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ABC Bias

August 30th, 2010

The ABC is reporting the election outcome as 73 Coalition, 72 Labor, even though one National Party member has indicated he will not sit as part of the coalition. If they had made a similar choice favoring Labor (eg by accepting at face value the statement of the Green MP that he intends to support Labor) I’m sure the cries of bias from the political right would have reached the heavens.

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  1. August 30th, 2010 at 15:03 | #1

    I recall a study last year from Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh that found that the ABC had the most pro-Coalition bias of any of the main media outlets.

  2. cbp
    August 30th, 2010 at 15:04 | #2

    Has anyone else noticed what could easily be construed as a strong Coalition bias in The Age (at least the online version) over the last couple of weeks?

  3. August 30th, 2010 at 15:13 | #3

    The Greens are not in a formal coalition with the ALP. The Nationals are in a formal coalition with the Liberals. While one National has said that he intends to sit on the cross benches he has not yet done so, and may end up doing as his peers in the WA Parliament have done.
    In any case, the chances of him supporting the ALP are pretty remote – I would not give much credence to a Kalgoorlie-based MP surviving (politically) in the event that he supported the MRRT, which would have to be in any Supply bill to be passed if the MRRT is instituted.

  4. Phil
  5. paul walter
    August 30th, 2010 at 16:12 | #5

    Yes, CPB.
    That is the feature of this election, the results of the tabloidisation of the SMH and Age over the last five years, paralleling the deterioration of the ABC and SBS.
    That keeps us “harmonised” with american media so the horses dont get spooked..

  6. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 30th, 2010 at 16:33 | #6

    Andrew Reynolds, if it wasn’t for Labor preferences Crazy Uncle would still be in parliament and Sargent Schultz would not be pissed off.

  7. Chris Warren
    August 30th, 2010 at 16:40 | #7


    Crook wants to play the same game as Katter, Oakeshott, and Windsor.

    It gains him media attention. For a politician, this is like heroin.

  8. Donald Oats
    August 30th, 2010 at 17:11 | #8

    The National Party of Western Australia Tony Crook is a member of is a state based party, not the Nationals that is a national (federal) party. Confused?

  9. August 30th, 2010 at 17:39 | #9

    The Liberal Party of WA is a state-based party – as are the National Party organisations in each State.
    In any case, Tony Crook attended the National Party caucus meeting today as a member of the National Party. Not confused at all.

  10. jquiggin
    August 30th, 2010 at 18:05 | #10

    That seems to make the situation far worse for the ABC. Green says “tell us he’s not in the Coalition and we’ll change it”. WA Nats say “he’s not in the Coalition”. ABC doesn’t change it.

  11. August 30th, 2010 at 18:26 | #11

    Green has stated that the request was withdrawn after he pointed out that the WA Nationals are not a federally registered party and that the federally registered party (The Nationals) are in a formal coalition.
    Anyway – as stated, Crook attended the National caucus meeting today.
    Let’s just see what happens when Parliament sits.

  12. gerard
    August 30th, 2010 at 20:33 | #12

    Windschuttle and Albrechsten sit on the ABC board and anybody watching abc24 over the election campaign could tell you it shows. The day before the election, the same day that all the newspapers reported that Abbott was going to cut $1.5 billion from education, mostly for access to university for poorer students, the ABC ran a story that said outright that on education policy the most significant thing was that there was no difference between the two parties – and of course ignored the $1.5 billion story. I was stunned, I never watch abc24 but had read other people complaining about the bias, the one time that I watch it for five minutes and it’s the most clear cut case of plain misinformation that I’d ever seen outside of Fox.

  13. August 30th, 2010 at 20:59 | #13

    O’Connor went to preferences, with Tony Crook behind Winston Tuckey on the primary vote. It looks to me Tony Crook was elected on the preference flow from the ALP and the Greens. He might well be in practice, aside from the influence of WA politics, more of an Independent than generally considered, with some debt to those voters that made his election possible. Thus the ABC might be premature.

  14. August 30th, 2010 at 21:07 | #14

    Oops should Wilson Tuckey – wrong side of the Atlantic.

