The waving of signs, the flagging of flags, the shouting, the nonsense, the angst, the hostility, the threats, the fun, the co-operation is all over.
The state election is over, and the Queensland Labour Party has won enough seats to form the Government of Queensland for the next four years.
Congratulations to the Queensland Labour Party.
And, Congratulations to the new local Member for Pumicestone, Ali King.
In any free election, citizens will always vote in their own self-interest. They will cast their vote for the political party which, they think, will make their lives better.
People vote with optimism, choosing the political party which offers them a better future; in their opinion.
Very rarely will people vote on altruistic terms such as the long term benefits of a free economy or a particular foreign policy of a government.
Self-interest will always win the day.
And there is nothing wrong with that, as far as Cranky Lizard is concerned. No criticism is implied.
But this election had an intriguing element of difference.
The Queensland Labor Party assessed that the policies of border lockdown appealed to many people – and they were correct in that assessment – and so a message was pitched to the Electorate that pointed out the benefits to the community of the border closure policy.
Queensland has done well in terms of controlling the effect of COVID-19 in terms of actual cases of the virus affecting people.
It has not done so well, and neither has any other State, from an economic point of view.
The Queensland Labour Party focused on the health aspect of the crisis rather than the economic effects ; and who can argue with that? If you don’t have your health you don’t have much else, do you?
But what Cranky Lizard finds intriguing about this election is that the basic premise of attracting votes with a promise of a better future was discarded for a process of attracting votes as a reward for a job well done – keeping people safe.
This was, therefore, an election where a majority of citizens cast their votes with an eye on the past. It was a reward vote. A thank you vote!
And there was the added twist that because the Government has been strong enough to keep you safe up to this point, you can trust us to fix the economy and the debt into the future.
Well, that is fine, that is democracy.
Cranky Lizard suggests that a reward vote is very kind and warm, but there will be consequences.
We shall adjust to the presence of this terrible disease amongst us; we shall deal with it by whatever means are needed.
It will not be so simple to fix broken sectors of the economy, tourism, small business in its many and varied forms, the hospitality industry and the service industries.
Fixing these economic sectors is much easier said than done. Why?
Because these industries are based upon optimism, upon confidence and upon pragmatic political leadership; and earlier in this turbulent year, 2020, these qualities were not displayed by the current Government, and the public opinion polls reflected this.
Cranky Lizard also suggests that you can draw whatever message you like from opinion polls, they are not as accurate as claimed, but, there was reason to believe that the Labour Government was in political trouble.
Nevertheless, the Labor Government has been returned by an increased margin of votes; all credit to them.
The political opposition, the LNP, can take very little, if anything, from this election.
The signs of community satisfaction with border policies were obvious; Labor won an election in the Northern Territory based upon the ‘ keeping you safe ‘ philosophy. Community voices in the massive Brisbane urban sprawl were reflecting a level of satisfaction with border closures that were as obvious as a dunny in the desert, and yet, no unambiguous acknowledgement of this level of satisfaction was displayed in LNP statements or policies.
The LNP seemed to ignore community satisfaction with border policies, and they have paid the price. So be it!
This election, in Queensland, has again exposed significant differences in community expectations in various regions of this hugely diverse State.
Urban-rural divisions certainly exist. Practical, primary industry concerns over employment and infrastructure certainly exist. Inner-city elites and academia, like it or not, are focused upon and almost obsessed with matters of diversity, climate, race, political correctness and all the attached ‘ woke ‘ issues which produce a great deal of heat, but no light.
Vast regions of the State are given to agriculture, producing food for our communities and exports for our economy; mining, in all its various forms, creates the wealth in the form of exports and royalties which allow Governments to plan infrastructure development. But, Cranky Lizard observes that these fundamental instruments of our economy are seen as a threat, by sectors of our urban population. Cranky Lizard also observes that this attitude is somewhat self-indulgent.
Many promises have been made, by the Labor Party, to the Electorate during this election period.
No Parliamentary Budget was prepared or delivered, prior to the election, the Electorate was asked to accept that a Laborr Government would deliver a budget in November which will outline how the Government will manage and grow the State of Queensland over the next four years.
Cranky Lizard looks forward to seeing that document.
Promises made are promises to be kept – Cranky Lizard shall be looking at that.
So, the next four years will be challenging for Queensland. The State shall emerge from the shadow of COVID-19 and must repair its economy to give our young people a decent chance to catch up on a year and a period which has treated them severely.
One final comment; there are at least 26, 000 jobs available in the rural regions of Australia, harvesting fruit, picking berries, reaping grain, driving trucks, fixing trucks and working on farms.
It is challenging to be sympathetic to arguments of ‘ tough times ‘ when many people are happier to take JobSeeker payments than actually work!
Life is good and there is plenty of it about.
Enjoy your days.