Newspoll breakdowns and BludgerTrack redux

New state-level numbers for federal voting intention take the edge off for the Coalition in Victoria and Western Australia, but weaken them in (of all places) New South Wales.

If you’re reading this on Tuesday morning, the results of the Essential Research poll should be available at The Guardian, but I’m on Sydney time right now and thus unable to post it overnight like I normally would (UPDATE: See below). What we do have is the latest quarterly state breakdowns from Newspoll in The Australian, which aggregate the four polls published so far this year. Some of these results seem a bit quirky this time out – the political class will be looking askance at the finding that the Coalition has recovered three points in Victoria, and that the Greens vote is lower there than that it is in New South Wales and Queensland. Nonetheless, let the record note that poll has Labor’s lead steady at 54-46 in New South Wales, but down from 56-44 to 53-47 in Victoria, 54-46 to 53-47 in Queensland, 53-47 to 51-49 in Western Australia, and 58-42 to 56-44 in South Australia. Labor’s national lead in this period fell to 53-47 from 55-45 in the previous quarter. The Australian has packed the full results into one report, rather than rolling out state and then age, gender and region breakdowns like they sometimes do. Apart from the age breakdowns (not to mention the leadership ratings), you can find the primary vote numbers in the BludgerTrack poll results archive.

With the Newspoll numbers in hand, I have finally done what I would regard as a proper full update of BludgerTrack for the first time since the start of the year. Up to now, I have just been updating the national numbers, leaving the state-level relativities as they were at the end of last year. This is because I have hitherto had only the data provided by Essential Research to work with for the current year, and this was a shallow pool for the smaller states, where there was rather too much noise mixed together with the signal. Now that it’s all in the mix, the national seat projection is unchanged, but this comes from Coalition gains in Victoria and Western Australia (two seats apiece) cancelling out losses in New South Wales and Queensland (also two apiece).

Essential Research: 52-48 to Labor

The Essential Research poll records a one-point move back to the Coalition, reducing Labor’s lead to 52-48. The Guardian’s report notes this may have been assisted by static from the New South Wales state election, since it records an increase in the Coalition primary vote in the state from 39% to 41%. The national primary votes were Coalition 39% (up two), Labor 36% (down two), the Greens 10% (up two) and One Nation 7% (steady).

Other findings related directly or indirectly to the Christchurch attacks, including approval ratings for a range of international leaders which had Jacinda Ardern on 71% favourable, compared with 41% for Scott Morrison, 36% for Angela Markel, 31% for Teresa May and 19% for Donald Trump. High uncommitted responses were recorded for Merkel and May, at 42% and 38% respectively. Sixty-nine per cent of respondents said social media platforms should be required to prevent the broadcast of violent material; 49% believed media outlets that have provided platforms for extremist and racist views bore some responsibility for the Christchurch attacks; 42% believed major party politicians in Australia had deiberately stirred up anti-Islamic sentiment; 40% believed Christchurch was an isolated act rather than being connected to broarder debates; 37% reported regularly hearing racist or Islamaphobic statements.

Questions on the federal budget produced typical responses with respect to budget spending priorities, with health, education and pensions most favoured, although it’s perhaps telling that affordable housing came fourth out of a list of 14. Fifty-eight per cent expected the budget would be good for the well off and 50% believed it would benefit business, but only 19% expected to benefit personally, and 34% thought it would be bad or very bad. Other than that, “ a majority of voters want more spending in health, education and aged pensions”.

Author: William Bowe

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

1,835 comments on “Newspoll breakdowns and BludgerTrack redux”

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    Parliamentary sovereignty is going to get a workout this week in the UK. The PM, who really exercises the executive powers of the monarch in all but name, is no longer able to command the affairs of the legislature, which will soon set about determining what the executive will be permitted to do.

    The Tory party is so badly split it can no longer determine the legislative program. In normal circumstances this would prompt the fall of the PM and probably the dissolution of the legislature. But circumstances are anything but normal. The PM will remain in office precisely because of their Party’s weakness in the legislature, a weakness that any successor would also face. None of the possible candidates for PM could hope to demonstrate the confidence of the House. The Tories have dethroned their own crown surrogate.

