NSW 2011: Legislative Council count moves forward

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A lot of information has fed into the count for the Legislative Council, bringing us much closer to a conclusion.

Nearly all above-the-line votes have now been counted at local electoral offices. With 11 seats going to the Liberal-National coalition, 5 to the Labor Party, 2 to the Greens and one each to the Shooters and Fishers and the Christian Democratic Party.

Summary – the Greens’ Buckingham currently leads Pauline Hanson by 6482 on above-the-line votes, but Hanson’s strong below-the-line vote should put her about 3400 votes ahead on the final primary vote. Such a small margin should be closed by stronger preferences to the Greens.

The race for the final seat at the moment comes down to the following candidates:

  • 0.45 quotas – Jeremy Buckingham (GRN)
  • 0.41 – Pauline Hanson
  • 0.31 – Gordon Moyes (FF)
  • 0.29 – Andrew Ferguson (ALP)
  • 0.28 – Bob Smith (Fishing Party)

As it stands, the gap between Buckingham and Hanson is 6482 votes.

The other factor in the result comes down to below-the-line votes. At 5:30am this morning a report was generated showing the breakdown by candidate of all votes entered into the central computer system so far. This included about 23% of all above-the-line votes, along with first breakdowns of below-the-line votes.

Looking at below-the-line votes, Pauline Hanson and the Greens both performed much more strongly than the ALP and the Coalition.

  • Coalition – 19.77% BTL /  47.68% ATL
  • Labor – 16.87% BTL / 24.76% ATL
  • Greens – 16.33% BTL / 12.81% ATL
  • Hanson – 17.68% BTL / 1.45% ATL

If you look at those above the line figures, they are stronger for the ALP and Greens than the overall figures for the more-complete count above. The vote for the Coalition and Hanson is underestimated. This makes sense when you see the list of seats counted so far, which is biased towards the city.

I’ve done a calculation which assumes that the overall number of below-the-line votes will be approximately 79,000, which matches the ratio of above-the-line votes counted so far. If this is the case, and the below-the-line votes remain as much stronger or weaker as they have been so far, the final primary vote figures for the final seat should come out approximately as follows:

  • 0.48 quotas – Pauline Hanson
  • 0.46 – Jeremy Buckingham (GRN)
  • 0.31 – Gordon Moyes (FF)
  • 0.29 – Andrew Ferguson (ALP)
  • 0.28 – Bob Smith (Fishing Party)
  • 0.28 – John Hatton
  • 0.26 – Charles Matthews (No Parking Meters)

In my model, Hanson outpolls Buckingham by about 3400 votes. I would expect Buckingham to defeat Hanson on preferences, receiving around 5000 preferences from the ALP as well as preferences from groups like John Hatton, the Democrats and Socialist Alliance. Most right-wing preferences should flow to the Coalition, Christian Democratic Party and Shooters and Fishers, with very few reaching Hanson.

My sampling in the counting room suggests that about 15% of above-the-line votes have a second preference, and amongst Labor votes with a second preference, about two thirds flow to the Greens and practically none flow to Pauline Hanson.

After all of that, the most likely outcome remains a win for Buckingham. While Hanson’s very strong below-the-line vote should put her ahead on primary votes, it’s not enough to counteract Buckingham’s more favourable preferences.

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66 COMMENTS

  1. So.. uhh… did the Greens preference Hanson ahead of Labor? At least two journalists appear to think so..

  2. No they didn’t Deconst – that is a complete fabrication. The Greens did not direct preferences in the upper house.

    The story you have heard grew from the line being thrown around by some bitter Labor folk that if Pauline wins it will somehow be the fault of the Greens for not preferencing Labor. That was a very long bow to draw in the first place – to take it a step further and say the Greens preferenced Pauline is a complete lie.

  3. “at least two journalists” seem to be spruiking some kind of labor lie about preferences.
    The truth is the Greens did not preference anyone. Their HTVs said Vote 1 Green. They were completely up front about this intention because they did not want to preference a
    horrible right wing ticket headed by Roozendael, Donnelly, Kelly et al, some of the chief architects of Labor’s demise.
    Labor on the other hand said they were preferencing Greens, but on the HTV on polling day in at least two thirds of electorates Labor did not preference the Greens.

