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Federal Election 2010

Sep 17, 2010

Final 2PP: 50.12-49.88 to Labor

The Australian Electoral Commission has finalised the last of its two-party preferred Labor-versus Coalition counts, and it confirms Labor has won a narrow victory on the national total

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The Australian Electoral Commission has finalised the last of its two-party preferred Labor-versus Coalition counts, and it confirms Labor has won a narrow victory on the national total of 6,216,439 (50.12 per cent) to 6,185,949 (49.88 per cent), a margin of 30,490. If distinctions to the second decimal place are what matters to you, Labor did about 0.05 per cent worse than last time due to the arbitrary fact of the Nationals finishing ahead of Wilson Tuckey in O’Connor, meaning the AEC finalised a two-party result on a Nationals-versus-Labor basis where the 2007 Liberal-versus-Labor result was more favourable to them. So while I think it reasonable to cite the published figure as the definitive national result, a slight discount should be factored in when considering the matter of the swing, which should properly be rounded to 2.5 per cent rather than 2.6 per cent.

Whatever the specifics, the result leaves quite a few people looking foolish:

Barnaby Joyce: “We’d won the two-party preferred vote by the time the independents made their decision.” (Lateline, 7/9).

Andrew Bolt: “Labor won fewer votes, fewer seats of its own and less of the two-party preferred vote.” (Herald Sun, 8/9).

Alan Jones: “Is it a healthy democracy when a party wins the majority of the two party preferred, wins the majority of the primary vote and wins more seats in the Parliament than the other party but the other party forms government?” (2GB, 8/9).

Sarah Martin: “Yesterday, Julia Gillard’s Labor Party won government despite losing the primary vote and the two-party-preferred vote, or securing a majority of seats.” (The Advertiser, 7/9).

Kerry Chikarovski: “The Coalition won the primary vote, they won the two-party preferred …” (The Drum, 7/9).

Lateline: “Labor loses two-party preferred vote” (report headline, 30/8).

Kenneth Wiltshire: “It is probable that the Coalition will win more third-party preferences.” (NB: This of course is absurd – Labor got 65 per cent of third party preferences, much as they always do – but I think we know what he’s trying to say.) (The Australian 6/9).

Lisa Wilkinson (to Wayne Swan): “Now, you won fewer primary votes, fewer two-party preferred votes and fewer seats.”
(Swan explains to her that she’s wrong.)
Wilkinson: “But in the end you got 49.9 per cent of the vote and the Opposition got 50.1.”
Swan: “No, I don’t think that’s … Lisa, that is not a final count.”
Wilkinson: “Well, that’s what the AEC is saying and that’s what Australia said at the polls.” (The Today Show, Nine Network, 9/9).

No doubt there were others.

Our troubles here began on August 30, when the AEC removed three electorates from the national total on the basis that the Labor-versus-Liberal counts there had been discontinued after election night, as it became apparent the Greens (in the case of Batman and Grayndler) or Andrew Wilkie (in the case of Denison) rather than the Liberals would face Labor at the final count. As three of the weakest seats in the land for the Liberals, these were by extension among the strongest seats for Labor in two-party terms. The resulting adjustment in Labor’s two-party vote from 50.4 per cent 50.0 per cent led to a great many uncomprehending reports of a “surge” to the Coalition, which had an added edge due to Julia Gillard’s post-election claim that Labor had, apparently, won the two-party vote. Those who wanted a clear and accurate exposition of the news had to ignore, say, The Australian, and look to an evidently more reliable source of information in Bob Brown, who explained the absence of eight electorates from the published result and correctly concluded: “If you look at the whole of Australia and you treat every seat equally, when you do that Labor’s ahead and is likely to keep that lead right the way through to the finishing pole.”

Antony Green defends journalists on the basis that they were within their rights to take an official AEC figure at face value, but I’m not so kind. Even if awareness of the missing electorates was too much to ask, those quoted above should at least have been aware that the count was incomplete. As it stands, we have a result that leaves those of us who had done the sums with exactly what we were expecting, and a lot of dopey pundits and dishonest politicians with egg on their faces.

UPDATE: Morgan has published results from a phone poll of 541 respondents conducted on Wednesday and Thursday evening which has Labor leading 52-48 on two-party preferred from primary votes of 35.5 per cent for Labor, 42.5 per cent for the Coalition and 15 per cent for the Greens. The margin of error on the poll is about 4.2 per cent.

UPDATE 2: As Peter Brent points out, the 52-48 result comes from the less reliable two-party measure based on respondent-allocated preferences – going on previous elections, which the most recent election has again vindicated as the superior method, Labor’s lead is only 50.5-49.5.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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2186 comments

2,186 thoughts on “Final 2PP: 50.12-49.88 to Labor

  1. steve

    [I also wonder if the Wild Rivers private members bill that Abbott has pledged to reintroduce and pass is a ‘bread and butter’ issue.]

    No that would be one of the “state” issues that Rabbott lost the campaign on. Wild Rivers legislation was passed by the Queensland Government.

  2. David

    confessions I appreciate the point you make about the NT and ACT, do not disagree. My point is Andrews and Abbott do not want any discussion, their minds are made up, because of their religious beliefs. Euthanasia is not acceptable anywhere, anyhow. This first move to give the NT and ACT entitlement is not acceptable to them.

  3. ltep

    [Wild Rivers legislation was passed by the Queensland Government.]

    Yes, but it can be overturned by the Commonwealth Parliament.

  4. ltep

    The Liberals are being completely ridiculous in their assertions that pairing the Speaker would be illegal. If so, why did they sign up to an agreement that clearly stated the Speaker would be paired? Or was that agreement only worth something if they formed government?

