Friday, November 30, 2007

The Tallyroom: Howard Made History

The Poll That Counts No.2: Howard Made History

Inside the Canberra Tallyroom the excitement builds in the 2007 Australian Federal election. Maxine McKew, the ALP candidate, establishes a comfortable lead over John Howard, outgoing Prime Minister and Member for Bennelong.

We wait for Senator Penny Wong, ALP campaign spokesperson, to smile. What a poker face! It finally happens at 9.30 pm when Maxine appears on the TV coverage. National Barnaby Joyce, and Liberals Bill Heffernan and Joe Hockey clearly have dud hands all night. Humpty Dumpty Hockey gets hotter and hotter. Looks like he might explode as he he struggles in his own seat. Heffernan spars with the Chaser but more of that in the following episodes. Finally Howard appears, to make his concession speech, and the crowd hushes.

Footnote: Later Kerry O'Brien and Antony Green both complained about the crowd noise. Some of it was caused by the Chaser. Most was spontaneous outpourings of delight as the figures for Bennelong came on the screens or images of Maxine or Julia Gillard appeared. Unfortunately Julia was seated with her back to the public area so we missed her live facial expressions.

Think I was the only one watching the old tallyboards.

More to come: People in the tallyroom watch Howard's speech. Hefferan payback.

Original post at: Labor View from Broome

King Rat

Just who is Brendan Nelson? Well let's see what he was like in 1994...

BMJ 1994;309:562 (3 September)


Focus: Sydney: The rise and rise of Brendan Nelson

S Chapman

Earlier this year a colleague returned to Sydney from what had promised to be a dull meeting of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in Hobart, the drizzle soaked capital of Tasmania. But he beamed from ear to ear. His glee was at the oration given by Brendan Nelson, the 36 year old national president of the Australian Medical Association.

Nelson, a Tasmanian GP who wears a diamond earring, had torn into the medical profession for its sleepy social reform agenda. He berated them for shirking all the big public health debates other than those that were self serving. He urged them to use their knowledge, positions, and privilege to support the things that really mattered in their communities. At the end of his speech nearly all stood and applauded.

Nelson took over the AMA' presidency in 1993, after serving an apprenticeship to the affluent, avuncular orthopaedic surgeon Bruce Shepherd. During the 1993 federal election Shepherd campaigned on behalf of the (now deposed) Liberal leader, John Hewson, prompting Prime Minister Paul Keating to describe him as the "most ugly, most rapacious union leader" in Australia.

Nelson, in contrast, is from what the Labor party calls a "true believer" background. Grandson of a communist and son of a Labor loyalist he had been a Labor party member, but he resigned when he took up AMA politics so as to be seen as nonpartisan in his dealings.

Nelson has transformed the public face of AMA politics. Once seen as the guardian of medical privilege the AMA is now most often heard through Nelson's plain speaking about oppressed groups, reform, and bungling bureaucracy. The Australian media find him irresistible. While many in the Australian health system are mesmerised by the emperor's new clothes of the 1990s (health outcomes, customer focus, etc) Nelson speaks no nonsense talk about real health problems. In the past 12 months he has breathed life into debates about drug policy, euthanasia, homosexual law reform, environmentalism, immunisation, declining funding for medical research, and hotels supplying women with free drinks to attract hard drinking men. His most sustained efforts have been directed at Australia's appalling Aborginal health record, the health consequences of unemployment, and hounding the tobacco industry.

In August it was widely reported that Nelson would be forsaking medical politics for the popular variety. He confirmed that he had been approached by both main parties, and the main intrigue now focuses on which way he will jump. He remains tight lipped. The Liberal party in Australia has been out of power since 1983, and despite rhetoric about a new direction, remains bereft of leadership. Nelson would give the party a charisma transplant but at great risk of arousing Australian's suspicion of turncoats and political opportunists.

The Labor party keeps no seats warm for old comrades who "rat" on the party by leaving it. For some too Nelson remains tainted by his past association with Shepherd's overt support for the Liberals and by the abiding suspicion that the profile he gives to public health issues is a Trojan horse for the AMA's real business: the preservation of doctors' incomes.

But many suspect that Nelson's first duty is to social medicine - to the unemployed, Aboriginal health, the further humiliation of the tobacco industry - all subjects where the Liberal party has a weak record. These are issues where he is at his most animated. Those who know him find the public stand consonant with the private man. He has often said pragmatically that political change requires working from with in a major political party. Labor therefore seems most likely. If Nelson jumps into the desperate-for-talent Liberal boat he may just sink with it.

How prophetic. Nelson appears to become captain of one of the Titanic's lifeboats. He's now leader of a party so dumbstruck by defeat they've opted for a former union boss and Labor party member to lead their party. This is after having run a massive scare campaign on union bosses. There's a rumour that Nelson won because he wouldn't say sorry to Indigenous Australians while Turnbull would. If this ideological blind-spot is all that's holding the Liberal party together, it's going to be a long three years for them.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Poll That Counts No.1: Around the booths

I represented YouDecide2007 as a citizen journalist at the Tallyroom on Saturday night. An amazing experience! During Howard's concession speech I videoed the people on the floor of the media centre watching him: Bill Hefferan, Steve Price, Penny Wong, Sharon Burrows and many more.

Still editing. First episode "The Poll That Counts No.1: Around the booths" is on Youtube.

All episodes will be posted to Youdedcide2007, and TeacherTube as well to get around the censors. Watch this space!

Original post at: Labor View from Broome

John Howard is at Stage One

John Howard comes to terms with his role in the Liberal party's loss

Dr. Hibbert: Now, a little death anxiety is normal. You can expect to go through five stages. The first is denial.
Homer: No way! Because I'm not dying!
Dr. Hibbert: The second is anger.
Homer: Why you little!
Dr. Hibbert: After that comes fear.
Homer: What's after fear? What's after fear?
Dr. Hibbert: Bargaining.
Homer: Doc, you gotta get me out of this! I'll make it worth your while!
Dr. Hibbert: Finally, acceptance.
Homer: Well, we all gotta go sometime.
Dr. Hibbert: Mr. Simpson, your progress astounds me.

Tony Abbott, Liberal party people skills coach and public relations manager, was on Lateline this evening. According to him, Howard has convinced himself that the election defeat wasn't his fault. Although, the defeat was half Peter Costello's fault. Whomever is responsible for the other half was left as an exercise for the listener. Also Malcolm Turnbull, who arrived at Howard's last supper at the back gate, changing the Liberal party into the Democrats is totally going to work. OMFG Malcolm watch out... you're a plucky historian but there's a crazed albino Catholic monk right. behind. you. Pausing only to adjust his cilice, Tony informed us that Costello had eaten many meals at the Lodge in Canberra (presumably in the servants quarters) and that he hadn't had a 'foursome' (as god is my witness, the transcript shall not prove me a liar) with Tanya, Janette and John. Whatever vomiting while laughing sounds like, I made that noise. He went on to inform us that he would totally get in on that action. I wish I was lying. Costello is rumoured to be writing a book. I'm sure he'll dedicate a whole chapter to Tony Abbot. As soon as I heard he'd be on Lateline I knew we'd be in for a spectacular performance.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oh Yes, we’re all sorry now

For the Liberal party, all of a sudden sorry isn't the hardest word to say.

Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 28, 2007

One of the inevitable consequences of an electoral drubbing is the miraculous discovery of a special type of remorse that only the prism of hindsight can apparently deliver.

Turnbull is sorry the Coalition didn’t say sorry, Hockey is sorry that Workchoices went too deep, Nelson is sorry that his government didn’t use the phrase “human and social objectives” as often as he believes they ought to have, half the front bench are sorry that Costello was a political eunuch for the past 12 months and the entire Liberal Party is sorry that Jackie Kelly ever got married.

Full post at Possums Pollytics

Is all that you cant say
Years gone by and still
Words dont come easily
Like sorry like sorry

Forgive me
Is all that you cant say
Years gone by and still
Words dont come easily
Like forgive me forgive me

But you can say baby
Baby can I hold you tonight
Maybe if I told you the right words
At the right time you'd be mine

Apologies to Tracy Chapman

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Foreign Views


The victory of Kevin Rudd's Labor Party confirms yet again that there comes a time when it is not enough merely to appeal to voters on the basis of an outstanding record. At that stage in the political cycle, the electorate's view of a leader can turn. A feeling that it is time for a change will take root.


Howard met the fate of all who try to cling to power for too long - a stinging reverse that, in this case, has delivered a comprehensive victory to the Labor Party.


Under Kevin Rudd, Australia must be more egalitarian and abandon the arrogance of being the US' sheriff in Asia-Pacific. Rudd must not maintain Howard's bossy style.


Howard's downfall has further confirmed the assumption that world politicians who follow US President George Bush's policy will collapse sooner or later. After the resignation of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, now it is Howard's turn to fall. For Indonesia, it is hoped that the new Australian leader can build more equal and friendly bilateral relations.


Australia's diplomatic priorities will not change, and foreign policy priorities towards the US will not change... Rudd's 'China expertise' is the result of acquired learning and personal interest, and he is first of all an Australian citizen and second Australian prime minister.


For Asia and particularly China, it will be business as usual... Debate over closer relations with Asia as opposed to traditional ties with the US and Britain has long been overtaken by economic and cultural links with Asia through trade. Australia will continue to fuel China's industrial growth with raw materials.


I've also heard that our Polynesian neighbours are overjoyed at the prospect of no longer having to deal with the rude, arrogant, bullying former foreign minister. The future looks bright for creating of partnerships in our region to advance our interests via goodwill and cooperation, as opposed to Downer's moronic 19th century colonialist mentality.

Two choices for the Liberals in Opposition

The Liberals have two choices, neither of which depend on Rudd or the vagaries of fate. They can stay focused on holding Rudd to his promises, while at the same time working out what theirs should be. Or, they can pretend that all they need to do is fine-tune the message a bit and they're fine. The latter is the most likely, but the great thing about pessimism is that surprises are usually pleasant.

Full post at Politically Homeless

That’s the Right dealt with, now for the Left

Friends, tomorrow the work begins. Australia's long-term challenges demand a new consensus across our country. I'm determined to use the office of prime minister to forge that consensus.

I want to put aside the old battles of the past: the old battles between business and unions, the old battles between growth and the environment, the old and tired battles between federal and state. The old battles between public and private.

K Rudd 24 November 2007

It will be some time before the significance of Rudd’s highly revealing victory speech becomes apparent. The basis of what he was saying hinged on his idea of a new consensus. Andrew Bolt got this 100% wrong on Insiders when he said Rudd was doing me-tooism with Hawke on this. Rudd’s consensus is utterly different from Hawke’s.

Full post at The Piping Shrike

A staged implosion – an update

Well that was quick. Costello’s refusal of the leadership has undermined the brief stability given by the Liberals holding up reasonably well in their blue ribbon metropolitan seats. In doing so he paid back the party that had refused to give him the leadership on a plate a year ago.

The obvious barb in Costello’s press conference was the attack on the NSW Liberal Party, blaming them for the Lindsay fiasco. He probably had a point.

Full post at The Piping Shrike

Monday, November 26, 2007

Facing up to Howards legacy

Possum Comitatus has a good analysis of the Liberal party's rock and a hard place leadership problem

It’s a tough choice for the top job of the Chief Eater of the shit sandwich, and that’s exactly what being the first Opposition leader of a routed government is all about.

For the next 3 years, as every misdemeanour or gross political felony that the previous government committed is thrown back in their face, when every dirty little policy secret or suppressed statistic is released into a hungry news cycle, the next leader has to sit there and go “Mmmmm Hmmm - tastes like chicken“.

It doesn’t matter what opposition leaders say for the first term - no one listens to them anyway. The only reason people know that opposition leaders exist in their first stint out of government is because they just happen to be the poor Shmo’s that become the target of a new government’s political retribution.

Now honestly - who can see Malcolm Turnbull sitting there sucking that up?

Full post at Possums Pollytics

Lexy D

Pic via Crikey

Downer on the 7:30 report. Tosser.

He claims he doesn't have the "enthusiasm" for the position of opposition leader. Hmmm...I suspect it is more that the party doesn't have the enthusiasm for him.

Banging on about his contact internationally due to his 11 years as Foreign Minister

Not "dramatically" surprised about Costello.

"I will continue to help the liberal party and I will listen to what they want me to do in the future." ???

Now saying that Turnbull has great experience when yesterday on Insiders he said he'd "only" been there for 3 years. Not Turnbull, Abbott and Nelson not neophytes.

My god, he's getting even more annoying.

Kissing Costello's arse. "Didn't ever have the numbers" for leadership. Interesting. "At any time." !!!!

What motivated the PM to ask ministers if he should stay, then reject the advice? All the wonderful work they did during 2007 didn't make any difference in the polls. Oh. Kerry said he has heard that Howard rejecting advice affected his relationship with Downer. Downer denying (of course he will). "He thought he was the person best able to win the election..."



From yesterday's Insiders:

And the first thing the Liberal Party should do in order to win the 2010 election is get behind Peter Costello as the new leader of the Liberal Party, because I think he will be a very formidable Leader of the Opposition and I think he will very much get Kevin Rudd's measure. S


BARRIE CASSIDY: But was it a mistake, though, to revisit the issue during APEC, to take soundings and then to essentially ignore the advice that came back to him?

ALEXANDER DOWNER: Well, I think it was sensible for the Prime Minister to look at our situation.

Look, to be honest with you, I'll tell you one thing retrospectively, my view through this year was that it didn't look to me as though we were going to win the election. I didn't of course say that publicly and you wouldn't have expected me to. It would be suicidal to do that sort of thing, but as the year wore on there wasn't a very positive public response to a range of different initiatives, for example the $10 billion Murray Darling initiative was very well supported by the public, was a wonderful thing to do, something I've wanted to see happen all my adult life.

But it didn't shift the opinion polls. When we brought down a very popular budget in May, yes, popular with the public in terms of the initiatives, didn't shift the opinion polls.

And when we intervened in the Northern Territory in the Indigenous communities there again, the actual initiative was very popular with the public but it didn't shift the opinion polls.

