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Jun 7, 2010

Essential: Rise and rise of the Greens

Labor is leaking voters to the Greens, torn between progressive voters who want the party to move to the Left, and voters who don't understand the asylum seeker issue.


The latest Essential Report confirms Labor is leaking votes to the Greens, with its lowest primary vote in four weeks and the Greens recording their highest ever level of support. With the Coalition vote stubbornly failing to shift much above 40%, it means a tiny shift in the 2PP Labor’s way from last week, back to 52-48 on a rolling two-week average.

Labor’s primary vote is down 2% from last week, back to its nadir of a month ago of 37%, and the Coalition is down 1%. The Greens have topped their previous highest level of support to reach 12%, confirming that the low esteem voters now feel for both parties, and Kevin Rudd’s shift to the right on asylum seekers and emissions trading, is driving real interest in a third-party alternative.

Essential also asked who out of the Government or the mining industry voters found more believable. While the results tended to reflect party affiliation, 36% said the miners, over 33% who believed the Government. However, it is the very high proportion of Don’t Knows, nearly a third, that suggests the Government’s advertising may struggle to sway public opinion about the RSPT.

The only small consolation for the Government is that Labor’s leadership team is rated much higher than Tony Abbott’s team, 47-31%, and is ahead in nearly all demographics except the elderly and Liberal voters — although 25% of the latter didn’t believe Tony Abbott and his team were better than Labor’s line-up.

Essential last week also asked about voters’ understanding of the numbers of asylum seekers arriving by boat. In response to concerns in Labor Caucus last week, the Prime Minister committed to trying to puncture some of what he called “myths” about asylum seekers.

When asked what proportion asylum seekers arriving by boat made up of Australia’s annual migration intake — an issue singled out as a key misperception by the Prime Minister last week — 10% of people believed it was 50% or more, 15% believed it was a quarter, and 13% believed it was 10%.

Even at current levels, the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat makes up about 2.5% of total annual permanent migration, and about 1% when temporary migrants are included.  Only 18% of respondents knew that; 30% couldn’t give an answer. Younger voters and Liberal voters were most likely to wildly overestimate asylum seeker figures, and Green voters most likely to get it right.

If Kevin Rudd wants to start puncturing some myths, he could start right there.


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60 thoughts on “Essential: Rise and rise of the Greens

  1. jacksont

    Labor seems to think its easier to out right wing the Coalition on asylum seekers than to lead the way forward on this issue. Its an absolute slap in the face to those who voted for labor hoping for an end to the Howard era policies and with Rudd looking more like Howard every day the slide of votes to the greens won’t be stopping anytime soon.


    If we ever needed any evidence that the meedja aren’t informing people, but are pushing their own barrows, then here it is!

    An issue that’s been done to death by all the usual suspects ever since Tampa came over the horizon, and the public still has no idea (well, most of them) of the facts.

    Here we are, awash in daily commentary and there’s the public still as ill-informed and gullible as ever. (Maybe it just happens to ‘fit’ their incipient racism?)

    It could be funny, but it’s not.

  3. Astro

    KRUDD is dead man walking at the moment. Since the last interest rate rise and the stupid mining tax announcement, consumer sentiment has taken a battering. You speak to huge, medium and small retailers and they say sales have crash dived, especially in discretionary purchases. This will be reflected when results are announced, in August / September.

    The Mining Tax impact will ripple through the economy right to tradespeople and coffee shops.

    The impact on foreign investment is also a worry, why would anyone invest in Australia when you have a government who can introduce such wildcat taxes?
    KRUDD and his team have forgotton that 8.5 /10 resource explorations fail or fail to materalise into profits. The 40% tax deductions on exploration will be useless to a miner who does not make a profit, as they cant use them.

  4. New Cassandra

    “it means a tiny shift in the 2PP Labor’s way from last week, back to 52-48 on a rolling two-week average.”

    Oh Bernard, spin spin spin – thats how to hide the decline!

  5. Jack Smit

    Since we signed on to the UN Refugee Convention in 1954 (when Menzies didn’t even bother to issue a press release about it, let alone inform the electorate about our obligations), no prime minister has bothered to educate Australians about the ins and outs of the Convention, ESPECIALLY NOT about the rights of entry for boat arrivals (who arrive unannounced, but whose act is supported by International law and the UN Convention articles).

