“Australia’s political malaise runs deep”

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There’s a fine piece in today’s AFR, entitled Australia’s political malaise runs deep.
It’s by Ian Marsh at Australian Innovation Research Centre and Greg Barns, former Liberal Staffer.
They argue that there have been three post-war policy-making dispensations.

1) post war to 66, two parties running the show, mobilising their supporters
2) 66 to 83, New Social Movements (feminist, peace, aboriginal rights, gay rights etc), with parties as brokers
3) 83 to present “neoliberal think tanks emerged as primary agenda setters, ataining influence by mobilising the elite”

“Australia’s pro-globalisation agenda was implemented primarily via major party bipartisanship, which was often tacit. The fallout from this economic policy consensus was that the broader party structures were hollowed out.”

As in, Hawke and Keating were Thatcher and Major. John Howard was Tony Blair… ok, the analogy just stretched to breaking point…

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