Rockin’ all over the world

Hypothesis one, from Peter Brent at Mumble: “Canada’s one-term government going for re-election (after only 18 months), amidst world economic turmoil, should provide some clue as to how Rudd & co might fare at the next election.”

Hypothesis two, from Adam in Canberra at this place: “It’s curious that the financial crisis seems to be working in favour of the incumbents in NZ (on the basis of one Morgan poll) and (I think so far) Australia, but against the incumbents in the US and Canada. That would suggest that conservatives are being blamed, not incumbents.”

Let’s do a very quick whiz round to see how things seem to be travelling in various comparable democracies.

United States: Barack Obama opens up 11-point lead over John McCain. “BARACK Obama has opened up an 11-point lead over John McCain in the latest Gallup Poll – his biggest margin of the campaign.”

Germany: Merkel party slumps in poll as financial crisis hits Germany. “The CDU and her sister party, the Christian Social Democrats (CSU), fell four points to 33 percent which is the lowest level since early 2007, according to a survey released jointly by the Hamburg-based Stern news magazine and the commercial RTL broadcasting network.”

New Zealand: New Zealand Election Tightens. “In early October 2008 the New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows National Party support at 40.5% (down 7%), a tight lead over the Labour Party 37.5% (up 1%). If the Election were this weekend there would be a hung Parliament in New Zealand with either major party capable of forming a governing coalition.”

United Kingdom: Labour halves Tory lead in opinion poll: “The opposition was ahead of the ruling party by a record 20-points last week. Today, a YouGov poll, commissioned by The Sun, showed the Labour party stood at 31 points – a 10 point gain on the previous gap.”

Canada: Harper keeps sinking in polls. “With Stephen Harper and his Conservatives losing popularity throughout most of the country, the poll-takers yesterday offered the party a gloomy diagnosis: They see few signs of improvement before voting day on Tuesday.”

Though admittedly …

Italy: Berlusconi honeymoon with the Italians. “They call it ‘honeymoon’. This is no romantic movie, though, it’s the nickname that Italian newspapers gave to a new political phenomenon: Berlusconi’s personal degree of favor among the Italians, his popularity has now reached 60%.”.

Italy always was different, I guess. I’m calling it a win for hypothesis two.

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.

233 comments on “Rockin’ all over the world”

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  1. Maybe a “new home” buyer grant. Instead of the first home buyer one. An incentive to build new homes?

    The temptation to give all pensioners a $1500 cash bonus must be high, this trumps the Liberals single aged pensioner crap and negates it as an issue. A $6 billion injection for the retail sector.

  2. The problem with giving it to the pensioners, ruawake, is, as Howard found out, that they’ll then expect it every year, even if it’s made very, very clear that its a one off. Anyway, while it might produce a one off economic stimulus, it probably needs something more sustained.

    Plus, given how run down the country’s basic infrastructure is, it might be better going into bringing us into the 21st Century so we’re competitive when the world economy improves.

    PS: According to my neighbour the best way of injecting a large wad of cash into the economy is to give it to his ex wife. He guarantees it’ll all be gone in a flash and that she won’t squirrel away even a cent of it. 😉

  3. Mayo

    You forget the retirement income inquiry, next budget the one off payments are gone forever. This is the opportunity to make this the last “one off” payment.

    It will take two or more years for infrastructure spending to kick in, too slow. Tax cuts are a bit the same – spread over a year.

    I smell a pension lump sum brewing. 😉

  4. Generally the cash bonus will be the most efficient way to get the money flowing. For infrastructure projects, planning usually takes at least two years, but some that are already on the books and were previously knocked back for funding, eg Sydney fast rail line to Parramatta (McQuarrie proposal) could probably be gotten moving quickly.

  5. The pensioner cash bonus, especially for self funded retirees (who may end up on the pension) solves a political problem and gets money into the retail sector fast.

    It seems too tempting to resist.

  6. was talking to elder bro in sweden re the Iceland thingy

    basically a lack of natural resouces and an aged popoulation,coupled with some very unwise investments has bought the country to the brink of ruin.(incidentally AG was talking about newfoundland and it’s descent into basketcasery this morning on abc radio)

    Luckily Iceland has not ended as bad as newfoundland owing in a large part to the efforts of its neighbours to provide financial help

  7. Certainly the pensioner cash bonus makes sense. They WILL spend it because many will need to. I’m not so sure this will happen with an overall tax cut though.

  8. [Labor down a point in Essential Research to 57-43.]

    Yep – one term govt all the way…

    On what Rudd will do with the surplus I liked his answer to Hockey in QT:

    [we intend to build the nation’s infrastructure; we intend to deploy the capital of the nation in building future economic growth. We will build the roads, we will build the ports, we will build the railways, and we will build the high speed broadband; because it’s in the long term interests of this economy to do so, and because it supports economic growth along the way.]

  9. I’m chucking a Turnbull and taking credit of the Governments expected response.


    “Holistic approach is the way to go.

    Quick injection of money into the economy – tax cuts and increase the pension.

    Back that up with medium-long term measures – infrastructure investment.

    BAM, problem solved.”

