Crikey understands that Barry Jones’s National Press Club appearance
this week was, er, held over as there were only eight – count ‘em –
confirmed acceptances. Perhaps the idea of shelling out $50 to
hear a figure who helped get the ALP into its current mess talk about
the future of the Labor Party was too much – or perhaps there were
noodles on the menu.

God moves in mysterious ways, and the Australian Electoral Commission
just f*cks around. A subscriber writes: “This week my wife and I both
received letters asking us to respond within 28 days or be removed from
the roll. The reason given on the letter was that mail sent to us from
a federal parliamentarian had been returned. Do I have a local member
who is a diligent follower of electoral laws or is knocking people off
the roll just another way to get closer to voluntary voting?” And why
does the Commission jump on the say-so of MPs?”

More on voluntary voting and the Liberal money men. Not only
will they need to raise more dosh to persuade the punters to turn out,
let alone vote for them, if casting a ballot becomes voluntary.
They’ll also get less money back from public funding, as the amount is
linked to the number of votes the parties receive. Do they really want
to lose the captive audience compulsory voting gives them?

New Liberal Party federal president and former NSW party head Chris McDiven
is having more farewells than Dame Nellie herself. One is coming up
after tomorrow’s party state council meeting – even though there was
also one after the last.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey