Pestilential as anything

Democracy battles on in the face of adversity in Queensland and (at least for now) Tasmania, as a poll finds most Australians believe the media is exaggerating the crisis (at least for now).

The campaigns for Queensland’s local government elections and Currumbin and Bundamaba state by-elections next Saturday are proceeding in the most trying of circumstances. My guides to the by-elections can be found on the sidebar; I’ll find something to say about the Brisbane City Council elections, which I have thus far neglected entirely, later this week. Updates:

• The Electoral Commission of Queensland relates that 560,000 postal vote applications have been received for the statewide local government elections, which compares with 260,680 postal votes cast at the previous elections in 2016. However, not all applications will result in completed votes being returned – the conversion rate in Queensland at last year’s federal election was 86.0%. There have also been more than 500,000 pre-poll votes, exceeding the 435,828 cast in 2016 with a week left to go. To those understandably reluctant to turn out on so-called polling day next Saturday, the commission has been expanding opening hours at pre-poll booths. All of which will make the results that come in on Saturday night particularly hard to follow.

• A ban has been imposed on the dissemination of how-to-vote cards and canvassing for votes at polling booths. Booth supervisors may allow the material to be displayed at the booths “in a manner deemed appropriate”.

Elsewhere:

• An international poll by Ipsos on attitudes to coronavirus finds 34% of Australians strongly agree, and 35% somewhat agree, with closing borders until the virus “is proved to be contained”, which is about average among the twelve nations surveyed. The survey has been conducted over four waves going back to early February, in which time the number of respondents identifying a very high or high threat to them personally has risen from around 10% to 23%. However, Australians recorded among the highest response in favour of the proposition that the media was exaggerating about the virus, which actually increased over the past fortnight from the high forties to 58%. A notable outlier in respect of all questions is Italy, where only 29% now say the media is exaggerating the threat, slumping from around 80%.

• Tasmanian Attorney-General Elise Archer announced this week that May 2 elections for the Legislative Council seats of Huon and Rosevears are “safe to proceed”, with “significant measures being put in place to maintain public safety”.

• A Roy Morgan SMS poll of 974 respondents asked whether respondents trusted or distrusted a list of current and former politicians that included Jacinda Ardern, but was apparently otherwise entirely Australian. All we are given at this stage is a top ten list of the best net performers, which is headed by Jacinda Ardern and otherwise notable for not including a single male conservative. However, this is all pretty useless without hard numbers, which will apparently be forthcoming “in coming days”.

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.

2,185 comments on “Pestilential as anything”

  1. No NRL, no AFL, no Easter Show, no Vivid Festival, no festivals of any kind, no pubs, clubs and restaurants, probably no Olympics this year… Sad.

  2. “#BREAKING A dramatic increase in less than 24 hours… 17 new cases confirmed today in the Hunter New England Health Area”- Not good news for us hey KayJay?
    The real test of the NBN in NSW will be tomorrow with most (presumably) school kids at home hitting the net for online lessons or other things.
    Re MyGov – my son is on newstart and cant get into MyGov to up load his stuff etc and its likely his payment due Thursday will be automatically cut. He is unlikely to be alone in this and given Cénterlink is toast they wont be able to do anything about it for some time.

  3. Thanks Lizzie. Too many people on the trains coughing. May not be anything but don’t want to risk it. Especially as I’m exposed enough driving.
    Work taped off from the front seat to the end of the luggage racks and put up signs asking people to stand and sit well behind us. Also have covered the front opal reader and direct them to the ones further inside.

  4. Bridget Rollason
    @bridgerollo
    ·
    4h
    @JennyMikakos says Victoria has about 1,000 ventilators and another 2,000 on the way. 1 million masks arriving today, 1 million more arriving next week. “We are treating this as if we are in wartime conditions”
    @abcmelbourne
    #springst

  5. ‘Steve777 says:
    Monday, March 23, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    No NRL, no AFL, no Easter Show, no Vivid Festival, no festivals of any kind, no pubs, clubs and restaurants, probably no Olympics this year… Sad.’

    Yep. Have been feeling v. sad myself. Some responses:

    1. Have set up a learning cell for grandkids.
    2. Calling people on the phone. Don’t wait. Chatting.
    3. Setting up a complex project that can be achieved at home.
    4. Enjoy the black humour. The quality of the latter is excellent, IMO.

    There is a bit of one door closes, another opens in al this.

  6. ”ABC news reporting the government has ordered 1,000 ventilators.”

    They’ll be needed by the time that the number of cases reaches around 20,000 – in about 2-3 weeks’ time.

  7. “We are treating this as if we are in wartime conditions”
    Shaking head emoji. This is a firestorm. At least it acknowledges conditions are not BAU.

