Newspoll: 58-42 to Coalition

GhostWhoVotes reports that Newspoll shows little change from a fortnight ago, with the Coalition’s two-party lead down from 59-41 to 58-42. However, it wouldn’t be a current opinion poll if there wasn’t an unpleasant twist for the government, and this time it’s a new low on the primary vote of 26 per cent, down a point on last time. The Coalition are down as well, by two points to 48 per cent, with the Greens up one to 13 per cent. Julia Gillard’s personal ratings have recovered from last week’s disaster, although they are still the second worst she has ever recorded: her approval is up four to 27 per cent and disapproval down seven to 61 per cent. Tony Abbott has failed to hold on to an improvement recorded last time, his approval down five to 34 per cent and disapproval up two to 54 per cent, and his lead as preferred prime minister has narrowed from 43-34 to 40-35.

This week’s Essential Research shows no change in voting intention, and indeed the series has not recorded any shifts worth mentioning since mid-June. The current scores are 32 per cent Labor, 49 per cent Coalition and 10 per cent Greens, with the Coalition leading 56-44 on two-party preferred. Further questions find respondents believe to be the world in general and Australia in particular to be less safe than at the time of the September 11 attacks; little change in opinion on the carbon tax, with support down two points since August 1 to 37 per cent and opposition up one to 52 per cent; continuing broad support for the idea when it is specifically tied to compensation and investment in renewable energy; a belief nonetheless that the current scheme has been rushed; and a confused picture on whether governments should control either or both houses of parliament (though it is clear not many would opt for neither).


• A by-election looms in the north coast NSW state seat of Clarence following the resignation of Nationals MP Steve Cansdell. Cansdell has admitted to signing a false statutory declaration so that a staff member could take the blame for a 2005 speeding offence, which would otherwise have cost him his licence. The last time there was a by-election in the Grafton-based seat, in 1996, the result was a triumph for Labor: months after losing his seat of Richmond at the federal election, Labor candidate won the seat from the Nationals with a swing of 14.0 per cent, adding a handy buffer to what had previously been the one-seat majority of Bob Carr’s government. This time, Labor need not bother fielding a candidate: after winning the seat on Woods’s retirement in 2003, Steve Cansdell consolidated the Nationals’ hold in 2007 before picking up a swing of nearly 20 per cent in the electoral avalanche that was the March state election, pushing his party’s margin above 30 per cent.

• The Prime Minister has flagged support for trials of American-style “primaries” as part of its preselection process for some Coalition-held seats ahead of the next election. In keeping with the recommendation of the post-election review conducted by Bob Carr, Steve Bracks and John Faulkner, 20 per cent of a preselection ballot will be determined by those willing to register as official party “supporters”. Sixty per cent will be determined by branch members and 20 per cent by affiliated trade union members. The NSW Labor Party has resolved to follow a more radical path in five electorates before the 2015 state election, with 50 per cent determined by primaries and the remainder determined by branch members and unions. Two such experiments were conducted last year, by the NSW Nationals in Tamworth and Victorian Labor in Kilsyth. The former was a highly successful effort in which 4293 voters participated in the selection of Kevin Andrews, who duly unseated independent incumbent Peter Draper; the latter was something of a damp squib, attracting only 170 participants and selecting an electorate officer who did nothing to hold back the anti-Labor tide. The lesson seems to be that a degree of community enthusiasm is requried for the procedure to be worth the effort. This is least likely to be forthcoming when the party is not a serious prospect of winning the seat, and most likely in areas where the party is traditionally strong. Herein lies the catch: it is not in such areas where party branches are moribund, which is the very ill that primaries presume to cure. All that being so, trials in Coalition-held seats do not seem greatly promising at a time when every indication suggests seats will be swinging the other way.

• Antony Green has published analyses of the New South Wales election in March and the Queensland election of October 2009. Among other things, these tell us that the respective two-party splits were 64.2-35.8 to the Coalition, with exhausted minor party votes accounting for 12.9 per cent of the total formal vote; and 50.5-49.5 to Labor, with 7.7 per cent exhausting. In New South Wales, Labor’s primary vote of 25.6 per cent was its worst result since 1904, while the Coalition’s 51.8 per cent was its best result since 1932.

