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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

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June 10, 2007

I was in meeting in Sydney all day yesterday and I arrived back in Adelaide late last night. I had little chance to read the newspapers or post. So I'm trying to catch up. This cartoon caught my eye from the archives whilst I quickly scanned the papers over breakfast:


It's the other side of the previous post. You have to admit that Keating has given a welter of material to the Howard Government to work with over the next fortnight in Parliament as they attempt to wound Rudd and Gillard. It may work as the ALP is scared of their own shadows.

The Hawke/Keating economic reforms----floating of the Australian dollar, deregulating the banking sector winding back import tariffs, opening the Australian economy to global competition, driving a wave of competition at a state level, introducing enterprise bargaining to boost productivity growth and introducing compulsory superannuation---were important.

Keating argues that these reforms underpin Australia's contemporary prosperity and yet Labor does not want to claim the fruits of their reforms as their own. Labor has made a mistake in distancing itself from the Hawke and Keating reform legacy under Beazley and Latham.

Why so? Is it the focus group advisers? The ALP union Right into numbers and strategy? Well, the consequence is that Labor in Opposition has handed the mantle of economic reform to Howard during the last decade; and it is struggling to stake its claim as economic reformists in a global world. This defence of Keating is not being part of Keating's cheer squad --it is a keen puzzlement at the way the ALP has walked away from its economic reformist credentials. Why so?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:12 AM | | Comments (22)


Well the polls for qld released today have Labor at 45 and Coalition at 44.
Some blame could be directed at Beattie and some in the Labor Party would be happy for Keating to keep his face out of the Media.
But whatever, If his own state isnt backing him he's gone!

Currently Labor holds only six of the 29 federal seats in Queensland and many argue that it must at least double this to 12 to have a shot at winning the 16 extra seats needed to form government in its own right.

I take it that you are referring to the The Courier-Mail/ Galaxy survey. This shows that federal Labor's lead over the Coalition in Queensland has been cut from 10 per cent to just 4 per cent of the two-party-preferred vote:

The Coalition primary vote in Queensland has surged 4 per cent to 44 per cent since February while Labor's support has dropped two points to 45 per cent. After the distribution of preferences, Labor's two-party preferred vote dived three points to 52 per cent while the Coalition jumped to 48 per cent.

As someone points out that is still a 7% swing to Labor from the last federal election.

I'm not persuaded that you can attribute that kind of reduction to Keating's Lateline interview! How about Queenslanders reverting to their old habit of voting Labor at a state level and for the Coalition federally – the so-called Beattie Liberal voters.

No I wasn't attributing it necessarily. Just stating that some in the Labor Party would feel that the public seeing Keating in the media would be presenting a reminder of high interest rates.
Yes I was referring to that poll. Interesting that of the 800 surveyed 73% had concerns of Labors ability to manage the Economy. That is a damning stat.My money on the Coalition @$2.16 is looking good

Mumble says that the Gallaxy poll gives a 9% swing to the ALP in Queensland. This would, in terms of in the pendulum, give it increased seats. Mumble says 17 out of 29, which is more than double the 6 seats the ALP now holds

Other say that 9% swing would give the ALP 10 seats, namely
and prob Dickson

That means the ALP needs to pick up 7 across the country to form govt.

If the Galaxy poll can be believed at all.

There are quite a few mutterings about push polling - pollee's saying that they were asked the opinion questions (which were highly prejudicial against the ALP) before the how will you vote question.

Saulwick in today's Crikey is calling foul over Galaxy.

I see Queensland as a very conservative state---akin to Texas--and so they do not like change. It is a socially conservative state, as well as one facing huge infrastructure challenges in the southeast corner water, roads, hospitals, schools etc.---a huge backlog.

Secondly, Galaxy is the odd poll out re Newspoll, Morgan, ACNielsen, Gallaxy. Galaxy is also the only poll that does not treat both sides of politics equally with the questions that are asked.

