Showing posts from November, 2006

Prahran: It don't mean a thing if you don't get that swing

So after all that, nothing much has changed. With close to 75% of the vote now counted, the swing to the Liberals in Prahran ( on a two party preferred count ) is just 0.5% compared to the state-wide swing of 2%. The primary votes suggest that there was very little movement amongst voters between 2002 and 2006, with small swings to the Greens (1.5%), Family First (1.2%, off a base of 0) and the Liberals (0.7%), whilst the ALP had a small swing against it (0.4%), with the absense of a Democrat and Indepedent ( Abraham Lincoln! ) explaining the rest. Given the resources that were poured into this campaign by the major parties, how do we explain the lack of movement? Most likely, voters were not particularly attuned to the local battle, and shared the statewide apathy with the election campaign. As Bracks candidly confessed early in the campaign, "They aren't out there with baseball bats ready to get us." It's worth noting that the Liberals were victorious on prim

Clearly, they have too much time on their hands

From the Daily Telegraph , via Crikey about Her Maj's man in Canberra: The whispering campaign against Major-General Jeffery recalls a story involving former veterans' affairs minister Danna Vale. At a wreath-laying function, Ms Vale was allegedly introduced before the Governor-General. According to Australian War Memorial staff involved at the time, Major-General Jeffery returned to Government House after the function but immediately despatched his aide-de-camp back to the memorial. Senior memorial staff were informed that what had happened with Ms Vale was a breach of protocol and should not happen again. Mrs Jeffery has also been targeted. According to sources close to Yarralumla, she tore strips off her husband's aide-de-camp after she didn't wear a hat to an official function whereas other women - including prominent Liberal MP Bronwyn Bishop - did. This, too, was regarded as a serious breach of protocol. Wouldn't happen if we had a President.

Prahran: Election night results

Four more years for Tony. Counting has finished for the night, and it looks like Talk to Me Tony is back for four more years: PRAHRAN Primary Count Justin Walker (Green) VOTE: 19.4% SWING: +1.4% Tony Lupton (Labor) VOTE: 38.0% SWING: 0.0% Clem Newton-Brown (Liberal) VOTE: 41.4% SWING: +0.4% Gary Pinto (Family First) VOTE: 1.2% SWING: +1.2% After Preferences Tony Lupton (Labor) VOTE: 56.3% SWING: +1.9% Clem Newton-Brown (Liberal) VOTE: 43.7% SWING: -1.9% Interestingly only 67.4% of votes have been counted, one of the lowest of any electorates, suggesting that there is a high number of postal and absentee votes yet to be counted. Historically, there's a Liberal tendancy amongst these votes, but the Two Party Preferred margin seems to be too big to be overcome. As happened in 2002, the Liberals won on primary votes, but got beaten soundly after the allocation of preferences. Most of these preferences are from the Greens. The Greens preferenc

Prahran: Final thoughts

In just a few hours time, the polls will open in Prahran and the 33,000 or so rugged individualists who call this place home will have their say. The more I've watched this campaign, the less I've been certain of the result. Those watching from afar would probably have no difficulty picking it: Lupton's a well-known and well-liked sitting member in an electorate of Doctors' Wives and assorted other progressives, and should be returned easily. On the ground, though, the energy of the Newton-Brown campaign has easily dwarfed his opponents, giving the impression that he might just achieve success. Ultimately, however, for Newton-Brown the 4.3% swing required is just a tad beyond him. Accepting that the statewide swing to the Liberals will be 2.5%, and that Newton-Brown's personal vote may earn him a further 1%, he's still short of the mark. For most voters, the local battle is a mere sideshow to the heavy-hitters - Bracks and Baillieu - and their efforts will

