Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

Life in the Farce Lane

Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 19, 2007

We’ve all seen the Coalition local campaign themes of “cracking down on local crime“, “making our roads safer” and my particular favourite – combating “hooning, graffiti and drugs on our streets“.

The problem with these types of campaigns though, is that there’s always some silly knob out there that puts his foot in it.

I present to you Michael “Hoonster” Johnson, the Liberal member for Ryan.


Johnson is concerned about hooning (quite a popular affliction amongst struggling Coalition members of late), so much so that he’s fond of urging mandatory defensive driving courses for learners, as he did back in December:

He says defensive driving courses should be mandatory.

“I just think that when it comes to saving lives it doesn’t matter who can address this issue, some entity of government should attempt to do it,” he said.

“As a member of the Federal Parliament, I certainly call on my level of Government to take the lead, particularly if the state governments aren’t serious about it.

“I call on the Federal Government, the state governments and local governments to really get off all our backsides and do what we can within our legislative power to prevent further loss of life, particularly at Christmas or Easter.

And if we can prevent that, we must.

Johnson is so shocked at all this bad driving, that he continued hammering home the issue in June:

I draw to the parliament’s attention today the fact that the number of road fatalities to date this year in Queensland is 173. That represents some 33 more Australians killed than at this time last year. If this trend continues, by 31 December 2007 there will be some 450 fatalities in Queensland alone. I think the time has come for all of us to address this. We can do something about it. I call on all Australians who might be listening, if they have any ideas or thoughts about how we can reduce this figure, to get in touch with their local member. As the federal member for the Queensland seat of Ryan, I encourage all Queenslanders, when you have a really serious issue, to contact your Queensland federal member.”

If you have any solutions for this terrible scourge of bad driving, contact your local member!

Got that folks?


Now let me bring to your attention a piece in yesterdays Sunday Mail. It seems Michael ‘Hoonster’ Johnson finds himself in bit of a pickle:

Qld Liberal MP Michael Johnson has been caught by police speeding in a school zone while on the election campaign trail. Mr Johnson was booked doing 55km/h in a 40km/h zone outside Stuartholme School in Birdwood Terrace at Toowong in Brisbane on Thursday.”


I think the last word on hooning, speeding and generally acting recklessly and endangering the lives of children should go to the Hoonster himself:

I am sure that all members of the parliament from all parties and of all political colours would support me in the thrust of what I am saying today. I encourage all Australians to contact their local federal member to say, ‘Let’s put this front and centre in the political debate.’ That we lose hundreds of lives each year is a tragedy. That hundreds of lives are lost each year unnecessarily is a shame for all of us.”

I’d imagine right about now he doesn’t want to put it too “front and centre in the political debate” though :mrgreen:


On a more serious note, that Scintillating Psephy from Stanford, Simon Jackman, has ‘pooled the polls’ and predicted the parliament… so to speak. I’m not going to tell you what he came up with, you’ll have to go and take a look for yourself 😉

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87 Responses to “Life in the Farce Lane”

  1. kwoff.com said

    Life in the Farce Lane « Possums Pollytics

    We’ve all seen the Coalition local campaign themes of “cracking down on local crime“, “making our roads safer” and my particular favourite – combating ” hooning, graffiti and drugs on our streets“.

    The problem with these types of campaig…

  2. Beach Ball said

    It’s back to defend the Alamo for the coalition.

    It’s now tough on drugs, tough on crime, withholding social welfare from those with drug convictions. Howard is making a direct appeal to the Tory base as all other demographics have flee’d from him. A number of individual candidates are turning their back on Howard and the open antipathy of the National Party when commenting on how this campaign has been conducted by the Liberals.

    Rudd came out of the Rove interview unscathed – the Yoof vote is securely behind him.

    Don’t be surprised if the Rodent is out trying to defend some blue ribbons this week. They’ve drawn a line in the Pendulum at about 12% and are prepared to let loose everything below it.

  3. steve_e said

    In the Hun today, there is Macolm of Wentworth accused of disloyalty – he was bagging the PM.

    Evidence of the disintergration of team unity (assuming there was some to start with).

    I expect that there will be more examples of this “individual” focus in the next four days. It it may be for reasons different than above but perhaps he was speeding to get to the next shopping centre so he can meet and greet. Alternatively given this guy’s history of direct contact with electors, perhaps he was fleeing the public when caught speeding.

  4. Xercius said

    Too true, Beach Ball. As one of my profs at uni used to say (and I paraphrase . . . I’m sure he wouldn’t mind), “You can always tell when the conservative’s policy well is dry. They go straight to law and order issues.”

    Personally, too, I get pretty incenced when this particular issue gets brought front and centre. It’s lip service and popularist and nothing more . . . better I say no more to avoid a long rant! (Thinks, however: I wonder for how long and at what category the ‘Hoonster’ has held a Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) Competition Licence and how many defensive driving / advanced vehicle control courses he has completed?)

