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John Lord’s Election Diary No. 7: Will the young convince us to save us from ourselves?

Saturday 27 April 2019

Wednesday 24 April

1 In our observation of our fellow Australians, we often describe them as having little interest in the body politic.

With 700,000 people (and climbing) visiting the ABCs Australia votes web page and another 750,000 more people enrolled to vote for this election than in 2016 including a record 88.8% enrolment rate for young Australians we might have to reverse that view.

For example, we know that many young people, 18 – 25, signed up during the marriage survey. All would have a mobile phone and you can be assured that Newspoll doesn’t survey them.

“The young are so busy discovering themselves, the world they live in, and their place in it that they are apt to neglect the fact that it is they who are the custodians of tomorrow.” JL

It may very well be the young who have their baseball bats behind the front door.

Logic tells us that it is they who see the need to take action on the environment. It is the young who may not be well versed in our politics, or indeed our democracy, but they are not unsophisticated and know that it is badly in need of a cut and polish.

It is the young who have a manifestly different view of the future and know that the time has come for change, not just to clean up the environment but also to rid the parliament of corruption. Where to start, well, start with a Royal Commission into every aspect of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. Deliver us a National ICAC with teeth and the power to conduct retrospective inquiries.

Then you could address donations banning anything over $1000.

“We must have the courage to ask of our young that they should go beyond desire and aspiration and accomplish not the trivial but greatness. That they should not allow the morality they have inherited from good folk to be corrupted by the immorality of evil minds.” JL

Apparently, Andrew Leigh flagged on Wednesday that Labor would introduce policies that would expose those who undermined the Australian tax system by using tax havens.

“I feel people on the right of politics in Australia show an insensitivity to the common good that goes beyond any thoughtful examination. They have hate on their lips and their hate starts with the beginning of a smile.”

2 The Australian online must be trying to set some kind of record for political bias. Never have I seen such an avalanche of daily political prejudice by one news outlet. Headline after headline in support of the right of politics adorns our computers but gives not a column inch to other points of view.

Perhaps Murdoch realises this is his last hoorah and has decided to go out with something that he thinks will build on a legacy of headlines that no one will remember. Together with his tabloids and those he has managed to influence over many years, have through their skullduggery, done enormous damage to our culture and our politics.

In 2013 Sydney’s Daily Telegraph screamed: “KICK THIS MOB OUT”, perhaps this time the boot is on the other foot.

3 Putting aside the rights and wrongs of the Watergate scandal. Barnaby Joyce’s flamboyant, self-righteous indignant language let me say this. Everything he touches has a whiff of sleaze and scandal about it.

4 Paddy Manning had this to say in his daily newsletter on Wednesday.

“Tony Burke, has released a list of questions that the prime minister must answer about #Watergate; but after Helloworld, the suspect Adani approval earlier this month, #Reefgate, and the AWU raids in 2017, the real question is: how much more scandal can Australian politics take?”

5 When the Liberal Party dumped Malcolm Turnbull they lost more than their leader. They lost any chance of winning the debate on climate change. They are left without any policy at all. By accident or design, the cost has become immaterial.

The public mood has changed and the young have become emotionally engaged even glued on. It is now a matter of which Party is more credible. Shorten in my view is correct to point out that the cost of doing nothing is the more relevant question.

”In terms of the environment, I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today.” JL

25 April 2019

6 It’s ANZAC day and my thoughts go to the many who gave of themselves.

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” JL

“I have always been of the view that rather than fighting for Flag or Monarch our service men and women fought for what they believed to be right. Flags and Monarchs are but metaphors and symbols but right is entrenched in truth.” JL

While waiting for the big match at the “G” my mind switches to other matters political.

7 What do you think the top 10 concerns going into this election are?

The Issues Monitor, Australia’s longest-running survey of community concerns, ranked them in this order.

1) Healthcare

2) Cost of Living

3) Crime

4) Environments

5) The Economy

6) Immigration

7) Housing

8) Unemployment

9) Poverty

10) Drugs

Friday 26 April 2019

8 After the weekly shopping, I put my mind to the election. It isn’t difficult given the inactivity of the past week and the interruptions because of the holidays.

It is obvious to all and sundry that the real action will begin on Monday with Newspoll and Essential reporting their latest figures and the pre-polling booth’s opening.

So I finish off with a few tidbits that I picked up during the week.

The media beat up about Bill Shorten dodging a debate with Morrison is just that? Everyone knows how to find 7Two and Sky. Sour grapes from the others.

72 federal seats have never been represented by a woman – nearly half of them.

9 Former Liberal leader John Hewson said the campaign is not relevant. People have made up their mind. He might very well be right.

