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Support for Morally Bereft Turnbull Govt Tanks

February 22, 2016

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When the ‘ego that knows no bounds’ finally managed to usurp Tony Abbott from the Prime Ministership there was a collective sigh of relief that could be heard from the far reaches of outer space.

It’s been six months since that monumental day, when a nation of thankful voters realised we’d no longer have to endure an onion crunching Prime Minister “shirtfronting” the Russian mafia or proclaiming his suppositories of wisdom on national television.

During this time, Malcolm Turnbull has been hard at work, proving to Australia that he has the strength of character and charisma to reunite Australia under a common theme of “innovation” and “agility” promising a new “dynamic” era under his stewardship.

A proud republican and ardent supporter of marriage equality, Australian voters were mesmerised by Malcolm’s magnificent glow and we relished in the prospect of this “new era” heralded by the overnight knifing of Tony Abbott.

However, somewhere along the way, it’s all turned to custard.

It would be easy to lay the blame squarely at the feet of Malcolm Turnbull, and so we shall.  While some might lament that he’s had to contend with the disgruntled antediluvian dregs of Tony Abbott supporters white-anting his every move, Malcolm’s demise has been entirely of his own making.

Turnbull has been careful not to make a wrong move lest he upset his conservative masters. He’s tied himself to the party’s anti-marriage equality stance, despite calls from even religious organisations that the looming plebiscite will simply lead to hatred and division in the community, and a campaign that will see the bigots and homophobes run riot.

He squibbed on the republican debate, abandoned his climate change credentials, and resuscitated the rotten corpse of Workchoices with plans to cut penalty rates for the lowest earning workers – all while allowing multi-national corporations to avoid paying their fair share of tax.

His team of “financial geniuses” floated the idea of raising the GST only to retreat when it became obvious that the lowest of income earners would be hit the hardest – something that goes against the Australian sense of a “fair go”” while those on high incomes would be comparatively much better off. But then that’s the “LNP way.”

But perhaps the most ominous sign for Malcolm Turnbull and his odious Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, is the community backslash over Dutton’s determination to send 269 asylum seekers, including infants and children, to the living hell of Nauru and Manus Island.

Perhaps the tide is finally turning on the “issue” of asylum seekers, and Australians are no longer prepared to simply place blind faith in the govt’s immigration policies while being kept in the dark through a media and medical blackout on the conditions on those hideous hell holes.

One can only hope.

Perhaps, we have finally realised that “enough is enough,” and that we are no longer prepared to sit idly by while babies are shipped to offshore concentration camps where physical, sexual and psychological abuse is rife.

Paul Keating, an articulate judge of character was right in his assessment of Malcolm Turnbull:

“Mr Turnbull is a bit like a big red bunger on cracker night,”

“You light him up, there’s a bit of a fizz but then nothing, nothing.”

Malcolm Turnbull was happy to sacrifice his sense of ethics and morality to further his career.

His reward is that he’s now just a hollow man, devoid of any sense of purpose.

He’s a real nowhere man,

Sitting in his nowhere land,

Making all his nowhere plans for nobody.

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105 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom R permalink
    February 22, 2016 10:26 am

    In light of the grubmints latest “policy” fart to steal the low paid workers super after doing all they could to keep the low paid workers low paid, an Ode to the libs

  2. Tom R permalink
    February 22, 2016 10:28 am

    And for splat, just cos I see he’s such a tweeter fanboi 🙂

  3. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    February 22, 2016 10:40 am

    Go Nick Xenephon!

  4. TB Queensland permalink
    February 22, 2016 10:43 am

    That covers most of it, sreb … and gives good reasons why the economy is stagnating … the government is brain dead … we should simply pull the plug and put it out of its misery …

  5. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 22, 2016 2:55 pm

    And for splat, just cos I see he’s such a tweeter fanboi 🙂

    I know, how ungrateful, after I try my best to keep him up to date with events too 😆

  6. Neil of Sydney permalink
    February 22, 2016 3:24 pm

    But Shorten with almost no talent is doing OK. Just imagine how much Labor would be ahead if they had someone decent leading them.

  7. February 22, 2016 3:38 pm

    This post seems to be written by a former `talcum-fanboi` that is no longer impressed by the shiny new label that was slapped on the old can of crap! ,, (Quite eerie that the sentiment seems to match the alp-helper l know that`s `gone-greenz` actually.) ,, Tho you did miss the copper-class innovation-leader bit reb:-)

  8. February 22, 2016 3:59 pm

    zombie,,,,,imagine how much Labor would be ahead if they had someone decent leading them,,,,,

    #under the broken clock rule you managed to be correct ,, well done

    #they`re dead-ducks under blib, too many seats going down the gurgler, the team has painted itself into a corner and can`t get traction

  9. February 22, 2016 4:11 pm

    This post seems to be written by a former `talcum-fanboi`

    To be fair, I was just relieved that Malcolm:

    1. Got rid of Abbott
    2. Can string two words together
    3. Is not an embarrassment internationally

    And I still am.

    That doesn’t mean he should be devoid of scrutiny when it’s deserved.

  10. Neil of Sydney permalink
    February 22, 2016 4:46 pm

    And I still am.

    I suspect because you think the ALP has a better chance of winning with Malcolm in charge of the Coalition.

    Abbotts biggest mistake was he should have made Turnbull Treasurer or got rid of him.

    I liked the way Abbott drove lefties mad and i am starting to miss the leftie exploding heads when Abbott said something they didn’t like.

  11. February 22, 2016 4:50 pm

    “”I suspect because you think the ALP has a better chance of winning with Malcolm in charge of the Coalition.””

    What a gormless thing to say.

    The ALP had a far better chance of winning when Abbott was leader of the Libs.

    That’s why the Libs dumped him.

    But then you already knew that. Presumably… 😯

  12. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 22, 2016 5:21 pm

    What a gormless thing to say.

    He would say anything to oppose and troll, even if it’s the opposite of everything he’s usually saying. Got a bit caught out there…stuck in neutral with the wheels spinning madly!

  13. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 22, 2016 5:27 pm

    According to blot, anyone who dares to make a public comment must take a side and stand for politics…Is this the kind of country we’ve become, only the murdoch sanctioned trumpeters are allowed to make political and public comments.

