Australia, blogging

Australia Votes for Decency

In the former Yugoslav country of Slovenia, “liberal newcomer Robert Golob defeated populist, Trump-fan Janes Janša, in an election tipped as a “referendum on democracy.” His movement, launched only in January, snapped a whopping 34.5% of the vote. [Thanks Manja Mexi for the link].

Two days ago, it was Australia’s turn to vote.

australia meme voting in elections

A country where voting is compulsory, where the population is generally laid-back; a more or less classless people, where wages have not grown in the past decade unless of course, you are an elected politician.

Since the last election, 3 years ago, an undercurrent of disenchantment, of disgust with the current Government and politicians who appear not to listen to the people, has been growing steadily.

Sounding familiar, anyone?

Growing also, but more recently, was a notable confidence amongst women constituents and a repudiation of their ill-treatment by men in the halls of power as well as a lack of representation, in Government, especially in the right-wing of politics.

This election felt different.

Many, many people voted prior to election day. Many people were disenchanted with the major political parties as one voter wrote:

I do care greatly that we have a political class more concerned with their own welfare and that of their benefactors than the future of the planet. As Adam Bandt said, “this should be a contest of ideas”. This election is not a pub trivia quiz. It is a contest for our children’s and grandchildren’s future. Phillip Moore, Bonnet Bay

The Government Moves to the Right

The incumbent government, a coalition of two formerly more centrist parties were moving much further to the right, with a leader who styled himself along Trumpist/GOP lines: “My way or the highway.” A leader who took himself and his family off to Hawaii during a natural disaster at home with the excuse that he needed a holiday.

A leader who had to ask his wife if the rape of a female staff member in the early hours of the morning, at Parliament House was wrong. A leader who kept his Attorney-General (the highest legal position in Australia), on staff while he was tried for other, rape charges.

People had had enough.

Women, in particular, had had enough.

Women were standing up. It started with a protest march for justice back in 2021. Women began speaking out about sexual harassment in parliament house. The incumbent Government went into denial.

protest march by women in australia
Protest March for Justice for Women in Brisbane, Australia

The Rise of Female Teal Candidates

Female candidates not aligned with any of the major parties stood for election in 2022. They stood for election against sitting Government members. They were dubbed the ‘Teal’ candidates – and together, in this election, this loose grouping snagged around 30% of the vote in some areas, deposing the sitting Liberal Government members.

Along with the Greens Party, the so-called, ‘Teal wave,’ appears to be a political force to be reckoned with.

Most decent-minded Australians are sending a clear message in this election. They don’t want the male spectator-sport combative style of politics, nor the shouting, slanging matches in Parliament.

Rather, they want politicians to be accountable, to be consultative and listen to the people. A place where ideas can be debated productively. Isn’t that a real democracy?

Moreover, Australian women want our parliament to be a place that reflects the real Australian society – which is 50% female.

Am I wrong to think that most people want:

  • Gender Equality and improved Status of Women
  • An Integrity Commission for Politicians
  • Action on Climate Change
  • A Voice for Indigenous Folk and First Nations People
  • A consultative parliament

Most sane, caring humans would. Labour, the Greens and The Teal Independents do.

However, without a cohesive majority in the Senate or upper house, it won’t be easy for the new Government to achieve real legislative change. I hope they can move quickly and achieve much.

P.M. Anthony Albanese and the Uluru Statment from the Heart

The next Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese is a more grounded individual than his predecessor. Albanese was raised by a single mum on a disability pension. He grew up in public housing, graduated from a prestigious University and rose through the ranks of party politics to lead the Labor Party and now, Australia.

His victory speech promised to recognize the Uluru Statement from the Heart: a movement of the Australian people for a better future,[for] all sides of politics to support a First Nations Voice to Parliament, so that we can finally have a say on policies and laws that affect us).

This gives hope to Australians that things will be better. As long as mainstream media can retain some objectivity.

I also hope the media do their job as professional reporters a little better, not gutter-raking tattle-tales looking for the next buzzy headline and ‘gotcha’ moment.

When a journalist tried to trap Adam Bandt, the leader of one of the minor parties, the Greens, into making an error on the current Wage Price Index, (thus making him appear uninformed), he responded with,

Google it, mate!

