Canning pre-selection; strategic or the best person for the job?
The pre-selection of ex-SASR soldier, Andrew Hastie as the Liberal Party candidate for the September by-election in Canning, Western Australia is a clever move by the Liberals. Who better to know of the dangers of ISIS and the threat of asylum seekers arriving by boat than a man who has served three tours of Afghanistan, and who has already advised Abbott on Operation Sovereign Borders? The former Captain, who was in charge of troops who reportedly chopped off the hands of dead Taliban fighters in 2013, is no stranger to the gruesome nature of war.
Fresh faced and youthful at 32, Hastie’s pre-selection photos give no indication of the horrors he has certainly witnessed. This is not a man who shirks his national responsibilities. He has demonstrated this with his service for Australia. Hastie has seen first-hand the impacts of terrorism and extremist fighters in the Middle East. He should understand intricately the consequences of war to innocent people, and has no doubt seen the thousands of refugees fleeing in fear of their lives.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is already running the Government like his own personal army. He is notorious for making Captain’s Calls. He has warned Coalition MP’s and Senators of the consequences for voicing alternative views to his hard-right policies, including promising to sack any who cross the floor on marriage equality. Abbott has militarised immigration with the new Border Force, clearly not content with the regular Defence Forces. He has threatened imprisonment to professionals exposing Government-sanctioned torture and abuse.
It seems a natural progression from Abbott running the Coalition-led Government like a para-military organisation – complete with the blokey atmosphere and entrenched under-representation of females, to endorsing a candidate who has stepped straight out of the armed forces the very week his pre-selection is announced.
Who better to be the face of national security and public protection than a former Captain in the Special Air Services Regiment?
This is not a slight against Hastie as a soldier. Soldiers of all rank are paid to do a job. And that job includes defending Australia, its allies and interests on the whim of whichever political party is in power. Soldiers are deployed to war zones, on peace keeping missions and to help with natural disasters. Many experience horrors unimaginable to the ordinary citizen, leaving veterans up to twice as likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder in their lifetime compared with other people in the general community.
However it is in the context of the current Liberal party’s neo-conservative nationalist regime, fascist policies and Abbott’s authoritarian leadership that Australians should be worried by the pre-selection of a freshly retired SASR Captain.
It should be of serious concern that a man who has witnessed the atrocities of a war zone is standing up to represent a party who uses war, terrorism and asylum seekers as political playthings.
There is no suggestion that Mr Hastie is not a man of integrity. There was no cloud over his head when he resigned from the Defence Force this week. However the Liberal Party’s pre-selection of a man such as Mr Hastie, at a time when Abbott’s popularity is at yet another low, must be viewed cynically. Is Abbott afraid that multiplying the number of flags for each successful national security announcement is not having a strong enough impact on the nation?
Does Abbott believe that Australians are not taking the threat of terrorism seriously enough, and feels the need to enlist a candidate who has personally witnessed the atrocities of war to help convince the public of the need for fear?
Mr Hastie took no time at all going from his apolitical role as a Captain in the Defence Force, to making it unequivocally clear of his political allegiances and persuasion.
Has Hastie sworn his loyalty to the party which believes in the ‘inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples’, a party founded on the principles of ‘a just and humane society’, and the importance of the role of law and justice being maintained? Or has he sworn to uphold the ideology of the Abbott-run Liberal Party which boasts proudly of its cruel asylum seeker policies?
It is clear from an objective viewpoint that Hastie’s pre-selection ties in perfectly with Abbott’s ‘national security’ agenda; an agenda Abbott has used predictably for months to deflect from poor opinion polls, woeful economic performance, and other accusations, like branch stacking on conscience votes for marriage equality, and his embarrassingly inadequate greenhouse gas emissions target.
Who better to give legitimacy to the Liberal Party’s draconian policies than a man who has actively fought in a war zone? Who else to give credibility to the need for harsher, more controlling and restrictive legislation than a man who has seen the worst of humankind?
There is no question about Hastie’s personal character. But there are certainly questions about the motivations for the Liberal Party to pre-select a man of Hastie’s experience and qualifications.
National security and stopping the boats are seen as vote winners for Abbott. Hastie has publicised involvement and knowledge of both. Perhaps Hastie brings other skills to the table, but in his first major speech he promised that his ‘combat skills’ would help his electorate. He says that after putting his life on the line for Australia he would use those same skills to represent his electorate. His background appears almost exclusively military.
