Election Thoughts + More Memes

Abbottlanche or Ruddicide

Congratulations to Tony Abbott and the Coalition. It’s only the seventh time in sixty years an elected government has been defeated, so it’s quite an achievement, particularly to topple a government that’s only been in for two terms. It’s something I never thought would happen when Abbott first came to the leadership, it seemed so unlikely and Abbott such an unlikely alternative PM. But the Coalition ran a very clever campaign and then again, I never thought I’d see a PM torn down in his first term either, so I guess it shows anything can happen in politics.

I’ll be frank: I did not vote for the Coalition and will never vote for the Coalition as long as Tony Abbott is leader. His policies and social attitudes scare the hell out of me and I’d much rather see Malcolm Turnbull as PM – if he had been, I would definitely have supported the Coalition and I think they would have won with an even bigger majority. But putting that aside, Labor didn’t deserve to be re-elected at all and only has itself to blame for the outcome. When you spend all your time fighting over the leadership, surrounded by bickering and countless distractions of your own making, rather than actually governing the country, you can’t seriously think the public is going to vote you back in.

The government’s problems are strange in some ways because it’s not even that they’ve been a particularly bad government overall when you look at their ideas and achievements, particularly the NBN and the NDIS, it’s really more that they’ve spent the last six years tearing each other apart from the inside out, have kept back-pedalling on policies that they had made into central platforms (you can’t say climate change is the “greatest moral challenge of our time” and then try to back away from it, for instance, it makes you look like flip-floppers at best and a party lacking moral integrity at worst) and that they’ve been completely incompetent in selling their achievements – especially the strength of the economy, which is relatively strong, particularly when compared to the rest of the world. Abbott’s been an effectively negative opposition leader but in normal circumstances there’s simply no way a government should find itself in this position after just two terms. Which is what I meant with the caption above – in the end I’m genuinely not sure if Abbott won this election or if Labor lost it and essentially committed suicide. Or maybe it’s a bit of both.

I’m not sure what kind of Prime Minister Tony Abbott is going to be and like I said, he wouldn’t be my choice by a wide margin on either side of politics, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and I hope he’ll be one who is consultative and doesn’t try to force an ideological agenda through parliament (although that is one thing that potentially concerns me about him). In many ways because he has been such an effective negative campaigner I don’t think the public has been able to get a real idea of who Abbott actually is (which incidentally I think is also why he’s always performed so poorly in leadership polls, because it makes it seem like he’s stilted and has no personality), so it will be interesting to see if we start to see a new side of Tony Abbott and perhaps that public view of Abbott starts to change. It’ll also be interesting to see how he goes on the international stage – I actually think that’s one area where he might do quite well, with the exception perhaps of our relationship with Indonesia, which will depend a lot on what happens with asylum seekers and the boats.

I also hope that we can start to put the misogynist statements to rest once and for all as well. Gillard’s speech on misogyny was one of the defining moments in modern Australian politics and on a wider level was very true but looking at it objectively, it was also at least a little unfair on Tony Abbott. There are many, many things I do not like about Abbott but he’s not a misogynist – his wife is an incredibly strong influence in his life, he’s helped to raise three daughters who seem to be incredibly intelligent and articulate young women that any parent would be proud of and he’s introducing a paid parental leave scheme that is very generous towards women. What Abbott is is very old fashioned and extremely awkward and gaffe-prone but that doesn’t mean he’s a misogynist. It also doesn’t mean that Gillard’s speech wasn’t true either, just that it was truer on a broader level about society and I think that’s why it resinated with so many people. But hearing people constantly calling Abbott a misogynist during this election – often I think without their even knowing what a misogynist really is as well – is one of the things that’s really grated on me and I’m hoping now people will at least try to give him the benefit of the doubt. No matter what you think of Tony Abbott, the office of the Prime Minister deserves more respect than that – just as it did when Gillard was PM and she was treated so abysmally, particularly by men, many of whom were in the media, and in her own party.

In any case I guess like everyone I’m mostly just relieved this bloody election is finally over. It’s been mind-numbingly tedious but good luck to the Coalition and here’s hoping the next three years won’t be as divisive as the last and the economy stays relatively strong.

I made some more election memes last night while watching the results come in as well, so I thought I’d post them with this for a bit of fun. The one about Jason Wood was just spur of the moment – I’d not heard his quote before and it came on during the coverage and my head just about exploded when I heard it. I used the photo of Gllard as that’s pretty much how I imagine she would have reacted when she heard it too – and it’s not a bad approximation of what my face was like too. I mean, seriously Jason, WTF?

Hope you enjoy them. Who knows, I might start doing these regularly as they seem to be popular. 😉


Batman, meet Budgie-Man, our new PM.

Rudd's Concession Speech

Bye Kev. Remember, PMs come and go, selfies live forever.

Genetically Modified WHAT?

Jason Wood, one of Australia’s great visionaries.

Finally Over

Here’s hoping.

2 thoughts on “Election Thoughts + More Memes

  1. This was a good post and I liked reading it because it’s not polarized. That being said…

    “____ is good to his wife and daughters” isn’t in any way a good argument that the person isn’t a misogynist. You’re basically saying that he’s good to the most important person in his life and to his progeny in which he likely invests the rest of his life that he doesn’t invest in his wife. That should not be a high bar, and it means nothing in the scope of how a person treats all women.

    Sorry, it’s a pet peeve, seeing someone say “I’m not a misogynist, I love my wife and daughters” is like seeing them say “I’m not a homophobe, my best friend is gay.” One does not guarantee the other – one may, in fact, enable the other by giving a person an excuse not to confront their own ideas.

    Honestly, you could leave out the bit about his family and say “he’s done ___ to advance the cause of all women” (which you really already did) and that’d address the misogyny issue better.

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment and I’m glad you liked the post. I see your point about Tony Abbott and the way he treats his family but I guess I have a slightly different outlook as I’ve experienced the opposite of that, having seen a lot of men I know treat strangers far better than they have the women in their own families (and oftentimes treating them truly abysmally). In some ways I think it’s much easier to treat someone you don’t know and will probably never see again better than someone who lives with you every day – that person doesn’t know the real you and it’s much easier to pull the wool over their eyes, and I’d say if you’re a misogynist, the longer you’re with someone, the more likely it is that your true nature will start to come out. I wouldn’t say that observation is typical of all misogynists but it has been at least in my situation and I think it’s valid to put forward, which is why I included it.

      I also think it’s a little different treating your family well to raising children into well adjusted adults, as I’d argue that requires a very different set of skills and values, and to their credit I think that’s something Tony Abbott and his wife have done exceptionally well. His daughters seem like three remarkably intelligent, articulate, vibrant and fully modern young women and not at all what I’d expect if Tony Abbott was a misogynist.

      But I grant those points are probably the weakest part of my argument. I guess what I mean overall is that while I dislike Tony Abbott for many of his policies, it’s not personal and I respect him even while I disagree with him, and I just wish people would leave personal attacks out of it as they only serve to lower the debate. Those kind of attacks are despicable and I also think contributed to many of the problems we saw during the last three years, turning any substantive debate into a vitriolic race to the bottom, and Labor was just as guilty of it as the Coalition was in my opinion.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the rest of my post though. Thanks for stopping by.

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