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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New South Wales State Election, 2015 on: March 28, 2015, 04:52:34 am
Hmm - looks like Queanbeyan is not turning out as strong...
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New South Wales State Election, 2015 on: March 28, 2015, 04:35:27 am
Queanbeyan isn't in yet... hold your horses on Monaro.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New South Wales State Election, 2015 on: March 28, 2015, 02:02:40 am
Galaxy also says a Liberal win. Not sure on the vote, but there's apparently a 11% swing in regional NSW, and a 8% swing in Sydney.

Hurry up ABC!

I have a feeling that the Sydney swings will be biggest in the safe seats - both Labor and Liberal. It feels very much like SA, where the government was able minimise the swings in the marginal seats.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New South Wales State Election, 2015 on: March 28, 2015, 01:14:49 am
Exit Polls

LNP: 54%
ALP: 46%

LNP: 55%
ALP: 45%

It should be noted that exit polls are still being worked on in Australia for accuracy. It tends to be if they get close to the result, it's accidental.

5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New South Wales State Election, 2015 on: March 27, 2015, 10:44:13 pm
I should also put my ranges in here.

Min: 49 Max: 57

Min: 33 Max: 40

Min: 0 Max: 3

Min: 2 Max: 4

My seats to watch - key seats - (more to do with what these races might be telling about the broader story)
The Entrance
Seven Hills
East Hills
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New South Wales State Election, 2015 on: March 27, 2015, 08:11:27 pm
My predictions - using Anton's format.

Albury - Liberal hold.
Auburn – Labor hold.
Ballina – Labor gain.
Balmain – I think the recovery of the ALP primary vote, albeit a marginal one means that this is a Labor gain. But it’ll be down to the wire.
Bankstown - Labor hold.
Barwon – National hold.
Bathurst – National hold.
Baulkham Hills - Liberal hold.
Bega - Liberal hold. But the margin will be very interesting to see.
Blacktown - Labor hold.
Blue Mountains – Labor gain.
Cabramatta - Labor hold.
Camden - Liberal hold.
Campbelltown – Seat to watch. This seat should be a Labor gain, but the re-dist has been very helpful to the Liberals… but I’ll still call this a Liberal hold, but not comfortable.
Canterbury - Labor hold.
Castle Hill - Liberal hold.
Cessnock – Labor hold.
Charlestown - Labor hold.
Clarence - National hold. Big swing.
Coffs Harbour - National hold.
Coogee – Very close. Liberal hold, but the Green vote here will be very important.
Cootamundra - National hold.
Cronulla - Liberal hold.
Davidson - Liberal hold.
Drummoyne – Liberal hold.
Dubbo - National hold.
East Hills – Seat to watch. The most marginal seat in the state and one that Labor should win in a canter. But something is going on in the seat and I’d be really shocked if Labor can’t swing this. I will say Labor gain, but with the pretty vile personal attacks on the ALP candidate - I think this, stunningly, will be held. 
Epping - Liberal hold.
Fairfield - Labor hold.
Gosford – Seat to watch. If Labor can swing this then it’s likely all the narrow Lib seats in and around the central coast will fall. But, very, very narrow Liberal hold.
Goulburn - Liberal hold. But the margin will be really interesting.
Granville –Seat to watch. Ugh.... this is a tough one. Really bloody though. I’m going to say Labor gain, but not at all comfortable.
Hawkesbury - Liberal hold.
Heathcote – Liberal hold.
Heffron – Labor hold.
Holsworthy – Liberal hold, but would not surprise me if Labor gets it.
Hornsby – Liberal hold.
Keira - Labor hold.
Kiama – After a helpful re-dist and Ward is well-liked by both sides of politics and broadly considered to be a very good local member, Liberal hold – swing will be surprisingly small.
Kogarah - Labor hold.
Ku-ring-gai - Liberal hold.
Lake Macquarie – Ind hold.
Lakemba - Labor hold.
Lane Cove – Liberal gain.
Lismore – I think the Nationals will lose this seat. The issue is to whom. Labor is very happy with their performance in the area, but the Greens are running hard and well. Again… another no guts no glory… Greens gain.
Liverpool - Labor hold.
Londonderry – Labor gain.
Macquarie Fields – Labor gain.
Maitland – Labor gain.
Manly – Liberal hold.
Maroubra - Labor hold.
Miranda – Liberal gain.
Monaro – Seat to watch (naturally) Whan is a well-known and well-liked former local member. The ground-game, especially in Queanbeyan is really strong and is the key to the seat. It’ll be closer than it should be, but Labor gain.
Mount Druitt - Labor hold.
Mulgoa – Liberal gain.
Murray - National hold.
Myall Lakes - National hold.
Newcastle – Labor hold.
Newtown – Labor win.
North Shore - Liberal hold.
Northern Tablelands – National hold.
Oatley – Seat to watch. I’m hearing very mixed reports about this one. Some say the local ground game is really effective. The ALP candidate is a local nurse and the nurses are door-knocking hard. I think this seat will see a tiny comparative swing. Again, sticking my neck out… Liberal hold.
Orange - National hold.
Oxley - National hold.
Parramatta – Liberal hold. But could fall if the swing in Sydney is bigger than is being expected.
Penrith – High-profile Independent directing preferences to Labor, I don’t think the Liberals should feel at all comfortable about it, Liberal hold... but should be close.
Pittwater – Liberal hold.
Port Macquarie - National hold.
Port Stephens – Seat to watch. The expansion of this seat to the west of the highway is a mixed blessing. I think the Liberals will hold this. But it will be one to watch. 
Prospect - Labor gain.
Riverstone – Liberal hold. Large swing.
Rockdale - Labor gain.
Ryde – Liberal hold.
Seven Hills – Seat to watch. As Anton suggests, this seat is kind of a microcosm of many of the true margins in Western Sydney. If Labor wins this, then they’ll stand a good chance elsewhere and shows where swings could peak. Liberal win, but very tight.
Shellharbour - Labor hold.
South Coast - Liberal hold.
Strathfield – Seat to watch. This will be telling of the swing in this part of Sydney. If the swing is tiny, just pulling McKay over the line, look to Granville and Oatley. Labor gain.
Summer Hill - Labor hold.
Swansea – Labor hold.
Sydney – Independent gain.
Tamworth – Seat to watch. This is a very Independent-friendly seat and if it were anyone else, I would say this is a Nationals hold, however, CSG is very potent in the area and I think this one will fall. Independent gain.
Terrigal - Liberal hold.
The Entrance – Seat to watch. The natural dynamics of this seat suggest that this should be a Labor gain, and I think it will, but the other forces being exerted suggests this will go down to the wire again. However, if there is a strong result either way it’ll be pretty indicative.
Tweed – Seat to watch. This SHOULD be a National hold, but if the swing is on in Northern NSW, the degree will be seen here. I still think this will be a National hold.
Upper Hunter - National hold.
Vaucluse - Liberal hold.
Wagga Wagga - Liberal hold.
Wakehurst - Liberal hold.
Wallsend - Labor hold.
Willoughby - Liberal hold.
Wollondilly - Liberal hold.
Wollongong – This is a seat to watch – The Independent is being supported by the popular Mayor, but I doubt will be able to carry the same electoral weight. Hay has had a target on her back for years, but she always seems to survive.
Wyong – Labor gain