  8. Andrew_Earlwood says Monday, March 23, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    My grandad also landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, 1915. Except he went in with the Lancashire regiments right on the toe of the peninsula. Where he stayed for 6 months before coping a piece of shrapnel and being evaluated back to blighty for convalesce. He later served in Palestine. Before the war he went down pit aged 12 only to come up again aged 19 and march straight off to the war. Afterwards he emigrated to South Australia, where he met my grandmother.

    I have a copy of a photo of him in uniform. I also have a copy of a much older photo of my great great grand dad on his small Yorkshire farm. Taken before he moved just over the county border and went down pit.

    The myth of the Anzacs would leave us to believe that Australians bore the brunt of the fighting in Gallipoli. Not only is that not true, but the other allied armies suffered dreadful casualties too. Six men from the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers were awarded VCs during the landings on April 25th and had 600 casualties from 1,000 men.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancashire_Fusiliers#First_World_War

    Their landing point was later called Lancashire Landing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_at_Cape_Helles#W_Beach_(Lancashire_Landing)

    The Australians were probably lucky that they were landed at the wrong location and so met comparatively light resistance.

  9. Dio,

    48 cases of coronavirus let loose on Australia by the criminally negligent decision to offload the Ruby Princess. Number may go higher. Single worst decision so far.

    Agree with this. But presume the bad decision was not in letting the passengers off, but in not testing them, tracking them and isolating them.

    I am very worried about the cruise ship MSC Magnifica, with 250 patients with respiratory tract problems, which wants to dock in Fremantle. https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/coronavirus/2020/03/23/coronavirus-mcs-magnifica/

    I really hope WA will help them.

  10. It will be a chance to read some of the many political biographies my late father brought over the years that I have stored at work.

    The full Australian political spectrum. John Gorton to John Howard.

  11. bc

    A-historical bullshit abounds.

    More Turks died than any other nation on Gallipoli.
    Extraordinary bravery in defending their homeland from the invaders.

    On the Allied side, more french soldiers (aka cheese eating surrender monkeys) died on Gallipoli than any other nationality.

    Who knew?

  12. Douglas and Milko @ #1814 Monday, March 23rd, 2020 – 6:04 pm

    Dio,

    48 cases of coronavirus let loose on Australia by the criminally negligent decision to offload the Ruby Princess. Number may go higher. Single worst decision so far.

    Agree with this. But presume the bad decision was not in letting the passengers off, but in not testing them, tracking them and isolating them.

    I am very worried about the cruise ship MSC Magnifica, with 250 patients with respiratory tract problems, which wants to dock in Fremantle. https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/coronavirus/2020/03/23/coronavirus-mcs-magnifica/

    I really hope WA will help them.

    Christmas Island is the obvious place to offload cruise ships.

  13. We are averaging a 24% increase day on day for confirmed cases. Thankfully not many deaths just yet and I’m hoping that the stringent access to nursing homes keeps this in check.
    However I fear the worst as by my calculations we’ll be looking at 10,000 cases by the 30th and 100k by the 10th of next month and then it’s an order of magnitude every ten days (which won’t happen obviously, the effect of social distancing should kick in around the end of the month so we should be able to keep it under the 100k mark).
    The thing I fear the most is that this virus is highly subject to mutation. We already have distinctly different strains around the world. While it was in China we ended up with type S and type L, I suspect we have a few more by now.

  14. ‘ Almost 300 Australian passengers stuck on a cruise ship in the Pacific will be allowed to return home.

    The Australian government has been able to secure an agreement from local authorities in Hawaii to allow the Norwegian Jewel to dock in Honolulu, where they will travel straight to the airport and fly home.’

    Now here’s a test Mr Morrison, and Border Force minister Mr Dutton.

    What do you do with this 300 when they arrive? Off a cruise ship denied entry to multiple ports? Low risk?

    Wave them through, give them a sheet with instructions?

    Or quarantine them.

  15. Christmas Island didn’t make sense last time, except for its tough-on-borders Dutton-he-man symbolism, for the simple reason that those who end up succumbing to the virus and needing intensive treatment won’t be able to get the treatment they need there but will need to be put on a multi-hour flight to Perth anyway.

    So, yeah, the people on the boats should be brought onshore and tested/quarantined onshore as necessary.

  16. I wonder if politicians get the $750.00 payment because they’re on a government payment scheme. First in line would be the Beetroot closely followed by Angus.

  17. Clever me nabbed the last three bags of potting mix and some capsicum seedlings from the local hardware. Boo-yeah!!

    Wait a minute… turns out I have 8 habanero plants. Fiddlesticks.

