Pray for Australia’s Federal Elections 2019

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Join us to pray and vote for a righteous and just Australian government at our Federal Elections 18 May 2019.

  1. Combined Church Prayer for Federal Elections 2019
  2. Guides to Voting
  3. Prayer Points for the Federal Election 2019
  4. Call by Margaret Court to Pray for 21 Days up to the Federal Election.
  5. Prophetic Warning to the Australia Church concerning Scott Morrison by Adam F Thompson & Adrian Beale. (Online Video & Article From The Guardian.)
  6.  Australian Prayer Network Call to 30 Days of Prayer
  7. Three Game Changing Insights Given to Karen Wilson
  8. The Church has a Prophetic Voice to Society
  9. Understanding the Shift in our Culture and its Implications for our Future, by Paul Kelly. (Editor at large The Australian)

1. Combined Church Prayer for Federal Elections

Let us engage in extravagant worship before the election – and forever! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6BRS2WlhoY

Worship Declaration for Australia’s Election: https://www.facebook.com/jubileechurchsydney/videos/682191012220429/

Register your prayer gatherings:

  • 28 April-18 May  Online prayer  nightly via Zoom
    8pm (AEST). Follow this link (The Zoom meeting ID number is 776881184)
  • Fri 10 April – Tues 14 May Canberra House of Prayer
    Breakthrough B4 Election Gathering. Book in on our usual C-HOP email of : prayerworx@internode.on.net Day Rego cost is $25/ person / day – includes some meals. Details
  • Fri 17 May: A Night of Combined Church Prayer & Worship
    Pastor Margaret Court and many of our nation’s prophets are calling Australians to gather in praise and worship on the evening of Friday 17 May, on the eve of our election day. Encourage the people in your networks to get together and hold a combined church praise and worship night to declare that God is on the throne in our nation. “Your Kingdom Come! Your will be done by us in Australia, as in heaven!” Register your prayer & worship meetings.

7.30-9.30pm Fri 17 May: Melbourne Night of Combined Church Prayer & Worship Host: Stairway Church Whitehorse, 177 Rooks Rd, Vermont. With Karen Wilson & soaking worship led by Renee Rutherford. Info: karen.wilson@stairway.org.au

  • Overnight Prayer National Vigil Online: Eve of Election
    8pm Friday 17 May – 8am Saturday 18 May. Follow this link (The Zoom meeting ID number is 776881184)

2. Guides for Voting:

Australia’s Voting System Explained

Christian Values
When we do what Jesus wants it is always for the common good of all. We believe that the teachings of Jesus Christ can help both the individual and families, as well as media, arts, justice, business, labour relations, church and government.

The teachings of Jesus Christ and the rest of the Scriptures provide the foundation for what is commonly called the Judeo-Christian Ethic. The Judeo-Christian framework is the basis for all Australian laws and our democratic form of government.

Vote Wisely: Guide for each State & Territory

Australian Christian Values Institute: Australian Christian Values Checklist
See this on Video

Family Voice: Know the Key Issues 

Australian Christian Lobby: Federal Election Policy Analysis

A Letter to the Church: How Do I Vote God’s Way?

Senate Voting Card Creator: 2019 Federal Election

 

 

3. Prayer Points for the Federal Election 2019

I was asked by God to be in Canberra on 1 March 2019 to release governmental anointing on young leaders and to discern God’s strategy for the 2019 Federal Elections. As I sat in the Senate with these young leaders I discerned three prayer points:

  1. Let’s repent of all our laws that are not aligned with God’s laws.
    John 3:3-4 AMP “Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness [ignoring God’s law by action or neglect or by tolerating wrongdoing—being unrestrained by His commands and His will]. Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness [ignoring God’s law by action or neglect or by tolerating wrongdoing—being unrestrained by His commands and His will].”
  2. Pray that the people’s eyes are opened to God’s perspective so our voted will, which determines government in our democracy, is aligned with the will of God. Pray the truth prevails over lies – that politicians, the church, young ones, all people have encounters, dreams and visions that reveal God’s truth to them. You may like to release God’s truth over our politicians by name: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candidates_of_the_2019_Australian_federal_election#Australian_Capital_Territory
    Pray that the people exercise the privilege they have to release what is true, good & right & fair & kind for our families, neighbours and the children who will inherit what we pass on. Deuteronomy 30:9 Choose life.
    Proverbs 16:9 AMP “A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life], But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.”
  3. Pray that we, the church, do not pray or speak or act in bitterness or from condemnatory judgements against each other or others – including our governmental leaders. These  judgements cut off relationships and redemptive options. Christians often write letters that criticise leaders. We will build relationship if we  thank our leaders, clearly describe the life giving initiatives that we would love to support and acknowledge what they are doing well. Practise blessing your ‘enemies’ (those you do not agree with) – blessing them to know how much they mean to God and to us. Bless them to know the glory of God, His goodness, kindness and justice. Pray that the bitterness of adversarial attitudes and behaviour in Parliament and in the media are dissolved. Then we can be one with God and each other for the well being of our nation.
    Matthew 7:1 AMPDo not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly].”
    1 Peter 2:17-19 AMP “Show respect for all people [treat them honorably], love the brotherhood [of believers], fear God, honor the king.  Servants, be submissive to your masters with all [proper] respect, not only to those who are good and kind, but also to those who are unreasonable.”

4. Please also pray for God’s healing revelation of our personal and national sins and wounds and pray for our Father’s love and mercy to cleanse and heal us from our sins and wounds. Then we can receive God’s holy revelation about how God wants us to pray, speak and act. Only then can we pray from God’s revealed perspective – and overflow our Father’s love to the people, nation and regions around us.
John 17:22-23  “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

From 11-13 April, the National Prayer Call team and other leaders from  Canberra gathered in the Federal Parliament and on mountain tops around Canberra, to discern God’s leading in how to pray for the elections. It was a very powerful time.

Join us in declaring:

  • Psalm 132:8-9 “Arise, O Lord, to Your resting place, You and the ark [the symbol] of Your strength. Let Your priests be clothed with righteousness (right living), And let Your godly ones shout for joy.”
  • Know yourselves as warriors on assignment from the Lord.
    Isaiah 48:17 “This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit (benefit), Who leads you in the way that you should go.” We are reliant on God’s leading as Moses was. (Exodus 33:12-14)
  • God is restoring order, bringing to an end agendas that have usurped His rule.
    Psalms 82:1-3,5,8 “God presides in the great assembly;  he renders judgment among the “gods”: “How long will you defend the unjust  and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your inheritance.”
  • God fights our battles for us! We saw our God deal with a principality (Isaiah 27:1). And then three of us saw a huge sword manifest. The sword of the Lord remains over our Federal Parliament as a reminder of God’s victory over the enemy and God’s sovereign reign. Note: God’s sword is not to be feared. The Sword of the Spirit sets us free to draw near to the throne of grace with confidence. (Hebrews 4:12-16)
    Declare Psalm 46: note 5-11 TPT and Ephesians 6:18.
    Declare the Word of God as His Sword over our Parliament, over this election and over our nation. Lord, You are the Word, Your Presence reigns!

Ruth Webb has released a short video Strategy to help us pray for the Federal Election. It is based on the Lord’s Prayer. Ruth is from the Tabernacle of David in Bendigo.

