Today Australia started the day with Mr. Turnbull as Prime Minister and ended it with Mr. Morrison as Prime Minister. In the past 11 years (2007-2018) we have had 6 Prime Ministers, in the 11 years before that (1996-2007) we had one. And there is a reason for that instability.
In short the country has changed, mass immigration, the global economy, the gig economy, the housing crisis, feminism, loneliness and family breakdown have all had an effect and more besides. These effects have also been active within Australia's political parties. Before the Global Financial Crisis it was possible for most people to feel that the system basically worked but it needed refinement. Afterwards people expected that the government would get back to it's real business, instead every Prime Minister has embarked upon their own private Crusade.
Prime Minister Rudd, he was PM twice, wanted us to be part of China
Prime Minister Gillard wanted women in combat
Prime Minister Abbot wanted mothers to return to the workforce as quickly as possible
Prime Minister Turnbull wanted homosexuals to get married
They wanted other things as well of course, and not everything they did was bad. But non of these things were regarded as necessary and all had opposition. Today we are witnessing yet again the split that is occurring right across the Western world. In Australia that split has been seen in the two major parties, Labor and Liberal.
Within Labor the split has been going on since the 1980's and I believe that it has run it's course. Old Labor is dead and in it's place is new Labor. A party that works with big business and the unions, but not with the workers who it claims to champion. Just like the British Labor Party and the Democrats in the United States. Instead it represents the factions on Liberalisms Left, the Feminists, homosexuals, transgendered, immigrants, single women and those who work directly or indirectly for the Government. Labor has rejected those who could not continue on this path and it is as solid as it is likely to get.
The liberal party is still undergoing this fight. Traditionally in Australia there have been two parties, the Labor Party and an anti-Labor Party. Since the 1940's that has been the Liberal Party which has always had a liberal and a conservative side. These two sides have not always gotten along but mostly they kept their eye on the enemy, the Labor Party. In the past decade the two sides have moved further and further apart. Mr. Howard, Prime Minister between 1996-2007, did much to keep the Liberal Party united. He tried everything to stop the rise of a real Conservative political movement. While he was in charge it worked, since then it has not. Today liberalism is being rejected from within the Liberal Party. The leadership challenges of the past few days is a reflection of this deep divide.
Mr. Morrison is much more Conservative than most in Parliament so it will be interesting to see what he changes and what he doesn't. On economic issues he is solidly Liberal, on social matters he is all over the place, he voted for homosexual marriage for example. He is strongly against illegal immigration, but what are his feelings toward legal immigration? That's not clear and it will have a massive influence on both the Liberal Party and the next election.
If he moves to the Left that will help the emerging Conservative movement, if he stays middle of the road it will continue to create confusion and indecision, in either case he will lose the next election. If he moves to the right and comes out hard against immigration, particularly in regards to Islam he will be able to rebuild the party and should be able to win the next election. Labor has already moved to the Left, unless the electorate gets a real choice they will vote for Labor over a Labor-lite Liberal Party.
I await developments with interest.
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