Finally Australia steps back from a porkbarrelling party that stood for nothing more than being in power.
They broke promises to anyone and everyone with Olympian success. And it was not just the usual politician broken promise of failing to solve a problem they promised to solve: they brought in The Carbon Tax after dishonestly guaranteeing they would not. Would they have won the 2010 election if they hadn’t made that promise? (It would only have taken 400 voters in Corangamite to rewrite history.) They’ve taken broken promises to an all new level, where nothing they say can be trusted. It was not a question of them trying and failing, it was a question of being elected through deception. Every single Labor member chose to break that promise; any one of them could have stopped it. This is not a “leadership” question. It’s a question of integrity, and it applies to every member of the party.
The Labor Party also told us Tony Abbott was a misogynist, relentlessly negative, and a denier, and in return the Labor Party received one of the lowest primary votes in history.
I wish I could say it was all blue sky and roses from here. It’s great news to be sure, but there are mountains to overcome. What is amazing is that — even after their lies were made into laws, billions of dollars were squandered, people died because of inept home insulation programs, and their promises to be fiscally conservative delivered deficit after deficit — still about 47% of Australian’s still thought they deserved a vote*. How bad would this government have had to get?
Last night the concession speech Rudd gave was delusional. It was quite unlike Whitlam in 1975 or Keating in 1996, after their heavy defeats. The triumphant, jubilant cries of vindication from Labor were blind to the fact that an incumbent government lost badly, and after only two terms. We know 70% of ABC journalists vote Labor-Green. Which one is trying to bring Labor back to a sensible position? Such a fog of illusion in the minds of the Labor Party can only be kept alive by active support of the media. Bizarrely, the journalist fans do the party no favours by allowing the delusion to pass as is. By ignoring the flaws, the soft media virtually filter for the incompetents to rise to the top.
In a sane world an investigative media would also have doggedly pursued the Craig Thompson affair and never allowed it to drag on in limbo for years. In the proper course of events he would have faced charges far sooner, and the Gillard government would have faced a savage by-election (see the Dobell results below). How many voters even now know that Gillard herself is under police investigation or that two journalists who started to mention it were sacked? If the opposition leader was under police investigation, it would have been a hot-button, high rotation bullet point. But Gillard was only the Prime Minister, right? What universe does this make sense in? The media IS the problem.
The results speak for themselves:
Some issues have become well known, and on these the people have spoken:
- Craig Thompson is now facing 173 criminal charges for allegedly misusing union funds to pay for prostitutes and what-not. Thompson stood as an independent, and garnered just 4% of the votes.
- The Labor Party relied on Peter Slipper (formerly a Liberal). He stood for re-election, but, in a record low for an incumbent candidate, scored just 1.4% of the vote. (On two party preferred levels, 57% of his electorate didn’t want that Labor government he helped to prop up.)
- Robb Oakshott was the turncoat representative who held a conservative seat but voted in a socialist deceitful government in 2010. He knew he could not stand for election. Yesterday 50% of his electorate voted National. Only 25% voted for the Greens or Labor. (After preferences, 65% of his electorate is conservative, 35% left-leaning.)
- Tony Windsor was turncoat number two. Yesterday 54% of his electorate voted for the National’s Barnaby Joyce. On two party preferred, 71% of the votes went to the Nationals, 29% to Labor.
If any one of these four electorates had been given the chance to vote between 2010 and now, the Labor government would have fallen much sooner.
Current tally: Labor 46.72% (57 seats), Coalition 53.28% (88 seats)
Greens 1, Katter 1, Wilkie 1. Seats undecided = 2.
About a fifth of votes (a record number) were made before the election. These aren’t counted yet, as far as I know, but are likely to lean towards the Coalition.
Will the carbon tax survive the Senate?
Australians want alternatives to the two major parties and the Senate is a churning soup of minor and micro party preferences. It now looks like the Liberals will be doing deals with minor parties to get legislation through, and whether or not the Carbon Tax is removed may boils down to these deals. At the moment the potential senators to vote it out include a Family First senator, possibly two Palmer United candidates, a Liberal Democrat, one Motoring Enthusiast, and a Sports Party man. Nick Xenophon (definitely elected again) has said he opposes the carbon tax. If the Liberals have 33 Senators, and there are 6 sympathetic other senators, the tax will go. We won’t know for another week probably.
The Greens may have lost their balance of power in the Senate.
The Labor Party haven’t learned a thing
So far there are no signs the Labor Party is going to recognize any real lessons from this loss. Shame, we need two good parties in a two-party system.
They’re blaming “the campaign”, as if they could have put better lipstick on the pig that is the current party platform/record. They’re blaming the lack of unity and division and the leadership struggles, but they are not saying they made a mistake in forcing a law on Australians that we didn’t want. They’re not saying they had the wrong policy, no sir. Tanya Plibersek last night gave Labor 9 out of 10 for achievement, but only zero out of 10 for leadership and that’s why they lost. (Who picked those leaders?) They’re not saying they have to deal with union corruption, or that they need to pick better candidates.
And they’re not apologizing to voters for trashing our trust, our money, and our children’s taxes.
We’ll be paying off this debt for years to come.
* only 34% voted Labor on first preference, but 47% preferred Labor to the Coalition.