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The federal election is absorping more than its share of attention in Ozblogistan, and is certain to do so for the next two months. For those who care, there is feast of psephology at Poll Bludger, Simon Jackman’s Blog, Peter Brent’s Mumble, and Bryan Palmer’s Oz Politics. Down the foodchain from the psephologists, the commentators await each poll result, ready to venture an interpretation. For example, like many otheres, Tim Dunlop wondered what Tuesday’s Newspoll would mean for the Liberal leadership. When the numbers came down, government supporters reported a resurgence, but John Quiggin insisted that it was all a beat-up:
…if you started with the view that the true position was 57-43, neither this poll nor the last one would lead you to change this view.
The real question, according to John, is whether the respondents will do as they say.
Borrowing a graph from Peter Brent, Mark Bahnisch separated the trend form the wiggles and ignited a good comment thread on election possibilties. This is a well that won’t run dry.
If on the other hand you don’t care about the election, you don’t need to tune out for the duration: try this reflection, again from Tim Dunlop, on vengeance, forgiveness, and Sister Helen Prejean.
ML has been a bit short staffed lately, so this edition is less representative than usual. Contributors were Peter Black, Amanda Rose and James Farrell — with a final, generous contribution from tardy gilmae.
1. News and Politics Stuff
In the domain of federal politics, Andrew Landeryou warns against writing off the Coalition, believing there is a "real fight just around the corner"; whileTim Blair recalls where he has heard the "New Leadership" slogan before.
On the other side of the spectrum, Ken Lovell wonders if the Treasurer knows the meaning of the word policy, Mr Speaker; while Shaun Cronin points out the ineptitude of the government’s attempt to ‘wedge Labor as soft on Internet child molesters’ by means of its Net Alert campaign.
The ‘Senate sausage machine’, is speeding up, and Senator Bartlett suspects this indicates an early election.
MK is unimpressed with Senator Fielding’s proposal that parents should receive $10,000 baby bonus for their third child. Arleeshar at Stoush sees the Family First proposal as an updated version of an older scheme to replenish the white genepool, while Kim at LP hears echoes of the same idea in Costello’s exhortations to breed.
Mark Bahnisch thinks that the ‘cultural’ and family ‘values’ attributed to Australians are a concoction of Howard and his cheersquad of conservative commentators. Jesus will vote for Rudd.
Ken Lovell peers into the parallel universe where Hewson won in ’93, and one or two others.
APEC is not quite forgotten. John Quiggin argues that the Sydney Declaration on climate change, while meaningless in its own right, offers Howard a chance to ratify the Kyoto Protocol without losing face. Meanwhile, Atticus at LP notes that the inquiry into the missing police badges was, as anticipated, a sham.
Shifting the focus to state politices, Helen explains her shock decison not to vote for either the DLP or the Family First candidate in the Williamstown by-election.
In the international domain, opinions remain polarised on the subject of Iraq. Duckpond man wmmbb doubts that the Americans have learned the lessons of the British ‘peace-keeping’ mission in Basra; but MK argues that General Petraeus and his troops are getting the job done and that we should just let them get on with it.
At Australian Politics Howard’s nursing policy was examined.
Ken Parish continues his series on Australian federalism.
saint has a look at a page offered by Google, aggregating information relating to the Australian election.1.
Niall Cook discusses the aspects of a smear campaign that Mssrs Akerman, Boswell and Joyce would all rather you didn’t think about.
Cam Riley summarises, and links to, a podcast interview with Julian Burnside of Liberty Victoria
2. Life and Other Serious Stuff
A blogger killed in a road accident has been identified by iPod. Very sad news, but think of what someone reading that sentence ten years ago would have made of it.
Dr John Ray discusses some recent research on IQ.
Pavlov’s Cat admits to being disconcerted by Veronica Sywak’s revelations about human trafficking in the sex industry. tigtog picks up the topic, asking why prostitution doesn’t provoke the same outrage as other forms of ‘voluntary’ slavery.
tigtog solicits expert help in debunking Evolutionary Psychology, especially as used to rationalise misogynistic practices.
William Burroughs’ Baboon has a link to the disturbing – but no longer surprising – arrest of Lennox Yearwood on Youtube.
Apathetic Sarah reviews Brisbane’s Brewhouse in words and pictures.
Cam Riley casts a leary gaze over one of the less appealing characteristics of his – otherwise – political hero, Daniel Deniehy.
Vest notes the results of a study on the use of peanut butter in combating malnutrition. If Joh were around he’d be all smiles.
barista recounts a (perhaps verging on unethical) experiment on nature vs nuture.
Roger Merkel on dealing with abundant atmospheric particular matter in photography.
Peter Martin considers the implications of the large number of $100 bills in circulation. Or rather, not in circulation.
Andrew Leigh performs what appears to be his niche function in the Australian blogosphere, pointing readers towards interesting academic studies. Look, he’s at it again in the comments to a Nicholas Gruen post on DIY prediction markets! In response to Gruen’s post, Niall Cook goes and set one up to predict the winner of a car race.