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From little margins big margins grow
September 12, 2013 10:06 PM   Subscribe

The only Liberal Party MP to lose her seat in the 2013 Australian Federal Election... Like many people around Australia, a group of Indi locals watched the past three years of politics – one of the ugliest and most negative in the country’s history – in despair. Feeling alienated from what they saw in Canberra, and from their own MP's part in it, they began meeting quietly at the Wangaratta Library. So constrained was political discourse in the area – and so strong was Sophie Mirabella's grip on the seat – that these meetings began with a distinctly clandestine edge.... The unseating of Liberal maverick Sophie Mirabella.
posted by mattoxic (120 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's one of the few good news stories out of this election. The story of the Indi indies is inspiring, thanks for posting!
posted by Athanassiel at 10:16 PM on September 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


Current margin 793 (as at 2.31 pm).

I might have been refreshing that page a little bit excessively this week.
posted by wilful at 10:20 PM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


A bit premature, but we can hope.

I might have been refreshing that page a little bit excessively this week.


The @indivotesupdate twitter bot might help with that.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:40 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


So knowing nothing about this woman, I don't see what's so damning about her reaction in that video. She seemed concerned enough to pay attention and sensible enough to not get in the way when she had nothing in the way of emergency aid to offer. What am I missing?
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:06 PM on September 12, 2013


From The Age:
British-born Howard combined sneering superiority with social awkwardness and possessed a cruel appreciation for weak argument and weaker people. Mirabella learnt at his knee and then some.

In 1995, the newly minted 27-year-old barrister moved in with her 66-year-old mentor.
I think we should be better than this.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:10 PM on September 12, 2013


scaryblackdeath, Helen Razer agrees with you.
posted by Athanassiel at 11:11 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


What am I missing?

The sneer? The lack of empathy?
posted by mattoxic at 11:12 PM on September 12, 2013


I am loathe to agree with the knee-jerk contrarian Ms Razer, but I do think that it's unreasonable to criticise someone's immediate reaction to someone passing out next to you - that sort of thing is confusing and strange and hard to process. She didn't make anything worse in the process, so I think she gets a pass on that.

But she is awful in other ways. Like every moment of her Q&A appearances when she is actually speaking.
posted by misfish at 11:19 PM on September 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


scaryblackdeath, Helen Razer agrees with you.

Razer's argument is basically - all those men did the same awful things, why treat Mirabella this way? Well, I hold those same men in the same kind of contempt with which I hold Mirabella. Equality achieved.
posted by crossoverman at 11:21 PM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


The surprise? Disinterested Canadian here. I don't see anything terribly bad here. Nor a sneer. I don't think that she initially understands what's happening.
posted by converge at 11:21 PM on September 12, 2013


From the election thread - 'why all the hate for Mirabella'?

Also, this excellent Sophie Mirabella Downfall parody.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:26 PM on September 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


scaryblackdeath, Helen Razer agrees with you.

From that Razer article: Until the federal election last Saturday, she was a Coalition middleweight chiefly known for being (a) the executor of a rich man’s will...

That was a minor scandal. The 'rich man' in question was her former lover, who was 40 years her senior. He had Alzheimer's. He gave her his power of attorney, and she made herself herself sole beneficiary of his will, to the horror of his family.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:33 PM on September 12, 2013 [8 favorites]


crossoverman, I agree with you, I just thought there was an element of truth in us hating her for being unapologetic, hence the link to Razer's article. Boycotting the apology to the stolen generations ( = being unapologetic) is pretty unforgivable in my book, and a worthy reason to heap scorn on her. I couldn't actually decide whether Razer was being serious or not.

Crikey reports some other dodgy practices - not too beyond the pale for your average politician, but hardly evidence of someone you'd want to vote for.
posted by Athanassiel at 11:37 PM on September 12, 2013


I think I'd have reacted in exactly the same way as Sophie Mirabella if a guy fainted next to me on live TV. Also, it wasn't immediately clear that he had fainted (especially from the angle she was sitting); it sort of seemed more like a weird protest or prank.

But that doesn't mean some of the criticism heaped on her isn't justified. Helen Razer is right to point out the exceptional vitriol reserved for SM is gendered. But Razer (someone not exactly renowned for her intellectual nuance or shades of grey) is wrong to say the Q&A incident is the chief reason people dislike her.

There was the time she yelled over to Prime Minister Julia Gillard that she'd have "no use for [former PM Rudd's] taxpayer-funded nanny" -- a jab at her childlessness. There was the time she likened Gillard to Gaddafi. The time she yelled at ageing Senator Bill Heffernan (on her own side of politics!) "go and take your Alzheimer pills". The time she called moderate MPs on her own side "terrorists" for daring to oppose mandatory detention of refugees. Not to mention the time she made herself sole beneficiary of her ex-husband's will and disinherited his family, mentioned by His Thoughts above. Not to mention the time that she revamped herself as a refugee-bashing social conservative (she used to be a moderate) to advance her career. It's also pretty offensive of Helen Razer to downplay the importance of Mirabella denying the existence of the Stolen Generation. Mirabella's might not have offended her as a white woman, but it certainly hurt Aboriginal people.

