Patriot games

Evidence a large majority opposes changing the date of Australia Day, even without the IPA’s thumb on the scales.

First up, please note that immediately below this post is a new entry on developments in Queensland, which include one and possibly two looming state by-elections. With that out of the way, a brief collection of polling and preselection news:

• In the wake of a contentious poll on the subject for the Institute of Public Affairs, The West Australian has published a WA-only survey on attitudes towards celebrating Australia Day on January 26, conducted by Perth market research firm Painted Dog Research. This found 65% support for maintaining the current date with 21% opposed, breaking down to 55-26 among those aged 18 to 39, 67-20 among those 40 to 59, and 78-14 among those 60 and over. Although substantial, the headline figure is narrower than the 71-11 margin recorded by the Dynata poll for the IPA, which primed respondents with two leading questions on being proud of Australia. This poll was conducted from 842 respondents drawn from an online panel, with no field work dates provided.

• Cory Bernardi has followed through on his announcement last year that he would resign to the Senate, which means his South Australian seat returns to a nominee of the Liberal Party, for which he won the seat from the top of the ticket at the 2016 double dissolution. The Australian ($) reports the matter will be decided on February 1, from a field including Morry Bailes, managing partner at Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers and former president of the Law Council of Australia; state upper house MP Andrew McLachlan; and Michael van Dissel, former state party treasurer. Bailes has the support of conservatives including Mathias Cormann and South Australian federal MPs Tony Pasin and Nicolle Flint, which is presumably good to have.

• Heavy duty psephological pundit Mark the Ballot examines the deficiencies of polling before the May federal election, to the extent that the industry’s lack of transparency makes the matter knowable. The thrust of the analysis is that the pollsters’ models were “not complex enough to adequately overcome the sampling frame problems”, the latter reflecting the fact that surveying methods in the modern age cannot plausibly claim to produce genuinely random samples of the voting population. As well as the models by which the pollsters convert their data into vote shares, this lack of “complexity” may equally arise from herding, the unacknowledged use of smoothing techniques such as rolling averages, and over-use of the same respondents in online panels.

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.

2,257 comments on “Patriot games”

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  1. You wouldn’t know Scotty was at the press club today. Ch7 news has gone to weather now and no mention of it. Even Trump’s impeachment trial got a mention before the weather.

  2. The rumour is that Les Dragons are very worried by Brexit, most of the team will not be allowed into England

    In further news, Folau’s first game is away against Wigan who are staging a Gay Pride event

  3. Oakeshott Country

    Israel Folau signed by the Catalan Dragons
    Even by the standards of European Rugby League teams les dragons Catalan are considered to be ruffians

    I believe pre WWII there was a rugby union club match involving Catalans where one player stabbed another during the match !. It seems they play hard down that part of France.

  4. Cud Chewer @ #2173 Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 – 7:35 pm


    I was very active at the time and my recollection was the single big idea Turnbull was pushing was “it was cheap”. It wasn’t a “rolls royce solution”.

    Indeed, back when Turnbull was asked by the media, his go to expression was “a quarter to a third the cost”. No one ever badgered him with that after it became clear there was no cost saving at all.

    I also recall dealing with ordinary people (including some idiot working in JBs) at the time and the message they received was “this was better value”. In other words, they’d swallowed (and many still have this impression) that it had saved lots of money.

    Why Labor hasn’t ever said publicly the following “The Liberals conned voters. They said their version of the NBN would be cheaper. It wasn’t. They said it would be fast. Its dead end technology. Most importantly, the Liberals have spent $50 billion on something that will have to be replaced. Your money has been wasted”.

    What I find reassuring, out of all the news that has come our way this week, was that voters simply shrugged their shoulders and went, ‘Meh!’, when Tony Abbott came out with his latest culture war confected outrage about ‘Middle Class Women’ should have more babies.

    Maybe, just maybe, the scales are starting to fall off people’s eyes about this bunch of shonks in the Coalition and they are finally getting hip to their jive?

    Well, unless you are mundo and you think Scotty from Marketing is playing a blinder. 🙄

  5. Fulvio Sammut

    Yes it does as I think the Vichy rugby union chaps clamped down of rugby league down there and confiscated a lot of their property

  6. Looks like something is happening coronavirus-wize that “Health Authorities” aren’t telling us.

    Suddenly the same government that, just a week ago, allowed half-a-dozen A380s worth of potentially infected and infectious overseas passengers in from Wuhan Virus Central, is about to send Australian citizens guilty of visiting the same locality to the nation’s own special Hell In The Indian Ocean.

