As Went Victoria, So Goes the Nation

As Victorians lamented and endured yet another state-wide lockdown, caused by the incompetence of Premier Dan Andrews and his ALP government’s failed hotel quarantine regime, it’s possible that a few other and equally depressing thoughts also came to mind. As tiresome and unnecessary as the weeklong February lockdown was, the sad fact remains that Andrews and his party continue not only to be broadly popular but also on-track, according to the polls, to win yet another term of government come 2022.

How can this be? What explains this paradox? Presumably, as the theory goes, any governing party in a democracy that exhibits enough bungling and failures will be voted out at the next election. Even the flimsiest opposition should be confident of attaining the Treasury benches on the merest promise of a possibility that it represents competence. Oppositions don’t win elections, as they say, governments lose them.  

Yet, as we here in Victoria know all too well, this paradox is still very much alive. The most recent failures  in the hotel quarantine program – coming on top of last year’s hotel quarantine catastrophe, which sawnotions of ‘diversity’ and ‘identity’ trump rigor and competence and led to the deaths of some 800 Victorians – are just the tip of the iceberg. A litany of other recent fiascos is also all too easily recalled. Labor’s branch-stacking scandal, the non-construction of the East-West Link, the blowouts on the Metro Tunnel, the gang riots at Moomba, the nightly push-in robberies, the politicisation of Victoria Police, the Labor mates dispensing their justice from the bench — the cavalcade of Andrews & Co’s disgraces is such that no month passes without some or other further manifestation of Labor’s ineptitude.

Yet in spite of all of this, Andrews and the ALP remain unassailable, Labor now having held power in Victoria for 17 of the last 21 years. It is a tenure predicted to increase given the recent redrawing of state electoral boundaries and their favourability to the incumbent ALP. A development that is naturally welcome by the government, yet one that obviously spells further doom for the already dwindling Liberals,  a point made by the Herald Sun’s James Campbell, among others.

And it is in the details of such restructures that the answer to the ‘paradox of Dan’ is revealed. As has happened in a variety of locales across the West, large-scale demographic change has heavily favoured parties of the left, rendering the right impotent and largely useless. A situation seen in places like California and Canada, and now, with the recent inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, in the very capital of the Free World itself.

And so too it is in Victoria. As the Liberals’ share of the overall vote declines as their dominance in the inner-east is eclipsed by a resurgent growth in population (and the associated ALP-vote) in other parts of town. The ALP is now comfortably ahead in the immigration-fuelled, high-growth regions of Melbourne’s north and west: holding all but three of the 13 seats that have populations of 10 per cent more than the state average. This situation is further compounded by the fact that the ALP also holds all of the 15 fastest growing suburban areas and almost 40 of the 45 electorates with the greatest number of soon to be ALP-voting children.

Thus, to answer our initial paradox: the incompetence of Andrews and his government – which is quite substantial, given not only these latest debacles, but the amount of high-ranking staff and party members that have left his team in disgrace or under a cloud– is almost irrelevant. To cite the polls, voters are overwhelmingly on his and the ALP’s side, with the Liberals losing no matter on which side the demographic coin lands, be it middle-income progressives or  lower-income migrants.

Which is why Andrews can be as incompetent as he likes, as nothing the opposition says or does really matters all that much. A switch from current Liberal leader Michael O’Brien, a man almost completely unknown to the broader Victorian public, to, say, the far more aggressive and contentious Tim Smith will do little to change attitudes and voting habits of the bulk of voters in the increasingly important western half of the city: that is, a people which views the Liberal Party as a largely unwanted anachronism, and which votes accordingly. This realisation that has hopefully dawned upon the wiser heads at the Victorian Liberal HQ. A brief glance overseas at the broader movements and correlations between immigration, demographic change and left-of-centre political dominance should have made this long evident.

In fact, it is this explicit connection between immigration and a leftward shift in politics that was outlined by Helen Andrews in her excellent piece concerning the 20th century US experience. Or by fellow Americans Ann Coulter and Michael Anton, who, in his 2020 book ‘The Stakes, describes how his once Republican home state of California came to be coloured a deeply toned – and equally dysfunctional – Democratic blue.