In short, Mirabella might not be deserving of quite all the hatred piled on her. But she does deserve quite a bit of it.
posted by dontjumplarry at 11:45 PM on September 12, 2013 [14 favorites]


Yeah, not to mention taking credit for cancer initiatives she had nothing to do with.
posted by dontjumplarry at 11:45 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


From that Razer article: Until the federal election last Saturday, she was a Coalition middleweight chiefly known for being (a) the executor of a rich man’s will...

No Helen. She was known as a particularly aggressive right wing head kicker. I doubt too many people knew of her in any other context. And I don't think she was considered a middleweight.

I am sorry I included the Q&A link because that derails the thread - the story here is the grass roots campaign unseating the only Liberal to be unseated. It's a good story.
posted by mattoxic at 11:53 PM on September 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


This post gets my vote for best title of the year so far. I am assuming you took some inspiration from Paul Kelly?
posted by Megami at 11:53 PM on September 12, 2013


This post gets my vote for best title of the year so far. I am assuming you took some inspiration from Paul Kelly?

no, the hyperlink of the main article - which took some inspiration from Paul Kelly
posted by mattoxic at 11:55 PM on September 12, 2013


No Helen. She was known as a particularly aggressive right wing head kicker.

Ayup.
posted by Wolof at 11:55 PM on September 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's a good story.

It's a beautiful story, one I have clung to in these depressing times. I have also been guilty of refreshing the AEC Indi page a little too maniacally. It gives me a pleasant frisson.
posted by misfish at 12:17 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah. Well, if she's that horrible a person, using that video as an example of her awful behavior is... probably not the best example by a long shot. One can presume she's an unfeeling snob, or one can presume she's just not sure how to handle the situation and have equal justification for either. Watching her body language closely, though, I got that it was more of the latter. She reached out to touch the guy a couple of times. I got the feeling that she just didn't know how to react, and knew that she was at a loss.

Bear in mind, I'm from the ridiculously litigious United States, where many people fear that they will be sued in court for attempting to help someone in distress. Turns out there are laws to protect people from that, but the perception persists.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:23 AM on September 13, 2013


Well, if she's that horrible a person, using that video as an example of her awful behavior is... probably not the best example by a long shot.

True, but she was being quite horrible to him (and everyone else) for about 30 minutes before that happened, though.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 12:43 AM on September 13, 2013


I have some personal stake in this, as my girlfriend is originally from Wangaratta, which is one of the cities in her district, and I'm increasingly having to make peace with the idea that if we have a future together I'm going to be moving there in the next few years.

Personalities aside, the reason this is so extraordinary is that Indi has always been a safe Liberal seat - as The Age article put it, it's been Liberal since confederation. In Australia, the Liberals are the conservative party, and the Australian equivalent of the Republican party. And Indi is a rural area - farmers and country folk and the like.

Because it's always been such a safe conservative seat for the Liberal party, the area gets very little political favours, as it's always been seen as one of those places that's such a safe seat very little needs to be done at a government level for the locals in order to keep political favour. For example, the National Broadband Network is going to bypass Wangaratta for the next few years, despite the original intention of it being to provide high speed internet to rural areas.

So, while the people of Indi were probably never going to vote Labour (the Australian equivalent of the Democrats) it is rather wonderful that they have voted their longstanding conservative party out of power and an Independant senator in.

To put it in American terms, it's like if a staunchly republican district of Texas threw out the Republicans and installed a third party instead. And it's great news for the area.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 1:06 AM on September 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Actually the division was briefly held by the ALP in the 20s or 30s, when the incumbent conservative politician forgot to register their candidacy. It has apparently always been taken for granted by the tories though.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 1:21 AM on September 13, 2013


There's also the argument that Mirabella losing her seat is a bad thing, because in parliament (and with the front-bench rank she would have had), she would have done more to damage the Abbott government's popularity just by being her usual caring, charming self.

OTOH, given Murdoch's lock on the direction of public discourse in Australia, I don't buy it. If she said something obviously objectionable to mainstream public opinion, the Chairman would make sure that nobody except for a few Crikey-reading trendy-lefties heard about it. So, in any case, good riddance to bad rubbish.
posted by acb at 1:26 AM on September 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Actually the division was briefly held by the ALP in the 20s or 30s, when the incumbent conservative politician forgot to register their candidacy.

That true, but it's historically viewed in the area as a bit of a joke as, like you pointed out, the only reason they lost the seat was they were so confident in keeping it they forgot to actually go through the motions of registering in the election.

