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Good news in Indi

(by Ray Dixon – suffering under Sophie for 12 years)

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It might be too small a sample (yet) to be conclusive, but going by the early results of the Border Mail’s survey of voters in the north-east Victoria electorate of Indi (where I live), Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella’s 12 years-of-doing-nothing for those she is supposed to represent may well indeed be about to come to an end on September 7. According to the survey:

Nearly 90% of voters rate Sophie Mirabella’s performance as “poor” or “very poor”.

Mirabella is under serious threat for what has always been considered a very safe Coalition seat … but not from the ALP. The independent Cathy McGowan seems certain to capture a large slice of the vote and, with what will clearly be the lion’s share of preferences (both Labor and the Greens are preferencing McGowan second and Mirabella last), it’s just possible she could finally rid Australia of its most obnoxious Parliamentarian yet.

I’m one of those who will certainly be voting for McGowan, as she’s clearly head and shoulders over all other candidates in terms of someone who is first and foremost interested in doing something for the local area rather than waffling on and making a goose of herself about national issues like Sophie does. And that’s despite the fact McGowan herself has strong ties to the conservative side of politics, is a former Liberal Party member and is rumoured to be heavily backed by the National Party and even by some Liberal members.

You see, Mirabella is not liked by either side and I get the distinct impression that even her own party wouldn’t mind if she was dumped for the more palatable option of the articulate and considerate McGowan. It’s sure going to be one of the more interesting contests in this election.

And the Border’s survey also has some encouraging signs for Kevin Rudd, like this one that says 66% of voters rate Labor’s performance as “satisfactory”, “good” or “excellent”: 

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indi-survey-2

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And, likewise, 65% approve of Rudd’s performance:

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indi-survey-3

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The news is not so good for Tony Abbott though, with over 75% rating his performance as “poor” or “very poor”:

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indi-survey-4

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Okay, you can’t read too much into an online survey but I’ll keep monitoring this and bring you the final results.

After all,  it wouldn’t be any less indicative than those ‘Robotpolls’ by Lonergan that News Ltd (and The Sandpit) keep using.

Fingers crossed that we’re seeing Sophie go down … whoa, what a thought!

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94 Comments

  1. James says:

    Gosh Ray, I’d hate to think that you might be using some Newspapers obscure survey or poll to try and make some sort of point here. No, you wouldn’t do that, you’re the one who is so vocal about such surveys and polls aren’t you…..

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    The point seems to be making itself, James, but in any case I’ve clearly qualified my comment by pointing out the (so far) small sample and the fact it’s an online poll. I guess you missed those bits.

  3. Iain Hall says:

    I too note the small sample size and that this is a self selecting online survey which is the least reliable type of survey of all.

  4. Ray Dixon says:

    Indi is not in Tasmania, Iain. Are you sure you’re on the right thread?

    Anyway, that Border Mail sample is a bit bigger now – and still Sophie’s rating 88% “poor” or very poor”. I reckon it says something.

  5. GD says:

    Here’s a poll you can trust.

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    Got a book on Indi, GD? Wanna bet on Sophie there?

  7. GD says:

    Got a book on Indi, GD? Wanna bet on Sophie there?

    Well I would but apparently there’s no book on Sophie.

    Indi (VIC): (Liberal 9.0%)

    There is no betting here, with feisty Sophie Mirabella having held the seat since 2001 and likely to increase her margin. The north-east Victorian seat extending down from Wodonga is out of Labor’s reach, and while Ms Mirabella is often despised by her political opponents, it is also one of her strengths at the ballot box. Libs quote is $1.05!

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    Try Sportsbet, GD. The one you’re quoting obviously hasn’t heard that Sophie’s likely to be beaten by an Independent. You can still get $3.60 on McGowan but I reckon it’s shortening every day.

  9. Ray Dixon says:

    Much bigger sample now in the ‘Battle for Indi’ (777 votes cast) and, oh look, Sophie’s improved her position –

    Now, only 86% of voters think her performance has been “poor” or “very poor” :
    .

    .
    At this rate, come election day, she might even get, oh …… 20% of the vote?

  10. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    its still a SELF Selecting online survey and I bet that there is no way of telling if its only voters in Indi who have been answering or if some people of your opinion have been voting multiple times. In other words its not that credible.
    If it gives you some transient comfort well you enjoy that while you can because I suspect that come Sept 8 you may be less happy

  11. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, you can’t vote “multiple times”. Not on the same computer. As for credibility of the poll, it’s so overwhelmingly anti-Sophie that it has to mean something. My prediction is that McGowan will go very close to actually outpolling Mirabella on primaries. Even if she’s slightly behind, she’ll overtake her on preferences. Believe me, Iain, Sophie is on the nose big time here and even the conservative side are openly supporting McGowan.

  12. Iain Hall says:

    I’m sure you can if you use proxies Ray and or clear your cookies. None the less its still a self selecting survey which means its not at all representative.

  13. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, I don’t use proxies and I wouldn’t even know how to. The only people who do that are the shitheads like Lygo et al. I seriously doubt Lygo and his kind are clicking on the Border Mail’s website to participate in this survey so, come on, it’s looking like a real trend – Sophie might lose her seat.

