Palmer’s chaos is Labor’s choice

In The Australian today:
“Day after day, serried ranks of QCs struggle to make sense of Clive Palmer’s finances. But the abdominal showman’s business dealings are a model of clarity compared with the PUP’s economic policies, which take inconsistency to infinity and beyond.”

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas is a columnist for The Australian newspaper and the inaugural Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong. The SMART Infrastructure Facility is a $61.8 million world-class research and training centre concerned with integrated infrastructure solutions for the future. Henry is also Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia. Prior to these concurrent roles Henry worked as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Henry's previous career was as an economist at the OECD in Paris, where amongst other roles he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment and was Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department.
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97 Responses to Palmer’s chaos is Labor’s choice

  1. C.L.

    … the abdominal showman …

    Gold.

  2. jeffthe

    C.L.
    You forgot silver and bronze…

  3. MartinG

    Palmers financial empire is a house of cards. I can’t see it lasting two years. Tony Abbott will cripple this country by accepting Green/Labor endorsement of the worst aspects of his budget.

    Palmer might be onside with the removal of the carbon dioxide tax and with any luck block Abbotts idiotic parental leave scheme.

  4. Baldrick

    More like the abominable strawman.

  5. Chris M

    Gold.

    Yeah, pretty funny. OTOH his appearance is irrelevant to his character and integrity or lack thereof. But who doesn’t love a fresh taste of goad first thing in the morning, media long since figured this.

  6. CatAttack

    A left leaning friend of mine said the Willessee interview of Palmer was likely badly biased because she had heard that Mike Willesee Jr worked on Abbott’s staff. So there you go Abbott is responsible for influencing Willesee Snr. Who would have thought?

  7. Clive 4 Evah

    More unhinged Clive hate.

    Yawn.

  8. Dr.Sir Fred Lenin

    Cat attack ,clutching at straws an alp mantra,like Brian “always look on the bright side”,when you stand in the ruins of something you have stuffed up,That and “I ave dun nuffink wrong” . Delude themselves ,no one else listens, socialism rots the brain look at O’ Bama,Hollande and all the other Wankers,Find a Cure for it please! Some of the Abbotts Medical Research Fund could be put to this Humanitarian Purpose.

  9. ar

    Labor chose chaos when they were in government.

  10. cohenite

    Palmer was responsible for the election of that indescribable princess Sarah 2-dads.

  11. Big_Nambas

    Never thought I would have anything to thank Palmer for but if coheniteis correct I must thank Palmer for continuing my entertainment as Sarah 2-dads makes me LOL every time she speaks!

  12. Bern1

    Just watched the Willesse interview with the Rabid Dogs.
    Ricky Muir can’t even remember his own name
    Jacqui is an obnoxious know nothing smart-arse
    Dio knows which side of the bread holds the butter.
    Glen is an inarticulate slogan sprouter.
    Palmer is a smart-arse .
    The whole crew is an embarrassment to humanity. Six years, I think a DD is the only answer to this sewerage.

  13. Alfonso

    You haven’t seen the MSM in tantrum chaos just yet. Wait until the inevitable charges are laid against Gillard re the alleged Perth PoA.
    A massive test of the legal and policing Establishment …. anything to make it go away.

  14. Tel

    Palmer was responsible for the election of that indescribable princess Sarah 2-dads.

    Wrong. The voters were responsible.

  15. Tel

    …the PUP’s economic policies, which take inconsistency to infinity and beyond…

    A tough call given the extensive array of inconsistency between what the major parties promise and what they deliver.

    Maybe you are saying that every budget should be consistent with every other budget, regardless of the party in power? Well, yes that is what we have come to expect, but that doesn’t make it a good thing.

  16. tomix

    The whole crew is an embarrassment to humanity. Six years, I think a DD is the only answer to this sewerage.

    And Conroy, Rudd, Gillard, Roxon, et al weren’t? How do you think you would go on national TV
    with arseholes like Mike Willesee trying to tear you down?

  17. tomix

    You haven’t seen the MSM in tantrum chaos just yet.

    The MSM are already there. Abbott’s on the nose, and the ALP/Greens can’t make headway. They’re losing voters to PUP.

    Hence the hysteria. And it’s going to get worse.

  18. candy

    More unhinged Clive hate.

