Essential Research: robodebt, protests and coronavirus latest

The weekly Essential poll finds considerable displeasure at the government’s handling of the robodebt affair, even as Newspoll finds the electoral damage to be limited at best.

Together with the usual suite of questions on coronavirus, the latest weekly Essential Research survey offers findings on the government’s robodebt the recent disturbances in the United States. The former make grim reading for the government, or might do if Newspoll hadn’t suggested the debacle had made no difference on voting intention: 74% say the government should apologise to those negatively impacted, with only 11% disagreeing; 66% support interest and damages for those who wrongly repaid money, with 13% disagreeing; 55% supported a royal commission, with 23% disagreeing; and only 32% agreed the automated notifications were a good idea “even if it was poorly implemented”, with 43% disagreeing.

Regarding the protests in the United States, the propositions that “protesters are right to demand better protection and treatment of African Americans in society” and that “the protesters want to loot and cause property damage, more than they want social change” both received majority support, though far more emphatically in the former case, with 80% agreeing and 11% disagreeing, compared with 54% and 33% for the latter. There were likewise large majorities in favour of the notions that “authorities in America have been unwilling to deal with institutional racism” (78% to 10%) and that the death of George Floyd pointed to “wider discrimination against minority cultures in society” (72% to 16%), while only 33% considered Floyd’s death isolated and not illustrative of institutional police racism, compared with 54% who disagreed.

As for coronavirus, the number who are “very concerned” maintains a steady decline, down five to 27%, with quite concerned down one to 48%, not that concerned up six to 21% and not at all concerned up one to 5%. Approval of the government’s handling of the matter is little changed, with 70% rating it good (up two) and 12% poor (steady). Small-sample state breakdowns provide a further increment of support for the notion that the Western Australian government has done best out of the crisis, with the good rating at 84% and poor at 6%, with other states ranging from 67% to 79% on good and 8% to 13% on poor. Queensland respondents were most likely to say their government was moving too slowly in easing restrictions, although even here the result was only 23% compared with 63% for “about the right speed”. The poll was conducted online from Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1073.

Elsewhere, yesterday’s declaration of candidates and ballot paper draw for the July 4 Eden-Monaro by-election revealed a field of 14 candidates. Along with Labor candidate Kristy McBain and Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs, there are starters for the Nationals (Trevor Hicks, who won a preselection vote on Saturday), the Greens, Shooters Fishers and Farmers, the Liberal Democrats, the Christian Democrats, Help End Marijuana Prohibition, the Science Party, Sustainable Australia, something called the Australian Federation Party and three independents.

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.

2,555 comments on “Essential Research: robodebt, protests and coronavirus latest”

Comments Page 51 of 52
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  1. It’s a shame what has become of the party of Bob Brown, what they need is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission – and back to their grass roots of environmentalism, ditching the Stalinist infiltration..

    “Hundreds of members of the NSW Greens have quit the party as ongoing factional battles eat away at party morale before the upcoming state and federal elections.

    An internal party report described the loss of up to 485 party members in the 12 months to November 2018 – a decline of almost 13 per cent – as a “significant and worrying reduction”.

    The report, prepared by the party’s membership officer David Briggs in December, noted that elections traditionally were a time when they increased membership.

    The hemorrhaging of members followed an escalating factional war within the party, between the “left” wing, which includes upper house MP David Shoebridge, and the “right” wing, which includes upper house MPs Cate Faehrmann and Justin Field.

    As revealed by the Herald, the internal instability intensified to the point that a group of Greens MPs, which included Ms Faehrmann, Mr Field and Jeremy Buckingham, sought the advice of former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown in August about the possibility of forming a breakaway party.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/hundreds-of-members-quit-nsw-greens-amid-internal-instability-20190204-p50vjs.html

  2. sprocket_ says:
    Monday, June 15, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    ‘…
    Field said he wanted to use the next four years in parliament to work on environmental issues
    …’

    IMO, it is never too late for a Greens to start working on environmental issues.

  3. south:

    [‘Ok. I’m sorry i called Albo fat. I’ll withdraw and rephrase.’]

    That’s good of you. I mean to say, my best-departed mate was really morbidly obese. There are few days that I don’t remember him, how he coped with his weight, dying prematurely of a heart attack. I did, though, come to understand how excessive weight affects one.

