Not a creature was stirring

Chisholm and Kooyong court ruling imminent; comparison of American and Australian political attitudes; and a merry Christmas to all.

At what’s normally a dull time for electoral news, the Federal Court has decided to beat Santa to the punch by announcing its judgement in the challenges to the Chisholm and Kooyong results at 2:15pm today. I’ll add a dedicated post when that happens, but for the time being, here’s the latest thread for general political discussion, it being long past time for a new one.

Two other items of news I can think to mention: the United States Studies Centre has published a report that compares survey results on political attitudes in Australia and the United States, which reaches the intuitive conclusions that Australians are both less conservative and less polarised by partisanship; and GhostWhoVotes offers a neat presentation of the states’ House of Representatives seat entitlements based on current population numbers, six months out from the final determination.

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.

782 comments on “Not a creature was stirring”

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  1. [@PaulBongiorno
    I simply cannot believe our prime minister. Nearly 1000 homes already lost and we need not panic, no need to change anything.if this is not a national catastrophe, in the first month of summer what is? This is a global problem and Australia lines up with the do nothings (much)]

  2. So this is the source of the belief about “backburning”? Peta Credlin is a vicious snake in the grass.

    Peta Credlin claimed last week that the Greens had blocked back-burning because they knew this would lead to more #bushfires which would boost their electoral standing on #CC..

  3. lizzie
    Tuesday, December 24, 2019 at 6:34 am
    So this is the source of the belief about “backburning”? Peta Credlin is a vicious snake in the grass.
    To think that she actually ran the country for a while!

  4. It will be interesting to see the new figures on leader attributes. Will Morrison see a hit to trustworthiness or empathy? Where will the backlash land?

  5. I see that some Bludgers get all excited about Ms Thunberg.
    My question was fairly straightforward:
    ‘What difference has Ms Thunberg made to global warming?’
    This is a serious question. The implicit question is whether Ms Thunberg’s advocacy is the best way to go in trying to reach a global plan that works.
    The answers to my question were, in the main, reflexively abusive. Many were ageist.
    Those answers mirrored the various abusive attacks on Ms Thunberg.
    So, arguably, Ms Thunberg has triggered an addition to sum total of human abuse.
    One (reasonable) response was that Ms Thunberg has mobilized millions of (young) people in a global movement.
    This may be true.
    But that still leaves the question, ‘What difference has Ms Thunberg made to action on global warming?’
    Mobilization really only works if the mobilized troops take down the enemy.
    The ultimate test was COP25.
    And that was the mother of all trainwrecks.

  6. That bastion of leftism, the Financial Times (A Newwscorp publication BTW) has published a scathing editorial on Morrison and the Coalition:

    Against this background, when blazing bushfires broke out across eastern Australia, Mr Morrison stumbled. Eager to play down scientists’ warnings that a hotter, drier climate would help to make fires more frequent and intense, his ministers’ initial response to the fires smacked of politically calculated complacency. The deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, said Australia had endured fires “since time began” and victims did not need the “ravings” of “woke capital city greenies”. Two weeks ago, when Sydney was blanketed in a thick haze of smoke, Mr Morrison gave a press conference in the city where he appeared more eager to discuss a religious freedom bill than bushfires.

    As the fires blazed on last week, Mr Morrison abruptly disappeared to parts unknown. “Where the bloody hell are you?” asked critics, using a campaign slogan commissioned when Mr Morrison ran the government’s Tourism Australia agency. Bizarrely, his office initially said reports he was on holiday in Hawaii were wrong. As anger surged over his absence, and two firefighters were killed, the prime minister broke cover to say he had indeed been in Hawaii but was coming home.

    This sorry domestic spectacle has been compounded by Mr Morrison’s behaviour on the international stage. At UN climate talks in Madrid this month, his government was accused of trying to weaken rules for the 2015 Paris agreement and making feeble efforts to meet its emissions targets.

    Mr Morrison is now paying a political cost for his inaction. A far higher price will be paid in future for the bleak litany of climate failures his government represents.

