#ausvotes 2016: doubly disillusioned
June 30, 2016 1:28 AM   Subscribe

This Saturday, Australians will head to the polls for the country's 2016 federal election. For most people, it will be a choice between the incumbent Liberal party or the opposition Labor party, but it's possible or even quite probable (scroll down to 'What Vote Will Others Get?') that this election will see a record vote for parties other than the two aforementioned majors. Chief amongst these are the environmentalist-left Australian Greens, who have designs on several seats in Melbourne, and the emergent populist centrist party Nick Xenophon Team, who look poised to pull off a major coup in the state of South Australia—potentially causing a hung parliament, something neither major party wants. Complicating this further is the fact that this election is a double dissolution, meaning that minor parties and independents need a lower vote share than usual to snatch a seat in the Senate. Indeed, this appears likely. (WARNING: ANDREW BOLT.) Whatever the results may be, you will be able to stream them free on ABC News 24, which will have its geoblock lifted from 6 am to midnight AEST for election night coverage.

More:

– Beloved election analyst Antony Green explains how to vote post-Senate electoral reforms—and as always, you can't waste your vote

– National broadcaster the ABC has a comprehensive site on the election (scroll down to 'Election Guide', in the sidebar, for the psephological meaty bits) as well as Vote Compass, which uses your answers on a series of questions to advise you on which political parties your views most closely align with

Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, independents who retired from parliament after helping Labor's Julia Gillard govern in minority in 2010, could be returned, further increasing the odds of a hung parliament

Polling aggregators have the Coalition with its nose just out in front, but the betting markets are much more confident in a win for the ruling party

– The Chaser team hilariously pranks Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm over his support for 'free speech'

– Sammy J explains How To Make a Faustian Pact on his pointed, ominous Playground Politics TV show

– Shaun Micallef lampoons the awful one-liners of the leader of the Labor Party and aspiring Prime Minister, Bill Shorten

– Oh yes that's right, who IS our Prime Minister at the moment? Is it Tony Abbott? Actually, he was knifed last year by this dude, who was in turn knifed by—just kidding, that dude is still PM. I know, I'm as surprised as you are

– Uh, what else? Maybe you'd like to read this piece on how Brexit could affect the Australian election

– Notorious racist Pauline Hanson could return to the parliament in the Senate after an 18-year absence

– Courtesy of His thoughts were red thoughts, look back on the start of the campaign and the great memes that have been produced along the duration

– And to wrap up, the Guardian rounds up the best Australian politics podcasts about the election and more generally
posted by Panthalassa (291 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
Whoops, I forgot to include Mezentian's excellent post from back when it became apparent we would be heading for an early election next to His thoughts's ones in my bullet point about Australian election coverage on the blue.
posted by Panthalassa at 1:32 AM on June 30, 2016


Good post, though unfortunately the ABC Youtube clips are geoblocked outside Australia. You can watch the Sammy J ones on this ABC Facebook page at least (though it's still funniest if you're familiar with all the tropes of Playschool).
posted by retrograde at 2:01 AM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Argh, bloody geoblocks. Top-notch satire, that was.
posted by Panthalassa at 2:07 AM on June 30, 2016


Libs apparently $1.10 to be returned, ALP more than $5. Doesn't seem quite that landslidey, but we shall see.
posted by wilful at 3:15 AM on June 30, 2016


I'm going to be crying into my beer during a Turnbull acceptance speech, am I? I felt like Shorten had some momentum at the beginning of the campaign, but it's all fizzled away as the media have decided he was lying about Medicare. As if slashing public services isn't something the Coalition does as often as they have hot dinners. If it's ok for the Coalition to be wrong about the NBN details why isn't it ok for Labor to be wrong about Medicare details?
posted by harriet vane at 3:33 AM on June 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


I've a horrible feeling the election will be won by Rupert Murdoch.
posted by Coaticass at 3:43 AM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Rupert always wins.
posted by awfurby at 3:51 AM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Beaten to the punch - I had a FPP in the can waiting for Election Day. No matter, this is much better than my miserable attempt, flavoured as it was with despair and cynicism. But thanks for the shout out!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:54 AM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was robo-forumed tonight. I answered my phone and got "Please.hold for one.minute to join a forum with Owen Blah and Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt". It was madness - you couldn't actually say anything and just had to listen to someone else ask about local council issues.

For one second i felt sorry for them and then i remembered what bastards they are.
posted by awfurby at 3:55 AM on June 30, 2016


Oh yeah I got one of those too! But I'm screening all calls at the moment.
posted by Coaticass at 4:00 AM on June 30, 2016


harriet vane, I take solace in thinking that perhaps my vote cancels out one Lib voter's, somewhere.
posted by superfish at 4:08 AM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is by far the most empty-of-policy election I have ever experienced. The Liberals only new policy seems to be give a $50 billion tax cut to business which is going to generate "jobs and growth" , though by most accounts the stimulus would be about 0.1% of GDP at some distant time. Labor is talking about investing in education and health, but the details are pretty vague. Other than that its all scare campaigns that one side will be weak on border protection and the other really wants to scrap Medicare, with not a lot of evidence of either. The "debates" were like pre-recorded messages (speaking of which, I'd really appreciate it if Malcolm's phone robots would stop calling our house) with questions ignored and the party line regurgitated. It seems nobody has a clue about what would make a better future, and serious issues like climate change are not talked about at all. The Seinfeld election.
posted by drnick at 4:16 AM on June 30, 2016


It feels like it's been two months of anaesthetising 'jerbs n uhkernermy n murdercare n trrrrists n berts n hermersexsherls hurr durr yurr trurrrrst' from two men who couldn't muster a personality if you smooshed both their heads together. As always, we'll get the government we deserve, not the government we need.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:07 AM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]


I am so sick of the robot calls! Ugh. I miss the scammer calls. Those are at least amusing ("I promise you, no one in my household has been in a car accident, not unless the kitties have been stealing cars...")

We are greeted at the station in the early dawn by various representatives. Like it's not bad enough having to commute from the outer universe, we have to run the gauntlet every morning. However they aren't coping well with this week's cold snap and are easily ignored. The Jehovah's Witness guy is way more chipper.
posted by kitten magic at 5:13 AM on June 30, 2016


And after over a decade in safe liberal seats (after being raised in a labor stronghold) now I live a marginal seat and I'm not used to that kind of stress.
posted by kitten magic at 5:18 AM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good luck, Australia friends!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:33 AM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Whatever the results may be, you will be able to stream them free on ABC News 24, which will have its geoblock lifted from 6 am to midnight AEST for election night coverage.

It wouldn't be an Australian election without Antony Green! Thank you, ABC!
posted by Talez at 8:30 AM on June 30, 2016 [4 favorites]


These are some of the things that get to me - I'm no longer young, right? Like verging on 50 which is very scary, but I can remember what it was like to be under 30 (it really doesn't seem that long ago) and I cannot believe that Labor has not been actively focusing on and reminding the youth of Australia of the three long years of the Liberals pulling out knives and taking to young people as if they are a scourge and something to be dealt with.

Does no-one remember Abbott's first (incredibly unsuccessful, thank god) budget which would have made our Centrelink safety net inaccessible to under 30's for the first six months of unemployment? Never mind the fact that youth unemployment is always ridiculously higher than the national average but even so, most people who apply for Newstart are only on it for 6 to 8 weeks consecutively, so anyone under 30 would have had nothing to live on during times of unemployment unless they were able to rely on their parents or others. And then we have Turnbull's budget which has unemployed youth supposed to be leaping with joy for being given the opportunity to score 'internships' which would pay approximately $4 per hour.

Does this seem right or fair? The whole focus on welfare recipients across the board is unbelievably brutal (who can forget what happened to single parents under Howard and, unfortunately, Gillard where people were dropped from parenting payments onto Newstart and subsequently suffered a loss of $200 or more in income per fortnight?) but neither party is prepared to stand up and say that a safety net is so very, very important.

There's this constant scaremongering about welfare and it's always ignored or agreed with, when we should all be standing up and saying that looking after people is actually a very good thing, regardless of age or marital status or disability.

This country has been involved in foreign wars and so forth for decades, where is the call to reduce expenditure on that? No, it's always the most vulnerable in our society who are constantly blamed for excessive spending.

But with the help of our appalling media everything is focused on scary Muslims and refugees and borders and bludgers and single mothers and blah blah blah.

I'm really quite scared about what will happen on Saturday (and after). Even if Labor wins, I'll still be scared because I'm surrounded by people who say things like 'Pauline Hanson just says what everyone is thinking but won't say out loud' and I'm like NO! I don't think like that! I've never thought like that! But they're everywhere, all around me.

Bloody scary.
posted by h00py at 8:41 AM on June 30, 2016 [14 favorites]


I wonder what the odds are of the Liberal hard-right knifing their captive Turnbull if he only wins the election narrowly and replacing him with one of their own (Morrison, perhaps; then again, Bernardi is probably only a few leader changes and a few flattering profiles in the Daily Telegraph away from the seat himself).
posted by acb at 8:45 AM on June 30, 2016


Bernardi is probably only a few leader changes and a few flattering profiles in the Daily Telegraph away from the seat himself

When trying to think of the bright side of the Tony Abbott getting elected train wreck the only positive I could think of was "at least it's not Cory Bernardi".

If Bernardi gets to be PM I think I'll just hand in my passport because I'll not have anything in common with Australia anymore.
posted by Talez at 8:52 AM on June 30, 2016


guys guys for reals the competition to see which anglophone country can make the worst decisions is over. the UK won it. there's no need for more bad decisions!
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:49 AM on June 30, 2016 [6 favorites]


The Guardian is reporting a Fairfax-Ipsos poll result of 50-50. Live updates.
posted by Coaticass at 3:08 PM on June 30, 2016


Which is a nice analogy for Australian journalism - using the Guardian to talk about polling Fairfax conducted.
posted by deadwax at 3:15 PM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]




Whoops - missed that the Leyonhjelm thing was in the FPP.

Still, so glad that the loser is on his way out.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:20 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, let talk about the important things - Election Day Sausages.

Democracy Sausage will help you find a sausage-inna-bun purveyor. So will SnagVotes.

But Junkee has the scoop on the best in Sydney.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:30 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Democracy Sausage will help you find a sausage-inna-bun purveyor. So will SnagVotes.

I'm sad to see that my old voting ground of Currambine Primary School is not having an egg and bacon roll morning and sausage sizzle lunch unlike the far superior fare offered at Kinross Primary School.
posted by Talez at 4:55 PM on June 30, 2016


Here, how many robocalls are you all getting?

I'm getting at least one every evening for the last three weeks from Pyne and I want to know if this means that I should be getting excited because they think there's a reasonable chance he might lose his seat? despite Labor literally not campaigning at all in Sturt (like, there aren't even any posters) Or is this just what they're doing for everyone?
posted by coleboptera at 5:30 PM on June 30, 2016


Whoever wins, we lose. As far as I'm concerned, if you don't vote Greens this election you are a traitor to the idea of representative democracy and deserve every knife that is going to be slipped into your back and stomach for the next three years.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:31 PM on June 30, 2016 [5 favorites]


For international readers who are confused about what a democracy sausage may be, allow me to explain. At polling stations around the country, people will set up grills and start frying up sausages, which you may buy for a nominal sum, with a slice of bread and some sauce. Bacon and eggs may also be involved. There may be cake. Voting is hungry work.

Australians don't need much of an excuse for a barbeque. I think this is really charming though. I even know where to get a vegetarian sausage on election day.

As far as the politics of it go; tax cuts for the wealthy, punishment for being unemployed, concentration camps on remote islands. I'm not voting for that. And medicare? The collective id of the liberal party wakes up with a boner after dreaming of destroying medicare. Say what you want Mal.
posted by adept256 at 5:38 PM on June 30, 2016 [3 favorites]


Here, how many robocalls are you all getting?

Zero. I don't have a landline.

/smug
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:54 PM on June 30, 2016


Robocalls: 1-3 every day, on mobile and landline both.
posted by Coaticass at 7:00 PM on June 30, 2016


Robocalls: 1-3 every day, on mobile and landline both.

Whaaaa? That's nuts. How are you people not rioting on the streets?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:07 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I meant 1-3 altogether, combining both phones, but that's bad enough. Maybe it's because I'm in Melbourne Ports with the three-way contest- thanks to sitting ALP member Michael Danby preferencing the Libs ahead of the Greens, whose primary vote may be higher than the ALP's. How stupid is that? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.
posted by Coaticass at 7:41 PM on June 30, 2016


I want to know if this means that I should be getting excited because they think there's a reasonable chance he might lose his seat?

I would get a bit excited, yes (I may be clutching at straws here but I'm an optimist in really bad times) . I get a lot of calls and I'm in a marginal seat. I spoke to my mum earlier and she's not getting many robo calls at all - and where she is the Libs don't stand a chance, they wouldn't waste the effort.
posted by kitten magic at 7:46 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Vote 1 Timecube - Glenn Floyd for the Senate.
posted by prismatic7 at 7:50 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


sitting ALP member Michael Danby preferencing the Libs ahead of the Greens,

The liberals must be laughing all the way to the god damned bank. Hopefully this is one of those cases where the populace laugh and ignore the how to vote cards.
posted by Talez at 8:18 PM on June 30, 2016


Melbourne Ports with the three-way contest- thanks to sitting ALP member Michael Danby preferencing the Libs ahead of the Greens

How times have changed. Melbourne Ports has been solidly Labor for donkeys years, with Michael Danby practically inheriting the seat from Clyde Holding. As of about three years ago, I'm in Gellibrand which is so totally Labor, voting for anything else would be tilting at windmills.
posted by prettypretty at 8:21 PM on June 30, 2016


I would get a bit excited, yes (I may be clutching at straws here but I'm an optimist in really bad times)

This right here is the opinion I'm going with. I'm ignoring my friend who said that the reason Labor aren't campaigning in Sturt is because it's a waste of their time because it's so safe. We'll assume that the LNP know something that Labor don't.
posted by coleboptera at 8:27 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Speaking of getting excited

(With the caveat that it is The Age and they get excited when the temperature goes up or down half a degree.)
posted by prettypretty at 8:32 PM on June 30, 2016


Actually, if I'm going to make it all about me (why, don't mind if I do), I voted against Howard in Bennelong for years and then I moved away and bam, he got kicked out. I was annoyed that my vote didn't help with that.

I used to be in Warringah. I am not any longer. It would be just my luck (and Tony's. HA!) if it happened again with my vote not helping get it done.
posted by kitten magic at 8:42 PM on June 30, 2016


I can't speak to the politics, but the democracy sausage is possibly my favorite element of Australian culture. We should really import the tradition to America but I suspect it's probably illegal by election rules.
posted by rednikki at 8:46 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was very sad when I voted at the Australian Embassy in DC this week and got neither a sausage nor an "I voted" sticker. Worst of both worlds.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 8:59 PM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]


Aunty has an election tipping game up! You should take it and share your results code if you're feeling brave ;D Mine is UV7D.
posted by Panthalassa at 12:45 AM on July 1, 2016


kitten magic, wanna move to my seat for a while then move away again? Perhaps you are a pre-requisite rather than a cause of the losses.
posted by harriet vane at 1:27 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


<Checks Teh Google for the nearest polling stations that might have sausage sizzles ...> No, I can't vote, I'm just after a cheap day out.
posted by Autumn Leaf at 4:04 AM on July 1, 2016


I'm a new Australian citizen and this is my first election ever! I'm excited but some of these details are a bit confusing.

I'm trying to figure out my votes for Senator. Most of the people I haven't heard of at all, so I'll vote above the line by party (right?). As I understand it, voting above the line means you have to rank them from 1-6... but there are more than six parties (right?). So here's the question: say I really really hate Family First, and I absolutely don't want them to get my vote. Should I simply not include them in the six I vote for, or should I be sure to rank them last? I assume the former, right?

Also I have to go to the polling place with my three year old. He'll get a kick out of it I'm sure because he is all about voting and elections. If I talk to him as I'm voting and explain things, will this really irritate other people there? Like, is it supposed to be silent and proper or is it kind of understood that people might chat to their kids as they go?

Are there other not-written-down cultural elements of voting, especially as they differ from American elections? Do we need any special ID or anything or will drivers license do?

yay even though I'm in a safe liberal seat this is really very exciting
posted by forza at 4:29 AM on July 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hey forza. Congrats on becoming a citizen :)

People are pretty relaxed about the whole thing. It's generally quite quiet once you're inside and actually voting. It can get a bit raucous outside and you'll be plied with how to vote cards by volunteers supporting each candidate. You can choose to use the how to vote cards or just choose the order on the ballot yourself. If you're in Victoria, there are some protests happening around the current CFA issues and they've declared their intention to protest at polling places. Depending on where you are, there's usually another polling place pretty close by if you want to try to avoid a protest.

Polling booths themselves are actually quite open (you don't go inside a booth with a curtain) but people pretty much keep to themselves and quietly mark up their ballots.

People bring their kids (I remember going with my parents to vote when I was young) and you probably won't be the only one explaining things to them.

So here's the question: say I really really hate Family First, and I absolutely don't want them to get my vote. Should I simply not include them in the six I vote for, or should I be sure to rank them last? I assume the former, right?

That's what I want to know too. I would rather just NOT vote for some of the really vile parties than try to tally up in my head who's worse. But by the same token I don't want to automatically allocate them votes according to preference deals by not numbering the box.
posted by prettypretty at 4:38 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you feel like voting below the line, this handy tool may assist.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:44 AM on July 1, 2016


The new senate voting rules mean the parties' preference deals affect their how to vote cards only. Your preferences don't flow on unless you tell them to.

If you number the boxes above the line (at least 6), your vote will only be counted for those parties, and once all candidates for those parties are out (or in) your vote will be exhausted.

You should vote below the line if you want your vote allocated to candidates in a different order than the parties have selected. If you are happy with the standard candidate order, and you plan to vote for all candidates in your first party, and then all the candidates in your next party, vote above the line.
posted by misfish at 5:01 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks guys, that helps a lot.

(Good to know I can vote above the line -- in the last three years I've moved from Melbourne's inner SE to the West and shifted right over to the left in my political leanings (former Liberal voter here).... voting below the line might just be a little too much for my poor system to handle ;))
posted by prettypretty at 5:14 AM on July 1, 2016


Honestly, looking at the fine crop of racists, homophobes, anti-science moon units and right wing goons that form about 85% of the NSW senate ticket this year, I don't blame you. Just thinking about it is stomach churning.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:19 AM on July 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also! You can vote for more than 6 parties above the line. And more than 12 candidates below the line.

You can number all the boxes above, or all the boxes below, if you want. But you no longer have to number all the boxes below the line, which will save me from debilitating post-voting hand cramps, so I'm very happy.
posted by misfish at 5:28 AM on July 1, 2016 [3 favorites]


Congrats forza!

re ID, my drivers license is in my wallet anyway but I don't think I've ever been asked for ID, ever. It's quite charmingly old fashioned really. All pencils and paper.

And no 'I voted' stickers. I find those weird, I always think we'll, duh, of course I voted. I'm an adult, I brush my teeth, I pay taxes, I take the rubbish out too. No stickers for those duties either.
posted by kitten magic at 6:44 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


> And no 'I voted' stickers. I find those weird, I always think we'll, duh, of course I voted. I'm an adult, I brush my teeth, I pay taxes, I take the rubbish out too. No stickers for those duties either.

Well, in a place without compulsory voting & a typical voter turnout of barely 50%1, they're a way to encourage participation...

... though I strongly suspect sausages would go much further.

& aw, une_heure_pleine. During the embassy open-house day back in May, the Australian embassy in DC was handing out little vegemite toasts to people waiting in the queue (there was lamb to be had inside). They could at least have done that!
posted by Westringia F. at 7:57 AM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


For the Senate you can chose not to number anyone or any party you don't like and they will not get any preference flow-on. This actually gives you much more control over your preferences than the old system.
posted by Coaticass at 2:59 PM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you number the boxes above the line (at least 6),

This is incorrect. You don't have to number at least 6 boxes above the line on the senate ballot paper for your vote to be counted. You can number only 1 box and your vote will still be counted. I know the ballot paper says you do, but it is misleading.

See Antony Green or the Explanatory Memorandum of the legislation for proof (the explanation of Item 23 Subsection 269(1)).

As to why it is misleading, it's probably to do with the major parties' absolute panic about the impending collapse of the two party system.
posted by kithrater at 3:07 PM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


I found this useful: Cluey Voter
posted by Coaticass at 3:18 PM on July 1, 2016


Also- apparently the Health Party are anti-vaxxers, in case anyone was wondering.
posted by Coaticass at 3:18 PM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


You don't have to number at least 6 boxes above the line on the senate ballot paper for your vote to be counted.

This is true, the AEC will count your vote if you break any number of rules (guidelines, suggestions), as long as your intentions are clear.

But the senate ballot is big, if you vote only 1 above the line, your vote might be exhausted before it has to be. If you can find more than 1 party you could stomach in the senate, vote for them. Your vote might be the one that keeps whatever nightmare you most fear (Pauline Hanson? family first? rise up Australia?) from coming to pass.
posted by misfish at 4:26 PM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yep, you should give every party who you would feel ok about being elected a number above the line, or you risk your vote not counting at all. Six is a somewhat arbitrary rule. For example, I have some serious reservations about Xenophon, but I'd much rather see his people in the Senate than Rise Up or Family First, so Xenophon got a number (something like 7) but the others didn't.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 4:33 PM on July 1, 2016


if you break any number of rules

Numbering less than 6 boxes above the line of the senate ballot doesn't break any rules. It's an explicitly allowed option under the legislation. You can even mark just a single box with a tick or a cross and it counts as formal.
posted by kithrater at 5:09 PM on July 1, 2016


I voted!
posted by adept256 at 5:55 PM on July 1, 2016 [4 favorites]


I hope Shorten can pull it off but by god, when he's being a wonk he's got all the charisma of a potato. I want the Shorten that sniped Cory Bernardi and is pissed off not slightly annoyed like you just learned your doctor wants you to have a colonoscopy.
posted by Talez at 6:17 PM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Numbering less than 6 boxes above the line of the senate ballot doesn't break any rules.