  15. TerjeP
    August 30th, 2010 at 21:18 | #15

    I think the ABC is biased. It should be privatised or better still mutualised. Give it to the people.

  16. John Quiggin
    August 30th, 2010 at 21:18 | #16

    @Andrew Reynolds
    i find this entirely unconvincing. Whatever political party might have nominated someone, they are free to take whatever position they like once elected. This MP has done so.

    More to the point of the original post, if Green had counted someone as being a Labor MP when they said they weren’t, the screams of bias from the right would be audible from outer space. As it is, they get a mildly grumbly blog post.

  17. paul walter
    August 30th, 2010 at 21:21 | #17

    Andrew Reynolds, the thread topic is about media and right wing bias.
    In three comments so far you have discussed every thing from the price of wheat on the Irish Kiwi fruit market, to who won last week’s daily double at Randwick.
    What about addressing the post?
    If you like, you can talk about why Rudd put such a rightwinger as Conroy in charge of a portfolio that required action, or the role of Albrechtsen, or Maurice Neumann as abc chairman, or Murdoch behind the scenes, but in at least one of the above, if not something else also relevant, at least address the thread issue, please.

  18. TerjeP
    August 30th, 2010 at 21:37 | #18

    Slightly off topic but apparently the latest AEC numbers have the coalition as winning the popular vote on preferences as well as on primaries. This probably makes a Gillard government a tiny fraction less likely.

  19. August 30th, 2010 at 22:43 | #19


    Let’s see if that is still so at the end. Denison, Grayndler and Batman are out as the leads weren’t both from the major parties.

  20. August 30th, 2010 at 22:49 | #20

    deleted – read the comments policy. You’ve used up your snark quota for 2010, Jack.


  21. TerjeP
    August 30th, 2010 at 23:32 | #21

    Let’s see if that is still so at the end.

    With hindsight perhaps that is advice that somebody should have given to Julia Gillard.

  22. Monkey’s Uncle
    August 30th, 2010 at 23:34 | #22

    Terje, even if the Coalition maintain a narrow lead on the two-party national vote I don’t really think that gives them any greater claim to govern. Although this is invariably cited as some kind of moral victory by whichever side wins the popular vote.

    I have often thought that citing the popular vote is somewhat misleading, because if the election had been conducted on the basis of which party won the popular vote nationwide the result might well have been different because parties would have put more effort into maximising their vote in safe seats and not just concentrating on the marginals. So if the Coalition wins the popular vote by a tiny margin, you cannot really conclude that the majority of Australians wanted a Coalition government (particularly when you factor in things like protest votes in safe seats and the like).

    At the very least, one side would have to win the popular vote by a much bigger margin than the Coalition are ahead at the moment for it to be at all statistically significant.

  23. Monkey’s Uncle
    August 30th, 2010 at 23:36 | #23

    Fran, does that mean that the 2PP vote for New England, Kennedy and Lyne have already been included in the national 2PP figure? Because they would most likely add to the Coalition’s share of the 2PP vote.

  24. Jill Rush
    August 30th, 2010 at 23:49 | #24

    Having watched Tony Crook over a week ago state that he was not in the coalition and watched Antony Green defend the fact that he had been included in the coalition because he had the title National Party I have wondered about the way that the third estate have done nothing to remedy this error. It seems that if there is another story that they prefer journalists will take that story rather than the truth especially if it already has some life to it through constant repetition.

    That the ABC has supported this instead of presenting the stated position of candidates shows how effectively the journalists and newsmakers have been affected since the Howard board took over. The control of government institutions is one of the most effective ways to control the political agenda.

  25. TerjeP
    August 30th, 2010 at 23:59 | #25

    MU – I don’t much think anybody has a moral claim to govern. At best they have a legal claim but that depends on seats held. My comment was on what was likely not what was moral and I did use the word “tiny”. However it does seem that Julia Gillard was trying to imply a moral case for forming government when the numbers were running in her favour. Just as Abbott tried to make mileage out of winning the primary vote in spite of our preferencial system.

