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Archive for the ‘Labor’ Category

I just got off a plane, waiting for my connecting flight, and decided to check the news.

What do you know, apparently a special caucus meeting has been called where it’s expected Nathan Rees will be challenged for the leadership by either Frank Sartor or Kristina Keneally.

It’s hard for me to keep updated on the situation from the airport, and when the meeting is on I’ll be on a plane, so consider this an open thread for information and discussion on the challenge.

A quick comment on the issue – If Labor knifes Rees, it’s probably the stupidest thing they could do and will consign them to defeat at the next election.

Update:
The Right need to get their act together if they want to knock off Rees. At the moment, there’s still no consensus candidate with Keneally saying she won’t challenge Rees but if there’s a spill she will contest, and Sartor expected to challenge.

If they remain divided it’s possible that Rees can hold on, given he has pretty much all the Left votes and a handful of those on the Right.

Some Left MP’s have apparently stated that if Keneally becomes Premier they will defect from the party and sit on the crossbenches.

Update: Unconfirmed suggestions that Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt is being sounded out by MP’s and the party office.

Update: NSW Liberal leader Barry O’Farrell has called for a no confidence vote in the State Government. Silly move in my opinion. He should just shut up, sit down and watch the fireworks.

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A Nielsen poll out this week has the Coalition leading Labor 55-45 on a two party preferred basis with primaries running at 43 per cent, 31 per cent for Labor and 13 per cent for The Greens.

The Labor primary has not moved since the State ALP conference were Labor figures, including the Premier, were expecting the dumping of the unpopular Joe Tripodi and the populist reaction to the issue of political donations to provide a boost. Indeed, some were claiming that if there wasn’t a bounce it would be the end of Rees’ leadership.

Further polling revealed that the Coalition is now leading Labor as better handlers of every policy area besides education, which is evenly split at 44 per cent.

This is a terrible result for Labor and shows they are far behind in their traditionally strong areas.

Unsurprisingly, the polls have renewed leadership speculation. The problem is still the Right’s inability to choose a replacement.

Today there were rumours of a John Della Bosca-Eric Roozendaal ticket challenging at the final caucus meeting of the year tomorrow. Not a very surprising combo but still just a rumour.

You would think that Labor would be happy enough with the federal Liberal Party exploding without having to create their own excitement. On the other hand, maybe they will use the cover of tomorrow’s Liberal leadership spill to do their own knifing?

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The big news out of last weekend’s State ALP conference is that Premier Nathan Rees has been given the power to appoint his own cabinet, no longer having factions force candidates upon him.

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There’s a bunch of new legislation up for debate in NSW Parliament over the next few weeks and some pretty major new policy initiatives from the Government. Rather than trying to give an update on everything that’s happening I’ll pick a few of the ones I think are the most important or interesting and give an overview.

Changes to voter enrolment

This week the Government introduced legislation to change the way new voters enrol.

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Cabinet reshuffle

This afternoon Premier Nathan Rees unveiled what I would call a pretty significant cabinet reshuffle.

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The resignation of John Della Bosca has changed the political dynamic in NSW on a number of levels. Premier Nathan Rees has been forced to plan a cabinet reshuffle, promoting allies and demoting those who he perceives as being destabalising figures in caucus. Rees’ hold on the leadership of the Labor Party has also been affected by Della’s resignation, though perhaps not as obviously as some are suggesting.

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Most readers are probably by now aware of the story of murdered property developer Michael McGurk. I won’t rehash the events of the last few days because this isn’t a crime or gossip blog. There is a good summary of the story here.

What’s more relevant are the political ramifications of the McGurk saga. The story has exposed links between associates of McGurk and the Labor Party and the issue of political donations has again reared its head.

The more pertinent issue at the moment are the allegations of corruption targeted at unnamed State and Federal Government ministers, bureaucrats and local councillors. Earlier today the NSW police handed over evidence to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). The Coalition is also initiated an upper house inquiry into the allegations with the help of The Greens and The Shooters. The scope of the inquiry is unclear, but it would be an interesting move if it was widened by The Greens to include the broader issue of political donations. However the Coalition would probably head off any such move.

I’ll update this post with more information as it comes to light.

Update: The Coalition’s attempts to set up an inquiry appear to have stalled with The Shooters wavering.

Update 2: Apparently a NSW MP has been interviewed by police. There are suggestions that McGurk was seeking a seat in Parliament only two days before his death.

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