    The big question, Clive 4 Evah, I think is will Clive Palmer manage to get all Australian pensioners the $150 per fortnight increase he promised?

    I do think he’s taken advantage of vulnerable needy people and promised something that can’t be done …

  19. Gab

    to get all Australian pensioners the $150 per fortnight increase he promised?

    Those only disability pensions as i understand it.

    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/palmer-pledges-extra-150-fortnight-disability-pens/1997355/

  20. candy

    I thought the Ergas article above indicated all pensions, Gab? I can’t access it again.

  21. Gab

    Palmer probably promised that Aged Pensions would be increased as well as disability pensions. Who knows? The guy is a nutter who changes his mind on a whim.

  22. Gab

    Here we go:

    BILLIONAIRE Clive Palmer says his party would increase the aged pension by $150 a fortnight.

    Mr Palmer says that represents a 20 per cent increase on the basic rates for singles and couples.

    He says a Palmer United Party government would boost pensions and provide back pay to veterans and their families to the tune of $640 million.

    “There are so many pensioners in this country, our mothers, fathers and aunts, who have been treated very shabbily by the system,” Mr Palmer told reporters on Wednesday.

    He said veterans’ pensions had fallen behind civilian pensions.

    “Many of them are entitled to back pay,” he added.

    “In any government I lead there will be a stand alone minister to look after veterans’ affairs.”

    More than 300,000 veterans and their families struggle with inferior pensions, he said.

    Mr Palmer refused to outline where the money would come from, saying his party’s policy costings would be outlined later.

    So he has promised to increase all pensions. Easy to say, unrealistic to do.

  23. tomix

    It’s an interesting policy though. 852,00 on the DSP and untold millions on the other pensions.

    Would they vote for another $150 pw in their pension? Whaddaya think?

  24. Gab

    I promise to increase the dole by $150 per week!

    Vote for me!

  25. tomix

    And the Greens are polling below a DD Senate quota in Qld at the moment, while PUP has 2 and rising.

    Greens or PUP. How hard is it?

  26. EB

    Just watched the Willesse interview with the Rabid Dogs.
    Ricky Muir can’t even remember his own name
    Jacqui is an obnoxious know nothing smart-arse
    Dio knows which side of the bread holds the butter.
    Glen is an inarticulate slogan sprouter.
    Palmer is a smart-arse .
    The whole crew is an embarrassment to humanity.

    You know the problem? You’ve just described every other jerk currently in the house of reps or the senate.

    And Palmer voters know it. They’d rather put their own idiots in for once instead of someone else’s.

    A lot of the public may be simple, but sooner or later the liblab false dichotomy was going to get on their tits.

    And while you’d have a lot of smug fucks thinking that was a good hit piece on Palmer last night, I’d be willing to bet it will do a lot more good for him with his target audience than harm.

  27. duncanm

    Palmer reminds me of a couple I recently worked for.

    Their ($Ms, not $Bs) empire has collapsed, taking many employee’s unpaid wages with it … digging up some rulings on their other financial dealings reveals nuggets from judges like this:

    It is fair to say that the parties conducted a somewhat Bohemian lifestyle, especially in relation to their respective finances. Their financial affairs were unstructured and haphazard to say the least.

  28. duncanm

    Fark… why not increase the dole to $1000/wk and remove all requirements to look for work.

    You’d have %60+ of the population voting for you.

  29. Tel

    The guy is a nutter who changes his mind on a whim.

    Unlike Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey who change their minds only after carefully planned perfidy.

  30. Gab

    Palmer’s a few sheep short in the top paddock. The Karma bus is on it’s way though.

  31. tomix

    The question is: What should a pension be worth? Palmer is saying +$150.

    The ALP/Greens are in hiding on that one, leaving their mates in the MSM to do their dirty work.

  32. .

    If the Gulf of Papua play pays off, he will be around for much longer.

    His firm has been around for two decades and it is diversified.

    We’re all guessing, really.

  33. Gab

    Unlike Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey who change their minds only after carefully planned perfidy.

    Sorry, Tel I didn’t know you were a Palmer pom-pom man.

    Palmer has changed his mind about the carbon tax three times now and each time it was on a whim. And he believes Wendy Deng is a Chinese spy which is why Clive siphoned off $12 million from the Chinese government to pay for his election campaign as it is being reported. He’s destroyed Coolum Resort and has a fascination with dinosaurs.

    yay! Palmer certainly is PM material.

