Laying down the law

The latest on voter identification law and other electoral legislation, plus reams of federal preselection news.

This week should see the fortnightly federal voting intention poll from Roy Morgan, the regular fortnightly Essential Research poll which is scheduled to feature neither voting intention numbers nor leadership ratings, and possibly the more-or-less monthly Resolve Strategic poll from the Age/Herald. Until then:

Tom McIlroy of the Financial Review reports the Centre Alliance will push for an inquiry into the government’s voter identification bill when it comes before the Senate, to which it will presumably progress swiftly after coming before the House of Representatives today. Three further electoral bills come before the House on Tuesday: to reduce the thresholds beyond which those who spend money on their own election campaigning are required to lodge annual disclosures; to provide for measures deemed desirable under emergency conditions such as pandemics, including greater flexibility with postal and pre-poll voting; and to require security assessments and such like for the computer systems and software used to conduct the Senate count. Two notable bits of detail include bringing forward the deadline for receipt of postal vote applications from the Wednesday before the election to the Tuesday, and requiring the Australian Electoral Commission to publish the Senate vote data files within seven days of the return of the writs, having presumably been allowed to play it by ear in the past.

• A preselection vote on Saturday to determine the successor to Victorian Liberal Senator Scott Ryan, both in respect to the vacancy arising from his imminent retirement and the third position on the Coalition ticket at the election, was won by Greg Mirabella, Wangaratta farmer and husband of Sophie Mirabella. James Campbell of the Herald Sun reports Mirabella won the final round by 165 votes to 141 over Simon Frost, staffer to Josh Frydenberg and former state party director. Incumbent Sarah Henderson comfortably won the ballot for the top position, with the second reserved for Bridget Mackenzie of the Nationals. Other unsuccessful candidates were Emanuele Cicchiello, former Knox mayor and deputy principal at Lighthouse Christian College, and Ranjana Srivastava, an oncologist who also contested the preselection for Casey.

• A dispute within the New South Wales Liberal Party affecting preselections for Warringah, Hughes, Gilmore, Eden-Monaro, Dobell and Parramatta reached a new pitch at a meeting of its state executive on Friday night, which resolved to close nominations on December 3 with plebiscites likely to follow in February. However, James Massola of the Sydney Morning Herald reports the issue could be settled next week by a deal between Scott Morrison and Dominic Perrottet, potentially through the federal executive choosing candidates with plebiscites. Broadly speaking, the dispute pits centre right powerbroker Alex Hawke against the combined forces of the moderates and the hard right, with the former wanting candidates to be promptly installed by the state council and the latter wanting party plebiscites at the cost of delaying the process until February. One aspect of this is that Scott Morrison, who is close to Hawke, is backing state MPs (specifically Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons run in Hughes and Parramatta MP Geoff Lee’s for the federal seat of the same name) for preselection in federal seats while Dominic Perrottet, from the hard right, would sooner avoid the resulting state by-elections.

• Dominic Perrottet’s concerns apparently do not extend to the done deal of Bega MP Andrew Constance contesting preselection for Gilmore. However, Constance’s field of competition has now expanded to include Jemma Tribe, a charity operator and former Shoalhaven councillor, and Stephen Hayes, a former RAAF officer and staffer to Christopher Pyne. They join Shoalhaven Heads lawyer Paul Ell, who by all accounts has strong support in local branches, while Constance is favoured by Alex Hawke and the centre right.

• Sharon Bird, who has held the Illawarra seat of Cunningham for Labor since 2004, has announced she will retire at the election. With the seat seemingly the preserve of the Right faction, candidates to succeed her reportedly include Misha Zelinsky, Fulbright scholar and assistant national secretary of the Right faction Australian Workers Union, who aborted a planned challenge to Bird’s preselection before the 2016 election; Alison Byrnes, an adviser to Bird; and Tania Brown, Wollongong councillor and an administrator at the University of Wollongong.

• Labor’s candidate for north coast New South Wales seat of Page, which was held by Labor through the Rudd-Gillard period but now has a Nationals margin of 9.4%, is Patrick Deegan, who works for a domestic violence support service and also ran in 2019.

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.

1,089 comments on “Laying down the law”

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  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. The day after Sunday often has slim pickings. Today is a prime example of this.

    Sean Kelly reckons that Morrison is in danger of misjudging what Australians think is important. A very good read, this one.
    Dominic Perrottet has reaffirmed his commitment not to grant freedoms to unvaccinated people until December 15 despite 10,000 marching in Sydney on Saturday to protest against mandatory vaccination rules.
    A frustrated Alan Kohler says that we need a vaccine against confusion and stupidity. Another good read.
    The Morrison government has been accused of delaying legislation until “five minutes to midnight” as it tries to end the parliamentary year delivering on key election promises, reports Sarah Martin.
    Josh Roose explains why the Victorian protests should concern us all.
    Morrison ‘plan’ is kidding about Australia reaching net zero, writes Ross Garnaut who says five policy adjustments to reduce emissions faster would put our hand on the side of stronger global climate action in our national interest.
    Despite the Liberal Party’s embrace of corrosive neoliberalism, the party continues to win elections. Australians get the governments they deserve, opines Mike Buckby who wonders if we care that the Liberals have undermined democracy and decency.
    Hugh White is concerned that China is now likely to call America’s bluff over Taiwan.
    Indigenous leaders from the Northern Territory have voiced their concerns over the Morrison government’s proposed voter ID law.
    Besieged SA Attorney-General Vickie Chapman will stand down as Deputy Premier and step aside from ministerial roles as she succumbs to a conflict of interest scandal rocking the state government. She has said, though, that she will not resign.
    Men like Tim Paine reveal how little they know – or care – about what women think, writes Kerri Sackville.
    Inspired by the Arab Spring, Manal al-Sharif used social media to start and lead movements. In the second of two articles, the Saudi-born cybersecurity expert and human rights activist examines how her home country uses social media to crush dissent. She explains how digital rights and human rights are inextricably intertwined, and how the absence of the former is the death knell of the latter.
    Zoe Samios and Lisa Visentin report that local media companies are expected to knock back an initial proposal for the creation of an Australian Debates Commission, raising concerns that some take-it-or-leave it measures the government is proposing to implement are too restrictive.
    The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade claims that it “promotes and protects Australia’s international interests to support our security and prosperity.” Jocelyn Chey believes it has failed in this objective.
    Angela Macdonald-Smith reports that manufacturers are worried that rising prices for natural gas on our east coast will end up causing the sort of crisis that has closed down factories in the UK and Europe.
    The Age’s editorial says that the St Basil’s fiasco shows how once again we learn the hard way.
    Binoy Kampmark writes about Morrison’s electric car delusions.
    Apparently, dishwashers are earning up to $90 an hour in one of Sydney’s top restaurants, as labour shortages in the hospitality industry force some businesses to cut opening hours.
    In defence of the apostrophe.
    Prabir Purkayastha questions whether Mark Zuckerberg’s metaverse is an attempt at rebranding Facebook’s sullied image, a cool new virtual space, or is the social media giant building a dystopian world?,15768

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Alan Moir

    Peter Broelman

    Jim Pavlidis

    Matt Golding

    Mark Knight

    Cathy Wilcox

    Warren Brown


    From the US

  2. Based on “the health advice”? Um…not exactly.

    What other failures will these parliamentary inquiries reveal about Gladys’ poor handling of the Delta outbreak?

    The NSW government imposed harsh lockdown restrictions on the poorest areas of Sydney’s west and south-west despite Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant advising that the rules should be implemented consistently across Greater Sydney.

    Emails sent between health officials and Health Minister Brad Hazzard in mid-August have revealed Dr Chant recommended that “consistent measures” be implemented across all of Sydney.

    Despite the health advice, the extended lockdown left 12 local government areas under restrictions that were far tougher than other parts of Sydney, outraging community leaders who declared the handling of the Delta outbreak had left the city divided.

    “Implement consistent measures across greater metropolitan Sydney with outdoor masks, consistent 5km rule and authorised workers only,” Dr Chant wrote in the email of recommendations on August 14.

    That day, the government restricted Greater Sydney residents to travel within five kilometres of their local government area (LGA) border, while residents in south-western and western Sydney hotspots were restricted to five kilometres from their house.

  3. Ah, the Leak cartoon…. Albo ordering his team to twist the truth…. Ha, ha, ha… No, I am not laughing with Leak, I am laughing at Leak!

  4. “voter identification law”….

    This surely must come down as the most open and desperate attempt by anybody in Australia to steal an election…. When you hang all your hopes on Trumpism, it’s because you are about to follow Trump on his way to the EXIT!

    Goodbye ScuMo, goodbye Coalition….make the most of your long years in the wilderness….

  5. And the Liberal Party still want Gladys Berejiklian to stand against Zali Steggall in Warringah! 🙄

    I note that the Liberal candidate for the seat of Warringah isn’t mentioned in the summary above. Hmm.

    Go Gladys! 😆 😉

  6. Regarding pre-selections…. The process reminds me that, as usual, this will also be a seat-by-seat contest, on top of broader effects of national events….