It’s hard to see how the Liberal Party’s Canning campaign will be based on anything other than its ability to prioritise and promote national security, and protect the public from the Death Cult, with Hastie as the perfectly chosen representative.
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Shame really, he may have been ok once, but just because he has been through RMC and SAS doesn’t necessarily make him a decent person able to represent his electorate, many of these ‘officers’ really have no life experience other than military, I think personally I would rather have a street kid from the electorate or somebody who has had to struggle a bit to put themselves through school, uni. whatever, rather than somebody who has had so much provided for them… Some ex-ADF officers I have had close contact with are really useless in real life, employment etc, I hope I am wrong for the sake of the electorate.
A meeting of the National Security Committee of the cabinet has, however, recently asked for a list of national-security-related things that could be announced weekly between now and the election.
Read more: http://www.afr.com/opinion/columnists/laura-tingle/tony-abbott-determined-to-lead-the-whitlam-government-of-our-time-20150813-giy574?stb=twt#ixzz3jc9bqstw
I know…we can fill up a few weeks with that SAS guy and all the stuff he did
Probably expected that the Captain would pick another Captain. Expected also that it was only a matter of time before operatives in Operation Sovereign Borders would seek to ‘profit’ from that experience. I imagine that there’s a queue of navy types also with ambitions.
Not my ideal type of ‘rep’ but each to their own.
One wonders why he resigned because he didn’t have to. Under Section 44 there is a provision that allows members of the ‘armed forces’ to stand. While Section 44 disqualifies those who: (iv.) Holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth it doesn’t apply to members of the ‘armed forces’.
I am assuming that lone government backbencher, Dan Tehan, deciding all by himself that we should bomb Syria, followed quickly by a (prompted) request from the US for our six fighter jets to go bomb a country that hasn’t “invited” us, was week one announcement.
The whole thing is farcical. They will have people convinced that we are under attack instead of which we are buying into a civil war on the other side of the planet where we can’t even pick whose side we are on….”baddies vs baddies” to quote our suppository of diplomatic eloquence.
Let me say straight out… i have very little respect for anyone who volunteers to join the armed forces. I don’t accept that any more than a tiny fraction do it primarily to “serve their country”. And in the 21st century, those that do are tools and/or fools. This is 2015, not 1892… they should be using the information available, and do some research. Can we please stop copying the American fetish for glorying anyone who puts on a uniform?
I hope the good people of Canning dont fall for this latest cynical move from the ” Idiot” formerley known as Tony Abbott,i cant tell them how to vote of course but i do hope they think about it and show some compassion and common sense.”””””
I agree that very few join to ‘serve the country’. Most recruits would be young kids brainwashed by the ‘exciting’ ADF ads and the promise of a trade or career. Few realise they will simply be used as political pawns and may be sent off to die in unwinnable ‘wars’, or they think it will be an exciting adventure. Naive? Perhaps. Foolish? Perhaps. I am careful not to be derogatory towards any individual, however, as their reasons and motivations are their own and I know some great people who have been in the forces. My respect or otherwise hinges on ‘why’ they join and their honesty about it.
Then there’s the vague comment Hastie made that… while he and his mates were shooting at brown people … they felt that the Labor govt didn’t have their backs!
What the hell does that even mean? Insufficient food? Lack of equipment? Poor training? Not enough guns? Bad accommodation? Not enough ego stroking? Inadequate pay? Or is he just whinging and making shit up?
Why join the Army?
Poverty, boredom, lack of other options due to racio-socio-cultural reasons, a desire for a subsidised trade, adrenaline addiction, family/peer/societal pressure, wanting to challenge personal fears and phobias, nationalistic sentiments, a fascination with minutae of military ordinance, a morbid desire to kill people and destroy property, a genuine desire to defend one’s country and fight tyranny and injustice, or because a drummer in a sharp uniform with shiny medals offered a shilling and chance to be a hero in the eyes of the ladies.
Probably a combination of a few of these in most cases.
He claims that he has been cleared yet that ‘investigation’ hasn’t concluded.
Perhaps he’s been given something in writing? As presumably, would all others ‘involved’ and now cleared. Except of course the one soldier still under investigation.