  14. Simon says:

    The campaign in Indi to become the conservative squeaky wheel instead of a safe lap-dog has worked surprisingly well. I agree with pretty much everything Ray has said; it’s looking like Cathy has a real chance to take Sophie out on preferences – which I’ll maintain wasn’t the original aim but I’ve yet to meet someone locally (even though I spend most of my time in Albury) who doesn’t think this wouldn’t be a good idea.

    True or not the perception is Sophie hasn’t spent a sufficient amount of time round Wodonga, Wangaratta, Bright etc, whenever she’s seen on tv she’s having a go at someone or other (you can’t be Mr. Negative all the time), and issues like the appalling train (bus) service to Melbourne and access to a proper level of heath funding just hasn’t been coming. Susan Ley is lucky the electorate of Farrer is such a large area or she might also be suffering a similar fate from the NSW side of the Murray.

    From my understanding talk of this being a Nationals plot isn’t true and doesn’t give credit to a grass roots movement that hopefully will be copied in other “safe” seats in Australia’s States and Federal systems next time. The McGowan’s are a large, well connected, and influential family – but just because an area readily identifies with conservative values it doesn’t mean it has to slavishly continue to support the only big political party in town that claims to want to represent you and your community’s needs – but promptly forgets all about you until another two and a half years pass by.

  15. Simon says:

    PS, and just how much of a cot-case is the ALP at the moment? The Tony Winsor robo-calling is another nail in their coffin: http://www.bordermail.com.au/story/1742234/phone-message-sparks-dirty-tricks-claims-audio/?cs=53

  16. Ray Dixon says:

    Well summed up, Simon. I guess Iain just doesn’t want to hear that the coalition could actually lose a seat it holds at this election.

    The momentum for McGowan has been astounding and I’d suggest she’s going up by about 1% of the vote per day. And seeing it’s a 5-week campaign, that could see her with 35% primary vote … and that’d be enough to win on preferences.

    As for Labor, they’ve always been a basket case in this electorate. The calibre of the candidates they’ve put up (in both Indi and neighbouring Farrer) tends to reflect how little they value their prospects here.

  17. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    my problem with your argument is that the survey is not representative of the greater whole that it seeks to represent. To be valid an opinion poll has to have a sample that is selected at random from the target population, and there are various methods to make a suitable selection so that the views evident in your sample are consistent with the views of the whole population. When you have a self selecting survey what you get is those who are passionate about the subject (either for or against) stepping up more often to participate and they therefore give a far less accurate read of the matter being surveyed.Thus a self selecting survey of the sort run in newspapers are generally considered very unscientific and rather worthless when it comes to judging a pubic opinion.

    Also I was not suggesting that YOU had used proxies or voted multiple times only that it is not that hard to do if one is motivated enough to try.

    Finally there is not even a way that the survey filters out people from outside the electorate participating which meant that when I checked it out I was able to do the survey and I’m from Queensland in an age of social media its not hard to mobilise a lot of Sophie haters nation wide to skew the results.

  18. Ray Dixon says:

    Face it, Iain, if the results showed Sophie with 88% approval you’d be singing a different tune. It looks like Indi is a loss for the coalition.

  19. Iain Hall says:

    No Ray I would be just as full of scorn for that sort of survey as I am now. In fact its the size of the anti Sophie score makes it unbelievable

  20. Ray Dixon says:

    its the size of the anti Sophie score makes it unbelievable

    Around here, we say: “It’s the size of Sophie that’s unbelievable”

  21. James says:

    Ray, you really should have a reality check taken by your doctor.

    Now we know you like to keep up with all the latest figures so take a look at this shot, it’s the very latest up to the minute betting odds on the seat of Indi, no not just one betting mob a heap of them;

  22. Ray Dixon says:

    I’m not sure what your point is but $3.50 on McGowan is a good bet and you should get on it, James.

  23. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    The point is that another type of survey ( the betting odds) contradicts your Border mail survey by suggesting that Sophie is the favourite to win the seat
    Also its seriously Being suggested that Labor could end up with less than sixty seats

  24. Ray Dixon says:

    Those bets would have been placed Australia-wide, Iain, by people who just thought Indi is a safe coalition seat (which it’s always been). But the punters outside Indi aren’t here and don’t know what’s going on locally. I’d say that Mirabella & McGowan are equal favourites.

    As for the overall results, let’s wait until the next FULL opinion polls. There hasn’t been one for over a week.

  25. Simon says:

    Today’s Border Mail made for some interesting reading. Apparently Cathy is on track to break the previous record of $120,000 odd raised by an independent standing for Parliament, and her full page ad about health funding wad compelling. There was an extra page of letters to the editor devoted to Cathy v. Sophie and it was pretty evenly split (of course not necessarily a reflection on actual numbers of letters received, but does give the impression its going to be closer than we might have thought even two weeks ago).

  26. Richard Ryan says:

    Under an Abbott led government, suicide would become an epidemic.

  27. Ray Dixon says:

    And she’s spending it too, Simon.

    Look at today’s Border Mail home page.

