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Day to Day Politics: Going, going, wipe-out.

Tuesday 22 August 2017

The day of reckoning has arrived for the poorest performing government in Australia’s history.

This week’s Newspoll finally broke out of its 6 point stalemate to record an 8 point lead to Labor. 54/46.

No matter what, this is a disaster for the Coalition as its demise seems to be unstoppable. Comments on this subject in the Australia are overwhelmingly in favour of an Abbott return. In the Best PM stakes Turnbull still leads 43/33 but the gap is closing.

One Nation increased it’s primary vote by one percentage point after it’s leaders inglorious display in the Senate.

Turnbull’s Newspoll score is now 18, fast catching up to Abbott’s 30 negative consecutive Newspolls. Will he use his own reason for challenging Abbott as a justification for stepping down himself?

If the swing was repeated uniformly across the country the Coalition could expect to lose up to 20 seats.

Arthur Sinodinos on ABC’s Insiders last Sunday sought to justify the Government’s position and in doing so only made matters worse. Along with Josh Frydenberg they must be the two worst wafflers in politics. The have the art of using copious words without actually saying anything. He tried to defend the Government’s double standards with Joyce, Canavan and Nash but his language was unfathonable.

“This has developed, this whole situation, in a way that I don’t think anybody in the government anticipated that it would — and now it is clearly affecting the parliament­ as a whole,” he said.

The primary vote for the Coalition was 35% (down one), Labor 38% (up two), Greens 9% (down two) and One Nation 9% (up one).

The months leading up to Christmas could be the Prime Ministers own worst nightmare. It could lose the High Court case challenging the postal ballot on same-sex marriage, or win it and the ballot would return a “no” result.

It could of course win the survey and see Marriage Equality sail through Parliament. If it lost by whatever margin the opposition would call it invalid and promise to legislate if it wins Government. The surveys will also tell us the age and sex of each voter. How interesting that will be.

Despite Turnbull’s confident assertion that it will win the citizenship case it may well lose. If it did Nash and Canavan would be knocked out as well as Joyce and we would have a byelection in Joyce’s New England seat. Who knows what the consequences would be for a Lower House hung parliament.

And there is still the battle to be fought over energy where 70%of Australians favour renewables over coal. The conservatives in the Coalition won’t allow a renewable energy target so business will still be without any certainty for future investment. However, given the death throes they are in they could surprise and come up with some sort of compromise.

Turnbull, if nothing else, is the supreme optimist of Australian politics. Without a shadow of doubt he reckons that Joyce will be vindicated in the High Court.

He also predicts a yes vote for marriage equality by a big margin. If the Coalition had wins on these issues could they do a Lazarus and return from the dead. I think not. Experience tells me that once tarnished with the public’s disapproval it sticks. So grim is the predicament for the Government that any comeback for Turnbull would be miracle like.

My thought for the day

“Good democracies can only deliver good government and outcomes if the electorate demands it and it doesn’t come about by people disengaging from the process”

PS: Vote ‘yes’.

Nathan Willis:

“Part of the marriage equality debate has raised eschatological issues for some Christians. I accept that. Having been certain (Baptists are always certain but never agree!) in my eschatology once, I now realise that is folly. Faith is about embracing the mystery of God, receiving the Love of Jesus, and working for change. To sit back and hope for Jesus’ return is to ignore the gift of life you carry and your potential. Be the change. In the context of this debate that means standing with the marginalised and seeking equality. The world won’t end. There will just be a few more names on the marriage register.”


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  1. Peter F

    “The surveys will also tell us the age and sex of each voter. How interesting that will be.”

    John, have you read of the intentions of the ABS to extrapolate from the returns by applying their census information of the age and sex of those who choose to reply and applying this information to the whole country?

    It could ‘give ‘ a vote even to those who don’t bother to be involved, or are missed. Remember, it is an opinion poll.

  2. Greg

    for the life of me I can understand what is wrong with this country when the constitution has clearly been ignored and swept aside as though it never existed . There is NO interpretation of section 44 part (1) that needs interpreting as it was written is clear plain English that all could understand . It is up to all potential candidates to scrutinize their heritage when one or both parents were born in another country , to do other wise is just simple laziness on their behave and ignorance has never been an excuse for breaching the law. The governments decision to allow those awaiting a high court decision on their status to remain in their ministerial positions is a slap in the face of our constitution and the highest laws in our land . With the latest stunt pulled in the house by Pauline Hanson that were televised to the public and those in the gallery is a clear and deliberate violation of RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975 – SECT 18C . Under normal circumstances she would have been charged under the act and forced to stand side of her ministerial duties but the government needs her and her party to pass unpopular bills so once again a clear breach of Australian law has been swept aside to accommodate this government . I am wondering if this country can ever recover when those elected are showing the entire country that the law itself should be ignored and forgotten about if it doesnt suit your agenda

  3. johnlord2013

    Peter. Yes I mentioned that in the article.