  4. Why the hell were they generating these results at 5:30am? Obviously we’d all like a result soon (although David Pemberthy and the ALP probably wouldn’t as it would give them less time to spin their lies), but I’d have to think that the chance of errors is a lot higher when counting is done at such ungodly hours of the day.

  5. Ben, I admire your passion, but must disagree on a few points. Firstly, yes, news ltd reporters are peddling a fallacy. No real news there. However, I am with ian cohen. The greens should have preferenced labor over far right nuts like hanson. To say that the greens wouldn’t prefer andrew fergusovn over hanson is wrong and they should have expressed that. The greens, like all progressive parties must take responsibility for letting a hanson in because of party squabbles. Equally, I appreciate that you’re a little bitter about some tactics by labor workers. All I can say is that Green ones are just as bad (i’ve been one myself) and that we all have to accept that ALL parties are prone to dirty tactics and the odd scare campaign if it will help them in the polls. I have seen nothing to make me think the greens are more ‘pure’ than the other parties and frankly it would be pious to argue that. For the record, labor was preferencing the greens in heffron but the greens recommend just a vote one.

  6. A “little bitter” about tactics Hamish? Try outright lies and distortion -, a la “we’re not labor we’re verity firth”. Social fascism from Labor promoting cult of personality.

  7. What rubbish. It’s that kind of BS rhetoric that scares people off the Greens. Everyone knew that Verity Firth was Labor and that she was trying to distance herself from the scandals that plagued the last Government. It’s an obvious tactic that has been used forever to preserve a popular sitting member in an unpopular government.

    Social fascism? Oh please. I haven’t heard anyone use such ridiculous hyperbole since polsci at university.

    As I said, the Greens are no more pure than the other parties. I copy from my PB post as I think it covers my points:

    “I hope you aren’t so pious to just think that ran one way. A huge number of Carmel posters were defaced or had ‘lies’ stickers attached to them. The misinformation the Greens spread in St Peters was unforgiveable. It wasn’t you who came to the door two weeks ago to say that ‘Hi, I’m from the Greens. Did you know that Kristina Keneally wants 300 gas mines in the Inner West?’ was it?

    It goes both ways buddy, and I say that as an unaffiliated voter. The idea that the Greens are more pure than the others is a fallacy. All sides push scare campaigns and, unfortunately, all sides have a few people who think its fair game to deface posters. I can’t imagine it was a Lib who would have bothered to write ‘Facist’ (sic) on all the Carmel posters in St Peters.”

    Though at least I know that you can spell fascism correctly…

  8. I fail to understand why people vote extreme nutters like Hanson on the right and the Greens on the left. Particularly the Greens get the i don’t like labor or liberal vote, I just wish people whoever they vote for would read the party’s policies!!! Now to the Greens credit i do acknowledge they have some good policies that are worthwhile been considered, but I really do wonder why they pressure the federal govt. to do minority things. Why they have to spend so much time on same sex marriage and the whole boycotting Israel they apparently were pushing in nsw (confusing though where they were on that one) i don’t know. As for Hanson, well we all know she represents a minority and has left politics and come back too many times. Then we have 2 upper house shooters party reps who want to force the coalition to let them shoot in national parks and introduce shooting into the school curriculum!!! This worries me alot, what happens if a bushwalker is nearby, it would be tough to ensure safety and kids in schools, thats madness-look what some of them do with their fists who knows what’ll happen with them clowning around with guns, students who wish to pursue it should go to special environment. Out of this lot although unlikely, i really hope some miracle brings Gordon Moyes back in who seems much more moderate and likely to promote polices that are best for the people while not been obstructionist or having conditions.

  9. The greens aim is squarely at the ALP. That’s who they’re competing with for votes, not the Libs or the right. So what do you expect a bouquet of flowers from Albanese? If you wanna be in the big league stop wingeing when your opponents return your politics with more poltics: ie. Get over it princesses.

