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12 August 2010

Australian Politics: Fun And Games, by Greg Tingle - 12th August 2010

Australia is enjoying fun and games galore with the Aussie election about one week away as. We enter round 12 of Tony "The Bruiser" Abbott VS reigning champion, Julia "Jungle Girl" Gillard. Gillard appears to be leading by a nose no pun intended). Most money is going on Gillard and Abbott has his not so secret weapon, Malcolm "No Bull" Turnbull, no strangers to our loyal audience who are packed to the rafters. Harrah's and MGM Grand would be proud of the betting, casino and internet censorship components that all form part of Aussie political party policy. Media Man and Gambling911 continue to follow the campaign trail, jabbing, dodging and weaving around the election and Aussie casino wars with another politically red hot report...good thing that Aussie internet filter is not up, but we know you passionate punters would be hitting the proxy or whatever to get your fix anyway...

Labor VS Liberal; More Money Backing Labor (At This Second)...

Labor has been attracting a lot of punters money in recent weeks, with activity skyrocketing in recent days. 21 August is election day and punters keep splashing money on their top picks.

Centrebet has received bets of $20,000, $40,000 and even $150,000 we hear. This shorted up Labor's odds of winning but we won't know until the final bell in round 12.

Odds on Julia Gillard becoming (staying) prime minister are around $1.51, but keep checking as experts forecast turbulence in the upcoming days.

Centrebet agency's analyst, Neil Evans, said hundreds of thousands of bucks had been wagered on the election, alot of it in recent days.

Almost all of the money had been for Labor, but not Liberal is getting more bets and bigger ones.

Media coverage is keeping punters interested. ABC's Q&A program, The Chaser and more.

The return of The Chaser, with election special Yes, We Canberra, in the 9.30pm slot two weeks ago snatched about 1.5 million viewers.

The betting surge had also followed prominent media reporting of an interview from former Labor leader Mark Latham, who accused PM Gillard of patronising him and "stroking" his front!

The opposition had originally been backed in at $2.27 over the weekend, its shortest price, after Gillard was confronted by Mr Latham and endured what is being described as an awkward get together for press with Kevin Rudd.

"Despite being heavily backed in many key marginal seats, budgetary pressures on the Coalition's senior team are mounting, and Mr Abbott must now get right on the policy front foot," Mr Evans said.

"Right now, Labor is winning ... but this is a bizarre and unique election.

"The shortening of the odds for Labor in just half a day is a massive statement."

Mr Evans said he thinks Labor's latest advertisements where it shows former Treasurer Peter Costello seemingly ridiculing Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's economic credentials had been working in the minds of punters who were now switching sides to Labor.

Today Media Man has heard around the cafes of Sydney that 1 punter put $150,000 on Labor to win, another $175,000 on Liberal to win. Ah, some folks have money to burn don't they. God knows how much both parties have spent on advertising this campaign, but its got to be 6 figures, maybe 7. A million... yep, they have it and the war continues at fever pitch.

Aussie Racing And Media King John Singleton VS Labor Party...

Julie Gillard is in a fight and she keeps getting reminded of political figures who have previously run a muck. Who? Kevin "Bloody" Rudd and Mark "Maniac" (affectionate MM tag) Latham. Now John "Singo" Singleton enters the fight in his own Aussie larikan (but strategic) way.

Singleton again asserted his presence over the election campaign when his ad agency, Banjo, launched what may be the most controversial ad - promo of the election campaign.

They feature the fictional story of a woman told she is dying of cancer that could have been treated if she had had an earlier pap smear.

Written up by Alan Johnson, one of the founders of Mojo, now a partner with Singo in Banjo, the adverts have been funded by Australia's largest GP clinic group, Primary Health Care.

The TV campaign sees health initiatives promised by Labor being buried in a grave and the campaign is highlighted by "Don't let Labor's health cuts be the death of you."

The campaign was commissioned by Primary Health Care managing director Edmund Bateman and its the 5th time Singo has inserted himself into the election campaign.

Singleton's presence first appeared in May when overtures were made to Tony Abbott's camp apparently offering the services of the man Bob Hawke credited with helping orchestrate his second election win, to help 'Bruiser' Abbott into The Lodge.

His move to the Coalition is understood to have been driven by projects Banjo did for the National Party in Queensland, plus with his own opposition to Kevin Rudd's resource super-profits tax...influenced by his friendships with those in the mining industry. Think "Twiggy" Forrest types.

Singleton was prominent in the media attacking Labor as a failed experiment.

Banjo created an anti-mining tax ad for a Perth-based action group, but the ad was put on ice mear hours before it was to go to tele and web after new PM Julia Gillard cut a deal with a host of big Aussie bases mines.

The campaign, another true blue Singo styled masterpiece using the mafia line "You're going to get whacked", came back to hatch roughly 3 weeks ago as the campaign for the group known as Association of Mining Exploration Companies.

Singleton has kept up the good fight, commenting during a TV cross on the Nine's Today show to the launch of the new Blue Tongue brewery about the mess Labor was in.

His radio network, Macquarie, has also heard its key announcers, Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, offer less than complimentary comments against the government. Ah, the media wars in full force.

Singo has just become a grandfather for the first time and insiders speculate this may have triggered his political pro active stance.

The so called Twilight Zone election is largely enjoying the Singo X Factor, and Team Gillard know they are in a fight to the death... er, end.

