Into the Cincoverse - The Cinco de Mayo EU Thread and Wikibox Repository

The governing Liberals, led by Prime Minister Julie Bishop, were defeated in a historic landslide, losing fifty seats including that of Bishop, and were replaced by a right-wing coalition government led by Bob Katter and the National Party
I beg your pardon....
....but, WHAT?

May God Have Mercy on Us All!!!!
Wasn’t there a discussion about political parties in Latin America in this thread?I can’t seem to find it
(Since Texas is apparently supposed to be like a typical LatAm country)
sorta? I’m not sure where it’d be
I think it was on page 39.
The 2012 Australian federal election was a parliamentary election held in the Commonwealth of Australia on June 6, 2012, to elect 169 members to the Australian House of Representatives and half of the Australian Senate. The governing Liberals, led by Prime Minister Julie Bishop, were defeated in a historic landslide, losing fifty seats including that of Bishop, and were replaced by a right-wing coalition government led by Bob Katter and the National Party, with support from populist minor parties United Australia and NZ First, the first time that two parties previously regarded as anathema to mainstream parties were included in a government.

The 2008 election had been the first election held earlier than three months before the end of a four-year parliamentary term following the 2008 Australian government crisis, which saw the Liberals under Brendan Nelson elected with 68 seats in a landslide, the party's best-ever result and only the second time since 1910 it had led government. Despite having rebuilt the Liberals since taking over as leader from Andrew Bartlett in December of 2003, only eight months into his tenure Nelson was embroiled in controversy and would be deposed in a party room spill led by Malcolm Turnbull and other party moderates and was replaced by John Cherry. Cherry would pursue a broadly liberal agenda for the next three years but as the 2011 global recession deepened found his party trailing badly in the polls and eventually was forced out in a spill by his Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, in January 2012 after he sacked Brian Greigs, the Treasurer. Bishop would thus lead her party into the 2012 elections in the face of upheavals across Southeast Asia as the Asian Spring intensified and with only four months of experience, half of which was spent on the campaign trail.

The years 2008-11 had been chaotic for the opposition as well; National leader Warren Truss was ousted by backbenchers in late 2009, and replaced by Kevin Andrews, while the Labor Party had gone through three leaders in as many years. The decisive break for the opposition was the February 2011 New Zealand state elections, in which the sovereigntist NZ First became the largest party in the New Zealand Legislature for the first time in history; as a traditional Labor-National battleground, both parties went through significant recriminations after the defeat of the National state government under Bill English and Labor's failure to make headway. Leader of the Opposition Peter Beattie, a former Premier of Queensland and regarded as a star candidate when recruited for federal office three years earlier, announced his resignation in November 2011 after a rousing speech by backbencher and former ACTU leader Greg Combet at the annual Labor Party Conference which began buzz around a leadership spill, seeing Combet defeat Chris Bowen on one ballot the following week. For the Nationals, meanwhile, longtime backbench Queensland MP Bob Katter surprised observers in challenging Andrews in April of 2011 on a harshly anti-immigration, socially conservative and economically protectionist platform that hearkened a throwback to the pre-Paul Hogan National Party, and he was narrowly elected on the first ballot in a shock result.

The election campaign was thus marked by the centrist Bishop attacked from both left and right by populist candidates, with Katter promising to cut immigration in Australia by half and Combet promising a pivot to traditional left-wing Labor economics unseen since before "Rogernomics" in the 1980s. As the recession deepened throughout the spring, Bishop's government fell further behind in the polls and was defeated decisively, losing 50 seats as all other parties gained. In a surprise, the Nationals won back marginal seats earned by Liberals four years earlier, particularly in Queensland and South Australia, and with the support of United Australia and NZ First in return for considerable policy concessions and junior ministries were able to form a government, when pre-election polls had predicted a hung parliament with no party winning more than sixty seats. Though Combet was able to claw back much of what Labor had lost in 2008, he nonetheless announced that he would resign after several months of speculation after the election. The Liberals fifty-seat landslide defeat was the worst result by a sitting government in Australian history, and the election came to be nicknamed "First to Worst" as well as "Kattermania" due to its shocking results.

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And here we were thinking the Texas and CSA results were the crazy ones.
Bob Katter as PM??😱😱 Damn my home country in for a.... unique time
I am happy with it, actually.
He will destroy crocodiles x'D
(Also, I find it funny that a dating app bot messaged its ad immediately below a post regarding Bob Katter of all people. I have no idea why I find it very funny, though)
between Katter and a PM Paul Hogan in the 90s, crocs are fucked
I knew Katter was old but not that old.
He was leader of his party since 1911,holy hell!
I beg your pardon....
....but, WHAT?

May God Have Mercy on Us All!!!!
Katter is, or course… yeah. But was Bishop that bad?
I think it was on page 39.

And here we were thinking the Texas and CSA results were the crazy ones.
And now we know that Australia can suffer just as much as the American South iTTL.
What if they’re all crazy?
Katter is a nut bag.
Bishop is fine.

I was more commenting on Katter..
For being such a nutcase his affinity for Aboriginal issues seems… genuine? But then he’s bugnuts elsewhere?