  14. TB Queensland permalink
    February 22, 2016 6:01 pm

    … stuck in neutral with the wheels spinning madly!

    I think the gears were stripped years ago … somewhere between prep school and prep school …

    Speaking of which … the local catlyk primary school has a message on its big stick the letters on sign board (I expect a digital version any day now) … anyhoo … the message …

    “New parents meeting 6:30 Wednesday evening” … wait for it … “wine & cheese welcome” …

    Try putting that message up on a state school – hey?

    How come all these catlyk schools have their own buses and coaches …

    … one of them even has a name on the side “Paddies Van” … if only they knew the origin of the name was Paddy Wagon … the one the London Bobbies used to collect the brawling drunks in …

  15. Tom R permalink
    February 22, 2016 6:44 pm

    the team has painted itself into a corner and can`t get traction

    😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    Just like a broken watch …. you are broken

    notalentblib has seen off one pm, had every slur under the sun thrown at him, and is on his way to seeing off another pm

    talentless, you don’t rise to the top of a Union in this poisoned environment without having some talent.

    turc exposed just how good he is at negotiating, and how good his outcomes are.

    Passing off council accusing accusations and wild claims as gospel doesn’t reflect the texts of turc, which showed notalentbill negotiating deals where everybody won, in an environment designed to punish workers.

    What a laugh a minute you two are.

  16. February 22, 2016 6:49 pm

    via-blot,,,,,Owler issued a passionate call to the medical profession to resist government plans to return asylum-seeker children to Nauru, saying `there are times, in any nation, where the medical profession must act in the interests not only of our patients .. but act in the national interest`,,,,,

    blot,,,,,Surely it cannot be long now before Brian Owler, the Liberal-abusing global warming crusader and refugee activist, stands for Labor preselection rather than simply use his AMA platform,,,,,

    #good to see `owler` unhinge the blot imbecile armchair, rest assured blot is mainly unhinged that owler has a `platform`, NOT the content of the topic #chortle #chortle #chortle:-)

  17. Neil of Sydney permalink
    February 22, 2016 7:38 pm

    talentless, you don’t rise to the top of a Union in this poisoned environment without having some talent.

    Shorten did. It never ceases to amaze me how so many talentless people get to the top. I guess they have other qualities.

    Deceit, lying, backstabbing etc etc

  18. February 22, 2016 7:52 pm

    team-cheerer,,,,,notalentblib,,,,,

    #correct, not my words tho, but yours

    t,,,,,notalentblib has seen off one pm,,,,,,

    #still singing false praises and deluding ones self huh, willfully blind that talkbull run-off the rabbit

    t,,,,,and is on his way to seeing off another pm,,,,,

    #much more likely blib will be `seeing-off` albo and plib from their seats in jonestown, the seat of wills in boltsville, a few seats already `abandoned` on the west-coast

    #even when the `swoon` is flowing away from talkbull, the `swoon` still doesn`t flow to blib, talkbull dropped 20-something poll points and blib only `gained` ONE or TWO

    # ,, blib is doing a wonderful job ,, #yaaaay.blib

  19. TB Queensland permalink
    February 22, 2016 8:40 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how so many talentless people get to the top. I guess they have other qualities.

    Deceit, lying, backstabbing etc etc

    And yet, sreb, keeps you around … fkn astounding!

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    # ,, blib is doing a wonderful job ,, #yaaaay.blib

    50 – 50 apparently …

    So you can bag ’em all … tbagz … but who will you vote for? No weasel words now … you can’t have it both ways …

  20. Tom R permalink
    February 22, 2016 9:29 pm

    50 – 50 apparently …

    Perhaps teambagerz been too bisy countincolouredcartons to notice 😉

  21. Tom R permalink
    February 22, 2016 9:45 pm

    Speaking of turrc, the unraveling continues.

    A court has thrown out a charge of intimidation that was laid against a construction union official in the wake of the trade union royal commission.

    NSW Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union organiser Michael Greenfield was charged with intimidating a Fair Work building inspector following referral to prosecutors by commissioner Dyson Heydon.

    The charge related to a 2014 incident at the Barangaroo construction site in Sydney that was detailed in evidence before the royal commission and included in commissioner Heydon’s interim report.

    Mr Greenfield was charged in October 2015 and appeared in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Monday, where the charge of intimidating a commonwealth public official was dismissed.

    A spokesperson for the commonwealth director of public prosecutions said the magistrate dismissed the charge as she was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the official had in fact been intimidated.

    In a statement, CFMEU national construction secretary Dave Noonan slammed the charge, which follows charges also being dropped against two other CFMEU officials, John Lomax and Andrew Sutherland.

    “In all of these cases, it was obvious from the outset that there were no grounds for the charges laid and no chance of success,” he said.

    Mr Noonan said the actions “seem to be designed to create a storm of negative publicity for the union”.

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/30887294/charge-dismissed-against-cfmeu-official/

  22. February 22, 2016 9:56 pm

    TB,,,,,,bag `em all .. tbagz .. but who will you vote for? No weasel words,,,,,,

    #same as last time for both hor and senate, voting in reverse, teabags LAST, teabumpkins and other teabag stooges 2nd-LAST, the team and stooges 3rd-LAST, with indi`s, greenz and `smalls` all above them, while l prefer indi`s usually, l have friend in albo or plibs seat, and seriously considering relo-registering and helping shove a greenz in if looking strong enough, chucking either big-team OUT for basically `anybody-else` seems to be the only way to go

    #front.yard.signs.change.nothing:-)

  23. TB Queensland permalink
    February 22, 2016 10:11 pm

    Could someone please translate tbagz last comment? Just jokin’ …

    So no-one in particular …

  24. February 22, 2016 10:28 pm

    tb,,,,,So no-one in particular,,,,,,#correct

  25. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 22, 2016 11:42 pm

  26. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 9:27 am

    Greg grog Jericho tears into malcayman and scomo, as more should for their vacuous scare campaign

    If so, that’s a pretty scary thought. It suggests that not only do the two top people in our government think the Australian housing market is some sort of tax-driven Ponzi scheme, but that they also want to make sure it stays that way.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2016/feb/22/scott-morrisons-response-to-labors-negative-gearing-plan-is-truly-disturbing

    I hadn’t heard about the car analogy. It’s got to point that ‘grog is pyneing for hockey’ 🙂

    Comparing the housing market to used cars is utterly stupid, and to do so repeatedly is almost enough to raise the question of whether Morrison is up to the job. It betrays an ignorance of supply and demand that would be laughable were it not coming from the man in charge of the nation’s finances.

