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Old 06-11-2016, 04:53 AM   #61
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Yeah I'd say there were a few problems that sank the Democrats. First, as you say, who was their actual constituency? Second, their profession to be a centre party between the ALP and Liberals was reflected in their platform in the early days, but as the two major parties drifted, the Democrats did not. They no longer occupied the centre, nor were they the party that represented a capacity to reconcile conflict between the two major parties on hot button issues. They ended up reflecting much of the left that the ALP was gradually abandoning or failing to accommodate, as shown by ex-Democrats joining the Greens.

And third, of course, the fractious personal disputes that became irredeemably toxic by the late nineties.



An interesting take, and certainly more worthwhile than the repetitive and fruitless back-and-forth in FYM right now.

But this part of the premise I really can't accept:



The US may be a very striking and enduring example, but the claim is overstated in its exclusivity. Australia and New Zealand have comparable experiences. The bush frontier lies at the heart of Australian history and nationalism. And I think somewhere in New Zealand's politics remains the dream of expanding a Pacific frontier.
With the Democrats, I feel that by the end there was a chasm between much of the vaguely left-leaning party membership and some really not left-leaning senior members in the senate. Although Andrew Bartlett as leader was probably a return to the membership's outlook in that respect, shame about his personal troubles at the time and that his party was busy going down in flames.

Frontiers... Well and don't forget that great Russian frontier that saw emigrees reach the coast of California in Tsarist times. Yes, it's true that many nations have had their frontiers (and the author may well share the peculiar blinkered-ness of a lot of US writers, and people generally, I dunno). Possibly no nation's frontier ethos has made the rest of the world compulsory participants. As for Australia, our frontier was... we looked, we blinked (in between however many massacres) and we slowly ebbed back to the coast.

I guess the salutary point is that nations which go imperial (you can add to this Britain and Rome, and Spain too) can get away with not tackling their internal contradictions and tensions for longer, maybe indefinitely.
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Old 06-11-2016, 04:58 AM   #62
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Haha, awkward, especially the timing so that they can't endorse a different candidate: Liberal candidate resigns over Frankston brothel ownership
What is this, an episode of 'Rake'?
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:24 AM   #63
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I love how the last paragraph reads as an advertisement.
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Old 06-11-2016, 05:36 AM   #64
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Surely the owner of the 'best brothel in Frankston' is just the sort of up and comer the Liberal Party should be hanging on to. Ok, so he didn't tell them, but I guess, they didn't ask, so who's really to blame here? And in the fine tradition of cannon-fodder no-hope candidates he probably doesn't even know his putative party's policies, but again, the owner of the best brothel in Frankston.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:01 PM   #65
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So the ALP and the Liberals went on and on with their scare campaigns about how the other was about to do a deal with the Greens...

...only to turn around and do a deal with each other: http://www.theguardian.com/australia...s-part-of-deal

I'd say this is the end to the Greens' hopes of taking Grayndler and Wills, where their primary vote isn't strong enough to defeat the ALP without a strong flow of preferences from the Liberals. They should expect to still get about a third of Lib preferences even with this arrangement but it won't be enough.

On the other hand, Bandt held Melbourne in 2013 even though the Libs preferenced against him and I would expect him to do so again, and Feeney has been such a bumbling fool that I think Batman will fall.

Can't speak for how this will affect Richmond, though. Especially as the main conservative party there is the Nats, not the Libs.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:07 PM   #66
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Frontiers... Well and don't forget that great Russian frontier that saw emigrees reach the coast of California in Tsarist times. Yes, it's true that many nations have had their frontiers (and the author may well share the peculiar blinkered-ness of a lot of US writers, and people generally, I dunno). Possibly no nation's frontier ethos has made the rest of the world compulsory participants. As for Australia, our frontier was... we looked, we blinked (in between however many massacres) and we slowly ebbed back to the coast.

I guess the salutary point is that nations which go imperial (you can add to this Britain and Rome, and Spain too) can get away with not tackling their internal contradictions and tensions for longer, maybe indefinitely.
Oh I definitely get a sense from that article of having US blinkers on, that America is always an exceptional nation - whether for better or worse. I suppose a lot of countries have that delusion but it's really core to how a lot of Americans see the world. But yes I'd agree that the US is distinct in having a globalising frontier ethos in the last hundred years.