Weird guy. But exactly the right kind of weird for my oeuvre
How the hell did Katter remain as party leader for over a century?
I have to assume it's the Emperor in one of his guises guiding humanity.
Somehow, Palpatine returned.
Probably a descendant. (Grandson, following in the family tradition?)
Lads it’s a typo
OK, what is so batshit crazy about Bob Katter?
Where to begin? I’d just read his Wiki page, but amongst other infamous diatribes he claimed there are no gay people in North Queensland and refused to discuss his opposition to gay marriage by immediately pivoting to a lengthy screed about people being eaten by crocodiles and how he was focused on that instead
The Economist (March 20, 2024)
Paradigm Shift Beckons for China
March 20, 2024

Lee Kung-ching has worked at a commercial bakery in Nanking, China's capital, since graduating China National University in 2007; in the seventeen years since he has become foreman, but the role is a far cry from what he and millions of other young Chinese his age were promised when they were secondary students working themselves to the bone in the country's ultra-competitive schooling system, only to see the dreams of their youth imploded in the 2002 financial crisis and the SARS pandemic just a year later. Lee is thus emblematic of the "Lost Generation," the large demographic cohort of Chinese born between 1980 and 1989 at the height of the country's unprecedented economic boom - and the apex of its authoritarian Fourth Republic - who were teenagers during the transition to democracy in the 1990s and who were promised the world, only to see it taken away by now twenty years of deflation, high unemployment, chronically stagnant equity and real estate markets, and drug-fueled gang violence that no government has seemed able to stop.

It is no wonder then that it is this cohort, along with the ironically named "Resilient Generation" (1990-99) who mark one of the two flanks of the base for New Party (Sintong) candidate Hau Lung-pin - son of Fourth Republic-era dictator Hau Pei-tsun. The younger Hau enters the election, which will last the whole week of March 24-31, with a commanding polling lead that he seems unlikely to relinquish, and he promises a hard turn to the right for China if he prevails, as is likely. Hau is no stranger in the National Capital Region, having served two three-year terms as Mayor of Nanking, a role in which he has spent enormous political capital improving the capital's famously shoddy metro network, built hundreds of new parks, schools and primary care clinics, and most importantly carried out a vicious campaign against opium dealers and prostitutes in the city that has raised serious human rights concerns.

Hau seems nonplussed by the critique. He presents as a young 71, and by Chinese political standards that makes him practically a fresh face; outgoing President Soong Chu-yu, himself elected on a wave of populist discontent four years ago, was nearly eighty at his own election. Aware of his father's militant image, Hau has made enormous efforts to pose with pregnant mothers and schoolchildren on the campaign trail, made a point to attend China OneLeague baseball matches all over the country as a campaign gimmick, and has adopted two dogs otherwise slated for meat markets. He is humble and self-effacing on the trail, and is regarded as being whip-smart on policy behind closed doors.

All this shields what would be a draconian policy program were he to be elected (and have a National Assembly majority, which is less certain). Hau has proposed life sentences in China's already-crowded prisons for small-time drug dealers and the death penalty for their bosses. He has proposed a national database of those who are arrested frequenting prostitution and for people's employers to be mailed copies of their arrest reports for various vice offenses. As if his tough-on-crime persona is not enough, the devout Presbyterian is also a ferocious culture warrior, promising to fire gay teachers from Chinese schools and universities, repeal various laws of the last twenty years that made it easier for women to sustain their own careers, and impose tax penalties on single mothers; making matters more concerning, he would be the third President since the late 1990s to have ties to megachurch tycoon Li Hongzhi, the founder of the Wheel of God fundamentalist Christian movement that has taken previously irreligious Chinese social networks by storm over the last decade. He has pledged that he will honor the term-limit provision of the Chinese constitution, but has suggested that Presidents should be able to return after a four-year interregnum, suggesting that he may desire a re-run in 2032 if elected now, which would break the "one and done" provisions that have governed China since 2000.

Hau's economic strategies would, unlike his authoritarian populism, be more mainstream and look much like those pursued by his father during the military dictatorship; heavy subsidies for export development, funding education (especially in areas where China is behind, such as generative data or cognition programming), and lavish new infrastructure projects. The problem is that this type of developmentalism has been pursued by every Chinese government since the 1930s in some form or another, and that similar grand promises have badly burned the Lost Generation since 2002-03 before. Hau's pledges on how to actually arrest China's two lost economic decades are just more of the same, which is why he's proposing a ruthless crackdown on culture after Soong's ruthless crackdown on political corruption over the last four years did little but make Chinese more jaded than before he was elected.

As for Hau's competitors, it is hard to see what they can do to make up the gap. The center-right, nationalist liberal party Kuomintang, which has governed China for much of the time since the democratic transition was completed in 2000, have nominated Hunan Governor Li Ganjie, an affable engineer running as a political outsider, but who lacks the panache of Hau. The People First Party of outgoing President Soong show just how personalist they really are by not even bothering to run a serious candidate, and various centrist and left-wing parties failed to muster a joint ticket as initially hoped. China seems to be lurching towards a return to the autocracy of the past, a time that Hau has successfully made voters who vaguely remember it nostalgic for - a time of rapid growth, and safe streets. Hau is unlikely to be able to restore it - but for the jaded, angry electorate that looks poised to deliver him the Presidency of China, that may not matter.