4. Call by Margaret Court to Pray 21 Days 28 April-18 May

RE:  Prime Minister Scott Morrison
I believe it’s time for the Church to ARISE to be a strong voice of righteousness, truth and justice”.
God woke me at 4.00am on the 8th March with this word:
“You have a Godly Prime Minister and I placed him at the helm of the Nation to steer the Nation into the course I have for it.  “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice….” (Proverbs 29:2 NKJV) I will shift and sift this Nation to realign it in the Spirit as My hand is on the Nation. Wait and Awake! to what is happening and be not deceived in this time.  Have I not declared this “Nation is the South Land of the Holy Spirit”? (1606) 
God impressed on my heart – that once the election date was announce, we should stand together and call 21 days of Pray & Fasting. Through the Bible, Prayer and Fasting has impacted the course of history and adjusted the spiritual course of Nations. I’m reminded of – “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Let our united prayer be:“Thank you Father, that the righteous rule in our Nation of Australia, in Jesus Name.  Amen”
Ps Margaret Court
Senior Pastor
Victory Life Centre
You can register to receive 21 Daily Devotions:www.canberradeclaration.org.au/prayer/election-2019
Zoom prayer call 8PM AEST every night for 21 days from the 28 April – 18 May 2019.. Zoom Conference URL link: https://www.zoom.us/s/6038035400  Zoom Meeting No: 603 803 5400

5. Prophetic Warning to the Australia Church concerning  Scott Morrison. 2018 by Adam F Thompson & Adrian Beale

See: https://www.facebook.com/adam.f.thompson/videos/10212674605930607/Online Video:27.40 min

From The Guardian: 

‘Darkness’ coming if Scott Morrison not re-elected, Pentecostal leader claims

Pastor says Christians ‘to have influence’ in politics after election of Australia’s first Pentecostal prime minister

Pentecostal leaders have warned their congregation that “darkness” will spread across Australia and Christians will be persecuted if Scott Morrison does not win the next election.

Others have been told that Morrison’s rise to power was a “miracle of God” that answered three days of prayer and fasting. They have been told that Morrison has made a public stand for Christian freedoms, and has promised to keep doing so, so God intervened to ensure he beat the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, in the Liberal leadership spill.

Videos posted to YouTube show how Pentecostal and evangelical religious communities are reacting to the rise of Morrison as prime minister.

Last Sunday, pastor Adam F Thompson from Voice of Fire Ministries and Adrian Beale from Everrest Ministries told a congregation of Hope City Church that Morrison’s elevation to power was divinely inspired.

Thompson, who says he can interpret dreams and that supernatural signs and manifestations accompany his ministry, said he’d received a message from God that Morrison and the Coalition must win the election.

“The Lord woke me up at 4.30am this morning,” Thompson told the Hope City Church congregation on Sunday, in a video he asked to be recorded.

“This is a crucial time right now … In the next six months it’s time for the body of Christ [the Christian church] to put its differences aside … and come together and agree that Jesus is the Messiah and start praying together and calling it in and praying for our prime minister right now, and for our government.

“I really see that the body of Christ is going to have influence in the arena of – the political arena of this nation.

“[But] if the prime minister right now doesn’t get elected in this next election there’s going to be darkness coming. And I’m not being negative. The laws are going to change where darkness is going to come and there will be persecution on the church.”

Thompson asked the congregation if they truly wanted a Pentecostal revival and reformation in Australia.

“If it doesn’t happen in the next six months, in the next year I should say, there is going to be, the laws are going to come in, where they’re going to change and darkness will come,” Thompson said.  “The Lord is saying he wants us to rise up and pray, rather than come into persecution where we’ll have no choice.”

 Australia’s new PM: who is Scott Morrison? – video

In the video, Beale from Everrest Ministries then leads the congregation in prayer for Morrison, calling on God to help Australians grasp the value of his intervention in the leadership spill.

“Just as Scott has come to the fore, unexpected Lord, you’ve kept him hidden for a time such as this,” Beale said.

“Lord, we pray that the whole of the body of Christ in Australia would grasp the value of what you’ve done, Lord, and get behind our new leader … and that the next election would be won so that godly principles would be put into place, rather than the enemy having his way.”

In a different video posted to YouTube, Warwick Marsh from the Australian Christian Values Institute has claimed three days of prayer and fasting had been answered with two miracles.

“Firstly, on the 15th of August, the Senate voted down the euthanasia in the territories proposal. No one expected this. This was an absolute miracle,” Marsh says in the video, which was posted last month.

“Secondly, on Friday the 24th, the Liberal party voted in a new prime minister, Scott Morrison, after a week of political turmoil.

