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Showing posts from September, 2016

Hillary/Trump and political journalism

This is a blog, about politics, in 2016, so we're long overdue for something about Hillary Clinton and the media. I have started to get a bit disoriented about what the point of a lot of political journalism being written this year is.

Contrast two different types of writing about politics. (There are obviously other sorts.) On the one hand, people write about something - a policy, a candidate, a statement - is bad. This can come in a lot of different flavours and run a spectrum from quite even-handed and analytical to a full-blown opinion piece. But the core uniting feature is that the article (column, post, whatever) ends up enunciating something which the author themselves might take as a reason for voting one way or the other. On the other hand, you have horse-race analysis, where the writer asks who's winning, how a candidates' actions might play with the public, and so on. In theory, these pieces are united by being the kind of think a politician might be told by the…

Migrants and refugees in the Australian debate

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I have a hypothesis about the politics of immigration, which is that it doesn't have much to do with immigration policy - on either side of the argument. People don't really have a view about how much immigration there should be, and when you ask them whether there should be more or less, they express almost a pure attitude about culture, race, their economic situation, or whatever. One way to assess this would be to see how public opinion on whether there should be more or less immigration correlates with how much immigration is happening. You'd expect that when the level of immigration decreases, at least some people who'd previously thought there was too much immigration would think there was about the right amount, and so on. On my hypothesis that wouldn't be true.

It's not watertight, but it'd be interesting, and I wanted to write a post about it. Unfortunately I couldn't, because there is no consistent polling in Australia on immigration intakes. …