Monday Message Board

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

33 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Smith, I totally get your argument. What confuses me is that (historically) much of the left leaning or “progressive” policy proposals (eg social, environmental & humanitarian reforms) up for debate within entire ALP establishment often stem from the unions or at least their input is often reported (newsworthy).
    I could be misinterpreting that or the union leaderships might have a given license to offer such input without seeking the blessing of their “cultural conservative working class” membership?

  2. Smith9

    If your analysis is correct, then it indicates an underlying comparative disadvantage for Labor in that it faces significant competition from the Greens for seats in the House of Representatives whereas the Coalition does not face equally significant corresponding competition from another party or political force (or, at least, that the Coalition has not chosen to be as concerned about such competition as Labor is about competition from the Greens).

    That seems plausible. If there was another party of similar strength to the Greens which threatened to win Coalition-held seats (and if the Coalition chose to be concerned about that competition) then the Coalition would have to make more effort to appeal to voters in those seats who might otherwise be attracted to that hypothetical party, and there might be tension between pursuing that goal and the goal of appealing to marginal/swinging voters. In fact, that seems a reasonable description of what happened in Queensland when support for One Nation was at its height.

    However, so far, the Coalition at the Federal level hasn’t yet faced that kind of competition from another party. It hasn’t even been a concern consistently at the State level. The Coalition has faced more competition from Independent candidates than Labor has, but structurally that’s a different phenomenon.

    Who knows what will happen next, though? The structure of the Australian party system has remained stable over a period of instability in many other countries’ systems, but we may yet be about to share in some of their experiences.

  3. Troy Prideaux, your history is at best selectively true.

    For a time in the 1970s Jack Egerton of the AWU was federal president of the ALP. During a national conference he was in the chair when a motion supporting gay rights was debated. When the vote was taken on whether to support the motion he said “all those [p-word, plural] who are in favour raise your hands”.

    (In early 1976, shortly after the Dismissal, Egerton was forced to leave the party after accepting a knighthood from Malcolm Fraser).

  4. Paul Norton

    all very interesting, but the game is different with proportional representation systems. Not only is there is a different mapping of votes into seats, but because there is a different mapping, people vote differently. With PR, voting for party X is more meaningful because party X really could elected.

    And, of course, the Nordic countries are different. They are the only countries in the democratic world where the centre-left parties are and have been the natural parties of government. (Maybe you could add Portugal.)

  5. JQ I’d love to read your reciew if this paper.

    “Market Expectations About Climate Change
    Wolfram Schlenker, Charles A Taylor

    NBER Working Paper No. 25554
    Issued in February 2019
    NBER Program(s):Environment and Energy Economics 

    “An emerging literature examines how agents update their beliefs about climate change. Most studies have relied on indirect belief measures or opinion polls. We analyze a direct measure: prices of financial products whose payouts are tied to future weather outcomes. We compare these market expectations to climate model output for the years 2002 to 2018 as well as observed weather station data across eight cities in the US. All datasets show statistically significant and comparable warming trends. Nonparametric estimates suggest that trends in weather markets follow climate model predictions and are not based on shorter-term variation in observed weather station data. When money is at stake, agents are accurately anticipating warming trends in line with the scientific consensus of climate models.”

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