Newspoll: 59-41

Lateline reports tomorrow’s Newspoll has Labor’s two-party lead at 59-41, down from 63-37 a fortnight ago. Kevin Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister is down from 73-7 to 70-10 (hat tip to Blair S. Fairman).

UPDATE: Graphic here.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,130 comments on “Newspoll: 59-41”

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  1. Possum: Did you know that NZealand now has a people’s bank – have you looked into this? It sounds like its going well …..

  2. bird

    I put it to people here the other night, but they were not interested in discussing it.

    The future fund could be utilised as the prospectus is only 5%.

    I believe 41% is high risk and who knows what forces the rest is exposed to.

    This would create real competition in the banking sector and funding for private and public housing.

  3. 1049
    bears are coming in to alignment now…..
    “I think he realises the average hard-working Australian whose taxes will actually pay for this trip is a bit concerned that 17 days (sic) is a long time when there is a critically important budget for Australia which has to be put together.”

    Gee – I wonder why it’s a ‘critically important budget’?
    Just don’t mention the war (Fawlty Towers reference)

  4. Ogmios

    yes, interesting about the people’s bank – possum just seems to view everything through an economics takes all approach – that there are no other values to be considered – you may have seen my cross discussion with him about globalisation

  5. You’ll be happy to know bird that Kiwibank was actually introduced to bring some much needed competition into the New Zealand banking market, since the market was too small for foreign operators to really bother with and before Kiwibank, New Zealanders were getting gouged by an effectively oligopoly.

    That was the big failure of the New Zealand privatisation process – they thought competition would naturally occur, but the market was often too small to really allow for it.

    Now compare New Zealand to Australia. Compare the proliferation of low fee credit unions and small banks in Australia to the lack of them in New Zealand.

    Now tell me what function a peoples bank would fill that isnt already filled, and why do you think it would operate cheaper than low cost credit unions?

    Bird said:”possum just seems to view everything through an economics takes all approach”

    I find an economics approach to actual economic issues tends to work best with these things.

  6. Possum: Globalisation is not about just issues of economics – its also about issues such as justice and fairness – I do not want to get into another tit for tat – but Ross Gitten’s – SMH Economics Commentator – is more than happy to tell you that economists are known for their “narrow” working dimensions – they do not take into account issues such as justice/fairness – it was my point about globalisation yesterday.

    In reference to the NZ Bank – I do not know enough about the background about this – I was just throwing it in – it is normally impossible to argue with an economist – but I am sure your points about the NZ banking situation are correct –

  7. Bird, I would never dispute in a million years that fairness and justice are not major, major issues.I spent nearly the entire election campaign linking the perception of fairness and justice that flowed from Workchoices and a few other things into the Coalitions political predicament and their polling figures!

    But you will never achieve any semblance of fairness and justice anywhere in the developing world – which globalisation is ostensibly about – without addressing poverty, which is all about addressing income.Addressing income is one of, if not THE most important public policy issue in the developing world and economics is simply the language of public policy by necessity.

    If Mr Gittins thinks all economists have narrow working dimensions, perhaps he ought to get out from behind his desk upon occasion and see what modern economists are actually doing – particularly in less orthodox fields where one wouldn’t ordinarily expect to find them.

  8. Possum, what I was trying to say all yesterday but you did not give an inch – is that you can address both by integrating the market place with additional values – in other words basing globalisation not on a neoliberal agenda – but on a different ideological agenda – which would be shared economic prosperity – and also take into account the broader social ramifications in that there is more to a society than a market place – this is the on-the ground criticism of the World Bank – that it only looks at one side of the ledger – that it does not integrate both sides – so you can have economic growth but not in a winner takes all approach…

    There is also increasing evidence from developing countries that having an integrated approach ie integrate the values of the left/right – that development is happening faster – you have economic development/social ramifications being considered – then you also have human rights development/civic society and governance development –

  9. Gotta love this:

    Possum Comitatus

    Bird said:”possum just seems to view everything through an economics takes all approach”

    I find an economics approach to actual economic issues tends to work best with these things.

  10. Rudd and Labor should totally ignore Opposition comments unless it is an opening to reveal incompetence. To respond or engage them automatically provides them legitimacy and reason for being. Continuing on as though there is no opposition party leaves them clapping with one hand, an argument with empty space.

