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Seats of the week: Mayo and Sturt

After going through a lax period, Seat of the Week plays catch-up with a double-header featuring two Liberal seats in South Australia.

Mayo

Blue and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Liberal and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Based around the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island, Mayo was created with the expansion of parliament in 1984 from territory which had mostly been covered by Barker, which was compensated for its losses by absorbing the Riverland from the abolished seat of Angas. All areas concerned are strongly conservative, with Labor never having held Mayo, Barker or Angas. It presently extends southwards from Kersbrook, 22 kilometres to the north-east of Adelaide, through Mount Barker and McLaren Vale to Goolwa at the mouth of the Murray River, and westwards to the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.

Alexander Downer entered parliament as the seat’s inaugural member in 1984, his father Sir Alec Downer having been member for Angas from 1949 to 1963. The only threat to Downer’s hold on the seat over the next 24 years was the strength of the Australian Democrats in the Adelaide Hills, which became a live concern in 1998 when John Schumann, former lead singer of folk group Redgum (of “I Was Only Nineteen” fame), increased the Democrats vote from 12.4% to 22.4% to overtake the Labor candidate and fall 1.7% short of victory after the distribution of their preferences. The Democrats polled a more typical 14.8% in 2001, before collapsing to 1.8% in 2004. As well as bringing an end his 11-year career as Foreign Minister, the November 2007 election reduced Downer’s margin against Labor to single figures for the first time, following a swing of 6.5%. Downer stepped down from the front bench after the election defeat and announced his resignation from parliament the following July, initiating a by-election held in September.

The Liberal preselection was won by Jamie Briggs, who had worked in the Prime Minister’s Office as chief adviser on industrial relations, giving him a politically uncomfortable association with the unpopular WorkChoices policies. With the backing of Downer and John Howard, Briggs won the preselection vote in the seventh round by 157 to 111 over the party’s recently ousted state leader Iain Evans, who remains a senior figure in the state parliamentary party as member for Davenport. Among the preselection also-rans was housing mogul Bob Day, who reacted to his defeat by running as the candidate of Family First, for which he would eventually be elected a Senator in 2013. Labor did not contest the by-election, but Briggs was given a run for his money by Lynton Vonow of the Greens and independent Di Bell, a local anthropologist who had the backing of Nick Xenophon. With the Liberal vote falling from 51.1% to 41.3%, most of the non-Liberal vote split between the Greens (21.4%), Di Bell (16.3%) and Bob Day (11.4%). The distribution of preferences from Day and others left Vonow leading Bell 28.2% to 24.1% at the second-last count, with Briggs finishing 3.0% clear of Vonow after distribution of Bell’s preferences.

Briggs had no difficulties winning re-election in 2010, when he prevailed with a near-identical margin to Downer’s in 2007, or in 2010, when the margin returned to double-digit territory after a 5.2% swing. He won promotion to shadow parliamentary secretary in September 2012, emerging the beneficiary of the one minor reshuffle of the term occasioned by Senator Cory Bernardi’s resignation. After the 2013 election victory he was promoted to the outer ministry as Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Sturt

Blue and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Liberal and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Christopher Pyne’s electorate of Sturt covers the inner eastern suburbs of Adelaide, including Payneham, Kensington, Tranmere and Skye east of the city, Klemzig, Campbelltown, Paradise and Highbury to the north, and Glenunga, Glen Osmond and Beaumont to the south. When created in 1949 it also covered northern Adelaide, which after 1955 formed the basis of the new electorate of Bonython (eventually to be abolished in 2004). The loss of this territory made Sturt notionally Liberal, prompting Labor member Norman Makin – who had gained Sturt from the Liberals at the 1954 election – to contest the new seat, which was very safe for Labor. Sturt has since been won by Labor only at the 1969 election, when a 15.0% swing secured a narrow victory for Norman Foster. South Australia bucked the national trend of the 1972 election in swinging slightly to the Liberals, enabling Ian Wilson to recover the seat he had lost at the previous election.