I must tell you that throughout the year I have had a fairly gloomy view of our prospects. So inevitably in those circumstances, a lot of us talked about it and what we could do to try and impervious our situation, so I do think that's wise?

I think that was very wise, but who knows what a better solution could be. History just doesn't record that.

BARRIE CASSIDY: But surely that underlines it. If you a gloomy prognosis on your prospects, Peter Costello was available, you're now saying he will be an excellent leader of the Liberal Party, surely it would've been worth a try?

ALEXANDER DOWNER: Well, who know what would've happened, frankly. I mean, who knows? We just will never know the answer to that. I think also it's important to remember that I think John Howard has been the best Prime Minister Australia's ever had, he's been an extraordinarily successful Prime Minister. He has been a formidable political figure, he's been one of the great political figures of Australian history and you know, people were certainly not going to turn aggressively on somebody of that stature.

That there's just no question of it.

BARRIE CASSIDY: You have no doubt Peter Costello will be elected leader of the Liberal Party unopposed?

ALEXANDER DOWNER: Look, I've not spoken to too many people since last night. I've spoken to about two people. So I hope, as a former leader myself, let me say I hope that the party will just get behind Peter Costello and elect him unopposed.

I think that's the right decision for the Liberal Party. Peter Costello has enormous talent and remember he does have a great deal more experience, almost infinitely more experience than Kevin Rudd, and it will be a tough job for Mr Rudd to confront somebody who is as experienced as articulate, and as formidable as Peter Costello.

I think Mr Rudd will find, of course he will have a honeymoon for a while, but I think he'll find dealing with Mr Costello very heavy going as time goes on.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Malcolm Turnbull won his seats against the odds, will that boost his stocks within the party?

ALEXANDER DOWNER: Well, he has been in Parliament for 3 years and I think he's gradually building up a bank of experience there, and I think he has a very good future in the party.

He is a very good friend of mine and I think very highly of him as a person. But look, you need to build up experience in politics and he's doing that. Nobody in the party, well, I suppose at least in theory with the exception of me, but I'm not running for leader, but no one in the party has the experience of Peter Costello and I think there shouldn't be a contest to the leadership. It should just go straight to Peter Costello.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Costello to refuse leadership

Peter Costello has made the shock announcement that he ''would not seek nor accept'' a nomination to be the new opposition leader.

Instead, Mr Costello said today he wanted to build a post-political career in the commercial world.

Australia's longest serving treasurer, who had long wanted to be prime minister, told a news conference in Melbourne he would stay on in parliament and then move on.


Well, he did want to be PM, not leader of the opposition.

'I do believe it's time for the young people of talent and ability to be given their go in the Liberal party," he said

A nod to Turnbull perhaps? He's only been there for three years, but they do need some fresh eyes. Dear god, don't let it be Abbott or Downer. I can't imagine it would be Julie Bishop. She's a woman and I don't think the old guard would stand for that.

Of course, to put on my bitchy hat (what?) "young people of talent and ability" - does that mean he concedes that Howard was not young (duh) had no talent (obvs) and his ability was purely based on ruling with an iron fist? Hmmm.

Fred Niles... why bother?

Tis the morning after the election, and all through my house, noone knew who won the election, not even a mouse.

Voting Day was behind me, but I had in my possession a new leader that I helped rise to power, some books from the $1 book bin, and a pile of sausages inspired by the voting poll sausage sizzle.

The best thing about voting day for me is the $1 book bin and sausage sizzle, and the smell of school hall and noting how small the childhood world is through cynical adult eyes.

Cynical? Moi? My vote didn't start out too well considering the voting lady couldn't even find my name on the polling list. But we persisted and I walked to my booth with my green slip and white table-cloth.

What freak of nature has the time to number every single box under the line?
Fred Niles on the green slip is just offensive. What if I wanted to celebrate the new leadership with an icecream and an abortion?

Upon walking out of the hall into the rain and the unknown but fairly guessable political future, I didn't bother to take any Mike Bailey pamphlets, I just voted for you buddy. High 5.

Welcome to our new PM

Kev - this still holds true:

Just because you're now PM, don't think we won't be watching. Because quite a few of us didn't vote for you as our primary candidate. Remember that.

As one of the people in your electorate (and how often does a person get to say they were one of the people who voted in the PM?), I think I am well placed to demand that you not become complacent. I have a list of things you should address that I will tell you about in due course.

In the meantime, congratulations. The real work now begins!


Good Stuff

0) Rudd mentioning Bernie Banton in his speech. I clapped.

1) The cheer from the counting room crowd when they first heard Howard was behind in his seat.

2) "Julia! Julia!" making it hard for Kerry to hear himself speak. It was brilliant.

3) Peter Costello looking like a weight had been lifted from his shoulders.

4) Peter Costello thinking he's going to be the leader of the opposition because Howard said it would be a smooth transition to him.

5) Howard saying that the next leader would be decided by the party, taking responsibility for the loss and failing to retire then and there, screwing Costello one last time and confirming he lies simply because it's in his nature.

6) The atmosphere at Howard's concession. It was like he was Jim Jones. This guy kept screaming about how much he loved Howard. I was expecting them to break out cups of poisoned kool aid any minute.

7) Wilson Tuckey getting the fright of his life.

8) Greens polling so well, though it was largely skewed to certain seats. Went as high as +20% in some of them.

9) Downer claiming that 'bad timing' caused their election loss.

10) Learning that the libs are much easier to listen to... in opposition.

11) Joe Hockey talking about how devastating it is for his lib friends sacked for operational reasons, while the world's smallest violin plays for him.

Sad stuff:

1) Bartlett losing. Totally undeserved.

2) Ditto Kerry Nettle, she'll be missed.

3) Brough losing. He was way, way down on the list of govt. members deserving the chop.

4) The reptillian Pyne making it back. He announced he wants to slither into the deputy lib position, so it's not all bad news.

5) The hopeless Ron Boswell in the senate.

6) Steven Fielding not being struck by lighting. I'd had my hopes but on the balance, I'll take it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


We've won. Go out and celebrate the repudiation of Howardism. No party will ever, ever again dare to threaten the rights of working Australians. Howard appears set to reinforce the lesson of Stanley Bruce. Push the Aussie worker and they'll bloody well push you back!

This lesson is still valid, Kevin Rudd. Never forget what your mandate is, or become as slack and complacent as Howard.

Also Howard loses with a lower primary than Mark Latham LOL!!!

Help! What's Happening?

Need to know what's going on? Try:



Possum Commitatus

If anyone has more suggestions, please post them in the comments!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Enough. Dear god, enough.

The difference between this election and the other two federal elections I've voted in is that this time there seems to be a real hope of getting rid of John Howard.

I can't even tell you how much I looked forward to voting on my 18th birthday in 2001 after John Howard stole all Pauline Hanson's policies and then added his own little extras- the election won on a wave of vitriol and hatred that Labor was afraid to stand up to. I looked forward to having my say again in 2004 where Mark Latham put forward some really good policies and yet I still couldn't bring myself to vote anything but Green because I could see that Latham's own party had undermined him in trying to soften his image. The failure of the ALP to counter the Howard government's attacks on Latham was so glaring that that it seemed to be a deliberate strategy by people in the party- almost as if they saw another term of John Howard as being more in their interests than Latham continuing to wield power as leader.

