What might have been
One speech did it. A single speech by an Australian politician put some life into this lacklustre election campaign.
The New Left are the new primitives of our time: junking the importance of evidence, of recorded history, of biological science, to pretend that all parts of our lives (especially race, gender and sexuality) can be fluid, that everything we know and feel around us is, in fact, ‘socially constructed’. The Leftist project, then and now, is about control….
Our abiding national traditions of free speech, merit selection, resilience and love of country are being lost, not just in the public sector – in schools, universities, public broadcasters, major political parties and government agencies – but also in large parts of corporate Australia and the commercial media. The rest of us are the Resistance to this national takeover….
The trouble was that the speech was in the New South Wales state parliament and by Mark Latham, a controversial, ex- Labor party leader who became a very vocal political outsider years ago. The speech did gain a lot of interest but the only electrifying it did was for conservatives and other people outside the parties which were running in the federal election. It didn’t seem to shake the major parties at all.
As for a “progress” report of the election, my low expectations for the result in the Australian election for Saturday May 18 have not changed that much. However, while hurt and damage to the country from a win by either side is still a “given”, the Australian Labor Party being heavily favoured to win is tempered a little by news everywhere that polling seems to be tightening. Odds are still for the ALP, so that party in lockstep with a hard left Green party in a voting/policy coalition forecasts a lot of damage.
Major ALP policies haven’t changed that much but the franking credits policy did (and does) get attacked. Due to it affecting the finances of many thousands of self-funded retirees (taking their share dividend refunds off them), it has been a major theme of the campaign. Later news and research publicly released seems to show that in various areas that policy is starting to bite and negatively impacting on the ALP vote in some seats.
In Tasmania’s knife-edge northern electorates, where the political contest can swing on a handful of votes, Labor has alienated as many as 7000 voters over its policy to remove franking credit tax refunds, a key part of many retirees’ income.
Similarly the Negative Gearing policy (confining use of the policy to newly-built homes) has caused much controversy, not least being the actual cost to consumers and the country. The ALP panicked initially, removing 90 of 100 paragraphs from their website but latest articles seem to show that it is still a major factor in the election.
The leading centre/right party, the Liberal Party and its coalition partner the National Party are fighting the election with limited means. While the Prime Minister Scott Morrison is fighting hard and is a very good campaigner (unlike his predecessor who used to go for a lie down after lunch every day), he is still limited by the lack of attention to some potential election-winning policies, mainly on energy and climate. This is thanks to his reliance on portions of his party who seem closer to the ALP than others on those policies. As I explained earlier, it is as if he is fighting parts of his own party.
However, the Liberal party has made inroads, I suspect that the abovementioned policy inconsistencies and weaknesses of the ALP have helped it make up ground, leaving ongoing support in doubt. Consistent polling 51/49 to the ALP are all within the margin of error and it often does just depend on the individual seats.
As to these individual seats, you can often glean information of internal polling by what the parties are actually doing with funds and personnel. When the government can move from its own marginal seats (which are often written off when a genuine swing is “on”) to the marginal seats of the opposition, there has to be some reason, especially as last days are desperate days for a losing team. On the opposite side, the ALP is not just cruising to victory, but has started to throw in some questionable claims and accusations, even bringing in religion against the PM – who is an evangelical Christian. In recent days he has been publicly called out to give his view as a Christian and this was once unheard of in Australian campaigns.
Major Issues with four days before polling
A lot is at stake. With the ALP in charge along with Greens, the country will see major change. “Gender fluidity” is the controversial (to say the least) claim that gender can change on a declaration at will. Union control of a government is an issue (organised labour controls 50% of voting in the ALP party organisation now) and unions have been demanding many changes to their benefit including, almost revolutionary moves to fix wages by government fiat. This is rather than leave it up to independent tribunals of the past, albeit that the parties have often appointed friends of their parties to those tribunals.
We have heard ALP leaders announce their wish to rein in media comments, criminalise more speech as “hate speech” and extend their restrictions on “hate speech” to religion but no detail at all has been provided. Worringly, state-controlled media monitors were proposed in the past when they were last in government.
Senator Conroy …also announced plans to establish a new watchdog to ensure that media companies comply with independent journalism standards. The Public Interest Media Advocate would be responsible for overseeing self-regulatory bodies, such as the Australian Press Council, to make sure that complaints are dealt with properly.
The Greens, the party most likely to provide support for the ALP in parliament, have such hard line policies towards people they don’t like that virtual censorship of named people has been proposed by them.
Richard Di Natale’s threat of a crackdown on broadcasters Chris Kenny, Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones is part of a Greens plan aimed at breaking up media companies, imposing new regulations and giving the federal government control over who is allowed to enter the industry.
The Greens plan, which is outlined in the party’s media policy, is in line with Senator Di Natale’s promise to create new criminal laws on hate speech for use against the three broadcasters.
“It’s not just about those three people, it’s basically about anybody in the media who is using hate speech to try and divide the community and turn Australians against each other,” he said.
And, of course, there will be no solution to the energy disaster coming to the country, the only debate among the major parties is on the extent to which Australia will be deficient on energy. 25-28% renewables by the Liberals, 45% by the ALP and just about anything up to 100% from the Greens.
As has often been said in the past, “Change the government, change the country”. Not in a very long time, has this statement seemed so ominous.