Scott Morrison Won Australia's Election Against All Odds. It Shouldn't Have Come as a Surprise.
Added 05-21-19 05:34:02pm EST - “The Australian Labor Party made the same mistakes that have led to failure for center-left leaders across the globe?"and the right is reaping the benefits.” - Foreignpolicy.com
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Argument: Scott Morrison Won Australia’s Election Against All Odds. It Shouldn’t Have Come as a Surprise. Scott Morrison Won Australia’s Election ...
Understanding Australia’s shock election last weekend, in which the right-wing coalition of incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison unexpectedly won, requires looking to an unlikely source: a conservative Christian rugby star.
The pundits didn’t see it coming, but they don’t spend too much time in church pews. Israel Folau, one of the most outstanding athletes of his generation, has become a lightning rod for debate about freedom of religion in Australia.
Folau had his contract with Rugby Australia terminated after he posted a social media message six weeks ago that said, among other things, that gay people were sinners doomed for hell unless they repented and accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. He has been accused of hate speech, causing offense to the LGBTQ community, and breaching the game’s code of conduct.
What was a heated sports issue spilled over into politics in the final week of election campaigning. Morrison shares a similar Pentecostal Christian faith with Folau, and he was asked by journalists if he agreed with the rugby legend and also condemned gay Australians. Morrison replied as politicians do: He said he separated his politics and his faith. But within hours, Bill Shorten, the leader of the opposition progressive Labor Party, seized on the remark, seeing a chance to damage the prime minister. But playing politics with faith was a misstep—perhaps a fatal one.
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