The head of Galaxy argues that the Libs still could win the election when people became engaged during the election campaign. So that means when people become “engaged’ they naturally will wake up and vote coalition. On this argument when we all become “engaged” the polls suddenly become redolent with meaning. So why bother with polls until then?

The infrastructure development is huge---$82 billion in projects with the bulk of them rolled over the next five years. It is the largest infrastructure project in Australia and one that goes over 20 years.

It is the ALP that has changed the image of Queensland as a provincial backwater, which it was under the National Party.

Peter Brent (Mumble) in comments to the OZ Politics post on this poll says:

I’m pretty sure “push-polling” is something totally different to what’s being suggested here. Push polling is when a pollster rings people up and spreads rumours, under the guise of doing a poll. The actual poll result is secondary, or the numbers aren’t even compiled. What’s important is the information they’re spreading around. It might be, in Bennelong: “As you may have heard, Maxine McKew says she can’t stand Ryde, and that people who live there are the biggest cretins in the world. Does knowing this make you (a) more likely to vote for her …, (b) less … ” etc. (Note: She never said that, I made it up.) I doubt Galaxy would put the voting intention questions last. They would be shot at pollsters’ dawn if they did. Voting intentions first, always.

Well if the ALP gets up(unlikely) you can all burn me at the stake.
But until then I will continue to stick pins in the effigies of you all.
Enjoy :)

I think someone claimed underdog status today did they?

Queensland and South Australia have something in common: they only have one paper and it's a Murdoch tabloid rag.... full of half truths and full deceptions. Yet the biggest swings to the ALP are expected to come from these two states.

Generally speaking, oppositions can’t win with only 42% primary, because close to the election the advantage always favours the incumbent. Above 45% is a different ballgame. However, the electoral maths is against Labor: 14 seats up to 3.3% after that you need big swings 4.0% in Bennelong (which is a special case) and then 4.8%. Moreover, the swing is not uniform eg., Tasmania and WA.

It's not good judgment to take one poll result and believe it. We need to wait for the others The ALP need a stronger swing in Qld than elsewhere. If there is a 7-8% swing in Qld, then a relatively modest swing elsewhere will see them home.

If Saulwick reckons Galaxy is push polling, that's good enough for my mind.

The Galaxy polls feel as dodgy as anything - counter all the other polls and at a politically opportune time for the PM.

The Hun and the Courier Mail doing very bad hatchet jobs.

Gotto love the News Limited papers - they are really pulling out all stops to attck the ALP.

A few weeks and a few more polls will read the temperature better.

Oh and Les, could you stick that pin a bit lower in my back, it's a mite touchy and could do with a little accupuncture treatment! :)

Agreed one poll does not decide anything though it does show that there is some leveling off going on. Rudd I suggest will not see the dizzy heights of his previous popularity again unless there is some huge scandals. Its roll up your sleeves time for both sides now.
I don't much like Murdoch or his rags but he is part of it and even more so now that Packer has gone.

It sure looks as if the Murdock Press is ready to accept, and spin, any poll that shows a decline in Labor's electoral support whilst right wing Queensland union boss Bill Ludwig moans on about Kevin Rudd being no friend of the union movement.

You can no longer say that The Australian is a beacon of enlightened journalism in an era when the media has become dull, parochial, timid and unenquiring. The Australian journalists like Steve Lewis gets a few words from Liberal Party strategists then constructs an op ed about the tide turning as the voters flirtation with Rudd comes to an end due to clever tactics by said Liberal Party strategists.

The line is the same. Rudd's campaign for the Lodge:

is in danger of being derailed by voter perceptions that Labor is too beholden to the unions...It has done irreparable damage to the Australian Labor Party's pitch to middle Australia, reinforcing concerns that a Rudd government would fall under the spell of the ACTU...with definite signs the Government is starting to claw back Labor's commanding lead in the polls, voters want assurances a Rudd government would not be a patsy for the ACTU.

Lewis covers up the chook feed by saying he figured this out by strolling around Eden Monaro for a couple of days. It's a bellweather seat and so he is able to discern the nation's mood.

interesting how the Murdoch Press spins the Galaxy poll in Queensland big time. It tries to create "news" though commentary.

