Leading article Australia

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over

14 November 2020

9:00 AM

14 November 2020

9:00 AM

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have declared themselves the winners of the US presidential election; news which should fill many freedom-loving or conservative constituencies from the Middle East to Europe to our own neck of the woods with horror, as several of our writers point out this week.

Nonetheless, many conservatives have chosen to simply accept the media-declared result and opt for the ‘we must do the right thing’ and politely accept defeat and congratulate the self-declared winners. This was the approach of most of the political commentariat as well as many world leaders, including our own Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Yet what this lazy strategy boils down to is not exactly all that reassuring; it suggests that fraud and cheating are acceptable so long as they are either successfully hidden (out of sight, out of mind) or of an insufficient quantity to materially influence the outcome (so what? everybody does it, it doesn’t make any difference, etc., etc.).

Regardless of how painful or awkward it may be, the reality is that in a democracy there is no more important principle than that every vote counts and that every vote is verifiably legitimate. In Australia, we have long had the familiar scrutineers and one efficient national body, the Australian Electoral Commission, charged with ensuring fairness and we are the luckier for it. That the Americans have muddled along with a spaghetti bowl of tangled rules and regulations doesn’t change the moral and ethical imperative for all authorities to ensure a clean vote. For sure, it has long been suggested that most US elections have involved degrees of fraud, most notoriously the election of John F. Kennedy, and that indeed he is proof that it doesn’t really matter — he was still a great president. This is fatuous and does not justify the US (and the West) simply shrugging their shoulders and accepting ‘small amounts’ of fraud.

As several of our excellent writers detail this week, there is an extraordinary number of questionable factors to do with Wednesday’s result. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theory whacko to be concerned about allegations of fraud from mysterious computer ‘glitches’ to a veritable platoon of dead voters. That with almost no exception all the alleged crimnality favours the Democrats only compounds the concern, as does the mathematical implausibility of many of the most important and pivotal individual results.

The US constitution involves a series of checks and balances to ensure an orderly and legitimate transfer of power. They must be allowed to work.

In praise of Joel

The decision by Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon to quit the shadow front bench and position himself for a leadership role can only be good news for Australia and Australians. Mr Fitzgibbon is an old-style Labor figure, and we mean that as a compliment; someone committed to jobs, cheap energy and the well-being of blue-collar workers. Crucially, he has made climate change the issue and this can only be a positive thing for us all in the long run. For the last decade with only the briefest of exceptions the national debate on climate change has drifted further and further to the left, and the political parties have happily floated along in the tidal rip of Greens ideology and renewables eco-Marxism. Something had to give.

The great deception that the modern Labor party has foisted upon the poor, the working class and the small business people of middle Australia is that we can create national wealth and prosperity by reducing emissions. This is a blatant lie, with all the evidence to date from around the world that renewables (with the exception of nuclear and hydro in the correct geographical environments) can never provide baseload power for modern societies and the energy required for large scale manufacturing.

A shirt in the climate debate is critical for Labor, if they are serious about ever forming government, but it also gives the government the opportunity to reframe the debate away from Greta Thunberg/Zali Steggall end-of-the-world hysteria to a more focussed debate on jobs and manufacturing energy needs. Of course, we all want cleaner air and clean waters, but the doomsday alarmism is a disgrace; terrifying an entire generation of school kids and leading to absurd propositions such as, for example, our bushfires are caused by global warming.

Mr Fitzgibbon’s bravery in shifting from undergraduate ideology must now be matched by a long-overdue shift to the right by the Liberal party.

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