The year ahead

Informed speculation suggests a federal election will be held in the second half of this year, though views differ as to whether it will be sooner or later.

Dennis Shanahan of The Australian, who is always well plugged into government’s line of tactical thinking, wrote on Monday on the likelihood of a federal election in the second half of this year ($) rather than the first half of the next, that being the full extent of the window for a normal election of the House of Representatives and half the Senate. This basically boils down to a view that the government’s perceived current dominance means the sooner it goes the better, tempered by a desire to avoid an election in winter.

An unidentified Liberal MP quoted in The Australian ($) said they were “almost certain” they were “almost certain” the election would be in August or September, although another felt November more likely since an earlier election would be seen as too opportunistic. Why November would be a whole lot better on that count is unclear, since there seems to be no particular obstacle to Morrison holding out until May next year, by which time it will have been a full three years since the last election. For what it’s worth, the latter MP was also quoted saying it “also depends on if Labor ditch Anthony Albanese and get someone more electable”.

In more definite news for the year ahead, the Western Australian state election is set for March 13 — I am presently furiously hard at work on my election guide, which I can assure those of you who like that kind of thing will be a classic of its genre. As for opinion polling, the silly season proved no obstacle to Newspoll last year, which opened its account with a poll conducted from Wednesday, January 8 and Saturday, January 11, so there may be action on that front this or (probably more likely) next weekend.

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.

3,782 comments on “The year ahead”

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  1. A lot of good marketing (as opposed to Morrison’s poor marketing, when you think about it), has gone into this image that was released on behalf of Biden:

  2. ItzaDream:

    There was always too much banking in AZ / Oxon, and this has bitten them (and hence Aus) in the arse.

    BioNTech / PFizer did an end-run around the bankers as the BioNTech principals are billionaires due to their previous creation of Ganymed. Hence they don’t need (or want) the money have BioNTech working essentially at cost, and PFizer have agreed to act somewhat similarly (they do finance BioNTech).

    Moderna added a margin above BioNTech, essentially corresponding to there not being equivalent billionaires willing to forego profits. I don’t know how Moderna are financed, but one relevant fact is that that the two largest are (were?) a VC fund and (slightly larger, and hence the largest holding) the founder of that VC fund in his personal capacity. This could lead to a situation where the shareholders agreed (similarly to BioNTech) to forego (some of the) profits.

    Financial sector can’t properly fund population vaccines using their normal model, and thank goodness BioNTech and (probably) Moderna escaped from this.

    It would be politically courageous (so it won’t happen) but AU government should take the 10m BioNTech doses and deliver to the high risk people, offering AZ/Oxon to other groups. Do it in hospitals (best chance the keep things cold), which (conveniently) most of the high risk people visit (or work at) regularly.

  3. C@tmomma @ #3697 Friday, January 15th, 2021 – 6:12 pm

    dave @ #3515 Friday, January 15th, 2021 – 6:11 pm

    Xi has also recently announced a bar on elected HK legislators who hold British Overseas Citizenship from being in the HK Legislatory Assembly.

    See how they cope with a Brain Drain then.

    C@t – Xi wants to replace many of the HKers he sees as ‘stroppy’ with mainland chinese. Its Fit in or Fcuk off.

    Brutal – on the receiving end. The nail gets hit with the sledgehammer. Again.

    If Xi etc get it back – its inhuman.

  4. C@tMomma

    Scotty from Marketing in,
    ‘I’m a Pisshead’ episode #1247

    Having a beer glass surgically attached to his hand does afford an explanation for why he doesn’t hold a hose, but there must be a risk of infection as well of becoming typecast

  5. @cud:

    “ AE

    Sounds like all that cycling lead to weight gain ”

    _______

    A ruptured disc in my lower back later that same year and a consequent decrease in cycling volume didn’t help much. My love of nachos has only increased with age. As for alcohol … the least said, the better.