Oh, so it's more of a guideline or a suggestion? Like I said in my comment? Cool. Cool cool cool.
posted by misfish at 6:38 PM on July 1, 2016


Vote cast, democracy sausage secured. The Greens are preferencing Sustainable Australia in the ACT - the shift to upper-middle-class-elite party is almost complete.
posted by kithrater at 7:34 PM on July 1, 2016


Kithrater, the allow a single 1 above the line is a specific savings provision to help with the confused for this election. It's not intended to be a secret feature, it's just intended for the stupid in this election. Best you don't encourage it (not that there are any stupid aussie mefites).
posted by wilful at 7:37 PM on July 1, 2016


I used to get excited for elections, now I'm just disheartened and depressed. I guess I'll tune in to the ABC tonight, but it will be with a sense of dread.
posted by wilful at 7:39 PM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's not just a single 1 - you can number any number of boxes above the line of the Senate ballot and have it count as formal. If there's less than 6 parties you think deserve your preference in the Senate, then number less than 6 boxes. It's better than encouraging people to potentially direct preferences to parties they don't like via a purposefully confusing amendment of the voting Act.
posted by kithrater at 7:45 PM on July 1, 2016


Voted, sausaged, crackers + wine + cheese + other crap bought for a night of entertainment! It's definitely going to be better than last time. There are some interesting seats in play, lots of unpredictability, and a chance Shorten might surprise everyone.

I am personally betting on hung parliament, with coalition eventually forming govt, which I think would be hilarious.

a) they wouldn't be able to legislate shit. Anything that was legislated would be compromised a lot.
b) Labor could quote "government in chaos" lines from the front bench until the cows come home
c) Any supply would probably be premised on Turnbull staying PM so the right would go into paroxysms of rage yet be unable to install scomo or however without threat of another election, which they would lose handily.
d) Shorten - who I think has been surprisingly great in this election, and good on Labor for releasing a shit tonne of good, transparent policies - would not be replaced by stupid dickhead labor factions who are stupid dickheads and would thus prove a stark contrast to infighting and riven libs.
e) It would hopefully put paid to the Greens talk of a "coalition" with Labor. I'm 100% a Greens voter, but they are gob-smackingly stupid if they think that would work for them. Look at what happened in Tasmania. They are more than a protest party, but they need to stay as outsiders - too much compromise will eat away at their vote like my two year old on a sausage-in-a-blanket.

Interesting times ahead folks!

PS Red Thoughts I'm sure your colleagues, like mine, have filled you with sinking horror over the last months when talk turns to election. It's been quite fun schooling my face to remain neutral. Weirdly, my last team were raving commies like me. My new team.... not so much
posted by smoke at 8:39 PM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


More Melbourne Ports shenanigans.
posted by Coaticass at 8:54 PM on July 1, 2016


I just went to vote and all the sausages were gone. What a complete waste of time.
posted by drnick at 9:34 PM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


As an American, it is such a mind bender to realize that Liberal is right/ center right pretty much everywhere but here, where it is primarily a pejorative thrown by the Right at centrist democrats to tar them with the brush of Leftism.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:34 PM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


As an American, it is such a mind bender to realize that Liberal is right/ center right pretty much everywhere but here, where it is primarily a pejorative thrown by the Right at centrist democrats to tar them with the brush of Leftism.

Australian liberals are about economic liberalism while NA liberals are about social liberalism.
posted by Talez at 9:37 PM on July 1, 2016


I voted. Our polling place had hallal sausages which was pretty cool. They were yum!
posted by prettypretty at 10:09 PM on July 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


It seems this election is all about the sausage and not the sizzle.
posted by Autumn Leaf at 10:28 PM on July 1, 2016


PS Red Thoughts I'm sure your colleagues, like mine, have filled you with sinking horror over the last months when talk turns to election. It's been quite fun schooling my face to remain neutral. Weirdly, my last team were raving commies like me. My new team.... not so much

I usually dilligently avoid discussing politics at work, smoke. But I went out to a gig on Thursday night, so yesterday I was a touch sleep deprived and mildly hungover. So yesterday, at the end of a long day, at the end of a long week, when the election came up, the mask slipped and nature rose, red in tooth and claw. I may have described the Coalition candidate in my seat as "some meaningless twerp wearing his dad's suit, scraped from the bottom of the barrel of the Sydney Uni Young Liberal Society". Sheer shock on the faces of my colleagues.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:10 PM on July 1, 2016 [7 favorites]


Meanwhile, on #auspol.
posted by kithrater at 11:22 PM on July 1, 2016


Since it's a day for numbering things I've also numbered my thoughts.

1. I predict Labor gains 10 seats. I think NXT might get 4.
2. I find the conservative-liberal spectrum fairly useless, and if you ask me where I fall on it my answer would be "pomegranate." That said I wish I could vote for someone who had John Howard's broad economic views with the contradictory exception of also having about 30% more support than he did for the social safety net.
3. I am alarmed to see Pauline Hanson trying to inflict herself on the country again. Australia is far less vulnerable to a suicide referendum than the UK apparently is, but if she thinks she has any sort of chance that IMO indicates a dangerous tendency in Aus society, which I hope recedes rather than the opposite.
4. It's odd to think the USA could substantially improve the health of their political system by making sausages legal at polling booths. Please do so. If Clinton gets in, the way to convince her to push this is to make hot sauce a mandatory condiment option (she'll totally be on board with this, really).
posted by iffthen at 11:26 PM on July 1, 2016


Also 5. It's tempting to give in to cynicism, seeing the leading candidates are viewed as lacking substance, but in the US there's the likelihood of riots at the GOP convention and people are rightfully concerned about corb's safety, while in Australia we have mandatory voting and are mainly concerned about running out of sausages. We've got it pretty good, guys.
posted by iffthen at 11:30 PM on July 1, 2016 [5 favorites]


3. I am alarmed to see Pauline Hanson trying to inflict herself on the country again. Australia is far less vulnerable to a suicide referendum than the UK apparently is, but if she thinks she has any sort of chance that IMO indicates a dangerous tendency in Aus society, which I hope recedes rather than the opposite.

She's never stopped trying. This is her tenth election campaign. But this is the first time in 20 years that she's had a viable chance.

Dan Ilic's #twitchhike series opened my eyes to how popular she really is in regional areas.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:35 PM on July 1, 2016 [1 favorite]


The democracy sausage stall at my polling booth was selling Tanya Plibiscuits, Malcolm Turnballs, and Jim Cakesy chocolate fudge cupcakes. Sometimes I like Australia.
posted by langtonsant at 11:43 PM on July 1, 2016 [7 favorites]


Meanwhile, on #auspol.

A comment on that tweet: "You have a sex party in Australia?" "They're like libertarians but good."

FAIL. OXYMORON ALERT.
posted by smoke at 12:06 AM on July 2, 2016


Cheers for that link, red thoughts. I think you got to the core of what I was trying to say but perhaps didn't articulate well - in the wake of the UK referendum the takeaway lesson for other anglophone countries is "watch your wingnuts: if they start to get a big audience audience, there's trouble ahead." I'm not yet convinced the US will heed the lesson; Australia probably will, thankfully, that road to perdition is one we really must avoid.

On a weird personal note, a friend of my parents used to be Pauline Hanson's personal pilot, flying her and her droppings all over country Australia. I think my parents haven't talked to him in a decade or so otherwise I'd feel obliged to... have a word with him. >:(
posted by iffthen at 12:12 AM on July 2, 2016


The lesson should be "don't use a public vote to try to settle internal party problems, because if you can't control your party you certainly can't control the public".

Australia's political culture is so inept that it can't even manage a parliamentary vote for policies that >70 per cent of the population is in favour for. The "dangerous tendency" is the disengagement of voters from a largely homogeneous political class, and Australia has that in spades.
posted by kithrater at 12:27 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The US use of liberal versus a the Australian Liberals causes confusion on Facebook. There's a page called "fed up with stupid liberal voters" which an Aussie family member frequently shares. A very sweet but totally conservative republican Texan relative kept liking the posts and making comments like omg, those liberals, we have that problem too.

I had to explain it to her and gently note that the liberals she complains about are probably still centrists compared to the Greens voting commies that the Aussie branch of the family are.
posted by kitten magic at 1:01 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


A comment on that tweet

The story continues.
posted by kithrater at 1:15 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well I have done my duty. Nothing very exciting to report from my polling place, which is nice. Now I'm off to a friend's house to drink wine and cheer for Anthony Green and try to drown out Chris Uhlman.

Whatever your politics, I am glad we can do this together without riots or guns.
posted by harriet vane at 2:21 AM on July 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


A maybe-too-obvious question for you Aussies: Is the origin of "democracy sausages" the old quote (unreliably attributed to Otto Von Bismarck) "Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made" ?

Of course, if this tradition were picked up in the U.S.ofA., we'd probably end up with a tightly contested battle between Jimmy Dean and Oscar Mayer.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:43 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Election 2016: Greens volunteer allegedly bitten by Liberal in fight for Higgins

Actual headline. Sausages? Pfui.
posted by Autumn Leaf at 2:57 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is the origin of "democracy sausages" the old quote (unreliably attributed to Otto Von Bismarck) "Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made" ?

As far as I have ever heard, no. On election day, most places of polling have a sausage sizzle running, and since the 2013 election an increasing number of people have been referring to these as democracy sausages.
posted by kithrater at 3:17 AM on July 2, 2016


Okay, I've eaten about a kilo of cheese, smoked oysters, salmon and pate. I'm full but satisfied. Random observations:

Some individual seat swings are off the fucking charts, crazy pants variability.

Goodbye idiots nicolic, Roy, briggs, feeney and Scott. Even if labor lose there are some satisfying outcomes.

Glad to see McGowan and Willie holding on, and the greens have done better than I thought.

Low swing in Vic, wonder if cfa had anything to do it, or just the case of Andrews govt in general. Can't believe he did that during campaign.

My prediction of a hung parliament is on track. I should have bet on it.
posted by smoke at 3:17 AM on July 2, 2016


Also my native QLD never fails to disappoint, and what is up with family first in South Australia??
posted by smoke at 3:22 AM on July 2, 2016


Danby you're such a shit I hope a green beats you.
posted by smoke at 3:24 AM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


what is up with family first in South Australia

Adelaide, the City of Churches
posted by iffthen at 3:24 AM on July 2, 2016


greens have done better than I thought

Greens got absolutely slaughtered in NSW. When you come at the Albanese, you better not miss.
posted by kithrater at 3:25 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Watching Julie Bishop on ABC24... you can see her face tighten when asked about Jamie Briggs
posted by iffthen at 3:28 AM on July 2, 2016


Tbh nsw greens are the nadir of the party IMHO, rhiannon et al needs to go.
posted by smoke at 3:30 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Bishop still campaigning. Its okay jules, you can be honest now.
posted by smoke at 3:30 AM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]




Cormann and Bishop already pitching excuses why they're not going to win tonight, 30 minutes after polls close in the west.
posted by kithrater at 3:38 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I did love a liberal poster I saw today : "stick to the plan". Lol, it's like, you guys didn't do that, did you, kicked out your own prime minister. What is the fucking plan, guys? You floated about half a billion policies and then ran away from them, so who knows what the fucking plan is?
posted by smoke at 3:40 AM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's good to see the Lib/Nats starting to get more and more nervous and repeatedly say "it's too early to say".
posted by drnick at 3:42 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


OK well probably you are all sick of hearing about Melbourne Ports, but I wish to inform you that the ALP how to vote card at my polling booth this afternoon actually preferenced the Greens before the Liberal Party. Contrary to the contretemps. So that was a pleasant surprise...
posted by Coaticass at 3:42 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I like Antony Green.
posted by iffthen at 3:45 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


That is very interesting coaticass. Danby currently in third place, the douche canoe.
posted by smoke at 3:45 AM on July 2, 2016


Tanya Plibersek's supporters are adorably enthusiastic but their random WooHoos! are freaking out the cats.
posted by kitten magic at 3:50 AM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Goodbye idiots nicolic, Roy, briggs, feeney and Scott. Even if labor lose there are some satisfying outcomes.