    To ScoMo and his Ubergruppentuber Dutton, it seems that any question to which the answer isn’t “Christmas Island” is not the right question.

    What is it about this speck in the middle of nowhere that fascinates Morrison? Does he see a chance to re-live his Sovereign Borders glory days? Or does he just like locking people up?

    With infection rates doubling every day it can only be a matter of (not a real lot of) time until a million cases loom as a possibility.

    If you think that’s overly dramatic, consider that a million cases would represent less than 1/10th of one per cent of the Chinese population infected.

    Maybe we’ll be told the truth then?

  7. Speers really goes to town on Morrison’s performance today. This bit is interesting – handing out more taxpayers’ money to buy the silence of clubs that missed out on sports rorts funding.

    The political patch-up being hinted at could be another round of funding aimed at all those clubs who were found to be deserving but missed out.

    “There are many, many more worthy projects in this area”, the Prime Minister acknowledged. “I will work with the Treasurer to see how we can better support even more projects in the future.”

    If more money is found for these clubs, that might go some way to silencing their criticism, but it still doesn’t excuse what happened here.

  8. As far as I can tell, having just come back from watching Reality TV and the Tennis, so I saw a couple of News Breaks, Scotty from Marketing has decided to use Christmas Island because there is stock footage the TV stations can use of it looking terribly, terribly secure, and remote from the ‘Quiet Australians’ who have started suffering in their jocks about Coronoavirus. Also, the news got to use spiffy electron microscope footage of bugs! 😯

    He doesn’t care how much it costs, just that it feeds the chooks.

  9. C@t:

    Xmas Island was barely mentioned, it was all the Canberra Ch7 guy skewering him at the press club. And he looked very defensive and cagey.

  10. C@t I think most people are just plain over Abbott.

    Sadly, a lot of people haven’t or more likely can’t see Scomo for what he is. This is what I keep saying to a lot of Labor people. Its not the leader, its the brand. Lots of people will keep voting Liberal no matter what idiot is in charge because they’re “better with money”.

  11. SkyNews UK reporting that Britons returning from China are to be quarantined for 14 days in a military base.

    Adjoining nation Kazakhstan have suspended all flights to China.

    There is starting to be real world ramifications

  12. If more money is found for these clubs, that might go some way to silencing their criticism, but it still doesn’t excuse what happened here.

    ‘What happened here’ was dude figuring out how to buy an election with taxpayers’ money.

  13. Confessions @ #2217 Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 – 9:51 pm


    Xmas Island was barely mentioned, it was all the Canberra Ch7 guy skewering him at the press club. And he looked very defensive and cagey.

    On Channel 9 they gave it the full Men in Hazmat Suits inside hospital barrier treatment rooms treatment. News producers over here love a good contagion. They also gave the government the straight down the line treatment over their choice of Xmas Is.

  14. ABC news is giving the govt and Scotty a real going over over sports rorts, including the comment from the reporter that the govt’s ‘fix’ is to simply throw more taxpayer funding at sporting clubs. 😆

  15. The impression I get is that it’s Scotty and his handpicked liebstandarte versus everyone else (including versus his own side).

    It has always been thus. He was sacked from his Tourism jobs for running a private show within the big show.

  16. Really cant see the problem with using Xmas Island as a quarantine station. Its actually only 14 days out of the lives of maybe 400 people. And…. is only 4 hrs flying time from major medical facilities in Perth. if needed.

    Its main value is for the Govt to be seen to be doing something, but if you were going to be quarantining any one coming into the country, people coming direct from Wuhan would be front of the cue. Think about it. People would think nothing of quarantining a ship load of people if there was a notifiable disease aboard.

    “Jeez Scotty didn’t even consult the xmas isl council or WA govt about the plan to ship people there.”

    Fess, Smoko wants an argument about that so he can make his case for declaring emergencies and taking command.

  17. Seems to me that the tightest knit crew are Scott Morrison, David Gazzard and Phil Gaetjens. They are never far from each other’s sides.

