Bad news for Brendan? If the Western Australian election really does reflect people wanting some checks and balances about who governs them then Brendan Nelson and his successors should be hoping that Labor can do a deal with the Nationals and cling to office. The installation of a Liberal team in Perth would get rid of that wall-to-wall Labor mantra that has such an appealing ring to it at a federal level. My guess is that Saturday’s voting was more a protest about the opportunism of Labor in going to the polls earlier than the party had to. That thread is common with the reaction shown by the people of the Northern Territory too.

Strange people those Nats. In Queensland the Nationals are pressing on with amalgamating with the Liberal Party believing that is the way to electoral success. In South Australia there is a National Party member of a Labor Cabinet. In Western Australia they are closer to following the SA example than that of the Queenslanders. In New South Wales after losing another seat to an independent at the Lyne by-election they don’t know whether to amalgamate, stay a little separate while being in a formal coalition with the Liberals or to follow the daring example of WA and strike out on their own. It is indeed a strange party.

The wonderful science of social engineering. Let skinny models parade down a platform and fashion designers are attacked for promoting anorexia and bulimia. Make clothes for big teenagers and the critics accuse you of sending the country down the slippery slope of an obesity epidemic. I wonder what the “leading” health and weight loss advocate who attacked Myer at the weekend reckons big girls should dress in? Sack cloth and ashes?

The wonderful world of the SMH website. There will be few if any bigger local stories for a Sydney paper this year than the changing of the guard in the NSW Government with a Labor Premier, Treasurer, Health Minister and Planning Minister all departing. So how does the Sydney Morning Herald treat the story? Well in the print edition it is as you would expect. All the latest developments are plastered over the front page this morning. Meanwhile over on what is supposedly the paper’s website this morning there was no room for such mundane rubbish as state politics — not a mention on the home page as you can see for yourself.

Little wonder then at the kind of stories that top the smh.com.au most read list:

And now the bounce back. Last week Barack Obama had his convention bounce. This weekend it was John McCain‘s turn.

So now the race can begin in earnest with the Crikey election Indicator having moved slightly in John McCain‘s favour with the probabilities of becoming President now assessed at 60% for the Democrats and 40% for the Republicans. This time last week the comparative figures were 63% and 37%

Peter Fray

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