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Hanson in Parliament?

March 29, 2011

As you read this counting is proceeding for the 21st position in the NSW Legislative Council, the last spot, determined by state-wide ballot under proportional representation.

You will recall my comments below (Why Intending Green Voters Should Preference Labor, February 27) about the Green Party declining to preference Labor in the Upper House. A former Green MLC, Ian Cohen, joined me in making an appeal for the Green Party to reconsider.

But there was no flow of Green Party preferences to the ALP.

And the result? As we stand now the final seat could go to Pauline Hanson.

That’s what happens when you make political gestures, seek cheers from your own hardcore followers and forget that there are serious stakes.

She may have the chance to rebuild her political career all over again.

Luke Foley, Labor MLC

Her chances would be far less if Green Party preferences had flowed to the ALP candidate Andrew Ferguson who would have claimed the seat instead of Hanson.

As Luke Foley, the Labor MLC said, “Pauline Hanson was in the grave until Lee Rhiannon and David Shoebridge dug her up… I warned about this on a daily basis for a month and the Greens said, no it can never happen.”

  1. March 29, 2011 2:33 pm

    Except that the Greens are expected to take the final seat, not Hanson. And the comment that Greens preferences would have seen labor take the seat rather than Hanson… not likely when the third Greens candidate is ahead of Andrew Ferguson.

  2. Dale permalink
    March 29, 2011 3:54 pm

    Hanson’s election would be a very regrettable outcome for NSW, but in a way it would be fitting if the Greens’ decision on preferences creates this result.

    After all, it shouldn’t be forgotten that former NSW Greens Senator Kerry Nettle was elected in 2001 on One Nation preferences. The policy of One Nation to put the major parties last meant that its preferences went to the Greens first. If not for this decision Nettle would never have been elected.

    It’s hard to tell who’s more extreme, Hanson or Fiona Byrne. Despite her numerous wacky and misguided pronouncements I don’t recall Hanson ever advocating a boycott of Aboriginal or Asian businesses.

    • March 29, 2011 9:44 pm

      What nonsense. Fiona Byrne never advocated a boycott of a race, she advocated a boycott of a nation state that practices abuse of human rights.

      Its one thing to debate whether it is appropriate for Local Government to get involved in these issues, and clearly she did not handle the media’s questioning well on this issue. But the vindictive claims of racism or extremism do not stand.

      It was Marrickville Labor’s policy to support BDS, and the Labor councillors on Marrickville Council voted in support of the motion.

  3. Nicholas permalink
    March 29, 2011 4:06 pm

    hello Mr Carr,

    I was listening to an old podcast of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe (1st August 2007) and the sociologist Barry Glassner said the whole calorie in calorie out approach to obesity is largely false and he also said that blaming the rise of the fast food industry does not add up if you look at the chronology of the rise of fast food and the obesity epidemic in the USA. rather stress, general lifestyle, stress etc. explain it. I have read your posts about fast food and was wondering if you have heard of these views and what you make of them.


    P.S. In one of Bob Ellis’ books he states you lived on nothing but carrots and water when you were the premier

    • Nicholas permalink
      March 29, 2011 4:29 pm

      2nd time i wrote stress in list i meant to right association and socialisation

    • Bob Carr permalink
      March 29, 2011 7:17 pm

      I am not a vegetarian and eat protein based meals and get a lot of exercise. Ellis is very funny.

  4. SamK permalink
    March 30, 2011 9:41 am

    Kind of scary thinking that the CDP, Shooter and Fishers and Hanson might hold a balance of power in the MLC.

    Bob, just curious – do you think that O’Farrell’s dubious claim of a budget deficit would be an excuse to bring a WorkChoices or Wisconsin style system of industrial relations into the public sector?

    • Bob Carr permalink
      March 30, 2011 11:02 am

      The black hole spin has been greeted with universal skepticism. It won’t, therefore, liberate him to attempt a Wisconsin agenda. He will, however, drop election promises. The commission of audit pantomime will pave the way. Will probably stop short of front-on confrontation with the public sector workforce.

  5. March 30, 2011 7:01 pm

    Remind me which party directed preferences to Family First above the Greens in Victoria on one fateful occasion, thereby forcing upon the entire nation the novel experience of getting to know the mind of Steve Fielding in some detail.