    Necessarily, an incapacitated executive – for the purposes of the week, a practically vacant executive -is to be made subordinate to the democratic chamber. It’s been a while. It will be very interesting to see what the Commons comes up with and whether the currently acknowledged party of the executive, the Tories, survives the upheaval.

  2. Schiff responded that there is “significant evidence of collusion” and pointed to evidence such as the Trump Tower meeting in 2016 between Trump campaign officials and Russians as well as alleged communications between former Trump adviser Roger Stone and WikiLeaks.

    But Schiff added that “there’s a difference between compelling evidence of collusion” and whether Mueller concluded that “he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt the criminal charge of conspiracy.”

    “I have trust in his prosecutorial judgment, but that doesn’t mean, of course, that there isn’t compelling and incriminating evidence that should be shared with the American people,” Schiff said.

  3. Top notch piece here from The Atlantic’s Franklin Foer.

    And here a must read for any one interested in the subject of Russian totalitarianism and the Russian philoshopher whose fascist ideals inspired Putin. (PS: If you aren’t, you probably should be):

    From the author of On Tyranny comes a stunning new chronicle of the rise of authoritarianism from Russia to Europe and America.

    With the end of the Cold War, the victory of liberal democracy seemed final. Observers declared the end of history, confident in a peaceful, globalized future. This faith was misplaced. Authoritarianism returned to Russia, as Putin found fascist ideas that could be used to justify rule by the wealthy. In the 2010s, it has spread from east to west, aided by Russian warfare in Ukraine and cyberwar in Europe and the United States.

    Russia found allies among nationalists, oligarchs, and radicals everywhere, and its drive to dissolve Western institutions, states, and values found resonance within the West itself. The rise of populism, the British vote against the EU, and the election of Donald Trump were all Russian goals, but their achievement reveals the vulnerability of Western societies.

    In this forceful and unsparing work of contemporary history, based on vast research as well as personal reporting, Snyder goes beyond the headlines to expose the true nature of the threat to democracy and law. To understand the challenge is to see, and perhaps renew, the fundamental political virtues offered by tradition and demanded by the future. By revealing the stark choices before us–between equality or oligarchy, individuality or totality, truth and falsehood–Snyder restores our understanding of the basis of our way of life, offering a way forward in a time of terrible uncertainty.

    And on the same book, from twitter, this thread:

    Terr Kanefield

    (Thread) Trump’s task as president.

    Spoiler: “Rather than governing, the leader produces crisis and spectacle.”*

    *quotation from Ilyin, Russian philosopher, whose ideas inspire and guide Putin.
    Information in this thread is from Snyder

  4. Why Did Barr Share Only Four Incomplete Sentences From the Mueller Report?

    Instead, Barr distributed parts of four of Mueller’s sentences throughout his letter—three of which offer any kind of conclusions, and none of which even appear to be complete sentences from Mueller’s text. Those sentences are obviously helpful for Trump legally and politically, but Barr’s short letter—one page on Russia, one page on obstruction—raises more questions than it even tries to answer.

    What Barr put out on Sunday was not Mueller’s summary, nor a summary of Mueller. It literally contains more of Barr’s legal conclusions—after just 48 hours of review—than of Mueller’s own conclusions over almost two years of investigation. It contained zero details of the evidence that led to either man’s conclusions. Mueller surely wrote an executive summary of his findings for Barr, and it clearly would have been easier for Barr simply to give Congress and the public Mueller’s summary than to write this letter himself. The question is why Barr didn’t.

    In past reports by independent counsels—the closest predecessor to the special counsel—the model has been for the prosecutor to provide an executive summary, an introduction, and/or section-by-section summaries of the counsel’s findings. Lawrence Walsh’s Iran-Contra Report, which went dozens of chapters and hundreds of pages, led with a one-page executive summary listing the five subjects of his investigation, followed immediately by a one-page “Overall Conclusions” section with seven short but damning core findings. Nothing in this summary raised problems for executive privilege or national security. Ken Starr’s referral about President Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky started with a one-page introduction that also included seven short bullet-point findings that were damning. In its 445 pages, the Starr Report included 11 separate sections for “possible ground for impeachment,” most of which included short summaries. Meanwhile, on Sunday, Barr did not even reveal the length of the report that he had boiled down to four sentences.

