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Can Labor win the next election?

The latest News Poll figures that surfaced last week after I had posted The polls are in search of some lasting credibility demonstrated the stability of the Coalition vote. They show you that the Coalition would have to commit a crime of catastrophic proportion to have Newspoll move a few percentage points.

Great indignities have been committed against women, but the polls have not budged. They have engaged in crimes of enormous corruption, but the polls remain steadfast in their support of this rotten government. They have repeatedly and consciously told lies with significant consequences for the people. Nothing has changed.

Yet nearly half of the nation’s eligible voters see them as worthy of another three years in power. I have spent much time discerning the why of it without ever finding a satisfactory answer to this most perplexing question. Why does the Coalition maintain an election-winning lead over Labor when they have made so many blunders?

Could it be voter ignorance or that they see Labor as being a much worse proposition? Do they view Albo as being as bad as Shorten? Are the Polls wrong? Perhaps Morrison’s handling of the pandemic has impressed them, or do they like Morrison’s style and agree with his policies. He is a Christian, and God has ordained him. He said as much to a meeting of the Australian Christian Churches last week.

Maybe the propaganda of the Murdoch media overwhelms people.

It may be one or a combination of the reasons mentioned above. In looking realistically at Labor’s chances of defeating the conservatives at the next election, one must also consider these factors:

 

Albanese and Leadership

For all the criticism he gets, people neglect to mention that it is hard for an opposition leader to get much attention at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic. Albanese has never been tested running an election campaign, and he might well prove to be better at it than many people think.

The best thing about him is that he came into the Labor Party leadership squeaky clean and carries no heavy luggage. Conversely, Morrison is a proven liar and this, on top of his professed Christianity, also makes him a hypocrite.

 

Morrison and Leadership

Pentecostals believe in an explicitly literal interpretation of the word of God. Therefore, every word is literal and is to be regarded as God’s truth.

Romans:13.1:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

 

COVID-19

Having said all that, let’s pretend Labor is conceding an edge to the Coalition going into the (April/May) 2022 election.

Scott Morrison will be favourite to be re-elected because by April of next year, vaccinations will have been (hopefully) completed, and the country will be returning to the better place we once knew.

Our experience of COVID-19 has been mild compared to that of other countries, and Morrison will paint a picture of his government’s success even though the states have been the most responsible. Just how much of the government’s propaganda people will swallow is anyone’s guess.

Currently, the government is suffering from a massive negative in so much as they have overseen an enormous stuff up of the vaccine rollout. This will have to be righted before Budget time, or they will suffer the consequences of a public view that they are incompetent.

However, the government will get much applause from what is really a perception and not the government’s truth.

 

Redistributions

The national Electoral Commissions redistributions seem sure to favour Labor.

 

Women’s Vote

Strangely, men don’t seem to be as concerned about the plight of women as women are. So far, Morrison hasn’t handled this most severe challenge to his re-election very well at all, and he is cutting it fine to do so. Women will undoubtedly be a critical issue in this election, and at the moment, women will account for many additional votes going to Labor.

Ask Pentecostal women how they fit it. Know your place.

 

Climate and the Environment

Facing world condemnation, Morrison seems intent on pursuing a policy of turning a significant world problem into a minor issue just when it has become a major one. And Labor, just because they blame it for losing the last two elections, want it to disappear altogether just when it could be a winner.

A net-zero emissions target by 2050 is also a profoundly divisive proposal within the Coalition. Going too far during an election campaign might ignite a fire of perpetual longevity in the party that won’t extinguish quickly.

“Liberal MPs representing wealthy Sydney and Melbourne seats fear they will face an electoral backlash if their party treats the issue as unimportant.

As a result, the PM has been pivoting towards the target slowly in an attempt to avoid too much infighting.”

 

Scare Campaigns

Morrison’s throwback to the Reds under the beds scare campaigns of Menzies’ time in power by exploiting our relationship with China will go down well because Australians have been conditioned to think this is possible.

 

Longevity

The government will have been in power for nine years. In that time, they have collected a level of dissatisfaction that reflects their incompetence. Scandal after scandal has followed them through their tenure.

 

Conservative Achievements

Nothing comes to mind.

 

Failures

Although they might try to rectify them in the budget, the worsening plight of many in aged care (despite reports, willing themselves to be implemented). Frequent exposés and increased spending. Transparency and integrity will also be questioned, together with accountability and, of course, the ramifications of cronyism.

