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Jan 7, 2013

Pencil in September for the federal election

The big one -- the federal election -- will occur later this year, and Western Australia will also head to the polls. Crikey's elections guru outlines the year ahead and makes some guesses on the big date.


I begin 2013 as I did 2011 and 2012: with a review of this year’s electoral calendar. On the two previous occasions I engaged with the possibility that a federal election might be brought on ahead of time due to parliamentary defections and/or byelection defeats. Having proved more than a few detractors wrong in avoiding such mishaps, the situation for the Gillard government is definitive this time — it will face the polls this year, by no later than November 30.

Should the government push the election date out as far as it can go, it will have extended its “three-year term” to three years and three months, the date of the 2010 election having been August 21. This is because the clock on the three-year term does not start ticking until the first sitting of parliament, which was on September 28, 2010. Once the parliamentary term expires, there can be a 10-day gap before the writs are issued, as many as 27 days for the ensuing nominations period, and a further campaign period of up to 31 days until polling day.

The minority government agreement reached with Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott after the 2010 election stipulated the “full term” to be served should continue until September or October. The Howard government provided handy precedents in this respect, having held out for at least an extra month in 2001 and 2007 without incurring too much opprobrium.

The other end of the equation is how soon the election can be held. In theory, an election for the House of Representatives only can be held at any time, so long as one dispenses with the assumption that it will be held concurrently with a half-Senate election (the time where a double dissolution might have been a theoretical possibility having already passed). A House-only election would put election timing for the two houses out of sync, something governments have been determined in avoiding since the last such election was held in 1972.

There were theories abroad that the government might nonetheless have just such an election in mind, either to seize advantage of an upswing in the polls or to spare itself the embarrassment of failing to bring down a budget surplus. However, the government’s pre-Christmas withdrawal from the surplus commitment — together with the Prime Minister’s recent insistence the election date will be “around three years since the last one” — make it a safe bet the House’s election timetable will indeed be tied to the Senate’s.

The next half-Senate election will be held to replace senators who were elected when Kevin Rudd came to power in 2007. They began their terms in mid-2008 and will end their terms in mid-2014. The election process must begin in the final year of the six-year term, namely from the middle of this year. Since the process involves a campaign period of at least 33 days, the earliest plausible date is August 3 — less than three weeks before the third anniversary of the 2010 election.

“The best bets therefore seem to be the first three Saturdays in September (the 7th, 14th and 21st) and the last three in October (the 12th, 19th and 26th) …”

School holidays in various states between September 21 and October 12 offer a complication for part of the period nominated by Windsor and Oakeshott, although Howard’s decision to hold the 2004 election on October 9 showed that only the consecutive AFL and NRL grand final weekends were (in Howard’s own words) “sacrosanct”.

The best bets therefore seem to be the first three Saturdays in September (the 7th, 14th and 21st) and the last three in October (the 12th, 19th and 26th), with the proximity of the three-year election anniversary strengthening the case for September over October.

Considerably less ambiguity surrounds the second biggest electoral event of the year: the state election in Western Australia, where the Barnett government’s introduction of fixed terms has set the date for March 9.

The government has further taken the opportunity to return the election date to its traditional position early in the year, which had been upset by Alan Carpenter’s unsuccessful gamble in bringing the previous election forward to September in 2008.

The introduction of the fixed term regime has thus granted the Barnett government a six-month extension on its four-year term, which as far as I can tell makes this the second longest term served by an Australian parliament since federation — the first being a short-lived experiment with five-year terms in South Australia in the late 1930s.

Surprise early elections in other states are always a technical possibility, but fixed terms and bumper majorities make this very hard to envision in any case but one. The exception is Victoria, where Ted Baillieu’s government holds the slenderest of majorities, trails in the opinion polls, and has ongoing problems with the accident-prone member for a marginal seat. Were Baillieu’s government to fail where Gillard’s has succeeded — and lose a seat through a parliamentary defection or byelection — the result would be a parliamentary gridlock that would almost certainly require an election to resolve.

A step lower on the electoral food chain are byelections, which are hard to foresee in advance but almost certain to occur at least somewhere at state if not federal level. One intriguing possibility emerges from Bob Katter’s promising idea to lead the Katter’s Australian Party Senate ticket in Queensland and bequeath his existing seat of Kennedy to his son Rob Katter. That would require a byelection for Katter Jr’s existing state seat of Mt Isa, which would provide Katter’s Australian Party with a further opportunity to land a punch on the nose of the Liberal National Party.


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98 thoughts on “Pencil in September for the federal election

  1. Jimmy

    I don’t think the election will be in September, more then likely it will be Mid October.
    The reason for this thinking is that Abbott is going to try to run a campaign where he will offer very little detail in policy – I know this because as his news year editorail outlined his current policies are completely contradictory and just plain bad – therefore should the ALP go to an electtion in the middle of Football finals they will help Abbott’s cause because the public’s focus wil be elsewhere.
    If they go in Mid to late October they will expose Abbott to a lt more scrutiny.

    Also the later date will allow more time for the MRRT and Carbon tax to operate smoothly and increase the questions about why we need them scrapped.

  2. Sam

    I’m tipping a November 2 election – give people a week to get over the footy, then have a good four weeks of policy scrutiny and hold the election before there’s any chance of interest rate hysteria from any Cup Day RBA decision.

  3. outside left

    Pretty good reasoning, Jimmy. Also the NBN looms larger as time moves on.

  4. Edward James

    Hang on. Can’t we hope we the people will still be able to force a by election by questioning the honesty and integrity of Jenny Macklin? Have we missed the time where she stepped in and corrected the spin in the official transcript published by her staffer, under the Federal Coat of Arms. Informing readers of what was said about living on the dole? Truth or fiction. Edward James

  5. Jimmy

    Quite possible and good reasoning Sam. That would be the latest I think the would go though as once you get into November the opposition will run a variation of the “illegitimate govt” spiel and start saying they are holding on to power undemocraticall y by not allowing the public to vote them out.

  6. Jimmy

    Edward James – “Can’t we hope we the people will still be able to force a by election by questioning the honesty and integrity of Jenny Macklin?” If you aren’t going to be serious then stop posting on this site!!

  7. Mike Flanagan

    Edward James….Edward James.
    I note there is nothing of substance between both the above names, nor comedy for that matter.