  10. Scott:
    Shooting would occur at police approved licenced shooting ranges, with licenced intructors, Shooting would not occur at schools, they lack the necessary safety zones & facitlities. It would be pretty much the same scenario as the old school cadets who went off to a range for their training, without dressing up and playing soldier.
    To the shooting community Its about having the same opportunity to introduce kids to our sport as the AFL, Rugby, etc do. We also have fewer injuries 🙂
    Having worked with teenagers on a range I found them much easier to teach than adults, as they are still used to being told what to do and having to listen and learn comes naturally to them. I’ve run a couple of range days that had two thousand people try shooting with the only injury being sunburn, so I don’t expect any problems at all with small numbers of teens under one on one supervision.
    As for shooting in national parks, this already occurs in state forests on a regular basis and is only available to trained, licenced members of hunting clubs who must book in to shoot. Only certain forests are available and the same would occur with national parks. Parks on the western side of the ranges that have a feral goat or pig problem would probably be approved. Kuringai Chase or the Royal near Sydney? Buckleys.

    Keep in mind that much if not most legislation will have bipartisan support, so the coalition will only have to negotiate with the CDP & the S&Fs when they want to pass party partisan legislation.
    Interesting times are ahead for us political junkies, four years of negotiated legislation will make for more entertaining viewing than four years of partisan obstruction or worse, if the coalition had achieved a majority in both houses, four years of legislation being rammed through without review.

  11. If what Ken is saying is correct, that shooting as a sport would be conducted at police locations under heavy supervision, than I don’t have a problem with it. Face it. Australia have had some very skilled shooters in what is a very tough test of hand-eye co-ordination (Michael Diamond, the Olympic Trap Shooter Champion comes to mind.) What he is saying is also correct, in that cadets do train with some tuned-down military firearms (AUS-Steyr e.g.). Developing respect for the product would take away the taboo nature. It would have to be heavily regulated but I wouldn’t see that as a problem.

    As for fewer injuries, I’ve done some trap shooting and its a bugger on the shoulder mate 😛

    In terms of the Greens, I think the NSW Divison will not make further advances unless they shake off the effects of having Lee Rhiannon as their de-facto leader. Her footprint is all over this division, especially with Fiona Byrne. Until they manage to moderate themselves and remove or quell this pseudo-communist party faction, they won’t make any further advances. There are some policies from the Greens that I think are worth debating but what good-will exists is immediately lost when someone Like Fiona or Lee opens their mouth.

  12. I’m sorry but whilst our opponents and the media like to criticise Lee Rhiannon, I’m yet to encounter any evidence that she is an electoral liability to the Greens amongst prospective Greens voters in NSW.

  13. But that is the problem. You won’t have any problems among prospective Green Voters but it won’t be enough if you want to become a major 3rd party. You have become very good at picking up the alternative and protest vote but the alternative vote isn’t good enough to become a serious contender except in the inner city and around Richmond. The Green supporters have complained in the past about this dulopoly that exists within the Australian Parliament but (with the exception of Tasmania), The Greens haven’t done enough to show that they can attract the mainstream vote. If you are serious about become a 3rd major party (and I think it would be good for democracy if that happens) then you need to move out of that base range and into something that will attract more than just disillusioned ALP voters and the far-left. If that means trying to quell the influence of Lee Rhiannon, then so be it!

  14. Hawkeye, you clearly don’t have a clue about the internal politics of the Greens. Lee and Fiona aren’t far-left extremists, the problems with BDS came about for entirely different reasons to do with timing and disagreements as to whether the party should campaign on the issue.

    You talk about this like the party actively campaigned on a boycott of Israel. That isn’t the case. The party focused on the practical issues of state politics, but Israel was brought into it by the ALP and the media. It may have been a tactical error for Marrickville council to have pushed it forward when they did, but it hardly was an ideological far-left push to focus the state election on Israel.

  15. Thanks Ben. I was all frothing at the mouth about Bob Brown and his antics, about the ALP and Penbo, and then I realised that its all a just a good quality beat-up. Trying to paint the Greens as “extreme” is a just a re-hash of Howard’s tactics to try and scare people back into accepting the tripe put forward by the political classes and their duopoly. The Greens aren’t “extreme” – policies to ensure that all kids get a good education, have good health cover, that there is effective and efficient public transport, that government is run efficiently but also openly, that business pays its fair share, but still gets to go on making money – sorry, not extreme. If you people know anything about the Greens NSW you’d also know that the marxists all left because the party wasn’t taking up the class-war truncheon. As for pseudo-communists – that’s a Tea Party line to say if I don’t agree with it then it must be “communism”. Lee Rhiannon’s “footprints all over the division” would be laughable if it wasn’t so pathetic – if the party has factions then Ian Cohen’s bunch are just as numerous (he did get his ex Jan Barham up as #2 on the LC ticket), and then there’s all the members who aren’t part of any “factionalising”. No, what you are seeing are people who prepared to stand up and say what they think, rather than cowering behind others.

