Archive for July, 2010

Election Poll: Week Three

After almost a year, we finally have a new poll. The plan at this stage is to have this poll repeated each week for the remaining three weeks of the election campaign. Results will be released on a week-by-week basis, with a full comparison of results on election day.

Who will get your vote in the federal election?

Total Votes: 89
Started: July 31, 2010

If you wish to explain the reason for your vote, please feel free to do so in the comments below.


July 31st, 2010 at 07:34pm

Preliminary hot-to-vote card for the ACT

With the Australian Electoral Commission having today announced the candidates for the seats of Fraser and Canberra in the federal election, and the candidates for the ACT’s two senate seats, it’s time for me to publish a preliminary how-to-vote card. This is all subject to change, and a finalised version will be published either on election day, or once I have cast my vote if I decide to put in a pre-poll vote.

There are a few objectives in the how-to-vote card. Firstly, I acknowledge that for the House of Representatives at least, it’s a safe Labor seat, so whilst it’s important to try and replace Labor, it’s also important to try and reduce the margin and make it less safe for Labor if they do retain the seats. In the Senate, the main objective is to maintain at least one Liberal seat…the other objective is to keep crazy people like the Greens out of the Senate. The idea of a returned Gillard government with a Greens balance of power in the senate is downright scary.

1. MILLIGAN, James Keith (Liberal Party) — obviously he must come first
2. HEDGES-PHILLIPS, Quintin (Secular Party of Australia) — I find a bunch of their policies to be quite scary, especially ones about climate change, mining taxes and illegal immigrants etc, but they have minimal chance of gaining enough seats in parliament to do much of anything, so I’d rather have them than the Labor party. He also has a job which I can respect (Television Presentation Co-ordinator…and he’s not an ABC person!) and isn’t a career politician, which is more than I can say for many people from the other parties.
3. LEIGH, Andrew (Australian Labor Party) — this is tough, do I put an economist with the poor sense to join Labor ahead of the business owner with the poor sense to join the Greens? In any place other than Canberra, the answer would probably be no, but I can’t risk giving the Greens enough votes to take the seat of Fraser. Without an incumbent, this is a real possibility, so as hard as it is, a Labor economist (hopefully one with more brains than Wayne “traffic jams cause inflation” Swan gets third spot.
4. ESGUERRA, Indra (The Greens) — she might be a business owner, but she’s a Green, and I can’t support the socialists and their global warming alarmism.

1. JONES, Giulia (Liberal Party) — “Giulia with a G” would have been a great addition to the Legislative Assembly, so hopefully we can get her in to the federal parliament.
2. BRODTMANN, Gai (Labor Party) — Another case of “I’ll put Labor ahead of the Greens just to keep the Greens out”.
3. ELLERMAN, Sue (The Greens) — No comment required here.

The senate is tougher to work out because the field is, at first impression, quite poor. There’s a couple good people in there, but they’re the minority. I’m tempted to simply vote above the line for the Liberals here, because they’re the only ones who are worth a vote, but this exercise wouldn’t be much fun if I didn’t try to work out the order in which the remaining rabble should receive preferences.
1. HUMPHRIES, Gary (Liberal Party) — I like Gary personally, although I find him to be less conservative than I would like…this has probably saved him in the strangely left-wing ACT though. That said, he has been a good Senator and will be receiving my vote again. I was tempted to give him second preference and give the other Liberal candidate the first preference, as this tactic helped me to get both Jeremy Hanson and Zed Seselja over the line in the ACT election, but given the nature of the ACT, I can’t risk Gary missing out on his quota, and he must therefore get my first preference, with the other Liberal candidate receiving my runoff.
2. WATTS, Matthew (Liberal Party) — See above
3. GLYNN, John (Independent) — From here on, the field devolves significantly. I know almost nothing about Mr. Glynn, however if, like much of the ACT, he is relatively left-wing, at least he will be an independent left-winger rather than part of a socialist party machine, like all of the following candidates.
4. LUNDY, Kate Alexandra (Labor Party) — I chuck most of her pamphlets in the bin after spending a minute staring at them in bewilderment…but I’d rather have her stay in her seat, than see her displaced by a Democrat or a Green
5. CHURCHILL, Darren Mark (Democrat) — This is where I start getting desperate, trying to work out which socialist is less dangerous than the next socialist. Darren is a casual relief teacher…if I can keep him away from indoctrinating teaching children, well that’ll be something. I also think the Democrats are less dangerous than the Greens.
6. DAVID, Anthony John (Democrat) — If he can keep a Green out, that’s wonderful.
7. PARRIS, Hannah (Green Party) — Of the two Greens running in this race, Hannah has made less scary press statements.
8. MATHEWS, David (Labor) — David disqualified himself from getting a higher ranking in the preferences by dishonestly appearing in a photo of supportive locals in one of Mike Kelly’s (incumbent candidate for Eden-Monaro) pamphlets, and then tried to defend his position on WIN News last night by claiming that, as he supports Mike Kelly, he is entitled to be in the photo. David, you’re not a local unless you live in the electorate. The only reason you’re not coming last in the preferences is because of the scary woman who follows.
9. HATFIELD DODDS, Lin (Green Party) — I can’t believe that the Greens have found a local who is scarier than Kerrie Tucker. Kudos to them for doing so. Now can they please hide this person away in an office where we never have to hear from them ever again?

As I say, the order may change a tad between now and the election, but this is how I see it for now, and how I would vote if the election were to be held today.

Now that we have a finalised list of candidates, I’ll send some interview requests to the candidates who interest me. This will not be all of them…in fact it will probably not be most of them. I may expand my scope a tad and seek interviews with some interesting candidates from outside the ACT as well. Stay tuned!


July 31st, 2010 at 04:18pm

Leaders Debate: live coverage

Starting from 6:30pm I’ll be running live commentary on the Leaders Debate between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott. Please refresh the page to see the updates as they appear, probably every minute or so.

6:30: Welcome to the live coverage. I’ll be watching the Debate on Seven, with Nine on a separate monitor so that I can keep an eye on both the “worm” and the “polliegraph”. Those will get a mention, but they won’t be my main focus as the speeches and pronouncements of the two leaders are more important than what the Seven and Nine studio audiences think.

6:35: A neat and concise opening statement from Julia Gillard. Pretty much what I expected…too many plans to spend money without enough details on her plan to reduce the deficit though for my mind.

6:39: Tony Abbott reannounced pretty much all of his policies to date. While he was talking about his policies, both the Nine Worm and the Seven Polliegraph were quite positive…just as much as for Julia. They both took a dive when he started attacking Labor and Julia Gillard…more so among women than among men.

6:41: Already people are asleep in my lounge room.

6:42: Julia Gillard claims to have sensible ideas on immigration and climate change. Strangely she is still talking about East Timor though…

6:43: Tony Abbott receives a positive reaction to his immigration policies which don’t utilise East Timor. A more lukewarm response to his climate change policy.

6:48: The basis of Julia’s statement about her courage is that she seems to think it’s a good idea to push ideas through even if they’re unpopular. Apparently the people will thank her later. Some public servants cried tears of joys after one of her plans was implemented.

6:50: I disagree with the government funding parental leave, but the reaction to Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme seems to be quite positive.

6:52: Tony Abbott seems to accept that immigration needs to be reduced to remain sustainable, and seems to have a sensible sounding plan for it. It was interesting to see him accept that past levels were probably too high.

6:55: Julia Gillard claims that they’ve already reduced the immigration numbers and closed a number of “rorts” introduced under the Howard government. She completely dodges Tony Abbott’s question of why she didn’t announce the details of her migration figures until now…strangely the off-topic waffle won over both the Seven and Nine audiences.

6:56: Julia just lied about East Timor being open to a dialogue about taking our asylum seekers. Just because one person there is open to it, doesn’t mean that the country (whose parliament voted against it) is open to it.

6:57: Julia will “take the time to get it done” on the asylum seeker policies. So how many more people have to die at sea while she dithers?

6:58: Tony says that there will never be an immigration processing centre in East Timor and that Nauru is the best option. He’s right, and the audiences seem to like it.

