Pen10!

John Quiggin has very eloquently summed up my feelings about the election result.

One important point, made by Mark and others, is that we now have a government that is much more in tune with modern Australia than the previous bunch of middle aged white Anglo men. Sharp operators like Julia Gillard, Nicola Roxon and Penny Wong will be key Ministers. Both Roxon and Wong increased their profile during the campaign, and were stand-out performers. Who else do you think had a really good campaign and who had a bad one?

penny wong

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Posted in federal election '07, politics
57 comments on “Pen10!
  1. Enemy Combatant says:

    De-Anne Kelly struggled a bit in Dawson.
    Maxine McKew, otoh, snuffed El Rodente.

  2. He wasn’t all that visible – perhaps needing to run a mainly local campaign – but Greg Combet had a very strong result in the NSW seat of Charlton. I was also pleased to see Kevin Rudd acknowledge in his victory speech the bravery of asbestos victim and campaigner, Bernie Banton, whom Combet supported in his ACTU role. For me the courage and tenacity of that work gave the lie to the Coalition’s attempted scare campaign to demonise the unions.

  3. nasking says:

    absofeakin’lutely!!!!

    Costello, Abbott, Downer, Ruddock, Andrews, Hockey, Julie Bishop & plenty of other Libs had stinker campaigns…Tip (SantaGrinch) sounded like he didn’t mean a word of what he said. Abbott was like a bull in a China shop, Downer came across as petulant & pompous as Toad in ‘Wind in the Willows’…Ruddock looked as nervous as tho he was preparing to flee to Argentina…Andrews came across like something out of Romper Stomper…Hockey seemed mildly embarrassed everytime he opened his mouth on IR legislation & eventually ended up sounding like a shonky 2nd hand car salesman…& Julie Bishop should take the prize for ‘android impersonating a boring Human’.

    I reckon the Left-Wing blogs had a great campaign…:)

    And all those women you mentioned above kicked-arse! Happy days.

  4. Tim Hollo says:

    Second your comments on Wong. She had an excellent campaign and I have little doubt will make a tremendous leader of the govt in the Senate.

    Compare Wong and Faulkner with the appalling Minchin / Abetz duo we’ve had to put up with and the Senate will be a radically different place even before Senators Ludlam, Hanson-Young, Xenophon (and I’m still hoping Tucker / Di Natale / Waters) join us.

  5. Cliff says:

    Is it true that we’re looking at a Green-Xenopophon b.o.p?

  6. wpd says:

    Wong, Roxon and Gillard were terrific and they were not alone.

    Gillard’s position is assured in IR and I expect Roxon will still have a senior position if she doesn’t retain Health. I would also expect that Wong’s role will be enhanced.

    H Coonan and J Bishop simply do not rate in comparison.

  7. Mark Hill says:

    Bollocks. We need postgraduate educated white men like Dr Emerson – when will he unleah Kev’s razor gangs?

  8. Tim Hollo says:

    Cliff, as it stands, the Coalition have lost 2 Senate spots (TAS and SA), which takes them to 37 out of 76. If that holds, the Coalition plus Fielding will still have a blocking majority, unless Barnaby or someone else breaks ranks. ALP plus Grns plus Xenophon make up the other 38.

    However, we are still quietly hoping that Kerrie Tucker might still slip through if the pre-polls come through well, in which case Senator Fielding becomes irrelevant.

  9. Tim Hollo says:

    PS – also think we’re in with a real chance of Richard Di Natale knocking off the thrid Lib in VIC, which would also make Fielding irrelevant.

  10. Sam Ward says:

    One important point, made by Mark and others, is that we now have a government that is much more in tune with modern Australia than the previous bunch of middle aged white Anglo men. Sharp operators like Julia Gillard, Nicola Roxon and Penny Wong will be key Ministers.

    I’d be interested to know what it is that makes these women more “In-Tune” with modern Australia than the other guys. Are there more women in Australia than at the last election or does this blog assume that anyone who is white and male is out-of-touch by default?

    I find it hard to believe that ANYONE who spends most of their time surrounded by fellow politicians is much in tune with the rest of society.

  11. SG says:

    It’s true isn’t it Sam, compared to Lisa Milat or John Humphries someone like Julia Gillard just doesn’t have any idea does she? Now there are 2 people who really understand what the Australian people want…

  12. Sam Ward says:

    You don’t know either of them SG, so you shouldn’t pass comment.

    My point is that Julia Gillard isn’t any more in touch with “modern Australia” than say, Peter Costello.