Perhaps he will produce that ‘documentation’ in the coming days so that any speculation will be quashed? Clear the air as it were.
I think I now have a better insight into why he resigned (when he didn’t have to). Certainly to make the comments he has about the ‘investigation’ while still a member of the SAS would be unacceptable. Something about sub judice and all that.
While on the subject of women representation re the Liberal Party, it was possibly another missed opportunity.
Sure there was two in the field but clearly not enough reason for the Captain to make a ‘pick’.
But smart enough to know that the chances of being killed or hurt are tiny. That fate is almost exclusively reserved for the natives (armed or not) whose country our soldiers are liberating.
I wonder how may of our citizens would be keen to enlist is there was a 60-40 chance of making it out unscathed?
Hands up who will vote for Hastie? Oops…
@mars08. I don’t think it actually crosses most of the recruits minds that there might be a chance of death. Almost all recruits are young, impressionable kids who are force-fed the view from both major parties and the mainstream media that the ADF is a great career choice. The career information is on skill acquisition, traveling the world, ‘making a difference’ to the lives of people in other countries. There is nothing honest, truthful or honourable about the ADF recruitment campaigns at all.
The career advisers do not explain the ramifications of joining the forces on mental health, physical health or the families of those serving. It is promoted as an ‘admirable’ thing to be deployed. The recruiters do not tell young recruits that if they are injured or suffer PTSD they’ll have to fight for even the tiniest bit of support, and even if they get support, how inadequate it will be. The recruiters do not talk about how returned soldiers struggle to adapt back into the normal community, how many veterans are homeless, how many lose their families, how many have suicidal ideation, let alone those who actually kill themselves.
The reality is that if people didn’t volunteer for the ADF, the Government would find other ways to get people to join. That might ultimately be conscription. I am opposed to our troops being sent overseas to fight in wars based on lies. I am opposed to soldiers being used as political pawns to be sent off to whatever conflict the Government thinks we should get involved in. But even though I’m opposed to the soldiers being sent off, I am even more opposed to how the Government treats them on their return.
I think we should be careful who we blame and hold responsible.
” I don’t think it actually crosses most of the recruits minds that there might be a chance of death…
Of course! That’s because it happens so very, very rarely. That’s my point. It’s a relatively safe job. Low risk compared to the 20th century wars…. unless you are a brown-skinned civilian. The kids can ignore any possible danger. We’ve probably had more young Australians die on backpacking holiday misadventures.
As for conscription … the one positive is that the randomness could make more people think about the necessity for invading far away lands…
The Federal Government has reinstated the Defence gap year program in a bid to lure more school leavers into the armed forces.
Applicants will receive a $45,000 pay packet, as well as subsidised accommodation, and full medical and dental coverage.
The Abbott government is spending $113 million in the Gap Year program.
Abbott: Andrew, you do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to Australia.
Andrew: I’ll never join you!
Abbott: If you only knew the power of the Dark Side. Murdoch never told you what happened to Gillard.
Andrew: He told me enough! He told me *you* killed her!
Abbott: No. *I* am your father.
Andrew: No. No. That’s not true. That’s impossible!
Abbott: Search your feelings, you *know* it to be true!
Andrew: [anguished] No! No!
Abbott: Your destiny lies with me Andrew. Murdoch knew this to be true.
Libs: We are going to bomb Syria.
Public: What? Don’t get hasty.
Libs: Too late we already have.
It’s the same pattern, look over here at our new Bombing sensation.
If I was an elector in Canning, this man’s pre-selection would have confirmed a decision against voting Liberal
Matters Not. I have read on Andrew Elder’s blog Politically Homeless that the investigation is still up in the air but that as Hastie has resigned from the military he cannot be charged with insubordination for claiming that all is good! Can anyone confirm these details? I have been searching today but apart from a few opinion pieces from James Brown I am unable to find anything much beyond when the story broke in 2013. I think we have as much hope of seeing any documents from Hastie as we do of seeing Abbott’s citizenship papers!
But yes! It is another Captain’s pick because he believes that we are all in awe of soldiers like he is.
The one soldier most Aussies would be in awe of is one Abbott would definitely not admire!
Walt Whitman wrote “O Captain! My Captain!”. (Thanks Matters Not @ 3.46 pm for the reminder) This current charade is a paradigm of everything espoused in that elegy.
