Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Train Wreck, Carnage and Disaster in Queensland

Mar 26, 2012

Given that I am now in Queensland it might be worth looking at what has been happening here lately. It has gone through some rough times lately, for example with destructive flooding. But on Saturday night a devastating tsunami swept over the Labor Party.

In what was amongst the worst electoral floggings in Australian political history, Labor was all but wiped off the political landscape. Even very early on in the evening this joke – or versions of it – was making the rounds:

Q. What is the difference between the Queensland Labor Party and a Tarago?

A. On Sunday there will still be at least 8 seats left in the Tarago.

And that about nails it. Numbers are not fully finalised yet, but out of the 89-seat parliament, Labor lost around 43 seats and may have only 7 or so at the end of the day. The Coalition may have around 78. Two independents and two Katter’s Australian Party members make up the remainder.

Talk about an utter and absolute train wreck. This is not only devastating news for Queensland Labor, which needs ten seats just to retain official party status, but it is horrific news for Federal Labor, even if they want to pretend that this loss was just about “state issues” and would not affect them.

Julia is overseas at the moment, but she has got to be having some very sleepless nights about now. As one federal Labor MP put it: “There’s no doubt we are in a lot of trouble.” Labor heavyweight Graham Richardson put it this way:

“I think people just wanted to get rid of Anna Bligh but I think they want to get rid of Julia Gillard as violently as possible.” He said Labor people had to stop “kidding themselves” that Labor could continue on its same old path and hope to retain office: “They have to stop repeating these mantras that everything will be OK. It won’t. They’ve got Buckley’s.”

Anna Bligh, who did manage to retain her seat, nonetheless resigned the very next day, admitting her culpability in this mega-disaster for Labor. She even acknowledged that Labor “simply can’t walk away from the fact that we’ve seen results similar to this in other states of Australia. It’s tough times for Labor.”

Quite so: Liberal victories in Victoria, NSW and WA have already transpired, and they seem to be on a roll. It is obvious that if a Federal election were to be held this week, Julia and Co would fare little better than her Queensland counterparts.

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott rightly said that Labor’s brand was “toxic” right across the nation: “Sure, it’s more toxic in some places than in others, but . . . the only way for the Labor Party to recover is to have a good, long, hard look at itself, to rediscover what it believes in, what it stands for, who it represents and also to regain a bit of political integrity.

“One way or another, it is a disaster for the Labor Party because it does indicate that governments which are all about spin, which don’t deliver for the Australian people, they lose elections and they don’t just lose them narrowly, they lose them in a landslide.”

There were some other very interesting bits of news emerging from this election. The Greens got no seats whatsoever, but neither did Family First. However on a number of occasions both FF and Katter’s party did better than the Greens in terms of overall votes.

Also quite noteworthy is that at least nine Emily’s Listers went down in flames on Saturday night. Emily’s List is the radical feminist, pro-abortion Labor women’s group. So nine pro-death female Labor MPs are no longer on the scene to cause further damage.

Of course how Campbell Newman and the new LNP team will do in place of Bligh and Labor remains to be seen. Small ‘l’ liberal leaders in Victoria and NSW for example have been somewhat disappointing thus far. Some good things have occurred, but much more needs to be done.

For example in Victoria some of the most horrific legacies of the former Labor government such as its Religious Vilification bill and the 2008 abortion bill have not been touched by Ted Baillieu. While many good Coalition MPs do want to act on these and other bills, the leadership is not so keen, and is dragging its feet.

Similarly in NSW one of the first things Barry O’Farrell did when elected was to proudly announce that he would keep the taxpayer funding of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras going. Someone really needs to inform these Liberal leaders that when the electorate voted Labor out and put the Libs and Nats in, they expected real changes, not just the same old baloney.

So we will see how the new regime does. For example, Newman is personally in favour of same-sex marriage, but said he would abide by his party’s decision to knock back the civil union legislation which Labor brought in. Hopefully genuine change for the better will take place. We shall see.