“Many people here in Australia of faith believe this was a miracle of God, as Mr Morrison has a strong faith in God and has made a stand for Christian freedoms and has promised to do so in the future.

“It would seem that this is a direct answer to our prayers, as we prayed against the erosion of our Christian freedoms under the forthcoming Ruddock report.”

Marsh then reminded Christians that there will be another three days of prayer, repentance and fasting, from 7 to 9 September. He asked them to pray for God to intervene to stop the Queensland government’s bill to decriminalise abortion.

“And pray that truth and freedom would win out in the high court case against exclusion zones around abortion clinics,” he said.

Guardian Australia contacted Morrison’s office to ask him if he knows Thompson, Beale or Marsh. His office said he had never met them.

Morrison is Australia’s first Pentecostal prime minister.

He is a member of the Horizon Church in Sutherland, which is part of the Australian Christian Churches network. He attends regularly.

6. Join Australian Prayer Network Call to Pray for the Federal Elections

Register in ongoing united national 24/7 Prayer Watch.
Join 30 Days of Prayer before our Federal Election.

 

7. Three Game Changing Insights Given to Pastor Karen Wilson, Melbourne.

Who determines the Governmental Authorities Over Us?

In a day of prayer recently at church, during a time of intercession for government, I was pondering the scripture found in Romans 13:1 TPT, “Every person must submit to and support the authorities over him. For there can be no authority in the universe except by God’s appointment, which means that every authority that exists has been instituted by God.”

This scripture had often confused me in the past. As I pondered it before the Lord, He spoke and said, “You misunderstand what is being said.  I appoint authorities- so in Australia, I have appointed Federal, State and local governments. Who occupies those authorities is determined by My people, who will humble themselves, lay down their own agendas, seek My face and pray and speak as I lead”.

So lets pray that we, the ecclesia, will do that.

Calling the Gatekeepers 

During the course of last year (2018) after we had experienced what seemed a failure of significant prayer efforts (first, the National plebiscite and then the Victorian law regarding assisted dying), I sat with the Lord and asked Him why our prayers had seemed to be powerless in bringing the results we desired.

I heard an immediate answer, “Because the gatekeepers have been silent.”

After submitting this word to prophetic leaders, I was encouraged to pursue further what the Lord was saying. So again I sat with the Lord and asked him who the gatekeepers were.

He led me to Ephesians 4 and said, “The gatekeepers are the fivefold ministry. They have been silent and have not equipped my sheep to be able to discern My will in these decisions, so there has been a lack of agreement among My people.”

Those called to be in the fivefold ministry  are God’s gift to His people- let’s pray that there will be a clear, distinct and unified voice coming forth from those who walk in these grace gifts, so that God’s people are equipped to humbly discern the Father’s will as we come to vote in this crucial election.

Why Lord?

Some time ago I was spending time in God’s word and came across the story of King Manasseh, who reigned in Jerusalem for fifty-five years after the death of his father, King Hezekiah. Manasseh led Judah into grave sin and rebellion against the Lord- more evil than even the pagan nations that the Lord has destroyed when the people of Israel had entered the land.

I was reminded of the Lord’s heartbreak over man’s evil recorded in Genesis 6 and wondered why He had persisted with the human race. Here was His chosen nation, a nation He had called to be His light to the world, being more evil than even the worst of the pagan nations themselves. Perplexed at God’s enormous patience and forbearance, I cried out, “Father, why have you kept going and not just started all over again with a better product!?”

The answer came immediately and I was stunned by what I heard, “Because I could not bear the thought of eternity without you in it.” Such is the love and desire of God for each one of us- we mean so much to Him.

A Prayer for the Nation

Based on Psalm 43

Heavenly Father,

Send out your light and your truth;
and let them lead our nation,
Let them lead us to your holy mountain,
and into your presence.

Then we will go to the altar of God,
to God—the source of all our joy.

And we will praise You with our hearts,
O God, our God!

Why are we discouraged?
Why are our hearts so sad as we look around us?
We will put hope for our nation in You our God!
We will praise You, our Saviour and our God!

