As a Queenslander, whose worked around the world, and in Canberra for years, this makes me livid on so many fronts.
Firstly, the view that Queensland got it wrong on Saturday. A voter in Townsville is equal to one in Melbourne. Neither got their vote ‘wrong’; they just had an equal say. The view of a punter on a farm outside Emerald is equal to the view of one of Tony Abbott’s former millionaire constituents. That’s democracy.
So how can NSW get it ‘right’, and we get it ‘wrong’? How can the fact that there is not a Labor seat north of Brisbane be ‘wrong’, but Victoria’s inability to really pick a side be ‘right’?
It’s nonsense, peddled by sore losers, or those who do not understand and value the basis of our democracy.
Yes, we’ve delivered a few dills to Canberra. Sir Joh. Clive Palmer. Pauline Hanson. Steve Dickson. Some unkind souls would offer up a few more names.
But that is more an indictment on the major political parties’ inability to capture the imagination and voters of a big decentralised state, where many southerners’ decision to move continues to boost our numbers.
But the southern states have also packed off some beauties to Parliament House. Just take Tony Abbott for example. Surely he has done more damage to the conservative brand than Clive Palmer could possibly do?
And what about Mark Latham. Craig Thompson. Ross Cameron. On a state level, Eddie Obeid’s name pops up immediately. And if we step outside politics, George Pell races into contention.
It’s been a thorn in the side of NSW and Victoria for years that Queensland has always batted above its average in choosing who governs from Canberra.
And despite Queensland raising the issues that prompted the result on Saturday throughout the campaign, our southern friends are still struggling to understand – or accept – them.
Firstly, our big number of retirees didn’t like the look of Bill Shorten’s franking credit plan. They didn’t make a big deal out of it, but with quiet determination, they knocked it on the head.
Secondly, Adani played a significant role in regional Queensland, for which one Bob Brown – another southerner – has to cop some responsibility. He struggles with this too, but we don’t like loud outsiders coming in and telling us why we are wrong.
His convoy through regional Queensland, hectoring local businesses about climate change rallied support for Adani. That’s what living hand-to-mouth does to some people; they’ll put the jobs of their children or keeping their doors open above Bob Brown’s lofty declarations.
And thirdly, many of those Queenslanders who didn’t vote Labor didn’t like Bill Shorten – and they’ve never pretended otherwise.
From day dot, people have asked who he was and what he represented. Often, they were shut down by a social media echo chamber that grew louder as the poll neared.
But that didn’t answer their question: Who is Bill Shorten and what does he stand for?
Last Saturday, without an answer to that very fair question, a chunk of Queensland decided the answer themselves. Bill Shorten was not going to be their prime minister.
So south of the border they can call it Quexit, and label us morons, freaks and un-Australian.
We’ve been called worse. But when State of Origin matters, it’s only a fool who doesn’t look at the strategy being played out north of the border.
Madonna King is a leading journalist and commentator who writes for the Brisbane Times. She was an award-winning mornings presenter on 612 ABC Brisbane and is a five-times author.