    Rudd is not about to change that. The ambiguity around boat arrivals has become a real “cultural treat” in Australia – and it made mandatory jailing of boat arrivals possible, and as we notice, the Abbott gang is smelling blood and engaging the “invasion, flood and takeover” anxiety in vile ways. Leaving the electorate stupid and uninformed in just too handy to correct.

  6. FFC

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou Bernard for bringing to light the boat people statistics – it is so frustrating to see such ignorance from both the public and our politicians about this important fact.

    It’s a disgrace that we target these people who are the most vulnerable, and how Tony Abbott et al can run such a horrible advertising campaign playing off the Australian people’s ignorance and stupidity.

    But it’s not the Liberals fault, we are the stupid ones.

  7. Mack the Knife

    Personally I’m not to concerned if the Greens win government with Labour. At least they will have to work with the reality of what things cost and sacrifices needing to be made.

    I don’t think its going to happen though.

    Firstly what is the credibility of Murdoch’s Courier Mail and Newspoll when they hosted huge headlines on Queensland’s polling day that voters had left Labour in droves and the Nats were a shoo in.

    And the previous weekend Insiders had the same Courier mail’s editor’s wife, Madonna King on your shout taking the views of some well heeled at an expensive golf club.

    The MSN and Their ABC’s bias is probably worth about 5% against Labour in the polls but its been pretty much unopposed to date. As with Murdoch’s MSN in the UK voters were not driven into the conservatives arms but to third parties. As soon as the election campaign kicks in this media bias will be pushed back again and the punters are going to be reminded of how bad the fiberals are.

    And unlike Labour’s campaign, the fiberal’s have no positives to spruik as they have been lazy for three years and retarded so much important legislation. Apart from being negative, how do you sex up voters to like all the things you are taking away from them, ask them to be proud you have no policies at all except to tear down everything the other side has built.
    How do you pretty up a new Workchoices? How bad are the gaffs from the fibs leaders likely to be based on traditional performance?

    If another WFC is on the horizon, voters will rush back to the incumbent Labour government anyway (the Thatcher principle that JWH oft used to save his bacon).

    Kevin Rudd has also been bequeathed underdog status.

    Yup, I’m not too worried.

  8. JamesK

    “Labor is leaking votes to the Greens”.

    Say no more Bernard Keane.

    We understand.


    Yes. We do understand.

    It must be a very difficult time for you.

  9. Sancho

    Something that I’ve never seen examined in the media, but I think is crucial in interpreting the current polls, is how the experience of a Labor government is shaping the voting intentions of Australians aged 25-35.

    Few teenagers are politically aware, so many people now in their 30s only knew the Howard government during the time they formed opinions about politics. I think many of them voted for Rudd expecting a radical change, and are now very disappointed.

    They’ve also lived through the period in which the major parties and media companies crying wolf about the Greens’ economy-destroying, drug-mandating, grannie-killing intentions has worn thin enough to make them a viable choice.

    My bet is that people will protest poll now but give their vote to one of the dinosaurs on election day, but the dynamics have changed quite a bit since 1991, so we could be in for an upset.

  10. 1934pc

    Astro: Watch Four Corners TONIGHT, you may get a clearer PICTURE!.

  11. Venise Alstergren

    Sorry everyone. I’m just checking on something.

  12. Astro

    1934PC – if I want a balanced argument I wont be seeking it from the ABC. They are dominated by left wing radicals. They have also produced more Labor politicians and candidates that any other media outlet in Australia.

    Balance on the 7.30 Report – nope, although K O’B did grill Swan last week for 22 minutes, in the biggest segment since Bali Bombing or September 11.

    Balance on Q&A – your kidding. Look at the average audience they let in.

    A lot of media outlets have vested interests, so you need to form a balanced view and look into the details.

  13. twobob

    Woohoo Free gay heroin for everyone !!!omg!!1!!!!!!!

  14. David

    @Astro…you demonise ABC programmes, yet are silent on the right wing bias spouted by the hacks in the Mordo press. I presume you regard that bias as ok? If not, pray tell where will you be getting this balanced view from? perchance the stars in the night sky?

  15. Sancho

    I thought the gay heroin was for the whales and pest species. Or to assist the eugenic one-child policy that everyone knows the Greens will enforce the moment they have single seat in Parliament.

    Frankly, I could use some drugs to help make sense of Astro’s conviction that the ABC is dominated by anyone leftish, let alone radical. Maybe he means Janet Albrechtsen, or the producers who think “balance” means giving equal time to foaming paranoid loons whenever a scientist appears to talk about the observable facts of climate change or evolution.

  16. James McDonald

    I was in Canberra on the weekend, where everyone is saying with a shrug that Labor will win the election anyway, due to the Greens reliably preferencing Labor.

    I hope the Greens think long and hard about where to direct preferences. According to his own definition of greenhouse deniers, Kevin Rudd is in his own third category of denier.

    Are parties actually obliged to nominate preferences? If the Greens really want to think big, this might be their chance to make it crystal clear that they will support no party unless they are included in a coalition government.

    Personally I hope they don’t do it, as it could be the salvation of our worst Prime Minister since at least Whitlam and possibly even worse.
    – A PM who disguised unproductive pork-barreling as economic rescue;
    – whose RSPT is not even being used to restore surplus, but to fund still more pork-barrelling to support … the RSPT itself;
    – a bully who when all else fails resorts to the easy brutality of kicking boat people;
    – who apologizes to Aboriginals and then goes on abusing them;
    – a politician whose entire modus operandi is to drive wedges into society rather than unite (an accusation most often levelled at John Howard).

  17. Bill Parker

    I say to the Greens candidates – think big, think success.

    The present choice between the right wing and not so right wing is just appalling.

    We live in some tough times and likely getting tougher.

    There is nothing wrong with a mixture of parties in power and a coalition of those. The Finns manage it pretty well.

  18. Astro

    Hi David,

    I dont regard any media bias as OK.

    Thats is why I said “A lot of media outlets have vested interests, so you need to form a balanced view and look into the detail”.

    I form a balanced opinion by doing my own analysis of issues that impact Australia. Pretty easy to do when you are talking the Mining Tax, it ripples through to everyone except public servants.

    The plunge in consumer sentiment since the last interest rate rise which coincided with the Mining Tax announcement has been huge. I have spoken to several small, medium and huge retailers in the last month and the sharp drop in consumer spending has been very worrying. Just wait until results come out or profit warnings are made. Mark my words and hold me accountable.

  19. David Sanderson

    If only Crikey was a betting website – it would be great to take on all the Labor-haters above and win their money.

  20. shepherdmarilyn

    It drives me crazy that the fucking pollsters and media go on an on about “boat people” and call them an “issue”, they are human beings who ask for help. Would we demand that all patients who arrive at a hospital without an appointment be jailed until they make one?

    What Australia has done is virtually build a new, shiney hospital but when people arrive without an appointment they cannot enter. They can only get an appointment by entering but they are told they can’t.

    Stupid, pigshit ignorant Australians could read the frigging DIAC website if they wanted the law but they are too brainwashed and useless to bother.

    Perhaps we need more like the navy commander last night on 60 Minutes who said you have to be decent, give them a fair go, it’s the Australian way.

    All this girning has been about the arrival of an average of one family of 8 per day. Yep, me, my 3 siblings, my parents and my own 2 kids.

    Scary isn’t it?

  21. Astro

    I am not a betting man David, but how much would you wager on NSW Labor winning the Penrith by-election or the State election on March 26. I could make an exception!!!

    I agree with the other poster that the Green preferences will decide the Federal Election and the Greens hang out on an announcement but always preference Labor. I think we will see the major parties with a second preference campaign this time around.

    My tip is KRUDD is returned with a 1 – 5 seat majority on Green preferences

  22. Sancho

    David, I was, for a while, inviting them to post their predictions in Pure Poison’s claim chowder thread: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/2009/12/07/the-abbott-effect-claim-chowder/

    Needless to say, none believe in Abbott strongly enough to go on the record predicting his win.

  23. Syd Walker

    I’d like to see a hung Parliament in both houses, with Greens holding the ‘balance of power’. More progressive Independents in the lower house too. It’s a long shot – but arguably this is the first election that outcome is at all conceivable.

    Then we MIGHT get real progress in a range of polices areas where Labor typically treats the peace and environment movements like disposable linen.

