July 10, 2016
Much of the content of this populism is, simply, nothing other than what an ordinary member of the ALP or Liberal Party believed a half-century ago. The political–media caste imagines that social-historical time flows the same everywhere. It doesn’t. The revival of Pauline Hanson’s fortunes is not a sign that the new senate system is “a disaster” or that “the genie is out of the bottle”. That’s nasty, elitist stuff. What it means is that people knew who they were voting for, and got them, rather than whichever carousel creation of insiders the ticket-voting system dished up. Hanson’s vote – about 8 per cent – is not an unusual showing for a nativist party, with the usual obsessions, in a Western society. The new system didn’t conjure her supporters into being. They were always there. Now their reasonable arguments can be debated, and their more noxious and wacky ones vociferously challenged. Finally, the 2016 election got exciting. It just happened after the voting stopped.- Guy Rundle in The Saturday Paper
At this stage the only thing that seems clear is that Malcolm Turnbull’s days as prime minister are numbered. The Coalition may be returned in its own right, or Turnbull may be able to form a minority government. But his ability to placate the rabid right wing of his party depends on him delivering clear electoral victories. He has failed his first test. He is unlikely to get another chance. How did it come to this?- Russell Marks in The Monthly
The better question is: why did Turnbull get even this close? On its record, the Turnbull-led Coalition should have lost in a landslide. But we live in a mediated age ... [and] during the 2016 election campaign, mainstream content was virtually silent on the government’s record over the past three years. Even the most trusted of outlets, the ABC, was little more than a conduit for the parties’ narratives.
There’s a lesson for Australian media here. Journalists need to stop seeing themselves as players. Their job is to represent the public to decision-makers, not the other way around. We don’t want them to make forecasts; we want to them to demand answers to simple questions. We want them, beyond rare exceptions, to stop reporting self-serving anonymous scuttlebutt and to insist that people go on the record.- Mr Denmore.
Mr Marks' and Mr Denmore's complaints about the news media are sufficiently valid that I will forgive their usual error of imagining the function of journalists (at least those who work for the commercial side of the legacy media) as genuinely something other than to provide content for an advertising platform.