A hard right, evangelical, MAGA worshipping climate skeptic wins Australian politics in a shock result that caught the Polls off guard.
I think there are a couple of things to examine.
The rise of the far right in Queensland brought in a huge number of preferences for the Liberals which asks hard questions of the continued polarisation of far right politics, how the martyring of Israel Folau activated Pacific Island and religious voters and the wider issue of the Left losing the ability to inspire.
This matters to us in NZ for two reasons. The first is that the same culture war dynamics are playing out here so we should learn from them, and the second is that with the climate crisis burning Australia into inhabitability, NZ is likely to face an enormous immigration stampede from fleeing Australians.
NZ has 4.75million citizens, Australia has 24.5million. Bugger freaking out about Asian immigration, what happens when we are over run with Australian climate crisis refugees?
Electing a Prime Minister who once entered Parliament proudly holding up coal forces us in NZ to reconsider the open immigration policy we have with Australia before the climate crisis shit really hits the fan.
The shockwave on Twitter at the Australian election result is a reminder that only a tiny fraction use Twitter and while we alienate the larger electorate from our smug woke echo chambers, the Left continues to fail at winning recruits in the wider debate.
I’ve come to the conclusion that social media will be the undoing of the Left. Sartre said ‘Hell is other people’, I think ‘Hell is other people’s social media feeds”.
Before social media, our interaction with each other politically as citizens was filtered through gatekeeper corporate media or in person at protests. The freedom social media has given us combined with algorithmically fuelled outrage olympics is the People’s Front of Judea on meth…
…increasingly I see how we argue is more important than what or why we are arguing. Social media kills nuance & promotes micro aggression policing pile on’s while pure temple politics erodes broad church solidarity.
Woke Middle Class Identity Politics destroys class based solidarity and culturally alienates the average voter.
The ‘quiet Australians’ were frightened by the snarling pure temple Left who branded everyone who didn’t think like them as racist homophobic hicks.
The Right seek recruits, the Left hunt for traitors.
There are two possible solutions for this culture war backlash in NZ politics.
The first is the activist base of the Left step back and reflect on how ‘all-men-are-rapists, anyone- supporting-free-speech-is-a-Nazi, white-cis-men-need-to-delete-themselves, free-speech-is-white-privilege. I-demand-a-trigger-free-safe-space and you-are-transphobic-for-not-agreeing-with-everything-I have-to-say’ messaging is alienating the very working class they are trying to win over while our Politicians focus on articulating vision that gives people real hope.
The second possible solution is a radicalised political response by the class left to win an MMP king maker role and force through an uncompromising agenda of economic, public service and environmental reform.
My thoughts are the first can’t happen.