Hawks and doves (open thread)

A new poll from the Australia Institute poses many a hard question on the potential for conflict with China.

The Australian has today published a Newspoll result of state voting intention in Victoria, which I have added as an introductory note to my earlier post covering general electoral developments in the state. I am not sure what the deal is with Newspoll’s federal polling – plainly it has not returned to its earlier schedule of a poll every three weeks, as there would otherwise have been one on Monday.

We do have two new attitudinal polls from the Australia Institute, one posing an array of stimulating questions on the potential for conflict with China. This encompassed both an Australian sample of 1003 and a Taiwanese sample of 1002, the survey work being conducted by international market research firm Dynata.

Among many other things, the Australian end of the survey found 47% expecting a Chinese armed attack on Australia either soon (9%) or “sometime” (38%), with only 19% opting for never and 33% uncommitted. Twenty-one per cent felt Australia would be able to defend itself from China without international assistance, compared with 60% who thought otherwise, and 57% anticipate such support would be forthcoming from the United States compared with 11% who didn’t and 19% who opted for “it depends”. Thirty-five per cent would back the US and Australia to win such a conflict compared with 8% for lose and 26% for a draw of some description.

Thirty-seven per cent felt the Australian people would be prepared to go to war if China threatened military action against Australia, effectively equal to the 38% who thought otherwise. Twenty-six per cent were prepared for Australia to go to war to help Taiwan gain independence compared with 33% who weren’t and 41% for uncommitted. Framed a little differently, 14% strongly agreed and 23% less strongly agreed that Australia should “send its defence forces to Taiwan to fight for their freedom … if China incorporated Taiwan”, compared with 20% for disagree and 9% for strongly disagree.

The Taiwanese end of the survey is beyond this site’s scope, thought it’s interesting to note that 41% felt optimistic with respect to the future for Taiwan compared with 40% for neutral and only 20% for pessimistic. The survey was conducted between August 13 and 16 – Nancy Pelosi’s visit was on August 2 and China’s military exercises followed from August 4 to 7.

A second report from the Australia Institute provides results of a poll conducted back in April on the seemingly less pressing subject of “wokeness”, a concept that meant nothing to 43% of those surveyed, ranging from only 22% of those aged 18 to 29 to 59% of those aged 60 and over. Forty-nine per cent of the former cohort owned up to being woke, decreasing with arithmetic precision to 9% for the latter, while around 30% for each of the five age cohorts identified as “not woke”. Interestingly, Coalition and Labor voters produced similar results, with Greens and One Nation voters deviating in the manner you would expect. The poll was conducted from April 5 to 8 from a sample of 1003, so the sub-sample sizes for the results cited above are not great, however intuitively likely the results might be.

Also:

Anthony Galloway of the Sun-Herald identifies possible successors to Scott Morrison in Cook: Mark Speakman, moderate-aligned state Attorney-General and member for Cronulla; Melanie Gibbons, state member for Holsworthy, who unsuccessfully sought preselection for the Hughes at the federal election; Carmelo Pesce, the mayor of Sutherland Shire; and Alex Cooke, identified only as a “party member”.

• The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters has called for submissions to its inquiry into the 2022 federal election. Matters specifically touched up on by the terms of reference include political donation and truth-in-advertising laws, enfranchisement of New Zealand citizens living in Australia and “proportional representation of the states and territories in the parliament”, the latter seemingly referring to the possibility of adding extra seats for the territories in the Senate.

• The Australian Parliamentary Library has published a “quick guide” on the technicalities of when the next federal election might be held, together with a handy calendar showing when state and local elections are due through to 2006.

• No fewer than twelve candidates have nominated for Western Australia’s North West Central by-election on September 17, with Labor not among them, for a seat with only 11,189 voters. As well as the Nationals and the Liberals, there are two candidates of the Western Australia Party, one being hardy perennial Anthony Fels, plus the Greens, One Nation, Legalise Cannabis, Liberal Democrats, No Mandatory Vaccination, the Small Business Party and two independents. My guide to the by-election can be found here.

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.

1,515 comments on “Hawks and doves (open thread)”

  1. South

    “ Everyone is fighting over nothing about S3.”

    Good advice, so lets talk about EVs instead. Labor is now looking at vehicle emission regulations to help with transport emissions, which are very high. In Australia lots of people buy old tech heavily polluting cars, and burn lots of fuel.

    Subsidising EVs helps, but it is not the best policy. I will give some examples.

    In Australia a Nissan Leaf we are buying costs $52,000, less $2000 subsidy.
    In England a Nissan Leaf costs $44,000, less $4000 subsidy
    In Norway a Nissan Leaf costs $33,000, with zero taxes, subsidy unstated.

    In UK and Norway the emission regulations incentivise importing cheaper EVs. In Norway they also tax petrol cars and subsidise EVs further.

