How do you solve a problem like Mathias

Jockeying begins to fill Mathias Cormann’s Senate vacancy, plus a new poll of doubtful utility on the republic question.

No Newspoll this week, a three week schedule clearly being the deal now; presumably Essential Research will be along tomorrow morning, hopefully inclusive of the monthly leadership ratings (voting intention apparently being too much to ask). Beyond that, there is the following to relate:

• Mathias Cormann’s recent announcement that he will quit politics at the end of the year leaves the Western Australian Liberals with a Senate vacancy to fill. The West Australian ($) has identified three potential preselection nominees: Sam Calabrese, the state party director; Joe Francis, a minister in Colin Barnett’s government who lost his seat at the 2017 election; and Sherry Sufi, a party activist whose radicalism caused him to be dumped as candidate for Fremantle in 2016, but apparently times have changed. Also named initially was Paul Everingham, chief executive of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, but he told the paper ($) on the weekend that he had decided not to run.

• The Sunday News Corp tabloids ($) reported on a YouGov poll on republicanism, which I’m guessing was commissioned by the Australian Republican Movement, because it posed the softball question of whether respondents wanted an “Australian as our head of state”. Put thus, the question reliably receives a favourable response, in this case 52% yes, 32% no and 16% don’t know. The poll was conducted from a large sample of “nearly 4500”, on field work dates not identified.

• Below is a podcast from Ben Raue of the Tally Room in which he and I discuss the Eden-Monaro by-election and looming federal redistributions.

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.

833 comments on “How do you solve a problem like Mathias”

  1. So take an average balance of $80m, assume an average dividend of $4m – each would get a cash refund of $600K per annum.

    You can live off the $600K – still be growing the capital balance – to pass to your heirs. Noice

  2. ‘bill says:
    Monday, July 13, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    Point is boerwar, how is Australia going to enforce any morale standpoint on China. Just words, pissing in the wind.’

    It would take time and it would be a matter of degree. There are real options. Someone was telling me the other day that if our fossil fuel-fired car fleet was turned into a 19 million strong electric battery fleet then that fleet could store as much energy as five Snowy 2.0s. The grand option here is for Morrison to say that we are going to set up an electric vehicle manufacturing industry in Australia. It would massively reduce our reliance on foreign POL. It would diversify our economy. It would help slow down global warming.
    Unhappily my view is that Morrison’s mental furniture simply can’t encompass this sort of thinking. Far easier to do a bit of Scotty from Marketing and buy a billion dollars worth of long range anti-ship missiles.
    IMO, the latter are probably a good buy.
    But they are far from the big picture future economic changes we need to get started on.

  3. Mavis, Whitlam said in “The truth of the matter” at page 168

    “It is a fact that the Queen’s representative had kept the Queen in the same total ignorance of his actions as he had the Prime Minister of Australia”

    He also adds he rang the Queen’s Private Secretary to confirm the lack of involvement by the Palace.

  4. My father got to see Bradman and Barnes get their 234s at the SCG in 1947.

    I was walking home from school with a cricket bat and an old bloke stopped me and started to talk about cricket, he said his name was Tim Wall and he had batted with Bradman. Name meant nothing to me until I got home and told my old man. I’ve met Lillee, Joel Garner but this old bloke is the story I like the best. He took 10/36 in a shield game for SA and did bat with Bradman. Fair play.

  5. boerwar @ #799 Monday, July 13th, 2020 – 9:52 pm

    The problem is that you might end up begging the question because you think you know what the answer should be (or shouldn’t) be because you don’t agree with ‘normal’ thinking.

    If I understand the “comfort cult” concept correctly, the point is not to determine what the answer should be, or will be, it is to open up consideration of what the answer might be, which you would perhaps not consider if you believe that everybody is going to act rationally. When the reality is that we know they don’t. Not even when their very lives depend on it.

    In this case we would both probably agree that global warming is an example of where ‘normal’ thinking does not match the need.

