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. zoomster
    says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm
    Over fishing is a different problem to the discharge of brine from desalination plants, but keep shifting goalposts.
    ____________________
    the article also talked about a drastic fall in non-fished species too.

  2. nath (AnonBlock)
    Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 6:44 pm
    Comment #1653

    zoomster
    says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm
    Over fishing is a different problem to the discharge of brine from desalination plants, but keep shifting goalposts.
    ____________________
    the article also talked about a drastic fall in non-fished species too.

    Over fishing messes with the food chain, so it’s not surprising to see an impact amongst species that are not directly fished.

  3. Zoomster

    50 billion tonnes..’

    It’s cubic metres, unless you’ve moved on to a different study altogether.
    ———————

    But isn’t a cubic metre of water a tonne? So it’s the same.

    You could call it either in cubic metres or tonnes.

    So same goalposts.

  4. Oakeshott Country @ #1634 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 9:15 pm

    The worry I have C@t is that Eddie was apparently brought into the party and LC by Richo because of his money raising and influence in the Arab community.
    Now in the reformed party we have Ernest Wong brought in to the party and LC apparently because of his money raising and influence in the Chinese community
    Have things really changed?

    You know the answer to that is that, not only does it apply to all political parties in Australia to varying degrees, but mostly to the Coalition parties and Labor, but the answer isn’t public funding of the political parties and elections. For reasons outlined earlier today I think after Phil Coorey brought it up on Insiders.

    So what to do?

    Maybe take the Elizabeth Warren option and eschew big donations for lots of smaller ones, which are disclosed transparently and in real time. A maximum of $1000 per person every 6 months say, for example. Or smaller amounts per month. Online or through a bank. No more need for fundraisers.

  5. Late Riser @ #1651 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 9:43 pm

    Nicholas @ #1644 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 9:31 pm

    “If Labor keeps rolling over at this rate they could produce some form of renewable energy.”

    Shaun Micallef

    The loss of confidence that Morrison inflicted on the ALP is still playing out.

    Au contraire. The impression I’m getting is that Labor have decided that they aren’t going to die in a ditch over relatively small details the Coalition love to hang them out to dry with.

  6. Bushfire Bill
    says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 9:55 pm
    Actually it IS a lot of toxic sludge, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still minuscule.
    _____________________________
    But it adds year upon year. And with thousands of more desal plants being built it goes up ever year until…..

  7. “The world ocean covers 71 percent of the earth’s surface, or about 361 million sq km (140 million sq mi). Its average depth is 5,000 m (16,000 ft), and its total volume is about 1,347,000,000 cu km (322,300,000 cu mi).”
    Volume of Earth’s Oceans – The Physics Factbook

    https://hypertextbook.com › facts › SyedQadri

  8. 50 billion tons of water would occupy a volume of 50 billion cubic metres, that this 50 cubic kilometres. It would cover an area about 224 kilometres square to a depth of 1 metre, so covering Florida to a depth of 30 cm is about right.

  9. nath

    I don’t nitpick, I question. I always allow for the possibility that someone isn’t wrong on purpose – that they’ve misspoke, so to speak! – and check with them if possible to see if that’s what happened.

    Most posters, having made the mistake you did, would have just owned it and moved on— as I did, when you pointed out one to me.

  10. @briefly

    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.

    Hardly. The problem, at least here in Australia, is as multi-headed as a hydra. Among the major causes of our lack of effective activism:

    – The increasingly policed state we’re becoming, leading to police having far more power to suppress demonstrations on flimsy pretexts;

    – The ongoing economic pressure Australian households are under, leading to more stress, longer work hours and less time and energy to dedicate to matters beyond our immediate vicinity;

    – An increasing distortion/suppression of news by our ethically-void Fourth Estate, which leads to fewer people even hearing about problems beyond their immediate vicinity in the first place;

    – Even when we are told about outrages, it’s always in sensationalised format which most people lack the time or training to read between the lines of;

    – Our (deliberately cultivated, by our lords and masters) communal lack of empathy and compassion leading us to simply not give a damn about any problem that doesn’t affect us directly;

    Blaming it on video-gaming and escapism is copping out.

  11. zoomster
    says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 10:00 pm
    nath
    I don’t nitpick, I question. I always allow for the possibility that someone isn’t wrong on purpose – that they’ve misspoke, so to speak! – and check with them if possible to see if that’s what happened.
    Most posters, having made the mistake you did, would have just owned it and moved on— as I did, when you pointed out one to me.
    __________________________
    That’s a good line but I dispute it. You do the nitpicking with people opposed to the ALP. Never with your mates on here, who can say all kinds of shit without you saying a word.