I'd say you're understating the force of the frontier in Australia though. The Queensland frontier wasn't closed until decades after federation and I think played a big role in the state's distinctive development. It helps to explain the Country Party's ability to capture the state. And in some ways I think northern Australia, especially NT, is still viewed as a frontier by some, especially those to the right of the spectrum - but not overlooking the missionary-paternalist frontier streak among parts of the left.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:33 PM   #67
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So the ALP and the Liberals went on and on with their scare campaigns about how the other was about to do a deal with the Greens...

...only to turn around and do a deal with each other: Liberals to get Labor preferences in three rural seats to fend off Nationals | Australia news | The Guardian

I'd say this is the end to the Greens' hopes of taking Grayndler and Wills, where their primary vote isn't strong enough to defeat the ALP without a strong flow of preferences from the Liberals. They should expect to still get about a third of Lib preferences even with this arrangement but it won't be enough.

On the other hand, Bandt held Melbourne in 2013 even though the Libs preferenced against him and I would expect him to do so again, and Feeney has been such a bumbling fool that I think Batman will fall.

Can't speak for how this will affect Richmond, though. Especially as the main conservative party there is the Nats, not the Libs.
Something I've never understood about preference 'deals' (certainly if we're talking about the House of Representatives): why do people feel they have to follow a pre-printed card handed to them at the school gate? I've never taken one of those things. I've always preferenced however I saw fit.

Surely I cannot be alone here, but clearly I'm in a minority or these 'deals' would have no meaning.

Anyway, it stinks, and it says a great deal about both the ALP and the Liberals.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:36 PM   #68
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Oh I definitely get a sense from that article of having US blinkers on, that America is always an exceptional nation - whether for better or worse. I suppose a lot of countries have that delusion but it's really core to how a lot of Americans see the world. But yes I'd agree that the US is distinct in having a globalising frontier ethos in the last hundred years.

I'd say you're understating the force of the frontier in Australia though. The Queensland frontier wasn't closed until decades after federation and I think played a big role in the state's distinctive development. It helps to explain the Country Party's ability to capture the state. And in some ways I think northern Australia, especially NT, is still viewed as a frontier by some, especially those to the right of the spectrum - but not overlooking the missionary-paternalist frontier streak among parts of the left.
Not understating it, just suggesting that our frontier was/is a good deal less hospitable than some (rightwing dreams of northern development in our era, the late Sir Joh's ideas about building an inland sea, et al notwithstanding)... and that after the closing of the frontier the bulk of this continent has mostly been left to a handful of miners and pastoralists, and for people in general, I'd say 'Australia' begins and ends with the string of conurbations up the east coast. Sure, they'll wax lyrical about the 'outback' and our bush heritage (though less as the decades go by; eyes are turned firmly toward the beach now), but I reckon in the popular consciousness the great inner region is a terrifying place as much as it is any kind of inspiration.

What you say about Queensland though; it's true that for a variety of reasons it was and is more decentralised than most, and it contributed mightily to the Country Party's dominance for so long.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:48 PM   #69
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Something I've never understood about preference 'deals' (certainly if we're talking about the House of Representatives): why do people feel they have to follow a pre-printed card handed to them at the school gate? I've never taken one of those things. I've always preferenced however I saw fit.

Surely I cannot be alone here, but clearly I'm in a minority or these 'deals' would have no meaning.

Anyway, it stinks, and it says a great deal about both the ALP and the Liberals.
I'm with you on this. But I guess for most people they really just have an idea of the party they want to vote for, turn up to do their civic duty, get given this little form, see a whole bunch of other names they don't know/like, and follow what their first choice suggests.