  5. Bruce said

    On Simon Jackman’s analysis, I can’t immediately see the model he’s using, so it’s hard to comment, but I’ll say a couple of things.

    1) His results are similar if a bit lower on ALP 2PP than other projections made by me, on Possum Comitatus here and elsewhere (eg. Geoff Lambert).

    2) The lower 2PP he projects is due to the bump in the slide from March 2007, this creates a more rapid decline in ALP 2PP as we approach the election – about 1% per month rather than 0.5% a month I have estimated.

    3) I can’t see any statistical justification for the hump as opposed to a simple linear trend.

    4) He summarises the 3 agency average betting predictions in 2 ways: ALP favoured to win (79 seats) and sum of probabilities to win (ALP 80.7 seats). The correct way to do this is the 2nd of these. In this case it makes little difference, but when I did this with Centrebet about 2 weeks ago I found a 10 seat difference in the two estimates. A basic flaw in this this approach is that you implicitly assume the 5% betting agency premium is allocated in proportion to the implied probability of winning. This overpredicts the number of seats to be won by independents – with Centrebet I found independents were estimated to win nearly 5 seats!

  6. sam from sunshine said

    A TEENAGE girl fainted as she stood on the sidelines of a Kevin Rudd press conference, as Melbourne’s high temperatures took their toll today.

    The girl, a student at Berwick Secondary College, in Melbourne’s outer suburbs was one of two students who flanked Mr Rudd and Labor’s candidate in La Trobe, Rodney Cocks, while they did a press conference at the school this morning.

    Mr Rudd, Mr Cocks and a school official rushed to the girl’s aid. [THAT’s RUSHED TO HER AID]

    Compare this to the image of JWH standing over the body of the women knocked out by the sound recordist at the shopping centre and then fleeing the scene. [THAT IS THE ACT OF SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT CARE]

    We want our politicians to care enough to help us when we are down, not walk away and leave the problem to someone else.

  7. Michael Johnson has been an embarrassment for the conservatives since he took office. He’s never been able to get away from stories of branch stacking, inappropriate fund raising and of course his fawning letter to Mark Latham from back in the day. This just confirms how thoughtless he is.

  8. Even more farcical in this case is that the coalition is benefitting from its own campaigning incompetence. No-one is noticing what they do now – good or bad. Everyone has turned off, even to this debacle, which could only have made a difference if they were still in with a chance! It won’t lose any more votes, because all the losables are long gone. Amazing.

  9. The Hoon for Ryan

    Looks like Michael Johnson, our local member for fixing potholes, cleaning up graffiti, hooning and everything else except federal issues, especially if they involve John Howard, has put his foot in it.

  10. adam said

    hi peeps

    i’m gonna suggest we play “which mr man are you” for these idiots. mchael johnson is obviously mr frickin-forgetful. or maybe he’s mr bump-waiting-to-happen. maybe just plain ol’ mr speedy.

    but you know what? geez, i reckon this hoon thing is just the ticket for the blue team. after all, i spend a fair bit of time in prahran, melbourne, cos it’s where the missus lives. so, every time i need a little lovin’, i have to cross the deadly wasteland that is chapel street.

    what a war zone. carmageddon. wild and frenzied hoons of all stripes in lowered chariots with doof-doof on the subs descend on the car park out the back of coles all weekend, burning outs, donuts and parking violations with all the abandon of the master-blaster. they’s sure damn da bomb too. they’ll even pop a cap in yo ass, muhfuckah. MUHFUCKAAAAAH.

    so, mr johnson, i’m going to take your advice. i’m going to call the local federal member, who happens to be a liberal. prahran’s in…

    higgins. oh. that’d be ol’ comrade tip’n’no wouldn’t it…? geez. thanks for coming south of toorak road, mr costello.

    given smirk’s cartoonish facial fixation, i reckon we should consider “which mr man are you?” for the treasurer as well. in this case, mr responsive i think not. more like mr asleep-at-the-wheel.

    (meanwhile, the local constabulary quietly fix the whole thing intheir own pragmatic and inimitable fashion. they simply get the DMV roadworthy-check truck to come past, whose illustrious driver swiftly whacks a canary on the first hoon car he finds. in 15 minutes, there’s not a single XD falcon inside 15 kilometres of pran central shopping centre… mission accomplished.)

  11. bryn said

    Further to the “tough on drugs, tough on crime, withholding social welfare from those with drug convictions”. Howard may well pull back a few votes in North Qld with this most iniquitous policy(?) so I guess Joe Hockey will be just tickled pink. Not. He may well lose double that number in North Sydney.

  12. sam from sunshine said

    On the basis that when you are on a roll down hill it is hard to stop the momentum, see below:

    On the number of Doctors available to treat the sick

    While federal Health Minister Tony Abbott conceded the Coalition should have moved to train more doctors sooner, he said Labor was guilty of the same inaction while it was in power.

