Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor

The latest weekly Essential Research survey has Labor maintaining its 51-49 lead from last week, but with the Coalition gaining a point on the primary vote to 44 per cent, Labor stable on 42 per cent and the Greens down a point further to an undernourished 8 per cent. When asked whether Tony Abbott was “unfairly putting roadblocks in the way of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s programs”, 46 per cent rated him too obstructive while 54 per cent believed his actions “appropriate” for an Opposition Leader (not sure where the don’t knows went). A surprisingly large majority agreed there should be a new election, perhaps owing to the question’s rather odd qualification that such an election would allow us “a Government with a working majority”: 55 per cent agreed with only 23 per cent disagreeing. Findings on “attributes to describe the Prime Minister” have Julia Gillard deteriorating on all measures since the questions were last posed on July 5. Her worst reversal is a 15 per drop on “good in a crisis”, which forcefully makes the point that there’s no accounting for taste. The figures for Tony Abbott are little changed, with a general pattern of very slight improvements. Gillard remains better placed than Abbott on each measure, being well ahead on “down to earth” and well behind on “narrow-minded” and “arrogant”.

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.

3,648 comments on “Essential Research: 51-49 to Labor”

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  1. JENAUTHOR – I thought there was a suggestion that later Christians slipped a few references to Jesus into Josephus’ writings. I think there is still some academic debate about that.

  2. [i have not read the Koran but I have been under the impression that certain sections of the bible and the koran are similar. Is this true or am I just talking rubbish ?]

    I’ve read both Doyley (not bad for an atheistic agnostic since childhood, I reckon) and, yes indeed, the Koran and the Old Testament share a great deal in common. Many of the same stories, with many of the same characters, with slightly different slants, in fact.

    The three major “Abrahamic” religions remind me of the Labor party on occasion. All have much the same foundation myths, and many of the same underlying principles and beliefs, but the wars between the three ‘schisms” or “factions” are generally fought far harder than the battles with the real outsiders!

  3. [ROD – I was in Melbourne recently and I couldn’t work out how the aged and invalid could get on and off the trams. It must be hard.]

    Margaret used to love trams when she was a bit more nimble, but hates ’em these days. The new ‘super platforms” on some of the tram/light rail routes are bearable, but she rarely wants to go to the places where they are available.

  4. [THE River Murray mouth will be open at least 90 per cent of the time if the Murray-Darling Basin Plan is passed in its original form, but Australia could lose $805 million a year in agricultural production and 800 jobs.
    The Murray-Darling Basin Authority today released a guide to its controversial plan, stressing it is not “a done deal”.

    The independent authority charged with restoring balance to Australia’s food bowl went with the lower end of the range that its modelling determined was needed to return environmental health.

    The clawback of 27 to 37 per cent of water amounts to an additional 3000 to 4000 gigalitres of surface water annually.]

    So what was all the fuss aout?

  5. ROD – It seems a big minus against trams to me then. At least buses have suspension that lets them tip over close to the pavement.

  6. jenauthor, have you read “The Christians as the Romans saw them”? I have been motivated to dust it off the bookshelf to have a read. One thing I recall from it was that the Romans were dumbstruck as to how the Christians seemed to welcome matyrdom..they thought them absolutely crazy!

  7. If anyone wants to read an approachable novel by Mario Vargas Llosa, I highly recommend The Feast of the Goat which is about Trujillo’s regime in the Dominican Republic. It’s one of his best.

    If you enjoy reading Ron’s posts, ‘Conversation in the Cathedral’ and ‘The War of the End of the World’ are beyond brilliant and quite mesmerising.

  8. Murray-Darling press conference.

    One of the first questions asked by a woman ‘reporter’ was, very aggressive “Why are you releasing this on a Friday?” She tried to interrupt the answer twice but was overridden.
    This timing has been laughed at by ABC 24 “typical govt” so I was interested in the answer, which was wtte
    The Stock Exchange have asked us to release it outside trading hours as it will affect some businesses.
    Journo 0; M-D report 1 😆

  9. [1. What Rupe probably wants most is to destroy the NBN;
    2. The government can’t give him that;
    3. So the government should accept News Corp is the enemy (and can’t be bought off) and shore up its support in the rest of the media;
    4. News Corp is probably a good deal less influential in Australia than in the US.]

