It is a popular belief that politicians can play with the truth quickly and easily. Like those who sell used cars, they manipulate dates and events to suit their short-term political advantage. Donald Trump elevated this to an art form, claiming that those who disagreed with him or questioned him on a subject spread what he called “fake news.” “Trump-lite” known. He has claimed for the past few days that he does not think he has ever knowingly lied in public life. This statement followed the internationally embarrassing accusation made by French President Emmanuel Macron at the recent G20 summit in Italy that Morrison lied to him about the status of the French treaty to build our next submarine fleet. Of course, Morrison denied this, but it was clear that when he got the opportunity to update Macron, he just hadn’t. I assume that this is a Pentecostal difference between sins of commission and sins of omission. Morrison then exacerbated the problem by abandoning accepted diplomatic protocol and having his office leaked an email exchange with Macron, presumably to create the illusion that Macron might have had some indication that the contract was not all right There seems to be little point in spending time defining a “lie” given the many thousands of columns that have been devoted to the subject in philosophy books and articles. I suggest that the average voter has a pretty sophisticated “bullshit monitor” and can tell when they have it. Nonetheless, both major parties are still relying on scare tactics, which still seem to have an effect. People know, for example, that the coalition isn’t going to dismantle Medicare, but it’s still a great scare. The claim that Labor will raise taxes is used in the same way.

In my own background, I recall a somewhat unusual recommended text in my first year of accounting at Sydney University, namely Bertrand Russell’s An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth. Others soon found Darrell Huff’s How to Lie with Statistics.

It’s not like Morrison telling a “whopper a day”. However, in order to be kind to him, he seems unable to help but twist and exaggerate his point of view, especially under the pressure of a press conference. He has also demonstrated a refined “double-speaking” ability. In order to dispute Morrison’s claim to honesty, several organizations are compiling lists of his most important lies and untruths in the run-up to the next federal election. This work on investigating the “Shire Liar” has found serious dissemination in the Twitter universe.

Morrison has also lost significant ground in terms of his polls. He’s seen a sharp drop in “trustworthiness” from 57 percent to 42 percent, lower than Albanese, who recorded 44 percent.

The main area in which Morrison shamelessly misused the truth was in billions of dollars in government revenues that he provided to hopefully buy electoral support. Morrison claims to have won a seat for it in the 2019 election. That is an absurd premise. I doubt that few more than those in the organizations that received the scholarships knew about the initiative, let alone voted for it. It was certainly not a nationally significant election issue. It is not that the government made this an explicit policy for which it requested specific national approval. The hard evidence of the government’s practice of searching the Treasury Department for perceived election wins – namely, a color-coded timetable for allocating key marginal seats – was irrefutable. as well as at the federal level to normalize the “pig barrels” as normal government and political business. Hearing this line from Simon Birmingham, the Treasury Secretary appointed to oversee and oversee all government spending and finances, was very worrying. Obviously he shouldn’t have this job as he obviously doesn’t understand or accept his responsibility. Equally worrying were comparable statements by then Prime Minister of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, who is ultimately being held accountable by the NSW Independent Commission against Corruption.

Morrison has it with the return of Parliament this week in relation to his Hawaii – Vacation while the bushfire tries to play semantics with the word “where”. He claims he told Albo “where” he was going, which he says “went on vacation with my family”; but he has not given him the location and in fact his office has denied that he is vacationing in Hawaii. In the words of George Costanza von Seinfeld, “It is not a lie if you believe it.”

This raises the very important question of accountability. Morrison defined himself and his leadership by evading responsibility and failing to recognize the need for transparency and accountability. This is most noticeable in the areas of public spending, quarantine, and care for the elderly. He has made a mockery of his previous electoral commitment to set up a national integrity and anti-corruption commission, with Christian Porter Table and Michaelia Cash taking responsibility for an utterly inadequate draft that pretty much serves as protection money for ministers and their staff and would not be any of the above get mentioned error. Morrison has also consistently refused to list the Integrity Commission bill proposed by the independent Helen Haines for debate.

I must admit that I have long been skeptical about the positive effects of pork barrels on elections. Unfortunately, it has become an acceptable base for lobbying and influencing, preventing our governments from always working to have our national or state interests as their priority. This encourages them to corrupt the processes of politics and government by governing for their friends and donors or selected interest groups. Campaign finance reform and lobbying must simply be a priority for the next government. Efforts should be made to ensure that major parties make appropriate commitments in the run-up to the next election.

Understanding Morrison means understanding his obsession with re-election. He’s from Richo School – whatever it takes. Each day he will say or do what he thinks necessary to facilitate his re-election. He sincerely believes that he was chosen by God to do so.

Remember how he has already adjusted his election strategy. At the beginning of last year he wanted to present his handling of the pandemic and the economic recovery process that led to the successful reopening of our economy. His initial exaggerated – if not entirely dishonest – claims were that we were global leaders in managing Covid-19 and economic recovery. When these allegations were challenged, he had to redefine that strategy and move on to a successful vaccine roll-out and the path to opening our international border and restoring personal freedoms after various lockdowns. His initial claims here were also soon open to challenge, as Morrison falsely boasted of having secured millions of doses of vaccine and ensured our domestic vaccine production.

When hubris was cut out of this and the rollout was viewed as crammed, he changed his Re-election strategy again. In an attempt to take advantage of the apparent frustration of many people seeking to regain their personal freedoms, he recently decided to draw a sharp contrast between the coalition and the ALP. He claims that only he can restore freedoms because the ALP wants to “control your life”. However, he has already gone too far beyond the claim itself by slightly encouraging the protesters who gathered in noose outside the Victoria Parliament Building and saying it was time to “take their lives back”.

Although Focusing on vaccination rates as a guide to opening up and restoring personal freedoms, he began to argue that the unvaccinated “should be able to have a cup of coffee” if they want one. He is apparently happy to abandon the purity of political position in an attempt to neutralize the influence of Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and to maintain his almost bitter confrontations with the Queensland and Victoria Prime Ministers. He has denied encouraging the protesters – sounding a bit like Trump denied promoting the storming of the Capitol. Morrison is playing a very dangerous game here.

The choice will be an important test of Morrison’s unprincipled, marketing-driven approach. Can he convince his now not so quiet Australians enough that he deserves another term in office? He is particularly exposed in constituencies where significant independents can steal once-safe coalition seats when it comes to the necessary political responses.

My biggest, longer-term structural concern is that Morrison and his administration have seriously undermined our democracy, by focusing almost entirely on winning elections rather than facing the many very serious and pressing political challenges that lie before us as a nation now and in the future.

Politics should be a contest of ideas, alternative Be visions of the future based on evidence rather than exaggeration, lies, fear and clever slogans. It is anything but under Morrison.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on. released
11/27/2021 as “Captain Trump-lite or Gentleman of the Sting”.

A free press is one that you pay for. In the short term, the economic consequences of the coronavirus took up around a third of our sales. We will get through this crisis, but we need the support of the readers. Now is the time to subscribe.

John Hewson

is a professor at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and a former Liberal opposition leader.