10 Former Victorian Liberal President Michael Kroger was talking about the election. Said Shorten is running a night watchman strategy – small target strategy. Said this week is very important – given prepoll opens on Monday. He said the government has not made a mistake – but has not landed a killer blow on Shorten either.

11 I might be wrong about the young having their baseball bats behind the front door. It might very well be our country folk.

12 The Unionist earning $250.000 PA who was so concerned about a tax cut that he confronted Bill Shorten should be ashamed of himself.

13 Remember that the thousands of young people who have signed up to vote in this election use mobile phones so won’t feature in the polls.

14 Michael McCormack was asked if his party had a woman problem. He answered no, both of our women are Ministers.

15 Why was the deal on Uranium made the day before the election? Where is Minister Price? Actually, where are all the government ministers?

16 Dutton has sold his Canberra apartment. It’s not unreasonable to think he is of the view he will hold his seat but the Coalition will be defeated. Then he will resign – cause a by-election.

17 Some economists say a death tax for estates over $2 million is not necessarily a bad idea. Impact a small number of people. But raise a lot of money.

That’s all from my diary for this week. Catch you all Monday.

My thought for the day

For the life of me, I fail to understand how anyone could vote for a party who thinks the existing education and health systems are adequately funded and addresses the needs of the disadvantaged.

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  1. New England Cocky

    “14 Michael McCormack was asked if his party had a woman problem. He answered no, both of our women are Ministers.”

    And both women supported Adultery by Barnyard Joke, Adulterer-in-Chief of the National$, the party you have for buying MDB environmental flows for use on broad acre farms in NW NSW.

    Anybody paid $80 MILLION for an empty glass of water? Barnyard did … and denied that the Minister for Water had sole responsibility for Federal water policy.

    But wait, there’s more ….. who is Matthew Coulton, is he related to Mark Coulton, MP for Parkes? Does Matthew have specialist knowledge about water and water policy, and has he worked for Barnyard and Niall Blair, former NSW Minister for Agriculture who retired after the Great Menindee Lakes Fish Kill was exposed as due to lack of water flows?

    Why has the MSM gone very quiet on the MDB policies of the Lazy Nasty People misgovernment??

    [Now where is Alcibiades when you need a good researcher ….. ] Oh, back at “A Coalition of whatever and whoever it takes” 250419. Gotta hand it to that boy.

  2. Alcibiades

    Total enrolled: 2013 92%. 2016 95%. As at 31Mar19 96.5%(post MES). Now for the 18May19 election 96.8%.

    The 2017 Marriage Equality ‘Survey’ resulted in, according to the AEC, “the largest, most successful enrollment campaign since federation“, ‘Extraordinary’ & a ‘Record high’ of enrollments, ~90,000-100,000 yougins enrolled early or to vote in the final seven days prior to rolls closing. The proportion of new enrollments was ~11.8% of all AEC roll updates. In total ~840,000 Australians had either enrolled early, or for the first time or updated their details.

    AEC, as at 31 March 2019 587,790 estimated eligible Australians were not enrolled.

    The Coalition did better than otherwise in 2013 ’cause 1.22M were not enrolled, less so in 2016 when 816,000 weren’t, now come 18May only ~536,089 are not enrolled. For the 18May19 election ~70,000 new eligible young voters (18-24) enrolled in only seven days (11-18Apr19).

    Apathy, false equivalence re perceptions of both major parties & disengagement is the IPA/Murdoch/LNP mantra. A higher enrollment rate is disadvantageous to the Coalition in our compulsory voting system.

    The youth vote historically splits ALP ~70% v LNP ~30% in 2PP terms. The impact of the youth vote in any particular electorate obviously deteerminate on electorate age demographics, however it will regardless have some affect re all State Senate quotas.

    Here’s a few sample electorates where the youth vote in isolation may well make a difference (many seats ‘in play’ are also affected by dramatic electorate re-distributions, additionally & significantly secondarily changing age demographics outside calculated 2PP margin):

    Broadbent, Monash(VIC), margin 7.5% (No Liberal logos or signage)
    Enrolled: 2016 election 116,179. 2019 election 112,516. Total enrollments decrease -3.3%
    Youth vote 4.2% increase 9,282 to 9687

    Flint, Boothby(SA), margin 2.7% (No Liberal logos or signage)
    Enrolled: 2016 election 99,675. 2019 election 123,969. Total enrollments increase +19.5%
    Youth vote 6.9% increase 11,655 to 12,524