Gillard VS Abbott: Town Hall Type Action In Rooty Hill Sydney...Rooting Or Rooted?...

Political pollster Galaxy says it will investigate why the son of a former Liberal MP was part of the audience at yesterday's Rooty Hill RSL Club forum.

Joel Scalzi, the son of former South Australian Liberal MP Joe Scalzi, was one of the undecided voters selected by the polling company to quiz PM Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in a town hall-style meeting.

He asked Abbott what the Coalition could offer him as an unmarried voter with no children.

"All I've got is a big DVD collection," the 27-year-old told the room.

David Briggs, the principal at Galaxy Research, would not comment on whether there was a Liberal Party bias in the audience, proclaiming "We are looking into that."

But he said that Mr Scalzi was only one of 200 "real people" selected by his company.

"I don't know those people," he said when probed about last night's debate among Twitter users on the audience's impartiality.

"I think the proof of the pudding last night was we certainly had 200 real people in there and they asked real questions from a range of topics."

Briggs said neither of the candidates was given an easy or difficult ride from the voters.

"The audience was responding to how the leaders treated them. Julia Gillard was reserved and the audience was reserved in return. Tony Abbott was more outgoing and the audience was more outgoing in return."

Briggs said the 200 or so voters were selected from "market research-type databases" that Galaxy had, and from the good old fashioned White Pages.

They were first asked about their voting intentions. Those who declared they were undecided or leaned towards one party but had not made their minds up were those Galaxy attempted to recruit for the audience, he said.

The audience was split 50 / 50 of male and female, and reflected the population's age brackets. Where they lived was not one of the criteria, Mr Briggs said.

Galaxy had to "spread the net quite broadly" in order to secure the 200 required for the debate.

"Anyone who classified themselves as an uncommitted voter, we were more than happy to have along, because obviously it's not everyone's cup of tea and we need to screen a fair number of people to get to those uncommitted voters," Mr Briggs added.

"There are many tiers which people can disqualify themselves or not qualify for the type of people we want."

A range of Australian media companies say that Mr Scalzi was a 2007 'Big Brother' reality TV show contestant and said then he was a Young Liberal.

A spokeswoman for the South Australian branch of the Liberals advised Scalzi was not a member of the young Liberals or the Liberal Party. The president of the NSW Division of the young Liberals, Scott Farlow, said he was not aware Mr Scalzi was a member either.

Mr Scalzi wrote on his Facebook page that he had a "hilarious night at the Rooty Hill RSL with my mate Billy".

"Doing work there for Jonesy and Amanda, i think i invited Tony Abbott over my place to watch The Notebook lol!!!"

Galaxy is the polling organisation used by News Ltd's metropolitan newspapers, including News Limited's The Daily Telegraph.

The debate was organised by The Telegraph and broadcast on Sky News Australia. The audience members were selected this week.

Some observers watching the debate claimed the audience was stacked with supporters of Abbott.

Tweeter Geeksrulz said "Sky News and Galaxy just leave the TV Audience debates to the professionals like [the ABC's panel show] QandA. They know how to sample."

Stan04676 came up with "Rooty Hill audience reminds me of Paul Keating's comments on the Senate Unrepresentative swill."

Others defended the Rooty Hill sample audience and criticised Q&A as a left-leaning forum.

"Ahaha, I love that people are already leveling accusations of Liberal bias in the audience. Same thing happens on Q and A," justinbarbour said.

We told you it was fun and games hey. Oh, Julia Gillard is regarded by the Australian public as is Tony Abbott (especially when wearing his budgie smugglers). Jules has yet to wear a bikini in the campaign. The Sex Party candidate for Abbott's patch, Austen Tayshus, has been spotted in a Man Kini, that even 'Borak' would be proud of. The Tayshus stunt is understood to have triggered a flasher who showed hit bits in public, later to be arrested. We told you this was soap opera. Aussie soapie starts 'Kath and Kim' did not comment to the comparisons.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports via Gambling911 for more "can't miss" information on the Australian casino and political wars.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how good was that. Who are your betting on, and why? Make your voice heard. The big wigs of Australian politics and business read and hang on every word at your beloved Gambling911. From Australia's answer to 'Casino Jack' to 'Outback Jack', they're all hear folks. Keep checking daily for the greatest soap opera coverage on earth... casino, gambling and politics style...Underbelly, The Sopranos... you get the idea. Yes Minister, and have another cup of Full Strength Coffee (no Caffeine or web Filter thanks).

The Late News...

A media insider leaked that PartyGaming continue to watch the Australian political and gambling scene very closely. Some interest in the right media and political connections we hear. Interesting timing with Party now getting mixed reports in the United States. Insiders note that Richard Branson, the champion of Virgin Games and Virgin Gaming is doing the rounds in Australia. Aussie Branson detractor of sorts, Sir Dick Smith (not a gaming or gambling fan and more aligned with Mr X we hear), is using blondes to try to get extra attention for his campaigns, with mixed results. Ah, political fun and games everywhere, and Gambling911 remains available for your reading pleasure just about everywhere on earth (expect for China), with Chinese Thought Police minding their firewall around the clock in bit of a Clockwork Orange meets They Live capacity. Remember your freedoms (what is left of them) when you vote, if you didn't already. Media Man and Gambling911 continue to keep up the good fight so you're appetite for censorship free news continues. Mums and dads, kids of all ages, thank you for your support. We couldn't do it without you. Now, play for free or play for money, but always bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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