    Turnbull should leave the dopey fear campaigns to his predecessor, and Morrison should either learn the basics of economics or tell his boss to trade in his treasurer for a newer model.

  27. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 9:34 am

    BINGO!

    Independent modelling by Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research and Methods, released on the weekend, found quarantining negative gearing to newly built properties — which Labor plans to do — could increase taxation revenue in the long run between $3.4 and $3.9 billion dollars a year.

    It would also boost construction and slow the pace at which house prices are rising, the report said.

    And while limits to negative gearing could make rental investment less attractive, and lead to a decline in rental stocks, the report said this could be offset by those same properties becoming owner-occupied homes instead — thus reducing demand for rental properties in the first place.

    ANU’s modelling also found negative gearing benefited wealthier families, with 52.6 per cent of the benefit going to the top 20 per cent of incomes. A tiny 5.2 per cent of benefits went to the bottom 20 per cent of incomes.

    “This result is mostly driven by high income families being more likely to negatively gear, having larger negatively geared deductions and a progressive tax system that magnifies the gains for higher income persons,” the report said.

    The modelling also found Labor’s proposal to slash the capital gains discount from 50 per cent to 25 per cent would increase tax revenue by about $2 billion in the long run. That would mostly come from the top 10 per cent of earners who negatively gear their properties.

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/is-it-time-to-tax-homeowner-occupiers-this-expert-thinks-so/news-story/ae9f0e1ac8c5eda2403ef9bb4de2eeea

    I live in a home not an asset!

    The Australian Dream was lost, when it turned into a money making exercise …

  28. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 9:40 am

    From your grog jerry link, TR …

    Both base their argument on the belief that removing negative gearing for established residences will mean – in Turnbull’s words – taking out “all of the investors. So there will only be home buyers, people who are buying it as a residence”.

    At least we definitely know which side of the line they stand on now … the INVESTORS side!

    Now why would a multi-millionaire want to be in politics … mmmm?

  29. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 9:49 am

    At least we definitely know which side of the line they stand on now

    Yes, malcayman is certainly living up to his nomenclature 😉

    Poor dolittle bill. He’s got ’em by the short n curlies it seems. loloz in panic mode. I oneder if teamnuthen has woken up to it 😉

  30. February 23, 2016 9:49 am

    That Greg Jericho article is an excellent read… 🙂

  31. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 9:51 am

    On Morrison … (remember this is the Treasurer of Australia) …

    He argued that, “for everyone else who owns property, the minute you put your key in the front door, your house turns from a new house to an old house, and it’s a bit like driving the new car off the lot in terms of what it means for your assets. So, I don’t think they’ve thought it through.”

    Economics 101

    Cars are generally a depreciating asset …

    Houses are generally an appreciating asset …

    The problem all Liberal Ministers seem to have is that they are stuck in IDEOLOGICAL mud … and can’t see the tree branch hanging over their heads … by staring straight ahead!

  32. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 9:52 am

    lol, even the afr is in meltdown. At least the writer acknowledges what is he is doing as he spends hte rest of the article with his own jedi mind trick “these are not the polls you are looking for”

    The headline was as eye-catching as the results: “Deadlock as parties split 50-50”.

    A mere six months after seizing the top job, a Newspoll had found the Coalition and Labor were now on equal electoral footing, with both sides on 50 per cent apiece on a two-party preferred basis.

    Cue a mix of glee (for supporters of both former PM Tony Abbott and Labor) and despair across social media, traditional media and in Canberra.

    Read more: http://www.afr.com/news/politics/this-is-not-your-mothers-newspoll-20160222-gn0im4#ixzz40wLG1MAj
    Follow us: @FinancialReview on Twitter | financialreview on Facebook

  33. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 10:06 am

    That Greg Jericho article is an excellent read…

    My thoughts exactly …

    Morrison got results with “das boots” but at what cost?

    He’s a “toe-cutter” … we have them in business … they get in “fix the problem” by crash and burn … get out … and leave a mess for others to fix up …

    There was a big sigh of relief in this home when he moved on from social services …

    But of course he’s now Treasurer (in title only) … it has been obvious for some time he is not into “detail” … nor is he into “compassion” … although that is a distinguishing trait of Liberal governments and their leaders …

    As for Greg Jericho … he is now on my list of must read authors … he certainly nailed it this time!

  34. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 10:09 am

    Cue a mix of glee (for supporters of both former PM Tony Abbott and Labor) and despair across social media, traditional media and in Canberra.

    Can’t wait to see the combined message and attacks here, from the usual suspects …

    … apart from the odd personal attacks there’s not been much for them to gloat about I suppose …

  35. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 10:37 am

    Malcolm’s gone all boogeyman on CGT and sticking up for the investors “the sale of a person’s 10 homes are sacrosanct”

    …“Every investor is entitled to deduct the interest expense of the borrowings they incur in order to buy an income-producing asset and that is true whether it is a farm or a shop or shares in a public company or whether it is rental property,” he said.

    “The tax concession is one that is absolutely hallowed and sacrosanct and perhaps the Labor Party has got that in its sights, we don’t know but is sacrosanct on our side, which of course is that a person’s home, the sale on a person’s home is free of capital gains tax.”…

  36. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:02 am

    Well, I’m disappointed, I took the trouble to post a comment to andrew bolt’s blog yesterday and it hasn’t been published.
    I agreed with Andrew as to how terrible it is for the state to leak information, especially top secret information. All I did was point out a previous state sanctioned leak to a ‘journalist’ and the illegal nature of that leak, it was an ONA intelligence report which smeared the honourable and honest Andrew Wilkie MP 😦

    Column – Police must answer for the smearing of George Pell
    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_police_must_answer_for_the_smearing_of_george_pell/P20/

    …It seems to me a scandalous injustice and abuse of state power to leak information that the leaker must have known any newspaper would feel compelled to report, if not endorse.

    This is not the first sign that Victoria’s police force has a culture that encourages officers to hunt Catholics and smear their church.

