Other politics

Remember that call to men and women of Australia!

Fifty years ago yesterday, on December 2, 1972, Labor won office after 23 years in opposition. The ABC’s Russell Barton prepared a short retrospective of Gough Whitlam’s campaign, including a cameo appearance by outgoing prime minister William McMahon.

The ABC also has a clip of the television coverage in the minutes when it became clear that Labor had won the election.

It’s all less choregraphed than recent election victory and concession events, but that informality was offset by some tremendous singing by Labor’s true believers.

Essential report – China is back in our consciousness

The latest Essential Report has the usual question on Albanese’s approval, revealing a slight increase in both approval and disapproval, and a fall in “unsure”. In other words, Australians are getting to know him.

The poll is mainly about security issues and our relationship with China and the US. China seems to have gone out of our mind a couple of years back (possibly because Covid shut down travel, and because Australian journalists were thrown out of the country), but we’re now becoming aware once again of China’s cultural and economic influence on Australia.

In general we think we should look for opportunities to rebuild relations, but on this question there are strong and predictable partisan differences: Coalition supporters are likely to believe we should take a more confrontational position. On the proposition that our relationship will improve with a Labor government, 44 percent of respondents believe there will be no difference, 46 percent believe it will be better, and only 10 percent believe it will be worse. On AUKUS, 45 percent of respondents believe it will make us more secure, but on this question there are big differences between the way young and old Australians see AUKUS: 58 percent those aged 55 or more, but only 35 percent of those aged 18 to 34, believe it will make us more secure.

The poll asks if Australia is heading in the right direction. There is a small rise in the belief that we’re heading in the wrong direction. There are entirely predictable partisan differences on this question, but the age differences are more revealing: younger people and women are much more likely than older people and men to think we’re heading in the right direction.

The poll has a set of questions on the media’s coverage of politics. Most of us (65 percent) believe that “the media treats politics like a game”. Younger people feel much less informed about federal politics than older people. (But are older people really well informed, or do they just believe they are well informed?)