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.


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)”

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  1. My wife tipped me off about Homo naledi recently. Given how much hype there was about the “hobbits” (H. floresiensis), like her I don’t know how have we hadn’t heard about this before.


    This public lecture was put online in May 2022, but is timestamped April 2017.
    It’s well worth a look, but those that are claustrophobic might want to look away during the cave videos.

    How Homo Naledi is Changing Human Origins | University Place

    John Hawks, Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UW-Madison, discusses new findings related to the Homo naledi fossils found in the Rising Star cave system in South Africa. Hawks reports that the fossils indicate this primitive, extinct, human relative may have been in existence as recently as 236,000 years ago.


  2. C@t,
    Yes, that’s the link I meant to post about the GG and ‘inconsistencies’.

    Ronni Salt is really worth following on twitter. I noticed GG and BB are also active on twitter

  3. And on that thread , a valid question is posed:
    ‘Note he has listed Margaret Court’s church as a source of significant payment to him – an organisation that his government donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to.
    How is that not corruption? Seems little short of money laundering. ’

  4. So what did the redacted affidavit say:

    The FBI said the government was therefore “conducting a criminal investigation concerning the improper removal and storage of classified information in unauthorised spaces, as well as the unlawful concealment or removal of government records.

    “There is probable cause to believe that the locations to be searched at the PREMISES contain evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed,” it continued.


  5. Dawn Patrol Part 1.

    Morrison may have acted unlawfully in the secret ministries scandal, writes Karen Middleton.

    The inquiry into SfM’s secret ministries is announced. Anthony Albanese has said it would be “extraordinary” if Scott Morrison did not cooperate with an inquiry into his secret ministries, warning compulsory powers could be used if he refuses.

    Opposition claims tradies in the firing line from gig economy reform. Remind me again what they said about the death of the weekend with the uptake of EVs!

    John Hewson wonders at Dutton going MIA in the Morrison ministries scandal, and says that the PM was left with little choice but to announce an inquiry given the strength of the conclusions by the Solicitor General.
    Defence Minister Richard Marles says the nation’s top military leaders breathed a sigh of relief when he overturned his predecessor Peter Dutton’s controversial ban on LGBT morning teas and other inclusive events. Rather than distracting from core business, Marles said promoting inclusivity would strengthen Australia’s defence capabilities by helping attract a diverse talent pool and ensuring the military reflected modern Australia.
    Australia must turn itself into a “porcupine” island fortified with enough lethal weaponry to deter an attack from a hostile rival, Defence Minister Richard Marles has warned in a stark illustration of the dangerous strategic environment the nation faces.

    Australians have thrown their support behind Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on his central pledge on climate change while rejecting the Coalition on the issue in a boost for the government as it reaches its first 100 days in power.

    Scott Morrison received token payments for speeches and plans to join global lecture circuit

    Great article from Mega George about Albo’s cleanup from the previous government. I maintain that Labor should’ve done this in 2007.

    Paul Bongiorno writes that the coalition is on the wrong side of so many issues prosecuted by the Albanese government, and that it has been careful planning and staging by Albo to make this so.

    Far from being sidelined, Tanya Plibersek has been tasked with a monumental challenge: steering Australia’s response to the unfolding environmental catastrophes

    Parnell McGuinnes says we were lucky to have SfM as PM. I thought this was a sketch piece, but apparently not! 😆

    Does an inquiry into Morrison’s secret ministries risk taking focus off more pressing issues? asks Paul Karp

  6. Dawn Patrol Part 2:

    The Greens have declared they will push for additional pay rises for workers on the minimum wage and those in women-dominated industries in exchange for supporting any legislative proposals stemming from the government’s jobs summit.

    A royal commission is set to review Robodebt. Its legacy is still hanging over Centrelink recipients today. An excellent move by the government to end this pernicious platform and bring some justice to those maligned and mistreated by it.

    You can always tell a government in decline: the scandals and dramas just keep coming!

    And coming…

    And coming…

    And coming! (Or not if it’s a Sydney train.)

    Will Chris Minns be the next NSW Premier and does he have what it takes to do so?

    Raising the salaries of childcare workers is the real fix for this industry, says Virginia Trioli.

