The final result of the Election of 2016 is still days away but here is my initial analysis:
- Rise of minor party voteLook at the “Others” – this has increased by 4.1%. Voters are disillusioned with major parties and lodging a protest vote. The major parties, in their strive for capturing 51% of the vote are ignoring so-called fringe issues like immigration (One Nation), drug legalisation (Sex/HEMP), industry protectionism (Xenophon), “Christian” values (Christian Democrats/ALA/RiseUp).
- Negative campaigning worksIn the early part of the campaign both Liberals and Labor ran on a largely positive policy platform. With about 3 weeks to ago, Labor were not gaining traction and then launched their Medicare/MediScare campaign. It had bite. It resonated and fed the fears of many to lose out on our generous health system. Labor then had the momentum right up to election day. Negative advertising works. Fear trumps hope.
- Australia has moved towards bigger governmentThe most disappointing aspect is the move towards bigger government intervention. The Liberal Democrats (Australia’s Libertarian party) vote has decreased (although they have a chance to capture 2 senate spots). Greens, Xenophon votes have increased. Labor, of course, believes in the collectivist mindset. One Nation, while classified as far right, believes in restricting foreign ownership.
Where to now for Libertarianism in Australia
Freedom and liberty *shouldn’t* be such a hard sell, but alas it is and we need to rethink our approach in selling it and making it appealing to a wider audience. Unfortunately, this requires the population at large to be weaned off the teat of the government. I believe we can advance the message. We will. We have to for the survival of our western, liberal way of life.
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