Elections should be ‘contest of ideas’, not a ‘fact checking exercise’

Adam Bandt

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125 thoughts on “Australia Votes for Decency”

      1. To be honest, for me (but, I assume, many other Australian men likewise) it became a matter of embarrassment. We just couldn’t live with the idea that Morrison et al might be perceived as representative of our values.

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        1. And those endless photo ops! He did go on the nose fast, from Scomo, to Scumo! I am sure Macron is smiling now!
          All jokes aside, we do want a leader to representative of our values to the rest of the world, and he wasn’t. Period.

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          1. Let’s not forget ‘Scottie from Marketing’. I think the reporting of a boat turn back on the eve of the election and the claim that “he saved the country” would have been the last straw had not the last straw come long before that.

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            1. The Stop the boats scare campaign and reports of the boat timed exactly in time for the May 21 vote was so well orchestrated and definitely sus. Dutton may have been working hard for that, as he mentioned boats a few days before this hit the news. Good old Scotty from Marketing – KRudd said it with such derision, and well deserved derision I suspect.

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              1. I think the issue is that the official policy is that boat turn backs will not be discussed or revealed to the media or public, and that has been the case thus far. I think it reasonable to assume that boat turn backs (sadly) are not an irregular event, but we just don’t hear about them ….. until the night before an election.

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    1. You are sounding more like an Aussie every day, Sandy. Learning lingo like bogan and Tim-Tam and keeping abreast of Australian politics. Although we might say ‘goodonya’ instead of goodforya!

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  1. Delighted by the result!
    Here we have a new President…fifteen days in office…who is detened to attack the corruption which has ruined the public finances…you can imagune the obstruction that vested nterests are giving him…but he wants the indieinous people to have a voice in the country at last.

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    1. Congratulations. That is Slovenia, Australia and Costa Rica! Bit concerned about Hungary and the Philippines though.
      I love that your new President is fighting the corruption and giving a voice to the Indigenous. This is terribly important and so healing of historic wrongdoings. I don’t imagine it will be easy to purge the corruption. Will your country need to stage a referendum to change the constitution to enshrine an indigenous voice in Government, as we have to do?

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      1. The constitution does not allow it and I suspect that a referendum would not succeed,,,,not just because of prejucice but because of the abuse of power by tribal elders and the,prevalence of incest/

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  2. Thank you for such a ‘sensible’ post. Have tried for quite a while to ‘explain’ the local feeling-world accurately to overseas friends – the one simple but oh so important word I have missed is ‘decency’ !!! How true ! How meaningful ! At the moment I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the guy who grew up with a glass less than half full will slowly be able to lead us to say we live in the ‘Lucky Country’ again ! Have loved the sensibilities and sense shown on the first day in office. Shall repost this with your permission . . .

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    1. Of course you may repost, Eha. No dramas. Decency is the word. We do live in a Lucky Country but a bad leader can riddle the country’s reputation overseas with bulletholes and we pay the price.

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      1. Actually my day will be made when two tiny girls with dark-skinned faces make it back to their birth-place of Biloela . . . to me that is decency . . .

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  3. I was very happy when I heard the results of your election. I never understood how a seemingly enlightened country like Australia could have voted in such right-wing leadership. So pleased to know they have been shown the door. I hope the electorate in the U.S. are as smart when we go to the polls later this year.

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    1. This movement that has altered the face of politics here is very grassroots and in fact started as one woman in a rural community standing up and doing what loved politicians might have done. She door-knocked, she talked to her community, she listened. That made a big difference. Australians never really had an alternative before and had to vote for the same old parties. This bred indifferent, smug well-heeled parliamentarians. You know the ones that trot out their signage just before the election waving from a street corner for a day or so, Janis? We had plenty of those and almost all of them were male. Now women are front and center of this soft revolutionary movement.
      But to take your point about why we voted for such a right wing leader. As well as only having two major alternatives to vote for, a mandatory vote means that there is also indifference in the electorate. If politicians are really awful, people will be galvanised to vote, if politicians are thought to be average or unimpressive, people won’t really care so much about their vote, just doing it as a duty. The once moderate Liberal party became deliberately infiltrated by pentecostal church movement to get into politics some decades ago. It was a deliberate strategy to achieve some kind of religious resurgence in society. The churches represent a really small part of the population here, it is nothing like the US. Even so, they have worked tirelessly to position themselves in the Liberal political party in order to secure power and it worked for them. This last PM (Morrison) was a Pentecostal and heavily religious. He was also very conniving and ousted out a more moderate charismatic Prime Minister before his term was up. Mr Morrison was a cunning politician and a bully to women and this paradigm allowed for corruption and tacit allowance of harassment of women. Eventually people saw him not as a strong leader but as the bully, he was. But we were stuck with him and his dreadfully antiquated policies on climate change. The world saw this and finally the indifferent Australian population saw this and at this election, they did have an alternative to vote for.
      (That is the abridged version of the situation) I will pop down from my soapbox now.
      Is the religious movement still quite powerful in the US political arena?