  24. Tom

    So what options do we have?

    The sh-t sandwich of Labor
    The vomit sandwich of Liberal
    The sustainable eco friendly hairy tofu sandwich that tastes like vomited up sh-t from Uncle Bob and the scary people.
    or Fielding’s nasty hypocritical lunatic god squad

    Given I think spoiling is not an option I could live with, who the hell can I vote for with any conviction?

    Has there ever been a time in Austalia’s political history with less on offer?

  25. Syd Walker

    Apologies. Typo. I meant disposable nappies.

  26. jenauthor

    @ Astro
    “The Mining Tax impact will ripple through the economy right to tradespeople and coffee shops.

    The impact on foreign investment is also a worry, why would anyone invest in Australia when you have a government who can introduce such wildcat taxes?
    KRUDD and his team have forgotton that 8.5 /10 resource explorations fail or fail to materalise into profits. The 40% tax deductions on exploration will be useless to a miner who does not make a profit, as they cant use them.”

    The above shows how little ou understand about the tax. It might be prudent to actually read and understand the policy before commenting. It seems you have been seduced by the miner’s misinformation.

  27. Venise Alstergren

    The board of the ABC was stacked with John Howard appointees during the last two years of Howard’s reign. For the right wing commentariart now to accuse these good men as being far left-wing, is one of the better comical jests doing the rounds at the moment.

    That the rigid right-wing takes up so much valuable space with these petty lies, can mean only one thing. They are anything but sanguine about the election. Particularly are they unsure of their new pin-up boy, Tony Abbott. Such a sweet man!

    Bob Brown, much as he is to be admired, has one terrible defect to overcome. He has no charisma.

    The logical front man-if he could stop lying-would be Malcolm Turnbull. Has anyone got any information as to the likely chances of a candidate starting out in one party, leaving it in a huff. Returning to the Liberal Party bull-pit, then changing parties at the last moment to be the front man for the Greens?

    Buckley’s I imagine.

  28. Robert Garnett

    The evidence that your average Aussie battler thinks that a large percentage of immigration is boat people, not the 2 or 3 % that it really is just shown you the level of thinking of the average Australian. The dopes still haven’t worked out why their houses cost them so much. Duhh! Supply and demand maybe.

  29. James McDonald

    @Jenauthor: True. The RSPT will provide tax credits for failures which can be used to offset profit taxes later.

    Reducing risk in that way mainly helps companies that are middle-of-the-road, penalizing those which excel at reducing their own risk and getting it right first time. It will result in a dart-board approach to mining: dig up some ground, don’t worry if it fails, just collect the offsets for later when you fluke a better paydirt.

    Australian mining has excelled partly because of the merciless stakes and the huge difference between failure and success. The RSPT will encourage a race to the middle.

  30. eclectic eel

    I remember when Tony Blair went to Hayman Island years ago to suck up to Rupert Murdoch.
    Murdoch’s support gave him a pretty good run but he still came a cropper.

    Fast forward about 15 years and Murdoch is unashameably the supporter of the corporations with
    his appalling Fox News in the US and the equally appalling daily rags in Australia. When you lower
    yourself to trawl through the Courier Mail to find an article that gives some credit to a Labor Party
    initiative, you need a microscope – and that journo is probably going to be looking for alternative employment
    in the near future.

    Judging by the way that the “media” is going after Obama in the US, Rudd is right to be worried.
    He might as well go after Murdoch as he has gone after the mining industry, he’ll get no favours
    by following Tony Blair.

  31. Venise Alstergren

    ECLECTIC EEL: “and that Journo is probably going to be looking for alternative employment in the near future”….

    Damn it, I’ve lost it. There was an article in one of Rupert’s rags about lifestyle, or
    food, something like that which managed to include a gratuitous swipe at the Rudd Government. It might have been in the gardening section?


  32. lizzie

    One of the things that fascinates/irritates me is that from the first day, the Coalition has called Rudd “king of spin” and other choice epithets.

    If he were truly as clever at spin as they say, he wouldn’t be in this trouble now.

    I don’t know much about the team that is looking after the Labor Party’s PR, but frankly I could do a better job myself.

    PS do you think they have the sense to read Crikey? They might learn something.