  5. steve

    David all this overriding of NT and ACT seems to tie in precisely with the overriding of Queensland legislation with the Wild Rivers legislation. The funny thing is that Noel Pearson was all gungho about replicating the NT intervention in Queensland has now put all that on the backburner to help his Liberal mates fight the Wild Rivers Legislation.

  6. Socrates

    I missed this on Friday: an interesting article on peak oil and climate change and how they interact.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/peak-oil-and-climate-must-be-tackled-in-tandem-20100916-15esa.html

    As the global economy recovers peak oil is bound to come back. To illustrate why oil price and cliamte change are different but related issues, consider this: the carbon price to create change in energy markets ($30/tonne) is equal to 8 cents per litre on oil prices. Yet when the first Arab oil crisis happened in 1974, a world shortfall in oil supply of only 15% saw prices multiplied by four in under six months.

    A carbon price really is the first step. It will stop kooky solutions to peak oil, like some biofuels, or shale oil. The former would require all of Australia’s crops to produce maybe 1/3 of our oil needs. The latter produces twice as much CO2 as just burning oil.

  7. Laocoon

    Another close run election result – though I think it is a neo-Nazi party that potentially has the balance of power. This joins UK, Belguim and I think the Netherlands, as well as Oz…has anyone attempted a thematic piece on systemic causes of indecisive election results?
    [Sweden was last night heading for a tightly balanced parliament after elections looked likely to erode the majority commanded by the governing centre-right coalition.Fredrik Reinfeldt, the prime minister, looked likely to beat the Social Democrats easily, making the Moderate Party leader the first non-socialist to win re-election since the 1930s.

    Reinfeldt’s bid to hold on to power, built on small budget deficits, tax cuts and strong economic growth, is being closely watched by David Cameron. Both leaders have re-branded their parties and entered into partnerships with centrist liberals.

    However, Reinfeldt’s majority was under threat yesterday from the far-right Sweden Democrats, who have sought to harness anti-immigrant sentiment in a country where one in seven residents is foreign-born. In an unusually close poll, it appeared from exit polls that the party had managed to cross the 4% threshold necessary to win parliamentary seats.

    A strong performance by the Sweden Democrats and the prospect of a hung parliament looked likely to trigger a fall in the krona against the euro and volatility on the Stockholm financial markets.

    Both the governing coalition and the centre-left opposition bloc have pledged not to join forces with the Sweden Democrats. Reinfeldt has said he would try first to build a coalition with the Green Party if he lost his outright majority.

    The rise of the far-right party, which has moved away from its skinhead roots under a youthful leadership and the slogan “Tradition and Security”, reflects a wider anti-immigrant backlash across Europe, as recession and budget cuts take hold. In their campaign, the Sweden Democrats raised the spectre of creeping Islamicisation of society and promised to crack down on immigration.]
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/19/sweden-election-reinfeldt-democrats-right

  8. OzPol Tragic

    [“I don’t think attitudes have changed at all,” he said

    Anyone who still doesn’t believe Andrews thinking is not strongly influenced by his catholic beliefs, should no longer harbor same.]

    In a way, KA’s right. I’m fairly sure there WAS A clear (opinion poll) pro-euthanasia MAJORITY at the time Andrews, Abbott & co intervened; just as there was for stem cell research & RU 486, and there is to grant Australian gay couples the right to marry here legally.

    Two down; two to go; though they won’t get through the current Senate. First Bills to be passed by the new Senate would be great!

    BTW: Papal (antiAtheist, anti women priests etc) rhetoric in UK won’t have softened Abbott & Andrews’ stance at all; nor will a major poll showing The Pope “is seriously out of step with his followers on several key issues” quite the contrary.

  9. Aguirre

    Abbott surely is keeping his job at the moment because there’s no candidate fit to replace him. He’s got cachet because he got them so close, but if they were smart they’d realise he’s done his job now and they have no further use for him.

    I don’t think they’re in denial or anything like that. I just think they’re out of ideas. They’re hoping that repeating the same accusations will… well, will do something anyway. I doubt they’ve figured out what that something is supposed to be.

    My dad’s retired and he lives up in Oakeshott’s seat. He seems to think the community up there is livid with O for selling out the right. He’s popular, but the dominant political idea up there is “anyone but Labor”. So lining up with the ALP is looking like a betrayal to them. He’s got a lot of work to do to turn that thinking around, by the sound of it.

  10. steve

    Peter Martin is in fighting form today, dishing it out to Grog, Possum and sundry others over the NBN.

    http://www.petermartin.com.au/2010/09/were-spending-fortune-on-new-wires-in.html

  11. Socrates

    Thanks Laocoon

    Interesting that they have proportional representation but a threshold (4%) to pass before you get parliamentary seats. I’d quite like to see that here in the Senate.

    Below the line preference deals mean that people like Fielding getting in on 2% of the vote have absolutely no credibility whatsoever, given that very few people would have allocated him preferences belwo the line either. They then hold the parliament to ransom. A 4% threshold wouldn’t stop any credible minor party.

  12. TheTruthHurts

    [Abbott certainly has confounded me by being allowed to stay on after losing an election. The Liberals would have replaced any other loser at the first party room meeting in the past. Maybe there is less talent than ever before in the Liberal Party at present and a loser is the best they can manage.]

    Could be the fact he took out a first term Prime Minister, and nearly did the same to his replacement.

    Just a guess.

  13. confessions

    David: your observations about the motivations of Andrews and Abbott are in all likelihood correct. But this just plays into their hands. They want the public to think Brown’s bill is about passing euthanasia because it allows them to portray their opposition to it on moral grounds, rather than the anti-democratic action it is.

