Sins of commission

Kooyong and Chisholm legal challenge latest; by-election rumblings in Isaacs; Jim Molan strikes back; and the Victorian Liberals gearing up already for federal preselections.

Possible (or possibly not) federal by-election news:

• The Australian Electoral Commission has petitioned the Federal Court to reject challenges against the federal election results in Chisholm and Kooyong. The challenges relate to Chinese-language Liberal Party signage that appeared to mimic the AEC’s branding, and advised voters that giving a first preference to the Liberal candidates was “the correct voting method”. As reported by The Guardian, the AEC argues that “the petition fails to set out at all, let alone with sufficient particularity, any facts or matters on the basis of which it might be concluded that it was likely that on polling day, electors able to read Chinese characters, upon seeing and reading the corflute, cast their vote in a manner different from what they had previously intended”. This seems rather puzzling to my mind, unless it should be taken to mean that no individuals have been identified who are ready to confirm that they were indeed so deceived. Academic electoral law expert Graeme Orr argued on Twitter that the AEC had “no need to intervene on the substance of a case where partisan litigants are well represented”.

• Talk of a by-election elsewhere in Melbourne was stimulated by Monday’s column ($) from acerbic Financial Review columnist Joe Aston, which related “positively feverish speculation” that Labor’s Shadow Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, would shortly quit his Melbourne bayside seat of Isaacs with an eye to a position on Victoria’s Court of Appeal. Aston further reported that Dreyfus hoped to be succeeded by Fiona McLeod, the prominent barrister who gained a 6.1% swing as Labor’s candidate for Higgins in May. Dreyfus emphatically rejected such “ridiculous suggestions” in late August, saying he was “absolutely committed to serving out this term of parliament”, and again took to Twitter on Monday to say he would be “staying and fighting the next election”. Aston remains unconvinced, writing in Tuesday’s column ($) that the suggestions derived from “high-level discussions Dreyfus has held on Spring Street with everyone from Premier Daniel Andrews, former Attorney-General Martin Pakula, his successor Jill Hennessy and his caucus colleagues”, along with his “indiscreet utterances around the traps”.

Federal preselection news:

• Jim Molan has won the endorsement of both Scott Morrison and the conservative faction of the New South Wales Liberal Party to fill the Senate vacancy created by Arthur Sinodinos’s departure to become ambassador to the United States. However, the Sydney Morning Herald reports this is not dissuading rival nominee Richard Shields, former deputy state party director and Insurance Council of Australia manager, and the runner-up to Dave Sharma in last year’s keenly fought Wentworth preselection. Shields’ backers are said to include Helen Coonan, former Senator and Howard government minister, and Mark Neeham, a former state party director. Earlier reports suggested the moderate faction had been reconciled to Molan’s ascendancy by a pledge that he would only serve out the remainder of Sinodinos’s two-year term, and would not seek re-election in 2022.

Rob Harris of The Age reports the Victorian Liberals are considering a plan to complete their preselections for the 2022 election much earlier than usual – and especially soon for Liberal-held seats. The idea in the latter case is for challengers to incumbents to declare their hands by January 15, with the matter to be wrapped up by late February or early March. This comes after the party’s administrative committee warded off threats to members ahead of the last election, most notably factional conservative Kevin Andrews in Menzies, by rubber-stamping the preselections of all incumbents, much to the displeasure of party members. Other preselections are to be held from April through to October. Also proposed is a toughening of candidate vetting procedures, after no fewer than seven candidates in Labor-held seats were disendorsed during the period of the campaign.

Self-promotion corner:

• I had a paywalled piece in Crikey yesterday which noted the stances adopted of late by James McGrath, ideological warror extraordinaire and scourge of the cockatoo, in his capacity as chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, which is presently conducting its broad-ranging inquiry into the May federal election. These include the end of proportional representation in the Senate, the notion that parliamentarians who quit their parties should be required to forfeit their seats, and — more plausibly — the need to curtail pre-poll voting.

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.

1,817 comments on “Sins of commission”

  1. Good morning bludgers.

    I have a section of garden that’s covered in nasturtiums, and I want to replace them with something native to the area (Melbourne’s outer east). Any ideas?

    (That’s my attempt to change the subject from you-know-what.)

  2. Simon Katich

    Thanks for your ‘research’ on the AEC. I had no idea they were a corporate entity with a Plan. I thought they were a practical bureaucracy.

    “Our activities are the tasks and projects we complete to achieve outcomes against each direction.”

    No good. It doesn’t include the magic words “going forward” or “in the voting space”.

  3. As the case for impeachment ramps up, it would appear Trump has decided to call in the favours expected of him in return for feathering his nest and making an exit stage left. Question is which country is he looking at for exile.

