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Apr 18, 2012

Poll Bludger: Labor's woes and its effect on a Senate election

Following the Queensland election result and yet another downturn for federal Labor in the polls, there has been talk lately about the likely make-up of the Senate should the Coalition win next year's election in a landslide.


Following the Queensland election result and yet another downturn for federal Labor in the polls, there has been talk lately about the likely make-up of the Senate should the Coalition win next year’s election in a landslide, and the potential for such a result to upset long-held assumptions about the political calculus under an Abbott government.

The dynamics of the current Parliament have always made a double dissolution all but impossible, and the prospect of a crisis-induced early election for the House of Representatives only is now looking scarcely more likely.

That leaves us looking at a conventional timetable in which the timing is effectively constrained by the need for a half-Senate election to be held no earlier than the middle of next year.

The window for a normal election is thus between August 3 — the earliest conceivable date for a half-Senate election — and November 30, the last possible date for a House of Representatives election.

As well as a new House of Representatives, such an election will determine the replacements for the 36 state Senators who were elected when Labor came to power in 2007, who will take their seats in the middle of 2014 (together with the two Senators each from the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, whose terms are tied to the House of Representatives).

The Senators elected in 2010 will continue their six-year terms in the new parliament, and the conventional view has been that their partisan composition will present an obstacle for an Abbott government determined to unpick the present government’s legislative agenda.

In such an environment, a Coalition government would have the option of pulling the rug from under the Senate by holding an early double dissolution election.

However, that might not be necessary if the election result looks anything like the current polling numbers.

The easiest way to unpick the complexities of the Senate electoral system is to group the various competing parties into right and left, however much that might offend ideological purists of either stripe.

There remains the occasional unclassifiable such as Nick Xenophon, who is up for re-election in South Australia and presumably likely to win, and potentially even Julian Assange, of whose aspirations we have heard nothing further.

In most circumstances, political parties, be they major or minor, order their preferences to favour those on their own side of the ideological divide, barring the odd significant exception like the Coalition putting One Nation last or the deal between Labor and Family First, which famously delivered Steve Fielding a Victorian Senate seat in 2004.

At half-Senate elections, results in any given state usually split three-left and three-right, with the territories’ two seats never once having failed to go one Labor and one Coalition.

However, four-and-two results have not been unknown, usually when Labor has won three seats and the Coalition two, with the last seat going to the Greens or the Democrats.

Since the 1990 election — the first at which each state returned six Senators — the only four-right, two-left results have been at the 2004 election, at which Queensland (four Coalition and two Labor) and to a lesser extent Victoria (three Coalition, two Labor, one Family First) helped deliver John Howard control of the Senate.

The difficulty for the Coalition in the next parliament is that the 2010 election produced a four-left, two-right result in Tasmania (three Labor, two Liberal and one Greens).

However, in the current environment it is very easy to envision this being counterbalanced at the next election by a four-right, two-left result in Queensland, either through a repeat of 2004 or, perhaps, a Katter’s Australian Party Senator joining three from the LNP.

In the event of three-three results in the other states, this would leave the left with 38 seats and the right with 37 (including the thus-far low-profile John Madigan of the DLP, whose election to a Victorian Senate seat in 2010 you have probably forgotten about), plus Xenophon.

Even on occasions when Xenophon voted with the right, that would still leave the left with a blocking majority, given that tied votes are resolved in the negative, and the President of the Senate unlike the Speaker of the House has a normal deliberative vote rather than just a casting vote.

To overcome this, further four-two results would be required in other states, the most likely candidates being New South Wales and Western Australia.

Assuming no cross-ideological preference deals such as the aforementioned Labor-Family First effort from 2004, a rough benchmark here is that the combined Labor and Greens vote would need to fall to about 40%. Otherwise those two parties, mutually exchanging their preferences, can collectively achieve three quotas (42.9% of the vote) with the preferences of left-wing micro-parties and independents.

At the 2010 election, the Labor-plus-Greens vote for the Senate was 42.2% in Queensland, 43.7% in Western Australia and 47.2% in New South Wales. When the Liberals and Nationals collectively succeeded in winning four seats in Queensland in 2004, it was 37.0%.

The recent Newspoll breakdowns had Labor plus the Greens at 39% in Queensland, 41% in Western Australia and 42% in New South Wales. This was in the context of figures that produced a national two-party preferred result of 54-46 to the Coalition, whereas more recent polling has had it at 56-44 or 57-43.

Four-right and two-left results in any two out of three of Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales would very likely enable a Coalition government to repeal the carbon tax, given the likely support of Xenophon.