    There is no logical argument against allowing the Territory parliaments to debate and pass their own laws on euthanasia. They are, after all, accountable to their own voters, not Liberals in Sydney and Melbourne. Same goes for Wild Rivers. If the Bligh govt has passed laws in defiance of the wishes of Qld voters, then it will be held to account at the ballot box.

  14. Gary

    [Could be the fact he took out a first term Prime Minister, and nearly did the same to his replacement.]
    No he didn’t, to either.

  15. ltep

    It’s very unfashionable to stand up for states rights nowadays confessions.

  16. ty

    [I did hear of an emperor who didn’t believe he was naked once…

    That scene in Return of the Jedi was cut…]

    you want this, don’t you? *shudder*

  17. confessions

    ltep: Perhaps I’m just old fashioned.

  18. Laocoon

    A very short little article in the AFR:
    [Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has backed down on his public criticisim of the NSW Liberal Party over delayed preselections of candidates and warned colleagues against destructive recriminations about the federal election results…]
    It seems to me not uncommon for strictures against some behaviour to be the best evidence that some undesired behaviour is flourishing – so perhaps those “destructive recriminations” are indeed in full flight.

    But could there be another reason for Abbott’s conciliation? It’s not like it is actually his character. Well a few paragraphs on, behold…
    [NSW Liberal party sources have accused Mr Abbott of delaying some preselections by personally intervening over the choice of candidates.]
    Whoops.

  19. Kit

    Interesting:

    Greens outpoll Nationals in Non-Metro areas

    The Greens – 497,460 (9.72%)
    The Nationals – 460,388 (8.99)

  20. TheTruthHurts

    [No he didn’t, to either.]

    Okay I must be a stupid fool. Remind me again why Rudd got stabbed in the back by his own party in his very first term, and why Gillies lost 17 seats.

    Either Abbott was a very effective opposition leader, or Labor are bloody useless, so which one is it?

  21. steve

    Ah truthy, the first term Prime Minister was already taken out before the Rabbott went to the election campaign he lost. Near enough ain’t good enough when it comes to coming second in a two horse race. Next!

  22. OzPol Tragic

    Socrates,

    [It will stop kooky solutions to peak oil, like some biofuels, or shale oil]

    missed the coal to liquid fuel (oil, diesel) etc projects proposed for 4 sites on the Darling Downs, inc the one which affects the Condamine Affluvium (Darling Headwaters); some claiming to be clean coal projects. I haven’t checked the “carbon/ CO & CO2” issues yet; just the threat to the GAB. http://www.heirg.com/projects/by-region-dd.php

    Some of the Greens who followed Larissa Water’s & Bob Brown’s intervention in the farmers v miners dispute might like to add to this “little sleeper” (note, “coal-to-liquid-fuel” projects are not included in “coal-seam gas” projects). I know they need a great deal of water in a low-rainfall region; past that, nothing about th technology.

  23. TheTruthHurts

    [Greens outpoll Nationals in Non-Metro areas]

    Of course you exclude LNP from the numbers in QLD.

    Bullshit

  24. Gary

    [Okay I must be a stupid fool.]
    Yep, you got that right.

  25. Gary

    [Either Abbott was a very effective opposition leader, or Labor are bloody useless, so which one is it?]
    Neither. Guess again.

  26. Yo ho ho

    [Of course you exclude LNP from the numbers in QLD.

    Bullshit]

    Ok, include it then.

    NEWSFLASH – ACCORDING TO TTH, THE LIBERALS DID NOT RECEIVE ONE VOTE IN QLD

    😀

  27. steve

    Truthy is the definition of “a very effective opposition leader” now one who loses an election?

  28. Socrates

    Oz Pol

    Yes you are right; unless the laws of chemistry have been repealed coal to oil is a disastrous process for greenhouse emissions too. You get all the emissions from burning the coal or oil, plus a lot more energy losses during the conversion process than if you just burnt straight coal or oil. More CO2, less energy 🙁

    The only reason people are pushing coal to oil is that it allows low grade coal deposits that are not viable for coal power to be exploited. They should be left in the ground.

  29. Rod Hagen

    Digging further into the claims about compensation for asylum seekers covered by ABC News ( http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/19/3015837.htm ) and the News Ltd papers I’ve managed to track down the actual Senate Estimates committee answer on notice on which Morrison based his (outageous) claims, reported as “soaring” costs of compensation by the News Ltd papers.

    The answer was actually provided prior to the election (back in early July it seems), on the basis of a question asked by The Greens Hanson-Young in May. You can find it at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/legcon_ctte/estimates/bud_1011/diac/71_qon_27_May_2010.pdf

    The first thing to note is that ALL of the claims related to people who were in immigration detention prior to 1 August 2007. In other words, they all relate to the period when the Howard government was in power, and to events relating to the treatment of Asylum seekers which the Howard government, not Labor, were responsible for. They include, for example, matters such as the payouts to Cornelia Rau, Vivian Solon, the 11-year-old Iranian boy Shayan Badraie (whose case Vanstone spent $1.5m fighting before paying $400,000 in compensation)!), and Van Phuc Nguyen who was granted refugee status in 1989, but in 2002 mistakenly thrown into Villawood Detention Centre where he was incarcerated until 2006

    The second thing to note is that the actual amounts paid were not “soaring” after Labor came to power. The total payments (though still for actions that occurred during the Howard years) were actually a little lower in 2008-2010 than they had been for the 2006 to 2008 period.

    By far the largest amounts here involved cases of wrongful detention – situations where people with legitimate rights to be in Australia were unlawfully incarcerated. Such money was NOT paid out to “Asylum seekers”, as claimed in the ABC headline, but to “immigration detainees” – people like Cornelia Rau and Vivienne Solon, neither of whom were “asylum seekers”.

