Foghorn politics and sewer tactics

The Katherine Deves controversy continues to accentuate faultlines within the Liberal Party and without.

Note the post below from Adrian Beaumont on today’s momentous French presidential run-off election. Closer to home:

• As the Liberal Party divides on Warringah candidate Katherine Deves and her contentious pronouncements on transgenderism, Chip Le Grand of the Age/Herald observes a related debate as to “whether a Coalition government could be turfed out of its inner-city electorates in Sydney and Melbourne but take enough ground in the suburbs and regions to stay in power”. Whereas some rate this as “electoral madness”, an unidentified conservative is quoted as saying Kooyong is “just a seat” and “certainly not the jewel in the crown anymore”. Those of the latter view point to Boris Johnson’s success in the “red wall” of northern England and the epochal populist-driven realignments in the United States and France.

David Crowe of the Age/Herald reports front-benchers on both sides have identified the following seats as “still in play”: “Reid, Gilmore and Parramatta in NSW; Corangamite, McEwen and Chisholm in Victoria; Swan, Pearce and Hasluck in WA; Longman, Leichhardt and Brisbane in Queensland; and the Tasmanian trio of Bass, Braddon and Lyons”. This includes five seats held by Labor along with ten by the Coalition. A Labor source says they would “prefer to be us than them at this stage”, not least because the teal independent insurgency had the Coalition “fighting on two fronts”, but that defeat remained possible.

• Further to the above, former Queensland Labor state secretary Cameron Milner writes in The Australian that the Liberals are pursuing Labor-held Lilley in Brisbane, Lingiari in the Northern Territory (where Scott Morrison campaigned yesterday) and Corangamite in western Victoria. Milner also describes Scott Morrison’s support for Katherine Deves as “brilliant foghorn politics”, deployed to “virtue-signal their values” to One Nation and Clive Palmer voters whose preferences will be up for grabs. Phillip Coorey of the Financial Review likewise offers that “in the suburbs, the regions and the religious communities, the government – and Labor – believes the Deves issue is going gangbusters in Scott Morrison’s favour, messy as it may be”.

• A Labor online attack against Gladys Liu, who holds the Melbourne seat of Chisholm for the Liberals on a margin of 0.5%, has been described as a “desperate, dishonest, racist attack ad” by Josh Frydenberg and a “sewer tactic” by Scott Morrison. While these claims are receiving sympathetic coverage from the news media, the contentions raised in the ad do not seem especially misleading.

Ben Raue of The Tally Room has interactive colour-coded maps recording the extent to which seats have swung towards one major party or the other since 2004. It can be observed that Labor has strengthened in the growth areas of Melbourne but weakened in central Queensland and Sydney’s inner west and south.

• Following the publication of full candidate details on Friday, I have finished fleshing out my federal election guide with further photos, candidate details and full lists of candidates in ballot paper order.

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.

726 comments on “Foghorn politics and sewer tactics”

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  1. C@tmomma @ 6:12pm

    “I certainly agree with that as a proposition because it obviously would create an unfair advantage for the untransitioned female against the biological female.”

    I don’t advertise it as it’s just a small part of me now, I’m transgender female. Transitioned years ago, hormones and all. I pass pretty much everywhere. I play sport socially from time to time, without issue, I’d never consider it professionally.

    I agree with this. If any trans person wants to play sport at a professional level, let alone an elite level, then they should have skin in the world of transitioning, and conform to the already well set rules by each governing body. Most other trans people have this position too. Within about 12-18 months I lost pretty much any advantage I had on testosterone. I’ve shrunk in height and in strength. My wife (cisgender, who doesn’t work out) beats me in arm wrestles and thumb wars.

    I don’t see why the government needs to get involved with something all sporting codes have basically figured out anyway, other than to stomp on myself and a lot of my friends and family for political point scoring.

  2. I’m not so sure the Solomon Islands blunder is the overall winner for Morrison some think it is.

    When pressed on what such a “red line” meant in practice, Mr Morrison would not articulate.

    When asked how he would stop a base from materialising, he also avoided the question.

    Mr Morrison has faced sustained criticism of the Solomon Islands deal happening on his watch, with Labor’s Shadow Foreign Affairs spokesperson Penny Wong saying if Labor was elected in May it would increase foreign aid to the Pacific to secure the region.

    The prime minister on Sunday would not say what his government would do to respond to a Chinese military base if he remained in office.

