Sep 15, 2016

What do Australians really think about offshore detention?

Former Department of Immigration staffer Henry Sherrell separates the signal from the noise when it comes to public opinion about Australia's treatment of asylum seekers.

In the last week of the election campaign, The Australia Institute released a poll claiming a majority of the public wanted changes to asylum policy. From The Guardian:

“A poll of more than 1,400 people commissioned by The Australia Institute found 63% of respondents oppose the bipartisan policy that refugees who arrive in Australia by boat should never be allowed to settle in the country, instead saying those found to have a valid claim for protection should be brought to Australia.”

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2 thoughts on “What do Australians really think about offshore detention?

  1. Draco Houston

    That is one of the bigger problems with this debate, and it makes the whole situation absurd.

    The ‘vote winner’ argument is ripped to shreds when viewed in light of the indifference of the electorate. Who was this policy even for? People don’t vote to stop the boats, every now and then the political class gets hysterical and constructs island death camps for no particular reason. Then they go to an election all shouting about how they will stop boats betterer than the other fella. The result of the election ends up telling you nothing, anyone voting Green is already on board with the rest of the platform, the people voting Liberal and Labor likewise. Meanwhile Tones himself sank like a rock in the polls while doing his utmost to stop boats. Before that the ALP unleashed horrors and lost the election to, ahahaha, Tony Abbott.

    But as you say, this also tells us that even if told about contractors on the public teat, straight up torture and abuse, the fascists in the department like The Pezz, multiple people setting themselves on fire, withheld abortion followed by spitting in PNGs face, the soft coup in Nauru, that time we caused someone to drown after turning their boat around, the month long prison ship internment of some refugees, Kiwis on Christmas Island having a riot over how crap it all is, the Australian people don’t much care.

    An end to this must come from the system itself. This isn’t the problem of the Australian people, and voters are smart enough to realize it.

  2. AR

    Draco – the voters (for T1&T2 – approx. 80%) may be smart (though I doubt & deny this) but the point is that they don’t give a shit.
    It really hit me when a friend, on seeing the first evidence of abuse of children some years ago, said that women, no matter their politics, would not accept such treatment. She now knows how wrong she was.

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