  5. From the Guardian report:

    With the New South Wales state election now resolved, and with the federal campaign only weeks away, the latest Guardian Essential poll puts Labor ahead of the Coalition on the two-party preferred measure 52% to 48%, which compares with 53% to 47% a fortnight ago.

    The positive movement inside the margin of error in the Coalition’s favour over the past fortnight reflects a softening of Labor’s vote in NSW, which likely reflects the impact of the state poll won by Gladys Berejiklian.

    In NSW, the Coalition’s primary vote went from 39% during the last survey to 41%, with the poll in the field over the election period.

    In the latest survey of 1,085 respondents, the Coalition’s primary vote nationally is on 39% (up two points in the fortnight), Labor’s primary vote is on 36% (down two points), the Greens are on 10% (up two points), One Nation is on 7% (steady) and others and independents are on 8% (down two points).

  6. Peter Hartcher finally earning his keep with this lengthy, well informed expose of Scotty’s conniving to knife Turnbull… some clever tactics by the GodBotherers to use Dutton as the ‘useful idiot’ by pumping up his numbers in the first ballot.

    “Here’s how. Once Turnbull had realised he probably couldn’t survive, his key numbers man, Craig Laundy, the workplace minister at the time, agreed to talk to Morrison’s backers about the situation. They were now openly doing the numbers for Morrison. The Turnbull and Morrison camps were united in seeking to block Dutton.

    Laundy sat down in the office of one of Morrison’s key organisers, Alex Hawke, on Thursday afternoon, two days after the first ballot.

    He found himself in a meeting with Morrison’s core support crew – Hawke, Stuart Robert, Ben Morton, Lucy Wicks and Bert van Manen. It was the Morrison prayer group that met on Tuesday nights in parliamentary sitting weeks.

    They asked Laundy for a rundown on Turnbull’s numbers and compared notes. As the group worked through the names of MPs and senators and how they lined up behind the contenders, the ruse of the five parked votes emerged.”

  7. Labor needs to be very careful; allowing people to focus on Morrison as representing the cause of all that we hate about this Gov’t means a change of leader removes the problem.
    This is dangerous. It happened with Abbott, and gave Turnbull clear air, for a while, anyway.
    Worse, of course, is focusing on negative single issues, as NSW Labor did last election (electricity privatisation) and recently (stadiums).

    They need to give people hope for a better future.
    The light on the hill.

    70% of Australians are worried about climate change. They should also be worried about our polluted air, with high particulate and ozone levels.
    This needs to be worked into a narrative to give people hope that we can reduce emissions plus use renewables to reduce energy costs plus clean up our air.
    Daley had reducing PM10 levels in his platform but didn’t push it.
    People I know are waiting for a Labor Gov’t to subsidise electric cars, which will address all these things.
    Give them hope.

  8. And now a congaline of former 2GB employees coming out with examples of BullyRay Hadley’s behaviour, an example:

    “On Monday former 2GB staffer Chard posted about a 15-minute spray from Hadley where he claimed he was sworn at and told “he would ‘drag me by my f … ing ear’ ” and threatened with losing his job.

    “It was a vitriolic rage because he did not like a satirical piece I had written on the website,” he said. “It actually had nothing to do with him.”

    As a result of what he said was regular abuse Chard suffered “crippling panic attacks” one of which left him writhing and spasming on the kitchen floor. “Almost every day I had at least 3-4 of them working at that radio station, some days I needed to rush out of the building in terror,” he wrote.

  9. (Re-posted from the previous thread)

    Went down to the Christchurch mosque late afternoon yesterday.

    You could smell the flowers from 50 metres away.

    There were literally thousands of tributes on the footpath outside the mosque’s fence. There were 100 metres of flowers with cards, of course, signed on behalf of individuals, streets, suburbs and even whole towns. Written posters from schools, community groups, socially conscious companies. Some were rough and ready. Some were professionally presented, such as those from the ” Muslims of the United States” and “UK Muslims”. Candles, mostly blown out by the breeze, but one or two still alight. Chalked tributes written directly on the footpath featured as well.