    The largest piece of the puzzle about why FBI agents searched former president Donald Trump’s residence is out: the affidavit submitted to warrant the search. In its full form, this usually sealed document spells out exactly what FBI agents thought was hidden at Mar-a-Lago and what crimes may have been committed. But the version the Justice Department released to the public Friday is heavily redacted.
    Here’s what we were able to glean about the investigation — and still have to learn.

    Murdoch v Crikey: How a mere 804 words became a test case that could run into the millions

    As questions ricochet around Scott Morrison’s secret ministerial powers, a rhetorical one hovers above: Why is anyone surprised? writes Karen Middleton. There’s been a pattern to Morrison’s activities for years, even just those we knew about. It goes to a disregard for proper process, a whatever-it-takes attitude to securing and wielding personal power, a disconnection between words and actions, and a propensity to dissemble and operate away from the light.

    PvO and Hugh Riminton discuss the jobs for the boys and the Morrison ministries in their latest podcast.

    As the Jobs Summit gears up, this piece in the AFR argues that business today can learn from the 1980s.

    Jim Chalmers has released Treasury analysis downplaying the employment contribution of mining, highlighting the industry hires a relatively small share of workers compared to the “care” workforce.

    What might the first speeches of our new MPs tell us about the parliament, and careers, ahead, writes Sean Kelly.

    One thing about life is that’s invariably filled with missed opportunities and it’s no different for Gladys.

    Thousands recreate the Wave Hill walk-off, originally led by Vincent Lingiari, at the Freedom Day Festival in Kalkarindji

  7. I take my hat off to BK for doing this 7 days a week, year in, year out. I didn’t realise quite how time consuming it is. And I haven’t even gone to some of the subscriber-only sites that he posts!

  8. Thanks, ‘fess. I feel your pain. 😆

    I’ll throw a few links in myself from some of the sites that aren’t there but BK usually goes to. I’ll also go do the cartoons. 🙂

  9. Confessions @ #12 Saturday, August 27th, 2022 – 7:03 am

    I take my hat off to BK for doing this 7 days a week, year in, year out. I didn’t realise quite how time consuming it is. And I haven’t even gone to some of the subscriber-only sites that he posts!

    I’ll give you a hint. He usually starts the night before when new articles start being dropped. 🙂

  10. C@t:

    Thanks, that makes sense. I also don’t know how he posts it all in one comment. I had to separate into two comments to get them to post!

  11. Insiders Sunday, 28 Aug

    David Speers is joined by Phil Coorey, Anna Henderson and Peter van Onselen to discuss this week’s Jobs and Skills Summit, fallout from the secret Morrison ministries scandal plus a Royal Commission into the robodebt scheme

    Guests : Jennifer Westacott And Sally Mcmanus

  12. And here are the pictures that paint a thousand words for today:
    (I’ll do it in a few parts because it’s a lot!)

    Simon Letch:

    Here are some from Michael Leunig, who we haven’t seen in a while:

    Some Simon Letch musings:
    Shaping the Future #1







    Damaged goods

    Best of the Brunch

  13. @BK

    Many thanks for your efforts with the dawn patrol and enjoy your fishing trip

    Heading out myself tomorrow in what should be mint conditions (finally!) Out of coffs. Am aiming a little higher than KGW and flatties though, namely kingfish round the islands before heading out towards the shelf chasing googley eyed deep water critters like pearlies, bar cod and blue eye

    Hopefully some good #fishingonPB reports on Sunday night or Monday morning!

  14. On Self-fulfilling Prophecies:

    a) “expecting a Chinese armed attack on Australia”
    b) Prepare for the expected armed attack from China by going through a significant build up of military capacity.
    c) Adopt an aggressive stance against China.
    d) Quickly react against China using any excuse.
    e) Defend Taiwan.
    f) Threaten China from Taiwan.
    g) China attacks Australia…..

  15. Part the Second:

    Matt Golding
    Signs of a Shortage

    Brace yourself

    Which hunt?

    Prickly relationship

    Reform needed

    Andrew Dyson
    Mount Disappointment

    Work/Life Balance

    Jim Pavlidis

    John Shakespeare

    Robin Cowcher

    Jamie Brown

    Joe Benke

    Alan Moir

    And now to ferret out some American cartoons. 🙂

  16. Oh dear…

    Bandt threatens to derail jobs summit

    The Greens leader says he will scuttle summit outcomes unless demands for an immediate minimum-wage hike and higher pay for women are met.