  34. candy

    I’d be willing to bet it will do a lot more good for him with his target audience than harm.

    I believe you are right EB. His followers will like it because the PUP’s are ordinary people just like themselves.

    But they will be waiting for the $150 per fortnight rise to go ahead, now PUP has balance of power.

  35. tomix

    And he believes Wendy Deng is a Chinese spy which is why …

    Yeah. The Chicoms give all their 1.2 billion people access to a gold plated education with no strings attached. It’s the socialist way.

  36. harrys on the boat

    Hey, hey, hey, lets not get too hasty ridiculing the Member for Gastric Banding. A 15% cut in income tax you say, Clive?

  37. .

    Then way to help the least well off is to abolish excise tax, payroll taxes, raise the TFT and remove wage floors.

    Most poverty could be solved virtually overnight if you abolished excise tax. The amount of excise tax someone on Newstart, an old aged pension or on the minimum wage can be quite ridiculous. If someone smokes a four packs a week and buys half a carton of beer a week, they might pay $70 of excise tax. The churn is ridiculous.

    In the longer term you’d also want more land release to add to housing stock and reduce rent as a proportion of wages, as well as lower inflation targeting (zero in a flexible band to the medium term).

  38. daggers

    You know the problem? You’ve just described every other jerk currently in the house of reps or the senate.

    Yeah ……… nah.

  39. Alfonso

    Clive’s attraction is that his mind operates with the same cargo cult impossibilities and irrationalities festering in the minds of Kylie and Shane.
    They see a pollie with the same fantasies who says they aren’t rich because no-0ne will take the banks profits and give it to them.
    I blame the high schools.

  40. tomix

    EB @ 10.40am

    And while you’d have a lot of smug fucks thinking that was a good hit piece on Palmer last night, I’d be willing to bet it will do a lot more good for him with his target audience than harm.

    +1. Many people empathise with someone being unfairly put on the spot in public like that.
    As the continued electoral success of Bjelke-Petersen showed. But the MSM/ALP alliance never understands it.

  41. Gab

    Sources in Papua New Guinea have also said they did not believe Mr Palmer’s claim that he had spent $50m on seismic work on three gas leases in the Gulf of Papua, because it had received no evidence of any work on the leases.

    Mr Palmer’s Titanic II project also looks in trouble, with Mr Palmer earlier this month engaging a company to try and find backers for the replica vessel. It was due to sail in late 2016 but work has not begun.

    What a gem.

  42. .

    $50 mn of sesimic work is a hell of a lot of work. Some firms doing exploration don’t even have that market cap.

  43. John Comnenus

    IMO Palmer knows that chaos is his best friend. The back half of this 3 min clip explains why Chaos is appealing to those who create it:

    Warning includes some violence and nudity from Game of Thrones.

  44. MemoryVault

    I think you are all being unfairly hard on Clive. After all, he didn’t invent Australian politics as it exists today. It is solely the product of the major parties, basically since the time of Whitlam. Elections today are little more than auctions, where each side “bids” to buy votes. Consider the last election as watching a poker game:

    Gillard/Rudd: I’ll bet you an NBN, an NDIS, a Gonski and a boat turning . . .
    Abbott: Ha! I’ll see your NBN, NDIS and Gonski, and raise you a better boat turning, a PPL, and decreased expenditure, plus tax cuts . . .

    None of these laughingly called “Policies” were ever properly costed out, and nobody ever got around to fully explaining them to the electorate, let alone how we were going to afford them. In reality they were all little more than thought bubbles, throw-away lines designed to “buy”votes.

    Let’s face it folks. Even without Palmer it was only a matter of time before we had an election with one side promising a mid-range Merc in every driveway, and the other side side upping the ante to a top-of-the-range Beamer. Such is Australian politics today.

    So, along comes Clive Palmer, who maybe, just maybe, sees the utter stupidity of the whole game and decides to crash through warp speed and go directly to Ludicrous Speed. Maybe, just maybe, Palmer has figured if we’re going to all crash and burn anyway, we may as well get it over and done with.

    Yes, Palmer’s promises to raise pensions $150.00 a fortnight and spend an extra $80 billion on Health, amongst other things, are ridiculous. But really, are they any more ridiculous than Rudd’s NBN, Gillard’s NDIS, or Abbott’s PPL?