Liberal - 40
National - 14
(Coalition - 54)
Labor - 35
Green - 1
Independent - 3

TPP - 54.4 - 45.6%
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New South Wales State Election, 2015 on: March 27, 2015, 09:25:24 am
We've had three polls out tonight
- A Talleyesque 57.5-42.5 from Morgan (no one believes it)
- ReachTEL has it 54-46 with Green preferences helping Labor
- Newspoll has it as 55-45 but 52-48 on allocated preferences (collapse in the LNP vote outside of Sydney)

Long story short, the Libs will win, but no one has any idea by how much or how little.

Morgieb, the person I was speaking too was not optimistic about Granville, but fairly confident about Oatley FWIW.
8  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Duke Presidential Library on: March 27, 2015, 08:58:54 am
Great idea!
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: New South Wales State Election, 2015 on: March 27, 2015, 01:39:24 am
I was having a discussion with a friend in the NSW Party this afternoon and said that while I think there was never really much of a chance of us winning, we've blown some pretty decent opportunities.

1. Trying to demonise a genuinely popular leader generally doesn't work - Newman was hated and Napthine was a even-money bet. The last minute surge of "vote out Baird on Saturday and Abbott goes on Monday" was really clumsy and desperate.

2. The privatisation issue is effective but it wasn't argued properly. Especially since they didn't capitalise on Baird saying it was his only way of paying for Infrastructure spending.

3. The CSG argument in the regions has worked well and will make a lot of previously out of touch seats close.

I think the swing in Sydney will be comparatively small  but there will be large swings in the regions.

I'll do my final predictions tomorrow, but they have moved away from the ALP since I did the preliminary one on Sunday.
10  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Voting on amendment) on: March 26, 2015, 10:29:18 pm
Alright, this is a serious question. Would you consider a pedophile contacting an under-cover officer online to be entrapment? Because personally, this is kind of the greyest area.
11  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Voting on amendment) on: March 26, 2015, 09:31:27 pm
The issue IS the definition of entrapment here. If the police actively encourage people to commit crimes they otherwise wouldn't, yes, that's inappropriate. But this creates two significant issues - the first being how do you know what a person would or would not do? the second being useful techniques, as has been mentioned, like finding paedophiles online or undercover work would be in serious jeopardy. If this secion is going to be retained, then I think its actually sensible to make the language as clear and unimpeachable as possible.
12  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: GriffGraph Polling: Pick Your At-Large Senators on: March 26, 2015, 09:21:32 pm
Three days. Three top preferences in the upcoming at-large Senate races. Who's your chose?

