Nielsen: 66-34 to Coalition in NSW

The Keneally government’s re-election hopes have taken a blow with the latest Nielsen poll, which replicates the seemingly unbelievable 66-34 Coalition lead indicated by the last published opinion poll from Galaxy. Nielsen at least has Labor’s primary vote two points higher than Galaxy, though at a still record-shattering low of 22 per cent, but since it has the Greens two points lower on 13 per cent and the Coalition three points higher on 53 per cent, the two-party total ends up the same. It should be noted however that the primary vote takes on greater importance in elections conducted under optional preferential voting, particularly in light of voters’ progressively increasing tendency to use the “just one vote” option available to them under the system – which you can learn more about courtesy of Antony Green’s post on how minor party preferences behaved at the last election. Plugging the results into Antony Green’s election calculator produces striking seat totals of 73 seats for the Coalition, 14 for Labor and two for the Greens, plus three independents. The poll has Kristina Keneally with an approval rating of 36 per cent and disapproval of 58 per cent, compared with 55 per cent and 33 per cent for Barry O’Farrell, who leads 52-38 as preferred premier.

My seat-by-seat election guide will not posted any time soon, and will probably be unveiled step by step throughout the campaign period. Fortunately we are very well served by the efforts of Antony Green and Ben Raue. Antony has also been having a fair bit to say about the election on recent blog posts.

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.

103 thoughts on “Nielsen: 66-34 to Coalition in NSW”

  1. Seeing that I am the early bird.

    how.. amazing…

    Looking hand over mouth at what can only rank as one of the most unfortunate stories in Australia’s history.

    Apart from the arrival of the First Fleet.

  2. I’ve taken flak for this before, but let me repeat: This is a disastrous election for NSW.

    The government is far from perfect. It has made mistakes which add up over time.

    Its achievements (eg the Olympics) have been forgotten.

    It has had its rotten apples.

    But for all that, it is not the worst government in the world. By the standards of Australian state governments, it is not that far below FAQ. The economy is running OK. The government has coped well with emergencies. It has had intelligent, decent leaders like Iemma, Rees, KKK who have consistently outshone their opponents. No Berlusconis there.

    In Victoria a government widely regarded as “good” was recently beaten.

    A feral federal Opposition is ahead in the polls.

    There is a sour, negative mood abroad for no logical reason.

    A “bad” government is about to cop it in the neck.

    And a lopsided parliament will not do the people of NSW any good at all.

    Tell me if I’m wrong.

  3. I agree the opposition may not be much better in terms of policy. But even if they do no more than turf out the Labor cronies, the people of NSW will be better off once the incumbents are turfed. You don’t get reform by re-electing corrupt governments.

  4. Toorak Toff

    Yes the Sydney Olympics went well, the Olympic stadium was ready by 1997, most of the venue was completed around that time. The reason for it was all the planned was done prior to the election of the ALP.

    The economy doing well? It is the worst performing state at the moment, and when the ALP inherited the state, it was the best performing state.

    KKK is performing well, lol, you must have missed the Electricity sellout debacle and the fact that KKK close parliament, so that question could be asked, or the fact that treasury officials says NSW treasury and advisors were against the plan. KKK’s disapproval rating is 58%. she trails by 22 point in preferred premier. If she is doing well, I would like to know what happens when she is doing mediocre.

    Some of it has to do with the ALP reaching its use by date by 2005, but the Liberals, Brogden in particular being horrible, means that the ALP stayed longer then it should have.

    The fact that the ALP said they did a lot wrong in the 2007 election, but plans on heading the right way, but did nothing for the next 4 years. No infrastructure, scrapped another infrastructure plan 2 weeks after the election, leaves a bad taste in people’s month. Add to these the stuff ups in Xcity tunnel, Hospital planning etc, and you have a rightfully angry public

  5. I agree with you Toorak Toff. Whilst there is justified reasoning to trounce Labor out, I don’t see how a result on this scale will be ultimately beneficial for the people of NSW. I am glad we left back in 2007.