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  4. Good for you, Amanda, and good for Australia. I hope it’s the start of better things there. I speak as someone from Britain who lives in the USA, both places that could use a return to some kind of decency and concern for the people who live in those places.

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    1. Decency is a word that should be an overarching guide for politicians. They should, in my mind be above reproach. When you have the responsibility for the safety of the citizens of your country, ego-driven, money-hungry, religious, misogynists/narcissist should be the last person to be at the helm of modern nation states. Yet politics is where they are found throughout the world. However, the speed of spread of this grass roots movement which started with one female who won a seat in a highly conservative area has changed politics here – if it will continue to grow, none of us know. But she triggered something in people, this desire for a better world, and perhaps, the Trump phenomenon also inspired them to stand up and get involved. We could see shades of that style of government emerging and most Australian didn’t like it. As I mentioned to Janis in the previous comment, compulsory voting does trigger a different response. I wonder what would happen in Britain and US if people were made to vote?

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      1. I actually think compulsory voting is a good idea, but It’s not going to happen any time soon in the U.S.. Here, the focus is on preventing people from voting, at least by the Republicans. They have a well organized program gerrymandering voting districts and disenfranchising segments of the electorate that are likely to vote for Democrats. The goal is to make it virtually impossible to lose power in enough of the country that they retain control over all important decision making. It’s a sad state of affairs for a vcountry that is supposed to be the leading light for democracy.

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        1. Oh goodness. We dealt with a little bit of gerrymandering back in the 70-80’s in our state too, where the country vote counted – from memory about 5 times more than city dwellers, due to a population disparity, which perpetuated that Government being in power for a long time. It is undemocratic. More worrying for you guys is how the USA breaks through and changes that. You almost need a mini people power revolution to change things, but if the media is sympathetic to those in control, it would be nigh impossible. Sad indeed.
          Incidentally, the reason we ended up with compulsory voting is historic. After WWI voter turnout dropped so dramatically that the constitution was amended to make voting compulsory. I just noticed that Obama commented that he thought compulsory voting was transformative and approved of it. There are of course pluses and minuses to it, but generally speaking if you coerce everyone to vote, you get a reasonable, but not a perfect representation of what the people want. Australians seem to be moving away from the traditional parties and not blindly following their preference suggestions. We have preferential voting here too. So if your first choice doesn’t get up, your secondary and third votes etc are counted. With compulsory voting, you do get a lot of ignorant fools voting for someone who may not be the best candidate – as they just don’t care about voting. Sometimes teh person who is lucky enough to be randomly selected to get the first box on the ballot paper, wins. A donkey vote we call it. Incidentally Graham, I just read that voting was only compulsory for the indigenous folk from 1984.

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          1. The current ‘mini people power revolution’ is headed in the opposite direction unfortunately, but hopefully over the long run things will regain a more balanced perspective. The media isn’t really the problem, at least in my opinion, except for Fox News (your Mr. Murdoch I’m afraid) which really should be sued for using ‘news’ in their name, if you get my drift.

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    1. I hope so, Margaret as I think most people are sick of the bad behaviour, the corruption and the lack of action on climate change. Of the people that you know, are they keen to vote? If not, what reason do they have for not voting, I wonder?

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  5. Another very thoughtful and absorbing post. I have to say that disenchantment with Government is a very common theme as we travel the world, it’s as if politicians are being found out as the people of the world become more aware of true values and of the gulf between those values and politicians’ conduct. This disenchantment ranges from disdain for lack of credibility (my home in the UK) to mistrust through corruption (we were in Costa Rica just before the recent election) to a hatred which is silenced through authoritative fear (Turkey). I do hope your faith in your new PM endures: all too often we’ve seen the promise of a new era become diluted towards “same old same old” once the new hero is in office. I remember a very in-depth conversation with an Aussie about Peter Garrett going through just such a dilution some years ago.