Wilson thereafter retained the seat by margins of between 2.0% and 10.3% until the 1993 election, when he was defeated for preselection by Christopher Pyne, a 25-year-old former staffer to Senator Amanda Vanstone. Pyne was already emerging as a powerbroker in the party’s moderate faction, and won promotion to shadow parliamentary secretary a year after entering parliament. However, he would have to wait until the Howard government’s final year in office to achieve ministerial rank, which was widely put down to his closeness to Peter Costello. Following the November 2007 election defeat he ran for the deputy leadership, finishing in third place with 18 votes behind Julie Bishop on 44 and Andrew Robb on 25. He served in high-profile positions on the opposition front bench over the next few years, first in justice and border protection under Brendan Nelson, then in education, apprenticeships and training under Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott. In February 2009 he further gained the important role of manager of opposition business, to the chagrin of the party’s Right.

Pyne’s hold on Sturt came under serious threat at Labor’s electoral high-water mark in 2007 and 2010, his margin being cut on the former occasion from 6.8% to 0.9%. He did well on the latter to secure the seat with a swing of 2.5%, going against the trend of a statewide swing to Labor of 0.8%, and was safely re-elected with a further swing of 6.5% in 2013. Since the election of the Abbott government he has served as Education Minister and Leader of the House.

1368
  • 1301
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    “@tveedercom: Transcript: Federal Labor leader @billshortenmp’s speech about @AustralianLabor party reform http://t.co/Jds33uy8kt #auspol”

  • 1302
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    zoomster@1276

    briefly

    I’m by no means commited to a point of view here, just exploring ideas….

    Taking your widget example, technological change has the capability to replace widgets with a cheaper and better product. e.g. the move from CRT TVs to LED screens.

    Otherwise we just keep on producing the same old stuff in much the same old way but with marginal improvements in efficiency.

  • 1303
    gloryconsequence
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    No follow up from Shorten’s speech on Sky. They’re straight to the royals walking past trees.

  • 1304
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    “@Thefinnigans: Good on Emmo @DrCraigEmerson on @ABCNews24 for whacking on the head of stupid perennial #Leadershits question”

  • 1305
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Now 24 crosses to Royals and I am not concerned. I am very pleased they stuck with Bill Shorten then interviewed Dr Emerson.

    At least one media outlet got priorities right today.

    I am recording my appreciation because I do complain a lot when they do things I think are wrong priorities.

  • 1306
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    a monopoly should be able to deliver goods to the customer more cheaply than a series of smaller competing firms can.

    Oh, now I think I see where there is a breakdown in the point I’m trying to convey.

    Let’s assume monopolist with increasing returns to scale can produce goods cheaper than a collection of smaller independent producers; that is, both its fixed and variable costs for producing an amount of a good are less than for many firms collectively producing the same amount of the good.

    It doesn’t necessarily follow that the firm would then price those goods at that cost in the market, if it were able to make more from exploiting its market power and pushing prices higher.

    Basically, prices don’t have to equal marginal costs of production when there is market power.

    This was the problem identified with MS (I’m not familiar with Standard Oil’s situation) – they were pricing much higher than their costs warranted, but had developed themselves into a quasi-natural monopoly by virtue of the ubiquitous use of the Windows OS (which it’s hard to blame them for).

    But this is the nature of capitalism – a drive to create a niche for oneself and exploit it to the hilt. Sure, good products are developed this way, but the public policy goals in this space are intended to produce benefits for society in general.

  • 1307
    ajm
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I think most Australians occupy the centre-right

    Most of the attitudinal survey stuff I’ve seen puts them on the centre-left, apart from a couple of issues like boats.

  • 1308
    zoidlord
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Oh I heard on radio today, they really stretching the string here.

    ‘we need to make some hard choices, so we need to cut funding to recover the debt’.

    I think this was QLD one (not the federal one).

