Saturday, 7 February 2015

#24hrnewscycle #libspill #omfg

It's hard to know what's happening in Canberra at the moment. One thing's for sure: what we're seeing in the news is not an accurate representation of what's really happening. What's been interesting to watch is the Liberal Party facing a similar crisis to the ones faced by Labor in 2010 and 2013. But of course there is Tory Exceptionalism at work here:
Labor with leadership instability is terrible for the nation, but when we Liberals do it, we are perfectly entitled to do so. For you see, this is democracy at work, we're not some socialist collective, we have individual minds and consciences etc...

There are many strands of the story to follow, but the recurrent tropes from the Liberals are:

  1. the voters "won't let" reform-minded governments reform
  2. the Liberal Party isn't the Labor Party
  3. the Labor Party is only gains power when the electorate suffers a collective neurological episode
  4. the Liberal Party isn't the Labor Party
  5. everything is Labor's fault
  6. oh, did I mention "we're not the Labor Party"?

Aside from the obvious (that the Liberal Party isn't the Labor Party because the Labor Party can actually get legislation through parliament), the attitudes and opinions aired by Liberal leaders over the past few days belie the very reasons Victorian and especially Queensland voters unceremoniously booted out first-term Liberal governments in the first place.

The notion that Labor governments are only mistakenly elected by the voters demonstrates all too well the contempt the Liberals have for the electorate. It's also a clear demonstration of the "born to rule" mentality possessed by many in the Liberal Party. No contrition, no mistakes. In the Liberal hive mind, they are the natural party of government. The election of the other mob is merely an aberration - an interregnum if you will - between conservative governments.

But the Liberals' contempt for the electorate does not stop there. On election night, Queensland treasurer Tim Nicholls essentially blamed the public for not "understanding" LNP policies. Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss (and many News Corpse scribes) have argued that voters "won't let us reform". Bull. Voters will let any reform-minded government do their thing. But the key to achieving reform (as Malcolm Turnbull himself none-too-subtly pointed out) is fairness. Fairness of objective and fairness of methods. Only once fairness is achieved can the desired policy aims be met.

But such changes will not be achieved under the current Liberal leadership.

And I doubt much will change if, come Tuesday, someone else finds themselves in the Lodge dorm room at the Australian Federal Police training academy.

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