  4. Shutterbug

    Truffles will face a leadership spill/challenge before the end of September. By Abbott. Because Abbott will do everything in his power to stop Fizza from getting what Chimp Ears did not, and that is the PM pension. This, and ONLY this, is Chimp’s modus operandi – it is his current reason for living.
    He wants retribution and the latest Slewspoll suggests that no matter how rancid Abbott is, anything is better than Truffles.

  5. Terry2

    If the combined Liberal and National parties could only manage to get re-elected with a one seat governing majority at the last contrived election, they will need to expand their coalition come the next election to stand any chance of returning to office.

    This can only mean that they will at the very least preference One Nation – which Labor have refused to do – and probably form an extended coalition with Hanson : could this mean that we may see Pauline as our next Deputy Prime Minister ?

    this neo-Liberal experiment in Australia has been a dismal failure and what we should be doing is consigning these amateurs to the garbage can of history.

  6. wam

    loved the optimism today, Lord! Labor up why? Dishybransimkims down why? Hanson up?

    When did you have your thought?
    Not sure I am up to following how a good government is a good government when it delivers outcomes the electorate demands.
    Does that mean a good government cannot take decisions without polls?
    Are you a Lock or a Hobbes man. Lord?

    Wow, everyone born in australia is australian, unless a foreign country has a rule based on the possible source of half the genes. Sounds like a mal roberts argument and could considerably lift the political rate of bastards.

    Notice shorten is refusing to confirm he is not a pom? Wasn’t trumball’s mum a kiwi? Does NZ have equal rights? Come on girls remember half of the men’s sex genes are x so get active and stir the pot.

  7. Jack

    The newspoll figures are simple enough. Labour gains two at the expense of the Greens. ON gains one at the expense of the LNP. Are we seeing more of a divide between left and right than ever before?

    Greg, I’m no fan of Pauline and I’ve never read 18C, so can you please share how she has breached this law? Even leaving parliamentary privilege aside, anyone can done a burka if they want can’t they?

  8. Terry2


    The Racial Discrimination Act is about race and ethnicity not religion so bringing in 18C is a bit of a stretch.

    Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act makes it unlawful for someone to do an act that is reasonably likely to “offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate” someone because of their race or ethnicity.

    Section 18D of the Racial Discrimination Act contains exemptions which protect freedom of speech. These ensure that artistic works, scientific debate and fair comment on matters of public interest are exempt from section 18C, providing they are said or done reasonably and in good faith.

    Burqa wearing is not restricted to people of one race but is associated with people of one religion so this act doesn’t seem to me to be relevant.

  9. Freetasman

    After Pauline performance One Nation is doing better? That shows what part of the electorate like to see.
    Nothing to be proud of

  10. helvityni

    I thought Shorten was pretty good last night on Q&A; he kept his cool, despite Jones’ usual heavy hectoring interviewing style he uses with Labor politicians…

    He did not even wear a leather jacket, that’s Turnbull’s prop…

    My ONLY disappointment was that he did not promise to take the asylum seekers still on Nauru and Manus…

  11. John Lord


    When did you have your thought?

    Is it important?

    Not sure I am up to following how a good government is a good government when it delivers outcomes the electorate demands.
    Does that mean a good government cannot take decisions without polls?

    To the country but it must constantly be on top of the mood of the community.

    Are you a Lock or a Hobbes man. Lord?

    From the little I have read I would say Hobbs.

  12. David Elkins

    How hard can governing be, if the bitching ans wailing were to be left out. Sensible debate would be bliss. without phrases like ” if Labor”, or the “LNP HAVE”…lay out the problem speak of the options, the consequesnces and vote FFS!

  13. Ross

    If the High Court defies Malcolm’s prediction and rules against the Nationals we may see Malcolm blow an o-ring in spectacular fashion, even worse than the one on election night.
    And it just keeps getting worse, Bill sits there day after day daring Malcolm ”go on do it, refer any labor politician you like to the High Court”. Malcolm will off course fold and do nothing.
    18 down and only 12 to go, what to do when nothing can be done.

  14. Glenn Barry

    The vacuous argument that the LNP is employing that their dual citizen members could not possibly have known of their status as a valid defense belies the fact that due diligence WOULD have discovered their status.

    Their failure to perform due diligence is the sole failure, not a constitutional section which is clearly understood by even the average layperson.
    That section of the constitution may be archaic, however until modified by means of a referendum, it remains in force, therefore it behoves election nominees to comply accordingly…

  15. Peter F

    “That section of the constitution may be archaic” . . . . As it turns out, how would you select which countries it would be acceptable for politicians to have dual citizenship of? . . . Afghanistan? North Korea? The Caymans, perhaps?

