Greetings Mayne Report readers,
This will be our last Menzies-focused edition but if you'd rather not receive these occasional email newsletters, click here
Unlike the mad Murdoch dancing bears such as Andrew Bolt and Terry McCrann, we're not about to start screeching like a banshee for Malcolm Turnbull to resign and Tony Abbott to come back.
It now looks highly likely that Malcolm Turnbull will be a able to form a government and this will be far better for Australia than the alternative of Bill Shorten and Labor taking over.
We tried minority government on the left under Julia Gillard and, whilst some good reforms were achieved, ultimately we were left with a huge debt and deficit.
The moderate Turnbull experience will hopefully be a lot better with the likes of Cathy McGowan and Rebecca Sharkie providing sensible support to the party they both used to work for.
Bill Shorten may have achieved a swing to Labor in two party preferred terms but he did deliver the second lowest Labor primary vote in almost 100 years and also stooped into the gutter with his deceitful Mediscare campaign.
Shorten is one of the most transactional politicians we've seen, prepared to take big short term risks for short term gain, as was seen in the 2010 Rudd coup.
Stooping to the Mediscare campaign gave him a short term boost but does longer term damage, especially when contrasted with Turnbull who took the governance high road and ran a largely positive campaign.
Shorten's supporters point to old Abbott scare campaigns for a "they do it too" justification, but that's the whole point of fighting Abbott and supporting Turnbull - they are very different beasts and Turnbull is someone worthy of support.
Don't be surprised if either Tanya Plibersek or Anthony Albanese challenge for the Labor leadership. Both would be better placed to lift Labor's primary vote and beat Turnbull next time around.
Shaking them up in Menzies
As for a Menzies, a big thank you to everyone who helped out at polling booths across Menzies on Saturday. You can read about their experiences
including during the extraordinary mid-afternoon drama when our How To Vote cards
were banned because they only carried the "authorised by Candidate Stephen Mayne" statement on one side of the card, rather than both sides, a legal change which was introduced after the 2013 election.
We're currently sitting on 7.21%
or some 5015 votes with about 20,000 more votes to count. Most of our support came from Liberal supporters because we presented as a Liberal-leaning independent and made a rock solid commitment to back Turnbull and the Liberals in any hung parliament situation.
In percentage terms, 7.21% was the second highest vote of any independent candidate in Victoria, behind Cathy McGowan in Indi. A good effort.
Whilst this was below our pre-election hopes, Jeff Kennett tweeted on Saturday night that it was more than he was expecting.
Abbott backer Kevin Andrews also took the prize of suffering the biggest drop in primary vote (7.64%) of any sitting member in Victoria.
Kevin lost about one in seven of his supporters from 2013 and more than 80% of those leaving his pile came across to the Turnbull-supporting independent who used to work for a Liberal Government and was a member of the Young Liberals at university.
That said, we also learnt just what a big undertaking it is as an independent to take on the might of a political machine in a safe seat with hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend.
We clearly gave the Liberals a scare, hence the effective intervention
of Michael Kroger two weeks ago plus those robo calls from John Howard and then the aggressive challenge to our how to vote cards.
Malcolm Turnbull also intervened in the final days with a personal letter to Menzies voters urging them to support Kevin Andrews. This assistance in his hour of need should buy Malcolm a bit of support from Kevin in the period ahead.
And here's hoping there are no more Kevin challenges against Julie Bishop for the role of deputy leader. Julie does a great job and her primary vote rose an impressive 3.67% to 66.18%
in her seat of Curtin, a big contrast to the 7.64% decline that Kevin suffered.
Best independent votes in Australia
Looking at it from a national perspective, the biggest primary votes received by independent candidates were as follows on Saturday night:
Andrew Wilkie: 44.37% in Dennison
Cathy McGowan: 34.67% in Indi
Tony Windsor: 27.93% in New England
Rob Oakshott: 26.56% in Cowper
Stephen Ruff: 13.3% in North Sydney
Denis Jensen: 12.01% in Tangney
James Mathison: 11.89% in Warringah
Brad Christopher: 9.41% in Lyne
Jim Ball: 7.68% in Mackellar
Stephen Mayne: 6.88% in Menzies
And from a national perspective, the 10 biggest swings against incumbent MPs were as follows on Saturday night (they have changed modestly now):
Jamie Briggs: -16.19% down to 37.63% in Mayo
Rowan Ramsey: -14.05% down to 41.5% in Grey
Ken O'Dowd: -10.87% to 35.15% in Flynn
Russell Matheson: -10.5% down to 35.16% in Macarthur.