  • 1309
    spur212
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    The reason Shorten brings up the issue of union membership in relation to people joining the ALP is because there are probably a lot of people who want to join the ALP but won’t because of that barrier to entry specifically. Saying you don’t need a union membership removes that barrier for these people.

    Keating’s been banging on about this for years!

  • 1310
    spur212
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    It’s like something has been there the whole time but no one knows about it or doesn’t want to talk about it.

    All Shorten’s doing is pointing that fact out with a symbolic gesture to win over voters.

    Same deal as Rudd in my view albeit Shorten’s been far more factional

  • 1311
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Bemused:

    Taking your widget example, technological change has the capability to replace widgets with a cheaper and better product. e.g. the move from CRT TVs to LED screens.

    That’s exactly right.

    This was also the reason moving from industry-wide bargaining to enterprise bargaining under the Accord.

    Firms innovate, not industries and not individuals working in firms, and wage changes should be able to reflect that. Industry-wide wage negotiations give too much market power to unions (oh, hello Pharmacy Guild!), while individually-negotiated contracts give too much bargaining power to management/capital.

  • 1312
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    spur212 #1309

    I can see a possible surge in right-minded people joining an ‘open’ ALP for one reason or another…

  • 1313
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    spur212@1309

    The reason Shorten brings up the issue of union membership in relation to people joining the ALP is because there are probably a lot of people who want to join the ALP but won’t because of that barrier to entry specifically. Saying you don’t need a union membership removes that barrier for these people.

    Keating’s been banging on about this for years!

    Sorry, but that is largely not the case.

    It applied only where there was a union covering your occupation and even then lacked any enforcement mechanism and was ignored.

    There is not and never has been such a barrier in my 44 years of ALP membership.

    This is, at most, symbolism.

    I do strongly believe the ALP should encourage its members to join a union where there is one covering their occupation.

  • 1314
    briefly
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    The argument was: In nature, we see one species for each niche. In economic theory, we assume that there are limited niches and many firms competing in them – why? Mathematical/analytical convenience?

    Now what happens to an economy undergoing a significant transition in its composition – if you significantly alter a biological landscape, some of the existing species adapt, but most are replaced; however, and more importantly, in the transient phase, there is a loss of biological activity…

    What is common to both economies and biological fields is that they are systems but this does not mean they are the same kind of thing. For one thing, economies can be changed autonomously – by the exercise of the choices of those within the system. Biological systems do not operate that way, for obvious reasons.

    It’s probably more relevant to see biological systems not as a series of niches but as fields of interdependence and complexity within which the existence of different species results from complimentary adaptation driven by competition for scarce resources.

    We can depict economies in the same way. But there are limits to the value of this analogy. It depends what we’re talking about. In a biological construct, individuals have very limited capacity to “adapt”, though species adapt across generations. Within an economy, adaptation by individuals is a pre-condition for their survival and reproduction. In other words, it is the ability to change from one niche to another or to found completely new ones that defines a firm or its constituents and which permits them to prosper. Such a process is driven by knowledge – by the conscious use of information. By contrast, adaptive processes in biology occur (or not) even though knowledge of them may not exist or be capable of being acquired.

    In this respect, perhaps the single best defining characteristic of an economy is that before anything else it consists of knowledge. This is not true of biological systems.

    I will look onto the Cambridge controversy and report back :)

  • 1315
    CTar1
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    This is, at most, symbolism.

    Talking about nothing …

  • 1316
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Libertarian Unionist@1311

    Bemused:


    Taking your widget example, technological change has the capability to replace widgets with a cheaper and better product. e.g. the move from CRT TVs to LED screens.


    That’s exactly right.

    This was also the reason moving from industry-wide bargaining to enterprise bargaining under the Accord.

    Firms innovate, not industries and not individuals working in firms, and wage changes should be able to reflect that. Industry-wide wage negotiations give too much market power to unions (oh, hello Pharmacy Guild!), while individually-negotiated contracts give too much bargaining power to management/capital.

