6
Oct
2018

Morrison Becoming a Hasty Decision-Maker

Polling Under Morrison Still Needs Big Improvement

Yesterday’s Commentary referred to a number of policy decisions and comments on policy positions made by PM Morrison which raised concern about the directions being taken by him and, in particular, whether his government is differentiating itself from the leftish Turnbull government to a substantive degree.  The publication of an article in Spectator of 6 October by John Stone (see Stone on Morrison), and other developments, suggest the Morrison government does not seem at present to have the capacity to handle issues in a way conducive to attracting the electorate to the Coalition.

This concern has increased with the latest quarterly Fairfax poll published yesterday showing the Coalition still well behind on a TPP of 47/53 per cent. While this covers part of the period Turnbull was in power, and it is an improvement since the previous poll of 45/55, the headline to the accompanying SMH article – “huge road ahead of Scott Morrison and the Coalition” – is correct (see Fairfax Poll Shows Coalition 47/53). It seems likely that Monday’s Newspoll  will also only  show a  similar improvement since its previous poll of 46/54 published on 24 September.

Stone’s DIS-CON NOTES

While acknowledging that “Morrison deserves some time to ‘prove’ himself”, Stone is critical of a range of decisions to date. These include the dumping of the decisions to raise to 70 the age at which the pension becomes available, the floating of a possibility of having an Aboriginal equivalent to Australia Day, and the acceptance of argument that adherence to the Paris climate accord be retained simply because it would otherwise offend Pacific Island governments. His DIS-CON NOTES also draw attention to the need to frame policies to handle forthcoming UN meetings which seek global control on immigration policy and the establishment of a legally binding treaty on reducing emissions and providing aid to developing countries of $US100 bn per annum to help with the alleged global warming threat.

Stone argues that the right decisions on these issues “will reassure all those Dis-Cons without whose votes he cannot win the next election” and he suggests other decisions which would help too:

Cut immigration by (say) 80,000 per annum, spread over the next two years; reject the Aboriginal industry’s presumptuous demand for a constitutionally imbedded ‘voice’ in the parliament; seek out a top quality businessman, with real media experience and a clear understanding of the ABC’s political bias, to appoint as its chairman; announce that the government will, if re-elected, move to abolish the Human Rights Commission.

Other Developments Which Need Urgent Attention

These include

  • A response to polling showing the once-safe seat of Wentworth is “on a knife-edge ahead of the October 20 poll” (see Wentworth Outlook) .
  • Ensuring that urgent attention is given by the Special Minister of State appointed by Morrison to examine the apparent over-spending on communications by minister Stuart Robert who Morrison re-appointed as a minister and is reported as being Morrison’s numbers man (see Stuart Robert).
  • An explanation by Morrison himself of whether the Australian Power Project CEO is correct in predicting a significant rise in gas/electricity prices in this summer and, if so, what he intends to do about it (see Power Prices Predicted to Rise).
  • Why Morrison has so brusquely rejected the offer by Shorten to discuss immigration policy (this is on Immigration Policybut Morrison has since rejected the offer in a “not worth considering” manner).
  • Whether Social Services minister Fletcher has responded correctly on the possible addition to budget spending under the NDIS scheme (see NDIS Threat to Budget)

The Process of Decision Making

This article by The Australian’s political editor, Dennis Shanahan, draws attention to the failures occurring in the political decision-making process and he quotes from a report by the IPA. The IPA finds there is “pressure for senior politicians in governments and oppositions to make decisions quickly and confidently to appear decisive, pander to populist ideas to appear responsive, manufacture wedge issues to distinguish themselves from their opponents, and to put a spin on everything to exaggerate its significance”.

Unfortunately, Morrison seems increasingly to be in the hasty-decision making category.

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