In a single chamber parliament with 93 members the magic number is 47 with preferential voting compulsory. Currently the party balance is Labor 48, LNP 38, KAP (Katter) 3, Greens 1, PHON (Pauline Hanson’s One Nation) 1, Independent 1, and FNQ (Far North Qld) 1.
The FNQ (Whitsunday) member was elected as LNP in 2017. The member Jason Costigan:
was expelled from the LNP in February 2019 over sexual harassment claims, first aired in Parliament, that were later withdrawn. The LNP did not reverse the expulsion and Costigan formed North Queensland First.
So if Labor lose two they lose their majority, a swing of 0.7% would do it; the LNP need to pick up nine to govern in their own right, a swing of 3.4%. Continue reading Queensland’s phantasmagorical election circus
1. Six types of covid-19?
The New Scientist reports on a study in the UK where researchers grouped Covid_19 symptoms into six clusters:
1 Flu-like symptoms, no fever
Headache, loss of smell, cough, sore throat and aches and pains, but no fever. Around 1.5 per cent of this group will go on to require breathing support in hospital.
2 Flu-like symptoms with fever
Similar to group 1, plus a loss of appetite and fever.
Diarrhoea alongside loss of smell and appetite, headache, sore throat and chest pain. Typically, no cough. Continue reading Sundry virus update
The word “slam” is used from time to time by the media reporting politics. Thus back on 7 September we had Scott Morrison in Coronavirus Australia: Gloves off as Scott Morrison slams Premier Daniel Andrews on road map.
However, if you read the article Morrison is not telling Andrews what to do. So as recently as last Thursday Morrison could credibly stand in Cairns next to Qld LNP leader Deb Frecklington saying that he accepts that state leaders make the decisions on COVID management. It’s just that he’s inclined to refer to ‘Federal standards’ that have not actually been agreed to by the constituent states of the federation.
All the while Victorian federal ministers have indeed slammed Andrews on quite a regular basis for some months. Continue reading Dan is done with political sniping
1. How did Malcolm Fraser lose his trousers?
With all the terrible stuff going on in the world, I thought I’d try to investigate an important part of our history.
How did Malcolm Fraser lose his trousers in a seedy hotel in Memphis on 14 October 1986?
Wikipedia tells us:
On 14 October 1986, Fraser, then the Chairman of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group, was found in the foyer of the Admiral Benbow Inn, a seedy Memphis hotel, wearing only a pair of underpants and confused as to where his trousers were. The hotel was an establishment popular with prostitutes and drug dealers. Though it was rumoured at the time that the former Prime Minister had been with a prostitute, his wife stated that Fraser had no recollection of the events and that she believes it more likely that he was the victim of a practical joke by his fellow delegates.
The Daily Telegraph tells the story more vividly: Continue reading Weekly salon 17/10
1. Stimulus budget wildly off target
Laura Tingle summed up the Frydenberg budget strategy in an article that in the AFR was titled Frydenberg stimulus shot veers wildly off target:
The Government has punted everything on a private sector-led recovery out of recession; one that will happen both really, really quickly and dramatically enough to offset the huge disruption just about to start as businesses lose JobKeeper support for their workforce, run out of rent and bank payment holidays, and decide to close their doors.
Frydenberg spoke of:
Continue reading Weekly salon 10/10
Listening mostly on radio, I thought Mike Pence won the debate by a fair margin, if what he said was true. However, he sounded as though he was stretching the truth, again by a fair margin. His problem was that he had to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, or defend the indefensible. This can stretch his credibility, which to me it did.
However, what I think does not matter to the election outcome.
Do VP debates matter? The conventional wisdom is that on balance they mostly don’t by election day.
Except this debate did matter as an opportunity to stop the drift against Trump. Pence needed a knockout. He did not get it, so he failed. Continue reading Two faces of America: the VP debate
1. Trump in travail
POTUS Donald Trump who has contracted COVID-19. This US Today report has a video of him telling us he is doing well. I saw the same on SBS news the other night, and he looked very ill indeed.
We must not make fun of a sick man, but Trump has a way of turning things into a joke himself. Seriously! His Sunday motorcade drive-by was described an an act of insanity: Continue reading Weekly salon 8/10
Unfortunately the business of opening international travel has been marred by the politics of the definition of ‘hotspots’.
PM Scott Morrison has announced that an agreement has been reached at National Cabinet and with New Zealand that New Zealanders can enter New South Wales and the Northern Territory without quarantine from 16 October, provided they have not come from an area designated as a Covid hotspot by the Australian Government. This announcement was made via media release from the PM and five other Commonwealth ministers.
It should be noted the New Zealand is not reciprocating. Said NZ persons upon returning to NZ would have to quarantine.
It’s more than curious that Tasmania on the same day announced that it plans to open up the low risk states which:
include South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland, the ACT and possibly NSW.
I want to be clear, that if at any time the situation changes in these states and the advice is that the risk is too high – then I won’t hesitate to change this decision.
We will review the situation in New South Wales over the next week and border restrictions will remain in place for the foreseeable future with Victoria until we are satisfied that the risk has reduced to a lower level.
Continue reading COVID-19: Hotspots and opening borders