  6. boerwar @ #3706 Friday, January 15th, 2021 – 5:27 pm

    A wily shaman’s? My guess is that Trump will do the nyetski on this throw of the bones:

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-15/qanon-shaman-asks-for-presidential-pardon-for-us-capitol-raid/13061998

    Hmm. Not sure where the sarcasm font wraps. AFAIK an impeached President does not regain the power to pardon until acquitted by the Senate. McConnell is stringing Trump along to protect his remaining troops, even if the Trump Theatre of the Absurd might still give us an encore.

  7. On the idea of self-pardon by Trump….my understanding is that in accepting a pardon, a person implicitly acknowledges their guilt. If Trump were to attempt to pardon himself, and if such a deed were to be later annulled by a court, I guess the implicit acknowledgement of guilt would nevertheless remain.

    So by trying to pardon himself, Trump might in fact end up contributing to his own conviction if charges were later brought against him. Presumably, in acknowledging guilt a person would also lose their right to silence and their right to avoid self-criminalisation.

    For mine, it is just inconceivable that a court would not void any purported self-pardon. If such an instrument were to be valid, then any future POTUS could commit any crime they wanted while they were in office and avoid any subsequent legal consequences. Election victories would become licences to commit every kind of crime. No court would allow that to stand…..imo. Elections would be contests for the right to break the law rather than the right to uphold the law. That would be idiotic. Presumably, this would mean that all laws, including electoral laws, could be breached with complete impunity.

    Trump may be stupid enough to try to pre-emptively pardon himself. Such an act would likely turn out to be a warrant for his own arrest and imprisonment.

  8. I saw John Kasich, ex Republican governor being interviewed – he was asked ‘what should be done?’

    He broke down the rioters/insurrectioners into 3 broad groups:

    1. Militia anarchists – full force of the law, need to be stamped out
    2. Tourists, just happened to be there – were close by, felt they were going to a normal demo for their team. Probably learnt their lessson.
    3. Qanon conspirators- this group were ‘one of your family’ and had been sucked into the cult through their internet interactions. This group he thought needed the most help.

  9. GG

    “Chansley has spoken openly about his belief that he is an alien, a higher being, and he is here on Earth to ascend to another reality,”

    Not sure about the first two benchmarks but he’s certainly achieved ascension to another reality.

  10. Question to any who might know about such things. The context is banning or otherwise pressuring “fringe” types to leave mainstream social media.

    “They’re still here,” Ludes said. “If we knock all these folks into the dark shadows of the internet, they’re going to continue to communicate, but authorities will have a harder time tracking it.”
    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/companies/down-the-rabbit-hole-trump-backers-seek-online-refuges-after-big-tech-backlash-20210115-p56u9c.html

    How is it harder? If they self-assemble it would make communications easier to follow. For a start they would be more open and bold with fewer “normals” around. For another they would have relatively fewer “normals” for cover. If a guerrilla army assembles in one place they lose their advantage.

    I’m missing something.

  11. Briefly, the concept of ‘pardon’ is based on the principle of ‘clemency’, which can and has been granted by an authority to a subject. It can be to quench a crime, however it can also be granted to right a wrong – such as unfair treatment (see Julian Assange for example).

    The problem with a ‘self-pardon’ by Dotard, something so in character I’m sure he will do, is that it is judging yourself. This has been prohibited in the Common Law since Bonham’s case in 1610, and specifically ruled out in a 1973 DoJ opinion. There is no doubt the ‘self-pardon’ will be litigated at the first opportunity by the congaline wanting Dotard behind bars…

  12. sprocket_ says:
    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    Briefly, the concept of ‘pardon’ is based on the principle of ‘clemency’…

    Cheers, sprocket.

  13. Isn’t barney somewhere in the Sulawesi area ?

    Powerful earthquake in Indonesia’s Sulawesi kills at least 8, injures hundreds

    Jakarta, IndonesiaAt least eight people have died and hundreds more injured after a 6.2-magnitute earthquake hit Indonesia’s Sulawesi island early Friday, the country’s disaster mitigation agency said.