  26. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 00:04 | #26

    Perhaps the ABC shouldn’t count Turnbull for the coalition given he sat on the cross benches for the ETS vote and probably would again if push came to shove. However it would be something of a nonsense so I think Anthony Green is taking a reasonably credible position. Personally however I’d prefer if we treated all MPs as independents.

  27. Donald Oats
    August 31st, 2010 at 01:08 | #27

    Today the ABC ran the story of the record mining profits and expansion, a story that did not warrant a mention back in April when the likelihood of record profits became known, or while the mining companies were using misleading advertising to circulate the fiction that all this capital investment would be forced off-shore. Gee, and only now that the voting is over is the “surprise” revealed, namely that the big miners didn’t actually think the super profits mining tax would change their investment decisions.

    The big miners played us, and the un-investigative journalists / opinion writers assisted the big miners in playing us.

  28. August 31st, 2010 at 01:23 | #28

    Its ironic that when the ABC first ran the story about the AEC having a 2PP that was slightly ahead for the Coalition, they completely failed to mention that 8 seats which are not contests between the 2 major parties are not counted for the 2PP vote (e.g. Grayndler, Denison, Kennedy etc). I have no doubt that if they were used to calculate the 2PP then it would be slightly ahead for the ALP. I looked at what would happen if you use first prefs from these seats, and it confirmed this. I look forward to the ABCs response to my email complaining about this omission (which has since been corrected).

  29. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 06:31 | #29

    Love of the ABC must be a universal thing. Here is Andrew Bolt today claiming it is riddled with journalists with a left wing bias:-


  30. August 31st, 2010 at 06:59 | #30

    @Monkey’s Uncle

    AIUI, this is so, and O’Connor as well. My point was that until the whole matter is finalised, speculation is premature. I suspect that the ALP will finish somewhat in front, FWIW.

    The other interesting observation if that the Coalition in Lyne/Kennedy, as in previous elections, ran with “a vote for Oakeshott/Windsor is a vote for an ALP government”, yet their candidates in these seats were crushed: Windsor 71-29 and Oakeshott 62-38. So from their own mouths, the coalition concedes that these votes were in reality a vote for the ALP.

    Despite the coaliton saying it, it’s not entirely unfounded. About half of Oakeshott’s and Windsor’s support comes from people more sympathetic to the ALP than the coalition, and even the ex-Nat voters what these folk to haggle as best they can for local advantage. Both support a price on carbon, and both support the NBN. So the coalition is estopped from making these inferences.

    Moreover, in Wilkie’s case in Denison, the consensus is even clearer. Wilkie may have won, but the coalition support there was, in extremis about 22%.

  31. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 31st, 2010 at 07:44 | #31

    John, Julie Bishop is wrong in assuming the Gillard government has lost their mandate, if anything the L-NP have no mandate given the final result is a deadheat 72-72 giving the incumbent government first choice to form a minority government.

  32. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 31st, 2010 at 09:12 | #32

    John, given Tony Crook will be in the crossbench I can only assume (unless someone out there knows for certain) that the Party has passed a resolution whereby the majority effectively terminated their affiliation with the National Party of Australia subject to rules 11.4. FEDERAL PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATION. If that is not the case then the result will stand ALP 72 & L-NP 73.

  33. Paul Norton
    August 31st, 2010 at 09:51 | #33

    I woke up this morning to the sound of ABC News Radio faithfully repeating verbatim the Murdoch Press beat-up about the recalculation of the (constitutionally irrelevant) 2PP vote, and the Murdoch Press beat-up about the review of the IPCC in the wake of “glaring errors”, Climategate, yadayadayada. I made a considered decision some years ago not to spend any of my money ever buying a Murdoch publication and I resent having my taxes spent paying some ventriloquist’s dummy to parrot the Newscorp crap du jour.

  34. August 31st, 2010 at 09:52 | #34

    From Terje’s link:
    “Listen to this c——-er [Abbott] ”

    Does anyone know what was dashed out? Normally you can tell at a glance what the swear was, but in this case I’m stumped.

