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Federal Politics 2013-

Apr 10, 2014

BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0

The Coalition lead in Newspoll causes the two parties to reach parity on the BludgerTrack poll aggregate, while Tony Abbott pulls ahead of Bill Shorten on net approval.

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New results from Newspoll, Essential Research and Morgan has put BludgerTrack back to the position of two-party parity it was at three weeks ago, after which Labor was up to 51.8% and then 50.9%. They have also ironed out the brief slump recorded by the Greens last week, who have progressed from 11.3% to 8.9% to 10.4%. This week’s gain has come entirely at the expense of Labor, with the Coalition vote unchanged. On the seat projection, the Coalition is back in majority government territory, the meter having ticked in their favour by two seats in New South Wales and one each in Queensland and Western Australia. After a quiet spot last week, new leadership figures have emerged from Newspoll and Essential Research, and they find Tony Abbott with a rare lead over Bill Shorten on net approval, although preferred prime minister remains in the stasis it assumed in early December.

Also note that coverage of the Western Australian Senate count is ongoing on the dedicated thread, with a Liberal victory in the final seat looking increasingly likely.

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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2173 comments

2,173 thoughts on “BludgerTrack: 50.0-50.0

  1. Fran Barlow

    I also agree that one should be a member of any bona fide union covering your occupation, and it’s not unreasonable for the ALP to ask this of its members.

    Of course, it asks it only of those in affiliated unions. … making it less than the reasonable principle bemused set out against freeloading.

    I don’t agree that the mere fact you can’t enforce the rule makes it worth dumping. One can encourage people to do things without any means of coercion. It seems to me that members of affiliated unions could get a weighted vote when votes arise for official positions or nominations, and this could be one way of underlining the significance if union membership.

  2. bug1

    Fran;
    The role of unions is to stand up for their members, unions have to put themselves first.
    The job of Labor is to win government and govern for all Australians.

    Labor an unions have similar purpose and values, but they still each have their own agenda. When there is a situation that might be good for Australia but bad for Unions, or good for Unions but bad for Australia, it causes a conflict of interest.

    Politics of the Left is to put the team before the individual, the Right wants to put the individual first. Labor, Unions and the Greens, are all important members of the left, they need to be able to work together on the big picture, but still be free to peruse their own agenda.

    Creating artificial links between Labor and the Unions is not necessary and can damage both by eroding trust when their is a conflict of interest.

  3. sprocket_

    The Daily ToiletPaper oscillates between po-faced tut-tutting and confected lampooning of Bob Carr’s revelations. Sadly, the chief Murdoch trolls fail to see them being trolled.

    [He also writes that he “cannot feel humble” after attending a G20 leaders meeting with US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin in his last act in the job last September.

    “Interested, curious, of course. Just not humble,” he writes in Diary of a Foreign Minister.

    Mr Carr also muses about the possibility of plastic surgery work for US Senator John McCain (“younger and more sparkle-eyed than I might have expected”) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (“I noticed something about the skin”).

    Foreign Minister Julie Bishop last night seized on the leaks, saying the “gratuitous” personal observations and discussion of confidential meetings were unworthy of any Australian politician, let alone a foreign minister.

    “While it is tempting to ridicule the arrogant foolishness of this egotistical self-promoter, his book carries a real risk of damaging Australia’s standing among currently serving world leaders,” she said.

    But Mr Carr insisted that he had respected confidences and the national interest, noting there had been 15 memoirs by US secretaries of state including a recent one which alleged Kevin Rudd had sent them to sleep.

    “I’m proud to have produced a book that tells Australians how foreign policy is made,” he said.]