So it has been quite a day or two in politics. Folks are absolutely fed up with Labor – in Queensland at least. And I suspect that is also true nation-wide. The Australian people deserve – and should get – a federal election now. Time to end the charade Julia: the handwriting is on the wall.

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30 Responses to Train Wreck, Carnage and Disaster in Queensland

  • If Kate Jones hadn’t run a ‘pink balloon’ campaign, which looked so flimsy and feminist from an observer’s point of view, she may have been more respected. As I understand it, the population consists of approximately 50 % males and 50% females, and the Emily Listers pretty much hate men. So, goodbye and good riddance ladies.
    Jane Petridge

  • Go fundamentalist! but I don’t have much faith in the Liberals either, as you say Bill, we shall see.
    Marianne Ryan

  • Is it wrong to feel so happy when Lying Labour comes undone-finished-washed up-ruined-Kaput?
    Daniel Kempton

  • Sadly, past experiences predict future outcomes. Whilst labor and the green alliance were open about their trip down destruction path of one world totalitarian govt, making us all equally and identically poverty stricken and humanly expendable for the “greater good”, the libs are just going to go about the same program but by stealth and just a little bit slower and with more sneakiness.

    I say this because the new premier my state he is a Christian, he may go to church on Sunday and do the motions, but once he steps out, he goes back to worshiping his true god baalam, working on the destruction of marriage, the oldest institution on earth, encouraging drunkenness, lawlessness, worshiping other gods (tv, things, money, food, etc etc).

    We can only hope that freedom of speech and religion remains for as long as possible so we can preach the word of God, the truth and save as many as possible, although as God has already told us, not many will be saved, we just have to do our best to make that not many, as many as possible, let us exceed Gods expectations. Apologies for the pessimism.

    Neil Waldron

  • Nearly all the Emily’s List, pro-death Labor members lost their seats. There was only one openly pro-abortion Labor candidate re-elected. For my wife & I, that was one the major good outcomes of the election.
    Phil Manley

  • Yes quite right Phil.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • A fine outcome in Queensland but can Rick Santorum knock Mitt Romney off his perch? What do you think, Bill?
    Peter Murnane

  • I sure hope so Peter.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Don’t forget the landslide victory that was handed to Malcolm Fraser, in both houses of parliament, after the traitor Whitlam was ousted, for trying to secure funding to run government outside of parliament. With an unbeatable majority and self-proclaimed mandate, Fraser blocked the Franklin Dam project in Tasmania, invoking a very broad interpretation of Section 51 (xxix) External Affairs of the Australian Constitution. This being in strict contradiction to section 100 of the Constitution which prohibits the Commonwealth abridging “the rights of a State or of the residents therein to the reasonable use of the waters of rivers for conservation or irrigation.” From that devastating ruling, under Conservative, Liberal Fraser have come all the International covenants and precedents from the United Nations that have rendered much of our Constitution null and void, simply by an appeal to “External Affairs.”

    A single housed parliament, with no opposition to speak of to question the details of legislation, with a dominant party is a recipe for totalitarian disaster. I do not care which brand of party, it is a disaster.

    Party-driven politics is the root of political evil. The collective, in any form, must be restrained by unconstrained dissent. No opposition, no boundaries, no restraint.

    I am very sorry, but this is not music to my ears. May the Lord prove me wrong. May I have egg on my face. May I be thoroughly embarrassed. Only time will tell.

    If Christians put their trust in a Conservative government, and not in the Lord, they will be ensnared by a very hostile idol. We need to pray, more than ever. We need to petition our local member more frequently than ever.
    We must be more vigilant than ever, or we will wake up with the crocodile’s jaws firmly snapped upon our heads.

    Please God, prove me wrong.

    Lance A Box

  • Next stop…Julia!

