12 thoughts on “New Year open thread

  1. The Liberals will lose a Senate seat in WA in the re-run which seems the highly probable if unjust (in being a total re-run) outcome of the Electoral Commision’s stuff up. (Interesting if the High Court were to be presented with a sophisticated statistical analysis which showed that the result from making probabilistic assumptions about the missing ballot papers based on careful analysis of state wide and regional voting patterns disclosed by other ballot papers was that the court could say that such and such a result was so probable that it would be unjust – as well as expensive – to expose everyone to a re-run, including its being unjust to those who voted last time and might have new voters on the roll counted now).

    In any event it probably won’t make much difference except to make Clive Palmer and his mob even cockier about their influence. They would vote for repealing the carbon tax and the new mining tax. What else? Presumably pretty well anything Abbott wanted but for something in return. What would it be. Nothing to do with the U246 or whatever the morning after pill was/is that got Senator Harradine’e knickers so knotted.

    Greg Hunt will prove an able spokesman for the government saving quite a lot of money on its direct action greenhouse gas program since delay by the Opposition and Greens will be one excuse and simply not spending money won’t be too hard. Going for him will be the line he has been taking for a long time that we are already on track for the promised 5 per cent reduction by 2020 anyway. But he will cop quite a bit of unfair criticism from lazy journalists who will say (in this respect exercising their entirely bipartisan tendencies) that the climate believer Hunt has been rolled by hardheads in the government who are either sceptics, deniers or cynics.

    Tony Abbott will, with practice, start to sound wise on foreign affairs as any half sharp senior poly ought to be able to when he has such vastly greater sources of information and expertise behind him than outsiders. (Can you remember Alexander Downer ever being caught out in his last 10 years as Foreign Minister on Lateline?).

    To the benefit of the federal Coalition the ALP will win the 2014 Victorian election and prove quite hopeless at handling its economic problems as they show no signs of being able, like Hawke/Keating/Kelty, of throwing off the bad habits of the last Labor government which cost Victoria hugely in union-and Green-left-indulging costs and cost-overruns. Kenneth Davidson was right about the desal fiasco and the Goulburn pipeline. Just add in MCG renovation, expensive and not particularly useful upgrades to Ballarat and Bendigo rail lines, Myki and you get the picture.

  2. @Neil Hanrahan

    When you held a judicial or quasi-judicial role, were any of your decisions reported, and if so, where could I find some (citations would be very helpful)?

  3. While I understand the misgivings of Liberal party supporters about the prospect of possibly losing a potential Senator in a new WA Senate election as a result of the AEC’s inexcusable stuff-up, I have a hard time characterising a decision to let the voters resolve the matter as “unjust”.

    Every Western Australian who cast a Senate vote for the Liberal or National parties will have the opportunity to do so again (with the exception of a handful who may have died in the interim, and let’s face it – they won’t care). If it does turn out that a significant number of them cast a different vote the second time around, that will have been entirely the Abbott Government’s own doing.

    Making a decision based on some sort of probabilistic analysis of “voting patterns”, rather than on an actual count of actual votes, would be even less satisfactory than the Court choosing one of the existing (flawed) counts. The only way the Court can ensure an outcome that has broad legitimacy is to send it back to the voters. I’ve never been a fan of the view that elections are expensive inconveniences to be avoided if possible.

  4. @Neil Hanrahan
    I certainly hope you are right and the ALP gets back in in Victoria. Otherwise the state will be burdened with the massively wasteful and unnecessary East-west tunnel. I’m not sure the liberals can do anything particularly well, but on transport they are truly hopeless and beholden to narrow interests.

  5. I predict that in 2014 I will continue to make the occasional slightly whacky comment , and I hope that that is ok.

  6. Wackiness is the only way for some of us to cope with the insanity and lies that seem to be just business as usual for others. And then there is music.

    It is not the real Bill Evans but he’s still good.

  7. A year ago this week swathes of southern Australia were ablaze with bushfires and the temperature was about 20C higher than those same places are at the moment. It appears several experienced captains of Antarctic supply ships mistakenly predicted mild conditions i.e. old sea dogs got it wrong. Meanwhile the outback hit 49.6C yesterday. This is not just a bit unusual but distinctly weird.

  8. Predictions of the prime minister’s forthcoming gravity and statesmanship are optimistic at best.

    Tony Abbott is a very known quantity in Australian politics, and we’re unlikely to see anything new now that he can’t lie low in a cabinet office for a week until the media move on from his most recent balls-up.

    Watch: he’ll try to ban birth control again or something similarly values-politician-y.

  9. John, I have a perfectly innocuous comment that’s been awaiting moderation since Sunday.

  10. Don’t forget to watch “Persons of Interest” tonight on SBS 1 at 8:30pm.

    It’s about ASIO’s spying on Australians.

  11. Predictions:
    1. Daft Punk to take out the Hottest 100.
    2. Daniel Andrews to become the third consecutive “whoops-holy-trousers-I-can’t-believe-it” Premier of Victoria.
    3. Tony Abbott to return to the lead in polling. (Wouldn’t want to play poker against that guy. He lulls us all into underestimating his hand)
    4. Chinese financial imbalances to cause a growth drop by Q4.
    5. Continued house price inflation/
    6. Thousands of stories about housing bubbles, with millions of comments beneath.

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