  7. Boerwar
    Tuesday, December 24, 2019 at 6:43 am
    I see that some Bludgers get all excited about Ms Thunberg.
    My question was fairly straightforward:
    ‘What difference has Ms Thunberg made to global warming?’
    Unfortunately she’s increased your flatulence… I mean emissions! 🙂

  8. lizzie
    Bongo is onto the most obvious immediate FAIL here.
    If, as Morrison repeatedly claimed, the fireys had enough resources, and everything was well prepared, how did Australia lose more than 2,000 dwellings?
    How prepared is that?
    How well-resourced is that?

  9. The 06:20 from Sydney over the Inner West to Dubai sounded really heavy this morning, probably because the PM and his entourage with minders and protection detail was on it?
    After all the Chaser seems to have it on the very best, or worst, of authority that the PM has changed religion such as to re-start the end of year holidays early!

  10. WB,

    I was thinking that the additional Federal seat to Victoria, loss of a seat in WA and likely loss of an NT seat might have piqued your interest.

  11. nath

    Credlin was the brain behind Abbott’s success (and his failures as a PM). Interesting to consider if there’s any brain behind Morrison’s. The PMO seems to be a group of infants trained in inefficiency and untruths.

  12. Danama Papers

    That bastion of leftism, the Financial Times (A Newwscorp publication BTW) has published a scathing editorial on Morrison and the Coalition

    Rupert doesn’t mind the truth in publications such as that. It is read by the ‘right sort of people’. Meanwhile all us ‘proles’ get fed his special diet of shite from The Sun etc.

  13. “Peta Credlin claimed last week that the Greens had blocked back-burning because they knew this would lead to more #bushfires which would boost their electoral standing on #CC.”

    Ms Credlin must know that what she said is a most egregious lie. Too bad the Greens can’t sue her for something. If nothing else it ignores the fact that they Greens have no say – they couldn’t “block” backburning even if they wanted to.

    Maybe it’s projection – accusing the Greens of deliberately exacerbating a crisis regardless of the pain caused for political gain – like her she and her boss did with “boats”.

  14. ‘lizzie says:
    Tuesday, December 24, 2019 at 7:01 am


    Credlin was the brain behind Abbott’s success (and his failures as a PM). Interesting to consider if there’s any brain behind Morrison’s. The PMO seems to be a group of infants trained in inefficiency and untruths.’

    Morrison’s CoS is Kunkel, late of the Minerals Council. Whatever else he is, he is not an infant:

  15. Morning all

    It is predictable re the Credlin lie. But it ultimately boils down to why people take it on face value, no questions asked.

    We are currently living through more extreme weather events, and being informed is not hard. Yet, we seem to allow ourselves to be more uninformed than ever.

  16. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. May I use this opportunity to wish all patrollers a merry Christmas and a happy and safe new year.