    Sukkar, Deakin(VIC), margin 6.4%(No Liberal logos or signage)
    Enrolled: 2016 election 99,675. 2019 election 107,534. Total enrollments increase +7.3%
    Youth vote 9.6% increase 9,913 to 10,969

    Abbott, Warringah(NSW), margin 11.1%
    Enrolled: 2016 election 102,711. 2019 election 105,077. Total enrollments increase +2.3%
    Youth vote 9.4% increase 8,986 to 9,918

    Martin (Craig Laundry retiring), Reid(NSW), margin 3.2%
    Enrolled: 2016 election 105,496. 2019 election 108.964. Total enrollments increase +3.2%
    Youth vote 3.4% increase 10,310 to 10,676
    (No campaigning nor fundraising by Laundry for past twelve months. Only $10K in electorate campaign kitty upon latenomination)

    Another issue to consider is it is expected up to 40%+ of voters (it was ~27% in 2016) will determinedly cast their vote early, starting Monday 29 April 2019, at early & pre-poll voting centres to avoid the hassle & queues, their minds made up. ready to be done with it all. Unless something dramatic happens, an event, within the next eight days, or closer to polling day, then they will be voting based on the current sustained polling trend of at least ~3%+ swing 2PP (under-represented?). Even if the contest tightened in the final week or last three days, the expected early pre-poll voting bloc 2PP swing, would be very hard for the Coalition to recover from, regardless.


    @NEC 🙂
    Damn long time since ah been a young laddy. You are most welcome.

  3. Keith

    We are in a climate emergency; yet, the major parties do not appear to be acting as though that is the case. Minor paries such as PHON and Palmer’s United Australia Party are a dead loss. The Greens present the best policy in relation to climate change; though it is possibly not strong enough. It will be the Labor or Liberal Parties that form government; hopefully the right wing anti-science parties will not do well in the Senate.

    Countries made promises to try slow down emissions from fossil fuels to hopefully slow temperature to 1.5C above pre-industrial times, if not 2C maximum, at the Paris Accord. The promises made are not being kept. As global temperatures rise the costs to nations, communities and families increase. A study just published has stated that at 1.5C, the financial costs created are expected to be 24.8 trillion dollars. It is expected that those costs will happen in the lifetime of people 50 years of age and under, a conservative estimate. The increase in temperature is around 0.25C per decade, should aerosols from the atmosphere be cleared through less fossil fuels being exhausted the temperature of 0.25C will increase. Aerosols, are particulates created by fossil fuel use, and tend to slow down temperature increase, exactly by how much is still being debated.

    So, we have a recipe for financial mayhem in the future. That is probably the best part, the 1.5C represents increased strength of extreme events. Anton Vaks et al presented a 1.5C increase in temperature over pre-industrial times as a threshold where permafrost begins to thaw in a very significant manner. Already concern is being expressed in Alaska about the rate of permafrost thawing. Permafrost thawing provides a mechanism for more greenhouse gases to be sent into the atmosphere.

    Anton Vaks:

    Permafrost thawing in Alaska:

    Countries not living up to their promises:

    We do not have 3 years to waste by voting for a LNP government.

  4. Keitha Granville

    re Dutton. He won’t be alone, there are always some who get miffed and leave cos their party didn’t win. It shouldn’t cause a by-election – we need a new system whereby if an MP jumps ship right after an election the seat goes to the next on the ballot. That might stop a few. How dare they treat the electorate with such contempt !

  5. Joseph Carli

    #6..Anzac day….Many veterans did choose and have chosen NOT to march as a position of protest against the jingoistic principles of “Rememberence of the fallen”…

    A Gap in the Line.

    He touched the medals tenderly, the ribbon colours sublime,
    The case of burnished velvet, the soft attractive shine,
    He touched the medals tenderly, an Uncle’s Great War “shrine”.
    Posthumously given for courage, in “closing a gap in the line”.

    In closing a gap in the line he died, in mud, gore and slime.
    It was for these tokens of honour, he marched, to fill a gap in the line.
    With Union men, many of them with those medals he’d proudly stride.
    Union men, many of them and a title his Uncle wore with pride.

    Himself, a Wharfie, born and bred, right down the family line,
    His Uncle too, t’was always said, could lump a hundred-weight a time,
    Bagged sugar, sticky with sweat, soaking wet, at eighty tons an hour,
    The men would lug from those cargo holds with no break for tucker.

    In the Summer strike of ’98 they marched for conditions fair,
    When “Patrick” crawled to Howard’s Government to send the coppers there.
    Along with the Farmer mercenaries trained by the covert ; “Sandline”
    They sought to break the strikers…to break through a gap in the line.