  18. BW, I would have suggested Port Headland or somewhere further north, but too risky to let them anywhere near the indigenous population.

    The sad situation is that we have about 30 high risk hulks floating the planet, and the chances of them introducing even more C19 into the population is extreme.

    Calls for extreme measures. By all means disembark them, straight into a quarantine holding area. Can’t be that hard for Dutton and co.

  19. Kronomex @ #1829 Monday, March 23rd, 2020 – 6:15 pm

    I wonder if politicians get the $750.00 payment because they’re on a government payment scheme. First in line would be the Beetroot closely followed by Angus.

    Those bastards will probably still be trying to figure out what to spend their $75,000 payments to farmers on. A new 4WD? Another holiday house?

    Life is tough at the top! 🙁

  20. Thanks everyone. I’ll keep reporting while I’m vertical.
    Must admit I had a mini panic attack yesterday morning.
    I’ve got 5 weeks leave scheduled for June. The thought had crossed my mind about seeing if I could take them earlier but the question is when would be the best time to be out of circulation.

  21. Puffytmd @ #1824 Monday, March 23rd, 2020 – 6:11 pm

    Kronomex @ #1819 Monday, March 23rd, 2020 – 5:37 pm

    “Just as well I have a well-stocked bookshelf. ”
    Mm, books goooodd…
    U kann get lernnt lotz uv guud thungs wiv bookz.

    For peole want to do free online short courses, try Futurelearn. hundeds of topics.

    We should start up the PB Free Learnings Centre.

    I could type up a page of ‘The Green New Deal’ every day for people’s edification. 😀

  22. BH, Yabba, Roger Miller:

    Glad you enjoyed it. It lobbed into my mail this morning. She is currently at home because of the French lock down (she has two young children), and I am assuming that the others in the clip are her fellow lecturer/tutors at the Conservatorium. I liked the fact that the group had decided to do something positive for their own mental well-being.

    Yabba, she performs in/with a no. of ensembles in France, particularly those specializing in medieval instruments etc., although she was also one of the first people in NSW to play an electric cello!! Will see what I can find out.

    Roger, will seek info . on the technicalities. Might be a little while to get a reply as she deals with home-schooling the children as well as trying to teach her conservatorium students but will see what I can find out.
    Sorry for delay in replying. Been fighting the Woolies website but having little luck. Website currently winning.

  23. The bullshit detector is going whoop! Whoop! Whoop!

    “Mr McGowan said he had contacted Prime Minister Scott Morrison Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton about the ship and said he would not allow passengers or crew to wander the streets.

    The spokeswoman from MSC Cruises said the Magnifica planned to make a technical call at Fremantle and no passengers would disembark, nor did any require medical attention.

    The ship had done the same at other technical calls along her itinerary, including in Sydney where passengers and crew remained on board during the technical-only call there.

    There were 1700 passengers on board the Magnifica, with no Australian citizens.

    It is currently about 20 nautical miles off the south west coast of the state.”

  24. Okay, PB brains trust. I have been trying to think of the name of the vessel that contained poor Jewish people looking for a port to dock at, for days now and it just escapes me. Could you please help!?!

    I think about it as analogous, in some way, to the cruise ships sailing around looking for a port to disembark passengers to at this time.

  25. “U kann get lernnt lotz uv guud thungs wiv bookz.”
    Damn, I knew I shouldn’t have used the new English language application from Australia’s Chief Scientist, Craig Kelly, and coded by Tony Abbott.

  26. C@tmomma @ #1843 Monday, March 23rd, 2020 – 6:28 pm

    Okay, PB brains trust. I have been trying to think of the name of the vessel that contained poor Jewish people looking for a port to dock at, for days now and it just escapes me. Could you please help!?!

    I think about it as analogous, in some way, to the cruise ships sailing around looking for a port to disembark passengers to at this time.

    Exodus (Uris novel) – Wikipediaen.wikipedia.org › wiki › Exodus_(Uris_novel)
    Exodus is a historical novel by American novelist Leon Uris about the founding of the State of Israel. Published in 1958, it begins with a compressed retelling of the voyages of the 1947 immigration ship Exodus. The book has been widely praised as successful propaganda for Israel.

  27. We are seeing but economic skirmishes – the balloon is about to go up..

    “On top of that, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard told Bloomberg News during a Sunday interview that he is forecasting the U.S. unemployment rate to hit 30% in the coming months as the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. “This is a planned, organized partial shutdown of the U.S. economy in the second quarter,” he said.

    Bullard also said he expects an unprecedented 50% plunge in gross domestic product.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-plunge-the-most-allowable-as-coronavirus-slams-market-fed-officials-warns-unemployment-could-hit-30-2020-03-22?mod=home-page

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