Such results in all three states would put a Coalition government in a fairly comfortable position similar to that of its state counterpart in New South Wales, where Labor and the Greens can be overruled in the upper house with the support of the Shooters Party and the Christian Democratic Party.


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101 thoughts on “Poll Bludger: Labor’s woes and its effect on a Senate election

  1. David

    The author going public with his wish list for next year. Still waiting for that phone call from Rupert?

  2. Schnappi

    Resignation of a Police Minister,a Senior Advisor,scrapping of Litery Awards jobs for the boys for costello,costing more than the dumped litery awards ,equals more expenditure ,not savings,,not an awesome start to LNP in Qld in just 3 weeks,as newman is an abbott clone,think people will come to realise a coalition federal government could be uncontrolled rabble.

  3. Suzanne Blake

    @ WO 2 Snhappi Tom

    What about Bligh resignation hours after the poll and a by election later this month.

  4. Suzanne Blake

    I think given the carbon tax will exact its damage on the economy for over 12 months, people will have more than baseball bats out in 2013 and a double dissolution as you say may not be needed

  5. Michael de Angelos

    more wishful thinking.

    Aussies may be led by the nose ccassionally but if anyone thinks that after a year of QLD & NSW huge majority Coalition governments that federally they will do like wise they underestimate the citizens desire to protect themselves from Abbott’s desire to erase whatever protections they now have for job security.

    The carbon pricing is still the media’s wet dream.

    Get out there and talk to the general public and they couldn’t give a toss about it. Come closer to the GE in 2013 and see what happens when Abbott is pinned down and must reveal his policies.

  6. Michael


  7. Steve Gardner

    Abbott won’t be forced to reveal his policies. He’ll just keep saying “We’ll reveal our policies in good time before the next election” until about 2 weeks before the election. Then he’ll reveal a bunch of vague uncosted promises with no detail. A few people will point out that this is completely irresponsible and shows that the Libs are not fit to govern and of course they will be right, but no-one will care.

  8. Schnappi

    Bligh was there for years blake,newman for minutes.

  9. daretotread

    Thanks William

    Good post

    Not linked to PB????

  10. Schnappi

    Baseball Bats SUZANNE BLAKE,seems your the same as abbotts forehead targets ,you both want people to do your dirty work and assassinate people.

  11. rinaldo hernando

    @steve gardner – just like queensland. looking forward to hearing all the pensioners bleat when they realise they voted for a reduction in their pay, and everyone else whose going to lose out, wail like qld “but we didn’t think it was going o be like that, …”

  12. rinaldo hernando

    fortunately victorias had plenty of time to see that a liberal talks tough in opposition, then falls well short of delivering when faced with the reality of government. the nation will see it soon enough too.

  13. Suzanne Blake

    @ Schnappi Tom

    Baseball bats was coined by ABC election coverage team. Red Kerry and Antony Green. Propable before that as well.

  14. Thalas Loramar

    Serious question:

    Has anyone ever tried to find out who the sock puppet SUZANNE BLAKE belongs to? Can it be traced back to the Coalition party room? Or the Young Liberals perhaps?

    The absurd propaganda spouted by it suggests an intimate connection to Abbott.

  15. Suzanne Blake

    @ Thalas Loramar

    The ‘sock puppet’ is one voter in a marginal seat, who has taken an interest in politics in recent years and who is sick of the waste, dishonesty and incompetence of the present Labor Government.

    Further, who believes that neither Gillard nor Abbott are fit to be PM

  16. Schnappi

    Do not care how baseball bats were coined BLAKE ,your meaning was as clear as abbotts.

  17. William Bowe

    “Baseball bats” was in fact coined by Wayne Goss following his own government’s defeat during the last throes of the Keating years, in 1995/96.

    This is a pretty crappy comments thread, BTW. Does anyone have anything to say about the Senate? Failing that, nothing at all would be preferable.

  18. daretotread


    Maybe a real on topic comment

    Seems to me that Labor is fairly secure in keeping control of the senate in 2014 UNLESS either WA or NSW falls below say 41% (I assume that senate voting is always less than reps so I have added in an error.
    Do you think that Labor might think long term ie to the 2017 senate. A second term Lib government could potentially have control (once the 2010 good Tas result washed out)?

  19. James K

    labor are their own worst enemy. They quickly ditched Rudd to save themselves from being wiped out in 2010. Why are they so prepared to be utterly smashed in 2013 by holding onto Gillard? I just dont understand their suicidal attitude at the moment. They have lost touch.