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    1. From being a critic of politicians, Peter joined a political party where he thought he could effect some real change. But Peter was thrown in the deep end and inexperienced. His public profile meant he was given a lot of responsibility. A rushed out cabinet policy subsidising roof insulation in homes was given to him to roll out. Two young workers were electrocuted accidentally due to a lack of safety precautions being included in the roll out. It was well intentioned but Peter may have been better at singing than organizing a national roll-out. After this debacle, his political career was over.

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      1. Didn’t I also hear something about him blocking a green policy which was the very core of his opinions pre-politics and of his reason for getting involved? Still a very big fan of his and Midnight Oil’s music by the way…

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        1. Perhaps Garrett’s attitude is best summed up by his comment at a 1984 press conference: “I’m not a radical and I’m not an anarchist. I believe I’m more of a patriot and more jingoistic than these people who see me as a radical.” He claims his outlook matured over time, but I feel that perhaps he became more of a realist than the apparent idealist of his youth. He lived in a time when the Soviet Union was a more liberal place with Gorbachev at the helm. The Nuclear threat diminished. However, the turnaround in his attitude didn’t help his political career at all as he was seen as a sell-out. It was a shame as he definitely had potential and is still much loved by Australia and not just for his music!

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          1. That’s good to hear, that he is still loved. Midnight Oil were my introduction to Aussie rock when I bought Red Sails In The Sunset back in the 80s. Was really interested when PG went into politics given the very succinct messages in their early recordings. I’ve seen Midnight Oil twice, once around 1989 and then again about three years ago when they did a reunion tour and were absolutely outstandingly good. By the way, we share our surname with a disreputable Aussie character who was the subject of a Midnight Oil song. Our surname is Sharman.

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            1. What a coincidence. I dont know that song by the lyrics, but may do by the tune. My Midnight oil concert experience dates back to pre-1983. Saw them more times than I can remember. They were popular headliners at local rock concerts.

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              1. It’s a song about a mercenary boxing promoter, Jimmy Sharman, who apparently picked up poor teenage boys and got them to fight each other in a touring boxing show…and treated them like slaves between shows. Not a nice man but hopefully not a relative!

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  6. I’m apolitical in general but very much against the Biden style of politics which is surfacing in Aussie politics. Hawke and Keating did some good work, as did Howard. Since then we have not had strong leaders. Rudd was the great new hope and he fell on his head which might explain why he is still so bitter and vengeful. Gillard never really got a chance and then we had Turnbull and Morrison. Now we have Albanese and the remainder of this year may very well tell us if he is just a rinse and repeat pollie that has marked our government for the last 20 years. If he is Biden 2.0 as some present him then this country is in for a very rough ride. I am however, very much against “woke politics” as this is not a good path to follow for anyone … just look at America under a progressive government and the problems that country now has.

    Either way it is my son I am concerned about as the antics of leaders shape the lives of us “little people”. I’ve seen too many good intentions cause horrible outcomes by pollies to believe a lot of the hype tossed around.

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    1. On Howard, I would have to disagree, Mick. He simply continued Keating-Hawke economic reform and rode on the back of it. And he duped the Australian public into lies about the boat people throwing children overboard, which secured him another term in Canberra. Norway nearly broke off diplomatic relations with Australia, they were so disgusted with us. Remember the Tampa?
      But I do agree with you that there are not really strong leaders emerging in politics. No one with charisma – which is what gets votes from both sides. Perhaps one of the teal independents might change that?
      You are right to be concerned about the future for your son, as I am for my children. That is what being a parent is, but politicians seem to be immune to long term solutions. Opting for short term that will see them re-elected.

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      1. Nice response. I think it will take some very real hardship for Australia before we see some strong leaders again. The current crop are simply out of touch with mainstream Aussies.

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  7. I got stuck on how you make an election compulsory? Anyway, sad to hear all of this. I think it’s the cold weather over here that forces us to be forward-thinking and evolve. In your climate, it’s natural you’re more laid-back. But I do hope you get a more female and also greener government soon…

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    1. Voting is compulsory in Australia. Everyone is listed on the “electoral roll,” and if a person doesn’t get their name marked off when they cast their vote, they will receive a fine. I am surprised you didn’t know that about us, Snow.
      I do believe in it, but have shifted a little on my view recently.
      More females and more greens have been voted in, so I hope it can only go upwards even more.