  33. James McDonald

    Lizzie, the Crikey community danced to his spin very enthusiastically until recently. The problem is, while politicians like him can find a near perfect formula for lying and getting away with it, they forget that people are better at spotting liars than spotting lies — even if sometimes it takes a bit longer.

  34. John james

    “If Kevin Rudd wants to start puncturing some myths….”
    I’ suggest there are several he should start with, and many of the Left’s apologists like Sancho and Dave Sanderson above, should pay special heed.
    1. Abbott is unelectable.
    Abbott has taken Rudd apart , reading the electorate and its sentiment and dictating the agenda to the point where Rudd jettisoned the core planks of his election platform, thus inflicting an almost mortal wound on his credibilty.
    2. The electorate are sympathetic to the Left and its core concerns.
    Rudd was elected by doing his best imitation of his Conservative opponent, but as the public have begun to see the real Rudd, and the Left’s assault on the nation and its families, the angst is palpable.
    3. Labor is uniting the nation.
    The old Left ‘class war’ rhetoric has begun to emerge, the old politics of envy, the old Marxist rhetoric about wealth being synonymous with greed, like you see with Sancho’s mate, Pilger.
    They can’t help themselves.
    4. Rudd will reestablish his ascendancy in 2 months.
    Dave, this is for you, its so epitomises the Left’s ‘dreaming’, its delightful, if not a little scary.
    Maybe Crikey will oblige. What odds are you quoting? Think about it mate, long and hard, especially every time you see that gorgeous Julia smiling at the camera.

  35. Astro


    “The Mining Tax impact will ripple through the economy right to tradespeople and coffee shops.

    The impact on foreign investment is also a worry, why would anyone invest in Australia when you have a government who can introduce such wildcat taxes?
    KRUDD and his team have forgotton that 8.5 /10 resource explorations fail or fail to materalise into profits. The 40% tax deductions on exploration will be useless to a miner who does not make a profit, as they cant use them.”

    “The above shows how little ou understand about the tax. It might be prudent to actually read and understand the policy before commenting. It seems you have been seduced by the miner’s misinformation.”

    I understand it completely. What part have I got wrong?

  36. jenauthor

    He has been incapable of spin because the MSM won’t listen to him and cherry-picks everything that is said.

    Many of us here are getting pretty fed up with the fact that Labor cannot get any message across, while mr ‘umm ahh Abort’ has been given a dream ‘spin’ run. As has that tool Morrision, who lies his way through every interview he can get. His latest ‘catch-word’ (obviously the result of some focus group think-in) is betrayal.

    Coalition spin? (They probably have some better word than spin to spin it with!)

  37. jenauthor

    [@Astro I understand it completely. What part have I got wrong?]

    The first line is the most telling. Go see what Ken Henry (and most other sensible economists) say about the effects of the tax. The only ripple down effects will be the positives coming for business, superanuation and infrastructure.

  38. jenauthor

    [The RSPT will encourage a race to the middle.]

    What sort of ridiculous idea is that? You don’t want all miners to find success? Only the big multi-nationals who all but rape us of our resources and pay very little for the privilege.

    The US is experiencing it in a big way right now — with BP and oil slicks.

    The US govt lets vested interests override the general welfare of the country. That is why they are the richest country in the world with the largest number of working poor in the world.

    You want us to emulate that wondrous feat? Business should run the country? Abbott probably thinks it’d be a good idea, I’m sure.

  39. Astro


    You must kidding: Ken Henry’s reputation / career is on the line and he works for Wayne Swan, what do you expect him to say??

    Look what this respected independant analyst (Charlie Aitken) says:

    “I have been highlighting the “legislated” risks for Australian equities since the Rudd Government’s campaign to undermine the Telstra (TLS) share price last year. In this regard nothing has changed. The regulatory risks for equities, particularly resources, remain high as the Rudd Government appears unlikely to soften the terms of the RSPT ahead of the election. Unsurprisingly, Australian equities have underperformed global equities, particularly the US indices, but even some European markets as I mention above. There is little doubt that our poor relative performance has been primarily driven by the policies of the Rudd Government which have undermined both our low sovereign risk status and Australia’s reputation as a safe-haven investment destination. Yet while the prospect of further regulatory risk is still very possible, at least my concerns that Australian equities would be de-rated due to regulatory risk, is more appropriately, if not entirely, reflected by the recent correction for domestic equities driven by a race for the exit by foreign investors”.

