Liberals by any other name

Electoral law changes rammed through parliament, New South Wales state boundaries finalised, and some by-election news.

Significant electoral developments of the past few days:

• The federal government’s package of four electoral bills, which were explained in this earlier post, whizzed through parliament this week with the support of Labor (UPDATE: It’s been pointed out to me that one of the four, dealing with the threshold for registering as a political campaigner, was in fact not considered). Most contentiously, this will give the Liberal Party exclusive rights to the word “liberal” in their registered party name, with the effect that the Liberal Democrats and the New Liberals will have to change names before the next election. It is unclear what the former plans to do, but Victor Kline, leader and registered officer of the New Liberals, says the party will simply identify itself as TNL.

• The new laws also mean that parties will need to have 1500 members to maintain their registration unless they have a sitting member of parliament, which by the reckoning of Kevin Bonham could affect as many of 24 out of the 45 currently registered parties. Those privy to the sitting member exemption include Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party, thanks to former Liberal MP Craig Kelly’s decision join, along with the Centre Alliance, Jacqui Lambie Network, Katter’s Australian Party and Rex Patrick Team.

• The state redistribution for New South Wales has been finalised, without much change to the draft boundaries that were published last November. Antony Green has a pendulum with estimated margins for the final boundaries.

Two minor by-elections coming up:

• For the Northern Territory parliament: a by-election will be held on September 11 for the Darwin hinterland seat of Daly, where Country Liberal Party member Ian Sloan has retired due to ill health a year after an election at which Labor was returned to power. Sloan held out against Labor by 1.2% at the election, at which he succeeded retiring CLP member Gary Higgins. The CLP’s candidate is Kris Civitarese, a Barkly councillor; Labor’s is Dheran Young, a former advisor to Chief Minister Michael Gunner.

• For the Tasmanian Legislative Council: a by-election will be required for a yet-to-be determined date early next year for the seat of Huon, encompassing the southern edge of Hobart and its hinterland, after Labor member Bastian Seidel announced he would quit parliament at the final sitting for the year in December. Seidel has complained of a “toxic environment” and “obvious problems” in the party, which would appear to refer to the sexual harassment allegations against David O’Byrne, who was compelled to resign as party leader in July after just three weeks in the job and is now facing calls from within the party, including leader Rebecca White, to quit parliament.

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.

1,527 comments on “Liberals by any other name”

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  1. I guess cos GladysB reckons in over two and half months Australia will reach 80 percent double vaxxed. And what ever happens in between is meh.

    ——–

    Senator Rex Patrick

    How time flies in a pandemic. 5 weeks ago @GladysB called 136 #COVID19nsw cases a day a “national emergency”. Now it’s 1218 and all she and @ScottMorrisonMP want to talk about is opening up ASAP. Can they be trusted? No. Too much politics at play. #auspol https://t.co/2T3z3deqh0

  2. Got my first Pfizer shot earlier today. No side-effects so far, apart from a slight headache that may well be totally unrelated.

  3. The vaccination share is not too distant from the population break up.

    The two biggest departures are NSW with 35% of the overall vaccinations versus 32% of the population and Qld 18% of the vaccines versus 20% of the population.

    In percentage terms, the greatest departure is ACT with 2.3% of the vaccines versus 1.7% of the population.

    We should be getting the indigenous vaccination rates tomorrow – again, we should not be getting them weekly.

  4. I can bring the cowardice, the sweat and the avoidance behaviour to the preparation for my second pfizer vaccination.

    What else do I need by way of prep?

  5. Shellbell,
    had my second AZ this week, didn’t notice any side effects, or even getting jabbed.
    My prep was stacking a black diamond downhill run on my mountain bike two days prior.
    Broken clavicle, dislocated shoulder, couple of crook ribs and a knee.
    Is this the type of advice you’re after?

  6. Shellbell says:
    Sunday, August 29, 2021 at 6:07 pm
    I can bring the cowardice, the sweat and the avoidance behaviour to the preparation for my second pfizer vaccination.