6:59: ABC’s Chris Uhlmann asks a stupid question of Tony Abbott about it being true that most of the people who went to Nauru eventually came to Australia anyway. Your point Chris? The legitimate ones were allowed through and the dodgy ones were sent back…what’s your problem with this Chris?

7:01: Julia doesn’t like Nauru because of its deadlocked government. She completely ignores the fact, which Tony mentions, that both sides of politics over there want to take our asylum seekers.

7:03: Julia believes that her stimulus plans saved the economy from a “deep recession”. As much as I disagree with her…how do we measure this without access to a parallel universe? Julia doesn’t want to answer the question of whether she will pour more money in to the economy if we have a double-dip recession.

7:06: Tony believes that the policies of the Howard government had more to do with the health of the economy than the Rudd/Gillard/Swan stimulus, which he rightly calls “rushed”. He also, rightly based on the deficit, claims that the economy is harder for the government to help out if it needs further help now, thanks to the Rudd/Gillard/Swan stimulus.

7:07: Tony wants to bring government debt and deficit under control, to help reduce pressure on the rest of the economy. He also rules out strange plans such as GroceryWatch to try and artificially reduce grocery prices.

7:08: Julia correctly points out that Tony’s proposed increase of the corporate tax rate would increase the cost of living, not reduce it….but then she mentions a bunch of her socialist plans which would have the same effect. She almost nailed Tony, but then completely missed her chance.

7:11: Interesting reaction to Julia talking about climate change on the Seven Polliegraph. Men hate it, women are slightly in favour of it. The Nine Worm is fairly neutral.

7:12: Worm and Polliegraph like Tony saying that the “citizen’s assembly” on climate change, proposed by Julia Gillard, is a bad idea and a waste of time when we already have a parliament to decide these things.

7:14: Tony dodges a question about his proposed corporate tax increase and instead rambles about how he will deliver “stability”…and then drifts on to WorkChoices being dead.

7:17: Julia still believes that Tony is lying about WorkChoices being dead. Seven’s Female audience seems to agree. Male audience not so sure about it.

7:18: Julia likes her workplace reforms and the audiences seems to be more-or-less in favour of it.

7:19: Tony re-iterates that he will work within the workplace legislation set down by the Labor government. Audience not quite as friendly to this as they were to Julia.

7:21: The topic of Julia’s ascension to the top comes up. The audience doesn’t like this. The way she took over is still a sore point among most people by the looks of it. Women seem to be a bit happier about it if Seven’s Polliegraph is to be believed. I didn’t like it…but I accept that it is within the gift of the majority party to change Prime Minister if it wants to do so.

7:22: Tony mentions that the government has gone from bad to worse since Julia took over. Strangely, this attack is highly favourable among the audiences, unlike the one near the start of the debate.

7:23: Massive surge in support for Tony’s support of the military and following their advice on what we should do in places like Afghanistan.

7:25: Similarly strong support for Julia’s similar policy. What neither leader mentioned is that the Coalition want to urgently upgrade some military equipment to help save some lives. If I were Tony, I would have said that straight away and make Julia commit to it too.

7:28: Julia pledges to cut the corporate tax rate, and continue to spend money (“invest” to use her word) on infrastructure such as the $43 billion dollar National Broadband Network. She still wants to bring the budget in to surplus by 2013, but still no details on where this money will come from to do this. Audiences seem to like it though.

7:31: Tony again pledges to cut the deficit, cut spending etc. Tony then delves in to the speech which he gave on the day that Julia called the election. Audiences: Males favourable, females unfavourable, overall neutral to srat with, but they were fairly favourable by the end of it.

7:32: Julia won the audiences for my mind…but Tony came out ahead for me, but only just. There were far too many missed chances and points by both leaders, but Tony came out with more credibility for me.

From what I saw, Men were more inclined to support Tony, and women were more inclined to support Julia. Where’s the ABS statistic on the ratio of men and women in the country?? That could be the stat which will decide this election.

7:34: 53% to 47% overall in favour of Julia according to Seven. Males favoured Tony and Females favoured Julia.