This time, there appears to be a mood for change. Not so much change of policies as change of leader, which is why Kevin Rudd has been so careful of the areas in which he differentiates himself from the government. I want Kevin Rudd to be Prime Minister only because it means we're rid of Howard. It's the first step on the road to making Australia a better country.

Now the polls are showing that Labor's lead over the coalition is narrowing: the ALP could win 52% of the two-party preferred vote and still not win government. Even if the polls were predicting a landslide I could scarcely bring myself to believe that the day is almost here where we can oust John Howard. With the polls that close, I know I'm going to have a sleepless night.

I've had enough of John Howard. I can remember being 14 and wishing I could vote so I could do something to get rid of him. Tomorrow will have been two weeks since I turned 24. Next year Gam and I will get married. Within the next decade we'll have children. I want to raise our kids in a country that has reached a stage where it has repudiated John Howard and all he stands for. I want to teach our kids about the John Howard era as a thing of the past, not something continued under Peter Costello, or Tony Abbott, or Alexander Downer that they will learn to rail against as they reach the stage of life where they start to think about the future they will build.

I can't think of a country I'd rather live in than Australia- not permanently. We've got a lot of good things. We have also allowed John Howard to take the credit for the great things we have- we allow him to spout pseudo-patriotic statements about mateship and being Australian while he continues to believe that we should have a foreign monarch as our head of state. While he continues to fawn at the feet of the imperialist US administration, smiling wetly as he receives the infrequent pat on the head from his US masters. The man who undermines our identity as a country simultaneously tries to take credit for creating it.

I can't believe what we have allowed John Howard to get away with.

I can say in all honesty that tomorrow I will feel devastated if we allow it to happen again. Australia- I'll never forgive you!

Note: as a sign that I can scrape together an ounce of optimism that John Howard will tomorrow be consigned to the dustbin of history I am creating a John Howard tag. This will aid those fortunate enough in the future to not remember his time in government to spend time researching the man as the relic he is.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tell Me How to Vote!

So how should you vote? Damned if I know. But you can probably answer a few questions on Don't make a decision based on your final result. That would be extremely stupid. What you can do is plug in your answers to a whole bunch of 'issues' and at the end, if you're lucky, you can see how candidates in your electorate match up with you. Including seeing their responses to the same questionnaire. I've said it before, in Australia there is no excuse for not voting in your own interests. We have an embarrassment of information sources readily accessible to each voter. If you voted for someone and you didn't really know what they were about, it is your fault.

Why preferential voting matters

I was surprised yesterday when one of my friends admitted that they weren't aware of the advantage of voting first for a minor party and preferencing a major party. She was just going to vote for the ALP first.

Preferential voting works as follows:

  • You put a minor party (eg, Greens) first. Another party (eg, ALP) second.
  • If the party that you placed first gets more than 4% of the primary vote, they get funding of roughly $2 per vote ($2.40?). If your first choice does not win the majority (50% + 1) of the vote, your vote is then transferred to your next preference (second count). And so on until a candidate receives the majority vote.
So, by voting for a minor party first, even if you know they won't win the majority, helps them by (hopefully) giving them funding for part of their campaign, and sends the message to the major parties that the smaller parties and their policies cannot be discounted.

Don't waste your vote!

Seats du jour: Leichhardt and Ryan

Published by William Bowe at 2:22 pm under Federal Election 2007

A look at two seats in very different parts of Queensland which the Liberals are reckoned to be in serious danger of losing, despite double-digit margins.

Full post at The Poll Bludger

Shrek Returns to Swamp, Finds Donkey

Joe Hockey and Jackie Kelly discuss campaign strategery

As if being the poor goose that has to defend Workchoices isn’t enough of a burden, now Joe Hockey has to try and put out the fires of those political pyromaniacs of the Kelly Gang in his own seat – in 48 hours.

Shreks electorate of North Sydney is filled to the brim with people of a certain moral persuasion on social issues, their delicate Naw Shaw sensibilities being almost legendary…. Dahrling.

But out in the Bogansville of Lindsay, uber-Bogan Jackie Kelly and her bourbon swilling coterie of mental midgets thought it would be a really shit hot idea to start handing out fake ALP pamphlets depicting Labor being under the thumb of mufti-madness.

Gold. Read the rest at Possum's Pollytics.

Go see the interview with Kelly. Make sure to watch right to the end. Laurie Oakes tears her a new one.

Lindsaygate: "we are not crooks just stupid"

Jackie Kelly is certainly loyal. She is defending her husband and mates as just joking with their leaflet. Fake flyer meant as a joke: Lib MP (ABC News, 22 November 2007)

The Liberal Lindsaygate team have been nominated by LaborView for the Dead Parrots Society Hall of Fame today. It has always amused me that one of the links on Jackie Kelly’s website is to church service times in her electorate. Just Christian ones, no synagogues, no mosques or buddhist temples. Long live mono-culturalism which some of us know by another name.

Richard Nixon famously claimed in 1973, "I am not a crook."

Jackie Kelly seems to saying of her husband Gary Clark, "He's just stupid." She just told the Today Show: "He hates the unions with a passion." "It was cooked up by a bunch of bored drunks".

You're right Jackie, life is funnier than fiction.

Original post at: Labor View from Broome

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Rudd. 7:30 Report.

Ruddy's turn tonight.

I'm bummed I missed his press club address today. Oh well.

"The Rudd Government". Has a nice ring to it!

Hawke/Keating paid political price for risks they took. Resulted in forming platform for Australia's economic growth. Points out that under Fraser interest rates were high too, not just under Hawke/Keating. Kerry basically telling him to shut up - covered that last night with J-Ho! Doesn't want audience to fall asleep.

Keeping eye on inflationary pressures is key.

Do you agree the GST was right for Australia? "You can't unscramble the omelette" Huh? "But do you now accept it was right for Australia?" By undoing it, you would cause chaos - only reason for not touching GST. Need simpler ways to comply for business. "Do you believe the GST was bad policy?" Affects lower end of the income spectrum more.

Um. I'm a bit bored. La la la.

Housing! Are you comfortable in allowing the RB to slow the growth of the economy by increasing interest rates? "I accept the independence of the bank." "Very important we take a hard line approach to unnecessary expenditure." If RB says public spending is causing more inflation, would you reassess your spending promises? He's banging on about how they're going to spend less than Howard and save more than Howard. Snore.

"Stop the crazy spend-a-thon."

Points out that all the govt does is spend and bitch (about the ALP) as their campaign. Heh heh.

Oops. Sorry. Spaced out. Something about the ALP historically?

Kevvie loves his metaphors. WorkChoices "dicing" things. Omelettes, dicing. Was he hungry when he did this interview?

"You could drive a Mack truck through that safety net." (Workchoices.)

"Brissy." Go Brissy! Ahem. Sorry.

Blah. Banging on about the union backgrounds of the shadow cabinet. "I will govern in the national interest."

