What the polls aren’t telling us

It will be very nice indeed in the event of a Rudd victory to read the papers reporting about what the government is actually doing, policy-wise, rather than an endless succession of stories and non-stories about polls and the horse race.

It’s certainly been the year of the poll, and in the closing stages of the campaign, almost all observers but the most recalcitrant have finally caught up to the fact that they’ve been telling us something for a long time.

But not all. Take the Adelaide Sunday Mail’s leader writer, for instance:

That Prime Minister John Howard’s Government stands this morning under threat is a mystery.

Really?

Tony Abbott seems to think so too – and I suspect that he’s not alone in his total disbelief that the electorate might be about to dispense with the services of its rightful masters. Only the last Minister brave or foolhardy enough to say so in public.

It’s intriguing to note that commentators this year have almost unanimously expressed surprise or puzzlement at the “it’s time” factor in the polls. The electorate must be bored, or something, or we’d have seen the baseball bats. How can this be when the Dear Leader still retains public esteem?

The answer may lie in what the polls aren’t asking.

Sydney Uni Politics Professor Rod Tiffen makes this case in an interesting piece in Australian Policy Online:

In the current election, the pollsters’ standard arsenal of questions has a particularly profound ring of irrelevance. None of the polls seems to give any insight into why such a crucially large section of the electorate seems to have turned its back on the government, and seems immune to all its blandishments. None of the questions they ask seems to capture key elements: whether there is an “it’s time” factor, whether people no longer trust the government, whether people are simply sick of the key personalities. The pollsters do not seem capable of coming up with new questions or approaches that give a sense of the dynamics of the swing to Labor.

Tiffen argues that few of the questions asked properly relate shifts in public attitudes to voting intention, or measure how important particular issues might be. This goes a long way to explaining why we’ve been treated to various numbers being anointed as “leading indicators” and shaky hypotheses built on the basis of irrelevant shifts and misunderstood historical parallels.

Elections, as George W. Bush famously said, are “accountability moments”.

By this stage of the game, there should be no surprises in why a lead on “economic management” runs up against the reality of the lived economy. But I haven’t seen any commentators attempt to explain why the “it’s time” factor occurs – it’s not just “boredom” but it’s a way governments are finally held to account.

The increasing arrogance of the Howard government – exemplified by Mark Vaile’s recent shenanigans – should provide a clue. We may well be constantly told, in hectoring tones, by the commentariat that scandals like AWB, Children Overboard and Haneef are “elite issues” for the “political class”. But given that the Latham effect swamped Howard’s lousy record on “trust” in 2004, it may well be the case that years of bluster, incompetence and a born to rule attitude are finally coming back to haunt the Coalition.

But you’d never know that from the polls – because they’re asking the electorate the wrong questions.

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Posted in federal election '07
45 comments on “What the polls aren’t telling us
  1. Ambigulous says:

    A slight problem of methodology here, isn’t there? Unless you keep asking the same questions every time you sample, then you can’t display a ‘time series’ – so you need to repeat the STANDARD questions (preferred PM, party) at least. Otherwise you’re comparing oranges with bananas….

    But if I believe the 2PP figures the pollsters have been publishing all year in the MSM, then Labor is headed for victory. Why is this a POLLING problem? The Labor lead has been consistent, reasonably steady, for nigh on 12 months. Is this a POLLING problem?

    Some journalists, political ‘scientists’, pollwatchers, citizens and politicians may be puzzled and confused about these polling results, but that only demonstrates difficulties in:
    INTERPRETATION,
    logic,
    intuition,
    historical grasp,
    commonsense,
    etc, doesn’t it? Now it may be that in future staisticians and market researchers will write a better set of polling questions, or show which questions (already asked this year) turned out to be the most discriminating as ‘predictors’ of election outcomes…. but I wouldn’t be too concerned just yet.

    As long as we don’t have a photo on the front pages next Monday, showing a grinning JWH with a poll headline poster (proved wrong by his victory), like the Truman/Dewey photos….

    cheerio

  2. Liam Hogan says:

    A slight problem of methodology here, isn’t there? Unless you keep asking the same questions every time you sample, then you can’t display a ‘time series’

    No, Ambigulous. You can have a perfectly valid one-time social survey, it just won’t conform to the competitive model of polling reportage.