    I have a suspicion, or maybe just a fond hope, that Clive Palmer sits alone late at night in his Coolum Resort, with a bottle of his favourite drop, laughing his head off at the joke he is playing on everybody.

  45. John Comnenus

    Memory,

    Clive is no joke. He is simply climbing the ladder of opportunity that chaos creates. Watch the clip – chaos is a ladder. It is very incisive.

  46. Gab

    So, along comes Clive Palmer, who maybe, just maybe, sees the utter stupidity of the whole game and decides to crash through warp speed and go directly to Ludicrous Speed. Maybe, just maybe, Palmer has figured if we’re going to all crash and burn anyway, we may as well get it over and done with.

    Palmer expects to be Australia’s next PM. I hope youse all vote for him.

  47. James in Melbourne

    More unhinged Clive hate.

    Yawn.

    Hi, “Hammy.”

    It won’t work. You won’t fool Cats with a second avatar (I don’t know how you fool some with your first.) This is not your best work. I mean, “Clive 4 Evah,” like a One Direction slogan in white-out on a Year 7 girl’s pencil case, strikes the wrong note, too fawning. Not even Fairfax voters drool over him like that any more. Love your satire usually but this one’s a fail.

  48. Chris M

    Greens or PUP. How hard is it?

    I’m pretty sure PUP would consistently vote against tax increases (if they in any way affect Clive). Reckon that’s a positive if nothing else is, good for Australians and helps the Liberal party back to where they should be on taxes.

  49. .

    Yes, Palmer’s promises to raise pensions $150.00 a fortnight and spend an extra $80 billion on Health, amongst other things, are ridiculous. But really, are they any more ridiculous than Rudd’s NBN, Gillard’s NDIS, or Abbott’s PPL?

    No. You are quite correct.

    This is why the LDP (and FF) had so many votes in addition to a favourable ballot position, and the number of informal votes and absent electors rose – because there is a significant minority who are mad as hell.

  50. MemoryVault

    Gab
    #1339702, posted on June 9, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Palmer expects to be Australia’s next PM. I hope youse all vote for him.

    No chance of that Gab.
    I subscribe to the George Carlin School of Thought with regards to voting.

    Vote4Themm.

  51. Bern1

    And while you’d have a lot of smug fucks thinking that was a good hit piece on Palmer last night, I’d be willing to bet it will do a lot more good for him with his target audience than harm.

    Ricky Muir is from the Motoring Enthusiasts Party.He doesn’t even know what Äfter market”means.
    Anyone who has visited Super Cheap Autos knows that.
    Tomix, Muir is an inarticulate halfwit who throws Kangaroo shit at his siblings. Willesse did not treat him unfairly,it was a very gentle interview.
    No thinking person who watched that piece could ever form the opinion that we are being well served by these halfwit opportunists.
    Clive Palmer is a complete smart-arse and that is the extent of him.

  52. MemoryVault

    . . . because there is now a significant decisive minority who are mad as hell.

    FTFY Dot.

    I see hung parliaments, minority governments, and uneasy coalitions, into the foreseeable future.

  53. Fisky

    Jacqui Lambie claims to have been in psychiatric care for 10 years.

    “I did some back damage um during whilst I was in the army and then I had to fight veterans affairs for the next 10 or 13 years. Spent ten years basically laying between the couch and the bed and in … psychiatric units.”

    She’s one messed up bird.

  54. Gab

    I have a suspicion, or maybe just a fond hope, that Clive Palmer sits alone late at night in his Coolum Resort, with a bottle of his favourite drop, laughing his head off at the joke he is playing on everybody.

    Palmer is even more dangerous to this country that Oakeshott and Windsor could ever hope to be.

