While it was clear that former Prime Minister Scott Morrison was on the nose, and that it seemed likely that the Coalition would lose the election, it was unexpected that it would be such a drubbing. The Coalition was reduced to their lowest proportion of seats in the House of Representatives since the Liberal Party first ran in a federal election in 1946.

I have spoken to many people about the election, and after the result became clear that the Coalition had been booted out (emphatically), almost all of them said that they experienced an overwhelming feeling of relief that Scott Morrison and his malevolent government were gone, and perhaps the Liberal Party was in terminal decline. This feeling of profound relief was something I noticed within myself. I felt like an enormous metaphorical weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt much more relaxed and have stopped shouting at the television as much as I used to. I am enjoying life more than I used to, without the concern that Morrison might appear on television and start spouting drivel again, or that he or one of his minions might use the dog whistle again, or waste many millions attempting to pork-barrel their way to electoral success, or avoid responsibility or blame for a disaster of his own making, or steal credit from someone who deserved it. It was relief was that this country no longer had a government of which I and many others were ashamed.

While the 2019 election result was essentially a standard Labor vs Coalition stoush that the Coalition managed to win, the 2022 election was a vastly different event, not just for the fact that the Teal Independents won several seats and the Greens increased their primary vote significantly. An analysis of the election and comparing it to the 2019 result by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is fascinating (please check it out, it is an extraordinary analysis) as it looks at various parameters which seemed to clearly show changes in voting trends from one to the other1. This analysis shows the following:

  • Compared to the 2016 election, in 2019 there was a very pronounced swing against the Coalition in seats which had a higher proportion of voters who listed climate change as the most important issue. This trend continued into the 2022 election1
  • When compared to distance from the nearest capital city, between the 2016 and 2019 elections, the seats distant from capitals swung towards the Coalition, while those nearer the capitals had a slight swing away. This trend continued in 2022, but the swings against the Coalition in the capitals were much stronger1.
  • For seats where more people considered the most important issue to be the economy, in 2019 these seats tended to swing towards the Coalition. However, in the 2022 election, this trend reversed, with those same seats swinging fairly strongly against the Coalition1.

The last of these three is the most surprising as it seems that the belief that the Coalition are good at managing the economy is well and truly dead, despite some journalists continuing to spread such drivel2. Given that journalists keep spreading it, this makes you wonder why so many of the voters of Australia have finally caught on. Could it have been due to the Coalition increasing the Commonwealth net debt by an enormous amount before the pandemic arrived in early 20203; or because they issued a mug with ‘back in black’ months out from a budget which turned out to have a deficit rather than a surplus, such that the mugs had to be quietly removed from their online shop4; or because they buggered up JobKeeper with no provision to claw back the funding from companies that either did not suffer any drop in income, or increased their income5; or because Barnaby Joyce was given $675,000 as a ‘drought envoy’ and produced no report6; or because the corruption is seemingly endemic in the Coalition parties with so many instances, it took me 12 instalments to list them all7,8; or because of the billions of dollars simply used for pork barrelling, to buy votes9.

It is good to see that the truth finally made its way out to the voters, but the fact that this myth took so long to be debunked is an indictment of the Australian mainstream media (excluding Murdoch, which is the PR branch of the Liberal Party), and may indicate that the independent media, which has been highlighting such appalling betrayals of the Australian people, is much more important than it used to be, and like the Liberal Party, the mainstream media may be in terminal decline. Could it be that it has in part lost the trust of the punters? If that is the case, it will be hard to regain that trust.

Sources

  1. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-31/federal-election-voting-trends-climate/101111930
  2. https://blotreport.com/2022/04/09/the-medias-job/
  3. https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/BudgetReview202122/CommonwealthDebt
  4. https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/liberal-party-removes-back-in-black-mug-from-store-as-surplus-looks-unlikely-after-bushfires-coronavirus/news-story/82e5f8df2399510a59cccaf3b6267b33
  5. https://blotreport.com/2022/04/21/why-i-cannot-vote-for-the-morrison-government-stealing-credit/
  6. https://blotreport.com/2019/12/28/do-barnabys-drought-reports-exist/
  7. https://blotreport.com/2022/03/24/why-i-cannot-vote-for-the-morrison-government-petulance-and-corruption/
  8. https://blotreport.com/2022/05/08/corruption-galore-12/
  9. https://blotreport.com/2022/04/02/why-i-cannot-vote-for-the-morrison-government-pork-barrelling/

29 Comments

  • Bronwyn Benn says:

    My partner and I feel exactly as you describe Mr Blot – a sense of relief, combined with the sense that the grownups are back in charge. Albanese and his government have many serious problems to address, given the incompetence and vandalism of the previous government – the energy issue is just the latest one to come out.