  8. Edward James

    hay jimmy let us know if Labor Minister Jenny Macklin had the spin removed from the public record! Until that happens I will not change my published position, she is not fit to represent anyone even you! Edward James

  9. Edward James

    Mike flanagan it seems you are a person of very limited views Edward James

  10. Edward James

    This paragraph of information lifted from the SMH work product of Kate McClymont May in fact support my often published concerns in our Central coast papers that some dodgy political activity is ignored, because it suits both sides of politics, to leave it alone. Most of us have not forgotten the Terrigals grew up on the central coast Chris
    Apart from Mr Skehan’s private company holding shares, another shareholder in Anconna is Tennille Koelma, whose husband Tim Koelma is a former aide to the Resources Minister, Chris Hartcher. Mr Koelma was suspended on full pay in late March for allegedly overseeing a slush fund that took donations to support the minister’s favoured candidates on the central coast. He has since resigned.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/obeid-link-to-tigers-under-the-spotlight-20130106-2cb6k.html#ixzz2HF7zKnu0
    Edward James who says there is nothing funny about systemic corruption when your the one suffering

  11. Mike Flanagan

    Edward James…Edward James;
    Yes limited to substance and logic and not filled in with repetitive self, christening and promotion.

  12. Edward James

    Edward James Mike Flanagan Edward James there you Mike some comedy between! Edward James 0243419140

  13. Jimmy

    Edward James – SO until I tell you that something you already believe happened you won’t change your position? And supposedly if I do tell you what you already believe you will change your position?

    As for the Macklin matter nobody has heard the tape that the transcript was transcribed from so it is possible (although not probable) that section in question was inaudible and from memory I don’t think it was the only sections of the transcript deemed inaudible. But even if she did fudge the transcript it is hardly a hanging offence, she didn’t change what was said just claimed it couldn’t be heard and the public has been able to see what was said through various other mediums, and I think the transcript has been amended for posterity.

    I think you should spend more time a matters of substance and less time on the trivial – or at least be consistent and hold the conservative side to account for their ” honesty and integrity”

  14. Edward James

    Crikey readers should consider, as should Mike Flanagan. I am not at liberty to promulgate what I publish in my local papers, Peninsula News and other local papers. All Crikey readers have, courtesy of Crikey access to my phone number. Last year people attacked me on Crikey based on what News Limited Richard Noone published in the Telegraph. I was surprised because I had accepted free range activist like me knew main stream media could not be trusted. It seems weak people select tools of connivence. Edward James

  15. Edward James

    Jimmy are you conservative? Should Crikey readers hold you responsible for your honesty and integrity? So do you know if Labor Minister Macklin had the dodgy transcript corrected? Jimmy while you may be ignorant. The fact is the recording of the interview has been all over the media with pictures of JM. Where do you want to go Jimmy? Has the Minister withdrawn the garbage transcript published by her staffer under the Federal Coat of Arms. Or is it Labor business as usual Edward James

  16. Jimmy

    Edward James – “It seems weak people select tools of connivence.” And the feeble minded make no sense!!!

    As for the actual matter of if Macklin could actually live on the dole I would suggest that she is correct in saying that she could. She may not live the same lifestyle but people do live on the dole so why couldn’t she?

    And the argument pushed by the suddenly pro dole bludger News Ltd papers last week that it isn’t living on the dole it’s just existing is exactly the point of the dole, it isn’t supposed to easy, it’s a safety net.

    And I would also query the $38 a day figure being bandied about, that figure doesn’t include rent assistance, the various benefits of the health care card (ie cheaper electricity, rego etc) and Family tax benefit payments.

  17. Jimmy

    Edward James – “Jimmy are you conservative?” I used to vote vote the Libs but I moved slightly to the left as I matured and they moved a long way to the right so I would say No,

    “Should Crikey readers hold you responsible for your honesty and integrity?” Yes.

    “So do you know if Labor Minister Macklin had the dodgy transcript corrected?” I thought it was announced that it was corrected last week when her press officer took responsibility for the “error”, however it still appears as inaudible on her webiste so perhaps it hasn’t – I would point out that there are 5 other inaudibles on the transcript – so what other things is she hiding?

    “The fact is the recording of the interview has been all over the media with pictures of JM” Yes Edward hence the public saw what was said, but it wasn’t that recording that the transcript was taken from, the press officer had her own recording so unless you have heard that one how do you know it wasn’t inaudible.

    “Where do you want to go Jimmy?” I would love to drive from Rome up thourgh the italian Lakes int Germany and across to PAris – how about you?

  18. Edward James

    Jimmy. Labor Minister Jenny Macklin is the responsible Minister for her staffer who published an official federal government transcript which tried to remove a question and and an answer which any number of other media have also recorded. Macklin could live on the dole in Asia So what Jimmy Minister Macklin he is responsible for the edited transcript which we all know is dishonest. edward james

  19. Jimmy

    Edward James – “So what Jimmy Minister Macklin he is responsible for the edited transcript which we all know is dishonest.” How do you know Edward have you heard the tape – do you know it wasn’t inaudible like 5 other secttions of the transcript?

    And was Tony Abbott dishonest when he called climate change crap or when he says it is real? Or was Greg Hunt dishonest when he wrote a thesis on the benefits of Carbon trading or when he vehemently attacks it, or was Joe Hockey dishonest when he calls for the end of the age of entitlement or when he opposes any means testing the govt tries to introduce and supports the libs parental leave policy?

    In short Edward you can focus all your attention of the sideshow of politics or the main event of policy – I know which one effects my life more.

  20. Hamis Hill

    Ed et al, it would make tactical sense for Labor to indicate a September election, allow Abbott to coast up to that date with no policies, then instead go for the November date and eight weeks of public scrutiny of the coalition cranial and policy vacuum.
    Close enough to the famous 24 November destruction of Howard and to finally destroy the Howard Hangovers.
    The worst Opposition in the nation’s history must be utterly extinguished and a new, viable Opposition built in its place.
    Australia’s proud history of democracy demands nothing less than a complete extinction of the Abbotteers.
    Much as the Murdoch press has vowed to destroy The Greens Party, surely the extinction of the present federal coaltion is not too extreme???

  21. Suzanne Blake

    The campaign has already started in our marginal seat. Signs up everywhere and have been for 3 months.

    Sorry to say Jimmy, Labor will loose this seat by a wide margin. The local member has also gone into hibernation.

    Telling. With ICAC to reveal more in 2013, they will loose 10 seats in NSW at least.

    People have had enough

  22. Suzanne Blake

    Happy New Year Jimmy,

    what happened to the incompetent Swan surplus? Did you have a $100 wager with another Crickey reader? Payment time.

  23. Suzanne Blake

    Hi Jimmy

    I have heard the Macklin taoe and see the interview on TV. He staffer was next to her, she heard it clear as day and was told not to publish it.

    More Labor l i e s and deception, just like ICAC in NSW

  24. Edward James

    Hamis first Australian voters must finish dismantling the Labor party at Federal, State and Local government levels. After that is done, we can consider what to do next. Consider the link at 10 where we readers may consider corruption knows no political boundaries. Edward James

  25. Jimmy

    Edward James – Again why do you only hold the ALP to account for corruption – in Victoria we have Geoff Shaw being investigated by the police, Qld have already had one minister resign, at a federal level we have Abbott, Bishop and Pyne plus Brough being investigated over their involvement in the Slipper affair – where is your outrage at those issues?

    And even worse than that “corruption” is that as Hamis claims (although it might be an overstatment but not by much) “he worst Opposition in the nation’s history” due to it’s absolutely terrible policy positions and desire to sound bite their way into power supported by a willing media pack.

  26. Edward James

    Jimmy seriously one political thing at a time. Labor first! You and all Crikey readers and reporters’ know who I am and how to contact me . So many of you subscribers put $hit on me because I publish my phone number. Why is it only two readers have rang me? Are the rest of you broke, or are you all coward ? Edward James, the cowards among you know my phone number

  27. tonyfunnywalker

    Oh not Edward James again – new beat up? I agree with Jimmy that mid October is most likely. For all those who hoped to get an early election by any means fair or foul ( and mostly foul, will get their wish on time.
    Abbott has played the early election card to death another failure Tony ” now we can hold you to account” . You will now have to come up with some ” hail Mary” policies as you vilification has failed but the you and the Liberals now have to be a creditable opposition that does not waste parliamentary time on beat- ups and vilification. There needs to be some reshuffles on the front bench and that should include Abbott.
    He will lose the election for the Liberals.

    The Crickey poll was enlightening as to Turnbull’s effectiveness and he does not need the image change, women love him rather than being made to love him by the News Ltd tabloids (the OZ included).

    With the current ” softening up of the ABC” by News Ltd ( standard practice for an election year” – the ABC should retaliate by not having any News Ltd commentators on their News Programs there are more balanced commentators around.
    Good to see Bernard on News 24 at least he knows what he was talking about.

  28. Jimmy

    Edward James – “Jimmy seriously one political thing at a time. Labor first!” So once you have voted Labor out then you will start to complain about the Liberals, ie after you put them in power. Seems to be the actions of a contrarian.

    And Edward why would anyone ring you, your posts rarely make sense and never engage in any serious issue, you focus on the politics and avoid the policy – if you want people to ring you try to be more engaging.

  29. Edward James

    Oh not Edward James again…. Yep i am still here politically active on the Central Coast. So Luke skewalker tell crikey readers what you know about Lucy Wicks the candidate for Robertson

  30. Jimmy

    SB – I don’t recall any wager but if someone would like to demonstrate otherwise I would gladly pay up.

    On what happened to the surplus well when revenues fall like they have a surplus is hard achieve and for what it is worth while I did think they would go for a surplus at any cost to satisfy a political goal and avoid the “broken promise” lines economically it is brilliant that they have finally decided to allow a small deficit. Anoterh sign of good economic management from Mr Swan.

    On Macklin, I don’t care where the Staffer was standing unless you have heard the tape you can’t say for certain that it was audible.

  31. Edward James

    Engaging, are you serious anonymous Jimmy. I have changed the face of politics here on the Beautiful Central Coast. You on the other hand are at best a ghost! Edward James

  32. Jimmy

    SB – “Telling. With ICAC to reveal more in 2013, they will loose 10 seats in NSW at least.” Given you track record on predictions I won’t put too much stock in this one, but even if you are right, on a state level the Libs are 10 points behind in Victoria (45-55) at the moment and they are plunging rapidly in Qld with more public sector cuts to frontline forces being announced all the time.

    With Tony being as unpopular as he is and the carbon tax becoming a non issue this election is a long way from over.

    By the way how many seats were the libs supposed to win in NSW last time around?

  33. Jimmy

    Edward James – “Engaging, are you serious anonymous Jimmy. I have changed the face of politics here on the Beautiful Central Coast. You on the other hand are at best a ghost!” I don’t suffer from the delusions of grandeur you obviously do – I only judge from what you post on here, no policy discussion, all ranting over corruption and minor political issues – not engaging or intelligent. And not all change is for the good you know.

  34. Edward James

    Posted Monday, 7 January 2013 at 4:47 pm Jimmy. You are sulking. We the people of Australia all heard what was recorded by several Australian media people. I accept you Jimmy want to claim something else was recorded. I say Jimmy bring it to us the people or piss off. Anonymous Jimmy I think you are are a joke. Edward James 0243419140

  35. geomac62

    Ed ” ring ring ” James
    It might be a new year but your as one eyed as ever . Give SB a call , might make your inane comments seem more reasonable .

  36. Edward James

    Well suzanne blake you have my post office box number. will i receive something instructive ? Edward James

  37. Edward James

    geomac 63 nothing from darwin new to offer.

  38. Jimmy

    Edward James – I a not sulking and I too heard what was recorded by a different recording advice, but that does not mean that the recording device used for the transcript wasn’t inaudible – as I said way back at 2.09 “it is possible (although not probable) that section in question was inaudible”.
    So I am not claiming something different was recorded, I am claiming it is possible the recording was inaudible and you and SB who claim that everyone “knows” the transcript was deliberately corrupted have no evidence. you bel ieve it was but as you haven’t heard the recording used you can not know.

    ” I say Jimmy bring it to us the people or piss off.” It is not for me to prove my assertion of a possibility, it is for you to prove your assertion of a certainty so I say Edward James Bring it to us the people or piss off.

