It’s the timeless sales pitch for joining a political party: A megaphone and bad hair will only get you so far, the real way to effect political change is from ‘inside the tent’.
But when it comes to politics, we’re not happy campers. Membership of mainstream political parties is on the slide, with Labor’s shrinking and disaffected base a key area of debate during the weekend’s National Conference.
Essential polling this week shows meeting the Prime Minister’s target of 8,000 new members this year will be a serious challenge for the party. In fact, to achieve the target will mean improving the current performance by a factor of about 8,000.
This week we asked about membership of all sorts of social, community, recreational and political organisations and of all these categories, it is the political parties that are suffering the most.
First published in The Mercury, 30/4/11.
The problem of asylum seekers, and what to do with them, has been a touchstone issue in Australian politics for well over a decade.
From the Tampa debacle, the “children overboard” controversy, the awful tragedies of the Siev X and the Christmas Island boat disaster, to the Villawood riots – asylum seekers have been an ever-present source of community angst.
Tomorrow voters across NSW will be lining up to take a punt on their next government. Who are the favourites, who are the outsiders, and where are the value bets? The Angry Punter has cast his eye over the political horse flesh and provided his tips exclusively for The Unspun.
Race 1 – Premier of NSW Cup
This is supposedly a two-horse race, but the burly stallion Bazza O’Fazza will start at shorter odds than Black Caviar. Little value for punters in this one.
Bazza O’Fazza – Long considered to be little more than a plodder, Bazza O’Fazza has developed into a genuine stayer with a wily sense of timing. Has been set for this race, and will be very hard to beat.
Nobody’s Puppet – The imported glamour filly from has always been highly regarded, but has been hampered by a terrible preparation this time around. A number of her ALP stable mates have been very frisky in the mounting yards, and this has caused endless distractions for young trainer Sam Dastyari. Nobody’s Puppet has earned respect for simply getting to the starting gates under the circumstances. Anything better than last by 15 lengths will be considered a success.
EMC’s consulting pollster Vic Fingerhut has penned this memo to Democrats in the lead-up to Congressional elections. His words of wisdom ring true here too.
Despite the feel good messages from the Democratic campaign committees, if messaging frames and context of voter choice on election day remain as they are today, we are heading for disaster.
Two weeks ago, I sent you a memo underlining the fact that while our opponents have a simple and clear frame for the short-term issues in the current election, we have had none.
And despite the millions spent on our side…nothing has changed.
I, like many other ‘Gen Y-can’t-I-do-everything-on-my-iPhone?’, first heard about the political events of last week while browsing my iphone for twitter, news feeds and facebook status updates, in front of the slower to react television on Wednesday night.
And feed we did.
As soon as the door shut on the then Prime Minister’s office, social networks were abuzz with the thought of a coup, thousands of tweeps all across Australia were glued to their 140 character evening dinner, with each and all sharing their pointed opinion on the ensuing #spill.
24hr news was being fed from all of this online action, with sky news reporters constantly taking advice and proclaiming news from their iphone instant news features, SMS and Twitter.
Pass the buttered corn. Read more »
Essential Reports polls taken over the last 2 years show how Kevin Rudd’s approval ratings have declined since he almost unprecedented figures he achieved following his election through to early last year. Up to March last year approval hovered around the high 60% level into the low 70%. Is net approval (i.e. approve minus disapprove) was around the mid 40% level.
Throughout 2009 and early 2010 his approval went into steady decline but still remained in positive territory. At the end of March he recorded 53% approval and 36% disapproval. However, the most dramatic shift occurred in April and May when his approval first entered negative territory with 41% approve and 47% disapprove. The decline appeared to be accelerating.
Some of the reasons for this sudden decline can be found in how the personal perceptions of Kevin Rudd changed from 2009 to May this year. His attribute ratings showed significant falls in the percentage of people who considered him to be a capable leader (72% to 55%), good in a crisis (60%-44%) and trustworthy (51%-41%). Meanwhile his ratings for “out of touch with ordinary people” increased from 41% to 55%. It indicates a significant loss of confidence in his performance as Prime Minister.
Last week’s Essential Report showed only weak support for Kevin Rudd to lead the Labor Party to the next election – 40% thought the Labor Party would have better chance of winning the election if they changed leader and 37% thought Kevin Rudd was the best person to lead the labor Party. Even among Labor voters only 66% supported Kevin Rudd as leader and 23% though they should change. Read more »
The Essential Report is fast becoming one of the nation’s most-quoted polls – after all it’s regular, it’s insightful and it’s free.
The fact that EMC has been able to produce and promote the poll highlights much that is good with the capacity of new media to create and share information.
So how do we get to give away so much polling every week?
Well it starts with relationships. Your Source are one of the companies who pioneered the development of online panels. They have built up a panel of more than 70,000 participants, who receive incentives (redeemable credits to shop at Myer) and work a weekly national omnibus, mainly for commercial clients. Read more »
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