    Also engaging in debate gives the opportunity for the media take up the issue and, in the present climate, sell down Labor.

    Not much Labor can do about the press if it decides to act as defacto Opposition except to not engage it in discussion/debate either.

    What is going on at the ABC with their rearrangement?

  11. Bird
    I’m not ganging up with Possum here but when you start heading back to ideology rather than practicality you lose me. I don’t care what the label is. I think we all agree on what the outcome should/could be in a perfect situation, but humans are selfish, they don’t share, and my anecdotal experience says that the sort of development you’re talking about ony evolves in highly educated communities that are already well up the development tree. And as I’ve said before, I think the economic modelling is just weak icing on a fat cultural cake. Sure it’s good to map what is going on, and if people are open to choice and are willing to chose the long option then an economic model might provide the vehicle, but all too often it’s just a bunch of pseudo-ideological language wrapped around some very practical aims and outcomes.
    Good law is law that basically evolves itself before being enshrined in legislation.
    Good economic theory is the same, but usually the economist we hear about are there after the fact to put a label on it, not before.
    Good government generally follows the will of the people closely – not too far out in front and not lagging behind, though it doesn’t preclude planting the seeds and anticipating the change.

  12. Bird – that’s great, it makes a great political speech and its a set of motherhood values we should all aspire to.

    But what does it actually mean?

    “integrating the market place with additional values”

    Like what? And what sceric of difference would it make?

    The only difference between the way markets work in, say, Indonesia and the way they work in, say, cuddly little Sweden is that Indonesia is more prone to a little bit of bribery acting as lubrication.

    But that’s it – markets work the same everywhere. I think the problem here is that you are calling things markets which arent markets.People have values, markets dont. Markets have no more “values” than a transport network, or a computer network or a pair of trousers. And like you cant give a pair of trousers or a computer network “additional values”, nor can you give a market “additional values”.

    The people that wear the trousers, use the computer network or buy and sell stuff yes – but not the market itself.

    It might come as a big surprise to a lot of political junkies like us, but most of the world doesnt actually have or use or otherwise give three fifths of five eights of sweet f**k all about any ideology.

    Most people just live in the world around them given the circumstances they find themselves without an ideological agenda.

    And this idea that there is some left/right delineation in “values” is complete nonsense.There is good public policy and there is bad public policy, where the former always takes into account the consequences of the policy program itself and attempts to ameliorate the negative effects on those hit by them.

    It isnt a case of values, its a case of policy being designed by capapable people or ignorant ones.

    I thought we knocked that silliness about “winner takes all” economic growth on the head yesterday. If you reckon it exists, I’ll ask you what I ask everyone that takes the same position as you are – where’s the data to prove it? If it is happening , the data showing great chunks of concentrated growth and concentrated economic decline should be standing out like dogs balls. Where is it?

  13. Possum: See that’s where you are incorrect – markets do have values in it – capitalism has very strong values in it – here is an interesting link to a organisation in America …

    BY the way, its interesting how you refuse to have yourself labelled possum, that you do not have any ideology, but that ‘s impossible because everyone has values

    My point about globalisation was a general one – one of the reasons why Russia caved in on itself was due to being imposed with neoliberalism – not a sensible idea given that you are coming from a communist country and imposing a diametrically opposite one

  14. Possum Comitatus

    As my first prop for the defense of bird’s position I present IRAQ.

    I have always viewed WAR as an economic activity. One where the winner tries to take all, gold, US dollars, lives. They all have a value (Saying a life is priceless over values the item in the winner takes all stakes).

    As my second prop, the opium wars between China and England.

  15. People have values, markets dont. Markets cannot. Markets are not sentient life (which is lucky, because if they were, the way they’ve been acting lately they’d all need a good dose of mogodon).

    They are simply results of the decisions that millions and billions of people make.

    That site you mentioned says nothing about markets having values – its a collection of policies, some quite thoughtful ones there too by the looks of it… some not so thoughtful.

    I haven’t labeled myself because I just dont have a political ideology in orthodox terms. I dont believe that government should be any particular size, I dont believe that Teh Left pwns Teh Right or vice versa, I dont think that collectivism vs individualism is a relevant dichotomy.

    I believe in pareto optimality being the overarching framework for public policy outcomes, where each issue should be addressed on its own merits, using the policy mechanism that works best for that specific case – regardless of which side of the political spectrum it may come from.

