none

IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO SAY

07-02-2017
by 
in 

If the past 12 months have taught us anything, it is probably not to put too much credence in opinion polls.

I was in the UK in the lead up to the Brexit vote, and there was absolutely no way that the electorate would ever vote the country out of Europe (if you believed the polls).

Similarly, late in 2016 we all watched the US election with a sense of inevitability that Hillary would soon be the leader of the free world (because, again, we believed the polls).

In both cases, the polls got it horribly wrong. People said one thing to the pollsters and did the opposite when it came to the real vote.

From this came the theory of a kind of “voter guilt”. Clearly, those being surveyed felt that they couldn’t reveal their true intentions as they feared they might be ridiculed. In effect they said the “right” thing.

So, how much credence should we put in this week’s Fairfax opinion poll that revealed almost 83% of Australians claimed to support the statement that "We rely too heavily on foreign imports and should manufacture more in Australia."

Not surprisingly, the result was heralded in the media as a vote of confidence in Australian manufacturing. However, like political opinions, sentiments like this are free. And it is certainly the “right” thing to say.

But will these 83% of Australians follow up their sentiments with deeds? Will they put their money where their mouths are?

Sadly, this time it is all too easy to predict what comes next.

Related news & editorials

  1. 14.01.2019
    14.01.2019
    by      In
    The future may well be electric, but for now, Australia remains heavily reliant on oil – both for personal transportation and for the vast bulk of the supply chain. So why has the country allowed its oil reserves to run at a perilously low level?
    Australia is a signatory to an International Energy... Read More
  2. 14.11.2018
    14.11.2018
    by      In
    Although not strictly cyber-espionage, the story of the Great Seal Bug (aka The Thing), to which I alluded in an earlier editorial, holds many lessons that are still of relevance to today’s security landscape.
    The bug in question was a large wooden carving of the Great Seal of the United States... Read More
  3. 28.09.2018
    28.09.2018
    by      In
    If there was ever an over-used (and mostly misused) term in the current political lexicon it would have to be the “national interest”. We are told that it would not be in the national interest for Chinese companies to control too much of our national energy infrastructure. And a short while ago it... Read More
  4. 13.09.2018
    13.09.2018
    by      In
    I was intrigued to hear of a study released this week from the University of Waterloo in Canada that concluded that companies should avoid scheduling important work tasks immediately following an election.
    Psychologists from the university surveyed a sample of American voters, asking them to rate... Read More