This time around it's all a bit more decisive!
posted by Silentgoldfish at 1:48 AM on September 13, 2013


they began meeting quietly at the Wangaratta Library

(Yet) another revolution of sorts begins by people meeting in a library.
posted by Wordshore at 3:50 AM on September 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


It was the Independent, in the library, with a mob.
posted by de at 3:55 AM on September 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


Helen Razer's view does have some logic behind it - it is consistent with her broad thesis that they are all reactionary Tory bastards and there's no point focusing on Mirabella as the root of all evil in an effort to drag some kind of victory out of the election. From the other angle, she's long been arguing that Malcolm Turnbull isn't, in fact, the secret cuddly lefty so many people hope he is.

In other news, it appears I know way too much about what Helen Razer thinks about things...
posted by Jimbob at 4:26 AM on September 13, 2013


From the other angle, she's long been arguing that Malcolm Turnbull isn't, in fact, the secret cuddly lefty so many people hope he is.

Then again, neither was Kevin Rudd.
posted by acb at 4:29 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Yet) another revolution of sorts begins by people meeting in a library.

Next up: Abbott announces plans, borrowed from the UK Tories, to eliminate public libraries.
posted by acb at 4:37 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's also the argument that Mirabella losing her seat is a bad thing, because in parliament (and with the front-bench rank she would have had), she would have done more to damage the Abbott government's popularity just by being her usual caring, charming self.

Don't worry. They still have Christopher Pyne.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:40 AM on September 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Next up: Abbott announces plans, borrowed from the UK Tories, to eliminate public libraries.

Thankfully, libraries are funded by local councils in Australia.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:42 AM on September 13, 2013


Malcolm Turnbull isn't, in fact, the secret cuddly lefty so many people hope he is.

Amen to that. I remember Utegate and Godwin Gretch.

his cuddly leftie-ness comes from the fact that he's not Tony Abbott. Tunbull's response to the change.org NBN petition is pretty sad - we have a mandate. No you fucking don't, just under half the voting population doesn't agree with you. That's not a mandate.
posted by mattoxic at 4:52 AM on September 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thankfully, libraries are funded by local councils in Australia.

As they are in the UK.
posted by acb at 4:54 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, this excellent Sophie Mirabella Downfall parody
Oooh at 3.36. Was that Christopher Pyne adjusting his collar?
posted by Kerasia at 5:02 AM on September 13, 2013


For me this is like having my local member (Tony Windsor) reborn in some sort of heart-transplant-I-now-love-vegie-burgers sort of way. Go the inde from Indie. We need you to waylay the Pups (who, by the looks of things haven't bothered to update their website in a slab-dunk week)
posted by Kerasia at 5:08 AM on September 13, 2013


Tunbull's response to the change.org NBN petition is pretty sad
Totally agree. The weird thing is I am sure he knows that TFFH is best way to go, he just can't admit it publically.

For those playing along at home, here is what the rest of the world thinks of Turnbulls broadband policy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPM1EaLiIlQ
posted by Kerasia at 5:20 AM on September 13, 2013


Sophie Mirabella, at a right wing rally, standing shoulder to shoulder with guy with placard - "tolerance is our demise"

Good riddance.
posted by joz at 5:32 AM on September 13, 2013


Turnbull is a hobby politician. His wife wanted him out of the house, so he ran for parliament. We should have some class action available to us. She married him, we didn't.
posted by de at 7:50 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am so glad this threat is mentioning the Anti-Turnbull line. I have so, so many friends in the "We'd have voted Liberal if Mal was in charge" school, and it is tiresome to point out his failings, and that his only major strength is that he's not Tony.
posted by Mezentian at 8:57 AM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Totally agree. The weird thing is I am sure he knows that TFFH is best way to go, he just can't admit it publically.

Oh but he does know that FTTH is the best way to go - for people in Double Bay who can afford to pay his telco mates $5,000 for a connection. He just doesn't feel it's the best thing for us plebs, that's all. The Coalition's anti-NBN stance ultimately comes down to equality - everyone in Australia being guaranteed access vs. no one getting access unless thet have the money, in true Liberal fashion. I guess that just leaves me wondering why the Nationals have shut up and let rural voters get trampled. But, then again, they often do.
posted by Jimbob at 9:40 AM on September 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Turnbull's a two tins and string man. That's why we're going back to Ziggy. Remember Ziggy?
posted by de at 10:54 AM on September 13, 2013


I like seeing Turnbull copping it at the moment.
posted by Jimbob at 4:07 PM on September 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am so glad this threat is mentioning the Anti-Turnbull line. I have so, so many friends in the "We'd have voted Liberal if Mal was in charge" school, and it is tiresome to point out his failings, and that his only major strength is that he's not Tony.

