local branch of the party, eventually weaving its way all the way to Beijing, China’s capital and its ruler, Xi Jinping, who leads the Communist Party.

    In 2018, one of these associations was moved administratively from being in the Government to being under the direct supervision of the party’s United Front Work Department.

    But this shift does not really alter the relationship between Ms Liu’s organisation and China’s leaders.

    Rather, it changed the formal lines of reporting from the association meeting in Guangzhou and then briefing the Guangzhou Government, to meeting and briefing the Guangzhou United Front liaison. Either way, a representative still has to take it to the Guangzhou Party committee, which would pass it to the Guangdong Party committee, who forwards it to the Central Secretariat, which may bring it to the attention of the party’s politburo, a 25-person cabinet which meets monthly.

    So the problem is rather with the informal channels. Chinese diaspora organisations want winners as figure heads, and while Ms Liu, a brilliant fundraiser, may not be from Guangzhou, she speaks the right language.

    In return, the associations give her access to wealthy business leaders, many of whom have links to Australia through family, friends or even city-to-city relationships, especially that between Guangzhou and Sydney.”

    Ryan Manuel is head of Official China, a research initiative that downloads and translates Chinese official documents. He is a former senior China analyst for the Australian government.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-09-15/gladys-lui-united-front-work-department/11511028

  17. Greensborough Growler @ #1381 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 12:41 pm

    Player One @ #1380 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 12:35 pm

    You really have to wonder what it will take to awaken Australians from their complacent slumber …

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/15/parts-of-regional-nsw-set-to-run-out-of-water-by-november

    Speaking of being the most narrow minded………………………………….

    Speaking of being the most complacent 🙁

  18. Considering most people know were fucked, the responses generally get down to just the usual two – fight or flight. Fleeing is obviously not possible other than by the use of pretence – by imagining that all will be well by wishing for it. Fighting would be good, but there’s no battle plan. There’s no enemy other than our own frailties. We’re still fucked.

  19. Player One @ #1382 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 12:43 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #1381 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 12:41 pm

    Player One @ #1380 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 12:35 pm

    You really have to wonder what it will take to awaken Australians from their complacent slumber …

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/sep/15/parts-of-regional-nsw-set-to-run-out-of-water-by-november

    Speaking of being the most narrow minded………………………………….

    Speaking of being the most complacent 🙁

    Rinse and repeat is all you’ve got.

    Not much is it?

  20. Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 12:51 pm
    briefly @ #1383 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 12:46 pm

    Yes, the long drought in NSW could become permanent. The time to do something about this was probably 1970. We’re fucked.

    Well, if we keep on voting for the LibNat anti-environment policy and the comatose Labor party then you are right.

    You’re arguing that voting is pointless. This is a very common theme among voters, who feel disempowered. It’s no surprise that the popular subscription to democracy, to parliamentary processes, to the rule of law, to the efficacy of the order has been allowed to lapse.

    The same/same whinge from the Greens contributes to this malaise. They are the champions of futility.

    We’re all fucked in Lib-kin Garden.

  21. PO….I agree, we should act. It would be very useful if we could agree on what action we might take. So far, there is really no agreement. Those who want to act fight among themselves for political reasons. Those who do not want to act maintain their pretences. There is absolutely no goodwill to spare among the voices. We detest each other on the basis of our complementary uselessness.

  22. I’m having breakfast in Fremantle. The establishment in which I’m sitting will probably be submerged by the sea before I shuffle off the mortal coil. Nothing we say here will change that.

  23. briefly @ #1390 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 12:57 pm

    Rex Douglas says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 12:51 pm
    briefly @ #1383 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 12:46 pm

    Yes, the long drought in NSW could become permanent. The time to do something about this was probably 1970. We’re fucked.

    Well, if we keep on voting for the LibNat anti-environment policy and the comatose Labor party then you are right.

    You’re arguing that voting is pointless. This is a very common theme among voters, who feel disempowered. It’s no surprise that the popular subscription to democracy, to parliamentary processes, to the rule of law, to the efficacy of the order has been allowed to lapse.

    The same/same whinge from the Greens contributes to this malaise. They are the champions of futility.

    We’re all fucked in Lib-kin Garden.

    There’s no logic in being a champion of the two-party duopoly given the social and environmental circumstances we live in.

    C’mon, get out of the establishment closet briefly.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBthBQ-cKJA

  24. Briefly
    “…It would be very useful if we could agree on what action we might take. So far, there is really no agreement.”

    It’s actually not quite that good. Before agreeing what to do, Australia needs to agree:

    1. Global heating is occurring
    2. Someting can and should be done about it.

    The Government now pays lip service to (1), but in many cases I think Ministers have decided that the politics now dictates that they have to at least pretend to believe, like many pretend to be religious

    They seem to have agreed on (2) – in the negative.

  25. Player One:

    Yes, the best time to do something about global warming was decades ago.

    That would have been prior to the commercial availability of rooftop solar, large-scale solar and efficient wind power, so the obvious question is what technology could have been deployed? Nuclear? The French and Japanese had a pretty good go, but other advanced economies got foiled on that front. Hydro? Australia and others had a pretty good go for a time, but then got foiled…

    Integration and differential equations (and more particularly their analogues in energy and climate systems) are the tools needed for the analysis one would need in order to support such a statement

  26. Steve777, Rex, PO, GG….

    The problem is escapism itself. This is the human condition in the current era. The popular subscription to action – to the possibility and efficacy of systematic action – has lapsed. There is escapism – fantasy, deflection, surrogacy, unicorn-hunting, video-gaming, blame-making – and little else. We are not the cast of a reality tv show or contestants in a quiz game. But you’d never know it.

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