Australians, like others elsewhere in the world, appear to be dispirited about their country’s domestic politics.
However, when it comes to the benefits immigration has to offer, Australians voters are not like their Europe, United Kingdom, or United States counterparts.
The Lowy Institute Poll which comes out every year, seeks to find out what voting-aged Aussies think regarding the most important international issues the country is facing at present. It found that 65 per cent of the poll participants see ‘dysfunction in Australian politics’ to be very important, along with terrorism and national security, which came to 68 per cent. Issues that are of significantly lower priority to Australians are climate change, asylum seekers, the rise of China, and immigration.
The coalition has a wide lead on 7 out of 8 key foreign policy issues over Labor. These issues are the alliance and relations of the United States with China, national security, the Australian economy, asylum seekers, and foreign investment, just to name a few.
So far, the only issue that Labor is leading against the Coalition is the management of climate change.
The Lowy Institute Poll also found more proof that the views of Australians regarding China and the United States are shifting.
Just 2 years ago, when Australians were asked which relationship was seen to be more important, the United States took 48 per cent of the vote, and China got 37 per cent. This year, both the US and China each got 43 per cent.
When asked about the possibility of Donald Trump winning the presidency, nearly half of the respondents say that Australia must keep away from the United States.
Mr Michael Fullilove, the executive director of the institute, noted that the United States was the only nation towards which emotions significantly cooled down for 2016, with the warmth of Australia going down 5 points, where it became 68 per cent.
”Furthermore,” Mr Fullilove continued on to say, ”attitudes to the ANZUS alliance, which has stood at the centre of Australia’s security since 1951, seem to be moving, perhaps in response to the weirdness of the 2016 presidential race.”
Almost 6 in 10 Australians think that they would not be inclined to support the country should it decided to take future military actions in coalition with the United States, should Mr Trump win as the next president of the country.
Mr Fullilove also said that Australians still stay in conflicting emotions when it comes to China.
”It appears that most Australians see much to admire about China but are genuinely alarmed at its increasing military assertiveness,” stated Mr Fullilove.
It was also found that out of 10 Australians, 9 are opposed to foreign investment in farmland. The asylum seeker boat turnback policy of the federal government still continues to attract some powerful support,and almost 2 out of 3 voters think that keeping the boats from reaching Australian soil could take a bigger number of refugees through the United Nations channels.
It also found out that from 2014, support of detention centres from offshore had gone down 5 points to 54 per cent this year.
1/3 of the voters support overall migration fully as they believe it has a lot of positive effects on the Australian economy. According to Mr Fullilove, this only means that if Australians are in support of the boat turnback policy, it does not necessarily mean that they are also against immigration.
”On the contrary,” he explained. ”Most Australians see immigration as good for the country.”