    UPDATE

    The leak and this response suggests that Pell has become an enemy of the state, to be denied natural justice:..

    Why Andrew Blot, why?

  37. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:10 am

  38. February 23, 2016 11:15 am

    “” I took the trouble to post a comment to andrew bolt’s blog “”

    Good dog! What were you thinking, woman! 🙂

  39. February 23, 2016 11:17 am

    “”Did you miss Bills bipartisan rant or what ?””

    Richard Di Natale’s really starting to give me the shits…

    He slams Labor in public, yet does backroom deals with the Libs in private.

    When the Greens start doing secret deals with the Libs, you know they’ve lost the plot.

  40. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:24 am

    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/9cbb43d37b41bdaca83d184c1a167a1e088e545d/0_0_4500_2701/master/4500.jpg?w=780&q=85&auto=format&sharp=10&s=8721496a1c387ca24cd813fcbd3efa25

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2016/feb/23/the-coalition-floats-halving-the-capital-gains-discount-for-super-funds-politics-live?page=with:block-56cb6b5fe4b00221da78b246#block-56cb6b5fe4b00221da78b246

    …Good morning everyone and welcome to Tuesday on Politics Live. Before we power into Tuesday, I think it’s worth recapping a notable development of Monday, and it’s this: the prime minister had a pretty bad day. Given it was Malcolm Turnbull’s first obviously bad day since taking the leadership, I’ll walk you through it…

    …Malcolm Turnbull then rolled into question time, and stuffed up. He told the parliament in response to a question from Labor’s Chris Bowen: “Increasing capital gains tax is no part of our thinking whatsoever.” Late yesterday evening that statement was being walked back. It became clear the government was, in fact, contemplating measures like halving the capital gains tax discount for superannuation funds. So that part of increasing capital gains tax was, in fact, part of the thinking. It will be interesting to see how the prime minister handles the reposition after that stumble today…

  41. February 23, 2016 11:28 am

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  42. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:28 am

    Richard Di Natale’s really starting to give me the shits…

    Gawd we do think alike!!! Fkn scary!

    Christensen (George) … my, what an appropriate surname …

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    KL, the one thing you can never reclaim is – time … and you wasted it on BLOT!???

  43. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:31 am

    Waffle, waffle … weasel, weasel …

    Fkn DO something!

  44. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:32 am

    One extreme to another … captain’s calls … to captains without balls!

  45. Virtual Assitant permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:43 am

    Mabuhay, Mr George Christensen!

  46. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:45 am

    He slams Labor in public, yet does backroom deals with the Libs in private.

    I think Di Natale is the result of a faction battle within the Green’s. The environmental warriors who started the party and campaigned on green issues vs the more conservative, wealthy, professional cityslingers & the labor disaffected.

    I’m not a member and there is little media attention to it, but there always seemed to be an inherent conflict between the lot. Bob brown is gone, Christine Milne too, the old environmentalists.

    Dinatale is taking the party to appeal to the inner city urban professionals.

    Richard Di Natale’s really starting to give me the shits…

    Not that I know, I’m just an observer!

    For the record, I don’t like the new direction much either, but I don’t think the greens should be slammed for dissing Labor, Labor does it to them all the time! Labor acts as if the Greens are their true political enemy and cosy up to the libs on the important things that people like me want to see them opposing eg civil liberties, federal ICAC, coal mines, copyright law and asylum seekers etc. I think that Labor has been as complicit as the libs in the removal of citizen’s freedoms, rights and privacy for corporate greed.

  47. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:50 am

    I think that Labor has been as complicit as the libs in the removal of citizen’s freedoms, rights and privacy for corporate greed.

    So do I but now we’ve got the Green’s shifting that way too … and a move to disallow any dissent in the Senate …

    It’s like watching Roman history … as a kid I was actually taught what a great general Julius Caesar was … then I read some “real” history and found out what a dictatorial arsehole he really was … no wonder he was assassinated …

    Wonder how long Trumps would last as POTUS?

  48. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:52 am

    I just read Meta’s link and thought “this is a job for, sreb” … then I read the skills list … 😀

  49. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:53 am

    Gotta go and visit Uncle Dan … BTW, we watched “The Big Short” yesterday … a must see …

  50. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 11:59 am

    When the Greens start doing secret deals with the Libs, you know they’ve lost the plot.

    After much thought, I have decided that I agree with the senate reform.

    The micro parties do not reflect the will of the people when they vote. Political parties doing secret backroom deals on preferences and creating feeder parties to direct votes to themselves does thwart the voter intention.

    I’m all for transparency of voting and knowing exactly where my vote is going. I do appreciate a couple of the senators for their work in stopping the libs and their ‘trickle up’ economic plans, but when you look at it, most of the senators elected are conservative. Most indies are conservative or conservative leaning. There is enough gaming of our political system already, mostly favouring the two majors, at least let the voters who actually care about their vote, know where that vote is going to go.

    I want to see australia progress and quickly without conservative and religion affiliated micro parties swamping us in secret back room deals.

  51. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 12:00 pm

    Given it was Malcolm Turnbull’s first obviously bad day since taking the leadership

    Sometimes Katharine Murphy is very perceptive, and other times, she’s just running with the pack.

    Or was this written last week? lol

    I took the trouble to post a comment to andrew bolt’s blog

    I took the trouble to go and look (more fool me). Had to laugh at the response my browser received

    “This Connection is Untrusted” …… a very perceptive browser is Tor 😉

    Richard Di Natale’s really starting to give me the shits…

    Maybe they should have a more “grass roots” method of voting in leaders 😆

    Just wondering, but does anybody recall how much the Greens benefited from the “micro parties” setup to get going?

    I’m still out on the fence on these changes, mainly because, I don’t get the system much as it stands, I don’t really care, and, if the libs are putting it forward, BE AFRAID!

    The libs only change things that is good for them. That is a proven concept. I’m getting the feeling the more I read the Greens seem to support it simply to stop more parties coming in and giving them competition. But, that’s just my perception at the moment.

  52. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 12:07 pm

    What’s not to like?

