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Weekend reflections

April 5th, 2014

It’s time for another weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. Side discussions to sandpits, please.

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  1. April 5th, 2014 at 21:47 | #1

    The WA Senate By-Election will be an interesting judgment on the Federal Government. To develop long term and sustainable responses to climate change there needs bi-partisan agreement on policy.
    I am hoping the Liberal voters who support action on climate change will make their presence felt. I suspect that Tony Abbott’s reductionist, polarized, messaging which has been carried into government will be shown not to work in a PR election environment. Perhaps this is an unfair development for the Federal Government. We will all know the final results in three or four weeks – barring unforeseen ballot problems.

  2. April 6th, 2014 at 00:54 | #2

    Looking at ABC election analyst Antony Green’s blog yesterday, this point caught the eye:

    •Voters seemed to see no clear affinity between the Palmer United Party and other major parties. This suggests support for Palmer United last September was part protest and drawn equally from other parties, and also suggests that voters had no perception of a particular ideological bent to the party.

    He was conducting an analysis of the 2013 Senate results for WA. As can be seen, he only sees things through the prism of the ALP vs LNP as the two logical “sides” of Australian politics.

    It doesn’t seem to occur to him that the ‘PUP’ voters see the ALP/LNP as indistinguishable and therefore might vote “other”.

    The fact that ALP/LNP are, in fact, indistinguishable from each other doesn’t even rate consideration.

    Going on the latest figures from the WA senate re-run we get:

    59.5% of votes counted

    First preference results:

    Liberal: 2.34 quotas, down -5.7%

    ALP: 1.50 quotas, down -5.1%

    Greens: 1.14 quotas, up +6.8%

    PUP: 0.87 quotas, up +7.5%

    Nationals: 0.22 quotas, down -2.0

    The ALP die-hards are going ballistic on Twitter. I saw one suggest that “Greens destroyed ALP vote and gave Senate to Abbott”. It just doesn’t occur to these ALP thugs that it was their own crew that drove voters away from them.

    Partisan hacks of any stripe are sickening, but tonight the ALP ones are the most obviously revolting.

    I’m going to guess that one factor in the WA Senate results is treatment of refugees.

    ALP/LNP are for cruelty & abrogation of human rights obligations under international law.

    Greens & PUP are for humane treatment of human beings.

    The results speak for themselves on that count.

  3. Ikonoclast
    April 6th, 2014 at 09:09 | #3

    @Megan

    I agree, ALP and LNP stand for “cruelty & abrogation of human rights obligations under international law”. They also both stand for neoconservative economics, higher levels of inequality and higher levels of CO2 emissions.

    Greens on the other hand stand against these things and for something better. PUP I dismiss as a billionaire’s opportunist party. PUP don’t really stand for anything other than to get what Clive Palmer wants. The fact that PUP does well currently shows that buying advertising can essentially buy votes. It shows that a lot of voters out there have no idea of the real issues and vote emotionally or on a personality cult basis.

  4. Collin Street
    April 6th, 2014 at 10:33 | #4

    > Partisan hacks of any stripe are sickening, but tonight the ALP ones are the most obviously revolting.

    The ALP is functionally a coalition. And from the perspective of the ALP Right, if the ALP takes an entirely ALP-Left platform to the public and wins they [the ALP Right] have just lost all chance to implement their preferred policies.

    Think about what happened to the LibDems in the UK.

  5. Tim Macknay
    April 6th, 2014 at 11:02 | #5

    I’m hoping that the PUP Senators demonstrate the capacity for independent action when it comes to significant votes, since various PUP candidates have voiced support for both carbon pricing and the renewable energy target, only to be overruled by the party leader.

  6. Megan
    April 6th, 2014 at 11:11 | #6

    @Collin Street

    They took an entirely ALP-Right platform to the public and lost, but they haven’t resiled from that platform one iota.

    Does this mean that the ‘Right’ has all the power in that coalition (if I understand the LibDems UK situation, they have no real power and in fact have done over their voters e.g. on selling off the NHS)?

  7. jungney
    April 6th, 2014 at 12:05 | #7

    Some heartening photos of farmers locking on to CSG rigs available at Margo Kingston’s:

    http://nofibs.com.au/2014/04/05/pilliga-country-lock-on-and-chill-out-margokingston1-twitter-report/

  8. Jim Rose
    April 6th, 2014 at 12:28 | #8

    A new low for the labor vote.

  9. Ikonoclast
    April 6th, 2014 at 14:20 | #9

    @Jim Rose

    I am pleased to see a new low for the Labor vote. Labor are just LNP neoliberals with a few pretensions to being different and better even though they aint. Modern Labor are class traitors and sell-outs. I despise them. I hope the Green vote keeps growing until the Greens are the real opposition and then a government.

  10. April 7th, 2014 at 02:05 | #10

    It looks as though the Federal Government will ignore the WA Senate vote. Obviously, the ALP shouldn’t. So much for the democratic electoral process.

  11. BilB
    April 7th, 2014 at 07:25 | #11

    Jo Nova thought it a good thing to point out that a key part of Abbott’s “direct action” plan is the planting of 20 MILLION TREES.

    So I had a look to put that in perspective. That is one guilt tree per Australian, nearly, to offset our CO2 emissions. So what are those emissions or rather the fuels that create the emissions.

    Each Australian is responsible for the burning of 1454 litres of fuel and the burning of 13.8 cubic metres of cut coal. So to stand that up tree fashion that represents a pile of 200 litre drums 7.2 metres high and a stack of coal with a base of 1 metre square 13.8 metres high, and beside them is Abbott’s guilt sapling. Does this sound convincing to anyone? It certainly does not impress the Europeans.

  12. Ikonoclast
    April 7th, 2014 at 12:17 | #12

    I hope Prof. J.Q.’s next triathalon is better organised than this cancelled British Half Marathon. Personally, I think it was a bit weak to cancel it. Many, many years ago, I ran in a 15 mile race as a 14 year old with no water points en route and no water intake en route. Admittedly, the few under 15s were only permitted to run on sufferance. There was no official under 15 race. Maybe we were a bit tougher in those days. I remember training daily running barefoot on bitumen and stony dirt roads for over 6 miles a day. I was eventually given running shoes after opening up my foot on glass.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26914492

  13. alfred venison
    April 8th, 2014 at 21:13 | #13

    election in quebec yesterday (today? daylight saving?).
    parti québécois defeated in 10% swing.
    pq leader pauline marois loses seat.
    liberal majority elected despite leader philippe couillard sporting a beard & not talking much about policy.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-votes-2014/quebec-election-2014-philippe-couillard-s-mandate-to-be-anything-but-the-pq-1.2601757

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