    Indeed, their positive pundits say “but other govts have turned around in a year after bad polling”. True. But find me any past govt that started with a political assassination of the sitting PM and that has ALWAYS had the bad polls… it has never had majority public support (unlike the egs they will point to). It has nothing TO GO BACK TO with its current leader. She has always been unpopular and will continue to be.

    Labor are idiots. If they allow this nation to be ruled by Abbott, they are fools to the extreme. They must replace Gillard to win the next election. Nothing can save them with her at the helm (unfortunately). It does not have to be Rudd. But it has to be someone other than Gillarrd (or anyone who can be associated with the carbon tax).

  20. James K

    Daretotread – after three years of Abbott (in 2016), the Libs cant possibly do as well as they will in 2013. People will have put up with him for 3 years! They wont be flocking to him to be rid of a PM they distrust any longer. It will be him they distrust!

  21. Schnappi

    Well WB a south aussie senator has taught all senators how to do the Hokey Pokey,then escaped certain charges,perhaps you could inform us of what else they have done that is amusing.

  22. William Bowe

    DTT, you get quite a few Labor voters who switch to the Greens in the Senate, but the Labor plus Greens vote doesn’t change much. I don’t care to speculate what might happen in 2017 (or even much in 2013, for that matter).

  23. Schnappi

    AH JAMES K ,would not matter who labor appointed as the media would immediately attack one way or another ,and still use phantom leadership challenges,suggest Carr would challenge the PM was their best yet.

    Have not written the PM off ,as abbotts economics do not stack up,and believe he lost the last election wanting to destroy the NBN

    Dumb as he is he is even dumber still wanting to destroy the NBN,any one can see that a lot of libs and nats want the NBN,so could lose another unlosable election as per newspolls.

  24. eric

    I dont think Gillard will lead Labor to the next election.

    She will step down for Bill Shorton six months out from the election.

    Fortunately for the ALP any new leader would do a lot better than Gillard and most likely get at least a 5% boost in the polls and anyway by that time she will have achieved most of the things she wanted to.

    If my prediction proves to be right the Senate wont be a problem for the ALP or Greens as their vote will hold.

    ATM Gillard is the best thing going for the LNP.

  25. pedro

    Ho hum.

    I don’t mean to be offensive or rude, but this is just another prophetic political article speculating on hypothetical situations and their possible conclusions, based on fixed criteria determined on or before 18 April 2012.

    It makes me scratch my head, because we aren’t even halfway through the current Federal parliamentary term. Surely many things can and will happen between now and the election. Polls go up as well as down. It would be a gamblin’ man who put their money on TA this far out from the post. Look what happened last time.

    Perhaps it is prudent to wait another few months – let’s say 12 – before speculating again. You will then have a much clearer picture of the likely outcome.

    Cheers, Pedro

  26. William Bowe

    You’re not being offensive or rude, Pedro – just wrong. There is not a single thing in this article which is “prophetic”. It explains what might happen in the Senate if particular scenarios play out, as they may nor may not do, given the rules by which the system operates. My guess is that you yourself don’t understand those rules terribly well, and that you could have learned a few things if you had made the effort to read or understand what I was saying.

  27. James K

    Pedro – usually what you say is true. But for Gillard there is no”polls going up”. They are bad or worse.

  28. Schnappi

    @JAMES K ,

    Please do not give your crystal ball to abbott,he is already unbelivable.

  29. James K

    I soooo hope you are right Schnappi. I just dont see the voting public being discerning enough. They hate Abbott but they hate Gillard more. Bummer hey….

  30. Meguire Bob

    James K

    The people have stopped listening to abbott a a while back, the polls are not getting strong enough for the coalition or supporters to suggest they will start to listen to him.

    polling are closer then the opinion polls suggest

  31. Meguire Bob

    The opinion polls are down on labor policy, if the opinion polls start to give the alternative government’s polices like the direct action, etc

    the polls would likely be completely different

  32. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Even with the then recent backlash against the ousting of Rudd, Queensland got 2 ALP and 1 GRN easily in 2010. I can’t see the numbers for the left side of politics going down. By that stage, they’ll have one year of Newman to compare against Abbott. Not everyone can disassociate state and federal parties.

    I reckon it would be 2 LNP, 2 ALP, 1 KAP, 1 GRN in 2013.

    By the way, if the ALP want to cut their own throats, they can nominate Bill Shorten for PM. The same guy who thinks $16 a day is survivable sans rent? That’s the dude. In this case, “evil” or “stupid” are distinctions without a difference.

