What’s next

Not much to report, except that a star is born in Tasmania (maybe), and Northern Territory’s election is looming ever closer.

A new thread is wanted, but for all that’s happening in the world right now, there is not a lot of Australian electoral news for me to hang one on right now – there are no polls this week, and there is nothing to report on the preselection front. However:

• Following former newsreader Jo Palmer’s apparent success in gaining the Launceston region state upper house seat of Rosevears (corresponding with the western end of Bass) for the Liberals at Saturday’s elections, The Mercury reports “political watchers in Canberra are now tracking Ms Palmer’s campaign with interest, with some considering how they could lure their likely new star MP to Canberra”. Both of the elections on Saturday appear to have resulted in seats passing from independents to the major parties, with Palmer taking a vacant seat and Labor’s Bastian Seidel unseating Robert Armstrong in Huon at the southern edge of Hobart (part of the federal and state lower house division of Franklin). This would leave the chamber with five Labor members, three Liberals and seven independents – the first time in its history that the chamber has not had an independent majority.

• I have had too little to say about the Northern Territory election, which will be held in three Saturdays’ time. This will come to an end when I publish my comprehensive guide to the election, which I will hopefully do later today.

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.

2,664 comments on “What’s next”

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  1. I think Susan Rice has the background to become such a candidate.

    Is there any doubt that Alexandria Occasio-Cortez will one day be elected President?

  2. Rational Leftist says:
    Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 8:26 pm
    The shape of the modern GOP didn’t start with Trump, it started with Goldwater. It just gradually dropped its pragmatism and pretences until Trump came along and started saying the few remaining quiet parts of their beliefs out loudly.

    I think it goes a back a lot further than Goldwater. The Republicans have been nativist, xenophobic, Inward-looking, hostile to the very idea of Government, anti-worker, anti-union and anti-social for a very long time. We’ve really seeing a revival of the Republican sensibility that dominated up til the Great Depression. Reagan commenced the reversal of the New Deal. His successors have continued the same work. The New Deal was an exceptional social contract. It was the aberration in historical terms.

    The question is really whether Americans might yet write themselves another deal – one that delivers on the promises implied by the American Dream. At this point, you’d have to say the chances are not good. The US is no longer a cohesive society. It’s tearing itself to pieces.

  3. Lizzie,

    There is definitely a social democracy narrative to be mined in our current situation. When pressure is brought to bear, private industry and individualism are both putting the community at risk. A thought is whether the rise of social media has increased collective (social? common?) narcism to the extent that such a message may not be well received.

  4. Lizzie:

    Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    You’re getting me wrong. All I’m suggesting is that you’re far more confident, strident with your posts than you were some time ago. There’s no way that I’d try to belittle you like I’d do others.

  5. Mavis

    It’s OK. Truly. I was serious when I said I had a communication difficulty. I was heading for dementia until the op. It was very frustrating.

  6. GhostWhoVotes
    #Newspoll Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 52 (-1) ALP 48 (+1) #auspol
    #Newspoll Preferred PM: Morrison 60 (+1) Albanese 25 (-1) #auspol
    #Newspoll Albanese: Approve 41 (0) Disapprove 38 (-2) #auspol
    #Newspoll Morrison: Approve 68 (0) Disapprove 29 (+2) #auspol

  7. I think the various responses to the pandemic illustrate just how hard it is for our species to respond to the many challenges that we’re presented with. In a few very small and isolated communities – like NZ and some of the Australian States – we’ve been able to make the very few sacrifices required to eliminate a virus. This is not a complicated or difficult thing analyse and design, and requires only minimal time and action commitments from the relevant populations. And yet these seem to be impossible to aim for in larger, more complex, more inter-linked and less isolated populations.

    If we cannot handle a pandemic, how are we going to respond to the demands of climate change?

    I don’t think we’re equipped for it. We have known for 15o years that the climate will be adversely affected by our use of fossil fuels. And yet we have been unable to muster the initiative to really do anything about it. Maybe this relates to the time lags involved. But it also exemplifies our capacity for avoidance and procrastination. These are ‘free-riding’ behaviours…behaviours that in other circumstances serve humans very well. They encourage us to conserve our energy and other resources, to adopt risk-minimising/self-saving actions. But these behaviours are having perverse outcomeswith respect to both covid and climate change.

    We are in very serious trouble because we are now writing our own demise. And even though we know it, we cannot alter it.

  8. NonSequitur:

    Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    [‘The US is no longer a cohesive society. It’s tearing itself to pieces.’]

    Please stop over-egging it, the US polity having more than enough safeguards to cope with likes of a Trump – a mere blimp in the schemes of things.

  9. The wowsers are out and about…

    Legal experts have raised concern about reports of a personal relationship between Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith and his defamation lawyer, saying it could constitute conduct that is unprofessional.

    Lynda Crowley-Cyr, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Southern Queensland, said lawyers should generally avoid having any kind of personal relationship with their client while in a lawyer-client relationship.

    She said the obligation to remain professionally independent and impartial was on the lawyer, not the client.

    “A friendship could potentially jeopardise the professional relationship. Lawyers’ first obligation is to the court,” she said.

    “Relationships with clients, whether romantic or platonic friendships, risk clouding the lawyer’s obligations to remain impartial and independent.”

    Associate Professor Crowley-Cyr said in this case Mr Roberts-Smith may have access to classified information as he was also the subject of an investigation by the Defence Inspector-General, but the relationship with his lawyer “does not mean he will divulge sensitive information to her”.


    One would have thought that parties to the defamation case might stop short of “He might be guilty of betraying national secrets, but nah, he’s probably not” stories, too.

    What two grown adults holding hands, sleeping together, or even getting it sticky – or not – has to do with the SMH fighting a defamation case, besides a nasty misuse of their privileged bully pulpit, baffles me.

    According to Professor Crowley-Cyr, even being friends with a client is out of bounds. Why she feels it necessary to stick her bib into this matter is also a mystery.

  10. steve davis @ #2622 Sunday, August 9th, 2020 – 6:03 pm

    People said that Trump would be the most divisive president and they werent wrong.Imagine another 4 years of this halfwit RWNJ.

    To be fair though, Clinton would’ve been just as divisive. FoxNews et al would’ve made sure of that.

    Don’t forget that Trump was the most unpopular candidate for POTUS ever. Clinton was the second most unpopular.

    If Clinton had won in 2016, within nanoseconds of her being sworn in, the Republican controlled (at that time) House and Senate would’ve impeached before she even plunked her arse behind the Resolute desk.

    Trump is not the cause of division in America, he is the natural outcome of that division which has been present there for decades.

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