Well, he's also not Kevin.
posted by acb at 5:24 PM on September 13, 2013


We once had a good prime minister
posted by mattoxic at 9:33 PM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was hoping we could avoid listening to anything Helen Razer says, because she's a sloppy contrarian who, according to a friend of mine, 'never got past her first year uni politics'. As has been pointed out above, just because you can't remember some of Sophie Mirabella's more appalling activities, Helen, doesn't mean that the rest of us can't. I'd be celebrating her (hopeful) ejection from office based on her behaviour towards the stolen generation apology alone; everything else just cements her as a hideous human being.

Which I suppose informs how I see the Q+A video, because if I had any reason at all to give her the benefit of the doubt, I could see how she might have just sat there without doing anything except staring. Because it's her, however, I can't help but see disdain in her expression, and feel that it's somewhat pointed that she won't reach out and touch a gay activist who's fainted next to her.

As for whether any of the negative reaction to her is gendered? Probably, though I'll say I haven't seen or heard any. But my friends are good that way with the keeping to hating on her for her behaviour and beliefs rather than her person. Though if anyone has any links, I wouldn't mind seeing them, just to know they're there.
posted by gadge emeritus at 12:30 AM on September 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thankfully, libraries are funded by local councils in Australia.

In Tasmania they are funded at the state level, and yes, they have suffered from political machinations sometimes too.
posted by raena at 5:51 AM on September 14, 2013


Leave Sophie and Helen alone, woman-haters*!

That aside, as Tony been wearing a Blue Tie non-stop recently?
Because, it may be confirmation bias, but it sure as hell seems so.

Because it's her, however, I can't help but see disdain in her expression, and feel that it's somewhat pointed that she won't reach out and touch a gay activist who's fainted next to her.

It would be wrong of me to suggest she was probably calculating how she could raise his estate if he died, right? Because I only heard about that little sordid affair in the last few days and it seems to humanise Sophie. In a sense....

Also, Ziggy? Yeah, he looks like a man with a plan.

(*Obviously, I am not of the opinion that you hate women).
posted by Mezentian at 6:54 AM on September 14, 2013


End this election how we started: Front Page
Indi leaves list of doubtfuls
posted by de at 9:32 AM on September 14, 2013


Apparently the blowback has been enough to make Helen Razer quit writing op-eds.

To which I say, good. Other people say what she argues she's saying, but better and while being less breezily horrible. She uses her massive contempt as a firehose in most everything I've seen of hers, and it's unpleasant and unproductive even when I share her distaste for something.

I mean, the shorter version of her quitting piece is 'I only called you all a bunch of arrogant, useless morons, and then you got annoyed with me. It's not fair and it's not worth it, so you'll have to do without my DESPERATELY NEEDED CRITIQUES, you bunch of assholes.'
posted by gadge emeritus at 6:39 PM on September 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also, "I don't get paid enough for this shit", which while true is like the worst reason for quitting writing OpEds! Oh, I'm so sorry that getting your opinion widely circulated doesn't afford you a comfortable lifestyle. Some people wish they had a tenth of your readership, please whine some more when people disagree with you.
posted by crossoverman at 11:03 PM on September 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Apparently the blowback has been enough to make Helen Razer quit writing op-eds.

Say what you want about her, she can't keep me mouth shut. She'll be back.

"I proposed that Sophie Mirabella, a fairly obscure politician"

If the 50 or so Liberals in the last parliament, Mirabella was far from obscure. And, at the end, the fact that the cross-benchers (Oakies and Windso) described her as the Queen of Nasty says a hell of a lot.
posted by Mezentian at 2:38 AM on September 15, 2013


Say what you want about her, she can't keep me mouth shut. She'll be back.

Wonder if Rupe will give her a forum; I can see her becoming an Australian Julie Burchill, if she plays up the skewering-the-Left's-politically-correct-myopia angle.
posted by acb at 12:40 PM on September 15, 2013


Bronwyn Bishop is going to be Speaker. Parliament of trolls.
posted by Jimbob at 2:16 PM on September 15, 2013


Bronwyn Bishop is going to be Speaker. Parliament of trolls

To restore some dignity. Remember when Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne bolted for the door lest they be seen impinging their dignity by voting with Craig Thompson?
posted by mattoxic at 4:03 PM on September 15, 2013


I'm just mulling over the fact that all those batshitinsane points of order Bronny was always trying to move are now going to be standing orders...
posted by Jimbob at 4:08 PM on September 15, 2013


Wonder if Rupe will give her a forum; I can see her becoming an Australian Julie Burchill, if she plays up the skewering-the-Left's-politically-correct-myopia angle.

Heh. I called her exactly that in the last Helen Razer thread.