    Mr Abbott said the figures were based on a “statistical construct” and while the shortages extended into suburban areas, there was evidence people could still see a GP if they were willing to wait a few hours.

    “Is it a crisis? Well, I think that’s a much overworked term and I think that the vast majority of people can enjoy high-quality and accessible care,” Mr Abbott said.

    Labor health spokeswoman Nicola Roxon said a Rudd government would be left with a “critical” shortage of doctors.

    “Eleven years of failing to plan for the health workforce is now really starting to cut very deeply,” Ms Roxon said.

    Tony Abbott could well become the mouth piece of a series of ALP ads in the one week.

    Talk about a Farce.

  13. very.worried said

    Possum, can u explain the poll results in the following article?


    Is the ALP trying to lull the LNP into a false sense of security?
    And also by saying the election will be tight are they trying to hose down and possible hubris coming from their side!!!

  14. Possum Comitatus said

    The ALP has to say that the election is going to be close.The polls could be showing the ALP on a TPP vote of 75% and they’d STILL be saying that the election will be close. It stops them looking arrogant.

    The ALP want the best of both worlds; on the one hand they want most people to think that they will win (that actually helps them get some last minute votes), but on the other hand they dont want to look like THEY think they are going to win because that turns people off.

    It’s why articles that have “Labor sources say…..” or “Liberal sources say…” in them when talking about the tightness or otherwise of the election, usually arent worth the paper they’re printed on.

    “Liberal sources…” will continue to play UP their chances, “Labor sources…” will continue downplay their chances – the Libs in a desperate attempt to keep up morale and generate some win expectation momentum and the ALP in a desperate attempt not to look smug.

  15. tweetiepie said

    Possum, have you read Ross Gittins’ column in this morning’s smh yet? Perhaps it’s worth checking out?


  16. Possum Comitatus said

    That’s a cracker of an article tweetiepie.

    Gittins is spot on.

    If you want to measure the effect of Workchoices on employment in an econometric framework – intervention analysis is the way to go. Using a dummy variable misses any of the nuance. It’s not liked employment suddenly had this great big structural shift after Workchoices was introduced like it did, with say, the Coalitions vote.

  17. Jason said

    Possum – I reckon that both parties are spinning for their own candidates and campaign workers. The Libs obviously don’t want people to give up hope, but equally Labor want to maximise their vote by keeping people working up to the last minute. I’ve heard from several campaign teams where the ALP are doing well in the published polls that they’re being told that internal polling is suggesting it will go “right to the wire” etc etc. It’s a very, very small group in each organisation that get to see internal polling, and most of the front-line troops are given “reports” from people in the State office or in campaign HQ. Both parties are trying to maintain discipline.

  18. not.so.very.worried said

    As opposed to Howard who just stood there pointing his finger:

    “Mr Rudd, Mr Cocks and a school official rushed to the girl’s aid.”


  19. Bruce said

    Gittin’s article is a salutory lesson in the dangers odf regression analysis.

  20. Greensborough Growler said

    All this talk about the possibility of the Libs winning the election is the same type of banter that happens during the footy season. With four games to play, your team has a statistical chance of making the finals. The reality is your team is “f*cked” and it is time to start thinking about maximising your draft choices.

  21. Aspirational Aspirationalist said

    I didnt think that we would actually see how Rudd would react under similar circumstances to what Howard did in Penrith. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’d asked her on the way out if she was better.

    Things just arent going well for them and i think the likelyhood of implosions have increased.

    I just hope that when the results are tallied, that its enough for most of the front bench to recognise (either immediately or on reflection some time in retirement) that we wanted better.

  22. Rudi said

    Its simple really: the Coalition is Port Adelaide and the Labor party are Geelong. How did the grand final go again? Seriously , ow nervous are Labor supporters at the moment? I work with many Labor supporters and they are complaining of sleepless nights, nightmares and possible moves to NZ if Labor does not win. Even I am jittery enough to come here for possum’s rational persepctive to calm the nerves. You do realise Possum that if Labor loses that you will be tarred and feathered and hung from a pendulum?

  23. Bruce said

    Look at this story:
    WorkChoices here for good if Coalition wins: PM

    I think Howard has completely lost his magical ability to sense the mood of the electorate. Hundreds of millions of our money spent on Work Choices ads just serve as a constant reminder of why most Australians want to see the back of him.

    Now Howard saying that if he gets back in there is no way Work Choices will be repealed. All the more reason to make sure he’s voted out.

