The sales pitch that lost Scott Morrison the election: 'It was incoherent'
Weeks after Labor won the 2022 Federal Election, the party's national secretary has come out and outlined the main reasons the Coalition was unsuccessful in its bid to stay in power.
Paul Erickson, who has served as the ALP's national secretary since 2019, addressed the National Press Club on Wednesday and outlined eight factors that led to the Coalition's demise at the polls.
He said Anthony Albanese's victory was a testament to his character and confidence in his leadership.
"Labor won the election because we talked about the future and we offered the country an alternative to more of the same," Mr Erickson said.
"After two years of Covid, and nearly a decade of Coalition neglect, Labor offered Australians the chance to elect a Prime Minister who would show up, who would take responsibility and would work with people to solve problems — an opportunity that Australians took."
After recapping the tumultuous last few years in politics, Mr Erickson touched on the election campaign and pointed to how the Coalition undermined its own campaign.
"The Liberals argued that Australia was already enjoying a strong recovery, but that only a returned Morrison government could secure that recovery," Mr Erickson said.
"Yet whenever the question was the real experience of working people, the Liberals said that everything was beyond Australia's control.
"Anything to avoid admitting there's a role for government — until Anthony Albanese said that he'd welcome the Fair Work Commission increasing the minimum wage to match headline inflation.
"Then the Liberals claimed that the sky would fall in. Undercutting their campaign assertions about the strength of the recovery. That wasn't just incompetent, it was incoherent."
The remarks were made on the same day it was announced minimum wage workers would receive a 5.2 per cent pay increase.
Mr Erickson lamented Mr Morrison's last-minute sales pitch to voters, which would have allowed Australians to access their superannuation to purchase their first home, "fell flat" because voters "saw it for what it was".
He claimed the Liberal party knew the scheme would not withstand scrutiny and that was the reason they announced it so late in the campaign.
Incompetence led to Coalition's defeat
Mr Erickson said the Liberal Party of 2022 could be defined in two words — nastiness and incompetence.
The scathing assessment of the former government did not stop there, Mr Erickson had eight factors that he said led to the Coalition's downfall on May 21,
He pointed to the former government's "pathological refusal" to take responsibility and "incompetent management" of the Federal Government's responsibilities throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
He also said the attacks on state and territory governments from within the Coalition during the pandemic "alienated" voters, particularly in Victoria and Western Australia.
Mr Erickson also said the budget management under the Coalition was "incompetent", as was the response to the cost of living crisis.
The sixth reason for the Coalition's downfall for was "incoherent engagement" with Australia's allies in the Pacific region, he said.
A "lack of awareness or interest" in Australian women's experiences, regarding both the economy and society was also a pitfall.
The last point Mr Erickson raised was the Coalition's decade-long failure to take climate change seriously.
"Scott Morrison may have come to personify these failures but they are institutional and collective, not individual," Mr Erickson said.
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The Coalition had been in power for nine years before Labor's victory at the polls. It is only the fourth time since World War II that Labor has unseated a Coalition government.
While winning is "exhilarating", the real work takes over soon enough, Mr Erickson said, adding there were three things that should be remembered.
"One — you are never as good as your last win. Two — you are never as bad as your last loss," he said.
"And, three — elections are about the future, not about the past. At the next election, we won't be fighting Scott Morrison although we will be up against some of his nastier and more incompetent enablers."
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