Australia’s election result: a reprieve not a recovery

Oceans of ink have been used to address last Saturday’s election including by those, like me, who thought a reprieve was possible but feared the worst.  Steve Kates offers a comprehensive 10-point summary of why the ALP lost.  I have a more succinct version in Canada’s Financial Post which highlights the key reasons being cost-pregnant green policies and the tax hikes on superannuation.

Everybody concerned about Australia’s future prosperity would be relieved at Saturday’s result.  The Coalition would be entitled to believe it guarantees them six more years of government, especially as the ALP is signalling a maintenance of  its current spending and climate policies.

The ALP went to the election with the most radical manifesto that we have ever seen – more so than that of Whitlam in its call upon national income.  Even in their detail its policies made no sense, for example with selective increases in spending on wages, health and education that defied the institutional arrangements in place to ensure rational decisions on these matters.

And yet 48 per cent of the electorate voted for Labor or its allies.  Indeed, perhaps the one reason their manifesto failed is, as Alan Kohler has said, because it attempted some integrity with tax proposals designed to cover the spending baubles that were offered.  While Chris Bowen’s tax hikes were totally inadequate, even the fig leaf they provided was sufficient to shift votes, amounting to a decisive two or three percentage points, to the coalition.  One would expect even less integrity in future Labor campaigns with a pretence that proposed spending would ignite a self funding Keynesian boom and a case being made that we can afford more debt by pointing to that in other countries.

Some overseas commentary has likened the Coalition victory to right wing electoral advances seen in North America and Europe.  This is difficult to reconcile with the policies the Coalition took to the election.  My own conclusion is

While the LNC had years ago stood for (and succeeded in) abolishing carbon taxes, it nonetheless ratified the Paris climate agreement and has required 23 per cent of electricity to be generated by renewables (only about seven per cent of this is unsubsidized hydroelectric power). It also has plans to spend at least $5 billion on a hopelessly non-commercial pumped hydro facility to offset the inherent unreliability of renewables. Additionally, it has earmarked $500 million to study the Great Barrier Reef, which — contrary to activists’ hysteria — is in no danger from whatever climate change we may or may not be experiencing.

Even if Morrison’s LNC is inclined to seek expenditure cutting and deregulatory policies, it will remain constrained in the Parliament and by its own perception that voters oppose rolling back the nation’s costly climate-change policies. Though the government appears to support additional coal-fired electricity generation to offset the unreliability of wind and solar, the fact that such support is necessary in the first place speaks volumes about the sovereign risk imposed by the politics of energy.

Saturday’s victory for Australia’s LNC reprieves rather than reverses the march of big-spending government and accumulating environmental regulations.

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23 Responses to Australia’s election result: a reprieve not a recovery

  1. stackja

    The world wanted Paris.
    Now particularly USA doesn’t.
    ALP has gone hard left.
    1949 ALP wanted soft left.
    Menzies won. Later Evatt!

  2. The experts are coming out from every nook and cranny now, forecasting what the LNC is going to do. None of the experts predicted an LNC win, so how about we take a breather and wait to see what actually ensues?

  3. RobK

    Thanks Alan.
    A good overview.

  4. Mark M

    Until we have a political party that is in 100% opposition to the failed doomsday global warming UN, Australia is just swapping deck chairs on the Titanic for a better view of the iceberg.

  5. Bruce of Newcastle

    The ALP went to the election with the most radical manifesto that we have ever seen

    The great war between the Green-Progressive religion and everyone else continues.
    You can’t win a war against a religion. All you can do is so discredit it that people walk away from it.

  6. Speedbox

    The experts are coming out from every nook and cranny now, forecasting what the LNC is going to do. None of the experts predicted an LNC win……

    Quite right. I must have drunk the Kool aid because I also believed the pundits who insisted that Shorten would win. I am delighted that they were wrong – ditto Clinton vs Trump – but am bemused at those same experts hopelessly looking around for ‘someone to blame’ and postulating on what will happen next.

    A couple of days ago I heard one of the Left pollies speculating that the electorate didn’t quite understand the intricacies of the policies Labor proposed. WTF! We did mate, that’s why the electorate didn’t vote for you!

