1. Leadership traits
The major polls currently have Labor ahead 53-47 at both Newspoll and Essential Report on a Two-Party Preferred basis. Andrew Beaumont has commentary. Labor would have 82 seats to the LNP’s 63, with 5 Other.
Essentially Turnbull and the LNP are going nowhere. However, the leaders approval ratings are dreadful. In Essential Turnbull is net -11 and Shorten -14. In Newspoll Turnbull is -19, and Shorten -20, both up a bit, with Turnbull’s the best since September 2015.
Newspoll took a look at Leadership traits across the years since Rudd in September 2008 and Gillard in July-August 2010. Their ratings are simply stellar compared to what we think of our leaders now.
On Understands the major issues Rudd was on 76, Gillard on 77. Now Turnbull and Shorten are on 57 each.
On Likeable, we have Rudd 80 and Gillard 77. Now Turnbull is on 55 and Shorten on 49.
On Decisive and strong, Rudd was on 73, Gillard on 81. Now Turnbull is on 55 and Shorten on 48.
On Cares for people Rudd was on 79 and Gillard on 77. Now Turnbull is on 50 and Shorten on 59.
For In touch with voters, we had Rudd on 69 and Gillard on 72. Turnbull is on 49 and Shorten on 51.
On Has a vision for Australia, Rudd was on 80 and Gillard on 79. Now Turnbull is on 59 and Shorten on 56.
Only 47 per cent thought Rudd was Arrogant, Gillard scored 45. Compare Turnbull on 64 and Shorten on 50.
70 per cent thought Rudd Trustworthy, Gillard having knifed Rudd scored 61. She’s still well clear of Turnbull on 50 and Shorten on 44.
Finally, Rudd scored 70 for Experienced, and Gillard 72. Here Turnbull pips both on 73, but, oddly, is seen as less experienced the longer he stays. Shorten trails on 61.
Something has degraded our politics. I think it started with Abbott’s ‘leadership’ in opposition, and continued with Rudd’s undermining Gillard. I believe Turnbull had a chance of rectifying matters, but blew it when he chose politics and scare campaigns on negative gearing rather than rational debate over policy.
No doubt there is more to be said, but the pattern is startling. Leadership is not what it used to be.
2. Uluru statement – take a closer look
Under the Mabo judgement, 25 years ago on the 3rd of June, 1992, the High Court ruled that the land title of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders be recognised at common law.
On 27 May we passed the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum.
That referendum, I understand, essentially performed two tasks. Firstly, the provision which said that Aborigines were not to be counted in reckoning population was struck out. Aborigines had no doubt been seen as a dying race by the founding fathers. In any case they were not part of “us”.
Secondly, the Commonwealth could make special laws concerning ethnic groups, but not for Aborigines. I gather Aboriginal affairs was seen as a state matter. The constitutional change struck out the Aboriginal exception.
Therewith Aboriginal affairs became a federal matter, but the benefits of this have been less than satisfactory.
The expectation now was that indigenous peoples would receive recognition in the preamble of the constitution. That is “they” were there before “we” came along. Now we are all one, and the ancestral culture just remains as a flavour.
The Uluru meeting rejected this as tokenism, and the prospect of an extinguished identity through absorption. Karen Middleton has an instructive piece on the making of the Uluru statement in The Saturday Paper (you get one free article per week). I thoroughly recommend it along with the article by Gabrielle Appleby at Inside Story.
There are essentially two proposals in the Uluru Statement from the Heart. The underlying concept is that ancestral sovereignty did not exist over the land, rather it lies in a spiritual connection between the land and the indigenous peoples for over 60,000 years. This sovereignty has never been ceded or extinguished and co-exists with the sovereignty of the Crown.
Now is the time for this ancient sovereignty to shine through in a fuller expression of nationhood.
First, that the constitution provide for a “First Nations Voice” to advise the parliament on laws that affect indigenous peoples. It could not be disbanded as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) was in 2005. This in itself would constitute permanent recognition and the on-going aspirations for cultural continuity.
Secondly, there would be a Makarrata Commission, a Yolngu word meaning “the coming together after a struggle”, established by parliament, not the constitution. It would establish a national framework for truth and justice, and would “supervise a process of agreement-making between governments and First nations and truth-telling about our history.”
There are international precedents. Also Middleton points out that care was taken to consult with conservative legal experts on what would pass muster with conservative people.
So in time, if people like Barnaby Joyce don’t fly off half-cocked, as he already has, we may have a satisfactory settlement following the invasion that occurred from the late 18th century.
3. Corbyn in with a show
Jeremy Corbyn has shocked the world and the Brits by making a go of the election called by Theresa May to wipe him out.
Seems women vote for Corbyn, and in one poll he was ahead with young people by 70 votes. Unfortunately the young are the least likely to vote at all.
In a recent poll Labour closed the gap to six points. YouGov came out with this graphic, signalling a possible hung parliament:
Please note that there are 650 seats and the numbers in the brackets come up 14 short. I think there should be 18 NI (Northern Island representatives) and there are four missing elsewhere.
Under those numbers Labour could have a crack at a coalition, but the Conservatives would struggle for partners.
We can but dream, but the UK polls are notoriously inaccurate, partly because of the undemocratic first past the post system.
People actually like Corbyn’s policies. May on the other hand has made UKIP redundant, I’m told, and upset the oldies by demanding the use up they value in their house down to 100,000 pounds before they get social security support (known as the ‘senility tax’). It was universally pilloried and I believe has been withdrawn.
Breaking news has the Conservatives’ lead down to one point in a late Labour surge to the poll next Thursday.
4. In One Nation done for?
Crikey says she is.
There is a problem over who owns the plane, and was it declared, a second problem in James Ashby suggesting he use his printing business to rip off Electoral Commission funding, and now that:
- for several years, Hanson’s personal bank account details were listed on the One Nation website and she was collecting donations instead of the party, with no indication from funding disclosures that she spent of it on campaigning expenses.
Crikey is normally pay-walled, as is the Tele in this case. Here’s an article in The New Daily.