• Kristin Perissinotto

Scott Morrison might win the next election

Watching Scott Morrison fuck up in front of the media and public again and again is simultaneously horrifying and comforting. Horrifying because he's the leader of the country I call home, paid by my taxes, and could not align less with my values. But comforting because every time he's caught lying, does something wildly unpopular, or says something that makes a lot of people mad, I think there's a lesser chance of re-election for the Liberals.

But here's a fucking awful thought: The Liberals might win the next election. Scott Morrison might be our Prime Minister for another term.

I don't know many people who will vote Lib in the next election, but I'm not naïve enough to think they aren't out there. The 2019 election taught me that. I always say that the worst thing about government is that it reflects society, and if the Liberals win after the antics that Scott and his party pulled this term, society is looking pretty grim indeed.

If the Liberals win again, it means Australians don't care that our Prime Minister left the country in the midst of one of the worst bushfire seasons we've ever seen, that protecting the nation from COVID-19 wasn't a top priority, that the government happily paid millions of dollars to huge, profitable companies but wouldn't support Aussies who's jobs disappeared overnight.

If Scott Morrison retains the Prime Ministership, it means voters don't mind that he's more interested in retaining possible votes from anti-vax terrorists than condemning open threats towards a premier, that protecting women in his workplace is of low importance, that lies are perfectly fine from the leader of our country as long as it makes him look good in the press.

This thought has been plaguing me every day since the whisper of an election started spreading a couple of months ago. What. If. They. Win. I haven't really known a world without the Libs in charge. The Kevin Rudd/Julia Gillard/Kevin Rudd era happened just when I become of voting age, so my whole adult life has been under a Liberal National government. I almost feel as though life without the Libs in charge would be some kind of utopia, like the sun will suddenly be brighter, the air cleaner, the birds chirpier.

I've spent so much time, energy, brain power this term speaking out against the Liberals and particularly Scott Morrison. So have many people I know and see. We have engaged in hard conversations, created educational content, pointed out his lies, his hypocrisy, his apathy. What if, after all that combined effort from a huge number of people, he wins again? He sees no consequences? He gets to repeat all those actions for another three years at least?

The Liberals got into power last election with no policies. With only one promise, a budget surplus. What they've delivered is not only the largest budget deficit in history, but they have avoided responsibility. The vax rollout, the case for lockdowns, the treatment of First Nations people, the response to the women's movement calling for safer workplaces, the attitude towards refugee families: we saw the same response to all of these issues. Nothing. It wasn't their fault, it wasn't their job, they don't hold the hose.

And while there are many structural reasons the Libs won, the dominance of the conservative press in Australia, the power that comes with incumbency, Bill Shorten's unpopularity, and the lies they spun about Labor's policy, the fact that the majority of Australians still thought they were the best option haunts me.

Things in this country are dire. The political climate is volatile. A lack of direction from our elected officials is hurting us. We desperately need a change in government. And the idea that we might not get it fills me with anger and despair. And that's why we need to keep fighting. We'll fight up until election day, and if things don't go our way, you better believe we'll get up the next morning and keep fighting again.