 

8. The Church has a Prophetic Voice to Society.

NACL Report from Church & State Conference 22-23 Feb. Brisbane.

Australia needs and wants the Church. Despite what journalists, musicians, movies and 100,000 keyboard warriors constantly tell us – the majority of non-Christian Australians do not want the Church to go away quietly or keep the Truth to ourselves.
What our post-truth society craves is Truth. What our post-Christian culture needs is the Gospel. Millions who are gagging on postmodern relativism are hankering for somebody to authoritatively show them reality. They want to be offered a red pill and wake-up from the matrix.
The prophetic voice of the Church to society is every believer’s mandate & authority to declare Truth in the public square. It’s the encouragement to Esther, “Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.” It’s the Word of the Lord through Isaiah, “Seek justice, defend the oppressed.” It’s the wisdom of Proverbs, “Righteousness exalts a nation,” and “Open your mouth, judge righteously.
It’s the commission of our Master. “Don’t lose your saltiness, flavour the earth. Don’t hide your light, but let it shine brightly.”
25 million neighbours are waiting for us to speak the Truth in love. The Church and State Summit is an annual conference which gathers high calibre speakers to encourage and equip the Body of Christ in this historic mission. It is not only for pastors and Christian leaders, but teenagers and tradies and every believer who wants to be better informed and better involved in practically loving our neighbours through politics. It is eye-opening and non-partisan, presenting every issue only through the lens of Scripture.
You are invited to attend this practical training on how to answer the call to be better informed & better involved, to impact our culture, influence social policy and practically love 25 million neighbours at once.
You’re the voice of the Church to society! Please visit https://churchandstate.com.au/

9. UNDERSTANDING THE SHIFT IN OUR CULTURE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR FUTURE

 

UNDERSTANDING THE SHIFT IN OUR CULTURE AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR FUTURE

Australia is about to chart a new direction but the intriguing question is whether the public is making this choice by default or conviction.  Scott Morrison seems unable to cut through with a message that registers while Bill Shorten seems able to say anything and get away with it.  These are flip sides of the same story, an electorate that has clocked off politics yet is angry about its plight.  It is tempting to say the Coalition government has lost the battle of ideas.  But this misleads since beyond a minority of “insiders” there is no engagement with ideas anymore.  There is, however, the zeitgeist, the German view that each historical era is defined by its own spirit and values.

It is the zeitgeist that is bringing down the Morrison government and propelling the nation towards a Shorten government.  The zeitgeist, of course, is not separate from events.  Indeed, it is partly formed by events such as the chronic disunity of the Coalition, its lack of cultural power, its inability to sustain a message that resonates with the public and its failure to offer a persuasive explanation for the times.  The zeitgeist, however, is conceived in culture.  Its meaning transcends and can defy mere rationality, it is about the spirit, the mood of the times.  It can refer to an invisible force, part in the world, part defying the world because of its cultural power.

In Australia today the zeitgeist is tied to the age of disruption and confusion.  In particular, received wisdoms that have offered stability and predictability are in demise, some because they have failed, others because they are ideologically unfashionable.  Labor has far exceeded the Coalition in capturing the zeitgeist.  Its unifying theme is the turn of Australia towards a progressive mindset in economic, social and cultural terms.  This was not predicted six years ago.  Time will tell whether it is enduring or deceiving.

But the norms the Abbott government subscribed to after it won in 2013 are in eclipse.  These were rejection of radical action on climate change in order to safeguard the economy, using constraints on education and health funding to recover the budget surplus, new laws to curb trade union power, implicit faith in financial system integrity, free speech before an individual’s capacity to be offended, traditional marriage, honouring Western civilisation, American alliance fidelity in what became the Trumpian age and putting shared national values before the quest for race, gender or sexual identity.  Only border protection has survived and it is now under fierce assault.

As the ideas championed by the Coalition government came under assault, so did the government’s authority.  The country shifted while the Coalition held power.  Yet the Coalition missed the trend, its cultural antenna in dysfunction and its ability to persuade badly lacking.