Anyway, just to cap off the derail, Corinne Grant on why Indi has no time for Mirabella, and criticising her isn't sexism.
posted by gadge emeritus at 6:14 PM on September 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Victims of sexism?
"Why do you take an instant dislike to Senator Bishop?"
ANSWER: "To save time." -- Gareth Evans
Bishop made the migration from the senate to the house with prime ministerial promise; she missed it by a whisker, which in Liberal parlance still means 'no Y-chromosome'. The Liberals imported Dr Hewson, instead, who was a dismal failure.

Hewson was dropped from nowhere to fill a Liberal leadership void. Bishop didn't challenge, then or again. Has she been biding her time?

Here's hoping her speakership becomes "The Revenge of a Bishop, Part I". I'm no fan, but she'd be forgiven if she were to dominate the house with impartial blood curdling severity.

John Howard for GG?
posted by de at 6:43 PM on September 15, 2013


It's extraordinary that conservative female politicians all seem to have these outrageous faults. I suppose conservatives simply won't support nice female candidates who behave properly. Another black mark against them!
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:55 PM on September 15, 2013


> It's extraordinary that conservative female politicians all seem to have these outrageous faults.

It's extraordinary that conservative male politicians all seem to have this outrageous thing for advancing intimidating women.
posted by de at 7:03 PM on September 15, 2013


Two potential silver linings then

Mirabella is defeated
Helen Razer gives up Op Ed writing

I bet neither happens
posted by mattoxic at 7:38 PM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


female politicians all seem to have these outrageous faults.

Maybe they need to be outrageous to be noticed. When you're operating in an environment where greed, self interest and conservatism are valued above intelligence - then being a tad outrageous is probably the only option.
posted by mattoxic at 8:01 PM on September 15, 2013


It's extraordinary that conservative female politicians all seem to have these outrageous faults. I suppose conservatives simply won't support nice female candidates who behave properly. Another black mark against them!

They seem to be the same kinds of faults that all the prominent conservative male politicians have, so I don't think that it is actually that extraordinary.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:38 PM on September 15, 2013


To restore some dignity. Remember when Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne bolted for the door lest they be seen impinging their dignity by voting with Craig Thompson?

DIGNITY.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:39 PM on September 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Priceless, His thoughts. Just priceless.
posted by de at 9:45 PM on September 15, 2013


Remember when Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne bolted for the door lest they be seen impinging their dignity by voting with Craig Thompson?

Ah, finally. A chance to share this excellent .gif. of that event. They had good reason to run, you see...
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:09 PM on September 15, 2013


New Abbott Ministry just announced. A sausage-fest, as predicted. No real surprises.
posted by wilful at 10:53 PM on September 15, 2013


No real surprises.

Also no minister for science, or research, or innovation, or climate change.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:59 PM on September 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


climate change is subsumed within environment. jJust like thre's no energy portfolio, that's within industry. Can't say I disapprove, the names of federal government departments was getting out of control.

But I don't know if science is within something else. Education?
posted by wilful at 12:15 AM on September 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh he's just being forward thinking. You don't need no fancy-pants innovation to dig shit out of the ground and sell it cheap to China. And having no minister for climate change makes sense, too. Why have a minister responsible for an invisible gas? On the plus side, I guess the lack of a science minister there'll be no-one to politically interfere with ARC grants, as was the Coalition's stated policy...
posted by Jimbob at 12:18 AM on September 16, 2013


At the moment, wilful, no-one's quite figured it out. The vague idea at the moment is...yes, a bit of education, a bit of industry.
posted by Jimbob at 12:20 AM on September 16, 2013


Abbott: "science = CSIRO = industry"
Man of few words. Says he intends to say nothing if he has nothing to say. That'd be his paternalism. Strong silent type.
posted by de at 12:45 AM on September 16, 2013


So if science now = CSIRO, I assume it's funding and independence will be restored? We won't be going back to the Howard era where CSIRO researchers had to have the contents of their papers approved by the powers that be before publication?
posted by Jimbob at 12:53 AM on September 16, 2013


Also no minister for science, or research, or innovation, or climate change.

Why does a mining colony need those?

To be fair, we do get a Minister for Patriotic Sentiment ANZAC Day.
posted by acb at 5:05 AM on September 16, 2013


You people are crazy!

There are no frails in cabinet because they couldn't tale the intellectual challenges in Opposition. The past six years has been all about honing the BEST POSSIBLE TALENT to form a government to lead us into a new Golden Age.
posted by Mezentian at 5:20 AM on September 16, 2013


It's difficult to take Abbott's Cabinet as a joke. It's pretty drastic, really.

Abbott campaigned hard on the daggy-dad image surrounded by his apologist family of women, has taken government under false pretences, and is now pussy-footing around terrified he'll say or do something to spook the electorate. Steady, measured, calm steps ...

That poor throwback doesn't even realise his first deed, the all male Cabinet, has set the scene for another term of sexism and his own demise. How the tables turn.