  24. not.so.very.worried said

    Latest Nielsen Poll

    November 12-14 2007

    * Two-party vote: ALP 54% (down 1) lead Coalition 46% (up 1)
    * First preferences: Labor 47% (down 1) ahead of Coalition 43% (up 2)
    * Mr Howard’s approval at 51% (steady); 43% (up 1) disapprove
    * Mr Rudd’s approval at 60% (steady), 29% (up 3) disapprove
    * Rudd leads as preferred PM by 49% (steady) to Howard 43% (up 2)

    mostly taken before labor party launch…

  25. scaper... said

    I just recieved an email concerning Labor internal polling.

    Rudd has 80% of the young vote.

    If my source was not always correct, I would find this hard to believe

  26. rogerwegener said

    If Australians are not interested enough to educate themselves about the pluses and minuses of any political campaign and are swayed by bribes or by fear campaigns then we should gently ease them out of the responsibility to vote.

    My proposal is that voting should be voluntary.

    Additionally, there should be a minimum standard of knowledge that is achieved before people are able to vote. So in the same way that you get to drive a car with knowledge and a test then you should be tested to vote. It’s a big responsibility – everyone should be concerned enough to get it right.

    If the price of this is to deny the lazy and the ignorant a vote then so be it.

    Those who are interested enough to be informed will have the responsibility of electing our Government for the next three years and will determine our future.

    Who wants the dumb and the stupid to determine where we head?

    The test will examine your knowledge of our constitution and system of Government. It will explore the differences between the House of Representatives and the Senate and the States and why and how they exist and their purpose. It will show an understanding of the powers of Government and its officers.

    It will result in a more informed debate – one that is built around truth and logic and what is good for the nation – not just what is good for an incumbent Prime Minister.

  27. Bruce said

    Hi rogerwegener,

    My guess is that voluntary voting will not help either Labor or coalition (on average), but will shorten the number of terms governmnts are reelected. (Maybe this is a good thing.) It may also produce large swings in elections.

    For example in the current situation people browned off by Howard, who could not otherwise bring themselves to vote labor, would not vote if it was voluntary. That would truly produce a Ruddslide, as most Labor voters would go all the way to Canberra to vote Howard out.

    The reverse would apply with a tired old Labor government. This would not necessarily be a good thing for either party.

    Another perversity is the US where the alienated poor don’t vote because neither party serves their interests. This would be an awful outcome.

  28. Rudd and the ALP may as well put thier feet up until Saturday.

    Check out the link below for Howard’s latest line – it’s very ‘crazy-brave’:


  29. MsLaurie said

    At least with compulsory voting, the major parties have to look after most of the people’s interests, most of the time. Much better than the US system.

  30. John V K said

    Rogen Wener

    I dont agree with you, so I reckon you shouldn’t have a vote.

    The reason I dont agree with you, is that you advocate a form of totalitarianism not democracy. You decide who can vote by criterion that you set based in parameters based on whatever the propaganda of the day is.

    Voluntary voting is one democratic argument, setting up barriers to voting for any part of the populace is not an argument in democracy, and who decides your so called voting studies test…. Politicians and elites like yourself.

  31. Moondark said


    Ever read Starship Troopers by Heinlein? Contrary to the films, the book was about use (and abuse) of power. Part of that were issues about who does vote, and who should be allowed to vote, and why.

  32. Beach Ball said

    Prior to the advent of Blogs and the likes of Poss, Poll Bludger, Mumble and Adam Carr – I always looked forward to the writings of Ross Gittens. For 3 decades he has been compulsory reading for anyone trying to get a grip of economic argument. He always plays it down the line and his political nous was always spot on.

    Possum has coined the phrase of “getting in touch with your inner Textor Crosby” but Gittens always seemed to have the pulse of the community before CT or Hawker Britton.

  33. stevet said

    Centrebet has Labor ahead in 19 separate seats now.

  34. Gippslander said

    The counter example to your arguement for non compulsory voting is what happens in some states in the US. Blacks and hispanics are “persuaded”not to turn up at the booths.
    Under workchoices I could imagine “bad” employers exerting pressures of all kinds on their employees not to vote.
    As for your elitist and arrogant desire for some sort “test” for ability to vote, I would object strenuously to the setting up of a self perpetuating “educated”oligarchy, supported by a class of üntermenschen, or helots.

  35. Gippslander said

    further to my post #34, I have just returned from a day of communing with “the great unwashed” as rogerwegener would probably refer to them. While I echo the poet who said :
    “I wish I loved the human race/I wish I loved its silly face”, still I’m glad I don’t live in Burma, or Pakistan.

  36. dkindon said

    Anyone seen the Ch 7 News item on the secret WorkChoice dopuments they have outlining the Govermentn’s plans for future “reform”? The Government has taken legal action to prevent its release!

  37. tweetiepie said

    Of course, the trouble with JWH’s denial of no future Workchoice tinkering is that we can’t know whether it’s a core or non-core promise, like the boy who cried wolf.

    The next Channel 7 news item was that Hockey is now on the endangered list – any details available?

    The promised TT interview of Tweedledum and Tweedledee should be lol.