    Sure, we all have values – but I’m not in the business of ramming them down other peoples throats via public policy or otherwise. It shits me to tears when people do.

    If you think Russia collapsed because of some dark neoliberalist phantom rather than basic corruption, incompetence and old fashioned institutional failure – you can have that argument all with yourself.

  16. Possum: The economic policy institute -the one that I have referred to above – this is an interesting organisation in America trying to advance alternative economic and social policies:

    “According to EPI economist Jared Bernstein: “In a rich, advanced economy like the United States, poverty should be viewed as an aberration.” Unfortunately this is not the case. In 2006, 12.3 percent of the US population — 36.5 million people — lived below the official poverty line, including 12.8 million children. Since 2000, the poverty rate has increased by about 1 percentage point, or 4.9 million persons, and the number of children living in poverty has increased by 12 percent, to 13 million.

    Two reports prepared for the Agenda for Shared Prosperity argue that public policy can help to reduce poverty by increasing work supports and by maintaining a tight labor market. Work, Work Supports, and Safety Nets by Jared Bernstein describe a set of social welfare policies that ensures that work is a pathway out of poverty and that revitalizes the nation’s safety net and social insurance systems that keep people from falling into privation when the market fails them.

    Analysts estimate that anywhere from a quarter to a third of U.S. workers hold low-wage jobs that provide few prospects for advancement and wage growth. Low wages, few employer-provided benefits, minimal savings, and increased debt have left large numbers of American workers and their families economically vulnerable. Improving Work Supports by Nancy Cauthen explains why an interlaced network of work supports are needed and how the United States needs to reform them”

  17. Charles, I wouldnt agree that war is always about economic activity, but would certainly agree that it’s nearly always about resources and ultimately always about power (keeping it, expanding it, preventing it from declining).

    But war is ultimately a political act – so I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

  18. bird
    This is getting silly
    How did anyone IMPOSE ‘neoliberalism’ on Russia?
    Russia is now one of the most capitalist nations ever to exist. It’s not because anyone is jambing it down their throats. It’s because in the absence of control, that’s what people do. I think you’d also find plenty of Russians to refute your assertion that it has ‘caved in’ too, and they’d hardly be ideologists. More than likely they’re just fat happy greedy people like the rest of us.
    If you want to keep debating around make-believe terms than it’s high time you defined what you mean by ‘neo-liberalism’ because it’s just a jargon catch-all phrase at the moment here.

  19. Possum: In reference to Russia, I am saying that it did not help – the truth is usually multifactoral of course – it does not delete my point that they would of been wise not to impose this ideology on Russia

    In reference to public policy – I think everyone on this site is interested in finding what policies work best – housing affordability or anything else for that matter.

  20. Bird – poverty is an aberration, in all ways. Its socially destructive, the maintenance of poverty is economically irrational and its just not a very nice thing on top.

    If people dont view it that way – surely getting the people to change their minds would be the way to go rather than blaming it all on some collective of neoliberalist fantasies combined with the evils of markets?

    Honestly – what does the latter have to do with it?

    If you want to solve poverty in a wealthy nation – perhaps, I dunno, maybe a decent welfare policy response might be the way to go?

  21. Possum Comitatus

    But the millions of people have values. And it is the values of the millions of people that make markets interesting, with herd mentality and greed giving markets direction.

    You have reduced a market to en empty buy and sell if you believe it has no value. But a buy and a sell has a reason, the reason is the value.

  22. Come on Bird – Nothing was imposed on Russia, not even competence!

    They volunteered for their own poor regulatory system. The democratically elected Russian parliament passed those laws, the Russian state refused to enforce most of them. Corruption went rampant and the place collapsed – but somehow, rather than being the fault of incompetent politicians and corrupt Russian businessmen and political leaders, it’s actually all the fault of some secret neoliberalist group that imposed an ideology on Russia?

    Boy, they must have been busy! Bet they were tired after all that imposition.Russia’s a big place! :mrgreen:

  23. Thank you Charles – Hey, I love being ganged up on here. At least I am keeping Possum on his toes, more than Steve K is!!

