[Marxism] Brief thoughts on Australian Politics [electoral] - the crisis of the moderates.

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 3 16:36:43 MDT 2016


The polls show that the Turnbull Government is unpopular.  They trail Labor
by 48-52. A new election is not due for over 2 years, however.  There is
though a certain feeling of desperation at the heart of the Turnbull
administration.  I was asked recently to explain this, and I can only put
it down to the fact that all the formulas that the conservatives (in all
the major parties) have been operating with for 30 plus years are no longer
working.  It's as if Grannie's favorite apple pie recipe has come out of
the over looking very much like a shit sandwich.

We are in the pulse between paradigms, in the midst of a shift and I do not
think anyone quite knows what comes next.

Apart from the ever spreading suffering among the working class, the
biggest victims in political terms have been those who have defined
themselves as "moderates" or "centrists". These terms, of course, are
moveable feasts. There is no absolute meaning to "moderate" or "centrist".
Generally, I take the terms to mean something like "Those who adhere to the
dominant paradigm".  When the dominant paradigm is in crisis, then the
"moderate" slot comes to mean something like "confused" or as now
"desperate".

That I believe helps to explain the phenomenon of the plunging popularity
ratings of the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.  Just over a year ago he
was universally admired. He was King of the Superstructure or the social
issues.  He championed Marriage Equality, the environment, and even
murmured about government policy resulting in cruelty to refugees. He no
longer walks on water it seems.  He cannot solve the economic problems of
Australia.  The mining boom turned out to be yet another instance of how
the Dutch Disease or a resources boom distorts the economy. And now the
boom is over.

Neoliberal dogma means that the government cannot intervene with fiscal
policy and so everything is becalmed.  Only a housing bubble in Sydney and
Melbourne keeps the economy afloat and that is set to  burst next year.

Then it truly will be a case of "come to Jesus" time for the moderates.

comradely

Gary



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