  13. SG says:

    It’s true I grant you Sam, that someone who uses the comment function of a blog about Australian politics certainly shouldn’t pass comment about political candidates… how terribly gauche of me.

  14. Sam Ward says:

    SG, ok then, explain how either John or Lisa is out of touch.

  15. Derek says:

    Despite all the gaffes made by Abbott, Garrett and co, the biggest loser has to be John Howard himself.

    There was a time last year when I thought the only way JWH was leaving Kirribilli House was in a wooden box. And even then I could imagine those eyebrows peeking out at the pallbearers in consternation at ‘wall to wall labor’ and ‘dangerous unions’.

    Then along came Kevin and Howard never recovered. This election is a catastrophe he has bequeathed to the party. The man who wanted to cement his reputation in history as a five time winner, instead presides over an annihilation of the Liberals and likely opposition for the next decade. Instead of Menzian comparisons, he will now probably be best remembered as the other man in the Stanley Bruce trivia question and a climate change denier who set the country back 10 years in the international response.

  16. SG says:

    same reason all you libertarians are – you don’t know shit, and you’re so busy pretending to be contrarians rather than tax-fetishizing survivalists that you don’t actually pay attention to anything remotely connected to the real world.

    Though maybe it’s a bit of a stretch to suggest Lisa Milat’s politics are that sophisticated. What else could one conclude about someone who is so out of touch with the basic sensibilities of the Australian public that she campaigned on a pro-gun platform, given her family history?

    As for Humphries – last I checked, being a researcher for a Think Tank pretty much disqualifies you from understanding anything about the real world. It’s funny that libertarians revere ivory tower idiots living their lives on wingnut welfare, but have scorn for public servants actually doing good for the community using money the community voted to them.

    Of course this is all water off a duck’s back to an LDP rep, who after all thinks that morality should only be determined by the price people are willing to pay, and thinks he’s a radical because he supports free dope and lower taxes. That may be what the Australian people want, but your pathetic showing in this and every election shows that they aren’t stupid enough to vote for it when libertarians are offering it.

  17. Sam Ward says:

    You don’t even know what Humphreys does for a job (or how to spell his name).

    Perhaps you should do some research before dribbling your verbal diarrhea all over the place.

  18. Jennifer Gearing says:

    I’d be interested to know what it is that makes these women more “In-Tune” with modern Australia than the other guys. Are there more women in Australia than at the last election or does this blog assume that anyone who is white and male is out-of-touch by default?

    Actually, I believe the point (which seems quite obvious to anyone not being obtuse, but I won’t make assumptions about your motives) is not that these women in particular are more in tune with modern Australia, but that the ALP, compared with the Liberal Party, is more in tune with modern Australia, indicated in the way that they are more open to greater representation of women (including women of colour) in Parliament, and open to the idea that women can be key spokespeople in more than a tokenistic fashion for the party and the government.

    To answer your question despite it’s obvious attempt at being a rhetorical question – no, there aren’t more women in Australia, suddenly, but it’s not like the previous Government’s gender dynamics were a good indication of the number of women in the country in the first place. The new government isn’t either, but it’s better than we’ve had previously.
    Of course, the second part of your line betrays the anxiety around losing some of the privileges that were or would have been previously accorded you for being white and male in this society, and I think that’s the clearest indicator of your position.

  19. Helen says:

    I’d be interested to know what it is that makes these women more “In-Tune” with modern Australia than the other guys. Are there more women in Australia than at the last election or does this blog assume that anyone who is white and male is out-of-touch by default?

    No, there’s no possible way that, with women making up slightly over 50% of the population, that an increase in the proportion of women ministers (still less than 50% in the parliament) could reflect the concerns of society better than just a cabinet of blokes plus a few token women.

    Yup, that makes sense.

  20. Graham Bell says:

    Kimberella and Everyone:
    Good campaigns? All we got was what the news media fed us: a high-fat low-nutrition diet of presidential bullsh*t and next to nothing about the majority of candidates and what they stood for nor about issues relevant to the voters. All most of us got was a tiny glimpse of what was happening in our immediate area …. which was not what was being churned out on by the propaganda machine that pretends to be the news media.

    The real loser in this election was not John Howard but Democracy. Democracy depends on a free flow of information that can be questioned – we no longer have that in Australia.

    Good news though: Nationals’ Robert Mills and Liberals’ Scott Kilpatrick in Capricornia, though unsuccessful, ran excellent campaigns.

  21. Sam Ward says:

    Helen: I like how you are convinced that the presence of women on the Labor frontbench shows Labor “being in tune with modern society”, but the Liberal ministers like Helen Coonan are just “tokens”.

