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Day to Day Politics: Polls Apart in Policy.

Tuesday 16 February 2016

1 Malcolm Turnbull still has a handsome lead over Bill Shorten in the preferred Prime Minister stakes but yesterday’s Fairfax-Ipsos showed a growing disquiet about his Government’s performance.

Opinion polls, especially so far out from an election, are but a guide to people’s thinking and not an indication of how they might vote. Trends are what we look for and recent polling suggests one is taking shape.

Crickey’s Poll Bludger says:

‘The latest Poll is another weaker result for the Coalition, whose two-party lead of 52-48 compares with 56-44 at the previous such poll in mid-November. On the primary vote, the Coalition is down four points to 44%, Labor is up three to 32% and the Greens are up two to 15%. Malcolm Turnbull takes a solid hit on his still very strong personal ratings, with approval down seven to 62% and disapproval up eight to 24%. Bill Shorten is little changed on 30% approval (up one) and 55% disapproval (down two), and his deficit on preferred prime minister has narrowed slightly, from 69-18 to 64-19. The poll was conducted Thursday to Saturday from a sample of 1403.’

2 The dissatisfaction stems from Turnbull’s promising much and delivering little. Yesterday he said that he would not be rushed into decisions. At the moment it seems like Shorten is making all of them and Turnbull is acting as an Opposition Leader criticizing all his announcements. He promised real tax reform, which actually means structural change.

He said everything was on the table but from it takes things that could mean real change. The GST and Superannuation concessions. There is not much left that you can structurally reform.

In a couple of months ‘Gunna’ Morrison has to deliver a budget. Given the state of the economy it requires a harsh but fair one. Given that Health, Welfare and Education are the three areas where the big dollars are it will be interesting to see how he balances the country’s needs with the politics.

3 Tim Wilson resigns $500,000 job to face preselection for Andrew Robb’s old seat.

Kaye Lee sums it up rather nicely:

‘Freedom boy has quit the HRC to run for Robb’s seat. I sincerely hope that he loses the preselection. What a cynical user. No qualifications, no experience, no talent. He is the epitome of the naive but highly opinionated Young Liberal. His arrogant certainty is belied by his failure. His campaign to repeal section 18C failed. His campaign on marriage equality failed. His religious freedom summit was a farce because he didn’t even bother inviting the Muslim community. Why on earth would he even be considered?’

4 Posted my piece about lying on ‘Australian Political Debate’ and didn’t get a comment from those on the right. Rather odd that.

5 Ian McFarlane’s retirement gives the impression of a mass exit.

6 Right wing shock jock Alan Jones is advocating the removal of Aboriginal children brought up around alcohol abuse and drugs declaring they should be taken away from their parents.

He hasn’t indicated if he thinks that the same should apply to white children.

7 So the Turnbull Government has met with members of the Australian Christian lobby to discuss how much of the taxpayer’s money they will need to oppose equality in marriage.

Has there ever been a more outrageous misuse of the public purse? Turnbull should hang his head in shame.

My thought for the day.

‘We all have to make important decisions in our lives. None more important than the rejection of those things that tempt us into being somebody we are not’.



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  1. thebustopher

    What do YOU think of the proposed Senate voting changes, John?

  2. Kaye Lee

    On Monday, Senator Brandis praised Mr Wilson’s “passion and commitment”.

    “In just two years, Tim Wilson has single-handedly reshaped the human rights debate in Australia. He has restored balance to a debate which had previously been dominated by the priorities and prejudices of the left,” he said in a statement.

    “In carrying out his role as ‘Freedom Commissioner’ he reminded all Australians that freedom is the most fundamental human right of all.”

    I think Graeme Innes summed it up well…..when Attorney-General George Brandis appointed Mr Wilson in late 2013, he “took the chance to fill a commission spot with a politician-in-waiting”.