  40. Sancho

    Ah, good to see John James taking the fight to the “Left’s apologists” with a point-by-point statement of fact-free apology for the Right.

    Just in case anyone read all the way to point 3, the Pilger comment is in reference to a recent thread in which John James made up some caricatured hippie waffle about the Vietnam war, whacked it in quotation marks and attributed it to John Pilger.

    Naturally, a reference for the statements was sought, which prompted John James to shout hysterically for a while, give those fact-obsessed Marxists a piece of his mind, and scurry away from the thread without doing anything as communist as backing his statements up with evidence.

    So, if you’re interested in knowing what the average right-winger wishes Pilger had said on any given topic – but not in Pilger’s actual statements – John James is your man.

  41. JamesK

    What if the leak suddenly transforms to rushing torrent?

    Will the Greens be saturated on Their ABC?

  42. James McDonald

    Jenauthor: “What sort of ridiculous idea is that? You don’t want all miners to find success?” (in response to my “race to the middle” statement)

    No, I don’t want all miners to find success. I also don’t want all banks to find success, all shops, all schools, all farms, or all anything. I want only the good ones to find success.

    Mining has been a very tough game up to now. May look easy, the rewards can be huge, but so are the risks. That’s made a lot of miners fail, and the ones that succeed are superb operators and superb risk managers. From an environmental point of view, that means less holes ripped in the ground for a given amount of production.

  43. Astro

    Well said James McDonald. JenAuthor needs to read wider than Ken Henry

  44. Daniel

    Reminder that John James never backs up his assertions with proof when asked. 🙂

  45. JamesK


    “John James never backs up his assertions”

    Can you back that up Daniel?

    I men he details 4 common ‘asssertions’ of Labor supporters and provides a rational argument against each. He makes it clear it’s his opinion but he provides an argument.

    [Moderator- this comment has been slightly edited. JamesK, please stop with the personal jibes against other commenters]

  46. Venise Alstergren

    JENAUTHOR: “As that tool Morrison lies his way through every interview” Ahem,
    have I missed something?

    ASTRO: “JenAuthor needs to read wider than Ken Henry”? May it not be more widely? OR Needs to have a greater range of references? Wider range of references?
    Tut tut.

  47. jenauthor

    So a level playing field shouldn’t apply — hmmm. Next time you’re on the ‘lower’ end of the scale and you’re stymied by the big boys — think on the above statement.

    Sometimes someone small can make great strides with a little support. Note the company that makes iPads for instance. A little company goven a shot at something big. Do you deny them that opportunity?

    The bigger companies get, the less ‘real’ they are in terms of perspective. Your Kloppers and co, don’t remember how the real world looks from ground level. Thus they make decisions that often lack compassion. This is not some class war kind of comment — it is simply an observation of people who wield lots of money and therefore power. They squash competition as if it were a game. They manipuate wherever possible, they have all but destroyed the US political system.

    I don’t want to see that happening here.

    BTW how do you measure success?

  48. shepherdmarilyn

    For heavens sake the only ones paying the tax will be the massive multi-nationals yet the whining little morons come out to play.

    There will be a new tax on the super profits and by the way – as we have a major trade deficit with China we are not actually making any money out of China.

    Except to exploit tens of thousands of students.

    Anyone want to talk about the oil now washing up on the shores of Texas thanks to BP?

  49. napoleon dynamite

    but, what do the wealthy do when taxes increase? they move their money offshore to tax havens such as the Canary Islands, Guernsey et al…. The english premier league is starting to struggle bringing the big names over to their league because of the luxury tax laws.

    I tend to agree with John James… Kim Beasley was unelectable, Simon Crean was unelectable and Brendan Nelson was unelectable. The polls indicate in an election year that Tony Abbott is electable. People forget that the ALP do not need to lose that many seats to lose the election.

    The mining tax is typical left policy. As much as I love Australia, we are a VERY conservative country that does not even come close to the progressive countries such as Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Norway. Our history is built on conservative governments, just ask Gough.

    I wouldn’t necessarily vote for the Coalition, I wouldn’t be prepared to give Rudd a second chance and I definitely wouldn’t vote for the extreme greens again.

    I wish we had a 4th party of substance!