  4. South,

    I knew (to a very minor degree) both Albo and Shorten when they were young. Albo had a sparkling wit and a real quickness of mind (although I thought often wrong). Shorten was just a private school bully type whose appeal I did not get.

    However, Albo seemed to retain that sharpness until a few years ago, and then just seemed to get a bit slower. I really wonder what sort of exercise he does other than playing footy even now and then, and what other lifestyle factors are in play.

    Maybe he is just as sharp in private, who knows.

  5. Bucephalus
    Re: Milton Okropolis

    Unfortunately we don’t have the death penalty and the courts are often terribly lenient so for crimes without statutes of limitation this is an excellent tactic from Prosecutors and keep them locked up until they die.

    I would actually like to engage you on the issue of the death penalty.

    My take:
    The death penalty serves no purpose except to feed the blood-lust of the crowd. Why would you want to feed this primitive instinct, when it stops people thinking about why heinous crimes are committed, and how to best prevent them happening again?

    As one brought upon in the Catholic church, I can tell you that the pedophile priests (and various other abusers – and I had the bruises to show as a kid to prove it) did not operate in a vacuum. They were schooled in a culture where what they did was “forgivable”. I now feel very sorry for the Irish nuns who inflicted those bruises on me – the poor girls were taken from Ireland and sent to Australia at the age of 14 – 15, and then told to go and teach kids, with no training, education or resources.

    I am a great fan of US Episcopal bishop Shelby Spong. When asked about how he felt about there death penalty, he said (WTTE) ” Every person is a product of their upbringing and the community around them. The crimes they committed are a failure of community and society. The death penalty holds one person responsible for the ills of society that enables and trained them.

    So Bucephalus, can you think of reasons other than blood-lust and revenge as to why the death penalty is a useful tool in civil society?

  6. ‘Greensborough Growler says:
    Monday, June 15, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    boerwar @ #2500 Monday, June 15th, 2020 – 9:13 pm

    ‘GG

    Leadership is easy till the followship demure.

    You’re well in to your 40s. So the World has moved on from your experiences.’

    There was no leadership.

    Because you did not agree.

    Up to you, really. Bitching is the easiest thing you can do.’

    A real leader would have owned the issue instead of doing the old Pontius Pilate.
    This guy was gutless.

  7. According to frednk providing links to how it is being reported with no personal comment is “spinning like a top”. His projection is a hoot and a wonder to behold.

    Though, Sprocket’s whataboutism is even more of a hoot.

  8. boerwar @ #2509 Monday, June 15th, 2020 – 9:22 pm

    ‘Greensborough Growler says:
    Monday, June 15, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    boerwar @ #2500 Monday, June 15th, 2020 – 9:13 pm

    ‘GG

    Leadership is easy till the followship demure.

    You’re well in to your 40s. So the World has moved on from your experiences.’

    There was no leadership.

    Because you did not agree.

    Up to you, really. Bitching is the easiest thing you can do.’

    A real leader would have owned the issue instead of doing the old Pontius Pilate.
    This guy was gutless.

    Real and Pontius Pilate keep you warm at night.

    I’m moving owned!

  9. GG:

    [‘Up to you, really. Bitching is the easiest thing you can do.’]

    Who else are you going to attack tonight? Are you envious of Boerwar? Or are you a pissant?
    I’d go for both!

  10. I don’t know why anyone bothers engaging with Bucephalus, who is such an obvious phoney, from his utterly imaginary, fictional “military career”, to his professed concern for good governance.

    Bucephalus is a fake, from start to finish.

  11. Reflecting on this Refugee Week

    https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/reflecting-on-this-refugee-week

    “For society the treatment of refugees is the canary in the mine. In Australia the creation of the Manus Island system and the sophisticated regime of dehumanisation that it spawned have presaged the creeping growth of control, secrecy and militarisation in other areas of public life. Public conversation about movement between nations and our relationships with other nations, too, are now conducted purely in terms of our short-term national interest, usually defined in purely economic terms, not by the respect that helps people less fortunate build a better future.

    When seen against this background it is understandable that refugees have little place in the minds and hearts of Australians. Those seeking protection are shut out. They are not seen, not heard.”