    This Cathy McGowan for Indi thing has a real head of steam and Sophie looks like being rolled by it:
    .

  28. Simon says:

    Sportsbet was paying $3.25 for “Any Other Indi” candidate last night. Tonight: $2.10

  29. Ray Dixon says:

    Yes Simon, and tonight’s Prime TV News reported: “Mirabella likely to lose her seat”. I hope so.

  30. Simon says:

    I hope people aren’t getting annoyed with my updates, like I do by Tom Waterhouse popping up during the league and union matches.

    “Any Other (Indi VIC)” is currently $1.80, “Coalition (Indi VIC)” $1.90. If you think Sophie is going to win now’s the time to take a punt ’cause I don’t think you’ll get better odds. But take it from a couple of locals, sentiment tends to be people want Sophie gone and Cathy appears to at least be interested in what the communities desperately need. Of course once people turn up to vote, ignore the names and see Liberal or Independent we may get a surprise.

  31. Ray Dixon says:

    You’re hardly annoying, Simon, and thanks for that update. I’ve noticed how McGowan has got stronger in her delivery and message throughout this campaign – it’s like she’s been buoyed by all the support and has grown into the job. This thing has got its own head of steam now and you can certainly tell the Liberals are worried when Tony Abbott intervenes and goes on our local radio pushing for Sophie as he did today. Their polling must be telling them she’s well behind and they are getting very desperate now. Win or lose, at least we’re going to see Sophie being the only coalition MP to record a swing against her. My estimate is it’ll be a 20% swing and that would well & truly see her gone. She brought it on herself by ignoring the electorate and by her aggressive behaviour.

  32. James says:

    The way a political representative responds to the electorate is tied to the quality of the constituents in that electorate. Food for thought.

  33. Ray Dixon says:

    Shove it, James.

  34. Simon says:

    17.34% of the Indi vote counted. MIRABELLA 47.29% MCGOWEN 32.13%

  35. Ray Dixon says:

    This is looking okay. Rudd has indeed “saved the furniture” and there appears to be no massive wipeout.

    The Coaltion were always going to win this but Rudd has reduced the size of the loss.

    As for Indi, it’s looking very close. Sophie ain’t home yet.

    Byron … SHUT UP you moron.

  36. Simon says:

    Now a third of the way, MIRABELLA 44.84% MCGOWAN 31.45% Predictions have previously been that if it goes to preferences Cathy will win.

  37. Ray Dixon says:

    I hope you’re right, Simon. As at the moment there’s no certainty re Indi and it’s ‘down to the wire’.

  38. Simon says:

    Having Sophie return with a margin of a few hundred votes might be the best outcome for the area though. It’s unlikely she would only want to stay for the one more term, especially as she’s likely to have a seat at the big table, and while it’s questionable the “Voice for Indi” moment would be able to replicate that level of fundraising again – perhaps Sophie might recognise she’s had a near political-death experience and now lift her game so this doesn’t happen again.

  39. Ray Dixon says:

    Indi’s still undecided, Simon, and McGowan may win it yet.

  40. Simon says:

    I find it hard to understand why if the AEC were going to work out the 2PP on election night in Indi between the liberal and labor candidates did the then say it was between Mirabella and McGowan. Surely someone must have noticed what was happening – and I’m sure if they had just noted that that was the case and to work out the proper 2PP it was going to come later we would have understood.

    Anyway, looks like McGowan is currently ahead. Final result in a week or so.

  41. Ray Dixon says:

    McGowan still leading Mirabella by 775 votes:

    McGOWAN, Cathy Independent 37,940 50.52%
    MIRABELLA, Sophie Liberal 37,165 49.48%

    She’s also getting the majority of pre-poll votes that are still being counted:

    McGOWAN, Cathy Independent 1,458 51.76%
    MIRABELLA, Sophie Liberal 1,359 48.24%

    But it’s the postal votes that might decide the outcome and they’re going to Mirabella on 2PP about 57 – 43%

    McGOWAN, Cathy Independent 826 42.58%
    MIRABELLA, Sophie Liberal 1,114 57.42%

  42. Ray Dixon says:

    UPDATE: CONTROVERSY IN THE COUNT

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-11/misplaced-votes-extend-mcgowans-lead-over-mirabella-in-indi/4951666

    The Australian Electoral Commission has confirmed it has found 1,000 misplaced votes in favour of independent candidate Cathy McGowan for the northern Victorian seat of Indi.

    Liberal frontbencher Sophie Mirabella is battling to hold on to her seat, which she held by a margin of 9 per cent in the face of a strong challenge from Ms McGowan.

    The votes will see Ms McGowan’s lead extended to 1,700 votes on a two-candidate preferred basis.

    The votes were found at the Wangaratta pre-polling station after the AEC revealed there were 1,000 more Senate votes lodged at the station than those for the House of Representatives.

    The AEC says the votes were counted on the night but not entered into the computer system.

    Steve Kennedy from the AEC says an administration error is to blame for the discrepancy.

    “On the McGowan box of first preference votes a one was put there instead of a two so it was 1115 rather than 2115,” he said.

