From a poll favourite to crashing disaster, Bill Shorten and Labor have bombed pretty badly in the 2019 Federal Election. This is the second upset for Labor in the past few weeks, with the NSW State Election also showing a significant lack of faith in the party.
Why? I’ve noticed the Liberal/National Party’s complete lack of integrity and honesty when it comes to campaigning in this election; letter box pamphlets, TV commercials and social media ads slagging off the opposition has created a real hostility in politics, reminiscent of American elections. This style of campaigning has gained momentum over the past few elections and has now reached crisis levels. I can’t say that Labor hasn’t also used these tactics in the past either. Although this time Labor actually had some policies and articulated them as a team, while the Liberals relentlessly promoted that ‘vote for the leader’ type of ideal in Scott Morrison and noticeably kept the rest of his ministers very quiet in the leadup to the election. (1) Of course, they couldn’t gag Tony Abbott so they just gave him the rope to hang himself, figuratively speaking…
Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party undoubtedly had the effect he intended. By injecting over $60 million into a negative advertising campaign and managing to deploy candidates into almost every electorate, he succeeded in luring voters away from Labor and other parties, then gave the preferences back to the Liberals. Clive claims that, “Our Shifty Shorten ads across Australia … I think have been very successful in shifting the Labor vote.” (2)
I wonder what back door deal Clive expects to be making? Let’s stay tuned for the next dirty chapter…
I admit to being completely disgusted by these underhanded tactics and the way politics in Australia is now being conducted. There appears to be no integrity from the majority of politicians and the Australian people have lost faith that their choice will make a difference, no matter what party it is. We appear to be hardened to even the most outrageous lies by the Liberals, like their claim of superior economic management (3), which has been completely debunked by Stephen Koukoulas, a leading Australian economist, who stated that these are ‘bold claims that fly in the face of the latest score card for the economy.'(4)
Bill Shorten hasn’t been my favourite Labor leader, however I think he really did step up to the plate in the campaign. I still find it mind-boggling that workers in Australia have voted for Liberal over Labor, when Liberal policies will almost always disadvantage workers to the advantage of rich corporations. Note the abolition of some penalty rates by the Liberals in 2018 when Scott Morrison was the Treasurer (5).
The voters of Australia have enabled this political climate and now we’re stuck with it for yet another term.
I believe it should be mandatory for all parties to release their policies on the same day, one week before pre-polling begins, with no political advertising allowed after that time. People need to start thinking about the way they will be represented, not expect to be, or allow themselves to be, spoon-fed absolute crap by any party.
Look at all the so-called ‘taxes’ that the Liberals said Labor were going to introduce… ‘retiree tax’, ‘housing tax’, the list goes on and on, and were very easily dismissed as scaremongering if voters took five minutes (or less) to research them. (6) It still bugs me that the media also referred to them as taxes instead of by their Labor policy names, thereby perpetuating the spread of lies. The list of Labor policies is long, positive and pretty comprehensive really (7). I’ll be making a copy of the Liberal’s policies before they disappear and be watching to see how many of these fall by the wayside (8).
It’s disappointing that Australian politics has gone in this direction, but it just means that more of us need to take action now.
Rest In Peace Bob Hawke, I’m thankful you weren’t around to see it.
“The world will not wait for us.” – Bob Hawke, Boyer lecture, The Resolution of Conflict, 1979.
- Annabel Crabbe, ‘Scott Morrison is a one-man band, playing the federal election stage on his own’ 10 May 2019, view here.
- Clive Palmer interview, ABC News 19 May 2019, view here.
- Liberal Party website “Stronger Economy, More Jobs”, view here.
- Stephen Koukoulas, ‘Watch out Australia: there’s a flood of dismal economic news on the horizon’ 1 May 2019, view here.
- Gareth Hutchens, ‘Pay rise for politicians as penalty rates trimmed further in hospitality and retail’ 30 June 2018, view here.
- Luke Henriques-Gomes and Stephen Koukoulas, ‘Are any of the Coalition’s claims of new Labor taxes actually true? 14 May 2019, view here.
- Labor Party website, ‘Policies’ view here.
- Liberal Party website, ‘Our Policies’ view here.