• The delicate balance in the Northern Territory’s Legislative Assembly shifted a fortnight ago when Alison Anderson, who won her outback seat of MacDonnell as a Labor member in 2008 and quit the party the following year, joined the Country Liberal Party. The numbers in the chamber are now 12 each for the Labor government and CLP opposition, with Nelson independent Gerry Wood continuing to provide Labor with a decisive vote on confidence and supply.

• The New South Wales government has introduced a bill that will ban donations to political parties from organisations of any kind, and include spending by affiliated unions within caps on party spending during election campaigns. One of the Keneally government’s final acts was to set caps of $9.3 million on electoral communications spending by parties and $100,000 for each candidate, and to ban donations from the alcohol, gambling and tobacco sectors.

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.

5,432 comments on “Newspoll: 58-42 to Coalition”

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  1. [The entry level NBN packages are half of what I am paying now. If I could join up to the NBN now I would be about $30 a month better off.]

    Let me give you a business perspective.

    I have a collaborative relationship with a business about 2KM away from me. Because we need to send large files back and forth, and have a need for an offsite backup solution (they backup to us, we backup to them), and databases that accessed between sites, we each have an SHDSL connection, giving us speeds roughly half of those of the maximum provided by the NBN at around $900 per month. That’s not a mistake, that’s 9 with two zeros.

    With the NBN, I will save almost $10,000 per annum, with faster speeds (and greater monthly data allowance).

    [You are assuming the prices are credible this far out ShowsOn.]

    Really? I think you’ll find the prices will be even LESS when the NBN rollout picks up speed.

  2. dave

    [Put slightly differently – The All Ords now need to increase 72.8 % to get back to its peak of 6873 in 2007.

    Todays close of 3978.5 is about the same level as in November 2004.]

    Following the 1929 crash the Dow to 25 years to recover 🙁

  3. For all those who think that the current polls are overestimating the level of support for the Liberals……..the actual NSW state election result in March was very similar to the Newspoll/AC Nielsen/Galaxy projections from months before.
    You’re all betting your houses on the carbon tax to save her – very brave assumption.

  4. My Say

    Highly dubious but even if true it’s not surprising as you live in Tasmania the last bastion of the ALP if the Polls are anything to go by 🙂


    well thorn,leigh evan, will be pleased to know even seeing his name there and NOT reading one word drains my energy, makes me quite tired, and despairing that any one could be so repetitive and so obsessed with one subject,

  6. smithe @ 4235:

    […beware the client who is Hell-bent on pursuing something like ‘the truth’ as a ‘matter of principle.’]

    Yes, forget about the cab rank rule, or the solicitor’s equivalent, when faced with such a client.

  7. if glen didnt have such a gravatis i would notice him and the words my say stand out.


  8. [You are assuming the prices are credible this far out ShowsOn.
    Of course they are credible because that’s what people are paying!

    If you are in an NBN trial area, you can sign up to any ISP you like.You don’t sign up with NBN Co, as they are forbidden in legislation from selling retail products.

  9. [Thornleigh Labor Man

    Posted Friday, September 23, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    For all those who think that the current polls are overestimating the level of support for the Liberals……..the actual NSW state election result in March was very similar to the Newspoll/AC Nielsen/Galaxy projections from months before.
    You’re all betting your houses on the carbon tax to save her – very brave assumption.

    Richo, Maaaate – embrace your inner Liberal and do away with the Faux Labor Bullshit.

    You know you can….

  10. ruawake
    Posted Friday, September 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Could the ASX jockeys finally be growing a spine and starting to think for themselves instead of ‘Taking a lead from Wall St.’?

    Nope – it was just taken for a bit of a spin until 2 PM when it started selling off as the lads got back from lunch, then downhill until the close.

    Europe is up a bit atm.

    Super funds and some institutions would be the main buyers and some bolder punters.

    But I would have thought anyone wanting to sell would have done so long before now because we are down, calender year to date almost 18% as of this arvos close.

    Margin calls would be squeezing out some further sellers too, but in general those selling are pretty late.


    My Say

    If you don’t read my posts then why are you posting comments to me? That implies you do read my posts.

  12. SO GLEN you are calling me a liar are you, i did read that post

    so tell me i am lying am i you call it dubious. well i have a friend who was there and she reads pb she doesnt post i may ask her to post.

    william i dont like being called a lier. but then considering thats what abbott and his mob call the pm i am not surprised

  13. dave

    Cf the 4,000 figure, your comments add an interesting perspective.

