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Fixing Australia

Australia is broken. Democracy has holes in it, cracks in it, and it needs fixing. Since the 2004 Federal election we know that our government is not going to fix it. I think we need to do that fixing, and this blog is a start of getting some ideas together.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Mr Laurie Ferguson's email to me

Well - we have a new shadow immigration minister: Laurie Ferguson, Member for Reid.

Watch out for how this feisty ALP member will deal with "those refugee advocates" ... below is the original communication between Mr Ferguson and myself.

Subject: RE: 'Mandatory' Latham represents a minority in Australia
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 17:57:17 +1100
From: Ferguson, Laurie (MP)
Sender: Campbell, Maurice (L. Ferguson, MP)
To: Jack H. Smit

Dear Mr Smit

I have a saying "never believe your own propaganda."

It something others should ponder.

The Herald has a particular readership and a constant "line" on these matters. If it was a Telegraph poll you would dismiss it.

The group is self selecting and the day I believe an online poll is the day pigs will fly, on the day refugee advocates will make sure more than a trickle of successful claimants live in their area.

Yours sincerely

Laurie Ferguson MP
Federal Member for Reid
Shadow Minister for Population, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

-----Original Message-----
From: Jack H. Smit
Sent: Thursday, 22 January 2004 2:49 PM
Subject: 'Mandatory' Latham represents a minority in Australia

Dear all,

Mark Latham may believe in mandatory detention, but according to a Poll conducted by the Sydney Morning Herald 61% of Australians don't agree with him.

Shortly after publishing the article "I believe in mandatory detention, says Latham" (Sydney Morning Herald, January 19, 2004)


.... SMH launched an online Poll, titled "Do you support mandatory detention?".

We followed the polling patterns - at closing 61% said NO to mandatory detention, and just 35% supported Latham (4% undecided).


Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Narrogin WA 6312
phone: 041 70 90 130

Poll Results: Do you support mandatory detention?

15:00pm, 20 January
Yes - 46%
No - 48%
Undecided - 5%
Total Votes: 4726
18:00pm, 20 January
Yes - 44%
No - 49%
Undecided - 5%
Total Votes: 4861
19:30pm, 20 January
Yes - 44%
No - 50%
Undecided - 5%
Total Votes: 4900
8:00am, 21 January
Yes - 40%
No - 54%
Undecided - 4%
Total Votes: 5418
9:30am, 21 January
Yes - 38%
No - 56%
Undecided - 4%
Total Votes: 5666
11:00am, 21 January
Yes - 38%
No - 57%
Undecided - 4%
Total Votes: 5795
12:00am, 21 January
Yes - 37%
No - 57%
Undecided - 4%
Total Votes: 5861
15:20pm, 21 January
Yes - 36%
No - 59%
Undecided - 4%
Total Votes: 6050
17:20pm, 21 January
Yes - 36%
No - 59%
Undecided - 4%
Total Votes: 6094
7:15am, 22 January
Yes - 35%
No - 60%
Undecided - 4%
Total Votes: 6285
Closing Percentages:
Yes - 35%
No - 61%
Undecided - 4%
Total Votes: 6355


  • At Thursday, October 28, 2004 9:07:00 AM, Blogger Project_SafeCom said…

    Laurie Ferguson says in today's The Age he's sick of being lectured to by people about refugees. After how long in the job? If a front bench spokesman isn't interested in what voters think about his portfolio before he's even warmed the seat, sack the arrogant bastard and put in someone with a measure of professionalism and decency.

    That is precisely the sort of attitude that lost you all those votes to the Greens. It's also the sort of patronising "we know better than the voters" attitude that got Family First accidentally elected in Victoria. Laurie's reported comment that if refugee advocates lived near refugees they'd have different attitudes is not true and already proven not to be true: it was a National Party MP in northern Victoria who got some of the rules relaxed because his constituents told him the refugees were good honest hardworking people and they wanted them to be allowed to stay. The Nationals were responsive to the voters and are in government. Your immigration spokesman is neither. A simple equation, really.

    I was wrong and the newspapers were right after all in their election-eve advice: "no reason to change".

    Strategic advice:

    Sack him, now, before this fool any more damage, and promote Tanya Plibersek into the job, which she knows a lot about despite being a girl and having just girly portfolio responsibilities.

    Or sue The Age for misrepresenting Laurie, you should get enough money to cover the $1.97 per vote election funding you lost to the Greens.

    Or steal a march on the Democrats and the Greens and merge with the Liberals since your policies are identical.

    But first of all, tell Laurie to stick his head where the sun doesn't shine. I am referring of course to the ghastly detention centres, not his posterior. He might learn something from actually finding out the facts.

    No, my blunter than usual language at this time of night is not due to drink, I've just been working late and I'm very very angry that my sorrow at the election result was clearly misplaced.

    Observer, Sydney

  • At Friday, October 29, 2004 5:46:00 AM, Blogger eric said…

  • At Friday, October 29, 2004 12:31:00 PM, Blogger refolution said…

    What is Laurie Ferguson saying about his failure in his own electorate? If it comes to that what the hell is Laurie Ferguson saying??? I couldn't make sense of it at all, I mean just from a grammatical perspective!
    Regardless, he is a lost cause as is his party.
    Abandoning any hope of support from the ALP is the reality refugee activists and advocates must face.


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