Monthly Archives: November 2004

The Conservative View of Eureka

Gerard Henderson today makes a cogent case that the Coalition is making a mistake in distancing themselves from the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Eureka. I argued yesterday on Michael Duffy’s Counterpoint program that Eureka was fundamentally a revolt … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 4 Comments


The four of us have an extract from Imagining Australia in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. It begins: This Friday Australia will remember the 150th anniversary of the Eureka uprising. Yet never before in our history has Eureka been more marginal. … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 1 Comment

The State of Iraq

Of all the Iraqi assessments, the one I trust most is the piece put together every couple of months by Michael O’Hanlon and various co-authors for the New York Times. The latest one has just come out (NYT registration required, … Continue reading

Posted in Iraq | 2 Comments

Four in Five Mislead in Their Articles

A piece from the SMH "One in five lie in their job resumes" notes that 60% of those with criminal convictions don’t disclose them on their resumes. Looks like the journalist who wrote this – and the people who conducted … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 1 Comment

The Arms Race on Australian Roads

A report from the NRMA, reprinted almost verbatim in the SMH, shows that if you’re in a single-vehicle collision in a 4WD, you’re more likely to be injured than in a passenger car. So why do suburbanites drive 4WDs? To … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 6 Comments

Wishful Thinking

A Sydney Morning Herald editorial yesterday (scroll down, it’s the 2nd editorial) credited the fall in crime in NSW over recent years to lower unemployment. It’d be lovely if this were true, but my read of the evidence is that … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Water Water Everywhere

Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Perth now seem to have more or less permanent water restrictions in place – several of which ban any watering of lawns, any use of garden sprinklers, washing cars with a hose, or watering gardens … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 12 Comments

Iraq Conspiracy Theories

Dave Madden and myself argued recently about how bad things really were in Iraq. I’m a little more optimistic than Dave, more pessimistic than Tim Blair, and certainly not as informed as Zeyad. Still, whatever the circumstances on the ground, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized


In 2002-03 Paul Krugman’s white hot fury at Bush’s social security privatisation promises translated into one column after another lambasting the plans. For Ross Gittins, the US-Australia preferential trade agreement seems to evoke the same reaction. Still, I do think … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

How to write and publish opinion pieces in Australia

In terms of exchanging ideas, blogging is clearly the way of the future. But the way of the present – in Australia at least – is newspaper opinion pieces (aka op-eds). A couple of weeks ago, I ran a session … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Indigenous Stock Exchange

A friend recently drew my attention to the Indigenous Stock Exchange, a semi-regular forum established in May 2003 by Gerhardt Pearson, allowing Indigenous businesses to meet with potential investors. The ISX met in Shepparton yesterday, and there seems to have … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

An Independent Fiscal Authority?

A short piece of ours appeared in the Financial Review this week. How To Iron Out Volatility, Australian Financial Review There is a good case for an independent fiscal authority, write Macgregor Duncan, Andrew Leigh, David Madden and Peter Tynan. … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues

Indigenous Politicians

One feature of both the Australian and US polls which has so far gone unremarked is that the two elections saw the number of indigenous politicians fall to zero. In Australia, Aden Ridgeway lost his NSW Senate seat, while Andrea … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues | 5 Comments

Why did Bush Win?

I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that Peter Hartcher is the savviest Australian journalist around when it comes to interpreting polling evidence. In a piece in today’s SMH, Hartcher takes on the "Bush won 2004 on moral issues" thesis, and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

A Final Word on Exit Polls

Well, it looks like Cautious Networks 1, Eager Bloggers 0 on the use of exit polling data to predict the result. But I was a little incredulous when Bill Schneider, CNN’s “polling expert” said with a hint of schadenfreude that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Dave, if I’m this depressed, I can only imagine how you’re feeling….

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Electionmania III

Well, we knew polls are error-prone, but that seems to apply manyfold to exit polls. Kerry seems to be steadily slipping behind. The networks haven’t yet called Florida for Bush, but even with those 90,000 uncounted absentee ballots, it’s hard … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

More electionmania

The US betting markets are going heavily for Kerry. Surely only a reaction to the exit polling below, but the swing is huge. Best place to follow it is Crooked Timber (thanks to JQ for this suggestion). I can’t help … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized


My favourite US election story so far: polling disrupted in Mt Laurel, NJ, after a suspicious white substance was found on the floor. Later determined to be a pile of salt. Early exit polling looks good for Kerry – obviously … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Abortion and Crime

Amidst calls by Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott to restrict access to late-term abortions, Mark Latham has today stepped into the fray, arguing against any law change (presumably they’re talking about Medicare funding, since criminalising abortion is a matter for … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 6 Comments