State election predictions

Morgan have the ALP up 53 to 47. Galaxy have the ALP up 55 to 45. But then again, "Last poll tips easy Kennett victory" If both polls are accurate and the swing is consistant across the state, they'll lead to a return of the Bracks government, albeit with a reduced majority. Which sounds about right. Bracks will win the election, but this is as much a result of the commanding victory he had in 2002 as it is a ringing endorsement of the previous four years of his Premiership. Voters aren't thrilled with Bracks, but they see him as a reasonably harmless bloke, even if he occasionally appears paralysed by indecision. It's a reflection on state and local politics more generally that voters are looking for decent administrators rather than real visionaries. When schools, hospitals, roads and water are at stake, the worst offence is rocking the boat. Mediocrity is a virtue. Politically, there are three very different styles of battles going on. Firstly, th

Prahran: Rules are rules

The VEC site has some fantastic dancing ballot papers... Makes you wanna get up and vote! ... but I couldn't find the specific rules relating to appropriate authorisation of campaign material. Does anyone want to offer an opinion on whether campaigning SMSs and emails are required to carry the standard "Written and authorised" tag-line? It would seem an unusual exception if it wasn't required of them, and a certain local Liberal candidate has been sending 'em out, authorisation-free. UPDATE 22/11, 4:20pm: I found the relevant piece of legislation on the AUSTLII website (which, sadly, features no waltzing acts of parliament, nor lambadaing High Court judgements). Section 83 is the one for us: 83. Printing and publication of electoral advertisements, handbills, pamphlets or notices 1) A person must not print, publish or distribute or cause, permit or authorise to be printed, published or distributed, an electoral advertisement, handbill, pamphlet or n

Prahran: The Clem Show continues

The Clem Newton-Blog DVD has arrived in the post today for me, and presumably for most of Prahran (his only direct mail out this campaign, apparently). The CNB motorised billboards have hit the streets. The "Vote Ted... Vote Clem" ad is in the (city-wide) Beat magazine. This is a cashed-up campaign which continues to roll on relentlessly. All of a sudden the 4.3% swing required is looking very gettable. It's rather prophetic to read the words of Robert Ray , the Labor veteran who was commenting on the 2002 state campaign for the The Age. Two days before the election Ray focussed on the then-challenger Talk to Me Tony Lupton , and the way he ran a strong local campaign: Communicating with the electorate is what it's all about. An introductory card, followed up by a community survey, several leaflets on specific issues and direct mail from both Lupton and the Premier mean few residents of Prahran don't know of Labor's campaign. A local campaign h

Prahran: Upper house dilemma

Accepting for a moment that Bracks will be returned, albeit with a reduced majority (although one campaigner working at Liberal HQ suggested that the battle was far from over), our attention now rightly turns to the vexing question of who ought control the balance of power in the Legislative Council. Democrats candidate (and incidentally a former campaign manager of AOTW) from Southern Metro region John Mathieson sent out this email to the true believers... and me as well, for some reason: In 2006 the voting system has been changed for the Victorian Upper House. Instead of the old system where 22 members were each elected for 2 terms in single member electorates, we now have a senate style voting system where 8 electorates will each elect 5 members. This means for the first time that smaller parties are likely to win seats in the Victorian Upper House. In fact it is more than likely that smaller parties will hold the balance of power in the Upper House. This could maybe be The Gree

Prahran: Gay, green, and kinda obscene

From yesterday's Sunday Herald Sun : Green's website sex profile By Chris Tinkler November 19, 2006 12:00am A KEY Melbourne Greens candidate has admitted to declaring on a website a fondness for illegal sexual perversions. Justin Walker, a chance to win the seat of Prahran (a chance?? who are they kidding. -AOTW), has advertised picking up men in public toilets among his sexual activities on a homosexual dating site. The 29-year-old, photographed at functions with Greens patriarch Senator Bob Brown, also declared a taste for exhibitionism, group sex, voyeurism and self-gratification. Having sex in public toilets and indecent exposure are both criminal offences. The story relates to a Gaydar listing that Justin "Juzzy" Walker had for himself, which has since been removed. (A bit of self correction on my part is needed here - the profile has been amended, not removed. -AOTW.) Andrew Landeryou over at The Other Cheek seems to be getting very hot and bothered

And to think I should be studying for an exam...

