Likely to attract more fraud than ever, it is too early to predict the results of the 2022 federal election. A hung parliament is possible, one where the House could at least function more as intended and less as a rubber stamp.
While I had to use a QR code to get into a polling station building for a recent local government election, once inside, I voted without having to prove my identity.
Nor will there be any checks in the federal election, not even the elementary safeguard of a simple commonplace electronic link between the forty-odd polling stations in my electorate. This would be to stop people voting up to forty times.
Meanwhile, in the week following the dissolution of the House, there will be, as usual, a tsunami of unchecked fake enrolments. As demonstrated here on 11 December 2021, these will be a source of greater fraud than even multiple voting and voting in other names, including the dead.
Cleaning up voter fraud should, for obvious reasons, be a Coalition priority. Inexplicably, it rarely is.
But under pressure from Pauline Hanson, the Morrison government introduced a voter ID bill, but only in the October 2021 session, far too late.
Labor claims this would disadvantage the indigenous. This is insulting. The indigenous drive, bank, and use health and government services as much as anybody else.
Incidentally, asked who the fraudsters are, I say I suspect the Russians. I am considering a GoFundMe campaign to have Mr Christopher Steel write a dossier. I intend to seek advice from Mrs Clinton and the New York Times.
Normally, fake enrolment campaigns are targeted to win or to hold marginal seats, seats where the winning party receives less than 56 per cent of the two-party preferred vote. The Coalition holds eight, Labor is more vulnerable, with sixteen. Of the Coalition’s, three are ultra-marginal, those where they received less than 52 per cent 2PP. Labor holds eight.
The overall state of the parties in the 151-member House is that with the WA Liberal seat of Stirling abolished and a new notionally Labor Victorian seat of Hawke, the Coalition is defending 76 seats and Labor 69. If neither wins 76 seats, there will be a hung Parliament.
Of the remaining seats, independents hold Indi, Warringah and Clark; Greens hold Melbourne; Katter Australia holds Kennedy and Centre Alliance holds Mayo. If they hold their seats, in a hung parliament, I believe four or five are more likely to support a Labor government and only one the Coalition.
There is a new factor which significantly increases the incentive for fraud.
This is because nine more Coalition seats have been targetted by well-funded global warmist ‘independents’, carbon copies of Warringah’s Zali Steggall, who all pose, I believe unconvincingly, as disaffected Liberals. They could win some seats or, through preferences, pass them over to Labor. In my view, they are more likely to support Labor in a hung parliament
The seats in issue are Wentworth, Mackellar, North Sydney and Hughes in Sydney, Kooyong, Goldstein and Flinders in Melbourne, Hume in country NSW and Nicholls in country Victoria.
Apart from fraud, the Coalition has to cope with biased media. Again, the Morrison government has itself to blame not only for thinking that appointing Ms Buttrose would solve anything, but for so obsequiously crawling to the ABC over funding.
Although the media is not as almost totally biased as it was during the republican referendum, a good tranche of the mainstream media currently sees it as their duty to protect Anthony Albanese from his quite disgraceful and hypocritical refusal to entertain an inquiry into the bullying of the late senator Kimberly Kitching or to speak to the real media about this.
But with Morrison, every real or imagined failing makes headlines. And now Ms Nikki Savva, key to the campaign to replace Tony Abbott with Malcolm Turnbull, claims that the departed senator Kimberley Kitching ‘had trust issues’, the implication being this obviously cancels the need for any inquiry. The strategy is that with media silence, this will blow over.
In the meantime, any media outlet worth its name would ensure voters know which party each independent candidate will support to form a government in the event of a hung parliament. The last thing the nation wants is a repeat of a Rob Oakeshott taking almost half an hour to tell us he would support Labor.
As for the polls, this column explained in detail before the 2019 election why they were probably all wrong. Better than modelling which is always wrong, polls can sometimes be right. Particularly but not only because of the advent of global warmist ‘independents’, this will be difficult. National swings and therefore national polls will probably be less relevant. But with the need for seat polls comes the danger of push polling which has already emerged.
Apart from independents, it is possible that the ‘freedom parties’, UAP, One Nation and the Liberal Democrats will attract a good number of votes, even penetrating the House. In a hung parliament, there is an outside chance that the election could return not just another rubber stamp House but rather the real lower house that the House of Commons still is and our founders intended.
As Alfred Deakin argued to South Australian prime minister Charles Kingston at the 1891 Constitutional Convention, when Kingston revealed a detailed proposal for citizen-initiated referenda to control the politicians, such control would equally be attainable through responsible government, that is the government being truly responsible to the House. This was how our parliamentary system operated before the emergence of the two-party system made authoritarian through the caucus rule imposing expulsion for disobedience. With a similar practice applying in the coalition, Craig Kelly was forced out of the Liberal party.
With more MPs from minor parties, the House could become truly representative.
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