    Yes, this is a good example. Too many people believe that we will somehow naturally gravitate towards a “rational” solution on this. But here in Australia, and in the USA, this has clearly not happened, and nor is it likely to happen.

    I don’t know enough about your other examples to comment.

    My computer seems to have decided it is time for me to go to bed, so I will take its advice 🙁

  6. So the Liberals are going to say even if you earn a bazillion dollars and would be entitled to hundreds of millions in franking credits we’re going to allow you to receive at most $50k no matter how much tax you’ve already paid?

    I’m sorry I’m really struggling here. Is this the Liberal Party of Australia? As in the one in the government? In coalition with the Nationals and the LNP etc?

  7. Brett,

    I’m not a member of the Liberal Party nor do I speak for the Liberals.

    Having said that – yes I do think its obscene that there are 100 funds with $80m in assets each avg who get tax refunds.

    Its a measure of Labor’s failure that they managed to miss this target and make it all about self funded retirees getting $5K in franking credit refunds. Conversely Howard’s evil genius that he created a constituency for the Liberal party in this way.

  8. Boer
    “Unhappily my view is that Morrison’s mental furniture……”
    I’ve stated before that the absence of a chook house in Morrison’s early life has largely stymied his ability to cope with any number of predicaments Morrison finds himself in as PM.
    Morrison “moves on” to camouflage his inability to cope and Morrison never hangs around to “shovel out the shit”.

  9. Lars,

    In terms of the total pool of almost 3 trillion that’s hardly any and as I said the death benefit rules mean that those funds will disappear through natural attrition.

  10. boerwar says:
    Monday, July 13, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    Why would anyone buy overpriced cars made in Australia when you will be able to get much cheaper imported ones?

  11. BW…

    BB
    There will be some interest but I doubt that it is going to be front of mind for most Australians at this point in time.

    If the letters provide evidence that QE2 in any way encouraged Kerr to dismiss Whitlam, or gave partisan advice, all hell will break loose. There couldn’t be a bigger scandal.

  12. Steve777 @ #785 Monday, July 13th, 2020 – 9:44 pm

    D&M @9:32
    ”I think it was unfortunate that the Soviet Union came to an end under Thatcher and Reagan.“

    Interesting. I’ve not thought of that before and not seen it written, but I think you’re right.

    You dance with the one who brung ya. Mikhail Gorbachev had to do the dance that needed to be done for his country with the dance partners available to him to choose at the time. I actually think that the break-up of the USSR, working with Gorbachev and Thatcher, was one of Reagan’s better achievements. Even at the time I thought, he is using his acting skills to good effect: “Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

    It worked. It sent shock waves through Eastern Europe and the USSR and Mikhail Gorbachev could build on that momentum and achieve his goals, as I’m sure he had been using back channels to communicate his intentions with the leaders of the West.

  13. BB, pink batts, it’s how they roll.
    Most punters don’t even know who Kerr is.
    But he’ll be a badly misunderstood angel when they describe it.

  14. And Julia Gillard answered the curve ball questions about Single Mothers and SSM exactly how I have been characterising her positions on both for years. You may not agree but they were positions rooted in a philosophical belief of hers.

  15. Bushfire Bill:

    And no wonder pollsters are starting to ferret out opinions on the monarchy. I think it was an astonishing 32% in the last day or so who did NOT think Australia deserved an Australian head of state.

    If someone with suitable pedigree—let’s call him Harry—becomes Australian, could we make him (or her) King (or Queen) with the normal Monarchical assumptions…

    Would be very interesting to see what happens when there is a choice between:
    – the Queen/King of England (Lizzy, Chuckles, Wills), and
    – the King of Australia (Harry)

    Who would argue for the Queen/King of England over the Queen/King of Australia? (currently there is no argument because the Queen/King of England and Queen/King of Australia are two people cohabiting in the same body…

  16. C@tmommasays:
    Monday, July 13, 2020 at 11:12 pm
    And Julia Gillard answered the curve ball questions about Single Mothers and SSM exactly how I have been characterising her positions on both for years. You may not agree but they were positions rooted in a philosophical belief of hers.
    __________________
    She should have joined the Liberal party then.

