What a strange outcome the election was. I thought Scott Morrison might hang on, mainly because the Australian people wouldn’t elect the error-prone, bumbling Anthony Albanese. But Albo’s errors made little difference.
The election campaign made little difference. People had seen enough of Morrison and wanted him gone.
I’ve never seen the electorate so disengaged and disillusioned with politics.
In the 1980s, 90 percent of people would take how-to-vote cards on their way into the polling booth. This is now down to 50 percent, with many determined to shun the process. Booth analysis shows they are lodging protest votes, through minor parties, independents and also informal voting.
Our democracy is not in good shape when Labor can win office with just 32 percent of the primary vote. Over two-thirds of the electorate wanted someone else.
The major parties and their media allies have a lot to answer for. They have bred cynicism and apathy across the system.
Albanese ran on a ‘small-target’ strategy to deceive the Australian people about the woke ideas and values he believes in (and has practiced for 40 years).
Morrison said he had plans for the future, but what were they?
On the economy, he over-spent during the pandemic, racking up a trillion dollar debt our great-grandchildren will be paying off. This economic stimulus has added to rising inflation and interest rates. He embraced the job-destroying ‘Net Zero’ carbon emissions policy and failed to attack Labor’s climate change plans.
He was prepared to re-embrace ‘Big Australia’ immigration numbers to fill labour shortages, having wasted billions on failed training and re-skilling programs at home.
He had no productivity agenda to speak of. He gave more guaranteed money to the ABC. He wrote a letter to Albanese pledging to set gender activists and tribunals upon non-government schools. He allowed the Liberals to lurch to the Left, supposedly to defend his MPs in wealthy inner-city ‘Teal’ seats.
How comical. The wealthier the electorate, the more the well-healed ex-Tories engaged in the luxury politics of thinking they could save the planet from climate change.
In truth, each year China is increasing its carbon emissions by an amount greater than the Australian total (our tiny 1.3% share of global emissions). As the former Chief Scientist Alan Finkel has said, Australia’s climate policies will have “virtually no impact” on global temperatures. Why didn’t Morrison explain this to the Australian people?
The sole impact of wiping out emissions in a resource-rich economy like Australia is to export jobs to China and other cheap-labour regimes.
At his peak, John Howard was always explaining and trying to persuade voters to his point of view.
I can’t think of an issue where Morrison explained the details effectively. He was too busy with his spin, PR stunts and poll-driven excuses. He won in 2019 by attacking Labor’s high-taxing agenda, but then he had no agenda of his own.
The Liberals and Nationals have lost the art of persuasion, and that normally means a punishing period on the opposition benches.
Despite the failure of the major parties to address the important issues facing the nation, the mainstream media were as wedded to them as ever. Can anyone name a single media outlet or commentator who said ‘put the major parties last’? This was actually the public mood, but the old club ties were unbreakable.
Many media outlets like to use up One Nation in the three years between elections, but election time, they drop us like a sack of spuds.
It’s hard to cop users, but that’s the mainstream media for you. Their reputation is shot to pieces. Their staffing levels and capacity for public interest research has been decimated. They are just a tired old cabal grafted on to their political allies of choice. That’s where they get most of their stories from and they repay the deed during election campaigns.
On the lighter side, some of the coverage was comical.
Fancy David Penberthy being used by one network as its Western Sydney expert to commentate on seats like Fowler and Parramatta.
Penberthy grew up in Adelaide, went to school and university there. And when he briefly edited the Daily Telegraph and the ill-fated Punch website, he did so while living in inner-Sydney.
When it comes to knowing Western Sydney, this guy’s CV has more holes in it than Sonny Corleone on the New Jersey Turnpike!