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Rich and thick

May 24, 2022 - 08:28 -- Admin

It has often been said by people who are not admirers of the Liberal Party that the people who vote for them are either thick or rich. The rich vote for them, because it is in their interests, and the thick vote for them because they are often incapable of understanding they are voting against their own interests. That is why, ever since John Howard became Prime Minister the spectre of brown people coming to Australia from points north was used to scare the gullible into voting Liberal to keep ‘our borders strong’. This harked back to the White Australia Policy, of which one of the most recent manifestations of fear was of the ‘Yellow peril’; the fear of hordes of Asians people streaming down from east and southeast Asia to overwhelm us. This was reprised by Pauline Hanson in her first iteration as a parliamentarian when she said we are ‘in danger of being swamped by Asians’. In her second iteration she changed that to Muslims, and more recently to scientists. Like Howard, Former Prime Minister Morrison (Jeez, using ‘former’ felt good) has used such a dog whistle at every opportunity1. However, I digress.

In this election (and to a lesser extent the previous federal election), it is not the thick who have finally twigged to the Liberals’ game, but the rich. The rich have dumped them in droves. For instance, in Sydney, the wealthy suburbs on the Northern Beaches and the north shore of Sydney Harbour have voted out their Liberal members: Jason Falinski lost to an Independent in Mackellar; Trent Zimmerman lost to an independent in North Sydney; Zali Steggall (Independent) retained her Warringah seat gained at the expense of Liberal Tony Abbott in the 2019 election; and Dave Sharma lost to an independent in Wentworth2. The ABC’s number cruncher Casey Briggs showed an astonishing electoral map which demonstrated that it is likely that for the first time since their creation in the 1940s, the Liberals do not hold any seat which overlooks Sydney Harbour. These are hardly poor suburbs; in fact they are some of the wealthiest in the nation. A similar thing happened in Melbourne, with Tim Wilson losing to an independent in Goldstein, and Josh Frydenberg losing to an Independent in Kooyong2.

I suspect what is happening here is that the wealthy often have beachfront or waterfront properties and children, and maybe even grandchildren, and they now seem to have realised, however late, that climate change is coming for their properties and their families. They have twigged that voting for a party whose leader waves a lump of lacquered coal in parliament, and who has to grovel to the climate change denying National Party to get ‘preferably’ removed from their 2050 net zero emissions target, may be hastening that approach.

Sources

  1. https://blotreport.com/2022/03/22/why-i-cannot-vote-for-the-morrison-government-racism-and-idiocy/
  2. https://www.abc.net.au/news/elections/federal/2022/results?filter=all&sort=az&state=all