    The polls and the pundits have shown their true value but the Left is not vanquished and they still have the support of the mainstream media. We must be vigilant.

  7. Mark M

    Musical interlude:

    Ronnie Burns who was lucky enough to work with the Bee Gees in the studio.

    When it was the brothers Gibb, who lived in Australia in the mid to late 60s.

    In that time Ronnie, a talented Australian 60s pop star, was gifted with this tune – Coal man.

    Coalman – Ronnie Burns

  8. cuckoo

    Isn’t it funny how Qld Premier Palashay/Palace-chook, after dragging the chain on Adani for years in order to placate the Green Left, is now thumping the table and demanding to know WHO has been delaying the mine approval, and wants a timeline to approval ON HER DESK by this Friday or HEADS WILL ROLL? Could the election possibly have had anything to do with this?

  9. Behind Enemy Lines

    Australia’s election result: a reprieve not a recovery
    Posted on 12:41 pm, May 23, 2019 by Alan Moran
    . . . 48 per cent of the electorate voted for Labor or its allies. . . . My own conclusion is . . . Saturday’s victory for Australia’s LNC reprieves rather than reverses the march of big-spending government and accumulating environmental regulations.

    That’s how I see it. We’ve got a near-majority of unteachable lefty bumpkins and their clever masters who are desperate to spoil this country. Sooner or later they’re going to get their way.

    Unless of course the LibNats reverse their form, learn something about politics, purge their ranks of entryists, stop the cringing, start fighting back, and just generally grow a good old Australian pair and behave like a government for once.

    I reckon we’ll know by the end of May.

  10. Ben

    The 48% is due to there being so many public servants, bureaucrats and net-non-taxpayers eligible to vote.

    In 6yrs they will outnumber everybody else.

    Example: the 2018-19 QLD budget papers (BP page 40) show that QLD public service increase is matching the population increase.

    “In the General Government sector, employee expenses equate to approximately 40% of total expenses.
    FTEs are estimated to increase by around 3,833 (or 1.71%) in 2018-19, with the majority of the increase being attributable to growth in health and education.
    Average FTE growth over the forward estimates period from 2017-18 to 2021-22 is 1.71%. This compares to an estimated Queensland population growth of 1¾% annually.”

    How much of the public sector votes objectively?

  11. Karabar

    In a conversation Sunday with mate in British Columbia I outlined the ALP platform. His response was “I’m dumbfounded as to why they got any votes at all!”

  12. duncanm

    A couple of days ago I heard one of the Left pollies speculating that the electorate didn’t quite understand the intricacies of the policies Labor proposed. WTF! We did mate, that’s why the electorate didn’t vote for you!

    screw that – the intricacies are the first bit that gets lost in implementation.

    It the big picture that scared the swingers – and rightly so.

  13. mh

    The Liberal Party has rid itself of one John Howard land mine, Malcolm Turnbull.

    Now they need to deal with John Howard’s former Chief of Staff Arthur Sinodinos.

  14. The 48% is due to there being so many public servants, bureaucrats and net-non-taxpayers eligible to vote.

    They don’t all vote Labor/Greens. Many of them (including their children) have just as much to lose under Labor as anyone else. The only thing is that many of them don’t make their thoughts public because life would become very difficult for them and likely career destroying.

    I suspect that in this day and age, it’s the wealthy, possibly the millennials and all those on some form of welfare who are the majority Labor/Greens voters. They are the ones who won’t suffer one jot under Labor, are idealists or hope for more free stuff.

  15. Some History

    Treading water?

  16. jupes

    Until we have a political party that is in 100% opposition to the failed doomsday global warming UN, Australia is just swapping deck chairs on the Titanic for a better view of the iceberg.

    Exactly.

    The ALP went to the election with the most radical manifesto that we have ever seen

    Well yes, but they are only a few years ahead of the LNP. If current LNP policies were enacted at the turn of the century, or even 2010, then they would have been the the most radical left wing manifesto that we had ever seen e.g. 28% RET, half a bil to study the effect of climate change on the GBR, pushing water uphill, renewable subsidies worth billions, gay marriage, Muslim immigration, women in combat roles, Safe Schools … the list goes on.