7:36: Nine claim that women were more in favour of both parties, and men were more sceptical of both.

7:38: I couldn’t tell the difference between the pink and blue lines on Nine on the black and white monitor, but women were definitely different on Nine to what I saw on Seven. They were happier with Tony, much happier, than Seven’s women were.

7:43: Nine are running through the highlights at the moment. I’ve got it on the large colour screen, so I’m waiting on the overall result from their audience.

7:45: Nine’s audience gives the victory to Julia by a margin of 63% – 37%.

7:47: Julia also wins Nine’s audience demographics. Female: 66% – 34%. Male: 61% – 39%

Summary: Despite the Nine and Seven audiences, I still give this one to Tony, but only slightly. In my view he had more substance and a better plan for the country, but this is clearly going to be a tough election for him. There’s a long way to go in this campaign for both sides, and whilst I think Tony would make a better Prime Minister, I fear that Julia has the upper hand with the voters at the moment.


July 25th, 2010 at 06:12pm

If the official polls favour Labor, why do the online polls favour the Coalition?

The Nielsen and Morgan polls of late have generally been in favour of Labor…not by much, but by enough. The few online polls that I found today do not seem to represent this trend though, which I find quite interesting. The online polls are all in favour of the Coalition by a large margin.

First up, there’s this one on the Yahoo7 website:
Yahoo7 poll

62% to 28% favouring the Coalition, with a sample size of 1,500

Then the daily Sky News poll:
Sky News poll
(click image to enlarge)

67% to 33% favouring the Coalition. Sample size unknown.

And the daily NineMSN poll, directly under the headline of Tony Abbott’s announcement to slash the national immigration intake. The question, whilst not the same as the other two polls, has the same relevance and implications given the policies of the two parties.
NineMSN poll
(click image to enlarge)

82% to 18% favouring the Coalition’s immigration policy. Sample size 64,021.

So if the big polling companies, with smaller sample sizes, are showing a much closer margin in favour of Labor, is it time for us to start asking questions about the sampling methods of the polling companies?


1 comment July 25th, 2010 at 04:23pm

What time will the leaders debate end tonight?

The leaders debate is scheduled to begin at 6:30pm and end at 7:30pm, but with 72 minutes of speaking time in the debate, it would seem quite impossible for it to be over by 7:30.

Add in the time required for journalists to ask questions, the time for the MC to run through the rules and moderate the debate, and I can’t see this finishing before 7:50. In fact, I’d suggest that it will finish around 7:55, with the coverage from the networks finishing at 8pm.

I note that the ABC (whom I shall not be watching) have scheduled half an hour of analysis after the debate from 7:30-8:00, with ABC News on at the earlier time of 6pm. I’d suggest that they’ll only have a short amount of analysis and will be out at 8pm.

I’ll be watching Seven’s coverage, although I’m considering bringing in a second TV so that I can monitor Seven’s “polygraph” “polliegraph” (thanks to Cheyne for picking up this error) and Nine’s “worm” while I conduct some live blogging during the debate tonight.

I note that Seven have used a “scientific method” to select a representative cross-section of the community for the studio audience. I wonder if this scientific method is similar to that which was used by the Climategate scientists to skew and alter the data in favour of their dodgy global warming theories? Only time will tell.


July 25th, 2010 at 03:10pm

Graham Cole from The Bill on radio tonight

Graham Cole, the actor who portrayed PC Tony Stamp in The Bill will be on Open House tonight. According to the Open House website Graham will discuss “the show’s highs and lows and share how his Christian faith has shaped his life”.

That should be interesting, so I’ll be tuning in to that…assuming that the Leaders Debate (about which I will be live blogging) has finished.

Open House is on-air from 8pm to 11pm on Canberra’s 91.9 and 94.3 1WAY FM, Sydney’s Hope 103.2 FM and many other stations across the country.


July 25th, 2010 at 02:50pm

Email salutations

An email to 2GB’s Glenn Wheeler


Good evening Glenn,

I hate receiving emails which just start with “Samuel” and have no “dear” or “hi” or whatever…to me, such emails feel like the person sending it is angry and about to spend the whole email barking instructions at me.