    INTERPRETATION,
    logic,
    intuition,
    historical grasp,
    commonsense,

    Wrong on all five points. Surveys that ask insufficient questions of respondents aren’t accessible to any of your first four, and your fifth is the cause of the poverty of Australian election news coverage. You know I’m right—it’s commonsense.

  3. David Rubie says:

    I like Possums Pollytics graphs of interest rates and Labor support – they look highly correlated. I’m also sympathetic to the idea that Tampa/Siev X/Hicks/AWB/etc. are all pre-occupations of only some of the electorate. However, once you’ve changed your mind, you will tend to look for evidence to support your new position. In that way, those issues that weren’t resonating with the electorate in 2004 started to resonate once the stench of untruth over interest rates emanated from the Liberal government. They aren’t primary issues, but they reinforce the prevailing mood.

  4. mbahnisch says:

    David, I think that’s right, but I also think all this stuff compounds over time – not necessarily the specifics of the issues but the general impression of incompetence and arrogance. The “it’s time” factor isn’t just “boredom” is what I’m arguing.

    Ambigulous, Liam is right. The Australian Electoral Survey with a sample of around 4000 done after every election asks a wide range of questions which people can then do multivariate regressions on to their heart’s content. Whether or not there’s a time series isn’t necessarily crucial, because even a few good surveys in the lead up to the electorate would give us much more of a sense of what’s going on. That’s why Possum was able to detect so much from the Textor/Crosby Oztrack 33. The parties get all this – us mug punters don’t, courtesy of the inability of pollsters to understand causation and correlation.

  5. bilb says:

    Whereas there is, I think, a far bigger picture to explainn the massive swing away from the “Masters”, Mark, David R’s very astute observation very solidly explains the process of change. And, further, suggests that it is a dynamic process rather than a flippant expression of mood, thereby supporting your argument.

  6. Craig Mc says:

    “It’s the economy stupid” is something each generation needs to learn over. Just like boomers like myself learnt it in the 70s, so too will the Ys. Just as Menzies/Gorton/Hughes was treated as an anachronistic joke by a new voting generation then, so too is Howard now.

    Workchoices was a massive political blunder, and will lay at the core of the government’s defeat. However it also has significant economic benefits – but the economy has been strong for so long a decade’s worth of new voters now take it for granted. They’ve also done about as much as any federal government can to keep interest rates down in a booming economy, but that won’t be appreciated by mortgagees until see the alternative. Finally, I’m convinced younger voters want to do something about the weather, rather than just make healthy complaints about it, and they’ll love any big dumb round number as a target without considering “how?” or “at what cost?”. Rudd has made sure they’ll get one from him.

    As your resident tame troll, I just hope the Rudd era is more like the Hawke government than Whitlam’s. I’m not confident of that though – quite the opposite in fact. Rudd’s smart, but the ALP itself is as dumb today as it’s ever been. I only hope he has as much power to exert his common sense on the horde as the silver budgie did.

    I’ll definitely be interested in the AES to see why people voted the way they did, but I don’t think I’ll be too far off the mark.

  7. Ambigulous says:

    ah sorry, Liam, I was framing my understanding of “the polls” in the way they’re presented by news media: concentrating on supposed shifts over months, trends, comparisons with previous leaders (e.g. Rudd vs Latham). How foolish and narrow of me.

    Yes, a one-off social survey is fine. But being a mug reader of newspapers, I rarely see one.

    I think the logical flaw in much poll interpretation I read in the media and elsewhere is “post hoc propter hoc”: if B follows A, it was caused by A.

    example: mortgage rate rises, then Liberal support drops. These events may well be loosely associated. It’s hard to show there’s causation. Even if Pollie sees it happen several times.

    I’m inclined to give credence to David Rubie’s suggestion, “Once you’ve changed your mind….” I notice that time and again in reading political commentary – a search (desperate search sometimes) for “supporting evidence” of a view already held. Held for reasons unlikely to be swayed by a few opposing views or a little contrary evidence…. Do you see that behaviour too, Liam?