  35. Matt c
    August 31st, 2010 at 10:11 | #35


    Adam Bandt and Andrew Wilkie were elected with Liberal preferences

  36. Fran Barlow
    August 31st, 2010 at 10:28 | #36

    @Matt c

    So what? In both cases, the Liberal tactics were an attempt at making mischief for the ALP and/or in part driven by the need to put distance between themselves and the government they were opposing.

    They can scarcely claim a proprietary interest in these candidates, who explicitly disavowed the Libs’ key policies before getting the nod.

    This should utterly embarrass the coalition — or it would if they had an ounce of political credibility or integrity.

  37. August 31st, 2010 at 10:39 | #37

    The funny thing about that Bolt column that TerjeP linked to is the implicit assumption that opposition to Abbott is evidence for left-wing bias. It seems to me that opposition to Abbott is mainly a sign of common sense.

  38. Fran Barlow
    August 31st, 2010 at 10:47 | #38

    @Peter Wood

    And just to underscore this point — is it possible to be a non-leftwinger who opposes Abbott’s policies?

    Very much so, I’d say. This is a description of whole swathes of the ALP and significant sections of the Liberals (and probably many Nationals).

  39. August 31st, 2010 at 10:59 | #39

    “is it possible to be a non-leftwinger who opposes Abbott’s policies? ”

    Yo, over here! *waves frantically*

  40. Fran Barlow
    August 31st, 2010 at 11:57 | #40


    Indeed … though I was thinking of your milieu when I referred to significant sections of the Liberals, though I accept you aren’t tied at the hip to the Liberal Party

  41. Ken Fabos
    August 31st, 2010 at 11:59 | #41

    I get the distinct impression that Conservative and Right are synonymous with opposition to policy to reduce emissions – on Q&A Abbott was considered very unlikely to change position on climate because he was a real conservative (paraphrasing from memory). Are there staunch conservatives who treat science based understandings of reality as understandings of reality?

  42. August 31st, 2010 at 12:37 | #42

    “though I accept you aren’t tied at the hip to the Liberal Party”

    Understatement of the year. My party is called the Liberal Democrats, and we hate everybody 😉

  43. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 12:40 | #43

    Fran – your expecting a bit too much sophistication from Andrew Bolt. I like his work but it is just a blog.

  44. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 12:43 | #44

    Jarrah – hating everybody isn’t official LDP party policy. I think you’re allowed to like people.

  45. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 12:48 | #45

    Peter Wood :
    The funny thing about that Bolt column that TerjeP linked to is the implicit assumption that opposition to Abbott is evidence for left-wing bias. It seems to me that opposition to Abbott is mainly a sign of common sense.

    I think hating Abbott (or previously Howard) with the sort of venom illustrated in the bolt article is suggestive of an anti-right political bias. Journalists should be allowed to have opinions but I shouldn’t be forced to pay their wages.

  46. Brad
    August 31st, 2010 at 13:24 | #46

    Did yuo see that you’ve been misquoted (or i should say, quoted out of context) by The Australian’s Cut’n’Paste?

  47. jquiggin
    August 31st, 2010 at 13:33 | #47

    That will teach me for playing with irony

  48. paul walter
    August 31st, 2010 at 15:32 | #48

    Terje, 43, If Fran knows it and you acknowledge it, next question is, why is he and his stuff given priority over more substantial and capable commentators and commentary, with tabloid media.
    In a Murdoch town like Adelaide, why do I have to open the centre page to Bolt rather than, say, Quiggin?
    Why do I therefore know that all future elections will be fought on illusory issues rather than real ones, because of induced public ingnorance?
    You are prepared to pay a portion of your wages to prop tax dodging, ignorance inducing Murdoch, but object to the public airing of views you disgree with and would knee cap public broadcasting to ensure this?
    “I shouldn’t be forced to pay their wages”.
    Well, some of us believe that public broadcasting is necessary to ensure diversity of viewpoint and accurate information, “without fear or favour” and dont see why we and others should suffer for your self embraced induced ignorance and arrogance.
    Cut you nose off to spite your face, if you must.
    But dont expect anything but derision from those of us who seek to avoid the same pointless fate.