    I would vote for the pirate party and here they lay out in a transparent fashion why they would give preferences to the Greens

    Preferences/Australian Greens
    https://pirateparty.org.au/wiki/Preferences/Australian_Greens

  53. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 12:14 pm

    …I’m getting the feeling the more I read the Greens seem to support it simply to stop more parties coming in and giving them competition. But, that’s just my perception at the moment…

    The reforms may well work against the Greens, no-one knows.
    The gaming of the system is undemocratic and lacking in the honest and open transparency in election of our government.

    Do you agree with secret deals that do not reflect the will and original intent of the voter?

  54. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 12:15 pm

    After much thought, I have decided that I agree with the senate reform.

    Thanks ao, that was a timely, and well thought out post.

    Gives me more to ponder. I’m still nervous of anything the libs put up, but, perhaps it’s not ALL bad 😉

  55. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 12:23 pm

    Christine Milne: “…At last Australia is to take one step towards strengthening our democracy with changes to Senate voting laws. The Greens have been pushing for this reform for 12 years, to better reflect the will of the people.
    Bob Brown introduced legislation on the subject in 2004, 2008, and 2010. In fact, a commitment to Senate voting reform was a condition of Greens support for the minority Labor government in 2010 – a condition they agreed to, but failed to deliver on…”

  56. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 1:06 pm

    Which is exactly why the non-representative nationals have lost out to indies.

  57. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 1:18 pm

    Mmmm, what’s all this about eh?

    I think it’s a well written article.

  58. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 1:27 pm

    Oh, now it’s clear, the fighting seems to be about Below The Line voting and a lack of reform there.

  59. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 1:30 pm

    Do you agree with secret deals that do not reflect the will and original intent of the voter?

    As I said ao, at that “micro” level, I don’t really care, I’m not (or historically haven’t been) that engaged to that level.

    I vote Labor mainly for their support of workers, and also because they take the environment in mind also. But I don’t agree with EVERYTHING they do or say. The same goes for this micro party stuff.

    But, as you say, for those who ARE engaged at that level, then perhaps there is something to it.

    I have been reading a bit of the ongoing discussion at pb, and this comment caught my attention. There are things lacking in the current arrangement, but, there also seems to be many inconsistencies in the muted changes. I don’t want to change just for the sake of changing. Especially if it’s being pushed by the libs, for the reasons I mentioned earlier

    “Scott

    The government’s proposal says that when the boxes are blank, the vote is split up and distributed to all remaining candidates in proportion to the current quota they have*.

    Why not divide the vote up equally between the blank boxes?”

    Because that is not at all reflective of how people want to vote. GVT are not 100% reflective, but they are a pretty good approximation. Parties will tend to put likeminded parties higher on their GVT than dissimilar parties.

    GVTs are not perfect, but they are by far the most accurate proxy for someone’s order of preferences compared to random, even, proportional to current quota, or no-one.

    It would also still lead to the wrong result in the 100 parties vs 1 party example I gave before. The end result of a 6 senator election would be that the right wing party would get 74.99% of the vote after preferences, and the left wing party that had the highest 1st perferences would get 25.01% of the vote. This would lead to the right wing party getting 2/3rd of the seats from 1/2 of the votes. A much better result than any other method you have proposed, but still worse than the current system, which would deliver 50% of seats from 50% of votes.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2016/02/21/newspoll-50-50-11/?comment_page=13/#comment-2339802

  60. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 1:39 pm

    Dastyari, Wong et al are overthinking it

    Yes, best not dwell too long on things 😉

  61. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 1:47 pm

    …I am up to 16 names already who did the same…

    Out of how many hundreds of names?

    I think he should check on the meaning of “unusual” 😉

  62. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 1:55 pm

    The australian government exists to support the abbott family aspirations [remembering the free college course and job before abbott put up legislation to benefit the private college]

    Spies like Oz:John Blaxland’s ‘The Protest Years: The Official History of ASIO 1963–1975’
    https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2016/february/1454245200/david-mcknight/spies-oz

    …This instalment sheds light on the organisation’s reaction to the radicalisation and protest movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

    .

  63. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 2:10 pm

    I think there’s a lot of fearmongering and dishonest self interest in Leyonhjelm’s [and his backers] statement.

  64. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    February 23, 2016 2:16 pm

    I agree with the change to Senate voting – because I always vote below the line. This might make it easier to indicate my preferences.

  65. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 2:56 pm

    This might make it easier to indicate my preferences.

    Wait, there’s more than one “I HATE UNIONS” party?

    the libs and ………….???

  66. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 2:58 pm

    Malcolm Turnbull is losing his chance to be a great Prime Minister

    They gave him about 6 months longer than they gave Gillard, even though he had already proven what kind of a spineless spiv he was many times over both in Government and in opposition.

  67. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 3:03 pm

    Not happy about this ongoing stitch-up. BTL voting is still beholden to party preference deals. I want to vote below the line and I want to direct my own preferences, even across parties.

    Michael Maley
    Posted February 22, 2016 at 1:38 PM
    The proposal to retain a prima facie requirement for full preferential voting below the line, with just a slight relaxation of the current savings provision, is risible. It means that the problem of discrimination against those who want to come up with their own preferences – for example to vote for the women candidates before the men – will continue on.

    And it will introduce a whole new absurdity: if I mark the required 6 preferences above the line, that will translate into a certain number of preferences for candidates – say 25. If I marked the exact same 25 preferences below the line, my vote would be informal.

    It’s completely devoid of logic: you might just as well have different formality rules for ordinary votes and postal votes.

  68. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 3:04 pm

    I agree with the change to Senate voting – because I always vote below the line. This might make it easier to indicate my preferences.

    See above tomM, nope!

  69. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 23, 2016 3:05 pm

    forgot the link

    Discussion at tallyroom
    http://www.tallyroom.com.au/27309#comments

  70. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 3:06 pm

    fer tosy, cos I hope he likes it
    and fer splats, cos I know he don’t 🙂

  71. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    February 23, 2016 3:24 pm

    I don’t think so AO. If I choose to put a candidate as 1 when their party has them number 3, well there is no preference deal that changes my vote.

    If I overlook the 2nd candidate and give the vote to someone else, the party has no say in that.