    I think the consequence may be that “rational analysis” is difficult… in sketching out a theory of the formation and movement of public opinion.

    Sometimes a change is abrupt:

    I instance
    * sudden interest in recycling paper after Wesleyvale mill debate (APM in Fairfield – Melbourne – had a recycling station; it very quickly had more donations than it could process
    * angry reaction to Santa Cruz (Dili) massacre videotapes aired on TV news, where decades of print reports had had far less effect, it seemed
    * overwhelming negative reaction to the torching of Dili in 1999 after the autonomy plebiscite

    At other times public opinion appears very slow to shift much at all.

    Puzzling? cheerio

  8. patrickg says:

    Dude, to be honest, I think Rudd will make Hawkie look like Wwhitlam, on a political spectrum. Look at the on the whole wildly successful state labor governments; hardly a hotbed of socialism there. I think a federal labor government would be wise (electorally speaking) to follow this tack, and we’ve seen little to no indication it would be otherwise.

    I understand your concerns about the economy, however I don’t think you can cede either party a supremacy – or otherwise – in this particular arena. Both parties have had – and continue to have – economics managers of both the finest, and most incompetent, calibres. Let’s face it, that kinda stuff is best left to the public service anyway.

    I’m surprised, Craig, that as the resident tame troll, or whatever, a guy who often makes interesting, interested comments about issues from a different perspective, that you would buy into something so reductionist as party X = good economy, party Y = bad.

  9. Liam Hogan says:

    Do you see that behaviour too, Liam?

    My word no. Like everyone else on the internet, I rely on my far more powerfully explanatory preconceptions and assumptions, extrapolate them uncritically out to the entire voting population, and project the results onto other people’s points of view. After all, my own bigotries have seen me through being right and wrong so far. Why would I look outside my own perfectly good worldview?

    sketching out a theory of the formation and movement of public opinion

    I think I speak for everyone when I mention the Decline of the Wets. There, now that’s reared its soggy head, and there’s no need for universal Theories of Everything anymore, we can get back to pre-emptive crowing over next week’s poll. Ratty. Co$tello. Heh, so funny.

    BTW, Craig Mc, he was the Silver Bodgie, as in thug.

  10. David Rubie says:

    Point of order, Liam: A “bodgie” doesn’t necessarily mean thug, it was mostly in reference to that fantastic quiff Hawke used to have and appears to be re-growing in his old age. Being a Bodgie is a mode of dress rather than of behaviour.

  11. The Doctor says:

    What I think happened with the polls is this:
    1. The ALP was polling @ 51% (after WorkChoices was announced) with Beazely, however as he was not well-liked enough it was thought that they could not win;
    2. Kevin Rudd had a fairly good public persona due to his appearances on Sunrise and appearing against Lord Downer of Baghdad;
    3. Having shown his calm intelligence, and become leader of the ALP, about 4-6% of the population essentially shifted allegiance.

  12. jinmaro says:

    Can someone explain to me what is it with the frenzied, hysterical, screaming delirium of secondary school students when Howard, Rudd, Costello, descend on schools for blatant photo-ops?

    What is wrong with these young people?

  13. […] Filed under: federal election ’07, media — kimberella @ 6:16 pm Following up from Mark’s post about the role of citizen journalism in this campaign, it’s a good idea to have a read of this sharp piece of analysis from Margaret Simons in […]

  14. mbahnisch says:

    Just on Hawke, I’ve really enjoyed his intervention in this campaign. Glad to hear that he says he’s got two more in him!

  15. Rod says:

    Three things:

    1) Over time, parties in government suffer “cumulative damage”. There are things that over time that some people simply feel they can’t forgive, and they add up. In Howard’s case there have been a few at just about every election – getting lied to about “Children overboard” and Iraq and the like , the ramping up of racial and cultural tension, the sycophancy with the US, the wheat board scandal, and, in this election, the absence of any meaningful response to climate change and the perception of broken promises about interest rates. Most people might not change their individual voting decision over any one of them, but some will, and they become part of “the vibe” around the local watercooler and on talkback radio. Ultimately the tarnish builds up to a point where, unless a party is genuinely able to “reinvent” itself, through a leadership change or some such, it starts to smell and that 20% of people who aren’t wedded to one side or the other start looking elsewhere. If the other mob aren’t obviously on the nose, then they change their vote.