    The faces of the visitors were sombre, reflective, sad. Several had tears in their eyes as they walked slowly down the path, stopping occasionally, leaning forward, to read something more closely.

    Two police were at the gate. This was the gate that the murderer came through, before and after his rampage. The police both had very black, very lethal-looking automatic rifles, slung in that “At Ease” way that you see rifles carried by soldiers in the front line: a casual finger on the trigger, the weapon resting forward over the other arm. They wore bullet-proof vests. They were friendly with passets-by, but alert.

    Such was the scene out the front of the Christchurch Mosque, on Monday, 25th of March, 7pm.

    The very first photograph I took, on Monday 4th of March, the afternoon I arrived in Christchurch three weeks ago, was of something I’d never seen before: ostensibly it was a medium-sized van, very professionally presented, with logos and bright colors, parked in a public carpark near to the campground where we spent our first night, 10 kilometres north of the city.

    But, it was the work vehicle of a forensic cleaning company. The lettering on the side advised that the company’s services were available for crime scene cleanups, shampooing of carpets, furniture, swabbing away blood and body parts, suicides, homicides, meth lab detox and hoarding messes.

    At the time, I thought this was the funniest thing I’d ever seen. Not that such companies should exist, but that they would advertise their services in a flashy, ostentatious manner akin to a pest control or a pizza delivery van. Surely the appropriate authorities would know about this company, or even have their own forensic cleanup services? Why advertise so explicitly, in such detail? Hence the photo. This was New Zealand, not Syria!

    By the time we’d finished our time here I’d forgotten about that van and that first photograph. But when I went back to my car after visiting the mosque I recalled it in the most direct way possible. There it was again, parked in the same side street that I was, four cars away from mine. The operator was in the car, asleep. I guess he was exhausted. It had been a busy week for him.

    My question from the first day of my trip – about the need for such services – had been answered on the last day here, in the most banal of ways: somebody always has to clean up the mess.

    Let us hope the many other messes surrounding this tragedy are cleaned up just as quickly and professionally.

  10. The prevalence of self-interest, lashings of complicit media, a cowered ABC and a childlike abhorrence of Unions has provided ‘fear and loathing’ in country swathed in wealth in many guises yet determined to elude a clear narrative for itself.

  11. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Gee that Teena MsQueen woman on Q and A last was a nasty, severely limited piece of work! Neil McMahon agrees with me, saying that she was the worst panellist in the show’s history.
    Here’s The Guardian’s take on her extraordinary appearance.
    Oh dear! Peter Hartcher drops a big truth bomb on Morrison. And there’s more to come tomorrow.
    And he follows through with this! Morrison as immigration minister proposed a multibillion-dollar program to build new mass detention facilities in Australia for asylum seekers who were living in the community on bridging visas, according to multiple informed sources.
    The ABC is about to air two programs that will show that One Nation wanted millions from the NRA while planning to soften Australia’s gun laws. Nice mob, One Nation!
    Katharine Murphy looks at some of the latest Essential polling.
    The SMH editorial says that Morrison’s economic woes have increased the risk of pork-barrelling.
    David Crowe writes about how Shorten is picking a fight with employers and risking a clash with the unions over his plan to lift wages. His change to the Fair Work Act will frustrate business because it makes bigger wage increases more likely, but it may disappoint unions because it does not mandate the rate
    Peter van Onselen declares that the Liberals’ optimism after the NSW result is laughable.
    Ben Grubb takes us through the Waleed Aly interview of Ardern,
    Labor will use legislation to direct the Fair Work Commission to take things such as inflation into its determinations, reports David Crowe.
    The Australian says that significant wage rises would begin flowing to 1.2m low-paid workers from next July under Bill Shorten’s ‘living wage’ policy.
    Here’s what one of our favourites Judith Sloan has to say about it.
    Shane Wright explains how tumbling interest rates on government debt will deliver Josh Frydenberg up to $2 billion in budget savings just in time for the federal election campaign but the fall is also pointing to growing major economic risks.
    According to The Age Victoria’s pokies-owning pubs poured their biggest-ever political donation into the Daniel Andrews-led ALP as part of a $1 million campaign to deny the Greens the balance of power at the state election last November.
    Alexandra Smith reports that Liberal sources have said Berejiklian would be “much more assertive” when making decisions about who is in her new cabinet, as well as her priorities.
    Esther Han says that two contenders have emerged as potential leaders of the NSW Labor party.
    The once-safe National Party seat of Barwon has fallen in the NSW election. Barwon encompasses approximately 44 per cent of the state and has been held by the party for more than 65 years. Watching the news on Sunday night, Coonamble farmer Rowena Macrae heard returning Premier Gladys Berejiklian say that losing Barwon was “in some ways a cry for help from Western NSW”. She disagrees.
    The State Election has catapulted NSW to the dubious honour of redneck capital of Australia, writes Dave Donovan.–the-new-redneck-capital-of-australia,12508
    Jenna Price believes and hope, no longer possible to have an openly racist leader in this country, except for the leader of a party like One Nation, which so far has garnered around 6 per cent of the vote in the Legislative Council and provided a public platform for failed and furious former Labor leader Mark Latham for the next eight years.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz says that the economic downturn that seems to be developing might well force a fresh burst of those unconventional policies inspired by the GFC.
    Peter Martin writes that right now, the Coalition has a tiny opportunity to fix superannuation.
    Superannuation supremo Garry Weaven says industry funds are the great disrupters of financial services, an “upstart army” that in 2018 outgrew funds owned by banks.
    Stephen Koukoulas says we should get ready for a cash rate cut in April.
    Australia has been known around the world for many years now as the rich, empty, selfish country that turns away boatloads of asylum seekers, pays people smugglers to take their human cargo elsewhere, incarcerates children and enacts other appalling human rights abuses. Alan Austin explores how it has come to this.,12504
    Industry professor Warren Hogan writes that we should expect tax cuts and an emptying of the cupboards in a budget cleanout as the billions roll in.
    Supporters of the Coalition government’s plans to move public service jobs from Canberra have sounded a note of caution in backing the next decentralisation project. The relocation of 76 Murray-Darling Basin Authority positions to the bush should not drain its ACT office of policy expertise and disrupt its work managing Australia’s largest river system, farming and irrigation peak bodies have said.
    The AFR says that the hard-edged legalistic approach adopted by ASIC is already having consequences for banks and individuals.
    Greg Jericho tells us why cost is the scariest part of going to the dentist in Australia.
    Two new multimillion-dollar disputes over flammable cladding have hit the courts, the latest in a slew of litigation over who is to blame for incorporating the deadly materials into apartment buildings. It comes as a sprawling high-rise in Coburg built by the Victorian government and now partly managed for social housing was found to have flammable cladding.
    John Fitzgerald writes that the role of China’s Confucius Institutes appears to be a form of political interference on behalf of a foreign government, directly funded by a foreign government. He says it belongs on the foreign interests register.
    The ABC has reported that our bank regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, has contracted NIDA to teach its staff “presentation skills” – effectively acting lessons – to the tune of $430,000. Theatre patrons and merchant bankers are up in arms.
    Peter Wells declares that Facebook could limit hate if it was profitable to do so.
    Emma Koehn reports that financial advisers are being hit with thousands of dollars of course fees as they hit the books to comply with Australia’s new minimum study standards.
    Morrison has confirmed a report by The Australian Financial Review that he had been in talks with Nationals leader Michael McCormack to reach a peace deal on coal.
    Elizabeth Knight reports that National Australia Bank will ditch its controversial “introducer” home loan referral program in an effort to clean up its reputation and practices in the wake of the royal commission as big banks compete on the speed with which they can improve their image.
    Older people are more digitally savvy, but aged care providers need to keep up, writes this reaearcher.
    Peter Hannam reveals that AGL’s dominance of the electricity sector after it bought up two former NSW government coal-fired power plants allowed it to lift market-wide wholesale prices to the tune of $3 billion a year when another rival producer closed.
    Patrick Hatch tells us that Virgin Australia will send two senior managers to meet Boeing in the United States this week to hear the plane maker’s plans to return its troubled 737 MAX aircraft to the skies.
    Major Australian telcos led by TPG Telecom’s David Teoh are demanding NBN Co stop targeting their business customers.
    Privatising SA Pathology would be a “weird experiment” reducing research and leading to medical test delays, says the state president of the AMA, Associate Professor William Tam.
    It’s on again in the Middle East as the Israeli military says it has started bombing Gaza after rocket strike.
    Bruce Wolpe writes that Trump is now unplugged. In his mind, he has won. He will resist any further constraints on what he does because he has beaten his enemies. His base will love him more for it.
    But now Democrats will zero in on a ‘obstruction’ to plot campaign against Trump.
    Here is The Guardian’s editorial view of the Mueller report. It says the report should be released in its entirety.
    Outspoken California lawyer Michael Avenatti, whose profile rose rapidly when he represented a porn star who unsuccessfully sued Donald Trump, has been charged by federal prosecutors in New York with attempting to extort millions of dollars out of Nike.
    A clearly worthy nomination here for “Arsehole of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe at bed time in the White House.