    Damien Spillane

  • What a waste of taxpayers money when a sitting member resigns midterm, or in the case of Anna Bligh, straight after being elected. The party she represents should forfeit that seat and vote and no by-election be held until the next election.
    David Horton

  • Henry Ergas;

    In doing all this, it should use the resource boom to undertake badly needed reforms, rather than squandering its good fortune on pork-barrel outlays, as Queensland governments have done time and again.

    Labor’s most tangible legacy has been a sustained rise in state borrowing.

    In 2006-07, government revenues exceeded current expenses by $1.8 billion, and with public investment running at $2bn, the state was a net borrower of $200 million.

    By 2010-11, current expenses were up 40 per cent and exceeded revenues by $1.5bn, and with public investment almost trebling to $5.6bn, the state’s net borrowings blew out to more than $7bn.

    Damien Spillane

  • Christians should be funding Christian parties such as CDP in order to be better represented in government. Not to undermine democracy, but to have a representation that more truly reflects our numbers in the population. At present we are reaping the rewards of our political apathy.
    Anna Cook

  • Can’t wait until that tsunami comes here!

    Congrats from TX!

    Boyd Hawkins

  • This Election is good news since it removed all those EMILY listers, but there is a warning for the Liberals that to mess up since the same destruction can come to you.
    Ian Nairn

  • I was a scrutineer at one of the booths, Sat night. A 28-year member of the Labor Party and a scrutineer told me that she was on the verge of quitting Labor as Anna Bligh and the Party were not listening to the grassroots people. The scrutineer was badly affected by the Health Dept pay debacle and had to spend $13,000 on legal fees (repaid by Qld Health) to get her pay fixed. How many other Health Dept employees were similarly affected?

    When I was handing out how-to-vote cards, I picked up a lot of anger towards Qld Labor from the people over a number of issues.

    There were issues that didn’t get much publicity, like the dictatorial forcing of fluoride in all water supplies in Qld. Europe is 98% fluoride free – and for good reasons. I have to take a lot of medication for a medical condition and had to install a reverse osmosis device in my house to get this toxin out of my water. She forced amalgamation of local Councils. She had no mandate to do either of these.

    Then there was the loss of $16 million from an alleged fraudster in the Health Dept. and the horrible mess with the Health Dept payment of salaries. The asset sales of Qld Rail hurt Labor. But Labor has taken Qld into horrible levels of debt that will take years to erase.

    I don’t know how big the influence of Labor’s legalisation of homosexual civil unions had on the outcome, but this I know: Qld Labor seems to want to pamper the gay and lesbian minority, but doesn’t seem to give a hoot about the Christian minority that was highly offended by the promotion of the ungodly homosexual lifestyle. However, let’s not fool ourselves. Both major parties have been promoting the ungodly, heterosexual defacto relationships for a long time.

    The judgment by God of the wicked who will not inherit the kingdom of God applies to both hetero- and homo-sexual sin according to 1 Cor. 6:9-11 – along with idolaters, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers.

    In the booth where I was scrutineer, 25 voted for the Greens, 58 Family First, and 92 Katter’s Australian Party. The LNP candidate ousted a Labor member of 26 years and former minister, in my electorate. The new LNP member is a Christian who this Saturday will be waving “Thank You” signs along the main roads in my area.

    We wait to see how the voice of LNP local members will be heard in a Campbell Newman govt. If the grassroots LNP people are not heard and the people of the State do not have listening local members, the LNP can face a similar effect in a few years time. Two weeks ago I sent an email to federal Liberal leader, Tony Abbott’s office, on a particular issue and received a generic reply. That is an indicator that his office is not listening or does not have enough resources to reply.

    When I phoned the Senate secretariat’s office in Canberra over the homosexual marriage legislation for which input is sought from the people, I was told to complete the survey online which allowed for only 500 words to support my views (2 lots of 250 words). I was encouraged to do this in place of a submission BECAUSE the last time there was an investigation into this issue, 28,000 submissions were received and the Senate did not have enough resources to read all of them. This did not stop me from sending a 16-page submission.