    In the middle of the night they sent in the thugs, the scabs and the dogs,
    It was hard to tell which was which among the slavering, crawling hogs.
    And deals were made and rights were trade between the ruling class,
    That left the strikers on their own to hold the line tight to the last.

    Howard set the dogs on the men and the women and children in kind,
    Reith, the crawling bastard, banked the scabs through a mercenary company; “Sandline”,
    And the Journalist sucks and the Murdoch hacks lent their honour to that shameful crew,
    And wrote of “overpaid wharfie bludgers” when of sweat and blood they NEVER knew.

    And he saw the look in the breaker’s eyes, he saw the hate confined,
    So clasping tight, holding the next striker’s arms with all his might,
    He called and bellowed fit to wake in fright..:”Hold boys, Hold!”
    “ Hold my bastard boys!…we’ll not let them force a gap in the line!”

    There comes a time in everyone’s heart, where honour and justice combine,
    We must choose which side we’re marching on..what a sense of honour defines.
    Would his Uncle have him march for nought, but just a place in a line,
    Or should he honour best his Uncle’s pride with his class aligned.

    Today he touches those medals tenderly, with a habit long refined,
    But he’ll not march on Anzac Day…not while those Tory scabs declaim,
    No..there’ll be a space where he held his place with the others marching time,
    And owed in respect for his Uncle’s indebt’..they’ll now see clearly outlined,
    That in the place of his marching space…there’ll be a gap in the line.

    There’ll be a gap in the line my fellows…there’ll be a gap in the line.
    Owed in respect to an Uncle’s indebt’…Today there’s a gap in the line.

  6. andy56

    i like the top ten election issues. The government should have policies on ALL of them. They are ALL important.
    I am over 60, will vote early and i do have a cricket bat ready. To me, the incompetent neo-cons, cause thats what they are a con, have destroyed all credibility in their ideology and mythology ( legends in their own minds). The big independants are just shocking reaction groups taking advantage. I mean what do Hanson and Palmer have to offer? Fish and chips with that redundancy?
    Its Labor/Greens vs the rest. The rest dont look too flash to these eyes. Maybe the senate will get my greens/labor vote. Labor always manages within the constraints of a hostile senate. The bulk of their policies can get through with a bit of tweaking.

    If the liberals had policies that made sense, sure i would look at them. But they need time in the wilderness to develop them. Not being Labor isnt a policy but the one sure fire way to destroy everything, isnt that right TA? Thats the cycle we are in. I do generally vote labor but thats only because of the policies they have vs non existent policies. Oh yea tax breaks, thats a good policy. I get $5 a week back and pay $50 a week in tolls, how does that work again?

  7. Alcibiades

    Keelty warns river ‘ripe for corruption’ – The Saturday Paper

    “Where you get those conflicts of interest and they’re not addressed, that’s ripe for corruption.”

    His comments come as the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder confirmed to The Saturday Paper that two contentious water licences for which the federal government paid $79 million have returned next to no water to the environment since they were purchased two years ago.

    Bundy and #Watergate – IA

    BARNABY JOYCE is not an idiot. He is something far worse. He is a moderately intelligent man who falsely believes he is smarter than everyone else.

    Labor will make Tax Haven Blacklist a ‘first-order priority’ AFR

    If it wins on May 18, Labor will amend the Corporations Act to require companies to declare to shareholders any dealings in “international material risk jurisdictions”.

    Morrison & the COALition would have choked on reading that. Especially Barnaby & Angus ? 🙂

    If Shorten wins, he will be very busy AFR

    This campaign will move into top gear on the weekend. It will become a three-week sprint towards May 18.

    Morrison, on the other hand, has thus far enjoyed a rails run, kicking balls, with kids, enjoying himself, telling everyone how bad life would be under Labor and not being grilled very much at all…

    Brickbats and bouquets – Twitter has changed the landscape of political reporting, and there’s no going back – InsideStory, Frank Bongiorno

  8. wam

    A good read this morning, john. Had a bit of a problem with your thought because a government that sanctions an Australian, born without eyes, to be questioned as whether his sight has improved, has no understanding of the disadvantaged.

    You have a penchant for baseball bats and the young. My guess is more women use cricket bats than men and women combined baseballers?

    My dad was in his 30s when he went to war, in his 40s when he was wired up in daws road and in his late 50s when he braved the RSL and he never overcame his memories to march.
    This is the image of WW1 that should be used to represent war and the english generals and politicians..
    Cameron Highlanders edinburgh castle 1914 1918′

    beauty keitha, I have been writing for years on this topic. The benefit will be labor and the libs will have to field two candidates giving us a choice in the first place.

