Monthly Archives: September 2004

Election betting talk

For anyone who’ll be in Canberra next Wednesday, I’ll be doing a talk on election betting at the Kurrajong Hotel at 6pm. Details below. In a study following the 2001 election, Andrew Leigh and Justin Wolfers analysed three tools for … Continue reading

Posted in Election | 1 Comment

The Vision Thang

In a piece published in New Matilda today, I look at the current election through the lens of Imagining Australia, and argue that there is a hole in the heart of campaign ’04. Debates over Medicare reform, tax breaks for … Continue reading

Posted in Election | 4 Comments

Good News for Lachlan and Sarah

If the Howard Government is returned on October 9, one family that’s likely to benefit is Lachlan Murdoch and Sarah O’Hare, expecting their first child in November (as this piece of hard-hitting News Ltd journalism shows). If they choose to … Continue reading

Posted in Election

How Australia Votes

Web-surfing psephologists might be interested in a study I presented today on voting patterns in Australia. A quick preview of results, from the media release that ANU put out. · In 2001, richer voters were more likely to vote for … Continue reading

Posted in Election

Pork for School Lunches

To gain an insight into the worst tendencies of Liberal Party social policy, look no further than their recently released schools policy, which promises $1 billion to fix school buildings. Why is this money a priority? We’re not told. How … Continue reading

Posted in Election | 4 Comments

Some Succour for ALP Supporters

As election tragics may have noticed, I’ve been converting election betting odds into winning probabilities on my website on a daily basis since the campaign started. Since the betting opened, the Coalition has always been a firm favourite. Today and … Continue reading

Posted in Election

Superannuation May Be Boring, But It's Important

A very sophisticated piece by Anna Fenech in the Australian looks at the two parties’ superannuation policies. Most of the debate in this campaign seems to be revolving around matched contributions for low earners, and the compulsory contribution rate, but … Continue reading

Posted in Election

An alternative view on Iraq's economy

A quick alternative – or perhaps complementary – view to David’s recent posting is to look to some people who’ve actually been studying Iraq’s economy in a more systematic manner. Chris Foote, an economist at the FRB, who has been … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

Baghdad Year Zero

With news of beheadings, bomb blasts and the ongoing violence in Iraq filling our papers and TV screens, readers might find it helpful to check out this month’s Harper’s Magazine **. In it is an interesting article by Naomi Klein … Continue reading

Posted in Iraq

"Liberty's Century"

George Bush has just finished addressing the UN General Assembly. Poor Dubya. He should have paid more attention to his Dad who actually had a few diplomatic skills (although who could forget this incident). Dubya however has never quite been … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

Indonesia's Big Day Out

In the midst of our own fiercely contested election, it’s important that we don’t miss the significance of what just took place in Indonesia. Indonesia’s first ever direct presidential elections were–according to all reports–an overwhelming success. That such a massive … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

Howard's lost year?

It’s been another horrendous week in Iraq. To make matters worse, amidst it all came confirmation that Saddam Huessin didn’t have any WMD, that the war was illegal, and US intelligence agenices are as pessimistic about the future of Iraq … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 2 Comments

Scanning the Tealeaves

Looking at Mark Metherell and Louise Dodson’s article on the front page of today’s Sydney Morning Herald, I couldn’t help wondering if I should send them a copy of the opinion piece on poll error margins that their own newspaper … Continue reading

Posted in Election

"Tomorrow calling"

I have belatedly discovered that there was a long review of Imagining Australia in the Courier Mail a few weeks ago. Here’s part of what UQ’s David Carter had to say: AMONG the most interesting things about this new blueprint … Continue reading

Posted in Book launch stuff

Foreign musings

The Australian media produces a lot of pedestrian and sloppy thinking on foreign affairs. But thankfully, The Australian has in its employ one Michael Costello, the former Secretary of DFAT and later Chief of Staff to Opposition Leader Kim Beazley. … Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs

Save the date!

Thought I’d give a little plug for a public lecture that Imagining Australia co-author (and furious blogger) Andrew Leigh will be giving with Greg Barns (Author of “What’s Wrong with the Liberal Party?”) next week. The title of the lecture … Continue reading

Posted in Book launch stuff

Why Convergence?

With Howard going green, and Labor offering tax cuts, commentators like Peter Hartcher are now asking why the major parties’ policies seem to be converging. To an economist, this is a somewhat odd question. The median voter theorem characterises the … Continue reading

Posted in Election

Hanson's No Freddie Krueger

David Burchell (my co-editor on The Prince’s New Clothes: Why Do Australians Dislike Their Politicians?) has a beautiful piece in today’s Australian, suggesting that the return of Pauline Hanson is nothing to worry about: The global forces that turned milkbars … Continue reading

Posted in Election

Schools and Social Capital

Professor Brian Caldwell, who recently retired as Dean of Education at Melbourne University, has picked up on some of the ideas in Imagining Australia in two speeches, delivered in Melbourne and Canberra. He argues that Australia needs to ‘re-imagine education’, … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Leadership and Trust

In today’s Sydney Morning Herald, I’ve penned the first of the Herald’s “Blueprint” articles (a series which will be running for the next few weeks), looking at leadership. I consider how Howard and Latham stack up on three measures of … Continue reading

Posted in Election

9/11 and Darfur

Today is the third anniversary of 9/11. Walking around New York this morning it’s difficult to tell, but this is one of the things about the “War on Terror” — in most places around the US you’d never know the … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

Interest rates

What effect will government spending have on interest rates? So far, most of the story has been about whether interest rates will be lower under Labor or the Coalition (to read my view on that debate, click here). But another … Continue reading

Posted in Election

Review in The Age

There’s a little review of Imagining Australia in today’s Age. Lorien Kaye writes: In the middle of a federal election campaign, it can feel like political debate in Australia is conducted on the narrowest of issues on the narrowest of … Continue reading

Posted in Book launch stuff

From Baghdad to Jakarta

With today’s bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, the issue of terrorism appears set to reclaim the attention of the Australian electorate. The bombing is surely the work of JI, with possible assistance from al-Qaeda, and reaffirms the need … Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs | 2 Comments

Indonesia

I was shocked to wake this morning to the news of the terrorist attack in Jakarta. No doubt, all Australians have been rocked by this blast, an attack on Australians and an attack on our neighbours. It is appropriate to … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 1 Comment

More bucks for Over 55s

So the Prime Minister plans to pay over-55s a bonus of up to $500. The benefit looks a bit like a non-refundable earned income tax credit (meaning that the best you can do is pay zero tax, not actually come … Continue reading

Posted in Election

Another review

There’s a review of Imagining Australia in the latest edition of Policy Magazine. Here’s part of what Michael Walsh had to say about the book: Imagining Australia promises to make a valuable contribution to public policy debate in Australia. Many … Continue reading

Posted in Book launch stuff

One is never enough

In an earlier post I argued that one of the positive aspects of the US electoral system is the importance accorded to campaigns. While US elections undoubtedly do drag on, 5 weeks is not nearly long enough to have a … Continue reading

Posted in Election | 1 Comment

Another View on Interest Rates

John Howard’s view that “interest rates will always be higher under Labor” has gotten quite a bit of play lately, with many commentators (eg. Tim Colebatch and Alan Kohler) pointing out that not only are rates not set by the … Continue reading

Posted in Election

What about Iraq?

One thing that’s striking about our election campaign in contrast to the one being waged in the US, is the almost deafening silence on the war in Iraq; while Iraq dominates the US campaign, there has been barely a word … Continue reading

Posted in Election | 2 Comments