  16. olddavey

    Don’t you mean “If the High Court defies Malcolm’s implied threat to their ongoing employment”?
    That’s the way it seems to me.

  17. Rossleigh

    Yes, the suggestion that they didn’t know therefore the High Court will rule that it’s all ok does rather overlook the bleedin’ obvious. While their lack of due diligence may get them some sympathy when it comes to prosecuting them for signing a form declaring that they had no citizenship of another country, it doesn’t protect them from the Constitution which is pretty clear and unambiguous on this matter.
    To argue that you didn’t know therefore you should be allowed to continue to sit in Parliament is akin to arguing that you didn’t realise that your degree from Trump University was worthless so you should still be allowed to continue to practice medicine.

  18. Rossleigh

    And olddavey, I don’t think Mr Turnbull CAN remove High Court judges. Don’t you think that if it were possible that John Howard would have removed all the Labor appointees. Ok, I know that there was an attempt to get rid of Michael Kirby by using fake taxi dockets, but they were picked up as forgeries. Strangely, the AFP didn’t manage to find out who’d forged them.

  19. MikeW

    Malcolm has already told us the verdict the high court will deliver.

  20. Matters Not

    MikeW the verdict that the High Court will deliver (sometime in the future) is unknowable. Yes Turnbull hopes the seven High Court Judges will engage in legal gymnastic feats, never seen before, but I suspect not. The Judges concerned have an eye on HISTORY. How they will be remembered and all that. Legal minds to be admired? Or merely servants of political expediency?

    Some tough choices to be made.

  21. wmmbb

    Hi Peter. You may appreciate my suggestion that s.128 should be amended so that an amendment to the Constitution should be subject to an absolute majority of all electors, and that the amendment should be agreed to by the Parliament, suject to approval by the branch members of the political parties represented in the Parliament. The last provision would achieve two objectives: recognize the role of parites in the Constitution and in the democratic process, and introduce the notion of initiative. Initative would encourage, I would hope (although there may be cause for doubt) engagement.

  22. Terry2

    The High Court will only seek to interpret the Constitution on the Section 44 issue and ignorance and the dog ate my homework type excuses are irrelevant : in the case of each of the applicants they failed to do something to renounce their entitlement to foreign citizenship :

    Section44 issue, says in part :

    is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power….

    So the point I’m making is that even though you may not be the citizen of a foreign power and may not have claimed such citizenship you are still entitled so it is up to you, if you want to stand for parliament, to ensure that you renounce that entitlement

  23. Kronomex–fast-track–citizenship-cases

    Nothing like a whiff of desperation from a scared, almost filling his trousers little PM. Darn, I keep forgetting that he’s a strong leader so it should not be worrying him in the least.

    Purely and simply – sucking up to the Yanks.

  24. Matters Not

    Re Section 44

    The Prime Minister in parliament declared confidently that Barnaby Joyce is ‘qualified to sit in the House and the High Court will so hold’. He is a fine lawyer. He should have known better than to pre-empt the Court’s decision. The judges will not be impressed. And anyway, in this instance, he’s likely to be wrong. In constitutional matters, unambiguous words usually win out.

    Judgement was always his weakness. This article sums up the situation rather succinctly.

    SPENCER ZIFCAK. The Trouble with Section 44: the constitutional provision afflicting our Parliament

  25. Peter F

    Wmmbb: You address ‘Peter’ . If you mean me, I have to ask you to actually address the point I made, not discussed methods of changing the constitution.

  26. Peter F

    Kaye, if Arfur can’t see donors, how could you possibly expect him to read the fine print of just ONE document on his (in)famous bookshelves?

    As long as he saw the money, that’s OK.

    Still, all these people having possible divided loyalties does go some way towards explaining the mess we are in.

  27. wmmbb

    Sorry Peter. I got the name mixed- up. I was refering to John. s.44(i) will now be known as “Catch 23”.

  28. helvityni

    I wondered about $inodino$? There must be more…

  29. Hettie Lynch

    Just Googled Waffles’ mum She was born in Australia, as was her dad, but her mother was born in London, UK.
    His dad, and dad’s parents, were all born in Australia.
    Not certain, but I don’t think a grandparent born in England confers citizenship. Scotland and Ireland yes. England no. Wales? Now there’s a question.
    What a shame. Wouldn’t it be delicious.
    On another question, I think he’s hanging on to the top job any way he can to outlast Tony Abbott and make it past the two year mark. 15th September.
    Then he will collapse like a pricked balloon (how appropriate), all his hot air gone.

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