  49. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 16:20 | #49

    Quiggin isn’t more substantial or capable than Bolt. And you don’t need to open the centre pages or even buy the paper. And I don’t mind you funding a public broadcaster, I just object to the likes of you forcing me to. If I want to cut my nose of how is it any of your business. My nose my choose.

  50. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 16:21 | #50

    Please excuse poor spelling but this PDA has a mind of it’s own.

  51. Robert (not from UK)
    August 31st, 2010 at 16:47 | #51


    It’s Wilson Tuckey, surely, not “Winston”?

  52. August 31st, 2010 at 16:58 | #52

    @paul walter
    If you want to make a snark at my argument go ahead – but I am addressing the point. I was looking at whether the media is in fact biased.
    As for your comment that the ABC “…is necessary to ensure diversity of viewpoint and accurate information…” you seem to be determined to prove that this is in fact not the case. Make your mind up.
    Perhaps you could look at the effect the current media regulations have in restricting choice and the many actions of governments over the last century or so to try to do this. Perhaps, just perhaps, your apparent faith that government regulation can be used to fix this is mis-placed. Maybe you should look at deregulation.

    @John Quiggin
    He has made a choice – he is a part of the National Party caucus and the request to remove him from the Coalition count was withdrawn by his own party.

  53. August 31st, 2010 at 17:03 | #53

    Of the five people described in that Bolt article, it seemed like only two had some sort of permanent position with the ABC. Disliking (or “hating”) Abbott alone is not necessarily a reason for having a left wing opinion, or an “anti-right political bias”. Abbott’s huge amount of dishonesty can be a very strong reason for opposing him, regardless of whether one is left wing or right wing. But there is no reason for someone to not be in the ABC for having a political opinion, or expressing it on Twitter. Its not as if they were making crude comments about Tony Abbott under the banner of an ABC logo.

    Maybe you don’t want your taxes to pay the wages of some of these people, just like I would prefer that they didn’t regularly fund appearances of Bolt on Insiders. But the fact is that taxpayer funding of the ABC provides a very good public good. And we get good value-for-money for this public good.

  54. Fran Barlow
    August 31st, 2010 at 17:26 | #54

    @Peter Wood

    I think we need to separate the ABC from ABC News and Current Affairs. given its performance in the last 12 months I’d be very happy for the ABC to acknowledge that it no longer had the resources to do this latter function properly, and to withdraw entirely from the field. Another 12 months like the last 12 months would subtract egregiously from the public good in general and diversity in particular.

    If Murdoch wants another broadcast arm, let him pay for it and let the ABC stop laundering his propaganda for him. I might even block with Terje, Jarrah and Andrew on that.

  55. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 17:46 | #55

    Peter – TV is not a public good. At least not in the economic sense of the word. It may have been once but technology these days makes pay TV viable. Also broadband and paywalls achieves similar ends. Given that nobody watches the ABC then taking it off free to air or including advertisements wouldn’t hurt anybody. And if a few people do sometimes watch it by accident then no big deal if they have to pay for their mistakes. If you love the ABC then you should be happy to pay a subscription fee. I like MAD comics but I don’t expect tax payers to subsidise them.

  56. Alice
    August 31st, 2010 at 18:13 | #56

    Free access to unbiased objective information is a public good Terje – I think you have read far too many MAD comics already.

  57. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 18:24 | #57

    Alice – clearly you don’t know what a public good is. And the ABC isn’t free.

  58. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 31st, 2010 at 18:40 | #58

    TerjeP, if you were as good at bullshipping as Abbott you might have done better at the election. Furthermore, what makes you think Aunty is not a public good and not free to air.

  59. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 18:54 | #59

    1. I wasn’t in it to be popular.
    2. Basic economics.
    3. Taxpayer funding.

  60. Alice
    August 31st, 2010 at 19:07 | #60

    Terje – your results at the election were worse than Steve Fieldings. Doesnt that convince you yet the people clearly arent ready, willing or able to embrace your particular brand of ultimate market government free freedoms? In fact from what I can see people are getting a bit tired of the pro market vision. Look at the independents territories – what do they want? Tariff barriers back up and government services again. Ill be astonished if Windsor goes with Abbott because – hey guess what? Labor has already started rolling out broadband up Armidale way – and by crikey – its creating jobs. Who would have thunk that? Plus the uni thinks its a great idea so the students can get on broadband. There are a lot of country businesses think the same way too. Liberal doesnt and cant deliver it. Will they go with Abbott and watch it all grind to a halt (like country life)?
    Terje – doesnt matter if the libs get in. You and your ideas are finished anyway.

