Why another Morrison-Joyce term would be (even more) disastrous
- Morrison is an opportunist of the highest order. He is driven by focus groups rather than principles. The only principle he follows seems his lust for power.
- Morrison is not just an opportunist — the evidence (here and here and here and here and here and here and here) suggests he is a corrupt opportunist, personal photographer, gifts like the mysterious 700k de-facto donation (of other people’s money) to the pathetic Bonerby Joyce, and all. It is no surprise that Morrison has broken his promise to establish a federal ICAC, one of many policy failures under Morrison’s watch (see also here), and that he has maligned the NSW ICAC as a kangaroo court, for what he hoped would be cheap political points scored. The pork-barreling his government has engaged in defies belief and surely would be a feast for a federal ICAC with some bite.
- Morrison is also a religious nutter of the highest order. As the (in)famous meme has it, religion is like a penis, it’s fine to have one and be proud of it. Alas, it’s not fine to take it out and wave it in other people’s face. Morrison happens to do that relentlessly, from his miracle statement after the last federal election to his well-published daily praying on his knees.
- In light of this carefully constructed persona, Morrison’s lack of compassion, and well-documented relentless bullying (for evidence see here and here and here), are a surprise only to those that misunderstand what Pentecostalism, and its representatives (such as Brian Houston, a friend and mentor of Morrison), stand for. Likewise, Morrison’s women problem (which is starkly reflected in the configuration of his front bench) is best understood against in this context. I hope that Morrison’s low standing with female voters will indeed cost him the election, as it should in the interest of better representation of women (and minorities) in the national parliament.
- Morrison has single-handedly done more to dismantle the political discourse than any other federal politician of the last decade, save maybe of Tony Abbott. Katherine Murphy has called it relentless performance art and suggested that we urgently need a reset after Morrison’s reign. Not sure some such reset is possible. Alas, with Morrison gone, we could at least hope for fewer soundbites, photo-opps, and maybe a new appreciation of facts — something that Morrison has a notoriously complicated relationship with.
- Last but not least, Morrison is a mostly incompetent administrator and politician. He has no vision — a corollary of his focus-group driven modus operandi — and he lacks basic traits of a leader, such as a willingness to take charge and responsibility. His failures during bush fires, floods, pandemic (vaccine and test provision), and the poorly constructed fiscal-stimuli programs that have seen the national debt more than double, are among the examples. It is no surprise that the innovation agenda was given short shrift under his government and that the Morrison — Joyce government was dismissive of the higher-education sector and pushed universities to be practically and commercially oriented. The notion that universities also have a role to play in the creation of social cohesion, and societal development, is something that Morrison seems unable to understand. Needless to say that the Morrison-Joyce government has made no progress on the challenges that climate change poses and in fact seems more divided over it than it ever was.
Update: There won’t be another Morrison-Joyce term. Good thing that. Hartcher summarizes it well.
For Morrison, it wasn’t enough to deliver a “strong economy”, 3.9 per cent unemployment, marketing one-liners and great slathers of pork. Too much incompetence, too many failures, too much dishonesty and too much soft corruption was too much for middle Australia. The quiet Australians spoke and they said “enough”.
Without the traditional Liberals, without any values, and without the record of competence needed to win over the marginals, he took the Coalition into oblivion. In the end, Morrison had nothing to offer. No solutions, no principles, just bluster that the people couldn’t trust and cheques that the Treasury couldn’t responsibly cash. The electorate reciprocated by offering him nothing in return.