In a landslide victory, the incumbent Labor government not only retained their position in the Victorian State election, they essentially wiped out any real LNP opposition. Despite a lacklustre fear campaign and vague policy promises, the Coalition parties have been suffering greatly. This trend started with the loss of Wentworth, and now a stunning defeat in a State election. We cannot become complacent – this shift must continue and move further forward.
Labor is by no means a perfect party – there are many fair criticisms to be made of them, such as their quiet acceptance of the Adani mine in Queensland, or the compromises they’re willing to make on the TPP (a deal revived by Turnbull after Trump pulled the US out. One could argue that that was the best things Trump as done, but considering his motives it’s just classic Trump and not benevolence). But as the so called “blue wave” in America’s midterms showed, change will never be a sudden thing. While the race in 2016 was between Trump and Hillary, the highlight of that election was Sanders’ campaign. Now, a gradual shift in the Democratic Party has begun to follow his lead, and it’s actually motivating voters to add their voice. After the recent leadership spill here (three different LNP leaders in five years, longer if you consider Abbott first knifing Turnbull while they were in Opposition), the same movements are being seen here.
Wentworth was never going to flip to Labor, but Phelps managed to grab the LNP’s supposedly safest seat as an Independent. Faith in the Coalition on all levels is faltering, and while Phelps isn’t a major progressive voice like Sanders is, it’s a step in that direction. Author Jane Caro has announced that she may campaign against Abbott in his seat of Warringah, also as an Independent. GetUp and other groups have been urging voters to throw Peter Dutton out of his seat in the next Federal election, on account of his role in the latest spill, and his treatment of refugees as Home Affairs Minister. Targeted campaigns, seemingly with a focus on doing away with the two party system, have been showing great promise. The likelihood of breaking away from that system is small, but even so, in two party terms, Labor has been gaining drastically.
Voters in Victoria swung massively in favour of Labor. Voters in NSW have been sick of their government’s worthless and extravagant spending on unnecessary or dodgy projects while cutting funds to worthwhile investments, like education. In Queensland, the call against Adani from the public can only (one can hope) mean the LNP and minor parties like Katter and One Nation will lose more influence in subsequent elections. For that to take place, however, Labor needs to stop tiptoeing around the mine and slam the Indian company for its blatant corruption and disregard for our environment. The common ground here is the disgust towards the Coalition and their atrocious policies.
But, while public opinion is currently dissident, and certain campaigns are garnering much support, it can’t stop here. We have a Federal election coming up in May (perhaps earlier, if the Coalition does fall apart before then), and there can be no complacency. The Coalition has to go, and whether that’s through Labor, Greens, or Independent victories, it is a necessity for our country’s future. The slow Americanisation of our country cannot be allowed to continue, lest we also fall into disrepair and total, entrenched corruption, and our reliance on fossil fuels needs to stop. The UN report on climate change released recently should be more than enough reason to vote out anyone who is negligent of such matters.
We have a real chance to change the direction our country is taking – exercise your right to decide the outcome, and do so wisely.