Where Have All the Labor Voters Gone?


There are certain traditions, in the absence of ritualised faith, which our family observes, and has observed, ever since we moved into this area when the kids were still toddlers. One of them was to go to the Easter Sale at our local Community Hall. The other was to go to the Baptist Parish Fete, at about this time every year.

We always made our best efforts to be first in line too! So we could race to get to the best of the bargains. Or so we deluded ourselves as we dashed in and headed somewhere, anywhere, hoping that, when we got there the holy grail was waiting there for us for the grand sum of $1!

Sometimes the thrill of the chase is half the fun though, isn’t it? To the point that, when you get the stuff home you get this sinking feeling that goes along with the realisation that you now have to find a space for it all in your finite space at home, or else chuck something else to the wayside, which may no longer hold the place in your affections it once did, when it was your latest sparkly new bauble filled with potential to bring you joy. Still, where there’s a will, there’s a way to make it work. Space is found.

And then you start the process all over again, building up your expectations about what gems you might find next year. Or, at least I do.

So much so that it has become one of those family rituals, as I said, and we would feel the loss for missing out on doing it.

Though it wasn’t a ritual born of a need for an entertaining diversion. It was instead, initially, born of necessity. As a young family, who had just lost our family home & business in ‘The Recession We Had To Have’, conjoined with, ‘The Business Sharks Who Preyed On the Naive and Gullible That We Didn’t Need To Make the Acquaintance Of Really’, and so had given up on our dream of ‘Having It All’, then having a family, we came back to NSW from WA with nothing much more than the clothes on our backs. It being too expensive to bring back our worldly possessions with us. So we had a Monster Garage Sale in WA & used the proceeds, after we flew back, to buy a car and set up in rented accommodation in NSW. Back to square 1 we went. Still it could have been worse.

Well, it sort of was, as neither I, nor my husband were able to work. He because he had broken his back in a car accident with a drunk driver, and me, because I was looking after him and two young children, one of whom was in and out of hospital 18 times in his first 24 months. So, goodbye Pharmacy. I was not able to reliably commit to it.

However, we still had our smarts and we could smell at that time, about 1996, how big the computer phenomenon was going to be & knew how important it would be for our children to be a part of the digital future. Hence our identification of the fetes, Easter Sales & garage sales, as a way of picking our way into that future via the cheapest means possible. Luckily we live in an affluent area where people update their tech regularly, so we could afford to be just a step or two behind the pace. Which was enough when we combined that with judicious purchases of new components and a do-it-yourself attitude.

Now, by this time, I bet you’re wondering what all that has to do with the subject of the post?

Well, it’s all because of that word, ‘Context’. Bear with me.

You see, it’s my eldest son’s birthday in a couple of weeks, and without enough money to buy him something magnificent, I always try and find him something the equivalent thereof at the Baptist fete, and it never fails to deliver! So it turned out again this year when, in the headlong rush when the doors opened I ran madly into the hall and came face to face with an as-new telescope, which would normally have cost a few hundred dollars. I looked at the price and it was hard to read but I believe it said $60. I knew I couldn’t afford this so I tried my standard trick & asked one of the Baptists who were manning the tables & taking the $, could they please tell me how much it was? And this was where the term ‘Christian Charity’ came into it’s own, not the faux sort that ‘Believers’ like the Prosperity Gospel Greed Is Good’ Evangelicals like Scott Morrison practice, but the genuine kind, came into play as the man whom I asked took one look at me and knew somehow, in an instant, that I was asking because I hoped he would say a price I could afford. Which he did. He said $15, and so it was that I came away with a very special present for my son.

However, what this random act of kindness did, was get me to thinking about that community of people, with their unostentatious faith, whom I had been observing since early morning happily setting up their fete for the local community. For the community. To enrich the community. Not to enrich themselves particularly, though, of course the money raised helps to sustain them and their congregation for another year.

Now, being political and not particularly religious, though a small ‘c’ Christian by deed and not overt Faith tied to one religion or another, I looked at these people and I thought to myself, “These people are the antithesis of Liberal Party values & the so-called ‘Christians’ who seem, increasingly, to be taking over that party. These people, setting up and running the fete, with their conspicuous happiness and generosity towards each other and to complete strangers like me, are exactly the sort of people Labor is trying to appeal to with it’s policies and by it’s actions. Actions similar, in a macro sense, to that microscopically small action that one person did for another today. To me. Plus, may I obviously add, actions very similar to those that Jesus himself would have done or approved of.

Yet I had to admit that these people were also very conservative, as devout practicing Christians tend to be. Nice and conservative. Happy in their community, but conservative. Therefore, more likely than not, to vote for a conservative party.

Even though they behave more like people with Labor values. Of care and concern for the least of us and a willingness to share what they have amongst everyone.

