Monday, 20 May 2019

We do not know why Saturday night happened. Will we ever?

It is acknowledged by one and all that ALL the polling firms got it wrong badly wrong. Both published and party polls are included.

I think we can anticipate these firms will now get access to people's mobile phones for example although it is easy for people to avoid those calls. Why so? Because Political parties need accurate polling. We can also anticipate the media who pay for the public polls will demand action as well.
Both media companies and parties pay top dollar for these polls.

Another issue just as important is that focus group research or qualitative research is also affected. It is through focus groups parties enquire of the 'electorate of what are 'hot button' issues and then post-election why they either won or lost the election.
They select people from a representative sample and ask questions. They hope they get the right people. Confirmation is getting the same answers from all the groups.

However it is immediately apparent the polling disaster has blown all of this out of the water.
Worse still we have the blind leading the blind. People making confident assertions about the election without the slightest amount of evidence.

No-one but no-one knows why Saturday night occurred!!

It is going to make for an interesting three years to come

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Mark the Ballot is a genius or election prognostications

We all must acknowledge the absolute genius of Mark the Ballot. He sniffed there was a problem with the polls and he was right.
As he rightly says there was both a poling and betting failure. Adrian Beaumont has a little in THIS on the polling failure. Mark the Ballot comes in late with this link which as you might expect very good.
Now Brian Schmidt. wow

We certainly need a good study into why the polls ,both public and party, were so wrong. I certainly find it ironic that people who were so certain before the election of why the ALP would win because of the polls and now equally very certain of why they lost without any data to support them.

If the quantitative  polling is so wrong then why would not the qualitative poling be of any use??

I got this from Peter Brent courtesy of Steve  from Brisbane.

Just as in 1993 I had to tell Liberal supporters that they could well win the next election I do so again to ALP supporters now.
why? well Ross Gittins and Peter Martin.
Morrrison was like Keating in 1993.He thought he was gone so he promised a future that won't happen.
In Keating's case it was tax cuts without pain. He actually increased indirect taxes far more than Hewson was going to.
In Morrison's case he has to deal with a slowing economy in which the budget can only be in surplus!! What happens when the economy is not strong and rates are cut twice and that surplus is still not there,
He also has very expensive tax cuts which treasury projections show are matched by very large expenditure cuts. No-one but no-one can sell that more so when he essentially said they were painless tax cuts just like Keating.
I am in the Adani will never actually produce anything as it is uneconomic. either way by the next election it will be seen as hyperbole.
Climate change if anything will gain in importance. Very hot days will have a number of units at coal fired power stations dropping out and thus more black outs. for a; b ut the climate denier nutters this and the lower cost of renewables will see the liberals under pressure as their neanderthal wing obstructs any change in their policy.

Now onto the ALP's loss.
Reasons put up are:

  • Tax credits   only problem here is that ONLY applied to ACTUAL self funded retirees and there aint a lot of them. Perhaps some pensioners also thought it applied to them but no-one is saying that.
  • Negative Gearing   Here again it was only applying to prospective speculators not current ones. Perhaps some renters thought rents would strongly rise as a result BUT we do not know as yet
  • High Spending and High Taxing  Did Morrison';s attach hit the mark here.My gut feeling says yes but again we need data.
  • Climate Change  I haven't heard anyone say this was a negative as yet.but I suspect we will.
  • Bill Shorten   He was too unpopular to win. Two answers to that. tony Abbott was more unpopular than Bill and who said he was so unpopular? the polls.!!
  •  Adani  It is possible to make this argument BUT why then di the rest of QLD vote the same way?
Could the ALP played it differently?
Of course.

It is very easy to show how wealthy a person is getting a superannuation pension plus franking credits yet they not only pay NO tax but get money back from the government. It is middle class welfare at its worst.

It again is very easy to paint people who negatively  gear as speculators who make the housing cycles worse..

There was two arguments against high expenditure and tax. Emphasise again and again that the economy did not die under John Howard and those were the levels they were targeting and make opportunity cost the reason for the program. If you want pensioners ot have free dental care or to have much reduced cancer treatments then  LOUDLY say this is the way we wish to for rather than the government way of cutting expenditure.

In terms of climate change if the Government wanted to argue Fisher's figures then show how his figures for their policy was not that different to the ALP's. Show time and time again that the lowest cost provider for electricity is solar PV

Lastly on a leader it seems to me it has to be Tony Burke. as much as i loathe him he is easily the best communicator  both in parliament and out of it.

I have concentrated on the ALP because like in 1993 they lost the election with the much better policies. 

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Around the Traps 17/5/19

It is time for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles ( econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Poll roundup plus rant on polls

The redoubtable Kevin Bonham has his last polling roundup. Here is Mark the Ballot's monte carlo simulation

A few observations.

Why so few polls? I cannot remember an election when coming into the last week we have just two polls : Newspoll and Essential.

My guess is the media want a close election. to foment this instead of having weekly polls we have the useless seat polls. This means ,they hope, more readers of papers or websites.

If the ALP have been leading in the polls from essentially ( no pun intended) since the last election a sudden change is unlikely. Moreover we would see it it the betting markets which seem to following either published or party polls.

People should also take into account Mark the Ballot 'worries' about herding. If the polls are out by a small amount will it go to the ALP or the Liberals? I suspect the former more so given their infighting this week.

Personal voting habits
I am in Bennelong and thankfully will be able to vote against John Alexander. A very poor candidate although this election he has discovered suits!
Brian Owler is an impressive candidate however I will be voting for Jason Yatsin Lee below the line in the Senate who is easily the most impressive candidate I have ever met. If only I could have voted for him in 2012!!


Why do journalists write so much political gossip. The ALP are quietly confident in such in such a seat. Same for the Liberals et al. Perhaps they are not capable of writing about various policies or the election is so boring they have to write about something, anything

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Was it wrong to ask Morrison do gays go to hell?

I see a few people are all in a lather about Scott Morrison being asked if gays go to hell?

Liberal shill disguised as a journalist Denis Shanahan thinks it is a disgrace.So does another person who is disguising herself as a journalist Fran Kelly.

Morrison was asked by a Journalist this very question and he dodged the answer.
Shorten leaped upon this later thinking here was an east attack and to be fair it dominated the headlines.
What to make of all this.

  • Firstly on a general level Australia is NOT a christian country.  The same sex  plebiscite showed that 
  • Secondly this evolves from the Israel Folau debacle where he is being persecuted for his christian  beliefs
  • Thirdly it shows Bill Shorten is not a Christian. A belief in heaven and hell is central to christianity and he does not believe in hell.
  • Fourthly it shows again the ALP is now a secular humanist party who may well discriminate against christians some time in the future.
  • Fifthly it shows Scott Morrison is ashamed of his beliefs. This was the perfect opportunity to proclaim his christian beliefs yet he did not do so. It could only be that he though if he said words to the effect .No gay people do not go to hell simply for being gay but we all sins and thus go to hell unless we all ow Jesus to pay the punishment for a sins  then that was a vote loser.
So was it wrong to ask?

No. He allows himself to be televised inside his church on a Sunday. We need to know what his beliefs are but we do not.

In their own different ways both Shorten and Morison were both very shallow men yesterday.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Uncertainties and Australia

Warren Hogan who I remember from the financial markets but has now followed his illustrious father into academia has kindly  written an article along these lines.

Obviously the largest threat that can be viewed is a US/Sino trade war. Here we simply do not know the reaction of Donald Trump/, In some ways he reminds me of Mussolini. He is a shallow 'strong man'.  He thinks you can win trade wars and tarries are paid for by the importing
On the first John Quiggin shows the way. On the second Trump obviously has no idea.
Whilst Menzie Chinn examines who might win in terms of pay-off matrices  It is very hard for either side to 'appear weak in this dispute. We must not discount given Trump simply does not understand the costs of a trade war he could easily over-rule his negotiators because he appears to have given too much away. We should be scared. Very scared. Very late Tyler Cowen on who-loses-most-from-the-u-s-china-trade-war

In case the worse happens we have how-design-to-a-stimulus-package

Whoopsy. I should have mentioned  Morrison's tax cuts way into the future. The Grattan Institute have examined these cuts and found very stringent spending cuts are needed for the budget figures to be even feasible. No government has ever been able to cut spending consistently by this much.
Why was this done by the Government? Because they put all the figures into the never never where Treasury simply makes projections. My thinking is if they win the election then they will worry about this problem. Perhaps let tax rise as a % of GDP??

Double Whoopsy
Read this from my old mate Ricardian Ambivalence on financial-stability-and-mortgage-dynamics abd you get grey hair!

Sunday, 12 May 2019

The ABC last night was an absolute Ripper on TV

The best viewing ever!
Am I over the top?

You decide.
The Programs were:

  • Agatha Christie's The ABC murders    This is a different but enthralling mini-series concerning Poirot but starring John Malkovich as Poirot.

  • Harrow An OZ crime drama starring Ioan Gruffudd ( a favourite of mine since Hornblower)

  • Shetland  Another UK crime drams based guess where!

  • Line of Duty   Yet another UK crime drama where you see 'bad' cops being investigated 
Given the blow-out in the A-League semi-final I gave it a miss, watched these shows and then watched Manchester City win the English Premier League over some red wine.

Best night ever