  38. Moondark: silly and schlocky as it was, I preferred the film to the book. Paul Verhoeven (the director) grew up in Nazi-occupied Netherlands, so he knew fascism when he saw it. That’s why he did the flick as satire. And seeing Doogie Howser in a SS uniform was pretty funny. 😉 As for Heinlein – well, if he’d really been serious about the implications of his “Starship Stormtroopers” thesis, he’d shock himself. His society would probably end up like Indonesia under Suharto, with the generals enriching themselves off everybody else, and lots of “self-defense militia”.

    On a more serious note, I wonder if rogerwegener’s “reforms” would disqualify my mother. She educates herself, watches current affair shows aplenty, and keeps up with the news. However, she never understood the whole below-the-line Senate voting system until I explained it to her on Sunday. Hmm – wonder if that will be a failing grade on the voter’s exam…

  39. Bushfire Bill said

    Down and Out,

    S. Troopers is one of my favourites. A brilliant piece of satire and political commentary.

    One of those movies we can watch with our grandkids and all enjoy. We even laugh at the same things sometimes… sometimes.

  40. not.so.very.worried said

    7.30 report has story on Malcolm Turnbull throwing $10 million of taxpayer’s money towards a wacky rain making company. All smells to high heaven, one of the companies directors is funding his campaign…

  41. Bruce said

    To not.so.very.worried :
    A recent article in the Herald had Turnbull awarding a $50 million climate research centre to Griffith University in Qld rather than “the Universities Climate Consortium, whose ranks include the only three climate experts to be honoured by the Government as federation fellows. The consortium is led by Monash University scientists and includes experts from the Australian National University and Melbourne University”

    This government is doing absolutely everything it can to sabortage the climate of this planet and our future with it.

  42. dkindon said

    Sky has just reported that Hockey & Bailey are TPP 50:50 in North Sydney!

  43. paull said

    Hi all has anyone seen the performance of Mr Spiers tonight OH my goodness i really don’t think he will hold it together until Saturday I’m tipping he’ll do the election broadcast in a jonnie07 T-shirt or I luv JWH (sorry don’t know how to put a luv heart symbol in there)

  44. Maurico said

    #23 Bruce (University of Woolloomooloo perchance?) I agree wholeheartedly. Workchoices is political poison. Why on earth would JWH want to remind anyone of it?

    On the weekend I thought, the only way for JWH to avoid a massacre is to repudiate Workchoices. Instead, he has chosen the charnel house option.

  45. seajay said

    rogerwegener, first up it isn’t compulsory voting, it is compulsory attendance at a polling booth or its equivalent (postal, absentee, whatever). What is so hard about turning up at the local school or church once every three years, picking up your ballot paper and making a mark (or not). there are so many compulsory things in life, from taxes to road rules, that our system is nothing of an imposition. I am very proud of our entire electoral system, with compulsory voting, preferential voting and an independent electoral commission we really do have a vary fair democracy. Senate could be better but i see the logic of the present system.
    As for Starship Troopers; Heinlien was a bit of a silly 50s neo-fascist. The film itself was a brilliant satire of fascism (and i am very pleased so many intelligent contributors to this blog appreciate it) and the contemporary American new conservative philosophy.
    So yes to compuldory voting (and polls suggest 75% of Aussies, Labor and Liberal, agree) and no to neo-fascist restcictions on voting rights based on
    Randian elitist concepts.

    Any Newspoll leaks? Is one due tomorrow?

  46. Bruce said

    Re 44 Maurico, Yes it is Bruce of the University of Woolloomooloo or formerly of it anyway. I used to work with the NSW Cancer Council which is located in Woolloomooloo! I was in th Philosophy Department 😉

  47. adam said

    hi all…

    rogerwegener: i know you’ve been slapped by all and sundry already, but: dude… seriously. who makes the decision of vote-worthiness? hmm? shall we issue breeding licences while we’re at it? is your idea of a cure for brain tumors is to amputate the head, by any chance?

    hi all you starship trooper fans: heinlein was well known as a libertarian shit-stirrer with contradictory ideas. hence starship troopers (which is also the end of the juvenile-oriented heinlein). sometimes i get the impression that he WAS trying to shock himself with the logical outcomes – just read stranger in a strange land (written at the same time) for a complete contrast.

    that’s why i read heinlein – to watch him sort his own muddled head out (though he disappears up his own solipsistic arse late in his career). i don’t abide by this “read what you agree with” idea.

    on a suggestive tip: for real buzz, can i please promote brunner’s stand on zanzibar – it’s got some great post-mcluhan lunacy in it… he’s also a nice foil to pkdick. didn’t have much good to say about heinlein though ;^)

    btw you have to know that the quality of the company you keep is high when sci-fi enters the discussion :^)

    keep em coming folks, 5 more sleeps until the martian invasion! :^)

  48. Lukas said

    re dkindon @ 36:
    Here’s the web version of the Seven News report on the Govt’s Workchoices plans.