  4. ‘Ante Meridian says:
    Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Good morning bludgers.

    I have a section of garden that’s covered in nasturtiums, and I want to replace them with something native to the area (Melbourne’s outer east). Any ideas?

    (That’s my attempt to change the subject from you-know-what.)’

    OK. I’ll bite.

    A coal mine?

  5. Ante Meridian

    There are dwarf correas with the same orange or bright pink flowers. You could still allow the nasturtiums to come up amongst them while they’re young. 🙂

  6. Boerwar

    As parts of the globe become less human-friendly, I’ve been wondering where the rich will hide (that’s if they don’t all fly away to another planet).

  7. Cheryl Kernot @cheryl_kernot
    ·
    3m
    Forked tongue disingenuousness from Morrison. Says he is concerned about Turkey’s incursions into Northern Syria when he positively supported Trump’s decision to leave knowing the consequences. Utterly loathsome human.#auspol

  8. Hmmmm…i did find it interesting that the AEC came out in the Chisholm thing. They seem to be saying that you would have to provide definitive evidence that people WERE influenced (almost impossible to do i reckon) rather than that the person respsonsible for the signs was TRYING to influence.

    In most cases trying to commit an offense is is good enough to get busted isn’t it?? Disturbing.

  9. Ante Meridian @ #51 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 9:39 am

    Good morning bludgers.

    I have a section of garden that’s covered in nasturtiums, and I want to replace them with something native to the area (Melbourne’s outer east). Any ideas?

    (That’s my attempt to change the subject from you-know-what.)

    Excellent post.
    I had no idea what nasturtiums are – but now –

    In Latin nasturtium literally means “nose twist.” While most edible flowers have a subtle flavor, nasturtiums knock your socks off with their peppery taste. Plus, it’s not just the flowers and buds that are packed with a zippy flavor; the young leaves are tender and edible as well.

    Of course those who don’t wear socks would be in dire straits.

    I am currently checking with Doctor Google re my Rose Lillies .
    One pot has 6 or seven shoots but the other only a single weak shoot.
    Who to blame for this disaster ❓
    Maybe replace with a couple of Calla Lilies – for summer (soon to be all year round).

    I am according to my phone and little tablet currently residing in Magadan which is part of (I think) Russia.

    This is so that using Firefox and C+ – real time and posting times match.

    There you go – make sense of that lot.

  10. AM
    If you are in the sandbelt any of the heath species should do well. Cranbourne Botanic Gardens would probably be something of a starting point for figuring out what to plant.

    https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=cranbourne+botanic+gardens&npsic=0&rflfq=1&rlha=0&rllag=-38128753,145278001,723&tbm=lcl&ved=2ahUKEwiRmqmcpJDlAhUEH7cAHWn6CyAQtgN6BAgGEAQ&tbs=lrf:!2m1!1e2!2m1!1e3!3sIAE,lf:1,lf_ui:1&rldoc=1#rlfi=hd:;si:2766152512701141327,y,pCMQdaP4rCk;mv:[[-38.1277022,145.2871777],[-38.129804,145.2688259]]

  11. Once again, this is all for show and no practical outcomes.

    Paul Karp @Paul_Karp
    ·
    31m
    Michaelia Cash says Scott Cam’s salary is “commercial in confidence” but the role is “about outcomes”. She hasn’t named any outcomes yet except young people looking up to him because it shows tradies can do anything.

    Cash says the role is about parents and kids understanding “choices” and “different pathways” beyond going to university. #auspol
    #auspol

  12. Lizzie, I think AEC hired Rhonda Stewart and Karsten Leith.

    BW – I eat nasturtium flowers. Chickens have a go at the leaves. Interestingly, the chickens love three cornered garlic which is a weed that I am struggling with. Reckon I just need about 2000 more chickens to deal with the rest of it.

  13. Warrigal Greens, aka native spinach. It’s a groundcover with small yellow flowers and (when steamed) the leaves are a good spinach substitute, as the name implies.

  14. Do we know yet why Trump gave Erdoğan the green light?

    I know I am in the minority here on impeachment… but is the impeachment business distracting peeps from Trumps incompetence?

  15. Well that’s news wot!! Apparently the Kurds didn’t help out the US on D-Day in 1944 and the Turks have really wanted to fight the Kurds ever since Trump came to office so its ok to abandon them.

    FFS……..fear the incompetence of this man. 🙁

  16. Remember Rex Tillerson? Boned and humiliated by Dotard? Revenge is best served cold..

    ‘President Donald Trump pressed then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to help persuade the Justice Department to drop a criminal case against an Iranian-Turkish gold trader who was a client of Rudy Giuliani, according to three people familiar with the 2017 meeting in the Oval Office.