    2) Parties get arrogant and tired. They start assuming they are the “natural party of government”, start taking short cuts, get caught out.

    3) The Libs/ Conservatives never do well when there are real clouds on the horizon in Australia. WW1, the Depression, WW2, the major changes across the world during the late 60’s and early 70’s all lead to the election of Labor governments when the threat became obvious. Hawke/ Keating were elected when the world economic pressures that had confronted the world from the early 70’s ultimately looked to be beyond the abilities of the Fraser/ Howard government. Howard/Costello were put back in when things were back under control.

    Today environmental (and geopolitical) issues loom over all of us. Labor is generally seen at the ballot box (quite accurately) as possessing better intellectual credibility and greater toughness when such things arise. Costello, for example, would never have had the guts to give us “the recession we had to have” in the face of opposition from Howard. Keating did, in the face of Hawke, though I personally hated him for it at the time. Ultimately Keating’s correct decisions gave Howard/Costello a free ride for an extended period.

    The ride is over. The world faces different problems today. Howard and Costello are still playing as if the essential “issue” is the resentment that people felt about the the hard decisions that Keating made. Neither of them show the slightest sign of being able to rise to the current set of challenges.

    They have no idea about how to reposition Australia in a world in which the US is losing its status as the world’s dominant economic power. They have no idea how to deal with the massive environmental issues.

    They have no idea about how to “place” Australia in terms of the big geopolitical issues beyond simple endorsement of the “Bush doctrine”.

    They also have no idea about how little “middle and less than middle Australia” are paying for the growing wealth of Australia’s “top dogs”, and how much most Australians resent huge pay rises for execs and the like while the rest of us are facing a situation where wages don’t keep up with the real cost of living and the level of decent public service in areas like health and education goes down the proverbial dunny.

    It is all very well running a “fear campaign” (and they have done precious little else other than offering a few bribes this time round), but one gets the feeling that Howard and Costello have absolutely no idea about what Australians are actually frightened of these days, and don’t have the nouse or humility necessary to find out!

    Cheers

    Rod

  16. mbahnisch says:

    Well said, Rod!

  17. Craig Mc says:

    PatrickG: if both teams were strangers I wouldn’t favour either, but I’ve seen one manage things successfully for 11 years now. I take your point that Keating was, like the curate’s egg, a good treasurer in parts, and that he made some wonderful, fundamental changes the benefits of which are still with us today.

    However I’m more concerned with management than revolution. One is boring, the other often ends in tears.

    Bodgie, not budgie! When Kylie’s gone grey she’ll be the silver budgie.

  18. Craig Mc says:

    “Costello, for example, would never have had the guts to give us “the recession we had to have” in the face of opposition from Howard. Keating did, in the face of Hawke, though I personally hated him for it at the time. Ultimately Keating’s correct decisions gave Howard/Costello a free ride for an extended period.”

    Oh boy. This is the equivalent of Peewee Herman yelling “I meant that!”. So it’s a good thing Keating gave us a recession, and a bad thing that Costello didn’t. Gotcha.

  19. lazyaussie says:

    I think someone might have let Tony Abbott know that there is no Jesus either.

  20. pre-dawn leftist says:

    Its amazing how often the MSM want to tell us that the voters arent waiting for Howard “with baseball bats” the way they supposedly were for Keating in 1996. I think they’ve actually just plain got it wrong on this one. I think they just dont get the depth of anti-Howard sentiment in the streets.

    I seriously reckon that about 50% of the population just cant wait to take to Howard with said instrument on Saturday. About another 10-15 % kinda want to wallop him, but would be happy if he just left quietly, another 5 – 10% cant decide (and probably never will) and about another 30% are in love with him, and would probably turn Gay for him.

    Twas ever thus…

  21. Katz says:

    “It’s the economy stupid” is something each generation needs to learn over. Just like boomers like myself learnt it in the 70s, so too will the Ys.

