Much of what happened in the federal election was down to people working out what an appalling person Morrison was, and what a seemingly genuine person Albanese is, with a concomitant swing away from the Liberals to Labor and the Greens. Perhaps even more surprising and fascinating was an ‘if you won’t do something, we’ll do it ourselves’ with a concomitant huge swing in some previously safe Liberal seats to ‘climate independents’ (the Teal Independents). While many will say, ‘but there was a swing against Labor too’, it was only about one eighth of the swing against the Liberals, and I have heard numerous stories of people who have been rusted on Liberal voters but in this election were going to vote Labor for the first time. What seems to have happened is that there was a swing away from what are sometimes referred to as the ‘cartel parties’1  but while perhaps a few percent left these parties, some who left the Liberals jumped to the Labor Party, thus decreasing the swing against the latter.

As Barry Jones (an advisor to Climate200) said: “In 2019 Morrison was not well known, a daggy dad, uninspiring but not threatening. By 2022 he was too well known, a sanctimonious hypocrite, rewarding sycophants, punishing dissenters, secretive, lying, with a tin ear on gender equality, and heavy reliance … on ‘dog whistling’ to attract the votes of religious minorities” and other bigots2. The Coalition now holds its lowest proportion of seats as a share of parliament since the Liberal Party first ran at the 1946 election. In addition, the Coalition obtained the lowest percentage of votes from women in the history of the Liberal Party.

The Labor Party now have a slender majority in the House of Representatives3, and if they decide to go it alone without seriously engaging with the Greens and Teal independents, they will end up going the same way as the Liberal Party. The reason I say this is because of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT); it is the most progressive jurisdiction in the nation and has a Labor-Greens coalition government. The ACT’s progressive nature was demonstrated by its vote for same sex marriage, where the yes vote in the ACT was 74% compared to the Australian average of 62%. The ACT Labor-Greens government has with the help of the Liberal Party, made the latter unelectable; with them having been out of government since 20014.

After the election, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese phoned each of the five returning lower house independents and emphasised that he wanted this to be a different parliament. He wanted standards to be higher. He wanted a better tone.

According to the Independent MP for Indi, Helen Haines, Albanese indicated he had “an ambition to have … a strong and collaborative, respectful relationship with the crossbench, and integrity is at the core of that.”5

If Albanese can do that and the Liberal Party under Dutton continues in the Morrison mode of combative, obstructive, lying, far right, religious stupidity, the Liberal Party will make itself unelectable. However, if Albanese tries to sideline either the Teal Independents, or as is more likely, the Greens, then the Labor Party will end up going the same way as the Liberal Party; into irrelevance. This is because the Greens increased their vote significantly on the basis of the realisation that the dreadful effects of climate change are here now. It is also the main game of the Teal Independents; although many are nominally conservatives they want significant action on climate change. Any action considered to be too weak in reducing emissions by 2030 will demonstrate that like the Liberal Party, the Labor Party are not serious about dealing with climate change.

Sources

  1. https://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/russell-marks/2022/26/2022/art-teal
  2. https://johnmenadue.com/vehicle-or-destination-parties-down-policy-up/
  3. https://tallyroom.aec.gov.au/HouseDefault-27966.htm
  4. https://blotreport.com/2019/09/21/inspired-and-depressed/
  5. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2022/05/28/week-one-albanese-seeks-build-hawke-consensus

6 Comments

  • Arthur Baker says:

    I’m sure Anthony Albanese can be trusted to be a whole lot more consultative than Morrison. After all, he could hardly be less consultative – Morrison was often reluctant to consult even his own ministers, let alone anyone else (“I know Australians know I can be a bit of a bulldozer on issues”, he humblebragged). Besides, if the ALP sends legislation upstairs that the House-of-Reps Greens and Teals don’t agree with, the balance-of-power Greens in the Senate presumably won’t pass it into law.

    By the way, I’m now routinely referring to the so-called “Liberal” Party as the FNL (Fraudulently-Named “Liberals”) on the basis that if they’re liberal, I’m Che Guevara. They’ve got away with this fraudulence for way too long, and it’s time to make a stand. Similarly, the so-called “National” Party are, for me, reverting to their former name, the Country Party. The electorates they represent may look immense on the map because they’re sparsely populated, but they’re not by any means national. As far as I’m aware they don’t hold any electorates in the cities where 80% of Australians live. It’s the FNL/Country Coalition for me from now on.

    • admin says:

      Arthur,
      Agreed. Menzies’ original ‘Liberal Party’ was largely liberal in that its manifesto, as expressed in his forgotten people speech, was similar to what passed for liberal in those days. It has been in rapid ultraconservative, rabidly religious decline ever since. As for the Nationals, I don’t know whether it was the famous ‘I’ll have you know I’m a country member’ – ‘Yeah, I remember’ interaction which precipitated the name change or whether it was a desire to expand into the cities. Whichever it was, it wasn’t successful. Both have become parties for spivs.

      • Arthur Baker says:

        Talking about the forgotten people speech, Eleventy Joe Hockey brought it up again a few years ago – and as far as I’m aware, he didn’t attribute it to Menzies, just let everyone who didn’t know any better think it was his original thought. And you wouldn’t read about it, Peter Dutton’s brought it up again just this week. What a duffer. Isn’t that the kind of thing you’d mention if you’d just come BACK into government rather than having just been turfed out? They’re on the side of the forgotten people? So who are those forgotten people, and who was it who forgot them over the last nine years?

        A wonderful letter from June Simpson of Petersham in today’s SMH says:

        Who are these people and why has he suddenly remembered them after nine years? Are they the leaners who didn’t do enough lifting, the ones who didn’t get a go because they didn’t have a go, the ones who are renting because they didn’t get a good enough job to buy a house, the asylum seekers left on precarious visas because they arrived by boat and were not au pairs, the members of the stolen generation who didn’t deserve an apology, those whose lives were reduced to misery or worse by the robodebt scheme?

        Candidate for Letter of the Year, Ms Simpson.

        • admin says:

          Arthur,
          I wonder if any journalist will ask Dutton such a question. I won’t hold my breath. That letter is superb.

  • Glenn says:

    Herr Morrison had to go. His vision for Australia would be one Xi Jingping would be proud of. As if the Indue card wasn’t enough, any person who hold the government to account would be locked up, under “Anti-trolling” laws. It gets even better. If what a UAP candidate was true, then the Liberal’s “Digital Identity Bill” would have paid the way for a social credit system. I held those beliefs before May 22nd.

    I was talking to my neighbour who thinks that he was a “fake Christian”, and I agree with him. What sort of Christian would condone the cruel treatment that Sri Lankan family received under the Liberala?

    I am happy that Albanese won. Although there is no doubt he will deliver on his promises, I feel that appointing Madeline King as Resource Minister was a mistake. She already approved the controversial Scarborough gas project.

    • admin says:

      Glenn,
      I am sure Morrison thinks he is a very devout and honourable christian. The problem with that is he is so narcissistic that he believes whatever he does is sanctioned by his god; ergo he can do no wrong. It is sickening. He took his guidance directly from the Trump songbook. Albanese is looking promising so far. And despite the Scarborough project being approved, I think events will overtake it sooner than would have otherwise been the case, given the huge increase in the cost of gas (except in WA). It won’t happen as soon as the planet needs it to, but it will happen.

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