  72. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 3:36 pm

    RE Senate change …. be careful what you wish for …

    … imagine the 2014/15 budget actually being passed …

    … the LibNits are actually loading the ballot …

    … and while Bob Brown and Christine Milne wanted it – that was to boost the Greens’ chances … the Greens have actually changed directions somewhat since De Natali took over …

  73. February 23, 2016 3:40 pm

    Daniel Andrews slams Turnbull’s investigation into “Safe Schools” program:

    The Liberals now plan to “investigate” (meaning: ultimately shut down) the Safe Schools Coalition, a program that looks after teenagers who are getting bullied at school.

    Why?

    Take a guess.

    Because this particular program is designed to help a particular group of teenagers: those who are attracted to the same-sex.

    After all, they’re far more likely to get bullied at school – and this program is designed to make them feel safe.

    Now some Liberals have discovered it, and want to see the end of it.

    Here’s what I think.

    Schools have to be a safe place for every kid – no exceptions.

    Teachers have to be given the tools to deal with every situation – no excuses.

    And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this effective little program, which achieves the above two aims and nothing more.

    But let’s be honest here: I don’t think these extreme Liberals are actually offended by the structure of the program, or the teachers who lead it.

    I just think they’re offended by the kids who need it.

    They don’t like the fact that some young people might be different.

    And I’m sick of it.

    I’m sick of Liberal politicians telling our kids that there’s something wrong with them – when there isn’t.

    I’m sick of Liberal politicians trying to push us all back, whenever we all take a few steps forward.

    Cory Bernadi says teenagers are too young to know about love and care and acceptance.

    Well, I can assure you, Senator: they know a whole lot more about it than you.

  74. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    February 23, 2016 4:03 pm

    I’m interested in why having to vote 1 to 6 above the line is anti democratic. What a crock some spruik.

  75. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 4:18 pm

    read ao’s link yomm

  76. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    February 23, 2016 4:54 pm

    Yeah?

    I number below the line 1 to (say) 75, in order of my whim preference. It can look quite random, particularly towards the end when I can’t figure out who to put last – between Family First and The Greens

    How does AO’s link suggest that this isn’t a valid vote, and how does a party preference deal cause this order of my preferences preference to change?

  77. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    February 23, 2016 4:58 pm

    …and putting 1 to 6 is certainly a better expression of preference than putting 1… and leaving the entire distribution to some anonymous backroom deal.

  78. February 23, 2016 5:00 pm

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

  79. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 5:07 pm

    yomm

    The scheme proposed in the Bill will create an anomaly never previously seen at Senate elections: identical preferences for candidates may produce a formal vote if expressed using the above the line mechanism, but an informal vote if expressed using the below the line mechanism.

    It’s not perfect now, but this looks even less perfect, with nicer dressing.

    It’s starting to look like the libs are pulling their normal trick of bait and switch. They are claiming it is making it easier, but the underlying mechanism appears to disagree.

    More devious bastardy from the devious bastards.

  80. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 5:07 pm

    Wow! Look at all those ALP senators!!!

    Question: So why did you go into politics senator?

    Senator: Thimples … to help myself 😀

  81. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 5:08 pm

    More devious bastardy from the devious bastards.

    You sound surprised, sir?

  82. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 5:35 pm

    A PLAN to send infringement letters to Australian internet users identified as having pirated illegal movies and TV shows has been shelved due to disagreement over who will pay for the cost of the scheme.

    The code was intended to introduce a “graduated” system where Aussie pirates would receive letters from their internet service providers on behalf of rights holders if their account was identified as engaging in the downloading or sharing of illegal torrent files.

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/piracy/rights-holders-abandon-three-strikes-notice-scheme-as-fresh-piracy-fight-looms/news-story/a0590bf35b9fc1c6d0e847b12b2cacf1

    I think we predicted something like this …

  83. February 23, 2016 5:37 pm

    Well, I`m disappointed,,,,,,,I took the trouble to post a comment to andrew bolt`s blog yesterday and it hasn`t been published,,,,,,

    #ha-ha, silly fcuking leftie, why the hell would you bother?

    ,,,,,,,,,,,I agreed with Andrew,,,,,,,

    # ,, that`s even sadder ,, #yaaaay.blot:-)

  84. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 5:38 pm

    Dopey Dutton again!

    Allegations baby Asha was deliberately harmed by her mother as a way to get the family off Nauru and into Australia have been refuted by medical records and dismissed by police and advocates.

    The suggestion that the Nepalese woman deliberately harmed her one-year-old child appeared to have grown from comments made by the immigration minister, Peter Dutton, in parliament, a subsequent attempt by crossbenchers to censure him and media reports on Tuesday of a police investigation.

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/feb/23/police-dismiss-claims-baby-asha-deliberately-hurt-by-mother-in-order-to-leave-nauru

  85. February 23, 2016 5:55 pm

    AO,,,,,,,Labor has been as complicit as the libs in the removal of citizen`s freedoms, rights and privacy for corporate greed,,,,,,,,

    #agree with ya`whole rant there armchair. lt`s bad enough the team is usually teabag-lite on way more than they should be, to only have xeno+ greenz going teabag-lite on the senate-`micros` too, they all seem hell-bent on voters having a non-choice #teabags

  86. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    February 23, 2016 6:20 pm

    So?

    Currently you put – 1 – above the line – formal, but put 1 to 74 (instead of 75) below the line – informal.

    The proposed change is an improvement.

  87. February 23, 2016 6:35 pm

    AFR,,,,,,,,,Roy Morgan, published a very different take on Monday afternoon, showing the Coalition ahead 52.5 per cent to Labor on 47.5 per cent. This is a result in line with the Fairfax/Ipsos poll published last week. (Roy Morgan uses a mix of face-to-face and SMS interviews for its polling.),,,,,,,,via.team.cheerer

    # ,, Go Team!!

    afr,,,,,,,,Don`t get too excited. The good news for the government is the PM is still a long way ahead on the preferred PM measure and a number other key measures,,,,,,,,

    #swoon.baby.swoon ,, #yaaaaay.blib

  88. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 6:38 pm

    The proposed change is an improvement.

    In some respects, maybe. In others, not so much.

    So, do we change a system that works, albeit not perfectly, for something else that might not improve it, in fact, its looking like it will make it worst?

    As the idiot above said, don’t think too much, just do it! lol

  89. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 6:42 pm

    The good news for the government is the PM is still a long way ahead on the preferred PM

    Hey teamnutcase.