    SloMo has a chance now to hit reverse, but I doubt very much whether he will. Australia is fucked.

  17. jupes

    Until we have a political party that is in 100% opposition to the failed doomsday global warming UN, Australia is just swapping deck chairs on the Titanic for a better view of the iceberg.

    Exactly.

    The ALP went to the election with the most radical manifesto that we have ever seen

    Well yes, but they are only a few years ahead of the LNP. If current LNP policies were enacted at the turn of the century, or even 2010, then they would have been the the most radical left wing manifesto that we had ever seen e.g. 28% RET, half a bil to study the effect of climate change on the GBR, pushing water uphill, renewable subsidies worth billions, gay marriage, M*sl*m immigration, women in combat roles, Safe Schools … the list goes on.

    SloMo has a chance now to hit reverse, but I doubt very much whether he will. Australia is fucked.

  18. Tim Neilson

    cuckoo
    #3023499, posted on May 23, 2019 at 1:47 pm
    Isn’t it funny how Qld Premier Palashay/Palace-chook, after dragging the chain on Adani for years in order to placate the Green Left, is now thumping the table and demanding to know WHO has been delaying the mine approval, and wants a timeline to approval ON HER DESK by this Friday or HEADS WILL ROLL? Could the election possibly have had anything to do with this?

    Check this out.


    Climate Change and Economics
    Al Gore, The Hon. Annastacia Palaszczuk MP
    Friday, 7 June 2019, 11:45am a-2pm.
    Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre,
    Corner Merivale and Glenelg Streets, Brisbane
    Event Coordinator: Tamika Hartwig, by phone 07 3229 9955, or by email [email protected]

    CEDA welcomes Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore and leaders of governments to detail the economics of climate change.

    The popcorn concession for that one will be worth a fortune.

  19. Dr Fred Lenin

    It is now our duty to instruct our political temporary employees to obey their madters the voters and get rid of the climate scam ,open borders genderism islamofascism and other u.n. Shit . We pay the pipers so we call the tunes ,if the do not obey we will make their lives a misery untill they obey ,we can stack preselection groups too you know. Its time the career polliewankers realised who is the boss in our country .

  20. sfw

    Spot The Libs didn’t deserve to win but Labor deserved to lose. I’d hope that the Libs will realise this but they won’t. All that results is a slower march to socialism/leftism than if Labor won.

  21. nb

    Reprieve, yes.
    Hopefully the rest of the world, with the USA in the lead, will begin to shift away from the current fashionable madnesses. We might follow.

  22. Iampeter

    Even by your own words here I’m not sure how you conclude that this was a reprieve in any way.

    The ALP went to the election with the most radical manifesto that we have ever seen – more so than that of Whitlam in its call upon national income. Even in their detail its policies made no sense, for example with selective increases in spending on wages, health and education that defied the institutional arrangements in place to ensure rational decisions on these matters.

    As opposed to the Coalition? The only difference is the Coalition somehow promised a tax cut while still pretending they could pay for all the goodies. In fact, it was needing to tax more, this “fig leaf” as you say, to more sensible policy planning on the part of Labor that tanked them. So, how are you concluding that this is a reprieve?

    While the LNC had years ago stood for (and succeeded in) abolishing carbon taxes, it nonetheless ratified the Paris climate agreement and has required 23 per cent of electricity to be generated by renewables

    That makes no sense, since the LNC also replaced carbon taxes with their own version of the same thing. Not to mention that they built the environmentalist bureaucracy in the first place so aren’t going to be rolling any of it back, since how would they explain that?

    Again, you know all this, so I can’t see how you are concluding anything other than we are in such dire straights that Labor is a less left wing movement to vote for in Australia than the Coalition.

    There is no reprieve here. We are well on track to a Venezuela future and conservatives are taking us there.

  23. don coyote

    A couple of days ago I heard one of the Left pollies speculating that the electorate didn’t quite understand the intricacies of the policies Labor proposed.

    Yeh, that why 48% of the people voted for them.

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