John Brumby and Ted Baillieu went head-to-head on Friday for a low-rating and soon-to-be-forgotten leaders debate. Milanda Rout of The Australia wrote approvingly that Ted Baillieu “took a risk and showed he had some political backbone”, by “throwing insults and delivering the best and funniest lines of the debate”. John Ferguson of the Herald Sun thought Baillieu’s dithering over preferences meant he “won the theatre, but lost the politics”. Shaun Carney of The Age believed Brumby suffered from lack of experience – this was his first leaders debate, as there wasn’t one when he ran against Jeff Kennett in 1996 – while James Campbell of the Sunday Herald Sun faulted Brumby for “staring statesmanlike into the distance and talking about the future”. If you’d prefer to make up your own mind, you can watch it on iView.
• Tim Colebatch of The Age makes the unarguable assertion that Ted Baillieu’s efforts to get his message out have been “drowned out by factional opponents beating their drum to insist that the Liberals should not direct preferences to the Greens”.
The Greens can not direct preferences in the lower house. The only deal that can be cut is lower house votes in exchange for upper house votes. If the Greens register a split ticket it will be the same as voting for the Liberal Party as the Green vote will be distributed evenly giving which ever party is ahead in the count the head up. A split ticket or preference away from the ALP will destabilise the Federal Government ALP/Green alliance. We will be looking at a double dissolution some time in the second half of next year. Something that failed Greens' Candidate and disgraced, self confessed Drunk, Andrew Bartlett now rejects. He lives in a state of delusionment.