When did Politics in Australia cease to have conviction?
When did our Politicians cease to stand for something?
The Hawke/Keating and Howard/Costello Governments played the Politics hard, very hard but they also developed ideas and executed policy.
I am not going to argue the merits of one or the other, just that they “did stuff”.
The move away from “ideas and policy execution” started with the Governments of Rudd and Gillard and has been continued, you might say perfected, by Abbott and Turnbull.
A few years ago, a friend and member of the Labour Party attended the State Conference for the first and what became last time. She came away both disillusioned and educated.
In simple terms, she explained to me the extreme difficulty the Party has reconciling the huge difference between the ideological extremes the party has to navigate. She explained the space between the right of the party and the hard left, and the pragmatic and the idealists, made achieving and keeping Government very challenging.
On the Liberal side, we are increasingly seeing the same, but opposite. The far right of the party and the moderates or “small L” Liberals are also separated by a great divide of equal magnitude.
In both Parties, the tendency has been to concentrate on “not upsetting” the different groups rather than standing for what is believed and allowing reasoned debate to win the day. The result has been to do nothing of conviction.
How do we get back to a contest of ideas and policy where we have Politicians arguing for our support based on what they believe in.
The Australian Conservatives Party has today achieved some substance with Family First folding in to it.
I would like to see the hard right members of the Liberal party leave and join forces with One Nation and the Australian Conservatives.
I would like to see the hard left or socialist left of the Labour Party join forces with the Greens.
This would leave four Parties of Politicians free to argue their beliefs and to develop ideas and policies based on their beliefs. Let’s call it – their conviction.
I mean, does anyone really believe Malcolm Turnbull supports new coal fired power stations?
Does anyone really believe Bill Shorten doesn’t want to investigate and eliminate alleged illegal behaviour of Union officials?
For example, I would like to see;-
- Tony Abbott free to argue his case for significant reform of work practices,
- Malcolm Turnbull support same sex marriage,
- Bill Shorten promote responsible industrial labour reforms and Richard Natalie arguing to significantly increase migration.
Being able to present their ideas and policy without the need to appease highly diverse party factions would be refreshing and valuable. We, the public would be better informed and have a clear choice to make come Election Day. Instead of being told what we want, we would vote for what we want.
Any chance this will happen?
Just take a look at who is in the big office in the White House as proof that anything can happen.