  9. king1394

    Reading Paddy Manning’s reminders of some of the recent Lib/Nat scandals, I realised that the dung-heap has become a mountain that has become part of the normal landscape. Ho hum, another scandal with the Federal Government … boring. Now what was that about Shorten? Oh, horrors. I don’t think it is possible to regard the Liberal and National parties’ malfeasances as anything but normal, which also means they don’t become vote changers. In other words, what was that about HelloWorld, I barely remember who or what.

    Regarding the unionist (he said) on $250,000 per week because he works nights, I would like to know more about this individual. What does he do? how many hours? is he a real worker? And why does his employer pay him so much when Award wages would not ever reach that level?

  10. totaram

    andy56: “Oh yea tax breaks, thats a good policy. I get $5 a week back and pay $50 a week in tolls, how does that work again?”

    If only everyone could figure that out, we would all be so much better off!

  11. Lambert Simnel


    “… how much more scandal can Australian politics take”.

    Many Australians seem to have trouble counting to one let alone to the multiples that define the last several years with the LNP.

    They don’t seem to find Palmer ripping off his workers sus, so Christ knows what constitutes a “scandal” for many of them.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Speaking of Twitter, Barnaby Joyce’s account makes for hilarious reading. Responses to his tweets are brutal. Suffice to say, his supporters do not seem to have embraced the medium.

  13. Joseph Carli

    Yes, Wam…I remember seeing that picture from a link…I think on Twitter a while back…devastating..

  14. Josephus

    The young are marching for their future, but who listens? The past seems more in fashion. ‘They faced death with straight backs and shining faces’ intones the Anzac publicity machine. The dead are now saints, the poor frightened lads.

    War Memorial : will it ever honour too the warriors who fought against the white invaders ? The giant war materiel company Thales donates handsomely. Mr Nelson is right to see no conflict of interest there. Before and during WW1 chemists all over Europe devised mass chemical weapons. All nations find enemies to kill.

    As world population reaches c 11 billion by century’s end and landmasses shrink, the armed forces will try to stem hordes fleeing droughts, cyclones, earthquakes, and drowned coastal settlements as remaining resources dwindle and are contested.

    So Anzac Day speakers may usefully perpetuate the myth of the saintly young marching off singing to defend the old, rich and powerful against catastrophes the old created. And Thales et al will devise ever more powerful ways to deal with the fleeing masses. But will chemists and rich tyrants escape next time?

  15. New Bruce

    Thank you John

    “Justice” should be in that list, but I am not quite sure where. Maybe in place of “Drugs”

    “How much more scandal can Australian Politics take?” When every scandal shows more and more how broken and corrupt our illustrious dealers are, perhaps our pollies should be the ones who are worried about people carrying baseball bats.
    Watergate needs to be examined and explained to the people of Australia, “We the Voter”

    Since the lying scumbag howard took the reins in march 96, the loony nutters party have had control of this great country of Ours for all but 6 years,
    Surely, as a result, michael kroger’s well to do comrades in arms don’t need a “Killer Blow” on Mr Shorten to win this election. Can they not just regale the electorate with a lengthy list of their stunning feats of financial acumen, economic control and astute international business dealings that have put Australia into a position of national social stability and unassailable international supremacy and security, so therefore voting for anyone else would be just silly? I’ll start. (Very random)

    2000 Olympic Games
    2001 Afghanistan
    P costello sells golld reservesat rock bottom prices
    Death of Auto Manufacturing
    Denial of Climate Change
    Our current pm brings coal into parliament as “future technology”
    Aproval of the adani mine
    ad in-finitum……..

  16. Nw England Cocky

    @Kaye Lee: Check out FB pages “We loathe Barnaby and Andrew Broad” and “Armidale NSW Scandals” for further comments from New England voters.

  17. Kronomex

    Forgot to mention my favourite line of vomit inducing bs from the bloated blimp that was there as well –

    “”God bless Pauline Hanson, god bless [Resources Minister] Matt Canavan and god bless the CFMEU,” Mr Palmer told the Clermont crowd.”

    About the only thing he didn’t do was bless himself and Fatboy George. He has as much religion in his little left toe as does The Donald.No doubt he chipped in a few dollars for the outpouring of joy about coal as well.

  18. Josephus

    Love ‘the bloated blimp’ Kronomex, given that this rich egotist once set up a Zeppelin airship company for a dollar. Perhaps he wanted to inspect his vast mining interests, as Zepps fly low and are silent.

    An employee working for the NDIS asked a customer whether his or her autistic child was likely to recover.

    Someone please ask Mr Shorten about intended gas fracking permits – I am curious… will find out more tomorrow.

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