If I’m in the middle of a long email exchange with someone, I might drop the introduction all together and just have the body of the message with no names or salutations, but I’ll try to avoid just using the recipient’s name as the introduction…unless I am genuinely unhappy with the recipient!

I hope you’re keeping well. You’ve been looking well on The Morning Show of late.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

July 24th, 2010 at 10:42pm

Is Julia out of ideas already?

Today’s great ideas certainly don’t seem to be of her own creation.

First up, The Australian from June 30:

TONY Abbott will spend $1.5 billion to improve front line mental health services if the Coalition is elected.

Under the Real Action Plan for Better Mental Health, the Coalition would target young sufferers of mental disorders and build a range of new mental health centres to address the problem.

The opposition pledged today to deliver 20 new Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centres, 60 additional youth headspace sites and 800 acute and sub acute early intervention beds.

Julia Gillard today via Health Minister Nicola Roxon:

Ten new youth mental health services will be established by a re-elected Gillard Labor Government within a year to help local young people cope with depression, substance abuse and other mental health issues.

The extra headspace sites have been chosen on advice from headspace, on the basis of community need.

That one took three weeks to copy and reduce in size.

Now we’ll set the time machine for March last year:

The government is being urged to introduce a $3000 cash stimulus plan to encourage drivers to crush their old cars, protecting the environment and the struggling car industry.

That was here in Australia. Over in the US, the scheme kicked off in July:

The program is offering a 35-hundred dollar allowance to those who trade in a car or truck that gets 18 miles-per-gallon or worse for a new vehicle that gets 22 miles-per-gallon or more. As further incentive, the allowance jumps to 45-hundred dollars if the new vehicle gets ten miles-per-gallon or more than the old one. The Cash For Clunkers program is being embraced by most auto dealers nationwide but they must be registered with the program to participate. Full program details are available online at

It didn’t take long for the fund to be completely overwhelmed with claims, and for congress to need to pump more money in to the fund (and increase the United States’ public debt, which is expected to reach $USD 1.47 trillion, or 41 cents of every dollar the federal government spends). There were plenty of complaints of delays in cheques being sent to motor vehicle dealers, and even more complaints of cheques never arriving due to minor errors on the forms, leaving the dealers severely out-of-pocket.

Over in Germany, where they’ve had a similar scheme, they are now looking at a large dive in car sales, which will likely result in widespread job losses.

US Congressman Ron Paul made similar criticisms of the US cash for clunkers scheme, but also noted this, which I think has been largely missed by most people:

Low-income earners who would have been in the market for those perfectly serviceable, working cars will have fewer to choose from, and those cars will probably be more expensive than they normally would have been. Automotive repair shops actively lobbied against this program, as it will destroy many of the cars they would have repaired. They were out-lobbied. And of course, Americans as a whole are hurt, because this additional bailout of auto companies comes at our expense through inflation….

Requiring cars to be destroyed and new ones made to replace them might help the auto industry in the short run, but any improved fuel economy will not make up for the environmental impact of junking one car and making a new one. So this is not a program that should really make environmentalists happy.

So, what has Julia announced today?

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has copied Barack Obama’s cash-for-clunkers scheme to shore up Labor’s climate change credentials ahead of the election.

The government promises to give motorists a $2000 rebate if they trade in a car built before 1995 for a low-emission, fuel-efficient model.

Of all the ideas Julia could have copied, this has to be one of the worst. It certainly shows that her, and her government, have no real idea about managing the economy. They’ve plunged us in to deficit, and if they’re allowed to put this plan in to place, they’ll plunge us further in to deficit, while putting many people out of work.


July 24th, 2010 at 08:59pm

Moving Forward

At 2am, we will move forward…but a vote for Tony Abbott, at 2am, is a vote to move back. A Gillard, Labor, government, will always move forward, we will only move forward.

I acknowledge that, due to the errors of the past, some states are not as forward as others. I therefore promise, that a re-elected Gillard, Labor, government, with its commitment to moving forward, will, over time, aim to move some states forward more than others, to compensate for an historic lack of moving forward.