To be honest I expect the majority of voters are unfamiliar with any party beyond the Coalition, ALP, and Greens, and even then hold a caricatured impression of one. (Obviously there are exceptions, like in SA right now the average voter would have an awareness of Xenophon, and some older voters will have a fading memory of the Democrats.) When they see six or seven or more names on a ballot, over half of which they don't recognise, no wonder they follow the how-to-vote cards. I understand, though don't have the research to hand, that "leakage" from HTVs is lower in seats with more candidates, because electors are more likely to change the order when there's only 3-4 candidates than when there's 10+. Though, of course, the more candidates the greater the rate of informal voting.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:51 PM   #70
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I'm with you on this. But I guess for most people they really just have an idea of the party they want to vote for, turn up to do their civic duty, get given this little form, see a whole bunch of other names they don't know/like, and follow what their first choice suggests.

To be honest I expect the majority of voters are unfamiliar with any party beyond the Coalition, ALP, and Greens, and even then hold a caricatured impression of one. (Obviously there are exceptions, like in SA right now the average voter would have an awareness of Xenophon, and some older voters will have a fading memory of the Democrats.) When they see six or seven or more names on a ballot, over half of which they don't recognise, no wonder they follow the how-to-vote cards. I understand, though don't have the research to hand, that "leakage" from HTVs is lower in seats with more candidates, because electors are more likely to change the order when there's only 3-4 candidates than when there's 10+. Though, of course, the more candidates the greater the rate of informal voting.
Well that all makes good sense, for sure. Similarly, in Queensland - although he's gained very little traction - I'd guess there is some broad public awareness of Katter's Mob, and who or what they are.

And in truth it's not like I personally do hard research on the six or seven oddities that sometimes populate my ballot.

Though in most cases I have a fair idea (I know what the Citizens Electoral Council or Rise Up Australia are about; a random independent is likely here to be a rightwing one, and it's more or less a game of whack-a-mole once I've dealt with the ALP and the Greens, and of course making sure to leave the last spot for the LNP).
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:04 PM   #71
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I am surprised you always put the LNP last. Much as I don't want them to win a seat, I would definitely prefer an LNP local member to somebody from Rise Up Australia or whatever. My default last place is the Citizens Electoral Council - though, if Australia First ever appeared on one of my ballots, they probably would go below the CEC. I'll take a competent Tory over a lunatic CEC. Among parties I dislike, I've usually gone with the order of: single issue parties I don't care about, fairly benign soft right parties, LNP, anti-environmental minor parties, crazy religious parties, and dead last xenophobic parties (who manage to usually also be religious and anti-environmentalist).

But with the voting changes, now I don't even need to decide who I hate the most. I'll preference parties I support, parties I don't mind, and parties to which I am ambivalent, so that my vote stays live for as long as possible, and then I will let it exhaust rather than go to any party I despise.
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:39 AM   #72
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I am surprised you always put the LNP last. Much as I don't want them to win a seat, I would definitely prefer an LNP local member to somebody from Rise Up Australia or whatever. My default last place is the Citizens Electoral Council - though, if Australia First ever appeared on one of my ballots, they probably would go below the CEC. I'll take a competent Tory over a lunatic CEC. Among parties I dislike, I've usually gone with the order of: single issue parties I don't care about, fairly benign soft right parties, LNP, anti-environmental minor parties, crazy religious parties, and dead last xenophobic parties (who manage to usually also be religious and anti-environmentalist).
I suppose I'd view a Rise Up Australia* member (or whoever) as an event of near-zero probability, since this isn't the senate I'm talking about; as one individual, I'm simply trying to ensure that as little as possible of any potential support of mine reaches the LNP candidate. It's quixotic, sure. It's also a game of bums on seats. I care little or not at all about local members in their capacity as local members, I care about them as votes in the house and nothing more. In the game of bums-on-seats, any LNP member is another brick in the edifice of a governing or aspiring governing party. A lone crank, well let the chips fall where they may. They'll either be toast at the next election, or they'll defect to the LNP, or they might prove themselves to be independent-minded.

In the incredibly unlikely event that a non-LNP crank got elected, I'd expect them to vote with the LNP most of the time, especially if they were of the pentecostal-evangelical religious persuasion. If they were more of a wildcard, who knows, they might even surprise on occasion. This isn't like voting for Donald Trump, I'm not electing dictator of the world here.

I suppose my position is fairly theoretical and I have that luxury; the preselected LNP blue-blood around here could shoot someone in the main street and they'd still probably win.