    The epicentre of the quake, which struck at 1.28 a.m. Jakarta time, was six kilometers (3.73 miles) northeast of Majene city at a depth of 10 kilometers, according to Indonesia’s Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/14/asia/indonesia-sulawesi-earthquake-intl-hnk/index.html

  14. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burdick_v._United_States

    Burdick v. United States, 236 U.S. 79 (1915), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that:

    A pardoned person must introduce the pardon into court proceedings, otherwise the pardon must be disregarded by the court.

    To do this, the pardoned person must accept the pardon. If a pardon is rejected, it cannot be forced upon its subject.

    A pardon is an act of grace, proceeding from the power entrusted with the execution of the laws, which exempts the individual on whom it is bestowed from the punishment the law inflicts for a crime he has committed. It is the private though official act of the executive magistrate, delivered to the individual for whose benefit it is intended…. A private deed, not communicated to him, whatever may be its character, whether a pardon or release, is totally unknown and cannot be acted on.[1]

    United States v. Wilson (1833) established that it is possible to reject a (conditional) pardon, even for a capital sentence. Burdick affirmed that the same principle extends to unconditional pardons.

  15. sprocket_ @ #3717 Friday, January 15th, 2021 – 6:07 pm

    I saw John Kasich, ex Republican governor being interviewed – he was asked ‘what should be done?’

    He broke down the rioters/insurrectioners into 3 broad groups:

    1. Militia anarchists – full force of the law, need to be stamped out
    2. Tourists, just happened to be there – were close by, felt they were going to a normal demo for their team. Probably learnt their lessson.
    3. Qanon conspirators- this group were ‘one of your family’ and had been sucked into the cult through their internet interactions. This group he thought needed the most help.

    Group #1. Yep.
    Group #2. Too bad. And BTW, what lesson does he think they learned by attending the super exciting and fun riot where people died, and what lesson does he think going easy on them would teach?
    Group #3. At best, this group is no different than group 2, with the added requirement that help only starts once they accept their mistake and its consequences.

    Harder question. How does he propose separating them into the appropriate group? How can he tell who belongs where? (And I sincerely doubt that mob contained a lot of “tourists”.)

    So basically. Yeah, nah.

  16. Washington’s agony is a win for autocrats and strongmen

    (CNN) Just 10 Republicans voted not to defend the indefensible.

    Donald Trump has become the first and only President to be impeached twice, but most of his enabling party refused to make him pay for inciting violent insurrection. The few GOP House members who did vote to impeach braved personal abuse and attacks from colleagues, and they risk losing top party posts and stirring primary campaigns the next time they seek reelection.

    The House debate before Wednesday’s vote was a festival of hypocrisy, false moral equivalence and open lying as Trump’s supporters denied reality in his defense.

    While the impeachment vote was going on, one senior Trump adviser told CNN’s Jim Acosta that the outgoing President had yet to grasp the magnitude of the damage being done to his standing in American history and the nation’s place on the world stage. The President is “clueless what any of this means internationally or historically,” the adviser said.

    Mission accomplished

    Nice work, Mr. Putin.

    According to a US intelligence community report, Russia’s chief goal in interfering in the 2016 election in support of Trump against Democrat Hillary Clinton was to “undermine public faith in the US democratic process.” Four years on, there have been two impeachments and an insurrection against the US legislature.

    Full article –
    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/14/world/meanwhile-in-america-january-14-intl/index.html

  17. Seems to me that a self-pardon by and for Trump, and – more to the point – a blanket pardon for anyone involved in the Capitol invasion, legalizes sedition.

    I just can’t see how that is permissible under any Constitution.

    It cannot possibly have been the intention of the original Constitutional Fathers and Legislators to legalize the abject abandonment, indeed seditious overthrow of that very Constitution.

