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A Dying Breed: Young Voters and the LNP

The Liberal-National COALition has had, to put it lightly, a bad time in recent electoral contests. From the utter wipeout in Western Australia to the recent trouncings in both Victoria and nationwide, the conservative side of politics is not in a good way. Now, as one who thinks in terms of collective benefit rather than laser-focused self-interest and corporate cuckoldry, this is a good thing. But as one interested in the why, as well as the what, I think a deep-dive into this issue may be useful. As sources for this piece, I am using the extremely well-researched and resourced piece in The Monthly about the LNP’s troubles, among other pieces.

Dutton Misses the Mark: Style over (Lack of) Substance, Part One

During yet another attempt to use the media to rehabilitate his image, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton suggested that the LNP is suffering an ‘identity crisis’. Specifically, from The Monthly

He [Dutton] says the Liberal Party is suffering from an “identity crisis” because it has let itself be defined by its opponents including people like businessman Simon Holmes à Court and the teal candidates he backed at the election.

Identity crisis? The Party may not know what it is, but the people certainly formed their opinion. They saw exactly what the Coalition stood for and roundly rejected it. Also, given how much of the media the LNP has on its side, it takes a great deal of nerve to suggest that your opponents define you as a party. Perhaps it has something to do with the utterly vacuous, substance-free garbage that passes for your political actions. Policies that quite openly serve the wealthy: as a single example, consider the first homeowners’ grant, which did nothing but push up real estate prices, helping sellers, not buyers.

Dutton went on to say that

“We have to reassert who we are so that people see the value proposition and understand that.”

As previously stated, Sir, this will not help. People know who you and your party are. People already think you personally are a pr*ck who did little but stoke fear (African gangs, anyone?). This point is, like the previous one, also rendered hollow by the media serving as the propaganda arm of the LNP.

Pseudo-Socratic Method: Nine Media Weighs In

Another angle of Dutton’s proposed redefinition of the LNP was noted by Nine columnist Sean Kelly. Kelly, as some of you may know, is the author of the fascinating book The Game about Scott Morrison.

When discussing yet another profile published in The Age about Dutton, Kelly makes the following quite scathing comments

As the profile noted, the public perceptions are also the result of Dutton’s own actions.

When Morrison became leader, he was allowed to shrug off much of what he’d done before. It wasn’t, it seemed, really who he was. In the end, it turned out to be exactly who he was.

So it is important to ask: how many of Dutton’s previous actions does he now disavow? What actions has he taken – as opposed to interviews given and words spoken – to demonstrate he is different from who he’s always seemed to be? Or to put this another way: at a certain point, if you’ve seemed to be somebody for long enough, isn’t that who you really are?

The key point here is that actions speak louder than words. This explains the question about what Dutton has done (as opposed to repeated profiles in the media) to belie the idea that he is a callous bastard. The media has repeatedly attempted to humanise Dutton and say ‘there is more to him than what he did with power’. Precisely the opposite is true. You are what you do, particularly with power. If you have seemed to be a certain way, as Kelly notes, that is who you are. Unless, of course, you were playing a character, in which case how can we possibly trust you? Finally, on these profiles, the very fact that you have to keep doing them suggests that they are not breaking through. To put it crudely, stop trying to photograph the turd from the right angle to sell it.

What is the LNP’s Real Problem?

Peter Dutton would have us believe that the Liberal Party has an image problem. In fact, what the Liberal Party has is a reality problem. Voters, particularly younger voters, saw how the Liberals governed for the last ten years and they did not like it. Buck passing, brazen lying, media manipulation, bigotry and punishing anyone who had the nerve not to be rich. The rich will be the focus of the next section, but for the moment the real problem with the LNP is that people know exactly who and what they are, and no amount of media profiles (read propaganda pieces) is going to change their minds.

The Killing of The Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs

It used to be said that people became more conservative as they aged. This truism, as I have referenced elsewhere on this site, is not actually a function of age, at least not directly. The true basis for this ‘tory turn’ as we might call it, is that with age tends to come wealth. With wealth typically comes economic security and with that comes less need for change. I’m doing ok thank you very much, so nothing needs to change. In other words, to paraphrase Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992, it’s the wealth, stupid.

It is no small irony that, by obsessively servicing the big end of town (broadly defined as The Owners), the LNP coalition left behind future generations. LNP policies meant that those younger voters did not share in the prosperity, did not become financially secure and so, despite being in their late thirties to forties, still want change. They are not financially stable and so have not calcified into the typical tory voter.

This actually amuses me to no end: serves you right, you bastards. You were so determined to serve the wealthy that you could not see the forest for the trees. You were so obsessed with growing their (and your own) investment property portfolios that you could not see (or simply did not care) that you were creating what is now known as Generation Rent. It is no wonder these people will not vote for you: you utterly screwed them out of the so-called Australian Dream of owning your own home. Your policies around negative gearing, tax cuts for the wealthy, superannuation concessions and so on – these tongue-baths to the rich have created a generation (and beyond) of serfs with iPhones. That, Spud, is why they will not vote for you!


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  1. Phil Pryor

    Surely the liberals under Duckwit-Futton know what they are, for the mafia, the nazis, the KGB, the CIA, etc, all knew, and know, exactly what they are, what they stand for and why. If wolves and tigers ate celery and smiled in order to get into their victim’s proximity, they’d have worked it out as a stunt. The stunted opposition knows what they are and why. They are dummy fronts, dealers, agents, corpse co-gobblers and ravishers, parasites and maggots, because that’s the short cut, rails run, rigged event, sham, all to get wealth, notice, pose, prestige, position, “fame” and a mention in the papers and books. Bendyover, touchytoes, lipstight stuff…Sometimes enough people want a reasonably honest, calm, stress free, decent life, and will not support the avaricious.