    Sure, Whitlam didn’t understand the financial tsunami that signified the end of the Bretton Woods system. With the exception of Singapore, which government did?

    But it’s Howard who has emerged as the statist dirigiste among our national political leaders. I mentioned this in the context of WorkChoices on another thread. And it’s Howard who has set up an ad hoc maze of cross subsidisations and special interest patronage bribes unprecedented in Australian political life, even in comparison with the rural socialism of Bruce, Page and Black Jack McEwen.

    Rudd sniffed the air and said, “Enough is enough!” The people of Australia spat out the money that Howard had attempted to ram down their throats and cheered themselves hoarse.

    It is possible, of course, that Rudd could rip off his Harry Potter mask to reveal *scary organ chord* RFX Connor reborn! But I doubt it.

    Ecnomically, the vibe is more likely to be Blairite.

    The ALP will take one more irrevocable step away from organised labour.

    Good causes featuring photogenic victims will be smiled upon, when unavoidable, and patronised for most of the time with as little cost as possible to the public purse.

    Education will be a very big spend.

  22. mbahnisch says:

    would probably turn Gay for him

    I see Bob Brown would turn straight for Missy Higgins.

    I think Katz is mostly right. On education, Rudd was dropping very big hints to the Fin today in an interview that that’s where future surpluses will be headed.

  23. Gaz says:

    “PatrickG: if both teams were strangers I wouldn’t favour either, but I’ve seen one manage things successfully for 11 years now.”

    Umm now let me see! One side has managed keep getting itself elected for eleven years on a litany of lies,got us involved in a war in Iraq that was not only illegal, but also bereft of any moral decency.

    But wait there’s more,brought in draconian legislation,more in keeping with what you would find in a book by Charles Dickens, and has treated people on any form of social welfare, like lepers.

    But wait there’s more,treated asylum seekers akin to the export sheep trade,and taken our multi cultural success story back fifty years,accused people of throwing their children off sinking row boats into the sea to drown.etc,etc,etc,etc,etc,etc.

    Could some one please explain to this old fart,the Labor Party unless I am wrong has been in opposition for eleven years , so which side has managed things successfully,surely you don’t mean the government? you do? you dooo? And here’s me thinking this was a serious political blog.

  24. haiku says:

    It’s voting intentions that matter. All the rest is colour. True, there are likely correlations between the answers on voting intention and a range of other variables (like “best on economy, defence, health, environment, etc”). But at the end of the day if primary voting intention is 48 to 39, then the party with 48 is going to win, even if it trails on “best to deal with the economy/environment/IR/genital warts”.

    It helps flesh out a column when the sensible interpretation is “statistically, no change”. It’s great for rationalising after the fact: “Labor won in 1990 because of the environment”/”people didn’t trust Latham on the economy”. And if you want to take sides (a la Shanahan), it’s great for pushing particular barrows (“Beazley is now officially ’embattled’, despite leading on the 2PP”).

    The other thing the qualitative measures don’t take into account is the voters’ view on the absolute levels of the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates. It’s typically pitched as a relative measure. But imagine giving candidates scores out of 10 for the various attributes?

    eg you might give Howard 6.5 on the economy and Rudd 6. On the environment, you might give Howard 1 and Rudd 5. On health, Howard might get 2 and Rudd 8. On national security, you might award Howard 8 and Rudd 7.5.

    When the pollster asks you, you provide an assessment of who is “better”.

    Dennis writes this result up as, “while Rudd is favoured on health and the environment, Howard maintains a commanding lead in the key variables of the economy and national security.”

    Even then, your voting intention is to vote for Rudd.

    Anyway, this is almost Strocchiesque in length, so I’ll shut up now.

  25. Rod says:

    Craig G. writes:

    “Oh boy. This is the equivalent of Peewee Herman yelling “I meant that!”. So it’s a good thing Keating gave us a recession, and a bad thing that Costello didn’t. Gotcha.”

    No Craig G., Keating paid the electoral price partly for doing the hard yards necessary to get us out of the recession and the circumstances that led to it. He also paid the price for excesses of hubris.