  4. BK

    Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    Looks like Rudd WAS a prick after all!
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bob-carrs-diary-takes-aim-at-julia-gillard-and-kevin-rudd-for-mistakes-20140409-zqsso.html
    And what would a $6 copayment do to this?
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/healthcare-put-at-risk-as-patients-shy-away-from-cost-20140409-36dqk.html
    Kate McClymont’s daily ICAC coverage.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/eddie-obeid-rubbishes-icac-inquiry-20140409-36dj8.html
    Albo hits back.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/anthony-albanese-rejects-nsw-treasurer-mike-bairds-claims-state-hasnt-received-fair-infrastructure-funds-20140409-36dio.html
    Trouble in the Liberal ranks over George Brandis’s “free speech” proposals.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/liberals-break-ranks-against-george-brandis-race-hate-law-20140409-zqsrt.html
    The fix is in on the mining tax.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/tax-office-deputy-commissioner-stephanie-martin-quits-mining-tax-collection-in-doubt-20140409-zqsuc.html
    Looks like Abbott’s abolition of the charities watchdog will go down in the Senate.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/charities-commission-to-get-senate-lifeline-hopes-20140409-zqsoi.html
    “Leave the minimum wage concept alone!” says Pro. Marylin Lake.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/minimum-wage-is-more-than-a-safety-net-its-a-symbol-of-australian-values-20140409-zqsii.html
    There is no question about the extent and insidiousness of the Jewish lobby and influence around the free world.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bob-carrs-texts-to-gillard-reveal–extraordinary-influence-proisrael-lobby-had-on-former-pm-20140410-36dys.html
    Our Human Rights head commissioner gives Abbott and Moirriscum a serve.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/gillian-triggs-accuses-government-of-pulling-strings-to-deny-un-20140409-zqsr5.html

  5. BK

    Section 2 . . .

    Alex White in The Guardian posits that the WA Senate election was indeed a repudiation of Abbott’s climate change position.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/southern-crossroads/2014/apr/09/tony-abbott-carbon-price-wester-australia-senate-election
    Dr W E Deming famously said “Let not action precede understanding”. It’s a pity Turnbull didn’t heed that advice.
    http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/government-it/malcolm-turnbull-locks-in-multitechnology-nbn-20140409-zqsqq.html
    Alan Moir gives us the Sydney Botanical Gardens.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/alan-moir-20090907-fdxk.html
    MUST SEE! David Pope with an important public service announcement.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/david-pope-20120214-1t3j0.html
    David Rowe with Abbott staring down the North Koreans.
    http://www.afr.com/p/national/cartoon_gallery_david_rowe_1g8WHy9urgOIQrWQ0IrkdO

  6. Socrates

    Morning all. BK thanks for the link to the ATO Deputy Martin resignation story. What do you do if you can’t abolish the mining tax in the Senate? Simple – cut the ATO until it does not have enough people left to ensure the tax is paid.

  7. Socrates

    Fran
    [I also agree that one should be a member of any bona fide union covering your occupation, and it’s not unreasonable for the ALP to ask this of its members.]
    I would replace the term “bona fide” with “effective” and “ethical”. Here is Labor’s problem in a nutshell: not all unions are effective, and not all effective unions represent workers who need assistance.

    Low paid workers like HSU members need protection, but do not get it. Miners, wharfies and train drivers are on salary packages far higher than their skills and conditions justify, yet are fiercely protected. An effective union protecting unreasonable conditions is NOT a force for social justice, any more than the company directors association is.

    I started work believing in unions and joining the ones that represented my work. The problem was, the public service ones that represented me as a public service engineer in the 1990s were utterly useless when our working conditions were stripped away with minimal compensation at that time. Nor did they have any interest in representing engineers as a career group, putting us in the same category as people who hadn’t done four years of study and acquired a $20K+ HECS debt. As far as I could tell they were neither effective nor interested in social justice. Sure enough the secretary later got pre-selection in a winnable seat, having faithfully sold out his members to the Labor state government of the day.

    So I am not against the theory of unions, but if the practice is bad I see no virtue in supporting them. I see that 80% of my working colleagues have reached the same conclusion.

  8. BK

    And from the Land of the Free –

    The Repugs block equal pay legislation again.
    http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2014/04/09/republicans-block-equal-pay-bill/
    And FoxNews tells us why it’s good for women to be paid less.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/09/1290718/-Fox-host-Lower-pay-is-good-for-women-because-they-re-less-likely-to-be-laid-off
    Just have a look at this senate candidate from Iowa! Oh yes, he is a Republican.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/09/bob-quast-iowa-senate_n_5117736.html
    The Tea Party/Repugs just won’t give up with their lies about ObamaCare.
    http://crooksandliars.com/2014/04/tea-party-republicans-publish-oped
    Jon Stewart blasts FoxNews over the movie “Noah”. It’s a ripper!
    http://crooksandliars.com/cltv/2014/04/stewart-slams-fox-noah-critics-oh
    Bigheaded idiot Bill O’Reilly reckons Stephen Colbert is destroying America.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/09/bill-oreilly-stephen-colbert-rant_n_5117177.html

  9. Socrates

    BK I also agree with you comments on Bob Carr’s statements about the jewish lobby, and its undesirable hold on Labor policy. How can this be justified? Some in Labor are so biased they prefer to support the oppressors, not the oppressed.