    Tillerson refused, arguing it would constitute interference in an ongoing investigation of the trader, Reza Zarrab, according to the people. They said other participants in the Oval Office were shocked by the request.

    Tillerson immediately repeated his objections to then-Chief of Staff John Kelly in a hallway conversation just outside the Oval Office, emphasizing that the request would be illegal. Neither episode has been previously reported, and all of the people spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the conversations.’

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-09/trump-urged-top-aide-to-help-giuliani-client-facing-doj-charges

  17. I know I am in the minority here on impeachment… but is the impeachment business distracting peeps from Trumps incompetence?

    No. His incompetence has been on full display from before he took office, and it’s been increasingly obvious every day since then.

  18. Nasturtiums are ground cover type plants. The plant with exploding seed pods i remember from my childhood was a little taller, with pretty flowers. Fleshy/watery stems.

  19. lizzie @ #56 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 9:47 am

    As parts of the globe become less human-friendly, I’ve been wondering where the rich will hide (that’s if they don’t all fly away to another planet).

    New Zealand is doing a gangbuster trade in special visas and real estate deals for the world’s billionares. I posted an article here about it a few months ago. If I can find it I will post it again.

  20. From the last thread …

    Late Riser @ #1590 Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 – 11:30 pm

    Player One, you asked this morning about starting a political party, the Climate Party. I took you seriously and started thinking about that. I just realised I need to apologise for my tardiness in replying to you. One of my many faults is needing to “think things through”. I’m doing that. (At the moment I’m asking myself what such a party might look like. I’m generating lots of answers but so far not much coherence.) I’ll post my thoughts when or if I can make sense of them.

    No worries. I wonder if anyone else here might be interested?

  21. The Washington Post is describing Trump’s 8 page reply to the Impeachment docs as, ‘not so much a legal document as a political screed.’ 🙂

  22. Oh, just noticed AnteM original post.

    Native Grasses. Kangaroo grass is my favourite if you want something tall.

    If you are keen, you can make flour out of it. Or beer!

  23. C@t,

    According to Wikipedia, there are several plants called black eyed Susans, one of which is native to Western Australia. Not native enough for me, sorry.

  24. Isn’t this what impeachment attempts will do?

    Not his base. It will bring them onto the street and the ballot box.

    I had hoped it will keep moderate repugs at home. But I am wondering if they are like tooth fairies.

  25. imaccasays:
    Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 9:55 am

    Hmmmm…i did find it interesting that the AEC came out in the Chisholm thing. They seem to be saying that you would have to provide definitive evidence that people WERE influenced (almost impossible to do i reckon) rather than that the person respsonsible for the signs was TRYING to influence.

    In most cases trying to commit an offense is is good enough to get busted isn’t it?? Disturbing.

    Yep, under the AEC interpretation they have no ability to act before an election unless someone voting prepoll complained that they had changed their vote because of it.

    The rules seem to need a rewrite so as to allow the AEC to act in a more timely manner.
    I also think that branding of advertising needs to be changed, so it is immediately clear who is responsible for the ad.

  26. Simon Katich @ #84 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 7:20 am

    ‘fess
    I reckon impeachment attempts will fire up his base; exposing his incompetence will keep many of them at home on voting day.

    The impeachment process is already exposing his incompetence, so I expect as it rolls on and more evidence comes to light it will be worse for him. And his base will always vote for him no matter what.

  27. Do we know yet why Trump gave Erdoğan the green light?

    There are at least 3 possible scenarios:

    Putin: Do it.
    Trump: Okay.
    —– Or —–
    Trump: I want dirt on Biden.
    Erdoğan: Pull out so I can fight the Kurds and I’ll help.
    Trump: Okay.
    —– Or —–
    Trump: I want dirt on Biden.
    Erdoğan: Pull out so I can fight the Kurds and I’ll help.
    Trump: Okay.
    Erdoğan: On second thought I don’t have any dirt on Biden, but you’ll pull out anyways because if you don’t I’ll tell everyone how you just asked me for dirt on Biden.
    Trump: …okay.

  28. How many multiple personalities does Donald Trump have!?! He’s now calling Turkey’s push into Northern Syria, ‘a bad idea ‘ !!

    Though it follows a pattern for Trump. He gives the green light, then whenever the full horror unfolds he does a 180 on his original position. Like the lying hypocrite he is. Because he’s well aware it’s too late to do anything about it.

  29. A M

    Perhaps Hibbertia Scandens might suit your needs. It’s a hardy scrambler climber easily controlled, of several varieties, with a bright cheery yellow flower against dark green foliage.

    I have nasturtiums in full rampant bloom at the moment.

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