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  8. Amanda, I am excited for Australia and the message it sends. I am also delighted the focus was on issues in contrast to what we are forced to talk about here in America that are contrived bumper sticker slogans. I wrote a post this morning, so I think I will amend it and link to yours. Thanks again, Keith

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      1. No. In the name of greed for power and appeasing several small groups of one-issue zealots in order to get reelected and stay in power.
        The wives, girlfriends, and daughters of these people always have and always will have to means to get an abortion; the poor do not.

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        1. That is injustice and inequality right there. Women will no doubt always find a way to get an abortion if they need it. It remains to be seen if that way is healthy and safe. Again, I am saddened by this and wonder how far it will go. If the Supreme court makeup changes, could it be reversed?

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  9. Amanda, it is a great result for Australia, I feel and wonder if there is a sense of hope within the country again? Of renewed energy and positivity? It is fantastic how it is mandatory to vote and that this works! Brilliant to learn about the Female Teals and what a large proportion of the vote went to them … much wished for change has finally arrived for your country. Now, I fear the UK is stuck in its ever deeper sinking rut! Grrr ….

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    1. It is so lovely to read your positive and approving comment. Yes I do feel that we are looking more optimistic about the future, however I place the caveat on progressive policies, if the population listen to much to tabloid gotcha journalism. It will be hard for the Government to make too much progress on change if they cannot garner the new Teal independents, which I have since learned was a movement started by one woman, in a rural area. A fresh era for the national parliament I hope.
      Mandatory voting does have some down sides. With voluntary voting, you tend to get people who are abreast of the issues and well-versed in political doings, voting, whereas if it is compulsory, you also get people who know nothing about the candidates being forced to vote. That can be good and bad. But I think, more good than bad. Especially now!

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    1. Thank you for the congratulatory wishes, Jill and apologies for the delay in responding. I just found this comment in spam and rescued it. I hope the return of a decent government in Australia will be the start of a new sensible wave the world over.

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      1. No worries, my friend! It’s happened to me before that someone’s comment ends up in Spam for no apparent reason! WordPress has PMS sometimes, I think. Yes, let us hope that Australia’s good sense will spread!

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  10. Amanda, glad to hear the election results went your way. It certainly is maddening when election officials selfishly use their position for personal gain and disconnected from the electorate.
    I hadn’t realized women in Australia were so poorly supported.

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    1. I think the female campaign for justice was directed at politics and parliament primarily. Respect is not a big ask from our leadership. I am hopeful that we have turned a corner.

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  11. That sounds like good news! I’m curious to find out what my Canberra friend thinks about the results. He has taken up with some pro-Trump folks on this side of the world to the degree that I had to draw a line in the sand….and why am I going on about this here? Just curious, I guess, because he would have been on the left when we first met and now he is leaning right and insisting that everyone should have a sense of humor.

    I am really glad that your votes count and Australia is leading the pack for change. I hope.

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    1. That is a curious event. Changing from the political left to the right doesn’t happen often. I wonder what triggered that. I fail to see what the joke he refers to – is about.

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  12. I’m glad you pointed out the media. If we are to have any hope of a decent democracy, something has to be done about the role of the mainstream media. Sky News is reporting that Albo heading off to Japan just after being sworn in is worse than Scomo going to Hawaii. 🙄
    I was also thinking about Kooyong and realised that the mistake Josh made was to see himself only as a member of the Morrison government and he forgot he was also, more importantly, a member of parliament for the people of Kooyong. The sense of betrayal in that electorate was palpable after his comments during the lockdowns. Other MPs would be wise to take note not to forget their constituents.

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    1. Good point, Mosy. I agree. There was also some suggestion the Barnaby was seen as a liability for the people who might normally vote Liberal. The Nationals vote didn’t drop substantially but some people were concerned that voting for Liberal would prevent action onclimate change as Barnaby and the Nats are resilient to lowering targets. Barnaby has tainted his reputation though and he doesn’t appear to be forgiven completely by the public yet.

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  13. All politics are local and it’s always a battle for ideals and souls. I remember when Morrison spirited off to Hawaii amidst Australia’s mammoth wildfires. That came to mind in February 2021, when one of my state senators, Ted Cruz, flew to Cancun, México, as a massive ice storm besieged us. He then said that his 2 young daughters really wanted to vacation in Cancun and he just couldn’t deny them.

