Monday, June 20, 2016

Electoral Matters: Parakeelia and Fertile Preoccupations....

To me, it doesn't matter who you are or where you're from - if you're a good person and you got my back, I got yours
~ Overhead during election 2016 campaign

1998 – Beazley got 52% of the vote but not where it counted ... OddsCzecher - Betting ...

The behavior of betting markets is as if two horses had run neck and neck in a dozen minor races, but one was still the overwhelming favorite for the big done. To spell this out, the polls have been virtually level pegging for many weeks, but the betting markets have barely moved. On past history, the two will converge by election day. If, as I expect, that means the betting odds will move towards the poll, this campaign will count as a major piece of evidence against the idea that markets are good aggregators of knowledge. And, of course, the converse is true ...
John Quiggin on Labor and the Greens ...

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”
Is John the Only Person?

The LNP are now at $1.20, Labor at $4.50. The LNP are an Odds On or unbackable favourite. This election, for Labor, looks like 1980. Nice try, good campaign, but no cigar.
Halfway horse race commentary ....

Opinion Piece Labor v Liberal

Coming Soon After the Elections - Cream of Antipodean Investigative Journalism 

In my dreams I imagine country Oz leading us toward sensible, civilised consensus. Go @RobOakeshott1 @TonyHWindsor & @Indigocathy #ausvotes

11:23 PM - 20 Jun 2016

How American Politics Went Insane:

It happened gradually—and until the U.S. figures out how to treat the problem, it will only get worse.

Circa 2009 AD: News Limited was willing to pay dearly for this story not to be published. It first offered a $110,000 payment, plus a private apology, to avoid going to court. But the price it demanded was that the matter be kept confidential. The company was told to take a jump. See you in court. The Daily Telegraph had published four stories about Michael Towke which he believed had defamed him, destroyed his political career, and caused untold stress to his family. ''These stories sent my mother to hospital,'' he told me. ''They demonised me. I wanted to confront them in court.'' Nasty pre election saga you nearly missed

New figures show the state government spends $150 million a year on consultants, or more than the budget for many government departments, leading to allegations its reliance on external advice is "privatisation by stealth".
$3 Million a week ... 150 million consulting bill gets results state government says

"This is privatisation by stealth," said Labor's treasury spokesman Ryan Park. "[The Treasurer Gladys] Berejiklian said she wanted to cut the number of government agencies and now she's spending millions outsourcing work previously done by government."
Selling Family farms and gold to be debt free Berejiklian ....

Turnbull and Shorten neck and neck
As we enter the final two weeks of the election campaign, Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten have both received an identical low satisfaction rating from voters. According to the latest Newspoll, Labor and the Coalition are deadlocked at 50-50, with both parties below the level strategists say is required to win the election. Labor and the Coalition returned primary votes of 36 per cent and 41 per cent respectively.
Dissatisfaction with Mr Turnbull’s performance remained at 51 per cent, while Mr Shorten’s satisfaction rating has climbed two points, to 35 per cent. Mr Turnbull remains the preferred Prime Minister over Mr Shorten by 46 per cent to 31 per cent. Fear not everyone. Less than two weeks to go till Annual Sausage Sizzle Day – I mean, till the election finishes 
Hopefully the rest of the campaign will be less awkward than this still.
Hopefully the rest of the campaign will be less awkward than this still.Source:Getty Images

Like all election material, it features a “spoken by” disclaimer at the end that stated his name was “A. MacRae”. That prompted claims that he was actor and voice over guy Andrew MacRae.
The ACTU retweeted a claim that Mr MacRae - or “Malcolm’s fake tradie” would be laughed off any building site in the country. “Why is his saw-stool set up in a lane outside the fencing? And who has a ceramic cup on a building site?’ wrote Twitter user @Billablog. And the hashtag #faketradie was born
But MacRae tweeted a short time ago: “Dear all, It’s not me. I’m not in the ad. I didn’t voice the ad. I had nothing to do with the ad. #faketradie”.

And he confirmed to the Daily Telegraph this afternoon he had had no involvement in it.
Andrew Macrae, who runs Medina Inc, said he saw the 16-second ad on TV and was instantly on edge.
“I always take notice of advertising, that’s the business I’m in and I listened to the ad and it said spoken by A MacRae. And I said ‘what, that wasn’t me?’,” he said.
“I guess an hour or two later it started to gain momentum, and you know the way these things go, it just went ballistic, and all today it’s just been all over the place.”
'Fake Tradie' commercial ridiculed as latest campaign ads fall flat  ... ParaKeelia Disclosure failure

Is the Election ‘Rigged’? Emily Bazelon, NYT. This has been a discouraging day, so I thought I’d pick up a paper version of the Sunday Times and read it to relax. 
"And in the absence of candidates who tell us the truth, we need to pick the one who will tell the smallest, least dangerous lies. That, sadly, is Decision 2016." — Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald
If elections are about offering a direct choice, shouldn’t it be informed? Australia’s policy strip-tease is blamed on tactical need. Then why can UK parties release a complete policy document so much earlier? The electoral drip-feed: why policies can and should come earlier

Labor's candidate for the New South Wales south western seat of Farrer has resigned following claims he is linked to the Islamic extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. Christian Kunde says his friendship with Uthman Badar, the controversial spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir, is being used to misrepresent him.

