By Timothy Mantiri
Queenslanders have voted to re-elect Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Government over the weekend with Labor on track to hold a majority in the Queensland Parliament.
While the final vote tally has yet to be finalised, Labor is poised to pick up at least 47 seats in the Legislative Assembly giving the party a majority in Queensland’s single-chambered Parliament. This leaves the Liberal National Party (LNP) with a likely total of 40 seats, one seat less than it had prior to the election.
The election result seems to reflect the exit polling and the final published Newspoll, as counting today had ALP on 36 per cent, the LNP on 33.5 per cent, One Nation on 13.7 per cent and the Greens on 9.7 per cent.
LNP leader Tim Nicholls will doubtlessly be disappointed with the result which saw his party go backwards in terms of primary vote and in the number of seats held.
Questions will also be raised around his reluctance to rule out doing any potential deals with One Nation after the election as several Shadow Ministers lost their seats in urban south-east Queensland.
It was also a bad night for Pauline Hanson's One Nation who look to have lost its parliamentary leader Steve Dickson, with the LNP’s Brent Mickelberg ahead in the Sunshine Coast seat of Buderim at last count.
Despite some predictions before polling day suggesting a swath of regional Queensland seats could fall its way, One Nation is likely to only pick up the seat of Mirani in Central Queensland (taking in the area between Mackay and Rockhampton), leaving it with just the single seat in Parliament.
Former Senator Malcolm Roberts, who was booted out the Federal Parliament (having been exposed as a dual British Citizen), also suffered a resounding defeat after contesting the seat of Ipswich (southwest Brisbane).
While the election campaigns were fought on the state battleground issues of unemployment, electricity prices, and the proposed Adani mine in Central Queensland, Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten has already looked to link the result to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership and dissatisfaction with the Federal Government.
Some disaffected Nationals MPs in the Federal Parliament have also linked the result to the Turnbull Government, with North Queensland MP George Christensen taking the unusual step of apologising to people who voted for One Nation.
"I want to provide a sincere apology that, at this stage, no one else has: I'm sorry that we in the LNP have let you down," the Nationals MP wrote on Facebook.
“The party had to listen more, work harder, stand up for conservative values and regional Queensland, and do better to win people's trust and I think a lot of that starts with the Turnbull Government, its leadership and its policy direction," Mr Christensen said.
Such open dissatisfaction from his own backbench MPs poses a problem for the Prime Minister as the Federal Parliament approaches the final sitting weeks of the year. Maverick government MPs have been threatening to cause mayhem on the floor of parliament on contentious issues such as same sex marriage and a commission of inquiry into the banking sector.
For LNP leader Tim Nicholls the poor election result means his leadership will likely be under threat as a contested party room ballot for the leadership is tipped to take place this week. Contenders in the ballot will likely include Shadow Ministers Tim Mander, John-Paul Langbroek as well as Deputy Leader Deb Frecklington.
Meanwhile, Premier Palaszczuk will look to press ahead with Labor’s agenda and policy commitments which include: a renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030; an extension of a $150 million back to work program to give businesses incentives to take on the unemployed; and a series of tax hikes announced late in the campaign which deliver about $491 million to Queensland’s state coffers over three years.
Mixing religion with marketing - death trap or genius? by Isabelle Walker
In the lead up to Christmas, many businesses will be implementing their marketing strategies to draw the festive crowd. This week irreverent pastry purveyors in the UK, Greggs, launched its Advent Calendar advertising with gusto. Specifically, it tweeted a picture of the Nativity with the ‘saviour’ replaced with a ‘savoury’ sausage roll.
While another, Paul Clark, doubled down on Simon’s request, saying:
There have also been arguments made that though it is ‘okay’ to make fun of Christianity, this wouldn’t be acceptable with any other religion – and that this should be examined as an example of Western double standards.
Greggs has since apologised and said in a statement: "We’re really sorry to have caused any offence, this was never our intention."
Although there was initial backlash, it now appears Greggs may have in fact nailed this one.
Where the marketing team was likely going for a harmless joke, the new advert turned into a Twitter storm, and has now gained more attention and publicity than had a backlash not occurred. Now, the conversation is moving towards:
Case in point:
Whether or not Greggs intended for there to be international, sausage roll/nativity related fall-out with its cheeky Christmas marketing remains to be seen. Indeed, a viral story such as this is very rarely planned.
Further, the readers of the Telegraph in the UK tend to think replacing the Christian Messiah with a sausage roll is more than acceptable for advertising purposes (see opinion poll of 6.2K voters below).
Regardless of the original intent – likely just playing on the irreverence the brand is known for – the Sausage Roll (susejd rol) Nativity Scene has skyrocketed Greggs into the spotlight (and likely sold a few pastries while it was at it).
#metoo. But when sexual harassment is so normalised and random, what’s the point in saying something? By Isabelle Walker
#metoo. The hashtag that was heard around the world in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault and harassment scandal. Women shared their stories of harassment, assault, misconduct, fear and intimidation; some simply showed solidarity indicated by the concession that these things had happened to them in the past.
I shared it – it has happened to me countless times. Whether it was from receiving my first wolf-whistle from a passing vehicle as a pre-pubescent girl in an affluent Sydney suburb, to a man old enough to be my father commenting on the plunging neckline of my mandatory uniform as a bar attendant. My particular favourite was the man who looked 15 years older than me, insistent that he pay for my drinks after my consistent protestations, who then called me a bitch and other derogatory, gender-specific epithets when I sat down with a male friend and was not interested in going home with him. There are the numerous men – strangers – who have been too close for comfort in bars, on public transport, in lifts, on the street.
Of the many things that have struck me during this entire scandal, one is the sudden outrage of men. Many Facebook friends expressed solidarity with women during this time. They lamented that they had never seen this harassment, and were all surprised when their friends were – in a steady stream – sharing the #metoo hashtag. They promised to stop it in its tracks if it ever happened in front of them.
Though I have no doubt that what they were saying is true, sexual harassment is literally everywhere and it is impossible to miss. It’s that it’s so normalised, it can be mistaken for jocular, good hearted fun, banter, or “locker-room talk”. When a man who openly admits to “grabbing women by the pussy” can be elected to the most powerful political position in the world, there’s little reason to believe sexual harassment is taken seriously by the general population.
The only way this can be changed is for all of us to say something. As women, we’ve been conditioned to stay silent; to believe that our jobs, credibility or dignity will be at risk. But now that light is finally being shed on this issue, it needs to be called out. Whether it’s happening to you, whether you’re witnessing it, whether you’ve heard about it; men are just as responsible for calling out other men as the women receiving the harassment. Being outraged after the fact is no longer enough. Silence is complicity.
1. Is Social Media Stifling Political Debate?