Australia’s 30th Prime Minister was recently elected and sworn in as leader of the Liberal Party. Formerly the country’s treasurer, Scott Morrison won 45 of his colleagues’ votes, becoming the country’s 7th Prime Minister in just over a decade. Was it unexpected? Not entirely. Back in 2015, an influential MP was quoted in the ‘Australian Women’s Weekly’ as saying, “If we lose the next election, Scott Morrison will be the leader. “ Well, it didn’t happen that quickly, but Morrison is now the leader and a different kind of one at that.
What makes Scott Morrison different?
Born and raised in a beachside suburb in Sydney, Morrison and his family were active members of the Uniting Church of Australia. He even met his future wife, Jenny Warren, in the church. In later years Morrison shifted his faith to being a dedicated Pentecostal Christian. He worships at a mega-church which is closely affiliated with the international Pentecostal Hillsong community. Since Morrison is the first openly devoted Christian to become Prime Minister in Australia, it will be interesting to see how his faith will affect the political decisions he makes for Australia.
Relentless, ambitious, hard-line
Notoriously ambitious, Morrison has held several roles in the Australian Government, including Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Minister for Social Services and Treasurer of Australia. Before entering into politics he worked for several years developing government tourism in Australia and New Zealand. During this time he was held in high regard for his organisational skills. Once Morrison entered into politics, his administrative abilities served him well and helped oil the wheels as he became a formidable force with unparalleled ambition. Morrison became immensely popular with the right and far-right party members for his outspoken conservative beliefs pertaining to areas like immigration, same-sex marriage, Aboriginal land rights, and tobacco packaging. Despite being blatantly conservative, it is often said that the politician is surprisingly flexible and has already done a lot of good socially. He became known for softening the infamous Hockey Budget of 2014 during his tenure as Minister of Social Services. In a debate some years ago he even indicated a willingness to ensure greater religious freedom in Australia.
Let’s hope he’ll bring healing and promote unity
In his first speech, Morrison said that his heroes are Archbishop Desmond Tutu and William Wilberforce, a 19th-century slavery abolitionist. He made it clear that he is a Liberal moderate despite being known as a social conservative. While it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, conservative far-right views have their merit and could even provide a solid foundation for getting things done the right way. According to what’s been made apparent of Morrison’s political agenda thus far, securing economic and national security is of paramount importance. To realise this goal, he has already earmarked energy prices and welfare as part of his future policy platform. Morrison has also proclaimed values of, ‘…loving-kindness, justice and righteousness…’ and have said that he would act with compassion and kindness, acknowledging common humanity and that he would fight for fairness and for everyone to fulfil their human potential. Sounds good to me!