It was the ‘real’ Scott Morrison people saw on the campaign trail, with a capacity for compassion and change, which won him the votes to secure the Coalition’s surprise victory, says Stephen O’Doherty. Chatting to Katrina Roe about the Federal Election results, the former Liberal politician shared his views saying he believes Morrison took his party to victory “by being himself”. “People needed to get to know a different side of Scott Morrison than the one they’ve seen in the past,” he said. “He was the hard-nosed treasurer, he was a fairly hard-nosed immigration minister, and yet what we saw on the election trail was the real Scott. And he is the real deal.
“He is the family man, he is the person who has a passionate Christian faith, which leads into a life of service, and he genuinely loves his country. The more they saw Scott Morrison the more they liked him” O’Doherty said. In his post-election victory speech, Mr Morrison, who attends Sutherland Shire’s Pentecostal ‘Horizon Church’, wished opposition leader Bill Shorten and his family all the best and “God’s blessings”. Then, in another reference to his faith and the surprise win, he declared that “I have always believed in miracles”. “I’m standing with the three biggest miracles in my life here tonight, and tonight we’ve been delivered another one,” he added.
The leader’s strong beliefs were no doubt a comfort to many voters concerned about religious freedoms. But while Scott Morrison is enjoying his moment of popularity, he now has “a thumping great mandate” to fulfil, said O’Doherty. “He’s got a tremendous amount of goodwill right now, but I would want to see him turn around and take seriously some issues that have been niggling away, that have to be addressed,” Stephen said. “Climate change and energy policy have to be addressed. He’s got the opportunity to do it now in a careful way. He has to do something about the welfare system. Almost everyone agrees that the Newstart allowance needs to be lifted.
“He needs to find conciliation with our First Nations people. We have to really listen carefully to what our Aboriginal Elders are telling us. And I’d love to see them taking a more compassionate view towards foreign aid, and not be divisive around the immigration question. Yeah, we get the secure borders, but the fact that he got the children out of detention was a necessary precondition to him winning, and I hope he takes a lesson from that.” Stephen added “He’s capable of doing all that. That’s the Scott we saw. Let’s see more of that Scott now that he’s had this thumping victory.”
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