    And being called a joke by you Edward is like being called fat by a Sumo.

  39. iggy648

    Hi Edward. I live on the Central Coast, and I’d never head of you before I saw your name in Crikey. How have you changed the face of politics? Just curious.

  40. Edward James

    Jimmy the recording Minister Macklin is without question. Since then the recording of the woman staffers iphone has been kept confidential. We the peoples have heard and watched what was said. So for how much longer will you jimmy and Labor deny the truth? Edward James

  41. Edward James

    iggy648 ring 0243419140 perhaps it is a local call for youiggy

  42. Jimmy

    Edward James – For F..k skae Edward read what I have said, “it is possible (although not probable) that section in question was inaudible” – Nothing there is denying that the recording could have been audible. What it is saying is that because you haven’t heard the recording you can not say definitively that the transcript was deliberately falsified and definitely can not say the recording is with out question, what Macklin said is without question but what was recorded on an iphone is a different story.

    And why don’t you put this much effort into any issue of substance – is it because you can’t understand them?

  43. Edward James

    Jimmy sorry I cant help you . Good by Edward James

  44. Mike Flanagan

    Edward James…Eddie- me- boy;
    Having been exposed to your religiosity and weird interpretation of politics for the past twelve months or more I can only ask that you close the door firmly but quietly behind you.

  45. Edward James

    You close the door first Mike. I have my own political work to do, none of which you would support. Cheers Edward james

  46. John Hargrave

    The election will be in Sept or Oct-perhaps Sept as it will tie in with Victoria’s AFL Grandfinal a strong state (relatively)for Gillard. Whenever it is held, Tony Abbott will be the new PM, and Labor will be in tatters.

  47. Mike Flanagan

    John Hargrave;
    Apart from the absence of policy I think he might have to remove those budgie snugglers to get there. That might prove more offensive than wearing them.

  48. GeeWizz

    2013 Election Highlights:

    Slippery Pete – Labor’s good mate who they claimed was setup in a grand conspiracy by the Lib Party now being investigated by the AFP for dodgy taxi cab rides this year

    Craig Tommo Thomson – The PM’s “Full Confidence in Craig” will become interesting as the FWA charged him with multi violations and will be seeking damages. Vic and NSW still looking into him and likely to make charges public shortly

    Michael Williamson – Ex National President of the Australian Labor Party, accussed of multi-million dollar rorts back at the HSU and allegedly busted with a bag of documents taken out of HSU headquarters in the carpark. Another thrilling drama for the upcoming 2013 election.

    Obeid/McDonald – NSW Labor sleeze continues to grow.. just in time for the 2013 Federal Election. Alleged of one of the greatest corruption scandals in Australia’s history.

    The level of sleeze in the Australian Labor Party is palpable and this year will be the Grand Final for the ALP.

  49. taylormade

    Jimmy – is that the extent of your comments on the unlikely swan surplus is it ?. Considering your comments over the past 2 years was expecting more. No comment on the timing, no comment on Swans handling of the original mining tax and also the MRRT. No comment on the way he has treated his collegues?

    How are we supposed to believe any thing that comes out of Swans mouth in the lead up to the election ??

  50. geomac62

    Truthless aka wizz
    Slipper was supported and endorsed for nearly two decades by the libnats with Abbott saying he was doing a good job . Craig has been investigated to death yet nothing of substance has been unearthed , very strange . In fact big charging Jackson seems more likely to be in the dock . Whats that saying ? She does protest too much . A Victorian MP named Shaw has been proven as opposed to accused to have rorted but Ballyhoo seems reluctant to proceed with anything that might endanger his one seat buffer . Ring any bells ? NSW has been rort capital of Australia since its inception with the silver haired premier Askin possibly the best exponent of recent times . Qld has already lost a minister plus a defection , not Palmer as he jumped before the push . Matthew Guy in Victoria , planning minister , set up land for a backer then rezoned it back after a public outcry . Now the lib backer is going to court , he who pays the piper calls the tune so Guy stuffed up . Give Eddy a call wizz , mutual deprecation society . Oh we belong to a mutuaaal etc .

  51. Hamis Hill

    What Eddie and Suzzy blithely overlook is that, with the absence of policies from the SantaMarians, voters will only have the Newman debacle as an indication of what to expect from “The New Liberals”.
    Or as Gerard Henderson might honestly call them, the Menzies Changeling Party(c/o a clearly not very democratic vatican education system).
    Not very attractive?
    Perhaps some strong Independents will deliver better than the wet behind the ears twenty one year old foisted on the Sunshine Coast voters by party politics.
    You’d have to be fairly dull witted not to be insulted by that little exercise in political cynicism.
    Brought to you by the Brough-Ashby Putsch.
    With the sleaze extending all the way to Canberra.
    Is that what you are prescribing for voters Eddie and Sue?

  52. outside left

    Ah,troofie, teddy and flakey all firing up on que! pathetic

  53. floorer

    Hi Hamis, this is a good line; “Brought to you by the Brough-Ashby Putsch.” I wonder sometimes whether a putsch in Australia is considered a bit like a car accident. It won’t happen to me.

  54. GeeWizz

    [“Slipper was supported and endorsed for nearly two decades by the libnats with Abbott saying he was doing a good job”]

    Yes… and Dillard the grand thinker, thought she was too smart by half by giving this guy the second highest honour in the land just behind Governor-General.

    This has Labors prints all over it and will re-enforce the view that the Labor Party has a problem with Sleaze. Lets not forget it was literally 2 weeks ago Gillard and Co were claiming Slipper was a poor innocent victim of a massive Lib Party conspiracy.

  55. floorer

    GeeWizz, above and beyond everything else Gillard with the slimmest of margins is going to make it through her term. Intestinal fortitude personified. John Winston would be proud.

  56. GeeWizz

    Ahhh Geomac… been reading the lala land Independent Australia rubbish.

    Who had their house raided by Police? Kathy Jackson?

    Nope, Craig Thomson.

    Who has over 100 charges in Federal Court laid against them, Kathy Jackson?

    Nope, Craig Thomson.

    Who is alleged to have made phone calls not only from their personal mobile phone but ALSO their hotel room they were staying at to the ladies of the night, Kathy Jackson?

    Nope Craig Thomson.

    Poor ol’ Craigy Boy… he’s been setup the Labor hacks scream… it’s just like a hollywood movie. The poor guy was just minding his own business… making ATM withdrawls, signing receipts, getting his license scanned and signing off on all these spending back at HSU headquarters(part of his job) and never bothered to read his telephone bills, credit card bills or notice people were making calls from his mobile phone or his hotel room.

    What a poor victim… i’m breaking out in tears… tears of laughter that is.

  57. geomac62

    This has Labors prints all over it and will re-enforce the view that the Labor Party has a problem with Sleaze.
    Hmmm it seems to me this has Brough , Ashby , Pyne , Hockey and Bishops prints all over it while Abbott wore rubber gloves . I wonder if there is a criminal charge for theft of personal details from an employers work diary ? I wonder how a staffer can afford a hugely expensive PR man not covered by his legal team ?
    Newman is like Brough described as an army man , Kennett too was the same . Seems this is wrong because according to some , Slippers short period as a speaker has obliterated his long period as a libnat . Guess we should wipe out Abbott as a Rhodes scholar as it was long ago and lets face it means nothing when one reads his economic ramblings er policies .

  58. geomac62

    No tears of laughter for me but a wry grin when fools think Jackson is a whistle blower . Whats that yank term , blow it out your ass ? Yeah she blows alright .

  59. Jimmy

    Geewizz – Accoridng to Today’s age Slipper is being invetigated for $900 of travel expenses while he was a liberal member – Pyne, Abbott, Bishop and Brough are currently being investigated by the same body (the AFP) for their part in a possible conspiracy to abuse the court process for political gain – I know which is the bigger concern.

    Taylormade – I am not sure exactly what you want me to say about the questions you raise – I have said previously I preferred the original mining tax but the MRRT is better than nothing, also the MRRT worked as it was intended so far in that when minerals prices plummetted no tax was payable, now that the price has rebounded I expect tax to be paid.

    Not sure how he treated his colleagues and of course the timing was political but as I said the goal of the surplus originally was political and having a small deficit is good for the economy at this stage, as I also have said previously.

    How can you bel ieve anything Swan says, becuase everything he has done since being treasurer has been the best thing for the economy – the bigger question is how can you trust the Libs whose limited policy’s include;
    1) Cutting govt revenue by repealing the Carbon & Mining taxes
    2) Spending Billions on it’s Direct Action policy
    3) Spending Billions on it Paid Parental Leave Policy
    4) Spending Billions on Road Infrastructure
    5) Lowering Taxes and Raising the Pension
    6) Delivering a surplus in each year of his first term
    7) Increasing Superannuation Guarantee from 9-12%
    8) Repeal means testing for Private Health and FTB brought in under this govt.

    These things are contradictory and to be paid for will have to see billions slashed from govt spending (which is already lower as a percentage of GDP than under Howard) which will almost certainly have a negative impact on an economy facing turbulent global conditions.

  60. Jimmy

    Geewizz – According to Today’s age Sl ipper is being investigated for $900 of travel expenses while he was a l iberal me mber – Pyne, Abbott, Bishop and Brough are currentl y being investigated by the same body (the AFP) for their part in a possible conspi racy to abuse the court process for political gain – I know which is the bigger concern.

    Taylormade – I am not sure exactl y what you want me to say about the questions you raise – I have said previousl y I preferred the original mining tax but the MRRT is better than nothing, also the MRRT worked as it was intended so far in that when minerals prices plummetted no tax was payable, now that the price has rebounded I expect tax to be paid.

    Not sure how he treated his colleagues and of course the timing was political but as I said the goal of the surplus originall y was political and having a small deficit is good for the economy at this stage, as I also have said previously.

    How can you bel ieve anything Swan says, becuase everything he has done since being treasurer has been the best thing for the economy – the bigger question is how can you trust the L ibs whose l imited pol icy’s include;
    1) Cutting govt revenue by repeal ing the Carbon & Mining taxes
    2) Spending Bill ions on it’s Direct Action pol icy
    3) Spending Bill ions on it Paid Parental Leave Pol icy
    4) Spending Bill ions on Road Infrastructure
    5) Lowering Taxes and Raising the Pension
    6) Del ivering a surplus in each year of his first term
    7) Increasing Superannuation Guarantee from 9-12%
    Repeal means testing for Private Health and FTB brought in under this govt.

    These things are contradictory and to be paid for will have to see bill ions slashed from govt spending (which is already lower as a percentage of GDP than under Howard) which will almost certainl y have a negative impact on an economy facing turbulent global conditions.

  61. Sam

    So Macklin makes a comment saying that she could live on Newstart. Her office releases a transcript that makes that renders that part inaudible when it is audible to most other people. So what? Do either of these actually affect the governance of the nation or the lives of anyone who isn’t just looking for an excuse to get hysterical? By all means, criticse the low level of Newstart and the decision to move some single mothers on to it. But is it any wonder that there’s general disillusionment about politics when there’s so much fixation with trivial, inconsequential details rather than actual policies and their consequences?

    On a separate topic, I was at a local event in a Victorian marginal seat a couple of months back. The Liberal stall was far more prominent and well staffed than the Labor one. These things will be critical with a close election and Labor will need to do a lot better on this front.

  62. Hamis Hill

    Jimmy, you can’t use logic with the Coalition Faithful.
    This medieval mob is definitely pre-Enlightenment, where anyone using logic is, naturally, burnt at the stake.
    Gillard is a “witch” ( the red hair is a dead give away), the rest of her party are “godless” and the Greens worship and evil entity called “Gaia”.
    Not only that, but the Coalition are better economic managers, just look at the Trillion dollar increase in mortgage debt under John (“there’s hardly any difference between the Anglican and Catholic churches”, come on you’ll feel right at home in the Liberals) Howard.
    With the Coaltioneers rejoicing every Sunday, rapturously exercising the holy sacrament of the credit card in the modern cathedral Malls of Mammon.
    They are very religious you know!Every Sunday!
    Heaven on earth is only an election away and you just know that the forces of evil ( just look at all those lies) will do their best to crucify the Coalition’s anointed saviour (By a miraculous one, Peter Slipper, vote) in the meantime.
    Do we thank god or Murdoch that the Coalition has the MSM on their side? They are clearly the chosen ones!
    Ain’t that right Eddie, Suzy, Whizzeee; the true believers.
    Or Politico-Religious Dementoids?

  63. Apollo

    Why is Abbott standing on Labor’s side of the parl?

    I like to see a hung parliament. JG & TA can join force and take turns to be PM.

  64. tonyfunnywalker

    I see the relection campaign has started on Crikey.

    I would love to debate policy not scandal but I note that through all the vitriol there was one and only one policy issue. The rest was a continuation of 2012.

    Bloggers like the press have found revelence through vitriol and where logical well reasoned discussion is dead. There is not one article in the Australian on a policy agenda- other than Kenny’s lame excuse for gender debate.

    Irrespective of all the attempts to unseat her, Gillard will lead a a minority Government for a full term of Parliament and you have to respect her for that.

    There were some non core promises not kept but John Howard would be proud of her in that the legislation passed and the “world as we know it” did not end.

  65. Hamis Hill

    Irrespective of the actual election date, those without an understanding of history fail to see that unrelenting assaults on, and entrenched religious antagonism to democracy has brought Australia to the conditions which caused the fall of the Weimar Republic.
    Do they study the Weimar Republic in Psephology School?
    One might think, out of respect to the sacrifices made by Australians in the ensuing world conflagration, that some consideration be given to the causes of their suffering?
    Or is there an enculturated blindness, among some quarters, to the dangers facing democracy, of which the Weimar Republic is a classic example?
    Perhaps there is a deliberate?curricular deficiency, in this respect, in some religious educational establishments?
    Perhaps Wu Sun Tsu can offer a strategy for the defence of Australian democracy:
    “Know your enemy, know your self.
    One hundred battles, one hundred victories.”
    And for those insidious enemies of democracy who do not wish to be known, St Paul offers: “All that is evil fears the light”.
    Or The Saviour Himself: “By their actions shall ye know them”.
    Hopefully, none of the above is regarded by Crikey as being in need of “moderation”.

  66. Apollo

    Hamis, by the law of karma, the more you hate Abbott the more likely he will be PM.

    Let go of all the negativity, embrace The Bot, give him some love.

  67. Ashley Browne

    Won’t be September 14. It’s Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Only around 100,000 Jews in Australia, but don’t think either party will want to piss them off.

  68. Hamis Hill

    Some hard political truths about the enemies of democracy were put into a deep, deep freeze during The Cold War.
    Communism has lain in defeat now for quarter of a century, so is it not about time that the other totalitarian threats to democracy are similarly extinguished?
    Exposed and extinguished?
    Is it not time to recognise that certain elements of the defeated totalitarian enemies of democracy took refuge in Australia in the aftermath of WWII, and inevitably, inevitably tainted Australian politics with their political prejudices and their contempt for democracy?
    It is all very well to count the votes in a political system, but this hardly establishes a civic understanding of the long historical battles for democracy, largely undertaken in the northern European nations.
    In post-war Australia this history has been reviled, denigrated and devalued by migrant ingrates who regard democracy as a cultural “quirk”, restricted to “Anglo-Saxons”. Enough is enough!

  69. Hamis Hill

    Appollo, I’d love to see Abbott return to the priesthood.
    He can use his efforts to clean up that backyard before spreading his filth all over those who do not share his staunch “beliefs’.
    I’m sure his confessor would approve, because if there is a soul in perdition it’s Abbott’s.

  70. Apollo

    Rosh Hashanah begins on Sept 4 this year. I like the idea of an election on the month of Tishrei. Maybe they can hold it on 27th of Sept.

  71. Apollo

    28th is Sat I think. AFL & NRL GF days are around this time so they probably won’t do it.

  72. Apollo

    I think Jimmy said October. That’ll be good. I like October.

  73. Apollo

    I don’t think Labor will win this election. My friend owns a couple of restaurants and a few pubs, he told me that most of the small business people he talked to are not happy with Labor even though half of those are fine with paying weekend penalty rates.

    This is a bad sign because small businesses make up a large part of the electorate and many of hem were supportive of Kevin Rudd in 07, and don’t dismiss that they are not significant and think that it’s their number of workers that are larger and will be supportive of Labor. In 2007, when Labor won the election, I was surprised to find out that my workers were not happy and I was more sympathetic towards Labor than they were. I told them but Labor will abolish Work Choices and it will be good for the workers. They were skeptical that it would happen and thought that Kevin Rudd would cave in to business’ pressure and would not do anything about it, and they did not care about the unions and did not think that the unions represent them.

    The unions are not too popular at the moment. They need to understand that they have to grow the market to capture more membership and support. The way to do it is to try to cater for the needs of as many of the workers as they can and accommodating to many individuals’ circumstances.

    For some industries at least, the employment contract should allow both scenarios: where the employees can nominate which two days they want off, and get penalty rates should they be called upon those days to work, or, nominate that they are free and flexible and will get penalty for working the sixth and seventh days in the row and overtime hours for non self-nominated long shift. Employees should be allowed to request new contract for change of penalty days when their circumstances change, twice a year, and the employer has the obligation to keep the employee on the normal shift/days that the employee is still available which was previously guaranteed in the prior contract and try new roster or find new employees to cater for change, but the employer does not have to guarantee the new different one or two day/shifts if they are not able to change other workers’ roster to accommodate for the employee’s new request. If the employee requests change of contract more than twice a year and seems too unstable then the employer is allowed to let the employee go if necessary, every now and then the employee might request a swap shift without the need to change contract because of thing that comes up but the employer does not have to pay penalty if the employee requests to work on his/her penalty days.

    If they are truly interested in looking after the workers then they need to have policy that provides protection for people of many different circumstances. Enforcing a strict weekend penalty rate is not winning them any friends. And the weekend penalty is not all about protection but can be about greed also. They want it so their members can put their hands up to work for more money. My little brother and his now ex-wife used to work weekends all the times to earn much more and left their kids to others to take care of them, the kids grew up not learning much value. So is it a penalty for working unsociable un-family hours or an incentive for money and family problems? We definitely need penalty rate for people who have to sacrifice the time over their family or have to work too long shift but you need to be flexible and realistic as well.

    There are many students who want to work weekends, unemployed people who are available in the weekends and want to have work, also some retirees who want extra cash, not to mention many single people available 24/7 and happy work weekend and take week days off. To impede some of the businesses who struggle in the weekend and cannot open because of high penalty rates does not serve the interest of the workers. If more people are employed and have more income to spend, more jobs will be created in the economy and more workers there will be to join the unions, or you can impede it, put more people on the dole and more people angry at Labor and the unions and vote Abbott in.

    Don’t be greedy or live on fantasy land like the Greens. Don’t get me wrong, I support the Greens’ ideal, but, some of their policies are too disconnected from reality, they don’t see the dynamics of all occurrences and forces in life, they only see what they want to see.

    I heard something about demand for penalty for out of normal hours to be enshrined in the Fair Work Act. Don’t try to acquire as much as you can from the company while accelerating its decline. The unions did not budge when GM was in trouble, still demanded to keep the same wage $49/h for their workers and the entitlements (for low skilled & easy work not like mining), GM had to go belly up and the US government had to come in to rescue. They had to restructure and trim down, it was not just bad management that caused the problem but the unions also played a part in it. When you help Abbott to get in, he might not be that keen on Work Choices but he will abolish the unions’ agenda.

    What is standard hours? Some restaurants can’t even open during the day half of the week and have to wait till dinner time to open when people finish work and go out. Night clubs don’t open until 10pm or 12am, sure late night early morning shift should attract some penalty for health reason but it is normal standard hours for these industries. People don’t have to apply for the job if the hours don’t suit their circumstances. At the time of job application, the employees should indicate which 40 hours they are available and the remaining unavailable times and also unconvient times for them but willing to fill in for penalty rate or they are more flexible, the employees don’t have to accept the job if the hours the employer requests don’t suit them. Some workers may request non’standard’ hours because that’s the only times they are available when they have their partner or someone else to look after their children, don’t think everyone is the same and enforce a strict regime, it won’t increase union membership but it will piss people off.

    It will probably be a good idea for the unions in certain industries to negotiate not excessively high wage, a bit lower but with some bonus for the boom cycle and go back to the base (i.e. without the bonus) in the bust cycle of the economy and company profits. Stronger company expands, more workers, more union members.

  74. Jimmy

    Apollo – I don’t think industrial relations will be a big issue in 2013 and if it is it still should help the ALP.

    As for small business people voting Liberal I think that is more a case of reverting to type than anything but what policies do these small business friends point to that the libs have that will help them, or what ALP policies do they perceive as hurting them – In reality over the past 5 and a bit years they have been fortunate the ALP policies were implemented and not those of the Libs as less stimulous and running surpluses would of killed a lot of small businesses ad a future Abbott caused recession will do the same.

    To me the small business liberal voting intention is best summed up by the attitude that they didn’t get any carbon tax compensation – despite the fact their tax rates fell (because they pay the same rates as everyone else) and they now have a dramatically increased immediate write off for assets.

  75. Apollo

    Jimmy, my friend is still a Labor voter. I’m not sure if the small businesses in retail and hospitality care much about the carbon compensation. They don’t have to pay that tax, except that their power bill went up a bit and they were able to pass on the cost. You can protect people’s preferred days off and not force them to work without penalty, you do need to cater for different kind of people if you want to grow membership.

    I can only say from experience that the people who worked for me back then did not think the unions represent their interest. And right now the unions are hated by many people in Australia because of things that happened in NSW and the HSU.

    And, Wizzy & Blakey, please stay out of this. I don’t have the time to read your expertise on the unions.

  76. Jimmy

    Apollo – I know that small businesses don’t have to pay the carbon tax and they were able to pass on the cost and they got a tax deduction and they got to write off assets worth less than $6k but my point is that it doesn’t matter, most small business owners I deal with (admittedly in one of the safest Liberal seats in the country) all still complain that “the carbon tax is killing small business”.

    This is a symptom of the bigger issue, that despite the fact this govt has been good for the economy and therefore good for small business and that the libs current policy positions will be the exact opposite and their previous positions of less stimulous and surpluses if they had of been in power would of seen a recession most small business owners still will vote liberal because the are better for the economy, despite all evidence to the contrary.

    As for Unions a lot of people do hate them and the actions of some have allowed those views to be pushed further but we would be in a lot of trouble without them.

    One piece I read about 12 months ago contrasted Germany and its high Union membership to the US with it’s low Union membership and Germany had better productivity, better wages growth and a better economy in general because the middle class was able to thrive instead of flatlining for the last 40 years and therefore killing the US’s ability to genreate it’s own economic actiivity.

  77. Hamis Hill

    Then again, if small business owners do not understand the deleterious effects of John Howard’s continuing $60 BILLION “poverty tax”, via a $Trillion mortgage debt, then perhaps they should just abandon their rights to vote because they just do not deserve to live in democracy.
    Where have all their paying customers gone taking $60 Billion with them?
    Please do not prattle on about the effects of a Carbon Price while ignoring the Howard era mortgage debt orgy.
    It is just too cretinous.

  78. Hamis Hill

    $60,000,000,000, each and every year for the forseeable future, taken out of the economy and this has no effect upon consumer sentiment or small business viability?
    The debt chickens have come home to roost and they are crapping all over the doorsteps of your precious conservative voting small business people.
    Just don’t blame Labor, the low interest rate party.
    See how these execrables cope with the Abbott recession!
    They can prattle about penalty rates while standing in the soup-lines.

  79. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    Macklins staffer heard everything and had a transcript for the rest of the presser. She made that comment inaudible and the media jumoed on it and they wanted to remove a record of it in print.

    Come on Jimmy, you have an excuse for everything Labor does.

    Next you will be after John McTerdinans job

  80. Suzanne Blake

    @ Jimmy

    I seem to recall your SURPLUS wager with GeeWizz maybe 18 months ago

  81. Jimmy

    SB _ 18 Months ago I bet $100 on a surplus for a financial year still 12 months away from starting – that sounds a bit far fetched considering I rarely gamble and being an accountant am too tight fisted to wager that sort of money but if you can find the wager I will honour it, although given reports today suggest the massive rebound in Iron Ore prices could see a surplus becoming possible again if they hold let’s just wait until the figures are in.

    As for “Macklins staffer heard everything and had a transcript for the rest of the presser.” Read the transcript there are 5 other inaudibles on it besides the question in answer in question here.

    And as I have said repeatedly I am just saying it is possible but not probable (which is hardly a resounding defence) while you are saying you know something which unless you have heard the staffers recording you can not.

  82. geomac62

    I seem to recall your SURPLUS wager with GeeWizz maybe 18 months ago
    SB Are you saying that truthless was prepared to out his identity and make a wager with jimmy ? Not a pie in the sky bet but a genuine bet that required identity for payment and an agreement between two people ? Well check the archives or produce said agreement to back up your claim . Are you a pimp for wizz aka agent or just doing the norm , making statements without any basis in fact ?
    I wish I had bet 10 bucks for every time you predicted the fall of the Gillard government because I would have made a handsome profit by now .

  83. Suzanne Blake

    @ geomac62

    The Gillard Government did not fall cause I did not factir in the deceit and self serviving of Oakeshott and Windsor, or the Slipper coup.

    Also the delay on Thompson to ensure charges would pass statues of limititations

    Anyway, Gillard will fall heavily at the election, if Labor keep her there that long, and dont rull out a smart move there to install a white knight

  84. Edward James

    Thank you to the person who called dated the 7 January. Keeping the bastards honest will need the whole community to be willing to focus their individual political desires on a pursuit of honest open government. Edward James

  85. Hamis Hill

    If Abbott is elected an economic apocalypse is a sure thing.
    Good luck to anyone wanting to collect on a bet in the ensuing chaos.
    My mother, who as a teenager and former British Army brat, commanded an an anti-aircraft atillery unit early in WWII, using Radar in the original version of Star Wars, with downed aircraft disappearing from the radar screens after the command to fire, also explained to me that in The UK under wartime conditions of continual familial bereavements, people took matters into their own hands and quietly eliminated any remaining societal perverts, by murder, on the reasoning that such should not live while good people died.
    I have no doubt that in the chaos of an Abbott government, probably collapsing into depression, people will similarly track down and eliminate any unpunished and protected pervert priests who manage to escape the justice system.
    So Abbott and his religiously stacked front bench will not save these perverts, one way or an other.
    You could probably bet on that, Suzy and company.

  86. Edward James

    hey Hamis Hill
    Posted Monday, 7 January 2013 at 8:44 pm | PERMALIN who the f are the santa maris ?

  87. Edward James

    Edward James
    Posted Wednesday, 9 January 2013 at 7:13 pm | PERMALINK
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. who was it that called ???

  88. Edward James

    Crikey subscribers like myself pay often a lot more than it cost to subscribe to the crap MSM from Fair fax and whatever. Get off your arse and moderate our work product. Because it is us not you but us who keep this Crikey Eric Beacher while your is site hot! Waiting ages for moderation while Australian governments and local political support move in about in our community! What dose the Federal Government need ? Edward James

  89. Edward James

    Eric Beacher i have been posting on crikey since before you spent your money. buying up something special. What happened were your nuts removed after you purchased Stephen Maynes work product.
    Edward James beware the corruption everywhere

  90. Edward James

    Mr eric beecher i am alleging gosford City council mislead the NSW state coroner. I expect it is time to retire so i may engage agar . So wait for years until yu know which one is inveliable

  91. Edward James

    Moderate this ! we the people for the most part use our own names. We expect Journalist and the MSM to respect what it is we do. Eric beacher bought Crikey.com.au from Mr Stephen Mayne. Big deal Eric beacher we the peoples are your resource! do nt continue to trash us !!!! Edward james

  92. Hamis Hill

    Hey Eddie “The SantaMarians” is an allusion to the National Civic Council set up in Post war Australia to, essentially, protect post war totalitarian refugees from the defeated Axis powers from persecution by the Australian authorities, for their political crimes.
    Tony Abbott is one such SantaMarian, being a noted protege of the founder of the National Civic Council B, A, Sanrtamaria, and continues, as taught, to spout the same paranoid invective against his fellow Australians.
    Their modus operadi was to deprecate their opponents as “Communists”, with their greatest political success being the sending of Australians into South Vietnam to protect the French Roman Catholic Native regime from reunification with their northern countrymen.
    500 dead and 3,000 injured Australians by dint of DLP support for this in The Senate.
    And remember they were sent there on the back Of Menzies’ lie that we were invited.
    By the way those “Communists” were just ordinary Australians exercising the ordinary democratic rights that their forebears had fought and died for.
    So if you were seeking a source for the post-war corruption of the Australian polity look no further than the totalitarian machinations of the “SantMarians”.

  93. Jimmy

    Hey Suzie – Did you see the IMF report out today, Howard the most profligate govt in history – Rudd/Gillard commended yet again.
    Who would fo thought, other than everybody except the rusted on liberals who think Howard is a God like you and Mr Wizz.

  94. Edward James

    Jimmy Is that the same Howard who demonstrated on the front page of the now defunct Central Coast Sun Weekly. That he was willing to reach over the bodies of five dead people. To buy votes for the failed member for Robertson Jim lloyd? Edward James

  95. Jimmy

    Wouldn’t have the foggiest Edward (as with most things you say) as I have never read the Central COast Sun Weekly as I live about a days drive from there.

  96. John Hargrave

    To save everyone the bother of thinking too much about the results of the next election, I’ll publish them now:
    The election will be held in Sept.or Oct Labor will lose the seats of:
    Greenway, Roberston, Lindsay, Banks and Reid (NSW)
    Moreton (Qld), Braddon, Bass (Tas)
    Corangamite,La Trobe,Deakin, (Vic)
    Labor loses 11 seats Libs lose nil seat

    Libs will pick up Oakeshott’s seat of Lyne
    National win: Tony Windsor will not contest the seat of New England
    Wilkie will retain Tas. seat. Brandt will retain Melb

    Net result: Libs win 13 seats-taking them to 85 seat in new parliament
    Labor loses 13-taking them to 60.
    Gillard will step down from politics on the night of election. Bill Shorten will take over as Labor leader.
    Tony Abbott will be in for 1 full term. 2016 will be a win to LNP but with reduced majority. Abbott then will hand over to Christian Porter as leader 6 months from end of 2nd term. Porter will go on to win the 2019 election.
    Now there’s no need to woory about the coming 9 months!!

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