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The fortnightly Newspoll in The Australian brings the government little respite, Labor’s lead down from the 55-45 blowout last time to 54-46, from primary votes of 37% for the Coalition (up one), 37% for Labor (down two) and 13% for the Greens (up two). Tony Abbott’s personal ratings continue to deteriorate, with approval down three to 33% and disapproval up two to 57%, while Bill Shorten’s remain broadly stable as they have for so long, with approval unchanged at 39% and disapproval up two to 43%. Shorten’s lead as preferred prime minister widens just slightly from 43-37 to 43-36.

Also out today was the regular fortnightly face-to-face plus SMS poll from Morgan. This has the Coalition up a point to 39%, Labor down one to 37.5%, the Greens steady on 12%, and Palmer United down half a point to another new low of 2%. Two-party preferred moves two points in the Coalition’s favour on the respondent-allocated measure, from 55.5-44.5 to 53.5-46.5, and previous-election preferences moves one point from 54-46 to 53-47.

UPDATE (Essential Research): The latest fortnightly rolling average from Essential Research ticks a point in Labor’s favour, from 52-48 to 53-47, with the major parties tied at 40% on the primary vote (Labor up a point, the Coalition steady), the Greens down one to 9% and Palmer United steady on 3%. Further questions:

• Opinion on the balance of power in the Senate is found to be unchanged since July in being slightly favourable, with 37% reckoning it good for democracy, 29% bad and 18% indifferent. When asked if the Senate has been right to block or reject various items of legislation, yes outpolls no in every case.

• A little surprisingly (to me at least), 42% think the 1.5% pay increase for defence personnel fair, versus 47% for unfair.

• Fifty-six per cent disagree with the Prime Minister’s contention that his government has “fundamentally kept faith with the Australian people” with respect to election promises, with 31% in agreement. Opinion is inevitably divided along party lines, but Greens voters are found to be even more negative than Labor ones, albeit that the sample for the latter is extremely small.

• As Essential does from time to time, respondents were asked for their view on various attributes with respect to the two leaders. The last time this was done was at the height of the Coalition’s post-budget poll collapse, and the latest survey finds Tony Abbott’s position very slightly improved, most noticeably with respect to “hard-working” (up five to 62%) and “good in a crisis” (up seven to 42%), the latter being an interesting bit of residue from his now vanishing poll recovery on the back of MH17 and terrorism concerns. However, he has dropped a further four points on “visionary”, to 27%. Reflecting his long-standing poll stasis, Bill Shorten’s readings are little changed, although he is down five on “a capable leader” to 46%.

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1484 comments

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jules
Guest
caf, JD, JM – no one I speak to likes the idea of it either. I’ve been going on about these things to people for years. Since the MAI in 1998. Someone mentioned that the other day, wondering at how many times these across-the-board FTAs with ISDS built in have been tried since then. The TPP definitely needs more publicity, we need to know whats being negotiated and the IP and ISDS areas need serious independent public debate. I dunno if the media are up to it, given how much it coincides with Murdoch’s interests – he still drives the… Read more »
swamprat
Guest
It is a great tragedy for Australians that, in a Westminster duopoly, they are allowed only one alternative to the extremist Tories to protect them from the neo-liberal triumph of stealing the public domain for private profit and delivering their goal of the TPP. That alternative is an incoherent, right wing gang of often corrupt careerists, laughingly called a “labor” party who’s leaders fucking cry when they have the “honour” of talking to a yank assembly…..Haha what useless protection of anything is the ALP. Apart from being politically stupid (maybe that was paid for), the ALP’s main goal, and successfully… Read more »
JimmyDoyle
Guest

[1477
briefly
They need some policies at least. So far, it’s still all wishful thinking.
]

About the only policy left in their neo-liberal arsenal is WorkChoices Mk II. They’re intellectually bankrupt, as Albanese pointed out.

JimmyDoyle
Guest

[1478
Just Me
But I think there is now a distinct hunger for change, beyond just getting rid of Abbott and his immediate policy suite. Not just in Australia either, but more globally.
]

On this I entirely agree. The age of neo-liberalism is over. Now it’s down to the Labor Party realising that, abandoning it’s past commitment to privatisation, surplus fetishism, efficiency dividends etc etc and realising that there is a strong role for government to play in Australia’s economy. Number one on the hit list should be unfavourable free trade agreements. starting with the TPP.

