As you read this, we are busily preparing for the 2018 Federal Budget.
It’s our third budget night and it will be the biggest one yet! For the first time, we’ll go live on Facebook to give you all the details.
Based out of Sydney, we travel to Canberra regularly to cover the action from Parliament House. This has become quite costly over the years – we are trying our hardest to not introduce advertising as we think it will ruin your experience.
So could you help us get to Canberra? We have a Gofundme page here.
All money raised will be spent on accommodation, transport and our annual website hosting costs. We’ll provide a full report on our expenditure after the budget, as we believe in accountability and transparency.
Any amount you could contribute would be awesome and helps us enormously, as we seek to give you the stories that matter to you. You can donate by clicking here
Happy to answer any of your questions over on our Facebook page.
Politics in a Paragraph
Malcolm Turnbull has asked his state directors to finalise the preselections by June at the latest.
A few readers spotted this and asked us – when will the next election be? Here are some potential roadblocks for the PM as he makes his choice.
The Government needs four to six weeks to conduct a campaign. It’s a bit hamstrung as the half the Senate must be elected before the 18th of May next year. There’s also a traditional summer break to factor in and most importantly, two state elections.
A poll in Sep/Oct 2018 would be considered too early. A poll in May 2019 disrupts the Federal budget, and NSW runs the risk of suffering from ‘voter fatigue’ with 2 elections is in 3 months.
Note that this is the traditional model – we usually elect the full House and half of the Senate at each election. Turnbull could choose to just have a half senate election in this period, followed by the lower house at a later point but it would be quite expensive to do so.
The golden rule? Go when you think you can win.
One of the jobs of the Electoral Commission is to ensure that each seat in the House of Representatives has an even amount of voters.
To ensure this, the AEC adjusts the boundaries of electorates and can abolish seats in some states because of population growth in others. Its a process know as redistribution.
The South Australian seat of Port Adelaide is to be abolished, with a new seat in Victoria created. Its MP Mark Butler is considering his options. Several electorates have been renamed, and an additional seat has been created for the ACT, taking the number in the House to 151.
The most interesting observation from the proposed changes is adjustments to the margins of several seats in Victoria. Seats considered safe and winnable for the Liberal Party are now marginal or even notional Labor.
The changes are open to public consultation and will be in effect from July 20.
#Auspol #elections #AEC
Labor are nervously bracing for the next instalment of the Citizenship crisis – because they’re directly in the firing line.
ACT Senator Katy Gallagher has British heritage. She knew this at the time of the 2016 election, and submitted the renunciation paperwork before she nominated – but it wasn’t confirmed by the UK. Gallagher argues she had taken ‘all reasonable steps to renounce’ which is a key judgment from a previous High Court ruling.
In short, the High Court is considering the question ‘what is the definition of reasonable steps?’ Can it include waiting for a foreign power to complete the renunciation? Should a democratic process in Australia, be hampered by the administration of another country?
The High Court has traditionally been very strict in this area, and this is an important test case.
If Gallagher is booted by the court, it could spell disaster for Shorten as there are Labor MP’s in the same scenario – which would result in 4 by-elections, some of which were won by a handful of votes.
#Auspol #Citizenship #Labor
Federal Politics is bracing for Cyclone Newspoll, expected to make landfall early Monday morning. As you know we seldom focus on opinion polling – it rarely drives good public policy and is often used to fuel an unhelpful theatrical element of politics.
We’re making an exception today to note that 30 negative Newspoll results were used as a yardstick for mounting a challenge to the leadership of Tony Abbott in 2015 – in amongst a number of other issues that the then Communications Minister used to argue for a change in leadership.
So will the PM be booted on Monday?
Absolutely not. This will be an opportunity for a bit of anti-Turnbull ‘sniping’, and then we’ll all move on. For now.