[Marxism] Thoughts on the neo-liberals in Australia
gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 7 15:30:03 MDT 2014
The recent half senate election in Western Australia proved to be quite
interesting. WAers were forced to the polls again because ballot papers had
gone missing during the general Election count.
The multi-millionaire Clive Palmer spent a fortune to secure one Senate
seat. The ruling Liberals got two. The interesting news was that the
Greens candidate got a big swing of over 6% and was easily elected. the
bad news was for the Labor Camp. They had selected an ultra right
candidate Joe Bullock. He is from the same source as the former Catholic
Democratic Labor Party that split the Labor vote in the Cold War years.
Bullock has a history of right wing Catholic student activism. A past he
shares with the conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The Leader of the
Labor Party right winger Bill Shorten described Bullock as the type of
person that was needed in the Labor Party. The people of WA did not
agree. When Bullock's anti-homosexual rant to a fundamentalist Christian
group was leaked just prior to the election, the result was a disastrous
drop in the Labor vote.
So it would seem that there is a progressive vote even In WA and that it is
no longer an electoral advantage to be a homophobe and a bigot. Good.
Perhaps, the most interesting aspect of it all is that the Greens would
appear to be tentatively positioning themselves to the left of Labor.
Previously they had campaigned around the inane slogan of "Neither Left nor
Right but out in front". But the WA election showed that the political
space to be filled is to the Left of Labor. That is where the vacuum is.
Should the Greens move into that space in a principled way, Australian
politics could be transformed. Whatever is going on in the ranks of the
leadership of the Greens, they must be aware that they outflanked Labor on
the left in the WA election and that could be repeated, I believe, in other
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