Tuesday, June 25, 2024

"Freedom Parties" Did Not Cost One Nation A WA Senate Seat

Sometimes I find items of interest in the oddest ways.  Today I was searching for tweets about WA Labor (as of 3:45 pm) Senator Fatima Payman in connection with her possible stance on a Greens motion that the Senate consider recognition of Palestine to be a matter of urgency.  I found this tweet by Mark Rowley, to which he links a video in which he tells Pauline Hanson how One Nation was diddled out of a 6th Senate seat by "freedom friendly" micro-parties, hence blaming them for the election of Payman.  

I thought this was an interesting thing to look into.  I find that minor right wing media is often a hotbed for incorrect claims about the electoral system and election results and this case is no different.  

Payman won the 6th Western Australian Senate seat over Filing by a margin of 23490 votes.  Rowley's video singles out three particular micro-parties, the Great Australian Party (led by former One Nation Senator Rod Culleton, who was disqualified from the Senate in 2017), the so-called "Informed Medical Options Party" (IMOP) and the Australian Federation Party.   These parties between them polled 27791 primary votes.  Rowley says that if these parties had voted for "the likes of One Nation" (are there any likes besides One Nation itself?) the party "would have been looking at a 6th Senate position".

Monday, June 17, 2024

Ralph Babet Was Elected Fair And Square. I Know It's Hard But Try To Deal With It

For the avoidance of any doubt at all, I'll start with my view of the subject of this article.  Most of what I see of United Australia Party Senator Ralph Babet is his social media output, and it is awful.  He delivers dumbed-down denser-than-even-Sky-News versions of what were in general stupid ideas to begin with (MAGA nonsense, supposed conspiracies against Christians and western culture, whining about "wokeness", gender, sexuality and multiculturalism, and baiting people who would rather at least try not to get COVID).  Babet is perhaps our purest yet elected example of what happens when you spend way too long inhaling what Christopher Hitchens called "the exhaust fumes of democracy", and then attempt to breathe them out. His Senate career so far has been even cringier than very early Jacqui Lambie.  As with Bob Katter, the concussed-sounding nuttiness of Babet's output frequently leads to debates about whether he's just harmlessly insane or whether some of what he's saying might dangerously affect a few impressionable chaps out there.  Think you can tell I'm not a fan.  

Saturday, June 15, 2024

The Draft Boundaries Would Not Put Labor On The Edge Of Minority

The current round of draft redistributions is complete with the release of the NSW proposal today, following the Victorian and WA proposals two weeks ago.  While the Victorian redistribution led to an outbreak of unsound psephology with false claims that the Kooyong redistribution greatly favoured the Liberal Party (I wrote about this for Crikey), the NSW washup has been pretty sensible, for the first day at least.  One thing I have seen that seems hard to credit is the idea that Kylea Tink, whose seat is proposed to be abolished, would win the now even more marginal Bennelong off two major parties fighting tooth and nail for it.  This is a general article about the impact of the draft changes.  A note that I am not a primary source for redistribution margin estimates, and am here largely relying on the work of Ben Raue, William Bowe and Antony Green for those.

The Victorian draft proposes that part of the boundary of Kooyong expands to take in part of Higgins.  The key issue in the shortlived Frydenberg-comeback debacle was that there's no obvious way to project how an independent would have done if their seat is expanded into an area they didn't previously run in.  One can use the 2022 preference flows from the present Kooyong to distribute votes for Labor and the Greens et al between the Liberals and Monique Ryan (IND) as if Ryan had been running in the new bits, but that means assigning Ryan a primary vote of zero in the new part.  It's saying that voters who would vote 1 Ryan 2 Liberal, for instance, don't exist in the new bit, but we know they do exist in the old bit, or she would not have won the seat.