“Nothing will be the same in Australian politics”

Nothing has been the same in Australian politics over the last decade. It’s been hard to keep up with all the party leader and Prime Minister changes.

In Major parties rocked in the heartland Mark Kenny at SMH says that things have changed even more after yesterday’s federal election:

Even if election 2016 results in the return of the Turnbull government, nothing will be the same in Australian politics. Not after this.

This election has delivered a seismic shift in the nation’s electoral landscape by effectively tearing up the conventional wisdom that managerial competence in a prime minister and cabinet should be enough, all other things being equal, to ensure a first-term government is re-elected.

Malcolm Turnbull’s vacuous second term agenda…

…has clearly failed to fire the imagination of voters. This much should have been predictable. Turnbull effectively vacated the field in terms of material promises for his second term, attempting instead to sell an economic growth mirage in a decade’s time based on the vague sense that an ambitious and unfunded ten-year corporate tax plan would mean jobs and confidence, and wealth distribution.

At best it was the replacement of material policy with something approximating “the vibe”.

At worst, it was simply unconvincing to ordinary people.

Turnbull’s purpose in replacing Tony Abbott has been squandered…

…through a surfeit of rank amateurism, political naivety, and surprising first-term hubris.

Neither party can take any longer term comfort…

…from the increasing tendency of Australians to unbolt themselves from lifelong party affiliations in search of value for their votes.

In short, both of the old party constellations have major problems in their heartlands which is why senior figures within each are talking privately about what to do.

Despite its strong showing, Labor’s primary vote was hovering at a near record low 33 to 34 per cent on Saturday night.

The Liberals have lost ground to populist protectionists…

…and apparently have no answer to this trend. And the surrender of Turnbull’s advantage through pragmatism over principle offered no protection.

There may be lessons here for New Zealand politics.

John Key and National may find that increasing numbers of voters seek more principle and less pragmatism.

Labour has major heartland problems and National seems to be losing ground there as well.

If similar voter sentiment to what is being seen in Australia expresses itself in next year’s election here we may be heading for an indecisive result that ends up delivering a mish-mash coalition.

And that will only make things more difficult for whatever major party ends up sort of in control.

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5 Comments

  1. Brown

     /  3rd July 2016

    But Turnbull is pro climate change and gay marriage – what more do people want for goodness sake?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd July 2016

      Who’s Turnbull?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  3rd July 2016

        Oh … him. Soz. Was funny to hear Al Jazeera commentator describe Australia as the most unstable democracy in the Western World with the most changes of PM in the last x however many years it was.

        Reply
  2. MaureenW

     /  3rd July 2016

    There’s a common out-of-touch, arrogance that voters are putting the boot in to. I think John Howard was the last Aussie PM who managed to serve without being knifed, and did a reasonably good job. John Key’s flag, David Cameron’s Brexit and Turnbull’s double dissolution election have all delivered a well -deserved kicking to the nobs in the job whose policies don’t appear to be doing much for the majority of voters.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd July 2016

      It’s the nobs on both sides of the divide who’ve been getting a knee in the goolies isn’t it?

      Reply

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