    I feel sorry for folks who were thinking of retiring this year. It must be hell for them trying to figure out what to do. I also feel sorry for anyone who was invested in the ASX and who retired in the past two years. They must be thinking about going back to work around about now.

  14. poroti:

    [Put slightly differently – The All Ords now need to increase 72.8 % to get back to its peak of 6873 in 2007.

    Todays close of 3978.5 is about the same level as in November 2004.]

    [Following the 1929 crash the Dow to 25 years to recover 🙁 ]

    That makes me think that a simple high-interest savings account would make a better super fund than the usual mix of stocks.

    I saw a graph recently (can’t remember where) that plotted the share market over the last twenty years or so against a fairly low compounding interest rate – guess which came out ahead?

  15. [That is one achievement for Bludger today. We have established that Mr Abbott is a compulsive liar.]

    And likewise that Ms Gillard is too as all politicians are.

  16. The Claw @ 5171

    [I know the logic behind what you’re saying. I’m just saying that I saw, in the 2010 US house elections, the exact same logic used to explain why polling pointing to big Repub gains was not accurate. And it turned out that, actually, it was.]

    Not “the Craw”, …”the Craw!”

    Respects paid to Don Adams …

  17. Sophie Mirabella / Colin Howard vs Union Credit Card used to pay for escort services.

    Isn’t interesting how the MSM have reported both these stories. Someone used a CC to pay for prostitution services, nothing illegal in that. However look at the hysterical outrage at the reportage of that versus nonchalant reportage of the case Mirabella / Howard affair in which several legal and moral questions arise. The Mirabella / Howard affair is treated by the MSM as a non sequitur in comparison.

    I just don’t get it. Prostitutes are honest professionals. The fees they charge are known upfront and are fixed. The services they provide are also discussed upfront.They carry out their work in a professional & safe manner, and generally exercise a duty of care to their clients.
    Where as in the Mirabella / Howard affair none of the above seem to apply. Tony Abbott should be very worried about the Liberal Party Leadership which he holds due to his high moral assets in dealing with Truth as there now appears a potential challenger with greater moral assets than his. Who wuda thunk that was possible in today’s Liberal Party??

  18. my say

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

    It is a tribal thing for Mr Abbott’s acolytes. Think of it as a trickle down effect when it comes to the truth.

    They piss all over it.

  19. [A lower dollar is good news for our exporters

    And a good thing too – the AUD coming off is just the reprieve a lot of exporters need. A long term average of 1AUD=0.70USD means the AUD is waaaay above anything that can be considered normal.]

    Let me tell youse, my price has just dropped US$200 per piece, and I just received and order from America for 3 units… specifically based on the low exchange rate of today.

    Tonight we eat!

    I’m over the moon.

  20. Read the iinet report. the monopoly argument is quite silly because it ignores.the current farce delivered by howard and what kind of moron argues you can’t afford one network but somehow we can afford the 6 or 7 needed for a functioning market. I will also point out if it is as bad and expensive as the ‘austrailia non good enough fo real broadband’ cringers then 2 and 3rd.rate technologies.will be competative an there isn’t a monopoly. Attacking the nbn is one of the key inicators i look for to identify brain off partisan propagandists. The nbn is such a no brainer .

  21. glen i hardly read your posts sometimes i think well i had better check that out only sometimes I often read what other people have put in their post about what you say, thats how i see it.

    but dubious it is not it happens all the time here, in this electorate and in wilkies and in Dick Adams these three electorates border where i live and i shop in all three of them and bank and visit friends, the people in the bank i only new one of them, they where mostly 50 plus and the tellers in their 40’s

    they all hated abbott to person, said that he made them sick i said to one lady i turn over the channel when he is on qt, she said how much she liked qt but want watch it now.

    but then you think everything i say is dubious.

    [ fraught with uncertainty or doubt
    2. open to doubt or suspicion
    3. not convinced]

    so there you go you think becauce i repeated this true conversation i am all the above.

  22. Boerwar @ 5293:


    With the price of gold being what it is, the gold digging profession appears to be alive and well.]

    Luke 23:34.

  23. Boerwar
    Posted Friday, September 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    That is one achievement for Bludger today. We have established that Mr Abbott is a compulsive liar.

    Lets not overlook the old master himself –

    howard lies –

    ‘Truth is absolute, truth is supreme, truth is never disposable in national political life’ – Prime Minister John Howard to ABC radio, 25 August 1995.

    Here are his lies.

