John Hinderaker has a post, in relation to the United States, with the title, Who are the 47%? This is the puzzle he has had to address:
After nearly five years, it is hard to see how anyone could defend Obama’s record in office. And yet, in the Rasmussen Survey, over the month of August an average of 47% of voters–there’s that number again!–said they approve of Obama’s job performance. Obama’s approval rating has taken a a hit because of recent disasters, but only a very small one. It seems that nearly half the population will say they approve of him, no matter what.
So you tell me why we have that same 47% number here, with the election, the last time I saw a poll number, pitched at 53-47. Here is the Coalition list in its latest ad with my brief counterpoint that I hear all the time, and it doesn’t stop there:
The Carbon Tax (but what about Global Warming)
The Record Debt (but what about the importance of the Keynesian stimulus)
The Taxes (but what about the need for higher spending to fund government outlays)
The Job Losses (but we did better than anyone else after the GFC)
The Boats (but what about humanitarian aid)
The Chaos (but what about their wonderful concern for others)
And then there is this passage from The Economist editorial from 31 August discussed by Samuel J, that almost defies sense. If you are looking for an “instinctive fan of markets”, you could go through the entire Labor Party starting from the PM on down and find no one at all, but the writer is worried about Tony Abbott. This is the low point of an exceptionally low-grade editorial:
Of the country’s two main parties, the Liberal Party, now in opposition in a Liberal-National coalition, is the natural home of The Economist’s vote: a centre-right party with a tradition of being pro-business and against big government. But the coalition’s leader, Tony Abbott, does not seem an instinctive fan of markets, and one of the few key policies he has let on to possessing is a hugely expensive federal scheme for parental leave. That may help him persuade women voters that charges of misogyny are unfair, but he has not properly explained how he intends to pay for it. His social conservatism does not appeal to us: he opposes gay marriage and supports populist measures against Afghans, Sri Lankans, Vietnamese and others who have attempted to get from Indonesia into Australia in rickety craft that have drowned thousands in recent years. Indeed his promise to ‘turn back the boats’ seems to be his only foreign policy.
It’s a toss up which one of our local journos may have written it but I can think of at least a dozen for whom that would be a neat fit. And there will be three years of much the same from Saturday on.
I think of the Coalition as people who for the most part would have fit into Menzie’s cabinet but who are also living in the world you can see around you where the editorial in The Economist may well represent elite opinion, that is, the opinion of those who write for a living. Not going to be an easy three years by any means, not easy at all.