Matt Hrkac's Blog
Photos: March on Esso
17 April 2018
Following a huge mass union delegates meeting which saw attendance in excess of 2,000 delegates; the unions marched on the Esso Australia offices in Southbank, Melbourne to stand in solidarity with picketing workers participating in the Esso Longford UGLy dispute. As of publishing, this dispute has been ongoing for more than 300 days. Here are some photos from the march and rally:
Never Tweet, Cr Trent McCarthy
06 April 2018
This was a tweet in response to mine that outed City of Darebin Greens Councillor Trent McCarthy as being one who was responsible for the undermining of Alex Bhathal's by-election for the seat of Batman:
If you support @Greens pls don’t feed this rubbish. Here’s what the party said: https://t.co/nCc91b2phW— Trent McCarthy (@trentmccarthy) March 1, 2018
I was on 774 on Tuesday affirming @alexbhathal as our endorsed candidate & arguing why Greens can win Batman. Whoever leaked has breached rules, put people at risk.
Yet, this, courtesy of The Age, drops today:
"Four Greens councillors in Melbourne’s inner-north, including the Mayor of Darebin, have been confirmed as among the 18 party members who tried to take out their own candidate for the recent Batman byelection before the race had even started. Darebin Mayor Kim Le Cerf and councillors Trent McCarthy, Steph Amir and Susanne Newton face calls for their expulsion from the Greens over their alleged roles in the sabotage of the failed campaign of candidate Alex Bhathal."
When I tweeted calling out McCarthy as one of the possible perpetrators of the leaks against Alex Bhathal - I knew I was right about my assumptions. This merely confirms it.
Never tweet, McCarthy. Never tweet.
#LibSpill is on: Peter Dutton, Prime Minister?
05 April 2018
If you thought that Prime Minister Tony Abbott was bad, it could be about to get a whole lot worse.
BREAKING: A L/NP party member says a meeting has been called for 10am Monday. Julie Bishop will re-nominate as Deputy. Reports are Peter Dutton’s staff are working numbers to take the leadership #auspol— Andrew Jaffrey (@AndrewJaffrey) April 5, 2018
(A reminder too that Malcolm Turnbull hasn't even lost his 30th Newspoll in a row yet; but that will come next week)
Abbott was a bumbling idiot. Peter Dutton is actually a smart and conniving political operator who knows what he is doing. I think we can all determine just who is more dangerous.
God help us if Peter Dutton becomes Prime Minister. God, help us.
More Australians than ever identify as Left
05 April 2018
According to the latest Australian Election Study, which has been conducted following every Federal Election since 1987, more Australians than ever are describing themselves as on the political left. Since 1996:
Granted, more still identify as being centrist, but that figure is in decline - give it a couple more election cycles and those identifying as left will outnumber those who identify as being in the centre. Those who identify as 'right' has not changed at all over the years.
Granted, also, those identifying as "left" could very well range from your more liberal Liberals right though to Marxists - however, it is now becoming very apparent that people want more progressive politics.
This is arguably reflected in Labor's left-ish lurch in recent years from their slump to the right pre 2013; but it boggles the mind that there are still some who insist on pandering to centrist positions.
Di Natale 'not Bob Brown', Batman voters say
01 April 2018
Granted, it was a Labor commissioned survey, but it is none the less quite telling:
... responders in the Melbourne [Batman] electorate describing the Greens leader in negative terms such as “aggressive”, “disappointing”, “arrogant”, “smarmy”, “confused” and “not Bob Brown”.
... with some responders associating the Greens leader with “disunity”, “infighting”, “complaint”, “bullying” and “secrets”.
I said in the aftermath of the Batman by-election that Di Natale's pitch to right-wing voters over dividend imputation is what cost the Greens the election. This merely confirms my analysis.
The response from Di Natale's spokesperson is also very telling:
“This so-called ‘polling’ says far more about the Labor Party’s growing anxieties about the Greens in the inner city than anything else.”
Dismiss it as they will as some sort of 'Labor conspiracy', but they should know this: there are numerous people on the left; not just within the Labor Party but many non party aligned, members of smaller left wing parties and even people within the Greens who feel exactly the same way about Di Natale's leadership as this polling indicates.
Photos: #BigStepsNow childcare educators walkout
27 March 2018
More than 6,500 early childhood educators in more than 5,000 early childcare centres walked off the job today over poor pay. 1,000 of those workers rallied in Melbourne. Childcare workers remain among the lowest paid professionals in Australia, mainly because the sector is women-dominated and its historic association with 'women's work'.
The nationwide day of action was staged by United Voice. View the full photo album.
Photos: Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) Lorne actions
26 March 2018
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) coordinated a series of actions to coincide with the Victorian Transport Association's 2018 Annual Conference in Lorne over the 19th and 20th of March.
The unions were protesting against the Victorian Transport Association's support for the Victorian International Container Terminal (VICT) during the MUA dispute. VICT is owned by Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), which operates in countries known to be “the worst countries in the world to work in” and where workers have “no guarantee of rights”.
Here are a few photos from the actions:
Photos from the Palm Sunday 2018 Melbourne Walk for Justice for Refugees. View the full photo album.
Geelong Council Elections 2017: counting time
02 November 2017
Counting for the 2017 City of Greater Geelong Council Elections is finally underway.
As far as possible outcomes are concerned, as reported in the local media, there is a clear front-runner in each ward who are almost certain to be elected to Council; those being Eddy Kontelj in Brownbill Ward, Stephanie Asher in Bellarine Ward, Bruce Harwood in Kardinia Ward and Anthony Aitken in Windermere Ward. All are above or nearing a quota in their own right in their respective wards.
The unpredictability of this election will come down to the lack of any pattern or consistency with regards to preferences. There is a slight tendency for voters giving their first preference to right-leaning candidates to preference other centre-right candidates over left-leaning candidates; however, voters voting for left-leaning candidates tend to be preferencing more conservatively - that is, voting '1' for one of the left-leaning candidates, then ranking one or more of the right-leaning candidates higher over the other left-leaning candidates.
This even rings true to those who ran on tickets - for example, in Brownbill Ward, people voting '1' for Sue Bull, who ran with Sarah Hathway for Socialist Alliance, are not putting the latter at number 2, and the same is true for those voting for Sarah Hathway not putting Sue Bull at number 2. On the contrary, people voting for Eddy Kontelj tend to be putting Freya Fidge at number 2, and vice versa, which formed a basis for their respective campaigns.
The lack of tight preferencing discipline on the progressive side, and the more disciplined preferencing on the conservative side comes down to the fact that most of the more conservative candidates had more money at their disposal for advertisements and promotions than most of the progressive candidates did. This allowed them to get their preference recommendations out to voters more effectively.
It will also pose the biggest problem for progressive candidates getting elected. In Brownbill Ward, for instance, Greens endorsed candidate Sarah Mansfield will likely take out 15%+ of the first preference vote - placing second on primaries but well below a quota (25%), however, without a strong direct flow of preferences, which on early indications she is unlikely to receive for the reasons mentioned above, she will likely be pipped for the final seat by another candidate - likely Michael King - who is getting strong preference flows. Both Freya Fidge and Peter Murrihy are also benefiting heavily from strong reference flows.
In any case, below are my predictions as to who will get elected in each ward. As you can see, it will be a rather conservative council with one or two progressive voices.
- Stephanie Asher ✔
- Jim Mason ✔
- Anne Brackley X
- Eddy Kontelj ✔
- Peter Murrihy ✔
- Michael King X
- Bruce Harwood ✔
- Ron Nelson ✔
- Pat Murnane ✔
- Anthony Aitken ✔
- Kylie Grzybek ✔
But, we will know for sure by this Saturday.
Update: Successfully calling 9 out of 11 isn't bad.