ESSAY 17: FEDERAL ELECTION REVIEW
NO SIGNS OF COMMON SENSE POLITICAL POLICIES
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Essay 17 takes a quick glance at Australia’s 2022 Federal Election results.
Winning votes: Independent candidates + The Greens + Legalise Cannabis
Losing votes: Liberal + Labor
Traction with voters: The Nationals
Low traction with voters: One Nation + United Australia + Liberal Democrats
Ongoing disenchantment with Australia’s two biggest political parties, leaves a potential electoral gap, wide open.
A party is yet to emerge, with the formula that would make it a natural closer, of that currently existing electoral gap.
Global climate change has claimed its 6th Australian Prime Minister. Will this ever end?
The stunning success of new independent candidates – a senator and six House of Representatives MPs – was spread across 4 of our 8 states and territories.
Based purely on their individual policy platforms, the new independents’ closest ally (among political parties) is the Greens. Whilst the Greens improved their vote at the election, their improvement was not comparable, with the mammoth electoral breakthrough of seven (7) brand-new independent candidates.
This difference in results (between the Greens and independent candidates with similar policies) is arguably consistent, with the new independents’ success flowing possibly, to a much lesser degree from policy choices (their message), and to a much greater degree from superior campaigning (their medium).
Independent candidates who were articulate and available, exuding policy conviction that motivated both campaign supporters and voters alike. Financial backers focussed resources on credible candidates in winnable seats. Liberal MPs were unable to offer differentiation on issues advocated by independents, who very successfully – aided by conviction – defined ‘the issues that mattered’ for their electorate.
Legalise Cannabis’ senate candidates outpolled the Liberal Democrats in all six states. It similarly outpolled United Australia in Queensland and Western Australia. It did so, with little if any public profile, and purported expenditure of less than $50,000. All their voters had to do, was to concur with the name.
Stating the obvious:
Recent success of the independents, Greens and Legalise Cannabis, was only possible due to ongoing disenchantment with the two big political parties.
Theorising on Major Parties:
The successful election participants (the independents, Greens and Legalise Cannabis) all demonstrated policy conviction. The major parties did not.
Theorising on Smaller Parties:
None of One Nation, United Australia or Liberal Democrats took as many votes as they had hoped for, from votes lost by Liberal and Labor in 2019 or 2022.
Common Sense theorises that the Liberal Democrats’ libertarian philosophy (which narrows, ironically, its policy flexibility) will continue to limit its appeal.
Going by 2022 election results, no amount of centralised advertising (glib or otherwise) can outgun new candidates, who can personally articulate conviction: Common Sense theorises that One Nation’s and United Australia’s autocratic constitutions will continue to limit their capacity, to attract sufficient numbers of independent thinkers, who might otherwise assist each party to improve their depth in management, policy development and potential electoral candidates.
Current Outlook (Caveat Emptor!)
The Federal Government and the Opposition to both exceed public expectations in the next three years, without commensurate reward at the next elections; Labor to face external headwinds, of looming economic challenges; Coalition partners to face internal headwinds, both individually and with one another.
Climate change to claim a 7th Australian Prime Minister, either in 2025 or (more likely) in 2028.
For and on behalf of Common Sense for Australia Inc
Authorised for publication, 31 May 2022