    • admin says:

      Bronwyn,
      We have lost almost a decade. The Coalition government were not installed to actually do anything except to retain the status quo; where the oligarchs are in charge and the population are more concerned with having enough money to pay their bills. They want to turn us into a miniature version of the US. There are many more problems which need addressing, and all have been ignored by the Coalition.

  • Laurie says:

    For the last two weeks it seems like most people I meet have been dancing around singing “ding dong, the witch is dead”.

    I also wonder how much damage to the Lib’s economic credentials Clive did with that Liberal and Labor debt ad.

    But we aren’t going to get the last 10 years back.

    • admin says:

      Laurie,
      No we aren’t, and it is terribly worrying that we are so far behind where we should be, when heading towards the second quarter of the 21st century. This seems to be the way of things. We have stasis until it becomes stagnation, then we play catchup, as we did in 1972, 1983 and 2007. Everything in human history seems to happen this way. I wish it was otherwise, but change frightens people.

  • Russell says:

    I fully agree with the comment by Admin that it seemed to take a long time, nearly ten years, for the voters to really see that they had a fourth rate government getting worse with each year. Had we not had a media culture dominated by lazy, smug insider journos and less of the Murdoch moloch’s “Shit channel-after-dark” propaganda, the public would have cottoned on sooner. Maybe Morrison would have lost the 2019 election due to deep investigation of the kleptocrat tendencies of the Lib-Nat herd of spongers and grifters. Labor deserved its chance then, but filthy tactics prevailed.

    The Morrison ministry was the final straw for me, a semi-mafia exploiting every chance to fill their own and big business mates’ pockets. Shamelessly unethical were Taylor, Robert, Joyce and miserable colleagues, while at the same time the coalition courted the WASP Christian right with false dedication to “pious, decent family values”. Finally, and with a lot of help from the huge Brittany Higgins mess induced by that bogan, anti-feminine, chauvinist government, it became hard for them to govern by outright lies, spin and arrogance. And what a giant fuck-up of society and the economy they bequeathed to Labor. May Scummo and all in parliament who backed him as PM, have lives of private pain and suffering. After all, millions of Aussies across all age groups, occupations and genders, were essentially rorted, patronised and ignored. Those people have endured unnecessary hardship for a horrible decade!

    • admin says:

      Russell,
      Many of the punters out there seem to just accept what they hear as the truth and that seems to be the normal setting for us humans. The problem is that people like Trump, Morrison and Boris Johnson have twigged that they can simply lie and lie and lie and with a complicit media they can get away with it. However this just lengthens the time it takes for the punters to catch on. I like the quote from Valery Legasov, who was in charge at Chernobyl and ran afoul of the authorities for being a bit too truthful. He said: “When the truth offends, we lie and lie until we can no longer remember it is even there. But it is still there. Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid.”

    • Jon says:

      Morrison’s arrogance and belief in his own infallibility, along with his refusal to accept responsibility, was a major factor in his downfall Russell. The response to the women’s rally and the associated disgraceful personal conduct of Ministers and parliamentary workers on his watch was a huge factor imo. His inability to grasp basic concepts of fairness and acceptable standards was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and not just for women voters.

  • Jon says:

    We were at a friend’s house for dinner the night of the election and while most of us were hoping and expecting a change of govt, there wasn’t the excitement or anticipation of pervious elections where incumbent coalition govts were rightly shown the door. Nor was there the satisfaction of seeing Fraser cry, or Howard and Abbott being given the flick by their electorates. Perhaps that would have occurred had Morrison rightly suffered the same ignominy as Howard.

    We spent most of the night watching the Brumbies, only flicking to the election during breaks. There was no elation when the result was obvious, just a huge sense of relief that disaster for the nation had been averted.

    Had Morrison’s ethically and morally bankrupt, corrupt government been re-elected there was a real chance that democracy in this country was headed the same way as it is in the USA and UK – democracies in name, miserable failures in practice. Plenty has already been written about how we have – for the moment – avoided that car crash, although as one independent commentator said in the SMH (can’t find the link unfortunately), without changes to rules, a federal ICAC will only be able to make noise and recommendations where the misuse/abuse of taxpayer’s money is concerned.

    I’m not as bullish about what the result means for the future as you. For starters the two party preferred is still knife edge – despite what we know about the LNP’s laziness (Turnbull) and gross incompetence and corruption (Morrison). I’m frankly gobsmacked that any thinking adult could vote for the coalition under the circumstances we’ve witnessed for the past 4 years. I certainly would have dumped Labor under similar circumstances.

    I’m also highly skeptical that the “better economic managers” myth has been debunked. It MAY have been ever so slightly eroded, but given current economic conditions (including Putin’s war) any small gains will quickly be eroded if Albanese gives in to the clamour from multiple sectors (eg aged care, wages, energy, environment, education, defence, child care…) for significant injections of govt funding. The vast majority of the claims are justified and likely necessary after years of incompetence and neglect by Turnbull and Morrison, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Getting the balance right will be an achievement on its own.

    Still, Australia is a slightly better place for having passed judgement as it did. Perhaps there are still small pockets of decent conservatives in the modern world.

    • admin says:

      Jon,
      It is hard to disagree with much of what you say, but I am perhaps a little more optimistic than you. In addition, I think the ‘better economic managers’ horseshit is gone for good.

  • Jon says:

    Found that link, Barry ferguson:
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/federal-corruption-commission-will-not-stop-the-rorts-20220601-p5aq94.html

    Some extracts:
    ………….The primary solution must be to stop corruption by removing opportunities for it to occur.
    Processes need to change so that corruption cannot occur in the first place.

    Viewed broadly, the sorts of corrupt acts that we should want to stamp out are those that see public resources diverted to private interests of either a personal or political nature. Considered in these terms, there is a wide range of political corruption that requires addressing.

    It includes – the use of preferred suppliers; the friendly appointments to plum jobs for failed and ex-politicians (they are lining up again it seems); the short-circuiting of public service processes; the political appointments to senior public service jobs; the overuse of certain suppliers at the expense of open tenders: and the intrusion into public decision-making of the political and mates networks that hang off governments.

    Indeed, much of what occurs that is corrupt involves subverting “due process”, that is, the conduct of administrative proceedings according to established principles and procedures designed to create value in government for citizens.

    …………..Unfortunately this laxity in accounting to the Australian people for the primary task of government – a fundamental form of corruption in itself – encourages further corruption down the line.

    ……………Once our politicians discover that they are not really accountable for public expenditure in the main game of government it is a short step to further fiddling the public through restricted tenders, mates given plum jobs, valueless overseas travel, choosing friendly consultants for key policy advisory jobs, and feeding the past politicians’ network to ensure room for themselves when they move on.

    However, we must be cognisant of the recent reminder by British philosopher A.C.Grayling that there is no more important foundation to democracy than an informed public. Embedding a culture of accountability and transparency in politics would do more to diminish “corruption” than any integrity commission.

    Indeed, properly pursued, it should diminish the activities of the proposed national integrity commission. So while a national integrity commission may be part of the answer it is certainly neither the complete answer nor the most important part of it.

    Barry Ferguson is an author in the international field of public sector management following a career spanning business, government and academia. He wrote ‘Competing for Influence; The role of the public service in better government in Australia’.

    • admin says:

      Jon,
      While having no expertise in the field it is something which interests me. The rorts of the various grant programs via the coloured spreadsheets has been astronomical in the number of dollars spent for personal or political gain. I was having a discussion on this very topic with a mate while we were at lunch. The programs should be designed with a set of rigid guidelines and the guidelines adhered to, and if any politician wants to obtain a grant for a project which is not recommended, they should have to provide reasoning to parliament and that would need to passed by both houses. I’ll have to read Ferguson’s article.

  • Arthur Baker says:

    The relief caused by the sacking of Morrison alone is palpable. But when you also realise that Morrison’s sacking comes as a package deal in which the whole motley crew of malfeasants get the push with him, the relief sometimes mutates into tears of joy. It goes further: then you remember that some of them got the push right out of the parliament – FriedEggInABurger, the execrable IPA stooge Tim Wilson, the cheat Gladys Liu, the utterly ineffectual Uncle Tom Ken Wyatt, Falinski, Zimmerman, the oleaginous Dave Sharma.

    I’m sleeping better. I’m enjoying watching the TV news a lot more. My food tastes better. There is laughter and merriment in our household. Even Barney The Big Beagle senses it. These are good times.

    At the risk of finishing on a sour note, just a final plea for accuracy. The Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison nightmare “only” lasted eight years and eight and a half months, or 8.7 years. Not a decade. 8.7 years may have seemed like an eternity, I concede, but 8.7 is not “nearly 10”. An error of that magnitude in engineering would cause your bridge to fall down or your engine to fail on its first test run. Let’s call it what it was – not a decade, perhaps just “nearly nine years that seemed like 90”.

    • admin says:

      Arthur,
      One thing I have noticed with us is that we do not shout at the television nearly as much now that the verminous Morrison has been booted out. Life is much better in many ways, most of all in not having that depressing feeling that there will be another lie, another instance of corruption, another announcement with no follow-through, another instance of blame-shifting, another reason to shout at he disgusting bastard on the television. Being a geologist, such trivialities as 1.3 years count for nought. ‘Nearly a decade’ will do nicely.

      • Arthur Baker says:

        Nice try, but you’re disingenuously projecting geological eras onto a discussion of an entirely different order of magnitude. If you ordered a coffee and it took 1.3 years to arrive you’d have long since left the cafe. And if you went to buy a new TV, found one you liked, RRP $870, and the salesperson said look, that’s nearly a thousand, just round it up to $1,000 and that “will do nicely”, I’m not sure you’d regard the extra $130 as a triviality.

        • admin says:

          Arthur,
          You think so? Jeez, you certainly have latched onto that flippancy.

          • Arthur Baker says:

            Nothing flippant about my basic statement, the truth of which is difficult to deny, wriggle as you might: eight point seven is not only not ten, it’s not “nearly ten” either.

            One of your most frequent complaints in this blog, for years now, and I agree with you wholeheartedly, concerns the laziness and inaccuracy of slipshod journalists. If a government has lasted 8 years and 8 months it hasn’t lasted a decade, so why write that it has? Mercifully, we got rid of it in significantly less than a decade. It shouldn’t have even been that long, but it was what it was.

            If a geological era lasted 26 million years, you wouldn’t call it “nearly 30”. You’d call it what it was. The idiots of the LNP lasted much longer in government than they should. For heaven’s sake let’s not give them credit for lasting longer than they actually DID.

          • admin says:

            Arthur,
            Where will you allow me to opine that it is nearly a decade? 9.8 years? 9.5 years? 9.2 years?
            With regard to a geological ‘era’ lasting 26 years; they don’t. They are much longer. I have written a few popular science articles over the decades, and the stuff I work on is from near the beginning of the Palaeozoic Era (252-539 million years ago) and I quite commonly refer to ‘over half a billion years ago’ in the text. It is a bit vague, I know, but it is done for effect. Surprisingly, even the numbers I quote for the Palaeozoic above are rounded to the nearest million. It is astonishing that we have such precision, but this is only possible because of a new technique called ‘chemical abrasion-isotope dilution thermal ionisation mass spectrometry (CA-IDTIMS). It’s a gobful, but it is an amazingly precise and accurate technique which gives error bars of about 0.1% rather than the previously available 1.5-2.0%.

          • Arthur Baker says:

            The number I pulled out of the air was 6 orders of magnitude greater than 26. Not sure what kind of idiot could believe a geological era might be as short as 26 years. Perhaps someone who believes the Earth was created in 6 days, 6,000 years ago. Apparently Australia had a PM who believed that.

