Leading article Australia

Vote carefully, vote wisely

14 May 2022

9:00 AM

14 May 2022

9:00 AM

Next week Australians head to the polling booths to elect a new government or to return the old one. With current polls showing a large number of ‘undecideds’ there is always the likelihood of a repeat of 2010, when a couple of miserable independents got to call the shots in one of the great farces in our political history – the final decision to anoint a Gillard government apparently coming from the gormless Rob Oakeshott’s six-year-old daughter.

In a first-past-the-post system the Coalition would probably scrape back in. Unlike in 1972, 1983 or 2007, there is no palpable groundswell of wild enthusiasm for the Labor party, primarily thanks to its charisma-deficient and gaffe-prone leader Anthony Albanese.

One of the big stories of this election is likely to be the collapse of conservative support for the Liberal party, as mainstream Australians seek representatives who genuinely share their values. This is due to the stupidity and carelessness of Scott Morrison and the Liberal party leadership over the last three years. Committing to net zero – done to shore up a couple of inner-city seats which are likely to disappear anyway –  was a complete betrayal of the Liberal’s and National’s 2019 election commitment not to go any further on climate change. JobKeeper during Covid may have saved many people’s jobs but the rushed spendathon was a gargantuan over-reaction (as was pretty much everything done by government during Covid) that has burdened future generations of young Aussies with an intolerable debt. The ‘national cabinet’ – whereby mainly Labor states imposed draconian measures that abused our fundamental rights yet were given the nod by a Liberal PM – stands as one of the most cowardly acts perpetrated on this country by our own federal government.

And yet… Labor is so much worse than the Liberals. Run by possibly the lowest calibre of intellects and individuals ever to assemble in a single federal parliamentary party room (other than the Greens, but that should go without saying), today’s Labor party bears no resemblance whatsoever to the aspirational workers’ party of Bob Hawke et al. Modern Labor is a cynical grab-bag of identity politics and racial grievances and climate ideologies designed to pander to the lowest common denominator of the angry, the lazy, the greedy and the ill-educated. Devoid of a single worthwhile (or workable) economic or governing principle, a Labor government would – or will – plunder the prosperity, sovereignty and hopes of mainstream Australia and torch them in a Savonarola-esque bonfire of virtue-signalling vanity. Enforced upon us will be indigenous treaties, closing coal mines, stealth carbon taxes, teaching our kids to ignore their own biology, and so on.

As Michael Baume and Judith Sloan warn in this week’s Election Special, a Labor government kowtowing to the Greens spells destruction of the future prosperity of this nation.

The great tragedy of the Morrison government was laid bare on Sky News this week when Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce – usually a compelling and powerful orator – descended into babbling incoherence as he failed to explain his own party’s belated commitment to net zero. If the Liberals lose this election, it will be entirely due to those ‘moderate’ Liberals and Nationals who betrayed the quiet Australians in such a selfish and spectacular fashion.

The only hope for not only a better Liberal party but also a better Liberal government – given our unnecessarily complicated preferential voting system – is to elect more conservative-minded individuals to sit in both houses. Either within the Liberal and National parties or outside. When it comes to voting for the House of Representatives, it is up to every voter to take the time and to make the effort to familiarise themselves with the values of their local candidates. If your Liberal/National candidate genuinely expresses conservative values, obviously vote for them. If he or she espouses leftist ‘woke’ values, do not. Just remember when voting for one or more of the minor party candidates to always preference Liberal over Labor and to always place the Greens and any ‘teal’ candidate at the very bottom.

When it comes to the Senate, either vote above the line according to the Liberal/National how to vote cards or vote for 12 individuals below the line picking the candidates in order of how you perceive their conservative credentials, from whichever party and in the order you value them.

We are lumbered with a preferential voting system, so we may as well use it. And may our voices be heard.

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