Natasha Griggs: -10.36% to 34.33% in Solomon
David Littleground: -9.99% to 47.43% in Maranoa
Andrew Nikolic: -9.81% to 38.04% in Bass
Christopher Pyne: -9.53% to 44.87% in Sturt
Tony Abbott: -9.01% to 51.83% in Warringah
Louise Markus: -8.95% to 38.38% in Macquarie
Kevin Andrews: -8.4% to 50.48% in Menzies
How the Menzies booths fared
Here is a list of the 34 booths
our volunteers helped cover in Menzies on Saturday, ranked according to percentage vote support.
The 10 best booths were as follows:
1. Templestowe Uniting Church
: 210 votes or 14.5% with an 11.42% swing against Kevin.
2. Templestowe Heights Primary:
341 votes or 10.1% with a 10.35% swing against Kevin.
3. Milgate (Our Lady of the Pines):
170 votes or 10.02% with 8.96% swing against Kevin.
4. Templestowe Valley Primary:
140 votes or 9.97% with 11.14% swing against Kevin.
5. Wonga Park Primary:
128 votes or 9.79% with 9.39% swing against Kevin.
6. Gumnut Gully (Manningham Uniting Church):
121 votes or 9.54% with 8.47% swing against Kevin.
7. Warrandyte Primary:
160 votes or 9.22% with 7.43% swing against Kevin.
8. East Doncaster early voting (Manningham Uniting Church):
896 votes or 9.1% with 10.2% swing against Kevin.
9. Manningham (St Gregorys):
101 votes or 8.73% with 10.04% swing against Kevin.
10. Bulleen Heights Primary (Manningham Rd):
128 votes or 8.43% with 8.11% swing against Kevin.
The three most noteworthy trends are that support was strongest in Templestowe near home where the family is best known and in the leafy anglo areas such as Warrandyte and Wonga Park. We struggled in the Chinese areas around Doncaster, plus in the far-flung corners of the electorate such as Croydon, which is in the City of Maroondah. City of Manningham has the second largest Chinese community in Victoria after Monash and it was clearly a mistake not to have any Mandarin messaging at the Doncaster booths on Saturday. Kevin had plenty and received strong support.What happened with the AEC how to vote card ban
I was blissfully unaware when the AEC moved against our how to vote card at about 3pm on Saturday afternoon because the phone had just run out of charge at the Manningham Uniting Church booth in East Doncaster.
However, looking back at what happened, the following email arrived from the AEC at 2.08pm:Dear Mr Mayne
The attached HTV card fails to contain any authorisation details. Accordingly, its publication is in breach of subsection 328B(1) of the Act. Given the email exchange that we had on 17 June 2016 can you please explain what is going on.
Can you please urgently fix this to add the required authorisation details.
Mr Paul Pirani
Chief Legal Officer
Paul Pirani rang a minute later at 2.09pm to follow up and I explained that the authorisation was on the other side of the card. He seemed fine with this and said the issue would be sorted out after 6pm. Next thing you know, the AEC went nuclear against us.
The reference in Paul Pirani's 2.08pm Saturday email to the earlier email exchange on June 17 is out of context because that issue was all about the use of the phrase "Liberal Independent" on an early version of the how to vote card we distributed at pre-poll. Authorisation never came up back then.
Anyway, next thing we know an order was made to ban the card shortly after 3pm, but this was rolled out chaotically and inconsistently across the 30 booths we were staffing. Some booth workers were treated like criminals and kicked off, whilst others carried on uninterrupted.
By the time I got home at around 3.30pm and plugged in the phone, there were 19 voicemail message and all hell had broken loose.
The immediate response was to start printing the earlier one-sided card from the pre-poll on the home printer and then car shuttle them to nearby polling stations. Booth workers descended on our place, but the printer just wasn't fast enough and, of course, we ran out of ink after a while.
In a bid to tell the world what was happening (plus the circa 70 booth workers who were helping on the day), I took to twitter and quickly pumped out this email to the 13,000-strong Mayne Report email list which is embarrassingly optimistic in hindsight, considering the result:Hi everyone,
after a ridiculous Liberal Party complaint, the AEC has ordered all our booth workers to stop handing out this How To Vote card because it is not authorised.
But have a look at the rear, it is authorised.
Short term emergency, we need people to print this new card, which is authorised on the front, and take it to the nearest Menzies polling booth.
We're a chance to win this and the Libs are playing dirty pool whilst the AEC has over-reacted.
We have a printed card at booths which is clearly authorised on the back.
Do ya best, Stephen Mayne
Satellite printing operations popped up around the electorate but we were still out of action at a majority of booths for more than two hours, which would have cost us hundreds of votes, but was immaterial in the final analysis.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the story is how the ban was so strictly imposed and how everyone responded.
The Liberal booth workers at Templestowe Valley Primary attempted to have our daughter Alice and her friend booted off the school grounds and when they quickly returned to the fray handing out correctly authorised cards the AEC officer in charge came out and apologised to the Liberal booth workers that there was nothing else they could do to have them removed again. Truly.
Elsewhere, some booth workers were just talking to voters but, after further Liberal complaints, were told that canvassing was not allowed.
Other creative responses included the following:
* Point to the pile of how to vote cards on the ground but ask the voter to pick it up themselves.
* Borrow a Get-Up how to vote card which also had us at number one for good transparency policies.
* Wear a jacket over the t-shirt message and then flash it open in front of voters whilst explaining what the Libs and the AEC had done.
I'm obviously going to follow up on these matters formally with the AEC and through the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters and have asked booth workers to send through their stories which have been packaged up on this page.
Trying to communicate with the AEC
Having blown us out of the water on Saturday afternoon, it is extraordinary that no-one at the AEC has yet replied to this email requesting an explanation for what happened:Hi Paul, Jeff and Jen,
Could you please provide me with something in writing about what you did on Saturday afternoon and when,
including the identity of the complainant.
The experience of our booth
workers varies significantly in both the timing, along with some of the advice
given and I would like to understand precisely what the instructions were.
In particular, could you advise
on the question of why no potential remedies were advised such as:
# Volunteers could have
immediately started handing out our earlier one sided card from early voting
which Paul Pirani had previously seen;
# Volunteers could hand-write
the authorisation on the front of the card;
# Volunteers could legally
encourage voters to collect one of the cards from a pile on a table or on the
# Volunteers could have handed
out a separate authorised flyer with no how to vote instructions which some of
them had on them.
Ideally, you would provide me
with a statement that I could distribute to my volunteers and make public.
I'm particularly concerned by
the instructions to booth workers that they had to leave the polling place and
would like to better understand the legal basis for that.
Also, are you aware of any other
examples of our situation where a two-sided how to vote card was prohibited
because it was only authorised on one side.
Regards, Stephen Mayne
Independent candidate for
Some Liberals are attempting to claim the AEC intervention had something to do with our campaign messaging about being a "true liberal". A version of this got a run on 3AW's Rumour File this morning, but it is completely wrong.
The only issue was the lack of fine print self-authorisation on both sides of the card.
As one Liberal booth worker told our volunteers on Saturday, he was ashamed that the party of free enterprise and competition was gaming a system of burdensome regulations to try and stifle the democractic process.
Why don't the AEC actually authorise all how to vote cards?
One of our booth workers was a qualified lawyer and blustered the officer in charge to say he wouldn't accept the demand unless more proof was provided or he received a cease and desist order in writing.
He also started hand-writing the authorisation on the front of his cards, thereby missing very little time with voters.
There's an obvious solution to this saga.
In previous Victorian elections, we have had to actually get the cards authorised by the VEC. Federally they run a self-authorisation program, so cards are not actually authorised by the AEC, but rather by the candidate.
They should change the Federal system so that cards must be authorised by the AEC and that would iron out any problems well before polling day.Saturday night post-mortem
It was great to catch up with some of our volunteers at the Templestowe Bowling Club on Saturday night where we enjoyed watching the results and swapping a few stories.