  2. Terence Mills

    Well, if they are going to redefine themselves they will have to start by changing their name- theycan’t continue to masquerade ad a Liberal Party when their true colours are ultra conservative.

    Perhaps their policies will define them : but first they have to have some policies !

  3. New England Cocky

    Boofhead Duddo and his $us$san Airhead LazE need to understand that Australian voters recognise a pile of fresh bull manure when they see it, even if it is dressed up with a sprig of parsley.

    Then Australian voters also recognise that the tranche of unelected political hacks in the Liarbral Party who control pre-selections and leadership challenges clearly demonstrate that LIARBRAL democracy is a farce controlled by corporate businesses.

    The ”borne to rule” LIARBRALs have clearly demonstrated their unfitness to hold any government position in any Australian Parliament. Remember the hall marks:
    1) the $1,000,000,000 national debt under Treasurers Scummo, Friedeggburgher & Friedeggburgher & Scummo;
    2) the selling out of Australian self defence capacity and national sovereignty to the USA (United States of Apartheid) for the benefit of the NE military industrial complex by purchasing, atomic subs, third rate aircraft and other inadequate war materiels on the never never payment scheme before never never delivery;
    3) the failure to protect Julian Assange for being party to the exposure of war criminals among politicians including Prime Ministers and POTUSes and whistleblowers exposing former COALition Ministers of benefitting from illegal actions done while they were ministers;
    4) ignoring the scientific evidence of climate change from work done over 30+ years by well regarded Australian scientists, compounded by the ruthless slashing of funding for Australian R&D thus reducing future economic opportunities and really giving Australian manufacturing no future;
    5) propping up the residential property market for the benefit of agents by providing the wealthy with almost unlimited opportunity to legally minimise personal taxation of huge professional salaries.

    The Albanese LABOR government has a long road ahead undoing and remediating the financial damage of the last nine (9) years of COALition misgovernment. Moreover, much of this damage is properly the responsibility of state governments, so removing the Perrottet Opus Dei NSW misgovernment is required before Australian voters regain ”ownership” of their own democratically elected Federal and state governments.

  4. New England Cocky

    Oops!! I overlooked the Robodebt scam initiated by those two practising Christians Scummo and Stewie. Something about the Cashless Debit Card to line the pockets of Nazional$ supporters, indeed, every other policy that ignored the best interests of Australia voters.

  5. Terence Mills


    Actually, I think a trillion dollars has twelve zeros $1,000,000,000,000

  6. Michael Taylor

    It seems, as an aside, that we’ve adopted the American billion (a thousand million) over the old English one (a million million).

  7. Michael Taylor

    Fred, I should have Googled before opening my mouth.

  8. Michael Taylor

    Fred, forgetting numbers, words are interesting and the spelling is the decision of the Prime Minister (though I doubt that is official, but we had to spell it the PM’s way in correspondence).

    Take this particular word: Howard wanted it spelt “programme”, but when Rudd was elected he insisted it be spelt “program”.

  9. Fred

    MT: When I went through Uni a very long time ago, we were expected to use both forms of the word correctly. “Programme” related to an organised sequence of activities and “program” related to computer coding with red marks appearing on papers where the use was “inappropriate”. After quite a few years I got a job as a “Programme Manager” where both forms were used in the contract. I couldn’t be bothered to get it corrected. The days of spelling and grammar pedantry have long gone as a result of the “internationalisation” of English, i.e. “I think” replaced by “I am thinking” etc. Who bothers to learn spelling when Google and Apple correct everything as you type 🙂 🙂 While I’m on the box, what about the use of the letter “z” instead of “s”? Communication relies on the speaker and listener having a common understanding, although not necessarily agreement, of what is being discussed. So long as key words are not missed, spelling and grammar not too badly mangled it is possible to communicate using SMS “speak”, U get wot I meen.

  10. New England Cocky

    @ Terence Mills et al: Thank you all for the discussion that has adequately explained the situation.

  11. wam

    The canberra clp rely on rupert’s version of political history to carry their base and frighten the less intelligent. If Albo can expose the economic myth – libs repair labor’s extravagance – he will be PM for as long as he wants. Chalmers has been terrific in interviews, especially on the morning shows, giving Albo a chance to consolidate our image of 10 years of LNP incompetence. Little digs about the rabbott and joey, the copperman ( and big digs about morrison will keep the questions flowing. I am so glad that Albo weathered 6 years of little billy and torpid tanya to get to the to job. But I am even happier that Dutton and the beetroot are supported by susson everything, mackenzie and taylor the talker about returning to core values. Does the multi millionaire retired copper have blue safety helmets with MACA(Make Australia Conservative Again) or GROL (Get Rid Of Labor) or ASDIK (Albo Sucks Dutton Is King).
    Michael 70 years ago, when I was in high school a thousand thousand was a million and a million million was a billion, a million million million was a trillion and a million million million million was a quadrillion- similarly for a quintillion, sextillion etc
    like so many things it is easier to copy the septics for whom so many zeros would blow their tiny minds?

  12. Gangey1959

    I reckon that spud looking at himself in the mirror would be well aware of the liarbral image problem. Or one of them anyway.
    @ Fred. Is that why vlad and Vlod are at loggerheads? An auto-corrected “friendly” diplomatic text that was supposed to end in “Cross my heart and hope to die” but went out as “kiss my arse and hope you die”, and all of a sudden the price of coal as gone through the roof, and the Black Sea beaches are no longer safe as a holiday resort.

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