  50. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    “I wouldn’t necessarily vote for the Coalition”. Napoleon, you have to fill in all the squares. It doesn’t matter who you vote for first, what matters is who you put last on the ballot. I bet you do vote for the Coalition, one way or the other.

  51. Johnfromplanetearth

    The economy is about to go pear shaped in a huge way and by the end of June KRudd will be asking all of those mining companies to dig a very big hole for him to jump into!

  52. Astro

    The Mining Taxes in their current form will impact around 74 mining companies in Australia. BHP, Rio and Fortesque are ones mentioned in the media, day in and day out, but not the others. People knock the success of self made mining executives in Australia, like Andrew Forrest.

    The forget that he was down and out his all his previous mining ventures. He lost plenty.

    Now they are a big company, would he borrow and invest billions now given the new wildcat mining taxes and employ 200,000 employees and direct / indirect contractors?

    You could name 100 or more Australians who started with nothing, took and punt and are now well off. If that is wrong, we may as well move to North Korean homes with ocean views.

  53. James McDonald

    Anyone want to get into the mining game with me now? I have no clue about mining, but that doesn’t matter any more. Here is the business plan:

    First we ask a big miner like BHP where’s a site they wasted money on, we’ll take it off their hands. Then we purchase a whole lot of generic capital equipment from Boom etc, transportable stuff like cranes and trucks. The trick is to ensure capex is more than 87 per cent of total expenditure (you’ll see why, below). We dig some dirty big holes in the ground for a while, belch lots of smoke, make it look good, before declaring the project a failure.

    Then we get to the good part. We now have a tax credit for 40 per cent of the capital equipment costs, so we sell the capital equipment second-hand to other miners (those which actually dig up minerals) for 70 per cent if its new price. We sell what’s left of the project — that is, a 40 per cent tax credit for all other losses on wages and exploration — to the big miner at 80 per cent of face value (i.e. 32 per cent of our non capital equipment costs). The big miner can use it to offset RSPT on other projects. As long as our capex is more than 87 per cent of the total, the 10 per cent profit on equipment will exceed the 68 per cent loss on exploration and wages, and believe it or not we come out ahead. The cost ratios are unrealistic but that doesn’t matter, since it’s not expected to actually produce any minerals.

    Of course there’s a small chance of hitting paydirt, a really good deposit of something valuable — these things happen. In which case, change of plan, we sell the whole project to the big miners for a simple profit, since we actually have no idea of how to produce minerals from the ground, and then go looking for somewhere else to fail more successfully.

  54. Astro

    James, this is a sensational business plan. Where do I sign up.

    Lets call the company KRUDD Mining NL.

  55. Sancho

    Can you back that up Daniel?

    I men he details 4 common ‘asssertions’ of Labor supporters and provides a rational argument against each. He makes it clear it’s his opinion but he provides an argument.

    That’s the point. All you’ll get from John James is opinion. As soon as it needs to be confirmed with fact, he goes quiet or just invents nonsense. Doesn’t help the signal-to-noise ratio in here.

  56. JamesK

    No it’s not the point Sancho.

    Where there are facts there are facts. Facts are not an opinion.

    What JohnJames put forward was an opinion. And indeed far from extraordinary ones and moreover showed yo enough respect to put forward an argument to back it up.

    Pity you seem incapable of reciprocating

    Nothing else could be required of JohnJames except seemingly to share your opinion.
    He doesn’t and neither do I.

  57. Daniel

    My comment was referring to his posts in another thread were he asserted that John Pilger was a supporter of the Khmer Rouge, a claim he failed to substantiate. He also claimed that the author of the piece (Margaret Simons from memory) was a supporter of genocidaires, a disgusting claim he also failed to substantiate.

  58. James McDonald

    So, now that you’ve defended Pilger’s honour, have you got anything to say about John James’ four points above? All of which are pretty straightforward to me, no reliance on specialized knowledge or research. Or are you running out of minor points to nitpick

  59. JamesK

    Yes I know Daniel.

    You made your “assertion” on that thread at least 3 separate times and pretty much every time you happened to notice him post since no matter the relevance of your comment……… which is to say overwhelmingly irrelevant.

    Incidentally you certainly (absolutist adverb) don’t have an absolutist view of an absolutist adverb

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