  43. Simon says:

    I dont think there will be any big conspiracy here, just human error that has been identified and corrected. It has made the race to the finish exciting again!

  44. Simon says:

    Latest tally: McGowan 39,675 (50.93%), Mirabella 38,230 (49.07%). 100 of 103 polling places returned, 83.15% turnout.

  45. Ray Dixon says:

    Breaking news:

    Sophie Mirabella quits her frontbench role as she continues to trail Cathy McGowan in the seat of Indi

    Federal Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella has ruled herself out of the race for a frontbench role as uncertainty continues over her parliamentary future.

    … Mrs Mirabella says given the circumstances, she has spoken with Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott about her position on the Coalition frontbench.

    “It is now time that our new Prime Minister has absolute freedom to select his new front bench,” she said in a statement.

    “As my own future in the Parliament is not assured, I have asked that I not be considered for selection.”

    ….. With Mrs Mirabella’s departure from the frontbench, foreign minister-elect Julie Bishop will be the only woman in Cabinet unless there is a broader reshuffle.

    This is tantamount to Mirabella conceding defeat, although the result is still not certain. Either way, at least it means she won’t get the high position she simply doesn’t deserve. And, the way it’s looking, she will no longer be the member for Indi. Good riddance, if that’s the case.

  46. Richard Ryan says:

    Thanks for the great news Ray, Snigger Snigger, ” Beware Of Greeks Bearing Gifts”—–Sophie will be looking for another sucker to milk his estate off, big slob that she is, but good for a laugh on Q&A.

  47. Ray Dixon says:

    If she loses, Richard, she’ll still have a sizeable Parliamentary pension, which she’ll need … to support her no-hoper husband.

  48. James says:

    Very Gracious of her.

    Indi by politicalalert

  49. Ray Dixon says:

    There’s nothing gracious about Sophie Mirabella. Even her colleagues are describing yesterday’s statement that she not be considered for a Cabinet position, as a pre-emptive strike. In other words, if she hadn’t quit the front bench, she’d have been dumped anyway. Even if she does win her seat. She has no class whatsoever and we will be well rid of her.

  50. James says:

    She speaks very highly of you too .. NOT

  51. Ray Dixon says:

    Yeah, well I’m not surprised about that. It’s been suggested to me by quite a few people that the blog I ran until April this year (Alpine Opinion) in no small way contributed to her unpopularity. I started calling for an Independent to replace her 2 years ago due to her poor performance and when the Colin Howard matter became public, that was the last straw. I know for fact the blog was monitored by her staffers and that some of them even commented there under aliases – all with nasty personas btw. If I in any way helped to inspire her downfall, that’s something I’m quite proud of.

  52. Tony says:

    Don’t know what you guys are getting excited about.
    Even if she does lose, especially with “missing ballots” being found, the loser will automatically demand a recount ?
    Ah politics, don’t you just love it ?
    😉

  53. James says:

    Eden Monaro now a Labor loss; Capriconia now a Labor loss; McEwan now looking like a Labor loss and Blowhard Palmer could still miss out.

    Ah politics, don’t you just love it ? 😉

  54. GD says:

    I started calling for an Independent to replace her

    Well, Ray, it seems your ‘independent’ candidate isn’t as independent as you reckoned.

    Cathy McGowan is running for the seat under false pretences.

    Although she presents herself as a dinky-di local farmer who was recruited by a local grassroots organisation called “Voice 4 Indi”, the reality is very different.

    McGowan is a far-left green activist.

    Rather than offering better representation for Indi, McGowan is in on record as supporting:

    * reducing carbon dioxide emissions
    * stopping coal exports to China
    * encouraging multiculturalism
    * increasing foreign aid

    Hardly the stuff of local rural representation.

    Clearly this rabid green politician is fighting Mirabella for the Lower House vote rather than working for the residents of Indi.

    A vote for McGowan, should she win, means two ultra-left wing seats in the House of Representatives.

    McGowan won’t vote with Labor, she’ll vote with the Greens.

    Well done, Ray.

  55. Simon says:

    I’ve read the same article as well GD, and my conclusion was it was written by a sore loser from an extreme right wing religious fundamentalist stance. I think you can identify as being conservative and be worried about CO2 emissions (and not support a carbon tax), and not be the sort of person filming patients and blocking their path if they’ve decided to, or for medical reasons have to, abort their pregnancy. Pieter Mourik was rural doctor of the year for 2010 and there would be many thousand mothers and babies in the region alive because of his work over the decades as he wad the obstetrician they called for at Wodonga Hospital when the labour got in to trouble.

  56. Tony says:

    Again guys, you are getting carried away, without looking at the big picutre.
    The libs will have at least a twenty seat majority acording to the tally room, (http://vtr.aec.gov.au/Default.htm) who cares whether Indi is represented by whomever ?

    Whoever wins the seat, unless lib, which is unlikely, will be irrelevent in the new house anyway.

    The Greens have only one other seat, by the above tally, so they will be told, and about time to, to sit down the back, and shut tf up.

