While focussing on Labor’s diminished vote, many miss that this election Australians overwhelmingly voted for progressive politics. Despite a clumsy attempt at contriving an ‘anti-woke’ revolution, Labor, the Greens and the independents enjoyed a huge combined swing. The far-right and their moderate apologists suffered a massive defeat.
Apology: Last night, a writer for this publication apparently mistook Marjorie Taylor Greene for Katherine Deves. Sorry, Marjorie Taylor Greene, really, really sorry.
Voters deserting the Liberals emphatically did not, as many predicted, transfer their votes to Palmer or Hanson’s little vanity projects.
Palmer reportedly pissed $100 million against the wall and went down like the Titanic. Craig Kelly is not Australia’s next Prime Minister. Palmer’s Senate campaign resulted in him achieving fewer votes than the Legalise Cannabis Party.
That is good for democracy. There is a very good reason why voters should never favour people like tycoons and prelates with elected office. Those people already exercise outsized influence on society. In a democracy, they have the right to stand for election but common sense and convention should preclude them doing so.
Then there’s Pauline Hanson, until today apparently destined for re-election because of her preference deal with Morrison. And she indeed gained more votes than others in the clown car cavalcade of conservatives vying for Queensland’s last Senate spot. But despite more votes than Clive Palmer, Campbell Newman, Amanda Stoker, and George Christensen, she may be pipped at the post by a second Greens senator.
The Lib/Nat/Newscorp Coalition
The election also saw a nationwide repudiation of the Libs not-so-silent coalition partner, the Murdoch media. Despite the constant demonisation of Labor, Albanese, the Greens, teal independents, climate concerns and ‘woke’ politics by the monolithic media corporation, who won?
Surely one of this parliament’s first jobs is to institute Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull’s suggested royal commission into this pervasive propaganda machine.
The Nats look to have held all their seats. But don’t chalk that up to Barnaby and Canavan’s far-right rantings. Their vote relies more on their admittedly poor record as the voice of rural Australians. Despite the Nationals’ consistent failure to slow the terrible decline of the bush, country voters have few other options. At least with the Nats and Katter, they have someone to whine for them.
The Liberal moderates
The Liberal moderates paid a well-deserved price for providing cover for the Liberal Party’s continued MAGA-like lurch to the right. In office, they continually failed to ameliorate their far-right master’s worst instinct.
And even when the NSW state treasurer and former party luminaries spoke out against the party’s disgraceful record on climate change and demonisation of trans people, the so-called moderates held their tongues.
Well may Simon Birmingham threaten to swear on national television after the fact about the endorsement of Katherine Deves, but he didn’t utter a single public f_ck when it mattered. Well, f_ck all of them.
The Greens and the independents
The rise of the Greens and the independents is a splendid turn of events. The two-party system hasn’t done Australia many favours in years. We need passionate, intelligent representatives not beholden to party dogma in our parliament.
Ignore the partisan bullshit about an unmanageable parliament. Democracy is messy. It’s dictatorships that are tidy. Arseholes like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin don’t need to devote many resources to negotiating with a cross-bench. And Julia Gillard’s minority government achieved more in its short life than most.
As for the Greens, looking back over the past few decades, we see that many reforms greeted with outrage when first suggested by the Greens are now taken for granted. The party is often ahead of the game. Their increased vote in Brisbane’s inner suburbs is hardly surprising. Inner city Brisbane voters get to witness the work of the much vilified (but even more voted for) Greens councillor Jonathan Sri. Jono’s efforts on behalf of his Gabba ward are legendary. Is it that, unlike Labor and Liberals, no Greens candidate can ever expect to win election based on rusted on voters casting a purely party vote?
If so, we need more of the same. Devoted and passionate locals dedicated to improving the lives of the people they represent. Certainly, the major parties should take note to stop parachuting in celebrity candidates.
Will the far-right go away?
Good luck! They’ll probably double down. They’ve always been years behind public sentiment and understanding of issues.
And their moderate apologists? Well, if they really care about their communities, they’ll stop providing cover for bigotry. They’ll stop enticing us with false promise of future compromise and they’ll get out there and fight for their communities instead of the parties.
As former Senator Brian Greig told QNews last week, we can never take any reform for granted.
And now — time for the LGBTIQ+ communities to hold the new government to account.
PS: What genius decided the best way to save the Lib moderates was to send in John Howard. For all the controversy about the ‘angel of death’, he proved to be the kiss of death.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.