Flat White

Reflections of a Liberal Party minion

14 June 2022

2:00 PM

14 June 2022

2:00 PM

My wife dropped me off at my assigned polling booth in the northern reaches of the Adelaide federal electorate.

With the gentle autumn sun and clear skies meaning that at least the day outdoors would be a pleasant one, I was both hopeful and relieved. Hopeful that the day would yield a fourth term for the Morrison government and relieved that I did not have to do the 4am run to set up A-frames and corflutes at the booth. That task fell to my fellow Blue Army companion for the day, Brad. He was an amicable fellow, a builder by trade, and one of the small business owners that form the backbone of Liberal Party voter base.

Scuttling indoors to find the Men’s to don my T-shirt and cap, I introduced myself to the AEC Electoral officer in charge as a courtesy. He was a pleasant elderly man who, as a result of the Covid restriction-induced staff shortages, had been wheeled out of cold storage and retirement for the occasion. I was grateful that there was an XL size T-shirt in the booth box, like voters, L’s are not forgiving.

Back outdoors, the process of sussing out the demeanour of the volunteers of the other parties began. We were spared a crackpot from either One Nation or UAP, with just Labor and the Greens covering the booth.

The Labor volunteers for the morning were two young men, we shall call them Ollie, a red-haired and bearded fellow, and Dan, a union worker. Both made it clear that they had got to sleep at around 2am that morning and had been up a couple of hours later to do the booth setup. The Greenies also proved to be human. My mate, who was at a booth in Upper Sturt, was less fortunate. At his booth, a Greens volunteer heaped abuse on him and thereafter refused to stand anywhere near him. We exchanged texts reflecting on how self-righteous and neurotic Greens supporters can be.

This booth was in the outer suburbs where, as Peter Dutton puts it, the forgotten people live. Not a booth that yields many Liberal votes, but a good place to be. The Liberal (how-to-vote) HTV card had the caption Stronger Economy, Stronger Future written on it, which was quickly abbreviated to Strong Economy, Strong Future to fit into the second or so you have with a voter as you give them the card. It was missing an important third phrase, Strong Families. With the Left’s relentless assault on the traditional nucleus family, drawing attention to the Left’s attempt to break it down seems to be a powerful tool to mobilise popular support for the Liberal cause.

Take, for instance, the steady stream of Mums and Dads, their faces and demeanour wearing the battle scars of life who traditionally vote Labor, but may consider voting Liberal. Consider also the migrants of Asian, Islamic, or African descent who come from traditional conservative cultures who arrived at the booth and politely declined a Liberal HTV card but took a Labor HTV card. There were also the mothers, dealing with restless children. Get an electoral message across to them that a vote for Labor is a vote against everything they have worked so hard to nurture, protect, provide for and hold dear but a vote for Liberal will see that protected, and a yield of critical Liberal votes would be the result.

Then there’s the fun of voter spotting. The younger hard-left voters could be identified by the fact that they mostly arrived on foot, wore tatty clothing, and virtue signalling T-shirts. Unlike their hair dyes, their skin colour was pasty – presumably from their vegan diets – they looked miserable and angry with the world while muttering about saving trees when you offered them an HTV card.

Compare this to your Liberal voters – the tradies and small business operators arriving in the afternoon looking tired after a hard six days of work, identifiable by their high-vis work gear, utes fitted with tool boxes, and vans with signage advertising the service they offer. They are ordinary women and blokes who understand just how hard it is to attract customers, supply a good product and service on time at a reasonable price, deal with competitors and employees, and try to turn a profit big enough to make it all worthwhile.

They are people who understand life and that it takes a lot of work and effort to achieve things. There is an understanding that life is full of risks and things often don’t go as you would have hoped and that governments do not have a big magic button that they can press that will solve all your problems.

Then the next Greens volunteer arrived. He was a young twenty-something man, suitably tattily dressed and face barely visible under a mop of long untidy hair. When the flow of voters steadied to a trickle and some small talk was possible. One of the Labor volunteers lamented that after starting his own small business, her brother had switched to Liberal, defying a strong family tradition. Dan caught a nap in the back seat of his car and Ollie consumed his umpteenth Red Bull.

A small but interesting trend came where voters took both a Liberal and Green HTV card. Notably, they were middle-class sophisticates who love and see it as virtuous to vote for the environment, but who also understand the importance of the economy. This portion of the Green vote would be good to target. As Liberals we love nature, we love Australia, the outback, and tropical areas. We support our farmers who work the land. With sound environmental policies we can their win support such as feral animal elimination schemes, re-vegetation with indigenous plants and wildife, and native trees along windbreaks for bird life.

While Brad was enjoying a smoko, one wag came up and peered at the HTV card being shown to him by the Greens volunteer, then gave a loud ‘nah’ and proceeded to repeat the process as the Labor volunteer and I attempted to ply him with an HTV card. You enjoyed that didn’t you, I called after him as he joined the queue. A glimmer of a smile appeared on his face.

In return for letting me finish up at 4pm, Brad got to enjoy a long lunch and a frothy. He seemed chipper and revitalised on his return, ready for the late afternoon rush, pack up, and scrutineering.

After freshening up at home I headed to the National Wine Centre for a function kindly hosted by our candidate, Amy Grantham. The platters were great as was the wine. As the results started coming in, with lots of gauges showing more red than blue, Anthony prattled on about the Greens, the independent, and the impartial political reporters on the ABC’s political desk who were barely able to conceal their glee. The hopes I had had in the morning steadily evaporated.

Chatting to fellow Liberals around the table and listening to the tirades against Morrison, all of which simply repeated the ABC’s lines, I was again reminded of the power of the mainstream media controlled by the Left and the desperate need for an online platform such as the USA’s Daily Wire to get our message across to the voters we need to reach.

As I headed home, tired and downcast, and considered the daunting but hugely important task that lies ahead to again secure government, I reflected on how the responsibility for achieving that goal does not rest with others but starts with me. I hope you share this view.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Show comments