Tuesday. March 20. 2018
As the analysis of the weekend’s elections continues and the bias of all the contributions expose themselves to further scrutiny, any number of conclusions will be reached.
But first, what is bias?
“I would say it is either an inability or unwillingness to want to understand an opposing point of view.”
If you, as I do, converse with people who won’t even read what you have written yet still put forward a point of view on it, then they are assuredly biased. If you post a text version because they won’t click to The AIMN and they won’t read it, then beyond doubt, they are biased.
In fact, they are worse than biased, they are anti-democratic because you cannot possibly believe in democracy if you believe that your party is the only one who should win, ever.
Put to me a factual evidence-based policy or narrative and I will examine it and judge it in good faith. Therefore I am not biased. I am willing to consider the other point of view to see if it fits the framework of my personal world view and the ideology of the party I follow. If it doesn’t, then I reject it on that basis. If I reject it without due consideration, then I am biased.
Now let me analyse the weekend based on what I know. In South Australia, Labor had been in power for 16 years. Longevity is considered to be the first enemy of any incumbent government. However, given they started with a deficit of four seats due to redistribution, they performed remarkably well and are well-placed to win the next election in four years.
The Liberal Party, who managed to win with a 7% swing against them, was ably assisted by a politician who believed his personal popularity was enough to break the duopoly of the major partyies. Xenophon gained almost 20% of the vote but came over as an ill-prepared hillbilly with no policies, but a huge sense of humour. However, 20% should guarantee you a seat or two. All these anomalies might even suggest the Liberals were lucky to get across the line.
In the Senate he was good at identifying a problem, selling his vote for nothing, and then claiming the credit for the brokerage. He now is an example of why minimalist parties don’t have an extended lifespan. In more recent times we have seen minor parties from both sides of the political divide try to break our two party duopoly. They come and go but always the people come back to the left or right of their original political attitude.
The Democrats tried to keep the bastards honest. Pauline Hanson has come and gone and come again. Next time she might go forever. She bombed out in Queensland. Clive Palmer put some weight behind his Palmer United party and is said to be considering another go.
Australian Conservatives under Cory Bernardi face an uphill battle. There may be a place for a conservative, but not with Bernardi as leader. They are more likely to have short-term success under the likes of former PM Tony Abbott, but would face the same long-term problems as the others.
So, it seems that we are prepared to give minor parties a go when we are upset with the two majors but then revert back to the majors when we realise the minors cannot achieve much. Former ACTU president Ged Kearney proved to be a formidable campaigner in Batman and the Greens are unlikely, with the benefit of incumbency unlikely to take it from her.
All the infighting said to the electorate was that minor parties suffer the same human emotional inadequacies as the majors over time.
The weekend – if it has proven anything – is that minor parties are just as vulnerable as the majors. Labor has learn’t, or has already realised, that good candidates and good policies, even if risky, are more to the electorates liking. I’m not sure what the Liberals have learnt. It was a clayton’s victory at best in SA.
As for the Greens, well, they have been around for a long time and seem to be jumping up and down on the one spot. With a 7% swing in SA, 5% in Bennelong, 12 % in WA , 6% in Tasmania and 5% in Queensland.
Clearly the Greens have to reconsider their strategy if not their future. Maybe the end is nigh and the electoral cycle will continue as all before them which leaves us with the thought that maybe the minor parties have done their dash until the next protest party comes along.
My thought for the day
“If you have a point of view, feel free to express it. However, do so with civility. Then your point of view is laced with a degree of dignity.”
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