    The Howard Government’s Immigration Dept annual report for the 2006-7 financial year indicates that the Ombudsman had referred some 247 other similar cases for compensatory action, and it is these old cases which have been flowing into the recent payments.

    The increase in payments has nothing to do with Labor and next to nothing to do with Asylum seekers. The simple fact is that we are still paying for the Howard government’s appalling neglect of proper process when it comes to immigration detention compensation.

  30. victoria

    Morning all

    Rod Hagen

    Thanks for your follow up information regarding the asylum seeker compensation issue. Have you considered sending your post to the ABC?

  31. ltep

    [Truthy is the definition of “a very effective opposition leader” now one who loses an election?]

    Well Bob Carr did much better than expected at the 1991 NSW state election, bringing them back from a shocking result at the previous election to a hung parliament. He then went on to win the next election. I’d say he was an effective opposition leader regardless of the fact he lost the first election.

    Abbott’s done very well to come so close, the test will be whether he can finish off the job at the next election. Too soon to tell whether he can.

  32. victoria

    Itep

    A week is a long time in politics!

  33. steve

    [the test will be whether he can finish off the job at the next election.]

    You don’t really believe that Abbott will still be Opposition Leader at the next election do you Ltep or do you subscribe to Chris Pyne’s line on Insiders yesterday that Rabbott can become Prime Minister without another election?

  34. ltep

    steve, I’m saying I don’t know. I don’t think Abbott will become PM without another election and 99.9% of what Pyne said in that interview was nonsense (either outright lies/distortions or illogical garbage). At this stage I think it’s more likely than not he’ll still be leader at the next election but as victoria says, 3 years is a long time.

  35. lizzie

    Morning victoria, rod H

    Good work, Rod. Perhaps your material should be sent to the Minister for Immigration, in case he hasn’t had time to trace the background of the report!!

  36. BigBob

    If you look at the recent record, all 1st term Oppositon leaders federally have clawed back considerable ground on the government.

    Abbott’s swing was far from being anywhere near some of the swings achieved by other opposition leaders.

    The problem for the ALP was a smaller buffer than other previous first term governments had, in terms of the majority and seats with relatively safe margins.

    People have come to consider the periods of Rudd’s extraordinary polling as some sort of baseline to judge Abbott’s performance on, I prefer to look at the historical evidence.

    On this, his effort was mediocre.

  37. confessions

    [The simple fact is that we are still paying for the Howard government’s appalling neglect of proper process when it comes to immigration detention compensation.]

    Rod, thanks for this.

    Will anybody call the opposition to account for their shoddy practices when in government?

  38. Cuppa

    [Have you considered sending your post to the ABC?]

    That’s to assume the ABC is still interested in or capable of bringing substance and background to its coverage, as opposed to merely being a platform of easy virtue for the Coalition’s daily talking points, whatever they may be on any given day.

    [The Federal Opposition says …]

  39. Pegasus

    Ron said:
    [… BEFORE they is assessed if they got health issues danger to oz public or our fauna , and BEFORE they is assessed for National security]
    Simply not true.

    http://greens.org.au/policies/care-for-people/immigration-and-refugees
    [· house asylum seekers who arrive without a valid visa in publicly owned and managed open reception centres, where entry and exit to these centres are unrestricted except where prohibited for medical or security reasons specified in clause 28.

    · grant asylum seekers an asylum application visa (AAV) and assist without delay their move into the community provided medical and security checks are satisfied or after 14 days has passed, whichever occurs first.

    · deny an AAV if security checks demonstrate the person poses a serious criminal threat to the Australian community or if the person has not remained housed in the reception centre while the medical and security checks were completed.]

    Zoomster said:
    [The Greens appear to be the only group of any political colour who are arguing against regional processing.]
    You must have missed my earlier posts regarding asylum seekers. Here is part of one:
    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/09/17/final-2pp-50-12-49-88-to-labor/comment-page-37/#comment-635873

    Media release by S H-Y, 9/7/2010
    http://sarah-hanson-young.greensmps.org.au/content/media-release/greens-refugee-policy-practical-humane-alternative
    [* Push Australia to take a leading role in the region by hosting any regional processing centre.]

  40. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    I have noticed online that unflattering photographs of Tony Abbott are appearing in news reports . I expect there to be a skew to these by following links in PB, but photos are appearing that seemed absent during the election period. I wonder if the media lovefest is starting ever so slowly to shrivel up for Tone.

  41. Cuppa

    [I wonder if the media lovefest is starting ever so slowly to shrivel up for Tone.]

    It’s infuriating that, apparently in the interest of “giving us a contest”,, they loved-in with the Abbott so light-headedly that he almost managed to slither into power.

    And there would we have been, eh? Country in the grip of right wing radicals with a knuckle-dragging flat-earther leading the charge.

    Actually, the description ‘infuriating’ doesn’t do what happened to this democracy justice. To give a dodgy and know-to-be dishonest Opposition leader the softest media ride of any OL in history was a pernicious undermining of democracy that must never be allowed to recur.

  42. steve

    Cuppa the Teaparty doesn’t like the ABC it seems.

    Becoon AusTeaParty’s post “We’re all sick of the smirking lefties of the ABC..If complaints don’t work, it’s time to march on ABC offices..”#auspol 13 minutes ago via web

  43. Kit

    Cuppa, hear, hear. And as I watch Rudd very comfortably travelling on the world stage, I wonder where the international relations commentariat, such as Paul Sheehan, were when there was a very real possibility that Abbott and Bishop would be our international representatives. Not one word about what sort of disaster that would have been.

  44. Cuppa

    Steve,

    That sort of twaddle allows the likes of Ltep the to say, “Well, both sides complain about the bias, so it must mean they ABC is right in the middle.”

  45. zoomster

    Peg, I did read those posts, thank you.