I understand why our youth join the military. Clearly, it is a growth industry. Employment with trade qualifications.
I do not understand why the grunt’s get blamed by the higher echelon’s for the mistakes made by the higher echelon’s. Not just the politicians, but the higher echelon’s of the ADF. Apparently we can’t call them out without disparaging the grunt’s.
Thank you, Ms Cripps. Take care
The “grunts” volunteered. They thought it was to their advantage. They took the bait. Many more of their peers did not. Sorry, no sympathy from me.
What’s going to be relevant to the by election is the ‘invitation’ to bomb Syria. While it’s somewhat ‘safe’ to assume that Abbott will be totally committed to such an adventure, it would seem that this Cabinet (working excellently as it is) might be divided.
Pyne, for example, advances the perfectly reasonable argument that a ‘legal’ basis for intervention is ‘necessary’. (One wonders how long Abbott will tolerate this ‘jelly back’ in his STRONG Cabinet.)
On the other hand, some of the ‘experts’ seem to support Pyne.
One wonders whether if Abbott decides to take such an expansive view of ‘self defence’ how that will play out re China’s territorial ‘ambitions’ in the medium and longer terms?
Further, given Abbott’s ambitions to change the (environmental) law so that legitimacy only lies with those ‘directly affected’, how that fits with bombing Syria? Because it’s still a very, very long bow to suggest that what ISIL is doing in Syria ‘directly’ affects us.
“The fact that we have Labor and others out there trying to use local residents to treat the by-election as a chance to kick the PM or campaign for the solar industry is disgraceful.”
Campaigning for the solar industry “disgraceful”? This dude is seriously warped.
I hope Hastie had a PTSD clearance before he contemplated entering the bear-pit that is parliament. Electors should be told. We know the risks of returnees from deployment suffering mental illness.
It’s a pity “The Long Way Home” wasn’t made compulsory viewing for all those who send our military personnel off to fight at the drop of a hat, and also for all those who vote for war and war-like action.
It should also be noted that Captain is a fairly low officer rank.
There are military personal on both the left and right though more are on the right, with rabbits cut to their pay I find it incredible they still vote for the right, on another subject is little Australia going to be the country that destroys the world? by that I mean rabbitt wants to up our coal exports to 600 million tons pa. think of all the carbon that would do to the world , it would destroy the earth vote LNP last for the sake of us all globally.
This candidate may well be an honourable individual but the party he is standing for is not honourable. We can see in his selection some of the 14 steps to fascism.
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism
7. Obsession with national security.
Fascism Anyone? Laurence W. Britt Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 23, Number 2.
Julie Bishop said on Insiders that the military usually prefer the LNP. Not long ago we were signing petitions to protect our military from a Liberal initiative to cut their conditions and reduce their real pay.
So…. he felt that the Labor govt didn’t have their backs when he and his comrades were killing brown skinned strangers
WTF does that even mean? Insufficient food? Lack of equipment? Poor training? Not enough guns? Bad accommodation? Not enough ego stroking? Inadequate pay? Or is he just whinging and making shit up?
When ‘Handy Andy’ gets into ‘poll’ trouble, will he appeal to the path ‘explored’ by the deceased local member who certainly wasn’t impressed by Abbott?
Something, perhaps, along the lines of:
Elect me BECAUSE I don’t support Abbott. Let me continue what Don Randall wanted.
Well of course it is a political appointment, why would it be anything else! One comment about what he saw in war. What he would have observed is the innocent victims, the women and children blown apart by war, They had no special training. In all these wars the death of innocent victims far out way the death of the combatants. But our prime minister usually has an answer for it sh##t happens!
those that still have hands, put them together for Andrew!
Queensland tried a church going ex army officer as premier recently. That did not go so well. Many ex military officers retain the attitude that leadership involves giving orders that must be obeyed and should never be questioned. They are not inclined to seek opinions from anyone they see as having less authority or accept any criticism of their actions. The voters of Canning should be wary of this trend.
” He has demonstrated this with his service for Australia. ”
he has done no service to australia, or australians. engaging in illegal immoral warmongering based on lies is not something we should be going around thanking people for.
how much further can abbott and co be pushing our noses up the cloaca of the USA? the last people we should have “leading?” this country, are any that volunteer to go around killing hundreds of thousands of innocent men women and children who were never a threat to anyone.
related – http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31168.htm
Surviving a wartime experience as a soldier has been done by many especially under Liberal Party Conscription. I am a Vietnam Veteran and I would hate to see Australia run by some officers in the Defence Force. The way Abbott and his “people” see the Military borders on sychophantic. They are not saints !!!