    I get the feeling Australia is more like a ‘treasured pet’ for Murdoch. Thus he want to interfere regardless of the fact that financially, we are really small bikkies. We are as much a game to him as anything else … and that is what irks me most … for the sake of the game he thinks it is okay to do what is NOT in the country’s best interest. And he doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process.

  10. This MYKI system that gets a mention in some of the public transport posts here. Is it anything like the SmartRider card that we have in Perth now??

  11. I despair for NSW when an MP’s argument agaisnt the corruption investigation was that the information she signed was “wrong” and “not right” yet however, she suggests it would be false to presume that what she said was “false”.

  12. [Why the stark contrast in public transport policies and outcomes between states? Only a small part of the better WA performance can be attributed to mineral royalties, as most of the new rail built by Labor governments was pre-boom. I put it down to two women: Carmen Lawrence and Allanah MacTiernan. Such a pity the latter didn’t quite make it to Canberra on August 21.]

    Yes. Another person who is due some credit in this regard is Prof Peter Newman of Curtin University, a staunch advocate of public transport infrastructure development even during the times when freeway building ruled state budgets, and a frequent adviser to WA governments.

  13. [jenauthor, have you read “The Christians as the Romans saw them”? I have been motivated to dust it off the bookshelf to have a read. One thing I recall from it was that the Romans were dumbstruck as to how the Christians seemed to welcome matyrdom..they thought them absolutely crazy!]

    Sounds vaguely familiar … I reckon I read it while at uni. The martyrdom thing is another parallel with Islam nowadays. And like the Romans, we just don’t ‘get’ how they can welcome death in defense of their faith.

    A really good one on the basis of religions is “Secrets of the Exodus” by Roger & Messod Sabbah. Using linguistic and archaeological evidence to form a convincing argument for the basis of Old Testament being very much Egyptian in origin.

  14. [ John was written somewhere near the end of the 1st century, probably in Ephesus, in Anatolia. The tradition of John the Apostle was strong in Anatolia, and Polycarp of Smyrna reportedly knew him. Like the previous gospels, it circulated separately until Irenaeus proclaimed all four gospels to be scripture.]

    [“Near the end of the 1st century” would rule out contact with any eyewitness.]

    Except for the fact that John was supposed to be the only Apostle to have died a natural death at approx 100 ad at the age of 94. As an apostle, he was of course an eyewitness!

    [John the Apostle, also known as John the Beloved Disciple, (Ancient Greek: ???????) (c. 6 – c. 100) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of James, another of the Twelve Apostles. Christian tradition holds he was the last surviving of the Twelve Apostles and died around the age of 94?the only apostle to die naturally. ]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Apostle

  15. Immediately after the release of the momentous MDB report on comes Barnaby going on about “putting fluffy stuff in roofs” and “burning 190 homes down”.
    The man is a National embarrassment.

  16. thanks Diogenes,
    I’ll look at some of those books, I was wondering where to start.
    The Murdoch and the NBN, Australia is not important in the scheme of things – ‘treasured pet’ would describe it quite well, however people overseas – particularly the US are looking at the NBN in detail, if it is successful, then it may be adopted elsewhere.

  17. anony@3562

    I’d say the Greens. The chances of Oakeshot and the other Indies being influential after the next election are low as it would take a hung parliament again. Chances of that have to be pretty slim.

    The Greens however have a party structure, a HoR seat, and will be influential in the Senate for at least the next two terms.

    If the media are gunning for Oakeshot then it has to be in the context of trying to push the line that the govt is actually illegitimate and there should be a new election.

    Wont happen if ALP/Green/Indies keep focused on achieving things.