  6. [Its achievements (eg the Olympics) have been forgotten.]


    [It has had its rotten apples]

    Yes. Corruption- some proven, some unproven, resignations, paedophile currently in jail, unproven accusations of mafiosi, factional hacks recycling leaders every year or so, and nearly one third of current rats have already left the sinking ship (with lots of talk of Obeid about to go).

    [But for all that, it is not the worst government in the world]

    Agreed. Just the worst in living memory in Australia

    [A “bad” government is about to cop it in the neck]

    Correct except for the ” “s

    [Tell me if I’m wrong.]

    You are wrong.

    The only question remaining is who are these 22% and what are they thinking?????

  7. [Some of it has to do with the ALP reaching its use by date by 2005, but the Liberals, Brogden in particular being horrible, means that the ALP stayed longer then it should have.]

    Brogden would have been Premier had it now been for his meltdown. It was the Debnam that ensured ALP won one too many elections- and look what that did to the federal ALP in 1993! It meant they were in opposition for 12 years and lost the next 4 elections. 2007 will probably go down in history as the election the ALP wished they had lost (an unpopular Debnam premiership may have meant only 1 term in the cold).

  8. The long-term threat to NSW ALP is that their vote will sink so low this election, they will look like the big brother of the NSW Greens, instead of the dominant left party.

    The Greens will never ascend above the ALP while unions affiliate with them though. Their policies have little to do with their primary vote (just look at the policy-less Liberals).

  9. Toorak Toff
    [The economy is running OK. The government has coped well with emergencies. It has had intelligent, decent leaders like Iemma, Rees, KKK who have consistently outshone their opponents. No Berlusconis there.
    … Tell me if I’m wrong.]
    You are wrong. I have had work dealings with this government since 2003 and it is one of the wrost I have encountered. It is expert at hiding information, but not at solving problems. Inquiries find evidence of rampant corruption and the guilty parties are not even sacked, let alone prosecuted. State assets are disposed of in a manner that at best lacks in transparency, at worst wastes the taxpayers money. Valuable mining leases are given to union cronies without even a public tender process. Meanwhile huge strucutral problems in planning and infrastructure are not addressed for a growing population. Projects are started and then abandoned in a wasteful and ineffectual manner. Private proposals are ignored on ideologicla groudns even if they might save the State money. I could go on.

    The economic outcome has been appalling. NSW may not be Tasmania but it should be a lot better than it is. It is our wealthiest State, with the most capital, most educated workforce, most business HQs, mineral assets, and yet economically it is outperformed by South Australia. That is bad. The NSW economy has been propped up by generous Commonwealth funding via per capita grant formulas and corproate profits from mines in WA and QLD flowing back to it. But the real growth in GSP per capita in NSW has been practically nill for five years. Pathetic. Anyone who tries to defend the economic performance of the NSW State government is no doubt very sincere in their loyalty to the Labor Party, but that loyalty IMO is very badly misplaced.

  10. I agree with Toorak Toff. The interesting think will be the Labor party’s response to the trouncing. Generally bad losses result in party introspection and renewal but I think this is less likely if people like Roosendahl and Robertson are left as the party’s leaders and those with some self-realization are swept away in the deluge.

  11. I agree with Toorak Toff – it is not the worst government in the world. After all, there is North Korea, Cuba, Burma and Zimbabwe and possibly several other African states.

    And the Toff is correct too. There have been no Berlusconis in this government. Berlusconi is not, at least yet, a convicted paedophile and he has not been reported as dancing in his green underpants trying to copulate with the breasts of another member of parliament. We could go on ad infinitum.

    And I have yet to read about his selling off government utilities for a song and preventing parliamentary enquiries into the deal, or starting infrastructure projects and then abandoning them at capital loss to the country.

    And he does not appear to have taken a country with first world infrastructure and turned it into one with third world infrastructure.

