A second by-election now looms in Queensland, in which One Nation may cause trouble in a traditionally Labor-voting working class seat. Elsewhere, Josh Frydenberg faces a contentious Section 44 challenge, and a Victorian Liberal aspirant regrets not paying his train fare.

At the top of the sidebar are links to guides I have up for three by-election campaigns currently in progress, including yesterday’s new addition:

• Queensland’s festival of democracy on March 28 looks set to receive a new attraction after Jo-Ann Miller’s announcement to parliament yesterday that she is resigning as member of the eastern Ipswich seat of Bundamba, effective immediately. After two decades as Labor member, Miller has grown increasingly estranged from her party over time, a particularly interesting manifestation of which was an appearance alongside Pauline Hanson on the campaign trail two days before the December 2017 state election. One Nation did not field a candidate against Miller in 2017, but has been quick to announce it has a candidate ready to go for the by-election, who will be announced on the weekend. Since Ipswich was the birthplace of the Hanson phenomenon, this could yet make the by-election more interesting than the 21.6% two-party margin suggests. Tony Moore of the Brisbane Times reports Steve Axe, Miller’s electorate officer, will contest the preselection, but Sarah Elks of The Australian reports the front runners are two candidates of the Left: Nick Thompson and Lance McCallum, who are respectively aligned with the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and the Electrical Trades Union. I have a provisional by-election guide up and running which takes it for granted it will be held on March 28, though this is yet to be officially confirmed. Also on that day will be the Currumbin by-election and council elections, including for the big prizes of the Brisbane city council and lord mayoralty.

• Further on the by-election front, I had a paywalled piece in Crikey yesterday on the Greens preferences imbroglio in Johnston.

Legal matters:

• The Federal Court is hearing a Section 44 challenge against Josh Frydenberg relating to his Hungarian-born mother, which complainant Michael Staindl argues makes him a dual citizen. Frydenberg’s mother and her family fled the country in 1949 as its post-war communist regime tightened its grip on power, describing themselves as stateless on arrival in Australia. Staindl maintains that the whole family’s Hungarian citizenship rights were restored with the collapse of communism in 1949. Staindl is also pursuing defamation action against Scott Morrison over the latter’s claim that his action was motivated by anti-Semitism. The Australian ($) reports a decision is expected “within weeks”.

• In further legal obscurantism news, Emanuele Cicchiello has withdrawn from the race to fill Mary Wooldridge’s vacancy in the Victorian Legislative Council on the grounds that he once pleaded guilty to an offence carrying a prison term of more than five years – for improperly claiming a concessional train fare when he was 19. The Australian ($) reports that those remaining in the field are Asher Judah, former Property Council deputy director and Master Builders policy manager, and Matthew Bach, deputy director of Ivanhoe Girls Grammar.

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.

1,417 comments on “Bundambarama”

Comments Page 28 of 29
1 27 28 29
  1. “How absurd. I hardly ever get involved in offensive arguments on here. To blame me for all the arguments and abuse on here is just ridiculous. And no doubt part of your campaign to have me banned. You are extorting William in fact, not me. Ban these two, my money’s gone and encouraging others to do the same. Sad.”

    Yes, that’s how I see it too.

  2. We all like planting trees, even Dotard..

    “ Donald Trump, it turns out, is a fan of trees. A big fan. Such a fan, in fact, that at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, late last month, the president announced that the United States will join the One Trillion Tree Initiative, an international plan to plant and restore a trillion trees globally by 2050. Doing so, he said, illustrated the country’s commitment to “conserving the majesty of God’s creation and the natural beauty of our world.” Two weeks later, he again touted the project in his State of the Union speech.