B.C.
Guest
So, who leaked against Johnston? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Julie Bishop as she seems to be his only backer. Rumours are that Morrison wants the job (and leaks appear to have helped him win his preselection). There’s also talk of warfare between Defence and the PMO. Then there’s the department itself who are allegedly upset about foreign subs and a crap pay deal. Of course another ambitious MP might see value in making room above. It’s interesting that the two staffers who were escorted out haven’t been sacked. I believe one might be going back to another position in… Read more »
Just Me
Guest

[I’ll only believe they’ll report on the TPP when I see it.]

I am at least as skeptical as you. But I think there is now a distinct hunger for change, beyond just getting rid of Abbott and his immediate policy suite. Not just in Australia either, but more globally.

What comes of it remains to be seen.

briefly
Guest

[1476
JimmyDoyle

briefly – I meant a Labor style stimulus package, but I take your point.]

They need some policies at least. So far, it’s still all wishful thinking.

JimmyDoyle
Guest

briefly – I meant a Labor style stimulus package, but I take your point.

briefly
Guest

[1472
JimmyDoyle

Hockey … would be loathe to try and introduce any stimulus….]

The deficit is running at $5 bill per month. This is stimulus in any language and without it the economy would now be in recession. The deficit added a trend 0.9% to GDP in the September quarter, when growth touched just 0.3%. If the stimulus had been zero, the economy would have contracted (at least) 0.6%.

The only reason the economy did not shrink is because of the fiscal settings carried forward from the last Government.

JimmyDoyle
Guest

Just Me – Indeed the media seems to waking up from it’s looooong slumber on the job, but given all the Abbott lies they have to catch up with and sort out, I’ll only believe they’ll report on the TPP when I see it.

Question
Guest

Jackol 1444,

I have a very vague and unreliable memory about Argentine politics/economics.

The “conspiracy” at the back of my mind is when the military took over in 1976, they got economic advice from the US that saw their currency artificially inflated, which after an early sugar hit caused the debt you speak of.

That might explain why (short of the legal action in the US courts) the debt wasn’t rigorously pursued… not to mention Argentina is now happily “one of us”… 🙂

JimmyDoyle
Guest

briefly – I suspect a recession is well on the way, given how desperate Hockey was to try and revive consumer sentiment. He would be loathe to try and introduce any stimulus, given they way they bleated about it in opposition. So he has to resort to the bully pulpit. Additionally, Abbott seems to have ruled out further budget cuts, but I think it’s clear that the cuts they’ve already proposed are having a negative impact on the economy.

Just Me
Guest
[But the problem is that the media, and yes the Labor Party too, have been incredibly complacent in talking about how bad for Australia the TPP would be.] True. But the public, and I would suggest increasingly the media too as the post-Rupert era looms ever closer, are in a state of major flux of late, and looking for better answers. (Who would have thought even 3 months ago that Karl Stevanovic would take Abbott to task, let alone so vigorously? Looks to me like the media are starting to wake up to themselves, albeit seriously late in the piece.)… Read more »
briefly
Guest

[1466
JimmyDoyle

caf @ 1462 – I am very afraid that Labor might see the TPP as an easy pass to bolster it’s claims of bipartisanship on some policies.]

I doubt that Labor would accept a TPP that contained ISDS provisions.

Kevin Bonham
Guest
Rocket Rocket@1427 kb 1412 – wonder who that source was who predicted the Coalition would be “Deeply unpopular by December”? By the way – I had very transiently noticed your occupation before as “invertebrate research consultant, mainly” and had thought it was a joke about politicians. Now I see you really are an invertebrate ecologist! “>http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/thezone/fossils/inverts/ I’ve just changed that to include “electoral analysis” as well since in 2014 about 30% of my income came from pseph work or donations. I have no idea who the nameless “source” was. The quoting of nameless sources can be quite a bane sometimes.… Read more »
briefly
Guest

[1428
JimmyDoyle

1426
briefly
Any day now the media will cotton on…

Whether they report on it is another matter alltogther.]

Well, it’s an unavoidable story.

The even bigger story is whether we will see the trifecta? Income is recessed. Employment and output are in doubt. If income and employment fall together, output cannot be far behind. Hitherto, the deficit has averted a contraction. There’s no doubt that social spending and tax rebates are helping keep the economy from shrinking. It would be a very imprudent government that messed around with these.