    I think we differ on what a ‘regional processing centre’ is.

    Like most refugee groups, when I use the term I use it to mean one in a country closer to where the refugees are ‘sourced’ from – otherwise you don’t cut out the ‘dangerous trip by sea’ option.

  46. ltep

    [ABC lefties are like cockroaches and they hate the light. Shine some on them.]

    Eloquently put.

    Also love these comments which must surely be made in jest:

    [There is no doubt that the ABC lean to the left.
    What I am starting to be more worried about however is that SKY NEWS and the AGENDA crew seem to love the left just as much.]

    [Exactly right, SKY, brought to you by GetUp!, are as bad as the ALPBC!]

    Wait… the whole site is a parody?

  47. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    Pegasus,
    It seems sensible to me for Australia to host the regional processing centre, except that people will try to cross the sea to get here. Is there anywhere else in the region we can put an RPC so that people do not have to sail across the ocean? Who knows how many of them have drowned trying to get here. There must be a better way than that.

    On the topic of asylum seekers, I do not know how we can send any female back to places like Afghanistan. (I know we sent one young woman back to a country with Sharia-type laws who had lived most of her life in Australia. I can’t envisage that turning out well, she is probably dead by now.)

    How about the UN flying the whole female population (with their children) out of the place and leave the men to fight it out.

    Same for Democratic Republic of Congo where there is so much rape and mutilation of women and girls as a act of war. Take all the women and kids out; the women do not come back until there is a safe and respectful place for them to live in.

    Instead of a womens’ refuge house, we need a womens’ refuge country.

  48. Cuppa

    Kit,

    [I wonder where the international relations commentariat, such as Paul Sheehan, were when there was a very real possibility that Abbott and Bishop would be our international representatives. Not one word about what sort of disaster that would have been.]

    They were probably rubbing their hands together in journalistic self-interest. Anticipating all the stories they’d have been able to write about faux pas and ineptness coming from the (Coalition) government.

  49. To Speak of Pebbles

    I understand being the OL in a minority govt, the desire to keep Abbott on. Stability is the best thing for the Coalition right now, as they are just 4 seats away from winning a majority government, so I will not question the logic of keeping him on.

    However, I will point out the bullshit of claiming he is some great leader for bringing about what was a 7 seat gain on a 2.5% swing. That makes him just slightly below par for your OL (who has faced an election.) Combined with the fact that there was clearly dissatisfaction with the government, a good opposition leader would’ve won this election handily. No amount of spin is going to change that fact. Abbott has a lot of work ahead of him if he is to win the next election (he won’t have the NSW Labor govt, or probably the QLD to scapegoat by then – and forget the Rudd factor as well. Not to mention Julia Gillard having had established herself as the incumbent – and thus having all the benefits thereof.)

  50. george

    [Just a guess.]

    Pretty much sums up all your “analysis”

  51. Socrates

    Cuppa
    [It’s infuriating that, apparently in the interest of “giving us a contest”,, they loved-in with the Abbott so light-headedly that he almost managed to slither into power. ]
    I think that only explains some of the behavior, eg Fairfax & Oaks on Channel Nine.

    For the rest, especially ABC and The Oz, it was naked self interest: turfing Labor before they could either build an NBN that harm’s your owner’s monopoly profit (the Oz), or remove from the board the right wing plants that supported your appointment (ABC).

  52. Cuppa

    Can’t argue with that analysis, Socrates.

  53. Gusface

    [If we sold all the copper in the network the return would be between 9-14 billion

    stick that in your pipe

    :)]

    I posted that on peter martins blog

    the reality is that part of the cost of the NBN will be funded from the asset being replaced

    not the other way around

  54. george

    [For the rest, especially ABC and The Oz, it was naked self interest: turfing Labor before they could either build an NBN that harm’s your owner’s monopoly profit (the Oz), or remove from the board the right wing plants that supported your appointment (ABC).]

    I think this is critical for everyone to understand. No matter the party politics, ideology, or anything else at the time, the continued uninterrupted profit and control by big business is either upheld by whomever is in power, or they will come down on you like a sledgehammer. And a nice “bucket-o-sh*t” served up daily through the MSM if you try and stare them down.

    The NBN is a particularly dog-poo sandwich for the likes of News/Fox. They know that the control over media and bandwidth is paramount to their continued profits. They won’t be going away, but the NBN will be akin to opening up TV/Radio broadcasting to the masses, no matter the size of the broadcaster.

  55. lizzie

    ABC online
    [The Opposition says Prime Minister Julia Gillard needs to approach Papua New Guinea about re-opening the detention centre on Manus Island instead of planning to build more detention centres on Australian soil.
    The governor of the Manus province wrote to PNG’s prime minister last month to raise the issue, saying the reopening of the centre would revitalise the local economy.
    The Federal Government is negotiating with East Timor’s government to open an offshore processing centre in the country.
    But Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says Ms Gillard would approach the PNG government if she was serious about offshore processing.
    “Papua New Guinea has a centre that was used under the previous Coalition government,” he said.
    “It is a signatory to the refugee convention, which the Prime Minister said was an important criteria for her.
    “The province of Manus Island is very happy to re-open the centre and there is an opportunity I think to hold discussions with the PNG government.”]

    Does anyone agree with me that it is making trouble for the Oppn to be rushing making pseudo policies with other countries?

  56. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    [brought to you by GetUp!,]
    The neo-cons hate GetUp it seems. GetUp targets issues, not parties, they advocate for issues that are a problem for Labor as easily as for Lib/Nat coalition.
    http://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/
    The fact that Howard attacked democracy and vulnerable groups put issues the issues out there for an online organisation like GetUp to go into bat for change. Interestingly it is still the Howard legacy which is providing big wins for GetUp, the enfranchisement rights of Australians.

