Five months after the federal election, there are many factors at play, that feed into the bi-election result and the two opposing views of that result.
I have to admit to being very disappointed by the fact that the result didn’t hand to Abbott the flogging that he so richly deserved, or that it didn’t reflect QLDers outrage over Newman’s fascist nut-jobery.
However, when you look at the circumstances, I don’t think it is quite so black and white.
For starters, we have seen;
- Three plus years of the most intense, dishonest and misleading propaganda campaign in this great nations history. (Which is still ongoing 👿 )
- Abbott’s three year dummy spit and election campaign, causing even the hardiest of political tragics to suffer electoral burn out.
- Both Abbott and Newman playing similar games of pandering to the scared, the dispossessed and the red-neck elements in society.
- The factionalism of the ALP feeding the right wing propaganda campaign, including the whiteanting of Gillard by Rudd supporters, if not Rudd himself.
- A high profile local challenger, with a campaign that was well funded, and had already had a trial run, or to use a sports analogy; “He was match fit.”, against a candidate who didn’t even know that she was ‘in the game’ until late December, and then had to gain a local profile for a bi-election in early Feb.
- Local propaganda, courtesy of Murdoch’s Courier Mail, the main (and i use the term loosely) “News” paper.
- Some voter backlash against a sitting member who promised to see out the full three year term, only to quit three months after the election.
As I see it, these were the main factors in play, but there is also a level of voter apathy, ignorance and selfishness that can’t be ignored.
So let’s look a bit closer.
- The three years of lies, slogans and propaganda, left the majority of those that rely on the MSM for their information, insecure, confused and badly misled to the point of being brainwashed. Now if you think that I’m exaggerating, think back over the last three years and see what you can remember of the political rhetoric from that period. The chances are that “Juliar”, “Stop the boats”, ” Stop the waste”, “Axe the tax”, dysfunctional government” etc , will be front and centre, because even those of us that knew they were talking crap were still bombarded to the point of indoctrination. So it would be safe to assume that at least some are still “under the influence”.
- After the longest dummy spit in Australia’s political history, accentuated by the constant cries of “Foul”, and “Illegitimate government” and “Call an election now”; and accompanied by the three part harmonies of those renowned “Suppository’s of Wisdom”, Jones, Hadley and Bolt singing the Chaff bag and died of shame overture, is it any wonder that some voters have become sick to death of politics, and accordingly disconnected.
- The scare campaign is a very powerful political weapon, for the ruthless politician, and one that Abbott happily employed for entire tenure as LOTO and sadly continues to use as alleged PM, as it’s all he’s got! His fear campaigns included; the economy, debt and deficit, asylum seekers, government incompetence and dysfunction, the carbon “tax”, union corruption… pretty much everything. 😯
- Of course the ALP have to take their fair share of the credit for giving Abbott and Murdoch the ammo that they needed to make the whole sordid scheme work, and most of the blame for the whiteanting and destabilisation fell at the feet of the member for Griffith, rightly or wrongly, and so, as we learnt from the election, the Rudd factor had peaked, and was no longer the factor that many hoped it was.
- Glasson had spent months campaigning prior to the election, and had a high local profile. His campaign was well funded, and well rehearsed, while Terri Butler had to hit the ground running with less than two months to build a local profile and and win a bi-election.
- Brisbane is primarily a one paper town, and that paper is Murdoch’s, so sadly those that rely on the news papers for their information only ever hear the right wing spin about Abbott and Newman, and not the facts about their dishonesty, stupidity, stuff ups or real agendas, so combine that with rest of the useless MSM, and you potentially have a lot of mushroom like voters.
- If I had to go back to the polls after (see #’s 1 & 2 😀 ), I’d be less than happy with the bloke and possibly the party that caused it 😯
Now I’m not saying that it was a great result or a bad result for Labor, But I have heard a lot of commentary about the 0.5 – 1% swing to the LNP, in the MSM, and how it goes against what’s expected at a bi-election. So my question is:
Can anyone tell me what part of the last three plus years of the political cycle has been experienced, to this extent, in this country before?
I would have thought that comparing anything out of this political cycle with “The Norm” or “What’s expected” is just an exercise in futility, with this “Adult”, “No Surprises” government (Previously a puerile, no idea opposition).
Having said that, there are important issues that we need to look at in the wash up IMHO.
- Regardless of all the variables I have outlined, and others that I’m sure I have missed, and all the rhetoric from both sides, the fact is that Griffith now has a new and hopefully decent sitting Labor member in Terri Butler, which means we won, which in turn makes it one less seat that we have to try to win back next time. 😀
- As we are only five months into the new term of this rabble, there is still a long way to go, and worrying over semantics is just another distraction from the main game, which is and has to remain the demise of Abbott and the LNP.
- One of the variables that I haven’t mentioned thus far is Bill Shorten. Now I have made my thoughts on Shorten well known, from the outset, that I don’t believe that he should be the leader, at least at this time, and think that the biggest internal issue for the ALP to deal with, despite its protestations that, they’ve “learnt the lessons” of the electoral beating and the past, is the power base of the factions. Sadly, the “right” faction of the party is still playing its silly and self destructive “power” games, whilst being the source of the majority of alleged union corruption, and incidentally the faction responsible for getting Shorten elected.
The reality for the ALP is that the Lacklustre performance of Shorten as leader, combined with the blind ambition of the right factions is the most concerning long term aspect that will need to be dealt with, if they want to keep Abbott to one term or less.
One of the most commonly heard complaints about Australian politics is that there is little or no difference between the major party’s, and perception or reality, it needs to be addressed.
Now, more than ever we need the ALP to get back to its core values, and that means restructuring the party to do away with factionalism once and for all, and giving the power back to the rank and file to achieve true representation, and restore the balance and confidence in the selections and democratic processes of the party.
So back to the original question; “Griffith bi-election; What does it mean?…
In the scheme of things, I would suggest… Not much, except that;
- We won the first of many battles, with the main game still ahead.
- Despite the rhetoric of the LNP and Glasson’s reluctance to concede, there can be no real joy taken from this loss for the LNP; as with the amount of corporate and media support that they had, a party with real policies and Australia’s best interests at heart, should and would have performed much better than winning on the back of around 30,000 swung votes, handed to them by Murdoch’s propaganda machine, in the election that was tipped to be an ALP massacre.
- IMHO, the big lessons are that we mustn’t get bogged down in semantics, but stay focussed and disciplined, and work out strategies to fight the battles on all fronts, including IR, political, media and social.
- In the short term at least there is not a lot that we can do about Shorten, other than hope that he fires up and starts to perform, but our immediate focus should be to hold this truly bad government to account, and on ways to negate the Murdoch factor, cos the one thing that Australia needs, is… the truth.
What do you think?