Yes it’s odd, isn’t it? I read as many as 28% preferred him as PM ???????
I understand the top 1% supporting coalition government objectives (i.e. Murdoch, Rinehart, Triguboff, Lowy, Forest, Packers, Pratt, Lew & other executives, etc.). They are after all a party of primary support for the wealthy. I can comprehend the top 10% on the economic scale supporting the government financially (i.e. Property & Land Developers, Construction groups, Software & telecommunications, Media, Betting, Agriculture, Food, Banks, Mining & Oil companies, large Retailers and even large right-wing churches, etc), assuming they have no social conscience. As this is a government that pays back its supporters by supporting their financial interests. Look at the intricate web of scandals with ICAC over Developer’s bribes to Liberal party members. So this support for Abbott reaching in the top 10% financially enriched of the population, holds some degree of objectivity from a self-interested perspective. There are people associated with or in this group who, rightly or wrongly, believe there is a trickle-down effect, or have aspirations of becoming part of that 1% demographic, whose financial interests would be served, were they to reach that point. Again, self-interested parties predominately. Understandably perhaps they believe in Tony Abbott’s Australia.
There is a portion of people either from the aforementioned families or belonging to a conservative ideological perspective, who follow in their family’s footsteps and are largely influenced – for reasons little else then – this is the way they have always voted. There is no particular strength of intellectual inquiry involved in that decision. They are more probably disengaged with politics completely, and some take pride in doing so. Of course, this latter type of group belongs to both sides of the political divide. And speaking of the political divide, there are they that swung their vote to the Liberals because of the dysfunction and corruption within the Labour Party. (Given the size of the swing against the Liberals in the last few State Elections, it is probably safe to assume the vast majority of these have regretted their choice.) It’s hard to guess what percentage these disengaged voters are represented by, that still support Liberals but most polls show ambivalent and undecided voters as small single digit figures.
It is hard to imagine what other elements of the population that the liberal party serves. Their record after one year of the “Adults” being in charge, is dismal. It is, in fact, severely under-performing. Economically, consumer and business confidence has slumped as Westpac continues to advise. The decline in the Aussie Dollar (the lowest since 2010) and the “weak pace of growth momentum” and “sharp declines in the term of trade” still concern our Bankers such as Westpac. The value of the all ordinaries on the Australian Stock Exchange has fallen and consumer confidence has collapsed. Unemployment is at the highest level in a decade and the government debt has doubled. Let’s not even discuss the false budget emergency or the cuts suffered by everything from the ABC to our children’s education or the removal of major revenue streams (mining & carbon taxes – around 6.5 billion) including the failure to collect taxes from 30% of the countries largest companies. The Hockey budget wanted cuts suffered by everything from the ABC & SBS (despite promises to the contrary) thru CSIRO and science funding (which contribute 145 billion to our economy each year), our aged pensioners and all the way down to our children’s education, medication, disability and legal protection. Of course the continued UNCUT subsidisation of mining & fossil fuels, wealthy superannuation packages, negative gearing, religious organisations (Catholics) could have killed off the “emergency deficit”.
Having a quick look at the list, there are lots of areas we can whittle a bit off here or there to find some slack that doesn’t involve penalizing the poorest amongst us:
- excessive tax cuts to richest –> $15.8 billion (per year unless stated otherwise)
- fossil fuel subsidies –> 10 billion
- superannuation tax concessions –> $36 billion in FY15
- capital gains tax discount on home –> $19 billion to FY18
- capital gains tax discounts for individuals and trusts –> $28.3 billion in FY18
- imputed rent exemptions –> 9.6 billion in FY12
- mining industry subsidies –> 4.5 billion (fuel $2 billion)
- negative gearing –> 6.4 billion
- first home vendors grants –> 1 billion
- private education –> 7 billion ($36 billion over 09-13)
- private health insurance rebate –> 5 billion ($2 billion in 1999)
- housing 2500 boat asylum-seekers overseas instead of in Australia –> 4 billion.
- religious organisations –> 40 billion (2008 best estimate of $31bn + CPI)
Instead, Abbott removes the much smaller subsidisation of the car industry which generated 200,000 jobs and $30 billion into our economy, to allow the Chinese & Japanese vehicle manufacturers to dominate our transport markets – which oddly Abbott is so fond of as a means of transportation.
Who’s left to vote?
So the quandary one has to ask oneself is, why is there close to 28% of the population (aside from certainly the top 1% and maybe as much as 10% of income earners, which I do understand) feel the need to vote against their own best interests. What is the intellectual process – if there is any – that occurs for these people that encourage them to continue in their current voting pattern, given the manner in which the political process has mismanaged the social & financial economy this year. Is it merely a matter of ignorance about the state of the nation or misdirection by right wing oligopolies that control the media? (i.e. Murdock) Surely they can’t all be fascists, OR racist OR angry unemployed bogans raging against the perception that jobs are being taken by foreign nationalities & refugees OR the pretentious bourgeoisie of prosperity doctrine bound right-wing church demographics that rage against the sins of left-wing thinkers who support gays, indigenous people, refugees, disabled folk and the rights of women. Is this from what the remaining approaching 18% of Tony Abbott’s support is constructed? Is this a situation resolved by education & rational discussion or are these entrenched values of this group beyond the possibility of rethinking their values? As higher education grows more swiftly beyond the reach of the hoi polloi because of progressive deregulation of the education market, is entrenched ignorance and resilient attitudes of folk who feel the need to “Reclaim Australia” the future support of the Liberal Party?