  33. beachcomber

    What happened to Howard when he won control of the Senate? He lost Government and lost his seat at the next election.

    Abbott would be better off not winning control of the Senate. That way, he can blame the Senate for the Carbon Tax. If he has the numbers to repeal it, his more expensive and ineffective option will become law (unless it becomes a non-core promise). Same with many other messy commitments, like the Nanny Subsidy.

  34. Modus Ponens

    Quite a crappy thread indeed! Did anyone read the article? It is not prophecy, but an inference from previous polling data. I always felt reassured that the conservatives would not control the Senate, but my ignorance was bliss…. Under 40% in two states is very possible.

    I just hope the media turn their spotlight onto the tories’ (lack of) policies before it is too late. FFS, they are only one-two seats away from forming government right now and they receive no scrutiny in the slightest!

    Obi-wan, that is our only hope.

  35. Sausage Maker

    @Beachcomber. Yes, gaining control of the Senate gave Howard the rope to hang himself. But if the Coalition get control of the Senate theres a good chance they will make IR reform stick like they did with the GST the second time around.

    Currently the Coalition are on 34 seats in the Senate after losing 3 in 2010. While the numbers provided prove there is a real chance the conservative side of politics can form a majority the real threat comes in 2017 Senate makeup.

    The 2016 election (most likely date) will have the Senators that were elected in 2010 up for re-election. Conservative side won (excluding the 3 year term territory senators) 17 seats , assuming the DLP and Madigan will side with the Coalition on most voting issues, and the left won 19, 6 of which were from the Greens.

    Assuming that the conservative of politics will pickup a Senate seat or two in the next election the right only has to win 50% of the Senate seats in 2016 to pickup another seat.

    Rudd’s biggest problem with the Senate is that he still had to deal with all the conservative senators elected from the Latham debacle in 2004.

    Like NSW its hard not seeing the Coalition gaining a majority in the upper house in their second term.

  36. Edward James

    Why when your vote is your own to preference as you wish would you permit shonky politicians who have run Australia into a fiscal ditch, to direct your preferences to suit them? Your vote is your own to direct as you see fit. How to vote cards are guides for political simpletons who are unable to direct their elected representatives to act on their behalf. Edward James Umina CBD 0243419140

  37. Gareth

    Thalas Loramar

    A little googling shows that Ms Blake is a real person.

    A graphic designer, she has done work for Fortescue Mines.

  38. GeeWizz

    Firstly I always appreciate Suzanne Blakes comments.

    Secondly, on the senate numbers I have to chuckle when I read there is no way the Libs can control the senate after the next election. I mean it’s all just a matter of votes… and if there is a landslide win, which is looking on the cards, then the Libs maybe able to control the senate in their own right

  39. Thalas Loramar


    Hmmm, interesting.

    In that case, game on.

  40. Schnappi

    Howard had full control of the senate and he lost government and his own seat,some people think for themselves,
    Joe Hockey admits howard went to far with welfare,but does not say what he wants cut back,just liberal bleat to please elect us ,we gave it to you,now we want your vote to take it back off you.

  41. GeeWizz

    Schnappi there is plenty of welfare to cut back there are so many bludgers out there it isn’t funny.

    Basically we need to force all bludgers to start working by systematically cutting their welfare payments back for every week they are on them.

  42. Schnappi

    Yeah notice abbott and supporters are against private health insurance for those on $150,000 and also want parental leave for women on $150,000.
    Hardly think hockey and now abbott are talking about those on the dole,or newstart etc,as if anything they need an increase.

    Not all on the bludgers you refer to geewizz are in fact your bludgers ,a lot now are old people who have worked hard an are redundant through no fault of their own ,and employers do not employ them.

    Can see this as another con job,not even an aspiration,baloney knows he could not win an election cutting pensions ,the dole,or newstart,as it would be political suicide.

    Appears whats left is family benefits or the baby bonus,Bwahaaha.
    Yet abbott is increasing welfare so where could he cut it?

  43. Michael de Angelos

    We got a major ‘policy’ release from Joe Hockey in the UK (on a taxpayer funded trip) yet it really is getting scant reportage.

    Apparently Asia is the way to go-no welfare net. Nothing. Zip.

    Millions of beggars in the street.

  44. Schnappi

    Just saw Lateline M DE A,

    Hockey totally evaded Tony Jones questions,hockey would not say what entitelments would be cut,neither would he say what would be means tested,just spin with not even a core,non core,or even an aspiration,also appeared abbotts parental leave for those on $150,000 and not means tested is ok,other things have to be looked at.

    Greatest load of spin and bullshit,not just for the gullible ,but the certified insane.

