Around the traps

As the government approaches the middle of its term, the first sighting of early election speculation in the wild.

Dennis Shanahan of The Australian reckons “two basic assumptions are driving the economic and political debate in 2021”, and that one of these is that there will be an election late next year. The other is that COVID-19 restrictions will start to ease in the coming months; “neither is certain”. The government’s election window opens in the middle of the year, at which point the Senators given six-year terms after the 2016 double dissolution will enter the final year of the terms, the period in which the half-Senate election to replace them may be held.

That will do as a kick-off for a new open thread, which is needed because there are so many other posts flying around at the moment. For convenience, these include:

• Adrian Beaumont’s New Zealand live election count post, which will begin in earnest when polls close at 7pm New Zealand time and 5pm Australian eastern daylight time – to be followed an hour later by my own live commentary post on the Australian Territory election. And if you’re a Crikey subscriber, you can read my collective preview of the two here.

• Also from Adrian Beaumont, a review of the US situation.

• A post on a Newspoll result showing Labor leading 52-48 in Queensland.

• Another post on the Queensland campaigning detailing relevant recent developments.

• A post on a Ten News uComms poll from New South Wales showing strong support for Gladys Berejiklian.

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.

1,347 comments on “Around the traps”

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  1. Nicholas

    ‘Millennials have been infinitely more civic-minded and socially responsible than Boomer decision-makers, but Millennials are not yet running our society.’

    Every generation has thought this about themselves and their elders.

    If only we were in charge, they say.

    And then they are.

  2. Kevin Rudd was our first “boomer” PM. Howard, Hawke and all previous PMs were born prior to WW2, Keating during WW2 a couple of years to early to be a “boomer”. Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull are “boomers”, Morrison a GenX-er.

    By and large, the boomers were prominent among those in charge starting around 1985 with their influence waning after around 2010.

  3. Nicholas

    ‘Material wellbeing is not the same thing as materialism.’

    But surely, if we want to do away with endless growth – which I do see as an unrealistic basis for an economy – at some stage we also have to accept a slightly lower standard of living?

  4. Nicholas
    After Howard was elected word was it would be short lived and would be progressive policies all the way before long. Why ? Because Howard was put in place by all the support of those bloody oldies and they would soon be dropping off the perch. How did that work out ? Now I hear it is all those greedy old Boomers and it is wunderbar world all the way when the Millenials get their hands on the wheel . Please don’t be surprised to find your generation are just as full of greedy selfish pricks and nothing changes.

  5. Howard could easily have lost in 1998. It can be argued convincingly that he was saved by the Tampa and 9/11 in 2001. In early 2001 Beazley looked like a PM in waiting.

  6. poroti @ #1266 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 8:06 pm

    Nicholas
    After Howard was elected word was it would be short lived and would be progressive policies all the way before long. Why ? Because Howard was put in place by all the support of those bloody oldies and they would soon be dropping off the perch. How did that work out ? Now I hear it is all those greedy old Boomers and it is wunderbar world all the way when the Millenials get their hands on the wheel . Please don’t be surprised to find your generation are just as full of greedy selfish pricks and nothing changes.

    There’s already shedloads of them. Just take a look inside any Liberal MP’s electorate office or PH office, or heaps of other places.

  7. Oakeshott Country says: Monday, October 19, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    More than 240 people will undergo testing for hepatitis B and C, and HIV, after it was revealed single-use blood glucose-testing kits were used on multiple people in Victoria’s bungled hotel quarantine program.

    Unbelievable but if true to call it third world is an insult to the third world

    How the F can that happen?

  8. Perusing the Daily ToiletPaper they have this clickbait….

    GLADYS’ MEDIA BLITZ: SECRET SEX AND CRINGE CRUSHES
    There was little off limits for Premier Gladys Berejiklian this morning during a media blitz where her sexuality, her cringe crushes and secret sex were discussed. LISTEN TO THE CRINGEWORTHY INTERVIEWS

  9. bc @ #1270 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 8:14 pm

    Oakeshott Country says: Monday, October 19, 2020 at 6:59 pm

    More than 240 people will undergo testing for hepatitis B and C, and HIV, after it was revealed single-use blood glucose-testing kits were used on multiple people in Victoria’s bungled hotel quarantine program.

    Unbelievable but if true to call it third world is an insult to the third world

    How the F can that happen?

    Probably because ignorant numpties who hadn’t been properly trained how to use them were administering them. If the story is true, but it’s hard to beieve everything you hear these days.

  10. Today I asked 10 young people (18-23) if they’d ever heard of Rupert Murdoch.

    Not one had.

    Kevin Rudd has an uphill battle ahead of him.

  11. Yep those Boomers are bastards all right. Took a bit more courage to do this sort of shit back in the day. Some ended up dead.


