Within my social media circle and in the news reporting I read, there is growing support for the view that Dutton and the LNP are ripe to win the next election.
This assumption is based on views that Labor has done nothing about the cost of living or that Prime Minister Albanese travels too much and interest rates are too high. Of course, our debt needs to be lowered; asylum seekers should never have been released, and we need to spend more on infrastructure. You can add to that the cost of renting, and more houses need to be built.
Andrew Bolt is certainly confident of a Labor loss (isn’t he always?):
“The Coalition under Peter Dutton could actually win the next election.”
He then advised they needed a reshuffle and suggested they bring back former prime minister Scott Morrison. Yes, he did. Check it out. It really is difficult to take Andrew Bolt seriously.
Or Shadow Attorney General Michaelia Cash, who says that:
“… the Government’s handling of the High Court overturning indefinite detention proves they are ‘hopelessly’ out of their depth.”
Right-wing columnist Gerard Henderson, writing for The Australian (paywalled) was quick to blow Dutton’s trumpet:
“Despite all the naysayers decrying his decision for the Liberals to campaign against the voice, Peter Dutton has been vindicated and is looking strong in the lead up to the next election.”
These astonishing predictions came after The Voice Referendum and Labor’s decision to let some refugees with bad records into the community following a high court decision and before the Court gave its reasons.
Is it possible that at this time in the election cycle, the Coalition is indeed in a position to win in 2025? My first reaction is to say, “no chance”. After all, it was only a short time ago that Morrison lost on May 21 2022, after almost a decade of corruption, immorality, disgrace, continuous scandals, poor leadership, and lying. Keeping up with all the controversy and poor decisions was a daily grind: Lack of action on climate change, a poor response to the pandemic and the tragedy behind Robo debt are just a few.
Is the electorate ready to forgive them and return the same people to office within one term? In normal circumstances, you would say no; they wouldn’t, but I confess, we live in strange times.
Let’s look at where people say Labor is vulnerable, remembering we are some ways out from the next election.
1. The subs deal (a Morrison leftover) has been unpopular. Only time will tell by how much, and there is lots of it. I also disagree with this decision. However, I don’t think it is a front-of-mind issue.
2. Regarding the next tax breaks (another Morrison leftover), people think the money could be better spent other than handing money back to the wealthy. But to break a promise of such enormity. A broken promise for the greater good takes guts. Do it, Albo.
It really is starting to become glaringly obvious that Stage 3 is not just an unfair tax cut that gives massive cuts to the richest, it is also very, very dumb economics. https://t.co/DLqYOXck3L
— Greg Jericho (@GrogsGamut) November 21, 2023
Make some big decisions. Negative gearing is nothing more than a tax rort for wealthy investors that reduces housing affordability. Get rid of it.
3. The cost of living. Coles, Woolworths and others control the cost of living more than any government. Fuel is controlled by external forces. Allow more competition.
4. High interest rates. No government controls interest rates. It is as accurate as that.
5. Albo travels too much. It is in our own interest that he does. It has also been shown that he travels roughly the same – or less- as other recent PMs. Most of it has been restoring the damage done by the previous Government. China, in particular. Labor has restored our trade, which was almost destroyed by Morrison. Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen will attend the COP 28 Meeting in December.
6. Release of asylum seekers. The Government obeyed the High Court of Australia. The Court has yet to release its reasons for the decision. The legislation passed thus far could be more explicit but can only be so once their reasons are known.
Further news on this story was exposed in The Guardian on November 21. Five of the 93 people affected by this month’s high court decision on indefinite detention had already been released into community detention by the Coalition.
7. Cost of renting. A carryover problem from the Morrison Government. A decade of doing nothing.
8. Build more housing. But both are being addressed, if not to everyone’s satisfaction.
9. Spend more on infrastructure. Yes, but now is not the time. It would make inflation much worse.
10. The Voice referendum. It was a bad loss and poorly sold, but it isn’t an election breaker. The conservatives not only destroyed “The Voice” but also any chance of us ever becoming a republic.