    Good one, Toorak Toff. You lit up my day.

  12. Toorak Toff, Fiz and Catching up – there is absolutely no point in whingeinng about an incoming O’Farrell government (here’s a tip: it won’t be the end of civilisation as we know it). Nor should it be such a concern if the ALP is reduced to a cricket team in the Legislative Assembly (hint: the party you love can rebuild in a State many consider to be ‘natural’ Labor territory, so they’ll be back). Most Labor supporters never worried too much about the non-Labor parties being reduced to a rump in the various Parliaments around Australia in years gone by. Indeed, many of them indulged themselves with (hackneyed) sneers about Coalition Oppositions being a ‘rabble’ or a ‘policy free zone’.

    The NSW ALP have had the honour of governing NSW for almost 52 of the past 70 years, and it is time for them to be consigned to the dustbin of history. You are really behaving like born to rule bullies, just as the party you barrack for has trashed NSW and treated it like their own fiefdom for far too long. I agree with the earlier posts of Dovif, Mod Lib and Socrates.

    At the time of the Ryde by-election a couple of years ago, I opined that the NSW ALP government is the worst goverment at either Commonwealth or State level in this country since the 1930s. My opinion has not changed in the meantime. In the 1930s (11 June 1932) Lang Labor lost 31 seats. It will be interesting to see if history repeats itself.

  13. Good news for Federal Labor though. This state election be a cathartic and therapeutic experience for NSW voters. I think voters will feel more comfortable with Gillard knowing they have given NSW Labor an almighty belting. I dont know what the outcome of the Legislative Council for NSW will be in the upcoming election but if the Coalition take control of both houses in NSW then a lot of voters will know that if Abbott and co. get government the only thing standing between them and complete Liberal control is the Federal Senate.

  14. These poll numbers are borderline insane. it’s just so hard to believe any party could sink so low.

    Really, Labor would have been so much better off losing last time around. As has been noted, Budgie Smuggler Debnam has ultimately done his party an enormous service. The size of this win will be so massive it seems.

    Odd that people turned off Debnam in his speedos, yet Tone nearly got over the line.

  15. Speaking as a Green and someone who is very definitely on the left-side of politics I know that I can live with a wipeout for the ALP. Most of them are absolute catspaws of business and their ejection from parliament would be no loss to public policy. An untrammelled O’Farrell regime will probably be a useful educational exercise and open the way for an early bout of buyers’ remorse.

    Frankly, I’ve never been someone who thought it preferable to have the “good” people do bad things than have the bad people do them. Good people should either get good things done, or be defeated in the attempt by people who are obviously bad. When that occurs, clarity is served.

    And on this occasion, it’s very clear that the ALP are not even good people, which makes it very easy to welcome their fate. If I can’t have good people run the state, if the only option is to have a rival gang of political hucksters run the place, then seeing large numbers of bad people get a kicking is at least some consolation. In a very real sense, it was the failure of the incumbents to be good that has given us this non-choice. They chose to run with a Howard-era paradigm. They need to own that.

  16. Sausage Maker (16) I thought Gillard did quite well at the last Federal election in the NSW electorates that mattered like Robertson, Dobell, Page, Lindsay and Eden Monaro. That performance was in spite of the NSW State Labor Government.

  17. Fran Barlow
    Oh yeah, the left are good, right are evil thinking line. I am sure people like Kim Jong Il, Stalin, Fidel and Chairman Mao will like your description of them, as they murder millions of their countrymen.
    The last time I heard such definitive view of right and wrong came from a God-botherer. He said something like “If you don’t repent, you are going to hell”. Good Vs Evil

  18. I am not saying that a change of government will not be good for NSW. I am not saying that Labor deserves to be re-elected. I know it will be an absolute shellacking.

    That’s the point. I do not believe that an overwhelming majority is good for any government or that a pitiful opposition is good for democracy.