I can't wait until the real fun begins with the Senate.
posted by kithrater at 3:51 AM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Just watched the Adam Bandt victory speech here in Melbourne. Satisfying. Now come on Alex & Batman!!
posted by mosessis at 3:57 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Scomo thinks they can make majority govt, I think he's being by very optimistic.

Turnbull's leadership looking very shakey, I would think.
posted by smoke at 3:57 AM on July 2, 2016


Abbott goes on live TV, implies mother is an alcoholic, calls for democracy within the Liberal party, and gets the name of the NSW Premier wrong.
posted by kithrater at 4:04 AM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think he implied his whole family was alcoholic :|
posted by iffthen at 4:08 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The popularity of family first is mind boggling and horrible.
posted by smoke at 4:10 AM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


That's exactly how I feel about One Nation, smoke.
posted by h00py at 4:28 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The popularity of family first is mind boggling and horrible.
That's exactly how I feel about One Nation, smoke.

Whereas Cory sees opportunity.
posted by kithrater at 4:31 AM on July 2, 2016


I guess being from QLD, I'm not surprised by onp popularity. People are super racist up there, more than southerners think.
posted by smoke at 4:31 AM on July 2, 2016


Thats scary smoke. I grew up in lefty inner city Sydney, we didn't have a good opinion already (sorry to be rude about your home state)
posted by kitten magic at 4:33 AM on July 2, 2016


Starting to get some Senate numbers now.

One Nation at 1.5 of quota in QLD with 6 per cent of the vote counted.
posted by kithrater at 4:36 AM on July 2, 2016


I guess being from QLD, I'm not surprised by onp popularity. People are super racist up there, more than southerners think.

Born, bred and still currently living in Ipswich and I'm still so naive at my advanced age about exactly how awful people can be. I so want to be an optimist but I keep getting dragged into pessimism.
posted by h00py at 4:39 AM on July 2, 2016


Tony is crying into his onions tonight.
posted by adept256 at 4:42 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


We're now past Bolt's bedtime.
posted by kithrater at 4:44 AM on July 2, 2016


Meow-Ludo Meow-Meow, Science Party candidate. 😂
posted by wilful at 4:46 AM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


In good news, there's a 17% swing against Sophie Mirabella in Indi.
posted by wilful at 4:52 AM on July 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


My journo friend claims Hanson is looking likely.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:08 AM on July 2, 2016


Fuck. Larissa Waters may lose her Senate seat in QLD. To one nation. Truly awful, she's one of their best senators.
posted by smoke at 5:08 AM on July 2, 2016


I think Melbourne Ports is safe for Danby. He's ahead of the Greens candidate, but he should also get a whole lot of the prepoll and postal votes because Melbourne Ports has more Jewish voters than any other electorate in Victoria, perhaps Australia. Many of these voters won't vote on the Jewish sabbath, Saturday, so they vote earlier. Those votes are often counted last for some reason.

That being said, Danby was in an invidious position; the Greens candidate was particularly badly chosen for his electorate and (e.g.) refused to speak at a community forum because it was partially organised by the Zionist Federation of Australia. If she refuses to turn up to anything with the word "Zionist" in it she's basically committed to boycotting Jewish events, and the Jewish community deserves better.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:10 AM on July 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Who the fuck voted for Pauline? This is so embarrassing.
posted by adept256 at 5:12 AM on July 2, 2016


I think Melbourne Ports is safe for Danby.

Agreed. Have the Greens made any gains at all tonight? Are they going to have more members in the House and Senate tomorrow than they did yesterday?
posted by kithrater at 5:20 AM on July 2, 2016


I was hoping you would show up to validate my theory about ports, Joe. I can only think the greens didn't seriously think the seat was in play. They are gonna get smashed in prepoll.

Is a shame too, cause outside of nsw greens, BDS etc is by no means widely supported and certainly not official policy.

Is the Jewish community in Melbourne generally labor leaning do you think Joe?
posted by smoke at 5:22 AM on July 2, 2016


Who the fuck voted for Pauline?

You're talking about the same state that gave us Clive Palmer...
posted by pianissimo at 5:24 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


smoke, no not really, the Jewish vote, to the extent it can be pigeon-holed, breaks somewhat conservative. Danby however is Jewish, far right ALP and totally pro-Israel. The Lib candidate went to all the Jewish events etc but I guess couldn't compete. He gained 2.5% on Danby though.
posted by wilful at 5:26 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Joyce and other sad libs whining about Medicare campaign, and how unfair "scare campaigns" are. Waiting for someone in ABC room to mention climate change and whyallas present, non wiped out, status.

Also I note this is a party that legislated a five dollar co-payment, pathology charges, and frozen rebate.
posted by smoke at 5:27 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


So the independents/minors are Wilkie, McGowan, Bandt, the NXT woman and Katter. Two left, a Right, a classic conservative and an SA porkbarreler. Difficult to negotiate with.
posted by wilful at 5:30 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Waiting for someone in ABC room to mention climate change and whyallas present, non wiped out, status.

Wong snarked about this earlier in the evening, specifically about Joyce and $100 steaks.

Going by ABC predictions, it's looking between 74 and 76 for the Coalition, but it's going to take days to know for certain - a lot of those 50.01% wins on preferences are going to have to be redone, wait for postal and absentee votes, jump through scrutineers, etc.
posted by kithrater at 5:31 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


The libs are only saying that they won't privatise Medicare. They never said they won't slowly squeeze it to death.
posted by pianissimo at 5:31 AM on July 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


The whole privatise Medicare thing was such an indictment of Australian politics. a) there never was a plan to privatise Medicare, b) it's just a fucking payment system, it's not the NHS, privatise it already, Labor has privatised far more, far worse in the past, c) you still can't trust the Tories with socialised medicine and they've broken so many other promises in this area, but all the dickheads focus on the truth or not of those two words.
posted by wilful at 5:37 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


John Safran weights in.
posted by kithrater at 5:38 AM on July 2, 2016


Blimey, Barry Cassidy thinks that the Lib/Nats might not get any more of the 5 undecided seats and will only have 74 of the required 76 seats. Even if they do get to 76, it'll be only a resignation or two from hung.
posted by drnick at 5:42 AM on July 2, 2016


Not even with a speaker for the house. My prediction at the start appears to be coming true! Hung parliament for shizz.
posted by smoke at 5:44 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


2380 first preference votes for the Citizens Electoral Council in the Senate nationally.
posted by wilful at 5:45 AM on July 2, 2016


Not even with a speaker for the house. My prediction at the start appears to be coming true! Hung parliament for whizz.

Back to the polls!
posted by Talez at 5:45 AM on July 2, 2016


Back to the polls!

Another eight weeks of caretaker. Fuck my life.
posted by kithrater at 5:46 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Even worse, there's the possibility of another election! I had to vote twice in the last one (the lost ballot papers thing), we have a State election next year. GRRRR
posted by pianissimo at 5:47 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Libs, despite the avowals beforehand, will be terrified - and rightly so - of going back to election. They would be shredded, and the Senate/protest vote would go even crazier.
posted by smoke at 5:51 AM on July 2, 2016


49.7 LNP / 50.3 ALP 2PP nationally. This could be 1998 all over again.
posted by wilful at 5:57 AM on July 2, 2016


Senate/protest vote

Only the House would go back to vote. The Governor General would be unlikely to grant a half-Senate election before there's been any test government-of-the-day's ability to get supply bills through the Senate.

I don't think it will happen. While the crossbench should be pretty confident of winning their seats again, if the Coalition ends up with 75 then they only need 1 of the crossbench for a confidence-and-supply agreement. Of the crossbench, Katter is probably the easiest to secure.
posted by kithrater at 6:02 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is the Jewish community in Melbourne generally labor leaning do you think Joe?

It definitely used to be; I'm not sure if that's the case among people under fifty. On the other hand, Melbourne still has two socialist Jewish youth groups, so maybe?

I know there was a lot of alarm at Bob Carr's rants about "Zionists", and I think some Jews vote for Danby as a sort of tactical thing, or a sense of obligation. That is, they think that if he were gone, there'd be nobody to tackle the perceived unfriendliness coming from some parts of the Labor party. What the situation would be otherwise I don't know.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:02 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Libs, despite the avowals beforehand, will be terrified - and rightly so - of going back to election. They would be shredded, and the Senate/protest vote would go even crazier.

Would they even be able to hold a Senate election? Would it not just be a House-only election unless they managed to get some legislation through the house in order for it to be shot down in the Senate for a double dissolution?

Appalling. I don't even want to think about Pauline Hanson in the Senate, let alone running mates from NSW and QLD as well. Shoot me. We desperately need voters to have preferenced extraordinarily extensively in order to stop that from happening and I do not think that is what has happened.
posted by Panthalassa at 6:04 AM on July 2, 2016


And two Jackie Lambie senators omg.
posted by smoke at 6:09 AM on July 2, 2016


The Libs were a bunch of cry babies tonight about Medicare. So privatised wasn't accurate, all the other shit they've been proposing for ages hurts people. It was bad enough trying to live on a low casual wage with no sick leave but at least I could see a doctor for free. A copayment means lots of people can't afford to go. All my fear about Medicare has come directly from the Libs.

Just highlights how policy free this election has been. "Shorten is a big scary liar and we wuv Medicare and wouldn't hurt a hair on its head" was about all the discussion tonight.
posted by kitten magic at 6:13 AM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


A lot of movement for Labor in NSW, and they took Macquarie. Incidence of diabetes is very high in that area, and it makes me wonder if the Medicare scare campaign had the biggest effect in the sickest electorates.
posted by kisch mokusch at 6:23 AM on July 2, 2016


The media was even shitter then last time. Liberals had literally one policy, corporate tax cut, and got no scrutiny about the vacuum. Labor released a tonne of interesting, thought it policy and got no bloody scrutiny on that, either.

But the big non uniform swings tell a story about how fractured the discourse is getting and how important that local work is. Morrison is laying out on a bit thick about postals but nonetheless I bet labor is kicking themselves they didn't invest more in them now.

Anyway I'm off to bed, frigging exhausted. I'm pretty happy about this outcome given where things were seven months ago. The Senate though, yikes. Gonna be a hot mess.
posted by smoke at 6:24 AM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't even want to think about Pauline Hanson in the Senate, let alone running mates from NSW and QLD as well. Shoot me.