  61. bobalot
    August 31st, 2010 at 19:10 | #61

    @Fran Barlow

    “And just to underscore this point — is it possible to be a non-leftwinger who opposes Abbott’s policies? ”

    Over here! I would have voted for Malcolm Turnbull.

  62. Ron E Joggles
    August 31st, 2010 at 19:18 | #62

    The ABC, radio and TV, is an essential service here in the outback. It is the only radio I can receive, and the only free-to-air TV. I can get satellite pay TV, but there’s nothing on it worth watching – I surf the channels but always end up back with Auntie – she doesn’t insult my intelligence. As for bias, I agree with the view that the ABC is so scared of being accused of pro-Labor bias that they are very reluctant to be critical of the Coalition.

  63. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 19:30 | #63

    Alice – our senate vote increased ten fold compared to 2007. It was a fantastic result. In NSW our senate candidate was the last man standing on eliminations. You have no clue but I don’t care that you have no clue, nor why the topic was even raised.

    Ron – essential services need not be public goods. Food being a classic example.

  64. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 31st, 2010 at 19:33 | #64

    TerjeP, since you are economic literate then explain to the whole world what is a ‘pure public good’.

  65. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 19:37 | #65

    Alice – senate result in NSW. We creamed Family First and did better than Fred Niles crowd.


  66. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 19:40 | #66
  67. Alice
    August 31st, 2010 at 19:40 | #67

    I cant help this Terje – Im even breaching my ban – but your result of 200 and whatever votes in Benelong was crap. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it doesnt matter what percentage you increased from (200% of crap is still crap Terje). I know there is a lot of delusion about lately but Id hate you to succumb to it. If Fielding can get a bigger percentage than you (at 2.6% of the vote in his seat) – you need to do some serious mirror gazing Terje.

  68. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 31st, 2010 at 19:49 | #68

    Terje, now what is the marginal cost of providing an extra consumer with the good?

  69. Alice
    August 31st, 2010 at 19:50 | #69

    So Terje – who creamed who? Not you. You were running as some sort of free market offshoot (what were your letters again?) – but you didnt get hardly any votes. Now you are telling me “we creamed family first”?. Lies Terje – you ran on some sort of weird offshoot of liberals…so you want to take liberals “creaming family first” as your credit??

    Oh come on… I bet the sex party did better than you in Benelong if you are counting your preferences.

  70. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 20:15 | #70

    Alice – Bennelong was a bad result in 2007 and 2010. The NSW senate result which I linked above shows us getting less votes than four parties and more votes than 16 parties. We beat Family First, the Sex Party, the Christian Democrats and loads of other. The four parties that beat us in the senate were Labour, Liberal, Greens, Shooters and Fishers. We did well for a party few have heard of. We didn’t get anywhere near the media exposure of the Sex Party or Family First or the Christian Democrats but we beat all of them. But I concede that in Bennelong we did badly. Still we did 200% better in Bennelong than in 2007. Things take time to grow and we have staying power and a great result to build on. I’m very optimistic.

  71. Alice
    August 31st, 2010 at 20:17 | #71

    At that rate Terje – I might have to give you a hand on polling day when Im 90!

  72. Alice
    August 31st, 2010 at 20:19 | #72

    Well Terje – the ones who I was working for creamed you! The Greens.

  73. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 20:22 | #73

    @Michael of Summer Hill

    Depends if you need another transmitter to reach them. However typically nil.

  74. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 20:24 | #74

    Alice – congratulation to the Greens. After 40 years they have 10% despite huge public awareness. Watch your tail.

  75. August 31st, 2010 at 20:25 | #75


    Yes Alice, I thought I had corrected that. I haven’t any excuses.

  76. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 31st, 2010 at 20:26 | #76

    TerjeP, did you say zero or am I dreaming. Now why is that so for someone like Ron E Joggles?