    Eryk Bagshaw tells us that the president of the body representing volunteer firefighters is demanding income support and masks for firefighters, warning the situation is now “out of control”.
    Pallavi Singhal looks at the impact of the fires on NSW Christmas tourism.
    Lenore Taylor writes, “Prime minister, you need a credible climate policy. It’s too dangerous to keep pretending you have one.”
    President of the Volunteer Fire Fighters Association, Mick Holton, says that they gladly volunteer to fight fires, but their sacrifice should not be financial.
    On behalf of the exhausted fire fighters John Birmingham has sent Santa a wish list.
    In a quite pointed contribution Nicholas Stuart reckons the post-holiday blues could haunt Scott Morrison.
    Apparently church leaders are using their annual Christmas messages and sermons to call for greater action on climate change.
    Josh Taylor reveals that the Home Affairs department warned the Australian government of growing climate disaster risk after May election.
    Clive Hamilton looks at the pathology of conservatives’ climate change denial.
    Angus Taylor has announced the Morrison government will underwrite private investment into two quick-start gas power plants, to be located in Dandenong, Victoria and Gatton, Queensland.
    Shane Wright writes that Treasury, which has forecast inflation at much higher rates than the RBA, can’t yet admit that the world has changed.
    The NSW government has been accused of trying to shut down the strip search inquiry after police watchdog’s early departure. They do have form.
    The shift to more than 50% clean energy in South Australia led to the lowest average wholesale power prices in the national electricity grid over the past two months, an audit has found.
    Unlike media claims that the Medevac Bill promotes four-star holidays, first-hand evidence exposes abuse and neglect of onshore detainees, writes Jane Salmon.,13439
    Dana McCauley lament that more than 100,000 assessed seniors are still waiting for home care packages this Christmas.
    Australia’s Department of Defence is keeping silent. Yet it has serious questions to answer over its dealings with an elusive Russian aviation tycoon, an American mercenary outfit and a money trail which winds from Canberra to the Seychelles via Cyprus. Thanks to the #29Leaks data leak unveiled today in a global collaboration of investigative journalists by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Michael West Media and Crikey INQ raise serious questions about how the Government is spending our taxes. Kim Prince, Suzanne Smith and Michael West report.
    This lecturer explains Christians and their problem with sex.
    The expected exodus from Boeing has begun with the departure of its CEO.
    The treatment of UK Labour’s 2019 campaign and Whitlam’s Labor Government is eerily similar, writes Bilal Cleland.,13438
    On this evidence Trump is certifiable!

    Cartoon Corner

    Matt Golding exposes the PM. I am sure the Hawaiian shirt will stick with cartoonists’ depictions of Morrison.

    More from Golding.

    A couple from the very effective Mark David.

    This one from Peter Broelman is a bit close to home.

    From Glen Le Lievre.

    A Sean Leahy effort from a few days ago,

    Alan Moir delivers Morrison a sidewinder.

    From the US

  17. Someone has suggested (sorry no link) that the only way to change the minds of the CC deniers and ScoMo supporters is to present them (over and over to the point of boredom) the costs of doing nothing. They won’t react to scientific reality, but they seem to be swayed by financial reality (or even lies – death tax).

    The figures are already known (see Boerwar at 6.51) and will undoubtedly increase with the effects of the current fire season, but are not being well publicised. Time for publicity by Butler et al?

  18. Regarding the quota distribution of Federal House of Representative seats published by GhostWhoVotes, I noticed that Tasmania has a quota allocation of three seats, but will retain its existing five seats. I had been told that Tasmania was guaranteed a minimum of five seats at the time of federation. Is this true?

  19. Attention seeking arsewipe mate of Smoko and Bolta out early. I wonder if it was nightmares of Greta that woke them?
    Disengenuous and faux debate and never ending BS, deserves all the abuse it gets in current circumstances. Same as SmoKo

  20. In relation to back burning the very best that might be said about Ms Credlin that she was pig ignorant enough to confuse ‘back burning’ with the old ‘control burning’. The latter has since been renomenclatured to ‘fuel load reduction’ burning.

    Ms Credlin may have been trying a unicorn.

    There is little doubt that at least one back burning event in the Mount Gospers fire resulted directly in significant property loss.

    The owners are reportedly seeking legal advice on suing the RFS.

    The nation’s number one plumbing contractor has announced his own unicorn. The federal government will take the lead on fuel reduction burning in national parks. This serves various political purposes:

    1. National parks are bad. This uses a nice little confirmation bias. Many country voters hate national parks near them. Confirmation bias.
    2. Parkies think more about animals than about people so they don’t do enough fuel reduction burning. See confirmation bias, above. This is a double unicorn. We are not supposed to notice the swingeing cuts to on ground park staff by the Berejiklian Government.
    3. This is quite a good wedge because it includes the to Mz premiers in one fell swoop. It therefore protects Berejiklian.
    4. It implies that there were enough resources and there was enough preparation. Except by parks services.

    Bingo, jim jam, huzzah and how good is all that!

