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Will the Opposition achieve relevancy? Only time will tell.

I’m trying this morning to get a feeling for the future of politics in our country. Not much critical analysis has been written about the aftermath of the May 21 election.

Probably the most substantive thing I noticed was that the young have finally caught up with the aged. Yes, the Millennials have caught up with the Baby Boomers. Let me explain: For many years the old have supported the right of politics, and the young have latched onto the left. Polls have consistently shown this. The seniors in an ageing population are dying quickly and taking the conservative vote with them.

The young left vote has been exposed in significant proportion. Labor, the Greens and the Independents obtained 75% of the total vote. The old card-carrying supporter of my vintage has gone, and the young with no natural allegiance have moved in.

Our national census tells multiple stories about a country experiencing considerable change. It doesn’t paint much of a picture of the chances of the right in the next election. Population shifts in Victoria and New South Wales will lead the Electoral Commission to eliminate what were three blue-ribbon Coalition seats. All now held by so-called Teal Independents.

Another ingredient in this recipe for a rapidly changing nation is its browning. And the focus on immigration has shifted from the end of the war, white Europeans and the 60s, Italians and Greeks, and the Asian influx that followed to the now Middle Easton, African and Indian persuasion.

In my thoughts on what might emerge in the aftermath of the election, I find it astonishing that no self-reflection has occurred. I mean, does the Coalition think they were just victims of being in office a tad long? Maybe they feel that being on the far right eliminates any circumspection.

We have heard not even a cry that the leader failed or that we should never have appointed him as our leader. It’s as if he is not to blame for anything – the young saw his deceit and cunning through his lies and voted with purpose. Why couldn’t more of the elderly see through him?

At this point in my writing, you are probably asking yourself, “didn’t he watch Four Corners?” on July 3. I did, but it only focused on branch stacking and pre-selection in NSW. There is more to it than that.

I want to know why Morrison had such a hold on the party. When it became apparent that they were going to lose, why was he not confronted? Why wasn’t he told to tone down his religiosity? Those and many other questions remain unanswered.

It leaves the conservative parties caught between a rock and a hard place. Just like when John Howard advised Tony Abbott against Royal Commissions into the Unions and Pink Batts, opining that they weren’t worth the trouble.

Labor hasn’t much choice. Having championed a Corruption Commission for so long, the Prime Minister is duty-bound to provide it with some work. They have enough investigative work to last a couple of years.

Here are but a few examples of alleged corruption:

The land they paid 30 times its value for, Sports rorts, misappropriation of water from Murray-Darling by coalition donors, $444m to Great Barrier Reef Foundation with no tendering, many of Angus Taylor’s questionable activities, $30 million to Foxtel for no apparent reason and there is a list as long as the Flemington straight.

On the one hand, voting against an Integrity Commission will cause much grief for the Opposition. On the other, they, the Coalition, have no choice but to vote for one in the knowledge that there are those in their party who will have to face the music for their sins.

What happened with Robodebt and who gave the order to proceed when it was illegal needs a Royal Commission.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will have to make a similar choice to Abbott’s. He can say that we must investigate all the allegations to return to a decent democracy or that he is not into vengeance politics. However, we may need a prick of spite to prove what can happen to democracies when corruption is allowed to flourish. I believe blood needs to flow now so that the governance we were forced to endure never happens again.

Of the many mountains the Coalition will have to climb to return to its once-held dominance, none will be more important than relevance. It will not be regaining lost seats or how far right it should go, but how relevant are they as political parties. By the next election, their base will be further eroded by the loss of more elderly voters, leaders unsuited to the times and two parties who have drifted away from each other. So much so that even talking to each other brings on conflicts.

You cannot buy relevancy. It doesn’t come in a box. It comes about with good policy, leaders of proven trust and saleability, and a capacity to overcome past errors.

At the moment, the leader of the National Party, David Littleproud, looks out of his depth. Peter Dutton has picked a rather odd time to go on leave (all expenses paid) after declaring that his party’s policy on climate won’t change and that he will fight the next election on education in the belief that communists are teaching our children.

Making it even harder is a Government quite the opposite of the previous one – a trustworthy leader backed by a team of competent ministers ready to put things right over time. An understanding electorate is glad of the truth even when difficult to swallow. This Coalition has none of these prerequisites.

Anthony Albanese exhibits leadership qualities the populace has been waiting a decade for. Of vast experience with a diplomatic manner and forceful tone. Comfortable on the global stage without a hint of self-importance.

Yes, inflation may rise to 7%. Yes, interest rates will continue to go up. Yes, climate change and energy will be costly, but the people will accept it if you tell them the truth. The same goes for our debt.

Relevance is a consistent reminder of how the electorate views its politicians. The Government is ready to do its job; the Greens are emboldened and Teals excited. This parliament starts its repair work on Tuesday, July 26 2022. The question is, though, will the Opposition have any relevancy? Only time will tell.

The independents and the Greens would do well to recognise that they are not in power. They, along with the Opposition, form part of the body politic and should behave maturely if they want to be seen as relevant.

My thought for the day

The ability of thinking human beings to blindly embrace what they are being told without referring to evaluation and the consideration of reason never ceases to amaze me. It is tantamount to the rejection of rational explanation.

 

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12 comments

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  1. Terence Mills

    While Albanese was being criticised by Liberal and National members for being overseas during the floods their own leader was on holidays in the US with his family.

    Nothing wrong with going on holiday but when asked by the press where Dutton was, those who criticised Albanese said they didn’t know or that it was not relevant. Their point was that they wanted to get a hit on Albanese because he was not in Australia.

    Just to be clear the prime minister had been away for little over a week on official trips to a NATO leaders’ summit in Spain, mending fences with President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, rekindling a free trade arrangement with the EU and a high-security trip to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

    The coalition are not exactly covering themselves in glory !

