The surprise of the nation at the re-election of the Coalition government is understandable – not because of what polls and bookmakers and media said, but on the basis of how the Australian people voted.
This election result does not reflect what Australians wanted.
If the Queensland result is left out of the equation, the rest of the nation elected Labor in 62 seats compared to the Coalition in 54 seats. If we also remove the only other state where the Coalition got more seats, Western Australia, then the vote becomes 57 seats to Labor vs 43 to the Coalition.
Aside from the two mining states, the rest of the country wanted a Labor government.
Nationwide, the Greens got 10.34% of the vote which should equate to 15 seats in the House of Representatives but, because their vote is spread fairly evenly across the country, their supporters remain hugely unrepresented with only one seat – the same number as the Katter Party which received 0.49% of the national vote and Centre Alliance who got 0.33%.
Looking at the Queensland result, even it does not reflect what the people wanted. The LNP got 43.73% of First Preference votes yet secured 77% of the seats. The Greens had the same support as they do around the country – 10.3% of the FP vote leaves them completely unrepresented and subjected to ridicule from the LNP and conservative press and even some in Labor.
This election seemed to be all about tax yet that did not feature highly on most people’s concerns.
According to Vote Compass, with a sample size of over 513,000, more than 80 per cent of Australians want the Government to take more action on climate change including 60 per cent of Coalition voters. Nearly 90 per cent wanted to see more renewable energy, including a majority of voters from all parties. Three quarters wanted to see the Government do more to increase the number of electric cars.
There is a great deal of talk about religious freedom since the unexpected win which is surprising as only about 15% of Australians actively practice any religion.
Despite 61.6% of Australians voting yes in the marriage equality survey, some religious organisations and individuals are ramping up the pressure to insist on their right to ignore the law of the land so they can continue to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity and for schools to teach their children that being gay is evil.
But they also want a new law, and a new human rights commissioner, protecting their freedom of speech/religion so no-one can object to them vilifying gays. Christian extremists, and homophobes, seem to think they are the victims.
Questions should be asked about Christian schools who receive government funding engaging in political campaigning. During the election, more than 160,000 flyers were distributed to largely marginal seats across the country, sent home with schoolchildren. The flyers described the election as “the most critical for religious freedom in living memory”, urging them to “consider the protection of our fundamental values and beliefs this election”.
Before Labor lurches to the right in a fit of appeasement to chase votes in Queensland and those of homophobes, they should realise that 41.47% of people voted for the four parties that make up the Coalition. The combined Labor and Greens vote was 43.7% of the country.
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