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  • P D Jonson

Monday Sanity Break, 20 May 2019 – Miracle election result.

Updated: May 2, 2020

Like many other Australians I was stunned at the performance of the Liberal-National government on Saturday. Not entirely surprised, however. Several weeks ago, I said: ‘Federal Election on, 18 May, and the Thornton family is not conducting its regular election party due to dining with our friends from Malaysia. Here is a tip. Trump beat the favourite Hilary Clinton. British voters chose leaving the EU despite the clear expectation that the 'elite' would vote to stay. Could Scomo do it? Still a long shot, but certainly not impossible.’

Des Moore comments here, published with permission.

‘In an exchange of pre-poll views only two Treasury colleagues judged that the Coalition would win the House of Representatives outcome, with John Stone on 77 seats and Robert Kerr on 78 (a total of 15 expressed views). At the moment there are 6 undecided seats and the Coalition holds 74. Hence a possibility exists that 76 seats would give the Coalition an absolute majority not reliant on any independents.

‘I was amongst the dunces as I thought that the media and the opinion polls (including Newspoll) so favoured Labor that it would be impossible to overcome the weight of their favouritism. However, it appears that enough voters eventually realized that Shorten was proposing to have a socialist economy and that such an outcome persuaded them to ensure a Coalition win. This is an enormous relief which President Trump has welcomed, although as Terry McCrann points out (see above) Morrison still faces many problems, viz

“Right now, continued strong jobs growth — and still-strong coal and iron ore exports — are the only clear-cut good things happening. Retail spending is weak, wages growth is weak, households are heavily indebted and then there’s the property market. Hopefully, that’s now bouncing along the bottom. This poses the bigger question: is the economy teetering on the edge of the precipice and can it be hauled back — or has it already started to slide over”. McCrann concludes, however, that we need only be alert, not alarmed.

‘Note that, as previously mentioned, the Budget costings shown by McCrann for Labor (as previously published) are almost the same as for the Coalition until 2022-23, which then shows a big jump for Labor. But that year could have seen a change of government. Will Labor now scrap its “Fair Go” Budget Plans? Given that Shorten has resigned as leader, Labor faces many problems in the period ahead, with left-wing Albanese already saying he will run for Leader.

‘One such problem, which both the two major sides face, is climate change policy. Like McCrann, Andrew Bolt argues (see above) that “Australians have just voted for three years of chaos and confusion”. But at the same time he argues that “Australia has gained one huge thing from this election: Labor’s global warming crusade has been shattered. Think how Labor lost a massive poll lead as more voters realised what Labor had in mind – not just its plan to raise taxes but its plan to effectively destroy our electricity system to “stop” global warming. Both Labor and the Greens said this was a global warming election. Both have now been humiliated – because it was, and they lost”.

‘But the problem is whether Morrison is prepared to change the global warming policy. In the ABC’s dreadful “Butch Cassidy” program I (unusually) watched this morning, Treasurer Frydenberg said that the Coalition will stick with its existing policy of reducing emissions by 2029 and increasing renewable too. Ironically, his Labor opponent said it had the same approach but its program is much more aggressive. So there is no sign yet that the two major parties are foreshadowing changes in their policies.

‘But Frydenberg and other Coalition leaders need to recognise that they have had a win and change their policies accordingly.’


Buy today’s Australian and you will have an edition for the ages. My favourite was, as usual, by Paul Kelly: ‘Scott Morrison called it a miracle. But the most astonishing election result since World War II is ­attributable to two forces — Morrison’s superior reading of the Australian character and Bill Shorten’s fatal overreach in his agenda for radical change.

‘Morrison’s victory redraws the landscape. This is a win for Morrison’s vision of the Liberal Party — speaking to the silent, hardworking and retired Australians who don’t want sweeping change, class warfare or progressive ideology imposed upon them, but seek instead a government offering reliable, steady and credible returns.’

Read on here, then browse the many other comments in Australia’s newspapers, especially The Australian.



Fiona Prior visits Bill Henson’s latest exhibition, including a talk by the artist. More here.

Sporting life

Very sorry that Israel Falou’s contract has been ‘torn up’. It is vital in my view that Mr Falou takes this case to a highest court in the land and gets a ‘free speech’ judgment. He was quoting Christian dogma including the possibility of repentance. If Christians are not allowed to quote messages from the bible it just proves a recent assertion that Christians are now the most persecuted group in the world.

AFL report.

Erratic performances are setting down and the top teams continue to show how hot they are.

* Geelong, Collingwood, GWS, Brisbane Lions

* Richmond, West Coast, Adelaide, Port Adelaide.

Caaarlton! at the weekend absolutely flogged by GRS, after giving Collingwood a fright last weekend. ‘Erratic’ is the word, and even a young team must show some consistency.

Footy is a funny game, and it is beginning to look like Coach Bolton is in some strife.

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