PB’s got your handy guide to losing the (allegedly) unloseable Queensland Election…you #justaddCampbell (and a pinch, perhaps, of a certain someone who will remain nameless.)
Apparently there was a Queensland election this weekend, although many Aussies were more than likely glued to either the Asian Cup or Australian Open Women’s finals.
Being a sporty, arty, political kinda nerdy type, I was interested in all of the above…and what a night of entertainment Saturday 31 January 2015 proved to be. Not only did Serena Williams take home her 6th Australian Open title (no doubt causing Shrieka-pova to do even more shrieking post-game, luckily away from our ringing ears), the Socceroos also battled through the disappointment of an equaliser at the 91.5 minute mark to take home the Asian Cup in extra time.
While I was eagerly watching for the results of both of these matches, I was in all honesty more interested in the Queensland election and the “interesting” way Sky News Australia covered it.
With the usual suspects onboard (Speers, van Onselen, Richo, Brandis, Kroger…with Emmo making the only attempt to redress the heavy right imbalance give Richo has pretty much sold out since joining Sky), the commentary was at its “sparkling best”. Wait, did I say sparkling best? Oh, what I meant to write was TEETH-GRINDINGLY worst. It’s the old car crash scenario, where you have to keep watching to hear what will come out of their mouths next and yet they STILL surprise you with how ridiculous they generally sound.
Despite this, what I took from the coverage of the Queensland election was something quite simple…don’t watch Sky.
What I also took from the illustrious Sky Queensland election panel after having also followed the month lead-up to the election was something far more interesting…
“Five ways to lose an unlosable election”
1. Stay in the seat you were voted to represent
Old Georgey B, with Michael Kroger in tow, were sickeningly effusive about what a great guy Campbell Newman was for “sticking with Ashgrove” instead of jumping ship to a safely-held LNP electorate he was likely to win. Newman’s desire to remain the captain at the helm of a sinking electorate is something that apparently Queensland LNP types are fuming about, although it sounds like Brandis would have saved his own political bacon in a heartbeat and dumped the people who voted him in to be parachuted into a safe seat. They did forget to mention that “Mr Integrity” Newman lost Ashgrove DESPITE pork barreling the bejesus out of his electorate to the tune of $18 million dollars, more than all the electorates around Ashgrove.
Note to party room – even pork barreling doesn’t save your bacon…
2. Sell your ass…ets…off..
It was alleged that during the fraught days of post-Federal election 2010, then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he would “sell his arse” to be PM (alleged…let me make that clear…), and that didn’t work out too well at the time for him, did it? Similarly, Newman’s desire to sell off a whole swag of government-owned assets was met with a resounding “NO” from the people of Queensland.
Give him credit – at least he took it to an election, unlike a certain Federal government that is trying to do a whole lotta stuff they kept nice and quiet from the electorate prior to being voted in.
This is not to say governments should go all Soviet style and own everything, including the kitchen sink, but neither should they try and sell it off too much at once. Gently, gently folks.
3. Sue the press
What was Campbell Newman thinking taking on the shrillest of the right-wing commentariat, Dame Talkalot, Alan Jones? The bun-fight that occurred around CSG mining and the apparent broken promises made in private to Jones about this was a basic lesson in not biting the hand that feeds you.
Or should that be the mouth that bleats you?
4. Keep a certain (he who shall remain nameless) on-the-nose Federal colleague out of your electorate
PM Tony Abbott’s complete absence from Newman’s Queensland election campaign was designed to minimise him influencing an electorate in which Abbott is already on the nose.
Well, that worked out well, didn’t it?
Can you even imagine how many seats the LNP might have ended up with if Abbott had made an appearance?
Or maybe it would have had the reverse effect – seeing Abbott on the hustings alongside Newman might have softened Newman in the eyes of the voters?
We will never know…
5. Make and break promises
Seems like the bleedingly obvious but…apparently not.
Campbell Newman made a swag of pre- and post-2012 election promises that he went on to break.
No no no.
The one thing that the Sky panel was in unanimous agreement about on Queensland election night, with Emmo in particular pushing the point, is that the age of politicians being immediately held accountable for their promises is here. Breaking promises haunted ex-Prime Minister Julia Gillard (although the left jury is still out on whether the “no carbon tax” thing was a thing…too late for that quibbling folks), is currently stalking current PM Tony Abbott and has him within spitting distance of being lib-spilled (I give him six months), and was part of the reason Newman lost both his seat and government.
The electorate is in no mood to offer free-kick second terms to governments to see whether or not they can be trusted, or whether they will come good on broken promises.
If anything, it’s looking increasingly likely that we will see an era ahead where a two-term government is the norm, which is unfortunate as most governments cannot prosecute long-term structural policy if not given enough time, but whatyagonnado?