  17. https://www.pollbludger.net/2020/07/13/solve-problem-like-mathias/comment-page-17/#comment-3445519

    I see no sign of Harry and Megan moving to Australia and becoming Australians.

    When they moved to Canada, I though that Canada might consider Harry and descendants as a separate Canadian monarchy (Likely palatable to much of English Canada, however all provinces (including Quebec) would have to agree), but the further move to the USA likely kills that off.

  18. Evening all,

    Hope you are all keeping healthy.

    LVT:

    “Having said that – yes I do think its obscene that there are 100 funds with $80m in assets each avg who get tax refunds.

    Its a measure of Labor’s failure that they managed to miss this target and make it all about self funded retirees getting $5K in franking credit refunds. Conversely Howard’s evil genius that he created a constituency for the Liberal party in this way.”

    Spot on. My reading on it is that Bowen wanted to be the smartest guy in the room and squibbed it.

  19. This guy used to write for the Australian

    Anthony Klan
    @Anthony_Klan
    ·
    53m
    This is the big one!!! Payne’s office has denied Coalition involvement, blaming the “universities” for dispersing the cash…BUT WE HAVE THE PHOTOS!!! $$100k’s DFAT cash to Huawei. Soooo much more to come….Full story at 10am EST. #theklaxon #auspol #huawei #hypocracy #honesty
    Quote Tweet

    Anthony Klan
    @Anthony_Klan
    · 1h
    ***Big scandal enroute: Coalition has been quietly funnelling, behind the scenes, hundreds of thousands of dollars to Huawei. The very company it has led the global campaign against. LNP heads must roll. More to come…#auspol #ccp #interference #integrity #FairWeatherHeroes

  20. Sally McManus
    @sallymcmanus
    ·
    3h
    What a joke
    Quote Tweet

    ABC News
    @abcnews
    · 5h
    #BREAKING: Sydney’s The Star Casino has been fined $5,000 for breaching social-distancing rules, just hours after confirming a patron had tested positive for coronavirus.

  21. Morrison has failed to lead, together with his National (handpicked) cabinet with the all too soon end of the lockdown. The folly of this overly optimistic decision making becoming apparent as the second wave of the pandemic permeates widely throughout NSW, even before the incubation period of the school holidays kicks in.
    The chances of further spread into the otherwise ‘safe’ states and territories a real possibility.
    Economic hardship and lifestyle inconvenience will be extended because Morrison and his ever present business lobby have ignored caution. The result, a more severe contraction of the economy, lack of employment and widespread default on loan repayments.
    As with Morrison’s tragic bushfire response, the pandemic has proven to be beyond the marketers cognitive boundaries.
    We now rely on the services of each of the state leaders and their management framework to regain the ascendancy over a rampant virus.
    In true third world behaviour, the failing PM slips away for a holiday, the compliant media contorting the story by hiding (contorting) Morrison’s family commitments at the footy.
    Meanwhile , the work done over many years to establish trade with China is in tatters, diplomacy expunged with the Morrison government’s every foray into diplomatic dialogue, different parts of the one government totally unaware of the direction Australia is heading in regard to the world super power.
    Morrison , a complete dunce.

  22. ‘Breaching social distancing rules’
    Do they exist ? Have laws to this effect been enacted ?
    Rules by decree no less.
    If Star Casino pays the fine the government will spend millions enforcing their ‘fine’ before the fine being overturned as illegal and the amount returned.
    This government has form.
    What actually facilitated the awarding of a second casino licence to establish Barangaroo ?

  23. If the letters provide evidence that QE2 in any way encouraged Kerr to dismiss Whitlam, or gave partisan advice, all hell will break loose.

    I think that’s pretty unlikely. More plausible is that some advice may have been offered concerning prevailing doctrine with respect to the reserve powers, and that whether such advice was partisan will be very much in the eye of the beholder. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

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