  57. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, please don’t put in links to nut jobs with conspiracy theories like that idiot @ Liberty Australia, who claims Cathy McGowan is a green activist and a radical feminist based on no evidence at all. I read the blog and it’s total crap. McGowan a Green Lefty? Mate, I’ve met the lady and she’s a straight-down-the-line social conservative. Mirabella, on the other hand, is an extreme right-wing hate mongerer. No wonder you like her.

  58. Ray Dixon says:

    who cares whether Indi is represented by whomever ?

    I do, Tony.

  59. Tony says:

    That is why I iterated who cares ?

    In the grand scheme of things Ray, it now doesn’t matter. Whoever wiins the seat, will have absolutely no say, in the running of this lower house, in the current term of parliament !

    Now it is time for labor, as well as the Greens, to quietly skulk off into opposition, where they will sit, day in day out, sulking, and hope to God, Abbott will stuff it all up. That is quite on the cards to happen sooner or later, and labor had better be on the ball to take advantage of it, or else they will spend the next twenty bloody years warming the back benches ?

  60. Ray Dixon says:

    It does matter. This electorate has never had so much attention and won’t be taken for granted again – that’s what it means. The Liberals do not have such a majority that they can afford to ignore the opposition, either – especially in the Senate.

  61. Tony says:

    Sure, you’re right there. It is not only the case in your seat, but now, for all supposed labor seats (or liberal for that matter), the voter will never be taken advantage again. We all hope anyway. The pollies though, always forget this lesson very quickly.

    As for the dragging up of Mc Gowan’s supposed history et al, she has a great chance here.
    She can either revert, and confirm that history, alienate herself to be a one term member, or she can pull her head in, and truly represent your community, as any good pollie should ? If that happens, she could cement herself a spot in parliament for a lifetime ?

    BTW ?
    The entire house does not treat the electorate as lemmings anymore. There is no such thing as a sure safe seat anymore. Labor proved that way back in 72 ffs ? How many libs walked away from politics then, truly shell shocked ?

    As for the senate ?
    It looks as though labor, with all the ‘other’ ratbags, could have control there, but that’s hardly anything new, for an incumbent government to have a hostile senate ffs. Labor had hostile senates for years ?

    Be interesting to see what happens there though. Personally, I think they will toe the line, at least until a policy is put before them, that would crucify them at the next poll ? That is where it all could come to grief ?

  62. Ray Dixon says:

    This was a Liberal seat, Tony. It’s only been won by Labor once – in 1928 when the conservative incumbent forgot to nominate.

    McGowan does not have to answer the allegations in that obscure and radical right-wing blog GD linked to. That’d be like having to answer GD himself – a self-confessed extreme right muslim-basher.

    I actually think McGowan’s (likely) win against all the odds in Indi might inspire a few more Independent campaigns in future and what we’ll see is the emergence of a 3rd force, being people like her.

    As for taking electorates like Indi for granted, well the fact is Tony Abbott did not even bother to visit this electorate during the campaign, even though it was well known from the Liberal’s own polling that Mirabella was in danger. If he’d come here for just one day and toured a few towns I reckon it would have been enough to get her over the line but he never showed up and probably didn’t even know where it was. Oh, he did phone the local ABC Radio station on the Friday before election day and spoke for 5 minutes in her support. What a guy.

  63. Tony says:

    McGowan does not have to answer the allegations in that obscure and radical right-wing blog GD linked to. That’d be like having to answer GD himself – a self-confessed extreme right muslim-basher.

    I agree. I also read GD’s link, and other than inuendo, supposed facts, there was not one link to substantiate any of their dribble.
    Obviously, they had another candidate in mind for the job ?

    As for Abbott. Hell, he can’t be everywhere. It wasn’t a real long campaign, and his main job would have been to get to as many real swinging seats, as often as he could. Like all time critical exercises, someone generally misses out. I think we got his presence, for about five minutes, for the whole campaign, and that was about it ? You at least got to hear him on local radio, we didn’t. Not that it matters all that much, we all knew he was a shoe in anyway.

  64. Simon says:

    You’re right in many respects Tony, but I think the 2013 Indi result (whatever the final outcome) reflects the continuing shifting of power back to a constituency through social media and micro financing via the internet. I’d hazard a guess and say all the readers here recognise that fair competition in any field (business, research, entertainment) is important and so to with politics. Nothing worse than a stagnant monopoly providing the same stale product and lip-service just because it can, and now in Indi, and other electorates in Australia in similar circumstances there is a working model for how to establish some real choices and remove the non performers.

    Indi, Farrer, and other districts that exist outside of the state capitals do it tough on some relatively minor matters that people in the larger centres take for granted. As “Voice for Indi” recognised having a more frequent and reliable slow train service (not even talking bullet trains) would be great economically for tourism coming from Melbourne and Sydney; and you can’t have every medical condition catered for locally – but at least it would make it easier for locals and their families to travel to get help.

    The perception was Sophie Mirabella, the Woolworths franchise national-conservative option, like quite a few others, would only be seen or contactable if she wanted your vote come election time. And at the start of the campaign there was even doubt she was going to bother to turn up to the candidate debate-forums being organised, again being too busy nationally helping other Liberal candidates win their seats. I’ve heard the argument made: Would Sophie have even received the votes she did get if she had also run as an independent? Purely hypothetical, but I think reflects that general sentiment isn’t 50:50 like the vote counting.

