The AMA Federal elections are this weekend and they are shaping up to be U-G-L-Y. The AMA has kept it very quiet that their CEO, the unpopular and very low-profile Dr Robyn Mason, was forced to resign last week. There’s no-one in charge and nothing’s getting done. A bunch of rumours are floating around, eg. that the outgoing president, Mukesh Haikerwal, sacked Mason so he could take over the CEO role himself, or that the AMA NSW fought to keep Mason in office despite knowing about her conduct in order to get support for their candidate Choong-Siew Yong against other presidential hopeful Rosanna Capolingua (a fundamentalist right-wing Catholic — Tony Abbott’s mouth must be watering at the prospect). There are also rumours of more sackings to follow now Mason is out of the way. Not a happy ship.

You’re on the money with Howard’s escape plan. Mate of mine at the PMC says it’s been in the works for the past two months. Although the timing was supposed to be later, and the election was to be held as late as possible to allow the new candidate a fighting chance in the election campaign, possible Feb next year.

Bizarre Howard government advertising drive number 10,001: Going to I get an ad in the middle of my screen “Australian citizenship – Much more than a ceremony” – I wonder how much this one is costing and what the target demographic is?

The Tasmanian Government is planning legislation to arrest smoking parents with children in their car, if they fail to comply with a police order to butt out, or refuse to have their car and children’s teddy bears searched. What are the Tasmanian Government going to do — leave the kids in the car by the side of the road while they haul mum or dad off to jail? At the same time the government has refused to provide adequate funding for anti-smoking campaigns, and have closed the only State hospital smoking cessation support clinic. They have refused to introduce legislation to remove cigarettes from the view of children. Their policy seems to be punish the smokers, not the people who sell and blatantly advertise the product with flashy displays of cigarettes at every checkout.