    These were odd statements and an even odder policy shift from a man who has pushed for drilling and logging in millions of acres of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the United States’ largest national forest; shrunk national monuments; and proposed slashing funding for environmental agencies. Just this past summer, as the Amazon rainforest was burning, Trump failed to support sending $20 million in aid to the region to help fight the fires. (He said his resistance was due to a lack of coordination with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.) Trump has also had personal quibbles with certain trees: He once scoffed at the idea of a Japanese pine tree planted in Central Park in his honor because he thought it was too small. And as president, he allowed an oak tree gifted by French President Emmanuel Macron as a symbol of their countries’ “friendship” to die.”


  3. 48/52 for Labor based on an increase in primaries of the minors (other than the Greens) and relative stability in the majors’ primary votes. Greens to go backwards because Bandt is less popular with the centre than Di Natale.
    Albo’s netsat improves.
    Scotty from Marketing’s netsad disimproves.
    PPM a within the MOE shift to Albo.

  4. If my NewsPoll selections have any weight, it will be:

    2PP -no change
    Morrison approval down
    Albo approval up
    Albo increases lead on PPM

  5. Really?
    LVTs knowledge of the machinations of the NSW ALP (having obviously been an insider, a real insider for some years) are a significant contribution to the blog and always presented with some wit
    Of course, if your avitar is Bob Carr it is natural that you would close your eyes and ears to such information

  6. Boerwar,
    If we were’nt a pariah internationally about climate change you could see us making a lot of money buy pumping desalinated water to inland Australia where we have the space for things like a trillion trees.

  7. Redlands Mowerman says:
    Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 6:33 pm

    The problem with Professor Frank’s theory is an unspoken assumption that climate action is actually possible, that renewables are a viable replacement for fossil fuel, that there is enough lithium and wealth to build everyone a Prius.

    That social revolution Professor Frank talks about – climate activists won that a long time ago. With the exception of President Trump, pretty much every leading politician on Earth genuflects to climate activism. Billions of dollars, likely trillions, have been poured into renewables, carbon trading, every imaginable scheme to ween the world of fossil fuel.

    And there is nothing substantial to show for any of it. After all that effort, all that treasure, renewable energy is still a bit player. Where renewable adoption is high, all renewables have managed to deliver is electrical network instability.

    Complete, pure, undiluted lies. Why tell one lie when you can tell ten at the same time!

    This kind of politically-driven lying is an insult to the intelligence of every reader. It degrades the site.

  8. If the trees are 10 metres apart, let’s say one tree per hundred square metres. That’s 10,000 per square kilometre. So one billion trees would occupy about 100,000 sq km. That’s about 43% of the area of Victoria.

  9. A trillion trees, on a billion ha, would basically be reforesting around a quarter to a fifth of the worlds cleared forest area.

    Around 28 million hectares of forest are being cleared a year, ATM.

    Around 600,000 ha of forests would recover the Australian wine industry’s CO2 emissions, including exports.

  10. its often a quite confronting noisy high school lunchroom full of sledging, but because of mr William Bowe’s outstandingly enlightened interjections tonight i’m going to not leave. -sincerely, a.v.

  11. s777
    It varies according to many, many circumstances.
    I have been calculating using an assumption of 1000 stems per ha.
    One of the issues is what to do when CO2 sequestration forests reach old growth status and stop sequestering CO2.

  12. ‘south says:
    Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    If we were’nt a pariah internationally about climate change you could see us making a lot of money buy pumping desalinated water to inland Australia where we have the space for things like a trillion trees.’

    I prefer our arid lands ecology the way it is.

  13. Lars Von Trier

    Not really poroti – kiss the ring and get into government – doesn’t mean they need to subscribe to the right wing stuff.

    Oh but they do subscribe. See Hawke/Keating. Tony Blah, Rudd and NZ Labour’s ‘Rogernomics’. All round good guys and heroes until they stopped kissing arsehole Rupert’s ring.

  14. Jeff Sparrow

    The problem with taking politics out of climate change


    “That’s particularly important because, while the ‘apolitical’ approach gets touted as a way of winning over the public, in practice it’s invariably defended as a way of wooing parliamentarians. A rhetoric stripped of politics will, we’re told, allow MPs of goodwill from both parties to abandon their silly culture wars and come together for the benefit of the planet.

    Of course, the divide over climate change bears less relationship to will (whether good or bad) than to power. Specifically, the power of those individuals and corporations enriched beyond measure by fossil fuels. Both major parties now contain sizeable groupings tied politically, organisationally and financially to the carbon lobby. It’s those factions that give rise to culture war, not the other way around

    Because the support for business-as-usual rests on material interests rather than ideas, the pro-carbon politicians won’t be swayed by clever framings or conciliatory messaging. In the unlikely event they can be induced to sign up to the Stegall project, they’ll do so only to surreptitiously wreck it.
    To put it bluntly, there’s no historical parallel for a social change comparable to that required to decarbonise the developed world without massive political polarisation.
    By contrast, the prevention of catastrophic climate change threatens the billion-dollar assets of corporations whose tendrils run all through society. Is it sensible to pretend all that wealth and power will shrug its shoulders and exit the stage of history, simply because its asked nicely? Or would it be less utopian to expect a struggle and prepare accordingly?

  15. The argument of Walker re. Pell is tantamount to dissecting an amoeba.

    By the way, Tyson Fury belted the hell out of Deontay Wilder – for what’s worth.

  16. well Poroti in Tony Blair’s case – I think it was the rumoured affair with Wendy Deng.

    It is interesting though there is probably no one more hated by British Labor then Blair now. Essentially for being seen as selling out.

  17. ‘Pegasus says:
    Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 8:49 pm

    Jeff Sparrow

    The problem with taking politics out of climate change’

    Agree. Not possible. Possibly the largest global resource redistribution in the history of H. sapiens will inevitably involve politics.

  18. According to yougov – Blair has a favourable rating of only 20%.

    Although Margaret Thatcher – 27% of respondents didn’t even know who she was.

  19. The fact that we are even debating global heating, even the fact that we call it ”climate change”, is a victory for vested interests.

  20. Boerwar @ #1367 Sunday, February 23rd, 2020 – 5:47 pm

    ‘south says:
    Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    If we were’nt a pariah internationally about climate change you could see us making a lot of money buy pumping desalinated water to inland Australia where we have the space for things like a trillion trees.’

    I prefer our arid lands ecology the way it is.

    I was thinking the same thing.

  21. ”Although Margaret Thatcher – 27% of respondents didn’t even know who she was”

    Malcolm Fraser would probably score similarly here. Maybe Paul Keating also. People voting for the first time in 2021/22 won’t remember the John Howard Premiership.

  22. Cud
    Albanese was brilliant dealing with the wannabe Speers.
    Speers is paid handsomely yet will never put his hand up up and stand for election.

  23. Biggest own goal and possibly the worst apology ever.

    The WA branch of the RSL has overturned a ban on the performance of Welcome to Country ceremonies and the flying of the Aboriginal flag at Anzac and Remembrance Day services after a public backlash.

    On Friday, it was revealed RSLWA introduced a ban in response to some members taking issue with the Ode of Remembrance being translated and delivered in Noongar at last year’s Anzac dawn service in Fremantle.


  24. The Queen:

    73% favourable opinion
    10% unfavourable opinion
    17% neutral opinion

    Only 45% have a negative opinion of Prince Andrew (surprisingly!)

  25. There are defenestrations and defenestrations, IMO.

    I’ve seen the window which purports to be the window involved in the Defenestrations of Prague.

    The additional information I can offer is that there is a cliff below the window which ends in the turbulent waters of the Vltava River, far, far below.


  26. JenAuthor,

    If you stay, I promise to try and post more stuff, that is totally non ad-hominem, and actually trying to contribute new information or arguments to the blog.

    For what it is worth, I have been thinking of stopping my participation and subscription to the blog, for the same reasons you cite.