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    1. OMG. Another one. And is Ted Cruz another strictly religious guy too who is not an advocate for justice for women? These kind of politicians forget their responsibility for the souls they represent.

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      1. You could say that. Ted Cruz was first elected to the U.S. Senate, representing Texas, in 2012. He was narrowly reelected in 2018; almost being defeated by then-Congressman Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat. That race shook up the Republican Party in Texas, which has grown increasingly stalwart and extremist. Almost immediately upon arriving in Washington in 2013, Cruz established himself as a problem child. At that same time, a government shutdown loomed, and Cruz filibustered the Democrat-led budget talks by reading a Dr. Seuss book before the Senate assemblage. In 2014, I wrote an essay entitled “I Hope Ted Cruz Runs for President”. He did and ended up making a fool of himself.

        http://chiefwritingwolf.com/2014/12/07/i-hope-ted-cruz-runs-for-president/

        Even though Cruz promotes himself as a proud Texan, he was actually born in Canada in 1970. His father had been born and raised in Cuba, but fled to Texas in the 1950s. He and his brother moved to Canada sometime in the early 1960s to work in the oil industry. Ted Cruz’s mother was supposedly born in the U.S. state of Delaware, but I don’t know if that was ever proven. I think the family relocated to Texas around 1980, where Cruz, Sr., immediately jumped into the evangelical branch of Christianity. He’s now an evangelical pastor. Ted’s mother has since passed away. But to the Hispanic community in Texas – many of whom have ancestry that runs back centuries in the state, like me – Cruz’s presence is something of a cultural insult.

        When Cruz announced his presidential run, he quickly produced his birth certificate and family immigration papers. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump defamed Cruz’s wife and accused his father of being involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. During the Republican National Convention, Cruz’s speech was met with boos and jeers. The hostility was so intense the U.S. Secret Service quickly ushered his wife off the convention floor.

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        1. What a story. He sounds like a politician who would not make my Christmas card list! An opportunist that reads Dr Suess in parliament. The legislature is no place for fools. Who votes for them?

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    2. I remember that when Morrison called out a pandemic and closed the borders the WHO was telling people not to worry. I remember the millions of dollars paid out for job keeper / job seeker to keep people and small business afloat. I remember the arrogant Jim Chalmers denigrating the government a day after Labor lost the election. It’s been three years of Labor hate speech.

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      1. I see things differently to you and wonder what lens you are using? An opposition has to do the job of critical analysis, but hate speech, no. I didn’t see that from Labour or any of the other parties, not even the Nationals, but I heard it often from liberals who had become complacent with privilege. And you don’t mention that even Morrison’s own party think he is a bully. I suspect you listen to skynews or News corp for your information? Classic confirmation bias?

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      2. As the gravity of the COVID pandemic slowly manifested, the U.S. government injected trillions into the economy to help small and medium-sized businesses and average citizens financially afloat. Many conservative politicians (unsurprisingly) scoffed at the cash infusions; some were the same figures who had no qualms about funding the U.S. incursion into Iraq, which cost even trillions more and took thousands of lives.

        I don’t know how well Morrison handled the pandemic, but the incompetence and ineptitude of our own president at the time, Donald Trump, intensified its severity. At one point, amidst his reelection campaign, Trump publicly stated that – once he gets back into office – “you’ll never hear about coronavirus again”. Fortunately he didn’t get back into office, but the COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. just reached 1 million.

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        1. I don’t know what Trump meant when he said you weren’t going to hear about corona virus again, but in Australia, now that our vaccination rate is high, we no longer report daily on cases, or deaths, though are many. We are learning to live with Covid. Wearing masks is no longer mandated. We are once more free to act as individuals. As I’m of a certain age, I still wear a mask. I’m free to make my own decisions.
          Whatever his missteps in such unprecedented times, thanks to Morrison’s quick action in closing the borders till vaccination was available and a large part of the population have had had their jabs we had less deaths than any other country in the world. You wouldn’t know it from the Morrison haters. Now that we have a socialist left faction leader, I predict less freedom of action and speech. Interesting times are coming.
          You talk about Iraq, but I worry about Iran. Five minutes after winning the election Joe Biden pushed to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal. Biden is unravelling any sort of peace that Trump worked at in the Middle East. This nuclear deal is going to affect us all. I have to wonder why not enough is made of it.

