As we meander toward the election this weekend, traditional media is making much of perceived swings toward the Liberals, and how Shorten won’t oust Malcolm Turnbull from the top job. Maybe they’re right. But traditional media completely failed to anticipate the rise of Donald Trump, the destabilising effects of the Merkel led open door policy, the discontent that led to Brexit, and still fails to comprehend that the European Union, (and perhaps Europe itself along with it,) is on the fast track to implosion. So you’ll forgive me if I take the domestic political analysis of traditional Australian media with a grain of salt.
For the most part, traditional media has not yet noticed the elephant in the room, or is unwilling to. The plethora of minor parties in the House of Representatives this time around may well be remembered for better or worse as the insurgents who delivered the Lodge to Shorten. Dollar Bill is at best little more than a glorified caretaker of a party that is as mothballed as the Sydney Desalination Plant. His mouth writes cheques that the economy can never cash. But due to the prevailing winds, he’s still very much in the hunt.
Now, conservative voters don’t mind a—holes. Even those who are fans of Tony Abbott will admit that he could be an a—hole when required. He proved it again a few days ago on a Chaser’s Election Desk skit when he quickly indicated to a little girl deliberately playing the recorder badly that she wasn’t terribly good. “It sounds like bird noises,” Tony quipped. At least he was truthful to her, which will help her far more in the long run than faux adulation. So yes, conservatives don’t mind a—holes, as long as they knuckle down and get the job done. If they are fiscally responsible, have integrity, and loyalty on their own terms, everything is hunky dory.
But when a—hole conservatives run up a deficit that rivals Rudd-Gillard-Rudd, their supporters begin to get anxious. When integrity and loyalty go by the wayside, it’s game over. Tony Abbott allegedly had issues with women, yet refused to throw Credlin and Bishop under the bus out of a sense of loyalty. He was rewarded for having these strong conservative values by being hurled under an even bigger double decker bus.
The media is oblivious to the fact, but conservative voters are still ropable about it.
These aren’t millennials with short memories, who virtue signal loudly but aren’t sufficiently outraged enough to enrol to vote. These are the quiet millions between 35 and 95 who aren’t necessarily opinionated in public, but are only too happy to bide their time and register their displeasure in spades at the polling booth. The main common ground that these millions of elephants in the room and those on the left share, is that neither will actually cast a ballot for a party led by Malcolm Turnbull in a million years.
Contrary to media speculation, a Labor victory, or a hung parliament resulting in a Labor led minority government, is a very real possibility this weekend. But it won’t happen in the way that you might think. A protest vote by those millions of disgruntled conservative voters will not go straight to Shorten.
Malcolm may be completely unpalatable and thoroughly repellent, but he is only marginally less palatable and thoroughly repellent than Shorten in the eyes of conservative voters. Both Turnbull and Shorten delighted in the destabilisation of their sitting leaders, and either one of them could effortlessly pull off the role of Little Finger in Game of Thrones far more convincingly than the role of being Prime Ministerial.
2016 will be remembered as the year that people around the world realised that a vote against the status quo is not necessarily a wasted vote. Like ’em or loathe ’em, Trump and Sanders have both proven this (sadly in the case of Sanders, millions of votes for him were never counted, but you’d have to ask the lady with the dodgy email server about that.) So did the result of the Brexit vote. People no longer feel obliged to vote in the way that so-called ‘expert media pundits’ tell them is their duty to.
A decent sized chunk of the disgruntled millions of conservative voters will be casting a single vote above the line in favour of a conservative minor party, specifically so that preferences don’t trickle down where they don’t want them to. Will these minor parties win seats? In most cases, no. But it will only take 15% or so of the conservative vote to erode the Coalition vote enough to hand quite a few crucial seats to Labor, as well as the odd seat to minor Left, Right, and Centrist parties.
If that happens, Shorten could quite easily become our next Prime Minister by default, defying the clueless predictions of traditional media, who think that they can gauge public sentiment across the nation by way of a quick poll conducted in Martin Place at lunchtime.
The protest voters realise that this might happen, which is why they will be voting heavily and enthusiastically for right-wingers in the senate. Many will find a few of these right-wingers even too right-wing for them, but that’s ok. The purpose of these right-wing senators is to keep Shorten on a very short leash should the disgruntled conservative vote help him along to victory, and to drag the agenda of the Liberal party back from the soft-left Malcolm will be inclined to lean toward, should he squeak back in as traditional media predicts.
With some of Malcolm’s recent escapades, including breaking bread with guests who are only a notch below Isis, perhaps it’s the Liberals who need to go into mothballs for a while. Better yet, perhaps a term or so in quarantine to starve out this contagious case of Cuckservatism that seems to be running rampant through the Liberals, could be just what the doctor ordered.
It may sound like an odd pairing of bedfellows, but a minority Labor-Greens government kept in check from doing anything really silly by a hostile senate of right-wingers may well be the result that Australia can expect from this election. The people are about to pass judgement, and it’s going to be harsh. Traditional media will not see it coming, just like they didn’t see Trump, the refugee crisis, or Brexit coming.
They have been caught napping on all of the major cultural shifts of the new millennium, and will predictably react by branding their own readers, listeners, and viewers as ‘low information voters’. For these ‘low information voters’, it’s time to look to recognise that traditional media outlets are hopelessly inadequate at anticipating or reflecting public sentiment, and seem overly preoccupied with social engineering.
Whoever becomes Prime Minister this weekend, let me be the first to congratulate him, and to offer commiserations to the electorate. It’s a close race, and whoever wins, we all lose.
It’s your XYZ.
Eh?nonymous was a thoroughly repellent unemployed social justice warrior until a one in a million glitch in his Facebook account affected the algorithms in his news feed, omitting posts from his much loved left leaning Huffington Post and I F**king Love Science, and inexplicably replacing them with centrist and conservative newsfeed items that slowly dragged him kicking and screaming into the light beyond the safe space that Mr. Zuckerberg had so carefully constructed for him. It’s a long road to recovery, but every Mark Steyn share he sees in his newsfeed is like another day clean from social justice addiction.
Photo by Music News Australia