    But then I always remember the large numbers of people who post here not to proselytise, but for a genuine discussions about matters psephological: Simon Katich and BK, who live in the Adelaide Hills, and who are both very supportive of Rebecca Sharkie, and also progressive causes; Dio, Shellbell and RHWombat, who bring us objective information from the realms of law and medicine; Kay Jay, who brings us whimsy and who reads and provides a precis of articles in the Australian so we do not have to go there; Lizzie, who is always so sensible and reasonable.

    Sorry if I have forgotten anyone who contributes to this blog being grounded, and not becoming a one sided talk fest.

    Also, I have noticed the exasperation in Lizzie and BK about the tone of the blog own the last few days. Very politely put as always, but it has reinforced my belief that the last few days of discussion has been nasty slagging crap.

    The only solution is to change the conversation, and we need to do it.

    On Tuesday I am going to a colloquium by Climate Physicist Michael Mann. It will be a talk to a highly educated audience, and I will faithfully provide a precis here.

    Like you, I am pretty unhappy about how the quality of the commentary of posters on the blog has deteriorated in terms of non-emotive discussion. However, I think this mirrors the polarised political and social world in which we all now operate.

    We (very politely) probably should not give up 🙂

  27. nath

    copious cartoons and memes of trump and morrison’s obesity is fine..but shortens tits are a bridge too far.

    I have never seen a cartoon posted on Pollbludger that makes a joke of:

    1) Morrison’s obesity – really, never! That has never, ever been the point of a political cartoon posted by BK. There is always a political punchline, usually very funny, and until you made this assertion, I had not even thought about whether Morrison was portrayed as overweight. And I still assert that Morrison is not portrayed as obese. If you do not like the way David Rowe portrays Morrison as having “grazed in the good paddock recently”, then you do not understand the cartoon caricature. Did you notice the way Julia Gillard was portrayed with big earlobes and a big bum?

    2) Trump’s obesity: Once again, I cannot see where the cartoonists are being particularly nasty to Trump. He is portrayed as being a bit portly – ever seen cartoons of Winston Churchill? And, maybe, once again David Rowe does exaggerate the spare tyre around Trump’s waist. But bloody heel, satirical cartooning is a long and revered tradition in political commentary.

    Also, what was the political point made in that picture of Shorten with tits? If you can explain how that image adds to political discourse in Australia, then I will accept the image of Shorten posted here is justified.

  28. Mavis


    Welcome to the debate, though you know instinctively you could do better?

    Umm – can you tell me what important political satirical point the picture of Bill Shorten with tits was making?

    I cannot see it myself, but you can?

  29. The Coalition has managed to narrow the electoral gap on Labor and arrest a collapse in support as Anthony Albanese’s personal ­approval ratings slip back into negative territory for the first time since December.

    Scott Morrison’s approval ­ratings also ­appear to have stabilised after a dramatic slump following the initial handling of the bushfire crisis.

    An exclusive Newspoll ­conducted for The Australian shows no movement in the ­Coalition’s primary vote, which remains stuck at 38 per cent and three points down on its election result. Popular support for Labor, however, has dropped a point for the second consecutive poll — down to 34 per cent.

    The result has produced a two-point turnaround in the two-party-preferred vote, with the Coalition pegging back a 52-48 per cent lead for Labor three weeks ago to now trail by 49-51.

    A two-point net improvement for Mr Morrison follows the lowest Newspoll reading of his leadership. Satisfaction with his performance lifted a point to 38 per cent, while those dissatisfied dropped a point to 58 per cent.

    Mr Albanese, however, suffered an eight-point deterioration in his own numbers, falling from 43 per cent to 39 per cent on ­approval ratings and rising from 40 to 44 on disapproval.

  30. Seriously D&M, that comment is pretty one-eyed.

    This place is full of comments about appearance, both clothed and (as fancied) unclothed.

    You can’t justifiably excuse one as fair caricaturist comment, but not the other.

    Lefties need to recognize that their hypocrisy on issues such as ad hominem comments (particularly regarding personal appearance) is one of the things that gives energy to their opponents.

Comments Page 28 of 29
1 27 28 29

Leave a Reply

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