Let me imagine that my wife tells me that she’s leaving me and when I ask her why, she tells me that I used to be this trim, healthy man but I’ve let myself go. Mm, I think, I know what I’ll do. I’ll win her back by eating lots of fast food, drinking lots of beer and pay someone to walk the dog because I don’t need the exercise.
Sounds like it’ll work, doesn’t it? And let me just emphasise here: My plan is to win her back, not to say to hell with it and who needs other people in your life…
What? You think that maybe I’d be better off hiring a personal trainer and embarking on some sort of diet? Well, it’s easy to see that you won’t ever become an adviser to the current Liberal Party.
Yes, it seems that the general conclusion from Sky News and various MPs that are still there, that the answer to their election loss is to move further to the right. Or perhaps, it would be more accurate to say further to the wrong.
I mean, let’s consider what happened in the past few years. There’s been a general consensus that climate change is real and that we should do something about it. Ok, there’s a bit of disagreement about how much we should do, but all the polls say that a significant majority of voters think that we should do more. However, the recalcitrants in the Coalition and the Murdoch media have managed to convince the major parties that to do anything will be electoral suicide, so the choice has been between a government that – after a lot of argy-bargy – agreed to commit to net zero, provided that nobody had to actually do anything about it until 2049, and a party that promised to do a little bit more but was worried about sounding too much like they’d actually do something significant, thereby losing votes in the coal-mining seats.
To me the surprising thing is not that Labor managed to form government with a primary vote of less than 40%, it’s that it took this long for people to say, “Look, we actually want a government that does something and if that means we have to kick Josh out of Kooyong and Dave out of Wentworth and Timmy out of the prayer room, then by hell, we’ll do it, even it means voting for an independent or the Greens because we’re all sick of nothing happening!”
While the media is expressing surprise that Labor won with such a low primary vote and speculating on what went so wrong, they’re overlooking the simple fact that they won. It’s almost like they don’t understand how the preferential system works. I mean, I’m sure if I’d created a party called “Send Them Home To Biloela”, I’d have probably got several votes from people who understood that they’d be sending a message but, in the end, it would be one of the major parties who need up getting their vote after I was eliminated.
And so it was with the teal candidates. I’m sure plenty of Labor voters were strategic in deciding that the Labor candidate wasn’t going to win, but by putting the “so-called teal” candidate number one, they were possibly giving Labor the possibility of forming a minority government. At the very least, pushing the Liberals to actually do something about climate change and an integrity Commission.
But having lost to Labor, The Greens AND the Independents, what do some see as the solution for the ex-government?
Elect Peter Dutton as leader, ditch net zero and form an alliance with the Proud Boys, in the hope of all those who voted against them in the seats that the Liberals own because – Menzies and it’s always been Liberal, will suddenly go: “Awesome! Just what we need: more people who think that anyone who’s ever read a book for pleasure is over-educated!”
As for women, well, there was a lot of fuss about the fact that the Coalition didn’t have enough female MPs but what can you do when you believe in merit? I mean, it’d be hard to find a woman anywhere with the reasoning power of Stuart Robert or Matt Canavan. Yes, when the leaders of the respective parties are Scott and Barnaby, it’s really hard to put forward the merit argument. As with so many other things, Morrison saw the problem and, quick as a flash, made an announcement about their intention to develop a plan and to put money toward dealing with it. “Women should feel safe,” he told us, “and I’ve committed money towards a future advertising campaign telling them that we agree that they should and if they don’t, it’s really something that we understand and we have Prime Minister for women because I can’t trouble myself with anything like that because I’ve got important work to do. We understand you, so vote for us.”
Still, to be fair, the Coalition have always suggested that minorities need to fit in and we can’t just pander to people who don’t accept the society we live in. It’s just a pity that they didn’t realise that women are one of the few minority groups that actually form a majority.
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