    David Pope channels My Fair Lady for Morrison. And have a look on his lap!

    John Shakespeare sees off Daley.

    Cathy Wilcox looks at the NSW election result.

    Matt Golding and Trump’s “exoneration”.

    Zanetti gets this one right.

    Good stuff from Alan Moir.

    Jon Kudelka with the interpretation of the Mueller findings.

    From the US

  12. Trump cant help himself. Doing his victory dance and vowing to punish anyone who dared to investigate him. He will rue the day he didn’t choose to go away quietly.
    Karma is a b@@ch.

  13. So spot on! Gave me a chuckle. Between this and the Brexit shit show, what could go wrong.

    Rick Wilson
    Sadly, we’re now in the unwritten arc of Godfather IV.
    6:18 AM · Mar 26, 2019 · TweetDeck

  14. The softening for Labor in WA is not such a surprise as the West – though not read as avidly as in times gone by – and although the West talks in terms of “readership” these days rather than “circulation” as it gives a bigger number – has been cheering as hard as it can to help the LNP for some weeks now. The new editor, from the DT has, turned the paper into an even bigger dog’s breakfast than in was before, the style being nearly all DT standard……………huge headlines, hit Labor, talk up the Coalition…………….just as a tasters.
    Five new seats to Labor in WA was, and is, over-optimistic…………..more like 3 fairly gettable. Anything beyond this would be a real bonus.
    The Liberals have set their sights on Cowan but this is only because it is the only seat held by Labor here which has a margin anywhere near gettable for them. If Labor can’t hold Cowan I doubt they will win the election.

  15. My understanding of the MMT scholarship is that the government’s fiscal balance is largely a non-discretionary variable. It depends on the spending and saving decisions of millions of agents in the domestic private sector and the external sector. If the domestic private sector collectively spends less than it earns (domestic private sector surplus) and the external sector collectively spends less than it earns (external sector surplus, also known as a current account deficit), by definition the currency issuer will be running a deficit. The size of the fiscal deficit will equal the sum of the domestic private sector surplus and the external sector surplus.

    The macroeconomic question in that circumstance is, “What is the right sized deficit?”.

    You know the deficit is too small if unemployment is above 1 or 2 percent (the approximate amount of wait unemployment and frictional unemployment at any given time). There should not be any time-related under-employment; there should not be any hidden unemployment. If any of those kinds of labour under-utilization exists, the deficit is too small.

    You know the deficit is too large if there is accelerating inflation.

    So the deficit definitely matters – but not for the reason that most people believe (that the government could run out of its own currency).

    The composition and the targeting of the spending also matters a great deal. It isn’t just the total amount that matters.

    I think that MMT has inspired a large number of people because it opens up progressive possibilities that are foreclosed by the widely believed assumption that a currency issuer is financially constrained.

    Many people are rightly repelled by the decisions of nominally labour-based or socialist parties to adopt neoliberal assumptions and stand for technocratic tinkering instead of vigorous, democratic, values-based policies.

