October 11, 2004


Oh no! Our neighbours are worried:

While John Howard was showered with compliments from allies worldwide following his election victory, some of Australia's Muslim neighbours worried the result would strengthen his aggressive stance in combatting terror.

I’d worry if Howard’s win didn’t strengthen his stance. That’s why many voted for him ... although the New York Times, having earlier decided that War Plays a Role in Elections in Australia, now believes that Iraq remained in the background during the campaign.

In other breaking news:

• Here’s more breaking news from Currency Lad.

• The first vote in Afghanistan’s election was cast by a 19-year-old girl.

• The tears they do come but they are not often.

• Did ALP preferences give away control of the Senate? Looks like it.

• Labor brawling begins: "Labor frontbencher Julia Gillard has refused to rule out challenging colleague Jenny Macklin for the deputy leadership."

• The Australian cricket team proves it can handle spin as well as any Prime Minister: "I'm certainly not expecting anything greener or bouncier than what we had here. I'd be very surprised if there's been any water on the wicket in Chennai for about three months," Gilchrist said. "But that's a given. Sri Lanka tried it against us, at their peril."

Posted by Tim Blair at October 11, 2004 05:31 AM

I cannot believe that the silent majority are being reported in the SMH Letters section

Posted by: Aero at October 11, 2004 at 05:40 AM

All of Australia's Muslim neighbors are worried about a tougher stance against terrorism? Or just Australia's Islamist terrorist neighbors? Let's be as specific as possible.

Posted by: Steven Jens at October 11, 2004 at 06:40 AM

This looks like the end of civilization Down Under. Why, if Howard pursues a program that's tough on fascism and grows the economy then WTF have these moonbats been talking about for the last 40 years?

Actually, I know the answer. Based on secret documents I received from Dan Rather at CBS, I have learned that leading liberals in Australia, Europe and the USA have undergone a secret medical procedure. Their large intestines have been connected directly to their brains.

Posted by: Peter Boston at October 11, 2004 at 06:45 AM

They're worried?
Much of our recent troubles have come about because certain people weren't worried enough.
When the thought of thinking about contemplating jihad has the same effect as a great, big glass of Mexican tap water, that will be worried enough.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at October 11, 2004 at 08:33 AM

Sunday mornings don't get any better. John Howard re-elected, Latham looking like his underwear is too tight, millions of Afghanis voting, and, to top it off, Jacques Derrida is dead. Please, please don't let your lefties move to New Zealand. It's going to be hard enough to dislodge Nanny Helen as it is.

Posted by: Max at October 11, 2004 at 08:47 AM

Can someone offer a quick explanation to a befuddled yank of how this "preferences" thing works?

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 11, 2004 at 09:19 AM

That's OK, Max, we can send them to France. Since Jacques Derrida is dead, they have a lefty deficit.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at October 11, 2004 at 09:21 AM

Who would ever have thought that Kath Day-Knight would be a Deputy Leader of the ALP? Noice. Gillard and Macklin are part of the reason the ALP are in the mess that they are. Both are ideological party hacks who have never had a real job. And it shows.

Posted by: TN at October 11, 2004 at 09:21 AM

For the Yank who doesn't understand preferential voting - go to the Australian Electoral Commission's website - www.aec.gov.au. Has some really good clear info.

Posted by: TN at October 11, 2004 at 09:24 AM

Just heard someone talking to John Faine on ABC
stating he thinks Mark has a good chance of being PM 2007- next to CL ticker tape- another good belly laugh

Posted by: Rose at October 11, 2004 at 09:55 AM

I reckon Julie.G is hot. You don't know her phone number do you Tim?

Posted by: Tony.T at October 11, 2004 at 10:12 AM

"Labor frontbencher Julia Gillard has refused to rule out challenging colleague Jenny Macklin for the deputy leadership."

Oooh, if this is done in Oz by G-string mud wrestling, I'm gonna lose it...

Posted by: Carl in N.H. at October 11, 2004 at 10:23 AM

ABC talk back on now
Callers very distressed at Malicious campaign run by Liberals who had the nerve to critisise Marks Liverpool Mayoral period-oh how mean, poor Mark.
Sad his wife not beside him to eeze the apain of defeat

Posted by: Rose at October 11, 2004 at 10:32 AM

Can someone offer a quick explanation to a befuddled yank of how this "preferences" thing works?

