“The wave that has broken across liberal democracies
in the West has washed up in Australia”.
Scott Morrison Won Australia’s Election Against All Odds. It Shouldn’t Have Come as a Surprise.
The Australian Labor Party made the same mistakes that have led to failure for center-left leaders across the globe—and the right is reaping the benefits.
By Stan Grant
May 21, 2019, 4:44 PM
Understanding Australia’s shock election last weekend, in which the right-wing coalition of incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison unexpectedly won, requires looking to an unlikely source: a conservative Christian rugby star.
The pundits didn’t see it coming, but they don’t spend too much time in church pews.
Israel Folau, one of the most outstanding athletes of his generation, has become a lightning rod for debate about freedom of religion in Australia.
Folau had his contract with Rugby Australia terminated after he posted a social media message six weeks ago that said, among other things, that gay people were sinners doomed for hell unless they repented and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. He has been accused of hate speech, causing offense to the LGBTQ community, and breaching the game’s code of conduct.
What was a heated sports issue spilled over into politics in the final week of election campaigning. Morrison shares a similar Pentecostal Christian faith with Folau, and he was asked by journalists if he agreed with the rugby legend and also condemned gay Australians. Morrison replied as politicians do: He said he separated his politics and his faith. But within hours, Bill Shorten, the leader of the opposition progressive Labor Party, seized on the remark, seeing a chance to damage the prime minister. But playing politics with faith was a misstep—perhaps a fatal one.
Shorten’s move raised red flags in the minds of many voters. Just what did he stand for? Did he value the rights of the LGBTQ community not to be offended over the rights of someone to publicly profess their religious beliefs? It came in the same week that Shorten had given a rousing speech pledging to “change the nation forever.”
But did Australians really want their country changed? Shorten had already outlined an agenda of social change: an ambitious plan for indigenous rights, making Australia a republic (something that had been put to the Australian people and rejected in 1999), as well as higher taxes on what Shorten called “the big end of town.”
It was old-style class politics, and it spooked some Australians. Retirees, middle-class parents, and those dependent on the mining industry for their livelihoods all felt they were in the firing line. Christian leaders now say that religious freedom was a sleeper issue that turned votes in critical marginal seats.
This was the so-called unlosable election for Shorten, who lost to Morrison’s predecessor in the 2016 federal election; opinion polls stretching back more than two years said the conservative government was doomed. It was wracked with division, having dumped two prime ministers in internal party coups. They went into the election light on policy but led by a new leader big on faith. Within hours of the vote count, it was clear the polls had been hopelessly wrong.
Grand narratives are often foolhardy, and something as complex as an election can’t be so tidily explained. But there is a realignment taking place. The wave that has broken across liberal democracies in the West has washed up in Australia. The conservatives have been in power for six years, and after this victory some analysts are predicting at least another six more.
Throughout the world, long-silent voices are making themselves heard and it is shaking up politics as usual. In the United States, Donald Trump tapped into the frustration of those who felt left behind and promised to make their country great again; Viktor Orban in Hungary has entrenched his leadership by toughening the borders and stopping refugees; in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy, far-right parties are increasing their popularity.
At its worst, there are fears of resurgent fascism—certainly nationalism is back. People are saying they want to belong and they want their leaders to put them first. On immigration, trade, climate change policy, and more, countries are putting themselves first amid a blowback against multilateralism and globalization. After two decades marked by Middle East wars, the financial meltdown, and the Great Recession of 2008, whatever consensus had held around the free movement of goods and people and pooled sovereignty is looking frayed.
[End of article]
‘Australians are dumb’: Celebs’ fury at Scott Morrison federal election win
Celebrities and TV personalities furious at Scott Morrison’s shock election victory have vented their anger, calling Australians “dumb”.
Scott Morrison has claimed victory in a shocking election result
May 18th 2019
3 days ago
TV personality Meshel Laurie has tweeted that ‘Australians are dumb’ after her disappointment at Scott Morrison’s shock election victory. Picture: Julie Kiriacoudis.Source:News Corp Australia
Celebrities and commentators angry at Scott Morrison’s election win have tweeted “Australians are dumb” and vowed on social media to move to New Zealand.
They shared their anger following the Coalition’s shock election victory and Bill Shorten unexpected defeat.
Television personality and sometime The Project panellist Meshel Laurie unleashed on Twitter, posting “Australians are dumb”, which she followed up with “Dumb. Mean-spirited, Greedy”.
And when a Twitter poster replied with “Labor got greedy with too much tax” and “nobody likes” Shorten, Laurie responded.
“Tax pays for everything outside your house genius. It pays for hospital you’ll die in one day.”
Laurie also tweeted, in an obvious reference to a wish for the re-elected PM to fail during his coming term, “the only thing to look forward to in … AUSTRALIA is Shadenfreude”.
… author and social commentator Jane Caro tweeted right after the win on Saturday night that if the Coalition won, it meant Australia “decided to be a backward looking country”.
“I wish I was a New Zealander,” she tweeted.
When one poster agreed with her sentiments, she replied, “I feel sick too, but am ok. We will soldier on.”
However on Sunday morning, Caro had received some messages via her Twitter account lambasting her sentiments and calling her “an absolute bitch who should leave the country”.
She tweeted: “I guess this is Australia right now. Like so many others, I despair. Trump, Brexit, Scomo – while the planet disintegrates”.
ABC Late Night Live presenter Phillip Adams tweeted the result was “an act of collective madness”.
“Australia has given its malevolent, ignorant and corrupt version of the Trump administration a third term,” he tweeted.
Controversial broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied posted that “it’s going to be a long three years in Australia” after Antony Green declared Scott Morrison had been re-elected.
“Also – a warning to the progressive US counterparts, that even if things look good, ppl may surprise you (again),” Abdel-Magied tweeted on Saturday evening. ….
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And on and on it goes.
It’s Hillary Clinton all over again – so much so that some are now referring to the Labor leader, Bill Shorten, who lost the election, as “Billary Shorten”. For example, Jenny Clarke writes: https://thewest.com.au/politics/federal-election-2019/federal-election-2019-how-getup-and-franking-credits-lost-it-for-labor-ng-b881204382z
Labor learned last night that hell hath no fury like older Australians at risk of losing their franking credits.
Labor insiders admitted the policy to remove generous share tax refunds — paid mostly to retirees — was “killing us” in Queensland and New South Wales.
It was the unlosable election and Bill Shorten and his band of merry, progressive men and women fluffed it.
It was the US presidential race of 2016 and ‘Billary Shorten’ blew it.
It was Game of Thrones and Sussex Street is now a smouldering King’s Landing.
Labor won every single Newspoll since the last election. So why is ScoMo the Arya Stark of Australian politics?
Surely now, after the landslide victory of Mr Morrison and the Liberal party, pundits and political pedestrians alike can see opinion polls, all polls, not just the faux ones circulated in WA, are fake and useless.
Labor’s Brendan O’Connor said he was disappointed.
Disappointed the people of Australia didn’t want better for themselves and blamed Clive Palmer’s $50 million advertising splurges which attacked Labor.
Those ads also smashed up the Coalition.
In headquarters around the country Labor strategists had nothing. Other than an urge to drown their sorrows.