Australians trust in political leaders continues to fall

Image by Alex Ellinghausen/SMH). Anthony Albanese and Peter Dutton

Contributed by Joe Montero

A survey by the RedBridge research organisation shows that neither Labor or the Coalition are particularly popular, and that this also means their leaders Anthong Albanese and Peter Dutton. RedBridge is a public relations company with substantial connection to Labor and the John Curtin research centre over its 25 years of existence. This means its not exactly objective. Nevertheless, the fact that it sounds the alarm for Labor as well, is worth noting for this reason alone. The other reason is that it is in line with what we know from many other sources.

Company director Tony Barry recently said the following to the ABC.

 “In our research, voters don’t recognise these attributes in either major party candidate and instead what we are seeing is the emergence and rise of the ‘double haters’ across the Australian political landscape.”

He followed up with the following,

“Like their American counterparts, this Australian cohort feel alienated and dissatisfied with both Labor and the Coalition and typically have no brand loyalty to either major party.

Despite the obvious differences, there is some similarity between the looming election campaign in the United States and where Australia is heading towards next year. Even more telling is that these similarities are spread across most of the western world. Take the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy for example.

There is an obvious loss of faith in the traditional political parties, accompanied by the beginnings of a loss of faith in the political system. This is giving rise to the emergence of third forces and polarisation to the right and left.

The main common thread is a perception of betrayal from political leaders turning against the interests of the majority facing a cost-of-living crisis, the loss of jobs, cuts to services, disquiet about a future that looks increasingly bleak. Specific concerns identified include housing, media, health services, and immigration.

Don’t discount the impact that an epic failure on the threat of climate change, especially among younger citizens, but not limited to them. Now what looks like hypocrisy of leaders effectively backing the genocide unfolding in Gaza and starting in other Palestinian territories, and their push to towards war is taking its toll.

There is a growing gap between what is seen as a political elite operating in its own bubble, far removed from the majority of the population, and primarily operating for the enrichment of the corporate world and the two percent at the head of it. Concern concentrates which is the worst of the two alternatives on offer. This will be the main issue at the next election in each case.

Australia shares all of this. The Albanese camp goes around claiming to champion the working man and woman. No one really believes it. The Dutton camp busies itself with reinventing its turf, with a tilt to the political right. Few see sincerity in the Dutton pitch. Being the incumbent government, Labor has a further problem. This is to wear a greater proportion of the blame for whatever goes wrong.

An opening for the Greens., other parties and independents emerged at the last federal election and subsequent state election. They were taken advantage of. The next election will likely see these forces advance further.

Again, the parallels with most of the rest of the western world. Through Europe and the United States, politically far right movements are rising to a level not seen since before World War Two. Cashed up from the corporate world that used to put its all its eggs of the traditional two-party system. Enjoying the patronage much of the big media, these movements present themselves as the alternative to political corruption and the answer to the betrayals. We see the rise of MAGA in the United States, Reform in Great, Britain, National Rally in France, and Brothers of Italy om Italy, to name a few.

The pollical left lags for now, because it lacks the financial and media backing of the far right. It also suffers from lack of direction, division, and looks like the new conservatism, championing the way things are disdaining change. It does not bode well when almost everyone else wants change.

Polarisation is not as marked in Australia. There is no centre of gravity pulling the far right together yet. Pauline Hanson and het One Nation tried to fill this gap a few years ago. It failed and left that part of the political landscape damaged. The Coalition seems to be heading to filling this gap.

The political left is divided, lost, and so far, irrelevant to the changing political landscape. Until it comes together and discovers a direction it will remain on the sidelines. Despite its present weakness, it does have the capacity to offer an alternative to the status quo that is vastly different to that offeree by the far right.

This is solid and achievable answers to the pressing problems of the day, the cost of living crisis, the creation of real jobs, government in service of the people and not in service of just the few, leadership in the pursuit of global justice and the pursuit of peace instead of war, and of course, leadership in seriously taking on the threat of climate change.

1 Comment on "Australians trust in political leaders continues to fall"

  1. Another part of this story is that many people have no interest in politics and have no connection with the MSM. Their media is mostly streaming services – their reading is social media, their watching is movies and streaming TV, and their listening is mostly streaming and podcasts. Many don’t even use such social media as Facebook. They are by choice out of the loop. And it is not just the young. This applies to all age groups including the so-called ‘baby boomers’.

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