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. Greensborough Growler @ #1449 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 3:46 pm

    Gov. Mike Huckabee
    @GovMikeHuckabee
    Dozens are killed every year on skateboards. Thousands injured. Hey Beto! Heck yes, we’re going to take your SKATEBOARD!
    11:57 PM · Sep 14, 2019·Twitter Web App

    Um, can Moronic Mike do the math?

    Compare the pair:
    a. How many Americans are killed in skateboard accidents.
    b. How many Americans are killed in mass murder incidents involving AR-15 and AK-47 guns. 😐

    Big difference.

  2. C@tmomma @ #1451 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 3:50 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #1449 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 3:46 pm

    Gov. Mike Huckabee
    @GovMikeHuckabee
    Dozens are killed every year on skateboards. Thousands injured. Hey Beto! Heck yes, we’re going to take your SKATEBOARD!
    11:57 PM · Sep 14, 2019·Twitter Web App

    Um, can Moronic Mike do the math?

    Compare the pair:
    a. How many Americans are killed in skateboard accidents.
    b. How many Americans are killed in mass murder incidents involving AR-15 and AK-47 guns. 😐

    Big difference.

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1172964373322784774

  3. BK @ #1438 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 3:25 pm

    Toby Greene seems to have gone to the well of foul play, once too often. Reports are that he’s copped a week for his actions kast night.

    https://www.sen.com.au/news/2019/09/15/reports-greene-to-face-time-on-sidelines-for-neale-incident/
    ______
    GG
    Like many in the crowd I was hoping much of the game for Green to cop a good shirtfront. He is an immensely unlikable, though talented, footballer.

    He’s pushed the edge so many times and got away with it. When he finally goes down, it might cost his team the flag.

    Sweet!

  4. The proverbial bad penny turns up again :

    Ex-prosecutor demands congressional investigation after latest report on the FBI and Brett Kavanaugh

    Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had another allegation of sexual misconduct revealed on Saturday in a bombshell report in The New York Times.

    “A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly,” the newspaper reported.

    Deborah “Ramirez’s legal team gave the F.B.I. a list of at least 25 individuals who may have had corroborating evidence. But the bureau — in its supplemental background investigation — interviewed none of them, though we learned many of these potential witnesses tried in vain to reach the F.B.I. on their own,” The Times reported.

    “There must be a full Congressional investigation to determine whether someone, and if so who, gave orders that kept the FBI from investigating credible allegations and speaking to witnesses who reached out to them,” the former prosecutor tweeted

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/09/ex-prosecutor-demands-congressional-investigation-after-latest-report-on-the-fbi-and-brett-kavanaugh/

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/14/sunday-review/brett-kavanaugh-deborah-ramirez-yale.html

  5. Greensborough Growler @ #1431 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 3:09 pm

    P1 repeating the same old rants day after day is probably counter productive to her actually achieving anything. Segmenting people in to goodies and baddies is facile as is her snark. But, unless she can build a constituency of like minded people, then she’s destined to become even more frustrated and disheartened.

    There’s that noise again – “La … la … la …”

    One could almost be convinced it means something.

  6. Confessions says: Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    phoenixRed:

    And the NY Times staff member who tweeted that report has apparently been sacked for how the tweet was worded.

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

    I can’t quite comprehend how thought to be reputable and trusted US organisations like the FBI and Department of Justice have sunk to such low levels of incompetence/and or corruption in matters like this – I hope Barr and Trump are brought to justice one day soon …

  7. Player One @ #1457 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 4:01 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #1431 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 3:09 pm

    P1 repeating the same old rants day after day is probably counter productive to her actually achieving anything. Segmenting people in to goodies and baddies is facile as is her snark. But, unless she can build a constituency of like minded people, then she’s destined to become even more frustrated and disheartened.

    There’s that noise again – “La … la … la …”

    One could almost be convinced it means something.

    I’m genuinely saddened by your response.

    That’s 3 or 4 times you’ve repeated the same line today. I’m sure there will be more. But, it actually confirms the accuracy of the point I made.

    But, do carry on.

  8. Aaron Dodd
    @AaronDodd

    BREAKING: For the first time in its 34 year history, the 2019 Darwin Award has been awarded to a whole community. “The Australian Federal electorate of Parkes has repeatedly elected themselves an MP who has enacted policies that ran them out of water, killing their towns”

    This is one of those Tweets that are just spot on the money.

  9. Abquaiq in Saudi Arabia is around 655 km from the nearest Yemeni border. The probable distance from territory occupied by the Houthis in Yemen that might be used as a firing base for the drones that did the oil attack is likely much more than 655km.

    Now, hitting a large oil refinery complex which is not moving is relatively easy. But one take home message seems to be that our naval presence is very vulnerable. For at least some of the time it will be visible to the naked eye from the hostile shore.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/14/pompeo-iran-saudi-arabia-oil-yemen-houthi

  10. phoenixRed:

    I reckon there are many bureaucrats just trying to appease the crazy man via the top people he’s appointed.