Ooooohhhhh - H R Nicholls Society. You went there! Woo hoo! (Costello was founder).

I love Kerry. He's so good at forcing pollies to get back on track and answering the question asked.

"Genesis of our IR system ... will have as it's core component..." something about wages. Sorry.

Nauru. How quickly would you move to shut down? No advice on that. Have appropriate offshore detention facility (Christmas Is). Why not use it instead? What? Why use it at all??????? You disappoint me, Mr Rudd. "Pacific solution is just way is to use Christmas Island." Sigh.

I'm so voting Greens. Yeah, yeah. I know I was anyway. But this reminds me why.

Climate change - Can you continue to responsibly ignore nuclear power? No decent attempt to look into renewable energy. Solar technologies have gone offshore. Solar, wind, geothermal will be looked at. Nuclear? We have large range of alternatives. Responsibilities regarding the export of uranium - repeats that other countries don't have as many options available to them. Didn't really answer the question, but Kerry didn't follow up.

Presidential style? "I believe very much in taking advice...evidence based policy. What works?" So will take advice from cabinet and elsewhere.

And that is it. Hate to admit it, but I got really bored and kinda spaced out. Probably cause his voice remains so calm and he doesn't get rattled. Unlike other people who get all snarky!

Caroline Overington Rings VTAY

About a week ago I wrote a post about L'Affaire Overington in which, entirely as ridicule, I said:

That was written after Overington scrawled a column saying Ecuyer planned to direct preferences away from Newhouse, who it seems she's been sharpening an axe for. Apparently the two of them [Newhouse and Ecuyer] went out for a few weeks, it didn't work out, and now she's back to boil his pets and derail his political career, er, run as an independent. Anyway, here's the money email.

"Too early! My girl, you've got four weeks!!
Please preference Malcolm. It would be such a good front page
story. Also, he'd be a loss to the parliament and George - forgive
me - would be no gain. ;)
— Email from Caroline Overington to Danielle Ecuyer"

How did she manage to type that with the Member for Wentworth's member in her mouth?

I thought it was pretty funny, because clearly I am a very funny man. All twelve of my readers agree with me. It would appear my attempts at humour have fallen flat in the offices of The Australian, hereafter referred to as the Government Gazette. Caroline Overington emailed us today asking to talk with us. She was cagey about what she wanted to discuss, insisting on a phone call. We agreed, reluctantly, because we wanted to find out what it was about. What could we have written on our tiny, barely-read blog to prompt a call out of the blue from a senior writer and columnist with The Australian? A two-time winner of the Walkley Award for investigative journalism (2004 and 2006) and recipient of the Sir Keith Murdoch Award for Excellence in Journalism, for a series of articles on the Iraq wheat sales scandal (excellent work, credit where it's due!).

Well, to summarise our conversation: She demanded we remove the statement. First it was because her kids might see it. I replied that we were nowhere near the top 5 pages on a google search. Then it was because she was a married woman and the statement implied she was having an affair with a government member, which just couldn't stand. I defy anyone to look at the context of the statement and come to a conclusion that I was even implying that an affair was going on between them. Of course, she made the statement, not I. Also I note that in her emails to George Newhouse she stated that she was separated. "Not married, me. Separated five months ago."

She repeatedly brought up the marriage thing. She threatened legal action. I replied that I thought we'd be safe for reasons of absurdity of the statement, satire, and comment, otherwise we wouldn't have stand up comics. She claimed such defences wouldn't extend to our 'political' blogs. I asked her whether she'd like to legitimise a non existent implication by dragging us to court. She wouldn't answer, or state that she was in fact going to take legal action. She then implied that Malcolm Turnbull wouldn't be able to let the non-existent implication stand, suggesting he might sue us. I didn't enquire as to whether she had consulted Mr Turnbull or if it was just another click of the ratchet in her attempt to heavy us. Prior to accepting Ms Overington's call google analytics revealed someone had gotten to the post in question via the keywords "Caroline Overington husband" That generated only two hits. In the end I refused to remove the text she requested.

1) There was no implication the two of them were in a sexual relationship. The context of the statement was of her extraordinary attempts (bending over backwards, if you will) to be of service to Mr Turnbull. I did not speculate as to any relationship between them nor did I imply there was one. That she continually brought this up mystifies me.

2) The statement is patently absurd to a reasonable person and was made in a satirical context. There is no way anyone could think I was implying Ms Overington had a sexual relationship with Mr Turnbull. If I said John Howard was 20 feet tall, farts mustard gas and eats Chinese immigrant babies would I be liable to be sued?

3) I believe in free speech. If this is an issue of Ms Overington defending her reputation, why doesn't she go after the people who claim she's biased in her columns? We are defending our right to make fun of her. Certainly, if we're going to start loading the torpedo tubes, we should mention email threats to ruin Mr Newhouse's reputation. Something about houses, glass and stones in there. Also why is Ms Overington allowed to violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the electoral act and defend herself by claiming it's all a joke? Why don't we get similar consideration?

4) This is my latest bank statement.

Ms Overington can lawyer up and come get it if she wants. Perhaps she can split it with Mr Turnbull. I won't give up my $43 without a fight. Or my 71 cents.

It goes back to what I said about Australian media personalities constantly trying to insert themselves into their stories. If Ms Overington hadn't been engaged in doing just that she wouldn't be stuck trying to defend her hard earned reputation. It is simply beyond belief that a professional journalist would contact people like us and use legal threats (whose lawyers will she use, News Ltd's or her own?) to shut us up. Not only that but that she would allege that the law makes no exception for satire or comment in Australia. Watch out Crikey, you'll be out of business before long. I also find it odd that a journalist would be so ignorant of the Streisand effect. You know those thrillers where a guy's walking down the street and someone gives him something out of the blue and all of a sudden everyone's trying to kill him and he thinks he doesn't know anything but it turns out he does? I feel like I'm in one.

Vaile's search for a scapegoat

Update: Mark Vaile has been nominated for the Dead Parrots Society Hall of Fame.

Mark Vaile has been the weakest link in the Coalition team this year. Doesn't seem to have recovered from the AWB scandal. This is despite giving up the Trade portfolio so that he could nurse the Nationals at home. Babysitting Barnaby Joyce seems to have been a full time job as we have seen this week with Joyce's support of Labor's proposed IR changes. Too busy to keep any sort of profile as Deputy Prime Minister. I bet a poll of electors would find they think Costello holds that job.

Anyway, he's worked out what the problem is, why they're losing the campaign:

Federal Nationals leader Mark Vaile says he would have liked the business community to have done more to support the Coalition's industrial relations laws during the election campaign. Business didn't back WorkChoices enough: Vaile (ABC News, 21 November 2007)

I'm sure Howard would have liked Mark Vaile to have done more all round. More of the blame game next week if the polls are to be believed.

Original Post at: Labor View from Broome

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A vote for us is a vote for being fucked by your furniture!

JOHN HOWARD has sought to turn his most unpopular policy into a key pitch for re-election by promising Work Choices would become "part of the furniture" if the Coalition wins on Saturday.