According to this poll, Labor has 52% and the coalition 48%. A 9% turn around and they say this is bad for Labor? Also take a look at the preferred PM figures. Rudd has a job satisfaction rating of 72%, Howard 49%. Preferred PM - Rudd 55%, Howard 40% Who would do the best for Queensland - Rudd 60%, Howard 31%.

This is interpreted as the big turn around for the Coalition. People have turned back from being wooed by Kevin because they can see through Rudd to the nasty extreme Gillard and Garrett. The honeymoon is over.The shine has worn off. The tide is turning etc etc Rudd's demise is apparent. Why the ALP will tear itself apart and Rudd will even no longer be leader before the election!

Since those Galaxy figures indicate that the coalition supporters and staffers have little to crow about, the Murdoch Press is in the business of selling good news and pushing the Coalition's stories to change the atmosphere from the old 'we will all be annihilated' one to a 'Rudd on the ropes' one.

So the Murdoch press spins the stories in a campaign to show the Coalition clawing its way back into contention.This makes the Coalition MPs much less fraught and gives them a spring in their step.

The figures look exceedingly strange.

Rudd's personal approval figures have improved, more people think the ALP will win, yet their share of the vote slipped markedly.

So the 60 plus percent of people who thought Rudd would be better for Qld, a better PM and who think he is doing an outstanding job as opposition leader suddenly when aksed who they are voting for are far less likely to vote for the ALP than they were last Galaxy poll and against all the other poll's results.

Very dodgy.

Newscorp's paper's might as well sack all their political journalists and sub-contract it out to Liberal party staffer's.

I thought the bias during the 04 campaign was bad - this is incredible and we haven't even seen the election called yet.

The Media doesn't sit around and wait for stories to break.
They sit around and make stories happen.
Did you's think that they would be happy to push the old Rudds in front story for months? They want bums on seats. Looks like its pins in your backsides tonight!

sure. It's an industry that needs to sell.

However, Murdoch is increasingly selling to a specific audience--Coalition supporters--just like Fox news sells to Republicans in the US. It's a closed universe that gives expression of hate for Gillard, just like Fox news expresses hate for Nancy Pelosi.

It's a wonderful insight into the political unconscious of conservatives.

If it were otherwise we would get some honest and informed analysis of the issues, polls and polling rather than the beatups, spin and framing that is designed to gee up the troops.

Newspapers are generally "Infotainment" now. They must cater for a wide group not just people that like honest editorials. A look at the Courier Mail will see that there is more stories of rapes and assault/murders than anything else in the first few pages. Thats what the punters want. To go OOO AGH! Isn't that terrible Elsie! Thats news to lots. Politics! most who get the paper wouldn't read the political stories.

yes to the infotainment thesis.

There's politics and politics. Consider this paragraph from The Australian's editorial Reality bites the psychotic Left:

In their retreat from modernity, the wrongly named progressives part company with Marxism which, despite its fatal flaws, was at least grounded in the spirit of the enlightenment, progress through scientific inquiry. Today's Left has allowed itself to become trapped in a parallel universe, out of touch and far removed from the mainstream where the real Australian discourse takes place. It is not just a geographical divide, though it is true the Left tends to be at its strongest in the latte belt and tertiary institutions. It is a class divide between an elite on one side and the mass of ordinary people on the other. It is not just Mr Howard they hate but Mr Average..

So there is politics as cultural wars which is different from parliamentary politics.

As for the phrase 'retreat from modernity' --doesn't The Australian rave on about the Left being post modern?

Hmmm Latte Lefty; Makes me think of Robin Hood skimming 10% of the takings and putting it into his super fund.
Yes agreed they hate Mr Average too.

Its a joke--a comedy routine, even if the jokes are rather stale.

The right wing commentators of The Australian are part of a conservative cultural elite. Their free market ethos has little concern or timne for the battlers they profess to be a part of.