    John Howard Lie #1

    “It is our policy, without qualification, to retain Medicare . . . Not only does Medicare stay but so does bulk billing . . . They are the fundamentals, the underpinnings of the policy.” – John Howard, Health Policy launch of “A Healthy Future”, 12 February 1996

    The Truth:
    “No-one can guarantee bulk billing. No-one can guarantee bulk billing without conscripting the medical profession. Medicare has never been universal bulk billing-never . . .” – Tony Abbott, Minister for Health and Ageing, Meet the Press, 23 November 2003

    John Howard Lie #2
    “Medicare will be retained in its entirety.” – John Howard, February 1996

    The Truth:
    The Howard Government abolished the dental plan and bulk billing rates have declined by more than 12 percentage points since the Coalition took office in 1996.

    John Howard Lie #3
    During the 2001 Federal election campaign John Howard promised that his Government’s policies would “lead to reduced premiums” for health insurance. – “Heading in the Right Direction”, p151
    The Truth:
    Since the election in 2001, the Government has approved increases in premiums totalling 21 per cent.

    John Howard Lie #4
    “I can guarantee we’re not going to have $100,000 university degree courses.” – John Howard, interview with Neil Mitchell on Radio 3AW, 15 October 1999

    The Truth:
    16 different degrees now cost at least $100,000.

    John Howard Lie #5

    “We have no intention of introducing a loans scheme with a real or indeed any other rate of interest.” – John Howard, in Parliament, 18 October 1999

    The Truth:
    “Debts accrued under FEE-HELP will be indexed to the consumer price index . . . A loan fee of 20 per cent will apply to FEE-HELP loans for undergraduate courses of study only.”

    – Higher Education Loan Programme, Department of Education, Science and Training

    Update, March 2004

    John Howard Lie #6
    “Well, it means that we’ll not have deregulated fees. In other words, the Government will always maintain a control over what the level of the fee is.” – John Howard, interview on Radio 3AW, 15 October 1999

    The Truth:
    “We do need more money in our universities . . . and some of it should come outside the budget through a managed and sensible deregulation of the system.” – John Howard in Parliament, 16 September 2003

    The GST, Other Taxes and Red Tape

    John Howard Lie #7
    John Howard: “No, there’s no way that a GSTwill ever be part of our policy.”
    Journalist: “Never ever?”
    John Howard: “Never ever. It’s dead. It was killed by the voters in the last election”. – John Howard, interview, Tweed Heads Civic Centre, 2 May 1995
    The Truth:
    “The bills before the House will enact a broad based goods and services tax that will be levied at 10 per cent and will start in July 2000.” – Peter Costello, Treasurer, A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax Bill), Second Reading Speech, 2 December 1998

    John Howard Lie #8
    “The GST will not increase the price of petrol for the ordinary motorist . . .” – John Howard, Address to the Nation on the Tax Plan, 13 August 1998

    The Truth:
    The price of automotive fuel rose 10.4 per cent in the September quarter following the introduction of the GSTon 1 July 2000, and was 23.6 per cent higher than at the same time the previous year. – Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS, Time Series Spreadsheets, Consumer Price Index 6401.0

    John Howard Lie #9

    “There’ll be no more than a 1.9% rise in ordinary beer.” – John Howard, John Laws Program, 23 September 1998

    The Truth:
    The price of beer rose 4.8 per cent in the September quarter following the introduction of the GSTon 1 July 2000, and was 8.5 per cent higher than the same time the previous year. – Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS, Time Series Spreadsheets, Consumer Price Index 6401.0

    John Howard Lie #10
    Journalist: “Will the number of pages in the Tax Act be reduced by the introduction of a GST?”

    Prime Minister: “Yes it will” – John Howard, interview Alan Jones Radio 2UE, 14 August 1998

    The Truth:
    “. . . the Tax Act has grown from 3,000 to over 9,000 pages and an additional 2.5 million words have been inserted into the Tax Act, since 1 July 2000. Apart from these overwhelming changes foisted onto small businesses, we now have over 2 million businesses registered under the GST, compared to less than 17,000 under the former sales tax regime.” – National Tax & Accountants’ Association, 15 August 2002

    John Howard Lie #11

    Kerry O’Brien: “Okay. the pledge of no new taxes, no increase in existing taxes for the life of the next parliament. So for the next three years, not even a one cent increase on cigarettes or beer or wine or petrol, no other indirect tax increase, no tax increase of any kind?”