Under our plan, one day, we will all be able to move forward together.

To the people of Western Australia, I say, that a vote, for the Gillard, Labor, government, will be a vote to keep you moving forward. It is our plan that, after two years of diligent work and sensible, careful, moving forward, by my trusted and loyal time lord Wayne Swan, you will have moved forward to where the eastern states are today.

Then, together, as a nation, we will all move forward together.


1 comment July 18th, 2010 at 02:47pm

Vuvuzelas at the NRL?

An email to 2GB’s Andrew Moore who is currently calling the match between the Warriors and the Storm

G’day Andrew,

It sounds like the vuvuzelas have found their way to the NRL. Good! They grew on me during the world cup, and I’ve been suffering withdrawal symptoms ever since. When will you be giving Blocky and the Big Marn a vuvuzela each?

Have a great night!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

July 17th, 2010 at 06:25pm

Gillard likely to call the election on Sunday

As per the information I relayed to 2UE’s Stuart Bocking last week from my sources about Julia Gillard calling the election this coming weekend, one of Andrew Bolt’s readers has relayed some information to him about a sudden change to Julia’s weekend schedule which puts her in good stead to visit an appropriate official on Sunday:

Julia Gillard’s office on Thursday night cancelled her opening of the new Holocaust Centre in Melbourne next Sunday, 18 July. This has been arranged for some time, so it’s quite a move.

If she is to call the election on a day, she has to be where the G-G is (but she’s leaving for overseas Friday) or the senior Governor, who would be the NSW Governor, and that would be in Sydney.

My information says August 28 for the election, however Andrew is suggesting August 21. I’m sticking with the information from my sources though as I doubt that Julia will want to call an election with the bare minimum amount of notice, as it will be seen as a bit too much of a rush, and will further highlight her current rushed approach to policies and announcements.


2 comments July 12th, 2010 at 01:02pm


Not surprisingly, the psychic octopus is better at tipping than I am. Spain won the world cup, and deservingly so. Holland would have been better off focussing on their own game rather than playing an overly aggressive game of “lets see how many yellow cards we can get in a single match”. It was only after one of those yellow cards doubled up and turned in to a red card that Spain were able to score…Holland have only themselves to blame.

I thought Spain’s performance in extra time was much better than their performance in regular time as they abandoned their “pass the ball around as if we’re in the dying moments of an AFL match” tactic in favour of a more interesting “move the ball forward” tactic. It worked well for them, and combined with the strange Dutch attacking of players, it was enough to give them the win.

In the end, I’d rather see the tournament awarded to Germany who won a much more interesting third-place playoff yesterday, but Spain won today, and are therefore champions. I congratulate them, and hope to never see a soccer game as boring as that ever again.


July 12th, 2010 at 07:43am

World Cup Final

An SMS to SBS Radio 1


Thanks SBS for the great coverage. It’s been fantastic to listen to SBS radio while watching SBS TV. Go Holland! Lets prove that octopus wrong! Samuel, Canberra

July 12th, 2010 at 04:21am

Friday Funnies: Wallace and Gromit play soccer

Given that we are rapidly approaching the final of the soccer world cup, this video seems apt for Friday Funnies.


July 9th, 2010 at 10:32am

Julia Gillard’s electoral football

An email to 2UE’s Stuart Bocking

Good evening Stuart,

I was watching Julia Gillard’s appearance on the WA edition of Today Tonight when she ruled out September 25 as the election date, and I agree with you, she ruled it out because the election will have already been held by then. The date I’m hearing from a few people who should know is August 28, and the word is that she will visit the Governor-General next weekend to make it all happen.

She might also be at the MCG on AFL Grand Final day, and as a Bulldogs supporter I’d like to see her on the ground as a player. She is the secret weapon…all that she needs to do is stand there and recite her immigration policy announcement speech of the other day, and before you know it everyone will have fallen asleep, allowing her to kick the only goal of the match. It’ll be a great day, the Dogs first premiership since 1954…and Julia will have finally done something which I can agree with!

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

July 8th, 2010 at 10:06pm

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