Good call, Julia. Abbott will fall on his sword.
posted by de at 1:09 PM on September 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


the names of federal government departments was getting out of control

Farewell, sweet DIICCSRTE.
posted by kithrater at 4:42 PM on September 16, 2013


Sophie’s still ~350 behind and there are very few votes left to count.

Did anyone catch Clive Palmer on Q&A last night? Normally I can’t stand the show, but I tuned in to try and turn my mind off after working late, and he is hilarious. I really want him in Parliament – he can do less harm there than outside it, and the entertainment value will be immense. Oh and Greens Senator for QLD, Larissa Waters, was very impressive
posted by wilful at 7:12 PM on September 16, 2013


he can do less harm there than outside it, and the entertainment value will be immense.

The entertainment value will be immense, but I doubt Clive will quite get the idea that being in parliament means he should stop doing harm outside it as well.
posted by Jimbob at 7:15 PM on September 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


The entertainment value will be immense, but I doubt Clive will quite get the idea that being in parliament means he should stop doing harm outside it as well.

How exactly has he been so successful? I mean the man's a buffoon.

His Wiki entry says: Towoomba Grammar -> Mineralogy-> No income -> No profit -> Billionaire
posted by mattoxic at 2:32 AM on September 17, 2013


A friend of mine - a journalist for resources industry magazines - says she's sick of people calling him a "mining magnate". Apparently he made his money selling tenements to Chinese investors. She reckons he should be called a "real estate agent" instead.
posted by robcorr at 2:50 AM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


How exactly has he been so successful?

This is a question so many of us have asked for years. Probably luck, mostly. The same thing that explains Nathan Tinkler.

I watched Q&A and I agree with wilful, Senator Waters was remarkable.

The thing with Clive is: he's dangerous. He might be the most disruptive force in politics.

He never hears "no" (well, he hears it but his brain doesn't process it), and he's worked up this persona of the crazy, buffoonish uncle. He's single-minded to his "me first" goal, quick with the lawyers, and, you know what...
He names almost everything after himself.

Draw your own conclusions.

You know what else. Here's his resume from 2007.
Winner of numerous Surf Carnival Junior Championships – 1971 to 1974
1978 – current Licensed Real Estate Agent

He was a lawyer (it is claimed), so says he was a public defender, who lucked into the world of Queensland Real Estate in the Joh years, and seems to have lucked into a role with Tenneco Oil and Mineralogy in the mid 1980s, which was probably some shell company game or other. Having lucked into that he makes all sort of claims about directing this or that program (despite not being a geologist), and somehow linked up with China in the late 1990s, because of his deep LNP collections.

And, hey, for fun, was involved in the Hot Briquetted Iron Project. What a success that was.

Yes, he did spin and turf some tenements to the Chinese, and he has delusions (see his recent discovery of a Gorgon-sized gas field in PNG recently -- go on. Look it up), but he got very, very lucky with his timing. And the Chinese aren't always the best investors. They sometimes over-pay because they play a much longer game than Western investors.

Rant over.

Unless you want to start posting links to the guy who things the ABC should be banned for boobs.

Speaking of which, apparently the Sex Party is close to getting a seat in Tasmania.
posted by Mezentian at 3:15 AM on September 17, 2013


Sophie Mirabella has conceded defeat and will not be requesting a recount.
posted by de at 5:45 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


She'll no doubt take up parachuting, and drop into something more blue ribbon than Indi, next available by-election.
posted by de at 5:48 PM on September 17, 2013


Topics collide: anonymous Coalition source blames McGown for lack of women in Cabinet.
posted by kithrater at 9:46 PM on September 17, 2013


anonymous Coalition source blames McGowan for lack of women in Cabinet.

Oh, man, that is repulsive. "We've got only got 3 women, so you have to vote for them, or it's your fault there's no women in Cabinet. Also, Sophie was the only one who could spell science, so suffer in your jocks, syentasts."

Nope.
posted by misfish at 10:49 PM on September 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


anonymous Coalition source blames McGown for lack of women in Cabinet.

This is why satire is pretty much the domain of the left.
posted by mattoxic at 12:57 AM on September 18, 2013


Something weird always creeps in to this debate about women's representation in politics. And that is that some proponents of equal participation find it necessary to endorse only the participation of women they personally admire.

Hands up anyone who, in the past week, has whined about the under-representation of women in the Abbott Cabinet, but rejoiced at the probable loss of Sophie Mirabella from the political landscape?

Here's the thing, equality-lovers: if you are of the firm view that women should be represented roughly equally in politics, then you've got to take the chunky with the smooth.

Equal representation means 'including the chicks you can't stand'. Otherwise it doesn’t mean a thing. — Annabel Crabb
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Can't win.
Indi has just elected the first woman Independent MP
posted by de at 2:11 AM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't usually say this, but I have no idea what Annabel is on about.

I wonder if Ros has a whiteboard I can borrow to plot that logic path?