  19. I will do a Readers Digest version of a post I did on the previous NSW poll thread in regard to how the ALP should campaign. I do this as an intellectual exercise from SA, with input from my NSW based best friend.
    I believe the only way the NSW ALP can save themselves from a cricket team result is to draw a line in the sand for what seats can be saved at a certain percentage and perhaps throw in some unusual cases like Steve Whan’s seat.
    The Premier will need to apologise (done), and admit the ALP will lose – and lose badly (not done). In SA in 1993, the day before election day, Premier Lynn Arnold said the hated ALP could still win – and this caused a 5% drop in their vote from polling and cost another 5 seats. Learn from this – admit the obvious. Say that the Coalition will win and that for the sake of democracy that some people should still vote ALP or they will be reduced to a cricket team – “I ask the people of NSW to at least keep us at the level of a rugby team with a full bench”. Use humour. Scaremonger about the huge incoming Coalition government. Point out their policies or lack thereof. In each seat where they have a chance, highlight the wonderful hard working local MP “There will be a Liberal Government in March, but keep Joe Blow working for you”.
    This may sound crazy, but under these rare circumstances saying (as KKK has) that they are in it to win it is a sure recipe for a certain massacre of Little Big Horn proportions. Bad news – no cavalry back up.
    Anyway, I know the ALP won’t do this, and they will fall off the precipice and many local members will go to their doom more unnecessarily than they have to.

  20. Will it be reduced to cricket team numbers or worse?
    Basketball team, or possibly a tennis doubles team. They deserve what they get.

    And Toorak Toff, yes, you did make a point in your original post about no government should be given too big a majority and I sort of agree with this but who out of this present lot of ALP do you think the State would be better off if they remained as MPs?

    Rozendahl, Obeid, Kennealy, the green underpants man, his targeted amorata, Firth, the porn downloader, the baldy union guy that wrecked the plans of both Carr and Iemma?

    Yes, there should be a viable opposition but it would not be easy to find one amongst the present lot or their designated successors, all of whom have been chosen by the same machine that put the current members in power.

    It is unlikely that there are any potential Chifleys, Curtins, Hawkes or Whitlams amongst the incoming party apparatchiks and union users.

  21. The absolute worst thing that can happen is the Libs win with a Majority, Secord only to Labour winning. As it doesn’t matter who wins, they are both BAD, people should vote for anyone other than Liberal or Labour. Preferably someone who has only been in Politics for a Few years. This is the Only way to get a True Democracy. The Only difference between a Democracy and Dictatorship is a Democracy has one more Party.

  22. Fran Barlow:
    [Frankly, I’ve never been someone who thought it preferable to have the “good” people do bad things than have the bad people do them. Good people should either get good things done, or be defeated in the attempt by people who are obviously bad.]
    The underlying assumption that anyone with the word “liberal” in their party affiliation must be bad, goes a long way to explaining why one third of NSW citizens still prefer the government that sold them out, again and again, for 16 years.

    All the while reminding us, “Don’t worry, we’re the good guys, and one of these days we’ll do something to prove it.”

  23. NSW used to be ‘The Premier State’ and then later ‘The First State’. Now it doesn’t even have a slogan. Might be a small item but just shows there is no passion for the state with this current bunch of incompetents. My baseball bat is ready to swing on 26 March.

  24. It’s kind of funny how polar-opposite in view people like Dovif are from me. In particular:

    Brogden in particular being horrible

    As I’ve said elsewhere, I’m an ex-Democrat, general lefty without being a Greens or ALP rusted-on. Brogden seemed (seems) like a decent human being, and I have heard from others a similar viewpoint. If he had been contesting the last election as leader rather than Debnam I think the coalition would have won, and I wouldn’t have been unhappy about that (as opposed to Debnam whom I was deeply unimpressed by).

    As it was, I could see where the NSW ALP were going and voted Greens/Lib at the last state election myself.