    John Howard: “That promise is quite explicit”. – John Howard, ABC 7:30 Report, 1 February 1996

    The Truth:
    By 30 September 2002, John Howard’s Government had introduced legislation for 130 new taxes or tax increases during its terms of office.
    “Bills which imposed a new tax or increased an existing tax introduced during the 38th to 40th Parliaments” – Clerk of the Senate, 30 October 2002

    Meetings with the Ethanol Industry

    John Howard Lie #12

    Labor MP question to the Prime Minister: “Prime Minister, was the government contacted by the major Australian producer of ethanol or by any representative of his company or the Industry Association before its decision to impose fuel excise on ethanol?”
    John Howard: “Speaking for myself, I did not personally have any discussions, from recollection, with any of them.” – John Howard, Question Time, 17 September 2002

    The Truth:
    John Howard had met on 1 August the head of Manildra Group [Dick Honan], which makes 87 per cent of our ethanol, and they discussed how to help the Australian ethanol industry. – Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Official Record of Meeting, 1

    August 2002

    Aged Care and the Pension Clawback

    John Howard Lie #13

    Interviewer: “Well, if the Budget’s in such good shape why persist with things like the pension claw back . . .”

    John Howard: “No, no . . . because Glenn there is no clawback. And what happened with those things is that they were paid in advance and we’re not taking them back, we’re just avoiding paying them twice . . .” – John Howard, interview with Glenn Milne, Sunday
    Sunrise, 4 March 2001

    John Howard Lie #14
    “There has been no clawback, there has been no deduction and there has been no deceit”. – John Howard, Parliament, 5 March 2001

    The Truth:
    “The indexation adjustments to pensions and adult allowance rates for 20 March 2001 will have the additional issue of clawback . . . Two per cent of the existing rate will be deducted from the normal CPI adjustment . . .” – Department of Family and Community Services, internal briefing paper, quoted in Parliament, 5 March 2001

    The Current Account Deficit

    John Howard Lie #15
    “I can promise you that we will follow policies which will, over a period of time, bring down the foreign debt . . . our first priority in Government economically will be to tackle the current account deficit.” – John Howard, Doorstop interview, Debt Truck Launch, 20 September 1995

    The Truth:
    Foreign debt was $361 billion at the end of September 2003, an increase of 90 per cent on the September 1995 level. The current account deficit was $11.9 billion at the end of September 2003, an increase of 112.5 per cent on the September 1995 level. – Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABS, Time Series Spreadsheets (Balance of Payments and Investment Position, Australia 5302.0, Reserve Bank of Australia (H) Bulletin, Current Account)

    Labour Market Programs

    John Howard Lie #16
    “Well, we’re certainly going to maintain the existing level of funding for labour market programs”.
    John Howard, Address to Youth, Macgregor, 20 February 1996

    The Truth:
    Kerry O’Brien: “Okay. But on 20 February, you said very clearly ‘We are certainly going to maintain the existing level of funding for labour market programs’. Now, for all the people on those labour market programs, I would suggest it to them that would have been a pretty core promise and you’ve broken it.”

    John Howard: “Well, it is true that we are not spending as much money on labour market programs”. – John Howard, interview on ABC 7:30 Report, 21 August 1996

    Services for the Bush

    John Howard Lie #17
    “I don’t want to see any further services, government service levels withdrawn from or taken away from the bush . . . I gave instructions for that this morning when I spoke to my office in Canberra, that in any future Government decisions that, in effect, a red light flashes if that Government decision involves a reduction in the delivery of an existing Commonwealth service.” – John Howard, Nyngan Community Luncheon, 31 January 2000

    The Truth:

    The Howard Government reduced the number of Job Network sites by 42 per cent, from 1710 to 986, and the number of outreach services by 65 per cent, from 404 to 140.”
    Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, Employment Services Contract 2003-2006, Aggregate Analysis, March 2003 – Job Network Conditional Offers, Aggregate Analysis, December 1999

    Children Overboard

    John Howard Lie #18

    “The Government’s position remains that we were advised by Defence that children were thrown overboard, we made those allegations on the basis of that advice, and until I get Defence advice to the contrary I will maintain that position”. – John Howard, Sunrise, Channel 7, 9 November 2001

    The Truth:
    “I left him in no doubt that there was no evidence, that there were no children thrown overboard.” – Mike Scrafton, ABC 7:30 Report, 16 August 2004