    Costello, I suspect, is about to pay the price for NOT doing the hard yards, for favouring “Dollar Sweets” ideology over the real needs of the country, for imagining that the things that feed his neighbour’s share portfolio in Toorak or Brighton are necessarily the same as the things that help someone with a wife and three kids and boss who doesn’t like them on the outer fringes of Melbourne or a farmer doing it tough in the mallee!

    Oh, and when it comes to hubris one thing I can certainly say for Costello. While he might still need to demonstrate some real economic credentials during a difficult time, rather than trading on other people’s hard work, the guy doesn’t give away so much as a millimeter to Keating when it comes to supercilious arrogance!

    Cheers

    Rod

  26. haiku says:

    Costello is, apparently, quite a nice bloke in person. Likewise Keating. The public persona (and the easily acquired media stereotype) of arrogance is hard to shake for a Treasurer. Howard, OTOH, is portrayed as having an innate connection to the ordinary battler, but in reality is very different. Who’d be a politician?

  27. Ambigulous says:

    Thanks Liam,

    Good that you reassured me about your virtual infallibility. I share this trait. But the air’s been getting a bit hazy up here on Olympus.

    Is it time we descended for a brief sojourn amongst the human vineyards, sampling a few maidens while down there?

    Your call.

  28. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    But arrogance without courage is all tip.

  29. wpd says:

    “I think Katz is mostly right. On education, Rudd was dropping very big hints to the Fin today in an interview that that’s where future surpluses will be headed.”

    That makes a lot of sense.

    Perhaps Davis will be seconded in some role to become the El Supremo or maybe Barry M whom I think is already at Melbourne Uni?

    Given Rudd’s ‘revolution’ he is in need of a visionary and Smith is not the driver he needs.

    BTW, Rudd is a very ‘conservative’ educator.

  30. macondo says:

    Craig Mc at #17:

    ‘However I’m more concerned with management than revolution. One is boring, the other often ends in tears.’

    Your preoccupation with ‘management’ harks to the very problem with the Coalition’s vision of economic development: that’s all it is, MANAGEMENT. I usually shake my head and/or scratch it whenever that stale and meaningless phrase ‘economic management’ is used , which at the moment is more often even than ‘yeah good’ or ‘yeah no’. What the f**k does it really mean? Well, I believe it must mean, simply and essentially, balancing the books by extracting more revenue (and stuff from the ground) than you spend and later granting tax cuts. That is ALL that Costello has ever done: balance the books and sell coal to China, then tell us that Labor can’t ‘manage’ the piggy bank. Lazy man.

    I haven’t even started on your silly reductionist dichotomy: management v. revolution. You surely aren’t referring to Ruddenomics, are you?

  31. mbahnisch says:

    Aside from the fact that she was once a member of the dreaded “Socialist Forum” (so was Evan Thornley, and he went off and did an MBA and made a mint), what evidence is there that “Gillard-nomics” is any different from Ruddenomics, Craig? Tanner’s in the left too, and he’s deadly serious about the fiscal restraint stuff. I can’t imagine Julia would be any different.

  32. mbahnisch says:

    That’s odd – my reply to Craig ended up appearing above his comment. Please reverse the order!

  33. Craig Mc says:

    “I haven’t even started on your silly reductionist dichotomy: management v. revolution. You surely aren’t referring to Ruddenomics, are you?”

    No, I’m referring to Gillard-nomics. I’m hoping we get Ruddenomics. Well, it’s not my best hope, but any port in a storm.

    Gaz: I was talking about management of the economy. I’m not sure who you’re replying to.

  34. Paul Burns says:

    The kids are just having fun #12. Though why they do it for Howard I don’t know.There was an interesting contrast between Rudd and Howard today. You will all recall the woman in Linmdsay who was knocked out in Lindsay, whom Howard didn’t give so much as a backward glance to. Today, near Rudd, a young girl fainted, Rudd stopped his speech to the media, went over to the prostrate young girl, helped revive her, gave her a drink of water, then got back on with campaigning.
    That’s the difference. That’s why people are voting for Rudd instead of Howard.
    Like the rest of us, they just want the real Australia back. And they want a major political party that is really going to try to do something about global warming.