There was a short concession speech which pointed out that Kevin Andrews had been damaged and will almost certainly be defeated by a younger less extreme Liberal in the next preselection contest in Menzies.
In hindsight, the play was absolutely right but it probably needed a $200,000 campaign to succeed and we obviously made a few mistakes along the way.
Claiming to support the Liberals whilst putting Kevin Andrews last on the ticket was perhaps not the best strategy. Besides, only about 40% of our voters did put Andrews last, according to our scrutineer at Serpell Primary.
An open ticket would have been a better option, but the Greens may not have agreed to direct preference our way ahead of Labor if that had been the case.
Given the likely hung parliament, imagine how Menzies would be placed if 17% rather than 7% had gone for the Turnbull supporting independent.
This $50 million infrastructure Menzies wish list
would be in play right now, albeit with a rock solid commitment to back Turnbull and the Liberals come what may.
But it wasn't to be, so thanks again to everyone for providing such great support and participating in this democratic adventure.
We were thrilled by the 100-plus donations that were revealed on our register
and also delighted at the booth coverage in the end.
The two functions for volunteers were great fun and we've all got lots of stories to tell about the experience.
Campaign updates over the past two months
We've pumped out a lot of material about the Menzies campaign over the past two months. Here are links to all the bumper email editions that were sent out on a weekly basis:
Sprint to the line, robo-calls, volunteers, campaign transparency and pokies
Friday, July 1Campaign update, more pokies donations, Menzies ignored, ASA leave and council governance reform
Monday, June 27Kevin's getting worried, campaign update, pokies, News Corp dispute, City of Melbourne and family news
Friday, June 17Kevin locked in, so Make Menzies Matters campaign hits top gear
Friday, June 10Menzies update, "Fake Liberal" corflutes, AFL pokies & gift register
Saturday, June 4, 2016Menzies update, Westfield rate dodging and candidate betting
Tuesday, May 31, 2016Menzies update, ASA board, pokies and Four Corners
Monday, May 23, 2016Plus, check out these other links:Policy positions taken during the campaign
What voters in Menzies say about Kevin Andrews
A true Liberal explains why Kevin is a fake Liberal
Media coverage of Menzies tilt
Manningham budget submission: the $50m of Federal support we need
What people say about Stephen Mayne
Real time disclosure of donations received
City of Melbourne update
After taking leave without pay for 6 days, it was straight back into a 12 hour session at Town Hall on Tuesday,
The lengthy public committee meeting
on Tuesday was dominated by planning matters and this excellent City of Melbourne submission
on the Metro Rail project is well worth a read.
Remember, anyone can come along on the first or third Tuesday of the month and ask a question.
And check out this list of the 50-plus transparency reforms
that City of Melbourne has implemented over the past 4 years, as well as this list of nearly 50 motions
we have put up since late 2012.Tap into ASA's excellent research lists
A two week period of leave from the Australian Shareholders' Association board is also over now that the election is done and dusted.
The ASA is moving to a bigger office in the Sydney CBD today which will enhance our capacity to represent and educate retail shareholders.
Any retail investor worth their salt should be a member of the ASA. The ASA website
has an interesting list of research lists, some of which are member-only behind the paywall. Here are a few favourites:Longest serving ASX 200 directors New CEOs who embrace write-offsMeasuring independent chairs for "skin in the game" Capped SPPs which were then expandedHow retail investors do worse with separate bookbuilds The 100 most important remuneration protest votes 30-plus examples of where retail investors gathered 100 signatures
And if you want to see all the research plus the full archive of AGM reports and voting recommendations since 2009, you really should become a member. Click here.Keeping an eye on the directors club
Apart from the former ASX100 chairman who didn't show up for his how to vote card shift, there was good support from several public company directors during the Make Menzies Matter campaign.
Former GPT chairman Peter Joseph donated $1000 and provided the following endorsement:“I've faced heavy questioning from Stephen Mayne as a public
company chairman. He's whip smart, tough, incisive and honest. I certainly
didn't always agree with him but there was never a doubt about his motivation.
