Empty chairs

Victoria’s Greens gear up for a party vote to fill Richard Di Natale’s Senate vacancy, plus similar developments for the state Liberals in Tasmania and Victoria.

As you can see in the post below this one, the Courier-Mail yesterday had a YouGov Galaxy state poll for Queensland that found both major parties stranded in the mid-thirties on the primary vote. State results from this series are usually followed a day or two later by federal ones, but no sign of that to this point. If it’s Queensland state politics reading you’re after, I can offer my guide to the Currumbin by-election, to be held on March 29. Other than that, there’s the following news on how various parliamentary vacancies around the place will be or might be filled:

Noel Towell of The Age reports two former state MPs who fell victim to the Greens’ weak showing at the November 2018 state election are “potentially strong contenders” to take Richard Di Natale’s Senate seat when he leaves parliament, which will be determined by a vote of party members. These are Lidia Thorpe, who won the Northcote by-election from Labor in June 2018, and Huong Truong, who filled Colleen Hartland’s vacancy in the Western Metropolitan upper house seat in February 2018. The party’s four current state MPs have all ruled themselves out. Others said to be potential starters include Brian Walters, a barrister and former Liberty Victoria president, and Dinesh Mathew, a television actor who ran in the state seat of Caulfield in 2018.

• Former Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman’s seat in parliament will be filled by Nic Street, following a preference countback of the votes Hodgman received in the seat of Franklin at the March 2018 election. This essentially amounted to a race between Street and the other Liberal who nominated for the recount, Simon Duffy. Given Street was only very narrowly unsuccessful when he ran as an incumbent at the election, being squeezed out for the last of the five seats by the Greens, it was little surprise that he easily won the countback with 8219 out of 11,863 (70.5%). This is the second time Street has made it to parliament on a countback, the first being in February 2016 on the retirement of Paul Harriss.

The Age reports Mary Wooldridge’s vacancy in the Victorian Legislative Council is likely to be filled either by Emanuele Cicchiello, former Knox mayor and deputy principal at Lighthouse Christian College, or Asher Judah, who ran unsuccessfully in Bentleigh in 2018. Party sources are quoted expressing surprise that only four people have nominated, with the only woman being Maroondah councillor Nora Lamont, reportedly a long shot. Also in the field is Maxwell Gratton, chief executive of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

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.

1,209 comments on “Empty chairs”

  1. So the Nationals told their senior Coalition partner who their pick for Deputy Speaker was; the Liberals all then voted for that candidate as requested; however the Nationals themselves, who number only 15 in that House, did not manage to all vote for that candidate; and the candidate was thus defeated.

    Let’s just all take a moment to sit back and breathe that in.

  2. Rex Douglas @ #997 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 2:58 pm

    Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #992 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 5:54 pm

    Rex Douglas @ #981 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 2:19 pm

    Labor to introduce Bill to fix Australian encryption laws it voted for https://t.co/WQdSGzxxdQ— zdnetaustralia (@zdnetaustralia) February 9, 2020

    You can’t make this sh*t up 😆

    Do you even know what this is about?????

    If you want to defend Labor go right ahead…

    So you’ve got no idea what you are posting.

  3. caf @ #1000 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 6:01 pm

    So the Nationals told their senior Coalition partner who their pick for Deputy Speaker was; the Liberals all then voted for that candidate as requested; however the Nationals themselves, who number only 15 in that House, did not manage to all vote for that candidate; and the candidate was thus defeated.

    Let’s just all take a moment to sit back and breathe that in.

    So, Labor voted for Barnabys choice ..?

  4. In East Maitland we had 150 mm of rain over weekend so everything is saturated. Then, just before 5 pm today, we copped a 47mm deluge in less than 15 minutes. Flooded ceiling for us and flooding everywhere on FB. Its still raining. Good grief.

  5. Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #1001 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 6:02 pm

    Rex Douglas @ #997 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 2:58 pm

    Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #992 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 5:54 pm

    Rex Douglas @ #981 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 2:19 pm

    Labor to introduce Bill to fix Australian encryption laws it voted for https://t.co/WQdSGzxxdQ— zdnetaustralia (@zdnetaustralia) February 9, 2020

    You can’t make this sh*t up 😆

    Do you even know what this is about?????

    If you want to defend Labor go right ahead…

    So you’ve got no idea what you are posting.

    Yes, but I’m waiting for you to defend Labor…

  6. “Fulvio Sammut says:
    Monday, February 10, 2020 at 4:55 pm
    The Liberals better hope the speaker doesn’t get sick ….”

    Perhaps the LNP will try to pin something on O’Brien like they did with Slipper.