    John Howard Lie #19

    “. . . the behaviour of a number of these people, [on Siev 4] particularly those involving throwing their children overboard . . .” – John Howard, ABC Radio 3LO Melbourne, 9 October 2001

    The Truth:
    “There is no indication that children were thrown overboard.” – Defence Strategic Command chronology to Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, noon on 10 October (quoted in Investigation into advice provided to Ministers on ‘SIEV 4′, 21 January 2002)

    John Howard Lie #20

    “Nothing can alter the fact that I have in my possession an ONA report that states baldly . . . that children were thrown in the water.” – John Howard, SBS Insight program, 8 November 2001

    The Truth:
    “. . . fundamentally there was nothing to suggest that women and children had been thrown into the water.” – Account of private conversation Acting Chief of the Defence Forces, Angus Houston, had with Peter Reith, Minister for Defence, on 7 November 2001, evidence given to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, 20 February 2002

    The Iraq War and Weapons of Mass Destruction

    John Howard Lie #21

    “The Australian Government knows that Iraq still has chemical and biological weapons and that Iraq wants to develop nuclear weapons.” – John Howard, Speech to Parliament before the war in Iraq, 4 February 2003

    The Truth:
    “I stand by the fact that before we entered the war, we had a very strong intelligence assessment that Iraq had a WMD capability.” – John Howard, interview with Charles Wooly, 60 Minutes program, after the war in Iraq, 20 July 2003

    John Howard Lie #22

    “Iraq continues to work on developing nuclear weapons-uranium has been sought from Africa that has no civil nuclear application in Iraq; . . .” – John Howard, Ministerial Statement, before the war in Iraq, 4 February 2003

    The Truth:
    “. . . an intelligence claim about Iraq’s effort to acquire uranium from Africa proved to be erroneous.” – Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Sydney Morning Herald, after the war in Iraq, 18 June 2003

    John Howard Lie #23

    “The Government has decided to commit Australian forces to action to disarm Iraq because we believe it is right, it is lawful and it’s in Australia’s national interest. We are determined to join other countries to deprive Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction, its chemical and biological weapons, which even in minute quantities are capable of causing death and destruction on a mammoth scale.” – John Howard, Address to the Nation, before the war in Iraq, 20 March 2003

    The Truth:
    “We entered the war in Iraq based upon the failure of the Iraqi government at the time to comply with United Nations’ resolutions . . .” – John Howard, Press Conference, after the war, 22 July 2003

    John Howard Lie #24
    Journalist: In your talks tomorrow, especially at the Pentagon, do you expect to lock in a possible role for Australia if, further down the track we do decide to join a coalition of the willing?

    Prime Minister: Look there have been contingency discussions going on between the American and the Australian military and it’s always important in these situations to leave those sorts of things to the militaries of the two countries – John Howard, Press Conference, Washington, 9 February 2003

    The Truth:
    Journalist: “Could you tell us whether you count Australia as part of the coalition of the willing?”

    President Bush: “Yes, I do”. – George W Bush, President of the United States, Oval Office remarks with John Howard, Washington, the next day, 10 February 2003
    Taxpayer Funded Political Advertising

    John Howard Lie #25

    “. . . we will ask the Auditor-General to draw up new guidelines on what is an appropriate use of taxpayers’ money in this area. There is clearly a massive difference between necessary Government information for the community and blatant Government electoral propaganda. Propaganda should be paid for by political parties.” – John Howard, Press
    Release, “Auditor-General to examine Government Advertising”, 5 September 1995

    The Truth:
    The Howard Government never asked the Auditor-general to examine Government Advertising and they completely ignored the advertising guidelines recommended by the Auditor-General in 1998.

    In the lead up to the 2004 election the government plans to spend at least $120 million on government advertising.