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

1465

If the drip was coming in, from outside, through the roof then it could be quite expensive to fix. Having a partly underground Parliament has its problems.

JimmyDoyle
Guest

caf @ 1462 – I am very afraid that Labor might see the TPP as an easy pass to bolster it’s claims of bipartisanship on some policies.

Otiose
Guest

Nett_NEWS++™ by @Otiose94 #auspol http://bit.ly/1nAtjp1

#Speaker, #kero_bronnie Bucket needed by David Rowe © http://bit.ly/11TCBoO

Roger Miller
Guest

I would be pretty happy with this governments Foreign Affairs being described as “omnishambles”.

Diogenes
Guest

They actually drank two bottles of Basket Press as well as two martinis.

One had a normal sized steak and the other had the Tbone which I checked and it weights 1.2 kg!!! I think I’m going to throw up.

Three courses including a 1.2 kg Tbone washed down with a bottle of wine and a martini.

caf
Guest

I can’t imagine that the Government would try to press their luck with TPP-enabling legislation with the Senate in such a Bolshie mood – after all, Foreign Affairs is the one of the few areas in which their performance falls short of “omnishambles”, they wouldn’t want to risk a defeat there too.

Just Me
Guest

JD

Snap!

Just Me
Guest

caf

I have explained the basic idea of the ISDS provision to about a dozen people personally, including some who are completely politically disengaged.

Every single one had the WTF? reaction. They just couldn’t believe we would hand over control of any of our policy and laws to an outside entity.

I think this is an issue that could really work for Labor.

JimmyDoyle
Guest

Jules @ 1457 – every person I’ve ever told about ISDS has hated it, so obviously it easy to grasp how terrible it is. As caf said, perhaps it would be easy to campaign against it. But the problem is that the media, and yes the Labor Party too, have been incredibly complacent in talking about how bad for Australia the TPP would be.

JimmyDoyle
Guest

Just Me – I hope you’re right.

jules
Guest
[As soon as serious negative consequences are apparent I don’t think the Australian public would punish the ALP, Greens or crossbenchers for making a stand.] No one punished the greens, one nation or the democrats for their stand on the MAI in 1998. (In fact most people had forgotten by 1999 that it even happened.) If they (ALP, Grns et al) make their point clearly and concisely (using non trad media I guess) then you’re right. It might even generate support if done right. Especially in light of the current govt. [Good grief jules, are you new to PB??] No… Read more »
Diogenes
Guest

What kind of person would order a $98 Tbone steak? Talk about conspicuous consumption. The gluttony and sense of entitlement of these people really stinks.

Just Me
Guest

Previous comment was for JD.

Diogenes
Guest

I wouldn’t be seen dead eating in the Adelaide Casino. It’s strictly for tourists. They had a bottle of Basket Press Shiraz for $300.

I’ve got a few from 1994 in the cellar. They are very good but why waste one on food at the Casino.

caf
Guest

I’ve actually had friends arc up about ISDS on my Facebook timeline recently – I don’t think it’s as wonkish as you might think.

Just Me
Guest

If Labor have the guts to do it, and can do it well, it could be a serious opportunity for them to take politics and policy off in a new direction in Australia, and isolate the hard right spivs.

We simply cannot keep going down the current path for much longer. Change is needed and urgently. The lag times involved to get it done don’t allow much tardiness.

guytaur
Guest

About to go to bed. On radio news they are reporting Senator Xenophon has told the government it does not have the numbers to get Morrisons Migration legislation through.

If true very 😆

JimmyDoyle
Guest

Just me – It is transparently a neo-liberal attempt to adjust the odds in favour of corporations and the rich. Despite what Jackol says, I’m not so sure that Labor would be confident enough or have abandoned neo-liberalism enough to pull us out of a TPP with ISDS.

Just Me
Guest
[I honestly don’t think pulling out of one of these FTAs would be such a big deal. There’d be some short term international criticism, but particularly if there was good reason – such as companies clearly abusing the process – I don’t think anyone would hold it against us for any length of time, and at the end of the day the various players are more interested in making a buck than trying to punish us for breaking a treaty.] I will bet if one or two countries do it, there will be a few more who follow. It is… Read more »
JimmyDoyle
Guest

Jackol – I hope you’re right, but I don’t hold much hope that our corporate media would relay Labor’s (and others) message that a FTA with ISDS is unfair for Australia.