  55. davey street

    You don’t honestly think Palmer has disclosable policies , do you ? He’s ex Qld Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s principal spin merchant from the 1980s and he and Joh coined the phrase “feeding the chooks” for media press conferences. He also did journalism at uni but dropped out. Add a dose of billionaire bullying through top shelf lawyers, and he says and does what he likes. He’s trying to now claim his donations to the Nationals in Queensland were illegal and corrupt on the part of deputy Premier Jeff Seeney because the Seeney Nationals accepted them, not because he gave the money. Get it though your heads. He just doesn’t care what comes out of his mouth. He’s too rich to care and is after power for it’s own sake. Fairfax and the ABC are keeping mum because they think Palmer will take down the Abbott and Newman governments but ultimately a few days before any election, they too will be forced to expose Palmer for what he really is, an ex white shoe brigade land developer from the Gold Coast, a spectacularly anti-Liberal and pro- nineteenth century carpetbagger bullying idealogue , who through his dodgy mate in the Joh years, Russ Hinze, Minister for Everything, got special treatment, resulting in big money for Palmer, which Newman, for blindingly obvious reasons, was not prepared to continue with thirty five years later, this time regarding the Gallilee basin coal rail line contracts which Newman subsequently awarded to Gina. It’s interesting that he sucks up to Tony Jones and therefore to his wife Sarah Ferguson, front person on the 7.30 Report. He knows who at the ABC he has to be kept on side to get new votes from the Left by keeping ABC News and Current Affairs silent. If anything he’s considerably to the right of Ghenghis Khan. And another thing, anyone who thinks those votes in W.A. were “lost” is an idiot. Just remember who stood to gain most by a re run of the WA Senate election, and who would be most likely to be behind throwing a box of 1300 odd votes in Perth’s Swan river one night.

  56. tomix

    Tomix, Muir is an inarticulate halfwit who throws Kangaroo shit at his siblings. Willesse did not treat him unfairly,it was a very gentle interview.
    No thinking person who watched that piece could ever form the opinion that we are being well served by these halfwit opportunists.

    Can’t remember any attacks on fully paid up members of Club Fed such as Mal Colston, Steven Conroy, Tony Burke, Wayne Swan, Craig Thomson or Sarah Hanson-Young for their halfwitted opportunism,though each of them wielded far more power than Ricky Muir is ever likely to.

  57. MemoryVault

    davey street
    #1339768, posted on June 9, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Excellent comment, Davey. I agree with you entirely.

    Now could I introduce you to paragraph breaks?

    It’s the button marked “enter” on your keyboard.

  58. they too will be forced to expose Palmer for what he really is, an ex white shoe brigade land developer from the Gold Coast, a spectacularly anti-Liberal and pro- nineteenth century carpetbagger bullying idealogue , who through his dodgy mate in the Joh years, Russ Hinze, Minister for Everything, got special treatment, resulting in big money for Palmer, which Newman, for blindingly obvious reasons, was not prepared to continue with thirty five years later, this time regarding the Gallilee basin coal rail line contracts which Newman subsequently awarded to Gina.

    Liberty Quote.

  59. notafan

    But they will be waiting for the $150 per fortnight rise to go ahead, now PUP has balance of power

    Some were apparently under the impression that billionaire Clive would be paying that $150 out of his own pocket

    Palmer also wants the carbon tax he paid refunded

  60. Fisky

    And another thing, anyone who thinks those votes in W.A. were “lost” is an idiot.

    I never believed that story for a moment, but my assumption was that forces within the broad Left were responsible for ditching the ballots knowing that a forced Senate re-election 6-9 months later (assuming a furious media campaign of lies in between) might return 3 Left-wing Senators from WA rather than just two. As it stands, the whole thing blew up in their faces, because one of those “Left-wing” Senators is Joe Bullock, who stands an even chance of being forced out of the ALP caucus within a couple of years.

  61. Infidel Tiger

    I think Clive’s the duck’s nuts.

    His open contempt for the media, the parliament, the electorate, his puppets and the truth is refreshing.

    We’ve never had such an honest politician.

  62. tomix

    The W.A. Senate rerun worked out well for the Greens. Ludlam lost his seat first time around.

  63. Fisky

    So long as Palmer votes for carbon tax repeal who gives a shit?

  64. cohenite

    Palmer was responsible for the election of that indescribable princess Sarah 2-dads.

    Wrong. The voters were responsible.

    No Tel, you obviously don’t understand how preferencing occurs in Australia; read this to see how Palmer got shrieking Sarah in.

  65. harrys on the boat

    I’m with Fisky. If the mining and carbon taxes go and he fights for an income tax cut, I couldn’t give a fuck what else he does.

  66. cohenite

    The MRRT and the most stupid tax ever on CO2 will go because they are against the fat boy’s personal interest. Abbott’s ideologically driven maternity scheme will also lose some cleavage.

    But, fair dinkum, what could Palmer do to make up for Sarah?

