Saturday salon 31/12

1. Pauline Hanson + Cory Bernardi = Perfect Storm

Miranda Devine has the goss:

    In a stunning proposal that would send shockwaves through the Coalition, Hanson told me on 2GB radio on Monday that she would even consider ceding control of her party to Bernardi in order to lock in conservative voters disillusioned with the Coalition.

    “I have a lot of respect for Cory, “ she said. “I’d love to work with him or join forces. If Cory wants to take over [One Nation] so be it but at the end of the day it has got to be on the issues that I want to fight for the people.” Continue reading Saturday salon 31/12

Should We be Thinking More About What is Happening to Men?

Dissatisfaction amongst working-class male voters and their families has been put forward as part of the reason for the recent Brexit, Trump and One Nation successes. This post concludes that, in Australia, some men really are struggling and feel that some of their problems are being ignored by the political establishment. Continue reading Should We be Thinking More About What is Happening to Men?

Political ideology and the left-right divide

In the comments thread of the post How Trump won, but what does it mean? I made the comment:

    I don’t think we’ll ever get a just and decent society in the US or Australia from the right wing of politics. The question is whether we can make it on the left.

In Ootz’s rejoinder, he suggested that the old left-right dichotomy is not practical nor applicable anymore, and linked to an article Understanding the Determinants of Political Ideology: Implications of Structural Complexity, by Stanley Feldman and Christopher Johnston. Continue reading Political ideology and the left-right divide

Will Turnbull be PM this time next year?

My son Mark, who has a better idea about these things than I do, thinks we’ll have Abbott back again as PM, probably about six months before the next election. That way he can blame everything that’s wrong on Malcolm and concentrate on developing some nice slogans for an election, something he’s really good at.

Turnbull has just chalked up his eighth losing Newspoll in a row. By the middle of next year that could be over 20. Around about that time, with another unconvincing budget from ScoMo and Matthias Cormann, we should be due to lose our triple-A credit rating. If Malcolm continues to displease the conservative right in his party he will be vulnerable from that time on.

Newspoll, which looked at October-December as a block, had a few interesting tales to tell. Continue reading Will Turnbull be PM this time next year?

The socialist objective: anachronism or fundamental?

As it stands the Labor Party in Australia has the following objective in its constitution:

    The Australian Labor Party is a democratic socialist party and has the objective of the democratic socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange, to the extent necessary to eliminate exploitation and other anti-social features in these fields.

Carol Johnson back in July 2015 tells us the 2015 Labor national conference decided to review this ‘socialist objective’ because as Luke Foley claimed:

    … no-one in the party today argues that state ownership is Labor’s central, defining purpose.

Continue reading The socialist objective: anachronism or fundamental?

Saturday salon 24/12

1. Party time for the Tories

Christmas is the silly season, it seems, for LNP politicians. George Christiansen likes to keep himself in the news. Earlier this month he cam back from the Philippines praising President Rodrigo Duterte for his program of summarily shooting people involved in drugs. Duterte showed the way himself when he was mayor, personally shooting three people to show how it is done.

Now Christiansen is saying he may have to leave the Liberal Party unless the Turnbull Government starts acting like a proper conservative government. There have been consistent rumours that Cory Bernadi is on the move also. Both are fans of Trump. Continue reading Saturday salon 24/12

Climate clippings 194

1. Methane emissions spiking

The Global Methane Budget 2016 has been released, and the news is not good.

    CSIRO researcher Dr Pep Canadell said it was the most comprehensive modelling to date and revealed a potentially dangerous climate wildcard.

    “Methane emissions were stable for quite a few years at the end of the 2000s. But they’ve begun to grow much faster, in fact 10 times faster, since 2007,” said Dr Canadell, who is also the executive director of the Global Carbon Project.

Continue reading Climate clippings 194

Closing down coal

Frank Jotzo recently pointed out that if we are to meet our Paris commitments of keeping global temperature rise below 2C we will need to close about one coal-fired power station every year. I believe we have 24.

He was giving evidence to a Senate inquiry into the Retirement of coal fired power stations set up by the Greens and Labor, chaired by Larissa Waters and due to report on 29 March 2017. If you follow the links there is already an Interim Report and 133 submissions available for our perusal. Continue reading Closing down coal

How Trump won, but what does it mean?

The numbers are now in. Trump won with a little help from the Russians, and the Chinese are definitely on the front foot in the South China Sea.

Adrian Beaumont at The Conversation has the final count.

    Clinton won the overall popular vote by 65.84 million votes, to 62.98 million for Trump, a difference of 2.86 million. Clinton’s raw vote was down only slightly from Obama’s 65.92 million in 2012, while Trump was over 2 million above Mitt Romney’s vote.

    In percentage terms, Clinton won 48.1%, to Trump’s 46.0%, a 2.1% popular vote win, compared with Obama’s 3.9% win over Romney. Libertarian Gary Johnson won 3.3% and Green Jill Stein 1.1%.

Continue reading How Trump won, but what does it mean?

Saturday salon 17/12

1. Do we need a new conservative party?

One Nation would tell us we’ve already got one, but Essential Report has now conducted a poll about an Abbott-based party, asking the question:

    If a new conservative party was formed and included people like Tony Abbott, how likely would you be to vote for them?

Overall the answer is ‘not very likely’ with ‘Total unlikely’ at 58% and ‘Total likely’ at 23%. However the Lib/Nat preference is evenly split at 41% each way. Continue reading Saturday salon 17/12

Climate clippings 193

1. China drives electric vehicles boom

An AFR article about investors piling into lithium and graphite mining stocks tells a tale. With our focus on Tesla we are missing the story of China.

    Although the Western world’s focus is on Tesla’s progress, it is China’s EV push – it makes up 38 per cent of the global EV fleet, an increase from just 8 per cent in 2012 – that is really turning the dial.

    Argonaut’s Hong Kong-based analyst Helen Lau says the massive subsidies available in the Chinese EV market to curb carbon emissions and lessen that country’s reliance on oil imports make electric cars up to 15 per cent cheaper to buy than conventional, internal combustion ones.

Continue reading Climate clippings 193