  12. Pegasus says:
    Monday, June 15, 2020 at 9:29 pm

    According to frednk providing links to how it is being reported with no personal comment is “spinning like a top”. His projection is a hoot and a wonder to behold.

    Granted when all you provide is links, sometimes you do need an interpretive dance to work out what your trying to say. I apologize for my misunderstanding.

  13. BB, GG & bob sprokect should get a room. As a youth, best placed were the “Peoples Place”, the YMCA – it wasn’t very Christian.

  14. Douglas and Milko says:
    Monday, June 15, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    There are some crimes so heinous that they truly deserve the death penalty such as Hitler and those hung after the Nuremberg trials, the leaders of the Tamil Tigers, Khmer Rouge, Hutu etc.

    There are some murders so depraved and release should never occur like the Birnies here in WA or Martin Bryant who deserve the death penalty.

    I don’t believe all murders should suffer the death penalty such as once off killings with no prior criminal behaviour or mental health issues – say a one punch killing.

    Then there are pedophiles who are irredeemable. Multiple offences, often sadistic. They should never be released so on what basis should we keep them alive?

    I’ve seen the video of the SAS Trooper killing an unarmed man in Afghanistan and I have no problem in that case with rule 5.56 being applied.

  15. Pegasus, you really would do your side of the debate a better service if you actually put your own thoughts in your own words, rather than posting 100% quotes and links to what OTHER people think.

    You give the impression of having no confidence in your own position, having to always what someone else reckons rather than your own opinion.

    Citing links regarding facts is fair enough, up to a point. But endless linking of opinionated material does you no good at all.

    I get the feeling that someone at uni once told you that you should have a reference for every factual position. Fair enough.

    But citing links for opinions just makes you seem rather pathetic. Your own ideas would be appreciated (if you have any).

  16. Mavis, you’ve been drinking too much moonshine. I haven’t got a clue what you’re raving on about.

    “People’s Place”? What the fuck do you mean?

  17. There are some people with huge egos who believe their every utterance is of interest, incredibly well- written, witty and original of thought. Some of these individuals would be mistaken but that’s narcissism for you.

  18. “Adem Somyurek scandal shows Victorians deserve better than its scandal-ridden government.
    Andrews didn’t need a police investigation to jettison Steve Herbert from Cabinet when the Herald Sun revealed he used his taxpayer-funded driver to chauffeur his dogs across the state”

    The Herald Sun has a timeline up of all the scandals and corruption involving the Andrews govt.
    I loved this one involving Steve Herbert.

  19. ————
    its like a pub with no beer ’til you show up, Mavis. -a.v.
    ————
    When the taps run dry, resort to the drip trays.

    Iirc, the pub on the back way to the Hunter sold something called Jungle Juice that was said to be made from refermenting the days dregs.

  20. Pegasus says:
    Monday, June 15, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    There are some people with huge egos who believe their every utterance is of interest, incredibly well- written, witty and original of thought. Some of these individuals would be mistaken but that’s narcissism for you.

    At least you are self aware. That’s a good first step, Horsey.

    Keep it up!

  21. Hmmm….should the jurisprudential response to behaviour deemed a crime be focused on punishing past behaviour or preventing future behaviour? That said, one could cast a wide net on future behaviour to extend beyond the perpetrator.

  22. Macron has gone up a little in my estimation:

    “I will be very clear tonight, compatriots: the Republic won’t erase any name from its history. It will forget none of its artworks, it won’t take down statues.”

  23. I think Mavis was referring to the People’s Palace. This was a flea pit hotel at the Central end of Pitt St, and was the go to place for the cost conscious traveller.

  24. What a piece of excrement…..

    Samantha Maiden
    @samanthamaiden
    Liberal Senator Amanda Stoker accused of invoking dying words of George Floyd in “vile” political attack https://news.com.au/national/politics/liberal-senator-amanda-stoker-attacked-for-seemingly-invoking-the-words-of-george-floyd-in-vile-political-attack/news-story/d2b744fd80e44117f464565ca3dc33ee#.3nrrx via
    @newscomauHQ
    Liberal Senator invokes dying words of George Floyd in “vile” political attack
    Liberal Senator Amanda Stoker has sparked outrage over “vile” comments that Labor claims “invoked the words of a dying man” to take a cheap shot at Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
    news.com.au