(Apologies on not getting the green shades right for Polnut, but this poll's too complex to re-do!)

That's all good.
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: I'm Backing Blair: Candidacy announcement for At-Large Senate race on: March 26, 2015, 08:35:07 pm
Welcome to the race
14  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Senator Polnut - Opening Up Education - Raleigh NC on: March 26, 2015, 07:04:48 pm

Reynolds Colosseum, North Carolina State University - Raleigh NC

Hello North Carolina!

Thanks for taking time on your very valuable Thursday night to come out and talk about what we can do together in the Senate.

Before I get into what I want to talk about tonight – I just want to start with this point. There’s a lot of scuttlebutt going on around the Police Bill I spoke about on Tuesday night in Boulder. Let me make this very clear and very plain. There is a lot of defensive rhetoric flying around but none of it defends the Bill or its content. It only seeks to attack those of us who dare to try to make something workable out this thing. I won’t play a game of moving goalposts, because the reality is, its smoke and mirrors. This a bad Bill and it should be pulled on that basis alone. You want to address issues in the police force, I’m there, and there are issues to address. But I won’t support a Bill whose intention is to cripple the ability of our first defenders to act in times of crisis. There are many of my colleagues who have tried valiantly to make something good out of this, but how has it been received? With name-calling. This Bill should be pulled because it’s a bad Bill and those of us who want to work towards something decent should take the reins. Let there be no mistake, if this Bill is pulled, it won’t be our fault.

But let’s move onto something positive we’ve actually done together. One thing I have been personally passionate about is ensuring all Atlasians have access to high-quality education. I am so proud that this year we will put in place a system to enable students who qualify academically to enter a public university will no longer have to take out private loans. That means that students will not be placed in the terrible position of being hounded by debt collectors from the moment they graduate. Students will be able to borrow funds for their tuition from the Government and repay that money once they graduate through a levy on your income taxes and most importantly of all, this will not be commercial debt. There will be no need for parental guarantees, there will be no credit checks and there will be no impact on your financial future because you have decided to invest in your education.

The amendments I introduced also placed caps on how much Universities can charge you for your courses. This means that all students in public universities will know in advance how much they will be charged and it creates a price signal in the market to make a college education available to more people.

But the job is not yet done. We still have students, I’m sure many here today… in fact, hands up if you’ve got private debt? Yeah. While we are transitioning existing public loans to this new program, we need to help those out there with private debt to escape the trap. If re-elected, I will be submitting legislation to put in place a realistic timetable to get your futures back in your hands and out of the whims of the private finance industry.

We need those in universities to be the best and the brightest, not the best funded. We need those who want to make a difference, our future teachers, doctors and scientists to come from all walks of life. We need to make sure that those students are not discouraged from entering, nor forced out of the system because of financial demands.

This isn't driven by zeal or fire, they're driven by doing what's right through thoughtful and sensible reforms. This is what we need in the Senate, more people who are driven by their passions, but committed to doing what we know will actually work. Guess what, no matter how much you believe in a policy or a program, if it doesn't exist two years later, it's bad policy. We need things that last the distance.

The work is beginning and the direction is positive, but this is only a first step and there’s much left to do. I am passionate about this and the future of this country, as I have been from my first campaign. In my last campaign, that resolve is strong but I need your help and your support. Thanks so much and good night!
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: I Just Want To Be Dead on: March 26, 2015, 05:29:50 pm
As someone who will be... ugh... 32 next week, permit me some older person commentary.

Things aren't good at a timetable you determine, so while it feels terrible. Saying "I don't think things will ever get better"... when you're 18, while understandable, isn't the span of your life.

Sure, things aren't great now - but life isn't static, there are ups and downs ... most of the time, with the most inconvenient timing and not in a way you want or plan. But that's life.

What matters is how you respond to it.

And while aversion isn't always the best solution long-term, getting out of your head and a binge-watch of something light and fun always helps clear my head Smiley
16  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Confirmation Hearing: Adam Griffin for Registrar General [voting] on: March 26, 2015, 04:23:03 pm
17  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Voting on amendment) on: March 26, 2015, 04:22:22 pm
The reality is, we've got two crowds here. Those who want to try to put something together that will actually be functional and those who are running around calling everyone biased soft-cocks, without offering an alternative. When people are picking and choosing which unions to believe (despite a view that all work forces should be able to unionize) should exist, because of their personal view of it, isn't consistent. When you've got people talking about "pigs", "class enemies" and other hyperbolic and emotional terms, it gets beyond reasonable. 