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          1. I can read the fear in your comment, @Marymtf or Array? but where you see danger I see sensible diplomacy. Where I see the drumbeats of war you see competence. Sounding alarmist is not helpful nor is appeasement.
            Giving a voice to the indigenous is probably something you are also opposed to?
            We were in a good position from Covid pandemic control, but that had little to do with Morrison- after all he said it was a state responsibility himself.

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            1. No fear in my comment. Disagreeing with an opinion doesn’t make me alarmist. State premiers sat around the cabinet table talking tactics then did what would garner them the most votes. Giving them that sort of power was a big mistake. The Victorian premier ran the state into the ground. He put Victorians into more lockdowns than anyone else in the country did or globally. Labor premiers spent three years slagging Morrison and his government.

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              1. I disagree and the Australian electorate’s reaction on Saturday reflected that. Mark McGowan is immensely popular. The reaction to Morrison is visceral.

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              2. You do realise that Albanese has taken Labor into power with a lower primary vote than it had recorded at its 2019 election.

                The only achievements the premiers can record are the lockdowns. Yet they are all popular, even Anastasia Palaszczuck who said that Brisbane hospitals were only for people living there. Mark McGowan played politically motivated games with the border. I can only attribute the popularity of the premiers to a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

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              3. Be careful of confirmation bias. We have a representative democracy and the vote percentages reflect that even if that constitutes parties with whom I disagree with such right-wing nutters. They too have the right to a voice. To me, it really doesn’t matter how low or how high the primary vote was, the highest vote gets to form government regardless as that is the majority, no matter the party. That is the voice of the electorate. The more parties in the mix the better as it represents a more diversified democratic viewpoint. The argument the LNP uses to finger-point is that a minority government or one with a low percentage and therefore more parties in the government is an unproductive rabble. They only want to split the vote two ways as they can then control the narrative easier. The minority Gillard government succeeded in passing more legislation through the parliament than any other Government. And that is what we pay our politicians to do enact and pass legislation as necessary. Contrast this productivity with the inordinate and the ridiculous number of times the incumbents used the gag rule to stop productive debate of legislation in the House of Reps during their time in Government. Shutting down any opposing voice and reducing the number of sitting days. The gag rule was intended to only be used on those odd occasions when debate got completely stymied and bogged down, not a daily occurrence!! The main instigator was Peter Dutton who used it every single time the opposition or minor parties got up to speak. That is not democracy.
                SENIOR federal politicians were handed their second pay rise in 2017. It followed a two per cent pay rise in 2016, and a 2.4 per cent boost in 2013. It came at the same time as income tax cuts for high earners – backbenchers’ pay was then above the $200,000 mark. Federal MPs were again granted a two per cent pay rise from July 1, 2019 just as 700,000 retail and hospitality workers are set to have their penalty rates cut. All this when the minimum wage has not lifted for a decade. All the work of the LNP. I doubt these facts will change your mind, so it is pointless to continue discussion unless we can do it respectfully and productively. I wonder what news sources you listen to on a regular basis? Could that be narrowing your viewpoint?

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              4. You talk about disrespect but wonder what news sources I listen to on a regular basis that’s narrowing my viewpoint. I could ask the same of you. I read as widely as I can, and I listen to the heavily edited ABC. It allows me to assess what I hear or read, and form my own opinion. You’re right. It is your blog. Let’s leave it at that.

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              5. I am pleased that you listen to the ABC and that you assess what you hear and read and form your own opinion. This is what every responsible citizen should do as a preparation to vote, if they can. However, the media is becoming concentrated in such few hands it is becoming harder to read widely. This is one of the great things about blogs and discussions. We get to hear other opinions besides what mainstream media and social media algorhythms feed us. The ABC was once considered left leaning in political viewpoints, but since Ita Buttrose and prior to that, Tony Abbot intervened, the cutbacks made employees conscious of being very careful with their reports lest their tenure be under scrutiny. Many seasoned journalists left – I so miss Kerry O Briens impartial reporting. If they show any political leaning to the left, how can they scrutinise political rooting and corruption? Did you watch the last episode of Media watch and the extreme bias of media reports : positive versus negative towards the political parties? Interesting watching. This was one of the few critical reports I have heard about the Government but it went to air after the election was over….
                I do enjoy reading independent journalist’s work, such as Shane Dowling, ( who coincidentally talks about this very topic), https://kangaroocourtofaustralia.com/2022/05/26/abc-media-bias-and-propaganda-exposed-liberals-david-gazard-and-alexander-downer-get-promoted-for-free-by-the-abc/
                or the Guardian, but as much as it angers me, it is important to listen to rubbish beatups ( it is not reporting), such as Skynews occasionally just to see what they are saying. Read as widely as you can.