  77. August 31st, 2010 at 20:28 | #77


    I give up. I am sorry Robert.

  78. Alice
    August 31st, 2010 at 20:29 | #78

    Yes Terje – “congratulation to the Greens.After 40 years they have 10%”
    As I said Terje – if Im around at 90 Ill give you a hand on the polling booth!

  79. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 20:48 | #79

    Mosh – you’re not dreaming.

    Alice – thanks.

  80. August 31st, 2010 at 20:49 | #80


    The Greens arounf for 40 years? Hardly Terje.

    The Greens went national in 1992, 18 years ago. The first candidate to stand in a Federal election in Australia on an explicitly environmental platform did so in 1975.

    By way of contrast, the stuff you are on about ihas been around since at least the 1950s. Earth Day didn’t happen in the US until 22 April 1970 — and there is your 40 years.

  81. August 31st, 2010 at 20:52 | #81

    The real triumph of the Greens was their success in replacing the Democrats as the key vehicle for those concerned with equity and environmentalism. In Grayndler for example –an electorate where once the Democrats would have got a decent vote, the Democrats got fewer votes than Socialist Alliance and a few more than the Socialist Equality Party.

  82. Michael of Summer Hill
    August 31st, 2010 at 21:01 | #82

    TerjeP, I am glad you accept the fact that governments do play an important role in civil society because much of what you have been saying about the free market is total bull. One only needs to look at Labor’s NBN to realise the private sector could not provide such a network without government assistance. In case you don’t know what that is it is called subsidies.

  83. Alice
    August 31st, 2010 at 21:03 | #83

    Any time Terje – Ive set up manless booths – I know how to do it!

  84. Alice
    August 31st, 2010 at 21:11 | #84

    @Fran Barlow
    I think another major triumph of the Greens is I reckong they are a young party and they are getting te young vote (I had two really cute about 19 year old girks come out of the polling booth and raise both hands in the air and say “go the greens!!” complete avec mini skirts).
    Bit of a show stopper.

    On a more serious note why would young people vote Labor or Liberal??. What do those old fogey parties do for our young people any more? Abbott thinks they are slave labour rates in his flexible labour dreams and Gillard and Abbott just cant help taxing them on the way into and out of school, unis and tafe. Ah so you want to learn? Then pay as you go!

    Liberal and Labor – Old fogey parties who see the young as something they can just use and discard.

  85. August 31st, 2010 at 21:17 | #85


    In this election The Greens not only got a big lift in the youth vote, but in over 55s as well. Who knew they would respond to programs like Denticare, protecting the biosphere, a fairer share of mining revenue and compassion for asylum seekers?

  86. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 21:48 | #86

    Fran – I concede that 40 years is a stretch. Touché.

  87. paul of albury
    August 31st, 2010 at 21:50 | #87

    TerjeP :
    1. I wasn’t in it to be popular.

    Terje, the whole point of standing for election is to be popular. Otherwise there are easier ways to donate $500 to the government.

  88. August 31st, 2010 at 22:55 | #88

    Would you have said that to the Green (or was that environmental candidate) that stood in 1975? Or was it less than $500 then?

  89. August 31st, 2010 at 23:11 | #89

    “If Fielding can get a bigger percentage than you”

    Alice doesn’t know the difference between lower and upper houses.

  90. TerjeP
    August 31st, 2010 at 23:30 | #90

    Paul – it isn’t quite that expensive because the $500 is tax deductable.

  91. paul of albury
    August 31st, 2010 at 23:54 | #91

    Andrew, I think they wanted to be popular. I suspect they wanted to do something useful too, but nevertheless they do want (even need) to be popular, otherwise they’re just tilting at windmills. The trick is to be popular without selling out.
    Similarly I thought Terje at least took himself a little seriously, therefore standing for election and declaiming any interest in popularity seemed bizarre. His pride in the senate results suggests popularity has some meaning after all 😉
    Terje, is the deposit deductible because you’re earning income as a politician, or just a perk?