Having a House of Representatives majority did not guarantee control of the nation’s mood.  When old ideas no longer work or are no longer tolerated, it is time for new ideas.  Established understandings have now broken down in a range of areas, consider wages, living standards, climate change, finance, industrial relations and education among others.

As economists, including our Reserve Bank governor, admit the past connection between unemployment levels and wage levels has shifted, much to the consternation of workers and unions.  As the past decade shows the record low interest rates have failed to reboot many Western economies, with monetary policy unable to restore previous levels of economic growth.  The local energy story is diabolical when Australia, a so-called energy superpower, relied on coal as its source of competitiveness only to find that coal was cast as a climate change demon to be put on the exit escalator.

The finance sector, the life blood of household prosperity, was exposed by the royal commission as an agent of greed treating customers as objects of exploitation in pursuit of self-interested financial rewards.  Having spent a generation achieving a more flexible labour market that worked brilliantly in the globalised age contributing to low unemployment, the nation is now lurching into reverse to embrace re-regulation and intervention in the cause of equity.  And in education, having proven that more school funding without a classroom revolution is tied to falling relative standards the political system seems ready to repeat the blunder on a truly massive scale with astonishing proposed increases in school funding devoid of core classroom reforms.

The breakdown of established norms has three consequences, new opportunities (think renewables), new challenges (how on earth to rekindle productivity to salvage living standards) and the revival of truly bad ideas (think the living wage, something we tried more than 110 years ago).  Perhaps there is no failure that does not deserve another try.  Anyone for socialism?  The political impact of the zeitgeist cannot be missed.  There is nothing as vulnerable as an idea targeted by the progressive forces; witness traditional marriage, coal and tax cuts for corporates.  And there is nothing so resilient as a failed idea to which the progressive class is attached; witness open borders, wage rises divorced from productivity and government intervention as a superior allocation mechanism to markets.

Shorten’s skill has been conspicuous.  Acting with audacity, he has picked much of the spirit of the times.  His populist slogans cut through from the “left behind society” to declaring the election to be a referendum on wages and embracing the notion of the “living wage”.  Who could disagree with such an attractive idea?  Shorten has endlessly stirred hostility towards banks and big business, mined the cult of grievance, backed a major redistribution of income through tax, mined community anxiety at inequality and injustice, given identity politics plenty of currency, ditched border protection in the cause of humanitarian rescue of people on Manus and Nauru, helped to demonise coal, worked to sink Adani and cast renewables as the universal saviours.

The zeitgeist is Shorten’s friend and Morrison’s enemy.  The evidence has turned into an avalanche since the August 2018 Liberal leadership crisis.  The latest norm to be violated occurs within the Liberal heartland, the middle-class revolt and disloyalty in the once blue-ribbon seats of its leaders, former leaders and future hopes.  Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth has been lost to progressive independent Kerryn Phelps, with no guarantee it can be regained at the election.  Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah is under serious threat from progressive independent Zali Steggall.  Greg Hunt’s seat of Flinders is under assault from progressive independent Julia Banks and Josh Frydenberg’s seat of Kooyong is threatened by Julian Burnside, a well-known progressive, now running as a Green.

Each of these seats is vulnerable to progressive attack.  This is an unprecedented situation in the history of the Liberal Party.  The loss of support, however, seems to transcend the actual policy story.  It is not as though the Liberals under Malcolm Turnbull ignored climate change.  Turnbull’s removal, rather, has become the symbolic trigger for the release of progressive hostility towards the party.  The mood and the message is that the Liberals are violating the spirit of the age and need to pay the price.  Once this brand is applied it is extremely difficult to purge, a classic example being the Liberal Party’s women problem.