    “Monday November 19, 07:29 PM
    Govt ‘shelved plan’ to boost IR laws
    The Howard government secretly planned to take its unpopular Work Choices laws further two years ago but shelved the idea, documents confirmed on Monday.

    Prime Minister John Howard’s department drew up changes to the industrial relations laws in 2005, Channel Seven reported.

    But voters will not be allowed to know what the government was planning, with a two-and-a-half year Freedom of Information (FOI) battle failed on Monday.

    The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) ruled that releasing the details was not in the public interest, saying the government was accountable for what it had done but not for what it might be planning to do.

    “The government is currently accountable in the context of workplace relations for its acts and omissions regarding the workplace relations law that has been enacted and not for amendments to that law that it may enact in the future,” AAT deputy president Stephanie Forgie said.

    Seven’s FOI editor Michael McKinnon said the government successfully argued that releasing the documents would lead the public to speculate about further IR reform…”


    and here at sky


  49. Lukas said

    for scaper @ 25:

    how was “young” defined?

  50. Amaranthus said

    Bruce said: “I can’t see any statistical justification for the hump as opposed to a simple linear trend”

    I got a feeling it was a GAM fit (Generalized Additive Model), though I haven’t read the analysis in detail. If it is a GAM (hate ’em myself but some see merit in the approach) then this is why the bump is visible – it’s a result of the nonparametric smoothing.

  51. dkindon said

    Tomorrow’s Newspoll about to be released on Sky News

  52. KC said

    54-46 about 92 seats

  53. Neilbris said

    Newspoll: 54/46 ALP. 46/41 Primary

  54. dkindon said

    Primary ALP 46 Coalition 41
    TPP ALP 54, Coalition 46

  55. Neilbris said

    How on earth can that panel sit on Sky and say 54/46 is too close to call??? It would be a record-breaking win to the ALP on those figures.

  56. Kirribilli Removals said

    Possum, you were so right! (Oh, yeah, I know, what else?)

    Not only have the conservatives started to cannabilise themselves, now their great white hope has just besmirched his pants, big time.

    Malcolm Turnbull is forever tainted with cronyism, conflict of interest, scientific ineptitude and probably corrupt behaviour. How else does one describe doling out $10 million for ‘research’ into the climate equivalent of perpetual motion? And to into the hands of a private benefactor’s company?

    This is a stinker, and it has virtually ensured that Turnbull has done his dash in public office forever, even if he manages to retain his seat.

    Talk about a knob of the first order! FIrstly, to be so stupid to buy such a crock in the first place, second to think he could get away with such a flagrant conflict of interest, and thirdly, that in a period of intense media scrutiny he’s get away with it.

    Turnbull has just soiled his pants, in public. Oh, the humanity!

  57. seajay said

    54/46, now if the Libs did somehow sneak in on marginals on those percentages what would that say for our democratic system. I can’t believe it is so flawed that such an anomaly could exist.
    Adam; Brunner’s ‘The Sheep Look Up’ was also brilliant; as hard-edged a greeny fantasy as ever i have read. I like his final thesis – only if America disappears can the world’s environment survive, and this was written in 1972.

  58. John Wriedt said

    Kirribilli Removals — November 19, 2007 @ 9:01 pm

    You have nailed it mate …. So True !!!


  59. Neilbris said

    Newspoll has been rock soid all year around the current 54/46 – 55/45. All within the MOE. It’s going nowhere no matter how good the Ruddster gets or how bad the Rodent performs. The people have decided long ago. Hand in the keys to Kirribilli and make sure you shampoo the carpets before you go. On second thoughts – just piss off; we’ll have the shampoo done and send you the bill.

  60. Neilbris said

    Tomorrow’s Australian –
    Labor has winning lead: Newspoll
    Sid Marris: THE latest Newspoll gives Kevin Rudd’s party a commanding 54 per cent of the vote compared to the Coalition’s 46 per cent.

  61. Stephen T said

    Oops! Fell on me sword. Get up keep goin.
    Damn there’s that bloody sword again. Get up get goin.
    Where the hell did that come from its a pain in the guts. Peter pull out the sword mate. Not on your Nelly can’t do that Tony misplaced the doctors.
    What about you Shrek (funny that Hey Joe! might be a song in there somewhere) Oh! lord Johnathingumy I can sell anything for you gimme the sword.
    Shit Peter where did your sword come from and bugger me Tony’s got one too.
    Bloody Shrek he is a shit-house salesman or maybe both. Gotta get goin can’t rely on this lot of tossers. No bloody wonder I am the leader.
    Oh! Christ theres that bloody sword again the cockroaches are a thankless lot of Union Scumbags.
    Problem solved. No Choices will remain forever and ever the great Bible of Western democracy and Liberal Justice. There you are mates cop that.
    Who cut me bloody head off. Oh well keep goin.