  67. mizaris

    And while you’d have a lot of smug fucks thinking that was a good hit piece on Palmer last night, I’d be willing to bet it will do a lot more good for him with his target audience than harm.

    Palmer made Willesee look stupid last night….the rest of the PUP senators made themselves look like stupid sock puppets.

  68. tomix

    There seems to be an argument that if Palmers companies were seen to benefit from any legislation passed through the Senate, the Parliament would be demeaned and the parliamentary system thrown into question.

  69. egg_

    Maybe you are saying that every budget should be consistent with every other budget, regardless of the party in power? Well, yes that is what we have come to expect, but that doesn’t make it a good thing.

    Oh, the ironing, where’s Abbott to take out Hanson – oh wait…
    Double the ironing.

  70. egg_

    Correct quote:
    Abbott’s on the nose, and the ALP/Greens can’t make headway. They’re losing voters to PUP.

    Apologies for any Confucius.

  71. I have always been very honest here about my reservations concerning Jim Fryar for the LDP in the Senate here in WA.

    The Willesee interview of Ricky Muir has simply confirmed this for me. Jim Fryar may be salt of the earth and an excellent fellow, but a typical interrutping smart-arse Australian journalist would eat him alive, let alone a veteran. It would have done irreparable damage to the LDP’s reputation.

  72. Tel

    No Tel, you obviously don’t understand how preferencing occurs in Australia; read this to see how Palmer got shrieking Sarah in.

    Just answer one question: do the voters in this country have the ability to choose their own preferences?

    Hmmm?

  73. Toiling Mass

    Unhinged Clive hate

    I am not sure that you can call him ‘unhinged Clive’. There is definitely method in what he is doing.

  74. cohenite

    Just answer one question: do the voters in this country have the ability to choose their own preferences?

    Hmmm?

    If they vote above the line then no.

  75. CatAttack

    Bring on optional preferential voting I say. I don’t want 1 billionth of my vote going to Palmer or the Greens.

    Sorry Clive may be “refreshing” in one sense but I don’t believe he is there for any other reason but to create mischief.

  76. Tel

    If they vote above the line then no.

    “If” they vote above the line? Like it just happens sometimes and there’s nothing anyone can do about it?

    Ummmm…. maybe try again. Voting doesn’t work that way.

  77. tomix

    Palmer wants to build a mine, a railway and a port. He’ll find the finance. Now Abbott is saying he wants to be “the infrastructure P.M.”.

    Is it O.K. for the Gov’t to build roads and bridges and porkbarrel like the ALP, but not O.K. for infrastructure to be built privately?

  78. Infidel Tiger

    Palmer wants to build a mine, a railway and a port. He’ll find the finance.

    You don’t actually believe that do you?

  79. cohenite

    Voting doesn’t work that way.

    In the Senate you can vote for a party above the line in which case the preference allocation will be done by the party or you can vote below the line and make your own preferences. The ratio of those who vote above the line and allow the party to use their vote to those who vote below the line and exercise their full democratic right is about 9:1.

    Palmer got Sarah elected by giving PUP’s preferences to the Greens in SA and not to The Climate Sceptics.

    It’s that simple.

  80. Tel

    In the Senate you can vote for a party above the line in which case the preference allocation will be done by the party or you can vote below the line and make your own preferences.

    You can indeed, and who exactly makes that decision?

    The ratio of those who vote above the line and allow the party to use their vote to those who vote below the line and exercise their full democratic right is about 9:1.

    Who made the choice?

  81. cohenite

    Tel, I’m disappointed, you are being semantic. At the risk of saying the bleeding obvious voting in this nation is a cursory exercise at best for the vast majority of voters who are above the line minimalist democrats. I don’t think the PUP punters were any different; in fact I know they were not any different because I was privy to the horse trading between the minor parties, including PUP, for preference exchanges.

    Palmer made that decision

  82. johanna

    Tel,while you are literally correct, with tablecloth-sized ballot papers in several of the last few Senate elections, only the most dedicated could be bothered filling out every square – especially as it greatly increased the risk of your vote becoming informal if you accidentally made a mistake.

    And, as the preference distribution and quota system is as arcane as the Dead Sea Scrolls to most people, above the line voting no doubt causes a lot of unintended consequences for voters and parties alike. How many people who vote above the line have a clue where there preferences will go and what the consequences might be? This kind of information is not exactly front and centre in material distributed by the parties. I had to really dig around on the net to find out about it in my jurisdiction last time around.