    Abbott has backed hockey ,I await his wriggle out in the coming days let alone weeks.

  45. GeeWizz

    Schnappi the problem isn’t employers the problem is unions blocking reform on workplace reform for older workers.

    As you know younger workers can be paid signficantly less than a an adult on an award wage, this is so employers have a benefit in employing young workers to train them up and young employee’s get work experience.

    With people over 60 you have no system despite older workers becoming slower at doing their work and having more sick days. Now the solution is quite a simple one… allow individuals over 60 to work for FULL-TIME wages, but for PART-TIME hours… say 20-30 Hours a week. This will help both employers and employee’s as employers will have an incentive to hire older workers and the older employee’s have the incentive of only having to work part time(semi-retirement) while still getting a wage.

    Of course the Unions and their Union heavy bosses on $330K a year won’t have a bar of it.

  46. Michael de Angelos

    Union bosses fees are paid of worker’s union fees so put a cork in that one GEEWIZZ.

    I’d like to know alternative reality you speak off where all these jobs are coming from for young or older workers.

    As for Hockey who sees Third World Asian countries as perfection-odd that the West has to funnel billions of dollars in aid to them if they are doing so well.

    Hockey who has bludged off the taxpayer since eternity and accepts numerous entitlements is obviously a believer in the ‘trickle down’ thoery not evident in Asian countries.

    I hope this is just talk for the troops and the rusted on Coalition supporters. If they truly believe what he says as Abbott has confirmed-heaven help us. First to go-propertyprices plummeting.

    As usual Abbott and Hockey dribble nonsense as Hockey pontificates about Asian family values where generations live together out of necessity. Farewell the building trade as Abbott moulds society in his vision.

  47. Suzanne Blake

    @ Michael de Angelos

    “Union bosses fees are paid of worker’s union fees ”

    Yes we know their snout is in the trough, see that loud and clear at HSU

    Also with the “six hour lunches in Chinatown before Union meetings in Sydney”.

    Do as I say, not as I do

  48. GeeWizz

    Suzanne it’s amazing isn’t it the whining of the Union heavies about “corporate greed” when some of these union piggies are getting paid more than the Prime Minister of Australia.

    You wonder how they complain about corporate excess while keeping a straight face.

  49. Michael

    Just saw a message on Twitter stating the Greens are collapsing.
    Big fights in NSW branch. The black widow Rhianon is going feral.
    Anyone have news on that?

  50. Schnappi

    Bullshit geewizz I am 75 and bet I would not be slow or slow down ,to run down unions you rubbish the elderly ,probably run rings around you 15 year old liberal staff aprentices,

  51. GeeWizz


    I am not running down seniors, I am giving a reason why our current system of employment laws isn’t working.

    Gillards solution is to throw a $1000 dollars at employers(about a 1.5 weeks wage, this will be another Gillard Government failure) to hire senior employee’s.

    What I am talking about is a fundamental reform in how this country does business in regards to senior citizen workers, by not having a strict 38 Hour minimum workweek enforced by out of touch unions. These hours neither benefit the senior citizen workers or the employer. A person over 60 should be allowed to work part-time but be paid the full-time hourly wage if they so choose to do so. The unions of course will make out senior citizens to be stupid and incapable of making their own decision on this and that employers are “taking advantage” of them.

    And so the cycle of high unemployment of the over-60’s continue…

  52. Schnappi

    Oh c’mon geewizz I saw abbott on tv and he clearly said labor has stole the $1000 for seniors from his election policy at the last election,cannot have it both ways ,if you say it is crap then it is also abbotts crap.It was abbotts solution ,do you mean the PM solution or you mean backflip baloneys two face lie or what?

  53. lilac

    @Geewizz Can you please explain to me how any union can be responsible for low employment rates of people over 50?
    You have invoked the 38 hour week as though it were a stain on the modern workplace and the reason for this being so?
    I will make this brief.
    The 38 hour minimum week is for the safety and rights of workers.
    Before the 40 hour week (which the 38 hr was born from) was introduced, people worked under horrendously poor conditions, in excess of 20 hours a day for employers who exploited their station in life.
    Now if a worker is required to put in more hours they are paid accordingly with the correct hours with rest factored in before they are required to return to their place of employment.
    The workers union was formed by the worker for the worker not for detriment of anyone including people over 50, under 18 and anywhere inbetween.
    I couldn’t agree more with SB and yourself re; the snouts in the trough analogy when referring to management of the HSU. I sincerley hope justice is served.
    If anyone is found to have mis-used funds paid in by hardworking members I hope they are thrown out of the union, the Parliament, the ALP and that the full force of the law be brought upon them.
    If not apolgies should be forth coming.