    We elect political parties, not PM’s

    #justsayin

    I loved the way that, the moment newspoll has them level, it’s all about the method. They didn’t complain about ‘teh’ method when it was opposite, did they

    It’s a long way to go, and, the narrowing is on in style. and, if you believe the muppets, malcayman only just started having a bad day today, even though the narrowing begun in earnest a couple of weeks ago ROFL

  90. Tom R permalink
    February 23, 2016 6:43 pm

    hey yomm, hows that iceberg tip looking?

  91. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 7:15 pm

    afr,,,,,,,,Don`t get too excited. The good news for the government is the PM is still a long way ahead on the preferred PM measure and a number other key measures,,,,,,,,

    Good job its not a Prime Meddler Race then …

    The Libs are being sent a message … we like TurnAbbout’s smiley face we just don’t like the shite he waffles …

    The ALP is being sent the opposite … we don’t like Bill ’cause he was in a union and they are bad TurnAbbout and Co said so … but we like the policies you’re turning out … we’ll vote for your policies …

    Blind Freddy?

    4BC radio (2UE affiliate) today in the Santa Fe (while I was returning from Uncle Dan’s with the booty!) … a poll asking who the listeners supported … Milkum TurnAbbout? or, The Mad Abbott? … 7000 votes … 300 for Milkum …

    Not that 4BC et al are right wing radio Satans … 😀

    GUFFAW!

  92. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 7:21 pm

    oops radio stations … who changed that? 😉

  93. February 23, 2016 7:21 pm

    AO,,,,,,After much thought, I have decided that I agree with the senate reform. The micro parties do not reflect the will of the people when they vote.,,,,,,

    # ,, But the big teams do? Right?

    AO,,,,,Political parties doing secret backroom deals on preferences and creating feeder parties to direct votes to themselves does thwart the voter intention.,,,,,,

    # ,, Which was fine while the big teams kept benefiting? Right? Just not for micros huh?

    AO,,,,,l`m all for transparency of voting and knowing exactly where my vote is going.

    # ,, Me too, but when it comes to the `transparency` aspect armchair, l would much prefer to know when industry-X `association` or corporation-Q has `donated` to both/all teams and have them in their pocket. Before l vote!!!

    ,,,,,I do appreciate a couple of the senators for their work in stopping the libs and their `trickle up` economic plans,,,,,#ditto/agree

    AO,,,,,when you look at it, most of the senators elected are conservative. Most indies are conservative or conservative leaning,,,,,,,

    # ,, this could probably apply to lambie, wang, xeno and maybe lazarus on some aspects, not sure they would be at the looney-teabag end of the scale tho, and are thorns in the big teams arses

    # ,, l thought lib-dem leylhelm was just a teabag-stooge, but l am please to see him opposing the big teams from time to time, even tho l don`t really agree with any of his teabag-like ideology, and l do prefer him being there instead of a full-strength teabag or teabumpkin

  94. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 7:22 pm

    just watched the Prime Meddler in panic mode in parliament today!

    When the going gets tuff … the wafflers get shrill … ! Ho Ho HO!

  95. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 7:30 pm

    # ,, this could probably apply to lambie, wang, xeno and maybe lazarus on some aspects, not sure they would be at the looney-teabag end of the scale tho, and are thorns in the big teams arses

    My gut feeling agrees with that, tbagz … the micro parties do actually hold the big guns to account … like ’em or hate ’em …

    The only reason this “change” is “needed” is to give the big guns an advantage …

    It’s fine for ToM to select 1 to 25 candidates but most can’t be bothered and many ain’t got the time!

    The result we get now DOES work just not for the big guns! And fuck ’em all I say!

    Democracy – what democracy … in the Digital Age why do I have to use a pencil (PENCIL?!) to vote … I have a fkn computer!

    And these turkeys think they can stop movie piracy? Incompetent wankers!

  96. February 23, 2016 7:39 pm

    team-cheerer,,,,,,We elect political parties, not PM`s,,,,,,

    # ,, technically true, but look at all the `on-camera` marketing of a `future blib-govt` and/or `future blib-labor-govt`, hoping punters like blib enough to support his `candidate`, remember how well kevin07 did it for your team? blib has no hope ,, #yaaaay.blib

  97. Neil of Sydney permalink
    February 23, 2016 7:53 pm

    It is funny reading the comments.

    The people who locked up 8,000 kids are giving lectures on morality

  98. February 23, 2016 8:01 pm

    on reportland they were just saying 3-mill voters don`t vote for the big teams and aren`t represented in the hor, the senate-`micros` may be their only representation (so if it succeeds 25%-?? of voters will have zero representation) #yaaaay.democracy

    TB,,,,,fine for ToM to select 1 to 25 candidates but most can’t be bothered,,,,,

    # ,, my bet is the micros will be advertising to vote below the line and have leaflets to help their voters, it may even back-fire and create more micros in seats, serve`em fcuking right if it did:-)

  99. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 9:12 pm

    serve`em fcuking right if it did 🙂

    LOL! Yes please!

  100. TB Queensland permalink
    February 23, 2016 9:13 pm

    It is funny reading the comments.

    Now you know how we feel reading your comments, Kneel …

    Nah, probably not ..

  101. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 24, 2016 1:41 am

    I was happy that we were going to get voting reform, but now it seems that the majors are still calling ths shots. The need to number all the boxes BTL is just crazy, and it is specifically desogned to keep people voting above the line where the two majors have done their back room deals.

    We should have had reform of both above and below the line, once again the voters are being treated with contempt by the parties.

    Cut & pasted from my crikey email:

    At last, the government has laid its Senate reform cards on the table with legislation introduced to Parliament yesterday. Before it was even off the presses, the bill was being met with claim, counter-claim, counter-counter-claim, and so on. According to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, “the only person that will benefit from these is the voter, because the voter will determine where their preferences go”. But small party senators have decried the move as a “power grab”, a “dirty little deal” and “political trickery of the highest order”. So what gives?

    What would, and wouldn’t, change?