    The role of an independent in Parliament isn’t to be a king-maker, holding the Country to ransom with some weird policy request. It also isn’t that if you’re not in Government then you’re powerless and not going to get anything achieved. It’s to represent your constituents. Be that phone number or email address a local can contact if they’re having no luck with the bureaucracy and hopefully facilitate some progress in their personal or Community needs. Yes it’s a lot of shit-eating work, not nearly as prestigious as being a Minster or shadow-minister – which are also important for the Country’s national interest, but we don’t all live in Western Sydney worried daily about scores of Tamils, Iranians and Afghanis sailing off for Australia in the high seas. Maybe one a week or fortnight.

    The other important role Cathy McGowan has played, whether she’s successful or not, is to place a target over Indi for next election for the professionally run political parties. She might not get the trains running or more medical funding for the area, but in three years there’ll be some firm commitments with costing coming from the major party candidates with what they will achieve if voted in as the member and in Government. I personally think Cathy should now put herself forward as the Liberal or Nationals candidate for Indi in a year or so. Unlikely, I think this would be the smart move if she discovers she does like being a politician.

  65. Ray Dixon says:

    Well said, Simon, although I hope she doesn’t join one of the majors.

    Contrary to that article of GD’s, McGowan has conservative links, having previously worked for a Liberal MP and being backed by Nat Party identities such as Tim Fischer & Ken Jasper. My assessment of her is that she’s a mix of left & right political views and that suits me fine. But I hope she stays fiercely independent of party politics and does what she said she’d do – be a real voice for this sadly neglected electorate.

    Btw, if Sophie had run as an independent, I reckon she’d have struggled to outpoll the Sex Party candidate.

  66. Ray Dixon says:

    Nonetheless, Tony, Abbott knew early on in the campaign that Mirabella was under serious threat and his lack of any visible support for her suggests he’d rather concentrate on those swinging city seats that hoof it all the way out to the ‘sticks’ of North east Vic. He basically gave up on her and decided it didn’t matter if they lost Indi, as there were plenty of others to gain. Truth be known, he’s actually better off not having Sophie Mirabella on his front bench.

  67. Tony says:

    You’re right Simon. Any member, not in government is there to represent those that put them there, not, arrogantly, themselves, nor their friends or their interests ?

    A classic example of how it should be done, was when Joe Hockey was manager for opposition business. Gee he was a delight to watch in full flight. Not in government, but still in there, day after day, shooting barbs across the table, keeping Rudd and Co on their toes. In that regard, he was extremely successful.

    Only in the last thirty odd years, the average voter, has come to the conclusion that these people (of either party ?), were starting to get extremely arrogant, or put across the image of being arrogant. Keating was the wake up call. We, collectively, stood up to that very quickly, and through the ballot box, told them all, that they were on notice, that we weren’t going to accept that sort of behaviour.

    It appears, at least from what Ray has told us, (and I have no first hand information from any other source that would detract from Ray’s view ? 😉 )., that indeed Mirabella made that first, biggest mistake in politics. That is, totally put down, and worse, totally and arrogantly, ignore those that put you there in the first place ?

    Even though I voted liberal this time, I say bully for Indi, serves her bloody right !

  68. Tony says:

    Another classic example is not only am I going to contest the next election, I’m gonna win it Joolia Gillard.
    Hmm, wonder what she is doing now ?

  69. GD says:

    a self-confessed extreme right muslim-basher.

    self-confessed?

  70. Tony says:

    Seeing the reports of Ms Gillard’s “brain explosion” on the news tonight, no wonder labor got trounced.
    Arrogantly blaming it all on Rudd ?

    There is someone who desperately needs to stop looking in the mirror, or better still, look into that mirror, without the rose coloured glasses on.
    Want to know why labor loss Ms Gillard, look deep into that mirror, because your the reason why this labor voter didn’t vote labor this time, and guarantee I wasn’t the only one, with the same reasoning.

    Nothing like a woman scorned.
    Ms Gillard one piece of advice for you.
    Skulk back into private life, without opening your okker mouth again, and the second ?

    Get the hell over it, and get a life. Politics just is not your gig !

  71. Ray Dixon says:

    GD, it’s self evident if not “self confessed”.

    Tony, that’s one point I absolutely agree with you on – this election was lost by Julia Gillard, not Kevin Rudd. Julia Gillard did all the damage to Labor back in 2010 and then continued to undermine Rudd as a diversion from her own poor performance. Rudd did all he could be expected to do, given the short time he had to prevent the wipeout that Gillard had set them up for. Now she wants to rewrite history? Get stuffed.

  72. Tony says:

    Thanks Ray, and your right as well.

    Gillard is trying to rewrite history, putting the blame on everyone else, but herself, and her shifty little treasurer mate ?

    Rudd had no hope, we all said that right here, on these pages. The damage was just too extensive, and permanent to repair in the short time he had. That is why she just skulked off into the wilderness. I don’t know what she is thinking, by coming out this quick after the disaster. What does she expect ? All of us to bow at her feet, saying that she is our saviour after all ?
    Hell, woman, not bloody likely.