I respect that. Our nation would be better off if a Turnbull-supporting
independent with his extensive governance experience and fearless
advocacy skills was in the Federal Parliament.”
Carol Schwartz, a Stockland director and the founding chair of the Women's Leadership Institute, also provided the following statement:"Stephen Mayne has always been a vocal advocate for equality for women in the context of power sharing and
decision-making at all levels. We need more individuals like Stephen in the
Sadly, there was no support from some of our favourite billionaires such as Rupert Murdoch, Frank Lowy, James Packer, Gerry Harvey or Solomon Lew.
None of this will change any of our positions on keeping public company board accountable in the period ahead and we will continue to go hard on the issue of gender diversity in the corridors of power.
Finally, here are links to some of our interesting lists related to directors which we will continue to update in the period ahead:
Surprising lack of protest votes against non-independent executive chairsASX-listed chairs rushed into the job from outsideTracking tenure and gender balance of AFL club boardsCompanies which tried to make it harder for outsiders to run for boardsWhat happens to directors in takeoversDonate to help keep us goingThe Mayne Report
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Or, you can send a cheque to PO Box 925, Templestowe 3106.The Mayne Report loves lists and here are a few favourites
We love a good list at The Mayne Report
and here are a few favourites we've worked up over the years:18 years of remuneration excesses by the Murdoch family120 local govt councillors who made it into ParliamentThe great honorary doctorates listProminent Australians who have sued for defamationClaimed assets of companies at time of collapseThe great Australian cheque-book journalism listCrikey yarns during the Federal election campaign
Since Crikey was sold in March 2005, the freelance contributions to Australia's best known and longest running independent ezine have continued as follows:2016
: 40 stories so far2015: 108 stories2014: 51 stories2013: 19 stories2012: 56 stories2011: 71 stories2010: 64 stories2009: 50 stories2008: 264 stories2007: 354 stories2006: 295 stories2005: 257 stories
Here are links to the Crikey stories about Menzies over the past two months:Revealing the Menzies campaign for Crikey
Monday, May 9, 2016Minor parties and independents should disclose hung parliament intentions
Monday, May 16Can Four Corners kick-start some campaign finance reform?
Monday, May 23 Disclosing donations online, but will Kevin Andrews match this?
Thursday, May 26How James Mathison should take on Tony Abbott in Warringah
Monday, May 30Mad in Menzies after Leader Newspapers intervention
Monday, June 6Campaign update after Menzies ballot draw
Friday, June 10Hob-nobbing heaven at PM's Olympic Dinner
Monday, June 20Taking on Michael Kroger over the "true liberal"
Friday, June 24
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If you're a relatively new Mayne Report
reader, here are links to some of the more interesting email editions sent out over the past eight years.2015 - 8 editions AGM season, PAITREOs, pokies, MAV, Copyright, Piccinini sisters, ANZ carbon and transcripts
November 5, 2015 Global Integrity Summit, Macquarie, pokies, council update, AGM season and family news
October 12, 2015Battling Slaters, a Stokes shocker, council, CBA litigation, ASA conference and RACV reforms
April 30, 2015Tenth anniversary of Crikey sale, Aristocrat AGM, council transparency and then some
March 9, 2015Why Ministers should support the Liberal leadership spill
Monday, February 9, 20152014 - 8 editions focused on back half of the year post ASA gigSpecial edition on the Victorian election result
Sunday, November 30, 2014Vic election, Herald Sun, Rupert votes, Tex, Xenophon and much more
Sunday, November 23, 2014Rupert AGMs, Cabcharge, Costello, Bolt, Ten and Victorian election
Sunday, November 16, 2014CBA tilt, LA visit, Rupert AGMs, Cabcharge and state election
Wednesday, November 12, 2014Cabcharge, donations for Rupert visit and governance reforms at City of Melbourne