On the plus side expect this little ditty to see way more airplay on Triple J.
posted by Talez at 6:28 AM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


If only Labor had added '... by stealth' to their talk about Medicare we wouldn't have to listen to the hypocritical bullshit from the LNP about lies. The LNP lied about health and they lied about education in 2013 by billions of dollars in cuts and the deficit is still increasing.

I'm glad that Labor (and the left in general) has increased its voice and I'm also glad that they seem to have learned something from the ridiculous debacle of the Rudd/Gillard leadership disgrace and although I believe Albanese would have been so much better as a leader, I think Shorten and the rest of the Labor party have finally understood that the people of Australia just can't put up with faction infighting and that there will be a really huge change in how they approach their role as Opposition for the next three years, because I think it's fair to say that the LNP have won this one.

It's the senate I'm really worried about now. Bloody Pauline Hanson. Everything she represents is such a nightmare and she has so many supporters, which means that we're surrounded by awful people who need to understand that Australia is not just white, Christian and stuck in the 1950's. That's where we need to focus on energies on.
posted by h00py at 6:38 AM on July 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Bill speaking now: 'They have lost their mandate'
posted by adept256 at 6:42 AM on July 2, 2016


Can't see Bill's speech. Is he still ruling out making a deal with the Greens?
posted by kisch mokusch at 6:53 AM on July 2, 2016


Can't see Bill's speech. Is he still ruling out making a deal with the Greens?

It's probably going to be 77 seats for LNP anyway.
posted by Talez at 6:55 AM on July 2, 2016


So the perfect result for Bill then. Enough of a swing to keep Albo at the door and no need to break a pre-election promise right off the bat.
posted by kisch mokusch at 7:03 AM on July 2, 2016


With the Senate looking how it's looking, would you almost rather not be in government?
posted by pianissimo at 7:03 AM on July 2, 2016


With the Senate looking how it's looking, would you almost rather not be in government?

Hinch and Hanson and Lambie oh my!
posted by adept256 at 7:05 AM on July 2, 2016


None of the bills the government used as a trigger are going to pass even with a joint sitting.

So we're back where we were before.
posted by Talez at 7:12 AM on July 2, 2016


I think in pretty much every future election for the rest of our days, a Senate that is roughly 25% oddjob is going to be the norm.
posted by kisch mokusch at 7:23 AM on July 2, 2016


Malcolm just declared victory. 'I don't think we should wait around for the count' (paraphrasing)
posted by adept256 at 7:26 AM on July 2, 2016


Can someone please tell Scott Morrison that waiting another three days for a result is NOT a mandate.
posted by prettypretty at 7:26 AM on July 2, 2016


I think in pretty much every future election for the rest of our days, a Senate that is roughly 25% oddjob is going to be the norm.

At least last time people had the excuse of "I didn't know about all those preference deals!" This time people intentionally voted for those oddjobs.
posted by pianissimo at 7:27 AM on July 2, 2016


Did he just say that they're not going to count votes on Monday? Sunday I understand, but they take Monday off too? What's the deal with that?
posted by pianissimo at 7:29 AM on July 2, 2016


Malcolm just declared victory. 'I don't think we should wait around for the count' (paraphrasing)

Well unless something turns around completely they're going to have 77 seats.

The senate on the other hand, they are utterly fucked.
posted by Talez at 7:29 AM on July 2, 2016


Turnbull very confident about getting a majority.
posted by Panthalassa at 7:29 AM on July 2, 2016


And yet the ABC have them back on 72...
posted by Panthalassa at 7:29 AM on July 2, 2016


And yet the ABC have them back on 72...

Antony Green is conservative about calling seats that are close.
posted by Talez at 7:32 AM on July 2, 2016


Now he's union bashing. Already. Sounded like he said his thanks and was done for the night but had to get back on the mic to have a go at the unions.
posted by adept256 at 7:34 AM on July 2, 2016


Antony Green is conservative about calling seats that are close.

I like how he feeds a lot of stats (down to historic individual booth preference trends) into the forecasting software and then on the night notices that actual preference flows are going differently so tells us to ignore the computer prediction.
posted by pianissimo at 7:38 AM on July 2, 2016


Interesting that both leaders chose to talk about the Labor Party.
posted by prettypretty at 7:42 AM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


If Turnbull's speech was written by a speechwriter, that speechwriter should be fired tomorrow. Only just barely acceptable as an off-the-cuff speech too.
posted by harriet vane at 7:45 AM on July 2, 2016


"We broke the record so suck on that Kerry O'Brien"

Leigh Sales is so awesome.
posted by Talez at 7:46 AM on July 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


I have a minor girl crush on Annabel Crabb.
posted by prettypretty at 7:48 AM on July 2, 2016


they take Monday off too? What's the deal with that?
Of course Antony Green knows the answer - to try to make sure they don't lose the ballot papers this time.

We broke the record so suck on that Kerry O'Brien"
Rewarding the viewers who stay for the long haul!
posted by pianissimo at 7:49 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Senate guess: 29 LNP, 27 ALP, 9 GRN, 3 NXT, 8 Other.
posted by Panthalassa at 7:52 AM on July 2, 2016


I remember when Annabel asked Tony what was for dinner. 'Ashes and blood' he replied. She laughed but he didn't know why.
posted by adept256 at 7:54 AM on July 2, 2016


Bill's speech was much more prime-ministerial, although Malcolm addressed (briefly) "those who voted for other parties and candidates" and implored us to 'stick together'.

We had to wait AGES for Malcolm to walk in, and he looked rushed, his speech unfinished, trying to best Shorten's speech without really succeeding. It probably didn't help that the ABC panel was getting delirious, with Penny and Scott squabbling (Penny looked like she could punch ScoMo) and Annabel calling for a pizza.
(Side note- when do they get bathroom breaks on those long shows?)

I know people who worked the polls as AEC officials- I know the process for signing over ballot papers to counting centres is more strenuous this time around. A win for the workers though: last time I worked for the AEC there was no overtime, so at least they have that this time around.

An exciting time to be an Australian indeed!
posted by freethefeet at 8:00 AM on July 2, 2016


Senate guess: 29 LNP, 27 ALP, 9 GRN, 3 NXT, 8 Other.

Well, ABC Senate calculators are now live and they're giving away as likely or certain:

28 LNP, 24 ALP, 6 GRN, 3 NXT, Hinch, Hanson, Lambie with 12 in doubt.
posted by Panthalassa at 8:06 AM on July 2, 2016


(Penny looked like she could punch ScoMo)

The gay marriage plebiscite bullshit and ScoMo being an apologetic cunt for bigots I don't blame her.
posted by Talez at 8:06 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


it wasn't a criticism! :) She was great.
posted by freethefeet at 8:13 AM on July 2, 2016


Paul Bongiorno: [Hanson is] Nigel Farage in drag!

Holy shit. This is gold.
posted by Talez at 8:15 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thank you first dog on the moon:

"Penny Wong has been ferocious on the ABC tonight, Scomo has moved from petulant pink toddler to furiously relieved globule of hate."
posted by prettypretty at 8:19 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is so infuriating to watch. Why doesn't anyone just say it? The reason Pauline Hanson et al got so many votes is Islamophobia! I mean, all anyone has to do is read the comments on any bloody article about these people. It's ugly and it's wrong but it's the fucking truth! Why won't they say it out loud?
posted by h00py at 8:22 AM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Same reason no-one ever calls a politician out on a lie. I have no idea what that reason is, but there's a pathological avoidance of specifics in both cases.
posted by harriet vane at 8:30 AM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


wow they were in kidding when they said it was going to be a long night. Are Leigh et al in bed yet?
posted by kitten magic at 11:34 AM on July 2, 2016


At the end of the marathon broadcast - seven hours with no ad breaks, apparently an ABC election record - the ever-composed Sales let slip a candid joke: "suck on that, Kerry O'Brien."
(The Age - does have a 30 article quota)

Also in the same article,

It was an astonishing television and political moment - Jones effectively branding Turnbull for history as the PM who had to be coaxed from hiding to face his party after an election rebuke. Throw in what followed - a messy departure as the Turnbulls waited for their car at the front gate; a car journey televised live via a pursuing cameraman on a motorbike; and that strident speech - and you had the worst 90 minutes of election night television any prime minister has endured. And that was just Channel Seven.

(I missed it because I stuck with Aunty- mostly because I don't have a working TV remote!)
posted by freethefeet at 4:23 PM on July 2, 2016


Who else has a hangover?
posted by adept256 at 4:24 PM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I meant to add- I went to bed last night with the seat count on the AEC at roughly even, and now it's 69 seats Labour, 64 Coalition.
posted by freethefeet at 4:26 PM on July 2, 2016


(I missed it because I stuck with Aunty- mostly because I don't have a working TV remote!)

To be fair, the ABC always has the best election night coverage. I've watched their coverage every election.
posted by Talez at 4:36 PM on July 2, 2016


I know it's early days yet, and counting won't resume until Tuesday, but is there any indication that the Greens are on track to maintain their Senate seats?
posted by Collaterly Sisters at 5:28 PM on July 2, 2016


The Greens first preference vote for the Senate seems to be slightly down on the AEC site, but given preference redistributions anything can happen.
posted by drnick at 5:35 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Has this been linked to yet? The battle for the middle ground
posted by freethefeet at 6:32 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Brexit, hung parliament, and six months left in 2016.

So, Trump for president?
posted by kithrater at 6:41 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I know it's early days yet, and counting won't resume until Tuesday, but is there any indication that the Greens are on track to maintain their Senate seats?

Senate ballots will be counted on Monday (which is why the Reps ballots won't be until Tuesday) - but the final senate result won't be known for 13 days- as the quota is based on all ballots received, and that's the last day that postal votes can be accepted by.
posted by freethefeet at 6:57 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't get why there is talk of a leadership challenge to Bill Shorten, possibly by Anthony Albanese. To have got Labor to this position is quite frankly amazing given where they started from 3 years ago. Surely they should be pinning a medal on him rather than stabbing him in the back.
posted by drnick at 7:20 PM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I mostly missed the last couple of weeks. My puzzle was always why Turnbull went for a DD because it's going to be rather difficult to handle. The answer appears to be he has NFI.
posted by hawthorne at 7:25 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I know it's early days yet, and counting won't resume until Tuesday, but is there any indication that the Greens are on track to maintain their Senate seats?

I read somewhere that the mathematics of a double dissolution are actually quite bad for medium-small parties. They need the same number of votes to get two senators out of twelve as they would to get one senator out of six, and the protest votes that might normally flow to them on preferences are more likely to be absorbed by microparties, independents or low-ranked major party candidates who have more chance of actually getting elected with the lower quota. Most likely the Greens will lose a few senators.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 8:03 PM on July 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I don't get why there is talk of a leadership challenge to Bill Shorten

Under the new rules there is an automatic spill whenever the ALP lose an election.
posted by wilful at 8:24 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


So Turnbull is screwed no matter what? The way I see it, if he squeaks into majority government he's then got to deal with the Abbott faction again. He can either swing to the centre, which will drive the hard-right crazy so they'll challenge him again. Or he can appease them, and lose the confidence of the nation, in which case the Abbott faction will leap at the chance to get rid of him before the next election anyway. If he has a hung parliament or minority government, he'll have no authority with anyone. I just can't see any of this working out for him.

