Media Circus: Recent Parliamentary Shenanigans Edition

Well, there’s been many a twist and turn in Federal politics over the last 6 weeks, and quite a few at State and local levels around the nation as well.  What’s been your most/least favourite political moment lately? Will an unelectable stick become the next Liberal PM?

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: ethics & philosophy, media, parties and factions

Tags: , , , ,

15 replies

  1. I haven’t seen any number crunching yet (doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, of course), but do recent results in state elections and by-elections, combined with what polls say about Abbott and the oft-seen “let’s vote for the mob that is not the mob in power elsewhere” approach, mean there is a real chance NSW will have Robertson as premier from next April??????
    I seem to remember the general view in 2011 was that there was absolutely no chance, so hey, no worries, let’s just have him as oppo leader for a bit and take some time to recover. But …

  2. Robertson as Premier is an a heroic prediction at this point. Robbo currently has a preferred Premier rating of 17%. I just can’t see NSW Labor being competitive in March, no matter what the state of the NSW Coalition.

  3. The worm in the apple of the Labor victory in Victoria is the very bad outcome in the Legislative Council, where the result is Coalition 16 (down 5), Labor 13 (down 3), Greens 5 (up 2), Shooters and Fishers 3, Sex Party 1, DLP 1, Country Alliance 1. So in fact the conservatives have retained their 21-19 majority. Now we’ll have weeks of recriminations about who did preference deals with whom, followed by four years of battles to get anything through the Council. I hope we see a bipartisan agreement to reform the Council election system to impose a threshold so that micro-parties can’t preference-surf their way to seats in this way.

  4. Well, they’ve decided to jettison the $7 co-payment. Instead, they’re going to reduce the Medicare payment to doctors by $5 and let them charge this optional co-payment. This is apparently supposed to deal with the “6 minute medicine” problem, according to the ABC article. Quite how this is supposed to work is difficult to figure out, although I’m inclined to place the blame on an incoherent press statement rather than a poorly-written article.
    Maybe someone should mention to the Liberals: GPs are generally Liberal voters, being small businesspeople as well as medically trained people, and there are probably more GPs in Australia than there are big business CEOs and heads of private health insurance firms. It is therefore good electoral sense not to piss them off!

    • Remote country GPs especially are going to be hard hit by this: many of them live in towns so small that the nearest ATM can be a half-hour drive (or more). Passing on the $5 rebate reduction to the patients is not going to be practical.
      I saw a government spokeshead say that the Medicare levy simply wasn’t covering costs. So raise it by another 0.5% while raising the minimum taxable income threshold so that in this one most important area the richest taxpayers actually do carry their weight.

  5. Oh my goodness Mark Latham! Let it go dude, before your brain rage quits. We get it, parenting is easy (when you have a parliamentary pension) and all feminism’s problems would be solved if only those pesky women would just stop doin it rong and let you take over.

  6. The Orstrayan’s euphemism of the day for Abbott’s climate denialism not-so-deftly slipped into a piece on the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards:

    Flanagan has been a critic of the government’s broader environmental policies and its stand on asylum-seekers.
    (emphasis added)

    So here “broader” means “dumping environmental protection wholesale”, yeah?
    Regarding the awards:

    Flanagan’s novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North was named joint winner of the $80,000 fiction prize in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards on Monday night, but The Australian understands he was not the judges’ choice. It is also understood there was a split among the five judges of the history panel, historian Ann Moyal dissenting on the final decision.
    The fiction panel, also with five members, and chaired by publisher Louise Adler, unanimously recommended one winner: Melbourne writer Steven Carroll for A World of Other People. However, Mr Abbott, who has final say on all of the awards, decided Carroll and Flanagan would share the award.
    One of the judges, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said: “At our last meeting we arrived at one winner. Obviously, the PM chose not to accept our recom­mendation. It was a surprise to us; the first we knew about it was when the PM announced the two winners.’’

    I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Gerard Henderson chairing the history panel didn’t actually support (as was easily assumed) the appalling Hal GP Colebatch’s Quadrant-published pile of anti-union misinformation masquerading as history – he actually supported Mike Carlton’s short-listed work on the Australian Navy in WW1. Sad that only one panel member was willing to go on the record as dissenting though.

    • Still reeling from the US Senate Report on US Torture. I knew it would be bad, just not exactly how bad. And they haven’t even had the full report released yet, because it hasn’t been read to the Senate in full (and may never be). Rectal feeding WTF?

      • via BBC News – Australia donates to UN climate fund

        Australia pledges A$200m (£106m; $166m) to help poor nations mitigate the impact of global warming, in an apparent government U-turn.

      • A status update from New Matilda on FB:

        The mighty team at New Matilda is slowly, methodically, going through the media coverage of the Sydney siege, checking for accuracy on the major ‘angles’ as they broke… our coverage should be ready by tomorrow. And while it’s early days, if you have any trust in mainstream media to report incidents like this accurately, you probably won’t by tomorrow night. The extent of error is utterly staggering.

      • Mad or bad: the inadequacy of the lone wolf theory

        Religiously motivated terrorism and psychological imbalance are not mutually exclusive. Viewing the tragedy in the Lindt Café as a ‘one-off’ by a ‘maddy’ is dangerous wishful thinking, writes Rachael Kohn.

  7. The stick is looking good to me.

  8. 3 things:
    While the Legislative Council looks to be a bit of a nightmare, and I think reform is definitely in order. I *am* glad that the Greens unexpectedly won Prahran from the Libs – that’s got to be a blow.
    Overall for the first time I can tell state and federal politics apart.
    So glad that Andrews has committed to not building the East West Link, and has also appointed a bunch of ministries to address real issues around violence toward women and queer equality.

  9. I’m advised that in the last 48 hours the Abbott Government has made the following appointments:
    * Ian Campbell (former WA Liberal Senator and Minister) and Peter Collins (former NSW Liberal Opposition Leader): Council of the Australian National Maritime Museum.
    * Janet Albrechtsen (Murdoch columnist and right-wing crackpot): Council of the National Museum of Australia.
    * Paul Neville (former Nat MP): Board of the National Film and Sound Archive.
    * Gary Humphries (former ACT Liberal Senator): Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
    * John Lloyd (Director of the IPA): Public Service Commissioner.
    Let’s hope that the next Labor government (a) sacks all these people, and (b) puts Labor people in every job that becomes available. Rudd’s attempt to depoliticise these appointments was just taken by the Libs as a sign of weakness. They have no shame about putting their own people in all these positions and neither should we.

  10. I have had it up to here today with “His obvious mental illness…” shit. I just cannot anymore.
    Angry != mental illness.
    Violent != mental illness.
    Cruel != mental illness.
    Misogynist != mental illness.
    Attention-seeking != mental illness.
    Criminal != mental illness.
    All we seem to know about this guy, really, is he was a cruel criminal with a substantial history of violence against women, out on bail with a media spotlight to hog and nothing to lose. The same story is played out over and over by men in our society. And yet, a whole bunch of folks want to make it all about mental illness. Yet again.
    My friends with mental illnesses, today #illridewithyou.

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