Steven Miles will be a two term opposition leader.
The stage is set for Miles to be unopposed and unanimously supported in the leadership ballot after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tenders her resignation to the Governor on Friday, and the unionists’ golden boy will lead Queensland Labor to a probable defeat in October.
Annastacia Palaszczuk accidentally found herself in the Tarago driver’s seat after she was one of only eight Labor MPs to survive the Newman-led LNP electoral landslide in 2012. With only seven, less talented or likeable alternatives to front the “opposition”, she found herself pushed forward to “lead” a theoretically very difficult journey back.
But due to the natural return of very safe Labor seats to Labor, and an LNP team which squandered its mandate by covering their own arses while leaving their leader charging ahead without any cover, the next election saw Palaszczuk pull a Bradbury: “winning” government by the slimmest of margins possible when the competition simply stacked it.
I remember her first campaign as leader in 2015 well.
There were no policies. There was no vision. There were no promises other than one, repeated endlessly like a scratched record: “We’ll form a committee to investigate and make recommendations.”
If there was any credit, any talent, any benefit of the doubt to be given her for strategy (as if Bradbury’s race plan went just how he expected), it was that she somehow stumbled upon contrast: being the exact opposite of Campbell Newman.
Palaszczuk was indecisive, non-committal, vague and clueless. In a state which had heard endlessly from the Lying Harlot Media, unionists and eight professional whingers for three years how Newman – decisive, unapologetic, clear and confident – was the font of all woes, she was only “not Newman”.
It has been the subsequent LNP leaders and apparatchiks which have missed the moral of the story and tried to mimic Labor values, instead fearing bold contrasts.
Labor’s election campaigns in 2017 and 2020 were more of the same visionless, beige rhetoric railing against Campbell Newman, even though he had long left politics. Again, the LNP could’ve given the electorate something bold and positive, but they instead resorted to saying “I’m not Campbell” and the same loser strategies which had cost them every election but two since 1989.
In the 1995 election, Labor initially held on with a single seat majority, which was lost in a by-election after the result was overturned in one electorate with a slim margin. The new winning MP was independant and supported the milksop National-Liberal coalition, giving them a “Bradbury” win.
Pauline Hanson, another strong character conservative, burst onto the scene in the 1998 state election and outpolled both the Liberal and National parties winning eleven seats. But Labor’s Peter Beattie pulled “a Bradbury” and formed government with the support of an independent, only later gaining a majority after another by-election in a seat Labor had lost to One Nation.
Only Campbell Newman has won government since Joe Bjelke-Petersen (another strongly contrasted conservative) perfected politics and won every election from 1969 to 1986, governing for over 19 years.
In my opinion, Newman (narrowly) lost government because there simply weren’t enough strong conservatives willing to support his entirely appropriate conservative style, and it was the Lying Harlot Media who won the 2015 election.
Who knows, but Queensland might still have a Newman government if only the men controlling the party had sufficient spine to be strikingly different to Labor, instead of chasing the alleged “centre” and media approval.
In the last 50 years, only extraordinarily strong conservative leaders have actually defeated Labor in Queensland, and then trounced them convincingly. Federally, Queensland is very conservative. This supports the theory that Queenslanders are not spooked by strong conservatives, and even incline toward them – if they can be found.
Retiring at the October election, Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson is a strong conservative, fiercly yet sensibly prolife, and this has cruelled his prospects for promotion within the party – irrationally. It’s irrational because radical leftists like GetUp have thrown everything including the kitchen sink at him – but it doesn’t help them.
Robinson turned the 17 year old Labor seat of Redlands blue with 46% of the primary vote in his first election in 2009, 61.89% in 2012, and still won outright with 52.14% in the huge anti-LNP swing election of 2015. After electorate boundaries were redrawn, he won with 52.4% in 2018 in the brand new seat of Oodgeroo, and at the last election in 2020 he had a 2PP result of 54.48%.
Being authentically conservative & Christian isn’t the liability Liberal “moderates” vainly imagine it to be (at least, not outside the party).
Annastacia Palaszczuk’s popularity has this year plummeted to 39% support. It’s doubtful she would’ve won the 2020 election but for the faux emergency where a nasty respiratory virus helped nearly every encumbent the world over keep their power for just one more term.
But snarky Steven Miles, a very well known quantity in voters’ minds, enjoys nothing more than 15% support to lead Labor to the next election. Labor has lost its puff, and is poised to lose government, affording the LNP the chance to win by merely giving Miles enough rope.
LNP leader David Crisafulli is campaigning like the 2015 Palaszczuk “grey man”, never black or white on anything but how terrible the Premier is, whoever that is. He’s strong enough to assert his team won’t be strong on conservative values (like not killing late term or female babies (a very popular policy)), but just following the media-determined agenda.
He was just going along with the flow when he offered Palaszczuk no resistance on a Queensland treaty, and he was a beat late to pull his support when 70% of Queenslanders voted “NO” in the federal referendum on an indigenous “voice” to Parliament.
It’s an old adage that government isn’t won, it’s lost.
Through nothing more than the sheer dumb luck of all the competitors falling over, David Crisafulli should win in October – unless he too stacks it. With no Upper House here, that’d probably be the best result – a hung parliament, and balance of power to Katter Party or One Nation: actually strong conservatives.
Anything can happen in Queensland politics – and probably will – though it is very likely that Steven Miles will have the eighth shortest term as Queensland Premier.
Dave Pellowe is a Christian writer & commentator, founder of The Good Sauce, convener of the annual Australian Church And State Summit and host of Good Sauce's weekly The Church And State Show, also syndicated on ADH TV. Since 2016 Dave has undertaken the mission of arming Christians to influence culture through events from Perth to Auckland, videos, podcasts and articles published in multiple journals across Australia and New Zealand. [more]
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