"In 'Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet,' Moral Vision and a True Believer's Zeal." In today's edition of The New York Times, Adam Cohen has this review of Jeffrey Rosen's new book, "Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet."

"The Problem With Congress Might Not Be Fixable": Law professor Cass R. Sunstein has this essay online today at Bloomberg View

How Should You Vote on 2 July: Guide to Political Biases 

I have been thinking quite a bit about blogging in the last few days. One reason will become apparent this week, but it’s a bit prosaic compared the more existential issue that has been troubling me the most. That is whether blogging in the  way that I do it is something that will be possible in the future.
It is more than a decade ago now that John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network and I identified fascism as the biggest potential threat we faced.  I wish that prospect did not seem more likely now than it did then, but  I have to admit that it does.  When Hungary and Poland are both cracking down on free speech and removing the right of their elected oppositions whilst Turkey is actively suppressing any potential criticism of its President you realise that there is something deeply pernicious going on. And these things have a habit of spreading. The future of blogging

The Death Of The “Most Generous Nation On Earth.” Charity has limits, and begins at home

In Bashman news from China: The South China Morning Post reports that "Uniformed officers in China bash man on the street for failing to produce his ID."

UNEXPECTEDLY! US cities see unexplained rise in violent crimes this year

“We can never forget that as we speak, people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.”

Another day, another solemn prime ministerial hypocrisy: climate change and the Reef, Centennial Parklands and trees, Orlando and homophobia, Indigenous recognition. It can't be easy. All this hypocrisy takes its toll. In a trajectory of doom that is positively Shakespearean, Malcolm Turnbull seems emptier and drier with each appearance. The man who had everything (but wanted more) is already a husk of his former self. Where will it end? I thought the problem might be wealth. Extreme riches do seem to make blindingly bad political leaders – Ceaucescu, Berlusconi, Trump. But why was unclear, until Margaret Atwood gave me a clue. Wealth isn't really wealth. It's really debt.
Everything we have, from jobs to bodies to microchips, we take from the earth. But – and here's the thing - it's not a gift, it's a loan. Everything must be repaid. The ancients knew this, constantly making downpayments via death and sacrifice. But for us – more inclined to sacrifice nature than sacrifice to her - the bigger the pile, the greater the debt. So I wondered whether that was making Malcolm wimpy; massive wealth, massive debt The Great Tragedy of Malcolm Turnbull
New South Wales has a new electoral commissioner in John Schmidt, the former chief executive of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre and a past deputy director-general of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
His seven-year appointment begins on August 8. Linda Franklin, who stepped into the role on January 1 after the retirement of former commissioner Colin Barry, will continue to oversee the management of local government elections for those councils that will have them on September 10.
John Schmidt
John Schmidt
Schmidt, who has previously held several senior roles in the NSW public service, has been working for himself as a consultant since he left AUSTRAC in 2014. On LinkedIn, He lists his key skills as:
• anti-money laundering & counter-terrorism financing regulation and policy;
• machinery of government, including cabinet and parliamentary processes;
• organisational management and governance development and implementation;
• regulatory reform;
• developing and maintaining relations between Australian governments, government agencies and international bodies; and
• private sector and stakeholder engagement

PETER HITCHENS: The British people have risen at last – and we’re about to unleash chaos Daily Mail

US election is war of demographics FT

Why Political Parties Never Die Politico

When Advertising is Action: Clarence Thomas Channels Hannah Arendt and Friedrich von Hayek Corey Robin

Baird’s new electoral commissioner to help the premier ‘clean up politics’

 That Time I Went To A Trump Rally tressie mc. Today’s must read. Note especially that Trump has poor advance work, and the writer’s description of the demographics of the attendees

Donald Trump tells people to ‘ask the gays’ about how great he is. ‘The gays’ respond—and it is EPIC Daily Kos 

Barbarism, Civilization and Modern Politics: PTSD as a Political Football in a Hobbesian Age Counterpunch

Good Sam Tanenhaus review of various electoral books (NYT)