    “In relation to future government advertising, we will explain government policies where it is necessary. We make absolutely no apology for that . . . The truth of the matter is that all governments . . . from time to time have advertised and explained the features of new policies.” – John Howard, Question Without Notice, Hansard, 22 June 2004

    Public Service Jobs

    John Howard Lie #26

    “Our plans . . . will involve not replacing . . . up to 2,500 positions over the first term of a Coalition Government-a process of natural attrition with no forced redundances.” – Coalition Public Administration policy document Election Campaign February 1996

    The Truth:
    In the first term of the Howard Government, 32,400 jobs were lost. – Budget Papers, 1997-1999

    Savings Bonus

    John Howard Lie #27

    On a promised savings bonus:
    “You get the $1,000 savings bonus if you are 60 years or over.”
    “. . . in addition to the pension increases, there’s the saving bonus for everybody at sixty years or beyond of a thousand, an additional two thousand for self-funded retirees at pensioner age.” – John Howard, Prime Minister, John Howard, interviews on Radio 5AA, 14 August 1998, and Sunday program, 16 August 1998

    The Truth:

    “It was very clear that pensioners who had income from savings of up to $20,000 could be eligible for the $1,000 bonus and that from $20,000 to $30,000, depending on their income, the bonus would alter.” – Larry Anthony, Minister for Community Services, Parliament, 28 June 2000
    “. . . Almost 60 per cent of Australians have received the full $1,000 and nearly 75 per cent of those older Australians have received $500 or more . . .” – Larry Anthony, Minister for Community Services, Parliament, 29 November 2000

    More Lies

    John Howard Lie #28

    Journalist: “why won’t it [private health insurance] create a two-tier health system? . . .”
    John Howard: “Well, it won’t create a two-tiered health system . . .” – John Howard, interview on AM program, 5 February 1996

    The Truth:
    “I think country voters are very strongly supportive of the two-tiered system.” – John Anderson, Deputy Prime Minister, Press Conference, 23 August 2004

    John Howard Lie #29

    “I know the welfare sector is particularly anxious about the effect of welfare reform on the most vulnerable in our community. In response to that very natural concern, I want to re-state the assurances I have previously given . . . nobody’s benefit will be cut as a result of changes to the social security system”. – John Howard, address to ACOSS Congress, 25 October 2001

    The Truth:
    In the 2002 Federal Budget the Howard Government announced that it would cut the pensions of 200,000 people with disabilities, and last year he cut the allowances of 30,000 parents caring for children with a disability.

    John Howard Lie #30

    “The cycle of family debts won’t be repeated, and with the benefit of the information we now have we’re going to be able to more closely target people.” – John Howard, Sunday Program, 1 July 2001

    The Truth:
    Data provided to Senate Estimates shows almost 2.4 million families accrued family and child care benefit overpayments over the last three years. Family Tax Benefit overpayments have hit 1.9 million families and child care overpayments have hit 500,000 families.

    John Howard Lie #31

    “This ministerial Guide . . . sets out in summary form the main principles, conventions and rules by which government at the Commonwealth level is conducted . . . The emphasis in the Guide is on the necessity of adherence to high standards by people occupying positions of public trust . . . ” – John Howard, Press Release, 2 April 1996
    “The guidelines that were laid down in this document will be complied with in full.” – John Howard, Parliament, 7 May 1996

    The Truth:
    Seven Howard ministers resigned for breaches of the Guidelines, but nine further ministers did not comply with the Guidelines and did not resign.

    John Howard Lie #32

    “The Coalition will seek to invest the Speaker of the next parliament with greater independence, similar to his or her counterpart at Westminster. This will require the positive response of the Labor Party. For our part the commitment is genuine and on-going.” – John Howard, Headland Speech, The Role of Government: a Liberal Approach, 6 June 1995

    The Truth:
    Eight and a half years later, John Howard’s commitment appears to be “on-going” but not genuine. The Speaker’s position remains a partisan political appointment. The Prime Minister has never sought to change the role or sought Labor’s support for changes to the Speaker’s position to enhance its independence.

    John Howard Lie #33

    “. . . it would be the intention of the Coalition that Parliament sit for longer periods.” – John Howard, Headland Speech, The Role of Government: a Liberal Approach, 6 June 1995

    The Truth:

    Between 1997 and 2003, Parliament sat for an average of 18 weeks a year under John Howard–the same as the average sitting period for the Keating Government.

    John Howard Lie #34

    “The Coalition in government will also establish a stronger comprehensive committee system for parliamentary scrutiny of all government legislation” – John Howard, Headland Speech, The Role of Government: a Liberal Approach, 6 June 1995

    The Truth:
    John Howard has introduced no reforms to establish a stronger comprehensive committee system for Parliamentary scrutiny of all government legislation.