  7. Fires and floods: maps of Europe predict scale of climate catastrophe

    Without urgent action, rising sea levels by end of century could leave cities under water

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/10/fires-floods-maps-europe-climate-catastrophe

    A series of detailed maps have laid bare the scale of possible forest fires, floods, droughts and deluges that Europe could face by the end of the century without urgent action to adapt to and confront global heating.
    :::
    The EEA has concluded it is possible to keep global temperatures 2C below pre-industrial levels, as long as emissions peak during the next 15 to 29 years.

    Meeting a more demanding 1.5C limit requires emissions to peak in the next three to 13 years. Under both scenarios, there is a 50% chance of overshooting the temperature.

  8. sprocket_ @ #1009 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 6:10 pm

    Just on the Encryption Bill, of which Rex is displaying his infinite ignorance, the original Bill was passed with the assistance of Labor on the proviso that the amendments agreed at the bi-partisan commitee would be enacted.

    The Liberals welched on the agreement. So the amendments are being brought back by Labor.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/12/labor-accuses-coalition-of-welching-on-a-deal-over-encryption-bill

    😆

  9. Labor have not exactly crowned themselves in glory over cybersecurity legislation.

    The question is not whether some nobody on an internet forum knows anything about cybersecurity, the question is whether or not our politicians do. It’s pretty obvious none of them do.

  10. Rex Douglas @ #1014 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 3:16 pm

    Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #1011 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 6:13 pm

    Rex Douglas @ #1005 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 3:04 pm

    So you’ve got no idea what you are posting.

    Yes, but I’m waiting for you to defend Labor…

    And you get upset when people label you a troll.

    C’mon don’t crawl away now after you initially took umbrage at my post…

    Happy to just expose you as the troll you are.

    Bye.

  11. No one outside of Canberra cares who the Deputy Speaker is or how they got there.

    Steggall’s Bill is dead in the water already. Complete waste of time.

  12. sprocket_ @ #1010 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 6:10 pm

    Just on the Encryption Bill, of which Rex is displaying his infinite ignorance, the original Bill was passed with the assistance of Labor on the proviso that the amendments agreed at the bi-partisan commitee would be enacted.

    The Liberals welched on the agreement. So the amendments are being brought back by Labor.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/12/labor-accuses-coalition-of-welching-on-a-deal-over-encryption-bill

    Why does Labor continue to do deals with these shysters? Do they just like losing?

  13. Aqualung @ #1007 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 6:08 pm

    There’s a stench around this Gladys brainwave:

    https://www.smh.com.au/culture/art-and-design/parramatta-powerhouse-site-flooded-20200209-p53z6p.html

    What’s the new “Once In 100 Years” benchmark ❓

    Biannual ❓
    Monthly ❓
    As decreed by the Department Of Making Up Stuff in consultation with the Gummint Astrologer and Minister For Alternate Science and That

    A jolly good evening all. 📚💤
    Raining in Newcastle again. ☔

  14. Good to know Labor supports Barnaby Joyce and more coal, more coal mines and new coal fired power stations. Thats what they have done to support a National Member of the Hard Right over a moderate. What a clueless bunch of fools.

  15. John Qiggin

    Millennial madness – Which generation has the biggest stake in the absurdities of the generation game?

    he generation game, in which the characteristics and preferences of groups like the baby boomers are discussed and (mostly) criticised, has been a staple of lazy journalism for decades. ….
    :::
    As I’ve been pointing out for twenty years now, most of what passes for discussion about the merits or otherwise of particular generations is little more than a repetition of unchanging formulas about different age groups — the moral degeneration of the young, the rigidity and hypocrisy of the old, and so on.
    :::
    The same is true in spades, of course, of generation X, born between the end of the baby boom in the early 1960s and the beginning of the millennial cohort in the early 1980s. Xers now hold the great majority of powerful positions in Australia (they include all premiers and chief ministers and the PM) yet barely appear in generation game articles, except as authors. Indeed, in my darker moments, I wonder whether the whole thing is a gen X plot to discredit both their elders and juniors, and thereby hold positions of power for as long as possible.

  16. Hey michael,
    offered to take the vogon family on a cruise
    you’ve no idea how pissed they were when we turned up at the straddie ferry terminal

  17. Bakunin (btw, love your handle – Bakunin was visionary in his critique of the dictatorship of the proletariat, what he called ‘authoritarian socialism’)

    On more mundane matters, ZDnet were talking out of their arse with that shallow article.

  18. DN

    Labor has had a lot of blowback re its capitulation re encryption-busting laws and voting with the Coalition to pass the legislation. It has to try to save face somehow with attempts to amend.