  6. Christopher Axtens permalink
    March 31, 2011 3:33 pm

    I am very much Labor to my bootstraps and Janelle Saffin will tell you how willing I’d be to help out in a campaign for someone who does keep the local grassroots campaigners on side.
    I am also a student of politics and if that entails sneaking my way onto mailing lists of other left-of-centre political groups under a pseudonym title then so be it.
    The enclosed setpiece is what I received from the NSW Greens media release server
    it should be of interest to Bob,and others, what so happens to be the Greens’ justification for non-allocation of preferences in Legislative Council. Making a judgement on where votes are to be directed because of personality issues is not necessarily conducive to obtaining even half decent electoral outcomes.

    “The Greens made a careful and studied decision not to preference Labor for various reasons, including the fact Eric Roozendaal, mastermind of the botched electricity privatisation debacle, headed Labor’s Upper House ticket. Labor’s appalling record in government over the past four years and the fact this would have increased the chance of conservative control were other factors.”
    Dear Christopher Mackay,

    You might be interested in this detailed account of how The Greens fared at the weekend’s election, outside of what the media has been reporting.

    While it’s still too early to know our final results, we do know that in 2011 we gained our highest ever vote.

    Even in the face of a conservative landslide, The Greens NSW recorded a swing of 2%, and possibly increased the number of Greens MPs to our team in the NSW Parliament.

    Here’s a quick breakdown.

    It looks like Balmain will be decided by just a handful of votes, and will most likely go to a recount. In this three-way contest (the closest seat in the state), Jamie Parker is neck-and-neck with Labor’s Verity Firth and the Liberal’s James Falk. The result is still too close to call but we are still firmly in the race. Our vote has improved over the week and we made up ground on the absentee vote count. Jamie and his team waged an energetic, innovative campaign that attracted a primary vote of 30%.

    Fiona Byrne and the Greens Marrickville campaign did extremely well to record a swing of more than 3%, and a primary vote of 35%, in what became an increasingly dirty campaign by Labor. Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt, who was sitting on a margin of 7.5%, is now hanging on by a much slimmer thread as a result of Fiona’s well executed, community based campaign.

    Our state-wide vote in the Upper House is currently a fraction under 11% – a 2% increase on our 2007 result – giving us a good chance of increasing our MP numbers from four to five. David Shoebridge and Jan Barham have been elected, and will join John Kaye and Cate Faehrmann, who have continuing terms.

    The collapse of Labor’s vote has left the door open for Pauline Hanson to enter the Upper House. Our hopes now rest with Greens candidate Jeremy Buckingham to take that final Upper House seat.

    One of best outcomes of the election is that The Greens continue to share the balance of power, meaning we can continue to be the voice of the community in parliament. As always, the Greens will deal with each piece of legislation on its merits.

    In the last few days, Labor has again been caught out playing their tired old political games, this time using lies and deceit to blame others for their Upper House collapse. This week they blamed The Greens for not preferencing Labor, but we now find that Labor did not recommend Greens preferences in approximately two thirds of seats where they said they would.

    The Greens made a careful and studied decision not to preference Labor for various reasons, including the fact Eric Roozendaal, mastermind of the botched electricity privatisation debacle, headed Labor’s Upper House ticket. Labor’s appalling record in government over the past four years and the fact this would have increased the chance of conservative control were other factors.

    The Upper House now has a large contingent of ultra-conservative MPs in its ranks. That makes it likely that the Liberals will form a working majority with the ultra-conservative right wing parties. This may well involve cross-legislation deals between them on laws relating to abortion, gun control and gay and lesbian rights.

    We have put a significant dent in the electoral pendulum, coming second on primary votes in 12 seats including Ballina, Lismore and eight northern Sydney seats. That adds to the seats of Balmain, Marrickville, Vaucluse and the North Shore, which had already become two party preferred after the 2007 election.

    It bodes well for the next election, where those contests are no longer between Labor and Liberal, but between the old parties and The Greens. We are still the fastest growing party in Australia, with membership increasing by 30% since the 2010 federal election, and by an extra 40 members just since Saturday!

    Thanks again for your work on our biggest ever NSW campaign.

    Lesa de Leau,
    Campaign Coordinator
    The Greens NSW Campaign Team

    PS. Right now, millionaire radio shock-jocks and right-wing politicians are muddying the debate on climate change, which is why The Greens are asking you to take part in the Rally for Climate Action to combat this hysterical, right wing movement. On April 2, join thousands of other people like you in Sydney who have a positive, clean energy vision for Australia’s future and are willing to stand up for it.

  7. lindsay allen permalink
    April 4, 2011 3:54 pm

    Dear Mr Carr, It is unlikely Ms Hanson will get the preferences she needs to become a MLC.

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