    The point is, it is way cheaper for government to set policy so that car makers compete to bring in cheaper EVs, than subsidise people buying expensive ones.

    In Norway basic EVs like Citroens and Mitsubishi iMiEV sell for $24,000 Aus.

  2. WWP
    You want to talk about what is cruel the disabled are ignored only to be brought out on special occasions while the in crowd gives each other endless attention under the banner of inclusion and diversity.

  3. Wranslide – sorry, but I’m not going to obsess over $1400 worth of shares (dividends? Maybe about $70 p.a). Where did you get that information? The Daily Rupert?

  4. Socrates,
    And absolutely amazingly good top of the line electric commuter bicycle costs about 5-7K. The government should be subsidising the purchase of these as well. Lots of short trips could be a bike trips. And they make trike and cargo version for the unsteady and child laden amongst us.

    But yes. One thing I agree with is that we really need to open up the low end of the market on EV’s. People will be happy to have an EV without all the fancy auto pilot junk in it if they can get one for 25K.
    Another thing worth thinking about is opening up a subsidy for Electric Utes for Tradies. Once the working man of Australia is driving an electric pickup to bunnings for work then the debate over climate and green energy is kinda done.

    And then there’s electric motorcycles and mopeds which are also fantastic and something we should be pushing to get more of in our cities.

  5. Honestly if Labor wanted an out on the S3 issue, they could just make the argument they want to change the tax cut into a vehicle credit that was universally accessible.

  6. South

    I agree on the eBikes too, they are great. We should be adding protected bike lanes (or micro mobility lanes) in every inner suburb that allow bikes, gophers and eBikes. Low cost, huge benefits.

    But only a minority of people over 40 will ride bikes, and few in outer suburbs. This isn’t Holland. So EVs are essential for he majority for Australia to reach net zero emissions in transport.

    Tradies should get the same subsidy for EVs as anyone else, no more no less. If we change the policy as suggested that would apply to utes and vans as well. That market should change fast, because the high running cost of utes favours EVs more than it does for cars.

  7. Mavis

    From some personal experience in my early work years in Qld, Russ Hinze was just as bad as Bjelke Petersen. Hinze only avoided jail by dying before his trial was done.

    Before politics in the 1960s Hinze was a failed developer. By the early 80s he owned tens of millions in real estate on the Gold Coast.

  8. Socrates,
    The lagging point will not be getting EV’s, it’ll be getting garages that can work on them. It’s a whole new set of hazards to work around. And a new industry that needs to have a workforced trained up in it.
    There’ll be a disruptive effect when ICE engine mechanics start to loose work because EV’s are literally just a battery and a really simple motor. It’ll be software updates, bearings getting greased and tire changes that’ll make up the majority of EV services.
    It’ll be similar to what happened to bank branches. There used to be tones, and now there’s really not many and they slipping away.

    On Ebikes, I actually think theft will be a big issue. I have a multi thousand dollar mountain bike, I don’t need a bike lock because it never leaves my sight when I’m using it. But E Bikes and their theft need to be treated seriously by the police for people to want to be willing to engage with them. And yes, Agree on bike lanes. the more the merrier.

  9. southsays:
    Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at 11:25 pm

    Socrates,
    And absolutely amazingly good top of the line electric commuter bicycle costs about 5-7K. The government should be subsidising the purchase of these as well. Lots of short trips could be a bike trips. And they make trike and cargo version for the unsteady and child laden amongst us.

    But yes. One thing I agree with is that we really need to open up the low end of the market on EV’s. People will be happy to have an EV without all the fancy auto pilot junk in it if they can get one for 25K.
    Another thing worth thinking about is opening up a subsidy for Electric Utes for Tradies. Once the working man of Australia is driving an electric pickup to bunnings for work then the debate over climate and green energy is kinda done.

    And then there’s electric motorcycles and mopeds which are also fantastic and something we should be pushing to get more of in our cities.

    You can pick up an electric bike in Vietnam for about $500.

  10. South

    I would agree workshops, spare parts, maintenance and training are all issues with EVs. But the evidence from Norway is that those get solved quite quickly once the EV numbers start getting significant. Businesses change when they see they make money out of EVs.

    Charging infrastructure is also claimed to be an issue, but again the evidence is that that also gets solved faster than you can sell the cars. In fact EVs offer a great opportunity to improve the economics of renewable energy by adding storage capacity to put it in when RE is in excess. Even our Leaf will be able to power the house for two days.

    The main problem is the sheer number of cars that need replacing with EVs. Australia has 20 million light vehicles (cars, utes and small vans) and we sell one million per year. So even when we reach 100% new EV sales, it will take 20 years to reach zero petrol and diesel cars on the road.

    When we do, we will also have eliminated a $30 billion per annum oil import bill, and urban noise and air pollution that kills a few hundred per year.

    Night all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *