Wednesday, March 30, 2005


The Sum of all Fears

Through all the hullabaloo generated when the Lowy Institute released their recent poll on Australian attitudes to the world, there has been a large focus on which countries rank higher in the global popularity contest. Aussies love contests and its no wonder we’re fascinated by our own opinions and which lucky group of nations we will grace with our favour.

The Media however should be able to do better. As Tim Dunlop alludes to there is more in the Lowy report than who gets to be prom queen this year.

Hidden toward the back of the report is Australian attitudes to externally generated threats. Essentially a gauge of public fear. We’ve taken a look at these fears and we’ve nominated which Australian political party is currently making the running with each fear. That is which political party “owns” which fear.

Source - Lowy Institute Posted by Hello

Unfriendly Countries Developing Nuclear Weapons : Owned by Libs
Global Warming :ALP/Greens
International Terrorism : Libs
International Disease Epidemics : Available
Islamic Fundamentalism : Libs
US Foreign Policies : ALP/Greens
World Population Growth :Green
Illegal Immigration and Refugees :Libs
Failing countries in our region :To Close to Call
China's Growing Power :Available

The results are instructive, but not surprising. On the International front the Libs have a far greater Fear Quotient that the ALP and the Greens put together.

We note that there are a couple of Fears currently unclaimed, although the Greens are making an early play for “Disease epidemic”.

The political calculation for the ALP surely must be this: Do they try and launch a takeover bid for a Fear owned at present by the Libs or do they spend a whole lot of resources on marketing, to raise one of the presently unclaimed lower order fears up the pecking order, or do they try some other tactic, not considered by the Libs, like Hope.

Mmmmm truly a quandary for the ALP strategists.

Update: Here's how it works elsewhere.

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