    This time around, the trick used in Chisholm in 2019 of presenting Liberal party propaganda with the colours of an electoral commission advice, in Chinese, with the obvious intent of deceiving voters of Chinese descent, will look like a little children game…. The Coalition are desperate and will try everything to steal the election, following the Trump Book of Lies.

    But poor ScuMo will find it hard to avoid and then hide a smashing defeat…..

  7. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas – 2006…and 1971. At least we won’t have to wait until November or December next year.

  8. Jaeger @ #9 Monday, November 22nd, 2021 – 7:32 am

    ICU is full of the unvaccinated – my patience with them is wearing thin — Anonymous

    Most of the resources we are devoting to Covid in hospital are being spent on people who have not had their jab

    Oh but their Scotty’s children and he won’t have you say a bad word against them. Freedumb!

  9. Anthony Albanese (Radio National)

    – we need to see the “Religious Freedom” Bill (before we know if we support it).

    – Cashless welfare card – we don’t believe the denials (subtext – they lie)

  10. Men like Tim Paine reveal how little they know – or care – about what women think, writes Kerri Sackville.

    Most of Men of Australian cricket fraternity think/thought Paine’s action of sending SMS of his Penis photo to his female colleague as a misdemeanor/ minor thing. For example, “respected” ABC cricket commentator Jim Maxwell was one of them. Now it has emerged that Paine B-I-L has been sacked by Tasmanian Cricket association because he has SMSed his penis photo to the same female colleague. What is with Paine and his male relatives, who send photos of their private parts to their colleagues. Why did they consider it as appropriate when they sent it, which was only 4 years ago.
    Everyday Australians worked/ work in various work places. Nobody sends in our work places. If we send such photos we will not be made leaders of our team as a ‘clean-skin’, especially when our team was involved in another huge scandal.

  11. Good morning all and thank you, BK.
    Beautiful late spring sunny day after a week of grey and drizzle.
    And we are going out for a country drive!!!!

  12. – Cashless welfare card – we don’t believe the denials (subtext – they lie)

    I bet whoever the government has sent out to lie about it said they have ‘no plans’.
    Just more Morrison Doublespeak.

  13. Covid Day tomorrow in SA. 50k registered to cross the borders.

    We arent at 80% yet. And some LGAs at 60%. Plenty at, or below 70%.

    There does seem to be some good ground work tho in getting the first dose percentages up in those LGAs. I still cant help wondering what the next 6 months would look like if SA held its borders until the state reached 90% double dose.

  14. steve777: “Leak isn’t even a passably good propagandist.”

    what is the point of that cartoon?

    I don’t mind if he shamelessly roots for one side, but surely there needs to be some hint of humour or irony? Otherwise whats the point?

  15. “Throw off the doona. Learn to live with the virus to grow the economy”

    And this before the development of any vaccine

    Our thanks should be with those whose research has seen the development of a vaccine

    Instead publicity is given to those on our streets protesting against vaccination – globally

    Those receiving publicity have an agenda and that agenda is not the health and well-being of people

  16. So … why is the world convulsed by a rise in racism and concern about migrants and refugees? Why are we hearing claims that China is the real environmental bad guy and the cause of most of the world’s environmental damage?

    Well, read this and weep …

    This wrapping of ecological disaster with fears of rampant immigration is a narrative that has flourished in far-right fringe movements in Europe and the US and is now spilling into the discourse of mainstream politics.

    … the link between climate and migration is “an easy logic” for politicians … as it plays into longstanding tropes on the right that overpopulation in poorer countries is a leading cause of environmental harm. More broadly, it is an attempt by the right to seize the initiative on environmental issues that have for so long been the preserve of center-left parties and conservationists.

    The far right depict migrants as being “essentially poor custodians of their own lands and then treating European nature badly as well”, Turner said. “So you get these headlines around asylum seekers eating swans, all these ridiculous scaremongering tactics. But they play into this idea that by stopping immigrants coming here, you are actually supporting a green project.”

    I had a discussion last night with a friend who is seriously concerned that Australia is about to be invaded by China, who are apparently in desperate need of both our land and our resources. I tried to calm their fears using both simple logic and simple economics, but we all know how pointless that can be against an irrational fear.

    We are being played … again 🙁

  17. The funny thing about the Leak cartoon is that I spent a couple of seconds nodding along thinking, “Yes, good point”, before I realised he was actually criticising the Labor opposition rather than advising them.

  18. ‘The 2022 election is clearly going to be a rerun of the 1906 election. All the signs are there.’
    Remind me what happened in the 1906 election, please.

