Monday 16th of December 2019

think carefully and vote scomo out...

rocket science

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned Wentworth by-election voters to think "carefully" before voting for independent candidate Kerryn Phelps, after a new poll placed her far ahead of Liberal opponent Dave Sharma.

Key points:
  • Dr Phelps said she found the positive results "heartening"
  • But Mr Morrison claimed a Liberal Party loss in next weekend's Wentworth by-election would cause "unnecessary instability"
  • The Liberal Party's own polling indicated Mr Sharma was neck-to-neck with Dr Phelps


The poll by independent research organisation Voter Choice Project showed Mr Sharma trailing behind Dr Phelps and Labor candidate Tim Murray by about 10 and 11 points respectively. The final sample involved 736 people.

While Mr Sharma received 38.8 per cent of the likely first preference vote in comparison to Dr Phelps' 23.5 per cent, the projected two party preferred figures showed the independent candidate pulling ahead to 55.4 per cent to his 44.6 per cent.

Researcher Raphaella Kathryn Crosby said the results revealed that Mr Sharma would lose the by-election if the Liberal primary vote was not over 40 per cent.

"It is unclear whether it will be Sharma vs Murray or Murray vs Phelps, but it doesn't matter because whoever ends up [against Sharma] will win," Ms Crosby said.

If Dr Phelps "survives the preference vote, she will win over Dave Sharma", Ms Crosby said.

Dr Phelps said she found the results "heartening" and said she stood for "strong policies the people of Wentworth actually care about".

"Like climate change action, like the treatment of asylum seekers, supporting small businesses, an economy considerate of all people, social justice issues and of course the religious freedoms bill," she said.


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cruelty versus religious politics...

Scott Morrison has promised discrimination law amendments to make clear no student at a private or religious school should be expelled on the basis of their sexuality.

In a statement following Labor’s offer of bipartisan support to fix the lawMorrison revealed attorney general Christian Porter will draft amendments for legislation to close existing religious exemptions within weeks.

Meanwhile, the Greens have sought to capitalise on community backlash against religious schools’ right to discriminate by calling on major party leaders to legislate to protect gay teachers and other staff of religious schools.


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it's OK to be a colourless prime minister...

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described as "regrettable" his own senators' decision to back a motion declaring "it is OK to be white", while the Coalition's leader in the Senate has apologised and blamed an "administrative error".

Key points:
  • The Coalition's decision to endorse the motion sparked immediate backlash
  • Senator Mathias Cormann later said the Coalition had actually resolved to oppose the motion
  • Labor voted against the motion


The motion, moved by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson yesterday, was narrowly defeated 28 votes to 31, despite the Coalition's backing.

It called on the Senate to acknowledge the "deplorable rise of anti-white racism and attacks on Western civilisation" and that "it is OK to be white" — a phrase commonly used by white supremacists.

Facing an almost immediate backlash, Attorney-General Christian Porter, whose office directed Coalition senators to vote in favour of the motion, defended the move on social media.

"The Government senators' actions in the Senate this afternoon confirm that the Government deplores racism of any kind," he said.


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a desperate jerusalem stunt...

Scott Morrison hasn’t stopped moving since taking the prime ministership from Malcolm Turnbull seven weeks ago. Perhaps it’s time he did for just a minute. Stop, and think.

The government’s anxiety levels about the looming Wentworth byelection have been escalating over the past week or so, and understandably so, given there’s a lot on the line.

A loss this coming weekend would mean the end of the Coalition’s one-seat majority in the House of Representatives – an event that would only serve to underline the huge transaction costs of a leadership change that has unsettled Australian voters, and has thus far delivered zero political benefit to the government.

So if you are Morrison, and you are trying to hold your own show together, trying to defend the ship of state by forcing it into hyper-thrust, you might contemplate shock-and-awe measures, like floating a major foreign policy shift in order to boost the Liberal party’s position in a single-seat byelection, with the objective of clinging on to power in your own right.

This might seem like a good idea to a person who has everything on the line, who hasn’t stopped moving for seven weeks, and is probably only averaging a few hours sleep a night.

But, in the real world, it isn’t a good idea.

It’s a silly idea.

It’s silly because the reason Australia hasn’t followed Donald Trump down this incendiary path is it would upset our relationship with Indonesia, and Indonesia is our most important near neighbour, ally and friend.

When the idea of moving the embassy was assessed by Turnbull and Julie Bishop, given Trump’s position, it was dismissed on the basis that going full Trump would be counterproductive to Australia’s national interest.


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our friends — the nazis in kiev...

Police said that 15,000 took part in a sanctioned nationalist march through the Ukrainian capital, to mark the anniversary of the Nazi collaborator guerilla group that fought against the Red Army during World War II.

The heavily-policed procession comprised different strands of nationalists all marching under their own banners, from parties represented in parliament, to paramilitary and far-right groups, many of whose members hid their faces.

Most chanted “Glory to Ukraine!” and slogans in praise of Stepan Bandera, the man who founded the Ukrainian Insurgent Army 76 years ago, a date that has been made an official state holiday since 2015.


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dirty tricks in wentworth...

An email falsely claiming Independent candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps has pulled out of the Wentworth by-election because she has HIV has emerged, in what the candidate says is just one of the "dirty tricks" being deployed in the campaign.

The email, obtained by the ABC, was sent to hundreds of constituents and organisations from a fake address on Sunday and urges recipients to divert their vote to Liberal candidate Dave Sharma.

The ABC does not suggest Mr Sharma or anyone involved with his campaign was behind the email.

Dr Phelps said it was the latest tactic in a campaign being waged against her.


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