Some very interesting data in the annual poll by the Lowy Institute on views held by Australians. Some extracts:
- 31% say best friend in Asia is China, 28% Japan, 12% Singapore. I wonder how Kiwis would answer that question?
- 65% say acceptable for Australia to spy on China, and 51% say on New Zealand.
- The biggest critical threats to Australia’s vital interests are terrorism 65%, nuclear proliferation 64%, Iran’s nuclear programme 53%, cyber attacks 51%, asylum seekers 48%, climate change 46%
- 71% support the Government turning back boats, when safe to do so. 59% support off shore processing. 42% support an outright ban on asylum seekers coming by boat being allowed to settle in Australia
- Given a polar choice, 53% would choose a good democracy and 42% a strong economy if it is one but not the other.
- 52% say alliance with US is very important and 78% say very or fairly important
- On a warmth scale from 0 to 100, NZ is country Australians feel most warm about at 84 degrees. North Korea is bottom at 29 degrees. Obviously Gareth Morgan needs to do a tour of Australia extolling how great they are. Canada is 81, US 71, France 71, Japan 67, China 60.
- Only 22% say Australia should be its current population of 23 million, or less. 42% say target should be 30 million, and 34% say 40 million or more.