  54. GeeWizz

    Schnappi I don’t agree with every Abbott policy.

    The $1000 payment to employers is milk money, it won’t make a bit of difference to hiring rates of older Australians.

    We need a complete reform of the workplace laws to cater for older workers.

  55. Suzanne Blake

    @ Michael

    “ust saw a message on Twitter stating the Greens are collapsing.
    Big fights in NSW branch. The black widow Rhianon is going feral.
    Anyone have news on that?”

    Excellent news.

  56. Suzanne Blake

    @ GeeWizz

    Gillard earns over $60,000 a MONTH in salary, perks and fringe benefits

  57. Schnappi

    The PM gets paid peanuts for running a country,those running airline companies or banks get $5 million even $15 million,so sb whats your nasty minded point,what would you suggest a male PM should be paid?

  58. Phil Vee

    I need to keep it simple.

    Current Senate is 40 to the Left and 36 to Others.
    Left loses one seat in Qld it goes 39 to 37. Left Rules!

    Left loses an additional seat in NSW it goes 38 to 38 tied vote. Abbott can’t pass anything unless a Green or a Labor person cross the floor.

    If the Left loses a seat in WA then they are stuffed 37 to 39, and the Libs get to do whatever.
    If I am wrong please let me know.

  59. lilac

    @SB for F’s sake! She is the PM! When Howard returns his wage and pension for disgracing Australia your incredulous attitude will be given credibilty. Til then go and scribble for Twiggy, purchase more blonde bleach to hide your roots, subsequently frying your brain just that little bit more and leave the commentary to those who actually have valid points. Thank you.

  60. GeeWizz

    If Labor tries to block the axing of the tax it will be double dissolution time, pure and simple.

    He’ll have a mandate to axe the tax, Labor better not get in the way or face the consequences.

  61. Schnappi

    geewizz the earliest double dissolution would not be until early 2015,what do you suggest abbott would be doing to the country from 2013 to 2015 just to get rid of one or two labor reforms,and do not forget the so called carbon tax is nearly an ets,baloney is bullshit as he probally would not win the DD as pensioners would not like losing $40 a month and he would never win without them.

  62. Schnappi

    geewizz see my reply when it is allowed to be published ,the pensioners would vote abbott out in a dd as they would want to keep their $40 a month compo.

  63. Suzanne Blake

    @ lilac

    She has been the most obviously dishonest PM we have had in our history.

    Does not deserve the office

  64. lilac

    Hey SB as the format designer for Twiggy’s mag you probably con yourself into believing that you are an actual journo LOL! Hot tip luv you won’t get the job. Tabbott admires a tad more subltety and subversiveness within the inner fold.

  65. Schnappi

    SB if howard sending our troops to Iraq to die on a big lie ,is not a bigger dishonesty you rant about the PM then you have no credibility at all,howard was dishonest not the current Pm,your bias is only surpassed by your stupidity.

  66. Suzanne Blake

    @ Schnappi

    Many thought that Saddam had WMD, he even gloated about it. Who was to know, he could have buried them.

    Gillards lie was for all t0 see

  67. Schnappi

    what lies just a change of mind to intelligent people.

  68. Schnappi

    the moderator will not let me say a change of mind is not a lie.

  69. lilac

    @SB Whether Gilllard is or is not, you are questioning the salary of an Australian PM.
    When over a million Australians protested in the streets to stop the war in Iraq and Howard ignored them, followed by the subsequent AWB scandal dishonesty doesn’t begin to define the current Liberal Party.
    Malcolm Turnbulll was always noted by his absence during those moments.

  70. lilac

    No SB the people didn’t believe he had WMD’s or the lie that he had ballistics that could reach London. The governments involved in the lies didn’t even believe it. The average hardworking citizens of the United States of America didn’t believe it. They are paying for it though. The spin doctors at Halliburton however still rub their hands together at the sheer fiscal delights of their machinations.

  71. Schnappi

    Ah LILAC ,

    SB does not accept facts her visions are more important to her fantasies and will never accept a given fact if it was not in her hallucinations.

  72. lilac

    Alas I know Schnappi SB is just one of the many robots manufactured on the Orwellian line of blind obedience.

  73. Schnappi


    I live in hope she will be ordered to eat a live snail found on a public toilet to show her absolute obedience to all things that are slimy untruths who keep the unworthy out of power.