    I guess you only really have respect for women if they vote and think in ways that are acceptable to you. Conservative women are presumably just Stepford wives controlled by their puppetteer husbands.

  22. glen says:

    “they are more open to greater representation of women (including women of colour)”

    hey! don’t hang shit on julia cause she is a ranga!

  23. Mark Hill says:

    In touch?

    Will Penny Wong be the leader of the pack of these razor gangs? Mia Handshin could have been some kind of femme fatale.

    “Of course this is all water off a duck’s back to an LDP rep, who after all thinks that morality should only be determined by the price people are willing to pay, and thinks he’s a radical because he supports free dope and lower taxes. ”

    No mate, most decisions in life should be up to you and not the Government. Why are we better off with $90 billion in welfare churn? Has the ASIO Act made us safer? Did offshoring asylum seekers make us better off? Did the law against vilification make Victorians better off? Do you want Alex Hawke telling you what is right and wrong and do you want the Nationals gorging at the Treasury again?

    Othwerwise, thanks for your pleasant contribution.

  24. adam says:

    can i just say that sam, this is why you weren’t elected. you resort to ad hominem attacks, which suggest that you really have nothing to say on the matter of any consequence.

    but please do keep talking, i can fertilize the garden with it. ;^)

  25. Sam Ward says:

    Because quoting back something someone wrote is ad hom?

    Would it be an ad hominem attack for me to suggest you should ask Santa for a dictionary this year?

  26. FDB says:

    Sam – LOL.

  27. glen says:

    sam, it does not take a dictionary to realise that because of the size of Australian society there are decisions that need to be made about population aggregates. This is where the ‘self interest’ argument falls down, even before we get to the problem of extremely poor civic engagement and a lack of general understanding about the workings of government. As long as people assume the ‘interest’ of others in an uncritical way, and do not understand how their ‘self interest’ is actually a composite of the ruling ‘interest’, then direct democracy is as utopian as communism.

  28. SG says:

    Sam, Sam, is that the best you can do? Maybe if taxes were lower you could have afforded to go to a school with a better debating team…

  29. [C]an i just say that sam, this is why you weren’t elected…
    But he did beat Family First in primaries. Good one. 🙂

  30. Sam Ward says:

    Well seeing as the best you can do is cast aspersions on John Humphreys for a job that he doesn’t even do, I think I’m going a bit better than you SG. In fact I’ve been in top form for this entire thread, and you’ve been a lame duck.

    And I played footy instead of debating at school, so there’s 2 things I’m better than you at. I’d also kick your arse at swimming, can scull beer faster and can name all 4 lead singers of Van Halen. (Not to mention being taller, better looking and having a bigger knob.)

  31. Mark Hill says:

    glen’s argument is hard to argue against because it is nonsensical – we need public goods because of Australia’s population and people don’t understand Government.

    1. Can never be really proven.

    2. Is a good argument to reduce the number of public goods.

    We need public goods on items that are non rival in consumption and non excludable. That’s it.

    Subsidising education is only a function of redistribution. State supplied goods are inferior. The redistribution might be jsutifiable on efficiency grounds but probably not on externality grounds because most theoretical externality grounds can be spun either way.

    Aggregate decision making does not necessiatate Governemnt action – nor will it, see Hewson and Beazley’s primary vote in 1993 and 1998.

  32. jo says:

    Sam, I think you are right that it isn’t the individuals themselves, but the policies and legislation that they pass that determine in the end, how our representatives should be judged.

    That said, it is a very, very desirable thing that our representatives do in fact, truly reflect the overall demographic of the country. Which is what I believe Kim’s point was.

    This is a slow historic progression, and that we have just elected a female Deputy PM for the first time – is a great day for Australia.

    The Liberal Party has had quite an impressive line of up of female representation over the past 20 years or so, irrespective of whether I believe these women were indeed progressing the cause of women and families, which I didn’t. Maggie Thatcher says it all. And the Republicans in the US currently, can likewise boast of high status women and african-american officials in their administration, again irrespective of their policy outcomes for these demographics.

    In comparison, it was white Australian men born in the earliest decades of last century whitlam, cairns, crean, connor, uren etc – who gave women and their children the sole parent’s pension, instituted universal health care (Mark1) and a chance at a higher education etc, ensuring that poor families were no longer reliant on charity handouts, and the good graces of the local grocer and GP.

