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Megalogenis proclaims election “strangest ever”

George Megalogenis (photo), senior columnist at The Australian, has described the recent Federal Election as “possibly the strangest election result you’ll ever get in Australia, but possibly one we’ll see more and more.”
The prominent Greek Australian political commentator told around 150 people at The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne on Thursday the two major parties did not try to engage with migrant voters.
“I wouldn’t have thought this was a great campaign for the 51% of Australians who were born overseas or who have parents who were,” he said.
The author of Faultlines and The Longest Decade described Julia Gillard as the first Prime Minister to campaign on a “Small Australia” platform, and pointed to Tony Abbott’s mission to “stop the boats.”
He said these platforms were designed to speak to voters in Queensland, which is “whiter than the national average.’
But he said the anti-immigration policies wouldn’t have worked in the bush.
“In the bush people want people,” he said.
“They don’t care who comes and they’re not afraid of refugees.”
He said the weekend’s result was a win for neither major party.
“I love the fact this result is undecided, it sends a shiver up the spine of the major parties,” he said.
“I love that a leader and an opposition leader, who have been so afraid of their own shadows have been given a ‘none of the above’ judgement.”
He said the Coalition’s costing had been “the shonkiest thing I’ve seen in 20-odd years,” and decried the “short-termism” from both the Labor and Liberal parties.
“We may well need a one-term government from each side to completely smash the idea that this is what’s required,” he said.
He slammed both parties for their “relentless obsession with polling.”
“It’s the thing that matters least when you get into power,” he said.
He said the election was decided in “the mining states” – Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
“They’re grumpy as all get-up in Queensland and WA,” he said.
He said this was largely due to the global financial crisis in 2008/9, when the mining states were hit by housing shortages and an unemployment rise.
But he said things were quite different in the southern states of Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, where voters mainly wanted to be inspired by their leaders.
“We don’t have the mood swings a mining economy will have,” he said.
In the southern states he said the seats that swung away from the ALP – Melbourne in Victoria and Denison in Tasmania – are home to Australia’s highest population of working women.
“So whatever Gillard had for working women in those regions, she turned them away.”
In NSW, the ALP lost several seats, but Megalogenis said these were all nominal Liberal seats anyway.
“Nothing happened in NSW that would affect the election result,” he said.
(source: neos kosmos)

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