    There are two separate questions here, relating to the design of the ballot paper, and the electoral system itself. The ballot paper will continue to list parties above the line and candidates below it, but voters voting above the line will now be directed to number a minimum of six boxes (perversely, below-the-line voters will still have to number every box). Consequently, above-the-line voting will serve simply to relieve voters of the chore of numbering a party’s candidates in the order listed, rather than having them acquiesce to that party’s complete “group voting ticket”, as has been the case since the above-the-line option was introduced in 1984. But whereas the 1984 reforms were essentially a matter of ballot paper design, the new reforms will have a consequential effect on the electoral system itself, in that votes will drop out of the count at the point where a voter ceases indicating a preference. In the past, candidates who were elected to the Senate at a normal election have done so by gathering a quota equal to one-seventh of the total vote, either through primary votes or preferences. Now there won’t be enough votes left in the later stages of the count for that to happen, so the last few seats will go to whoever comes closest.

    Has this been tried before?

    Voters in the Australian Capital Territory are familiar with one particularly noteworthy feature of the proposed system — the fact that it doesn’t mean what it says. Ballot papers in ACT elections instruct voters to “number five boxes from 1 to 5 in the order of your choice” and to continue or not continue beyond that point according to taste. Nonetheless, ballots marked with between one and four boxes are still admitted to the count. Similarly, the legislation introduced to the Senate yesterday would amend the section of the Electoral Act relating to “marking of votes in a Senate election” by requiring that above-the-line votes have at least six boxes numbered — but it would also amend the section dealing with the formality of above-the-line votes by adding a “savings provision”, whereby above-the-line votes with five or fewer numbers would remain in the count . Regardless of which section a vote is allowed under, the result is the same: voters could simply number one box above the line and have no preferences pass on to other parties, just as they can in state upper house elections in New South Wales. This brings us to a second answer to the question: an essentially similar system has been tried before at the last four New South Wales state elections, except for the fact that the ballot paper there gives voters an accurate account of what the system will allow, and below-the-line voters may number a minimum of 15 boxes.

    Why this proposal in particular?

    In April 2014, a report by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters recommended following the example of New South Wales by dispensing with group voting tickets and allowing voters to number as many or as few boxes above the line as they wished. One of the attractions of this was that voters who failed to notice the change and continued numbering a single box above the line would still be casting a formal vote. However, the likelihood that the overwhelming majority of voters would indeed continue numbering one box above the line made the change quite radical in effect, since preference flows between different parties would have been all but eliminated. This cost it the support not only of Labor, whose powerbrokers discerned that Senate reform had nothing to offer them in any case, but also of the Greens, who decided that the evaporation of preferences was undesirable, either for their own sake or that of the minor party cause more broadly. To win over the Greens, and perhaps bring other crossbenchers on board, the government agreed to a minimum of six numbers as a compromise. However, this introduced the noted difficulty that the most common method of voting under the old system would be informal under the new one — hence the savings provision, and the awkward mismatch between the wording on the ballot paper and the rules of the game in practice…

    Why are the Coalition, the Greens and Nick Xenophon lined up together against Labor and the micro-parties?

    For both Labor and the Coalition, the outstanding fact of the proposed reforms is that they will reduce the role played by preferences, which can only be of advantage to the party with the higher primary vote. With the left-of-centre vote increasingly splitting between Labor and the Greens, that means reform will tend to benefit the Coalition more than Labor — albeit to nothing like the extent indicated by certain reports last week. For much the same reason, the issue puts the Greens and Nick Xenophon at odds with the rest of the crossbench. Since the Greens and Xenophon command sizeable primary vote support, they only stand to lose out under a system where the micro-party vote can coalesce behind the one lucky candidate who finishes ahead of the field.

    Is this the end for micro-parties, preference harvesters and tablecloth ballots?

    Preference harvesting will only be possible to the extent that voters consciously agree to vote as directed by their favoured party. How-to-vote cards provide an at least partially effective means of doing this, with a little over 40% of major party voters acting in accordance with their party’s instructions in the lower house. However, that’s no comfort to micro-party hopefuls, who don’t have enough volunteers to put how-to-vote cards in the hands of supporters at polling booths. To that extent, the reforms deliver the bigger parties what might be thought an unfair advantage, since only they will bring chips to the table during preference negotiations. This means the system is certain to deliver on its basic objective of preventing results like Ricky Muir’s election in Victoria from 0.5% of the vote. Having lost much of their incentive to run, micro-parties will presumably diminish in number, causing ballot papers to reduce in size. This will, in turn, diminish the number of votes cast accidentally for parties like the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Labour Party. However, the evident thirst of many voters for options outside the established parties will surely find outlets that accord with the reality of the new system. Similarly minded micro-parties will have a powerful incentive to merge, and the emergence of regional mavericks like Nick Xenophon might even be actively encouraged.

    Labor Senator Sam Dastyari says the reform will cause informal voting to skyrocket, but party colleague Gary Gray says this is “entirely wrong”. Who’s right?

    Gary Gray is one of four Labor members on the 10-member Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters — which, as noted, unanimously called for the system to be reformed two years ago. By contrast, Senator Sam Dastyari led the charge against reform in the ALP, saying in May last year that it would be “complete madness for Labor to support any proposal that would risk forever preventing a progressive Senate”. On Sunday, Dastyari backed his position with an analysis that pointed to a spike in the informal rate from 3.5% to 10%. However, this assumed a system in which ballots with fewer than six boxes numbered would be deemed informal. To the extent that Dastyari has not distanced himself from the notion since the legislation was published, Gary Gray’s retort is correct. However, there might be scope to argue that the reforms will make an incremental contribution to informal voting in the House of Representatives, as voters might misread the message that they are no longer required to number every box.

    For more from William Bowe visit his Crikey blog Poll Bludger

    ** bolded type – doesn’t that all sound dangerously like the illegal Langer vote?

  102. February 24, 2016 8:31 am

    The `back-room` argument has always seemed like horse-shit to me armchair. l remember learning `above-line` was added so that obedient, devout zombies that couldn`t count to `80` would be able to cast their vote by simply finding the teabag box and putting the number-`1` in the box, with the devout, obedient zombie knowing that team-teabag has already organized the preferences the exact same way the obedient zombie would have copied them, without the chance of accidental zombie errors.

  103. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 24, 2016 12:56 pm

  104. armchair opinionator permalink
    February 24, 2016 1:17 pm

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