Ciao Mirabella is about as loathed a person as I can think of since Hanson (except, she was also loved nationally as anyone who saw her speak can attest) and it has nothing to do with her genitals and everything to do with the fact people think she's nasty.
posted by Mezentian at 2:50 AM on September 18, 2013


Nobody is required to support any particular candidate just because they're women.

We are honour-bound, as reasonable decent people, to call out misogynistic treatment of female candidates of any political persuasion, but we don't have to like anyone, we don't have to vote for anyone, and we don't have to hope any particular female politician achieves a position of great power if we think her politics are reprehensible.

But we can jeer at a political party that can't field more than 2 high level female ministers, one of whom lost her seat.
posted by misfish at 3:32 AM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tony Abbott is now the Minister for Women's Issues.

The comedy writes itself. Right? Guys? Comedy?

Ugh.
posted by crossoverman at 3:59 AM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The comedy writes itself. Right? Guys? Comedy?

Guess who the Minister Assisting is?
Guess.
If you picked Ms Betrayal-of-the-Sisterhood-drinking-from-a-chalice-of-blood, GOLD STAR!
posted by Mezentian at 4:06 AM on September 18, 2013


Oh, Annabel. When will you ever surprise me?

Here's a thing for the "blame McGowan!" arseholes; Did they know the ALP state government in South Australia has a minister who's a National Party MP? There's nothing stopping Tony Abbott from appointing Cathy McGowan to be a minister tomorrow!
posted by Jimbob at 10:53 AM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lest we forget:
“While I think men and women are equal, they are also different and I think it's inevitable and I don't think it's a bad thing at all that we always have, say, more women doing things like physiotherapy and an enormous number of women simply doing housework.”

“It would be folly to expect that women would ever approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, their abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.”

"I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak"
— Seminal excerpts, Tony Abbott.

Michaelia Cash got in on a senate ticket 2010 (easy). She's 2nd generation Liberal - attracts favours. She will score a blue ribbon house of reps seat in record time; will rise to great heights; experience will not be an issue. 'Merit' my foot. Privilege. She's another horror-head, purses her lips like a stern school ma'am and nods away over Abbott's shoulder at any political nastiness. Women do not need paternal and maternal representation.

Abbott's sexism will be his downfall. He just doesn't get it.
I'm glad it presented itself early with his Cabinet; the GG's partisan-pink screams awareness; and Abbott's as oblivious as ever.

Peta Credlin will keep him locked away. Get your eye in, she's everywhere Abbott goes. Camera crews are defiantly catching her in the lens more and more.
It'll become a thing: Where in the world is Peta Credlin?

Tony Abbott should not be Australia's prime minister.
The only thing he has going for him is a small bunch of apologist women.
posted by de at 11:20 AM on September 18, 2013


<aside>
Quentin Bryce, a woman of firsts, and Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner in 1988 (right back when Abbott was 30, and Crabb 15), leaves office March 2014. London to a brick Abbott appoints a man, because Abbott's not into, you know, novelty.
Hel·lo! *knock, knock*

And the new US Ambassador to Australia has arrived.
No need to ask, he tells. How novel. Did he knock?
</aside>

Abbott has his work cut out for him.
All that sexist nonsense Gillard faced came straight from Abbott's office.
Now he gets the blowback.
posted by de at 12:44 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is Andrew Elder's contribution to the analysis of the new Ministry. I love reading Elder, always well written with heaps of snark.
posted by wilful at 4:41 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Greg Hunt just signed off on instructions to shut down the Climate Change Authority. Hopefully that act turns out to be a crime against humanity where ignorance is no excuse. Hope we live long enough to see him arrested.
posted by de at 7:38 PM on September 18, 2013


wilful: "This is Andrew Elder's contribution to the analysis of the new Ministry. I love reading Elder, always well written with heaps of snark."

Hah! That was great!
And it is good to see Margo Kingston is back on the keyboard with No Fibs.
posted by Kerasia at 7:40 PM on September 18, 2013


More wonderful contributions from our newest Minister for Women's Affairs:

"I won't be rushing out to get my daughters vaccinated [for cervical cancer], maybe that's because I'm a cruel, callow, callous, heartless bastard but, look, I won't be." November 9th, 2006

"I would say to my daughters if they were to ask me this question . . . [their virginity] is the greatest gift that you can give someone, the ultimate gift of giving and don't give it to someone lightly, that's what I would say." January 27th "The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother's convenience." 2010

Also, allegations that Abbott inappropriately touched Aboriginal author Ali Cobby Eckerman in an Adelaide cafe last March. Witness conveniently now dead. Still more conveniently, Abbott is also the minister for Indigenous Affairs now.
posted by Athanassiel at 11:06 PM on September 18, 2013


Suck it up, Australian princesses of MetaFilter.

Words of wisdom.
posted by wilful at 11:39 PM on September 18, 2013


But I didn't vote for this!

