Category Archives: Election

Two Cultures

David Burchell has a piece in today’s AFR. I think it’s so good, he’s let me post the unedited version. “Two Cultures” David Burchell About half-way through the federal election campaign a poster appeared on a telephone-pole not far from … Continue reading

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How did the Pollsters, Punters and Pundits Perform?

I have a piece in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, assessing the predictive powers of pollsters, punters and pundits. Again, the punters appear to have performed at least as well as the pollsters – methinks justifying the greater media prominence that … Continue reading

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Where are the Brave Pundits Now?

By my reckoning, William Bowe, who runs the Poll Bludger site, is the only Australian expert who has made a prediction for each of the 150 electorates in Australia (click on his state links in the red sidebar). I’m not … Continue reading

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Polls as Probabilities and Political Donations

I have a couple of pieces in the papers today. The first piece, in the Sydney Morning Herald, looks at political donations, and the evidence we have on whether donors buy favours. The US evidence seems to suggest that they … Continue reading

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A mali estremi, estremi rimedi

Here’s one for ALP enthusiasts. What if you could choose between Latham+Bush winning, or Howard+Kerry winning? My guess is that most ALP supporters would select Howard+Kerry. Certainly, I haven’t yet met a member of the Labor Party who’d choose the … Continue reading

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Who's Winning the Campaign?

A week before Australia votes, it seemed timely to look at the betting odds, and consider what they can tell us about how the campaign has gone. Week 1: Coalition up 3%. Week 2: Coalition up 8% (the week of … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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A contest of ideas?

So the election is finally underway. It doesn’t take a political genius to know that this is going to be a nasty, bruising campaign. When we were launching Imagining Australia we were often asked about our thoughts on this election. … Continue reading

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