11. The economy. In answer to a question during Question Time, the Prime Minister said:
“Let’s compare our economy, I’m asked about international comparisons of our economy and how it’s going,” “Our unemployment rate is 3.6 – lower than what we inherited; our participation rate is 66.7 – higher than what we inherited; our gender pay gap is 13 – lower than what we inherited.”
Mr Albanese said manufacturing jobs and women employed full-time were higher than what was “inherited”. His time expired.
And let’s remember the enormous debt Morrison left behind.
Labor’s record in office so far might appear bland, but a glimpse at their website tells a different story.
For example, on November 23, Albanese announced his government would “rapidly expand investment schemes for clean energy projects.”
i. Robodebt. People will be reminded that somebody must be responsible. Who might it be? Scott Morrison, Marise Payne, Malcolm Turnbull, Alan Tudge, Christian Porter and/or Stuart Robert?
How damaging would it be during an election campaign?
Would you again put the same people in charge of policies similar to Robodebt?
ii. Many other Cases are before the NACC:
“146 referrals are pending triage. 53 referrals are currently in active triage, and 181 referrals that have been triaged are currently under assessment.”
Some, like Robodebt, will be open to the public. So, a constant stream of bad news stories will emerge from the NACC.
iii. Despite current events, Peter Dutton is still the best thing Labor has going for it. Outside of being tough on immigration, he has little going for him. A personality transplant might be a good idea. He carries a load of baggage.
iv. The Guardian Essential Survey of November 14 showed Australia at its pessimistic best, but I suspect this pessimism will have a brighter smile by the time of the election. Most people felt Australia should stay out of trouble between the superpowers and the war in the Middle East.
Most folks surveyed thought interest rates would go up again and rent would continue to rise. The price of petrol is decided overseas and not by our government.
v. This same apathetic view of the world, like rust, is spreading throughout the community. From its governing position, Labor is well-placed to combat the conservatives’ attacks on institutions and the future of life as we know it.
Importantly, continues Murphy, this:
“… new research suggests many Liberal and National voters are in a severe funk now Labor is in power.
“The number of people in this cohort who say they are pessimistic or very pessimistic about Australia’s future also increased by 27 points.”
If that’s what their supporters think about the future, I wonder what they think of Dutton as a leader. Is he just another Abbott, good at spewing out negative thought bubbles but never able to transition to Prime Minister?
The LNP is a coalition of political parties that took an extraordinary toll, over almost a decade, on our institutions and democracy. They are nothing more than a coalition of capitalistic shysters more interested in the top than those in need and have never apologised for the most deplorable period of governance in Australian political history. For example, see this list of lies that Scott Morrison told during his tenure as Prime Minister. Then there is this list of Peter Dutton’s lies about The Voice.
Am I to believe that the LNP under Dutton, without even a climate change or energy policy, will right all their wrongs when they didn’t even confess to Robodebt (or all the other falsehoods and acts of corruption)? Are they really a serious contender to become our next government after only 18 months?
Many conservatives believe that they have the power to shape society in a way that benefits the elite. They see themselves as the superior class, adhering to the principle of the aristocracy or the ‘betters’. They believe that they are natural leaders and the best suited to rule. They feel entitled to all the benefits that society creates as a reward for their superiority.
Considering that we live in a more complex and scientifically advanced world than ever, it seems unrealistic to expect the LNP, with its Luddite principles, to guide us through these complexities. Since the May 21, 2022 election, Labor has been busy correcting the mistakes made by Abbott, Turnbull, and Morrison. Fixing the country’s economy may take years.
Sorry, I cannot swallow this nonsense. Andrew, Michaelia and Gerard should get a grip on themselves.
Anyway, Coalition strategists would know victory next time for them is a huge ask. First-term governments federally very rarely lose.
My thought for the day
One of the oddities of political polling is trying to understand how 50% of the voting public would willingly return to a party that governed so abysmally.
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