    Shadow Defence Minister Brendan O’Connor on Monday said Labor will seek a briefing to better appreciate the government’s stance but said the “red line” threat was “too little, too late”.

    “Given the change in tone and rhetoric and words used by the prime minister, we will seek a briefing from the government,” he told the ABC.

    Nonetheless he said Labor “understands” what is meant by the claim – an apparent suggestion it would prompt a diplomatic or even military response.

    “Yes we understand what the prime minister means by that,” he said, but he derided Mr Morrison for “post-facto rhetoric”.

    “We needed to see better investment and better engagement in the region … rather than react after the fact.”

  3. I’m loving Coorey’s dedicated turd-polishing…

    He has to work in an ‘Albo stumbles’ reference
    He’s plugging away at ‘hung parliament
    55/45 only gives Labor a ‘comfortable’ win.

    That would be 55 ALP 2PP – if actually achieved, best since 1943 and 1.77% better than Hawke. It would be a bloodbath. But no, just a ‘comfortable’ win.

    I admire Coorey’s commitment…NOT.

    Actually, he’s a corrupt bastard and part of the problem in this country…

  4. CarefullyRushed

    Do you consider it an issue that should be part of an election campaign.

    1) There are not a lot of people involved.
    2) No legislation is required.
    3) As you point out, most sort it out themselves.

  5. Just on the Ipsos poll, does anyone else think that the 8% undecided was a surprisingly low figure at this stage?

  6. Thanks to MJ for estimating prefs with undecideds excluded. Kevin Bonham on twitter has also had a go, and he gets…

    “55-45 to Labor (I get 54.3 off these primaries by my last election prefs formula). With undecided removed L-NP 34.4 ALP 36.6 Grn 12.9 ON 4.3 UAP 3.2 others 8.6 “

  7. poroti says:
    Monday, April 25, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    Upnorth at 6:22 pm

    @ Freya – you up for a waltz?

    Only if you are up for……………..
    Love it poroti. Poor old Freya. I reckon she has been offered a job with Allan Tudge if SfM gets back. But all her dreams and hopes are starting to vanish.

    Still Freya, on a positive note – the invitation to Bobawabba stands. I spoke to the President of the CWA she said to tell you:

    “Damn the King Browns, Taipans, Tiger Snakes and Death Adders. Thumb your nose at those pesky Stink Bugs, Cane Beetles and Mosquitoes. We will throw caution to the wind and go to the beach – woe any Box Jellyfish that comes near us. Aerogard for the Sandflies. As for the crocodiles, we will make sure they are well fed before you go to the creek for a dip.”

    Don’t worry Freya, Bobawabba will be your sanctuary should that horrible socialist Mr Albanese (what sort of name is that?) wins. In Queensland (and on some statue) we say this about our poor southern cousins:

    Give Queensland your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to Queensland, I lift my XXXX beside the Big Pineapple!” Queensland’s greatness and true genius lies in its diversity of Rum.

  8. Luke @ #683 Monday, April 25th, 2022 – 6:36 pm

    Hopefully the media will accept that the cricket bats ARE out for the Liberals and that people have been waiting since, I dunno, the global-warming-worsened bushfires that saw Australians huddled on beaches as embers drifted down on them while Morrison went on holiday overseas and start reporting it accurately.

    I have my, ‘Doesn’t hold a hose’ poster up for the duration. 😀

  9. Snappy Tom @ #697 Monday, April 25th, 2022 – 6:43 pm

    I’m loving Coorey’s dedicated turd-polishing…

    He has to work in an ‘Albo stumbles’ reference
    He’s plugging away at ‘hung parliament
    55/45 only gives Labor a ‘comfortable’ win.

    That would be 55 ALP 2PP – if actually achieved, best since 1943 and 1.77% better than Hawke. It would be a bloodbath. But no, just a ‘comfortable’ win.

    I admire Coorey’s commitment…NOT.

    Actually, he’s a corrupt bastard and part of the problem in this country…

    He was born that way. His father used to make the suits for the NSW politicians in the Robin Askin era and beyond. Young Phil came along for the ride.

  10. Lars Von Triersays:
    Monday, April 25, 2022 at 5:31 pm
    Wasn’t Uhlmann’s missus a former Labor MP? Seems unusual he would be a Liberal partisan in his role?