  16. Stewart J – you might be right in that the Greens aren’t ‘extreme’. But in saying that, I think they need to convince the mainstream electorate that they are not. I’d suggest that Rhiannon is seen as extreme after the last few days, hence, it would put a lot of potential Green voters off (particularly in NSW). I don’t think anyone would think of a more crazy idea than to boycott Israel whether it be a prime policy or in the back of ones mind (and I am not pro-Israel). All credit to Bob Brown. He has handled the situation well.

    In saying all of that, I think Gillard’s approach towards the Greens can only hurt Federal Labor at the next election. It is a dangerous strategy.

  17. DB – actually, I support the BDS, and I see it as no more extreme or crazy than the boycott of South Africa over Apartheid. As I said in an earlier post, it is because these countries claim sets of values and then appear to pay only lip service to them that they become targets of boycotts. the silliness of saying “oh, if you can boycott Israel, why not China” is that China doesn’t make the same claims to be a western nation (with the expectation of being treated as “one of the good guys”) as Israel – hence the posters saying the Greens hate gays because of the BDS (Israel is supposedly tolerate and as part of its claims to be western). I should add that boycotts and buycotts (the reverse where you preference certain products) are now seen as legitimate forms of social protest against perceived injustices.

    As for Bob Brown – if you expect a party leader to act in this authoritarian manner (which you would in the ALP or Liberal parties) then fine, but as the Parliamentary Party Leader, Brown is supposedly only responsible for the Parliamentary party and has NO authority over the rest of the party. But it fits the media’s (and some in the party’s) frame of how to respond to him to think he has this authority. I for one look forward to the day that Brown steps down from parliament. Only then will the party move out from his shadow and sink or swim on its own. At the moment, he is a slight advantage to the party due to his profile, but when he is replaced by Milne (the likeliest outcome – Rhiannon has limited support in the party room for the position, and as far as I know doesn’t want it anyway) I think a harder policy edge will appear.

    re: Gillard and the next election – I think this is just a demarcation issue, to get the frame into people’s minds about the ALP beholden to the bad greenies, so at the next election they should be free’d from this by being given their own majority. But yes, it might backfire badly, with it being seen as disunity and squabbling over minor issues.

  18. Oh, and I should add – Mark Latham being brought as the voice of reason by the media (Gillard “wooden” because she is childless???) – he surely discredits any case he puts up…and irrespective of whether you agree with it or not, the BDS debate has brought Israel back into the media spotlight (noting it disappeared as the media became transfixed first by Fukushima, then Libya). While the Israel-Palestine issue remains unresolved there can hardly be peace in the Middle East. Or am I just “dreaming” concerning peace in the Middle East…

  19. Stuart J:
    Extremism is in the eye of the beholder. Every individual tends to see themself as being in the center. Self selecting communities tend to reinforce each other so the common mind set is seen to be the norm, with any group opposed to the community as extremists.

    As a shooter I see the Greens as extreme because they want to ban my sport and take away my property, or my freedom if I won’t comply. Lee Rhiannon’s faction would see me as an extemist because my friends and I regularly practise with semi automatic weapons capable of killing.
    In reality, the Shooters & Fishers as a single issue party only gets about 4% of the vote, and the Greens at least to this outsider, appear to be a grab bag of single issue micro partys that have managed to weld together to gain around 12%. So to the majority of the population both minor parties are either too extreme or their policies too irrelevant. If they weren’t they would have achieved a higher vote.

    Two days before the election my center left BIL phoned, he had sat down and read the Greens policy positions from their website. His comment was “This looks like it was written by a teenage girl”. He proceeded to vote Liberal. Annecdotal, but an example of the problems the Greens face in selling their policies.

    When Keneally was installed the Greens were polling 17%. By election day that was down to 12%, with the missing 5% going to the Liberals. Labor’s vote stayed the same over that 18 months. As the liberals were keeping their mouths shut and their heads down, that 30% reduction in votes appears to be the result of the Greens opening their mouths. As Mumble keeps repeating, being a conviction politician only works if you are in office.