    The idea that real resource availability and inflation risk are the intrinsic constraints on fiscal policy, not solvency risk, is a radical departure from the public’s beliefs about the nature of currency. Nearly everyone sees currency as a creature of the private sector; as something that is scarce like gold or silver; as something that the government must harvest from households and firms in order to have financial capacity. In truth, a currency is best understood as tax credits that the government spends into existence so that households and firms must supply some labour power and goods and services to the government in order to earn the currency that they need to meet their tax obligations and avoid the penalties for non-compliance. The purpose of taxation is to transfer some real resources from the private domain to the public domain. Currency is a public monopoly.

    Apart from the intrinsic constraints on fiscal policy (real resource availability and inflation risk), there are constitutional constraints (the requirement that Parliament authorizes government spending), political constraints (convincing enough voters and enough legislators that spending on a particular objective is worth doing), and institutional constraints (statutes and regulations that define how the central bank and the Treasury department coordinate their activities – for instance, in some countries the central bank is permitted to buy Treasury securities in the secondary bond market but not in the primary bond market; in some countries the Treasury department has an overdraft facility with the central bank, in other countries it doesn’t). These institutional issues don’t really make a substantive difference because ultimately the central bank must enable the Treasury department to meet its financial commitments and ultimately the Treasury department must help the central bank to hit its desired overnight interest rate target. But these rules – which can easily be changed – create the illusion that tax receipts and bonds finance government spending and that the central bank has primacy over the Treasury. In substance, regardless of the precise institutional set-up they must coordinate very closely in order to run the payments system and enact fiscal and monetary policy. The central bank and the Treasury should therefore be viewed as a consolidated entity from a macroeconomic standpoint, not as two separate power bases.

    There aren’t a lot of neoclassic synthesis Keynesian enthusiasts on blogs and social media because frankly those ideas don’t make a lot of sense and those ideas have needlessly blocked good progressive policies that would have helped billions of people during the past four decades.

    I think that people like Paul Krugman, Larry Summers, and Kenneth Rogoff ought to be responding in detail to the peer-reviewed books, book chapters, journal articles, and conference papers produced by the MMT scholars. When I read their strawman attacks on MMT, it is obvious that they have read very little of the scholarly literature. They shouldn’t be using MMT’s popularity with activists as an excuse to avoid doing their homework.

  16. And after the sound and fury of the NSW elections, it may be of interest to note that on this side of the Rabbit Proof, the said election barely raised any interest at all. Talk of Labor kind of suffering (as an entity) due to what happened in that particular election is inflating the importance of the outcome. As WB’s commentary suggests, there has been a softening of support for Labor here and there, but conversely support holding where a State election went to the LNP. As seems to be the case, the closer an election gets the nearer to normal voting patterns tend to emerge. The election is still a two-horse race though with some scabby outsiders making an impact…………….If, come the election, Labor lead 52-48 this will be great. A majority of 8 in the Reps and control of the Senate would be that much better, though I don’t think the latter is attainable even at this point in time. Talks of a huge majority for Labor are silly……………..though we can all dream!

  17. From PvO

    Scott Morrison has inherited that funk, even if he didn’t create it. It’s a stark contrast to the way NSW Liberals have conducted themselves.

    He should read Hartcher. .

  18. Advisers to Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party met with representatives of the National Rifle Association in the US last year to seek funding and advice on how to loosen Australia’s gun laws. Al Jazeera has published hidden camera footage of Pauline Hanson’s chief of staff, James Ashby, and One Nation’s leader in Queensland, Steve Dickson, meeting with NRA representatives in Virginia, who explain how gun rights advocates should respond to mass shootings. Lars Dalseide, an NRA public relations adviser, told the pair they should “shame” those who call for tighter gun control laws, using talking points such as: “How dare you use their deaths to push that forward. How dare you stand on the graves of those children to put forward your political agenda?” Dalseide also recommends finding pro-gun stories of “people who were robbed, had their home invaded, were beaten or whatever it might be” and feeding them to friendly reporters.