Thus the Victorian Liberals are yet another right-of-centre party that is finally having to confront the largely predictable consequences of the gaping contradictions inherent in its own policies and ideology. Their decades-long reliance on immigration to stoke economic growth (see John Howard’s doubling of the immigration intake, for one) did achieve the narrow economic goal of a sufficiently buoyant economy (almost 30 years sans recession, pre-COVID). Yet their failure to contend with the deeper electoral changes that such a demographic shift has wrought leaves them a rather denuded and pathetic entity: their position is akin to that of the washed-up and and impotent ex-boxer ranting with frustration from ringside but entirely unable to exert any influence on the contest.

The right thus finds itself at an impasse. Howard’s dream of the Liberals as a ‘broad church’ able to unite ‘both economic liberalism and social conservatism’ was always a fantasy. As the state of the State of Victoria has shown, a ‘double-dose’ of social and economic liberalism that emaciates social capital, erodes the birth-rate, and is reliant on immigration for economic growth destroys the possibility of any type of a healthy and socially conservative society. 

This is a truth occasionally acknowledged by the federal Liberal Party as it confronts this dissonance by making cosmetic changes to the social fabric (such as Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent change to the National Anthem) whilst continuing full-steam ahead with the demographic and economic changes that have made themselves and their party electorally vulnerable and increasingly irrelevant.

Indeed, the larger effects brought about by these demographic changes may now be so deeply baked into the electoral cake that right-of-centre parties — particularly socially-conservative one (rather than economically laissez-faire) — are consigned to eternal political oblivion.

Yet, given the right’s role in bringing about its own demise by prioritising the short-term and short-sighted economic impetus of mass-immigration over any broader, longer-term notions of the national good, it’s hard to feel much sympathy even while dreading the consequences. As Victoria’s latest hotel quarantine debacle has shown, the right are now merely spectators: watching with grim bemusement and flashes of public anger as debacle becomes disaster and a state lurches from one crisis to the inevitable next.

8 thoughts on “As Went Victoria, So Goes the Nation

  • whitelaughter says:

    David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democrats suggested simply selling the right to come to OZ, with the money raised going towards paying off the national debt.

    Not a bad idea, but only solves half the problem.
    To prevent Islamofascists, Marxists, NeoNazis, pacifists and latte sipping yuppies from migrating to OZ, simply let them come here if they pay for some military equipment to be bought from *Israel*. Our troops would finally get some equipment that worked, as Israel is constantly under attack, and so gets to test and refine their stuff. The exclusion of all antiSemitic groups has the pleasing side effect of avoiding nearly ever other form of obnoxiousness.

  • Michael says:

    And yet, many migrants are skilled, family-oriented people, often quite religious, and can also be entrepreneurial and business oriented. The Liberal Party could be doing a much better job than it appears to be in appealing to these kinds of migrants and recruiting them.

  • Harry Lee says:

    whitelaughter, you make excellent points and suggestions.
    I’d add that any incomers must be prohibited from sending money that has been generated within Australia back to their anti-Westernist homelands.
    Among the many negatives of our immigration/refugee intake, and the anti-Western purposes of multiculturalism, is that such export of funds -funds that could only be created here under our Western model- are not re-invested here.
    They are sent to buy real estate and businesses in foreign anti-Westernist precincts and to support anti-Westernist activities that then cost us massively.
    The Dummy Country, that’s what Australia has come to.

  • Harry Lee says:

    Michael, a couple of Lib ministers cannot control who comes in as an immigrant or refugee. Not in detail, not where it matters. Who comes in, and the qualification process, is controlled by public servants, a considerable number of whom are naive idealists and/or anti-Westernist and who bring whom they like according to their own personal naive and/or anti-Westernist standards.

  • Harry Lee says:

    Victoria’s ALP-union government? Sure it’s rotten.
    Now watch WA.
    The new WA ALP government will be under enormous pressure from the anti-Westernist, anti-heterosexualist, anti-White, anti-factual/anti-logic Left to go full-bore in extreme anti-civilisational directions.
    The WA Premier, the WA cabinet, the senior WA public servants -watch how they use the conditions of extreme power to look after their own interests in the coming years.
    Meanwhile, let us hear from persons who understand the powers of WA upper house, and likely developments -if the WA Upper House also goes strongly ALP, or if it retains some powers that would favour upholding some elements of Western Civ.