    Frankly, I’m tired of politicians who take people for granted and are not listening to the issues in the community.

    Spencer Gear

  • Whether it is Liberal by a landslide or Labor, makes little difference. Hope in the “conservative” parties bringing about societal change for the better, is like crawling towards a lake in a desert, only to discover when you get half way there — it was a mirage all along.

    In 1969 South Australia was the first state in Australia, courtesy of both Labor and Liberal politicians, to sanction open season on killing unborn babies in womb. (There was no Greens party to blame then.) And less than 4 decades for Victoria to push the limits up to full-term; again, thanks to even Liberal and Labor politicians.

    Now, there are a raft of immoral bills coming through this year in South Australia. Such as legalising prostitution, euthanasia, homosexual marriage (despite being a Federal issue), IVF for lesbians, etc. An we have a Liberal Opposition leader, Isobel Redmond, and many of her colleagues who have flagged their support for all of these proposed bills. Of course, most of these, and even worse, are also being presented in other states this year, or have already been passed.

    By all means, as Christians we should be involved in politics, as in any area of society. But without serious prayer, along with evangelising (the preaching of the Gospel, which has the Good News – which seems to be almost non existent beyond church walls), there will be no substantial moral change in our society for the better. For how can there be, when there is no change in heart toward what is good and righteous?

    Trevor Grace

  • Lance A Box, the way I remember it was that the then Prime Minister Fraser refused to invoke the external affairs power to stop the Franklin Dam and that this was a factor in the defeat of his government. The then Labor opposition leader Hawke promised to stop the dam and did so after he defeated the Fraser government in 1983. The High Court challenge by the Tasmanian State government that followed Prime Minister Hawke’s action to stop the dam then set the precedent to which you refer.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • I am a bit afraid to admit it but I vote Family First. In all honesty the party is a disaster. Candidates have no understanding of politics. One FF candidate when asked why stand for a seat your have no chance of winning, told the local newspaper that fielding local candidates helps the party to win a Senate seat. There is no Senate in Qld. A FF candidate said that a vote for her was a vote for Family First. At the last Fed election one FF candidate was away overseas for the entire election campaign. It surprises me the number of votes the party gets when it does its very best not to attract votes.
    Des Morris

  • Tonight on RN “religion and ethics report” will feature a ex-pastor who just won a seat in the Queensland election. He is to have refused to marry a close friend of his who is or was a homosexual. Good on him!, we need more brave people like that in politics and he has won a seat, so being a Christian and standing on biblical principles has not sent him into an obscure corner. Praise God
    I am worried about ssm advocates going into the LNP and sabotaging it, because they don’t know what they stand for other than for “what the people want”, so they are easily pushed over. The communists went underground and emerged in the Greens Party. The strategies of infiltration are well known, not just to us but to the other side as well.
    That is why I support CDP, for every candidate has to be a bible believing Christian. If that party was to compromise on its biblical foundations, it would cease to be the party that its name proclaims. The road to success is longer, success is probably the wrong word here, I should say the road to being in a place where God wants politicians to be is longer and harder, for when God does work, he does it from the small to the big and He does it thoroughly.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • 1 Samuel 17:46 (NKJV) This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, … that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
    May ALL Queensland and more so, ALL Australia know that there is a GOD in HEAVEN watching over all the sins of this nation and HE will judge accordingly. What we sow, we will surely reap. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a LIVING GOD. Isaiah 26:9 Hebrews 10:30 and 31
    Daniel 4:17 (NKJV) ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.’
    Daniel 4:37 (NKJV) Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

  • Dear Bill, Des Morris made a comment about Family First. I am a member of Family First. Some of the candidates seemed to be low key, compared to the major parties. We did not have the funding for T.V.advertising. Katter’s Australian Party also polled well, mainly in regional Queensland. Perhaps Bob Katter wants to keep the major parties honest. We will see what Campbell Newman will do.
    Regards, Franklin Wood