    In the olden days, people who were affected by these issues either wrote letters, joined the opposite party, marched in the streets (and got arrested) or sat at home seething. The likes of Howard could do and did what they liked, by just throwing money at voters at election time. Now it is different, and we all know how.

  57. grey

    Where do the Taliban get their weapons from right now.
    Haven’t seen that.
    Those they captured from the Russians would be worn out.
    Except those the Yank’s gave them later on.

    Who are we fighting?
    It’s tremendous be naive until someone tries to kill you.

  58. Rod Hagen

    [Thanks for your follow up information regarding the asylum seeker compensation issue. Have you considered sending your post to the ABC?]

    I have sent the following as a formal complaint to them, victoria:

    Yesterday (19th September, 2010) ABC News ran a story misleadingly headed “Asylum seekers get $5.4m in compensation” in which the Shadow Minister Scott Morrison alleged this indicated a blow out in future compensation payments – see http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/19/3015837.htm

    The headline for the story is highly misleading. The Senate Estimates answer mentioned in the story (which was readily available to your journalist on line at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/legcon_ctte/estimates/bud_1011/diac/71_qon_27_May_2010.pdf ) relates to “alleged injury to immigration detainees or alleged wrongful detention of immigration detainees ” NOT to “Asylum Seekers” . Examples of the sort of matters which are included in the figures are the highly publicised Solon and Rau cases, neither of which involved “Asylum Seekers” in any way.

    It should also be noted that the figures include at least some of the Government’s legal costs involved in the cases. The headline is therefore misleading about not only the recipients of this expenditure, but also the actual quantum of moneys received by them.

    The article accordingly breaches clause 3.2 of the ABC’s Code of Conduct which states: “3.2 Every reasonable effort, in the circumstances, must be made to ensure that the factual content of news and current affairs is accurate and in context.”

    The ABC, I would suggest, needs to exercise far greater care in a highly contentious area of public debate such as this. I draw your attention to Section 5 of the ABC Code of Conduct in this respect.

    Errors of the kind contained here are also likely to re-inforce negative stereotypes of asylum seekers as a group, implying pecuniary factors rather than a need to escape from dire circumstance, as the primary motivation for their actions. This would appear to contravene aspects of section 2.7 of the ABC Code of Conduct.

    The story also suffers from the omission of a matter of the greatest importance in understanding the matters referred to, and as a consequence further contravenes the Code of Conduct 3.2 provision concerning “context”.

    The Senate Estimates answer referred to makes it abundantly clear that the events from which the compensation and related costs accrued all occurred during the period when the Howard government was in power. No mention whatsoever is made of this in the ABC story.

    Instead it speaks only of a period ” over the past two years”. The clear implication is that the events being compensated for also occurred during this time period, when in fact they ALL relate to events occurring prior to the 1st August 2007!

    No attempt appears to have been made by the journalist concerned to balance the claims of Mr Morrison by seeking responses from any other party (whether it be from government, from refugee advocates, or even from the actual Senator whose Senate Estimate question prompted the answer, Hanson-Young (see http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/senate/commttee/S13016.pdf at L&C 37).)

    I ask that the ABC formally investigate this matter and as a matter of priority publish an article correcting the serious errors and contextual omissions which it contains.

  59. lizzie

    steve @ 2142

    I just skimmed the report, but notice a very strong statement by the Labor Vice-chair that the committee was biased.

  60. Pegasus

    Here is an interesting article about a paper, “The Psychology of Global Warming”, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

    The two authors, psychology lecturer Ben Newell and climate scientist Professor Andy Pitman, identified normal psychological phenomena, such as “sampling issues” and “framing” that can tend to turn people into climate “deniers”.

    [”Simply presenting the facts and figures about global warming has failed to convince large portions of the general public, journalists and policy makers about the scale of the problem and the urgency of required action,” the paper says.]
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/psychology-provides-insight-into-why-people-doubt-climate-change-20100919-15hy4.html

    Methinks a “community consensus” regarding climate change might prove to be rather difficult.

  61. grey

    to be naive. often miss to’s.

  62. lizzie

    Well done, Rod.
    I noticed that my own post 2141 from ABC also starts “The Opposition says”…

  63. lizzie

    Pegasus

    Yes, I read that. One of the points seemed to be that as soon as info becomes “technical’ (such as 0.2 instead of 20% or 2 in every 10 🙂 ) people tend to tune out as the number seems so small.

    Scientists, I believe, do not recognise how science-illiterate most ordinary people are.
    For eample, a report stating that a degree of warming is “significant” has a more specific statistical meaning than “I’m writing this to show you something”.

    Trouble is, as soon as a paper is translated into ordinary-speak, it tends to lose its “significance”.

  64. kakuru

    BigBob @ 2122

    [ Abbott’s swing was far from being anywhere near some of the swings achieved by other opposition leaders.

    The problem for the ALP was a smaller buffer than other previous first term governments had, in terms of the majority and seats with relatively safe margins. ]

    When it came to the coverage of the most recent election, these facts somehow managed to fall through the cracks. Instead, we got a whole lot of blather about how the swing against the first term Labor govt was “unprecedented”.

    There was a huge swing against Howard in ’98, amounting to a loss of 20 seats (including one minister), and the loss of the 2PP. Howard had a big buffer, because of the huge gains in the landslide of ’96. The anti-Howard swing in ’98 was absorbed across many seats on safer margins. Gillard didn’t have any cushion at all in 2010; the 22 seats gained in 2007 included many of those lost by Latham in 2004.

  65. ltep

    Yes Puff, according to the Australian Tea Party:

    [GetUp is funded by unions, in possible breaks of the law, and is masterminded not by its public leader but by ALP spin doctors and a PR firm.]