    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

  12. I am specifically reserving this criticism for a sliver of the Boomer generation

    All groups can be targeted by the actions of a few. It’s lazy or worse. Abbot for one was good at this.

  13. sprocket_ @ #1271 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 8:16 pm

    Perusing the Daily ToiletPaper they have this clickbait….

    GLADYS’ MEDIA BLITZ: SECRET SEX AND CRINGE CRUSHES
    There was little off limits for Premier Gladys Berejiklian this morning during a media blitz where her sexuality, her cringe crushes and secret sex were discussed. LISTEN TO THE CRINGEWORTHY INTERVIEWS

    Don’t tell me, there’s a broom closet in the NSW Parliament… 😀

  14. Bushfire Bill @ #1262 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 5:17 pm

    Today I asked 10 young people (18-23) if they’d ever heard of Rupert Murdoch.

    Not one had.

    Kevin Rudd has an uphill battle ahead of him.

    I think if your sample is representative of that age cohort and 0% understand the most powerful influence in their society, then it isn’t really Kevin Rudd’s problem.

  15. poroti says: Monday, October 19, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Nicholas
    After Howard was elected word was it would be short lived and would be progressive policies all the way before long. Why ? Because Howard was put in place by all the support of those bloody oldies and they would soon be dropping off the perch. How did that work out ? Now I hear it is all those greedy old Boomers and it is wunderbar world all the way when the Millenials get their hands on the wheel . Please don’t be surprised to find your generation are just as full of greedy selfish pricks and nothing changes.

    For decades I have been hearing how older voters are voting conservative, and how when they die off progressive parties will see success. I’m hearing the same thing in the US at the moment.

    What many pundits appear to forget is that older voters just get replaced by new older voters.

  16. Actually, having three 20something kids, I can assure you that none of them watch free to air TV, and certainly have never read a newspaper. And neither have any of their friends.

    Netflix and Pirate Bay, social media and employment specific internet resources, and YouTube.

    Rupert Murdoch? Other than knowing he’s an arsehole, they know little else.

  17. Yep those Boomers are bastards all right. Took a bit more courage to do this sort of shit back in the day. Some ended up dead.

    Not necessarily bastards in that context, but certainly self serving and self interested, and in any event, at its best it was a brief flicker that has been missing for 40 years since.

    On LGBTI+ front seems they gave up, or rested for 30+ years before they won the battle.

    So not all that impressive. Their parents literally fought the second world war, and won.

  18. sprocket_ @ #1273 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 5:25 pm

    Actually, having three 20something kids, I can assure you that none of them watch free to air TV, and certainly have never read a newspaper. And neither have any of their friends.

    Netflix and Pirate Bay, social media and employment specific internet resources, and YouTube.

    Rupert Murdoch? Other than knowing he’s an arsehole, they know little else.

    My 20 something is the one that dragged me to friendlyjordies (literally it was a gig at a pub and she 17 at the time needed a 18+ to get into the gig, I personally skewed the mean attendance age) and is all over this stuff like a rash. Perhaps BB found a particularly dumb cohort.

  19. Confessions @ #1275 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 5:27 pm

    Bushfire Bill @ #1362 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 5:17 pm

    Today I asked 10 young people (18-23) if they’d ever heard of Rupert Murdoch.

    Not one had.

    Kevin Rudd has an uphill battle ahead of him.

    Never mind young people, I’d bet London to a brick most people haven’t heard of Kevin Rudd’s petition.

    Good point ignorance isn’t limited the young.

    there is a very good chance the corrupt idiocy of Scott Morrison is the Govt we deserve. there is ample evidence Trump is the corrupt moron the US deserves and it seems clear Boris is the moron the UK deserve.

  20. Late Riser @ #1278 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 5:28 pm

    WeWantPaul @ #1274 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 7:25 pm

    Their parents literally fought the second world war, and won.

    Some of them lost.

    Only if you see the boomers as broader than children of the allies that had just one. I’d never understood it with a broader definition.

    That their children are currently marching us towards facism, isn’t a good reason to belittle the success of WWII, nor call those who gave their lives losers. Very trumpian indeed.

  21. All this ‘generation’ talk reminded me of something. What did Gen X do wrong ? They seem to always be left out of ‘the fight’ 🙂

  22. Although nothing much more than his usual bluff & bluster, Trump has threatened to delay the election date, which would be in contravention of this Act of the Congress:

    STATUTE II.

    CHAP. I.

    [‘Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the electors of President and Vice President shall be appointed in each State on the Tues- day next after the first Monday in the month of November of the year in which they are to be appointed.’]