    Not that they are particularly angels, but it seems to me that the ALP very quickly adapted to the idea that they could make minority Govt work and are just getting on with it.

    Lib/Nat’s don’t get it and don’t seem to want to play unless they get to make all the rules.

  18. [JENAUTHOR – I thought there was a suggestion that later Christians slipped a few references to Jesus into Josephus’ writings. I think there is still some academic debate about that.]

    Yep Rosa — I recall discussions about it. Just as the council of Nicaea took specific ‘stands’ on what was the ‘truth’, such decisions were made from the beginning.

    Donatism and Manicheaism, for instance, vied for dominance at different times early in the church’s formation … and each had different interpretations of written scriptures. Lots of churches had their own texts, written for their own people, which plucked whatever they thought useful from earlier texts.

    What we have now is really the ‘winning’ texts. This is why I would take any of it very carefully when claiming ‘truth’.

  19. [ jenauthor, have you read “The Christians as the Romans saw them”? I have been motivated to dust it off the bookshelf to have a read. One thing I recall from it was that the Romans were dumbstruck as to how the Christians seemed to welcome matyrdom..they thought them absolutely crazy! ]

    Yep Laocoon. The vast majority of Roman emperors were tolerant toward Christians. Even those emperors that persecuted the Christians did so not because of the Christians’ religious beliefs, but because Christians refused to sacrifice in honour of the emperor. This was interpreted as disloyalty.

    Many Christians were drama queens who actively courted martyrdom. The imperial authorities were bewildered and often irritated at the refusal of Christians to let themselves off the hook when given the chance.

  20. I have often wondered how much of history, both ancient and modern, which is now accepted as ” factual ” has in fact been clouded or developed by the personal agenda and bias of those writing, translating or interpreting it.

    I am not talking about history which is set in concrete but more about reasons for and outcomes from certain events and if certain events really happened. Did this really happen and is this the reason for it and the outcome from it or is it nothing more than gloss and propaganda ?

    The reason I raise this is I have started to think recently how much history would be distorted if someone in three to four hundred years decided to write a history of early 21st century Australia based on ” recently discovered writings and opinions in a long forgotten newspaper called the Australian backed up by archival tapes from something called the ABC”

  21. [What we have now is really the ‘winning’ texts. This is why I would take any of it very carefully when claiming ‘truth’.]

    Plus only four texts out of all the hundreds were found to have some coherence, which is not surprising since three out of the four had essentially one source.

  22. Doyley

    Good point re MSM
    I think there’s a saying wtte “the winner writes the history”.

    You only have to have lived for 50 years to realise that the “history” of your time has already been distorted. An example is the sixties and sexual freedom. People looking back talk as if everyone thought and acted the same then, which of course is nonsense.
    I heard Terry Lane on the ABC make the same remark. Sometimes the “official position on your own time is unrecognisabel and you think – hey, it wasn’t like that.

    So how much more distortion there must be over hundreds of years.

  23. [Yep Laocoon. The vast majority of Roman emperors were tolerant toward Christians. Even those emperors that persecuted the Christians did so not because of the Christians’ religious beliefs, but because Christians refused to sacrifice in honour of the emperor. This was interpreted as disloyalty.]

    In general the Romans were tolerant of local religions so long as they did not lead to treason. The cult of Isis was quite prominent, as I recall. The Romans were, for the most part, political realists and sought to use local institutions first rather than usurp them, as they found it was the best way to control a subjugated populace. However, treason was crushed violently.

  24. Rod @3552,

    Thanks for that.

    Sometimes the more we are the same the more we are different. Makes you wonder if humans have a specific gene for confrontation.

  25. Imacca @ 3561

    [This MYKI system that gets a mention in some of the public transport posts here. Is it anything like the SmartRider card that we have in Perth now??]

    Hard to answer as I am not familiar with the Perth system but you can read about it here http://www.myki.com.au/

    In essence it is credit card like piece of plastic which stores value and is read by sensors at entry & exit to a mode of transport. From that the fare is calculated with a daily cap.

