Where to now for conservative politics?
In an election where neither of the parties of government offered an agenda of substance, many Australians voted for those who did.
Whether they knew what they were voting for is a different matter, but it’s only human to be drawn towards the siren song of conviction and vision, even if deeply flawed.
That meant that the so-called Teals and the Greens were the stand-out winners.
They can’t say what “more action on climate” will achieve let alone how much it will cost.
They can define “woman”, but not in a way understood by mainstream people.
Despite this, hundreds of thousands of people in our wealthiest suburbs voted for them.
In a like-for-like swap, six Teals swept aside the Liberals’ wokest climate and gender-fluid zealots, crippling the party in traditional strongholds.
In punishing ideological fellow travellers, the Teals’ aim was to smash the Liberals as a force for conservative and mainstream values and force them to keep drifting Left in the chase for their seats back.
It’s a brilliant tactic that will hobble them.
The Greens political party, which is a fifth column for every agenda that seeks to destroy our Western economic and cultural inheritance, took seats from both major parties to increase its representation in the House of Representatives to four.
And a surge in their Senate vote means the Greens will now have 12 Senators, controlling the new Albanese government’s ability to pass legislation.
I’ll say that again. No legislation gets passed without Greens support, unless the government teams up with the Liberals and Nationals.
For example, if the Labor Government wants to increase defence spending in the face of the Chinese Communist Party threat, it will need the support of the Coalition to override the Greens’ death wish for our nation.
Wittingly or unwittingly, voters have shifted Australia radically Leftwards.
Labor hard heads like new Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles will try and ensure it governs from the Centre but the countervailing forces in Parliament will be three groups: the crazy Left of Labor (think Penny Wong and Tanya Plibersek), the Greens and the Teals.
These groups want “action on climate” regardless of the economic consequences and they want radical social policy such as taxpayer-funding for sex-change operations on young people.
These are not the forces that are likely to be well-disposed to freedom of religion and parents’ rights to protect their kids from gender-fluid indoctrination at school.
De-toxing the school curriculum of Critical Race and Queer Theory will not happen, the Left will simply double down on the dumbing down of our kids.
There’s no hope of free speech returning to university campuses in this political environment.
Forget about a bill to protect women’s sport from the intrusion of biological males and expect public hospitals to have their funding tied to their willingness to perform abortion on demand all the way to birth.
Elections have consequences.
Each of these political forces of the Left now have unprecedented leverage in our political system, thanks to the votes of people in the wealthy suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
These people have the luxury of being into self-actualisation and they have enough money to insulate themselves from the consequences.
So what now for the centre right of politics?
It is fractured and leaderless. Like the Teals but with no discipline, a gaggle of “freedom parties” cannibalised Coalition votes – particularly in the Senate.
But their preferences sprayed everywhere meaning nothing coherent emerged in the new Parliament.
Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party failed to “save Australia”. It was simply an expensive vanity project.
Such was the surge to the Left and incoherence on the Centre Tight, that Even Pauline Hanson is at risk of losing her Senate seat to the Greens.
The Teals’ wipe-out of the “modern Liberals” means the Liberal party will have a big fight about how woke it goes in chasing their lost blue-ribbon seats.
Like New York and California, Australia’s rich inner-city suburbs are a different planet economically and philosophically to mainstream Australia.
The Libs should take a leaf out of Princess Elsa’s book and let them go.
The pathway to government must be through prosecuting an agenda that’s in the national interest and by going to the voters in the suburbs and regions with the good sense to give a mandate for such.
The Nationals held all their seats thanks in large part to the relentless advocacy of Queensland Senator Matt Canavan.
He didn’t flinch on opposing net zero or the definition of woman.
He knows how to prosecute an argument and has turned the Labor voters of the Capricornia coal cities into rusted on Coalition voters.
If only the Liberals could re-learn the art of persuasion.
It worked for the Nats and the Teals.
Despite the warm feelings we all have for Albo’s log cabin story and soaring rhetoric about us all singing Kumbaya together, the chickens will come home to roost when he can’t deliver all the free stuff he’s promised.
Free childcare, free TAFE, more money for Medicare and the NDIS all sounds exciting – like Christmas.
But when economic reality bites, the electricity grid is unstable, government debt-fuelled inflation is out of control, interest rates are high and parents are sick of woke schools which produce dumb students, the electoral cycle will turn to those who will clean up the mess.
This is not to doubt the legitimacy of our new Prime Minister, but our system allowed him to be elected when two out of every three Australians did not vote for his party.
The Coalition’s primary vote was also in the 30s.
Australians are looking for vision and conviction and finding it on the fringes.
Thanks to the Teals and the Greens, it is the Left fringe that prevailed at this election.
Because the Liberals stood for nothing, people have fallen for the unattainable.
We’re in for a tough few years.
Keep in touch with Lyle’s political commentary, sign up here.