    So, to vary the election day, Congress would have to amend this statute. Barrett was asked, could the president change this unilaterally? She responded by prevaricating, saying she couldn’t answer a hypothetical. There’s nothing hypothetical about a president attempting to
    subvert an Act of Congress – more evidence of her unsuitability for high office. Presidential elections have gone ahead in the most dire of circumstances including the Civil War, the Spanish Flu, both World Wars, the Great depression. Trump will cling to office by hook or by crook and will be ably assisted by his three appointments to the SCOTUS. I would add though that I think sanity will prevail in a sea of insanity.

  23. Only if you see the boomers as broader than children of the allies

    Hmm. I’ve not seen it described as just the children of the allies. I’ve understood it to be the “post-war generation”. A lot of migration happened in the aftermath. A narrower definition would exclude a lot Australians who would otherwise be in the same age and cultural grouping.

  24. There would have been untold numbers of damaged and traumatized people at the end of WWII. Boomers were raised by them. I wonder what imprint that left ?

  25. KKeneally
    ·
    4h
    Down pointing backhand indexDown pointing backhand indexDown pointing backhand index
    Quote Tweet

    Sky News Australia
    @SkyNewsAust
    · 4h
    Disgraced former NSW MP Daryl Maguire may have made representations to federal ministers and bureaucrats as federal authorities confirm they’re working with ICAC to examine his “dodgy visa scheme,” according to @aclennell.

    https://skynews.com.au/details/_6202295234001

  26. Late Riser @ #1285 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 5:37 pm

    Only if you see the boomers as broader than children of the allies

    Hmm. I’ve not seen it described as just the children of the allies. I’ve understood it to be the “post-war generation”. A lot of migration happened in the aftermath. A narrower definition would exclude a lot Australians who would otherwise be in the same age and cultural grouping.

    I think we are both right. This from wikipedia, after it uses your broad definition:

    In the 1960s and 1970s, in the West, as this relatively large number of young people entered their teens and young adulthood—the oldest turned 18 in 1964—they, and those around them, created a very specific rhetoric around their cohort and the changes brought about by their size in numbers, such as the counterculture of the 1960s.[5]

    And to be fair, in my mind I was also excluding Russia and other non-Western allies.

    I’m not sure that non-West baby boomers have created quite the same disaster having started from a very good place of great wealth and privilege (that wasn’t enough for them). Eg the Russian baby boomers may not have done well (ending up with Putin as they did), but they started well behind the 8-ball.

  27. C@tmomma
    I’m a bit confused about the article on glucose testing. I know most people have their own personal machine but to my knowledge it is the same as the type of machine that ambos and doctors clinics use to do a rapid test if someone collapses.
    Does anyone know more about this. When I last worked in aged care each diagnosed diabetic resident had a personal machine but the home had a machine for doing a monthly fasting sample as part of routine care management. This machine was used and the sensor area wiped after each use. It would be expensive to throw out after each use and you can’t get a rapid result unless in a hospital, not much help when someone collapses on the street.

  28. Davidwh @ #1257 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 5:12 pm

    Class and generation discussions tend to get dominated by soft generalizations. Reality is usually a little more complex.

    And billion plants and animals come together to make a rainforest but you can still call it a rainforest and analyse it in the broad, without getting caught up with each individual crocodile and river system.

  29. WeWantPaul, names are tricky. This “boomer” started as an immigrant, learning first Italian and later English after arriving in Brisbane. I still love the sound of Italian, but I no longer have the language.

    Thanks for your insights. But I have to go now. I’ll try to check back later.
    G’night.

  30. Late Riser @ #1291 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 5:56 pm

    WeWantPaul, names are tricky. This “boomer” started as an immigrant, learning first Italian and later English after arriving in Brisbane. I still love the sound of Italian, but I no longer have the language.

    Thanks for your insights. But I have to go now. I’ll try to check back later.
    G’night.

    Have a great night.

  31. Nathalie Swainston
    @natface

    Seriously
    @abc730
    – at the very least you could have corrected Overington on her false statement that ICAC had declared Berejiklian had done nothing wrong. There’s been nothing handed down yet. Appalling media standards. #abc730

  32. Lizzie:

    Steve777

    Thanks for that link.
    Both Dan and Brett explained today that the narrative behind the mystery cases was at least as important as the infection numbers. But the media don’t listen. Nor the Libs apparently.

    I don’t know what either Mr Andrews or Dr Sutton said, but mathematically at least, it is critical to understand the intersection between:
    A – “mystery cases” – cases where testing is not the result of tracing (who can’t immediately be linked to a cluster);
    B – “infectors” – those with high intrinsic propensity to infect, perhaps because they have a high viral load and/or have minimal symptoms; and
    C – “disseminators” – those who move about a lot (geographically) and (hence) interact with lots of people.

    First of all, detection of a mystery case (A) typically lags by a few days when compared to detection of a traced case. This means that there are a few extra days of uncontrolled infectivity, and hence more infection

    Second, the “infectors” (B) infect at a high rate (and often a much higher rate) than others.