    I speculate there will be voters who will not forget or forgive Labor regardless if amendments are successfully passed.

  19. From a too long now perusal of Rex Douglas’ contributions, I can quite confidently say that he doesn’t know parliamentary practice from a hole in the ground.

  20. One quote on the Drum that resonates:

    “Both the Liberal Party and the Greens need to own voting down Carbon Pricing – both of them need to own and they don’t!!”

  21. poroti

    Indeed. Can Labor’s hubris and complacency at the time re winning the election be a justifiable excuse for passing the legislation?

  22. Michael

    The Deputy Speaker role has no power whatsoever, and is perfect for someone whose ministerial aspirations have been shattered, and who like a soirée with canapés, expensive wine and boring delegations. So whoever MickMack promised it to for a vote, Damian “the Dud” Drum, will be feeling like a cuckolded loser.

  23. sprocket_ @ #1009 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 5:10 pm

    Just on the Encryption Bill, of which Rex is displaying his infinite ignorance, the original Bill was passed with the assistance of Labor on the proviso that the amendments agreed at the bi-partisan commitee would be enacted.

    Oh, I see. That makes waving through bullshit authoritarian (and apparently, business/economy damaging) legislation perfectly fine then. 🙂

  24. Sprocket, like you I couldn’t give a stuff who is deputy speaker. But the entire Labor party have supported in this case the hard right. It may bite them down the track.

  25. poroti

    I can’t understand why Labor ever expects the Coalition to keep their word, individually or as a group. Tony Abbott was the ultimate example.

  26. a r

    There was a time when good policy amendments from a bi-partisan commitee, bolstered by a promise from the Leader of the Government in the senate, Minister Cormann, would have been honourable to shake hands on and accept.

    But no.

  27. Ross Gittins – Unions conspire with bankers to make you pay more super

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/unions-conspire-with-bankers-to-make-you-pay-more-super-20200209-p53z31.html

    When is big business most successful at “rent-seeking” – winning special favours – from government? Often, when it’s got its unions on board. That way, both the Coalition and Labor are inclined to give it the privileges it seeks.
    :::
    In last year’s election campaign, some part of Labor’s ambivalence on the question of new coal mines in North Queensland is explained by the support the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, one of the few remaining powerful unions, has thrown behind the foreign mine owners.

    At present, however, there’s no more significant instance of the unions being in bed with the bosses than their joint campaign to have the government increase compulsory employee superannuation contributions.

    When it comes to government-granted favours to business, there aren’t many bigger than the one that compels almost all the nation’s workers to hand over 9.5 per cent of their wage, every year of their working lives, to financial institutions which will charge them a small fortune each year to “manage” their money, until the government thinks they’re old enough to be allowed to get their money back.
    :::
    Compulsory super is such an easy money-maker for the for-profit financial institutions (mainly bank-owned) that it’s not surprising they’ve gone for years trying to con governments into increasing the percentage of their wages that workers are compelled to hand over. They’ve done this by exploiting people’s instinctive fear that they aren’t saving enough, using greatly exaggerated estimates of how much they’ll need to be comfortable.

    What’s harder to understand is why the non-profit “industry” super funds – with union officials making up half their trustees and the employer reps not taking much interest – go along with the for-profit industry lobby groups’ self-interested empire-building.
    :::
    This is the union movement protecting its members’ interests? Sounds to me more like union officials expanding the union institution at the expense of their members – and delivering for the banks’ “retail” super funds while they’re at it.

  28. lizzie,
    Murpharoo is 100% on the money. Scott Morrison has identified that people want more to be done about Climate Change. On the other hand he, as well as the other Climate Sceptics in the Coalition, want to do the exact opposite, they want to ramp up the use of Coal-fired power. So, what does a marketing guy do? He continues to retail his product, but like with cigarettes when the medical evidence about their harm became overwhelming, the Coalition will simply change the packaging and keep on keeping on the way they always were going to.

  29. If your strategy is always to carefully calibrate your position based on what everyone else is doing, then you will *never* be on the front foot. You will always be on the back foot, ceding initiative to those who you’re calibrating your position by.

  30. lizzie

    Abbott showed there wasn’t a convention the Coalition wouldn’t trash . The notion that they could be expected to honor a “gentlemen’s agreement” is laughable.

  31. sprocket_ @ #1043 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 6:39 pm

    a r

    There was a time when good policy amendments from a bi-partisan commitee, bolstered by a promise from the Leader of the Government in the senate, Minister Cormann, would have been honourable to shake hands on and accept.

    But no.

    Let’s not kid ourselves – Labor folded to avoid a pre-election debate on cyber security.

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