Some thoughts on the Labor victory:
The Morrison miracle win of three years ago was just not sustainable – either that or the age of miracles has passed! The counting still continues in yesterday’s Australian federal election, but at this point it is clear that Labor will take over, at least as a minority government in conjunction with the Greens and independents.
A number of electorates had around 20 per cent postal ballets (the highest ever), and those were not even counted until today, so we still await the final numbers. While those postal votes have tended to favour the conservatives in the past, things may be different this time around.
With 76 seats needed to win government outright, the number of basically certain seats so far in the House of Representatives are:
Labor – 72 (a half per cent swing against)
Coalition – 51 (a 6% swing against)
Independents – 7 (a 2% swing for)
Greens – 2 (a 2% swing for)
Katter Party – 1 seat
Centre Alliance – 1 seat
As of current counting, the Coalition got 4,080,182 votes (35.6%), while Labor got 3,763,336 votes (32.8%). All up there seems to have been a 3.9% two-party preferred swing to Labor.
As usual, it will be some time yet to see how the lie of the land in the Senate will actually pan out. Of special interest will be how the various smaller freedom parties have fared. But at this point it seems that it will not be good news (see more on this below). If so, the hoped-for balance in the Senate with some conservatives helping to keep the bastards honest seems not to have materialised. So Labor may be in smooth waters for the next few years in terms of getting its agenda through both houses.
The bad news
Political analysis will be with us for weeks, but a few brief things can be said:
-In part Morrison won in 2019 by being different from Labor and the Greens, especially on things like climate and energy.
-In part Morrison lost in 2022 by not being different from Labor and the Greens, especially on things like climate and energy.
-The Coalition refused to stand up for conservative social values, seeking to be just a pale version of Labor. It was happy under ScoMo to keep moving to the left. As Senator Matt Canavan put it: “The electorate hasn’t changed that much in 3 years, we changed.”
-A Liberal leader who is merely poll-driven and lacks strong convictions to uphold conservative principles and values has little chance of winning.
-A Labor win will mean things like the diabolical WHO Pandemic Treaty will be readily embraced and promoted by the Australian government.
-The failure of Morrison to stand up against lockdown lunacy and health fascism by the states was a part of the reason he was rejected. And if you thought things were bad, say in Dan Andrew’s Victoria over the past several years, look to things being just as bad on a national level, especially when Albo happily allows the WHO and WEF to determine our health and social policies.
-National defence will be weakened again, not just with plenty of boats arriving with those wanting to live here, but more Labor kowtowing to the likes of Communist China and so on.
-Economic management tends to go downhill big time under Labor governments, and we can expect that to happen here. Indeed, given how often Albo imitated Biden on the campaign trail with being clueless about many economic basics, we could be in for a real rough ride indeed.
–We can expect Labor to rush with all things green, including a gung-ho support of renewable energy. As a result, we can expect the economy, small business and employment to all take really big hits.
-It looks like we will now have a Schwab- and Gates-driven ‘climate change’ tyranny.
-Secular left outfits such as “our” ABC will simply be emboldened to become even more secular left.
-Labor will of course get into bed with the Greens, and given that most of the independents are anything but, and are instead just Labor sympathisers, we can expect the culture wars to get a whole lot worse.
–Along with this, there will be a whole lot more persecution of Christians. Say goodbye to religious freedom, and say hello to even greater clampdowns on biblical Christianity in this country.
–Freedom fighters like former Liberal MP Craig Kelly have not been able to keep their seats. It looks like One Nation leader Pauline Hanson may lose her Senate spot. Deputy leader Josh Frydenberg seems to have lost his Kooyong seat to a Teal independent. Real conservatives in federal politics are becoming few and far between.
-In many ways voters were left with a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledumber. The latter won.
Just one bit of commentary at this point can be mentioned – one that I have to go along with. Consider this from Rowan Dean of the Australian Spectator:
Scott Morrison, through his cowardice on the climate issue and so many other issues – in particular the abandonment of the nation during Covid to the outrageous human rights abuses of the Labor premiers – and cultural issues such as religious freedom, has decimated the Liberal party. If you stand for nothing, you lose. That is the message from this campaign. If you betray your base, you lose. If you follow the siren calls of focus group researchers, you lose.
Whether you like or loathe the Teals, the point is they fought from a position of conviction. They stood for something and they won. It is time for the Liberal party to rediscover its conservative convictions and stop pandering to the woke, touchy-feely left. As we now know in no uncertain terms, appeasement is a sure path to defeat. spectator.com.au/2022/05/rowan-deans-election-comment/
Some good news
–As I walked the dog this morning I noticed that the sun had risen. There are some things that even a change of government will not alter. Although to be honest, it was an overcast morning, with the dark grey clouds reflecting the sombre heaviness many of us are now feeling!
-The votes for both major parties were down, with roughly one third of votes each going to the two major parties. Gains went to the independents and some smaller parties. Gone are the days when the two main parties could take in 85 to 95% of the votes.
-Voters are tired of the two-party system and its stranglehold on political life. Thus the huge growth in the cross bench in this election. Of course there will be new problems as more and more independents and smaller parties vie for power and control. But letting the two main parties know that voters are getting tired of being taken for granted by them may be a step in the right direction.
–The Nationals did much better than the Liberals in this election, at least in terms of seats lost.
-Morrison will step down as Liberal leader, with Peter Dutton most likely to take his place. That should be a step in the right direction as well. It remains to be seen who then will become the Deputy Opposition Leader.
–It looks like CLP Senate candidate Jacinta Price may have won her seat in the NT.
–Labor lefty Kristina Keneally lost (again), this time to an independent in Fowler, NSW. That alone was one of the real highlights of the day!
Political considerations are not all there is here. We also need to look at the bigger spiritual picture. Yesterday I wrote an article looking at how God so very much was involved in the fate of nations and rulers – at least in the Old Testament. As Daniel 2:21 says: “He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.” See that piece here: billmuehlenberg.com/2022/05/21/god-government-and-elections/
Not only is God still on his throne, while human rulers come and go on their thrones, but God’s purposes and plans somehow cohere with the choices of humans. People voted in Labor yesterday, but God was also at work carrying out his purposes. So we need to trust God even more in what looks to be some real dark times ahead.
Another thing I have written about is the notion of a people getting the government they deserve, and the related issue of God allowing wicked rulers to judge a wayward and sinful people. As to the former, see this 2016 article: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/02/23/on-getting-the-government-we-deserve/
As to the latter, John Calvin is often appealed to in this regard. As I also wrote in 2016: “The words both attributed to, and actually written by, Calvin are certainly something to think about. As the West continues to go downhill, and its selection of leaders gets worse by the day, maybe there is something to this idea of being under divine judgment. If true, it would not surprise me at all to be honest.” billmuehlenberg.com/2016/02/27/calvin-on-wicked-rulers-and-gods-judgment/
This may be the most important takeaway from this election. Yes it is gloomy indeed right now for Christians and conservatives. It seems that we keep losing one battle after another. But if God is allowing all this to get our attention and to get our priorities right (and that includes believers as much as non-believers), then we must make good use of all this.
Falling on our knees before Almighty God and seeking his forgiveness and his help to endure in the dark days ahead is clearly the best way forward – indeed, it is the only way.
Although we can be far too glib as we overuse and abuse this verse, it still stands as the best bit of advice I can give my readers right now: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).