    If one day, the Cabinet is entirely composed of women, then men might have something to whinge about – but until that day : ) celebrating that our representatives from both sides, finally reflect the population – men, women, ethnically diverse, gay, indigenous, young & old etc. is something that is still unfortunately noteworthy. But within 20-30 years, I think not.

    And btw. I was way before Kerry O, on Sat night – yelling out v. loudly at the bat & ball, for ladies to raise their glasses to our first female deputy PM.

  33. suzeoz says:

    It’ wonderful to have a female deputy prime minister who is unmarried and childless. She represents quite a big slice of Australian life in that way.
    It’s also wonderful to have a (presumably) Government minister who is an Asian lesbian.

    Good campaigns? I think Malcolm Turnbull had one. Despite all the flack I gave him here at LP, he carefully positioned himself as apart from the rest of the Liberals. And he got a swing.

  34. SG says:

    Sam, from the LDP website:

    He also holds the honorary position of Adjunct Scholar with the Centre for Independent Studies

    Or perhaps you think instead that being a part-time economics tutor is the key to understanding Howard’s Battlers?

    And are you, perchance, yobbo in another life? Because if so the phrase you are looking for is “being a bigger knob”, not “having a bigger knob”.

  35. A deputy prime minister who is childless, and a minister who is an asian lesbian. What is this, an Angelina Jolie adoption session?

    I prefer them to get the job because they are competent, and it matters not a hoot to me what they use their genitalia for, if at all.

  36. via collins says:

    There’s an intelligence & freshness about Tanya Plibersek, Nicola Roxon, Penny Wong & Julia Gillard that leaves one feeling most optimimistic about the cut & thrust of policy-making & govt business for the next few years.

    The majority of Australians are utterly tired of the outgoing custodians (and with Vaile gone 30 mins ago, they really are outgoing fast!), and they have voted to say so.

    It’s great that a handful of bloggers are going to keep the cliches up. Carry on lads!

  37. Sharkbait says:

    I thought Jacie Kelly and Jenny Chijoff did quite well.

  38. murph the surf says:

    I agree that we can all be tired by the antics and lies of the outgoing spin doctors from the Libs but lets look at the facts .
    7 out of 30 of the ministry will probably be women.
    Except Jan McLucas who worked as a teacher for a time before doing union work the other 6 are career politicians- be they lawyers or ex civil servants or assistants to senior politicians.
    How this crew can be described as being more in touch with modern anything is beyond comprehension.
    I’m happy the government has changed .
    Lets not swap on crew of spin doctors for another so quickly.
    LP needs to do more analysis and less campaigning from now on.

  39. glen says:

    “glen’s argument is hard to argue against because it is nonsensical – we need public goods because of Australia’s population and people don’t understand Government.”

    o rly?

    wtf are public goods? is this something you are introducing into the conversation? define them. I am not talking about goods or bads, lol

    I did not say the population aggregates make decisions (if I did then your point about popular vote would make sense). Thatcher was a fool, because societies are made up of population aggregates. Ask any epidemiologist or road safety researcher. Therefore when decisions need to be made about those aspects of societies that affect populations you need a government. Mobility, health care, education, and security are at least four examples where issues can affect entire poulations, and we need a decision making capacity that is responsible for them. If we all lived in little 120 person tribes then we wouldn’t really need a government (although we would necessariy have a council of elders or something to retain inter-generationl knowledge about the way things run).

    If people understood enough about mobility, health care, education, and security to not act irrationally and with the abject stupidity that is clearly evident in moments like the cronulla riots, and in such a way that their will did not have to pass through any sort of mediating institution or authority, then I could understand how direct democracy would be possible.

    At best, your political philosophy has no basis in reality and it is a humourless attempt to criticise power. At worst, your positions are destructive. For example, the LDP party shits me to tears with the utter bollocks about driving, speed limits and the system of automobilty. That is a clear example where your position is such fantastic nonsense that it should be in a comic book or something.

  40. SG says:

    murph wasn’t Julia Gillard a practising lawyer before moving into the Labor party? And Roxon was, according to Wikipedia, a Judge’s associate.

    Roxon and Wong both worked for the CFMEU or NUW according to wikipedia. I don’t think we should be looking down on a job as a union organiser as if it weren’t a real job. That’s libertard thinking at its best!

    I am much more concerned by the possibility that all the frontbench will again be lawyers than the possibility that they might be party hacks!