As a public servant, I have been immune (thus far) from the changes to the IR laws. But that doesn't mean that I will be in the future. On the contrary, there are already moves to make WorkChoices applicable to the public service.

I have worked in the private sector before, so I know that as a public servant I have it pretty damn good. While I bemoan the fact that because of the nature of the PS you have quite a number of workers who are useless but it is too difficult to get rid of them with the current bureaucratic processes, I still hold onto my entitlements as if my life depended on it, because in some respects, it does.

I'm not afraid to admit that the thought of WorkChoices becoming "part of the furniture", scares the bejebus out of me.

But the Government has suppressed hundreds of pages of documents that could contradict its pledge not to take its industrial relations reforms further. The documents canvass options for another wave of reform, but Channel Seven has lost a battle to expose them under freedom-of-information laws. Labor's deputy leader, Julia Gillard, last night accused the Government of a pre-election cover-up on Work Choices. "The Australian people have a right to know what the Howard Government is hiding," she said.

Tonight on the 7:30 report, Howard claimed that WorkChoices as it is now doesn't need any "refinement". But really, this is the man who didn't even go to the last election declaring that they'd try to completely overhaul the IR system. When they won control of the senate, my heart sank - I knew there were three things that were inevitable: VSU, full sale of Telstra and the gutting of the IR system. I was right on all three.

There is no doubt in my mind that should the government get back in, they will try to remove ALL unfair dismissal laws. And that will just be the start of it.

They will make further changes to healthcare. Reducing state funding or taking over completely.

Likewise education. Education will come under federal control. While I agree there needs to be consistency between the states in terms of curriculum, changes will consist of more than that if Julie Bishop gets her way.

If the federal government can just walk in and make changes to the big three, and ignore the issues surrounding the environment, what is to stop them from choosing to overturn state laws they don't agree with? Sounds totalitarian doesn't it? Don't think it will happen? I am being alarmist? Maybe. But I sure as hell don't want to take the risk.

There are bigger stakes in this election than which party will give the bigger tax cut. Or what is going to happen to interest rates. Or what percentage of the Rudd government is made up of "union officials". The rights of every person in this country are at stake.

Fraser critical of the "values" of our government

IN DECIDING how to vote, Australians should make a judgement about which set of policies will do best for the future, will build a stronger nation and invest in the basic fabric that will enable Australia to compete throughout the world. Above all, we need to return to our traditional sense of fairness, justice and again guarantee the rule of law and due process for all people. We need a vision for the future based on these values.

Education is a basic priority. Too much government money has been taken out of education and the Government has sought to impose political solutions. Freedom and integrity of fundamental research should be re-established. Government should protect these attributes.

The environment is a major issue. It has been significantly debated but I do not believe either party has set out a comprehensive plan to make sure that Australian water is used effectively and in the national interest. One thing is clear, water is a national asset and its final use cannot be determined by price alone. We need to define a set of priorities.


When Menzies began the Liberal Party, he emphasised the need to maintain the rule of law, due process and search for the ideal of equal access to the law. In Australia we now know that these matters cannot be taken for granted. Too many are saying we cannot abide by basic democratic principles, we cannot in all cases support the rule of law and fight terrorism. It is easy for leaders to frighten people and make them believe their own principles must be breached. But it is a false argument. It represents a significant victory for the terrorists. Australians have been abused in foreign jails, in Immigration Department detention centres. Australians have been deported, children have been imprisoned and no one has been held accountable. This is, indeed, a national disgrace.

The new security laws have virtually turned ASIO into a secret police. In recent days we have seen how the authorities dealt with Tony Tran, allegedly unlawfully detained for more than five years. We have heard of the case of Izhar-ul-Haque. ASIO's activities in the latter case were roundly condemned by Justice Michael Adams from the bench. He accused ASIO of grossly improper conduct. If The Age report is accurate, it reads like the activities of a secret police in a dictatorship. That is not the Australia we know and love.

We do not know how many people have been affected by such conduct because in many cases new laws prevent publication. We should be enraged by such behaviour and act to end it.

We should again proclaim the basic principles of the rule of law and due process, the reality of Australian values, as our strongest attributes in fighting terrorism and creating a better world.

These issues have not been to the forefront of debate. They should have been. They will determine the character of Australia for years to come. Which party will best advance that Australia?

The Age

Straws. Clutching.

JOHN Howard has warned Australians they risk electing a Labor-Greens alliance that would impose a new national direction and conduct radical experiments with their values and institutions.


Mr Howard warned that a Labor victory would mean a Labor-Greens Senate majority and an era of social re-engineering, with policy changes on drugs, education, social issues and political correctness in conflict with his social conservatism.


Ohhhhh. Not *gasp* policy changes! On drugs! Social issues! Political correctness (I'm not even sure what that is - maybe LGBT? Since when is that PC? I would have thought common sense.)


"There will be a return of political correctness. There will be a softening in relation to things like drugs. You will get a less socially conservative country at the very least.

A less socially conservative country would be good. The conservatism in this country gives me the shits. Not to mention that I believe it is code for racist, sexist, homophobic policies and laws which allow for people to indulge themselves in those kinds of behaviours and beliefs because they know it is acceptable at the highest level of government.

Asked about the future under the Coalition, Mr Howard said Peter Costello "will be elected unopposed" as his successor.

Yeah, "elected unopposed" by the Liberal Party. NOT the Australian people. Sure, you can say people who vote for Howard to continue as PM are giving the green light to Costello. But really, given Howard's previous behaviour, do people really believe that he would step down for Costello? I have no doubt that if he was returned, something dramatic (real or imagined or engineered) would occur and Howard would declare that it is in the best interests of the country for him to remain as leader.

By his own admission, Howard will be using this week to push forward a negative view of the ALP. Be prepared for the next three days to be nothing but bitching and moaning and the government on its knees begging the electorate to ignore WorkChoices, AWB, children overboard, an illegal war, the systematic eroding of the rights of pretty much everyone except business, VSU, and the regular bending over and taking every which way from the US.

Yeah John Howard. You hold the interests of the entire country at heart. Excuse me while I go and ROTFLMAO at this claim.

Howard on the 7.30 Report

Slippery right to the end. He won't release their secret plan on Ultra-Workchoices but expects us to trust them when they say there is no secret plan.

He just invented a parallel history where Keating didn't get rid of centralise wage fixing. Reckons Keating, who made it idependent, didn't respect the independence of the reserve bank. Jesus Christ. Voters clearly think the economy is a '64 Chevy and Howard is the dancing Elvis doll on the dashboard that keeps it running because it's 'lucky'. He's lying and spinning in all directions. Howard has been thoroughly exposed by O'Brien for the mediocre fraud he is. I feel sorry for him, almost. He looks lost.

Howard wants to have everything both ways! He denies running a fear campaign. Claims we all love him really because he's a 'good economic manager' (thanks, mug punters). He replies to accusations of running a fear campaign by pulling out the Rudd=risk. Now he's running the Greens fear campaign. Uh oh, nuclear power... He pretty much admits he has a plan for a nuclear Australia. He is so slippery, Kerry's nailing him to the wall. Kerry nails him on stealing Rudd's education revolution but taking it back to the '50s. Keeps trying to bring back the culture wars. This goes back to an earlier post I made on Rudd's neutralisation of the media. Without his media chums Howard's wedges just look like the rantings of an old codger whose views belong in a dusty museum hallway.