    In the SmearStralian

  17. GOP Potus 2024 primary polls showing Trump well ahead of his rivals. There is no way someone like Trump can ignore those. He will be drawn to the light, the crowds, the chants. He will run. And that is without considering the benefit it may have in dealing with his legal problems and the benefit of enrichment (both things he is no doubt considering).

    Unless…. he does a deal for pardons and guaranteed further enrichment with a primary rival if he senses the rival can beat Biden and he himself can’t. Unlikely someone like Trump would be thinking too much down those lines.

  18. Morning all. Confessions – brilliant effort!

    That SMH piece quoting Michaelia Cash on the virtues of gig economy workers undercutting wages really is full of nonsense. Not only from Michaelia.

    Further down an employer lobbyist talks about wage bargaining:
    “Flexibility and innovation cannot be unlocked with collective bargaining or industry agreements; it can only be unlocked through enterprise agreements that are company-specific.”

    This runs the other great old lie of wage markets – that “flexibility” is needed to get better outcomes. This is a whopper. As one Princeton labour market economist said: “Flexibility is just a code word for falling wages.” Employers can always raise wages if they want to. The flexibility is always one way.

    So while it is OK to have a summit and talk about policy, the problem in Australia is NOT too high wages. In many sectors wages are too low.

    The problems in Australia are a decade of underinvestment in training and new economy infrastructure, and over-investment in old economy infrastructure (including roads). That and failing to tax foreign mining and gas corporations.

  19. Thanks to all those who posted the Ronnie Salt (& Jommy Tee?) Twitter thread. Including the retort wrt Aly – a truly terrible comment piece even after I have had 24h to cool down over it.

  20. Part the Third, America

    Ann Telnaes, The Washington Post

    Monte Wolverton

    Mike Luckovich

    Anonymous 🙂

    Clay Bennett

    I could do more but you probably think that’s enough. 😀

  21. I mentioned yesterday that Kyrgios had a horror draw at the US Open.

    The draw is a minefield for No.23 seed Kyrgios. If he beats Kokkinakis on Monday (Tuesday, Sydney time), he’ll likely play dangerous French leftie Ugo Humbert in the second round and battle-hardened Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut, the No.16 seed, in the third, before a possible match-up with Medvedev.

    Playing his mate in the 1st round will not be easy for the mentally fragile Kyrgios. Each of the next couple of rounds the opponents have knocked him out of Majors before, although not with Kyrgios in the form he is at present. All we can do is hope!

  22. Zoomster

    Kos samaras has been saying that safe labor seats will have huge swings against them, but not enough to lose.

    Btw offspring will be starting new role at metro tunnel next week.

  23. A couple from the Saturday paper

    Constitutional law experts argue that while Scott Morrison’s appointments to secret portfolios were lawful, errors in drafting may mean that his actions in them were not. By Karen Middleton.

    It seems that the opposition leader is just happy to have Morrison continue to sit on the backbench, drawing a damaging and disruptive focus. Dutton must wonder what else is hiding in the dark – just how deep is the basement?

    Three months into leading his new government, Anthony Albanese is riding higher than even his most ardent supporters would have imagined.

  24. Hmm. Thanks sonar. What is being said is that Trump took documents that are so sensitive that it would be too damaging, even personally dangerous for some, to prosecute him. Is Trump is holding the entire US security system hostage?

  25. Just making my way through the links and I spy that polling by Resolve has been done on the Barilaro affair:

    “The Resolve survey of more than 600 voters found 56 per cent of respondents thought the former deputy premier’s appointment to the New York trade posting was a case of “jobs for the boys”.

    While one-fifth of voters said it would not have any sway over who they will vote for in the March state election, 45 per cent said, “it may influence me slightly” but acknowledged there were other pressing issues.
    Coalition voters were most likely to be influenced by the appointment, with 48 per cent saying the trade scandal could be important when they decide who to support at the ballot box.”

    I note that they have taken soundings of past voting. I wonder if they asked voting intentions as well? I wouldn’t mind seeing that one.

  26. Laughtong

    Thanks for posting the Saturday Paper article. I was wondering about the legal arguments on Morrison’s five ministries too. If there is money at stake you can bet the legal arguments are far from over.

    Marles is correct about the porcupine strategy for defence too.

    Have a good day all.

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