Posted by: Gregoryno6 | May 12, 2019

Australia’s federal election, May 18 2019: our Galbraith dilemma.

Politics consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable – John Kenneth Galbraith.

When  Tony Abbott led the Liberals to victory in 2013 I was one of many who believed that the Labor/Green combo was out of power for a generation at least. I anticipated a couple of decades of relatively stable government under relatively adult politicians.

At next Saturday’s election the dangerous idiots of the left have a chance of making a comeback.

Where does the blame lie? The primary culprit is Malcolm Turnbull. Turnbull worked assiduously to undermine Tony Abbott. His first leadership challenge failed in early 2015, defeated by citizen power. The voters, with four days notice before the showdown, informed their Liberal representatives that Abbott was their man. On the second vote, later in the year, the spill motion was called with only a few hours notice. Turnbull won with the votes of 54 Liberals – many of whom have since skulked away from Canberra, preferring to ‘retire’ than get kicked out by their electorate.

Turnbull, having claimed the prize he believed he was born to claim, had no idea what to do with it.

The Liberals were lucky to retain the Treasury benches at the federal election in 2016. How do you win an election with a one-seat majority? Start with a thirteen-seat majority and add Malcolm Turnbull. He Who Was Born To Lead was finally deposed in 2018. Peter Dutton, Immigration Minister and International Meme Hero, ran for the position but was beaten by Turnbull’s Treasurer Scott Morrison.

Morrison was Immigration Minister under Tony Abbott,  and very effective he was too. Then he switched over to Team Turnbull. My worry about Morrison is that he’s a chameleon, taking on the colours of his leaders. I don’t feel he’s quite confident yet with showing his own colours. I’m not fully convinced that he has any.

Morrison and the Liberal Party are the unpalatable option. The disaster option is the Australian Labor Party led by Bill Shorten.

Shorten was instrumental in the knifing of Kevin Rudd by Julia Gillard in 2010, then – there’s a lot of it about – changed his colours to dump Gillard and bring back Rudd in 2013. Much was made recently of the public support shown for Shorten by both Jooolya and Kruddfuhrer. Why wouldn’t they want him as Prime Minister? Like Augustus nominating Tiberius, they want a successor that will make themselves look good by comparison.

Shorten has spent much of the election campaign not answering questions, particularly on the cost of his election policies. His Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen is even more arithmetically challenged – he disappeared for a period during the campaign.

(For those who don’t get the reference – a useful history of former Treasurer Swan.)

Labor finally released some details last week. Swan-like, they are promising strong surpluses. There will also be more Australian dollars going abroad to foreign aid and the UN. And an increased intake of refugees. Yeah, Bill – you lot handled that issue so well last time, didn’t you?

Scott Morrison, reading the electoral mood far more accurately, has promised a freeze on refugee intake. An intelligent move.

Initial polls showed Labor as the favourite for government after next weekend, but the gap has been narrowing. Shorten has suffered several humiliations during the campaign; it’s not a good look for the leader of the “worker’s party” when the workers refuse to shake your hand. Shorten was also caught out in a story about his mother that was something other than the honest facts.

In the Upper House I’ll be voting Australian Conservatives and CNP. Whichever party wins power, I want the next government tied down so tight it can barely breathe.

As for who wins government: I prefer the Libs. They haven’t done much to win my vote, but putting them back in will keep Labor out.

It’s not so much that Scott Morrison is the lesser of two evils. It’s more that Bill Shorten is the evil of two lessers.

 


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