And one final thing I suppose: apart from the aforementioned evangelical-pentecostal types, a lot of conservatives standing in this part of the world for entities other than the LNP - even or especially the nasty xenophobic ones - are likely to be at odds with the zombie neoliberal consensus that drives Coalition government policy in particular (the CEC certainly are, even if they're also nuts). Which is just a-ok by me. Frankly, in the incredibly unlikely event that a vote on a new Commonwealth bank (for instance) ever came up in the house, I'd take a CEC or Katter MP over the LNP any old day. Those types tend to be reliably anti-environment and anti- most social reform you can think of, but well, so is the LNP.

*and in fairness, the likes of them or Family First would pretty reliably get my second-to-last spot in the list, as low as they can be without being the LNP. Once upon a time, when One Nation were a force, I seem to recall I put the Liberal or National ahead of them, but that was a long time ago.
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:01 AM   #73
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I suppose I've listened to Antony Green a bit too much, as he always urges people to vote for their genuine preferential order rather than trying to vote strategically, as it can be almost impossible to determine when various minor players will be eliminated in the count and where exactly their preferences will go.

But yes, there's something to be said for the fact that in the House these cranks will never ever get elected and putting as much space as possible between your vote and the LNP is desirable. In the Senate, in the days of full preferences, I considered it desirable to put the LNP ahead of the total cranks. There was the real possibility those cranks could score a seat on bizarre Group Voting Ticket flows, and if my vote had to end up with them, I could first send it through the LNP so that it would lose a massive amount of its value before going any further (and, if I reversed the order of the Tory candidates, would play even less of a role in helping to elect them too).

I wonder how many Senate voters will distribute preferences to every single party, and how many will go a long way but choose to let it exhaust at some point. I'm deliberating how far I will do my preferences - because if the race for 12th is between two fuckwits, do I want my vote to be exhausted and not play any role in electing contemptible people, or do I want it to still be in play and assist the less contemptible option?
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"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 06-12-2016, 01:14 AM   #74
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I suppose I've listened to Antony Green a bit too much, as he always urges people to vote for their genuine preferential order rather than trying to vote strategically, as it can be almost impossible to determine when various minor players will be eliminated in the count and where exactly their preferences will go.

But yes, there's something to be said for the fact that in the House these cranks will never ever get elected and putting as much space as possible between your vote and the LNP is desirable. In the Senate, in the days of full preferences, I considered it desirable to put the LNP ahead of the total cranks. There was the real possibility those cranks could score a seat on bizarre Group Voting Ticket flows, and if my vote had to end up with them, I could first send it through the LNP so that it would lose a massive amount of its value before going any further (and, if I reversed the order of the Tory candidates, would play even less of a role in helping to elect them too).

I wonder how many Senate voters will distribute preferences to every single party, and how many will go a long way but choose to let it exhaust at some point. I'm deliberating how far I will do my preferences - because if the race for 12th is between two fuckwits, do I want my vote to be exhausted and not play any role in electing contemptible people, or do I want it to still be in play and assist the less contemptible option?
To be honest, my personal preferences and my strategising are more or less one and the same. I'd maybe not love, but I would genuinely prefer an economic populist in the Katter mould - for instance - to any possible LNP member. And if this was still the days of Nationals vs Liberals, I'd probably slightly prefer the National to the Liberal. Especially if they were the Tony-Windsor kind of National. I'd prefer a Greens or Labor member to either or any, but hey, there you go. Admittedly I would not genuinely prefer a Rise Up Australia to the LNP, that is pure strategy.

The senate is (or was) a different situation, and I'd not want my vote there to help elect another Steve Fielding or the like. If memory serves me I've usually just gone with Labor or the Greens as much as possible. Then moving on to whatever minor-party or independent seems least offensive or mildly benign.

Between you and me and the rest of this board, I'm still kind of fuzzy on the senate voting reforms even after your cliff notes for Cobl4.
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:03 PM   #75
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Oh fuck off Turnbull for making any comment at all on that mass shooting in Orlando. It's got nothing to do with you, or this election. Just fuck off with the mealy-mouthed cant.

"Please remember to be very afraid. Insert vague warning here. Standing firm. Permanent war. Vote for me."
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