Wednesday, November 5, 2014Tilts, Fairfax, CBA, Brickworks, Albert Park, ASX, Woolies, pokies and Crown
Friday, September 20, 2014We're back: inside a post-ASA election season blitz
Monday, September 15, 20142013 - 10 editions with 5 favourites belowCapital raisings, Ansell, IAG, Packer, pokies, Rich List, City of Melbourne and ASA update
Monday, December 23, 2013Franking robbery, East West trust breach, BHP bonuses, John Gay and plenty more
Sunday, August 25, 2013ASA policy paper, Kevin Andrews on the pokies, Senate preferences and much more
August 19, 2013ASA, Billabong, Westfield, Newcrest, Shorten, Turnbull, pokies and then some
Monday, July 22, 2013Rudd v Gillard, referendum, Labor sleaze, Clive Palmer, ASA, City of Melbourne and plenty more
Monday, June 24, 20132012 - only 9 editions given council and ASA commitmentsBacking Rudd, Lachlan, Bob Brown media debate, Manningham governance, Gunns and St Kilda AGM
Monday, February 20, 2012The OZ goes mad, Murdoch piracy, AFR, pokies double rate, Gina, council super, BoQ rip-off and power speech
Wednesday, April 4, 20122011 - 21 editions but slowed down after elected to ASA board in MayMurdoch special, media inquiry, pokies, Manningham, Zara, secretive Shortenite crs and Vodafone take-down
Thursday, September 15, 2011Elected to ASA board, pokies, Rio, Santos, RHG, Hartigan, Manningham, capital raisings and Rich List
Thursday, May 19, 20112010 - 39 editions and last year with paid staff Paperlinx, Packer, Murdoch, Manningham, pokies, Rich ex wives, foreign takeovers and much more
Saturday, October 23, 2010 DJs, women on boards, ex Lib goes no pokies, preferences, Pratt-Shorten, Labor's debt and Manningham council audio
August 3, 2010Director rankings, Rio, Westfield, MAP, Manningham, Paatsch, state election, rich list, pokies and much more
June 9, 2010Political donations, Stokes, Westfield tower, Richard Colless, Manningham nursing home, state debt, Rich List and Grand Prix
February 23, 20102009 - 40 editions but was slowed down by Manningham councilSeven AGM, crazy Perth visit, Fairfax, Telstra, Transfield, capital raisings and much more
November 9, 2009News Corp AGM, Packer, Fairfax, James Strong, Woolies, Eastern Golf, Kohler-Gatto and much more
October 20, 2009Bad Bendigo, Mark Day, Manningham, pokies, NAB, Asciano, Rich List, Paladin and hostile EGMs
September 15, 2009Macquarie AGM, Melbourne's decline, Asciano EGM, capital raisings, Goyder's pokies and AGM diary
July 28, 20092008 - 172 editions in our first and best full year of operation as the GFC hit and before we got overloaded at Manningham71% backing at Centro, $11bn backing at BHP and huge Qantas protest
November 28, 2008Combank's $700m ABC Learning debacle
November 13, 2008Toll board skewered over $55m executive rort
October 30, 2008Rupert's accountability dodge, Macquarie's Italian hit, Babcock funds revamp, pokieact.org and rich lists.
October 20, 2008BHP and Woolies tilts, AFIC push on Stan Wallis, ASX-Kohler yarn and new Rich Listers
September 26, 2008Macquarie videos, Stokes raid, new board tilt, Oz Minerals, share trading and much more
July 25, 2008Owen Hegarty payout rolled, history is made
July 18, 2008Great debate at the Babcock AGM
May 30, 2008Our liveliest edition yet
Thursday, May 8, 2008Burrows quits Fairfax, Rupert, donations, long-serving directors and much more
January 31, 2008Markets tumble, Rupert book deal, Centro, Rich List, Xenophon, AFR tips and our buying spree
January 17, 20082007 - 15 editions as we launched shortly before running in Federal electionFortescue Metals AGM: time for Twiggy and FMG to grow up
Sunday, November 8, 2007, 10.30pmHow $5bn worth of votes backed us against Rupert's dodgy gerrymander
Saturday, 20 October, 2007, 7.20am
That's all for now.
Do ya best, Stephen Mayne* The Mayne Report is an email newsletter and website which promotes transparency and good governance in the corporate, political and media worlds. It is published by Stephen Mayne, the founder of Crikey.com, shareholder advocate, ASA director and City of Melbourne councillor. To unsubscribe from this email list, click here. Authorised by Stephen Mayne, 90 Swanston St, Melbourne 3000.