    When I asked C@tmomma that question, she said love is blind. 🙂

  11. ParkySP @ #637 Monday, April 25th, 2022 – 6:11 pm

    I’ve seen a lot now that people are listing Corangamite as a Liberal gain.

    If Labor won it in 2019 against the tide of the ‘Bill you can’t afford’ campaign in an area with a huge amount of retirees what exactly are the conditions that would cause it to go back to the Liberals in this campaign? Other than the lotto like numbers they (have spent) are spending on Stephanie Asher’s campaign.

    Is it the deep love and affection that Victorian’s in that particular area will have for Morrison?

    I’m genuine in asking for an explanation as it has me beat.

    Could be.The area is full of people brought up in the western suburbs who can no longer afford to live in Footscray,Newport or feel like outsiders in Caroline Springs,Werribee and Point Cook
    Traditional working class Labor voters.Traditionally barrack for Footcray in the VFL and Geelong is their 2nd team.

  12. Ipsos is a crap polling outfit, IMO. However, the trend is always what one should look for. A slippage of 1% on Labor primaries (well within MOE, and may even be a rounding issues) is only a potential negative at this stage of the game.

    However, a word of caution: Albanese is marked down on economic management. As risible as the notion that in some way Morrison and LNP rate higher on economic management, this is what happens when Labor vacates the field: stupid tropes, propagated by the LNP and their media proxies run like wildfire. IMO this is the single biggest issue facing Labor ‘sealing the deal’ and the real threat with a month to go. In short, this is still a wild open election IMO until Albanaese and his senior economic team seize the economic narrative.

  13. Rex Douglas

    “ Oh, and the final tweet by Uhlmann was retweeted by none other than …Josh Frydenberg.”

    Josh doesn’t get to walk away from a debate then act horrified when an opponent does the same to him. Massive hypocrisy. As for Uhlmann, massive lack of credibility and integrity.

  14. Bystander says:
    Monday, April 25, 2022 at 6:43 pm

    Just on the Ipsos poll, does anyone else think that the 8% undecided was a surprisingly low figure at this stage?
    I dont think so. I think people made up their collective minds some months ago that SfM and Co. had to go. There isn’t anger or baseball bats.

    Just a quiet, collective recognition, that there is a job to be done. COVID, constant fuck ups from a liar and poorly responded to natural disasters tell me people don’t have the energy to get excited at this election.

    Just a quiet resolve to move on. I think many won’t take HTV’s at booths – they decided a long time ago..

    They will “neck” the Tories and do it as efficiently as possible.

  15. This US defence podcast interviews an Australian academic expert on the political history of the various South Pacific islands.

    It gives a useful background to understanding why the Morrison government failed so badly to stop the China – Solomon Islands treaty.

    Warning to Liberal Party apparatchiks – contains factual content.

  16. Frednk,

    I definitely don’t think so no, for all of your above reasons:

    There just aren’t a lot of trans people competing at a professional level, let alone an elite level, most certainly not enough to be an election issue the country needs to focus on when there are so many more pressing issues: cost of living and housing, climate change, etc.

    Legislation in place is already sufficient;

    And pretty much all sporting codes have sorted out how they’re handling athletes who are transitioning, or have transitioned.

    Trans people in sport has been a thing for a long time, so they’ve had to adapt. We’re not a novel thing that’s just emerged in the last few years.

    To make it an election issue is just to put further down a very vulnerable group of people, including children, who just want to be treated fairly and equally.

  17. It`s clear now that even the desperate hopers in this government know the writing is on the wall, any that doubt that need only look at the record number of young people racing to enroll to vote in this election, my 22-year-old grandson and his friends are talking politics for the first time in their lives, something I’ve not seen before, these young people are usually political agnostics and can’t be bothered thinking about politics let alone talk about it, figures show 750,000 young people have now registered as 1st time voters, add to that the overwhelming number of women turned off by this misogynistic government plus the old sick and disabled victims of Morrison`s heartless and harsh treatment of the aged and disabled indicate not only a loss but an electoral massacre, I would not be surprised if Morrison, Dutton, Frydenberg, Roberts and a few more ministers lost their seats, a big loss may be a good thing for the liberal party as it may allow the moderate real Liberals to regain control from the extreme religous right and move the party back to the centre, but there is no hope for the National party because it has completely lost direction as a farmers party and is now just an arm of big mining and foreign companies.

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