Economic and social decline looks set-in as our lost political decade morphs into a second with no end in sight.
A Labor win at the looming federal election may resolve the policy drift but its remedies will only entrench the pain.
Higher taxes, more La La Land electricity policy and an escalation of stifling political correctness will be the order of the day under the coming green-tinged Labor government in Canberra.
While personal animosities clearly factored in the past decade’s dysfunction, the key policy drivers surrounding each leadership coup revolved around energy and identity politics.
Neither have been resolved satisfactorily.
The “biggest moral issue of our time” and the promise of “no carbon tax” tripped up Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard respectively.
The Coalition’s internal revolt against the so-called National Energy Guarantee helped sink Malcolm Turnbull.
Labor now has a settled energy policy revolving around a 45 per cent cut in emissions and a 50 per cent renewable energy target.
While a settlement after years of acrimony sounds enticing, Labor’s policy will only lead to higher electricity prices, job losses and South Australian-style grid failure.
That’s unless Labor in Government can pull-off with renewables what no other industrialised economy in the world has been able to. I don’t think so.
The Liberals are yet to resolve how they will replace the lost dispatchable power from the system as a result of 10 coal-fired power station closures over the past six years.
The Green-led demonisation of coal and nuclear energy means the nation approaches this election with no credible baseload electricity policy from either major party on the table.
With the giant Liddell coal-fired power station in the NSW Hunter Valley about to close, Australia’s premier state looks like it will become dependent upon electricity imported from Queensland as louder warnings about looming grid failure are ignored.
What an embarrassment that this is even being discussed.
After more than a decade of wrangling over climate policy, the political class has failed to come up with a tenable way of continuing what was once Australia’s competitive advantage of reliable and cheap baseload electricity.
Labor thinks it has, but when their plan – like French President Emmanuel Macron’s – begins to bite, we risk riots in the streets.
The other poisoned chalice which Labor thinks it has settled relates to the agenda of rainbow identity politics emanating from the 2017 marriage plebiscite.
For the Liberals, their failure to resolve the obvious consequences of so-called marriage equality – the loss of freedom of conscience and the assault on biological gender – mean that these will remain a weeping sore for their base for years to come.
These consequences will be less significant for Labor in the short term because it has almost completely capitulated to the increasingly whacky demands of its rainbow left.
But as freedom to even remain neutral about rainbow politics is squeezed and as more and more parents and grandparents become uncomfortable with radical LGBTIQA sex and gender fluid indoctrination of children at school, history will reveal how damaging the marriage debate was to our social fabric.
As the consequences of de-carbonising the economy and de-gendering our schools become apparent, Australians will find themselves in a deeper malaise as they seek to navigate their way back out of the politician-induced mess of the past decade.
A Coalition government over the next two terms would be more likely to more quickly remedy the consequences of our energy and social policy mistakes.
This process would be accelerated by a Senate cross-bench which included new Australian Conservative senators.
But the return of a Morrison Government with a critical mass of climate realists and freedom-loving social policy conservatives acting as ballast looks a forlorn hope.
Despite the clear warnings of re-electing Daniel Andrews’ green-left Labor government in Victoria, people did.
Voters clearly don’t understand the consequences of green-left policy and an ignorance born of apathy which has morphed into anger stands ready to punish the Coalition federally.
The best hope for economic and social conservatives looking to navigate a likely two-term green-left-leaning government is to take out third-party insurance in the Senate by electing Australian Conservatives.
In the absence of an alternative, some conservatives in recent years have found Pauline Hanson’s One Nation a place to lodge a protest vote.
But commonsense conservatives with an eye for a constructive and principled approach will have found One Nation weak on business tax cuts and social policy.
For the first time in a long time, Australians have the choice of voting for senate candidates from a conservative party that is not personality-driven but which has genuine conservative principles.
Whether people agree or disagree with him, few would doubt that Conservative Party Leader Cory Bernardi is the most consistent and principled parliamentarian in Canberra.
If he and his team held the balance of power in the Senate, much of the damage to come could be blunted and even stopped.
A block of commonsense conservatives could point the way back for our nation after a decade of failure.
Lyle Shelton is spokesman for the Conservatives and their Queensland Senate Candidate.
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