  92. TerjeP
    September 1st, 2010 at 00:04 | #92

    Paul – I did not seriously expect to win Bennelong. I did seriously intend to give people a better option in Bennelong. Mission accomplished.

  93. TerjeP
    September 1st, 2010 at 00:07 | #93

    We all want to be popular, it’s human nature. However taking a given position on a serious issue simply to be popular is a pretty lame decision.

  94. Alice
    September 1st, 2010 at 07:05 | #94

    Jarrah – you low flier – I was talking about Terje’s percentage of Benelong votes relative to Fieldings where Terje comes off worst (where were you Jarrah – why werent you giving Terje a hand? You like the free free markets.). Not comparing reps to senate… duh.

  95. TerjeP
    September 1st, 2010 at 07:33 | #95

    Alice – how much Media did I get relative to Steve Fieldings? How many people have heard of FF versus LDP? Given our low profile I’m happy with the result. I’m not so happy with our low profile but that’s another matter.

  96. may
    September 1st, 2010 at 12:37 | #96

    a purely free market?

    no regs or rules or guide lines

    money comes first and damn the competition?

    how about drugs,guns and sex trade/slavery and religion?

    no pesky taxes or regulations in those transnational trading markets.

    uncounted, pure good to populations and environments?

    i think i saw it called the black economy and is equal to the taxed and regulated economy.

  97. September 1st, 2010 at 13:05 | #97

    “I was talking about Terje’s percentage of Benelong votes relative to Fieldings where Terje comes off worst”

    Exactly. You seem to think people a) have the same voting strategies for HoR and Senate, and b) that a rich, conservative inner metropolitan seat of 58 square kilometres with ~90,000 people will have the same kind of political preferences as a State of ~5.4 million people in 227,416 square kilometres covering metro and regional areas, and therefore percentages in each are directly comparable.

    If you want to compare properly, in Bennelong Terje had 273 votes (a swing of +0.25%) and the FF rep 478 (+0.28%). Not bad considering the LDP has no profile to speak of, and no money. Still in Bennelong, in the Senate the LDP got 1201 first preferences, and FF 498. This shows how you are wrong to believe point a). In HoR for Bennelong, the ratio of FF to LDP votes is 1.75:1. In the Senate, the ratio of LDP to FF votes is 2.41:1. Who creamed who?

    At a State level, in NSW the provisional quota shows the LDP smashed FF – 0.1508 to 0.0655. In Victoria, where FF have a sitting Senator, the quota margin was just 0.0408 in their favour.


    Yes, that’s about as clever as you get.

  98. September 1st, 2010 at 14:23 | #98

    Back to the point for a minute – now the Greens have entered into a formal agreement with the ALP their seat is now counted with the ALP. I think this shows a reasonable degree of consistency and why this is not evidence of bias on their part.

  99. Michael of Summer Hill
    September 1st, 2010 at 14:24 | #99

    Alice, some good news for today Labor & the Greens have made a pact whereby MP Adam Bandt would back Gillard’s Labour party in parliament after the Prime Minister offered to set up a climate change committee, invest in dental care and study a high-speed east-coast rail link which has really pissed off Tony Abbott.

  100. Dave McRae
    September 1st, 2010 at 15:02 | #100

    @gerard #12 I so agree – I’ve been looking at ABC breakfast ABC2 and it’s bloody poor. Yesterday was all over the 2PP going Coalition’s way without once mentioning the electorates temporarly removed from the count, just a seemingly endless loop of Bishop gloating (3 times before turning off the box).

    ABC2 a few weeks ago mentioned oh so briefly the open letter by 51 economists supporting the stimulus. It said there was a letter and that some of the economists had union affiliations – that was it. Did it comment on the contents of the letter – nope – nothing more was ever to be heard.

    I’m pretty upset – It used to be the knob jockeying vegetables has commercial TV to drool to and I had the ABC to inform. It’s no better than the commercials. Actually, worse – during recent crud on ABC2 wife and I flick over to sunrise and there recently Beyond Zero talking about getting us off the coal. Another time I flicked, Koshie (or whatever his name) was telling us that boat arrivals are a small minority and this minority has done good for Aus – there was a Vietnamese comedian telling his story next to him.

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