    Speaking to an undercover journalist posing as a gun industry lobbyist, Dickson sought substantial donations from the NRA, saying in the footage that “if they threw $10 million at us, we could win a fucking heaps of seats, plus a shitload” in the Senate. In the footage, Dickson says “England is being taken over by Muslims” and boasts of loosening gun laws while he was minister for sport, racing, recreation and national parks in Campbell Newman’s Liberal-National state government. “Once I found out about regulation, how easy it was, get out of my way, mate! Once you find out, mate, it’s like finding the Genie’s lamp. You just do anything. I was changing shit all the time, it was great.” Dickson also boasts of his dealmaking prowess, saying his former membership of Queensland’s parliamentary crime and misconduct committee means that “I’m never going to jail, it won’t happen because I walk the knife”. At an NRA conference in Washington, DC, Dickson says “We’ve been importing all these Muslims into Australia”, and that “they’re just breaking into people’s houses with baseball bats and killing people, stealing everything they own. Gangs. Our country’s going into chaos.” Ashby warned that One Nation’s attempts to solicit donations from the NRA should be kept secret, as “they’ll rock the fucking boat”.

  19. The last thing I imagine Labor wants is the arse falling out of the ON vote before the election. Those nutbags will go straight back home to the LNP, where they truly belong.

  20. @MarcusJErasmus
    10h10 hours ago

    Where have the Liberals been hiding this McQueen person? She’s amazing!
    At last, Bronwyn Bishop can finally hand her baton on to another smug, ignorant, priveleged, sanctimonious twit.
    We’re fucking saved! #qanda

  21. Plenty of Labor preferences out of One Nation.

    Also, I’d rather another LNP member than One Nation. Regardless, I expect Labor will win and have enough support without the existing ONP senators in the upper house.

  22. Morrison dismisses this version of events as false.

    Morrison has since said he has no recollection of this conversation in a long night of many conversations.

    Morrison declares it utter fiction.

    A spokesman for the Prime Minister said that Morrison said he had no recollection of such a proposal.

    “Plausible deniability was very important to Morrison,” says a senior Liberal who supported Turnbull.

    Seems like it always has been and always will be his go to tool.

    And ‘On Water Matters’ got a new suit of clothes and a rebadgeing as the Pentecostal Miracle Principle:

    Morrison’s inner group has taken a pledge not to divulge any of their machinations. “We pulled off the miraculous,” one boasted, and miracles are beyond explanation. No briefing of journalists, no writing of books, they all agreed.

  23. What’s amazing is that the idiots actually told Craig Laundy that they switched five votes to Dutton to down Turnbull. Machiavellian, not!

  24. Don’t see how Morrison can deny this claim about setting up Gulags. There’ll be plenty who will confirm it. Mind you, por hi of voters are happy with off shore gulags

  25. I would think Morrison had bigger concerns with the ON story about seeking donations from the NRA than his mass detention humanitarian approach.

    He has nowhere to hide now re preferences for ON. The NSW liberals hammered Daley over preference deals with the shooters so it is time for Morrison to front up.

    The LNP in Queensland will be watching on with interest.

  26. So 52-48 in Essential poll.

    Bland Bill looking more of a liability.

    The trend is back to the Government and if it continues at 1% a month they will be returned in 2 months time.

  27. Yeah it’s a Wedgeosaurus for him isn’t it? If he doesn’t preference them they probably lose a few Qld seats. If he does, it’ll be an electoral bloodbath down south.

  28. Ken O’Dowd of the Qld LNP said yesterday on radio that he and 6 others would be putting One Nation 2nd.
    That’ll work out well

  29. Thanks BK for the Dawn Patrol.


    Consider this my entry in the most boring comment of the day competition. ☕

  30. Ven

    My sentiments on Sophie Mirabella have made the national media.

    My description of her as being without empathy were published in ‘The Age’ Good Weekend about a fortnight before her Q&A performance.

  31. Essential has bounced around recently between 53-47 and 52-48 with 2 to 3 point changes in PV becoming more common.

    Those wetting their pants over how bad or how good a single essential is ( depending on their political leaning ) really need to stock up on their absorbent undies.

  32. Would not be surprised though if scomo got a small rally-around-the-flag boost after Christchurch, no matter how undeserving. That will wash out.

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