Hello, it is a nice feeling to be back in Queensland after a couple of months away in other States.
Well…wasn’t that a ripper ?
An Editor of The Australian described the election result as an expression of the genius of Australian democracy.
Apart from a few greens, some limp lettuce leaves in Melbourne, a grab bag full of left wing journalists and a coterie of blimpish activists, who could disagree with that ?
As a far as Federal elections go; this one, May 2019, was very, very different.
Much has been written in public print media and much has been said on public radio and television about the policies of both parties, the manner in which both parties’ policies were presented to the electorate and the personalities involved.
And, Cranky Lizard cannot add to the value of the public debate by re-visiting these already published opinions and comments.
But, Cranky Lizard’s focus is captured by the mindset of the left media, who were encouraged by the apparatchiks of the Labour Party ministerial staff and the commentators of the socialist academia, who ran a constant, almost arrogant line, of we shall win – like it or lump it !
Indeed, such was the arrogance that this attitude encouraged that the Shadow Treasurer indicated, on public radio, that if the electorate did not like the policies of the Labor Party, they were quite free to vote against them!
In other words, a substantial element of the electorate was simply being dismissed as irrelevant, in a Federal Election Cranky Lizard reckons that everyone is relevant. N’cest pa ?
Cranky Lizard was not in Queensland for the election campaign, but close by; close enough to observe, in wonder, at the shenanigans of Bob Brown and the Stop Adani Convoy. The Labor Party obviously approved of this activity, because nowhere did Cranky Lizard see or hear any protest or meaningful disassociation from the any senior member of the Labor campaign team, or indeed the Leader of the Opposition himself!
This wilful act, and it was a wilful act, demonstrated how irrelevant the lives of Central Queenslanders were to those running the Labor campaign. Once again they dismissed a substantial portion of the electorate as irrelevant.
Of great concern to Cranky Lizard, and to other Australians residing in rural areas, regional suburban areas and major regional cities was the quite deliberate attempt to create a ‘ generational divide ‘. The clear implication being that ‘ baby boomers ‘ had had an easy run at gathering wealth over the past few decades and now it was time to re-distribute some of the wealth to generations of young Australians, who, were led to believe that they had had ‘ it tough and it was time for a fair go’.
Just exactly what a ‘ fair go ‘ actually meant was not specified – but it was apparent that feelings of envy and angst were generated along with some quite misleading expectations of how re-distribution was meant to take place.
Attempting to divide generations of Australians by envy and age is a pretty poor approach to politics and approach which angered, deeply angered, many Australians who did belong to the inner city elites, the greens or any other group of noisy people shouting their causes on a daily basis.
Cranky Lizard observes that there was an obvious strategy to ‘ ring fence ‘ certain groups in the electorate, home owners, and potential home owners wishing to negative gear an investment property, retired Australians whose retirement income came from investments they made through their own hard work and intelligence and small to medium business owners who were regularly told that they were unfair to their employees, either not paying them enough, exploiting them through penalty rates or all of the above.
We all know, because the story has been told many times, that elections in Australia, particularly Federal Elections are won by holding or attracting the middle ground of the population. In most cases, and in general terms, you can say that 40 % of the electorate will never vote for you no matter what you say, promise or do – they are rusted on to their cause and that is that ! Likewise it is fair to say that 40% of the electorate will vote for you because, they too, are rusted on to your cause, and unless you really blow them away you can count on their vote.
If we do the maths, that leaves, say, 20% of the electorate whose votes are not committed and they will place those votes with the political party that attracts them on the day. This is the ‘ middle ground ‘ if you like and it is here that political parties usually focus their attention.
But, as Cranky Lizard mentioned at the beginning of this piece, this election was very, very different. Some of the middle had been blown away from the Government, due to the revolving door of Prime Ministers and the associated confusion attached to those events. Add to that, the polls, a beast which is fast losing its credibility, suggested that the Government could not win the election.
Quite obviously, this led to increasing and overbearing confidence in the ranks of the Opposition. And probably contributed to the careless arrogance with which they portrayed their policies.
Bluntly speaking, the Opposition allowed that wretched creature ‘ hubris ‘ to sneak into their dreams and convince them that the election was a “shoo- in “. Because, by Cranky Lizard’s reckoning, the Australian Labor Party have always been very, very good at running election campaigns and this campaign strategy flies in the face of common sense.
It is fair to say that once you have let ‘ hubris ‘ into your world it will not be very long before the ugly sister of ‘ hubris ‘ enters your world as well.
That ugly sister is ‘ nemesis ‘ and she disguised herself extremely well for many weeks. She was lost in the hype, the media cycle, the shouting, the finger pointing, the brightly coloured bus journeys and the dust of the scurrying mob as they crept towards their Appointment in Samara – 18 May – Polling Day.
Senior political commentators have spoken about the phenomena, and Cranky Lizard agrees with them : the arrogance, the patronising, the obfuscation over policy costs and the general finger pointing and shouting about climate change, coal mining, penalty rates, housing investment and negative gearing plus the persistent ‘ retirement tax ‘ spectre had only one significant outcome.
The middle ground, the several million quiet Australians represented a ‘ bear that had been poked once too many times ‘ and the bear swung its large paw at the polling booth becoming the ‘ nemesis ‘ the Labor Party had dismissed, and, in swinging its paw, the bear knocked ‘ hubris and nemesis ‘ into political history.
In conclusion, Cranky Lizard comments that elections like the one just past do not occur very often, usually political parties are too smart to ‘ poke the bear ‘.
But if you do ‘ poke the bear ‘ then watch out ; they, the middle ground, will vote you down and then go and have a barbecue lunch with their families and their mates and forget all about you.
And, that is nothing more than you deserve.
Enjoy your days.