  62. Stephen T said

    Can someone post or summarize the Gittin’s column link don’t work.

  63. adam said

    hi seajay @ 57

    roll on the republic of california y baja (ola president arnie), the republic of texas (see where bush II was lynched in 2013 resisting separatists), the northeastern republic (capital boston, since new york was nuked in the separation), the first nation of seattle (with its twin spirits of vancouver and tacoma), the kingdom of hawaii (aloha!), the people’s republic of alaska (we’ll have that back thankyou, says czar vladimir I), the reformed confederate states of america (oooo, i’ll get dem duke boys), the mormon republic of utah (president romney presiding), the republic of north mississipi (capital sweet home chicago) and the “caliphate” of god’s own south mississipi (amen). also, got good rates for scuba diving to the ruins of miami and disney’s epcot centre too if you’re interested…


  64. Enemy Combatant said

    KR, fresh from The Bludger for you.

    Concerned about Prime Ministerial prospect Turnbull’s splash into Venture Rainfall, I phoned my dear, dear friend Lady Ponsonby-Smythe of Point Piper on the QT.

    Nursing her third sweet sherry, her ladyship was feeling expansive.

    “Well, dah-ling, what do you expect? No self-respecting Water Diviner who KNOWS Rupert or Malcolm would ever DREAM of getting off their ars* for less than $10 mill.!”

    Tough life.

  65. Don said

    The reality of voting in rural Oz was sometimes different to democratic theory and closer to rogerwegener desire. Whilst working in the Timber industry in the early 90’s some of the older workers claimed that in the 40’s and 50’s the boss would line them all up before the election and tell them that if anyone voted Labour in the 100 person village he would sack them all on Monday. In this case the decision on how to vote was made by their betters.

  66. scaper... said

    49. Lucas

    Demographics is a science I kind of understand, but sorry, I can not define this.

    I’m hopeful someone here can explain this.

  67. mate said

    Never ever…


  68. Rod said

    For tomorrow’s Newspoll prelim see http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22787076-601,00.html



  69. Kirribilli Removals said

    Enemy Combatant, I thank you for that profound and pecuniary pronouncement from the dear Lady Ponsonby-Smythe, as she is so right. (Far right, some say.)

    As she said to me: “I do hope Malcolm’s fiscal rectitude doesn’t become a bad Spoonerism, it could be incredibly damaging to his chances of becoming Prime Minister anytime soon.”

    She rammed her message home with a rather rude gesture which I shall not repeat here in mixed company.

  70. P said

    re #62 Gittins article is at http://www.smh.com.au/news/ross-gittins/econometrics-equals-tricks/2007/11/18/1195321606767.html

  71. Let It End said

    Oh this Age story is really going to hurt 🙂

    Downer ‘knew’ about AWB kickbacks

  72. Enemy Combatant said

    “Hoonster” Johnston needs to check his rear-view because “Tailgater” Daniels is rapidly closing; $2.95 to to $2.70 in the last week and angling for a slipstream. The fast lane is littered with some very expensive wrecks. Cheap ones too like The Hoonster who is about to become Collateral Coalition Roadkill. Like most prey, however, he’s too dumb to realise he’s breakfast yet.

    Beware, fellow citizens of OZ! Heed the last desperate squeaks of El Rodente as he alerts but not alarms us that of The Great Green/Labor Axis-of-Evil Juggernaut of 2007 is already rolling.

    Alternatively, you just might like to get on board.

  73. John V K said

    Some one asked for a translation of the Gittins article.

    Now we all love a good bitch fite but I dont think a boffin blue will take off as a spectator sport anytime soon.

    Ross Gittins is ringside:

    In the ring three porfessors, in black gowns covered in chalk dust, hitting each over the heads with abacuses, astrolabes and other blunt instruments we cant pronounce.

    They are having a blue over dummy variables, now one porfessori reckons dummy variable work choices is a real variable and creates jobs, it hires people and puts them to work and they get 10 squillion quid a week and the use of the bosses range rover on alternate weekends and a shag with his missus if he’s not looking, which we find a bit hard to believe, seeing a dummy variable is just some squiggles and numbers on a piece of paper or a chalk board.

    The other boffin reckons there is an xfile type variable at play and everyone knows that can’t be true coz David Duckovny is now doing soft porn and the only aliens he meets nowadays are weirdo types with bionic boobs and no undies. But he reckons the xfile dummy variable could also be Kevin Bloody Rudd and he’s been creating employment enmasse for a decade or as long as the resources boom which we reckon might be true, because he hangs out with a shiela who employs a lot people.

    And theres another boffin in there but we’ll be fucked red raw if we can figure what his part is in the stoush except to say that one boffin is pretty brave. He just might be a boffin coach or trainer or something.

