“How come?” with almost three terms of pathetic governance is the Morrison government able to maintain such a lead in the polls?
On this very subject, I posted When ‘sorry’ seems to be the hardest word in which I wrote:
“… leaves me with the most puzzling of questions. That being, that at the end of their third term in office, the government will have served close to nine years with three prime ministers. During that time, they have committed numerous severe misdemeanours, including the rejection of climate change. The current prime minister has a list as long as the Flemington straight. So how come his popularity sits at 68 per cent?”
The “How come?” question is a perplexing one that leads to many others.
1 Is it because the people always look to its government in times of crisis for protection and leadership? History proves this to be so.
In Australia Scott Morrison, despite a holiday in Hawaii while parts of the country were going up in flames, became more popular when he gave the COVID-19 virus more of his attention. This is not a phenomenon confined to Australia.
“Leaders of wildly varying characters presiding over differing responses to the pandemic are seeing a similar coronavirus popularity dividend. Emmanuel Macron has become better regarded among the French. Germans are more appreciative of Angela Merkel. Despite the grim state of affairs in Italy, Giuseppe Conte, the leader of its strange coalition government, has seen his approval rating leap from 44% in February to more than 70%. Donald “it’s going to disappear” Trump’s sensationally reckless responses to the crisis have been accompanied by a rise in his ratings. Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea, has never been more popular.”
During times of crisis, people seem to entrench the leadership they have. However, this only goes some way to explaining the popularity of our Prime Minister. One would have thought that the electorate would have also recognised his contradictions and what he was responsible for. Deaths in Aged care, for example.
2 Might it be that Scott Morrison is a consummate politician? In my view, he has “believability” even when telling the most outrageous lies. When questioned about his lies, he shows the right amount of chutzpah. “What! You don’t believe me?” He is forever confident, (thinks he) knows everything and talks like a machine. He is a “move on politician”, meaning he doesn’t allow mistakes or being found out to linger. He moves on as though nothing happened.
“The Prime Minister has brushed off his failure to gain a speaking role at the Glasgow global warming summit as inconsequential. But the reality is that the Prime Minister and his government continue to fail us.”
Less informed voters, unfortunately, outnumber the more politically aware. Therefore, conservatives feed them all the bullshit they need. And the menu generally contains a fair portion of untruths.
3 Perhaps the people actually believe all the lies Morrison and his ministers tell. When Morrison tells straight out verifiable lies like meeting our carbon emissions in a canter and omits to say that it wouldn’t happen if we couldn’t use our carbon credits, he sounds – to too many people – believable and credible.
Have we reached the point in politics where truth is something that politicians have persuaded us to believe, “Like alternative facts” rather than truth based on factual evidence, arguments and assertions?
4 Another reason might be that all the propaganda by the Murdoch press over the years has worked. Murdoch media has been doing Labor over for so long in saying the big lie that; “They are bad managers of the economy” that it has become engrained in Australian polity. The Liberal Party, in unison with the Murdoch media, are the masters of the scare.
On the latter, in April last year I wrote about Coalition scare campaigns.
“As is my usual practice, I gather all my information and peruse it before beginning.
I always do a search on Google looking for facts to support my argument and for anything that might complement my own thoughts, or indeed, correct them.
In this instance, I typed in “scare campaigns of the Liberal Party”, and I was not surprised to find that the first three pages were full of links to [verifiable articles written] about Coalition scare campaigns.”
I wanted to show that the Coaltion are the masters of a scare. I also draw from a piece I wrote in 2016 (albeit rehashed).
We live in a time where horrible things are being perpetrated on us. The shame is that we have normalised them and adjusted accordingly.
5 Character assassination techniques do not need to be true:
” ‘Mud sticks’ as they say, and an accusation of wrong-doing is enough to sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of others – witch-hunts, both ancient and modern use such methods.”
Just ask Julia Gillard!
Character is a combination of traits that etch the outlines of a life, governing moral choices and infusing personal and professional conduct. It’s an elusive thing, easily cloaked or submerged by the theatrics of politics. But unexpected moments can sometimes reveal the fibres from which it is woven.
6 The people reject Labor on the assumption that Albanese won’t make a leader yet he is arguably the most squeaky clean politician in the parliament.
In the recipe of good leadership, there are many ingredients. Popularity is but one. It, however, ranks far below getting things done for the common good.
In 2019 it was evident that Bill Shorten ran a good campaign with progressive policy and looked the winner. However, Morrison won because a) he showed a confident manner, he lied about anything he could get away with, and b) mainly because people had their doubts about Shorten. Although Morrison hadn’t been in the job for long, he was well-known. He had been Immigration Minister, Social Services Minister then Treasurer and finally Prime Minister. Shorten was merely a trade unionist with a shady past, apparently.
As for the Prime Minister, in the last Essential survey for the year:
“Morrison ends 2020 comfortably ahead of his opponent as better prime minister 50% to 24%. Still, the prime minister’s standing on that measure dropped three points in a month, with more voters moving to the ‘don’t know’ column (26%). The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus three points.”
It needs to be remembered, in Albanese’s defence that it is difficult for any opposition to get a word in at the best of times, but during a worldwide corona crisis, it’s almost impossible.
The answer to the question I pose; “How come?” lays somewhere in the supplementary questions. Or even in a combination of two or all. However, the reader might have other ideas on why the left is so often defeated by mediocracy.
My thought for the day
I found it impossible to imagine that the Australian people could be so gullible as to elect for a third term a government that had performed so miserably in the first two. And to think that it has amongst its members some of the most devious, suspicious and corrupt men and women but they did.
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