It feels almost irreligious to use ‘exodus’ to portray the disappearance of so many key figures from Australia’s political scene. But it seems to fit. What outcome might we anticipate?
Ye?i’at Mi?rayim: ?'Departure from Egypt' is the founding myth of the Israelites, recounted in the Book of Exodus. It tells a story of Israelite enslavement and eventual departure from Egypt, revelations at biblical Mount Sinai, and wanderings in the wilderness up to the borders of Canaan. Its message is that the Israelites were delivered from slavery by Yahweh their god, and therefore belong to him by covenant.
Scott Morrison, who was in our face day after day, assailing us with his words, words of wisdom as he saw them, is no longer in view. Josh Frydenberg, the Liberal’s spokesman on all matters financial, no longer stands before us giving us his daily ‘intelligence’. Although he lost his seat at the recent election to Dr Monique Ryan in the blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Kooyong, we hear that he’s already contemplating a reincarnation, so central to the Liberal message he considers he continues to be.
According to press reports, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jun/02/disgruntled-nsw-liberals-lay-blame-in-wake-of-federal-election-loss, a wave of recriminations is sweeping through the NSW Liberal party over the division’s performance and the delays in preselecting candidates for NSW federal seats that resulted in most being chosen only weeks before last month’s federal election.
Blame is being levelled at the unwieldy, faction-riven state executive, at Scott Morrison and his “captain’s picks”, and at Alex Hawke, who had been widely blamed for holding up preselections by failing to make himself available for months to vet candidates. There’s an abundance of blame to go around. The Guardian gives a comprehensive account: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jun/02/disgruntled-nsw-liberals-lay-blame-in-wake-of-federal-election-loss.
The result was a wave of losses in seats where candidates and sitting members were only endorsed just days before the election was called. These included Gilmore, where Andrew Constance lost by just over 200 votes, North Sydney, where Trent Zimmerman lost to independent Kylea Tink, and Warringah, where Morrison chose anti-trans campaigner Katherine Deves to run against popular independent Zali Steggall after other candidates pulled out. As a result of the Deves appointment, several members argued that there was a backlash in moderate seats that were then won by teal independents. “The late picks definitely cost us seats,” said one prominent moderate. “Trent had money sitting in his campaign account, which he couldn’t spend because he hadn’t been endorsed. “Then we had Katherine Deves picked for Warringah and that probably cost us North Sydney and Wentworth.”
Already, we are seeing the outcomes of this. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (how good it is to type these words) is showing how well the conciliatory, outgoing approach he has chosen is going down with the public. He can expect to retain his popularity as he continues to take the people into his confidence. They like his friendliness, his frankness and his modesty. The contrast with his predecessor is so striking that no one can miss it.
The future looks promising!