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
    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… 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

    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


    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)

  14. Julian Hill MP @JulianHillMP
    · 9h

    The media’s current obsession on ‘what Labor’s policies will be’ is bordering on deranged. We. Lost. The. Election. And Are. Reviewing. Everything. Which will take time and robust debate. That’s our job! How hard is that to understand?

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Dana McCauley reports that Julie Bishop has offered to assist the Morrison government with negotiations, saying she has “a long-standing and constructive relationship” with the country’s Foreign Minister and President.
    Michael Koziol writes that Sam Dastyari now concedes Huang Xiangmo, the billionaire donor and property developer he once courted and warned about ASIO surveillance, was probably an “agent of influence” for Beijing. He also admits he was arrogant, naive and blinded by his “out-of-control” ego.
    The Morrison government is spelling out to the business community that it wants big changes in how business leaders deal with Canberra and the broader community. It’s not a prescription many will appreciate hearing writes Jennifer Hewett.
    Gladys Berejiklian’s political agenda could be at risk due to a deteriorating relationship with key minor parties, warn Liberal MPs as her agenda risks getting stuck in a legislative graveyard.
    Christopher Knaus reveals that the New South Wales government is advising local councils to invoke terrorism fears to keep the location of potentially lethal flammable cladding secret from the public.
    Eryk Bagshaw details the cost of the likely achievement of a surplus in 2018/9.
    Australia could lose from a US-China trade deal, according to internal RBA documents.
    The hard heads in Washington and Beijing have recognised that trade war is a disastrous path. But there are five steps needed to secure a deal by November, writes Kevin Rudd in the AFR. He concludes by saying, “The options now facing Washington and Beijing are stark indeed. And for all of us.”
    Lisa Visentin tells us about the appearance of Abbot and Joyce at yesterday’s anti-abortion rally in Sydney.
    And Nick O’Malley explains how while in Europe recently Abbott cosied up to one of Europe’s most controversial leaders who he describes as a racist demagogue.
    ASIC deputy chair Karen Chester has blamed a lack of competition in banking and superannuation for delivering ‘unfair’ consumer outcomes and impeding the economy’s growth.
    According to the Canberra Times Anthony Albanese isn’t about to let embattled Liberal MP Gladys Liu off the hook when parliament resumes this week, saying she needs to explain her past donations and affiliations.
    The Liberal member for Chisholm, Gladys Liu, caused concern in intelligence circles before the Party pre-selected her as their candidate for the May 2019 Election. Writes Jennifer Wilson.,13108
    And Sam Maiden, in an exclusive, says that Gladys Liu has declined to explain her involvement in a mysterious $105,000 donation to the Liberal Party by a Chinese-owned company she worked for, spruiking electric buses.
    Oil could hit $US90 a barrel over the next few months if the supply outage caused by strikes on Aramco’s world-leading oil processing facility at Abqaiq drags on.
    Adam Carey writes that private schools have been hit by a drop in enrolments, forcing some to take on debt to compete for students, as parents squeezed by rising costs and sluggish wage growth opt for the public system.
    Is going green the best way to fire up the economy?
    Amanda Vanstone goes into how the UK got into its Brexit mess.
    A survey by CEDA of 3000 people shows Australians overwhelmingly believe corporate leaders should speak up on social issues
    Emma Koehn reports that the nation’s largest airports have warned domestic airfares could keep rising unless carriers release more seats and offer better deals to the travelling public.
    The drought crisis crippling parts of the eastern seaboard may come to a head within weeks as several regional centres are set to completely run out of water within two months. The New Daily names the towns most at risk.
    Insurance Australia Group has estimated a class action over its sale of “add-on” insurance could be worth up to $1 billion writes Cara Waters.
    Last weekend, following a suicide car bomb attack in Afghanistan, President Trump announced he had cancelled a secret meeting with Taliban leaders. His campaign promise to withdraw American troops from an 18-year conflict is now in limbo meaning Australia probably won’t withdraw its contingent either. Clinton Fernandez reports.
    Trump is seriously, frighteningly unstable – the world is in danger says Robert Reich.
    Here is The Observer’s view on the threat posed to Israel by another Benjamin Netanyahu victory. It says the prime minister’s pre-election tactics underline why he must be ousted from office.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe and a worried PM.

    Pat Campbell and climate change.

    From Matt Golding.

    Glen Le Lievre and Chinese influence peddling.

    Zanetti’s effort in The Australian.

    From the US

  16. Morning all and thanks BK. What strikes me about the headlines is the absence of any economic policy comment by government figures, despite recent figures being awful. All coalition MPs have been given obvious instructions not to talk about the economy. Do they hope it will go away?

  17. When are the so called main stream media going to start concentrating on and questioning what the the government is or isn’t doing instead of what the opposition is or isn’t doing? To answer my own question, never!!

  18. Socrates @ #1744 Monday, September 16th, 2019 – 6:32 am

    Morning all and thanks BK. What strikes me about the headlines is the absence of any economic policy comment by government figures, despite recent figures being awful. All coalition MPs have been given obvious instructions not to talk about the economy. Do they hope it will go away?

    No, they hope it will get better. Then you won’t be able to shut them up. 😐

  19. Disability advocates are calling for a boycott of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, which begins today. Craig Wallace, the convener of the Disability Royal Commission Action Group, is one of dozens of disability advocates urging that two of the seven commissioners, John Ryan and Barbara Bennett, stand down due to perceived conflict of interest. “They were both in charge of and managed systems where people with disabilities have experienced abuse,” he told the ABC. Ryan was a former senior public servant with the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services, and Bennett was the deputy secretary of the families and communities branch of the federal Department of Social Services. The Morrison government has defended the seven commissioners appointed, saying they represent a diverse range of backgrounds.

    Powerful comment. I am fighting for Tamil #refugees who attend my #Church at Aspley. Fled by boat from #SriLanka after home destroyed, relatives shot & they suffered huge burns. Yet they are being sent back because they did not go to Australian Embassy that was surrounded by Army

  21. Never forget that Morrison sees no harm in lies if it serves his purpose.


    In Corangamite, Henderson claimed a LNP(Henderson) supporter was targeted b/c of corflute display in front yard…claimed a dog was killed as a result. Claim was repeated by #ScoMao on #ABC. The story was a complete lie but served to smear ALP/Greens in the electorate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *