Politics

Ticks, crosses and informal voting

October 18, 2005

The AEC has finally released its report on informal voting. You can view the full report here. Here are some of the key findings: Of the informal vote, 21% consisted of blank ballots, 33% of ‘1’ only votes, 9% ticks and crosses, 3% ‘Langer’ votes, 15% non-sequential numberings, 14% marks and scribbles, with 5% off […]

Christian Kerr’s political snippets

October 18, 2005

The buzz of Brisbane : All over town there’s talk about a high profile figure joining this board then that board around June or July next year. Initials are PB. Disinterested observers: South Australia ain’t big. That’s their excuse, anyway. Covering the state parliament for Channel Ten is Alex Hart, son of opposition frontbencher and […]

Kiwi bloggers on Winston Peters as Foreign Minister

October 18, 2005

The appointment as Foreign Minister of controversial leader of the New Zealand First Party, Winston Peters, has sent bloggers into a spin: So Winston Peters is to be Foreign Minister? The only foreign policy experience that he has is getting into stoushes with immigrant taxi-drivers. One should be thankful for small mercies however – instead […]

Terror laws: why we should be very afraid

October 18, 2005

Thanks to Jon Stanhope, we’ve now had time to study the proposed anti-terrorism legislation. Its supporters assure us that there’s nothing to worry about; this morning’s Australian, amazingly enough, says that “we cannot afford the terror law debate to be packaged as a civil liberties issue.” But some of us are still concerned. Especially worrying […]

How the Greens have lost out in New Zealand

October 18, 2005

New Zealand has finally got itself a new government, and it’s already clear to see who are the big losers. The Greens, despite strongly supporting Helen Clark’s Labour Party during the campaign, have been left out in the cold, and now say they will abstain on votes of confidence. This is a real lesson in […]

Another view from inside the WorkChoices Hotline

October 18, 2005

I also work in the WorkChoices Hotline call centre in Dixon, Canberra. Generally I can confirm what has been written so far about the call centre and its methods. But it is worse than that… As well as stock answers, we are given stock questions designed to pre-position the caller for the misleading response. The […]

How Turnbull forced Treasury’s embarrassing FOI release

October 18, 2005

Did anyone else wonder why Treasury released those documents on the studies of a 30% flat tax through FOI to The Australian last week given the embarrassment that it caused Peter Costello after his attacks on a similar proposal by Malcolm Turnbull? In a lovely twist, the public debate about Malcolm Turnbull’s proposals appears to […]

How the taxpayer footed a big defo bill in South Australia

October 17, 2005

I used to work for Kris Hanna, the South Australian State MP who enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame when he quit the Labor Party and joined the Greens less than a year after the 2002 election. In 2001, Kris got into a niggly argument with a Liberal State MP in a neighbouring electorate, Wayne […]

Peter Costello’s reform fatigue

October 17, 2005

Peter Costello was out talking tax on Insiders yesterday. Tax rates are “always under review,” he said. Really? In which way? This morning we learn fromThe Australian‘s intrepid Michael McKinnon, writing with David Uren, that “Peter Costello has commissioned a secret Treasury analysis to help deflect escalating calls for tax reforms to tackle the effects […]

The government’s anti-terror laws don’t discriminate

October 17, 2005

One interesting little precedent is hidden away on page 45 of the terror bills under Section 105.32, Contacting family members etc. It reads: “In this section: family member of a person means: (a) the person’s spouse, de facto spouse or same-sex partner.” So does that means the Government now recognises same-sex relationships as equal under […]