    As Tom Nichols wrote, in this White House one must never be the first comrade to stop clapping.

  11. And again. “La … la … la …”

    It’s like someone making noise just to keep any new ideas from entering their head.

    I guess it must be working.

  12. There’s a Libspill thread trending.

    Shanghai Shark One
    @geeksrulz
    Rumour is Dutton is leaking against Gladys to damage Shanghai Scott. #Libspill

  13. I believe the Parkes people believe the statement that ‘We can’t make it rain.’
    We often here this from National Party Illuminati.
    This serves many purposes.
    1. It provides the framework for noble resignation in the face of extreme hardship.
    2. It denies the view that global warming will bring more rain to some areas and less rain to some areas.
    3. It justifies the rural socialism response.

    Speaking of which, I believe one of the more insightful comments on Insiders this morning is that Morrison is putting small business ahead of big business for populist reasons AND he is putting rural and regional townspeople ahead of farmers in terms of electoral targetting.

    In this Morrison is neck and neck with the Greens who sent up the Adani Convoy in 2019 to piss off the regional vote, are sending a gigantic stunt muster of burpers and farters to piss off Queenslanders in 2022 and who are stoking a huge stunt bonfire of GMO cotton in the main drag of Toowomba to piss off regional Queenslanders in 2025.

    In each case the Coalition benefits because it hoovers up enough regional seats in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia to beat Labor. The Greens in their leafy fastnesses benefit because the vegan fog folk and their ilk feel, like, validated. Labor gets wedged. And the global warming speeds up.
    Not quite a win win for the Greens but close enough to keep their political peckers up.

  14. No wonder they don’t believe scientists. They don’t understand peer review and think they’re all in it together. Just like conservative pollies.

    lucy barbour @lucybarbour
    · Sep 14
    Nats MP George Christensen has moved a motion calling for a “national science watchdog” to provide ‘quality assurance and verification of scientific papers which are used to influence, formulate or determine public policy. @politicsabc

  15. GG
    We know that Morrison played a blinder when he sold Dutton and Hunt the dummy in the Turnbull knifing.
    The money stuff presumably came from one of the Victorian Liberal claques.
    IMO, Bolt would simply not have been able to put together the security analysis relating to Liu’s Chicom agitprop memberships.
    Someone in the know fed Bolt that stuff.
    Dutton’s Department IS across that sort of detail.
    Hmmmmm…..

  16. ‘lizzie says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    No wonder they don’t believe scientists. They don’t understand peer review and think they’re all in it together. Just like conservative pollies.

    lucy barbour @lucybarbour
    · Sep 14
    Nats MP George Christensen has moved a motion calling for a “national science watchdog” to provide ‘quality assurance and verification of scientific papers which are used to influence, formulate or determine public policy. @politicsabc’

    He may want to provide a sinecure and a platform for Ridd.

  17. Boerwar @ #1472 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 4:36 pm

    GG
    We know that Morrison played a blinder when he sold Dutton and Hunt the dummy in the Turnbull knifing.
    The money stuff presumably came from one of the Victorian Liberal claques.
    IMO, Bolt would simply not have been able to put together the security analysis relating to Liu’s Chicom agitprop memberships.
    Someone in the know fed Bolt that stuff.
    Dutton’s Department IS across that sort of detail.
    Hmmmmm…..

    Where did the leak of the ASIO advice to the Libs not to pre-select Liu come from?

  18. Boerwar

    The National Party is as socialist as the National Socialist Party of Germany was socialist, i.e. not at all.

    Like you, didn’t Bronwyn Bishop, of kerosene fame, also use “socialist” as her ultimate swear word.

  19. George should also review other papers, not just scientific ones, which form the basis of policy too.

    For example all the tedious unscientific propaganda from the IPA.

  20. GG

    ASIO advice on Liu!

    *thinks*

    Now who runs ASIO under the mega security department cobbled together by Turnbull in a failed attempt to bribe off Dutton…

  21. ‘Diogenes says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    BW
    Bolt seemed more like a prosecutor than a gotcha journalist. She got steamrolled. She was either set up or really stupid.’

    It looked like a hatchet job to me. Plus, she has never really been tested by the MSM on interesting behaviours.

    I imagine that somewhere in the background is some sort of arcane battle between Australia’s Sinophobes and Sinophiles.

  22. Confessionssays:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Diogenes @ #1483 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 3:10 pm

    BW
    Bolt seemed more like a prosecutor than a gotcha journalist. She got steamrolled. She was either set up or really stupid.

    Nah the Libs thought she’d get a softball interview from a trusted friend on Sky After Dark.

    I thought the Libs didn’t want her to do the interview and tried to stop it.

  23. @AaronDodd
    ·
    1h
    BREAKING: For the first time in its 34 year history, the 2019 Darwin Award has been awarded to a whole community. “The Australian Federal electorate of Parkes has repeatedly elected themselves an MP who has enacted policies that ran them out of water, killing their towns” #auspol

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