    Put that ugly snout, back under the rock you crawled out of, and go back to ambulance chasing.
    Thank God, your political days ARE DONE !
    😉

  73. Tony says:

    BTW Ms Gillard, your attempt to rewrite history in your favour will not work either.
    The electorate at large just is not that stupid any more.

    Should have done yourself a favour, (and the party you were supposed to be serving, and has paid your bills for all these years), and kept your okker mouth closed.

  74. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    The whole last six years under Labor have been a bloody disaster for the country and you have to be blind to think that Rudd was in any sense markedly better than Gillard; both had flaws and althouw those flaws were quite differnt the final result was the same under both of them Fuck up after fuck up. Personally I put it down to the propensity from Labor to utopian thinking whcih makes them despertate to change things and to try to fix that which is not actaully broken.
    As for Abbott’s ability to me a a Good PM I think that his experience running the health department with quiet comptemptence and teh way that he has galvinised the colaition to win so convincingly over the last three years demonstrates the sort of dicipline that will serve him well as PM

  75. Ray Dixon says:

    The whole last six years under Labor have been a bloody disaster for the country

    Really, Iain? The arse has dropped out of our economy, has it? There are 1 million+ unemployed, soup kitchen lines a mile long and people like GD are busking on the street singing “Buddy can you spare a dime ….. for a falafel”?

    I think not, Iain. I think you exaggerate greatly. Just like Abbott did. Then again, if you’re right, why the hell hasn’t Abbott done anything about it yet? Or even said anything about it?

    Yeah, that’s some crisis, mate. That’s some “disaster” that Labor left us. Yeah, right.

  76. GD says:

    GD, it’s self evident if not “self confessed”

    So if it’s not ‘self-confessed’ please retract your slur. Publicly, on this blog.

  77. GD says:

    Really, Iain? The arse has dropped out of our economy, has it? There are 1 million+ unemployed, soup kitchen lines a mile long and people like GD are busking on the street singing “Buddy can you spare a dime ….. for a falafel”?

    Ray, it won’t happen overnight but it would happen if a failed regime like Labor was allowed to continue borrowing money from overseas to prop up their failed thought bubbles. It reminds me of the Whitlam government and their failed attempt to borrow money from the Arabs.

    Yes Ray, the arse hasn’t dropped out of our economy yet, but it would have had Labor won the toss and continued with its misguided socialist policies and continued borrowings to cover its financial profligacy.

    Wake up and smell the roses, there is a new government in town.

    We can now rest easy knowing that an Abbott government will be be fiscally responsible. In addition, we no longer have to be concerned with threats of media and internet censorship and restrictions on our freedom of speech.

    It really is a win, win, win!

    btw at last count – Libs 90 seats! A magnificent majority!

  78. Tony says:

    Sorry GD, but there is a small matter that has been forgotten in your

    It reminds me of the Whitlam government and their failed attempt to borrow money from the Arabs.

    I am loathe to defend labor, or Whitlam for that matter, BUT, the libs, soon after arresting power in that following election, turned around, and got the same loan off someone else. Their excuses at the time ?The country was broke, and their other justification, was that through their source, they saved the budget massive fees and commissions, and the interest rate was lower.

    So, again, the lesser of two evils perhaps ?
    Liberal were just as damming in the whole “Kemlani Loans Affair” at the time ?

  79. Ray Dixon says:

    please retract your slur. Publicly, on this blog

    No, GD – your muslim bashing is self evident and just because you deny confessing to it doesn’t mean you don’t do it. Even Ivan Milat pleaded “not guilty your honour”, remember?

    And all the above is just you trying to divert attention away from your gianormous gaffe when you attempted to label Cathy McGowan a “rabid lefty”, just because some nutso right-winger said so. And just because she looks like defeating another extreme nutjob right winger in Sophie Mirabella. Maybe you’d care to acknowledge your blunder instead of all this bluster and bullshit you carry on with?

  80. Byron Webb says:

    Wrong again Ray. The Independants will be overlooked and cant deliver in parliament. Their numbers are not needed to pass legislation. Its no suprise to me that you supported an independant as you are a Labor Green man that voted Independant once you realised you had no chance of winning. You left you mates Ray. What sort of a supporter are you? Your a looser Ray and hate being beat.

  81. Tony says:

    You guys should have starred in Wil Smith’s movie, Enemy of the State ffs.

    You are all seeing patterns, conspiricies, and trends that aren’t there.

    The reason for the results in Indi, are not unlike many other seats, that have gone against the trend in the last ‘n’ years.

    Due to Sophie’s apparent laziness, arrogance et al, towards the local population, and electorate at large, there was a massive ground movement against her. As previously stated, labor didn’t get the protest preferences, rather an independent.

    Again, you guys can’t see the massive wake up call, this result has given both the major parties the message, NEVER to take Indi for granted again, regardless of the apparent massive swing going down against labor this time.

    It also proves, that no one is buying, or being conned to vote along party lines either. That is going to be tough for both majors to bear, and may keep them on their toes for the next three years ?