Now, as it appears that our society is seeing an upsurge in the growth of discrete communities, of Faith, like this one and others, as well as fracturing into sporting communities, or communities of interest based around hobbies, but not so much around politics as their religion (hence the decline in numbers of members of political parties), except as a community of interest in politics exists here on this blog, and in other forums online. I wondered, therefore, what the Labor Party could do to win these good people back to supporting a party with values very similar to their own essentially?

For as I see it roughly, the Conservative vote is made up of the philosophical ideologues of the Right, plus those good-hearted, but small ‘c’ conservative people who identify with conservative values generally, but not the extreme philosophies of the Reactionary Conservatives that we see writ large every day in our Conservative Party, going by the misnomer of the Liberal Party.

We know Labor is the home of the Progressive(and, dare I say it, the Pragmatic) Left, however, I contend that it also needs to become the home of the small ‘c’ conservative Left, like those I saw today. Not that they should be the focus of Labor’s attentions but that they should be accommodated in our tent.

I do think we have some of them, such as the Catholics unlike Tony Abbott, and the Uniting Church, plus the Anglican laity, not the hierarchy, to a large extent. Good people, who practice what is preached to them.

I’d just like these others, who still believe their home is in the Coalition, come election time and time to vote, to see that it isn’t really. Really, it’s with Labor.

Now, how to get them to see that?

1,783 thoughts on “Where Have All the Labor Voters Gone?

  1. I am back from helping out in a Federal Member’s office, doing some phone calls. I did not do much as I am learning. It is really easy though, I would recommend it to anyone with a bit of time, even once a week or fortnight.

    It is good to get into the battle.

  2. Good on you, CTar1.

    At every opportunity the PM and ministers should label Abbott gutless and state the reason why. It has to brought to a head because, as shown, the media won’t expose him.

    The gutless tag hits at his faux machismo, and he’s not the type to take it on the chin, more likely to come out swinging, and more likely to make a grave error of judgement.

    It’s a dirty job but someone’s gotta do it. And it’s the truth. Therein lies the rub.

  3. puffy the pm on q a

    the students are much better than the press
    why not sack the press

    the press do nothing worth while for this county

    they don’t care about the country or they would ask

    of abbott

    they only care about their selves

    in the end the karma will get them

  4. I am watching ABC 4 Corners about Surf Lifesaving and who pops up, near the end of the programme? Tony bloody Abbott videoed addressing a surf meet in memorial to a young SL’ver who dies in their competition. The excuse for using the footage? TA is the local MP.

    Never miss a trick, do their ABC!

  5. God, can I get a version of this QandA show without those waspish nasty tweets popping up?

    There was one from Senator Cash for crying out loud.

  6. I have been watching all tweets sent to QandA and have deduced that the selection of those shown is very biased.

  7. Kirsdarke,
    It’s obvious the Liberals are trying to take the shine off the appearance of the PM on Q&A.

    Totally ignoring the fact their own gutless leader won’t go on the show.

  8. Watching for 5 minutes, 2/3rds of the tweets are anti-Gillard.

    It’s kind of hard for the PM to pick up support from this with what amounts to running LNP commentary popping up at the bottom.

  9. Ah, they must have read my comments, the tweets are becoming less biased now and seem to be more relevant to the question.

  10. Too right, BK. Our old favourites, Candles and Michaela Cash got tweets. They were all Liberal talking points – more sense from the kids.

  11. These students are putting up some bloody good questions.
    Good slap-down for jones!

  12. I’m glad to see questions about foreign policy for once. A good debate about the middle east there.

  13. Jones back to his old habits of interrupting the PM. Let the dialogue with the kids continue.

  14. Next week on Qanda Clive Palmer, Katter, Tim Nichols (Can-Do’s Treasurer), Ged Kearny and a journo

  15. BK,

    { Next week on Qanda Clive Palmer, Katter, Tim Nichols (Can-Do’s Treasurer), Ged Kearny and a journo }

    It’ll probably seem a bit like herding cats for Jones, but I for one will probably find something better to do than watch it!

  16. I’m glad I watched that QandA, seeing the PM in that setting really grows my respect for her.

  17. One of the best Q and A editions ever. An intelligent audience and a PM prepared to answer them as honestly as she could.

    It ought to help in the PM regaining respect, which the very personal attacks from the Liberals, the OM and Ruddites have made hard.

  18. the shame less one was from greg hunt about the
    university cuts,, he made them sound what they are not

    but over all I thought the pm shone and so so knowledgeable

    I think most would be in ore of her, and the liberals
    tweets where\
    very childish

    and there where lots of genuine good tweets that
    over took anything they tweeted

    I thought it was very good and very positive
    some questions that where anti us

    where then answered back with an answer that gave the listener

    the aust. press should be ashamed of themselves

    these young people are more intelligent than any of them

  19. A PM who can hold a conversation for more than an hour with school kids as equals is a wonder to behold.

    They should have had Q&A without Jones.