    Anyway, while O’Farrell does not fill me with the same distaste as Debnam does, I have a similar feeling of unenthusiasm for voting in this coming state election as I did at the last. The only consolation is that by losing (and losing horribly), the NSW ALP does have a genuine opportunity to start the process of getting itself back in some kind of order.

    I think the ALP needs to get better at accepting that they are not going to win every election, and planning for the fact that they should make best use of the 2 or 3 terms they will be in with broad support and actually passively ‘ducking’ elections to strategically lose – elections where they:
    * keep advertisement spending down,
    * deliberately try to focus on fostering talented new members,
    * long-term legislation that can be pointed to in future as being in the public interest, even if somewhat unpopular at the time

  25. The NSW Labor government is beyond salvation. There is only one logical explanation for the privatisation of the electricity asset : they want to sell it cheap to their buddies. It is stupid to sell the asset before there is a carbon price anyway, because it can only be sold with some kind of indemnity guarantee. (say, a 2 billion dollar coal mine that will supply cheap coal for 20 years..)

  26. Dovif said:

    Oh yeah, the left are good, right are evil thinking line.

    It’s no such thing. While i used the terms good and bad this was purtely for simplicity’s sake — as shorthand for people associated with policies that serve utility and equity and those who for some reason support policies that would tend to subvert them. I’m not a believer in metaphysics.

    What the post was really about was attacking those who say that the ALP ought to be supported despite the fact that there’s scarcely a difference between what they do when in office, merely because they are better intended than the Liberals, who are, fairly obviously, at best indifferent to whether their policies will lead to greater social justice or equity or empowerment and are much more driven by what is good for the parts of business they are closest too. There’s been zero evidence that the ALP has had better intent than the Liberals for as long as I’ve been qualified to vote but when one points to the ALP’s track record in office — faithfully carrying out Liberal policies using the very rationales advanced by the Liberals — the apologists argue that the ALP means well but the electorate won’t let them get away with it. What they fail to note is that in practice the absence of consequences — losing the blank cheque — rewards the ALP for ignoring those who support it in favour of pandering to those who probably won’t.

    The apologia is thus paradoxical since it authors the very condition that the apologists are apologising for. That was my point. The ALP has to know that actions have consequences and that they cannot work both sides of the street by pretending to be all things to all people. If people want to have Liberal policies and politicians conniving with shonky business people then we should have the Liberals in office. If there’s a need for someone to flog off the energy sector at firesale prices to private capitalists and subsidise the use of coal, that’s a policy that the Liberals rather than the ALP should be responsible for. Having the ALP do that stuff just muddies the waters.

    Personally, I’d sooner the Liberals had 100% of the seats in parliament until the end of days than to have even one person on my side acting like that or even giving aid and comfort to those who might.

  27. Those who think that there will be a breath of fresh air with O’ Farrell will be sadly disappointed. O’ Farrell is Leader as long as the shadowy far right of his party says he is. Even though the far right is currently split they are still there and still pulling the strings, and they effectively stripped the party of most of its moderates after Brogden went down.

    So don’t breathe a sigh of relief people. Labor was toxic in its present incarnation but the Libs will be a disaster. Just watch developers blossom under O’ Farrell, and don’t believe that State assets including transport won’t be sold off because the Libs have form on this – just look at their past record even under so-called “moderates” like Greiner and Fahey.

    Might be a good move to rent out the shack, move to a Labor state and wait out the dismal days in exile.

  28. JM at 31

    What a pile of hogwash. If BOF wins over 65% of the vote he will be premier for at least a term and a half. A whole cadre of fresher backbenchers will owe him a debt of gratitude and will not be beholden to “the shadowy far right of his party”

    I look forward to what you call the “dismal days” because nothing could be as dark as the soul of the NSW ALP at the moment. They are conducting a scorched earth policy, selling assets for ridiculously low amounts, employing highly paid health bureaucrats on 5 year contracts within weeks of losing office etc. They know they are going to lose and are determined to make sure nothing is left for BOF. How this is in the interest of the long suffering voters of NSW is beyond me.