            As for “allowing” you to opine, that’s not my job. You can opine whatever the heck you want. But if what you opine isn’t open to any criticism, one has to ask what’s the point of your blog?

          • admin says:

            Arthur,
            If I wasn’t open to any criticism, then why are these comments open? The ‘allowing’ comment was exactly on point; your comment was just a matter of opinion. Mine differs.

          • Arthur Baker says:

            Blind Freddie could see the difference between (a) opening up your blog for comments and (b) being open to criticism. Blind Freddie also knows what a strawman is.

          • admin says:

            Arthur,
            Much criticism has come via the comments, several thousand of them, even from some tossers about whom I wrote. I just find this ‘almost a decade’ phrase a trivial item to get upset about.

          • Arthur Baker says:

            “a trivial item”. Yes indeed, hardly worth considering, especially as equating 8.7 with 10 is an overestimation of a mere 15%, and if a journalist did that you’d be up them like a rat up a drain. Attention to detail can be so bothersome, can’t it?

            “to get upset about”. If you only knew how upset I really am. Most nights I cry myself to sleep, and some nights I get no sleep at all.

            Mate, one day someone will disagree with something you write and you’ll say “yes, now you come to mention it, you might have a point there”. Mind you, the thermodynamic heat death of the universe might come first.

          • admin says:

            Arthur,
            Hahaha! You think I never change my point of view. If that was the case, I couldn’t survive in science.

          • Arthur Baker says:

            Didn’t mention your career in science. Chalk up yet another strawman. My comment was about this blog, in which you’re largely preaching to the converted and therefore don’t get many dissenting or alternative opinions. But on the odd occasion that you do, you’re not noticeably receptive to them.

          • admin says:

            Arthur,
            You should get onto Charlie Pickering. On Wednesday night he said that the Coalition had been in power for “almost a decade” (check it out on iview). How dare he! As for dissent; I have no problem with it as long as it is evidence based. As you will know, I base many of my rants on evidence. The people who try to convince me otherwise need to have evidence that is contrary to what I have written. If they don’t, then I’ll either ask them for it or tell them where they are wrong. For instance, I was taken to task about the piece ‘Rich and thick’ by someone who opined that the people in the Teal seats were not all rich. Really? Well, blow me down! My assertion seems to have been borne out by the fact that the average income of Labor voters in this latest election has now overtaken the average income of the Liberal voter, and he fact that the wealthy seat (yeah, I know they are not all millionaires) of Kooyong dumped the nasty Frydenberg for an independent to the tune of about 6,000 votes TPP. While many of the people who comment here tend to think much like I do, that the Morrison government was the worst thing to happen to this country in decades, not everyone does. Some of those who think like I do have put me onto things which set me off on another rant. While I find it encouraging that some people like what I write and that some RWNJs are very upset by it, I had no idea what I was getting into. I did this at the behest of my kids who wanted to stop me shouting at the television. In doing so, I have found it very cathartic. And now that the Morrison government is gone and the Liberal Party may be in terminal decline (please!), and the possibility that I may have had a small part to play in Australia rediscovering its humanity, makes me feel it was worth the five and a half years of long hours, late nights and ~950 articles.

        • Jon says:

          Think of it as a political version of a baker’s dozen Arthur.

          As with the new(ish) weather temperature paradigm, it may have been less than a decade since adults have occupied government seats, but it sure felt like half a lifetime.

  • Jon says:

    Good joke in the Peter Fitz’s column today. Can’t copy, have run out of free access.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/a-try-for-your-life-the-voice-of-rugby-league-on-why-he-s-left-the-greatest-game-of-all-20220603-p5aqxd.html

    Goes something like this:
    Lady rings the Prime Minister’s Office and asks to speak to Mr Morrison.
    ‘Sorry, he’s not the Prime Minister any more.’
    Unperturbed she asks again: ‘Can I please speak to Mr Morrison’.
    ‘No madam, as I said he’s no longer the Prime Minister.’
    She persists: ‘I’d like to speak with Mr Morrison”.
    A rather exasperated PMO rep: ‘Madam, why do you keep asking? I can assure you that Mr Morrison is no longer the Prime Minister.’
    Woman: ‘I know that. I just love hearing you say it’.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Bitnami