  3. Jaquix

    Reading Kaye’s qiote of George Brandis re the invisible Tim Wilson left me speechless (for a minute). What blatant crap. Does anybody believe him? Meeting that Christian lobby should tell Labor to keep reminding voters that they will be saving all the fuss and nasty negativity from those lobbies, and $170 milliion precious dollars by promising new law within 100 days. Turnbull is like Rudd was, wildly popular with the people on the streets, trams and in the mall, but ineffective behind the scenes where it matters.

  4. John Lord

    Kaye he also said when asked on The Drum why a commissioner hadn’t been appointed. “All the money went to Tim”

  5. Terry2

    5 Ian MacFarlane

    The ploy to draft MacFarlane from the Liberals to the National Party was a spectacular failure but it is interesting to speculate had MacFarlane transitioned to the Nationals successfully could he now be the National’s leader and the Deputy Prime Minister.

  6. Adrianne Haddow

    I am not expecting any action from this government any time soon.

    It seems we are in a holding pattern while they give each other lucrative jobs, hand out decreasing revenue to their favoured donators and sell off infrastructure (paid for with the past taxes of ourselves, our parents and their parents) to the highest bidder.

    Hopefully the decline in el presidente’s popularity means that the wider electorate is finally waking up to the fact that these liberals are having a fire sale of Australian assets, and Australian futures.

    When it’s all over and the Australian people own nothing and earn nothing, they’ll point out what great economic managers they are

    …………And they used to bleat about the corruption in Asian governments.

  7. lawrencewinder

    Timmy Twat Freedom Man wont get pre-selected … they want a real woman in Goldstein!

  8. Pilot

    But we’re missing the point. That point being, “What does Tony say?” Before we jump to any conclusions, surely we must hear from Tony…… What? He’s humming the theme from ‘Jaws’?

  9. Terry2

    7 The Australian Christian Lobby

    According to the SMH the ACL are asking the government to suspend anti-discrimination laws during the run-up to the Abbott inspired plebiscite on marriage equality.

    “The Australian Christian Lobby are calling for the temporary change to ensure the “no” camp can speak freely during the debate to legalise same-sex marriage.”

    So what they want to do is discriminate and denigrate with government approval ; that’s a new twist !

    Isn’t it strange how a simple secular amendment to the federal Marriage Act which should be enacted by our parliament – effectively reversing the changes introduced by the Howard government in 2004 – has taken on a religious dimension when it, in fact, has no religious implications at all. If marriage equality is legalised it will not affect church recognition ‘one iota’. They can continue to discriminate on those marriages they solemnize and those they don’t .

    Tony Abbott you were and remain a spoiler..

  10. Michael Taylor

    John, they can pander to the Christian groups as much as they like, but who listens to Christian groups these days, apart from Christians? Pell alone has destroyed the credibility of all Christian groups, so their influence among non-Christians is zero. And non-Christians are indeed the majority.

    But it’s ludicrous that the government should throw money at the Christian groups. It’s the same as throwing it out the door.

  11. John Lord

    In fact surveys show that a large percentage of Christian folk support marriage equality. Its the Christian lobby who speak for the charismatic fundamentalist literal Bible believers who oppose it.

  12. diannaart

    On a positive note, there is a good chance the Human Rights Commission will gain a person of merit instead of an opportunist such as Tim Wilson.

  13. Matthew Oborne

    I noticed how human right is cast as a tree hugger lefty thing that just like the ABC has to now be balanced. Brandis showed just what they think of any organisation that is a watchdog for hippy tree hugging human rights. As Kaye pointed out I found it disturbing that they wanted to Balance human rights with the right wing IPA ideal of freedom and did just that.

    As Jennifer Wilson points out in her article the Christian Lobby wish to be armed with the right to hate speech to argue gods point.
    Literal bible believers, anyone watch that TV series the bible, It was good for a laugh but it’s attempt to show the power of god just devolves into comedy, I was watching as Moses and Pharaoh faced off, the showed one man with the power to make the sun come up each day Vs Moses with his invisible super buddy and it highlighted by showing the two faiths clash what for many is just how ludicrous it is to take the bible literally and you cant take it figuratively because their in total is still an enormous amount of horrendous life lessons like offering your daughters up to protect angels, It has morals relevant to today as well as morals that would land you in prison, Picking and choosing to make the moral code to fit inside the laws of our society just shows where it fits in our society, they as Jennifer wrote now want laws changed so they dont break them when they argue that opposite sex couple deserve rights same sex couples shouldnt have because a book that condones slavery says so.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Dumped Liberal minister Stuart Robert reportedly charged taxpayers more than $1600 to fly to a north Queensland goldmine he owned shares in.