  10. victoria

    morning all

    Thanks BK for linking jon stewart. As usual, he is incisive.

    sprocket

    It seems that Bob Carr is playing the media like a fiddle

  11. Sir Mad Cyril

    I’ll say one thing for Carr, his book should sell well as it actually sounds like it will be a hell of a read.

  12. victoria

    Sir Mad Cyril

    Most definitely. Bob Carr is many things, but stupid is not one of them.

  13. Socrates

    While there is a reaction against major parties as they stand, this story about a former Palmer United Party candidate suggests Clive Palmer is not our saviour from self interest and cynical politics.
    http://www.watoday.com.au/federal-politics/sold-a-pup-clive-palmer-treated-me-like-a-one-night-stand-says-excandidate-20140409-zqsmr.html

  14. guytaur

    Good Morning

    Michael Danby proving Bob Carr right this morning.

  15. Socrates

    A feminist who has fought against the treatment of women in the Islamic world has been refused an honour at a private US university. Should we be tolerant of misogyny?
    http://www.watoday.com.au/world/islamcritic-ayaan-hirsi-ali-refused-us-university-honour-20140410-zqsvh.html

  16. lizzie

    Talk to me about my Toyota?

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/mar/19/toyota-1bn-settlement-car-safety-probe

    [Toyota agreed to pay $1.2bn on Wednesday to end a US criminal investigation into misleading statements the car company made about safety issues in Toyota and Lexus vehicles after a series of crashes.]

  17. guytaur

    “@LexiMetherell: Just in case you haven’t got enough @bobjcarr this morning, he’s doing a doorstop in Sydney at 10.”

  18. confessions

    Morning all.

    What is Danby saying guytaur?

  19. victoria

    guytaur

    Carr is doing a sterling job of self promotion. Of course aided and abetted by the msm

  20. confessions

    [THE Australian Electoral Commission would be radically transformed and have some of its key functions hived off, under proposals the major political parties are considering to avoid a repeat of bungles that forced the $23 million Senate vote rerun in Western Australia.

    Senior MPs and party officials are pushing for the creation of a National Election Commission using a board of experienced personnel, including former political operatives, that would have oversight for all state and federal elections.]
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/radical-revamp-planned-for-aec/story-fn59niix-1226879396867#

  21. Sir Mad Cyril

    confessions

    Here are some samples

    [
    Latika Bourke @latikambourke · 53m ago
    Labor’s @MichaelDanbyMP – lots of people laughing at the book ‘they’re not laughing with you @bobjcarr, they’re laughing at you.’
    ]

    [
    Latika Bourke @latikambourke · 56m ago
    Bob Carr says ‘extraordinary’ to be called a ‘bigot’ by Labor’s Michael Danby on Israel. Danby says Carr was @JuliaGillard’s biggest mistake
    ]

    https://twitter.com/latikambourke

  22. guytaur

    confessions

    On AM this morning Danby called Carr a bigot.

    victoria

    Yes Mr Carr is not wasting his experience as a journalist become politician. Such a contrast to Abbott

  23. victoria

    guytaur

    The fact that JG was heavily influenced by the pro israel lobby, is not going to raise the ire by anyone in any position of power or influence. In fact, it will be applauded

  24. guytaur

    victoria

    Gillard did many things right. On this she was wrong. Even the US has not been calling settlements legal

  25. confessions

    Thanks madcyril. Love the Sir title too btw. 🙂

  26. victoria

    guytuar

    I should add that the jewish lobby here in Melbourne of which Carr is referring to, are some of the big movers and shakers of our fair city.
    My son happens to be setting up the climate control systems for one of fhem at present. The dwelling being constructed is estimated to cost approx 60 million.