    I have no objection to individually negotiated contracts. Provided there is equality of bargaining power. Unless there is such equality, they should be banned.

  • 1317
    briefly
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    1276
    zoomster

    briefly

    I’m by no means commited to a point of view here, just exploring ideas….

    Me too :)

  • 1318
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    CTar1@1315

    bemused


    This is, at most, symbolism.


    Talking about nothing …

    You make a lot of comments like this one which leave me wondering if you agree or disagree. :P

  • 1319
    spur212
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Bemused

    Yes! Symbolism! It’s a perceived barrier to entry. Bill’s just removing it from the “brand”

  • 1320
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Clive Palmer speaking in next hour.

  • 1321
    sprocket_
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    From today’s Crikey newsletter.

    Halfway through April this year, scientists at Harvard and MIT announced something extraordinary: they had found a way to create solar cells that can store accumulated energy from sunlight, and then -- with no more than a burst of a few photons -- release that energy in a steady and continuous form. These new types of solar cells -- called photoswitches -- are made from a form of carbon nanotube called azobenzene, which can exist in two different configurations. One collects energy from the photons that hit it and stores it, another releases it. Because they can be switched from one form to another, the cell is essentially a battery, and this solves many of the problems of storage that arise with a weather-dependent system such as solar.

    The great advantage of such a technology is that it would make possible solar cells that were an utterly stable continuous power supply. When you combine it with work being done elsewhere on solar cells that can perform in cloudy conditions, you have the plan for an entirely stable solar delivery system -- indeed, one that is more stable than the large-scale privatised power systems that we currently rely on, subject to mass technical failure, Enron-style credit events, and routine under-maintenance.

    Such technology is small miracle, yet it’s only one examples of dozens of advances occurring as renewable energy technology comes into contact with new materials and starts to be transformed by them. Thus, in the weeks and months before this recent announcement, news in renewables included: a new nanomaterial that can increase solar fuel cell efficiency by up to 80%, a solar-powered hybrid car that can charge up without needing to dock at a recharge station; and a plane the size of a 747 that will be able to fly around the world without refuelling. On every front, the renewables revolution is gaining pace -- not merely gaining pace, but accelerating exponentially -- and the overwhelming reason for this is new materials.

    Graphene and related forms of carbon have busted open the limits that solar technology hit in the 1990s -- limits that made it easy for smug members of the fossil and nuclear lobby to argue that renewables would never be able to supply the energy needs of a modern civilisation. That supposition was based on a crude version of what we might call "molecularism" -- a willingness to accept given limits of technology based on the aspects of it that used to be close to us: the limit of the molecule. In that conception, it is easy to see why people could believe that there were limits to the capacities of solar and other renewables. There is no excuse now. The new materials revolution means that anything is possible with regard to renewable energy. The 3D/additive revolution means that we can make machines whereby anyone can print these things out from machines that are themselves powered by this energy. The material revolution makes it first conceivable -- and then unavoidable -- that these new technologies will converge on an energy revolution, one that will leave existing old-school technologies hopelessly behind.

  • 1322
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    wave goodbye to the centre-left ALP of the past

  • 1323
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I just wish that Labor would stop talking about itself and focus more strongly on the issues that concern voters.

  • 1324
    CTar1
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    ou make a lot of comments like this one which leave me wondering if you agree or disagree

    I’m in full agreement that the current G’ovt should be F#ck Off.

    The current make up of the ALP makes me wonder some what.

  • 1325
    briefly
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/

    El Niño likely in 2014

    Issued on Tuesday 22 April 2014 | Product Code IDCKGEWWOO

    The likelihood of El Niño remains high, with all climate models surveyed by the Bureau now indicating El Niño is likely to occur in 2014. Six of the seven models suggest El Niño thresholds may be exceeded as early as July.

