What we’ve learned

Boy, I have been busy this week.  Published on AIMN 5/7/2016, these are my first thoughts on what we’ve learned in the immediate aftermath of the election before the final numbers are in.  Hope you enjoy!

Turnbull values

Confusion will be my epitaph.

If you don’t listen to early King Crimson, you perhaps won’t know that lyric, but it does describe where we are at this point in time, and there is no denying that the person ultimately responsible for leading us here is Malcolm Turnbull. He could do a Cameron, and forever be seen as the worst PM ever (yes, even worse than Abbott), or he needs to pull his big boys pants on, and be innovative and radical.  But more on that later.

Let’s first reflect on where we are now.

1) Thankyou, Bill, for ensuring Medicare is kept a central part of Australia’s services. The LNP blaming their electoral failure on the “Mediscare” campaign has ensured that any effort on their part to further increase patient spend on primary care will reveal their hypocrisy and lies on this matter. Checkmated themselves perfectly.

2) Thanks to the Greens for ensuring that we have a democratically elected senate based on people’s preferences, not an untransparent and confusing system that allowed the election of senators clearly not wanted by the people. Whilst you may not agree with the number loonies who have been elected, it at least better represent what the electorate “think” that they want. It is a very useful mirror, and whilst we may not wish to look at it, we must.

3) There is massive dissent in LNP ranks, particularly over the leadership. Voldemort is definitely back. Blood will be spilled; that is utterly inevitable. Stable? Yeah right. Even if the LNP do win, a stable government this will not be.

4) There does appear to be a significant undercurrent of racism and xenophobia at large, as revealed by the votes for Pauline Hanson. This is hardly unexpected, given that LNP strategy has been to stir up this unrest so they can be seen to be the bastions of our borders AS A POLITICAL VOTE WINNING TOOL.

However this Textor/Crosby/Murdoch strategy has backfired particularly badly in Britain which now faces further economic difficulties because that anti-European xenophobia has resulted in the Brexit situation, and the resignation of the prime minister that Textor/Crosby were only able to get into power by their xenophobic push for a referendum that they ultimately weren’t powerful enough to control it going against them. Short-term gain, long-term pain for the Tories, but the country will suffer for it. Let us not make that same mistake.

The danger of using disguised racism as a strategy is that it encourages real racists to break down the fabric of our society through violence and fear. This is Abbott’s legacy, and the cost to repair the mess he has caused will be time consuming and expensive, but it must be addressed as a priority whoever wins. And that means properly listening to that section of the community, and actively working with them to allay whatever their imagined fears are, rather than simply castigating them. Listening is the first stage (and I must learn to do it better too!).

5) In his speech on election night, the real Turnbull came out again. If you were willing to think otherwise, this speech revealed that this was all about, and always about his personal ambition. The LNP have no plan for the nation – or certainly not one that they can share with the electorate! The only plan they ever have is to get into power. Then they just wing it.

6) The MSM have been an utter disgrace. They have significantly contributed to the current mess through reporting opinions as facts, going along with the LNP roadshow of nothingness, and failing to focus on policies. They either need to lift their game significantly, or they will become extinct. They are already tottering on a cliff, and not many thinkers will lament their passing.

7) If you didn’t realize it before, realize it now. The system must change. The party system is inherently flawed, and confrontational politics is not the best way to make good decisions. A hung parliament MIGHT be the best way forward IF the MSM can’t stop stating that it is unstable and chaotic.

IMHO the best thing that Turnbull could do is contact Shorten and suggested that for this parliament that every vote would be a free vote. In fact something as radical as this may be his only hope for staying PM. This will force them to find common ground on key issues, and could deliver a high quality, long-term set of solutions for the country. It also forces the idiots on the outer to remain there – nobody should even be entertaining Hanson or Katters list of demands. But they need to start by working out what the actual problems are, rather than simply arguing over solutions (which in many cases don’t actually address the underlying problems in the first case). But unfortunately it won’t happen. Too many donors to feed.

So take it away Malcolm …

“Confusion will be my epitaph.

As I crawl a cracked and broken path

If we make it we can all sit back and laugh.

But I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying,

Yes I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying.

Yes I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying”.

About Steve Laing

Political observer, free thinker and problem solver, Steve contends that the current democratic processes have neither kept up to date with globalisation nor modern business practices, resulting in increasing dissatisfaction with modern politics. However, new technology could be used to not only reconfigure our system, but give the electorate even greater representation than was previously the case. For more background information on Steve, please check his LinkedIn profile.

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