    I’ve heard all the Legal Eagle arguments, but there are some times where right is right and plain wrong is just wrong.

  18. Terrible look for Andrews. Allowing in the tennis players from overseas whilst thousands of Victorians are still stranded interstate.

    Fuck YOU, Taylormade. If he’d banned them you’d have been whingeing even louder.

  19. E. G. Theodore @ #3702 Friday, January 15th, 2021 – 6:16 pm

    ItzaDream:

    There was always too much banking in AZ / Oxon, and this has bitten them (and hence Aus) in the arse.

    BioNTech / PFizer did an end-run around the bankers as the BioNTech principals are billionaires due to their previous creation of Ganymed. Hence they don’t need (or want) the money have BioNTech working essentially at cost, and PFizer have agreed to act somewhat similarly (they do finance BioNTech).

    Moderna added a margin above BioNTech, essentially corresponding to there not being equivalent billionaires willing to forego profits. I don’t know how Moderna are financed, but one relevant fact is that that the two largest are (were?) a VC fund and (slightly larger, and hence the largest holding) the founder of that VC fund in his personal capacity. This could lead to a situation where the shareholders agreed (similarly to BioNTech) to forego (some of the) profits.

    Financial sector can’t properly fund population vaccines using their normal model, and thank goodness BioNTech and (probably) Moderna escaped from this.

    It would be politically courageous (so it won’t happen) but AU government should take the 10m BioNTech doses and deliver to the high risk people, offering AZ/Oxon to other groups. Do it in hospitals (best chance the keep things cold), which (conveniently) most of the high risk people visit (or work at) regularly.

    Thank you, much appreciated.

    There was a piece floating around about a week ago outlining who was doing what ‘at cost’, or virtually, I sped read. The debate would also pivot on what “high risk” is – high risk of getting it and dying or/and high risk of transmitting it. The two don’t necessarily overlap.

    Doubtless, they will avail themselves of the Pfizer / BioNTech.

  20. Taylormade going on about Victorians not allowed to return to Victoria from Sydney, but South Australia has the same rule (and they are using hotels for tennis players). At least be consistent. Anyone would think you work for the media the way you go on.

  21. Those who use Twitter can tell me this (really don’t know how I got into this)
    I was involved in a discussion of the number of secondary and tertiary infections and deaths from Ruby Princess (the commission found 68 and 0)
    The anonymous person said this was rubbish; it was 600 + and 29 (the number on the boat). Then aggressively said wtte: prove me wrong idiot.
    When I was about to quote the commission report I had been banned and anonymous person then posted 6 posts getting more aggressive along the lines of see you are all bullshit, an idiot, a f#wit etc.

    Twitter really is a sewer

  22. Oakeshott Country:

    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    [‘Twitter really is a sewer’]

    The solution’s staring you in your face. Stop carrying on, dear, as you sometimes do.

  23. In an effort to understand the American psyche and its history better (and because my son was gifted access to his mate’s Disney plus sub), I have just watched the first half of ‘Hamilton’. Seems like the shape of the nascent American democracy is pretty much down to him and The Federalist Papers, of which he wrote 51 out of about 90 odd. Then he became the first Secretary of the Treasury. What a guy!

    I need to read more American history though to better understand it all.

  24. Tested facebook’s ‘community standards’ by referring a post which accused Muslims of wanting extra public holidays, to change the National Anthem into Arabic, to ban sausage rolls from school canteens because they’re not halal, and of bludging off the government and finished by saying that, if they didn’t like Australia, they should go back to where they came from…and apparently that’s all fine.

  25. ‘Greensborough Growler says:
    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    Re the horn man at the Capitol Insurrection.

    “Chansley has spoken openly about his belief that he is an alien, a higher being, and he is here on Earth to ascend to another reality,” they wrote, asking for Mr Chansley to be detained”.’

    I hope they detain him in a place that does not have a roof.

