I note with interest that Senator Eric Abetz has apparently attacked the ABC’s Q & A program in a Senate estimate committee hearing today. The full Hansard transcript will probably be worth a review before we pass total judgement, although the following report from AAP raises a couple of interesting opening questions:
Figures show that over the course of the program’s 2008 season, 32 per cent of the audience was made up of Labor supporters, while just 24 per cent supported the coalition.
In other words, the representation of Coalition supporters in the audience for this show in 2008 was on average 75% of that of the number of Labor supporters present. But is this really a big deal?
It might be worth reminding Senator Abetz that the Coalition only has 78% of the number of seats in the House of Representatives that Labor has in the current federal parliament. I wonder if he is also concerned about this imbalance.
The Coalition quite frankly should not be expected to be entitled to equal representation to Labor in the audience of this program. It is only entitled to receive representation proportional to the amount of support it enjoys in the nation at large. Senator Abetz might like to believe that this is 50/50; but this is nothing but a petty distortion. The senator should get on with the job with helping his party become an effective opposition, and cease bashing the national broadcaster when it is not particularly warranted.