Australian Politics


Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership dilemma

Cross-posted from The Conversation: When Malcolm Turnbull decisively ousted Tony Abbott, it seemed Australia might have the longed-for leader who would set a clear agenda and lead Australia out of a period of policy inertia. Under Abbott, it the country appeared stuck in a policy rut, frozen by fear about the future. Neither government nor


Polls hammer Turnbott

From Newspoll today: The Turnbull government heads into today’s critical recalled sitting of ­parliament and a likely July 2 election trailing Labor in the latest Newspoll, as two-thirds of voters say reducing government spending must be Canberra’s priority. Malcolm Turnbull yesterday reaffirmed his determination to go to a double-dissolution election if the Senate sticks by


What, exactly, is Turnbullism?

I’ve recalled for readers before a description offered by Paul Kelly about the John Howard view of Australia’s strategic bind vis-a-vis the US and China. Kelly used the old Yogi Berra phrase, “when you come to a fork in the road, take it”. That is, Howard was determined to not choose sides at all. He


Turnbull’s government has degenerated into a circus

The Turnbull Government has degenerated into a circus. It’s somehow actually worse than the Abbott Government. At least the latter had method even if misdirected by troglodyte ideology. The Turnbull Government has no discernible values at all and no method, either! Witness the progression of policy since Malcolm Turnbull’s rise. He came to power with a very clear vision: Ultimately,


Armchair Left begs Turnbull to locate brain

From Fairfax: Fifty prominent Australians have written an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull declaring “Australia doesn’t need lower taxes” and calling for the federal government to place fairness at the heart of the 2016 federal budget. The letter is signed by former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser, ACTU president Ged Kearney, former Labor premier Carmen Lawrence,


Essential poll: 50/50

Cross-posted from Essential Poll: Q: If a Federal Election was held today to which party will you probably give your first preference vote? If not sure, which party are you currently leaning toward? If don’t know -Well which party are you currently leaning to?   Total   Last week 5/4/16 2 weeks ago 29/3/16 4


Turnbull attacks ALP for ignoring BIS negative gearing drivel

By Leith van Onselen The Coalition just can’t let go of the highly spurious BIS Shrapnel negative gearing modelling, which has been slammed by all and sundry (for example see here, here, here and here). Instead of letting the modelling wither on the vine, as it should, the Turnbull Government has instead followed the partisan


Murdoch champions BIS’ negative gearing drivel

By Leith van Onselen Is there a more politically one-eyed newspaper in the country than The Australian? Headlining the paper today is a one-eyed column by Sid Maher trying to attack shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, for proceeded with Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains tax policy supposedly against the advice of BIS Shrapnel modelling showing


Turnbott sells everything he is not

From PM Turnbull over the weekend brainwashing some Victorian LNP party members: Now my friends we are at a pivotal moment in our history as we transition from an economy that has been fired up by an unprecedented mining construction boom as we transition to the new economy of the 21st century. In this election


Betting markets give Labor a faint sniff

Very faint but evident, from Mark the Ballot: This morning sees further declines in the probability of a Coalition win at the next election according to the betting markets. House Coalition Odds ($) Labor Odds ($) Coalition Win Probability (%) 2016-04-09 Betfair 1.33 3.00 69.28 2016-04-09 CrownBet 1.27 3.75 74.70 2016-04-09 Ladbrokes 1.27 3.50 73.38


Another political housing ponzi scam revealed

From Fairfax: As many as one in five federal politicians are using their travel allowances to supplement the cost of second homes in Canberra. Politicians are entitled to claim $273 a night when they travel to Canberra for Parliament or other business and many keep second residences in close proximity to Parliament House. Representatives for ministers


Shorten to announce Royal Commission into banks

Another winner for the renovated and policy-driven Bill Shorten, from the AFR: Federal Labor could hold a Royal Commission into the banking sector if it wins this year’s federal election. A day after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull excoriated the banks for their culture of greed and warned they would lose their social contract if they did not clean up their


Newspoll: Labor in front of toxic Turnbott

Another day, another Turnbott poll shocker, from The Australian: The Coalition has surrendered its lead to Labor for the first time since Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister, with the latest Newspoll revealing the Bill Shorten-led opposition has pulled ahead, 51 per cent to 49 per cent, in two-party terms. Amid mixed messages about the government’s


Megalogenis: From Australian Moment to Australian Panic!

Poor old George Megalogenis must have whiplash. In his 2012 hubris-dripping treatise The Australian Moment, he described how: There’s no better place to be during economic turbulence than Australia. Brilliant in a bust, we’ve learnt to use our brains in a boom. Although the Great Recession continues to rumble around the globe, we successfully negotiated


Tony’s beatch bristles

From Fairfax: Fresh from firing the starters’ gun on a gruelling 15-week pseudo campaign, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is manoeuvring toward an election platform that will necessarily project his plans for the future while defending his government’s first term legacy. Problem is, there’s a big, proud and increasingly loud guardian of that legacy – the


Breathless praise for Turnbull suicide bid

Honestly, some days the press gallery is a royal dill. You can barely count he number of articles praising PM Turnbull’s push for a double dissolution election today. From Peter Hartcher at Fairfax: Malcolm Turnbull has transformed his prime ministership at one stroke. The picture emerging from his first six months was that he was wasting his


Double dissolution moves closer

From the PM: If we do proceed to a double dissolution, the election will be on Saturday, 2 July. If the ABCC Bills are passed by the Senate and the Registered Organisations Bill, which as you know has already been rejected twice by the Senate, is passed by the Senate, then there will not be a double dissolution. Today, I called upon His Excellency the Governor-General to advise


Double dissolution dead?

From Fairfax: Malcolm Turnbull’s options for an early double-dissolution election on July 2 have narrowed as an unmanageable Senate blocks even the modest goal of having government legislation defeated. …known as the Australian Building and Construction Commission Bill, seeks to re-establish the Howard-era building unions watchdog. But it has no chance of majority support in


How come tax-payer money is worth less than Turnbull’s?

From The Australian: Clive Palmer has demanded further government subsidies for his ailing north Queensland nickel refinery, while conceding some of the sacked workers won’t want to keep working for him. Workers sacked from the troubled Yabulu plant have no chance of being rehired this financial year — if at all — after the businessman


Ipsos/Newspoll diverge on election outcome

Cross-posted from Mark the Ballot: The Fairfax-Ipsos poll for March has been released. It estimated the national two-party preferred vote share for the Coalition at 53 per cent (a one percentage point improvement on the February poll). Adding this poll to my aggregation sees no change. The Coalition’s national two-party preferred vote share remains estimated


Two-faced Barnaby in trouble

From Fairfax: Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce faces the prospect of losing his New England seat after just one term as the first opinion polling in the sprawling country electorate shows voters swinging behind the former local member, independent Tony Windsor. And it could be the issue of coal mining in prime farm land, which