This, however, is not exactly what it seems.  In Julie Bishop’s safe seat of Curtin the Liberals have preselected an impressive woman, the former vice-chancellor of Notre Dame, Celia Hammond, who won convincingly.  Yet Hammond is now under challenge from a progressive independent, a lifelong Liberal voter, wealthy businesswoman Louise Stewart. Stewart says Hammond cannot represent the views of the Curtin electorate and her selection shows the party is “stuck in the past”.  It seems a conservative woman is no better than a man!  The point is that the real priority is progressivism.  A woman will be opposed unless she is progressive, displaying the “correct” stance on climate, feminism and asylum-seekers.

The government still has its April 2 tax-cut budget to rekindle its prospects but cynicism and indifference lie in its path.  The Coalition parties will seek to unite around the budget and take a strong economic message to the election.  But what should be the pivotal election issue is largely overlooked, the productivity and participation agenda to drive living standards.  On wages, Shorten continues with his quasi reckless “dual identity” tactics, prompted no doubt by the fact that emotion and populism largely run these debates.  On the one hand Shorten feeds the public truckloads of populism that “supply and demand” in the labour market no longer functions, that “everything is going up except people’s wages” (a falsehood), that the minimum wage should be a living wage and that the “fat cat” bosses who claim a connection between wages and jobs are wrong because “I don’t accept that a living wage causes unemployment”.

There is no reason to think Shorten, given the zeitgeist, will suffer any penalty from his pitch.  Meanwhile the ACTU, the chief advocate of the “living wage”, proposes an increase in the minimum wage of 11.5 per cent over the next two years or more than $70 a week at a time when the economy is weakening.  The idea this would not hurt jobs is absurd.  “I won’t turn my back on the workers of Australia,” Shorten declared as he asserted the government would fix the wages problem, a throwback to several decades ago.

On the other hand Shorten said he would rely on the Fair Work Commission to adjust the minimum wage (sticking by the orthodoxy), declared the Fair Work Commission (FWC) had a “great track record” (if so, then what’s the problem?), refused to nominate any percentage increase (being sensible and not backing the ACTU numbers), raised the prospect Labor would change the legislation governing the FWC minimum wage deliberations (but wouldn’t give details) and made clear the guidelines would be altered.

In summary, Shorten raises expectations sky high with his rhetoric but then brings them back to earth because he doesn’t want to wreck the joint.  This is his standard tactic.  He plays to the zeitgeist and then plays to reality.  He feeds the union and Labor interest groups loads of red meat but then stops short of table commitments that would ruin his government in office.

It is a risky contradiction that runs across almost everything Shorten touches.  If he wins, how Shorten will pacify the progressive interest groups, wind down their expectations yet implement the litany of specific tax, spending, regulatory, climate change and constitutional reforms he pledges, is anybody’s guess.

This week the Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott played the reality card on Labor’s 45-50% targets for emissions and renewables: “We don’t have a plan to do this.  How are we going to do this?  If it’s economy wide, what is the mechanism by which we are going to do it?  Is it a cap and trade system?  Is it the national energy guarantee?  Is it a base-loading credit system?  Are we going to exempt the trade-exposed sector?  Are we going to allow the ‘carry over’ for Kyoto?  I think the Australian people are entitled to understand how these things will be achieved.

This is the history of this problem, people say stuff, then they try to implement it and everyone goes ‘oh, hang on, we didn’t actually mean for those jobs to be gone’,  now we’ll have to have a compensation scheme.  Then we stop and then we go backwards and then we make no progress.  This is the history. ” Yet nothing Westacott said, policy realities that must be faced by any Shorten government, impinge on the current climate change mantras that dominate our public debate.  Just listen to the independent progressives crusading on climate change in leafy Liberal seats to grasp how much this debate has regressed over the past 15 years.

They talk endlessly about saving the planet and the urgency for Australia to do more, as though the policy and political obstacles of the past 15 years never happened.  Such climate change invocations are firmly within the zeitgeist but there comes a time when the spirit of the age and the reality of the age come to their inevitable day of reckoning.  This raises the question: is the country choosing its change of direction or merely getting ready to vote out a government that misread the culture?

Source:  Paul Kelly, Editor at large for the Australian Newspaper

As forwarded by Australian Prayer Network

 

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