Australians seem to have become far too accepting of the Liberal Party's mismanagement, scandals and blunders, writes Grant Turner.
THE LIBERAL PARTY of Australia admitted recently that they set out to deliberately lie and deceive the voters in Kooyong and Chisholm during the last election with their imitation of the Australian Electoral Commission's (AEC) corflutes, with instructions in Chinese instructing that the correct way to fill out the ballot papers is to vote Liberal number one. No need to say this was a surprisingly honest admission coming from the Victorian LNP Director, Simon Frost — it's amazing what fear of gaol for perjury can do.
I’m sure many understand that spin and half-truths are part of Australian politics, but this crossed the line between spin and flat out deception in its targeting of a minority group in an electorate where many non-English speaking people of Chinese origin live.
I suspect that no action will be taken against the admitted offenders and it will go the way of #Ashbygate, #Watergate, #Grassgate, #Houstongate and the plethora of #gates that question this government's actions that are dubious at best and flat out criminal at worst.
It seems to have become the norm now in Australian politics for the Government to refuse to answer questions that they don’t want to, using terms like “Canberra bubble” or “gossip” and instead choosing to wait out the media cycle which conveniently moves on quickly to the next clickbait story. It is definitely a method the current government excels at and uses constantly, aided by our mostly compliant media.
This is very apparent when it comes to climate change and its link to the current fires that are impacting our country well before summer has even begun.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison uses the NRA crisis management 101 method – we won't talk about gun control while people are suffering – which has to be the most pathetic and lame excuse not to talk about the obvious links between bushfires and climate change. What is he actually saying? That he is not capable of empathy, action and discussion at the same time? If so, I'd prefer a PM that can walk and chew gum at the very least.
I suspect that many Australians are somewhat shielded from the attitudes and actions in the rest of the world when it comes to climate change. In so many countries, there is bipartisanship and not the divide that has been created in Australia on a Left-versus-Right basis. It is a worry when Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack calls people concerned about climate change “inner-city lunatic lefties” and ex-Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce spits out vile lines about two folks who've lost their lives in the current fires as “probably Greens voters”.
It becomes obvious that “divide and conquer” is at the forefront of the Government's methods. I recall Peta Credlin admitting that Tony Abbott and the Government knew that Julia Gillard's price on carbon was not a tax, but they couldn’t pass up an opportunity to brand it as one and once again a compliant media went with along with it. This, sadly, did affect the result of the election at that time as she was branded as “Juliar” from that point on.
These same actions were seen again in the franking credit policy the ALP took to the last election, with the media parroting the Government line of it being a “retirees tax” or the winding back of negative gearing being a called “housing tax”. None of these LNP tactics has anything to do with what is in the country's best interest, but a lot to do with having a point of difference with your opponent and winning an election.
Negative gearing and franking credits are something unique to Australia in their current form and this government, due to its unexpected win at the last election, will now have to deal with it and they know that they are unsustainable and will be a huge lead weight on their fantasy surplus.
It's a sad reality these days that politicians with real conviction and a desire to do what is in the country's best interest rarely get a look in. Instead, they have been usurped by the vested interests of donors and powerful media oligarchs that forgo doing what is right for society in order to put their mates in power.
Until the Australian public wakes up to this reality, then we all risk becoming nothing but a commodity to be manipulated and lied to as an authoritarian government creeps closer and closer, while the gap between the have and have-nots grows larger.
The time to be a quiet Australian is well and truly over, folks. Please speak out, talk to mates, talk to fellow parents at school pick-up, do whatever you can as this government's rorting, fiscal mismanagement, cuts to services and denial and lack of action on climate change will destroy our once fantastic country.
Something has to change soon before we all find ourselves in tears wondering “how did we get here?”
Grant Turner has a strong interest in politics and fairness in society and believes in honest independent media.
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