    Onimod – I think that Possum and you should read Stephen Lewis’s “Race Against Time” book – when he was first working for UN when neoliberalism came in with Thatcher/Reagan – he talked about the “capitalist stalinism” that was being dumped on countries such as Africa by IMF/World Bank

  24. Possum/Onimod: If you know anything about this you know that these international institutions have gone to alot of 3rd world countries and as part of their debt relief program they have really no choice but to accept “structural reform” which is basically neoliberlism –

  25. If you want to solve poverty in a wealthy nation first you have to have the wealthy see it as a problem.

    a) Do you like to walk down the street without getting bashed?

    b) Be nice, would add to my lifestyle.

    a) Then hand over some gold so the state can feed them.

    b) Why don’t they work?

    a) Because they don’t want to, bashing you over the head is easier.

    b) Well send them to jail!

    b) Jail costs more, just give them the money.

    Political stability matters..

    Now lets look at Australia and Argentina. Why the different outcome, both countries have no shortage of natural resources.

  26. Charles – the people that make up markets have values, but the markets themselves are abstract things. How can they have some particular representative value when the actions of the people that make up that market not only wouldnt homogeneously share a common set of values, but those values themselves are effectively impossible to measure at any given moment in time?

  27. Bird – sure, those structural adjustment programs of the IMF right up until they finished with Indonesia after the 97 crisis were usually appalling policy! The outcomes it produced were often dreadful and harmful because they were ill conceived.

    So what your saying is that bad policy is neoliberalism?

    Or is it economic reform that is neoliberalism?

    So what about the economic reform that Australia undertook (which, when combined with competent governance is, to answer Charles question, why Australia and Argentina are so different today when once we were not) ?

    Is that neoliberalism too even though we all benefited from it?

  28. Possum

    I would say at the moment participant in the share markets share the value of fear, that is why the markets are so unstable ( and so much fun), at other times they share the value of irrational exuberance ( Greenspan had a way with words); markets have values because the millions act as a herd and because the millions share a common culture or at the very least humanity and in general things have worked out for humanity.

    Of cause you can make a market whatever you want, an empty dot on a theoretical line, but that theoretical dot is not a real market. A real market is ASX with it’s charts and depth screens with people trying to make money or cut a loss, or the Victoria market ( a market in Melbourne) with stalls and the stall seller trying to get rid of his stuff because he doesn’t want to take it home.

    When rational behavior leaves a market for sure is when the market tries to price in the future. The price of the future is an unknown. Is the current spot price for oil a balance between supply and demand or a balance between speculation and fear for the future.

    If you believe the former then there is no hope for you, your an economist of a very old school. If you accept the later then you have to start thinking about a market as something more than a dot on a line, you have to start asking, what drives the market.

    And as soon as you start asking what drives a market then there is room for birds arguments.

  29. Possum

    You have to do better than that, if the difference was from the 80’s yes i would accept it. The difference has been there for over a century. You need to find the reason why Australia has been politically stable. I think the International Harvester case is a good place to start. As a reminder that was the case where the Judge basically said “don’t screw the workers”.

  30. Charles, I think looking at a market as if it contains some human “value” is way too simplistic to be useful. The market is really the result of a collection of competing drivers as numerous as there are market participants, where it’s in a constant state of flux and where everyone is constantly adapting to the decisions of others.

    To give an example, Where you see fear in a market – I see something more complex like a spread of risk aversion driving behaviour. Is that a value or is that something more complex and not really like a value at all?

    On Argentina – if you want to go back that far, then the difference would have a lot to do with the colonial power that settled each place and everything that flowed from there.

  31. Possum

    The colonial power, or distance. England didn’t do such a great job of the USA, South Africa, Rhodesia as counter example. The changes brought about by the Eureka Stockade happened because the Victoria Parliament took the power and it was all over before the round trip to england and back.

    No I would argue Eureka Stockade, Harvester case and perhaps the desire to cut down tall poppies. The things that gave us the largest middle class in the world.

  32. Possum

    On markets I think we are at the same but different points. Your claiming that markets are made up of tiny little independent atoms. I am claiming the actions of the atoms form on object. Given the size of my tiny little brain I don’t consider what the atoms are doing I try and work out the features of the object.

    Look at the trees or the forest, I don’t care, but just because there are trees doesn’t mean there isn’t a forest.

  33. charles @ 1041 – While the harsh winters – of which I do have some experience – are certainly a factor in the high rates of alcohol abuse and suicidality in the northern European social democracies, both are significantly higher there than in the climatically similar Canada and Alaska.

