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This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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Hard Quiz: Scomo and Big Mac

One of the questions on tonight’s edition of “Hard Quiz” evoked memories of a different time and the original “Big Mac”.

Hard Quiz

A question on the theme of branding asked what Scott Morrison wanted to call Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, in the light of the success of his own branding as ScoMo.

The answer was “Big Mac”. It clearly didn’t take off. Last week, there was media speculation that McCormack’s leadership of The Nationals may not survive the year. David Littleproud could be deputy prime minister by Christmas. We shall see.

"But the Big Mac some of us remember is Frank McManus, the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) senator from Victoria from 1956 until 1962, and again from 1965 until 1974.

Born in 1905, McManus had a career as a teacher and Education Department official, before becoming Secretary of the Victorian branch of the ALP in 1950. An anti-communist “grouper”, McManus split with the ALP and joined the group that would become the DLP. In the aftermath of the 1955 split, he won election to the Senate at the December election, taking office in July 1956.

McManus was Deputy Leader of the DLP from 1956 until 1973, finally succeeding Vince Gair, a former Labor premier of Queensland, as leader in October 1973. The double dissolution election of May 1974 saw all five DLP senators lose their seats. With the exception of the late John Madigan, who won a Senate seat at the 2010 election, before quitting and setting up his own party, the DLP has never been represented in the Commonwealth parliament since 1974.

This is one of the DLP ads from the 1974 election touting Frank McManus as “Big Mac”.


GetUp! Lauds Its Election Campaign; Liberals Disagree

The activist group GetUp! has congratulated itself on its election campaign and taken credit for campaigns that removed conservative Liberals from parliament.

GetUp! has posted a YouTube video applauding its campaign work, especially its use of phone banks to contact voters in marginal seats and its distribution of how-to-vote cards on polling day.

The Liberal Party has attacked GetUp!, claiming it poured a million dollars into the campaign against Andrew Nikolic in Bass, Tasmania. Nikolic was defeated by a swing of just over 10% in the Launceston-based electorate. Nikolic, a former army officer, was one of former prime minister Tony Abbott’s staunchest supporters in the last parliament. The Liberal Party’s Senate leader, Eric Abetz, has attributed Nikolic’s defeat to the campaign by GetUp!. [Read more…]


“Be Sure, Vote Liberal” – Government Readies For Final Campaign Blitz

With the election now in its final days, a final blitz of television advertising is underway.

Liberal

This ad, Be Sure, Vote Liberal, is just 15 seconds long but encapsulates the government’s principal campaign themes: the risk of a hung parliament, chaos and dysfunction, the Budget deficit, jobs, Shorten’s new taxes, and asylum-seeker boats. [Read more…]


Minutes After Turnbull Launch, ALP Releases Its Election Costings

The ALP has released its election costings, projecting that they would balance the Budget in 2020-21, the same year as the government.

The Opposition’s “Fiscal Plan” proposes $10.5 billion more savings than spending over the decade. However, the Budget bottom line will be $16.5 billion worse over the 4-year Forward Estimates.

The ALP says: “The more modest fiscal consolidation over the forward estimates of around 0.2 per cent of GDP per year (on average) is more than made up for by Labor’s structural savings over the medium term. Labor’s approach to budget management has fairness at its core, and will not seek to fix the Liberals’ budget mess by attacking family budgets. We will budget transparently and honestly.”

The costings were released in Sydney by the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, and the Shadow Finance Minister, Tony Burke. The Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, is in Gladstone. The release was announced during Prime Minister Turnbull’s campaign launch and took place at 1.00pm, shortly after Turnbull finished.

The costings document is shown below. [Read more…]


Get To Know Bill: ALP Election Advertisement

With just six days to the election, the ALP has released a “Get to know Bill” video on YouTube.

The video aims to humanise Shorten and stresses his understanding of people in distress. Amongst others, it features Brant Webb, one of the Tasmanian Beaconsfield miners buried underground for two weeks in 2006. [Read more…]


Liberal Party Free Time Advertisements: 2016 Federal Election

These are four freetime advertisements for the Liberal Party, broadcast on ABC television.

The advertisements feature Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Treasurer Scott Morrison.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation is statutorily obliged to provide free radio and television time to the major political parties during elections. [Read more…]


Greens Commercial: Vision For Western Australia

This is an election advertisement produced by the Australian Greens for use in Western Australia.

The ad is titled: The Greens Vision for WA.

The Greens have two senators in WA, Scott Ludlam and Rachel Siewert. A primary vote of 7.7% will deliver one senator. Less may be needed if preferences flow to the Greens. At the 2013 election, the Greens polled 9.49%. This increased to 15.60% in the 2014 re-run election. [Read more…]


Liberal Party Ad: What Do We Know About Bill Shorten And Labor?

As the election campaign enters its final week, the negative advertising is ramping up.

This 15-second ad by the Liberal Party appeared today. It targets Bill Shorten on the budget deficit, boat turnbacks and the Greens.

The ad is titled: “What Do We Know About Bill Shorten and Labor? [Read more…]


Cathy McGowan: I Voted With Government 90% Of The Time But Opposed Devastating Cuts

Cathy McGowan, the independent member for Indi, has released a television advertisement in which she “sets the record straight” on her voting record in parliament.

McGowan says she voted with the government 90% of the time but opposed “devastating cuts” to higher education, social services and youth allowance. She describes herself as local, effective and “fiercely independent”.

McGowan

With the election just over a week away, it is intriguing that McGowan feels the need to point out her voting record in parliament. It indicates possible criticism in the electorate, or uneasiness over who she would support in the event of a hung parliament. There could be a sense that she is too close to the ALP and/or Greens. [Read more…]


New Liberal Ad: Stick With The Current Mob For A While

The Liberal Party has released a new advertisement on the economy.

Titled Labor’s war on the economy will cost jobs, the ad features an overall-clad workman ruminating on the ALP’s “war” on the economy.

He concludes: “So I reckon we should just see it through and stick with the current mob for a while.”

The ad comes as the election campaign enters its final two weeks. [Read more…]