Using Wealth to Influence Opinion and Policy

Mar 12, 2012

QA. The Treasurer Wayne Swan has said some of Australia’s wealthiest individuals are using their wealth to try to influence public opinion and government policy to further their own commercial interests. Do you agree or disagree with the Treasurer’s statement? *

QB. Do you agree or disagree that some of Australia’s wealthiest individuals are using their wealth to try to influence public opinion and government policy to further their own commercial interests. *

 

A. Wayne Swan statement

B. Unattributed statement

 

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Total

Vote Labor

Vote Lib/Nat

Vote Greens

Total agree

58%

78%

36%

89%

60%

67%

55%

75%

Total disagree

26%

6%

51%

2%

24%

18%

30%

14%

Strongly agree

24%

38%

9%

54%

27%

36%

15%

50%

Agree

34%

40%

27%

35%

33%

31%

40%

25%

Disagree

15%

4%

29%

2%

12%

5%

15%

3%

Strongly disagree

11%

2%

22%

12%

13%

15%

11%

Don’t know

16%

16%

14%

9%

15%

15%

16%

11%

* each question was asked of half the total sample.

There was similar majority agreement with this statement – that some of Australia’s wealthiest individuals are using their wealth to try to influence public opinion and government policy to further their own commercial interests – whether or not it was attributed to Wayne Swan. When attributed to Wayne Swan 58% agreed and 26% disagreed. When unattributed, 60% agreed and 24% disagreed.

When attributed to Wayne Swan, 78% of Labor voters and 89% of Greens voters agreed but 51% of Liberal/National voters disagreed.

When unattributed, a majority of voters of all parties agreed – although Labor and Greens voters not as strongly.

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Influence of Mining Companies

Jul 12, 2010

Q. Do you think the mining companies have had too much or not enough influence on Government policies?

Too much 41%
Not enough 12%
About the right influence 25%
Don’t know 21%

  41% think mining companies have had too much influence of Government policies, 12% think they have not had enough and 25% think they have had about the right influence. 57% of Labor voters and 69% of Greens voters think mining companies have had too much influence. Liberal voters were evenly split – 22% think they have had too much influence, 22% not enough and 40% about the right influence. Comments »

Influence of Groups

Jun 15, 2010

Q. How much influence do you think the following groups have on the policies of Australian political parties?

Too much About the right amount Not enough Don’t know
The media 53% 27% 5% 15%
Banks 50% 28% 5% 18%
Business lobby groups 40% 33% 5% 21%
Mining companies 40% 33% 10% 17%
Unions 40% 33% 12% 14%
Religious groups 38% 29% 11% 21%
Environment groups 25% 31% 29% 15%

About half the respondents believed that the media (53%) and banks (50%) have too much influence on the policies of Australian political parties.

40% believed that business lobby groups, mining companies and unions have too much influence.

Only 25% thought environmental groups have too much influence and 29% think they have not enough influence.

There were substantial differences by party preference on the influence of business lobby groups (Labor 52% too much, Lib/Nat 28%), unions (26%/61%), and mining companies (57%/26%). However, there was little difference on the perceived influence of the media (Labor 57% too much, Lib/Nat 56%) and banks (53%/51%). Comments »

Politically Influential Bodies in Australia

Nov 16, 2009

Q. Which of the following do you think are the most powerful and politically influential organisations in Australia?

35% of people surveyed think that media companies (e.g. News Ltd, TV stations) are the most powerful and politically influential organisations in Australia, 22% think that the most powerful and politically influential organisations in Australia are major banks, and 10% think power is held by mining companies (e.g. BHP-Billiton).

Labor voters were more likely to think that the most influential and powerful organisations in Australia are the major banks (28%), while Coalition voters were more likely than the average to think trade unions are (16%).  Green voters were more likely to think that most power and influence is vested with mining companies (18%).

People aged 55 years and over were more likely to think that media companies are the most powerful organisations in Australia (40%), while people aged 25 – 34 were more likely to think power and influence in Australia is held by mining companies (16%).

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