Forever blowing bubbles

More reform talk, this time involving suggestions MPs should be prevented from defecting from the parties for which they were elected.

Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters chair James McGrath has floated another reform bubble, this time proposing that parliamentarians should be prevented from resigning from their parties under pain of either facing a by-election or being replaced by the nominee of the party for which they were elected. The Australian helpfully summarises recent situations where this would have applied: “Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus from the Palmer United Party, Cory Bernardi and Julia Banks from the Liberal Party, Fraser Anning and Rod Culleton from One Nation and Steve Martin from the Jacqui Lambie Network”. University of New South Wales constitutional law expert George Williams is quoted noting potential constitutional issues, particularly in relation to the lower house.

The proposal brings to mind the passage in New Zealand last year of what is colloquially known as the “waka jumping bill”, insisted upon by Winston Peters of New Zealand First as part of his coalition agreement with Labour after the 2017 election. This requires a constituency MP who quits their party to face a by-election, while party list MPs must vacate their seats and have them filled by the next candidate along from the list at the election. The move was poorly received by academics and the country’s Human Rights Commissioner, as it effectively gives party leaders the ability to dispense with troublemakers. It was also noted that Peters himself broke away from the National Party to form New Zealand First in 1990, but changed his tune after a split in his own party in 1998. However, the McGrath proposal would seem to be quite a lot less pernicious in that it would only apply to those who leave their parties of their own volition.

In other news, I had a paywalled article in Crikey on Tuesday regarding the YouGov methodological overhaul that was discussed here on Sunday, which said things like this:

Of course, transparency alone will not be sufficient for the industry to recover the strong reputation it held until quite recently. That will require runs on the board in the form of more-or-less accurate pre-election polls, for which no opportunity will emerge until the Queensland state election still over a year away. It’s far from certain that YouGov will prove able to get better results by dropping the telephone component of its polling, notwithstanding that phone polling is less conducive to the kind of detailed demographic parsing that it apparently has in mind. Nonetheless, the movements the pollster records over time within demographic and geographic sub-samples will almost certainly offer insights into the shifting sands of public opinion, even if skepticism will remain as to how it sees the numbers combining in aggregate.

I’m not sure when exactly we will see the fruits of YouGov’s approach, but we’re due some sort of Newspoll result on Sunday or Monday, and the fortnightly Essential Research falls due on Tuesday – we’re still waiting for the latter to resume voting intention, but I was told a little while ago it would happen soon.

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.

1,328 comments on “Forever blowing bubbles”

  1. “As a commentator observed of them this past week, they aren’t Conservatives, they are anarchists.”

    They aren’t “Conservatives”, they are the political wing of vested interests.

  2. It’s wonderfull all those who Trump fired and then belittled, are now having their say. And the MSM are lapping it up, pile-on style…

    News from the Wall Street Journal:

    On more than one occasion, John Kelly, who was often in the room during calls with world leaders, briefly muted the line so he could caution President Trump against continuing to talk about sensitive subjects.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/embarrassing-leaks-led-to-clampdown-on-trumps-phone-records-11569710889


  3. Late Riser says:
    Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 8:58 pm

    frednk @ #1300 Sunday, September 29th, 2019 – 8:56 pm

    Late Riser
    I like pointing out Engineers use science to predict the future. It works a lot better than a crystal ball, even with thoughts and prayers.

    I’ve always liked engineers.

    There is a flip side. We use those lovely records to set 100 year and 1000 year flood levels. If you accept climate change, what do you do?

    It is a fact that 100 year events are now a lot closer than 100 Years. Accept it and the cost goes up.

  4. frednk

    Yeah. Paradigm shifts are hard. Those metrics you mention, like “100 year floods”, assume a steady climate. I don’t know what the replacement metric might be, but eventually people will twig that we’ve had 5 lots of “100 year events” in the past 10 years. (or something) Velocity and acceleration are linked, but are definitely not the same thing.

  5. Late Riser:

    [‘My generation of scientists were brought up believing that science and scientists were trusted valuable parts of society. It didn’t turn out that way. Maybe it never was.’]

    Do Bear in mind that it was a while before heliocentricity was accepted. Scientists must be more forthright – please don’t give up your good work. I mean, you don’t consult a proctologist for a heart problem?.


  6. Late Riser says:
    Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    frednk

    ..
    I don’t know what the replacement metric might be.


    It is what some of the intemperate meetings have been about. Engineers are trying to build shit that will last 50 years, modify shit to take new peaks and we have a a large part of the political class pretending it isn’t happened.

    https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/climate-cuts-cover-ups-censorship/

    Without the science engineering is reduced to guesses. It is not good.

    We have of cause the group that want to pretend the designs they produced at their peak decades ago are ok.

    This at last began to make sense of these elderly engineers crowding into hotel rooms to engage in the pleasant and no doubt emotionally rewarding group delusion of imagining climate change to be some vast liberal hoax.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/22/climate-deniers-protect-status-quo-that-made-them-rich

  7. Just a trivial example of 100 year events: Sydney Observatory started recording temperatures in 1859. It reached 110°F there for the first time 80 years later in 1939, the second time after another 77 years in 2006, the third time in 8 years later 2013 and the fourth after another 5 years in 2018.