    If you aren’t happy with our interpretation, then have a read yourself, it will save you a mogadon presscription. Our version of events is better because it’s got sex and fighting.

  74. josh lyman said

    I don’t understand how playing up the closeness of the final result can possibly be in both party’s interests. I would have thought that was impossible by definition. Either a blowout helps the Coalition or it helps the ALP. It cannot do both.

  75. macondo said

    rogerwegener @ 26, a fair way back.

    Your system is self-contradictory and self-defeating. In order for your elitist system to work, you would have to make voting for the elite compulsory! If no one at all voted, rest assured this would not preclude the assumption of government by one party/group or another.
    Furthermore, as the proportion of those who would be entitled to vote would be self evidently quite small, any government so elected would no doubt disregard the voters’ will when it suited it by claiming that it was governing for the majority of the people.

    Voluntary voting does not equate with more ‘democracy’ or create more ‘freedom’. The tinier the proportion of people who vote, the more arrogant, autocratic and dismissive the government will become.

  76. Possum Comitatus said

    Josh, it keeps the lid on the hurbis from the leading side and works against looking arogant, and tells the supporters of the losing side that they are still in the game – so chin up and man those booths, keep campaigning and stop writing articles that say we’re dead meat.

    The ALP would be quite happy to have people believe they are going to win, but they dont want themselves to look like they are being smug about it.

    Likewise, the Coalition would love to have people believe that they will win (but arent in a position to look smug about it to begin with – so that’s not a danger to them).

  77. josh lyman said

    But Poss, that doesn’t make sense (IMHO).

    In a 2 party contest, where one gains only at the expense of the other, a variable can be good for one side, good for the other, or neutral. No?

  78. John V K said

    54:46 or 55:45 That’s where we are.
    The battlers are unhappy that they been screwed in work conditions and interest rates.

    The story pretty much in a nutshell and throw in they have never really liked Howard always the devil they preferred. Enter Kevin Rudd, two arms two legs and a heart beat and smart enough to know what things they liked in the Howard story and what things people will cop and wont cop. Ready to offer a vision and comfort and that was that.

    The best campaign I have ever seen by either side in a long time has to be awarded to Labor and the most divisive stupid piece of overt terrorism masking as a values debate election run by the coalition. Every one of their messages was coiled and twisted upon itself.

  79. Possum Comitatus said

    Josh – you’ve got to remember that there’s 4 groups the 2 parties are actually talking to with their messages.

    The safe vote for either side (including the party members themselves) and the swinging voters that each side currently has.

    By saying that the polls will be close for the ALP helps them with the former (by keeping them working to the last minute of the campaign) and helps them with the latter because it shows their swingers that they arent arrogant (which turns people off).

    With the Libs, saying its close helps them with their former (by boosting morale in the former and getting them to continue the fight) and helps with the latter by telling them that “sure we might be behind, but we’re not a write off”. For some reason, a fair number of swinging voters just like voting for the winner.

  80. josh lyman said

    Poss, your swinging voters must be very confused! Still doesn’t wash for me I’m afraid – a ‘close vote’ frame either increases the swing vote for the ALP, for the Coalition, or is neutral. The answer lies in whether the ‘arrogant’ danger is greater or less than the ‘unelectable’.

    I just don’t see it as theoretically possible that both parties’ vote can go up at the same time (given in this context we’re not interested in the minor parties).

    You seem to be missing the key element that one party can only gain at the expense of the other – it’s a zero sum game.

    Either that or I’m blind to the obvious, which is entirely possible!

  81. Lefty E said

    You know, I made a joke on LP, some three months ago, about the Libs talking about “Hoons” in desperation.
    Got a few larfs.

    I have been stunned to see the coalition actually banging about this. What next? Bigger bins? fencing disputes?

  82. Possum Comitatus said

    Josh, it’s not about “gaining votes”.It’s about not losing the votes you have.

    From an ALP voting swinger at this election, the ALP doesnt need to generate any bandwagon effect through things like win expectations because the polls are doing that for them. So now the ALP have to nuance having the win expectations by not looking arrogant – hence the “it will be close spiel”. That’s to their voters.

    From a Coalition voting swinger at this election, the Coalition have to generate a few win expectations to prevent the bandwagon effect for Labor from pinching anymore of their votes. So the Coalition starts talking about how the election will actually be close, and fought seat by seat in the maginals (it also helps keep morale up in the party).The Coalition doesnt need to worry about arrogance because the polls show they’re a fair way behind.

    It’s not about a zero sum gain, its about managing the prism through which each parties support views the party they are thinking about voting for.

  83. josh lyman said

    Poss, does not one party losing votes they have = the other party gaining votes?

  84. Possum Comitatus said

    Sure – but the reason each party loses votes is different, because they are different groups of voters with different outlooks and behaviour.

    It’s why every election just about everywhere in the western world always has the contestants telling everyone who will listen that the result will be closer than it looks.

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