So what did you think would happen when you voted to give another term to a government that had arguably proven itself to be the worst in Australian political history? Did you really expect that good government would start tomorrow?
Did you think that after 6 years of deplorable, at times incomprehensible governance, that a team of politically skilled coaches would come in and restore a party that was broken, in complete disarray and fighting each other in hand-to-hand combat for control of the party?
Did you expect a tired old party to immediately resurrect its credibility in the space of a month and go on to govern with extraordinary brilliance and astuteness?
What has happened is the opposite. The government has continued on with business as usual. The first month of the Morrison government has been nothing more than a day-to-day pretty ordinary beginning for a new government.
What is supposed to be the honeymoon period has turned into disputes about press freedoms and the government looks like it is still stuck in its usual place of residence. The past.
Good government, as being distinct from bad government, requires good leadership. And that is of course distinct from good campaigning, which on reflection one has to admit Morrison did rather well.
The danger in looking back to often is that you lose the will to go forward.
But of course had you watched every speaker at Bob Hawke’s tribute you would have noticed an over recurring theme that highlighted his leadership. It was inclusiveness, trust, delegation and an ability to listen.
The problem for Morrison is that none of his ministerial team is trustworthy. They are all individuals playing in a team game.
The governments words and actions bring into question the very essence of the word truth. Or they have at least devalued it to the point of obsolescence.
Having won government with an array of smear campaigns and mountains of outright lies the government has quickly fallen back into what it has been doing badly for 6 years.
It takes time to dig a party that still has the same policies and the same MPs out of a hole the size of their collective egos.
However, journalists and commentators seem to be acting as though this new government would bring with it an overnight conversion. What on earth made them feel that that way?
That the government overnight would become better planners, more compassionate, demonstrably inclusive by taking the people with them.
The fracas started soon after Saturday 18 May and has proven my point.
Firstly, it was the fundamental freedoms of the press to write their stories, opinions, and other stuff without being hindered by the Federal Police.
In what is supposed to be the honeymoon period the government has acted like dictatorial twits, dictating to all and sundry just how it expects its servants to act. Like its born to rule mentality had been confirmed by the voters.
So what else did you expect?
All that has happened since the election serves only to endorse in the minds that take an interest in these things is just how much lying took place. It exhausted the truth to the point of the truth just giving up.
Dishonesty had its way, papering over the real problems facing the nation.
The conservatives conned the people into believing that, given they were the better economic managers, then everything must be all right. But they were lying through their teeth.
Then Morrison confessed on the public alter of truth that his tax cuts couldn’t be delivered on July 1 as promised because Parliament could not be recalled before June 28, when the writs were due to be returned. Given the government would have known that all the way through the campaign, it was just another lie from the Christian prime minister.
He seems to do it with such casual consummate naturalness. Did his faith teach him that truth is something you can turn off and on?
The give away really was the impertinent way in which Scott Morrison put his hands up to dismiss legitimate concerns about freedom of the press as if it had nothing to do with him
So here we are now having obtained this post election truth but at the same time wondering why the government isn’t acting a little more honourably.
But really, why would you expect this government so firmly entrenched in its incompetency to all of a sudden act decently?
The fact of the matter is that right throughout the election campaign Morrison made promises he couldn’t keep. And he knew it. And now he has to deliver a surplus even if it’s bad for the economy.
On top of that Mathias Cormann and others then claimed that the government had a mandate with a one-seat majority. How stupid is that?
They became overexcited with a Pyrrhic victory of lying over truth.
Remember during the campaign they said that the economy was in such fine shape that it was on the verge of producing 1.25 million new jobs this financial year.
Looking forward, I imagine that the answer as to why they haven’t been able to deliver their promises will be just another lie. Or the fallback that it is all Labor’s fault.
In the aftermath of any election usually the first two utterances one hears from the winner is “we will govern for all the people” and unequivocally is “we have a mandate.”
Yes, invariably when political parties win an election they claim to have a mandate. But surely to claim that you have a policy mandate when you have won by the narrowest of margins is an absurdity.
If you campaigned in an election on one explicit policy and everyone knew that it was specifically about that policy and you won, I would say you had a mandate. However, in this election there were a multitude of policies with a distinct difference in ideology.
People assume that elections, especially ones with a large margin of victory, give the newly-elected government or elected official an implicit mandate to put into effect certain policies.
But in essence the word “mandate” is not derived from any particular institution, doctrine, law or constitution. It may even have its grounding in philosophy, history or political morality.
So the question remains: What is a mandate? Well you decide. For me it is only legitimate when all cards are on the table and the party who wins, wins with such a majority that its mandate cannot be denied. And in those rare moments where it is legitimate it is more to do with how governments govern rather than any authority to do so.
With all the ignorance of a man bereft of deep intelligence, Morrison dismissed with typical aplomb the concerns about media freedom and heavy-handed police raids.
And he did so in the manner of blind arrogance.
The law is the law and has nothing to do with me.
He simply couldn’t see through the clouds of his conservatism that all these AFP raids heavily favoured the Liberal Party. “We are not dumb,” said the people.
And as far as law goes had he not forgotten that as prime minister it is he and the government he leads who make our laws
The AFP (now a law unto themselves) were really gilding the lily when they suggested the election campaign was not factored into the timing of its raids on News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst, over a story published last year, and the ABC to chase down material used by Dan Oakes and Sam Clark for stories in 2017.
Both sides of our political divide need to get over some issues arising from the election. The Coalition needs to get over the shock that they won and did so very narrowly. The main thing they need to do besides deciding what and who they are is to simply tell the truth.
Labor has to get over the shock of losing. In doing so they must also decide what they are. A party for the common good or an old fashioned socialist party, and I don’t think that worked last time.
The public need to think about all the things they didn’t vote for and realise they voted the same mob back in and not to expect any improvement over the term. A leopard doesn’t change its spots. They fell for all the lies and will have to wait 3 more long and stressful years to change things.
Ask yourself this: Does the political culture we have make you feel good about your country?
So don’t moan if the Coalition continues to stuff things up. They have been doing so for six years. You gave them another three. That’s not my fault.
My thought for the day
The right to vote in an election is the gift that democracy gives. Therefore, it is incumbent on the voter to at least have a rudimentary understanding of politics and to take an interest in the political landscape.
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