Essential Report

TRENDS: with Peter Lewis

Jul 9, 2012

An overabundance of free online content means we value it less than ever before, polling shows.

The ructions within newspaper empires Fairfax and News Limited centre on our move to online media. But while the opinion makers have written acres on the subject, it seems the general public is less concerned. Essential Media polling shows that only 25 per cent of us are concerned about the potential death of newspapers.

And our online reading habits show why. Sixty per cent of the population do not take in any daily news. Peter Lewis and the 3Q panel discuss this celebration of ignorance and its future implications.

Read more on the polling here.

TRENDS: The carbon tax: more political porkies to come

Jul 2, 2012

Peter Lewis ponders whether the Government will be able to win more support once the price on carbon is in place.

The ‘lie’ at the heart of Labor’s carbon tax has assumed legendary status.

Never mind that the realities of the supposed falsehood are highly contestable – Labor’s carbon pricing scheme is arguably not a tax at all – “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead” has become the iconic political lie of our times.

Its ruthlessly successful exploitation by the Abbott opposition has spawned a political craze in exposing opponents’ lies, in the hope of replicating this highly successful case study in trust-related brand damage.

But what about the Opposition’s penchant for stretching the truth on impacts of the carbon tax?

Read more on ABC

TRENDS: Loss of trust spreading beyond Parliament

Jun 25, 2012

Peter Lewis spells out how Aussies have little trust in anyone or anything — except maybe the ABC.

Trust is hot property in politics. Everyone wants to claim it while undermining their opponent’s. Broken promises are played hard in the hope of achieving political bingo: irreparable reputational damage.

Labor’s flat-lining polls are widely attributed to Julia Gillard’s ‘trust issues’. Mind you, Tony Abbott isn’t considered to be excelling in the trustworthy stakes either. They barely muster a pass mark between them.

But something even more insidious is beginning to occur, as this week’s Essential Report suggests. Loss of trust is contagious. We’re not just cynical about politicians; we are also losing faith in the institutions that underpin public life.

Read the full article on The Drum.

TRENDS: Trends with Peter Lewis

Jun 18, 2012

Peter Lewis dissects a survey which shows some alarming misconceptions about the nature of their own super.

Some recent polling by EMC shows that not only are people underestimating the amount of money they need to retire on, they also have no idea of how much they will have in reality.
However, there is one common factor. Peter Lewis tells 3Q that most people believe their super will not meet their expectations.

TRENDS: Half Yearly Report Card

Jun 12, 2012

EMC Director Peter Lewis runs the ruler over the first six months of polling and comes out wondering where all the bad vibes are coming from. When politics is toxic, he argues, the progressive side of politics loses.

TRENDS: Feeling the pain: fair go for Tories

Jun 4, 2012

Labor takes pride in being there for those up against hard luck. Targeted financial assistance comes in many forms, whether co-investment to an auto industry being hammered by the two-speed economy, childcare rebates to hard-up families, or the straight cash injection into middle Australian wallets.

It appears there is a new victim of the Australian economy in need of a rescue package: the Coalition voter.

With interest rates, inflation and unemployment all under the 5 per cent threshold, Australia is bucking the global trend in maintaining stability in the face of global unrest. But our polling this week shows only around one third of Australians are prepared to say the economy is performing well.

And while many are unimpressed with Australia’s performance, Coalition voters – and that’s a lot of people these days – are feeling the economic pain more intensely.

Read more on this at the Drum

TRENDS: Bosses’ flexibility arguments a bit of a stretch

May 28, 2012

Jackie Woods says the bosses’ enthusiasm for casual workers is self interest at work.

Australia’s business lobby has donned its loose cotton pants and signed up for yoga. And like many fitness enthusiasts, they can’t stop talking about it. It’s flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.

Profits down, or just not high enough? Penalty rates getting on your nerves? Productivity sluggish? For big business, workplace ‘flexibility’ is the cure-all.

The employer-driven agenda to increase workplace flexibility has led to a rise in casual work arrangements in Australia, a sleeper issue catapulted into the headlines by the ACTU campaign on insecure work.

This has led to some extraordinary claims from business about the social benefits of casual work that follow a few predictable lines of argument.

Read more at the Drum

TRENDS: Budget 2012 – what would Walter White do?

May 14, 2012

Wayne Swan delivered last week’s Budget from intensive care. Labor’s vital statistics are waning badly. The prognosis looks terminal.

With limited time ahead of him, it’s time for Swan to confront this burning question: what would Walter White do?

Swan might do well to follow the lead of Walter White, the cancer ridden science teacher in US TV series Breaking Bad who uses his limited time to look after his family’s financial future – by becoming a five-star methamphetamine cook.

The latest Essential Report suggests Swan would do well to cook up some winning policies.

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