  35. kimberella says:

    That’s the difference. That’s why people are voting for Rudd instead of Howard.

    Same thought occurred to me, Paul.

  36. “Point of order, Liam: A “bodgie” doesn’t necessarily mean thug, it was mostly in reference to that fantastic quiff Hawke used to have and appears to be re-growing in his old age. Being a Bodgie is a mode of dress rather than of behaviour.”
    Yeah, Bob was a bodgie. Remember the hairstyle from my youth.
    Can I nominate Alexander D. as a “widgie”?

  37. Paul Burns says:

    Na. He’s not naughty enough.

  38. Gaz says:

    “I was talking about management of the economy. I’m not sure who you’re replying to.”

    The economy also and IS, what I am talking about.That we have low unemployment,and a booming mining industry, has got F.A. to do with the Howard government.All the improved living conditions for what SOME are experiencing, were put in place under the tutalage of Paul Keating.

    Work choices,and screwing the poor over at Centrelink, and other draconian measures that an aspiring Adolph would no doubt be proud of, had absolutely nothing to do with economic management.

    These measures are more familiar under the banner of mean bastradry.

    Good economic management by the Howard is an urban myth that is slowly un-raveling and not before time.

    So I repeat again, to whom (which side)are you referring to, when you claim they have managed the economy successfully over the last eleven years.?.

  39. Craig Mc says:

    “The economy also and IS, what I am talking about.That we have low unemployment,and a booming mining industry, has got F.A. to do with the Howard government.All the improved living conditions for what SOME are experiencing, were put in place under the tutalage of Paul Keating.”

    If the ALP government thinks like you do, then we’re stuffed. Sorry Gaz, but arguing that the coalition has mis-managed the economy for eleven years is a litmus test for dumbness.

  40. bilb says:

    You’re a genius, Paul.

    “Rudd….bringing back the real Australia.”

    That’s got a great ring to it, and feels right.

  41. Paul Burns says:

    Weell, maybe the ALP will use it. I don’t mind.
    Even though I do belong to Socialist Alliance.

  42. Gaz says:

    “Sorry Gaz, but arguing that the coalition has mis-managed the economy for eleven years is a litmus test for dumbness.”

    Of course it is,that’s why it’s odds on their going to get the sack Saturday.However dumb as I may be,arguing Howard has mis-managed the economy is a fact,I know you don’t like it,but there you are.

    Our whole economy is based on the resource supply that is being shipped off to China, and when that ends,as it must, we shall see the end result of the urban myth.

    Ask the 150 family’s a week and increasing who are having their home mortgages foreclosed on in Sydney alone, how the economy is doing,the thousands of people who are doing it tough because of the price of commodity’s.Ask the thousands of people on hospital waiting lists how they’re coping,or the tens of thousands of people whose teeth are falling out of there heads.Ask the thousands of kids who are just starting out, where they’re going to get in excess of $300 k bucks to buy a home, if the economy is good. You Sir have the unmitigated gall to accuse me of being dumb.You know nothing.

  43. amused says:

    But Craig Mc knows everything there is to know. He has done microeconomics 101, business tax 201, and accounting 101-301. What else is there to know about anything at all?

    He also knows that he doesn’t like people like Julia Gillard, and therefore he is in a perfect position to know what she thinks and how she will react to everything. Knowing he doesn’t like her, makes him the perfect person to understand her motivations thoughts and views, whereas people who do like her are obviously biased. Grow up everyone.

  44. Craig Mc says:

    Amused: I don’t know if I like her or not – I haven’t met her. If I do, she’ll get the same opportunity as everyone else to charm me. On the other hand, I have seen the damage control her leaders have had to perform on her only two policy efforts to date. 0/2 isn’t a good record.

    I’m not worried about what pathetic communist causes she had at uni. It’s almost de de rigueur in that environment.

    Oh, and thanks for the compliment, but even I don’t know everything ;-).

  45. […] driven horse race focus as opposed to writing about politics as if it mattered. But, to continue my reflections on the online coverage of this campaign, isn’t it the case that those same pseph bloggers who’ve dominated discussions about […]

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