    John Howard Lie #35

    “A coalition Government will provide in full the funds earmarked in the 1995/¬96 Budget to match compulsory employee contributions according to the proposed schedule; will deliver this Government contribution into superannuation or like savings . . . ” – Coalition Superannuation Policy Document, January 1996

    The Truth:
    “The Government has decided not to pursue the co-contribution proposal, . . . Instead, it will use part of the funds set aside in the forward estimates to introduce a broadly based savings rebate through the tax system.” – Budget 1997/¬98, Budget Paper No

    Lies about the lies

    Here he goes again.

    When confronted by this record of lies, Mr Howard ducks, dodges, and diverts attention.
    He resorts to his dense, lawyerly language.

    He reaches for the books to find an exception, a technicality, or a qualification that can get him off the hook.

    In Mr Howard’s response to the 27 lies on 23 August 2004:

    3 times, his excuse is that his comments are being read out of context.

    4 times, he passes the buck, claiming he wasn’t told or had wrong advice.

    9 times, he avoids facing up to his lie–instead, diverting attention by talking about a different issue.

    11 times, he tries to wriggle out, with a slippery, evasive response, adding new qualifications and conditions that were never there in his original statement.

    It’s time for some plain speaking from Mr Howard. If it’s too hard for Mr Howard to talk straight to the Australian people about his 27 lies, maybe he can just explain these five:

    The lie that he would retain Medicare. “. . . without qualification . . . Not only does Medicare stay but so does bulk billing . . .”

    Mr Howard avoids facing up to his lie. Medicare is a universal health care system, and he promised to retain it. Instead, he is dismantling it, in favour of an increasingly complex, two-tier health system.

    The lie that his policies would lead to reduced premiums for health insurance.
    “. . . lead to reduced premiums . . .”

    Mr Howard avoids facing up to his lie. Instead, he reaches for the books and tries a diversion–by talking about the private health insurance rebate.

    Premiums are up 21 per cent since Mr Howard’s promise in the 2001 election.
    The lie that there would be no $100,000 university fees.

    “I can guarantee we’re not going to have $100,000 university degree courses.”

    Mr Howard pleads that he was quoted “out of context”. But read the whole interview: his words were plain then. And the truth is plan now: there are 16 university degrees that now cost more than $100,000.

    The lie that he wouldn’t be increasing taxes.

    “That promise is quite explicit.”

    Under siege as the highest taxing Prime Minister in history, Mr Howard goes for the bigger lie: that he has “dramatically cut taxes”. But Mr Howard has been increasing taxes for 8 years. The average taxpayer is now paying $10,300 more in tax than when he was elected.

    The lie that he wouldn’t use taxpayers’ money for blatant political propaganda.
    “Blatant . . . government electoral propaganda should be paid for by political parties.”

    Mr Howard avoids facing up to his lie. He didn’t say he was going to stick to the same rules as Labor–he said he would follow new guidelines. But instead, he’s reached deeper and deeper into taxpayers’ pockets, vastly increasing spending on political ads at each election, to over $120 million in 2004.

    Mr Howard has lied his way through 8 years in office, and Australians are paying the price. Higher costs for going to the doctor and getting private health insurance. Higher costs for getting the kids through their study. Higher taxes all along the way, and a less secure Australia.

    Australia deserves better. Australia deserves a Prime Minister who can talk straight to them, who’ll take responsibility, and who they can take on his word.

    Ordinary Australians are paying the price of John Howard’s dishonesty and broken promises.|19|109589607626152|1650569191203

  24. [Republican candidates very similar to Abbott , promise to fix everything at no extra cost and of course no GBNT and stop the illegals.]

    arunta – I can’t get over the low rate of income tax in the US. All hail to Warren Buffet for embarrassing the mega wealthy over there.

    Altho, come to think of it, most of our mega wealthy here get away with paying very little income tax.

    Our oldest son was in Washington on business the week of Obama’s inauguration and he found the saddest thing was the number of older African Americans who showed him their War service cards and said they had served their country. He said they actually made his trip because he ended up having great conversations with some of them.

  25. I love the fact that the best of the new NSW govt is worse than the worst of the old labor govt… Of course it will take the cockroaches some time to realse it.

  26. blackburnpseph

    [It is hardly surprising that Labor’s polling numbers are in the gutter when those that loudly proclaim true support for Labor show out and out snobbery as expressed in comments like the above. And George is not alone as a Labor supporter expressing such sentiments.]

    I am with you I find the term “bogan” really offensive. Who among us have any right to categorise people. Given the polls for the ALP lately the Party needs every vote it can get and deriding any sector of the communitiy is is not actually a smart idea.

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