I support the conditions that the President recommended.

However, the reason why this Bill should be pulled by the sponsor will not have anything to do with those of us who are trying to make it reality-based.

18  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Electoral Reform Amendment (Debating) on: March 26, 2015, 08:04:51 am
I agree that Senators should not be involved at all in the process.
19  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Postal Service Community Financial Lending Act of 2015 (Voting on amendment) on: March 25, 2015, 06:53:33 pm
Why would we cut the amount allocated to services? One quarter for every Atlasian man, woman and child to lend/invest is going to go a long way, I'm sure...Roll Eyes

Or provide an argument for your numbers - it's not about the per-person amount, it's about why this amount is necessary.
20  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Debating) on: March 25, 2015, 06:41:13 pm
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Government / Re: Policing the Police Act of 2014 (Debating) on: March 25, 2015, 06:15:32 pm
I support the amendment.
22  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: What ideological labels would you use to describe your politics? on: March 25, 2015, 05:25:01 pm
Kids... labels don't make you cool.
23  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Announcement You Have All Been Waiting For on: March 25, 2015, 01:35:48 am
Polnut... eighties... I see what you did there Cheesy Wink

24  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Senate Office of NC Yankee (History and Stats!!!) on: March 24, 2015, 09:07:56 pm
Press Release -

I will be traveling to Raleigh to make an important announcement, tomorrow evening. I am sure everyone will be in for a big surprise so I encourage you to attend.

There's only one announcement that will be a surprise to anyone Tongue
25  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of Senator Polnut - Re-election HQ on: March 24, 2015, 08:55:59 pm

Folsom Field - University of Colorado, Boulder CO

Ladies and gentlemen,

I'm very happy to be with you all this evening here in Boulder.

I was thinking what I would say here tonight. There are so many issues that we need to have a national conversation about. But I thought, I would speak from my heart about a very controversial Bill before the Senate right now that I feel, I need to speak out about.

The Policing the Police Bill, submitted by my colleague, and your regional senator TNF, has elicited quite spirited debate. But from the outset, I've been deeply troubled by the not the only the content of this Bill, but the spirit in which it was offered. Senator TNF has even used the term 'pigs' in Senate debate, something I believe to be highly inappropriate. This Bill is not designed to reform the Police to enable them to do their difficult jobs properly nor to improve the professionalism, it is a Bill designed to punish the police forces of this nation. This is one fundamental reason why I oppose this Bill. It is not interested in delivering constructive reforms, it is an hysterical and hyperbolic response to issues that need our attention, but at the same time, weakening the capacity for true reforms. Especially since the Federal Government has next to nothing to do with local policing, nor should we.

The second fundamental concern is that by supporting this Bill, I would be turning my back on something that I believe strongly. The administration of law and justice should not be subject to the whims of public opinion. From my earliest days, I have opposed the popular election of judicial and law-enforcement positions. We need the administration of our most basic freedoms and rights to be done by those best qualified, nothing less and nothing more. I understand that some out there feel that democractising the appointment of these positions increases accountability and transparency. But studies have shown that while there is generally good and reasonable administration, it cannot escape the realities of modern politics. Money, favours and popularity. We know that popularly elected Judges hand down harsher and higher-profile sentences in lead up to elections. Judicial authority should be based on who the best jurist available is, not the person who can claim to have the most people to prison for longer.

I find it so strange, that the same people advocating for this Bill, which only strengthens the roles of this elected judicial and law-enforcement officers, the same people who arrest and imprison more people for popularity are the same people who believe in reducing the prison population and reducing the number of people involved in the judicial process. I feel so strongly about this point that if re-elected, I will be moving an amendment to our constitution that will ban the election of judicial and law-enforcement officials. Those appointments should be based on merit and their qualifications, not their ability to generate fundraising and votes.

The body of this Bill is equally problematic. As someone with hard-working and dedicated police officers in my family, this attack on the integrity of all officers is deeply offensive. Is anyone suggesting that we don't have issues in our law-enforcement agencies? Of course not. Is anyone suggesting that police officers are all angels? No. The law enforcement community is no different to any other body that has gained authority, money or both. Whether it is the Church, the Military, the union movement or the law-enforcement community, these circumstances breed unpleasant situations, where corruption and derelictions of responsibility occur. If you're interested in dealing with those issues, I'm there right behind you to address it. It helps the police to do their jobs. But don't present me with an unworkable, unrealistic and unfair Bill that only seeks to punish all police officers for the sins of a few. Most of these officers come from working class backgrounds, many from the communities in which they were born and raised. We need to support them to do the job we ask of them, not attack and undermine.

As you know, this will be my last campaign for elected office. I want to make sure that this campaign speaks to what I am passionate about and so will my final term in elected office. I want to get things done that work, that based on evidence and reality. But it can't happen without you all, thank you good night!
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