    Hawkeye:
    A slight correction, the Greens are angling to be the 4th major party. If the Nationals has won two more lower house seats they could have ceded government to the Liberals, declared themselves to be Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and pushed the labor MPs onto the cross benches where the minor parties belong. 😛

  20. Stewart J:
    You are dreaming. A couple of years ago I pulled a roof off a building in Marrickville and found a copy of an old newspaper from, IIRC, January 28th 1956. Apart from a few minor things (an acre of land at Avalon was 1 pound 10 Shillings, adds for TVs instead of computers,a dishwashing machine was 100 guineas) it could have been a paper from today, the normal storys about raped teenagers and armed robbers, North Korea was threatening South Korea, the Sydney to Hobart fleet had set sail in good weather with hopes of a record breaking run,there was moralising by that eras version of Fred Nile on the decay of modern society. A minor item was the fact that the Jews & the Arabs had spent Christmas day machine gunning and mortaring each other. Nothing changes.

  21. Back on topic.

    ABC elections previously listed the final spot as “tba” – stating that it was too close between Pauline Hanson and The Greens third candidate. They’ve now updated the page to be a win for the Greens.

    As it stands now

    Coalition: 11
    Labor: 5
    Greens: 3
    Shooters & Fishers: 1
    Christian Democratic: 1

    Looks like their is still 12% of the vote to be counted, so perhaps its a bit premature?

  22. LOL, an acre of land in Avalon for 10 shillings!!

    As for Greens on 17% – its easy to be the repository of voters angst (not happy with Labor, not sure about the Libs) months out from an election. But come the election period the debates start and accusations fly and for a minor party there is little media room to get a message out. One Nation, once they had stopped being the lightening rod for disaffection saw their vote fall away without really knowing why they had it in the first place. The Greens will not move past 10-15% of the vote without two things – 1) effectively addressing the material concerns of voters (ie; jobs, housing & health), and 2) stopping thinking that their time in the sun is about to burst upon them (ie; be catapulted into government). The German Greens might be on the verge of leading a coalition government in Baden-Wurttemburg due to the anti-nuke issues, but they already were polling well both locally and nationally, but that was also a long slow climb. The Lib-Dems in the UK are back in Govt after almost 90 years, but look like being slaughtered for it (so be careful for what you wish for!).

    As for the Shooters being in parliament – I have no problem at all with a variety of parties being there – I would like to see the LC move to electing all 42 MLCs at each election, and although the cross-bench might be unwieldy it might also be more representative. My issue with the Shooters is of course the guns (yeah, I’m one of those that doesn’t like them, although I can be persuaded on the need for them in some situations – I don’t agree with handguns, though), but hey, if the Greens can parley their numbers into influence then so can the Shooters, the CDP or whoever, and good luck to them. An upper house with more contention might actually produce better debate than the lower house where the numbers have already been done!

    “Freedom” is an interesting concept, but means very different things to different people. Its liek “rights” – all part of the social contract.

  23. Ben Hammond. Thank goodness for that. Let’s hope we all learn a few lessons from that close call…

  24. I’m disappointed. I think Parliament should represent all wide and varied views no matter how much we might agree or disagree with them. Some would be aghast at Lee Rhianon’s comments. Others would feel the same about Hanson’s. But I will say that I am no supporter of Hanson, but I am a supporter of wide and varied views being represented in a democracy even if those views don’t appeal to my judgment.

    Interesting to see the Greens got 3 seats to the ALP’s 5. Wow!

  25. This race isn’t over. I still expect Hanson to outpoll the Greens on primary votes due to her huge below-the-line vote, which isn’t included in the figures on the ABC website.

    I still believe Buckingham will win on preferences, but it seems rash of the ABC to declare that seat.

  26. Stewart J:
    I meant freedom as in the go straight to jail type of loss, not some hypothetical philosophy. As for handguns, I’ll respect your views and I won’t force you to own one. 🙂
    Interesting point about the ‘lightening rod for disaffection’, I hadn’t thought of that. Consider me schooled. The only time you’ll see the dialetic at work on a political blog that isn’t a marxist rant.

