Election 2019: Some background
Bill Shorten took over as leader of Australian Labor Party in 2013 and resigned in 2019 after taking the party to two elections.
He lost both narrowly.
In 2016 he came within one seat of becoming Prime Minister after adopting a strategy of prematurely revealing major policies well before the election.
He also adopted a confrontational approach to the everyday swings of Australian politics. An approach that was seen as sensible for some and light-on by others.
He wasn’t expected to win in 2016 so his narrow loss was seen as exemplary. In 2019 he was in better shape and given the dreadful performance of the Coalition was expected to win easily.
Labor had led in the polls for the better part of three years. It repeated Shorten’s plan of revealing policy early.
In the face of arguably the worst governance the nation had ever experienced, with infighting and three Prime Ministers in three years it is hard to see how Labor lost.
Until now I haven’t ventured down this path, the why Labor lost road, but I knew I would have to face it sooner or later.
To say that it was a shocker would be an understatement. It was a devastating loss. Nobody expected it. It was as we say, an unloseable election.
Labor had lost, but what wasn’t acceptable was that they had lost to the worst government in Australian political history. And might I add, they lost a fair slice of their base.
The eventual winner, Morrison campaigned with all the ferocity of a leader with nothing to lose, lying at will, exaggerating and inventing successful scare tactics that Labor failed to counter.
Was Morrison a better leader and campaigner? Did the Coalition have better policies? Was it how the votes fell in different states? What effect did religion have on the result? What part did the press play?
Morrison in his acceptance speech said it was:
“The quiet Australians” who voted for his party. “It has been those Australians who have worked hard every day, they have their dreams, they have their aspirations, to get a job, to get an apprenticeship, to start a business, to meet someone amazing.”
“To start a family, to buy a home, to work hard and provide the best you can for your kids. To save for your retirement. These are the quiet Australians who have won a great victory tonight.”
Anthony Albanese the favorite to take over the leadership said that the task was to respect the election outcome, “go back, talk to people and do better, because our people need us to be in government. I think Australia needs a Labor government.”
Before I go on there has been an event that will directly affect the approach of both parties as we move toward the next election.
Morrison meeting Trump and the subsequent words uttered by both confirm that both parties intend taking a nationalist approach to their politics.
In Australia the Liberal Party is now dead and buried. Morrison has confirmed it with his cloning of Trump’s speech to the United Nations.
At a time when what the world needs to solve problems of great importance is “internationalism” Scott Morrison has chosen to take the Trump path of “nationalism”.
The problem of climate change, international trade and indeed the human rights of the world’s citizens will not be resolved by nations looking inward.
Imagine if you will, a world where each nation outside of those able to stand on their affluence was subservient to the rich nations. Australia first, America first, England first, Japan first.
Where does it end? No nation is an island. (“No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main,” said John Donne).
It is indeed sad, even hilarious, that after a week with Trump, Morrison was converted by the greatest fraud of our times into his illogical thinking.
Trump declared that the future belonged to the “patriots” and not “globalists.” Then Morrison echoed Trumps intemperate language.
By choosing to follow the ideology of the dangerous sociopath, Morrison by his own mental incapacity has humiliated our nation and placed us in the position of holding the hand of the imbecile.
He has no mandate for this.
Now back to the election background
Labor was so far in front in the polls for so long that it seemed inevitable that they would win. They had introduced policies that would result in a fairer more equitable Australia.
They were up front about where the money would come from and how it would be redistributed.
Conversely the Coalition was in a mess changing its leader three times. Internal disputes kept pulling them apart.
The Coalition for three years had been so riddled with infighting about its ideology. And so poor was their governance that they were criticised on a daily basis for it.
Their words and actions brought into question the very essence of the word truth. Or they at least devalued it to the point of obsolescence. Just because clowns were governing us it didn’t mean it was a laughing matter. Well, on reflection sometimes it became so.
We had gone through the Abbott years of incompetence followed by Turnbull’s years of hypocrisy.
Now almost 12 months into its third term the chaos and incompetence of Morrison continues with the same moronic ministers still in do-nothing mode.
It has become deeply imbued in either no policies for energy or climate change or enquiry after enquiry that are never revealed to the public.
The only legislation put forward is that which will further erode your civil rights or give the police more powers.
But this isn’t new, its stuff they have been working on for six years.
Yes, that is so. For six and a bit years the Coalition – while trying to re brand itself as a right-wing, deeply conservative political party – has at the same time been performing double back flips to produce policies that are of no importance to the people. It has all been about the brand. We are the best to handle the economy, the best on immigration, border protection and so on. We are the tuff party.
The battle for supremacy between the wets and dries, that is, the moderates and the hard-right has been fought and won by the hard-right. The Liberal Party exists in name only.
One might in fact argue that it is this internal debate that is dragging them into a dysfunctional rabble.
Malcolm Turnbull for all his pretension of being a moderate never offered his vast intelligence to this debate instead parking his views on climate science and energy least it upset the far-right colleagues of the party who were busy fighting nationalist wars.
Eventually the white flag of surrender was raised by the small “L” libs and the Liberal Party now exists in name only.
The reason Scott Morrison is Prime Minister is because he best fits the brand image of a far-right party. Remember that no one could explain why he was Prime Minister?
It has been a most bizarre period in Australian political history.
Now most of Morrison’s time is spent defending policies be it cuts to the ABC, a poor Internet service, the NDIS or their disgraceful response to the Uluru statement. The fact is that it rejected the proposal for ideological reasons, instead of having a proper debate, raises the question: Is there a place for the colour black in a “Nationalist” Australia?
Now that Morrison has adopted Trump’s language of putting nationalism before internationalism, one’s country before all others. Does it mean that our government will ignore the advice and or findings such as the UN or the international Monetary Fund or the WHO and others?
After six years is this government of the people, for the people; their sole achievement, other than introducing marriage equality, that we are a nationalist government believing that global governments are non-existent and unnecessary.
But then this is a born-to-rule government unconcerned with the views of others: of women, scientists, policy experts and particularly the young and most definitely other countries other than the United States of America of course.
If what has been done by this government; the erosion of our democracy and its institutions and a transformation into a nationalist government, putting itself first among all nations then by their own standards they need to be shown the door.
Just who does this Prime Minister think he is that on a thought bubble of his own wind, in the loneliness of his limited intellect, think that he can make decisions concerning our standing in the world with all the simplicity of a leader unsuited to the task?
It’s not often you can offend all sides of an argument.
My thought for the day
This American Conservative political strategy of painting everything as black as possible and then pretending it’s only they that have the answers is being duplicated in Australia. It seems Australians are falling for it. I thought we were brighter than that.