    The Pacific Ocean has been warming along the equator over recent weeks, with continued warming in the central Pacific likely in coming months. Another burst of westerly winds is presently occurring in the western Pacific, and is likely to cause further warming of the sub-surface.

    El Niño has an impact across much of the world, including below average rainfall in the western Pacific and Indonesian regions, and increased rainfall in the central and eastern Pacific. For Australia, El Niño is usually associated with below average rainfall, with about two thirds of El Niño events since 1900 resulting in major drought over large areas of Australia.

    The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently in a neutral state. Model outlooks currently suggest the IOD is likely to remain neutral through late autumn and early winter, with two of the five models surveyed suggesting a positive IOD may develop by early spring. Positive IOD events often coincide with El Niño and are typically associated with large parts of southern and central Australia experiencing lower rainfall than usual.

  • 1326
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    spur212@1319

    Bemused

    Yes! Symbolism! It’s a perceived barrier to entry. Bill’s just removing it from the “brand”

    A mis-perception aided and abetted by people like Shorten continually referring to it.

    So he has built up a great big straw man and now successfully demolished it!

    What a surprise.

  • 1327
    lizzie
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    “But what do centre, left and right mean? asked Alice.

  • 1328
    spur212
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Bemused

    Think I should clarify as this can easily get misinterpreted: it’s not about being anti union, it’s about being open to people who aren’t in a union who feel/believe the ALP’s not open to them.

    Any Labor Party that abandons a collective group of people is no Labor Party at all but that doesn’t mean Labor should be puppets for the AWU, SDA, TWU etc etc etc the way Gillard and Swan were.

    What I’m skeptical about is whether this is just another way for Shorten to maintain factional power, but that’s mostly due to his history. This would be a lot easier coming from someone like Albo in my opinion

  • 1329
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    bemused #1326

    A means to an end…

  • 1330
    briefly
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    1321
    sprocket_
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    I was reading about this technology on the weekend. It’s tremendously exciting…. great post too!

  • 1331
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    “@ABCNews24: Palmer United Party leader, Clive Palmer is speaking about climate change policy and the federal budget http://t.co/TTkTJ5G5Ba”

    “@ABCNews24: Palmer: I can say today that the majority of cross-benches won’t vote for Direct Action #auspol”

  • 1332
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    In a biological construct, individuals have very limited capacity to “adapt”, though species adapt across generations. Within an economy, adaptation by individuals is a pre-condition for their survival and reproduction...

    Capital assets can’t adapt (for free).

    I will look onto the Cambridge controversy and report back :)

    I’m pretty sure the argument is still going ;)

    In this respect, perhaps the single best defining characteristic of an economy is that before anything else it consists of knowledge.

    On this point, I cannot find a flaw ;)

  • 1333
    CTar1
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    ABC24 has Clive:

    I can see ‘Bringing’.

    Is the end of the banner ‘the Pork’?

  • 1334
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    “@ABCNews24: Palmer: I am concerned about Direct Action for a number of reasons, it looks like a big slush fund #auspol”

  • 1335
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Rex Douglas@1322

    wave goodbye to the centre-left ALP of the past

    The one you were never a member of?

    What bollocks! :mad:

  • 1336
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    “@ABCNews24: Palmer: We might not pass the carbon tax and we might not pass the mining tax #auspol”

    Hah now Palmer wants an inquiry into climate change policy

  • 1337
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    CTar1@1324

    bemused


    ou make a lot of comments like this one which leave me wondering if you agree or disagree


    I’m in full agreement that the current G’ovt should be F#ck Off.

    The current make up of the ALP makes me wonder some what.

    So what are you doing to fix it?

    Joining and speaking up is a start.

  • 1338
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    “@ABCNews24: Palmer: Our policy on climate change is to have an inquiry into climate change and examine the science and public opinion #auspol”

  • 1339
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    sprocket_,
    You might also like this: Big off-grid prospects for small 24/7 solar thermal plant

  • 1340
    spur212
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Bemused

    The “straw man” was built up by the Liberals.