  25. Samantha Maiden
    @samanthamaiden
    ·
    6h
    WHODUNNIT: Who knew 60 Minutes had bugged
    @AnthonyByrne_MP
    office and when did he know about it? The sting in the tale of disgraced Victorian MP
    @AdemSomyurek
    https://news.com.au/national/politics/the-big-detail-in-the-adem-somyurek-saga-who-secretly-recorded-the-disgraced-victorian-labor-mp/news-story/5d5a7bacb8b0247aff9c5f752ccd5386#.4i5ry via
    @newscomauHQ
    Who secretly recorded disgraced Victorian MP Adem Somyurek?
    As drive by shootings go, it was one of the greatest political hit jobs in a long time.
    news.com.au

  26. When the taps run dry, resort to the drip trays.
    >resort to the sherry, rather 😉
    ___
    Iirc, the pub on the back way to the Hunter sold something called Jungle Juice that was said to be made from refermenting the days dregs.
    >omg! i need a sherry . . .
    -a.v.

  27. D&M

    I am a great fan of US Episcopal bishop Shelby Spong. When asked about how he felt about there death penalty, he said (WTTE) ” Every person is a product of their upbringing and the community around them. The crimes they committed are a failure of community and society. The death penalty holds one person responsible for the ills of society that enables and trained them.

    Psychopaths have no interaction with the community around them, nor with their upbringing. and the consequence of this is that Jack Spong’s (otherwise valid) argument doesn’t apply in that case.

    The Norwegians adopt both side of this (both the Spong side and the conclusion regarding psychopaths):
    – society is responsible for rehabilitating criminals within a fixed period (max 21 years), and,
    – the clock starts ticking as soon as rehabilitation is possible; for psychopaths such as Mr Breivik that is never

    It was also interesting (and I believe unique) to hear the theory of one of the (former) members of the Indonesian High (Supreme?) Court regarding the Australian drug smugglers. Noting their good behaviour his view was (in relation to crimes legislated to be subject to the death penalty), was:
    – death penalty is valid (if legislated by a properly constituted Parliament),
    – convicted criminals sentenced to death have the sentence suspended indefinitely, subject to continued good behaviour…


  28. @newscomauHQ
    Who secretly recorded disgraced Victorian MP Adem Somyurek?
    As drive by shootings go, it was one of the greatest political hit jobs in a long time.
    news.com.au

    At least they are now asking interesting questions. I have my theory, sorry nath, no way is it shorten.

  29. Victoria @ #2534 Monday, June 15th, 2020 – 10:36 pm

    Samantha Maiden
    @samanthamaiden
    ·
    6h
    WHODUNNIT: Who knew 60 Minutes had bugged
    @AnthonyByrne_MP
    office and when did he know about it? The sting in the tale of disgraced Victorian MP
    @AdemSomyurek
    https://news.com.au/national/politics/the-big-detail-in-the-adem-somyurek-saga-who-secretly-recorded-the-disgraced-victorian-labor-mp/news-story/5d5a7bacb8b0247aff9c5f752ccd5386#.4i5ry via
    @newscomauHQ
    Who secretly recorded disgraced Victorian MP Adem Somyurek?
    As drive by shootings go, it was one of the greatest political hit jobs in a long time.
    news.com.au

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=282N-EvZtXI

  30. Greensborough Growler @ #2512 Monday, June 15th, 2020 – 9:36 pm

    Mavis @ #2512 Monday, June 15th, 2020 – 9:31 pm

    GG:

    [‘Up to you, really. Bitching is the easiest thing you can do.’]

    Who else are you going to attack tonight? Are you envious of Boerwar? Or are you a pissant?
    I’d go for both!

    Have another Sherry!

    GG Verbatim quote: “The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is a populist witch hunt”. Says it all, really. What a man! What a brain! What judgement! Brainwashed mortgage broker and Pell worshipper. Lovely chap.

  31. BB says:

    Monday, June 15, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    [‘Mavis, you’ve been drinking too much moonshine. I haven’t got a clue what you’re raving on about.

    “People’s Place”? What the fuck do you’]

    After that response, who’s imbibing? The PP was in George Street, where country people used to stay. And please stop being so common.

  32. My parents had their honeymoon in the People’s Palace, after catching the mail train down from Grafton.
    We were poor, but we were ‘appy!

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