    Articles on the region’s mental health also point to social factors that directly relate to the social system. Their societies may do a far better job of looking after the material – in the broadest sense, education, health, jobs etc – needs of citizens, but they also impose higher expectations. Expectations that some find near impossible to live up to. In a ‘all for one, and one for all’ social, and economic system there is less room, and perhaps more telling, less excuse, and therefore acceptance, for failure.

  34. 1091
    what’s happening here people?
    Pulling an anecdote or a particular slice of economics out of it’s context and claiming it as an explanation for god, the universe and everything doesn’t cut it.
    I don’t think anyone here advocated extremism as a solution, and yet that’s where the arguments are heading.
    3 words – Whole System Thinking
    Chopping up the whole and solving the parts individually isn’t going to cut it.
    An outcome and a policy to the deliver that outcome are very different things.
    I’m still confused as to what ‘neo-liberal’ policy actually IS, so I can’t even think about how you might enact policy to avoid it.

  35. Charles, I dont think one can really separate the trees from the forest – they’re all the same thing. It depends on what you are trying to measure in the market which dictates the resolution you use to look.

  36. what my argument is that the market place becomes infused with values by its very nature of interacting with people – the two are the same organism – and the outcomes may not be socially desirable – eg: greed – so in theory possum’s arguments look good, but my argument is that people behaviours becomes the market.

    Also Possum says that he is just looking at what works as far as policy – aren’t we all – but lots of things may work – but what you eventually choose will depend on your values – eg: capital punishment may work as well, but is it right or desirable – what you agree with will depend on your values

    Australian’s have just rejected a far right IR policy – they rejected the values outcomes of it – fo rmany reasons – but namely that australian’s have traditionally valued a more egalitarian – less winner takes all approach to IR. – so it was rejected. It got to what was ever left in Australia of worker solidarity –
    In regards to neoliberalism in Australia, you are making my argument’s one dimensional and hair splitting – I am not saying that everything that has happened in the last 25 years is bad – its was the increasing fundamentalism and that fact that other positions were not pursued – eg: public universities now have been fully corporatised/marketised – all the academics i know say standards have dropped – that bringing full fee students into u/graduate courses was the final nail in the coffin of full marketisation –

    Its also when hawke/keating started to fund private schools – Iknow that my local high school pretty much just gets the poorer kids on the bottom half of the socio economic ladder now – the other middle class kids just get siphoned off to private schools – oftent he bright kids get scholarships and they are often from higher socio economic ladders and they get offered scholarships from the local public primary then get taken away to the independent private school. Its really sad – and its happened in just one generation – its now back to one high school system for bottom half of s/economic ladder who are disproportionately average to below average intelligence as well – I am sure if you took my area I went to high school as an example it would be telling. The Liberal Party’s own evidence , before it left power, was tha tprivate schools are pullingmore from the top half of the socioeconomic ladder than ever before

    To simplify my arguments to say that I think that everything that has happened in the last 25 years is bad means that you are not really looking at the subtleties of it

  37. MayoFeral

    You might be right, there are two places I wouldn’t want to live long term, Sweden and Singapore. There is just to much order. Funny isn’t it, one is a social democracy, the result of policies that they have voted for, the other is a dictatorship.


    I think we are are now agreeing that a market is something more than a lifeless entity, now i suppose the question is do markets allow winners to take all ( I think that is where this all started), I believe the answer is no, because that destroys the market. To work something about the market has to balance the opposing forces, something about the atoms has to create the object, something about the cells make them work together to create a human; order out of chaos; the second law of thermodynamics loses again.

    The real question is why is the second law of thermodynamics so dodgy, and since we have suspected for a long while that complex systems form by themselves why has the second law not been repealed.

  38. bird

    Your welcome, it’s a really interesting topic. What makes markets work, what makes them fail. I believe we are about to see the re regulation of the banking industry by the USA ( and the world will follow, they pushed they deregulation) because a market came very close to failure. In my view big changes are afoot.

    I actually agree with possums point, you have to have rational policy and it doesn’t matter which bin it comes out of. The real question is; what is rational policy?

  39. “This is America,” said Duane Collins, a Gatlinburg, TN, distillery operator and father of five. “And in this country, we have the God-given right to change laws we don’t think are Christian. We are united in our demands that the second law of thermodynamics be repealed, and our voice will be heard no matter what. That’s just a plain fact, and nothing anybody says can ever change it.” 😛

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