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          2. I think Trump meant that he simply didn’t want to admit and deal with the gravity of the COVID-19 crisis. His arrogance was overwhelming.

            I don’t know what “peace” he supposedly instilled in the Middle East. His announcement to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem only antagonized already high tensions. Of course, it seems there never has been any semblance of peace in the Middle East. I’m 58 and I can remember relentless news of political and social unrest in the Middle East going back to the 1970s. But the U.S. and Israel share a similar history. Both countries were founded by White Europeans escaping religious tyranny and ended up shoving out the indigenous peoples under the guise of freedom.

            I didn’t vote for either Trump or Clinton in the 2016 elections here and I only voted for Biden to keep Trump from garnering another term in office. Personally I don’t like any of them in Washington, D.C., and think they should all be removed, so we can start over again.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. So you would be just like the masses of disillusioned people with politics and who are concerned about climate change and you were in Australia, you would vote for the teal community independents!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. I suppose. I voted Green Party in 2016. People blamed folks like me for causing Hillary Clinton to lose, and I promptly responded that I didn’t cause Clinton to lose; she caused herself to lose. I never liked either her or Trump and couldn’t stand the thought of them being in the White House as Chief Executive.

                Liked by 1 person

              2. Like minds, Alejandro. I just found this from our multicultural broadcaster: Australia, federal elections operate under the preferential voting system allowing for the reflection of the number and diversity of smaller parties.

                It differs from the first past-the-post system used in countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and India.

                Liked by 1 person

        2. @Alejandro – Morrison was very slow to react ordering vaccines – or his health minister stuffed up. He blamed the slow roll out on the states but the national Government controlled the access and ordering of vaccines, the states merely had the job of distribution. A state can’t distribute supplies if they aren’t given them in the first place. States governed by political parties different from Morrison’s, had to beg for more vaccines. Just evil really. His excuse? The other states (sympathetic) needed them more. That backfired on him as derogatory text messages from his supposedly sympathetic state counterpart in NSW, named Morrison as a horrible, horrible person! Almost no one is a fan.

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  14. My biggest bugbear with the LNP was Morrison’s double-dealing. While he told Australians and the world the LNP was committed to zero emissions by 2050, a member of the party pointed out that somewhere in the back pages of the document was an escape clause. Colin Boyce, the member for Flynn, revealed that come 2050, the zero-emission target had “plenty of wiggle room”. What with the intent of members such as Matt Canavan pushing for government-built coal power stations because he doesn’t believe global temperature has risen by 1.1 degrees since the industrial revolution, is it any wonder the public turned against them?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I suspected there was no sincerity about Morrison committing to action on climate change even on a below optimum target. Your account provides proof of that. Thanks for sharing. The visceral public response to his leadership is completely warranted.

      Liked by 1 person

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  16. Great post! Personally, I’m hoping the new Labor will pick up from where they left off in regard to the joke that became the NBN roll-out under the Liberal guard. A BIG fail by the voting public back in the day, I had no idea that so many Aussies thought that God would magically fix everything …. still waiting … much like my downloads! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh TasView – hasn’t that decision done the biggest disservice to Australia! From the aspirations of being a “smart” country to being behind third world countries in internet coverage. Appalling, just appalling!
      I remember attending a presentation by Stephen Conroy and Wayne Swan when they were trying to galvanise public support prior to the ridiculous fibre to the node idea. I was shocked at how few people turned up to hear about something that would so gravely affect their future business and personal communications. Sometimes the public can be so easily duped.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I used to work for News Ltd and I remember Rupert Murdoch visiting in the mid ’90s. I asked him if he thought the (very early) internet would be a threat to the newspaper business. He replied “No, it’s just a passing fad”. I think the media have a lot to answer for as far as swaying public opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

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