  27. guytaur

    victoria

    Power and influence does not make them right.

  28. Sir Mad Cyril

    Thanks confessions, I couldn’t resist it.

  29. victoria

    guytaur

    As i said, the pro israeli position is not deemed a negative here in Oz. That is the reality

  30. WeWantPaul

    I hope the are running a poll on whether Bob Carr upset the Jewish Lobby or the PB Cult of Gillard most with his dose of the bleeding obvious last evening.

  31. guytaur

    victoria

    Not true. Melbourne is not Australia. Political parties are starting to see the effects losing votes elsewhere.

    Want to keep Western Sydney Labor has to understand that. Those safe Labor seats can be made unsafe.

  32. AussieAchmed

    Union membership to join the Labor Party shuts out a major group – pensioners.

  33. briefly

    [1…..Fran Barlow

    It seems to me that members of affiliated unions could get a weighted vote when votes arise for official positions or nominations, and this could be one way of underlining the significance if union membership.]

    The rule is a dead letter. Unionists seldom join the ALP as individuals. The reason is simple. If they wish to be politically active, they can take part as union delegates to the ALP and exercise a greater role than if they participated as individual members.

    On the other hand, anti-unionists (who resist joining a union) would not seriously wish to join the ALP anyway. As far as I know, there has never been a case in WA Labor where a person has refused to join an affiliated union and thereupon been rejected by the ALP. Applicants for membership are never tested on it and it has never been applied.

    As to vote-weighting, the constitutional problem for Labor is their need to share power between two completely different classes of members – individuals, who fly solo, and unions, who march in blocs. There is already a set of vote weightings for each class that institutionalise majorities for “union delegates” vis-a-vis “political delegates” and ordinary members within the electoral college that decide preselections.

    While the weightings might be “fair” or “unfair”, depending on the test applied, in a way this is not important. The effect of the weightings is to consolidate power in the hands of a few union officials who may or may not be personally active inside the ALP. This really means the ALP is not in control of its own destiny: a handful of union secretaries determine events by means of the weighted and marshaled votes of “their” delegates.

    Somehow Labor need to move towards one-vote/one-value power apportionment – to democratise. Rather than creating new vote weightings, they need to relax those that now apply.

    Of course, they need to do other things as well, such as enforcing secret ballots for internal elections, and developing a system of primary elections to attract and promote new candidates.

  34. victoria

    guytaur

    I dont think you understand? We are talking about a group that hold a great deal of power and influence in many aspects of corporate Australia, not just Melbourne

  35. victoria

    WWP

    The jewish lobby will be heartened to know that many within Labor support them

  36. guytaur

    victoria

    You don’t understand. Corporate lobbyists do not vote in western Sydney electorates.

  37. poroti

    For months there have been quite hilarious and at times bizarre claims in UK papers about what will happen if the Scots vote “Yes” . Check out the latest effort.

    [Scottish independence ‘would be cataclysmic for the world’, ex-Nato head warns

    Lord (George) Robertson says ‘the forces of darkness would simply love it’ if Scotland voted Yes in September 18 referendum ]
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scottish-independence/10751728/Scottish-independence-would-be-cataclysmic-for-the-world-ex-Nato-head-warns.html

  38. victoria

    guytaur

    You must be dreaming if you believe that Western sydney is full of people giving a stuff about Palestinians

  39. guytaur

    victoria

    Also at the moment singing the praises of corporate lobbyists you sound like a Liberal not Labor party member

  40. Pegasus

    A distinction between “Zionist lobby” and “Jewish lobby” needs to be made.

    Self-described atheist Jew, Antony Loewenstein:
    http://antonyloewenstein.com/tag/israel-lobby/

    [The Zionist establishment, long-time backers of the RDA, have written thousands of words in opposition to the government’s proposed changes, but the irony shouldn’t be lost on us. This is coming from individuals and organisations that routinely petition politicians and media organisations to erect tightly controlled limits on so-called acceptable talk around Israel and Palestine, illegal West Bank colonies and the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. They rarely have any complaints when anti-Muslim or anti-Palestinian sentiment is floated in the press.]

  41. guytaur

    victoria

    Voters in western Sydney are from what background?

