Media Circus: Oops 1003 Mislaid Votes in Indi Edition

Well, whodathunkit?

The votes were found at the Wangaratta pre-polling station after the AEC revealed there were 1,000 more Senate votes lodged at the station than those for the House of Representatives.

The AEC says the votes were counted on the night but not entered into the computer system.

The 1003 figure in the post title comes from the Evil Empire’s story on the same bunch of mislaid votes, but you don’t want to go over there, do you?

What news story/commentary/analysis has grabbed your attention lately?

As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis or pointed twitterstorms etc in new media. Discuss any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).

Categories: media, parties and factions

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26 replies

  1. I have no knowledge of Ms McGowan’s policies, but would be pretty thrilled to see a parliament that no longer contains Ms Mirabella. And especially pleased to see a ministry that no longer employs Ms Mirabella.

  2. McGowan’s policies can be found here:
    They’re very much framed in local terms, but they seem, in general, to be fairly centre-left. (Better transport and health services for rural areas, especially in Indi, market-based action on climate change, investetment in food production, pro-marriage equality, pro-fibre to the home NBN, and a vague statement on asylum seekers that suggests that she opposes mandatory detention, but she doesn’t want to say it too loudly.)
    I must say, her policies are laid out much more clearly and in more detail (and with fewer punctuation errors) than the policies of the Palmer United Party.

  3. That all sounds much better than Ms Mirabella’s position that there’s no proof any indigenous child was “actually stolen”, and subsequent refusal to attend the apology to the stolen generations, which I would imagine is something that probably still doesn’t sit well with much of caring society.

  4. Moving on from Indi, I’m finding the Labor leadership shemozzle dispiriting, to say the least. With Rudd having rejigged the rules to protect himself from another spill in a way that meant there was no provision for timely election of a new [eta: or even interim/caretaker] leader by the parliamentary caucus alone if the previous leader resigns rather than loses a leadership challenge, Rudd cheerfully resigned immediately post-election when he could have announced that he would remain as caretaker leader until a valid leadership ballot under his new rules had taken place, and then stayed mostly quiet and supportively nodded while other Labor members rebutted Coalition talking points.
    That would, of course, have required Rudd actually caring about the party as a whole rather than regarding the party solely as a vehicle for his ambition. *hollow laugh*

  5. It is wrong of me to hope that the whole leaking fiasco starts again in a couple of years time close to the next election but in some ways I do. If Rudd is still there then I firmly believe that he has leadership ambitions again and will do what has worked so well for him in the past. Maybe this time the fervent Rudd supporters will have the wool taken from their eyes. Or maybe not. I suspect I will be the uncomfortable swinging voter for a while yet. Especially since many seem to be hell bent on taking the tack of ‘Gillard was never a legit leader and anyway she’s gone now so shut up’.

    • At this point I think the only ethical and honourable thing for Rudd to do is to serve his electorate for his renewed term in Parliament as an Independent. Resigning from the ALP is the only thing that can prevent future speculation about his continuing leadership ambitions.

      I do not, of course, expect that he will do so. He wants to be white-anting in the caucus.

      • P.S. I realise now that I was wrong that the new leadership rules didn’t allow for interim/caretaker leaders – that had devolved on Albo until he declared his candidacy against Shorten, but now that he has the caretaker-leadership has moved on down the Labor seniority chain. My fault for not delving deeper than the total lack of MSM explanation that the Parliamentary Labor Party was not actually leaderless just because Rudd had resigned.

  6. Hi Tigtog,
    OK if I hang out here? Did you see Emmo’s piece on Rudd going off script and off platform on China, and on his leadership ambitions? Andrew Fisher indeed. I’m going to mentally pencil in a little miner’s light and wee tin sandwich box every time I picture his mug now.

    • Su, good to see you again! Akismet has stopped treating you badly, it appears.
      Emmo has been rather interesting of late, hasn’t he?

  7. So it seems that Chris Bowen is temporary leader while they get themselves sorted. Penny Wong is more senior but can’t lead from the Senate for some reason.
    Everyone seems to be pinning their hopes on Albo, but what if Shorten gets up?
    Apparently Albo said that whoever was tweeting from Caucus has to stop. I have no idea who it was.

  8. I believe under the new rules the leadership would have been declared vacant on account of the loss of the election, so Rudd’s resignation was moot.

  9. No Senator can be prime minister [or leader of the opposition], since they need to be a member of the House of Reps to be [potentially] able to command a majority of members there. For similar reasons, the treasurer and shadow treasurer must also be members of the House, since the Senate cannot issue budget bills.

  10. The PM certainly needs to be from the HoR but the Treasurer being from the HoR is just convention – as you say, Xanthe, the senate can’t issue budget bills. But Ministers from either house have representatives in the other house, and there’s no real reason why their representative minister couldn’t introduce the bills in the HoR.
    In Victoria, the Treasurer in the previous Labor government was from the upper house.

  11. PS am going to be delighted if Mirabella loses her seat. As someone said to me yesterday, it’s like coming home to find your house has been burned down – but then finding your cat’s survived!
    She once held up a flight from Canberra to Melbourne that I was on because she’d left her phone in the Chairman’s Lounge and insisted one of the flight attendants go collect it for her. While a whole plane load of people sat there waiting for her.