Kerry goes after Howard's excessive advertising. Apparently he won't respond to Kerry's question on asking Downer to canvass the party room on his behalf. Claims that he won't lose his seat. I saw the terror in his eyes just then. Hahaha "My focus is my focus." Hahahaha, Kerry says goodbye to Howard as if this is the last time (we can only hope).

It's easy to feel sorry for Howard, now that his pathetic empire of lies and deceit seems to be collapsing around him. I do feel sorry. I feel sorry for refugees left to drown or rot in island gulags so he could have another crack at the wine cellar. I feel sorry for the 4,000,000 plus Iraqis made sport of the wind and sun, refugees from their country so Howard could feel like a big man. I feel sorry for the soul of our country, tarnished by eleven years of corrosion. For Mr Howard I feel... nothing. He'll wander off into a lavender retirement, pensioned off with all the creature comforts. Maybe there'll be a newspaper column to vent his bitter, twisted spleen on. Meanwhile the rest of us will get back to scrubbing the dirt off our national identity.




Not long now!

Howard is on the 7:30 report.

He's such a fucking slimy prick.

Claiming it's not true that the public wasn't told about WorkChoices before the last election. Why, everyone knew that they were going to get rid of unfair dismissal laws!

Fucking iniquitous, malevolent, duplicitous SOB.

Kerry O'Brien appears to be dumbfounded by a claim Howard is making about Keating's IR changes. Apparently, the only reason employment went up was because we were coming of a recession (5 years before), which means there will always be an increase in employment. Nothing to do with what Keating did Kerry, you silly man!

"Mr Keating had no respect for the Reserve Bank." Howard, you have no respect for the Australian people. Not to mention - how is claiming that you control interest rates showing respect for the RB? Fucker.

Now he's fooling himself into imagining people aren't throwing things at the tele while he's on.

"Labor governments at every level" Really? You've never mentioned that before!

Ooooooohhhhhh, now da Greenies are da baddies! Boo hiss Greens!

"We won't be building nuclear power stations." Of course not. You'll be hiring contractors from the US to do it!.

I can't even look at the bastard without wanting to just jump up and slap him. He also reminds me of that relative who gets drunk at family events and bails you up in the corner and demands you to acknowledge that everything he says is right and everything you say is wrong.

"I believe in the accountability of public figures in the serious media." I think he crossed his fingers behind his back when he said that. I'm surprised he didn't choke on his own words.

Ruddy is on tomorrow.

"The Australian" Editorial 23/11/07

"The Australian" Editorial
Friday 23 November 2007

It's (not just marking) time!

A decisive win on Saturday is essential for the health of Australian politics. The Australian Labor Party may need 52% to gain a majority. The Coalition parties could scrape home with less than 50%, perhaps even less than 49%. Our democracy would be severely damaged by such a result.

The disillusionment amongst younger voters would be profound. Their interest in politics has revived recently with the desire for positive change and the belief that it can be achieved. It is not just changing the government but reinvigorating our whole approach to politics. Climate change and broadband are more than policy issues for the decision-makers of the coming decades. They are iconic. Symbols of new ways of shaping the future.

Many of those who are turning against the Howard government believe that his team are politically and morally bankrupt. Some of the more glaring examples include: Iraq, the AWB bribes scandal, the shoddy treatment of Australian citizens such as Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez Solon, the political manipulation of the Hicks, Habib and Haneef cases, the orgy of taxpayer-funded propaganda, blatant pork barrelling, the expedient about-faces on global warming and reconciliation, and the cynical introduction of Work Choices. The vilification of refugees and the abuse of basic human rights have reached new lows. The first ever joint John Howard/Peter Costello interview smacked of the kind of hypocrisy that young people reject.

The government’s strength has been the economy but Kevin Rudd has presented a convincing case that Labor will be effective economic managers. The debate has become more complex than three years ago. It's not just interest rates or a booming mining sector. Uncontrolled growth, poor productivity and skills shortages have brought financial stress to both the business community and individuals. Mortgage stress and housing affordability are not just catch phrases. Growing personal debt and unfettered balance of trade deficits present challenges that neither side has yet to face. The exchange rate cannot be sustained at such high levels without major ramifications for whole sectors of the economy, especially exporters.

The Liberal party seem to have run out of steam. They are increasingly out of touch and tainted by political expediency and self-preservation. The treasurer has had ample opportunity to present his vision and plans for Australia’s future. He has failed this challenge. He has been very poor alternative leader of the opposition.

Leadership is about creative ideas and renewal. It is not just marking time. We urge the Australian voters to elect a Rudd Labor government with a clear mandate for the revitalisation that we urgently need.

(Rupert Murdoch's election editorials are always so predictable. I thought I'd write my own. If you have your own or would like to make additions, please use comments below.)

Original post at: Labor View from Broome

Monday, November 19, 2007

Newspoll: 54-46

Published by William Bowe at 9:51 pm under Federal Election 2007

Sky News reveals tomorrow’s Newspoll will show Labor leading 54-46; primary vote Labor 46 per cent (down two points), Coalition 41 per cent (up one). Details to follow.

Full post at The Poll Bludger

Rudd on Rove

LABOR leader Kevin Rudd has shown a more relaxed side on a television chat show as the election campaign enters its last week.

Mr Rudd has refused to claim election victory despite polls showing that he has a commanding lead but told the Rove show last night that he could deliver a knockout blow to Prime Minister John Howard - in a bar-room brawl.

When the Labor leader told host Rove McManus he didn't hate Mr Howard - he just wanted him out of government - McManus suggested Mr Rudd would still beat him in a fight.

"If I couldn't, wouldn't there be a real problem?" Mr Rudd said.

"The guy's 20 years older than me."

Mr Rudd also fielded questions during a light-hearted interview about turning gay, eating ear wax and the difference between a nerd and a geek.

The prime minister has so far declined invitations to appear on the talk show.

We caught the second half of this and despite Rudd's cop out on who would he turn gay for (his wife, bizzarely) his performance was excellent. He came across as accessible and it was obvious he was making a gesture towards young voters (I'll come to where you are instead of demanding you come to me like Howard). If he didn't have it before the youth vote will be all but sewn up after that. It's nice to see a politician not terrified of the electorate like John Howard obviously is.

Seat du jour: Herbert

Published by William Bowe at 2:17 am under Federal Election 2007

The Townsville-based electorate of Herbert was created at federation, when it extended north to Cairns and south to Mackay. The latest redistribution has maintained a long-running trend by drawing the electorate into Townsville, reducing its area from 1,997 square kilometres to 389 through the transfer of territory south of the city to Dawson. Support for Labor is stronger in and around the town centre than in the interior suburbs, especially after the latter produced particularly strong Liberal swings in 2004

Full post at The Poll Bludger

The Senate: Western Australia

Published by William Bowe at 5:11 pm under Federal Election 2007

Western Australia has produced variations on the same result since the first six-seat half-Senate election in 1990: three seats for the Liberals, two for Labor, plus one for a minor party. That party was the Greens in 1990, 1993 and 2004, with the election of Jo Vallentine, Dee Margetts and Rachel Siewert respectively. The Democrats won the seat in 1996 and 2001, when Andrew Murray was elected and re-elected, and in 1998, when Brian Greig was elected.

