The nation opened their hearts to Queensland as floods threatened communities and cities over summer, but now they are being asked to open their wallets it appears to be a very different story.
After more than two decades of being conditioned to expect prosperity without sacrifice, Australians seem in no mood to kick the can when it comes to rebuilding Queensland’s infrastructure.
In the first public polling of attitudes towards the proposed floods levy, Essential Research has found majority opposition to the modest impost proposed by the Prime Minister.
Q. Do you approve or disapprove of the Government introducing a one-off levy on taxpayers to pay for damage caused by the recent floods?
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If our politicians are feeling bloody and bruised after a torrid year of spills and thrills, spare a thought for the one group on the national stage that had a harder time of it in 2010 – the humble pollster.
This was the year when hand wringing about the malign impact of political research became a national sport; if there was a problem with politics, political research was the cause. We were to blame for the uninspiring election campaign; for the dumbing down of political reporting; for robbing the ALP of its soul.
So as a purveyor of the Dark Art I want to end the year with a plea for understanding for the minority group I am part of, stealing the catchcry of the Shooters Lobby in the 1990s to proudly declare ‘polls don’t kill people, people kill people’.
Before doing so, I will readily admit that political research can be put to poor use – running focus groups to get ‘permission’ from the electorate to pursue particular policies is to misunderstand the point of such research.
Just when it looked like the prospect of a hung Parliament had taken us to a new paradigm of political discourse, where nice trumps nasty and diversity of opinion is respected, the public has sent a clear message: enough already!
After railing against stage-managed elections, two weeks of introspection and pandering to the wishes of non-aligned members has the public calling for a recommencement of hostilities.
According to this week’s Essential Report, a majority of voters want a new election – and even more (70 per cent) believe a new poll is inevitable.
Read Essential's ongoing research on the public response to Covid-19.