    DB:
    Agreed, I don’t disagree with Ms Hanson, or the Greens, or Mr Nile for that matter having a voice in the parliament. If they have enough votes to get elected then it means that they do represent a section of Australian society and they have a right to be heard. Only when minority voices are suppressed will we see real political violence, lots of examples of that in the middle east at the moment. Mubarak was smart enough to allow the opposition to win 20% of the seats at their ‘elections’. It was only after his son completely locked them out that the pressure cooker started to boil.
    If people don’t like the messenger then they need to convince the voters to send a different messenger next time.

    Ben:
    Do you have more up to date LC figures than the PDFs published on the electoral commission website this morning?

  27. @ Ben

    The ABC has been calling that last spot back and forth since the election. I just think that is their manner of updates for the LC.

  28. @Ken: While you are technically correct about the Greens wanting to become the 4th major party, the reality is that the National Party wouldn’t dream of breaking the coalition with the Liberal Party, for the simple reason of hopefully holding control of the Upper House. The Coalition in NSW is probably the strongest Coalition of all the states (as in the strength of the unity between the two parties) so its very unlikely.

  29. Ben, did anyone in Marrickville Council seriously think that they could push the BDS and not have this become one of the major issues for the Greens in the campaign?

  30. Hey Stephen – the BDS passed Council with support of the ALP Councillors – yet it was the ALP that made the most noise. I’m sure the Councillors were aware of what they were doing (I should add that you’ll find former MLC and Marrickville Councillor Sylvia Hale was one of the speakers at the Council meeting where this came on). I take the underlying assertion of your comment is that maybe they should waited until after the election – but I’m sure the ALP would have made a meal of that too “look, the Greens not prepared to act on principal” and got them into an argument about it. Once it appeared on the agenda (whether officially or not) it was going to become an issue – perhaps the Councillors thought “deal with it and then we can defend it, rather than defending something we haven’t done”. But of course I can’t speak for them. But I would argue better to argue about policy (ie the BDS) than the usual kerfuffle about preferences (which got a run by the ALP but not as much as usual).

  31. I can’t speak for the Marrickville councillors either, but I could add to what Stewart says that my impression is that people expected the BDS movement to gain some momentum behind it and that other councils and organisations might have taken it up as well, which would’ve taken the heat off Marrickville.

  32. “New left” Labour councils?? – Oh, you mean the Militant (read “Trotskists”) controlled Councils like Liverpool. You’re right in so far as Kinnock and the British Labour Party refused to support the Council in its fight with the Thatcher-lead central Government over rates. Perhaps you are suggesting that this is similar because it has the Australian saying Bob Brown has ‘carpeted’ Lee Rhiannon? I understand the interview transcript has Bob saying he thought the campaign focus was wrong – I’m sure that Fiona would agree with that – especially as I’m sure it wasn’t intended as a focus!

  33. Well to the people who have been saying bigger crossbench representing wide view i do agree. I think the more the better. More debate and accountability rather than the executive going send this for rubber stamping. I actually like the hung parliament in canberra, just don’t like the greens power influence, the independents have moreso been more reasonable, voting and not steering government policy. And i may have been ill informed on the shooting so maybe a case worth hearing but i wouldn’t support it in schools, much better left with external providers. Back on the minor parties i also agree everyones ‘centre’ will differ. In terms main stream i think many minor parties have that potential, but they just don’t get the media attention and donations. I think the media should work to tell us more about other parties. A party like family first seems pretty moderate, maybe too similar to libs, just right of them. The greens certainly have potential, they just need to stop going on about minor issues associated with the far left and focus on core needs of society. Similarly, if a party like the CDP dropped some of its more far right elements like some of their policies that aren’t supported by many Christians, they could at least gain more of the Christian vote and others who support the values nd policies they put forward in a reformed party (i.e. Fred Nile has done his service, someone else needs to come in). This could deliver a more diverse parliament that does more debate and accountability instead of rubber stamping. A parliament full of independents representing electorates rather than faction would also be pretty democratic.Single issue paries like the shooter I think will struggle to increase their vote, as will parties with no parking meters etc.

  34. I guess my point is not just about Marrickville, but the NSW Greens passing BDS to begin with. As soon as this was done it was inevitable that it would be a major focus for debate. I know people in Victoria who probably won’t vote Green in 2014 because the NSW Greens passed BDS. They were hammering me the other night on the question of why Greens were supporting a boycott against Israel, but not any other human rights abuser. I don’t think the arguement that Israel claims sets of values that are not claimed by plenty of other human rights abusers would have been very effective.

