Leading article Australia

Catch 2022

26 February 2022

9:00 AM

26 February 2022

9:00 AM

There is a diabolical conundrum facing conservatives at the forthcoming federal election: how to get more conservatives into Parliament? Once upon a time, the answer was simple and straightforward: vote for the Liberals. Indeed, one of our largest electoral landslides was achieved in 2013 when conservatives across the nation did precisely that, and Tony Abbott became prime minister. Tragically, the outcome of that victory was not, as one might have expected, an entrenchment of conservative government and governance at a federal level in this country for the ensuing decade. No, instead we got a left-wing counter-revolution from within the Liberal party itself, driven by greed, ambition and narcissism, which has culminated in nine years of largely wasted time in government. The neo-Marxists who have captivated the ABC are more powerful than ever before; we have committed to a ruinous policy of net zero emissions by 2050; small businesses and family enterprises across the land have been decimated; we have a trillion dollars worth of debt that won’t be paid off, some argue, until around 2080 – some thirty years after we have supposedly become ‘carbon neutral’. Then there is the appalling state of our education systems at all levels, riddled with historical lies, scientific misinformation and cultural vandalism of the most reckless kind –although to be fair, this is a problem not limited to these shores. As has been frequently asked within these pages, what is the point of the Coalition? What does it believe in?

Scott Morrison is making a desperate attempt to satisfy certain conservative cravings, having ‘talked tough’ on the twin threats of China and Russia, and with a full-throated support of Senator Claire Chandler’s ‘save women’s sports’ anti-militant-trans legislation. Good. These days, we take what meagre crumbs we are thrown.

It goes without saying – but we will repeat it anyway – that a Labor/Greens government, if elected this year, will be disastrous for this country in every imaginable way. As has been seen in the United States, Canada, France, New Zealand and any number of US states, the modern Left is consumed with climate obsessions and identity dogma. Unlike the Liberals, many of whom merely pander to these nostrums, the modern hard Left actually believes in them. Thus, they are convinced our modern society with all its bounties is the product of land theft and enslavement. They genuinely believe the world is divided into the oppressed and the oppressors. (That the moment they gain power, they themselves become far worse oppressors than any of their predecessors appears not to bother them one whit).

The opinion polls are clear. There is no groundswell of support for opposition leader Anthony Albanese as there was for, say, Gough Whitlam or Kevin Rudd. If ‘Albo’ skates across the line, it will be a Stephen Bradbury-style victory, courtesy of the (entirely self-inflicted) weakness of the Coalition in the public’s mind. Up to 20 per cent of voters are undecided. A very large proportion of those are disillusioned conservatives and/or disillusioned blue-collar Labor voters. Many of those votes are already heading to the three main ‘conservative’ parties: One Nation, Craig Kelly’s and Clive Palmer’s UAP or the Liberal Democrats. There is no doubt that were those three parties combined in a right-leaning coalition they would be formidable indeed.

But unfortunately – despite some encouraging preference deals – they are not.

Nonetheless, there is every likelihood that this election will result in a hung Parliament and in an echo of 2010 we will see deals being struck with the so-called independents of both the left and the right as a handful of kingmakers choose the new government. In which case, it is in every conservatives’ interest to see more right-leaning independents in parliament than left-leaning ones.

Which takes us to Catch ‘22: how to get more conservatives into Parliament without ushering in a Labor government? Similarly, what is the point in voting for a Liberal government when they keep heading ever further to the left?

Sadly there is no easy, one-size-fits-all solution. But for every individual voter, there is an answer.

There are many passionate conservatives within the Liberal and National parties. If you are lucky enough to have one of them in your electorate, make every effort to get them elected or re-elected. Equally, there are many – far too many – phony conservatives, or indeed anti-conservatives (they call themselves ‘modern Liberals’) who leech off the goodwill of right-leaning voters but once within Parliament betray them at every opportunity. In such electorates, the wise conservative would do better to vote for their preferred One Nation, UAP or Lib-Dem candidate and to work as hard as possible to galvanise other wavering voters to join them.

Ultimately, the only way to get more conservatives into Parliament is to vote them in. Seat by seat. Election by election. May as well get started.

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