Election reflections

Nearly one month after the election, some things are clear.

Firstly, this was an election without a victory. Malcolm Turnbull has been left battered and bruised. He is clearly not the saviour. Bill Shorten has not won and Labor was rejected by Australians, despite all his attempts to portray things differently. And the Greens have been hammered.

However, there were some winners. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation has been far more successful than any of the commentators imagined. Nick Xenophon has achieved. And behind the scenes, political campaigns from both sides of politics had a big impact.

Here are my six election reflections, plus a word about the Australian Liberty Alliance’s campaign in Queensland.

Loser #1: Malcolm Turnbull

Malcolm Turnbull was the biggest loser in the election. He was lauded only 9 months ago by the media and intellectual and political elite as a great orator and visionary. However, the Australian people promptly and agilely abandoned his new ‘progressive’ Liberal party.

Turnbull’s campaign was soft on borders, soft on climate change and soft conservative values. However, it did include dinner (on halal crockery) with Islamic hate-preachers and a large swipe at Cory Bernardi for his thoroughly conservative position on marriage.

Overall, Turnbull is now responsible for the loss of at least 14 seats as well as inflicting the longest and the most boring and uninspiring election campaign on Australians in living memory.

Oh yeah, his double-dissolution gamble was also a disaster that is likely to see the Coalition lose several seats in the Senate as well.

My prediction is that Turnbull will be lucky to limp through the next term of parliament.

Loser #2: The Greens

To put it bluntly (and happily) the Greens were smashed at the election.

Consider this: the Coalition suffered a 2.3% swing in the Senate and Labor also lost another 0.3%. There was also a large slice of the Palmer vote up for grabs. Yet the Greens did not pick any of this up and went backwards themselves. They may well lose a number of Senate seats.

If the Greens were ever to move into the mainstream it was at this election. Australians are clearly unhappy with the majors and have turned to alternatives, especially in the Senate. But the Greens failed because Australians have had a long hard look at them since 2007 and have come to the conclusion that their policies are simply offensive to all common sense.

True, the Greens will hang around like a bad smell because they are propped up by a hard-core bunch of socially suicidal lunatics. But that is hardly a compliment.

My prediction is that Greens will continue to decline, partly due to the growth of even loonier groups like the Animal Justice Party. Whoever thought that an organisation with crazy ideas to endow animals with ‘human rights’ and pretty much ban meat could work such a public good in Australia?

Loser #3: Conservatives in general

While this election has seen conservative Australians rally hard, they have still lost.

There is one simple reason for this: we are not organised enough and we don’t understand the system.

A perfect example is the Senate count in Tasmania. Conservatives should have won six seats in that state. However, their votes exhausted in huge numbers leaving the Greens to sneak over the line and win the final spot by just 141 votes. That is a bad loss. Whatever people may think about Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, it would have been much better for Australia if it had picked up that final seat.

And it would not have taken much at all. Approximately 9,000 of the 9,500 exhausted votes in Tasmania came as conservative candidates were eliminated. To have changed this situation, all it would have taken is for 142 of those voters to have numbered every box above the line.

My prediction is that these mistakes will continue to occur until a well-organised conservative activist group forms.

Winner #1: Pauline Hanson

Without a doubt, Pauline Hanson was the biggest winner at this election.

One Nation is in with a red-hot chance of winning four Senate seats and could snare even more. There may well be a recount in Tasmania as well, where it fell just 141 votes short.

Pauline Hanson was successful because she was able to reach out to the enormous number of Australians rightly concerned about the growth of Islam here. Her message was simple and it resonated with conservative voters equally concerned about the direction of the Liberals under Malcolm Turnbull.

My prediction is that these concerns will only grow in the next three years. The question remains as to whether Pauline Hanson has the ability to build a team and deliver results for her supporters. For the sake of Australia, I hope so. But one thing is certain: Islam will be front and centre in the national debate in this term of parliament. That is a good thing.

Winner #2: GetUp!

I hate to say this, but GetUp did very well during the campaign.

GetUp is organised. It is focused. It campaigns hard and coordinates efforts to support Labor and the Greens.

In a nutshell, GetUp is doing everything conservatives should be doing. It’s about time we hit back. We’ve all seen Cory Bernardi’s efforts to start the Australian Conservatives. I hope it can get off the ground and I have signed up. I’ve also signed up with the Queensland Conservatives.

Despite GetUp’s success, we should take heart. There is a huge opportunity for a conservative action group and my prediction is that if one took off, it would achieve far more than GetUp ever could. Australians are naturally conservative and do not support groups like GetUp. It is just a winner at the moment because conservatives campaign like losers.

Winner #3: Organised conservatives

Despite everything said above, conservatives did enjoy success when they organised themselves.

And there is no better example than in the seat of Longman, where Wyatt Roy was voted out. Wyatt Roy is not conservative, despite masquerading as one inside the Liberal Party. He deserved to lose and a coordinated effort by minor conservative candidates successfully removed him.

Longman was the only seat in Queensland where the Australian Liberty Alliance candidate preferenced Labor over the Liberals. Other conservative minor parties that did the same or offered split tickets included Family First, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Katter’s Australian Party.

There was a coordinated effort by LNP insiders and minor conservative parties to remove Wyatt Roy and it worked.

My prediction is that a similar fate awaits other ‘progressive’ Liberals. Warren Entsch is next on the list in Queensland.

The Australian Liberty Alliance campaign in Queensland

I would like to thank the nearly 30,000 Queenslanders who voted for me and the Australian Liberty Alliance in Queensland. I must also thank the thousand or so volunteers who worked hard all over Queensland.

While it is disappointing that we were not successful at this election, I do know this:

  • The problems of Islam will only grow worse in the next three years,
  • The debt we leave to our children will only grow in the next three years,
  • Political correctness and the attack on truth and real family values will only grow in the next three years.

As such, there is more reason than ever for us to continue the fight and I am not giving up.

At the start of the campaign I held the view that the anti-Islamic vote could well elect a Senator in every state. This view has been vindicated, with candidates prepared to stand up to Islam likely to secure seats in Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia. There may also be additional Senators elected in Victoria and South Australia prepared to speak against Islam.

I am proud to have helped raise these issues and I am now willing to provide support, if required, to assist these Senators to achieve the best outcome for Australia. At the end of the day my personal goals will always be secondary when it comes to achieving a greater good.

Finally, I am keenly aware that there are numerous conservative groups working in Australia. I would love to see them work closely together to achieve better results. If you would too, please sign the petition below.

It's time for conservatives to work together

*** This petition will be presented to conservatives within the Liberal/National coalition and to all minor conservative political parties and lobby groups ***

I am a conservative Australian and I wish to see:

- smaller government
- lower debt
- the threat of Islam addressed
- family values protected
- political correctness ended.

I believe that the many conservative political parties in Australia are filled by good people with good intentions. They strive to achieve a better Australian future for our children. Furthermore, these parties have common conservative goals to protect our Western Christian values and institutions.

Unfortunately, Australia has seen the rise of radical political groups such as GetUp and the Greens, who have organised themselves to secure political control far beyond their popular support. Meanwhile, the Labor Party has abandoned working families for the pursuit of agendas such as climate change and homosexual marriage and 'progressives' inside the Liberal/National coalition have betrayed conservative voters.

There is an urgent requirement for all conservative politicians, political parties and lobby groups to work together to achieve common goals. I support any endeavours to see that this occurs swiftly and successfully.

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Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of seven children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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