JimmyDoyle
Guest

Nicholas @ 1142 – agreed. ISDS should not exist (or at the very least, should not exist between two nations that have independent and non-corrupt judicial systems.) as it is a deliberate attack on social democracy by American corporations attempting to export America’s broken and corrupt attitudes to good public policy.

Jackol
Guest
And besides they would have to block the entire treaty, not just a specific part. I imagine there would be some reluctance to do that. There may be (and should be) reluctance, but ultimately I don’t see the political problem with the Senate rejecting any of these FTAs. The public are only weakly engaged with the negotiation process and are probably only supportive to the extent that any particular agreement is seen as a clear “win-win”. As soon as serious negative consequences are apparent I don’t think the Australian public would punish the ALP, Greens or crossbenchers for making a… Read more »
Just Me
Guest

[1435
Tom the first and best

With the way Investor State Dispute Settlement seems to be heading, it may be necessary to pull out of treaties with it.]

Labor should be making it crystal clear that the moment the gain office they will be immediately suspending those agreements and starting renegotiations. No ifs or buts.

Giving away sovereignty like that to corporate spivs is about as dumb and corrupt as it gets. We will be fleeced blind in a heartbeat, with zero chance of ever getting it back.

Jackol
Guest
It’s not that simple Tom, many bilateral treaties have provisions that punish one party for pulling out. I’m not so sure of this. International trade, finance, seem remarkably resistant to any sustained idea of meting out punishment to recalcitrant countries. Argentina defaulted on its debts and a decade later (short of the legal action in the US courts) they faced basically no repercussions. I suspect a lot of the handwringing about what you “just don’t do” in international trade and relations is a load of bunk. I honestly don’t think pulling out of one of these FTAs would be such… Read more »
JimmyDoyle
Guest

And besides they would have to block the entire treaty, not just a specific part. I imagine there would be some reluctance to do that.

Nicholas
Guest
Free trade is only useful when done strategically and selectively. It’s a terrible deal if you sign up to it indiscriminately. The trans-pacific partnership is a dud deal because it stifles innovation and economic development by giving excessive US-style protection to intellectual property. Some protection for IP is warranted but the US goes too far. Patents for pharmaceuticals should be limited to ten years and NOT RENEWABLE. There must also be provisions to breach patents if a compelling public interest is at stake. Patents must only be granted to genuinely original and non-obvious discoveries. America’s patent standards are way too… Read more »
jules
Guest

[So … draw your own conclusions.]

Player One I already have.

I’m guessing they’re very similar to yours.

It just surprises me how little vocal resistance there seems to be to it.

JimmyDoyle
Guest

Jackol @ 1439 – Relying on the Senate to block what is on the face of it an arcane and poorly understood mechanism is problematic at best.

Jackol
Guest
ISDS in treaties will have to be legislated for here, and I see great potential for the Senate to say “shove it”. PUP and Lambie and Muir and Madigan and (maybe) Xenophon are quite likely to have problems with ISDS (if they are adequately appraised of what it means in terms of foreign companies being able to effectively sue the Australian government for going about its business). If the ALP doesn’t wave it through, and I don’t see any reason why they should given their principled opposition to it in the past, all of these treaties with ISDS in them… Read more »
JimmyDoyle
Guest

It’s not that simple Tom, many bilateral treaties have provisions that punish one party for pulling out. And ISDS inclusions have been specifically designed to make it difficult to get out of once signed up to. This is one of the reasons why Labor was so resistant to it’s inclusion.

Work To Rule
Guest

Carey Moore@1406

(Meaning I am not paying, that is!)

You’d still be having dinner with a Liberal. Not worth it.

briefly
Guest

[1431
confessions

Any day now the media will cotton on

Hmmm. Not seeing that.]

The penny will drop for at least one of them when they read MYEFO…the economy is scarcely growing…if the government were to cut its spending, demand/the economy would inevitably shrink…the stimulus is there for all to see.

Hockey is going to be a bigger stimulator than Swan…a comparison he will hate…

Tom the first and best
Guest
Tom the first and best

1432

With the way Investor State Dispute Settlement seems to be heading, it may be necessary to pull out of treaties with it.

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