Who cares about defence?: attitudes of Australian voters and of candidates in federal elections

2017-05-04T03:44:31Z (GMT) by Betts, Katharine
Terrorism and global insecurity present Australia with a number of defence challenges: are Australian voters and election candidates concerned? Survey data, drawn mainly from the 2004 Australian Election Study, show that around half the electorate want to boost defence, ten per cent believe we are secure and any increase is unnecessary, while around one third take a nonchalant attitude. They are unsure whether Australia can be defended (or are certain that it cannot be) but are not inclined to take further action. Candidates standing for election to the federal parliament are even less likely to want to boost defence, and more likely to display a nonchalant attitude. A surprisingly high proportion of Australians, and their potential leaders, take this attitude. In 2004, 36 per cent of voters and 48 per cent of candidates were not sure that Australia could defend itself but, despite this, did not want to spend more on defence. Copyright. Monash University and the author/s