    So the intersection of A and B (people who are both “mystery cases” and “infectors”) has the property that there is more time to infect, and at a greater rate per unit time, leading overall to a mUch greater number of infections.from a given source.

    Third, the “disseminators” complicate further tracing in that there are both a larger number of people as trace targets and a higher likelihood of independence between the targets (i.e. two trace targets in this case are likely themselves to have contract with nearly disjoint sets of people, whereas in the absence of dissemination, two given trace targets will mostly know similar groups of people, and so tracing will tend to collapse back in on itself).

    A further problem with the intersection of B (“infectors”) and C (“disseminators”) that the probability of finding all the infections from a given person falls as the number of detected infections rises, so if a sound trace and test process detects one infection from a given source then it is very likely that the true number of infections is also one, whereas if the process detects 50 infections then it is almost certain that the true number is greater than 50 (Some people might be reminded of Shallloway’s Law at this point). The result is that the intersection of B and C results in unknown cases…

    Now one can have the intersection of all the (A, B and C), and this is:
    – quite rare (low probability of occurring);
    – quite dangerous (high conditional probability that IF it does occur then an outbreak will result).

    In particular, one can have the situation where a person in the intersection (A, B and C) infects via dissemination another person in the intersection, and this is:
    – extremely rare (very low probability of occurring);
    – extremely dangerous (conditional probability approaching 1 that IF it does occur then an outbreak will result).

    Observe that the distinction between “absolute” (marginal) probability (X happens) and conditional probability (X happens given that Y has happened) is critical here, and in particular it is conditional probability that is important for COVID19. Unfortunately “absolute” probability is what most people think of as “probability” and in respect of COVID19 it is misleading (physicists might claim this is a universal result and only conditional probabilities matter, or even exist!).

  33. Assantdj @ #1300 Monday, October 19th, 2020 – 8:54 pm

    C@tmomma
    I’m a bit confused about the article on glucose testing. I know most people have their own personal machine but to my knowledge it is the same as the type of machine that ambos and doctors clinics use to do a rapid test if someone collapses.
    Does anyone know more about this. When I last worked in aged care each diagnosed diabetic resident had a personal machine but the home had a machine for doing a monthly fasting sample as part of routine care management. This machine was used and the sensor area wiped after each use. It would be expensive to throw out after each use and you can’t get a rapid result unless in a hospital, not much help when someone collapses on the street.

    I urge a note of caution. It was Taylormade that made that bald accusation. He gave no reference to check the bona fides of the claim or a link to where he got the claim from. So, it’s apocryphal as it stands right now.

    As a former pharmacist I know that most diabetics these days have a machine that pricks their finger and which does a read of their blood glucose. So it’s personal, individual and not shared. Not to mention the fact that these days you can purchase a system which attaches to your arm and connects to a monitoring app on your phone. You just hold your phone up to the monitoring disc attached to your arm and it takes a reading. Bloodless! No need to worry about HIV, Hep B or C.

    I also don’t get why every returned traveller in hotel quarantine had to have their blood glucose checked regularly in the first instance!?!

    Therefore, my conclusion is that Taylormade has simply come back from the fakebook rabbit hole with a load of baloney. 🙂

  34. ABC have also reported “potential risk of cross-contamination and infection” during blood glucose testing in Melbourne hotel quarantine: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-10-19/hotel-quarantine-residents-infection-blood-glucose-monitors/12782910

    Blood glucose testing devices are intended for use by one person multiple times.

    However, the monitors were used to test the blood of a number of different people who were in hotel quarantine between March 29 and August 20.

    The needles can be changed between each use but the body of the device can retain microscopic amounts of blood, said Safer Care Victoria, the state’s healthcare quality and safety agency.

    “This presents a low clinical risk of cross-contamination and bloodborne viruses — hepatitis B and C, and HIV,” the agency said.

    243 people are being contacted. That’s not a lot given the five month time frame. Still , it doesn’t excuse the stuff up. I’m wondering if it was someone using unfamiliar equipment and making assumptions.

  35. Thanks, EGT.

    The money quotes are these :

    Finger-prick tests routinely used by people living with diabetes, including pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes, were used in the hotel quarantine system. Safer Care Victoria said it did not believe needles were used multiple times, but the body of the devices were touched by more than one person.

    “Blood glucose level testing devices intended for use by one person were used across multiple residents,” the agency said in a statement.

    Okay, so, I can see why they are concerned, the testing/data analysis machine was handled by more than one person, however there was no sharing of needles, to use the colloquial parlance that most people understand to be the gestation of Hep B, C, and, not so much, AIDS. Meaning that the machine was possibly acting as a fomite which may have been a vector for the spread of COVID-19. Hep B, C and AIDS, not so much.

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