Covering the Hobart leg of the Worldwide Day for Freedom protests, the danger awaiting the major parties at the next election was clear and present. Anger, resentment and distrust of the country’s politicians was palpable: Labor, Liberal, even the Greens, drew loud jeers and boos when their names were mentioned.

Bear in mind that this was in Tasmania: long a Labor stronghold and the birthplace of the Australian Greens. Yet, it seems clear that the pandemic — or, more accurately, the political class’ draconian response — has infuriated voters.

Minor parties and independents are more than aware of this simmering tide of voter fury. Aspiring minors and independents, some sincerely, some exploitatively, are paddling their little boards, hoping to ride the wave into parliament next year.

One of Australia’s most tenacious minor parties is Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party.

The Morrison government is steeling itself for a showdown with rogue Coalition senators and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, as it attempts to pass vital legislation in the final sitting weeks of 2021.

Vaccine mandates are proving to be a major headache for Scott Morrison and leader of the Senate, Simon Birmingham, with Liberal senators Gerard Rennick and Alex Antic pledging to withhold their votes from the Morrison government unless they do more to address the decisive issue.

Morrison has spent the pandemic hiding behind the state premiers, pleading that Australia’s federal system ties his hands. While there is some merit to that argument, voters are getting sick of what they see as gutlessness. Hanson is throwing a bomb under Morrison’s federation excuse.

With Pauline Hanson’s One Nation also claiming she’ll “cause havoc” unless Scott Morrison backs her legislation making it unlawful to discriminate against unvaccinated Australians, attempts to pass legislation — including the religious freedom bill and Voter ID laws — appear shaky.

With an election looming sometime before June 2022, the Prime Minister will hope to head into the summer break having delivered key election promises.

Nationals senator Matt Canavan has threatened to vote against the Morrison government’s attempt to invest millions into the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, part of his campaign against net zero by 2050.

The Australian

It’s not just Morrison feeling the wrath of pandemic-weary voters.

Flanked by police, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan had to be led to safety after he was subjected to a barrage of personal insults while leaving a town hall meeting yesterday.

COVID-19 protesters demonstrating against the vaccine surrounded the premier at an engagement in Eaton, south of Perth, hurling abuse and chants of “dog” at Mr McGowan […]

Dozens of protesters waving the Australian red ensign – a red version of the Australian flag adopted by anti-government groups – could be seen on video rushing towards a convoy of government cars.

Yesterday’s demonstrations are the latest in a spate of protests and threats targeting the premier, whose office has confirmed no one was harmed in yesterday’s encounter.

This is an extraordinary turn in McGowan’s fortunes. Just months ago, WA voters rewarded McGowan’s hardline border closures with a landslide win in an election that all-but obliterated the opposition. Yet, as the rest of Australia opens up, it seems West Australians aren’t quite so keen to be separate from the rest of the nation as they sometimes boast.

With an extraordinarily tin ear, McGowan chose to respond with the sort of “deplorables” rhetoric that has backfired so badly on the left in the US.

Mr McGowan last week said the “extremist” behaviour was “verging on urban terrorism”.

MSN

Well, I’m sure that’s going to win disaffected voters’ hearts and minds.

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Voters Sick of Both Sides of Politics
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Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...