Australia voted…

On May 18, 2019, Australia voted in an election that we all thought was in the bag. We all thought Labor would win because their policies would be good for the whole country…and because the hard right conservative government was so on the nose. We were wrong. The hard right conservative government was returned for another three years.

The talking heads on the tv were stunned as the unfolding result went against the last 50 polls. I was stunned because this expletive-deleted government was not only being voted back in, it was being voted back in with an increased margin.

Peter Dutton, the most hated man on #auspol, retained his seat of Dickson…with an increased margin.

George Christensen, a politician who posted a photo of himself shooting a handgun and spent more time in the Philippines than in his own electorate, was returned…with an increased margin.

Why? I still don’t know. The voters of Queensland were certainly sending a message, but they were not alone. Even in Victoria, the state considered the most progressive in Australia, Labor did not make enough gains to make a difference.

For a while, I hoped that the results were skewed out of shape by the huge number of pre-polls, but by the end of the night it became clear that even if the pre-polls all favoured Labor, it still wouldn’t be enough. To put it quite brutally, Australia has done a trump, and we have no excuse. All of us voted. Half of us ignored the scandals, the corruption and the actual economic record of the LNP and voted in favour of fear and self-interest.

I am more shocked than I can say. But. The people have spoken, and that’s what democracy is about. The fact that I don’t like it is neither here nor there.

The only bright spots to come out of this election all centre around Independent women:

  • Zali Steggall beat Tony Abbott in Waringah
  • Helen Haines won the seat of Indi after the former Independent [also a woman] retired from the seat. That’s a first.
  • Dr Kerryn Phelps may, possibly, retain the seat of Wentworth.

Whether these Independents will be able to change things for the better is doubtful. There are just not enough of them, and it doesn’t look as if the conservatives will have a minority government. Ergo, they won’t have to compromise to get the votes of the Independents.

To be honest, at this point I’m pinning all my hopes on people who don’t even have the vote yet. In three years time, the 15, 16 and 17 years olds of today will be eligible to vote. Many of them care about the future. I hope they vote in a government that’s prepared to do something about it.

Meeks

 

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

22 responses to “Australia voted…

  • daleleelife101.blog

    I know, weeks have passed… things are not getting any better. But amidst the despair, disbelief and tears I came up with the same hope… our country will not -entirely- go to hell in a handbasket during the next four years, during which I believe the coalition coffin will be nailed shut by younger, conscientous and proactive voters… and the FRC gravy-train will be derailed.

    Like

  • Widdershins

    Bugger! 😦 … actually, double bugger. 😦 😦 … it feels a bit like watching a global house of cards tumbling down around us.

    Like

    • acflory

      It does. I haven’t felt this bad about an election since 2016. Actually, that’s not true. 2016 was ‘over there’. This one is at home and personal. I feel as if everything I ever believed about ‘Aussies’ was just one big lie.

      Liked by 1 person

  • dvberkom

    Ack. Shades of 2016 (and 1933? 1914?) Nationalism is on the rise again. The world is a tinderbox waiting for a careless (or coordinated) match.

    Like

    • acflory

      That’s my fear too. This election loss feels like a milestone, one we’ve passed but going the wrong way. I keep thinking of all the important things that won’t happen now, including any real action on Climate. 😦

      Like

  • Marian Allen

    Welcome to America. It’s CrazyLand over here.

    Like

  • bone&silver

    So.Depressing. And. Wrong.

    I am so so sad for the next generation, and all the marginalised communities under attack now… all we can do is keeping fighting/resisting/networking/organizing, and supporting each other ❀

    Like

    • acflory

      You’re right, and I’m going to try to bounce back, but just at the moment I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s as if all the light and hope has gone out of the world. We need compassion, and vision for the future so badly. Instead we get…tax cuts for the wealthy. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

      • bone&silver

        I know; it’s so short sighted and devastating.

        I just got back from my monthly Women’s Buddhist Meditation Circle; pretty much the whole group of 30 were depressed and upset about the election; the wise teacher reminded us to try to observe our negative feelings, rise above them, and continue to be a kind and compassionate light beaming out into the world… that may help Meeks? Or you may need to punch a cushion or two! xx

        Like

      • Widdershins

        Give yourself time to grieve, and rage, and swear a lot, and cry, and when you’re done find a piece of Mother Nature and sit with Her for a while. It helps. I know.

        Like

        • acflory

          -hugs- I’ve been doing all of the above, and when this bronchitis is done with me, I’m going to spend a lot of time in my garden. It’s finally starting to green up again, and that really is balm for the soul.

          Liked by 1 person

  • My heart is heavy – Anne Lawson Art

    […] Meeks has more detail on her blog Meeka’s Mind. […]

    Like

  • anne54

    I too am stunned.I thought that, after a long time, we would have a government that had a vision for a different Australia. Okay, they are the Labor Party, and quite capable of stuffing up when in government, but they were articulating policies that would make a difference. Instead people voted for themselves, not for the environment, not for young people, not for cancer sufferers, not for tax reform…..and I want to emigrate too New Zealand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      New Zealand is looking damn good to me too, Anne. 😦
      Honestly? I just don’t understand. Labor was so up front with everything. I guess a big chunk of Australia just didn’t understand, or was taken in by the fear campaign, or believed Clive Palmer’s bullshit. I really, really thought we were better than this.

      Liked by 1 person

  • jenniferscoullar

    I’m devestated. What sort of people are we??? 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  • Candy Korman

    Is this part of the right wing, nationalist/populist trend exemplified by 2016 in the U.S.? I hope there’s light at the end of this tunnel. Perhaps the next few elections will point to a trend in a more activist/liberal direction around the world?

    Like

    • acflory

      Yes, it’s part of the same trend and doesn’t bode well for 2020. If Bill Shorten [the Opposition Leader] had been more charismatic, the vote may have gone the other way because people were not interested in the policies enough to understand them. If the US democrats want to oust Trump they are going to have to field a charismatic candidate /now/ and that candidate is going to have win hearts and minds long before the primaries.
      I don’t know if that’s even possible in the US system, but business as usual doesn’t work. The rational approach doesn’t work. Treating voters as sane people with good intentions does not work.
      I truly hope someone in the Democratic party is taking notes. 😦

      Like

  • Elizabeth Drake

    *hugs*. I know your pain. I was there in 2016. Except then, the people hadn’t voted. The person who won the majority of votes did not become president.

    Two years later, we are fighting harder than ever to keep even basic freedoms.

    Like

    • acflory

      Yeah, like almost everyone else in the world, we watched 2016 in absolute horror. Well, except for those who rejoiced at seeing their own views and prejudices reflected back at them from the US.
      I am starting to get this awful feeling that things are going to keep going downhill until something very bad happens. I hope it doesn’t, but I don’t think much of human nature just at the moment. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

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