    Optional preferential for the Senate would go a long way towards fixing these problems.

  83. Tel

    Tel, I’m disappointed, you are being semantic. At the risk of saying the bleeding obvious voting in this nation is a cursory exercise at best for the vast majority of voters who are above the line minimalist democrats.

    There’s nothing semantic about it… they have a choice and they make a choice, by their own mind, with their own hands. The voters are 100% responsible for their own decisions.

    Tel,while you are literally correct, with tablecloth-sized ballot papers in several of the last few Senate elections, only the most dedicated could be bothered filling out every square.

    Oh nos, that might take an extra five minutes out of your life every three years! To be a bit more precise that’s 0.00033% of your valuable time spent filling ballots. If you don’t like the way we do it, you could even campaign for some other sort of voting system (but the campaign would consume vastly more of your time).

    And yeah, I know some people can’t count to 100, but those people could choose to learn if they wanted to, so by being lazy they also make a decision. Give up blaming Palmer.

  84. Tel

    How many people who vote above the line have a clue where there preferences will go and what the consequences might be?

    Probably not many, again, by their own choice… although in this case probably the AEC deserves at least some bollocking. Now who was it recently gave the AEC a well deserved bollocking as a wake-up call to remind them they can’t take their job for granted? Gosh, can anyone remind me?

  85. johanna

    Oh nos, that might take an extra five minutes out of your life every three years! To be a bit more precise that’s 0.00033% of your valuable time spent filling ballots. If you don’t like the way we do it, you could even campaign for some other sort of voting system (but the campaign would consume vastly more of your time).

    I fear that we do not see you at your best, Tel. That’s not what I said at all.

    You can bay at the moon all you like, but the vast majority of punters are not passionate about politics, and while they are prepared to go to the booth and vote, they are not, and never will be, interested in becoming mini Antony Greens about the Senate voting system.

    Correctly filling out all the tiny squares on a large ballot paper (which you can’t even spread out flat in the space provided) is quite simply a recipe for inadvertant errors. Have you never clicked on the wrong box when doing something online, or forgotten to click one along the way? I certainly have. Designing idiot-proof forms is actually a very skilled task, and one which the electoral authorities have no interest or expertise in.

    I am only surprised that around 10% of voters do fill out all the boxes.

  86. cohenite

    I’m sorry, you don’t know what you are talking about Tel. I refer you to the link again.

    From the article:

    What really determines the result of the last quota is ‘horse-trading’ between all the parties for preference swaps. There were 30 individual party groups running for the last Federal Senate position in South Australia. Negotiations involved trading votes in other states for votes in South Australia with these preference selections given to the Australian Electoral Commission at or before 12 noon on the Saturday after the Issue of Writs.

    In South Australia Leon Ashby had secured First preferences from 11 other parties. Apart from these parties’ show of confidence in Leon, this looked to be a winning group of preferences from other parties which he calculated would give him a senate seat after 35 counts or preference allocations. Antony Green and other commentators who should have known better queried this approach as a betrayal of the basic principle of NCTCS. That is by preferencing the ALP over the Coalition the NCTCS was reneging on its policy to remove the carbon tax and oppose AGW.

    This objection was based on a misunderstanding of the intrinsic nature of the preferencing system. Firstly, the ALP was preferenced 93 to 98 by the NCTCS and the Coalition preferences began at 99 with all the other minor parties preferenced before the 2 main parties. So the order of NCTCS preferences was every minor party then Labor, LNP and Greens.Secondly, the NCTCS’s preference strategy was consistent with its aim to reduce the presence of the Greens.

    A simple example illustrates this. Consider if there were 69 voters then a quota to elect a Senator would be 10. In that situation if the Coalition received 35 votes, the ALP 25 the Greens 6 and the NCTCS 3, the Coalition would have 3 senator quotas, the ALP 2 and there would be a preference race for the last seat with the two major parties each having a surplus of 5. As the NCTCS vote is lowest they would be excluded and their preferences distributed first.

    If the NCTCS preferences go to the Coalition their vote goes up to 8 which would still be short of a quota. In that circumstance the ALP would be excluded and their preferences would elect a Green. That is a result contrary to the primary intention of the NCTCS.