    One site, a peculiar one at that, doesn’t prove anything, but similar statistics of unusual events, not just temperature, abound.

    Deniers might cite the fact that the Australian ski fields have had bumper seasons in the last few years. But looking at snow depths (https://www.snowyhydro.com.au/our-energy/water/inflows/snow-depths-calculator/), it is obvious that the snow line is retreating. High elevations are still OK – for now.

    Deniers Gish-gallop with bullshit and cherry-picked statistics to support their position. Maybe the good guys need to Gish-gallop – with real statistics.

  8. Mavis Davis @ #1311 Sunday, September 29th, 2019 – 9:31 pm

    Late Riser:

    [‘My generation of scientists were brought up believing that science and scientists were trusted valuable parts of society. It didn’t turn out that way. Maybe it never was.’]

    Do Bear in mind that it was while before heliocentricity was accepted. Scientists must be more forthright – please don’t give up your good work. I mean, you don’t consult proctologist for a heart problem?.

    True that. Paradigms again. Nevertheless, and please forgive the cheeky, “some say” that science (aka the scientific method) only arrived after Copernicus did and died.

  9. Steve777
    I’ll give you another; the standard maximum design temperature for Melbourne is 40 degC. What do you think will be valid figure in 50 years? 110 degF is 43 deg C

    As an engineer you now have to weigh up the cost,the lifetime and the importance of the infrastructure on a hot day to decide if you use the standard figure or specify something suitable for Mildura. That is not science, it is an engineer somewhere throwing a dart.

  10. frednk, a few days ago I was speculating on what a “projected climate factor” might look like, one that could adjust current standards the same way a “wind chill factor” adjusts air temperature. It has to be very simple to be accepted and used. It eludes me.

  11. Newspoll out, behind paywall…

    Leader turns tide, party slips behind
    EXCLUSIVE | Popular support for Labor has dropped sharply amid an internal struggle over climate change.
    1 MINUTE AGO By SIMON BENSON

  12. Popular support for Labor has dropped sharply amid an internal struggle over climate change and calls for the party to abandon the emissions reduction targets it took to the election.

    The divisions have left ­Anthony Albanese largely unscathed, with the Labor leader showing an improved personal position with a turnaround in his approval ratings.

    An exclusive Newspoll conducted for The Australian shows no movement in the two-party-­preferred vote since July, with the Coalition retaining its lead of 51-49 over Labor.

    The status quo after preferences masked a two-point fall in Labor’s primary vote to 33 per cent, leaving it down on the ­election result of 33.3 per cent that marked its lowest popular support at an election in 85 years.

    The Coalition’s primary vote also came off, falling a point to 42 per cent but slightly ahead of its election result of 41.4 per cent.

    The latest poll comes after the ­Opposition Leader last week ­delivered his most strident attack on Scott Morrison, accusing him of being “loose with the truth” over the ­Coalition’s record on climate change as Labor MPs began ­publicly calling for their own party’s policy to be reviewed.

    Minor parties were the only ones to enjoy gains in the poll.

    The Greens and One Nation show an improved position with the Greens recording a primary vote of 13 per cent, marking their highest support since 2015 in a sign that Labor has lost voters on the left as it flags a lowering of its climate change targets.

    One Nation lifted a further point to 6 per cent — almost ­doubling its election position of 3.1 per cent. Other minor parties and independents lifted a point to 6 per cent.

    Mr Morrison has also cemented his position as the preferred prime minister following his US visit and state dinner with US President Donald Trump, with a two-point lift to 50 per cent. It is the strongest endorsement Mr Morrison has enjoyed since becoming Prime Minister following the leadership spill in August last year.

    While his status as Prime Minister lifted, the approval ratings for his performance as leader fell from 49 per cent to 47 per cent.

    There was a spike in his dis­approval from 39 per cent to 43 per cent.

    Mr Morrison is now only ­marginally ahead of Mr Albanese in this regard, with the Labor ­leader showing a 4 per cent rise in his ­approval ratings to 39 per cent.

  13. Simon Benson/SmearStralian can’t even get the date right..

    SIMON BENSON
    NATIONAL AFFAIRS EDITOR

    MARCH 29, 2020 6 COMMENTS
    Popular support for Labor has dropped sharply amid an internal struggle over climate change and calls for the party to abandon the emissions reduction targets it took to the election.

    The divisions have left ­Anthony Albanese largely unscathed, with the Labor leader showing an improved personal position with a turnaround in his approval ratings.

  14. Late Riser
    And now a very un-engineering comment, appropriate for this site I think, a hill you seldom see an engineer, just as you seldom find a scientist that will say “in my opinion”, (the words “antidotal evidence” seems to have crept in).

    I think it is obvious Labor needs to be supported with vigor.
    The Liberals want to pretend it isn’t happening.
    The Greens are in no position to do anything.
    Labor is the only party in my view that is looking to deal with the problems that are coming.


  15. sprocket_ says:
    Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    #Newspoll Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 51 (0) ALP 49 (0) #auspol

    In short another round of bullshit with no meaning. Can’t even be bothered throwing my dart.

  16. Mavis Davis says:
    Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    Late Riser:

    Apropos of global heating, I verily believe that science has failed to prosecute its case well.

    It is not what science does.

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