  29. [ If BOF wins over 65% of the vote he will be premier for at least a term and a half.]

    Probably. However, the most brutal political landslide in Australia’s modern history was the 1993 election in South Australia, when the Liberal Party polled 52.8 per cent to Labor’s 30.4 per cent and won 37 seats to Labor’s 10. The victor, Dean Brown, was gone by the next election.

  30. Well yes, but Dean Brown was not sent packing by the electorate but by the leader of the Liberal right-wing faction, John Olsen, in a backroom coup.

    In 1997 Olsen promised not to privatise the Electricity Trust of South Australia, scraped back into office – and immediately broke his promise. The irony in this was that the famous Liberal premier Tom Playford had nationalised ETSA back in the 1940s.

  31. Jackol

    I think Brogden would have made a great premier and it would have been better for NSW and the ALP, if the ALP was turf out at the last election. But Brogden was a disaster, he got drunk, and then could not control himself, he lost an election he should have won, and this makes him a disaster. He was also the best premier NSW could have had in the last 4 years.
    Fran, we will agree to disagree on this economic principle, generally no one from the right or the left want complete inequity. It is the old efficiency vs equity principles, people on the right strive to get a bigger pie, for everyone to share, while people on the left value equity more than potential growth.
    For me, it is the same argument as the Communism vs capitalism argument, where communism says that everyone being equal will make everyone happier, capitalism argues if you give everyone the freedom to do what they want and makes as much money as they want, eventually profit will trickle down to even the most disadvantage of people. Since we all lives in a capitalist society, it is just a small degree of fairness vs efficiency that we are talking about.
    Those who keep claiming BOF is a far right leader and the far right has control of NSW, should actually do some research and they will find that BOF is a moderate, and quite a few “far right” candidate actually did not get endorsement and at least one is standing as an independant

  32. Two things to do:

    1. Read Rodney Cavalier’s book on the self-destruction of the NSW Labor Party, ‘Power Crisis’.

    2. Get out and help your Labor candidate as Rod will be doing by handing our how-to-votes all day on election day.

  33. Well Barry has secured the red neck, racist, brain dead, “what have they ever dun fer us”, vote courtesy of rabbit and bob the dog. I suspect that the Rooty Hill RSL person who wasn’t interested in “civil unioning” somebody will be there with broom and pitch fork in hand on March 26th.
    Libs wont be spending any money on the election or after it west of Parramatta. They own it now, and their first move is to recommence the tolls on the M4, and then ignore the complaints.

  34. There is much hand wringing here from the noraml ALP appartchicks. Some facts.
    1. The NSW Liberal Party is not controlled by the Christian Right. Most of the hotly contested pre-selections were won by moderate candidates – see Vaucluse, Hornsby & Cronulla. There are a number of new MPs who come from this faction is marginal seats also.
    2. While the state ALP cannot have any rank and file selections, all of the Liberal party selectiosn were held on a fully democratic basis – plus a full plebisite for the Nats in Tamworth.
    3. The state ALP is institutionally corrupt and rotten to the core. There is more dissatisfaction about this government than any that I have seen in the various countries and states that I have lived in. I have been a student of politics for over 25 years.
    4. The new Liberal MPS include the youngest ever senior counsel made in NSW (Cronulla), the vice Chancellor of UNSW (Vaucluse) and the head audit accountant at KPMG (Hornsby). Just tell me who have the ALP put into their safe seats – look at Lakemba, Cabramatta, Parramatta (2003) and Drummoyne (2003). They are time servers.

    This Government deserves a wallopping. That is what is going to happen. the more that peorple like Toorak Toff deny the institutional corruption of the ALP in NSW (both in terms of government and process) the longer they will be irrelevant in NSW.