Not dealing with integrity issues and their many ramifications – corruption, “benefits for donors, and the absence of accountability and transparency” – people will also figure out the overuse of COVID-19 as an excuse for doing nothing else.

 

Other factors going against the Coalition will be:

“… handicaps of unfavourable redistributions and retirements by an increasing number of sitting MPs also hinder Morrison’s chances.” (Dennis Atkins, The New Daily).

As is usual, it is the older generations from which the conservatives garnish their votes. This time there will be a lot fewer.

At the moment, Morrison has a lot of work to do – he looks stuffed before the race has begun.

While the electorate has very short memories, it will be tough for them to overlook the Coalitions nine years of misery. “Enough is enough,” you can hear Albo repeat.

 

Factors against Labor

Albanese must avoid looking like a poor man’s Bill Shorten. Shorten outlined his many policies in a thoughtfully truthful manner, and it proved a disaster.

Albanese believed it to be a lousy strategy and that he wouldn’t repeat it. Therefore, he will be playing a small target campaign, so we have nothing to praise or, conversely, criticise.

 

I’ll leave the final word to Roy Morgan:

“A recent poll conducted by Roy Morgan research found that a slim majority of 51% of Australians disapprove of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s handling of COVID-19 and all related issues compared to 49% that approve. The 51% of Australians that disapprove of Morrison’s handling of COVID-19 and related issues have consistently brought up the ‘bungled’ vaccine rollout and also the perception Morrison is always ‘passing the blame’ to the states and others for anything that goes wrong and taking credit when it is the states that have done the greater part of the job dealing with COVID.”

This tells us that the “COVID-19 advantage” (for the sake of a better name) may not be the road to success at the next election that many people think.

My thought for the day

Power must be a malevolent possession when you are prepared to forgo the principles of a secular government and your country’s well-being for the sake of a theocracy.

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23 comments

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  1. Terence Mills

    From the Guardian :

    Stuart Robert praises Scott Morrison for practising Pentecostal tradition of ‘laying on of hands

    Do you think this could mean that laying on of hands will replace the Order of Australia ?

    And you thought the Handmaid’s Tale was a work of fiction !

  2. Baby Jewels

    Terence, it’s not even funny (though I would have laughed my head off about it once.) With half Australia’s population just fine with this and giving them their vote to continue it, I am becoming more and more concerned.

  3. GL

    One of the biggest factors against Labor is that they don’t have Murdoch/9/Fairfax sleaze media empires behind them like the LNP does.

  4. Sean Crawley

    Hey John,

    I also often ponder “Why does the Coalition maintain an election-winning lead over Labor when they have made so many blunders?”.

    Here’s an idea:

    “According to system justification theory, people desire not only to hold favorable attitudes about themselves (ego-justification) and the groups to which they belong (group-justification), but also to hold positive attitudes about the overarching social structure in which they are entwined and find themselves obligated to (system-justification).

    “Additionally, the passive ease of supporting the current structure, when compared to the potential price (material, social, psychological) of acting out against the status quo, leads to a shared environment in which the existing social, economic, and political arrangements tend to be preferred. Alternatives to the status quo tend to be disparaged, and inequality tends to perpetuate.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_justification

  5. Terence Mills

    Sorry, I double posted – the first one didn’t come up so I assumed i must have accidentally deleted it ……………………….

  6. Terence Mills

    Winston Smith in Orwell’s 1984 was a records editor at the Ministry of Truth, his job is to rewrite history, revising old newspaper articles and the like so they’re in line with the Party’s current vision of the truth. The original articles are then tossed in an incinerator, never to be seen again.

    Listening to Josh Friedenberg this morning would make Winston Smith busier than a one armed bricklayer in Baghdad : all of a sudden Labor’s debt and deficit disaster has been obliterated from history and debt is now good and deficits don’t matter and reducing taxes is the only way to pay down debt.

    Labor are being blown away by this spin machine !