    What else do I need by way of prep?

    Ask for AstraZeneca instead. You won’t have a care in the world.

  7. Vogon Poet @ #1412 Sunday, August 29th, 2021 – 6:13 pm

    Shellbell,
    had my second AZ this week, didn’t notice any side effects, or even getting jabbed.
    My prep was stacking a black diamond downhill run on my mountain bike two days prior.
    Broken clavicle, dislocated shoulder, couple of crook ribs and a knee.
    Is this the type of advice you’re after?

    Ouch. Let’s get to what matters; how’s the bike?

  8. I did have an ingrown nail chopped out by a GP without any anaesthetic. Learned not to tell the truth about what I did for a living from that point on.

    An emergency dentist also knocked on the little dental xray plate down my throat which then had to be surgically removed. Had to have a xray to locate the lost xray.

  9. Itza,
    rear wheel and derailleur destroyed, helmet ditto .
    Disappointed in that the local orchestra I play in has an upcoming gig of which I’ve got some key parts. A few of the local GPs play, so hoping they can perform some miracles and get me ready in time.

  10. I guess this is an insight into how Clive Palmer will direct his advertising spend this election. Covid misinformation.

    And Craig Kelly should know that in the US there are many instances of very vocal anti-vaxxers either coming down with Covid or dying from it.

    Newly minted United Australia Party MP Craig Kelly says he makes no apology for sending spam messages to voters urging them to back his anti-lockdown campaign, claiming they should be more concerned about their privacy rights over vaccines.

    Mr Kelly, who does not believe in the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines and has spruiked alternative unproven treatments in contradiction of the Commonwealth’s health advice, dismissed complaints about the unsolicited text messages saying he was “absolutely not” sorry and the practice was “100 per cent legal”.

    “If they’re concerned about Australians privacy, they should be standing up and calling for an end to vaccine passports,” Mr Kelly, the member for Hughes in south-west Sydney, said.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/united-australia-party-leader-craig-kelly-defends-spam-messages-20210829-p58mv7.html

  11. I’m a bit worried about whether my vax certificate will be accepted by some people (e.g. airlines) who want my full birth name.

    My medical records going back aeons omit the first name on my birth certificate but airlines demand ID and my driver’s licence was updated to full birth name five years ago.

    Not that I’ll be flying any time soon anyway!

  12. Shellbell, many years ago I booked a B&B for 2 or3 nights in Albany WA over the phone, getting the number from the Yellow Pages. This was in the days before credit cards, and I mailed my firm’s cheque to the owner in payment before the visit.

    Big mistake. The B&B was owned by a guy who had recently had a big falling out with his lawyer (I could understand why) and had lost an expensive court case.

    He knew my profession before I arrived, and regaled me with his complaints over his lawyer every moment of my stay, even following me from the door of his premises to the car each day, parsing his complaints with pleas for advice on the course of action he should take against him, and his chances of success in an appeal against the adverse decision.

    I couldn’t get out of the place soon enough. From that day forth in social activities I gave my occupation as office clerk.

  13. Fulvio Sammut @ #1431 Sunday, August 29th, 2021 – 6:46 pm

    Shellbell, many years ago I booked a B&B for 2 or3 nights in Albany WA over the phone, getting the number from the Yellow Pages. This was in the days before credit cards, and I mailed my firm’s cheque to the owner in payment before the visit.

    Big mistake. The B&B was owned by a guy who had recently had a big falling out with his lawyer (I could understand why) and had lost an expensive court case.

    He knew my profession before I arrived, and regaled me with his complaints over his lawyer every moment of my stay, even following me from the door of his premises to the car each day, parsing his complaints with pleas for advice on the course of action he should take against him, and his chances of success in an appeal against the adverse decision.

    I couldn’t get out of the place soon enough. From that day forth in social activities I gave my occupation as office clerk.

    It’s worse when you work for the ATO. I was always a “public servant”.