    Killing Bill and same old same old hath their ongoing consequences! So will assassinating Albo! Let’s mindlessly do it!

  21. Stuart

    A condition Tasmania sought and got was 5 seats for ever in the Constitution – so they either ‘punch above their weight’ or ‘luxuriate in the gerrymander’, depending on your perspective.

    24. Constitution of House of Representatives

    The House of Representatives shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people of the Commonwealth, and the number of such members shall be, as nearly as practicable, twice the number of the senators.

    The number of members chosen in the several States shall be in proportion to the respective numbers of their people, and shall, until the Parliament otherwise provides, be determined, whenever necessary, in the following manner:

    a quota shall be ascertained by dividing the number of the people of the Commonwealth, as shown by the latest statistics of the Commonwealth, by twice the number of the senators;
    the number of members to be chosen in each State shall be determined by dividing the number of the people of the State, as shown by the latest statistics of the Commonwealth, by the quota; and if on such division there is a remainder greater than one-half of the quota, one more member shall be chosen in the State.

    But notwithstanding anything in this section, five members at least shall be chosen in each Original State.

  22. ” I had been told that Tasmania was guaranteed a minimum of five seats at the time of federation. Is this true?”

    Yes. Each founding state is guaranteed at least 5 members.

  23. Oh and for those trolls wondering about Daniel Andrews. He was interviewed yesterday regarding the fires and the dearly departed John Cain.

  24. BK, love your work – and a Happy Holidays to you and your kin.

    In an update from yesterday, Michael Pascoe gives Morrison an even bigger spray this morning. Worth reading.

    “After trimming his holiday by a day, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison rolled into political action on Sunday and immediately posed a question: Is he deluded or just happily trolling his critics?

    “I am comforted by the fact that Australians would like me to be here simply so I can be here alongside them as they go through this terrible time,” Mr Morrison said.

    Does he really think that? Is he deluded?

    Or is it one of his prepared “talking points” used to flabbergast and annoy opponents, i.e. trolling?’

  25. Stuart
    “It does look to me like a gerrymander, particularly when coupled with 12 senators.”

    It’s basically part of the deal – the Federal compact – to get everyone on board. The smaller States were worried about being swamped in the Federation by the larger states NSW and Vic.

    Should new states join in future, e.g. the NT, this would be on terms agreed at the time. The rules for founding States won’t apply.

  26. Credlin is vile. She’s actually smart enough to know that The Greens aren’t to blame at all, which makes what she’s doing even worse. It’s people like her who are the real evil in this world. She’s intelligent, articulate, calculated, and knows how to sell a lie to her target audience. It’s the old NRA defence of double down and go on the attack when faced with a crisis of your own making. This is of course the same Peta Credlin who was responsible for much of the lies and misinformation that came from the Abbott camp in relation to the ETS/Carbon Price. She has done far more damage to the environment than most. If anyone is to blame for the worsening situation we find ourselves in it’s people like her.

  27. Show this to your Liberal Party-voting friends and ask them whether they think Scott Morrison’s government is doing enough:

    Pipaloola! #IHATETHELNP

    If you’re a supporter of our current government, especially
    , and their climate denial, let me tell you we are now watching the extinction of Koalas on their watch. Koalas Australia, our very own Koalas.

    These creatures definitely aren’t stirring at Christmas.

    I’m disgusted with this federal government. They are not my government.

  28. And our local Liberal Party federal MP had the hide to be photographed with a ‘cuddly koala’ so it could be put on the front page of our local Murdoch-owned rag, The Express Advocate. What a bunch of smooth criminals. Like they care.

  29. Morrison seems to believe that if he responds to any requests he is “giving way to panic” and that would ruin the gov’s attempt to seem cautious, calm, steady, reliable (remember all the preliminary statements in Dixers in QT?).

    He’s also a stubborn man who won’t take advice.

    So he won’t call a round table on the bushfires immediately, but puts it off till March, when we’ve been through a hot summer. I just can’t believe he can be so stupid.

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