  35. Even if O’Farrell wins this in a mega landslide, Mike Baird still has ambitions to be Premier, so don’t rule out the chances of a leadership challenge during the first term of a state Coalition Government in NSW. 😉

    As for NSW Labor – they pretty much deserve the decimation of their ranks, although I hope that the likes of Andrew MacDonald, David Borger and Nathan Rees can somehow keep their seats.
    Another rumour I’ve heard: assuming she loses Balmain, Verity Firth will then be compensated with an Upper House seat.

  36. The point is, Rod Cavalier knows just how bad the NSW ALP is but still sees the need to support it at this election. Or at least support the good people.

  37. The far religious right don’t have control of the NSW branch of the liberal party. The dominant right faction split into the center right and far right factions, but the center right has sided with the moderates to marginalise the far right.

  38. It worries me that Labor will be reduced to a rump, consisting of such duds as Noreen Hay & Nick Lalich, with John Robertson as Opposition Leader.
    I’m hoping that a few of the genuinely talented people, with seats in the 10-15% range, survive.

  39. For me, a labor voter for 50 years, I say this mob, you cannot trust a word they say.
    Constant back flip with triples.
    I can’t vote lib, but I am lucky I live in a safe lib seat (Shelly Hancock)

  40. Dovif said:

    Fran, we will agree to disagree on this economic principle, generally no one from the right or the left want complete inequity. It is the old efficiency vs equity principles, people on the right strive to get a bigger pie, for everyone to share, while people on the left value equity more than potential growth.

    It’s not a question of that to which people pay lipservice. Hardly anyone will say they think unfairness is just. That’s almost paradoxical. The question is really about which kinds of risk-trade in public policy they think apt and where the chips fall when those trades are made.

    I don’t accept your dichotomy either. With the excpetion of some who favour “steady state economics” (who might or might not be leftists) everyone favours economic growth (your term: “a larger pie”). People on the right make a fetish out of it. For them, only the numbers matter. People on the left ask about its sustainability and about the extent to which its benefits are fairly shared and what it means. There’s a famous RFK quote from 1966 on this:

    If we believe that we, as Americans, are bound together by a common concern for each other, then an urgent national priority is upon us. We must begin to end the disgrace of this other America. And this is one of the great tasks of leadership for us, as individuals and citizens this year. But even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction – purpose and dignity – that afflicts us all. Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product – if we judge the United States of America by that – that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.

  41. Beautiful quote, and still as relevant today as it was then Fran.
    But we have been abused by that very faith he asked people to show.
    Our leaders have not changed in this state since the first fleet.
    They look after themselves , their mates and the rest can look after themselves in that order.
    The police don’t understand that they are supposed to stop crime, not run it, and the judiciary follow their own agenda which is as far removed from reality as possible and includes as much legal as you can eat with no justice supplied.
    We have minorities running a democracy. We have a distinct and justified lack of faith in everything and everyone; and, thanks to abbot, pyne, morrison and a compliant amoral unethical press, we have hit rock bottom.
    Those with a memory, and some ethics and morals, just look on helplessly in horror as the baton is passed to another mob of pirates,

  42. Steve Annabelle @ 32

    I am still waiting with trepidation to see anything remotely resembling a policy emanating from your Liberal Party.

    If Baz’s performance so far on that is any indication then I guess my instincts are correct and we can write off NSW for the next four years.

    Baz in an unguarded moment recently let slip that he was going to can the ethics classes being trialled successfully at a number of NSW schools, then hurriedly backtracked when it was pointed out to him that the parents in seats he wants to win are in favour of them. A small thing you might say, but symbolic of what the Libs have been for so long – ready to bow to the wind like a forest of aspens at the first raucous squawk from the ratbag contingent.

    So are we also going to see a roll-back of anti-discrimination legislation as has occurred in Victoria where Ted Baillieu, another so-called “moderate” has potentially put the jobs of thousands of people at risk to appease the nutters?

    And I think the farmers will be kissing their pastures out west goodbye as King Coal strides over the land, and watch the proposed heavy rail for outer Sydney being flogged off to the unaccountable private sector.

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