He's really not that good at politics, is he?
posted by harriet vane at 8:59 PM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I know it's early days yet, and counting won't resume until Tuesday, but is there any indication that the Greens are on track to maintain their Senate seats

The ABC are predicting the Greens will have 9 senate seats - i.e. down 1, losing Simms in SA. That looks realistic to me based on the current AEC numbers but keep in mind that 3 of those 9 aren't locked in and are relying on decent preference flows that can be hard to predict.
posted by gooddoggy at 9:12 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would have thought that MT's main threat is Morrison, less so Abbott. Honestly cannot see Turnbull leading LNP in another election.
posted by kisch mokusch at 9:16 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sigh. Already friends on FB are questioning why we had to vote in pencil. Seriously, if all the conspiracy theorists actually worked an election for the AEC, they would see what a good process it is.
posted by freethefeet at 9:41 PM on July 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Already friends on FB are questioning why we had to vote in pencil.

I guess there's no changing the minds of conspiracy theorists, but you don't have to vote in pencil. The AEC are required to provide pencils, but you are perfectly entitled to use your own pen or pencil.
posted by drnick at 10:05 PM on July 2, 2016


I like this Reddit post explaining the differences between the AEC count and the counts on news websites like the ABC. It makes it more clear why the AEC has Labor ahead, when the results are being reported as much closer.
posted by crossoverman at 11:05 PM on July 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


On the plus side expect this little ditty to see way more airplay on Triple J.

Time for a new era of Hanson sendups! Let loose the Chaser!

I like how he feeds a lot of stats (down to historic individual booth preference trends) into the forecasting software and then on the night notices that actual preference flows are going differently so tells us to ignore the computer prediction.

Assuming that's sincere, seconded. I like having that guy around.
posted by iffthen at 12:23 AM on July 3, 2016


My American father in law is visiting us at the moment, and by dumb luck he's been in Australia for the last two elections. In attempting to describe the current state of play, I ended up saying roughly this:
Uh yeah so this time around it was Turnbull (the leader of the conservative party, the Liberals) versus Shorten who aligns with the ALP Right and lost the popular vote in the last leadership contest with Albanese, but won overall because he performed better in the caucus vote. But for most of the last few years it was Abbott in charge of the Libs and he beat Kevin Rudd in the last election that you were here for in 2013 even though for most of the preceding period Gillard had been PM. Though Gillard herself had ousted Rudd just prior to the 2010 election even though Rudd had been PM since the 2007 election, and Gillard was leading a minority government. So anyway the thing about all of that is that after the 2010 election we had a hung parliament that was resolved when Gillard struck a deal with the independents and minor parties. But the thing about that is that two of the independents from back then are still around now: Wilkie aligned with Labor last time and Katter went with the Liberals, and they probably won't change. The Greens probably would be mad to strike a deal with the Coalition assuming they learned any lessons from the collapse of the Democrats (they were a mostly SA based party, which I think I mentioned last election?) so if all the seats break the way they're trending a lot might boil down to Nick Xenophon (he's running another SA based party - remember that No Pokies guy I mentioned several years ago? He's now set up a party that has grabbed a seat in the Lower House) and he is kind of a centrist technocrat but also very much in it for SA first, and also there's Cathy McGowan who is an independent in Indi (that's a seat name and that has nothing to do with her being an independent) but I don't really know all that much about her, but realistically we don't know much until the counts from postal votes come in. Oh and then I guess there's the Senate, which is looking like a total mess with Xenophon again showing up as potentially influential because he's holding onto probably three votes there. But I guess honestly I don't have the slightest clue what's actually going on. I don't really follow politics anymore. Sorry, I guess?
I don't think that helped.
posted by langtonsant at 12:53 AM on July 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


He's really not that good at politics, is he?
Depends on how you define success. I think he set out to become PM, and he has achieved that.

Assuming that's sincere, seconded. I like having that guy around.
Totally sincere. Antony Green is the best!
posted by pianissimo at 3:52 AM on July 3, 2016 [1 favorite]








Laurie Oakes is a national treasure

That's absolutely splendid work.

Malcolm's attempt to troll Sportsbet with the election result is not going as well, though.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:11 PM on July 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh gods please don't let this turn into 4 fucking years where every moronic thing Hanson says is endlessly tweeted, retweeted, shared, and listicled. Please don't let political discourse in this country be dominated by its dullest participant. We have enough problems we don't need the dead weight. This is my prayer O gods.
posted by um at 6:24 PM on July 3, 2016 [12 favorites]


'Straya.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:26 PM on July 3, 2016


Did the guy in the speedo just finish a spell at Mawson Station? Saturday wasn't exactly warm.
posted by um at 6:51 PM on July 3, 2016


He is warmed by the forces of his own pussy magnetism, as proclaimed on his speedos.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:21 PM on July 3, 2016


I wish your votes could be linked to your bank card and driver's license so that when you end up in hospital with a broken neck they swipe the card through the thing, see you voted LNP, and toss you back into the street.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:44 PM on July 3, 2016


"Says here you were a Young Liberal."
"Only for a semester! There was this girl I liked! Oh god please stop the bleeding I'm so cold!"
"Tell your Tory mates to stop bleeding Medicare, then maybe we can see to that femoral artery."
posted by um at 9:44 PM on July 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


And yet when Sophie Mirabella suggested this approach was indeed taken by the Abbott government she was roundly castigated.
posted by hawthorne at 10:51 PM on July 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


The top minds of Australian political journalism.

Vote 1 Harambe.

Why doesn't anyone just say it? The reason Pauline Hanson et al got so many votes is Islamophobia!

Margo Kingston has a few things to say on this topic.
posted by kithrater at 11:00 PM on July 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


Margo Kingston has a few things to say on this topic.

Hanson is a stupid, ignorant, grasping white supremacist who has no interest in facts or rational discussion, and there is nothing to be gained by legitimising her.

What exactly is achieved by 'discussing her views' with her? It's clear what she thinks. She hates Muslims and Asian people. She thinks climate change is a hoax. She wants to fix the NBN with some sort of magic wifi. She supports Donald Trump. She's a loose canon firing in all directions.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:14 PM on July 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


... from the top minds that brought you the Remain vote and Marco Rubio as the next President of these United States.

While it's fun to call people racist, especially if they are racist, it's becoming increasingly obvious that it's not a very good strategy for achieving your desired political outcomes.
posted by kithrater at 11:26 PM on July 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


Racism and Islamophobia are the 21st century equivalents of believing the sun orbits the earth. Anyone still holding these beliefs is obviously struggling with a cognitive deficit so entrenched that engaging them in any manner is pointless. Extend your sympathies, go about your business, and hope they seek the professional intervention that they plainly, plainly need.
posted by um at 11:29 PM on July 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


While it's fun to call people racist, especially if they are racist, it's becoming increasingly obvious that it's not a very good strategy for achieving your desired political outcomes.

As one of the many people that Hanson would like to expel from the country, I admit I am somewhat emotive on the issue. But I don't see how legitimising her insanity would help achieve any desirable political outcomes either.

How exactly would it help?

Also, it's not 'fun' to be faced with people who hate you for being brown. Not for me at least.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:31 PM on July 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


But it is her stance on Islam that has increased her popularity. There are an enormous number of people in this country who are Islamophobic. It is her out and out bigotry and prejudice that too many people absolutely agree with that has made her popular with that section of society, and that absolutely should be drawn attention to.
posted by h00py at 12:52 AM on July 4, 2016


I have no objection to calling a racist a racist, and Hanson is a perfect example of one. I wouldn't use that word in a one-on-one discussion with her, because it would just get her on the defensive. If I could restrain myself from slapping her, I'd hope I could do some Socratic questioning or whatever to get her to actually use the brain she's been carrying around all these years. I've done this a bit with climate deniers and it works okay if you're on top of your game.

But there's a difference between talking about someone and talking to them. Journalists/opionists like Kingston are the only ones I can think of who have a fuzzy grey middle area where talking about someone is very similar to talking with them. So it's good that she's thinking about the best tactics, but she doesn't get to tell the rest of us to hide the truth.
posted by harriet vane at 1:49 AM on July 4, 2016


We have a white supremacist in the senate.

.
posted by adept256 at 2:41 AM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


But it is her stance on Islam that has increased her popularity.

Hanson got 1.22 per cent of first-preference votes in the 2013 NSW Federal Senate election. She's getting 9.14 per cent of first-preference votes in the 2016 QLD Federal Senate election. Did Australia become more than seven times more Islamophobic between 2013 and 2016? You could blame Queenslanders, except that in the 2013 Federal Senate election One Nation got 0.55 per cent of first-preference votes in that State.

Maybe something else is afoot here.

How exactly would it help?

Because the racism is a symptom, not a cause.

Like it or not, Hanson represents about 10 per cent of the voting population now. Finding a way to accommodate and channel the political opinions of that 10 per cent is necessary to avoid Hanson representing 20 per cent of the voting population at a future time.

What will work? Margo has some ideas. I think Howard had more effective ideas. I doubt either Shorten or Turnbull have any ideas.
posted by kithrater at 2:43 AM on July 4, 2016


kithrater, I really, really don't understand where you're coming from. I'm trying. But I can't.

I don't understand where Margo Kingston is coming from either. I presume these are the ideas you are referring to. It includes the following:
• Her supporters were by and large nice people with little money who were largely uninterested in politics. They were suffering badly from the effects of competition policy, which had seen basic services and jobs stripped out of their towns. They loved Hanson’s grit and plain speaking. Most of all, they loved that she listened.

• Hanson is also a nice person. She’s a Liberal who’d always worked very hard in small business and was surprised to have been expelled from the party for racially charged remarks. She had no idea that what she’d said about Aboriginal people was racist. Because she’d been isolated by other politicians when she got to Canberra, she was easy prey for hard-right carpetbaggers.
Hanson has been a vocal, unrepentant racist for coming on 2 decades. And that just when she was in the public eye; presumably she was a racist before then. It is inconcievable that for that entire time she has been unaware that her views are regarded as racist. I could just about swallow that she doesn't think her views are wrong, but that's entirely a different matter. If Kingston thinks she is a 'nice person', we have entirely inconsistent definitions.

As for her supporters? Sure, maybe most of them are struggling and they're looking for solutions. But Hanson isn't talking about rectifying wealth inequality and addressing the plight of working class Australia. She just wants to beat up on brown people. Her priorities are a 'Royal Commission into Islam', a ban on the building of mosques, and zero-net migration. They're not voting for her because she's promising to make things better, because she isn't. They're voting for her because they believe her when she says brown people are the cause of all their problems. They're voting for her because they also hate brown people.

But sure. They're nice people.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:36 AM on July 4, 2016 [8 favorites]


My point is that the strategy of defeating reactionary ideas and causes by calling them and their supporters racist is counterproductive. If you want to defeat Hanson, explore alternative strategies.

Hanson has been a vocal, unrepentant racist for coming on 2 decades.

