Tuesday 28 November 2017
1 Post any election there comes a period of analysis where the event is discussed, dissected, pulled apart, turned upside down, rattled, shaken, and then put back together, just so that we can analyse what people were thinking and how the might think in the future.
In addition to the effects of the state election on Queensland, people were looking for what it means for the next national election. It now looks assured that Queenslanders have returned the Palaszczuk led minority government with a majority in its own right. It had a 1.5 per cent swing against it which is pretty much standard for any incumbent.
At first blush it would seem that One Nation under-performed after over-inflating its chances. James Ashby was predicting up to 10 seats but without a more geographically concentrated spread of candidates this was nigh on impossible. One Nation was guilty of over-inflating its chances.
However, the fact is that One Nation polled 13.7 per cent statewide and when you compare it with its spectacular performance of 23 per cent in 1998, you might conclude that they have gone backwards. Not so. Far from it, in fact. It equates to 1 in 7 voters. They would appear to be all LNP voters who have jumped ship. Replicated nationwide they may well hold the balance of power in the Senate after the next election.
As I said earlier, Labor had a 1.5 swing against it while the swing against the Liberal/National coalition amounted to five times as much.
Independent poll analyst John Stirton points out that:
“When you don’t contest all the seats and you still get 14 per cent of the vote, it’s a pretty strong vote for a minor party – it’s more than the National Party has ever won, or the Greens, or the Democrats.”
It means serious trouble for Turnbull’s Coalition if that is repeated around Australia and there’s no reason to doubt that it won’t. Maybe it’s time the two parties went their separate ways with the Nats representing the bush and the Libs becoming the extreme right-wing Conservative party many want it to be. It’s clear that they cannot go on fighting as they are now.
Just what it is that draws people to the likes of Hanson is frustratingly foreign to me. She cannot with nasal twang even articulate her thought processes, let alone policy. She seems is particularly prone to listening to people like Malcolm Roberts who seemingly present well, but in essence are full of bullshit yet she has not the intelligence to see through it. In the Parliament One Nation always votes with the government so it’s even more difficult to fathom just what it is they stand for.
But who are these 14 per cent of Hansonites? They are probably people dissatisfied with “establishment” politics and would probably return to the Coalition if they were more in the image of One Nation. However, the Coalition can ill afford to lose so many of its base. Shorten would be laughing all the way to the next election.
So how do we describe One Nation? Are they just a populist movement or are they an anti-conservative establishment party. Crikey, what a dilemma.
The federal Nationals MP George Christensen had the answer. The Coalition should “stand up more for conservative values”, he said.
As it is the Nationals are practically running the country, Turnbull has so capitulated on so many policies that you would be hard-pressed not to describe them as a far-right conservative party.
“I think a lot of that starts with the Turnbull government, its leadership and its policy direction.”
“I’m sorry that we in the LNP have let you down and now we need to listen more, work harder, stand up more for conservative values and regional Queensland and do better to win your trust and your vote.”
He wants the leader to be replaced with a hard right conservative who wears conservatism on his sleeve. One of their own like Dutton or Morisson.
Quoting Stirton again:
It’s self-serving for the destabilising Coalition mavericks like Christensen to divide the government, harm its standing, then turn around and say, “The solution is us.” The solution,”is presumably to provide a better quality centre-right leadership”.
Of course Christensen’s comments must be balanced by the fact that Ayr, Bowen and parts of Townsville – areas where hordes of voters appeared to swing from the LNP to One Nation are in his electorate. Christensen has a big gut but whether he will use it and cross the floor to vote with the opposition for a Royal Commission into the banks is another matter. If he is feeling a greater need to retain his seat he might even resign and join One Nation.
When analysing it all there are those that might say “well at least that moron Malcolm Roberts has gone.” I’m told that on Saturday night when he was in a state of denial that:
“James Ashby, Pauline Hanson’s right-hand man, driver of the Battler’s Bus and guest on the Nine panel, sought to calm the former senator, who was found by the High Court to hold dual Australian-British citizenship, however much he had denied it.
“You’ve done an exceptional job,” said Ashby. “This is a much better result than your Senate campaign.”
“Well, quite. Roberts spent his brief and strange career in the Senate having got precisely 77 personal votes.”
As I said, Shorten must be laughing all the way to the next election.
The Nationals hold 16 of the government’s 76 seats in the House (21 per cent) and six of the government’s 30 senators. They have five spots in the 23-member cabinet (21.7 per cent), only one of seven in the outer ministry, but three of 12 (25 per cent) among the assistant ministers. Overall, they hold 10 of the 42 spots (almost 24 per cent) in the Turnbull ministry. In the lower house they receive much less of the National vote than the Greens who have one seat in the house of reps.
2 This time last year the world lost the life of Tyrone Unsworth, a 13-year-old effeminate gay boy. He took his own life. His was a life that the Safe Schools program was designed to protect. But the bullies got him.
His mother said:
“Tyrone ended up being gay and a lot of people started picking on him. He was a really feminine male, he loved fashion, he loved make-up and the boys always picked on him, calling him gay-boy, faggot, fairy; it was a constant thing from Year 5. I feel like these people who were bullying Tyrone are the cause of why he is not here anymore. They pushed him to the edge”.
I wonder if the likes of Bernardi and Christensen in their quiet moments of reflection ever stop to consider their actions.
My thought for the day
“Life is an experience of random often unidentifiable patterns and indiscriminate consequences that don’t always have order nor require explanation. The more we relate to others the more we get to know ourselves”.