  7. wam

    “Australia has been a secular country since federation. The Constitution of 1901 prohibits the Commonwealth government from interfering with the free exercise of any religion.” the singsongers are close to interfering. Now that he has godified the government, it is time to ask questions about scummo’s religious beliefs. yes, lord, the election depends on whether a man who lost the leadership to shorten in 2013 can surprise us by running a good campaign 9 years later. Sadly the man of the 9 millstones looms over any campaign and a sudden fear of ‘socialism’ has caused a last minute vote change. In my town scummo made it clear the he and his god have no colleagiality with labor politicians with the dour clp senator visible in each shot. Let’s hope albo has a record of announcements and failures to claw over the image of inaction.
    ps I think the laying on of hands depends on a trance reaction and millions of australians must be in a trance to have these men, and their women, anywhere near 50% approval.
    pps cuckoo is spot on the rabbott reminded us of lies every day of gillard’s gov and labor has not been able to remind us of truths about the last 3 pms. Spinners will prevent the past leaving albo only the now???

  8. Phil Pryor

    Religious superstition is murderous, ignorant, unscientific, oppressive, illogical, unrproven, misleading, righteous, pompous, lacks ethics, morals and decency, is primitive, hunnish, barbarian, stupid, black comedy and ingrained stupidity, and, it should STOP. The planet’s future depends on it…every one of these superstitious loudmouthed arseholes “knows” that every other different one is WRONG. That’s intolerance and futility for you…Civilisation is shackled, ruined, by this adherence to old, dark, mentally misleading muck.

  9. James O'Neill

    You raise the question as to why the Liberal vote holds up in the face of their appalling record in government. Perhaps the sad truth is that the electorate is fundamentally stupid and cannot tell their arse from their elbow. A country gets the government it deserves, so what do the polls really tell us about the state of the electorate?

  10. Harry Lime

    Of course Labor can win the next election, all it will take is a few swinging voters in the marginals to have developed a lasting distaste for the cretinous arseholes pretending to be a government.We can expect a vicious,dishonest campaign from God’s anointed one,surpassing even his heroics from the previous campaign.No doubt assisted by the trash media.Nevertheless, if I was God, I’d be laying off a few bets,after all there’s hardly a week’s interval between fuck ups.A critical mass could well be reached.
    Meanwhile,fathead Frydenberg,the fatuous fiddler, appears to be preparing a feel good budget,which will be the last before the next election is called.We wouldn’t want all the fake assumptions to unravel before then ,would we?It will enable the self styled messiah to roam the countryside in robe and sandals proselytising the wicked,whilst remaining above the fray.That didn’t work out very well last time,though.Here’s hoping.

  11. Ross

    It doesn’t really matter to most people. The old saying goes “vote and you will get a politician”. From what we have seen lately that can be modified to “vote and you will get a fourth rater of low capabilities and even lower ethics”. With Labour you just get less of the religious fruit bat variety but the same amount of clueless neoliberal numbats. No wonder people don’t like politics and politicians, it comes down to the least worst option on voting Saturday.
    Can Labour win? Absolutely. It’s the swinging or more aptly the disgruntled voter who hold the power of the vote. The question is how many of the disgruntled are in marginal electorates.

  12. New England Cocky

    @Sean Crawley: Nope!! That is too complicated an answer … remember the “my hypothesis is my conclusion” rule means that you write down the results you want then claim to have done the necessary research to justify those results. QED

    The+/- one percent (1%) difference is well within any margin of error and the results are just as likely to be reversed simply by chance.

  13. Tiger

    Morrison’s hands on the shoulder certainly didn’t work very well for Turnbull a few days later he was dismissed as leader replaced by the hands that was meant to save him.

  14. GL

    LNP – Loathsome Noxious Pustule. Somehow I see the idiots will vote them back in again.

  15. totaram

    Ross: “It doesn’t really matter to most people.” So they think in their ignorance. That is the sad fact. If they were a little better informed, they might be more disgruntled.

    “The question is how many of the disgruntled are in marginal electorates.” So true. Is there something Labor can do about it? Is there something WE can do about it? Something to think about.

  16. Don Morris

    Following Morrison’s most recent fundamentalist ravings, I wrote an essay about what drives and deludes him. My thesis is insightful and penetrating. In essence, my argument is that Morrison is modern day religious and political Pharisee. The meaning and ramifications of this are very significant. I am confident that if we can get this thesis into the public domain, it will open many eyes to Morrison’s delusions, deceptions and worst proclivities. I need an avenue to get my essay in front of a wide spectrum of Australian citizenry. Would AIM look at my essay, with a view to publishing it? Can readers recommend other avenues for getting my essay into the the widest possible public domain? Thanks in anticipation.