And yet she got elected once by accident and then a second time twenty years later. If racism is the motivating force behind it all, why hasn't she spent the last 18 years in office?
posted by kithrater at 4:56 AM on July 4, 2016


It's totally possible to be a racist and a nice person to those you meet. I've had a couple in my extentded family.
posted by deadwax at 5:23 AM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


kithrater, I think that the DD conditions (i.e. the half quota required for Senate entry) combined with the voting reforms presented Hanson with the first realistic chance of getting back in and One Nation accordingly campaigned harder. Combined with a disillusioned electorate and likely a bunch of local factors (that I cannot speak to), we get the 9% result.
I also think it is absolutely something that we can put a lot on Queensland. One Nation was on the ballot in most states but none of use put them in.
posted by kisch mokusch at 5:26 AM on July 4, 2016


If you want to defeat Hanson, explore alternative strategies.

This is where I lose you. What are those strategies?

IIRC, Howard's strategy in 2001 was essentially to adopt the One Nation strategy with respect to the Tampa and capture their voters. Combating a rising tide of racism by being more racist doesn't seem like a great outcome.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:52 AM on July 4, 2016 [3 favorites]




Instead of Greens leader saying Hanson a racist a bigot his job to expel her, how about "I look forward to discussing her views with her?" (a tweet by Kingston quoted in the Guardian article)

I read this and thought, um, why? If someone is a racist bigot, why try to discuss her views with her? It'd devolve into an argument, or I'd just be more sickened that people think that way. If trapped in a room with no choice but to talk we could probably have a conversation about cake, or picking paint colours, but I couldn't bear a conversation with Hanson about her political views.

As for her supporters? Sure, maybe most of them are struggling and they're looking for solutions. But Hanson isn't talking about rectifying wealth inequality and addressing the plight of working class Australia.

Heh, yeah, because she would have no idea where to start. From her comments about climate change, she hates intellectuals too. And while being highly educated doesn't make you a better person, it does provide context for discussions about wealth inequality.
posted by kitten magic at 5:15 PM on July 4, 2016




Think of all the good things we could do with the time we save ignoring everything Hanson says and does.
posted by um at 5:36 PM on July 4, 2016


And of course she is anti-vax. How could it be otherwise?
posted by um at 5:40 PM on July 4, 2016


I could possibly ignore her if it weren't for all the people actually agreeing with her and calling entire sections of humanity 'filth' in every comment section everywhere.
posted by h00py at 5:41 PM on July 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Think of all the good things we could do with the time we save ignoring everything Hanson says and does.

That would be all well and good if we weren't faced with the possibility of the government having to court her vote to get things through the senate.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:44 PM on July 4, 2016


Interesting piece in the AFR about possible way to reduce the Senate cross bench next election.
posted by hawthorne at 8:34 PM on July 4, 2016


I can't read the AFR piece, as it's behind a paywall. Are they talking about assigning all the half term positions to the cross bench? Because that seems a little nakedly unjust.
posted by misfish at 3:10 PM on July 5, 2016


My understanding is that it works like this:

This is all about the next election: which senators will have to run and which ones won't. Senators are supposed to be in two classes, so that only half the Senate is elected each term. But the Constitution doesn't specify how senators are assigned to each class when you have a double dissolution. Should it be:

a) In order of the number of votes received, in which case the order would be Liberal/Labor, Labor/Liberal, Minor Party, Minor Party, Minor Party .... Pauline Hanson et al would get a full six-year term, most of the senators from the major parties would receive half terms.

b) In order of the number of votes received, but treating the order as if this were a half-Senate election. In other words, the candidates who would have received a seat in a half-Senate election get the full term spots. The major parties would get most of those, and most of the senators from minor parties would struggle to retain their seats next (half-Senate) election.

There are good arguments on either side. Option (a) involves less special pleading, but it's arguable that option (b) distorts the makeup of the Senate less. I mean, if there had been two half-Senate elections in a row most minor candidates wouldn't have a seat at all; it seems weird to make them doubly-advantaged in that they not only have a seat but get a full term, when they normally wouldn't be in Parliament at all.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:47 PM on July 5, 2016


It's back: Does Australia have a government yet?
posted by une_heure_pleine at 4:11 PM on July 5, 2016


Antony Green on the half-Senate terms, complete with scenarios showing outcomes of each option. The Senate itself gets to decide which of the two options it wants to use, so whichever one is better for the major parties is likely to get up.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 4:16 PM on July 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Grayndler has just returned as 'complete' (polling booths, not postals) - they've decided the second run candidate is Green, Albanese still clearly in. Wish that they'd remove Grayndler from the "not yet determined" column.

We're up to 60 complete divisions, 90 incomplete- with a lot of those 'incomplete' just waiting for a special hospital team or whatever to be done.

TCP still hasn't taken place in Gray yet, according to the website, so the NXT candidate isn't conceding yet- though it does look like the Liberals will pick this one up.
posted by freethefeet at 6:03 PM on July 5, 2016


I have never understood why they hold elections on a Saturday, start counting, and then take Sunday off. Were they unable to roster an extra shift? Was the election some sort of surprise for them?
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:39 PM on July 5, 2016


Apparently on the night of the election they only count the "ordinary votes"

That means first preference and two-candidate-preferred votes for House of Representatives ballot papers, and first preferences for the Senate ballot papers.

(I'd read it somewhere better than news.com.au but couldn't find it)

The article goes on to say it was one of the recommendations after ballots went missing in a 2013 WA senate vote.

That makes sense because this is the first time I remember them stopping the count for a few days.
posted by kitten magic at 7:51 PM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have never understood why they hold elections on a Saturday, start counting, and then take Sunday off. Were they unable to roster an extra shift? Was the election some sort of surprise for them?

They don't take Sunday off. Sunday the AEC workers of each division are reconciling declared votes and the HQ is reconciling postal votes and making sure they all make it to the correct divisions for counting on Monday.

And Saturday is probably the best day for polling in a compulsory voting electorate.
posted by Talez at 8:09 PM on July 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


My understanding is that the count itself is not that much slower than usual - it's just that usually we have a clear result on election night based on ordinary votes, so we're not all paying attention while the AEC wraps things up. If things are a bit slower, it's because they know a close result will be under so much scrutiny (especially after the last WA Senate mess) so they can't afford to cut any corners. Plus there are much higher rates of pre-poll and postal votes this year, and those take longer to sort out.
I want a result as much as any political junkie, but I've got no problem with them taking the time on Sunday to get it right. I've worked elections for the AEC - by the end of doing the first preference and 2PPs on election night, everyone's exhausted (they've been there since 7am to set up and staff the booths, then dealt with the public all day), and I can see how mistakes get made even by the most conscientious people. Better to take the time to get all the boxes in the right places before moving on.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 8:40 PM on July 5, 2016


They also were counting the prepoll and mobile teams on Sunday. I've been watching the AEC count progress obsessively and there were lots of updates on Sunday and Monday - just not the exciting postals that we're all waiting for. This isn't an abnormally slow year (apart from the higher security due to losing ballots in WA in 2013) it's just that we usually are able to call an accurate result with less information. There's a good month of work after each election!

(Err, on non preview ditto)
posted by freethefeet at 8:52 PM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Latest from the ABC:

ABC election analyst Antony Green has projected the Coalition will secure at least 73 seats, and says it is possible they could reach the magic number of 76 required to win majority government.

"I think they can get to 76," Mr Green told Radio National.

"Seventy-three is a definite, 74 is also likely, 75 is possible, 76 is less possible."

posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:52 PM on July 5, 2016


Lovely: One Nation WA Senate candidate Rod Culleton on stealing charge
Doubts have been cast over whether WA’s leading One Nation candidate will be able to take up a Senate seat following revelations he is awaiting sentencing for a criminal offence in New South Wales.
[...]
University of WA politics expert William Bowe said if Mr Culleton was excluded from the Senate, it would likely fall to One Nation leader Paul Hanson to choose his replacement from among the other candidates who ran on the party’s ticket.

Mr Culleton’s brother-in law Peter Georgiou was number two on the ticket and his wife Ionna Culleton was number three.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:30 PM on July 5, 2016


Press release from AEC on the speed of the count (sounds a bit exasperated to my reading!)
posted by freethefeet at 11:49 PM on July 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


"I genuinely thank the Daily Telegraph for its continuing interest in the conduct of the 2016 federal election."

Champagne comedy from the AEC.
posted by langtonsant at 1:17 AM on July 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Unhappily, in my view, I have heard a few comments favouring electronic voting to accelerate counting, including Antony Green.
While there is no reason to suppose electronic voting should have less integrity than paper ballots, practicalities in places that have adopted it, like the US, have shown it can be more open to abuse than paper ballots. I don't like not knowing the election outcome, but I am pretty confident it will be the people's will when the decision comes about.
posted by bystander at 3:41 AM on July 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have a genuine (if possibly misplaced) fondness for the quaintness of our voting system.

The schools that are temporarily transformed into the place of the exercise of the highest democratic rights, the flipping through the pages of the roll to find your name, the fact that they don't check ID, and take your word for it when you say that you haven't voted before that day (and also that they ask whether you've already voted even if you're lining up at 7:59am and are at the table at 8:00), the cardboard booths and the pencil supplied, the folding of the Senate ballot paper a million times just so it fits through the slot, and of course the sausage sizzle and cake stalls. I saw some footage of an election held in the 1980's maybe, and the cardboard booths looked exactly the same as those last Saturday.

And then where would we be without election night coverage with Antony Green and his computer modelled predictions? I tell you what, I'll support electronic voting when Antony Green retires, but not before then.

But more seriously, even though the system we've got now is laughably easy to abuse, I don't think it really is.
The missing ballot papers in 2013 was such a scandal because things like are not known to happen. And as much as re-voting was annoying, I'd much rather go through that than doubt the result.
posted by pianissimo at 4:19 AM on July 6, 2016 [10 favorites]


I have a genuine (if possibly misplaced) fondness for the quaintness of our voting system.

I agree wholeheartedly. I love turning up and everyone is present and quiet, maybe some kids are stirring up a bit of a ruckus, but they're just being kids and they're bored. No one is forcing us to vote a certain way and (with a few exception) no one is fighting or hurting anyone else. No one is preventing anyone from turning up. It's a civil, orderly process conducted within our communities.

Yes it can be annoying and there are arguments against compulsory voting but in Australia we are privileged to have the sort of system we do.

And Antony Green is a national treasure.
posted by prettypretty at 4:42 PM on July 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yes it can be annoying and there are arguments against compulsory voting but in Australia we are privileged to have the sort of system we do.

I remember once complaining about how boring it was and my dad (who lived through more crap in Europe than you would believe) said "You don't know how lucky you are."
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:21 PM on July 6, 2016 [2 favorites]




Instead of Greens leader saying Hanson a racist a bigot his job to expel her, how about "I look forward to discussing her views with her?" (a tweet by Kingston quoted in the Guardian article)

So, this article by Ruby Hamad really sums up my feelings about Kingston's thing.
Class analysis can't explain everything. Yes, the working class and rural poor in both Australia and the UK have been screwed by capitalism and the political classes. Yes, the exploited and marginalised deserve sympathy for their struggles and the patronising attitudes with which their concerns have been met.