  41. murph the surf says:

    SG “I am much more concerned by the possibility that all the frontbench will again be lawyers than In that case what about party hack lawyers – OMG!
    The article here was claiming that these people were more in tune with modern Australia .
    Deriding others because of their ethnicity or background is simple partisan hackery.
    I don’t think you would find anyone disputing that Gillard and Roxon are career politicians.
    I’d prefer a more diverse range of experience for our representatives regardless of which party they are from.
    Union hacks versus party hacks – great choice we’re offered don’t you think ?

  42. suzeoz says:

    SATP: “I prefer them to get the job because they are competent, and it matters not a hoot to me what they use their genitalia for, if at all.”

    The point is Steve (and all the other commenters who persist in seeing those of us who are pleased as being simple minded about this), that they *have* got the jobs because they are competent. They haven’t been *blocked* from these jobs because they are unmarried or Asian or a lesbian. That’s what is relatively new and a breath of fresh air.

  43. murph the surf says:

    “They haven’t been *blocked* from these jobs because they are unmarried or Asian or a lesbian. That’s what relatively new and a breath of fresh air.’
    No thats the spin you put on this .

  44. suzeoz says:

    And in terms of bad campaigns, undoubtedly George Newhouse had one.
    I’m curious whether new Labor candidates in other electorates had strong profiles or did they all hide behind Rudd? Newhouse was almost the invisble man.

  45. suzeoz says:

    Spin, Murph? How many Asian lesbians made it to the Howard ministry or even into parliament? Is there anyone who is openly gay as a Lib/Nat MP? Were there any unmarried hets who had “partners” (ie sexual relationships) or even (shock horror) umarried people with children? (At least 25% of children are now born into unmarried households in this country but you’d never know that the way the mainstream political parties carry on.)
    It’s also refreshing to have the new PM’s spouse be a working woman who has her own surname. Australia is at last in the 21st century.

  46. murph the surf says:

    Suzeoz- Ok ,but that’s beside the point – being an asian lesbian doesn’t make you anymore in tune with modern Australia than anyone else.
    Partisan hackery is still partisan hackery.

  47. Bingo Bango Boingo says:

    Suzeoz, haven’t we been through this? She has her father’s surname.

    BBB

  48. Craig Mc says:

    “Were there any unmarried hets who had “partners” (ie sexual relationships) or even (shock horror) umarried people with children?”

    Well Tony Abbott thought he was one for a while. I don’t remember him being kicked out of cabinet for it either.

  49. Gaz says:

    “Well Tony Abbott thought he was one for a while.”

    No never,Tony is pure of heart.Beside the very thought of Tony Abbott having sex with those ears fills me with absolute dread.Nah impossible.

  50. SG says:

    suzeoz, didn’t Trish Draper go overseas with her boyfriend of 3 months on parliamentary business? How can you say Howard’s Australia was anything but progressive!?

  51. Craig Mc says:

    The thinking woman’s love handles Gaz.

  52. Gaz says:

    “The thinking woman’s love handles Gaz.”

    Hey,that’s funny,.I reckon Gillard would use them what!

  53. It is not that working for a union or a law firm is not work.

    It is that it does not provide a grounding in running anything.

    Lawyers learn that no matter what somebody else pays. Unions are among the greatest rent seekers in the nation.

    Neither are places where one learns to keep the books in the black.

    It could however be worse than ambulance chasing lawyers or union reps, just look at the result whenever a schoolteacher is elected to parliament!

  54. tigtog says:

    Bingo Bango Boingo — November 26, 2007 @ 6:35 pm said:

    Suzeoz, haven’t we been through this? She has her father’s surname.

    She still has the name she was given at birth, instead of changing it to someone else’s surname as an adult (something that men are never expected to do).

    One step at a time, BBB.

  55. kimberella says:

    Partisan hackery is still partisan hackery.

    Beats me how “partisan hackery” can still be used to dismiss women like Penny Wong who was a lawyer before entering Parliament and displayed a lot of intelligence and savvy in her work on Senate committees as well as in policy development before she came to prominence as campaign spokesperson.

    Seems to me that those singled out for these attacks are usually women. I don’t see any of the usual suspects decrying Joel Fitzgibbon or whoever. And they’re almost always revelatory more of the ignorance of those making them who can’t be bothered to investigate a person’s career background and the quality of their work.

  56. Joel Fitzgibbon? Never heard of him. His name conjures up images of a slightly different version of the old “Patrick FitzMichael & Micheal FitzPatrick” joke.

    I can, if you wish Kimberella, eagerly lay the boot into Ian Sinclair, Gough Whitlam, Paul Keating, Vaughn Johnson, Malcom Fraser, John Button, Fiona Simpson, Rob Hulls, oops one of those may not be a man.

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