There have been quite a few interesting posts at Catallaxy recently, and I haven’t got around to linking them. I meant to post a response to Jason’s discussion of flat taxes, but haven’t had time to polish it yet.
Instead, I’ll link to Andrew Norton’s response to Alan Wood’s claim that the way to voters’ hearts is via big tax cuts (which includes a further link to Stephen Kirchner. Andrew and I have both discussed this previously, and we agree that Wood is wrong, though of course I’m happy about this and Andrew is not.
One point I’ll make is that Sol Lebovic is quoted, endorsing the Oz party line, and claiming that “while health and education routinely top the list of issues of concern to voters, they don’t swing elections unless there is a clear difference between the parties.” I think this is silly (obviously, there is a clear difference, since Labor is invariably more favorably disposed to public expenditure in these areas). More to the point, I think it’s very unwise for a pollster to run down his own poll results when they yield a conclusion that’s inconvenient to his employer, as Lebovic now seems to do regularly.
If the poll answers were genuinely misleading, the correct response would be to change the questions, the sample, or both. It’s clear that the kinds of changes needed to give the answers the Oz wants to hear would involve blatant rigging that would destroy Newspoll’s credibility for all time. So Lebovic is unwilling to tamper with the polls, but he is willing to tell us to ignore some of the results.