    However, if NCTCS preferences went to the ALP, this would put them in front of the Greens and they instead would win the last “left” seat.

    As it turned out Leon Ashby was eliminated after the next to final counts largely due to the Palmer United Party preferences going to Sarah Hansen-Young.

    Palmer spent many millions of dollars and received a great deal of air time at the ABC, presumably because his party looked to take votes away from the Coalition, which it did. NCTCS spent about $40,000, $32000 of which was registration fees for candidates and received no air time at the ABC, apart from a question asked on Q&A by NCTCS President Bill Koutalianos of David Suzuki about flat temperature.

    Why would parties preference swap if they did not think they would have control of their votes FFS? And they do because people vote above the line. Now you can argue that is a reflection of the voters’ choice; and it is to give their primary votes to the party but where that vote ends up is definitely not a reflection of the voters’ choice.

  87. Tel

    I’m not baying at anything, I’m just pointing out that the responsibility belongs to the voter, and only to the voter.

    Anyone trying to say that Palmer is controlling people’s preferences is outright misleading. If some slightly clueless voter was reading this, they might think somehow that it was all controlled from afar and there’s nothing they could do. This would be wrong. Mr & Mrs Clueless Voter who read this, it is your responsibility to choose your preferences… if you follow your party preferences that’s up to you, but that choice is made by you and no one else, you remain responsible come what may.

    As for myself, and johanna, and cohenite and all the rest of the local goons, it is our responsibility to make this fact clear to people at all times, so that they do understand how our voting system works. Saying “Palmer was responsible for the election of that indescribable princess Sarah 2-dads,” is wrong, and misleading, and is failing to correctly inform the people who look to us for ideas. I take my responsibility (small thing that it is) seriously, and so should you.

  88. Tel

    I refer you to the link again.

    The link can say any shit it likes, the voters remain responsible, and until we have martial law in this country this fact will not change.

  89. cohenite

    Pedantic fuck aren’t you.

  90. Tel

    Why would parties preference swap if they did not think they would have control of their votes FFS?

    It is a recommendation. Parties can recommend their members wear blue ties, or recommend their members wipe their backsides with gum leaves, or recommend they all go and join a union. If Tony Abbott told you to stick a banana in your ear, what would you do?

  91. Tel

    Seems to really piss you off when someone calls you on a point of fact.

  92. candy

    I’m not baying at anything, I’m just pointing out that the responsibility belongs to the voter, and only to the voter.

    I agree with you on that Tel. There’s choice and that’s how the cards fall.

    But voters are never going to fill out a great big sheet, only very very few dedicated ones will do that.
    It’s a pickle.

  93. cohenite

    Seems to really piss you off when someone calls you on a point of fact.

    I’ll let you know when it happens.

    Facts:

    1 Australia has a preference voting system.

    2 Delegation of that preference right occurs with all above the line votes.

    3 Preference swapping occurs because parties do not have to specify party preferences until mandatory notification to the Electoral Commission by one week after the issue of Writs.

    4 Those preferences can merge and cascade as parties are eliminated during stages of preference allocation.

    5 How many PUP voters knew Palmer’s preference schedule involved preferencing the Greens?

  94. johanna

    cohenite, re (5) based on my experience of researching the consequences of above the line voting for my (relatively simple) ballot paper, my guess is so few it is effectively zero. It was a lot of work to figure it all out, and I am not at all typical of the average voter. If I had to work it out for a ballot paper with 80+ candidates, it’s likely I would never have been able to work it out.

    And I doubt that voters for other parties would know either.

    Given the emergence of multiple micro-parties and “independents” in recent years, mostly with the aim of gaming the system, reform of Senate voting rules is a necessity IMO.

    Optional preferential is the way to go.

  95. cohenite

    Optional preferential is the way to go.

    I agree; or allowing below the line preferencing for a small number instead of the whole.

    The point is probably moot since both the ALP and the coalition are going to make it very hard for micro parties in the future; and given the calibre of some of the current stock it is hard to mount a counter argument on the facts.

  96. I am the Walrus, Koo Koo K'Choo

    Yes, Palmer’s promises to raise pensions $150.00 a fortnight and spend an extra $80 billion on Health, amongst other things, are ridiculous. But really, are they any more ridiculous than Rudd’s NBN, Gillard’s NDIS, or Abbott’s PPL?

    Agreed. Well spotted, MV.

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