    In my experience it works fine and will prove itself superior to the previous system.

  26. [ Donatism and Manicheaism, for instance, vied for dominance at different times early in the church’s formation … and each had different interpretations of written scriptures. ]

    I had thought that Donatism was a purely political schism, not a theological one. During the persecutions many Christians survived by temporarily recanting, or by pretending to cooperate with the Roman authorities (they would hand over phony holy books to be burned, for example). The Donatists were zealots who regarded these Christians as collaborators, and they wanted them expelled from the Church – or at least removed from positions of authority.

    As far as I know, the Donatists were active only in North Africa. The Donatist schism pretty much ended with the Vandal invasions.

  27. [The reason I raise this is I have started to think recently how much history would be distorted if someone in three to four hundred years decided to write a history of early 21st century Australia based on ” recently discovered writings and opinions in a long forgotten newspaper called the Australian backed up by archival tapes from something called the ABC”]

    Spot on Doyley. Our written historical records are basically the winning versions that have been cemented into the national psyche. Western Christian history would be vastly different to the eastern or middle eastern versions of the same times and events.

    Even archaeological evidence is open to massively different interpretaions.

    I once read a funny piece in readers digest (of all places) where it had a ‘future archaeologist’s’ interpretation of a scene in a house after the ‘bomb’ was dropped (a la Pompeii) …

    It had a drawing of how the archaeologist found the scene. A female figure was found on the floor of the bathroom with the toilet seat around her neck. The archaeologist interpreted this as some item of fashion from the time. There were a whole range of items that were misinterpreted, and I remember laughing very hard … because the explanations were plausible.

  28. [Two millenia later and some individuals are still having issues with gospel and other sorts of the truth.]

    BW, it’s time religions are patented and put them away.

  29. [ In general the Romans were tolerant of local religions so long as they did not lead to treason. The cult of Isis was quite prominent, as I recall. The Romans were, for the most part, political realists and sought to use local institutions first rather than usurp them, as they found it was the best way to control a subjugated populace. However, treason was crushed violently. ]

    That’s how I would summarise it too, Jenauthor. The cult of Isis was actually persecuted by the emperor Tiberius, so the Christians weren’t alone in being targeted as dangerous subversives. In the first and second centuries the Roman authorities often saw the Christians as a subgroup of Jews, and the Jews were always seen as troublemakers.

    After the conversion of the emperor Constantine, the shoe was on the other foot. All of his successors (aside from one) were Christian, and it wasn’t long before the Christian emperors and their goons started persecuting pagans or heretics.

  30. Scorpio @ 3567

    [Except for the fact that John was supposed to be the only Apostle to have died a natural death at approx 100 ad at the age of 94. As an apostle, he was of course an eyewitness!]

    [ John the Apostle, also known as John the Beloved Disciple, (Ancient Greek: ???????) (c. 6 – c. 100) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of James, another of the Twelve Apostles. Christian tradition holds he was the last surviving of the Twelve Apostles and died around the age of 94?the only apostle to die naturally. ]

    Differs from what I have read elsewhere. I understood none of the authors of the Gospels were disciples.

    More of the mythology I suspect.

  31. [As far as I know, the Donatists were active only in North Africa. The Donatist schism pretty much ended with the Vandal invasions.]

    Yep Kakuru — was just throwing up examples of variety. There were heaps of them, often only local in nature, but the various heresies have gone into building the ‘myth’ upon which the modern churches are based. And I say churches — because we have that same variety now … we just call them catholics (many varieties), baptists, anglicans etc. etc. etc …

  32. jenauthor, BW, Doyley, Laocoon et al

    You might find it interesting to browse

    http://unbelief.org/

    particularly the forum (which is nowhere near as busy as PB) and where I post occasionally under a different name.

    There’s politics there as well 🙂

  33. [Japan’s cabinet has approved a new economic stimulus package worth $62 billion.]

    Don’t let Tone near Tokyo. He may offend them. I wonder what Julie Bishop thinks?

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