    Not only that, but it puts ALL members of the new sitting house on notice, that their jobs aren’t safe and secure, and that there is no such thing as a sure thing, or a safe seat anymore.

    To that extent, cudos to the people of Indi !
    Good on em.
    😉

  82. Tony says:

    BTW ?

    The news is not so good for Tony Abbott though, with over 75% rating his performance as “poor” or “very poor”:

    and ?

    And, likewise, 65% approve of Rudd’s performance:

    On that basis, quoting YOU, why the hell didn’t labor get a better return out of Indi, taking into account your electorate’s hatred of Abbott, and overall approval rating for Rudd ?

    From your words at least, labor should have been a shoe in for your seat. What the hell happened ?

  83. Iain Hall says:

    Tony
    There is always competing imperatives for an MP between the need to go through the local events and community involvement and playing a larger role at a national level. Sophie Mirrabella has been very good at the latter at the expense of the former. Which is why she is struggling now.
    (cue Ray insisting that she is evil incarnate) 🙄

  84. Tony says:

    Seriously Iain, what has she achieved at a national level ffs ?
    If Ray hadn’t brought her name up some time ago, I still, personally, would not know who the hell she was ?

    We all know, that once a member gets voted in, we will probably never see them, until the next election is anounced. Especially, if the member has a portfolio, whether in government or opposition.

    Mirabella, through her electoral office, would have known, that there was a grass roots movement against her, and it should have been a sure tip off, that a much larger campaign was needed for the upcoming election ? That obviously didn’t happen here, for many reasons. Arrogance, or perhaps even apathy, with her having, or appearing to have a seat on a much larger stage ? Ministerial duties, and a much fatter pay packet ? Real cart before the horse stuff.

    Whatever her reasoning, she forgot the most important facet of being a returned member of parliament ?
    Don’t forget those “little people” that bloody put you there in the first place.
    A tough way to learn this lesson, especially for her, but a worthy exercise by the voters of Indi ?
    😉

  85. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh look, it’s Byron the Young Lib still carrying on like a high school dropout. Stop repeating your nonsense, Byron.

    Yes, Tony, the Indi count is all but over and it’s, “Goodbye Sophie, I’d like to say it was nice knowing you, but it wasn’t.”

    At long last Sophie’s been flushed down the S bend of politics that she’s been clogging up for 12 years.

    As for those other early online poll results, I don’t think they meant much on the national scale, apart from the anti-Sophie trend.

  86. Tony says:

    I am loathe to say, and remind you Ray, that there is still the mandatory recount yet ?
    😉
    Will you survive that ?

  87. Ray Dixon says:

    A recount is only “mandatory” if the final margin is less than 100 votes. And it looks like being 300 – 400 McGowan. A defeated candidate can request a recount if the margin is greater than 100 but the AEC has aleady indicated that such a request is unlikely to be granted, given the high level of scrutiny applied to the vote by the scrutineers (21 from the Liberals). Sophie’s gone – and thank God for that.

  88. Tony says:

    Normally, I would agree with you, but on the news through the week, was the story of ballot boxes “going missing” ?
    If that is truly the case, surely, that would be enough for her to challenge the end count ?
    From also what you have said, she has the ego / character to be disruptive in this way ?

  89. Ray Dixon says:

    Sophie Mirabella has just released a press statement conceding defeat and announcing that she will NOT seek a recount.

  90. Simon says:

    And Wangaratta Council gone. Some serious political spring-cleaning.

  91. Ray Dixon says:

    I think it’s no coincidence that on the very day the Coalition loses its cherished Indi Federal seat for the next 3 years, the Coalition State government dismisses the Wangaratta council and appoints an administrator for the next 3 years. It seems like some kind of payback for the people of this area. Almost churlish. The irony is that the councillor causing most of the disruption at Wangaratta (Fidge) is actually a Liberal. He’s a strong Sophie supporter and was one of her scrutineers.

  92. Tad Vinda (B. Bus) says:

    it is sad that an experienced and talented minister like sophie mirabella is no longer in the cabinet and parliament, but i am grateful for the excellent article posted by g.d. which exposes the socialist-green conspiracy that she has fallen victim to. these cunning bastards have a knack for presenting them selves as “grass roots” politicians who are only interested in “local issues” but i am sure you will see their agenda soon being played out once this mcgowan woman enters parliament. i am just thannkful that the liberal party has a comfortable majority and does not have to bow and scrape to the nut jobs on the cross benches like mcgowan or adam bandt or clive palmer. sensible conservative policies and good economic management are what is needed in australia, not idiotic green schemes and socialist spending that we cant afford.

    p.s. i did get a laugh reading this thread where ray dixon claimed to have brought down mirabella with his blog, sure you did mate. typical leftard self delusion.

  93. Ray Dixon says:

    I didn’t claim my blog “brought down” Mirabella, only that it may have played a small part. I’m sure it did, actually.

    And your opinion of McGowan is what’s laughable … based on nothing more than spite. Face it, Mirabella was just a God awful person to have in Parliament and the reason she lost was her own doing.

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