  14. Vogon Poet @ #1419 Sunday, August 29th, 2021 – 6:22 pm

    Itza,
    rear wheel and derailleur destroyed, helmet ditto .
    Disappointed in that the local orchestra I play in has an upcoming gig of which I’ve got some key parts. A few of the local GPs play, so hoping they can perform some miracles and get me ready in time.

    Helmet did its job then, and the frame survived! Best of luck with the gig you polymath you.

  15. Steve,

    Yep. Palmer claims he got the Libs over the line in 2019 by a strategic change of emphasis to focus on the terrible things that would happen if Shorten and Labor were elected. Apparently, 90% of his Party’s votes were funnelled to the Libs.

    He probably has a marginal influence in a close result.

  16. “There is a yuge history of leniency during finals.”

    Not in the NRL. Ask Latrell Mitchell – not that he deserved anything less.

  17. I got my second AZ on 25/6 as well. Breezed through the first but was a bit (not much) under the weather for a day or two after the second. Slight headache and a bit of muscle pain.

  18. There are many things which frustrate me or leave me feeling decidedly powerless.

    However, as a Christian (a member of one of the main stream churches), the thing which makes me the most angry are the Christian versions of the Islamists. Those who so totally misrepresent the teachings of Jesus (who was totally unafraid of speaking truth to power) – unconditional love, concern for the vulnerable and marginalized members of the community, speaking truth to power without fear or favour – these are who truly make me angry, especially when they purport to speak for “all Christians”. The harm they do to the reputation of the Christian faith and ethos is devastating.

    Where is the voice of the Australian Christian Lobby speaking out against oppression, the incarceration of refugees, exploitation of workers, the obvious corruption and dishonesty of our political leaders? – Nothing Naht Zip.

    Perhaps what is needed is a counter “Lobby” of Christians who are just as vocal and forthright in lobbying government on behalf of the “Widows and Orphans in their Distress” and anyone else suffering the negative consequences of government policy and “big business” exploitation.

    THE ACL DO NOT SPEAK FOR ME.

  19. Ronzy,

    Powerful post and cannot agree with you more.

    The only counter point is that I really don’t want to politicise my faith. I know what is right and my faith is my personal journey.

    But, I respect your commentary without hesitation.

  20. A Texas man who led a group of “Freedom Defenders” against mask restrictions died of COVID-19 at age 30.

    Caleb Wallace left behind three children and a pregnant wife.

    His wife, Jessica, announced her husband’s death on a GoFundMe page on Saturday, US time, that had detailed his fight with COVID-19 the past few weeks.

    “Caleb has peacefully passed on. He will forever live in our hearts and minds,” she wrote.

    Wallace had been unconscious since August 8, The San Angelo Standard-Times reported.

    Wallace helped organise “The Freedom Rally” on July 4, 2020 — a gathering described in a flier as a peaceful protest by people “sick of the government being in control of our lives,” the Standard-Times reported.

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/texas-anti-mask-freedom-defender-aged-30-dies-of-covid-19-20210829-p58mw4.html

    And the ivermectin he reportedly took unsurprisingly did nothing to help him.

  21. It only takes one…

    The Marin County, Calif., elementary school had been conscientious about following covid-19 protocols. Masks were required indoors, desks were spaced six feet apart, and the students kept socially distant. But the delta variant found an opening anyway.

    On May 19, one teacher, who was not vaccinated against the coronavirus, began feeling fatigued and had some nasal congestion. She dismissed it as allergies and powered through. While she was usually masked, she made an exception for story time so she could read to the class.

    By the time she learned she was positive for the coronavirus two days later, half her class of 24 had been infected — nearly all of them in the two rows closest to her desk — and the outbreak had spread to other classes, siblings and parents, including some who were fully vaccinated.

    “The mask was off only momentarily, not an entire day or hours. We want to make the point that this is not the teacher’s fault — everyone lets their guard down — but the thing is delta takes advantage of slippage from any kind of protective measures,” Tracy Lam-Hine, an epidemiologist for the county, said in an interview.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/08/28/delta-variant-unvaccinated-children-elementary-schools/

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