  12. nath

    It’s not the shit at maths bit, it’s that you used the wrong figure. You THOUGHT that tonnes were bigger than cubic metres, after all.

    You made a mistake, no biggie. That happens. But instead of saying ‘whoops, didn’t notice that, sorry’ you have to make a big song and dance about it.

  13. Given some of the spats I’ve had with people like C@ etc in quite recent times, no, nath, you’re wrong.

    Stop being so self centred. You’re not being picked on.

  14. zoomster
    says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 10:04 pm
    Given some of the spats I’ve had with people like C@ etc in quite recent times, no, nath, you’re wrong.
    Stop being so self centred. You’re not being picked on.
    ___________
    I must have missed that one. Anyway It’s all good. I’m happy. I survived the zoomster interrogation with the help of swampy and steve!

  15. zoomster
    says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 10:05 pm
    nath
    ‘Yes 50 billion cubic metres. which is about 16 billion tonnes.’
    …is what you said.
    _________________
    which shows how truthful and honest I am when adding that I’m shit at maths.

  16. But it adds year upon year. And with thousands of more desal plants being built it goes up ever year until…..

    Not really, because whatever we’re putting back into the ocean came out of the ocean in the first place.

    Even the water goes back to the ocean, albeit slower than the salt.

    The main problem with desal by-product is localized increase in salinity, around the outlets. Although I’m sure I read recently this wasn’t nearly as much if a problem as desal opponents put about.

  17. nath

    Why do you have so much trouble with a simple discussion? I wasn’t trying to point score. I was trying to discuss the issues around desalination. You have to turn everything into a contest, which makes it very difficult to have any kind of real discussion here at present.

  18. Bushfire Bill @ #1686 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 10:07 pm

    But it adds year upon year. And with thousands of more desal plants being built it goes up ever year until…..

    Not really, because whatever we’re putting back into the ocean came out of the ocean in the first place.

    Even the water goes back to the ocean, albeit slower than the salt.

    The main problem with desal by-product is localized increase in salinity, around the outlets. Although I’m sure I read recently this wasn’t nearly as much if a problem as desal opponents put about.

    Many years ago there was a huge controversy about the Newport Power station on Port Philip Bay because it would warm the waters and kill all the local fish.

    The best place for catching fish these days is around the Power Station.

  19. zoomster
    says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 10:07 pm
    nath
    Why do you have so much trouble with a simple discussion? I wasn’t trying to point score. I was trying to discuss the issues around desalination.
    _____________________________

  20. 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?

  21. nath
    Get it right. It’s actually ten million pounds.

    “There was a guy
    An under water guy who controlled the sea
    Got killed by ten million pounds of sludge
    From New York and New Jersey
    This monkey’s gone to Heaven
    This monkey’s gone to Heaven
    This monkey’s gone to Heaven
    This monkey’s gone to Heaven”

  22. Dandy Murray @ #1691 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 10:12 pm

    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?

    Yes and no. But not just yet!

  23. You have to turn everything into a contest, which makes it very difficult to have any kind of real discussion here at present.

    Gee. I can’t quite put my finger on why this would be so.

    Could it be that the naths and co of PB aren’t interested in having any kind of real discussion? Hmmm…

  24. Aussies need more Qlders in the team…

    Counting Usman as a Qlder.

    And in an effort to invoke the spirit of ratsak: Jimmy Pierson to replace Paine.

  25. zoomster @ #1687 Sunday, September 15th, 2019 – 10:07 pm

    nath

    Why do you have so much trouble with a simple discussion? I wasn’t trying to point score. I was trying to discuss the issues around desalination. You have to turn everything into a contest, which makes it very difficult to have any kind of real discussion here at present.

    You really haven’t got beyond your inner nurturing teacher have you?

    nath’s a dickhead and is playing you for fun.

    This has been said before.

  26. Zoomster & Confessions
    says:
    Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 10:18 pm
    You have to turn everything into a contest, which makes it very difficult to have any kind of real discussion here at present.
    Gee. I can’t quite put my finger on why this would be so.
    Could it be that the naths and co of PB aren’t interested in having any kind of real discussion? Hmmm…
    __________________________________________
    Clearly the failure to have real discussions is mostly due to Nath. And as Confessions has alluded to, he may have ulterior motives in sabotaging the blog. We subtly appeal to WB to take action against him.

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