  2. Andrew J. Smith

    One would suggest that the LNP’s WASPish media masters running oligopolies have not received the memo yet.

    Think the coalition are looking at becoming more like a QLD LNP lite, which would guarantee quite some time out of touch, and power?

  3. GL

    Personally, the LNP has as much impact as a fart in a cyclone.

  4. ajogrady

    Australians need a proactive leader that understands that a divided world only benefits fossil fuel industries.
    Australians don’t want a war with China. Australians want war on preventing climate change. Australia and the world need China to defeat climate change. Just as Labor tells the world that Australia is back in the renewable energy game to fight climate change Albanese comes along and makes a inflammatory, provocative and insulting speech dictating to China, a sovereign nation, what China’s actions should be towards Russia. The speech at NATO in Madrid has torpedoed any useful cooperation with the worlds highest emitter, China. No Whitlameske leadership, strength or foresight from Albanese there.
    Albanese’s rhetoric on China so far is a rinse and repeat of the Morrison L/NP governments policy and is beyond disappointing.
    Opinion polls show that the Morrison government, aided by a compliant media, successfully convinced most Australians that China had changed from being a friend to an enemy. The reality is Australia, under the L/NP/Murdoch, changed and turned a friend into a foe. Reinforcing this view could see the Albanese government become a one-term one since it would serve the Opposition’s agenda, not its own. Albanese should be taking a leaf out of Penny Wong’s constructive China playbook rather then the demanding Rupert Murdoch/L/NP playbook. A good ally is not a faithful well-armed dog but a independent thoughtful calm advisor reflecting on its own national interests first.
    To have China on side is especially important since the the second highest emitter, the USA, has had its ability to reduce its emitions quashed by the US Supreme Court. Collaboration, persistence and cooperation is needed to fight the real enemy, climate change. Australia and the world need leaders with cool conciliatory and pragmatic heads. What Australia and the world does not need is weak puppets creating enemies while perpetuating fake war mongering propaganda so as to feed the need for more arms and expand the greedy and corrupt military arms machine. This takes the focus of the real enemy to life as we know it, climate change. It gives the fossil fuel merchants of death more time to make obscene profits at the expense of our children’s futures. Its beyond time that our leaders showed positive and proactive leadership in the interest of preserving our world.

  5. Al Nutritruth

    “why Morrison had such a hold on the party”? Backed by Murdoch, he was perfect for continuity of conflict of interest in gov dealings.
    As Property Council proxy he ticked the box for all things corrupt in the real estate game-scam. I expect no change under Labor as Murdoch still rules and rallies journalists to savage Labor should it come up with any ideas that would see fairness in the market.
    Morrison’s brother (Alan) is co-deputy chair of the Paramedicine Accreditation* Committee. That made the ex-PM a very valuable ass et for Big Pharma lobby groups who see Aus as the perfect milch cow. Note the jump of prices of prescription drugs this week as a result of lobbying to SM during his run as PM.
    Paramedicine Accreditation* Board is supposed to ensure education providers give students the knowledge, skills and professional attributes to competently practice medicine. Since 2020 it seems any medical practitioner who, based on their own observations, questions the official political narrative that drugs good, natural immunity bad, gets nudged with a gag order and threat of sanctions.
    So much for trusting the science.

  6. Pete Petrass

    IMO until they actually realise WHY they lost the election, they will continue to be irrelevant.

  7. leefe

    Electorate to LNP: Could you try to be a bit less shit?
    LNP: We obviously have to be far more shit!

    Until they learn to listen and think things through rather than relying on their confirmation bias and born-to-rule mentality, their relevance will continue to decline.
    Not that the ALP can rest easy; there are certain things exxpected of them and, although reasonable thinking people will understand that the massive dungheap the LNP left behind will take time to clear, there is a limit to people’s patience when they’ve been promisied improvement and genuine action .

  8. Harry Lime

    The only relevance fuckers like Dutton and Littleproud,Ley,Hughes etc.have is as the front for the vested interests of the now dying fossil fuel cabal and the garbage factory of misinformation of News Ltd,which happily is fading at the same rate as it’s decrepit owner.Governments here, like governments elsewhere have been treated as milking cows by the obscenely rich and morally challenged,but circumstances have now changed,and the jig is up.The fouling of the planet’s life support systems will not differentiate between victims on the basis of wealth.Neoliberalism has run it’s destructive course,and must ,of necessity ,be jettisoned ,pronto.We do not need people like Dutton and his ilk,intellectual gnats,who are still seemingly engaged in a war that has been lost.Albanese has done well on several obvious fronts,but the main game in town,climate change,needs far stronger and more urgent action.

  9. wam

    A nice warming read after the pool this morning, till I was confused by your thought and lost what wrote. So second try?
    Have you, over the last 13 years, railed at the ‘idiots’ who read murdoch, watch sky and vote LNP?
    Are they now ‘thinking human beings’?
    If we assume the average reader, listener and watcher is intelligent enough to think about the information are there biggest mobs who cannot?
    I read a 2012 survey, and believe it still applies, that concluded people who only watch sky news are less informed than people who watch no news at all.
    Albo, festina lente and rely on honesty, unity and above all inclusivity.

  10. Keith

    Internationally Prime Minister Albanese was overseas trying to resolve some of the mess left behind by the LNP.
    Before being critical of the Prime Minister being slow to act, the LNP ought look back on their own history.

  11. Wam

    Did we see Albo’s opposition today, lord?
    The one with glossy pamphlet full of easyspeaks. The one which you and Kaye believe and cannot bear to criticise, the one whom, to me, looks and sounds as an arrogant anti-Labor arsehole conman who moonlights as controller of the party who failed Pedder (Hawke saved the Franklin).

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