    I said it before the Government said they’d do it, therefore they did it because of me.

  10. Stinking words of 2008:

    Wall st / Securitisation / Derivatives / Credit Default Swaps / Leverage / Debts / The Market / Subprime / Toxic assets / Investment Banks and Bankers / Hedge Funds / Capitalist system / Free enterprise / De-regulation / Experts / Short Selling / Margin Lending / Meltdown / Crash / Recession / Depression / Confidence / Negative returns / George W Bush / Iceland / Billion / Trillion.

    Smelling like roses in 2008:

    Governments / Regulation Control / Guarantee / Bailout / Socialism / Nationalised / Liquidity / Desperately seeking The Bottom / Surplus / China / Australia / Warren Buffet / Main St / Hillary Clinton.

  11. [How do you think the Rudd Government is addressing the global financial crisis?]

    Seem like Kevinism is going down rather well. 🙂

  12. Blogger Ad Astra, at new blog The Political Sword has started a series on how we perceive our political journalists.

    He has started off with Andrew Bolt, visiting his blog and trawling through the toxic rightwing spewings of hate (so you don’t have to). He picked up, among others, this steaming deposit:

    [“Many of us predicted that Rudd would destroy our economy. But under no circumstance did we predict that he would destroy the whole capitalist system world-wide. What has he been saying whilst junketing all around the world??? He must have put the heapy-greevies into a lot of people. Foreigners must have thought Australians have gone mad electing a germ like Rudd and panicked themselves.”]

    People used to frown on Howard-haters for their malevolence … but surely they’ve got nothing on some of the (Howard-loving) Rudd-haters for sheer lunatic ferocity. I think it has to be a healthy thing that their party of preference is no longer in control of public affairs.

  13. This is interesting. From Essential research:

    [A majority (54%) is opposed to using taxpayer money to prevent financial institutions from collapsing – and 29% support. Strongest support comes from people
    aged 50+ (37%) and Liberal/National voters (34%).]

    Th strongest support for intervention by government into private financial institutions comes form :iberal supporters?

    Yet, these are the same that think there’s no hope (under Rudd, that is).

    Partisanship is still strong, as is free-market hypocrisy.

  14. [But under no circumstance did we predict that he would destroy the whole capitalist system world-wide]

    That’s funny. I thought Rudd had no influence at all on foreign leaders?

  15. Bill, that’s because Liberal voters are far more likely to have substantial amounts in the banks, or to own bank shares. Of course people with no direct stake in propping up the banks are likely to oppose having their taxes used to do so.

  16. Bushfire Bill

    That’s funny. I thought Rudd had no influence at all on foreign leaders?

    No, but apparently he scares the living daylights out of bankers and share traders. Seems they’ve been throwing themselves out of their penthouse windows from the moment Rudd was elected. Who knew they were so faint of heart!

    We did a bad, bad thing when we voted for him, BB. Though I blame you for leading me astray! 😉

  17. Interesting question in the Essential report.

    “Who do you think is responsible for the global financial crisis?” Most people answered “Greedy financial institutions”. Is there any other kind?

  18. Surely, there is to be a bounty of polls for us soon. I wonder what goes through the mind of someone who thinks of another person as a “germ”. No I don’t, I wonder at the processes, truly ghastly, in every sense of the word.

  19. Who would have thought that Gordon Brown is turning out to be the hero of this financial meltdown. It looks like his “solution” is the basic template that has been adopted by many other countries:

    1. Guarantee the inter banks lending
    2. Taking equity in the banks
    3. Guarantee of the punter deposits

    This will probably will save his political skin.

  20. #228, Brown has just snatched victory from the jaw of defeat. He is smelling roses. Germany’s Angela Merkel is smelling like the cow dung. She is hopeless.

    [US economist Paul Krugman, a fierce critic of US President George W Bush’s handling of the global financial crisis, won the Nobel Economics Prize Monday.

    In his New York Times newspaper column Sunday, Krugman said Brown and Darling “have defined the character of the worldwide rescue effort, with other wealthy nations playing catch-up.

    “The Brown government has shown itself willing to think clearly about the financial crisis, and act quickly on its conclusions,” he wrote.

    “And this combination of clarity and decisiveness hasn’t been matched by any other Western government, least of all our own.

    “The British government went straight to the heart of the problem – and moved to address it with stunning speed.

    “Luckily for the world economy … Brown and his officials are making sense. And they may have shown us the way through this crisis.”]

  21. With markets around the world starting to settle down and recover some of their losses, it looks liek Brown and Krugman were right! Now Paulson and Bush are moving towards the Swedish -style bank equity plan instead of their bailout. Who’d have thought that a Princeton economics professor knew more about markets than the Bush government? Amazing.

  22. I guess the lowest ever return for the Canadian (l)Liberals, and the increase in vote for Canada’s Conservatives over the previous election, would be perhaps working against the blame conservatives everywhere mantra.

    It is also good to see that it is only Economic Vandalism when the Senate tries to block tax increases, yet it is good economic policy to throw away billions of dollars in short term one-off payments, just as the economy (and particularly corporate tax revenues) hit the wall. I doubt we will see a budget surplus by year end.

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