  18. Fess, Smoko wants an argument about that so he can make his case for declaring emergencies and taking command.

    Thankfully the sports rorts isn’t going away 🙂

    Wonder who will be on Insiders this Sunday.

  19. poroti
    A Chinese doc says he caught it via conjunctival spread as he was wearing a N 95 mask when he was treating his patient. There would have been other possible reasons though.
    Health workers treating a corona patient have to wear eye protection.

  20. Once upon a time there was a cruel and fascist potato who wanted to become politician and then be in charge of a cruel and inpotato department. And can you kiddies guess what happened? Well, the potato got his wish when a truffle named Malcolm put him in charge of the Department of Au Pair Affairs…oops sorry children, Home Affairs and ever since that day he seeks to protect all ‘strayan potatoes from foreign spuds trying to sneak in and do unthinkable and awful things.

  21. From Marketwatch..



    The Trump administration is reportedly considering a temporary ban on all flights from China to the U.S. in response the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak.

    CNBC reported late Tuesday that White House officials reportedly held a conference call with airline officials Tuesday and said a suspension of all China-U.S. flights is on the table as an option. CNBC reported that was one of a variety of responses being considered.

    “In terms of travel restrictions . . . it’s important to not take anything off the table with a rapidly emerging novel infectious disease,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said earlier Tuesday at a press conference.

    On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department warned travelers to “reconsider” travelling anywhere in China amid the outbreak, which has sickened at least 6,00 people and killed more than 130.


    It breaks the population into six groups. Alarmed, Concerned, Cautious, Disengaged, Doubtful, Dismissive. And it measures these as 31, 26, 16, 7, 10 and 10 percent respectively. Note that these figures are from an American study, but I believe Australia is similar.

    Its good to see this kind of analysis. However to describe the Alarmed group as “already taking individual, consumer and political action” seems to be overstatement. My feeling is that that yes there is a majority who do take climate change seriously and do want something to happen, but what moderates these people mostly is the pervasive (and wrong) idea that this must be “costly”. That’s not mentioned in the article.

    One thing it does say that I agree with generally is..

    We need to increase the Alarmed cohort, absolutely no doubt.

    But we also need to develop and hone their skills of talking to others not of the same mindset.

    And we need to provide social and emotional support as many of them — many of us — struggle with feelings of grief, dread and burning anger about what’s happening to the planet and the response of many of our political leaders.

    On average, Australians are willing to chip in an extra $200 a year to prevent climate change. It turns out that money could go a long way.
    We need to shift more of the Concerned group into the Alarmed group.

    We need to find a way to convince the Cautious that urgent action is necessary.

    This is precisely the kind of evidenced, analytical approach we need to take.
    But to influence people at this scale means extensive planning and organisational backing. And this is precisely why I keep saying that Labor (and the Greens) need to actually influence the thinking of voters. The single most important thing they need to do is not to make people aware of climate change itself – that awareness is already there – its to make people aware that science and engineering has the answers and that people will benefit from new technology.

    It also correctly notes that the good guys – the people in the community who have it right (and not just on climate change) need to influence other people in the community who are less well informed. Again, this isn’t just climate change, but economics, employment etc etc.. But key to this is using mechanisms that give support and succour to the good guys.

    Labor should be overwhelmingly popular at the ballot box. It is the party of progress. It is the party of nation building. It is the party of genuine reform. But the reason why Labor struggles to win elections is because there are so many voters who hold bad ideas and beliefs. Who are simply wrong in their comprehension of facts. Who don’t understand history. Who have a limited concept of the future. If Labor is to really succeed, it needs to be vastly more professional in the way it educates voters – and not on Labor policy but on the underlying facts.

  23. Another quote from that article..

    What we need are thousands, millions, of everyday conversations about climate change.

    That will help enlarge the ranks of the Concerned, engage the Disengaged and make the Cautious more convinced of the need for action.

    This will then expose those who dismiss both the science and the solutions, the denialists — who are today a minority, albeit a powerful one — as what they are: out of step with the rest of us, determined to put our collective wellbeing and our way of life at risk.

    We must not let their voices be the loudest in the public arena.

    To which I add, you don’t get very far from sending volunteers out doorknocking. You do get somewhere from a concerted and well thought out campaign to start conversations in the community and supporting the people in the community who are well informed.

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