  15. diannaart

    Does this exodus by Libs mean we are clearing out some of the nutjobs?

    Of course, whomever is replacing them may be as bad – but maybe not.

  16. Michael Taylor

    My oh my, they’re pushing the ‘poor mum and dad investors will suffer if negative gearing is scrapped’ story. What they need to be telling the electorate is how much the tax payers will save. I think I read some time ago that it’s in the order of $15B a year.

  17. Kyran

    “In a couple of months ‘Gunna’ Morrison has to deliver a budget.”
    Inevitable as the next budget is, goner has to do what his predecessor didn’t. Deliver a budget. The captaincy of tiny has become captain Bligh’s tenure. The inescapable fact is that our government is trying to advocate ideology over policy. They have replaced the notion of government with the shrill rants of an opposition that hasn’t realised it’s in government. The same place they have been for nigh on three years.
    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
    Yep, Goebbels.
    When does this madness stop? Pick a minister (past or present) in the current government, any minister at all, that has performed to the most basic covenants of their ministry. Ok, we have an opposition in government, so that’s a ‘high bar’.
    Thank you Mr Lord. I’m off to look for my sanity. Take care

  18. Jaquix

    The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. Therefore we can expect another gormless, whack the poor, look after our donors, type of document the Senate can chuck out, on our behalf.

  19. Kyran

    By way of explanation, my read on ‘ideology’ is where I SCREAM at you “I am right” until you acquiesce. My read on ‘policy’ is where someone makes a proposition, and listens to the responses. Refines the proposition. Make it workable, acceptable and fair.
    Indeed, Jaquix, who would have thought the ‘unrepresentative swill’ would become the protector’s of Australia’s decency, let alone it’s democracy. Take care

  20. Kaye Lee


    The property lobby’s claim is based on Tax Office figures that look at income after deductions – such as losses on negatively geared properties – are made.

    Thus, someone who appears to earn $80,000 may be earning much more but booking tens of thousands of dollars in investment property losses to reduce their taxable income.

    A far more accurate representation of who utilises negative gearing the most is provided by the long-running survey of Household Income and Labour Dynamics, HILDA.

    That survey shows that housing loans are twice as common among the top 20 per cent of income earners than any other income group.

    It also shows that the top fifth of income earning households hold 60 per cent of investment property debt.

    About 85% of taxpayers don’t have a rental investment.

    NATSEM found that 34% of the tax benefits of negative gearing accrues to the richest top 10% of families

    Only around 20% of the tax benefits go to the bottom half of the income distribution.

  21. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    John’s quote of Kaye’s words regarding Tim Wilson, expresses what many of us are thinking. It will serve the little upstart right if he gets pipped by Georgina Downer.

    In fact, I don’t like his chances against her much considering the pedigree and …

    we all know how much
    the elitist LNPees
    like pedigrees!

  22. win jeavons

    Why do the media call it the “Christian lobby” ? It seems to sum up many of the attitudes that Jesus spoke strongly against ; Vipers and whited sepulchres are terms that come to mind . The churches advocating sanctuary are so much truer to the faith I know.

  23. Michael Taylor

    Indeed, Kaye, the numbers are being twisted out of proportion.

  24. JeffJL

    Not to mention the 64k who have taxable incomes of $0 or less.

  25. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Too true JeffJL.

    It’s hard to pay tax when you’ve been shut out of meaningful employment in the job market because your status and credentials of high qualifications, skills, experience and energies are not recognised or valued by ignorant recruitment agencies in the public and private sectors.

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