  26. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/14/us/impeachment-trump?name=styln-transition-inauguration&region=TOP_BANNER&block=storyline_menu_recirc&action=click&pgtype=Article&impression_id=fb400a60-5715-11eb-a7ae-632f61ea4aa5&variant=show#people-on-terrorism-watch-list-are-said-to-have-been-part-of-crowd-in-washington-on-the-day-of-capitol-riot

    Several people on a terrorist watch list were in Washington last week for pro-Trump events that ultimately devolved into the assault on the Capitol, according to a government official briefed on the Justice Department investigation into the riot.

    Most are suspected white supremacists, according to The Washington Post, which first reported on their status on the list. It was not clear how many people on the watch list were part of the mob that stormed the Capitol.

    But their presence in Washington last week adds to the urgent questions about security preparations for the events of Jan. 6, ahead of which thousands of supporters of President Trump had vowed to travel to Washington to disrupt, even violently, the congressional certification of the Electoral College results of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s win.

  27. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/far-right-violent-plans-inauguration/2021/01/14/15668f16-567d-11eb-a817-e5e7f8a406d6_story.html

    Federal authorities are warning state leaders to be prepared for the possibility of attacks in state capitals in the days before Biden’s inauguration.

    New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) declared a state of emergency on Thursday, saying it was “reasonable to believe” that rioters “will endanger the safety of legislators, legislative staff and the general public as well as destroy public and historic infrastructure” in the state.

    “There are people in our country who want to turn peaceful protests into opportunities for violence,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said at a news conference announcing he would call up more than 400 National Guard troops and close state offices in Columbus until Jan. 21.

    FBI Director Christopher A. Wray told reporters that officials were monitoring “an extensive amount of concerning online chatter” about events surrounding the inauguration.

    “Right now, we’re tracking calls for potential armed protests and activity leading up to the inauguration,” Wray said, noting that it was a challenge “to distinguish what’s aspirational versus what’s intentional.”

  28. Earlier in this thread, reference was made as to whether Trump could be impeached after having left office. The other question, arguably more substantive, is whether he can pardon himself, the result of which will eventually be determined by the Supreme Court. My guess is that he can’t – nemo judex in causa sua. I love it when I remember Latin, which in my day was de rigueur. It’s goodnight from him.

  29. sprocket_ @ #3718 Friday, January 15th, 2021 – 6:07 pm

    I saw John Kasich, ex Republican governor being interviewed – he was asked ‘what should be done?’

    He broke down the rioters/insurrectioners into 3 broad groups:

    1. Militia anarchists – full force of the law, need to be stamped out
    2. Tourists, just happened to be there – were close by, felt they were going to a normal demo for their team. Probably learnt their lessson.
    3. Qanon conspirators- this group were ‘one of your family’ and had been sucked into the cult through their internet interactions. This group he thought needed the most help.

    If by “help” he means more of the same treatment prescribed for the first group, then yes. They need to be stamped out most vehemently. They’re goddamn trolls, not victims.

  30. boerwar @ #3566 Friday, January 15th, 2021 – 8:48 pm

    ‘Greensborough Growler says:
    Friday, January 15, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    Re the horn man at the Capitol Insurrection.

    “Chansley has spoken openly about his belief that he is an alien, a higher being, and he is here on Earth to ascend to another reality,” they wrote, asking for Mr Chansley to be detained”.’

    I hope they detain him in a place that does not have a roof.

    I think his mum let him watch ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, one too many times.

  31. I find twitter really interesting…where else can you follow the likes of John Dean of Watergate fame, and other experts in their field? Am also enjoying the clever and funny posts….am more a ‘student-cum-audience’ and avoid the drama that way.

  32. Late Riser
    I had wondered if any tourists had been caught up in it which is possible because if you are visiting and there is a protest then you might go to see what its about or if they were already in the building when the rioters broke into the building afterall people can go and watch from the public gallery.

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