  • paul.nicholls41 says:

    One matter that this article overlooks is that the Liberals in Victoria are absolutely hopeless when it comes to political intelligence, intellectual rigour, the espousing of liberal and conservative principles and the displaying, when appropriate, of the qualities of old-fashioned courage.
    (1) Their action in signing the contracts for the East-West freeway just before the state election which put them out of office (2014) was unbelievably stupid: it took from off the table the one issue that would have been, for them, an election winner: before the poll many swinging voters almost certainly would have believed that, because the contract had been signed, any government after the election would be compelled to build the freeway.
    (2) Also, at the 2014 election, Labor was able to get away with a promise (subsequently unfulfilled, but what does that matter in The People’s Republic of Victoria?) to rebuild technical schools despite the fact that it was a Labor Government that had abolished technical schools in 1983. Of course, it didn’t occur to the Liberals to point this out until the last week of the 2014 election campaign.
    (3) Labor’s dishonesty in helping itself to thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money in order to finance its ‘red shirts’ campaign went unremarked by the Liberals at the next state election: when I mentioned this to the Party’s campaign director in an electorate just beyond the suburban fringe, he tried to excuse this omission by telling me that surveys had shown that ‘young people’ were not fussed by this issue. First, what surveys? Conducted by the Age or the ABC, perchance? And even if this were true—that ‘young people’ didn’t give a hoot if a political party helps itself to public money to finance its operations—what does it say about the Liberals’ intelligence, resourcefulness and general competence that they didn’t feel able to mount a campaign to convince this portion of the electorate that Labor should not be permitted to get away with such corrupt behaviour?

    Finally there is the “Get Pell’ stitch-up. When Pell was in gaol Tony Abbott visited him. Premier Andrews commented that Abbott, in visiting Pell, was causing anguish to victims of sexual molestation. When the High Court, subsequently, in a unanimous judgement, found that Pell had been wrongly convicted, there was no apology from Andrews to Abbott. But it gets worse. I’m not aware of any Liberal, federal or state, criticising the Premier for his disgusting criticism of the former Liberal Prime Minister’s gaol visit. How does one explain the Liberals’ deafening silence, other than by attributing it to the Party’s cowardice in failing to stand up against the hysteria of the insensate lynch mob?
    The fact that some years ago the Liberal Party employed as its director a man who embezzled millions from the Party’s coffers serves as a bizarre symbol of its hopeless incompetence. If the Party is destined to stay permanently in Opposition, no wonder.

  • Harry Lee says:

    The Left, in all its manifestations, in all of our institutions are enemies of Western Civ.
    So are the people who vote ALP or Green, if they know it or not.
    And so are many people who vote Lib or Nat, if they it or not.
    And the people who control the education systems and the ABC and SBS and 90% of the commercial news/opinion media act to ensure that few people know anything that might save our once quite good form of Western Civ-
    -f they know it or not.

  • tomgrothe says:

    We seem to have completely given up on Western Civilization and are letting the principles that have been so successful wherever they’ve been tried and let inferior thinking and feeling take its place. This has been going on for a long time. After the Soviet Union fell over 30 years ago, a couple historians from, I think, Yale, went to Russia and read many of the documents that had never been read by westerners. They wrote the Venona Papers and one of the many interesting items they reported on was that Soviets thought communism would spread like wildfire all over the world in the early 1920s. The Soviets realized they’d have a difficult time getting a foothold in the United States because so many people liked their freedom. The Soviets then made a long range plan to accomplish their goals of world domination. They said they’d need to use their influence in three areas to change the culture. The areas were entertainment, education/universities and unions. It’s no accident that there have been nearly no anticommunist movies ever made and many people that make movies have supported communist causes all over the world. The universities have been flooded with professors who are ashamed of what Western Civilization has done to improve the lives of people in many countries and after many decades of moving ever further to the left we now have a woke culture that dominates our culture and thus our politics. We used to think that university graduates would drop the anti-western ideas they dabbled with in university when they started working, paying taxes, buying homes and having families. That was the case for a long time but now those graduates are now running some of our biggest corporations. The Soviets had a hard time with private sector labor unions but have thrived by taking control of the government worker unions.

    Liberals need to meet with all new immigrants and teach them the benefits of Western Civilization and free markets.

    It would also be helpful if Liberals believing in free markets would study the great economic thinkers such as Adam Smith, Hayek, von Miles, Milton Friedman, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell. There need to be people giving speeches, writing books, essays, articles and debating the hard Left with what they’ve learned and promoting, not apologizing for, the power of free markets. The time is long past to stop ceding ground the the Left at every step. Conservatives need to develop some backbone and push back against the postmodernists.

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