Full post at The Poll Bludger

The Hoon for Ryan

Looks like Michael Johnson, our local member for fixing potholes, cleaning up graffiti, hooning and everything else except federal issues, especially if they involve John Howard, has put his foot in it.

We’ve all seen the Coalition local campaign themes of “cracking down on local crime“, “making our roads safer” and my particular favourite - combating “hooning, graffiti and drugs on our streets“.

The problem with these types of campaigns though, is that there’s always some silly knob out there that puts his foot in it.

I present to you Michael “Hoonster” Johnson, the Liberal member for Ryan.

Full post at The Poll Bludger

John Howard: "the world will not end tomorrow"

Great news! Our Prime Minister continues to sit on his hands.

CLIMATE CHANGE is a serious challenge, but the world will not end tomorrow because of it, says John Howard. It's so reassuring. Hope he's read the IPCC report. Perhaps it will make good retirement reading next week.

A sample from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report

Table SPM.2. Examples of some projected regional impacts

Australia and New Zealand

• By 2020, significant loss of biodiversity is projected to occur in some ecologically rich sites including the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Wet Tropics;

• By 2030, water security problems are projected to intensify in southern and eastern Australia and, in New Zealand, in Northland and some eastern regions;

• By 2030, production from agriculture and forestry is projected to decline over much of southern and eastern Australia, and over parts of eastern New Zealand, due to increased drought and fire. However, in New Zealand, initial benefits are projected in some other regions.;

• By 2050, ongoing coastal development and population growth in some areas of Australia and New Zealand are projected to exacerbate risks from sea level rise and increases in the severity and frequency of storms and coastal flooding.

Summary for Policymakers of the Synthesis Report of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
(16 November 2007)

Please visit the IPCC website for the full details. This is not the time for blinkered sceptics like our PM!

Original post at: Labor View from Broome

Sunday, November 18, 2007

One Nation: Two Peoples

Just when it seemed that it had become a presidential campaign in Kalgoorlie, with few personal insights from the two main contenders, One Nation have reminded voters what they stand for. According to the Kal Miner, a regional newspaper owned by the West Australian:

Race relations emerged as an election issue in Kalgoorlie yesterday.
One Nation candidate Derek Major said police failed to target indigenous people in Kalgoorlie-Boulder for fear of being branded racist.

But his claims have been refuted by local indigenous leaders and other candidates.
Racial claims refuted (Kalgoorlie Miner, 17th November 2007)

Barry Haase, current Liberal member, disagreed with One Nation, blaming a lack of police resources. ALP candidate Sharon Thiel pointed to the high incarceration rate of indigenous people in prisons in refuting Major’s claims.
That’s the closest we’ve come to some hard election news lately if you don’t count this bit of info-tisement on the same day:

Centrelink manager Glen Jones was presented with a national award for exemplary service yesterday.

Presenting the award Kalgoorlie MHR Barry Haase said Mr Jones had done a “hell of a good job” with a “hell of a lot of staff”.
Mr Jones acts as a point of contact for Mr Haase for nearly all the Centrelink offices from Broome to Esperance.
Award for Centrelink head (Kalgoorlie Miner, 17th November 2007)

How's that for cutting edge journalism during the last weeks of the campaign!

Meanwhile back in Broome, an inquest is being held into aboriginal deaths at which it was revealed there is a waiting list for public housing of 863. Kimberley housing wait list nearly 900 (The West Australian, 15th November 2007)

The overwhelming majority of those on the list are aboriginal people. I have not seen any comments by the candidates so far.

Original post at: Labor View from Broome

Ad Watch – The differences between Rudd and Howard

At first this blog hated this ad. It was annoying, a bit smart-arse and there was a slight undertone of making Rudd seem like a lightweight, which with coalition ads suggesting that Rudd couldn’t stand up to the unions, did not seem like a good idea.

Full post at The Piping Shrike

Rudd's First 100 Days

As the final countdown to the November 24 poll begins, Mr Rudd outlined to The Sun-Herald his top five policy goals for the first 100 days if Labor forms government.

Declaring Christmas and Boxing Day the only holidays the first Labor cabinet in 11 years would enjoy over the summer break if victorious, he promised to oversee the implementation of policies in all portfolios.

"I believe leadership is about leading, with clear-cut direction," he said.

If victorious Mr Rudd wants to become known as "the education prime minister". He set five key goals for a Labor government's first three months:

1. Ratify the Kyoto Protocol. "We need to make sure we are around the negotiating table immediately ... for the next round of commitments on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions."

2. Start immediately to negotiate with the states on reform of hospital practices. "That is of crucial importance - we've got $2.5billion on the table but we'll need to frame a co-operative agreement around performance measures."

3. Begin the roll-out of the high-speed broadband network, along with connections to schools. In tandem, open up tenders for the $1 billion school computer program.

4. "Hit the ground running" with the implementation of the $2.5 billion program to upgrade trades training centres in secondary schools. "I went back to C block [the technical faculty] at [his old school] Nambour High the other day - it hadn't changed since I was there. It was like walking into a museum."

5. Begin negotiations with the Americans and Iraqis for the staged withdrawal by mid next year of Australian combat troops. "I have been very blunt with President Bush ... I have a no-surprises policy when it comes to these things."

Mr Rudd said a Labor government would start work immediately. "Christmas and Boxing Day we can have off, then it's to work."

The Labor leader said he wanted to be known as "an education prime minister", someone who didn't just talk about education but fundamentally transformed education as funded, delivered and measured from early childhood through to rocket science.

"This is the pathway to every person's future opportunities."


I think we're going to be just fine under a Rudd government. I'm a bit suspicious but why commit to a numbered list of things you're going to do and get them printed in national newspapers if you aren't going to do them? I mean people will be able to drag this out, you don't make a rod for your own back like that unless you're serious. I suppose it's always possible this would be a never ever GST moment but somehow I doubt it. Personally I feel like we'll be getting a PM who'll govern for us instead of for the over 55s.

I'm not given to flights of optimism and have little use for narcissistic nationalism but, damn it, Rudd makes me hopeful for our nation, hopeful in a way that can only be betrayed. I just can't see how or where it's going to come. Is he pulling out of Iraq to invade Iran? Does he secretly work for the Exclusive Brethren?

That list is like a 14 year old boy waking up next to a naked, horny Salma Hayek. It just can't be real, but there it is, and suddenly instead of enjoying your dream you've got her under the lights, quizzing her about how she got in, who sent her and what happened to her clothes. Even if he only does two things on that list it'll have been worth it. He's already lashed himself to mast on accountability so he's going to have very little room to maneuver. I guess it all depends on if the Libs fuck this up with their firewall, desperation strategy and the defeated coalition rump led by a smirking Costello frustrate him at every step.