  74. lilac

    Oh Schnappi LOL to that!! Goodnight mate 🙂

  75. Graeme Orr

    ‘GeeWhizz’. You’ve confused things considerably. In what typical award do you find restrictions on part-time hiring? The 38 hour week, a period endorsed in WorkChoices, is just the notional full-time hours for an ordinary employee, ie the period over which extra hours must be ‘reasonable’ (meaning subject to refusal and overtime for most workers, but unpaid for professionals/salaried workers). Employers are free, in most sectors, to hire as many full-time OR part-time employees as they like. Are you confused with the idea of casual (ie non-guaranteed hours) where workers get higher than ordinary hourly rates in return for insecurity and no leave?

    Heck, at nearly 40% non-full-time employment, Australia is one of the least bread-winner friendly labour markets in the developed world.

    Anyway, that’s a long way from William’s eye-opening post. William, how firm is that ‘40%’ rule? Is there no way leakage to a multiplicity of micro parties, and the whims of preference deals and orders of exclusion, seal the Senate’s fate on a lower figure?

  76. Schnappi


    Preference deals I am not really up with,but as I have never seen anyone take into the equation of a party I will be voting for,is the Stable Immigration Party,
    Last election they were stopped from being a party,due to electoral numbers at the time.
    Honestly believe that party will have a say in the next election ,even though the immigration issue has gone quiet by both labor and coaltion as an issue.

  77. Schnappi

    Reading what Turnbull has to say on howards welfare seems there could be a leadership challenge soon ,seems to be coinciding with hockeys welfare cuts loads of spin.

  78. William Bowe

    [William, how firm is that ‘40%’ rule?]

    Not very. The Labor/Greens-preferencing micro party vote is variable depending on who’s running. If we get a Wikileaks party leeching a few per cent from Labor and the Greens in each state and directing them back as preferences, that figure comes down. Although it occurs to me that such a party might very well divide its preferences evenly between the major parties, which would undermine my effort to boil it down to left-versus-right and make life harder for Labor – and, by extension, the “left”.

    [Is there no way leakage to a multiplicity of micro parties, and the whims of preference deals and orders of exclusion, seal the Senate’s fate on a lower figure?]

    I tend to assume leakage isn’t a factor, because leakage cuts both ways and cancels out. Though since the right-wing micro-party vote is generally about three times higher than the left’s, this probably warrants closer examination.

    The whims of preference deals can certainly matter, but they have to cross the ideological divide if they’re to impact on my left-versus-right calculations. It’s usually only micro-parties that do this – Labor-Family First in 2004 was a fairly unusual case.

    Orders of exclusion are usually only important in determining which micro-party candidate gets up, if one does. There has lately been no question of a successful micro-party candidate not being from the right, and (absent a Labor-Family First type preference deal) of not winning the seat at the expense of their own ideological “side”, i.e. the Coalition. That was how the DLP got elected in Victoria: the combined DLP, Family First, Liberal Democratic Party, Shooters and Fishers, Christian Democratic Party, One Nation, Climate Skeptics and Citizens Electoral Council vote was higher than the Coalition’s surplus over its second quota. If that didn’t happen, those votes would have flowed en masse to the Coalition. So again, order of exclusion doesn’t really change the left-versus-right equation.

  79. William Bowe

    [I need to keep it simple.

    Current Senate is 40 to the Left and 36 to Others.
    Left loses one seat in Qld it goes 39 to 37. Left Rules!

    Left loses an additional seat in NSW it goes 38 to 38 tied vote. Abbott can’t pass anything unless a Green or a Labor person cross the floor.

    If the Left loses a seat in WA then they are stuffed 37 to 39, and the Libs get to do whatever.
    If I am wrong please let me know.]

    This differs from my scenario in that you’re working off the current Senate numbers, which includes Senators elected in 2007 whose terms are to expire. Since there was also a four-left, two-right (Labor three, Liberal two, Greens one) result in Tasmania in 2007, your arithmetic works if you assume there will be one again next time. For that not to happen, the “right” vote in Tasmania will need to pick up by about 6%. Since I was talking about what might happen in a landslide, I assumed that it would, though that may have been a little bold of me.

    So basically, you will have to shift everything a seat along in the right’s favour if there is a swing to the Liberals in Tasmania of at least 6%. Otherwise you’re correct.

  80. Suzanne Blake

    @ Schnappi Tom

    May not need a DD, he may get majority at next election.

    Just depends if Labor risk dishonest Gillard, if she goes and new person get enough time before next election , may have to wait for DD. Depends on who they replace her with and how tainted they are seen by the electorate.

    Will also depend on how snakey the ALP is when they ditch dishonest Gillard, as any repeat of the Rudd event 6 weeks ago would be terminal for any need for a DD

  81. Suzanne Blake

    @ lilac

    Incorrect again

    How many thousands of people did Saddam and his sons kill in Northern Iraq? The Kurds? Remember it was some type of chemical agent used.

    This was well known by the public as well as the politicians.

  82. Schnappi

    Seems to be a liberal leadership struggle going on,turnbull said the howard government went overboard with middle class welfare,hockey wants to cut entitelments and welfare ,but will not say which,but wants to reinstate the the means tested health insurance rebate so it is not means tested,seems a con job,abbott agreed with hockey but is now backing away,robb agrees with anz bank,seems the so callled money managers do not know what they want.

  83. Michael


    Correct, there is a huge struggle going on!
    60% of Libs want Turnbull expelled, the other 40% want him drown in his vomit.
    Problem is he just won’t go! He’s like a bad smell. Walks into a Liberal gathering and everyone shuts up! Silent stares all round for 10 minutes or so & then he leaves.

  84. Schnappi

    Ah I See,abbott ,robb,and hockey smell nice.vote for who smells the best,rename the Smelly Party.

  85. Michael


    Whatever they smell like, get used to it cause they’re going to be in your face for 15 years at least.
    Labors next term of office will be many many years from now by which time they’ll be known as the Social Democrats.
    The name Labor, as a brand, has leprosy!

  86. Schnappi

    At 75 I sure hope so,voted many times and everytime the coalition gets in,have always found them to be full of Lepers,and apologies to those with leprosy.

  87. lilac

    @SB incorrect never! There are reams of evidence to support the lie of WMD’s. You poor luv are suffering from a diet of peroxide overload . Please submit facts that prove me wrong. You have claimed on this site that you have a degree in commerce yet you are a graphics designer.No wonder you admire liars and fools. BTW you still owe Stephen Smith an apologie re: REMF slur.
    Is your employer aware of the amount of hours you dedicate to Crikey on company time?
    Hang on that’s how you earn ‘overtime’

  88. Suzanne Blake

    ex Labor Minister Graham Richardson, yesterday

    “Julia Gillard cannot win the next election with a $23 carbon price. It is almost three times the world average and it makes her unelectable. She must announce a reduction in price to the $8-$10 range or move to establish an ETS in the next 12 months”

  89. Suzanne Blake

    @ Lilac

    The fact that they did not find WMD in the years after it started, does not means they are there or they did not know they were there. It took them 80 years to find the Titanic, easy to bury the WMD in the desert by an elite force, you were later MIA’s. Police regularily find bodies thay they have extensivively looked for with specialists and dogs decades later.

    Saddam had them, he used them on the Kurds and others and killed tens of thousands.

  90. Schnappi

    Never used drugs in my life ,but would like some of what the military expert SB is using.

  91. Suzanne Blake

    WO2 Schnappi Tom

    I have never used them either, nor dye my hair. Tried it once in teen years (dye that is), not since

  92. Schnappi

    Lol,notice you consider yourself a military expert,seeing no denial.

  93. Michael


    Are u really 75? You don’t sound a day over 73.

  94. Schnappi

    Can see why tony baloney is peeved ,perhaps his is the only one slipper did not get.

  95. Schnappi

    Seems abbott has got into bed with with the wrong gay,the accuser apparently has a conviction,and dear arthur sinodis easy ride into the senate cannot recall anything,hohum.

  96. Schnappi

    Turnbull had godwin gretch,abbott has a convicted gay,any emails involved with abbott or sinodis.

  97. lilac

    @schnappi yes indeed you are correct on alll counts!
    I refuse to encourage imbeciles by responding to imbecilic posts.

  98. Schnappi

    Notice abetz who was involved in the godwin gretch affair is wanting the PM to move slipper,and the media does not understand slipper was elected speaker by parliament,abbott and abetz violate due process,yet the shagow attorny general brandis for once is saying nothing,forget legal process when they are elected.All unfit people for office.

  99. Schnappi


    Nearly 76,hair has not gone grey as yet,probably why not senile like a certain few in here.

  100. Michael


    Henceforth I shall show the respect & decorum due an old comrade.
    What part of the Kremlin did you learn the art of subdeffuge ?

  101. Schnappi

    Well MICHAEL,

    Thought I would add no liberal staffers in here give their age ,why not?think one reason is most of us would scoff at your age with no job experience and no lifetime experience,just the same as tony the big baloney who would take away the legal system in our democracy.

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