I can tell just by looking at Andrew Hastie that I will hate this bloke down the track. He looks like Cory Bernadi.
I reckon he’ll become the WA Premier in time. He has the modern LNP look of people that take themselves too seriously and he will be mixing from now on mainly with right wing weirdos.
Wonder when the man joined the Liberal Party? Wonder if he has? Wonder who suggested he run for Canning?
I was flabbergasted when I heard Abbott’s justification for going into Syria with no invitation from the government. “Daesh don’t recognise the border so why should we.”
Hastie is obviously very confident. He quit his job and is moving house. Perhaps a tad hasty?
@Florence – I wonder if it was before or after he gave Abbott advice on boat turn backs? If he’s jumped at the chance of joining Team-Abbott you’d have to wonder about the impartiality and unbiased nature of any advice he gave. Was it ideologically driven from a warped view of the world from serving in war zones, or tainted by the effects of PTSD?
I am horrified at the thought of Hastie being elected. He will almost certainly take over Dutton’s position. But I am positive that the conservative voters will indeed view him as an upstanding man based on him being ex-SASR.
@Eva: “… to wonder about the impartiality and unbiased nature of any advice he gave. Was it ideologically driven from a warped view of the world from serving in war zones…”
Chicken or the egg?
What came first? The warped world view, prompting him to join the Army and kill total strangers… or did killing brown people, who were no danger to Australia, give him a warped view of the world?
@mars08 – In Hastie’s case, I would say he was already very easily influenced and had a hard-right ideology based on him saying he joined the ADF as a response to the 9/11 attacks. Clearly he thought violence was the answer to violence.
The Abbott way. To address the “scourge of ice” you open more police stations and lock more people up. To address low school attendance you hire truancy officers. To stop asylum seekers from drowning you lock them up in offshore concentration camps and then pass over all responsibility to the locals. To address domestic violence you defund support groups and pay for advertising. To pay for the rising cost of health you defund preventive health initiatives. To encourage research you strip money from all research bodies so our scientists go overseas and stack the money away in an untouchable “medical research fund” to make the budget bottom line look better. To help people find work you cut them off unemployment benefits. To help refugees you cut the intake quota, slash foreign aid, and go bomb the place they are coming from.
This government makes me frown.
Abbott and Hastie are like a switch-a-roo of Campbell Newman and Jarrod Bleijie in Queensland. I console myself that despite the damage those two did in 3 years, Newman not only lost the LNP massive majority, but his own seat too.
This is an extract from the original report in August 2013 from the ABC :
“Australian troops are required to collect fingerprints and eye scans of every Taliban fighter who is killed, if it is possible to do so.
The ABC has learned that an investigator from the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service (ADFIS) lectured a group of special forces soldiers and told them that it did not matter how the fingerprints were taken and that if they could chop off the hands of the dead and bring them back to base for fingerprinting, that would be acceptable.”
Evidently not everybody was at that briefing.
I joined the ADF in 1965 – did 6 years – never met one recruit who cared a hoot about representing good vs evil, or about fighting for democracy or our ‘way of life’ and all that other trite crap that politicians and civilian war-lovers regurgitate ad infinitum. We sought secure work, fun, thrills, action, travel, and girls who love men in uniform.
But as time passed, we were subjected to brutal and rigorous indoctrination – propagandised nightly with film, literature and hard physical exercise – taught to hate and to despise in order that we would kill in cold blood, no questions asked, no mercy given – don’t blink, just kill.
This is the necessary perversion of military indoctrination – it is how young men seeking adventure, employment security and fun, find themselves fodder for the murderous bastards we call politicians. It was all lies, all propaganda, all deciet, and believe me – all hell.
Many of those who signed with me died in Vietnam – many returned with horror as their mental backdrop, unable to ever fit into ‘normal’ society again.
There is no glory in soldiering – no glory in cold killing – no peace through aggression. Abbott is as crude and deceitful a politician as this nation has ever seen. He glories in war through vicarious association.
