Proverbs 29:18 provides a poignant background for the current state of the Australian political landscape. “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he”.
The current generation of young Australians haven’t lived under leadership that bravely gives vision, inspires people to contribute, and stands on strong values that form the foundations of a nation. Instead, we have seen a broken two-party system of politics where neither of the major parties is willing to stand by its previously, deeply held values. Both Labor and the Coalition have abandoned their natural supporters and are competing for the same ideological and woke turf. The result of their flip-flopping and pandering has been the formation of a plethora of minor and micro parties, along with independents, who have attempted to fill the leadership void.
Both major parties have seen their primary vote diminish to historic lows. Here we are in 2022 with the leader of the Labor Party being sworn into the highest office in the land on a primary vote of less than 33%. Meanwhile, The Greens and so called ‘Teal Independents’ will provide support to the new Government. These independents are one-policy candidates who will have disproportionate power and The Greens are inner-city woke elites with the most radical social agenda of any party in the country. But it’s not just the left of politics that is in trouble! We have seen Liberal State Governments around the nation introduce the most radical social policy in our history. For example, the passage of two pieces of legislation in South Australia that supported full-term abortion and medically assisted suicide were sponsored by the Liberal Premier and Liberal Attorney General, less than twelve months out from a State Election. Surely this madness demonstrates how Liberal values have lurched to the left. Is it any wonder 12% of the national electorate is now divided among conservative micro-parties!
The Australian electorate has no clear choice when trying to find a party that supports our individual values. This is symptomatic of an Australia without strong leadership or a strong moral compass, and it’s why we find ourselves where we are.
The next three years will be a torrid time in Australian Federal politics. Unless Anthony Albanese and his Cabinet are determined to lead the nation into prosperity and unity on policy that’s strong on traditional heartland Labor values, we will experience a greater mess than during the Gillard/Rudd years. This was a minority Government dictated to by three Independents who were each summarily turfed out or banished at the following election because of their failure to uphold the values of their conservative constituency.
So, can Australian politics be fixed? Maybe more to the point, do our current ‘leaders’ have the heart or know-how to lead their party base back to its roots? My particular concern is for the conservative side of politics. Whenever we have a weak Liberal Party, conservatives tend to splinter into a multitude of pieces. In the wake of the 2022 Federal election what we see on the conservative side of politics is –
• A Liberal Party in the process of being purged of its radical left element
• A disparate group of conservative people and parties full of egos and self-interests
• A massively disappointed and disillusioned conservative base with nowhere to go
Despite the current dark clouds I think conservative politics can be fixed. The Coalition’s primary vote is almost 36%, the conservative micro-parties together hold 12% of the national vote. This 48% of, mostly conservative, voters are looking for a vision that is big enough, and a leader who is courageous enough, to energise them. We know from history that an energised conservative base can become contagious but there are many traditional conservatives who have fallen for the ‘Independents’ promises of environmental ‘nirvana’. This has happened even though Australia’s carbon emissions are immaterial to the global climate debate.
For Christians who care about the economic, social, and moral state of our nation we must be prepared to enter the political world as ‘prophets’ and ‘missionaries’, bringing truth and redemption. Let’s remember, ‘conservative’ does not equal ‘Christian’. If there is one thing the ‘Freedom’ parties have taught us, it is that people hold conservative views for a whole range of reasons. It’s one thing to unify around vaccine mandates, it’s a different thing again to unite around God’s heart for the nation. Christians have a great responsibility to bring the heart of God into the political realm. The next three years must be spent educating the church and equipping Christian people for political leadership.