Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Postal vote result released today

Australian Statistician David W. Kalisch will release the results of the same-sex marriage postal survey at 10am today, likely paving the way for marriage equality to be legalised by federal Parliament. Opinion polls have consistently shown more than 60 per cent of people voting “Yes” in the survey, while a recent ABC analysis of parliamentarians’ voting intentions found solid majorities supporting the reform in both houses. Liberal Senator Dean Smith will introduce a private bill into the Senate this afternoon if the “Yes” campaign is successful, and has secured cross-party support from a number of senators to boost its chances. Debate on Smith’s bill would likely continue until the next parliamentary sitting week, starting on November 27. Detailed results can be found on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website from 10am.

The Senate has instructed the government to accept New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s offer to resettle 150 detainees who are being held on Nauru and Manus Island. Greens Senator Nick McKim said the crisis on Manus was “a foul and bloody stain on Australia's national conscience”, while Labor Senator Doug Cameron said “Malcolm Turnbull should stand up against the extremists in his party and reach an arrangement with New Zealand”. Iranian Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani, who is on Manus, has claimed that Australian and Papua New Guinean authorities have sabotaged the refugees’ water supplies and demolished their shelters to force them to leave the camp they have occupied since October 31.

Former New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally will contest the Bennelong byelection as Labor’s candidate, making the outcome in the north-western Sydney seat a deciding factor in whether the government holds its slim majority. The government responded swiftly to the news of Keneally’s candidacy, with environment minister Greg Hunt calling her “Eddie Obeid’s protege” and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging voters not to “let Kristina Keneally do to Bennelong what she did to New South Wales”. Neither candidate lives in the electorate; Keneally lives 800 metres from the boundary, while Alexander lives more than 15 kilometres away in North Bondi.

And independent Senator Jacqui Lambie has resigned from Parliament after the British Home Office confirmed she inherited joint British-Australian citizenship through her Scottish-born father. Speaking yesterday, Lambie pointed to her advocacy for veterans and her defence of people on welfare as evidence of how she “worked hard to be a voice for those who don't often get much of a voice in this chamber”. Senators from across the political divide paid tribute to her, with Attorney-General George Brandis saying “the Senate is a better place, a much richer place, for your having served among us”. While Lambie said she intended to return to federal politics, she would not pressure Devonport mayor Steve Martin to resign after taking her place in the Senate, saying “that spot is his” and flagging a potential run for the lower house seat of Braddon if Labor MP Justine Keay is found ineligible.

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Hey Don. We have an unusual idea. Leak us one or more of your father’s tax returns.

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LEAKED CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN WIKILEAKS AND DONALD TRUMP JR. SUGGEST THE PAIR COLLABORATED THROUGHOUT THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN
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Why cant addicts just quit?

“Seattle is poised to become the first city in America to open up a so-called safe-injection site – a place where addicts can inject heroin openly under the watchful eyes of nurses, who could then rescue them in the case of an overdose by using the opioid antagonist naloxone. Even in ultraliberal Seattle, where marijuana is legal and pottery shops advertise being part of the ‘Resistance’, the idea seems, to many, a little too much like enabling.” the atlantic

The swag project

“In fashion and beauty journalism, there’s an understanding: If you write about it, things will come. It’s a longstanding practice in the industry for publicists to send both product samples and straight-up gifts to writers and editors in the hopes that their clients will be featured ... For six months, we collected and tracked everything we got. How much free stuff flows through our office, and how much is it all worth? How much cardboard do we throw out in a year? How often did we write about these items, and how often did we just toss them to the side and forget about them? What’s the point of all this stuff?” racked

‘We didn’t have to suffer like that’: Inside a Texas prison during Hurricane Harvey

“In late August, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the southeast Texas coast, bringing with it extreme winds and dropping more than four feet of rain across Houston and the surrounding area. The catastrophic flooding caused thousands to evacuate, including many state prisoners who were moved to drier and safer facilities elsewhere in the state. But the 3,000 men inside Stiles Unit, a Texas state prison near Beaumont, were forced to ride out the storm. Conditions quickly became unbearable.” mother jones

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Q. 

Was Jacqui Lambie the light of Parliament everyone’s remembering her as?

“The outgoing Tasmanian senator drew warm praise from Labor, Coalition and crossbench colleagues, who lined up to embrace her after her speech. Attorney-General George Brandis said the high-profile crossbencher had made the Senate a richer place and Labor frontbencher Doug Cameron called for ‘less lawyers, more Lambies’ in federal politics.”   fairfax

A. 

Sure, if your skin tone is holiday-tan or lighter.

“Jacqui Lambie told a Muslim youth leader to ‘stop playing the victim’ in a heated clash on Q&A over the Tasmanian senator’s backing of a Donald Trump-style ban on Muslim immigration ... Yassmin Abdel Magied said she knew virtually no other culture than Australian culture and ‘so it hurts me deeply when my elected representatives don’t want me in this country simply because of my faith or where I was born’. Lambie told Abdel-Magied to ‘stop playing the victim. Your ban got lifted, get over it.’ ”  guardian australia

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and finally:

Here’s a giant list of postal survey result parties

“We’re hoping (and polls are suggesting) that the result will be a resounding Yes, but whatever happens you can bet the LGBTIQ+ community and supporters will be banding together and partying through it. We’ve done our best to collate a list of some of the biggest events happening in capital cities around the country tomorrow. Whether you’re looking for a place to hang out and watch the result be announced, or just want a big gay afterparty to kick on to, we’ve got you covered.” junkee

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor, and a former editor of Junkee.