You number the candidates 1, 2, 3... (etc) in the order you like them. If no candidate has 50% plus 11, you eliminate whichever one is now lowest, take all his or her ballots, and re-allocate each one to whichever of the remaining candidates is highest-ranked on that ballot. Keep going until highest runner passes 50% or only two remain.

Same principle as "low-man-out" elimination ballots as (IIRC) are used at US party conventions, except you mark on a single ballot how you'd vote as the field is narrowed.

A lot of Dem voters have said about the primary and then the general election: "Dated Dean, married Kerry". Same principle here in Aust -- a lot of conservative voters would have "Dated Family First, married Howard" (uggh -- purge that last thought) or "Dated Greens, voted Latham" (yeccch -- although the way Slaythem's been going, a fair percentage of Australia's women aged 18-65 will have done the latter at some time).

Except that instead of a protracted series of elections from March to November, the whole thing happens on one day.

Re Howard the Anti-Islamic crusader: During the campaign, Howard's foreign minister, Alexander Downer, said that in principle Indonesia would have the same moral right to pre-emptively attack Australian soil if this country were sheltering terrorist camps and not doing anything about it. So, yeah, it's all about anti-Muslim racism, white man's burden, yeah, yeah, you know the story.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at October 11, 2004 at 11:02 AM

Sorry, "50 per cent plus 1", not 11.

Posted by: Uncle Milk at October 11, 2004 at 11:06 AM

TN, Uncle Milk — Thanks.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at October 11, 2004 at 11:25 AM


I don't think I can put into words just how much I am going to enjoy the glum faces in my 3 hour Sociology class this afternoon. I think it'll be about 60 seconds before the words 'scare campaign' and 'fell for the big lie' are used...

Thanks for the great election coverage these last weeks.

Posted by: Dylan at October 11, 2004 at 11:47 AM

That - that - hussy! Voting? With her face showing? Where's my whip?

Posted by: graboy at October 11, 2004 at 12:19 PM


Yeah, the Monday after an election is always full of choice lefty quotes.

The office lefty where I am decided after much analysis:

Well, this just proves to me that Australians are 60% drones, 30% fascists, and only 10% have any sense of decency.

Posted by: 2dogs at October 11, 2004 at 12:26 PM

Wish I'd been there:

L: "Well, this just proves to me that Australians are 60% drones, 30% fascists, and only 10% have any sense of decency."

R: "Oh? So which one are you?"

Posted by: david at October 11, 2004 at 01:10 PM

It went like this:
Me: "You'd be disappointed at the election result?''
Colleague: "When are they burning the lesbians?''
Me: "What do you reckon won it for Howard?"
Colleague: "Bloody lies about Labor lifting interest rates."
Me: "Everyone knows the Reserve Bank does that in response to the economy."
Colleague: "The Australian people don't know that, they're stupid."
Me: "Including the ones who voted Labor?"
Colleague: "Fucking little Johnny, when are people gonna wake up....." and so on, I expect for the next three years.
And then along comes Cossie to belt Lacker into next week.
How sweet it is!

Posted by: slatts at October 11, 2004 at 01:26 PM

The Malaysian PM's point about Howard actually being able to fulfil his pledge is not said in a negative context, as has been suggested by the SMH. While Malaysia opposed the war to begin with, it has actually considered sending troops in post Saddam downfall, and probably didn't only because they don't like to rock the Islamic boat.

Posted by: RO at October 11, 2004 at 01:40 PM

Good question, Slatts.

When are they burning the lesbians? How much will tickets cost?

Posted by: EvilPundit at October 11, 2004 at 03:29 PM

Heh, I live in Canberra - two safe Labor seats, public servants galore.

It was fucking awesome. Today was like a wake - no one said anything about the election, but you could see it in their eyes.

And I was grinning like a fucking Cheshire Cat.


Posted by: Quentin George at October 11, 2004 at 06:14 PM

OT: Having paid closer attention to an Aussie federal election for the first time, I must admit I find your preferences-based voting system oddly alluring, particularly with those huge senate ballots. Just spent a little time checking into the senate results for NSW, and darnit, if the Greens hadn't preferenced Labor slightly higher than Liberals For Forests, the latter would apparently have a senate seat now. On a first-preference vote of less than half a percent. Frickin' amazing...

