Quadrant magazine this month has a
suggestion that newspapers have a little box on page one next to the weather
called ‘PM Watch’ to display the latest bookmakers’ odds on whether John Howard
will be Prime Minister at the time of the next election. The writer of the
piece, Peter Ryan, argues that this is a way for papers to save themselves a
heap of newsprint on stories which don’t actually tell us
much.

After the avalanche of reports at
the weekend and again today about secret deals between Howard and Peter
Costello, following the dispatches from the Solomon Islands that preceded them
last week, that seems like sound advice. Here then is today’s PM Watch based on
the market of the Darwin based
Sportingbet:

PM Watch

Howard
$1.72

Costello
$2.10

Abbott
$9.00

Turnbull
$13.00

Nelson
$17.00

Any Others
$26.00

Not that there’s anything very sporting about the
prices. Sportingbet has given itself a mark-up of 34% in its six man
race.

Peter Fray

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