All the fun of the fair

Leadership action for two parties at the second tier of federal politics, dates confirmed for Queensland and Northern Territory by-elections, and the Liberals choose a successor for Cory Bernardi’s Senate seat.

Party leadership developments:

• Barnaby Joyce has announced he will contest the Nationals leadership when the party room holds its first meeting on the resumption of parliament this morning, with a view to deposing Michael McCormack, who replaced Joyce him after his resignation in February 2018. This follows the opening of the deputy leadership position after Bridget McKenzie resigned from cabinet on Sunday over her handling of grants to sports clubs while serving as Sports Minister before the election. Joyce has two confirmed supporters out of a party room of 21, most notably Matt Canavan, who also quit cabinet yesterday (while also taking the opportunity to concede a loan under the North Australia Infrastructure Facility Act, over which he has ministerial oversight, had been given to an NRL club of which he was a registered supporter). The other is Wide Bay MP Llew O’Brien, who will move the spill motion that will vacate the leadership position if it gets the required 11 votes. Sharri Markson of News Corp reports claims Joyce has precisely that many votes, but this does not seem to be the majority view: a Seven News reporter related a view that Joyce had about seven, while an unnamed Liberal MP told The Australian ($) Joyce would not get “anywhere near” winning. David Littleproud, Keith Pitt and David Gillespie will all nominate for the deputy position, with Littleproud rated the favourite.

• Richard Di Natale announced yesterday that he was quitting both the Greens leadership and would shortly leave the Senate, saying he wished to spend more time with his family. Every indication is that he will be succeeded this morning by the party’s sole member of the House of Representatives, Melbourne MP Adam Bandt. The Australian ($) reports there are “discussions under way” for Queensland Senator Larissa Waters to take on a new role as party leader in the Senate”. Di Natale will remain in parliament pending the party’s process for choosing his replacement, which is likely to take several months. There is only the vaguest of speculation at this point as to who the successor might be.

By-election news:

• It has been confirmed the Queensland state by-election for the Gold Coast state seat of Currumbin, to be vacated with the resignation of Liberal National Party member Jann Stuckey, will be held on March 28, the same day as the state’s council elections. The selection of lawyer Laura Gerber as LNP candidate has fuelled Stuckey’s attacks on the party, on the basis that she was chosen by the party’s state executive rather than a vote of local members, and that this reflected a determination for the seat to be contested by “a skirt”. Among the reasons for Stuckey’s alienation from the party is that her own favoured successor, Chris Crawford, was blocked by the party’s vetting committee last year. The LNP has held the seat since 2004, currently on a margin of 3.3%.

• The date for the Northern Territory by-election in the Darwin seat of Johnston has been set for February 29. The seat is being vacated with the retirement of Labor member Ken Vowles after a period of estrangement from the party and its leader, Chief Minister Michael Gunner. The seat will be contested by Joel Bowden for Labor; Josh Thomas for the Country Liberals; Steven Klose for the Territory Alliance, the new party associated with former CLP Chief Minister Terry Mills; and Aiya Goodrich Carttling for the Greens. Labor has held the seat since its creation in 2001, currently on a margin of 14.7%.

Preselection news:

• South Australia’s Liberals have chosen a factional moderate, Andrew McLachlan, to fill the Senate vacancy created by the retirement of Cory Bernardi. McLachlan has served in the state’s Legislative Council since 2014, and been the chamber’s President since the 2018 election. Tom Richardson of InDaily reports McLachlan won 131 out of 206 votes in the ballot of state council members to 51 for former Law Council of Australia president Morry Bailes and 24 for former state party treasurer Michael Van Dissel, both of whom are associated with the Right. Bailes’ weak showing in particular amounted to an “epic defeat” for hard right forces including Boothby MP Nicolle Flint and Barker MP Tony Pasin.

• Another looming federal redistribution in Victoria, whose population boom will again entitle it to an extra seat, has set off a round of turf wars within the ALP, highlighted by a scuffle that broke out at a branch meeting last week. This reportedly followed the arrival of 100 supporters of Labor Right powerbroker Adem Somyurek at a branch meeting held at the Hoppers Crossing home of Jasvinder Sidhu, a Socialist Left preselection aspirant, who was allegedly assaulted after telling the group to leave. Somyurek is said have designs for his faction on the seat of Lalor, held formerly by Julia Gillard and currently by Joanne Ryan, which the party’s once stable factional arrangements reserved for the Left. According to a Labor source quoted in The Age, the Right has secured control of branches in the Calwell electorate and is likely to take the seat when the Left-aligned Maria Vamvakinou retires, while the Left is seeking to gain leverage by putting pressure on Right-aligned Tim Watts in Gellibrand.

Also, the Nine/Fairfax papers are reporting on an Ipsos poll of 1014 respondents concerning climate change, which is apparently part of an annual series conducted by the pollster, with no information provided as to who if anyone might commission it. While the poll records a high pitch of concern about climate change, it does not find this to be at a greater height than last year (somewhat at odds with the recent finding of Ipsos’s Issue Monitor series, which recorded a post-bushfire surge in concern about the environment), and actually records an increase in the number of respondents who had “serious doubts about whether climate change is occurring”: from 19% two years ago to 22% last year to 24% this year.

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.

2,663 comments on “All the fun of the fair”

Comments Page 54 of 54
1 53 54
  1. Seems to me the simplest and cheapest solution to Climate Change is to perfect nuclear fusion-based electricity production and then use the unlimited power this would provide to terra form the Earth.

    We have already terraformed it in a bad way, via the relatively slow method of fossil fuel combustion. Now it’s time to reverse this, but much more rapidly than it took to do the initial damage.

    The nations of the Earth need to drop much of the competitive (but wasteful) investment in new power generation processes and join together in a frontal assault on controllable thermonuclear energy production.

    Once this has been achieved we would no longer be poisoning the planet, wiping out species, killing the environment and creating extreme weather. If you have unlimited energy you really can achieve almost anything, and achieve it as in-efficiently as necessary (if needs be) to obtain the desired result quickly. Once you have an unlimited resource the very concept of “waste” (i.e. of wasting that resource) becomes irrelevant, because it is no longer scarce.

    We could then address the biggest problem of all: the inevitable fate of our civilisation if our population continues to grow exponentially.

    I’m not so concerned for The Planet, as such. I expect that if we humans wiped ourselves out Planet Earth would muddle though more or less as it has in previous epochs: by mutation, adaptation and evolution. We’d be doing Gaia a favour I suspect. It’s only our species-based arrogance that – gee, what a coincidence! – puts “intelligence” as the trait above all others that shall be considered when determining the pecking order of species. Consider that Earth has gotten along pretty well in the past with “being better at crawling”, “having big teeth”, “the ability to swim fast”, “growing wings”, “surviving radiation” and a thousand other advantage-conferring traits before homo sapiens came along to both rule the planet with its intelligence, and then to most likely destroy itself with it. How smart is intelligence really?

    I can’t think of any Law Of Nature that prescribes the perfect species mix, and requires it to be maintained forever. So, regrettably (and as sad a prospect as we might think it to be), cuddly koalas, buzzing bees, cute little pygmy possums, soaring eagles and blue-finned tuna fish (to name a scant few) could all be deleted from the Register Of Extant Species without troubling the Great Galactic Scorer or whomever keeps records of these kinds of things. We lost the dinosaurs and got along fine, didn’t we? And who reallyregrets the passing of the trilobites, wishing we still had them crawling over every square centimetre of the Earth’s surface? If they were still around in any numbers… we wouldn’t be.

    But if we DO wish to take the most conservative of all conservative paths (and the most selfish) – and what is conservative and selfish if not the irrational and rather self-centered desire to maintain the planet in exactly the same species mix, climate condition, resource logistics and rotational position around the sun as has given rise to our undeserving selves as top of the evolutionary tree? – then taming and devoting many more resources than we do at present to the perfection of thermonuclear energy is the way to get that done.

    Then we will be able to start out on solving The Big One: over-population.

  2. BB
    Overpopulation is easy. Raise women out of poverty, educate them and treat them as human beings rather than walking incubators and we slow breeding rates down to below replacement level. Given a choice women go for a comfortable income and few to no kids over poverty and busloads of progeny.

  3. Bushfire Bill:

    I can’t think of any Law Of Nature that prescribes the perfect species mix, and requires it to be maintained forever. So, regrettably (and as sad a prospect as we might think it to be), cuddly koalas, buzzing bees, cute little pygmy possums, soaring eagles and blue-finned tuna fish (to name a scant few) could all be deleted from the Register Of Extant Species without troubling the Great Galactic Scorer or whomever keeps records of these kinds of things. We lost the dinosaurs and got along fine, didn’t we?

    Yeah, I mean, it’d be no *great* loss if bees become extinct, given that about 80% of the crops we use for food rely on them for pollination. No biggie if they go.

    It’s clear you do not understand the concept of the food chain. If one species dies, then everything that depends on it as a food source also dies, and everything that depends on *that* species dies, and so on, as you go up the food chain.

    Yes, some species can adapt and eat more of other things, but they are then competing with other species over the same limited amount of the new food source – which then has to be spread more thinly, placing stress on the other species.

    Dinosaurs were apex predators, so their extinction wouldn’t have the same devastating consequences as the loss of bees. Just as if we humans went extinct tomorrow, it would only really negatively affect domesticated animals who depend on us for food, water and shelter. But take away bees and whole ecosystems collapse.

  4. Pegasus says:
    Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 11:28 am

    The Australian Climate Consensus Forum, Canberra, 12th March / By Invitation Only

    In such a leadership vacuum, respected institutions, communities of action and new voices can – and must – build an Australian consensus that demands immediate and climate effective action. This is the birth of the Australian Climate Consensus Forum.

    Pretty much underlines the total failure that is the Greens. Unless the Forum votes to calls for the disbanding of the Greens and succeeds it will have achieved nothing.

    If the Greens survive they will do to this what they have done to every other conservation movement, destroy it.

  5. If you’re interested in the subject of over population, check this guy out –

    Some basic messages:

    – we’ve already reached replacement level. (The problem is that, as people are living longer, the population will continue to rise despite this).

    – we should reach 11 billion but that can be coped with.** It’s unlikely, on current projections, that we’ll exceed this.

    I haven’t tested the guy’s statements but it all seems very evidence based.

    Question for those who haven’t seen the doco: What is the average number of children born to a woman in Bangladesh?

  6. Dublin:
    The polls are closed and the RTÉ exit poll is in with bizarre results:
    Sinn Féin 22%
    Fianna Fáil 22%
    Fine Gael 22%
    Green 8%
    Labour 4.5%
    Soc Dem 3.5%
    People before Profit 3%
    Independent and others 15%

    A three way tie between parties who have vowed not to go into coalition. There is already talk of another election

    Actual counting will not start till Sunday Morning in Ireland – 10 hours time

  7. a r @ #2645 Saturday, February 8th, 2020 – 11:56 pm

    Cud Chewer @ #2632 Saturday, February 8th, 2020 – 9:21 pm

    FTTP is a passive network, requiring less power to run.

    However, Fraudband requires 24/7 power to run, and it’s effeciancy is like a car that has done 300,000km on the ticker.

Comments Page 54 of 54
1 53 54

Leave a Reply

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