  12. I think, perhaps, that most people would be upset if they’d left their phone in the lounge — I know if I was in that situation, and had the opportunity of retrieving the phone as quickly as possible (especially if said phone had sensitive information on it, which is quite likely for an MP), I’d take the opportunity.
    I’ve been thinking a lot about Helen Razer’s piece on Mirabella hate in the Guardian Australia, and I think she’s got it pretty spot on:

    Consigned to the backbench in government, Mirabella never really had the chance to do anything more offensive than be a member of a terrible party which ruined my nation. I will be among the first and most effusive flingers of poo at these monsters whose loathing for life has seen the dwindling of workplace rights and personal liberties but I will not earmark a particular turd for a woman yet to prove that she is as awful as, say, Kevin Andrews.

  13. For the average punter upon learning that you have lost your phone the answer is ‘too bad if someone hands it in we will let you know’. That said they would probably hold the flight for any pollie who was in that situation.

  14. They almost certainly would hold the plane for any polly in that situation, but I can think of quite a few of them who wouldn’t have asked them to!
    The govt phones are very well locked down and can be wiped remotely – her concern wouldn’t have been security, it would have been inconvenience (hers, not anyone else’s).

  15. Mirabella is a noted conservative-for-a-Liberal leader within MP circles, and while Razer says “a whole lot of guys” boycotted the apology to the Stolen Generations, it was actually five or six Liberal MPs total (for the record, Mirabella, Wilson Tuckey, Don Randall, Alby Schultz and Dennis Jensen, and possibly one other, since this source says six but only names five, and has a list ending in “and”; it’s possible that the sixth is supposed to be Concietta Fierravanti-Wells, who refused to voice support in the Senate). I don’t call five (or six) “a whole lot”: it was a small group of noted conservatives making a powerful statement. She’s a strong party room voice in favour of flatter (ie, less progressive) taxation, and was hostile to the few Liberal MPs who opposed mandatory detention of asylum seekers. Backbenchers can be highly influential inside parties, in fact we’ve seen that even some MPs (eg the ALP’s Eddie Obeid and David Clarke in NSW) who command factions prefer to operate on the backbench. Without implying that Mirabella had that kind of influence on Liberal MPs (not even close), I have tended to think of her in the same light: more powerful within the party room than her parliamentary status suggested.
    It’s certainly true that (a) this seat isn’t some kind of triumphant death blow to the conservative end of the Libs (b) most of us (Razer and I, anyway) don’t know a lot about Cathy McGowan and (c) some of the especial loathing towards Mirabella originates in sexism, together with some of the media coverage (over at LP, Robert Merkel notes that her personal life has been reported on when it’s not clear it’s in the public interest, which has sexist implications to me). I don’t think she especially deserves turds compared to, say, Tuckey, Randall, Schultz, Jensen or Andrews, but I feel fairly comfortable that I haven’t personally earmarked any for her either.
    Elsewhere, McGowan is being poked a bit about how she won’t actually be able to do anything in Parliament. I used to live in a seat (Calare) which had a popular local (a newsreader, in Peter Andren’s case) elected as an Independent. I don’t know that it helped the electorate financially (maybe? it might have made the Nationals advocate a bit harder for it), but I think the electorate was pretty happy with him. Andren could focus his electoral career more or less around Calare’s interests in a way that party MPs can’t as much. It at least meant Calare got air time. McGowan won’t have the ear of the government in the way that the Independents in the 43rd Parliament did, but it’s not clear to me that Indi’s interests would have been able to be better represented by Mirabella either. On national issues though (like the NBN, which is a key policy area in McGowan’s list) I don’t think she can do much.

  16. I think McGowan can be a noisy pain in the bum for her constituents and that can be a good thing. What I suspect she will excel in is writing letters and looking into stuff for her electorate. Years ago my Mum wrote to our local member about an issue with super for shearers – my Dad’s super was eaten up by fees everytime anything was paid in on the occassions he was well enough to work. The local member looked into it, reported back and eventually things changed. Her letter would have just been one teaspoon in that change but just the fact that someone listened and acted made a huge difference.

  17. Of course, McGowan might also enjoy more than just one three year term in parliament. If we end up with a hung parliament next time around she could have considerable influence. That probably would be her last term in parliament, however — her policies are much more in line with Labor than Liberal, but her electorate probably wouldn’t like it if she actually formed a coalition with Labor. No matter how well she did, she’d probably have to resign at the end of the term to avoid a humiliating defeat, just as Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor did.

  18. Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor are on record resigning for personal reasons (or more accurately, deciding not to seek another term). Others have pointed out that they would have benefited from seeking another term, as they still both enjoyed enough local support to profit financially from the (failed) attempt.

  19. What I really appreciate about Oakshott and Windsor is that they would have been well aware of that, but didn’t do it because it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

  20. A great response in the Hoopla from Corinne Grant, who grew up in Indi and still has strong ties there, to the latest scolding-of-feminists from Helen Razer.

  21. Dear Ed Vuilliarmy (writing “‘Mexico’s war on drugs is one big lie’” in the guardian weekly 13-19 Sept 2013),
    When you are describing the life of Zulema Yulia Hernándes, a woman who was at the least coerced, if not threatened with violence, into sexual activity with Joaqúin Guzmán (leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel), “becoming one of his lovers” are not the correct words to use. I felt a little sick reading those words, I can imagine a rape survive being triggered.
    Sincerely, Aqua

  22. doesn’t anyone find the misplacing of a thousand votes in the knife edge indi electorate suspicious? shouldn’t there be an open inquiry of some kind? i am not restful about it. yet. -a.v.

    • The AEC has a standard inquiry procedure in place for these sort of discrepancies, don’t they? I’m sure once they’ve finished tabulating the Senate votes and any recounts due to candidate challenges, then the normal inquiry procedure as laid out for inquiries before the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters will begin. There apparently is already a tradition after every election whereby the JSCEM holds an “Inquiry into the conduct of the [year] federal election and matters related thereto”.

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