Searching for the tats vote. The final television third party endorsement of the campaign shows the Liberal Party really is a very broad church:

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Looking in vain for Rupert. The eyesight must be failing. I studied the website of The Australian this morning but could not find this story Rupert Murdoch donates $1m to Republican party. I thought such a journal of record would have been trumpeting the statement by News Corp spokesman Jack Horner that the contribution was intended to promote the company’s core beliefs.

“News Corporation has always believed in the power of free markets and in organisations like the RGA, which have a pro-business agenda and support our priorities at this most critical time for our economy,” he said.

“The corporate donation has no impact on the reporting activities of our newsgathering organisations. There is a strict wall between business and editorial and the corporate office does not consult with our newsgathering organisations … before making donations.”

Now you know.

Not going ga ga and beating rubber chicken. Having pronounced an extended family connection with Lady Ga Ga, Julia Gillard might like to follow the example of US Senator Frank Lautenberg and include listening to Beautiful Dirty Rich as part of a future fund raising event.

The 86 year old New Jersey Democrat has booked a luxury suite at a Lady Ga Ga concert on 7 September as the scene for his next campaign fund raiser.

19-08-2010 lautenbergerandgaga

Then again, perhaps those businessmen who have been reminded of the taste of chicken during the current Australian election season would prefer the approach of Senator Kent Conrad who this week sent out invitations to his “biggest non-event of the year”.

“You are invited not to attend a special reception for Friends of Kent Conrad”, Washington Post columnist Al Kamen reports of the invite which highlights the people

“Already Committed Not to Attend: Sandra Bullock, Michael Jackson, George Clooney,” and those who were “Not Invited to Attend: Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan, Simon Cowell.”

The fundraiser will be “anytime after Aug. 15, 2010, but before Sept. 10, 2010,” and will be held “wherever you want” and at whatever time you want. The “suggested contribution levels” for this non-happening are $2,500 for a PAC and $1,000 for individuals.

And here are the key benefits, according to the invite, of the non-event event:

With the time you would otherwise spend with the Friends of Kent Conrad, you could:

  • Update your Facebook page.
  • Floss.
  • Do absolutely nothing.
  • Spend time with your family.
  • Recite words that rhyme with orange.
  • Sleep.

Preparing for Monday. The votes are counted. The party’s over. You supported a loser. You are now embarrassed to have that bumper sticker on your car. You need help.

Understanding the keen, green nature of my audience I therefore bring you this advice from the Planet Green website:

19-08-2010 ECOFRINEDLYBUMPERSTICKERREMOVAL

Missing the mobile users? An interesting note from reader Karl Flowers on something to watch out for in the post election analysis of how the pollsters performed. Karl writes:

“Voting intentions polling — does it now have a biased sample and produce biased estimates?”

Traditional telephone interviewing misses mobile only households and those early adopters who have moved to VOIP and left land lines behind.  Telstra noted in last week’s annual report that 12% of households (perhaps 15% of voters) are mobile only. Telstra also noted that the number of landlines they provided fell by around 350,000 in the last year.

Compared to the 18-30 year olds still living at home, it is possible that the mobile phone only 18-30 year olds have a rather different voting profile (possibly more green and less conservative) while VOIP households might have stronger views on the importance of broadband speeds.  Many households that have retained landlines only do so for Internet access and may not answer the phone while other households are on do not call lists.

Interestingly the recent Roy Morgan face to face survey had a much higher two party preferred vote for the ALP.  In the US research cited by Wikipedia noted that polls which included coverage of cell phones had a much larger lead for Obama than those that did not.

If Saturday’s election shows a much stronger result for the Greens and also ALP than suggested by the Polls it could be that these parties had a great last week of campaigning — but it is possible that the opinion polls had consistently provided a biased sample and biased estimates as a result.  This election may therefore result in wholesale changes to the way opinion polling (and other market research) is done in the future.  More background on this issue is available here.

A little nostalgia. I must say I have enjoyed the nostalgic look back at election campaigns past on Radio National this week where James Carleton took us down memory lane to days when campaigns had jingles and slogans. Worth hearing here and here.

Unnecessary alarm. The headline on the ABC web site nearly gave me apoplexy yesterday: Scots create whisky based fuel.

Don’t tell me, I feared that things have come to the pretty pass where they are burning the beautiful elixir rather than drinking it. And just when that wonderful video feature on Crikey yesterday had sent me down to the local for fresh supplies.

Oh the relief to read that it is just the by-products of the distilling process that are being used to make the butanol biofuel. And how great to know that with every tipple I will be helping reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuel!

Peter Fray

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