  42. victoria

    guytaur

    Where am I singing the praises of corporate Lobbyists? I am telling you the reality of where power and influence lie. Who said it was right and just. Since when has the world functioned that way?

  43. victoria

    guytaur

    You mean the same voters that are now observing our asylum seeker policies under the coalition?

  44. Bushfire Bill

    ABC-24 are like a chook laying an egg over Bob Carr’s rather unremarkable comments re. 1st Class flying.

    Michael Rowland just cannot resist the snide comments about “prima donna” Carr wanting to arrive at an important meeting as Foreign Minister, in a world flashpoint, refreshed and alert.

    They’re almost (but not quite) as bad as the Daily Telegraph, with their Photoshopped image of Carr in his jarmies. You wouldn’t mind so much if they had Photoshopped images of Tony Abbott in his wetsuit doing laps of the pool at Kirribilli House, or with liveried butlers in attendance.

    To more substantive matters, to me it’s unremarkable that Carr should hold adverse views on the influence (undue influence in his opinion) that the pro-Israel lobby allegedly had on Julia Gillard and other members of the Labor government.

    Jewish lobbyists like to convolve their religion and the Jewish state together, whenever it’s convenient, as do Muslims with their Islamic states. And then there’s the Holocaust… something that happened 75 years ago.

    The end result is that if you speak out in any way against the pro-Israel lobby, you’re branded as a bigot because most of its strongest and most influential members are Jews. Any criticism of what they are doing to Palestinians today is excused, or gagged by the threat of being tagged as “anti-Semitic”.

    The truth is that on both sides of the Palestine equation, there are fanatics who love to hate. At the root of it are our old friends: religion, and that sense of “destiny” that is part and parcel of being granted, by God, a lump of rock on which to scratch out a living (and to fight over).

    Carr was making a case that Labor policy takes a middle ground on these issues, and that the PM had no right to make a captain’s pick on the issue.

    On the other hand, his advice to Gillard to resign simply because Rudd was creating too much trouble for her and the party was laughable. Somebody has to make a stand somewhere on these issues. What is conveniently left out of breathless reports of this part of his book is that Gillard was right: Rudd didn’t even show up for the ballot. Gillard won in a forfeit. So much for Carr’s supposedly impeccable reading of the situation.

    Yes, Rudd came back, but I had the feeling his heart was not in it after that. The day after his humiliation at the No-Show, he pissed off overseas – like the gutless termite he was – leaving his allies to fall on their swords one-by-one.

    Parenthetically, my feeling is that Rudd had to be dragged back into the fight against Gillard very much against his will and his better judgement, by those same big swinging dicks (the leering face of Joel Fitzgibbon and the grim visage of Marn Ferguson come to mind) that he had so recently abandoned.

    He was propped up in the saddle like the Charlton Heston at the end of El Cid, with a piece of 4-by-2 shoved up his arse to keep him upright, and then paraded around the front of the edifice to frighten the enemy: dead, yet not dead,

    Rudd finally achieved his aim of counter-toppling Gillard, and then promptly lost the election in a blur of half-baked policy and wilful blindness to Gillard’s achievements, pretty-well as badly as Gillard herself was predicted to do. Labor was suckered, big time.

    To his credit, from what I have read of the reports of his book, Carr tackles Rudd (and Rudd’s behaviour) with some gusto, so he is at least “balanced” in his analysis.

    I have little doubt that he had a go at Tony Abbott, too, but let’s not get too optimistic that our cowering media – threatened with cutbacks and retributions – will get around to discussing that.

  45. bemused

    absolutetwaddle@1088

    Sorry, but I went to bed before your excellent post appeared on the previous thread.

    You put it all so well, and best of all, from personal experience.

    The “what’s in it for me?” attitude is typical of those “aspirationals” that Mark Latham wanted to pander to.

    I wouldn’t give them the time of day!

  46. guytaur

    victoria

    You are fooling yourself if you think its not a negative perception to roll over for a lobby.

    Look at National Conference policy. Settlements illegal. The members have spoken.

    In this Gillard was wrong. It is being seen as a negative and not a positive. See media coverage.

  47. victoria

    guytaur

    This issue does not resonate strongly here in Australia