Noel Hadjimichael is Webdiary’s conservative columnist.
What would Australia be like if we elected a Latham Federal government next time round? We would have Labor domination across the three spheres of government.
The clear majority of Australians living in major municipalities or cities would have Labor Party selected Councillors. This breeding ground of hard-right or hard-left machine pollies destined for either parliamentary service or some cushy Ministerial employment opportunity.
All States and Territories have Labor administrations, right wing Labor governments unfazed by privatisation, commercialisation or contracting out. Bound to keep faith with union leaderships, these administrations offer a mix of tough crime rhetoric, social policy timidity and economic darwinism: survival of the biggest, ugliest or potentially more persuasive special interest group.
The concept of �mates� and the Labor tradition of close kinship between industrial and political wings is well documented.
A Federal Labor government would, on the face of it, run a liberal social policy agenda to keep the Greens and Democrats (that diminishing band of 1970s progressives) onside whilst relying on the Coalition to temper any difficulty for big business. This would be a pale shade of Labor government.
Voters who want to promote a paradigm shift towards more economically nationalistic, anti-global and environmentally sustainable outcomes would be best served to vote 1 Green and 2 Coalition.
To reward Labor for its policy timidity on some issues (where do they stand on the US alliance or fighting terror?), its backflips on border control and its paranoia over private delivery for education or health would be very strange indeed.
If Labor has found its new Gough Whitlam, great. I always wanted to re-live my teen years with a second round of bungling Ministers intent on doing something for the sake of interest groups. I wanted to see industries stressed by fresh economic ideas, like the �oops sorry� superannuation slip. I desired a government that would liberate me socially whether I wanted it or not, but also intent on liberating my pocket to pay for well-intentioned policy experiments.
The McHale’s Navy coastguard vessels, was it one or two machine guns to be fitted, and the 65 for 65 superannuation slogan have failed to ignite any passion for Labor.
Until such time as we have some mainstream and capable conservative governments running the boring bits of the country (like roads, local schools and hospitals), I don�t want to see an umbrella of Blairite out of touch deal-makers drawn from Labor�s bottomless pit of candidates from central casting straddling the national stage.
It would be a win for the unionised, the socially bitter, the welfare dependant and the radical Left. Not to forget the �mates.�
It would be a loss for the self-supporting, aspirational, battler or socially cautious segments of the voter spectrum. The forgotten people of Menzies who are now both deeply cynical about John Howard the politician but warm to John Howard the conviction protagonist.
Bob Brown and Howard apparently believe in things. I�m not sure about new Labor. Are they just managers with a social justice marketing pitch? Voters are aware that the propaganda war obscures what they really believe in.
My fear is that whilst the coalition and Greens stand for something, Labor and the Democrats are just floating about unsure of what they should think, say or do.
A change of government merely to import a policy vacuum is very scary at this time.