Why don’t social democrats read work by their think-tanks?

Over the last few years, the left has boosted its think-tank operations through Per Capita and the Centre for Policy Development, joining the more established Australia Institute.

But if the results of the Australian political identity survey are a guide, the left-wing think-tanks are yet to make a big impact among those identifying with the left labels in the survey, social democrat and green.

As the chart below shows, none of the three left-leaning think-tanks attract more than a quarter of social democrat or green identifiers as regular readers. Indeed, in the case of social democrats more read work from the classical liberal Centre for Independent Studies than by any of the left-leaning think-tanks. By contrast, around half of classical liberals, conservatives and libertarians regularly read work by the CIS, and about 40% read work by the Institute of Public Affairs.

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