    That site is compelling awful reading.

  66. grantplant

    [Of course you exclude LNP from the numbers in QLD.

    Bullshit]

    So you want their votes counted twice then huh Truthy? Typical. Why am I not surprised?

    They were included in the Liberal vote you knob.

  67. confessions

    Good on you Rod.

    I wonder if they’ll correct their story, or simply reply with the usual ‘we know best’ form letter they usually send back to complainants.

  68. steve

    Seems we have a new definition of grateful and we can only hope we never see the NSW definition of ungrateful.

    [2.31 However, Mr Grant Heaton, Representative of the NSW Teachers Federation and Principal of Hasting Public School, asserted that: ‘[O]ne should not confuse gratitude with satisfaction.’52
    This was supported by Mr Gary Zadkovich, Deputy President, NSW Teachers Federation, who said: … just because a school is grateful and just because a school community is pleased about having a brand new building under this program, that does not mean that there are not concerns in such a school community about what they might have got if a different approach had been adopted.53

  69. vera

    [Abbott surely is keeping his job at the moment because there’s no candidate fit to replace him. He’s got cachet because he got them so close,]
    Agree with this and to give Tone his dues he did pick up 16 odd labor seats and came within an Undie of being PM.

    Similar to the Bomber who picked up 16 seats in 1998 and we kept him for the next election.
    I think Tone is pretty safe at this stage (but anything could happen with Malcolm lurking 😉 )

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_federal_election,_1998

  70. BK

    Great letter to the ABC Rod.
    [The article accordingly breaches clause 3.2 of the ABC’s Code of Conduct which states: “3.2 Every reasonable effort, in the circumstances, must be made to ensure that the factual content of news and current affairs is accurate and in context.”]
    No doubt they will respond to this point by suggesting that they were factual in reporting what Morrison said.
    Your very specific points will make it difficult for them to answer in a pro forma way.
    No doubt you will advise us of the response.

  71. vera

    Switched on the TV while having an early lunch and thought I’d see what was on A-Pac (Kev being OS and all 🙂 ) but who did they have on?
    The Poison Dwarf and he was still raving on about kev and the faceless men!
    I switched to Bargain Hunt before I was turned off my tucker.

  72. vera

    Made a mistake Bomber picked up 18 seats not 16 doh!

  73. confessions

    [LIBERAL leader Will Hodgman has moved decisively to seize control of the party in Tasmania, throwing down the challenge to powerbroker Eric Abetz.

    Mr Hodgman yesterday said he could no longer stand by and watch ultra-conservatives within the Liberal Party lead it into oblivion and irrelevancy.

    Instead he wants to bring the Liberals back to the “middle of the road”.

    “I’m grabbing this by the scruff of the neck. I’m quite prepared to stake my leadership on it,” Mr Hodgman told the Mercury in an exclusive interview.

    And he is determined to stamp out the perception the Liberal Party is a closed shop for any potential candidates not approved by senior Tasmanian senator Abetz. ]

    Good luck with that. Abetz seems to have a vice-like grip on the party in Tas, practically single-handedly killing the Liberal party down there.

    Incidentally the SMH had an article yesterday about Keneally doing and saying exactly the same things, only it was reported as her “hitting the panic button” rather than “moving decisively”.

  74. ltep

    Yes confessions, I was thinking reading that that Hodgman’s days are numbered as Tasmanian Liberal leader. Abetz will just install someone else.

  75. madcyril

    [
    Abbott certainly has confounded me by being allowed to stay on after losing an election. The Liberals would have replaced any other loser at the first party room meeting in the past
    ]

    My general impression of the Libs was that they usually got rid of Leaders straight after election losses, but not so.

    Hewson stayed on after the Liberal’s 1993 election loss. He didn’t lose the leadership until the following year, to Downer. Peacock resigned straight after his 1990 loss.

    Howard stayed on after 1987 until he was dumped in 1989. Peacock retained the leadership after the 1984 loss ultimately resigning the leadership in 1985. Even Billy Snedden hung on for a while after his loss to Gough in 1974. He lost the leadership in 75 to Fraser. So if history is a guide, Abbott is toast by the end of next year 😀

  76. Ron

    Pegasus

    http://greens.org.au/policies/care-for-people/immigration-and-refugees
    Clause 17

    “abolish MANDATORY (and indefinite) DETENTION of asylum seekers.”

    So stop trying to hide that fact , ie Greens oppose mandatory detenton of A-S

    Mandatory detain is simply detainment to CHECK FIRST that a boat person is a true refugee , check for there health issues and check for there national security , and THEREAFTER they enter oz commiunity

    Youse lot want A-S in community whilst such checks is being done , otherwise you would not be objecting to th 3 above checks being done beforehand

    You then quote a series of Greens web site clauses that is very careful spun & quite wordy to simply again camoflage Greens polisy is effective “open door”:

    “· house asylum seekers who arrive without a valid visa in publicly owned and managed open reception centres, where entry and exit to these centres are unrestricted except where prohibited for medical or security reasons specified in clause 28. “

    which is per clause 28:

    “· deny an AAV if security checks demonstrate the person poses a serious criminal threat to the Australian community or if the person has not remained housed in the reception centre while the medical and security checks were completed. !!!! “

    join th above dots

    “· grant asylum seekers an asylum application visa (AAV) and assist without delay their move into the community provided medical and security checks are satisfied or after 14 days has passed !!! , whichever occurs first.”

    your site words is indeed quite pretty , but written to hid what your polisy is actualy saying , and reason is is cause most people would regard such polisy as lunasy and disowning of a Govt’s role to protect its citazens

  77. Rod Hagen

    [Made a mistake Bomber picked up 18 seats not 16 doh!]