Posted by: PW at October 11, 2004 at 06:55 PM

That Age article is hilarious. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

Ms Gillard, a rising star who fought a well-matched contest with Tony Abbott in the health portfolio,[...]

Ms Macklin said she was confident of keeping the deputy leadership. "I don't think there will be any change," she told The Age.

"I'm prepared to serve the team in the best way I can," [Crean] said. "I've always been a team player."

It is probable [Stephen Smith] will be rewarded for neutralising immigration as an election issue.

Workplace relations spokesman Craig Emerson said he was going to have a T-bone steak and a couple of beers and talk to friends. "I don't want you to write anything about my thoughts because I don't have any," he said.

"My ambition is to be an effective and diligent local member, sit in the caucus and work as a team player in Canberra," Mr Garrett said. "I will put myself up to have my skills used in whatever way is appropriate."

Alan Sokal was right. Reality doesn't exist for leftists.

Posted by: Clem Snide at October 11, 2004 at 08:02 PM

Frickin' amazing...

The best thing is that Family First gets a Senator based on Labor party preferences.


Posted by: Quentin George at October 11, 2004 at 09:03 PM

Yeah, and in light of that, it would have been almost too comical if the Greens had ended up paying back in kind in NSW by preferencing the Libs For Forest candidate over the Labor one. But alas...it turns out only Labor was so stupid. I wonder what Victoria's Greens are thinking about their Labor comrades right now? They can't be too happy with not getting that senate seat.

Posted by: PW at October 11, 2004 at 09:15 PM

Hmm, I wonder if I screwed up the numbers somewhere, but I just ended up calculating 4 senate seats for the Coalition in QLD (3 Lib, 1 Nat)...that would be rather extraordinary, no?

Posted by: PW at October 11, 2004 at 10:58 PM

As it stands right now that would be the result. It's close and with a lot of preferences and postals still to come it might be too early to call.

In W.A. on my count the Liberals are going to end up around 10,000 votes short of a 4th seat once preferences are distributed. That's also quite amazing. That's a big conseravative win in the west.

Registered W.A. voters 1,237,349.

Posted by: Domitar at October 12, 2004 at 01:01 AM

Yeah, it seems to depend on One Nation being eliminated before the Nationals, otherwise the seat goes to the Greens... That would mean 39 seats for the Coalition if they do get this one, right? Thanks for responding btw, I really wasn't sure if I'd done the calculations correctly.

And WA isn't even the only place where the non-left parties are just missing out on a 4th seat...preferences in South Australia for the 6th seat came out 1.10 Labor, 0.90 Family First when I checked, with Labor barely making it on Greens prefs. Another one that Labor is ever-so-barely hanging on to.

Posted by: PW at October 12, 2004 at 08:06 AM

And ack, is it possible the ALP gave away yet another seat to Family First instead of the Greens? Tasmania FF 1.0255, Greens 0.9381...still close, but who knows.

Posted by: PW at October 12, 2004 at 08:30 AM

"Aussie neighbours worried"..

of course these Muslim countries (less and more fundamentalist) would have preferred Mullah huggers like the Greens or the ALP in power. But the electorate didn't show a taste for PC whackos - far from it.

To the disdain of the "published opinion" they rejected appeasement and the sellout of society to Islamic interests.. Rationalist/Libertarian philosopher Karl Popper once warned against appeasement strategies towards right and left as the importance NOT to be tolerant to the intorlerable.. Chamberlain back then. greens/"labour" and the PC folks now. Just say no !

You Aussies delivered a nice weekend surprise to me here in Austria ! I raise my hat!

not religious and want to stay that way

Posted by: Crossy at October 12, 2004 at 09:39 AM


In Tasmania I heard Antony Green (ABC) observe that 20% of voters go below the line. So you can only assume that 80% of Labor preferences will flow to FF over the Greens.

It's close in Tasmania.

Posted by: Domitar at October 12, 2004 at 10:51 AM

Thanks for the information, Domitar. I did wonder how many people would actually go along with the ALP's hare-brained preference order...

Posted by: PW at October 12, 2004 at 01:48 PM