  20. I understand why the libs on pb and the ruddites

    dislike her
    its because she is a cut above any thing they have.

    to offer.
    and wouldn’t you think a person who wants to be pm

    would make sure they followed up next week

    no we get clive instead

    he even out does abbott

  21. well we both discussed the nasty
    and thought it showed
    some people watching what liberals are like

    it s good to see how nasty they are
    makes people think

    it didn’t do any harm in fact it made the pm much above any of their
    smutty ways

  22. denese,
    Here’s my Tweet to Greg the Lying Hunt after that Tweet of his about the Uni Cuts 🙂

  23. BB

    Did you see the twitter comment on Q&A along the lines of “tony abbott says #Stop the Totes !!
    I think there’s an opportunity there for your exceptional photoshop talents. maybe Tones riding a mule facing backwards with the starting barriers in the background….

    The PM was awesome tonight, knowledgeable, genuine, warm, real – and she did that thing again of linking all the govt’s policies together with common goal/theme. Its obvious she enjoys engaging with young people. pity there’s no newspoll over the next 48 hours.

    The thought of Abbort trying to answer similar questions in a similar format is laughable, he can barely manage a short press conf without walking off.

  24. yes there was

    but don’t worry about it

    don’t look

    I accidently did
    was going over to leave a remark

    I don’t believe the polls I am with leone
    ]they will make them what they want

  25. After watching that performance, anyone saying that the PM. hasn’t the skill to get her message across is a bullshit artist or a member of the OM. ..but assuredly both!

  26. C@tmomma

    There is a Newspoll, hardly any change, just 1% from Labor to Liberal so it’s 56-44.

    After thinking about the earlier topic, I suppose it would be easy for the opposition to prance about on stunts while the government is tied up and busy with the budget and gain some of the vote, so obviously they’d get some free kicks in. I hope Labor takes action afterwards though.

  27. #N#Newspoll 2 Party Preferred: ALP 44 (-1) L/NP 56 (+1) #auspol
    #Newspoll Preferred PM: Gillard 37 (+2) Abbott 42 (+2) #auspol
    #Newspoll DisabilityCare: Support 78 Oppose 9 #auspol

    Night all

  28. C@tmomma

    yeah, after Tanya P and Peter G wiped the floor with Dutton and Prissy, maybe the other shadows are making sure their schedules are already full for the next 18 Monday’s!

    like this tweet also…
    Victoria Rollison ‏@Vic_Rollison 34m
    Not surprised so many of these kids are smarter than their parents. They’ve not been to Murdoch’s bullshit mountain

  29. Julia Gillard is always on top of every policy. Her performance tonight showed us just what a command she has of all the details. Imagine Abbott being asked questions like those we heard tonight. He wouldn’t have lasted five minutes.

    He won’t accept the long-standing invitation to appear on Q&A because his keepers know he’d make a complete fool of himself. Maybe when they get that earpiece techie stuff worked out……

  30. C@tmomma,

    It is apparent that the two years Eva Cox spent as a Liberal staffer coloured her feminist opinions.

    Her brief flirtation with the Communist Party was quickly forgotten apparently. Eva’s no socialist!

    { In 1981 and 1982 she was an adviser to the Federal Shadow Minister for Social Services, Senator Don Grimes. }


  31. Poills schmolls…. does anyone seriously think that Rupert is going to publish a poll that says his boy is losing support?

  32. these polls are rubbish they must be ask ing

    very strong liberals seats. we have had a wonder ful week
    with storng policies.

    its to make the sheep stay as sheep

    I always ask prof, bowe \

    it simple to me I would get on the phone and say
    exactly what electorates does your company poll in

    but the question is never ask

    vic,, it would be nice if this place was poll free

  33. Aha! THANK YOU, scorpio6to2! So she really is the ‘feminist’ lipstick on the Liberal pig? Yet, from listening to the journos speak about her, and from the number of times she has been on Q&A and spoken about as “Feminist Commentator”, as if that appellation was a ‘Lefty’ badge, you’d have been forgiven for thinking she and Julia used to burn their bras together!

  34. leone is spot on’

    what gets me people should be principaed enough
    to refuse to put them on

    their sites or don’t
    after watching sbs ]
    that’s it I know now how many lurkers we have”
    4000 that’s amamzing
    lets pb become a liberal site
    and keep away
    I hope bb agrees to do the same

    ;let it die
    with liberals


  35. BB – I understand your frustration. But for once can’t agree with you. Yes, I think we should fight back. But not on their terms and not with their weapons. They would love that.

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been unassailable because she stayed clean and clever. They haven’t been able to bring her down. Nor will they.

    More of us need to know how to fight as she does.

  36. morgan poll also out today… is a little better

    Finding No. 4892: L-NP 56% (down 2%) lead down over ALP 44% (up 2%) after Prime Minister Gillard announces National Disability Insurance Scheme

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