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“tremendous picture” or just unkind?

By johnboy 14 December 2007 90

I’d really prefer this site not become just a “wot the CT done” talk shop.

So when the buzz started yesterday about *that* picture I thought we’d let it pass through to the keeper.

But now it’s national news let’s take a swing.

So this adorned the front page of Canberra’s only broadsheet yesterday.

It’s the work of Brendan Esposito, a Fairfax photographer.

Mark Baker, the CT editor, says it’s a “tremendous picture” and informs us that anyone thinking they can see anything untoward are “imagining more than is there”. (Bearing in mind that Mark has access to a higher resolution version than the rest of us)

I’m sure you’ll all have an opinion but frankly I have trouble believing this line:

“It didn’t occur to me that people would have a problem with the issue of the dress,” he said.

There might not be anything “to see” but it’s still a gutter up-skirt shot for mine (and yes I considered having this discussion without reproducing the image for just that reason but I think we can assume the damage is done). I also thought using a shot capturing her laughing in such an ugly way was unkind and not something we’d do at any publication I’ve worked for.

Anyone want to guess what the increased relevance is worth compared to the cancelled subscriptions from readers who prefer not to have an up-skirt shot on their breakfast table?

UPDATED: The CT is running an AAP story justifying it’s own decisions, but the letters to the editor have few kind words.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Journalism academic Julie Posetti is not at all impressed with the CT’s actions and goes so far as to claim that elements within the paper are also very unhappy.


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“tremendous picture” or just unkind?
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smiling politely 5:48 pm 18 Dec 07

The optional preferential system seems to work reasonably well in Queensland and it would be good to have it applied to House of Reps elections at the Federal level.

But it’s desperately needed for the Senate – Antony Green wrote a paper about it after the 2004 election, using the election of Steve Fielding of Family First in Victoria as an example of some of the absurdities the current system produces. Not entirely sure but it may require amendments to the Electoral Act rather than constitutional change (with all the attendant problems that brings).

Mælinar 3:10 pm 18 Dec 07

Just like the roulette table ‘no more preferences’.

johnboy 3:08 pm 18 Dec 07

Would it make everyone happier if we retained preferential voting but allowed voters to expire at a point where they were no longer comfortable allocating a preference?

For example the Green voter could just stop numbering before they got to One Nation or the Liberals?

Less of an issue in the Reps but would greatly improve the senate in NSW!

caf 3:04 pm 18 Dec 07

Your facts are wrong where you stated both that “in the 1998 election 99% of candidates that won first past the vote went on to win the seat.” and “Ironically the only candidate to win first past the post and not win the seat was Pauline Hanson.” You certainly didn’t qualify these statements about “in favour of the Coalition”.

You didn’t mention Hinkler at all. By the way, Barry Brebner was also an ALP candidate, and Pauline’s loss that you mention was also in favour of the Coalition, so that makes three (and yes, still outweighed by the four seats that went the other way).

Bringing this back to the point about first-past-the-post versus fully preferential voting, if we take the example of Blair, the result was entirely appropriate. When given the choice between Cameron Thompson of the Liberal Party and Pauline Hanson, more electors wanted the former than the latter to represent them.

Crikey 2:36 pm 18 Dec 07

Considering this was about your ridiculous statement that Howard would have lost the 1998 election due to One Nation preferences that was all I looked at and I could only find one seat – Hinkler (you said Hickley) that One Nation may have influenced in favour of the Coalition. So I can’t really see where my facts are wrong.

You have now conveniently raised a number of other seats where the first-past-the-post candidate didn’t eventually win. None of them but Hinkler were influenced in favour of the Coalition.

So I would suggest my facts (99%) are pretty safe.

caf 1:38 pm 18 Dec 07

I’m not interested in misrepresenting the facts to make a case. I admitted already that I was wrong, it’s a pity you apparently don’t have the minerals to do the same.

Crikey 1:34 pm 18 Dec 07

OMG….Broadbent, Cameron, Smith and Jeans were Liberals who won first-pass-the-post BUT lost their seats. Only TWO ALP candidates who were first-past-the-post may have lost their seats due to One Nation preferences.

Your first statement suggested that John Howard would have lost the 1998 election if it wasn’t for One Nation preferences.

You clearly prove in your second blog that this wasn’t the case.

You can’t even win a debate with yourself.

caf 1:07 pm 18 Dec 07

OK, you’re correct that it would not have changed the election result, I should have checked the data before spouting off. However, you’re wrong about the percentage of candidates that won fptp going on to win the seat – in that election the following candidates who won “first past the post” didn’t win the seat:

Pauline Hanson in Blair
Cheryl Dorron in Hinkley
Barry Brebner in Parkes
Russell Broadbent in McMillan
Eoin Cameron in Stirling
Susan Jeanes in Kingston
Warwick Smith in Bass

(which, if you’re playing along at home, makes it 95% of fptp-winning candidates going on to win the seat). Seems like I’m not that only one that needs to check their facts.

Do I think those candidates were dudded? No. In each case a majority of voters in their electorate wanted the actual winner elected over the fptp winner.

Crikey 9:17 am 18 Dec 07

What a load of crap Caf. Check the AEC site and you’ll see that in the 1998 election 99% of candidates that won first past the vote went on to win the seat. One Nation’s preferences did not win the election for the Coalition. Ironically the only candidate to win first past the post and not win the seat was Pauline Hanson.
Please check your facts prior to making such an absurd statement!

Mælinar 9:03 am 18 Dec 07

Post election I was watching Sunrise I think it was and they had one of their regulars in lamenting the fall from power.

Her comments were ‘I’m moving to China for 3 years’.

I thought ‘That’s all we need, more staunch industrialist, climate change sceptical people helping run China’.

Some wankers never learn do they ?

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