  17. Pete Petrass

    You can just see it now, Australia Day awards to be replaced by Morriscum laying his hands on you instead. Not sure how that will work with athiests though.
    As for Albanese and his leadership I am sure he is a good leader in the Party but from the perspective of us, the public, he just seems to lack any form of charisma to grab you and make you want to vote Labor. I cannot help but wonder (if they were willing) how different the public response would be to the likes of Wong, Plibersek or KK if they were leader of the opposition.

  18. Stephengb

    Totaram
    I recall making the comment on AIMN, a little while before the 2019 election that the “WE” (that is those numerous extremely good writers for AIMN) must not confine their great articles to independent media like AIMN but to find a way to condense their message on Facebook a media which for all its faults reaches more people than any other media today.

    Needless to say I did not see much in the way of those great articles (abbreviated or not). Of course that does not mean that this was the cause of shortens defeat it just tells me that there was a missed opportunity.

    I am in no doubt that the cause of Shortens defeat was the unrelenting deluge of “kill Bill” disinformation, misrepresentation and downright lies, promulgated by the Right Wing comercial media, not forgetting the avoidance of controversial coverage from the ABC.

  19. Henry Rodrigues

    Stephengb…I absolutely agree with your analysis of Labor’s failure at the last elections. Labor had all the progressive, well thought out and well accounted policies but Murdoch and the rest of the media bastards, just wouldn’t allow any favourable coverage of Labor, and the ABC was just a another compliant onlooker.

    With a voting public as disinterested and in some sense, more greedy and even less reluctant to think for themselves, it was always going to a hard slog. Add to that the millions sprayed out by that crooked fat bastard from Queensland and the red headed idiot, the most damage was inflicted in the state where Labor need to win just a few more seats than it had. Even so the Coalition only has a 1 seat majority. And you can bet that the anti Labor campaigning will be even more ferocious and underhanded than anything we’ve seen so far.

  20. Chris cotter

    Baby Jewels, I agree. How can people be ok not only with the sky fairy bs of this Jesus wants me to be rich Pentecostalism but also the rest of the train wreck that is the fedgov’s ( Orwellianism intentional) record of performance since 2013?

  21. chris gow

    Over the last few elections Labor has lost QLD badly and despite winning the rest of the country – that’s it, Queensland decides the government. Is his religiosity a put-off for Queenslanders? His pro-coal/gas climate approach? To fInd the answer to the conundrum of having progressive Labor policies that the rest of the country wants without losing Queensland is Labor’s ongoing challenge.

  22. george theodoridis

    The question that is never asked on a poll even though it is far more important than all the rest, is, “are you at all interested in politics?”

    Or, to put it in different words, “To which channel you turn the dial ehen both these programs are on, “News” or “How I met your mother?”

    The answers, I daresay will reveal with greater clarity than every other poll what the hell is wrong with the politics of this country: That catastrophic crimes committed by politicians do not enter the voter’s head when s/he comes to the voting booth, tomato-sauce dripping “victory sausage” in one hand and walking stick in the other.

    For all the mantra attention it gets, to say that “it is hard for an opposition leader to get much attention at the best of times, etc” this, in fact is a nonsense statement. There are a myriad ways of getting attention in the media these days, if only the attention is made to something of significance. The crux of the matter is that the ALP hasn’t had anything of significance to say or do for decades. Their policies, if one can give them that august status are the same as they were in the 80s, once the fire in the belly died down.
    Same uninspiring thinking on almost everything, from education, to housing, to health, to employment, to trade, to foreign affairs, to the environment, to working conditions. They have nothing new, nothing to indicate they thought about anything that matters in the lives of the voters.
    So they shut up, take their latte, their chateauneuf du pape and their white alpha truffle and whine about how hard it is to get any attention!

    As a politician, Albo is a meaningless occasional jack-in-the box, just like every other ALP politician, with the possible exception of Lynda Burney and she will be treated with the same disdain that the greater majority of voters who are unmitigated racists treat all other “non whites.”

    We are persuaded -if at all- by the “pretty people” and the “pretty, motherhood” type mealy-mouthed waffle. Anything of substance is at best ignored and at worst derided.

    Albo can cause a media storm if he believed in anything. The whole ALP could cause a media storm if it believed in anything.

    But, sadly, very sadly, they don’t!

    Perhaps the Greens!

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