    Obviously if a policy is right you sometimes have to go ahead with it even when you know it will cost you votes, but given the history it seems to me remarkable to think that this was not going to become a huge issue, and one which would be a significant vote-loser, seems to me astonishing given the history of the topic.

  35. My point about the claims of the Israeli state I think are pertinent, even if some people still want to see as some kind of “persecution” – or is it “exceptionalism”. Selective boycotts are perfectly reasonable to highlight over a period of time the injustices or actions of a particular state or company (note France, Burma, Nestle, any arms embargo proposed by the UN, and so on). To say “oh but you have to boycott every human rights abuser” because of “consistency” implies that all abuses are equal, that all nations/states will respond/be able to respond in the same manner, and that claims of legitimacy (and therefore exception) based on values are relevant. I think its great that Israel has a reasonable human rights record in respect of gays – but that doesn’t alter the nature of what they are doing in Gaza. I would add that Hamas (as a potential alternate government in the Palestinian Territories) is not much better (and in some instances far worse) in respect of human rights. But Hamas don’t try to legitimise themselves by claiming western values on human rights (and so other tactics might be more appropriate).

    But I suppose my real point is that, irrespective of whether you or I agree or not on the BDS, voters are going to come to the ballot box with whatever reasons for voting however they do. A party that tries to second guess that all the time is going to end up like the ALP, being poll and focus-group driven. Sure, we might have an issue over timing, but I also remember sitting in national meetings when some people (no names) stated they didn’t have a problem arming the Palestinians. That didn’t go far, and the Greens slowly developed a policy that was painful and I think not to everyone’s satisfaction (plainly!!). As to whether it was a vote loser – like I’ve said before, the way it was picked up in the media here it was as if only the Greens supported this on Council – when it was very clearly also supported by the ALP. Yet it didn’t lose the ALP votes? Gee, and now we have the Oz printing outright lies (see Saluzinski in today’s paper) to follow Penberthy’s rubbish in the Tele. So, what should the Greens do, back down because the Oz says so?

  36. Actually, my apologies, that was a long rant, and out or place here. I will comment on the BDS etc elsewhere, and stick to things electoral here. Apologies to Ben too.

  37. Stephen, I’m not sure if it helps but the NSW Greens state council resolution supporting the BDS included an amendment stating that the boycott should not apply to anyone who renounces Israeli government policy. The intent there being to try to clarify that the issue is with Israeli policy, not the state of Israel itself.

  38. Most people don’t regard the Greens as extreme … they just think they’re a pack of wankers.

  39. To Peter R: I am intrigued by your confident judgement.

    Who are “most people”? How would you know what “most people” think about the Greens?

    If you have that sort of detailed empirically verifiable information in your head I don’t why people both taking opinion polls they should just hire you and save a lot of money.

  40. Pollster:
    No chance of that. The Coalitions 11th candidate is elected with .68 of a quota. The last seat will be filled by the party that comes closest to .45 of a quota.

    Scott:
    I guess I didn’t make that clear enough, ranges are approved by the NSW Police with regular inspections for safety and compliance. Ranges are run by shooting clubs which have their own instructors, safety officers and equipment.
    A top quality target rifle or pistol can cost up to $7000 and a range can run into millions of dollars. Apart from a couple of the GPS Schools you won’t see any school forking out the money or the personnel needed to form and equip their own club or range.
    An extension of the current system of Police Commissioners permits that allow cadets and scout groups to shoot as visitors with clubs would probably be perfectly adequate.

  41. pollster

    The Coalition 11th candidate has 111,374 votes, while the Greens 3rd candidate has 82,550 with 89.72% votes counted, it is almost impossible for the Greens to catch up the 30k votes representing the .15 quota

  42. Dovif, Its my understanding that the 20th seat goes to the 11th Coalition member (National Sarah Johnston). The seat thats yet to be determined is the 21st seat which is a run between the Grns 3rd (Jeremy Buckingham) and Pauleine Hanson.

  43. How would the outcome be different if NSW still had ticket voting? Would the Greens have been locked out, or would the Liberals have absorbed a bunch of right wing votes to make their 11th quota?

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