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Donald Trump

31
Aug
2016

Turnbull Satisfies Electorate Less than Shorten, Enterprise Bargaining, Global Warming, Presidential Candidates’ Health

The first Newspoll since the election on July 2 shows only a slight fall in the Coalition’s TPP from 50.4 per cent to 50 per cent but a large drop in Turnbull’s net satisfaction ratio to the point where it is now less than Shorten’s (minus 18 cf minus 14). Late last year Turnbull was plus 38 while Shorten was minus 38. While Turnbull still has the Better PM rating, the gap has narrowed sharply. Importantly, the poll also shows that “Reducing debt and deficit” are strongly supported by both Coalition and Labor voters, almost as strongly as “Maintain border security”.
24
Aug
2016

Budget Savings, Protecting Voluntary Agencies, Clinton’s Health, Syrian War

With the imminent resumption of Parliament some warming-up is occurring. In The AustralianFinance Minister Cormann is reported as making new claims that the Coalition has already made large budget savings ($221bn over 10 years locked in) and that more could be made with Labor support. It appears Cormann refers to possible savings additional to those proposed by Turnbull to implement a miniscule $6.5 billion in budget savings said to have been agreed by Labor. But why hasn’t the Coalition detailed some possible additional savings?
29
Jun
2016

Some Important Implications of Brexit, Failures in Interpreting Muslim Religion

David Cameron has been British PM since May 2010 and won a second term in May 2015 with an all Conservative government (his first government was a Coalition with the Liberal Democrats). That second term was won with a much larger majority (331-232) than predicted by polls, probably because the polls under-estimated the (then) unpopular proposals by Labour Leader Millibrand (now replaced by the extremist Corbyn!). An independent inquiry into the polling suggested that the polling methods resulted in conservative voters being under-represented. The 72.7% who voted on the EU referendum exceeded the proportion in the May 2015 election (66.4%) and the 1975 European referendum’s 64.62%. Reports indicate that those who voted to leave appear to have comprised a high proportion of lower-middle income groups.
25
May
2016

Election Proposals Omit Structural Reforms Too

My Commentary sent out late Sunday (thanks to those who sent compliments) drew particular attention to the article by Judith Sloan on the Federal budget and her conclusion that “Labor is completely out of control fiscally; the Coalition is slightly better but no cigar”. This followed other strong critiques, including by John Stone. Meantime we have Turnbull and Shorten buying votes as they go from electorate to electorate and adding up to $100mn a day to budget spending. What does the odd million matter?
4
Mar
2016

Civil Wars in Australia & America

That it has now become almost certain that Trump will win the US Republican primaries has led Romney (the winner of the last primaries) to enunciate a detailed analysis to the effect that Trump is not acceptable as the official Republican nomination for President. The author of the article detailing Romney’s analysis (see attached Romney on Trump) claims that a significant proportion of Republicans will not vote for Trump if he is the official candidate. The author argues that there is now a “civil war” within the Republican movement about what to do. Separately, there is now some talk of starting a third party and there appears to be a provision in the US Constitution that provides for this possibility. Such a move could attract voters from each side.
3
Feb
2016

“Troops on the Ground”

Today’s Australian reports below an address by Kevin Andrews to a leading US think-tank, the Heritage Foundation, in Washington DC. (I attended Heritage in the 1980s and contributed an article to its journal). Andrews claims there is scope for greater use of special forces in Iraq/Syria and that Turnbull’s support for the advise-and-assist mission to train the Iraqis is not the right strategy. He refers to the advice to Congress by the US Defense Secretary, Ashley Carter, that there would be an increase in the use of US special forces (it appears that subsequently an additional 200 were sent).
31
Jan
2016

Australia Day & Some of Its Consequences; Budget & Spending Levels

With minimal editorial change, today’s Australian has published a letter of mine praising the virtues of the present Australian political system. The Letters Ed interpreted it more as an attack on the US system (which it is indirectly) but its main intent is to question the merits of the alternatives proposed for us, including the republican one for which our current PM led the charge in the 1999 referendum but is now suggesting that any move should await the death of the Queen. While he knows Prince Charles favours a republic, he is off track even there: as the monarchical head for Australia Charles would have no legal power or influence on policy.
29
Dec
2015

Update on Islamism & Govt Responses

Since sending my Commentary last Tuesday, I have experienced a swelling in my left knee which put me out of action temporarily. The good news (sic) on Islamism and deterrent policies is that there has been no repetition of the Paris type attacks. However, Christmas has been officially banned in Burundi and effectively banned in many other areas with only limited defence emerging from religious and political leaders. There is much to be done to preserve western beliefs.
10
Dec
2015

Increasing Concern over Dangers from Extremist Islam – Turnbull Way Behind Ball Game

Public dissatisfaction is continuing, indeed increasing, in many countries with the weak response by governments to the terrorist attacks by extremist Muslims in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. and by the responses to continued similar, less reported terrorist groups in other countries too. There is now quite widespread recognition that these attacks are “not just by a few extremists”...“who sully the reputation of an otherwise peace-loving and tolerant Muslim faith. In reality, the truth is far more troubling — that jihadists represent the natural and inevitable outgrowth of a faith that is given over to hate on a massive scale, with hundreds of millions of believers holding views that Americans would rightly find revolting”
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