    A lot of the problem mainly comes from the fact Beazley and co who all wanted to go back to the base after 1996 and he was so hopeless for that first six years of the Howard government in countering all the lies they threw at the ALP.

  • 1341
    briefly
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    1323
    Greensborough Growler

    I just wish that Labor would stop talking about itself and focus more strongly on the issues that concern voters.

    I think it’s possible that the democratic, representative, connected and inclusive character of the ALP is something that does concern voters, particularly when as currently constituted it selects and promotes such shockers as Joe Bullock.

  • 1342
    zoomster
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m finding it interesting how snarky some Greens are being on my twitter timeline about Shorten’s speech…suggests that they’re a bit worried about what might happen if the ALP reforms itself!

  • 1343
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    spur212@1328

    Bemused

    Think I should clarify as this can easily get misinterpreted: it’s not about being anti union, it’s about being open to people who aren’t in a union who feel/believe the ALP’s not open to them.

    Any Labor Party that abandons a collective group of people is no Labor Party at all but that doesn’t mean Labor should be puppets for the AWU, SDA, TWU etc etc etc the way Gillard and Swan were.

    What I’m skeptical about is whether this is just another way for Shorten to maintain factional power, but that’s mostly due to his history. This would be a lot easier coming from someone like Albo in my opinion

    I never took it as being anti-union.

    I think a lot of ALP members are experiencing a certain ennui about factions and they are starting to break down.

    I hope so.

  • 1344
    bemused
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Rex Douglas@1329

    bemused #1326

    A means to an end…

    You may be right.

  • 1345
    briefly
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    1342
    zoomster

    I’m finding it interesting how snarky some Greens are being on my twitter timeline about Shorten’s speech…suggests that they’re a bit worried about what might happen if the ALP reforms itself!

    It’s especially pleasing to see Shorten pay some attention to WA. Preselections at all levels, but most notably for the Senate and Legislative Council, should be radically reformed.

    This will certainly help arrest the flow of votes to the Greens in the suburbs of Perth.

  • 1346
    guytaur
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Palmer predicting a Labor Government in Queensland after next election

  • 1347
    lizzie
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Malcolm Farr ‏@farrm51 10m
    my understanding national office rule requires union m'ship but state branches implement varying ways. Q whether Nat exec can change rule

  • 1348
    CTar1
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    So what are you doing to fix it?

    Joining and speaking up is a start.

    It has nothing to do with ‘Joining Up’ and such bull shit.

    If the average voter is not engaged you are rooted.

    The others offer Minties while tearing off your gonads.

    The ALP needs to grow up. Shearer’s are long gone.

  • 1349
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    In his submission to the JSCEM inquiry into last year’s election, Family First Senator-elect Bob Day can only identify one area where electoral reform is required: the need for much, much fewer polling booths.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=em/elect13/subs/sub048.pdf

  • 1350
    zoomster
    Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    GG

    I just wish that Labor would stop talking about itself and focus more strongly on the issues that concern voters.

    But these are not mutually incompatible.

    If Labor opens its membership up to cater for a wider group of people, then there are a wider number of viewpoints taken on board as part of the policy process, meaning that policies formulated and adopted are more likely to tackle issues which concern voters, in ways which voters like to see.

    If it opens up the selection processes for candidates, so that it’s not necessarily the one with the most factional backing who gets the guernsey, then Labor will end up with MPs who are more diverse, and represent a wider range of views and interests than just those of unions.

    ***I understand and support Labor’s involvement with unions. But, in recent times, the career trajectory has been — join Young Labor at Uni. Get a job as a staffer or a unionist. Become an MP.

    Labor MPs used to come from a bigger pool than they do at present, and thus at least a significant percentage of them had enough experience outside of politics to understand what ideas would float and which wouldn’t.

    Again, I’m not arguing that the ‘join YL —- become an MP” path is necessarily a ‘bad’ one for MPs – just that it shouldn’t be the main one.

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