The latest edition of Melbourne Pixel is online. Okay, so nepotism might have taken me to the site, but it's quality content that kept me there. For twenty minutes now, and counting. If you can find yourself a more stylishly designed bit of cyber-real estate, I'd love to see it. And the ever thoughtful Nahum was at the Make Poverty History Forum yesterday at the Town Hall, and shares some of his thoughts with the MG collecting community.

Prahran: Cutting through

In the midst of an election campaign, one of the biggest challenges for a candidate is to 'cut through' the dross, grandstanding and overhyped posturing of all the others. It's a rare skill, and even more so in an era of cynical politicians and an even more cynical electorate. In the battle for Prahran, Clem Newton-Blog seems to be doing just that. The past week has seen CNB come close to overwhelming the electorate with campaign material. Normally this is barely worthy of comment, especially in a marginal electorate. What is noteworthy, though, is that CNB's campaign is fresh and innovative in a way that makes "Talk to Me" Tony struggle in his wake. Newton-Blog has letterboxed the electorate promoting an afternoon tea on Saturday in the home of one of his constituents, along with guests David Davis and Big Ted himself. The function is limited to 150 places (which is 1% of the electorate) but the flyer would make CNB's accessability known to many

Prahran: A late starter joins the race

Nominations have closed for candidates for the State Election, and the fine citizens of Prahran are blessed with four (count 'em, FOUR!) humanoids desperate to represent them on Spring Street: Candidates in ballot paper order WALKER, Justin AUSTRALIAN GREENS LUPTON, Tony AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY NEWTON-BROWN, Clem LIBERAL PINTO, Gary FAMILY FIRST Justin, Tony and Clem are well known to this blog, but Gary Pinto is the New Kid on The Block (you'll see why that's funny mildly amusing in a moment). So just who is Gary Pinto? The Family First website is largely unhelpful, other than for its colourful and multi font-filled way of telling the world sweet FA. GARY PINTO FAMILY FIRST Lower House Candidate PRAHRAN Details of this candidate will be added shortly. For more information contact But a Google search is revealing. Hit Number 2 is Infusion Nites , who tell us this about the wannabe MP: Gary Pinto Australian singer/songwriter Gary Pin

Live it, don't just blog it

I've just spent a delightful afternoon in the cosy surrounds of the James Squire Brewhouse with some well-informed friends watching the Midterm Midtacular results on CNN . Between the dozen of us, there were enough smart-arse remarks, well-formed observations and generally intelligent questions to make the afternoon a fun one. Sure, the flash looking big-screen TV was an essential part of our election-info diet, but it was an event to be enjoyed collectively. Not so the blogosphere. After arriving home, I've logged on to see what the rest of the world has to say, and I'm startled by the obsessiveness of many bloggers . There were countless bloggers who took it upon themselves to blog the events of the evening in excrutiating detail, with every twist and turn documented for all eternity. Sure, I admire their commitment to their craft, but here's what I don't get: why did these clearly intelligent and well-informed people spend their election night whil

Prahran: Tram It, Dammit

This week's Stonnington Leader has a decent amount of election coverage, although its treatment of the issue of the week, transport, was monumentally lame. The biggest transport issue for Prahranites : are the old W-Class trams on the Chapel Street route too noisy and cumbersome? Local residents complained about the noise, Tony said he liked 'em and Clem didn't bother. Right. How about this as the transport question for Prahrainians: what can we do to increase capacity on peak hour trains? As most transport wonks will tell you, it's a question of infrastructure. Firstly, Melbourne's antiquated signalling system limits the frequency of services because it requires big gaps between trains. It can and should be overhauled. Secondly, the number of tracks at some outer-suburban parts of the network are inadquate and need to be increased. This effects the frequency of services in the inner-city. Triplication all the way to Dandenong would do wonders. Thir