Says (woman) scientist who apparently never leaves the lab, or pays attention to the world around her, and just felt we needed a change in government.
posted by Mezentian at 3:29 AM on September 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Suck it up's no suppository of wisdom.
Destroy the joint will get things moving.
posted by de at 2:01 PM on September 19, 2013


Australia's new PM for Women has a lot to learn
 — Anne Summers
posted by de at 2:08 PM on September 19, 2013


Tampon for Tony Campaign (send a tampon to the office of the minister for women's affairs)

Petition: Appoint somebody qualified to be the Minister for Women
posted by de at 4:39 PM on September 19, 2013


Yep. I'm right.
Abbott's going to rue the day his dream came true.
posted by de at 4:51 PM on September 19, 2013


If you use trains, there is nothing for you.

Ain't that the truth. Read what Abbott says about public transport vs personal car ownership in Battlelines.

Suffer through the chapter - Kings in Their Own Cars

"'Mostly, there just aren't enough people wanting to go from a particular place to a particular destination at a particular time to justify any vehicle larger than a car, and cars need roads"

Clearly he's never never been on a train or a bus in the morning peak.
posted by mattoxic at 4:55 PM on September 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sitting 50 metres from Eric Abetz's office right now. Taking all my rational sensibility not to do something destructive and illegal to it. Fucking bastards.
posted by Jimbob at 10:00 PM on September 19, 2013


"Mostly, there just aren't enough people wanting to go from a particular place to a particular destination at a particular time to justify any vehicle larger than a car, and cars need roads".

WHAT.

THE.

FUCK.

IS.

WRONG.

WITH.

HIM.
posted by crossoverman at 11:05 PM on September 19, 2013


Liberal values, I guess.
posted by Mezentian at 2:12 AM on September 20, 2013


Yes, Tony Abbott is your Prime Minister, so you'd better get used to it. T-shirt politics will get us nowhere - the left needs to move on from belligerent despair, argues Sarah Burnside.
posted by Mezentian at 2:19 AM on September 20, 2013


Hm, interesting. I liked Jeff Sparrow's piece (which Burnside linked to) better though, as he offers slightly more in the way of a concrete suggestion as to what lefties should do besides whinge and curse. Because if we keep doing that, we'll be no better than Abbott saying "no" and picking holes in everything throughout Gillard's tenure.
posted by Athanassiel at 2:51 AM on September 20, 2013


Still, the Coalition won decisively

No, Labor lost decisively. The small minded, weak twits that thought Rudd, will all his faults, with his mammoth ego, the damage he did to the party, his supercilious fucking smile, his "selfies" could win against Abbott - it's a fucking crime and they need to hang their heads in shame.

This is what they have delivered us.
posted by mattoxic at 6:57 AM on September 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


They're currently all hanging their heads while they scribble the words "Bill Shorten" on a ballott...
posted by Jimbob at 8:17 AM on September 20, 2013


So it'll be Paul Howes, in the party room, with a knife, 2019.
posted by de at 10:02 AM on September 20, 2013


Labor would have been reduced to a parliamentary rump worse than in the Whitlam defeat of 1975 had it not replaced Julia Gillard with Kevin Rudd as prime minister, according to leaked internal polling.
posted by Mezentian at 8:54 AM on September 21, 2013


Mattoxic wrote: The small minded, weak twits that thought Rudd, will all his faults, with his mammoth ego, the damage he did to the party, his supercilious fucking smile, his "selfies" could win against Abbott ...

Come on. At that point they knew they were just shuffling deck chairs around: nobody actually thought they had a chance to win against Abbott; they just had to make it look as though they thought they could.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:47 PM on September 21, 2013


Whatever the logic of the Labor party, Abbott is in - unchallenged.
Warringah just keeps on returning him.

As well as being the minister for Indigenous Affairs - expect protests, and the minister for Women's Affairs - expect signature PPL legislation, Abbott is the minister for Cyber policy co-ordination.

Once Abbott fully realises blue-ribbon Indi fell to a group using a piece of on-line software, NationBuilder, and the principles of The Victorian Women's Trust, before McGowen was even selected as its representative, expect anything, maybe 'eavesdrop the Internet', not just 'slow the NBN'.

It's doubtful there's such a thing as a safe-seat anymore.

And, this morning the entire NBN board has resigned.
That ought to suit Abbott, no end.

posted by de at 5:44 PM on September 22, 2013


I really appreciate the government's new policy of not reporting boat arrivals - that's information that the people smugglers can use. Oh riiiight, the people smugglers.
posted by mattoxic at 5:55 PM on September 22, 2013


You inflate language, mattoxic, using 'policy of not reporting boat arrivals'.
That would come under the new, undisclosed, 'stop the media' policy.
posted by de at 6:07 PM on September 22, 2013


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