||[Aug. 22nd, 2010|10:55 am]
A Diaryfull of Alibis
Oh man, the ALP got its just desserts didn't it?|
Now the ALP Right know that progressives won't slavishly follow the party in its lurch starboard. Hopefully the party gets back on track. Shorten and the other thugs drove the party of a cliff with their power play.
As Bernard Keane pointed out, there's something of a reluctance to admit that this is actually a large shift to the left on the part of the electorate as a whole. If we had proportional representation, things would look a lot different. As such I agree with a lot that Jeff Sparrow says here, that "immediate future of progressive politics lies outside the parliamentary sphere." I mean, a decade of Howard government, we learned to deal, right? We can do it again.
Actually, the best thing about that Sparrow piece is when he calls Bob Katter a "sinister bumpkin". Rarely has a man's character been so succinctly reckoned!
On the other hand, I do have worries about not having a proper government given some of the economic issues ahead - the US is heading for a double-dip recession if the indicators are right, and Chinese growth "can't go on forever" (although people have been saying this forever). As such, although in some ways I appreciate the sentiment, I can't totally agree with Annabel Crabb's Twittered "Seriously, I love the Australian people. This result is really the only possible honest response to that campaign." Not all the swing against Labor was progressives dropping off to the left. Plenty was people who were swayed by specious arguments about boat people (who are only in the wildest fantasies a factor for 'population growth') and a worrying hysterical, media-fed distrust of counter-cyclical government spending.
The fact is, it is absolutely remarkable that a government was turfed for not presiding over a recession. It's almost as if Australians have had it so good for so long that even with harrowing unemployment gutting the US economy, a good whack of our electorate still thinks along neoliberal lines.
Perhaps the best thing for the left to push for, out of all of this, is electoral reform.