Speaking from my personal experience, Captain Hastie, much as he might believe he has what it takes to lead in a civil society, is definitely not suited to public office in the Abbott government. He will become whether willingly or by coercion, a pawn in the same old dirty game that the cowardly political class always play – vicarious war for political gain.
Phil, thanks for your contribution.
I am not surprised by your view(s) but if I said same I would be labelled as being ‘unpatriotic’ or something similar.
While your description, as an average member of the ADF, is worrying re ‘attitudes’ and the like, how much more worrying is the attitudes, skills and whatever of the ‘best’ in the form of the SAS?
Not suggesting that such ways of viewing the world haven’t their ‘value’ but wonder how that translates to being a member of the national parliament.
The labor candidate is strong. The govt is loathed. 12% swing.
Your observations concur with my own ‘chocko’ experiences and overlap with a point raised by mmc1949 ((23/8/2015, 10: 35 pm).
Military training to prepare recruits for combat involves direct deconstruction of both individual traits and societally instilled attitudes, starting with removing the idea that it is fundamentally wrong to kill one’s own kind. For the military, killing must be able to be done as an instinctive and clinical act, with the only quandaries being those of situational assessment.
If soldiers are involved in combat operations, this desensitisation can be severely exacerbated by the brutalising effects of PTSD (the condition formerly known as ‘shell-shock’).
mmc1949 asked if (all too recently) ex-Captain Hastie had undergone any post-operational PTSD clearance. The likely answer would be ‘highly unlikely’, unless he went against the predominant stigmatic military attitude of ‘have a go, ya wimp’ and voluntarily sought post-combat counseling.
The army spends a lot of energy and resource on deconstructing the aversion to ending the lives of other humans in their soldiers, and neglects the duty of care of reinstalling the principle that ‘killing people is wrong’.
Unfortunately, MR Hastie, by his statements, sees his inspirational function within the civil governance of parliament as “fighting for Australia”, and has defined his political operational parameters as ‘Ice’ and ‘Laura Norda’.
Ancrew Hastie seems to be seeking to enter parliament with the mindset that his opponents are enemies and that cutting the hands off corpses is normal behavior.
Ps, in my “why join the army? “post (23/8, 4:42 pm), I admitted idealistic altruism (desire to defend the country and do global good) mainly to admit the possibility rather than to claim it was a dominant reason.
Interesting post corvus boreus. For the life of me I can’t see how being a ‘brave’, ‘courageous’, well trained ‘killing machine’ in the form of an SAS Captain, necessary as they might be re military capability, translates to being a good parliamentary representative.
In similar vein, I take issue with the notion that ‘footballers’ are (or ought to be) a role model for the ‘young’ that goes far beyond their ability to be ‘footballers’.
Let’s be honest, soldiers are ‘taught’ to kill and footballers are ‘taught’ to be physically violent, albeit without ‘weapons’ apart from their physically enhanced bodies. Steroids anyone? And not just for the footballers.
Neither have any superior claims to be good parliamentary representatives.
Indeed, I would have thought the opposite would apply.
If Abbott does not win Canning, the chances are that he will be gone – and that is not the optimal setup for the gangsters losing power in a year or so.
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Hastie is not from WA and has no links to the state – he was born in Canberra and has been a long term NSW resident. This is all about Abbott not WA’s Canning electorate – it is about shoring up Abbott’s fall back political position onto ‘national security’ politics, now that they threw any real economic reform out the window. Hastie is a drop in, parachuted into WA by the eastern seaboard Liberals, with intent to support Abbott’s position in that eastern seaboard electorate by looking strong on security and hoping to narrow any by-election swing in west to below 4-5% against the LNP and thus save Abbott from his colleagues.
I am Western Australian, and can see this a mile away for what it is – more Abbott shenanigans to put himself first at everyone else’s cost.
A bye election is the perfect way to voice your displeasure at Abbott’s leadership without necessarily committing to removing the LNP government. Many swinging voters are still not sure about that. (God knows why!) I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see an ALP win here. Unfortunately, this would be to the detriment of ALP’s chances federally. It’s hard to say how bad the swing would need to be as the LNP seem to be bullied into submission by their fascist leader. The longer they appear to lack gumption, the more swinging voters will change sides. Hastie’s qualifications are exactly the opposite of what a politician should be in these times when we should be striving for world peace. He is just a carbon copy of what Abbott aspires to “have been”. (but never had the courage to actually be!)