Category Archives: Uncategorized

When is the Next Queensland Election?

Last week several business organisations, including one of which we’re members, echoed calls from Liberal-National Party Leader Tim Nicholls, and demanded the Palaszczuk Labor State Government call an election immediately.

Apart from this echo chamber, it’s hard to detect any groundswell of demand for an immediate election – it’s due by 5 May, and the (usually but erroneously presumed three-year) Parliamentary term isn’t up until late January 2018 (the anniversary of the last election) or more appropriately 14 February (the anniversary of the Palaszczuk Ministry) – or, legally and correctly, 5 May*.

Premier Palaszczuk has said several times she intends the election will be in 2018.

There are always constraints in choosing an election date, and here are some presently operative in Queensland:

  • The Queensland election process must take a minimum of 26 days, from announcement (issuing of the writs) to Election Day – incumbent parties normally give little more than the minimum notice, for tactical advantage;
  • Don’t look like you’re calling it early for expediency or advantage – voters aren’t dumb and can usually see through that;
  • Don’t cut across
    • football finals (in this case, AFL and NRL, which expire on 30 September and 1 October, respectively);
    • school holidays (which commence from 17 November for year 12 students, from 24 November for years 10 and 11, and 8 December for the rest) because
      • so many people are away and will get cranky at the inconvenience of voting, and
      • if voters are away they will mostly miss appreciating the value of all of that money you’re spending on election ads …

… schools mostly resume on 22 January 2018;

  • Christmas and New Year;
  • The Commonwealth Games run from 4 to 15 April: if the Government changes in the month before the games, or there is campaigning across the games, there will be major distraction from the Games and this may harm the success of the game;
    • It is too late to announce the election after the Games and meet the 5 May deadline;
    • So, probably, no election after 10 March or perhaps not after 3 March;
    • November 11 (another Saturday) is out because it is Remembrance Day;
  • If you announce an election between Christmas (really, mid-December) and Australia Day, you will either cause chaos because so many Members of Parliament and public servants are away, or you’ll tell them they can’t take leave which gives the game (and tactical advantage) away:
    • Members of Parliament, and particular Ministers, take their holidays between the last Cabinet meeting of the year and the first of the next year – the Monday nearest Australia Day: if you call an election before Australia Day, you’re doing it while many sitting Members of Parliament are still away – that’s arguably quite unfair to non-Government MPs;
    • The Queensland public service shuts down from Christmas Eve (this really commences in mid-December) until late January, say Australia Day;
  • Most polling places are in school halls or similar, and it can be an incredible nuisance to get proper access to school halls during school holidays;
  • The Party in power hasn’t finished selecting all of its candidates yet, although the few remaining are not in highly targeted seats;
  • And, as Michael Todd reminds us: after this election Queensland moves to four-year fixed terms, with the election on the last Saturday of October (starting in 2021) – choosing a late October/early November date tends to bring this election into alignment with the future.

Premier Palaszczuk

These things in combination mean the election could be announced

  • Anytime up until 2 October, for a 28 October Election Day, if the Premier is prepared to explain why it can’t be next year as she has previously said, or
  • Anytime up until 9 October, for a 4 November Election Day, with the same proviso, or
  • Not between 10 October and Australia Day for the reasons advanced above, and
  • Not for a date after 10 March, to avoid the Commonwealth Games and their build up, and
  • Just possibly after an early Cabinet meeting on 22 January, for 17 February, or
  • More likely, sometime in the two-and-a-bit weeks after Australia Day, for an Election Day of 24 February, 3 March, or 10 March.

The Queensland Premier (and her staff) has not been consulted in the drafting of this article, and nor has she consulted us!

 

* See http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/qld/consol_act/caaa1890289/s2.html and http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/qld/consol_act/ea1992103/s82.html

 

 

 

8 August 2017: Opportunity for Government, or for Litigation?

parl house

Federal Parliament House

Australia is supposed to have seventy-six Senators: right now we have no more than seventy-four, possibly only seventy-two, and possibly far fewer; and when Parliament resumes on 8 August, expect political and legal fireworks because of it – read more here https://ethicalconsultingservices.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/170808-opportunity-for-what/

Apologies for this entirely odd post – not at all sure how it got here when it was supposed to be somewhere else entirely.

Last Week in Queensland – 28 November 2016

george-brandis

Senator George Brandis

Senator Brandis’ assessment of the Queensland Liberal National Party Opposition as mediocre and potentially demerging kept the media excited all week, as did findings adverse to Queensland child welfare workers, last week in Queensland.

 

Governing

 

The Opposition and Crossbench

 

Politicsone-nation-diving

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

ParliamentOpening Parliament 2015

  • Queensland’s Parliament sits this week from Tuesday 29 November to Thursday 1 December
  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • Both Houses of Federal Parliament sit this week, from today, Monday 28 November to Thursday 1 December – see www.aph.gov.au

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 28 March 2016

last-week-logo-2News* was dominated by the success of the 4-year-Parliamentary-terms referendum, and Local Government election updates/fallout; and the Palaszczuk Government might have better relations with crossbench Members of Parliament, but they still have an agenda of their own!

Governing

 

Local Government

As counting continues:

 

Malcolm_Turnbull_2014

Photo: Veni Markovski

Politics

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

Parliament

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

*     We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

Last Week in Queensland – 22 February 2016

last-week-logo-2A busy Parliamentary week has generated plenty of political news*!

Governing

lawrence-springborg-2The Opposition

Politics

Community

jackie-tradEconomy and Infrastructure

parl houseParliament

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

*     We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

Queensland Premier Palaszczuk: Investing in Merit?

seesawIf you’ve ever watched the filling of Cabinet advisor jobs after an election, you would be aghast: across all political parties, narrow networks, factional partisans, warlord loyalists, mates of mates, and the staff from the previous (losing) Government of the same Party, are usually the principal sources of political advisors.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has insisted on a new way: she’s demanded competitive, merit-based* selection: the new Government has advertised senior Ministerial advisor roles via Seek**, and Ministers were initially allowed to employ a small number of temporary staff only.

One of the advantages of the usual system is speed: a Ministerial office can be up and running in a week; one of the disadvantages of merit selection plus competition is that it can’t work very fast.

How well this innovation works in the medium and long term remains to be seen, and that will be the test of the Premier’s innovation, but some of the new Ministerial offices have been struggling to respond effectively to correspondence and phone calls, until they secure more staff.

Boding well for the long term and tending to validate the new system, I’m aware of several excellent Ministerial staffing appointments that couldn’t have been made under the old patronage system.

 

* See www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/P/PublicServA08.pdf, s27 onwards ( – this link is now fixed, I trust)
** It’s reported that the new Government was swamped with 5,000 applications for the various jobs.

Crisis Management 101

From Wikimedia Commons

From Wikimedia Commons

Here’s a downloadable basic primer on crisis management, for you – Happy New-ish Year!

In 2011 Mike Smith gave a presentation on political crisis management to The Art of Political Campaigning Conference* organised by Campaigns & Elections Magazine in Washington DC.

The presentation has been tidied it up and reformatted, and it now might be useful as a very basic crisis management tutorial, with obvious US, and election, taints!

It includes a number of crisis management failure case studies, some of which make depressing reading.

You can download it here – if you use it anywhere, please attribute!

 

* This is an annual conference – Mike presents most years, on such topics as crisis management, campaign organisation, strategy development, etc.