But let's get a couple of things straight. First, not all of the disenchanted working class is white. And yet, the current valorisation of "the workers" has a disturbingly white tint, as if nothing has changed since the mid-1970s. Not only does the classwashing argument ignore the contributions of non-whites to the labour force (and their exploitation), but it lets them down again by suggesting attacks on them by alienated white voters are somehow, if not justified, then at least "understandable".
...
Nonetheless, Margo Kingston, prominent "voice of the left" and author of Not Happy John, insists that Hanson and her supporters not be lampooned but "listened to". That we should "go to where her voters are and have a chat with them."

Yes, this is the same Hanson who warned of "being swamped by Asians," who declared "Islam has no place in Australia," complains that Aboriginal people have it too easy, and demands an immediate end to all Muslim immigration.

Who exactly is Kingston talking to here? Does she imagine a Muslim or Asian or Aboriginal person is going to mosey on down to the Hanson heartland for a cup of tea and a yarn with people who believe our presence is the source of all their problems?

But of course, Kingston's column wasn't written for us. Like Hanson herself, Kingston is appealing to a lily-white audience, even if it's one that rallies for equality and sneers at Hansonism. Her unconscionably sympathetic take - even calling One Nation's fear of Islam "natural and understandable"- is surely the classwashing nadir.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:32 PM on July 6, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oh Margo, what about Labor senator Sam Dastyari's invitation for a Halal Snack and a chat? Or Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane's invitation: "I'm always open to dialogue and if Ms Hanson would appreciate a pho soup or pork roll in Cabramatta, then I'd be very happy to treat her to one and have a chat to her about questions on race and immigration."

Not happening.
posted by valetta at 8:34 PM on July 6, 2016


Waleed Aly (perhaps a national treasure of the future?) comments on the schisms within the two major parties. He proposes that if we started again, we wouldn't have Labor/Liberal, but Greens, Far Right, and Centre. (apologies for another SMH article- remember the 30 article limit.)
posted by freethefeet at 8:48 PM on July 6, 2016


Greens, Far Right, and Centre

If we're starting things over can we just not fuck the Democrats up this time?

I always had to hold my nose voting for Greens for some of the dumb shit they say at times.
posted by Talez at 8:58 PM on July 6, 2016


I always had to hold my nose voting for Greens for some of the dumb shit they say at times.

The iron law of party politics is that every party gets taken over by kooks. Kooks have infinite time and infinite wells of stupidity from which to draw. Small parties get taken over quickly, as soon as their founders age out or move on. Large parties get taken over piecemeal, which is why successful ones have multiple layers (*) between the branch level and the executive. Unfortunately, both the Democrats and Greens are small parties, where "small" means that an individual with time and determination can make a real difference. And what happens when that individual is obsessed or deranged? Why, they get to chair the committee on the subject of their obsession.

Seriously, you can read most party structures as being mechanisms to avoid popular insurgencies.

(*) Or had - UK Labour opened itself up to direct democracy, and they ended up with Corbyn.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:06 PM on July 6, 2016


"You don't know how lucky you are."

I was volunteering at the 2013 election for GetUp, and as usual there was a bit of banter between the different party volunteers. The Liberals gave us some of the usual latte-sipping stuff, we gave them a bit of cashed-up bogan stuff. And then a lady walked up with her friend and a bunch of children to get our flyer so she could look at the whole set. She had dark skin and dreads and the kind of op-shop clothes you see on refugees and recent immigrants around here. We apologised that this booth didn't have a sausage sizzle or a cake stall for the kids, but suggested that the nearby primary school would have one if she wasn't in a hurry to vote. And the Christian Democrats vollie asked if they had lattes there and my husband said "why do you want me to get you one?" and we had a giggle.

And this lady and her friend just stared at us, open mouthed, before politely recovering and saying that it was amazing how we volunteers were joking with each other. In the country she came from (she didn't say where, I wish I'd asked) she said people would be having fist fights if they couldn't get guns. I dont remember what I said, I think I jumbled up a joke and a wish that all nations could vote this way and another apology for the lack of cupcakes to celebrate her being able to vote here safely.

But I think having to go to a local landmark and stand in line with people who could be voting the opposite of you is part of what makes our current system great. Make a stupid sausage joke with your neighbour, instead of a fist fight or worse. Make people who are new here feel welcome and like their vote counts. If we give that up for electronic systems I can only see political divisions getting worse.
posted by harriet vane at 5:05 AM on July 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


OK, it looks like Antony Green is only advocating electronic voting for pre-poll, postal and absentee votes. There's something to be said for that, although the consequences of the recent shift to more pre-poll voting would need to be thought through. It's not that pre voting should be hard to do, but I don't think it shouldn't become the more attractive option. If the majority of people vote early, you'd lose the character of election day itself, but more importantly, you'd also have more people voting who haven't seen the whole campaign.

Why this might be important - our local government elections are either mostly or solely postal votes. Last year, a few days before the actual election day, the Corruption and Crime Commission released a pretty damning report into the Lord Mayor of the City of Perth. By the time the report was released, many people had already voted. I think it's fair to say that many of the people who voted for her might have changed their vote based on that report. (I don't believe the timing of the CCC report was intentional, if anything, I'd speculate that they pushed to get it out before the election but of course anything's possible.)
posted by pianissimo at 6:49 AM on July 7, 2016


I guess I'm old and farty but I really think having a manual system with paper and pencil (or pen) is important. I mean it's inevitable that eventually there'll be a system where paper votes will be fed into some kind of machine that reads the votes and counts them accordingly but for the sake of transparency and accountability I'll always think that a paper trail is important.

That's my old school accountancy background, I guess.
posted by h00py at 8:39 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Looks like Katter is going to bleed the government dry for every one of his batshit insane proposals for his support in a hung parliament.

Now that Labor can't win I'm rooting for the coalition to hit 76. The senate will surely stop them from bringing back the Spanish Union Inquisition.
posted by Talez at 11:08 AM on July 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Looks like Katter is going to bleed the government dry for every one of his batshit insane proposals for his support in a hung parliament.

According to the ABC, of the six seats in doubt, the Coalition are only predicted to win one, although they are all very tight.

So Katter alone won't do it. They likely need one more. Who else are they going to have to make a deal with?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:05 PM on July 7, 2016


If it's Satan then it will prove conservatives have souls. Win-win.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:17 PM on July 7, 2016


Who else are they going to have to make a deal with?

Looks like Wilkie will be the missing link
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:43 PM on July 7, 2016


Dennis Altman in The Conversation wonders if proportional representation would be a good idea. (Among other things.)
posted by Coaticass at 4:37 AM on July 8, 2016


The ABC has put together a guide to crossbencher's positions on a range of issues.
posted by valetta at 6:41 AM on July 8, 2016




Via Ketan Joshi: Racist sentiment inspired by economic anxiety and political disenfranchisement is still racist. Wounds created in the flesh and soul of coloured kids don’t heal any quicker because they were inflicted by people converting economic worries into a hatred of immigrants. Racist abuse is not an acceptable conduit for the expression of economic anxiety... Cruelty is no less cruel when it emerges as a proxy for something else
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:04 PM on July 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Turnbull claims victory.
posted by Coaticass at 11:29 PM on July 9, 2016


Danby may lose Melbourne ports. What a dick.
posted by smoke at 7:24 PM on July 10, 2016


Why do you dislike him so much? I'm not a fan of his, but his life would have been enormously easier if he were more flexible.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:04 PM on July 10, 2016


Factional power broker on the right of the party, extremely arrogant. I support his generally hostile stance on China and almost nothing else. As an mp I grudgingly acknowledge he is not the worst falls in the middle somewhere, it's an attitude thing. Thinks he knows everything.
posted by smoke at 9:14 PM on July 10, 2016


I also thought his fulminating against the greens was the epitome of labor hysteria, though now I've heard about how she wouldn't go to the forum I'm less sure. The irony is labor and green official Israel policy is largely the same, i.e.two state solution.
posted by smoke at 11:55 PM on July 10, 2016


The Australian Greens are opposed to the idea of a Jewish homeland. I'm not sure in what way they can be said to support a "two state solution", unless they mean one state in which Jews can't live, and one in which they are suffered to live.

In contrast, the ALP is committed to "two states for two peoples".

Also, this probably has less to do with carefully-articulated positions expressed in party platforms and more to do with the fact that the Greens are a bunch of nasty nutters who are obsessed with Israel. Example, the fact they couldn't find anyone sympathetic to stand in Melbourne Ports. Example, "Lee Rhiannon used her Senate printing allowance to print and authorise posters to promote a pro-Palestinian rally". Really? Two months before a Federal election and that was the best use she could make of her allowance? You can tell where her priorities lie.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:21 AM on July 11, 2016


Joe, neither the Greens, nor Labor, support an exclusively Jewish state, which seems only fair to huge proportion of non-Jewish people living in Israel. They support a two-state solution, just like Labor. Emotive and ambiguous terms like 'homeland' do not feature in their policy, or Labor's.

Beyond that, it would be positively deranged for me to debate IP policy/zionism with you, even in the context of Australian politics. You know where I think you sit on this issue.
posted by smoke at 1:25 AM on July 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Israel never sought to be or portrayed itself as "an exclusively Jewish state". That's a weird red herring. It's a national homeland, like many other national or sub-national homelands. The ALP platform recognises this under the "two states for two peoples" formula; the Green one doesn't; they are very clear about denying national rights to Jews. To the best of my knowledge the Greens are the only significant Australian political party to discriminate this way.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:02 AM on July 11, 2016


Anne Aly becomes the first Muslim woman elected to parliament - go Anne! Especially in light of the totally gross liberal campaign. Seems a little suss that 200 green votes from one booth ended up in the lib pile. Take your time AEC, it's important.
posted by smoke at 3:13 AM on July 11, 2016


Nooooo, that pillock Leyonhjelm might get back in the Senate. On Labor preferences.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:14 PM on July 11, 2016


Daaaaaaamn it.
posted by smoke at 7:29 PM on July 11, 2016


This still on?

Some developments:

Looks like no Leyonhjelm.

Kim Il Carr retains his spot in the shadow ministry, Andrew Leigh takes a pay cut to stay in. Upon hearing that the smartest person in the ALP had taken one for the team, Mark Dreyfus held a press conference demanding that it should be he who ought be so demoted and Barry Jones got déjà vu having forgotten he was no longer in the game at all after that terrible diagram. Leigh will now have to wear shorter jackets to cover the cost. He hasn't been quoted as saying the wages of non-alignment are fuck all.

Christopher Pyne is to be Minister for Defence Industry. I nearly called this, but it was supposed to be a joke.

As for Danby, he's an odd one. He's my MP and I don't like him that much and some of the bruvvas who were arrested during the election are a fair part of the flavour of that. But he's not without a point about the Greens even if he calls it 5 out of 4 times. And the Greens' attack on Danby (as far as I can tell from the notes stuck to pedestrian crossings) is just unbelievable: they had a go at him for not standing up for refugees. It's that that's kept me voting informal for several elections.
posted by hawthorne at 5:48 AM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


Looks like no Leyonhjelm.

Yes, I saw that. Thank dog for small mercies.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:05 AM on July 23, 2016


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