    How do you figure that, vera? The coalition had 65 seats in the old parliament. They now have 72 (or 73 if you “stretch” it and accept the WA Nat as amember of “Abbott’s”)

    That looks to me like a “pick up” of 7, or, at best, 8.

    If you want to look at it in terms of the “seat margin” I can see the reasoning, but even then two of Labor losses weren’t to Abbott, but to a Green and an Independent, so your old figure of 16 is the more accurate I would think.

  78. Cuppa

    Rod Hagen #2145

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/09/17/final-2pp-50-12-49-88-to-labor/comment-page-43/#comment-636215

    Congratulations on your steriling work in getting to the bottom of the numerous breaches of the ABC’s Charter and Code of Conduct.

    I’m aware you’ve sent it as formal complaint to the ABC. May I suggest you also send a copy to Greens Senator Scott Ludlum, who it is believed is coordinating the pursuit of full Parliamentary Inquiry into the behaviour of the mainstream media.

    http://scott-ludlam.greensmps.org.au/contact

    Thanks again for the good work. The more evidence that can be collected of poor behaviour by (in particular) the ABC the stronger the case for formal parliamentary investigation.

  79. steve

    Peter Martin earns praise from Turnbull for his anti NBN work.

    TurnbullMalcolm #nbn characteristically levelheaded commentary from @1petermartin http://j.mp/c3YHKz less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPad

  80. Rod Hagen

    Oh! Whoops, you were talking about Beazley , of course!

  81. Dee

    Rod
    Have to agree with others. Well done!

  82. vera

    confession
    The SMH has another story today about KK having a cleanout, it was headed;
    [Labor calls time for some MPs]
    [”Look, if 15 MPs leave, of that number, 12 will choose to go and three will be pushed,” one backbencher said. ”People like Dr Andrew McDonald (Macquarie Fields) and Frank Sartor (Rockdale) would probably go.

    ”Others like Ninos Khoshaba (Smithfield) and Nick Lalich (Cabramatta) haven’t really made much of a contribution and should move on, along with the likes of Noreen Hay (Wollongong), Cherie Burton (Kogarah), Kevin Greene (Oatley) and Verity Firth (Balmain). Others like Phil Koperberg (Blue Mountains) will go, with question marks over people like Jodi McKay (Newcastle), who are disillusioned.”]
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/labor-calls-time-for-some-mps-20100919-15hyd.html

  83. Spray

    After an entire month of being distracted by this excellent blog, I had a flash of inspiration and decided to register. It already feels like I’m in a room of wise old friends, and I’ve even developed an indulgent affection for Truthie. Great post by Rod Hagen earlier, re “compensation” to “asylum seekers”. I wish my frequent complaints to Auntie were as well researched and reasoned. Perhaps then I’d get some sort of response.

  84. madcyril

    [
    Labor calls time for some MPs
    ]

    I think the people of NSW are planning on “calling time” for some MPs themselves come next March 😀

  85. Rod Hagen

    [May I suggest you also send a copy to Greens Senator Scott Ludlum,]

    Done!

  86. Cuppa

    Good man.

  87. vera

    Rod Hagen
    I think I made another DOH!!! though
    Abbott only picked up 12 including the WAnat and Labor picked up 2
    So we’re even 😀

  88. Dee

    [Peter Martin earns praise from Turnbull for his anti NBN work.]
    I wasn’t aware that Martin was anti-NBN, obviously missed that one.

  89. madcyril

    Hi Spray, I can assure you I am neither wise nor old 😀

  90. BK

    Welcome aboard Spray.

  91. Spray

    BigBob @ 2122, and kakuru @ 2151. I’ve been banging on about this furphy since the election. Twice on Q&A last week, Clive Palmer went unchallenged in claiming that Abbott achieved the greatest swing ever by an opposition leader. Disturbing that these falsehoods quickly become the accepted truth.

  92. Spray

    Thanks BK. Sorry Mad, I clearly meant “wise beyond your years”.

  93. Cuppa

    Welcome Spray. Keep monitoring the ABC and keep the blog updated with what you find.

  94. Diogenes

    AS continue to be a big issue. This is very sad.

    [ IMMIGRATION authorities are investigating the death of a detainee at Sydney’s Villawood detention centre, who refugee advocates say leapt from a roof.

    The Department of Immigration and Citizenship said the 36-year-old Fijian national had been held in Villawood since August 17.

    He was named by Fiji democracy activists as Josefa Rauluni, who they said feared he would be persecuted if returned to Fiji.

    Refugee advocate Sara Nathan said the man was due to be deported to Fiji today, and this morning had climbed on a roof at the detention centre, in Sydney’s west.

    “He was given deportation papers this morning,” Ms Nathan said.

    “About 15 minutes before he was due to be handcuffed, he climbed the building where he pleaded to be allowed to stay in Australia, even if it is in detention, as he feared persecution if he returned.”]

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/fijian-man-dies-suddenly-at-sydneys-villawood-detention-centre/story-e6frg6nf-1225926641022

  95. steve

    [Disturbing that these falsehoods quickly become the accepted truth.]

    You can only fool some of the people some of the time thou8gh Spray. Can’t say I’ll be accepting Abbott as a legitimate Opposition Leader till he is pitted against some viable opposition in a Party room spill.

  96. Shineybum

    [I’ve even developed an indulgent affection for Truthie]

    You’ve got to be kidding …

  97. spur212

    via twitter

    TurnbullMalcolm #nbn characteristically levelheaded commentary from @1petermartin http://j.mp/c3YHKz

    Is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling that this praise for Peter Martin implies what he thought about the Coalition’s election costings? …

  98. victoria

    Rod Hagen#2145

    I am only now responding to your earlier posts. I had to run some errands. Excellent letter!