  • Thanks Franklin. On another note, for what it’s worth, yours was the 30,000th comment to appear on this site. Well done!.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Des Morris, Queensland has 12 Senators (as does every State). It is a well-established fact that running lower house candidates does help the Senate vote because it enables people to vote Family First in both the Upper and Lower Houses. People vote FF on the green ballot paper and then follow suit on the white (Senate) ballot paper. The Family First candidate you referred to would have been during a Federal election. And a candidate being away during an election campaign is not a major problem provided the electorate co-ordinator has all polling booths covered by volunteers handing out how-to-vote cards. In SA we had a candidate who was away and he received the second highest vote in the State. I told him to stay away more often!
    Bob Day, Federal Chairman, Family First

  • Q. How many elephants can you fit in a Mini?

    A. Dunno, but the QLP can fit into the left over spaces 😉

    Jonathan Sarfati, US

  • Bob, I agree with you entirely. The problem was this was a State election. In QLD there is no Upper House. In this election there were no Senate candidates.
    “…provided the electorate co-ordinator has all polling booths covered by volunteers handing out how-to-vote cards.” At the last two elections I spoke to the candidates who I know personally and offered to help; no one got back to me. The ‘how to vote card’ was given to me by an LNP polling booth worker who was handing out both.
    Des Morris

  • All minor parties have difficulty attracting quality candidates and often lack the resources for candidate training etc. I don’t blame parties like FFP for having inexperienced candidates. However, I do take a dim view of FFP leaders who do not back the quality candidates they do have. At the last Federal election, FFP had a very good QLD Senate candidate in Wendy Francis. During the campaign when she or her staffer happened to make some quite reasonable comments about adoption by homosexual couples being like “legalised child abuse”, the FFP leadership were quite cowardly in their response refusing to defend Wendy and instead distanced themselves from the comments!

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria

  • Whilst I rejoiced at the Labor defeat in Queensland, I was reminded by my brother that all Governments are in place because God has allowed them to be there. I guess in this way of thinking, we DO indeed get the “Government we deserve”. Having said that, I hope and pray that Mr. Newman does bring about much needed reform in Queensland. As Christians we need to pray for our Leaders, even if we don’t always like them. That doesn’t stop us from writing to them when we feel that they are going against Biblical principles.

    Joan Davidson

  • The ALP deserved to lose the QLD election. Basically people are sick to death of the social engineering from the Greens-ALP.

    Julia put your self out of electoral misery and test how popular your Government is to the electorate this year!

    Denis Odea

  • Having a degree in politics, gained at the hands of some excellent lecturers, I learnt that a minor Party will rarely be successful if they do not have an existing MP in the Parliament who chooses to change parties and support a new one or becomes independant and forms his own aka Bob Katter.

    As for having quality candidates, sometimes it is difficult to know what a quality candidate is if you know nothing about politics, Family First being a case in question. In parties like this, a quality candidate is often a person who says and does all the right things in their church. Political nous and political killer instinct is not required.

    Steve Fielding scraped into the Federal Government as a Victorian Senator and lasted one term. From my observation of him and my correspondence with him, he was of doubtful political quality. Not that I judge him as a person but his political credentials were very limited.

    Before FF came into being I entered the conversation when I knew that it was being mooted. I offered my degree in politics, experience in eight Federal and State elections campiagns, membership of a political party for about 25 years, conducting a very successful campaign at uni to oust the socialist government from the student union after 26 years of tennancy and took the student newspaper away from them. All this achieved with 30 students.

    What was their response? Nothing. Never heard from them. Perhaps parties like FF are their own worst enemies. They have altruistic and worthwhile goals, but they lack the political nous to make them happen and to recognise the obvious that politics demands an astute political mind in addition to well intentioned ideas.

    Roger Marks

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