  19. Jim Maxwell shocked me when he was interviewed at the abandoned club game in Hobart by ABC news. He did the full ‘what a load of rubbish’ line regarding Paines exposing his boyhood.
    My wife says one of her earliest memories is as a very young girl playing near the family home with other kids in Bathurst, being approached by a group of grown men who proceeded to expose themselves.
    The Sackville article certainly echoed my wife’s experience…

  20. They said this about the flu last year, too:

    Two quiet influenza seasons and moderate flu vaccinations mean Australia is at risk of a serious outbreak as international borders reopen, health experts say.

    But this is just stupid:

    Increasing flu vaccination rates in 2022 will also be tricky, Professor Barr said, as many people will be focused on their COVID-19 boosters.

    5 minutes to walk into a pharmacy and get jabbed shouldn’t be that much of an onerous task.

    And if it is, hard cheese. If you can’t be bothered protecting yourself, you deserve the consequences.

  21. The last fortnight of parliament looks like it could be chaotic, with a brace of Tory senators threatening to cross the floor over vaccine mandates but when it comes to the crunch, they’ll toe the line – they always do.

    As for the Leak cartoon, Labor needs to do little to make the label of chicanery stick as Morrison’s doing an excellent job of it on his Pat Malone.

  22. The phrase “mining exploration licence” always send shivers up my spine, because it’s just the first step in what seems an inevitable progression, even if it takes years. I’ve never been to the Hunter Valley, but my impression is of a pleasant agricultural landscape of wineries, horse breeding and pastures.

  23. Mavis @ #8 Monday, November 22nd, 2021 – 9:15 am

    The last fortnight of parliament looks like it could be chaotic, with a brace of Tory senators threatening to cross the floor over vaccine mandates but when it comes to the crunch, they’ll toe the line – they always do.

    As for the Leak cartoon, Labor needs to do little to make the label of chicanery stick as Morrison’s doing an excellent job of it on his Pat Malone.

    ‘Labor needs to do little …”

  24. “Zerlosays:
    Monday, November 22, 2021 at 8:27 am
    10,000 protesters is nothing”…

    The Silent Majority is against ScuMo and his gang…. I don’t think they haven’t realised it yet… which is good.

  25. Sohar:

    The 1906 election was the third election since Federation, as well as the third hung parliament in a row. The Anti-Socialist opposition led by George Reid won the most seats, but the Protectionists led by Alfred Deakin retained government thanks to the support of Labour (who still had the “u” in their name), despite Labour having more seats than the Protectionists (and only one less than the Anti-Socialists.)

    The Deakin government inevitably fell mid-term, with Labour under Andrew Fisher taking office with the support of some Protectionists. Eventually, Deakin and most of the Protectionists merged with the Anti-Socialists (now led by Joseph Cook, as Reid was against the merger), to form the Commonwealth Liberals – the precursor to the modern Liberals – which had the numbers to make Deakin PM again.

    This proved to be a gift to Labour, who were now the official opposition, and many progressive Protectionists protested by becoming independents or joining Labour. At the 1910 election, Labour won a majority – the first ever Australian federal majority government, and I believe the first majority Labour government anywhere in the world.

    Of course, World War I broke out a few years later, Labor (now without the “U”) split over conscription, and a long, long time in the wilderness followed.

  26. 5 minutes to walk into a pharmacy and get jabbed shouldn’t be that much of an onerous task.

    A GP told me the flu shots at the pharmacies werent as good or as well administered.

    I know there is a lot of animosity between the two groups. But this wasnt my GP – but a friend.

  27. Mundo:

    I mean, they won the second-highest amount of seats and did spend about a third of the 1906-1910 parliamentary term in government, which isn’t totally unimpressive given hung parliaments were the norm then and Labor were technically still a minor party (albeit one rapidly growing in support.)

    To paraphrase one Billy Snedden: they didn’t win, but they didn’t really lose either.

  28. I thought the Leak cartoon had humour – unlike so many of his other cartoons. It is heavily biased, of course. And, as has been pointed out, it could easily be a scene from PMO (and even within Murdoch media with Leak in tow) trying to spin and pin some nonsense label to Albanese or Andrews etc. Have we seen a Leak cartoon heavily critical of Morrison?

  29. Couple of strong recommends, recent Ezra Kline on work, our relationship to it, its relationship to us and the great resignation.

    On youtube ‘Just have another think’ on the massive cop failure.

    IMHO Current world leaders should expect to be spending a great portion of their retirements on trial for crimes against humanity.

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