December 1st 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Will Morrison and Shorten remove freedoms from faith-based schools?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Immigrants caught in English-language nether world

CANBERRA OBSERVED China's pushiness provokes pushback among neighbours

FOREIGN AFFAIRS U.S. midterm elections leave Trump in charge

DEFENCE Perth Defence conference prioritises Indo-Pacific

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Countering fake news: Jair Bolsonaro may just save Brazil's democracy

GENDER POLITICS Small signs of a turn in the tide of the transgender flood

FOREIGN AFFAIRS European Union's winder of discontent

AUTOBIOGRAPHY Wynand du Toit: writing into the sunset

ASIAN AFFAIRS China uses salami tactics to isolate Taiwan

ENERGY Hydroelectric power and pump storage

LEGAL MATTERS Universities put themselves above the law

John le Carre, Smiley and the spy novel

MUSIC The mercurial Freddie: Power without emotion

CINEMA Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

BOOK REVIEW Commentator has got it right

BOOK REVIEW We are ill equipped for next big shift

BOOK REVIEW The father of the Reformation

FICTION The Lonely Man

LETTERS

VICTORIAN ELECTION Coalition collapse in Victoria

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VICTORIAN ELECTION
Coalition collapse in Victoria


by Gabrielle Walsh

News Weekly, December 1, 2018

Victorians sent a strong message when they voted on November 24 with a 6 per cent plus swing towards the ALP Government. How did this happen?

At the time of writing there are seats still in contention, but the ALP looks to hold a majority in the Lower House, with 53 seats to the Coalition’s 24 seats. Already lost to the ALP are the Liberal seats of Box Hill, Burwood and Mount Waverley, heralding the loss of outstanding MPs who have served Victoria unselfishly for years: Robert Clark, Graham Watt, and Michael Gidley.

Three Liberal seats were still in doubt at the time of writing. The ALP’s John Kennedy was in front of John Pesutto in Hawthorn: Heidi Victoria was lagging behind Jackson Taylor in Bayswater; and Liberal Russell Joseph was behind the ALP’s Chris Brayne in Nepean. In the Liberal seat of Ripon, Louise Staley was in front of the ALP, as was Liberal Brad Rowswell ahead of the ALP in Sandringham. Both seats will prove a close call.

At the time of writing, the Greens had won two seats, Prahran and Melbourne, with the possibility of a third in Brunswick. Independent Ali Cupper had a short lead on National Peter Crisp in Mildura. Shepparton independent Suzanna Sheed, however, has retained her seat and independent Russell Northe has increased his majority in the seat of Morwell.

Labour DLP stood candidates in 23 marginal lower-house seats and all upper-house regions.

The ALP seemed rattled by the “Labour” in the rebranded Labour DLP, which provoked some fiery interactions at several pre-polling stations. As counting continued, the Liberal electorates of Sandringham and Ripon were expected to be assisted with Labour DLP preferences.

The count in the upper house is yet to be finalised but it is predicted that the ALP will gain three seats to hold up to 17. The Coalition will probably hold 10. The Greens will drop back to one. Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party, the Animal Justice Party and Transport Matters will gain seats due to the work of the “Preference Whisperer”, Glen Druery. Many questioned the validity of the Preference Whisperer’s activity as several minor parties standing in the upper house received a higher number of votes but gained no corresponding seats.

The ALP achieved this stunning result by conducting advertising at saturation point on television and through social media supported by a seemingly inexhaustible budget. The ALP dominated the media. And union power was also evident across the state at the pre-polling stations and on election day.

The ALP ran a polished campaign focusing on jobs and infrastructure in a growing Victorian economy. Their program for health, education and delivery of essential services was expansive and attractive to voters, particularly those who work in those areas of employment.

The Coalition campaign lacked positive messaging and had little focus on economic and employment policies. Infrastructure and jobs were hardly mentioned.

It was not enough for the Coalition to speak of decentralisation without making clear where the jobs were going to be in the regions. The Coalition’s decentralisation policy offered an opportunity for complementary policies, like establishing a state infrastructure development bank. Yet, such depth of policy was missing.

One worrying initiative not capitalised on during the campaign was the ALP Government signing a memorandum of understanding with China on its “One Belt One Road”. It provides Chinese Government funding for infrastructure. While Victoria is jumping on board with China, there is a backlash in other countries against the support for “One Belt One Road”. Complex contracts and corruption have some nations unable to pay high interest loans and service heavy debts.

Daniel Andrews said a number of times when celebrating the ALP’s decisive election win that the ALP is a progressive party and that Victoria is the most progressive state in Australia.

What this means is that the ALP will push “renewables” to combat climate change despite soaring power bills and the closure of the Hazelwood power station, which provided over 20 per cent of Victoria’s power needs. It will mean promising more money for services without revealing where the money is coming from or on what terms.

ALP policies will mean forcing transgender ideology on children in schools through sex-education programs such as Safe Schools and the Gender and Identity component of the Resilience Rights and Respectful Relationships curriculum. The monitoring of families by such means as the Child Link Register, which records details of every child born or resident in Victoria, will continue.

The ALP will continue to shut down public expression of opposition to abortion on demand, with exclusion zones around abortion facilities, and deliver the voluntary assisted dying law, which exposes vulnerable Victorians to ask for assistance to kill themselves.

The existing 16 lower house ALP Emily’s List MPs will be joined by seven more in the new parliament. It is not known yet how many Emily’s List members might get a seat in the upper house. Emily’s List exists solely to promote the radical feminist agenda.

Meanwhile, the Coalition remained publicly silent on positive policies such as building a new power station, so sorely needed in view of the energy crisis, the new 36-bed drug-rehabilitation ward and increased funding for palliative care.

Liberal leader Matthew Guy failed all reasonable measures of leadership. The week after the election wipe-out he resigned from the leadership of the Opposition. Michael O’Brien was the front-runner to take his place, as John Pesutto was hoping to retain his seat.

In any case, the Liberal Party in Victoria faces a bleak future: as we all do under the Andrews regime.




























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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm