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Who’ll Be Lucky? – The Economist Editorial

The Economist has called for a change of government, in an editorial published today.

Editorial from The Economist, October 11, 2011.

Who’ll Be Lucky?

Australia votes on November 10th. It’s time for a change


The lucky prime minister? Until recently, the opinion polls had suggested that John Howard, the leader of the Liberal-National coalition that has governed Australia since 1996, would be sent packing by the voters this year. Suddenly, when Mr Howard started to push back asylum-seekers like a sea captain repelling boarders, the polls began to turn. And now, amid the dark uncertainties of a war against terrorism, he can argue that this is no time to switch governments. The voters seem inclined to agree. Are they wise? [Read more…]

How Important Is The Election Campaign In Determining Voter Behaviour?

Assessing the 1997 British election, The Economist magazine had this to say in its April 24, 1997 edition:

On the evidence of elections before this one, most campaigns are relatively unimportant.

The majority of voters decide in advance whom they will support (and waverers mostly cancel each other out). Voting decisions are based on voters’ social origins, political preconceptions, personal philosophies and rating of the relevant policies and performance of the contenders for office.

During campaigns, like it or not, they sensibly turn off politics in droves, making most of them immune to the hocus pocus of the likes of Mr Mandelson.

The fact that voters are sceptical of politicians and their blandishments is not a threat to democracy. It’s how democracy, in the real world, really works.

[Read more…]