Australian election reveals weaknesses in “centrism”


Commentary

Australia’s federal elections so far show how the political center is weakening as voters shift further to the left and right.

This is all part of a growing global trend of growing dissatisfaction with the status quo from voters in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Canada. At the heart of this growing phenomenon are some interrelated changes.

First, voters no longer believe that the two-party system offers ample options. In the past, this may have satisfied voters, but it’s no longer the case, as the left and right-wing minor parties appear to be ready to clean up.

On the left, the Greens are the most successful and are reinforced by new awakened radicalism that continues to find “victim groups” that can support the heavy policies of state interventionism.

On the right, a truly new way of thinking, from nationalists to conservatives, from traditionalists to right-wing libertarians, is in full bloom.

After decades of alienation, the awakening of rights has changed the political landscape, as evidenced by the influence of France’s Trump, Brexit and Marine Le Pen. In addition, new nationalism has blossomed in Eastern Europe in countries such as Austria, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine.

Polish Prime Minister Mateushmoraviecki
Polish Prime Minister Mateushmoravietski spoke at a press conference in Budapest, Hungary on October 12, 2021. (BernadettSzabo / Reuters)

So what is the center of this shift?

At the heart of it are mainstream political parties in globalization projects that include building global trade, exporting jobs to China (at the expense of local industry), and promoting mass immigration and multiculturalism (at a cost). I’m dissatisfied with how we’ve worked together to build and share (of the local national identity).

Power could shift between centre-left and centre-right, but when it came to globalization consensus, it was actually the case of Tweedledum and Tweedledum.

The new right and left are opposed to the project for a variety of reasons. Rights reject the “liberal” aspect of globalization: mass migration-multiculturalism. Express interventionism to support “victim groups” (eg, affirmative action policies and disputes over human rights).

The left rejects the “capitalist” aspect of the project, which includes major economic growth. Inequality between the rich and the poor. Economic development at the expense of the environment.

Importantly, left and right voters experience a common sense of being “excluded” rather than “consulted” from decisions made by mainstream parties, a weakness in centrist politics that is currently being seen. It led to the change. This has proven to be a major challenge for party leaders.

Donald Trump’s election was a watershed moment that broke the old bilateral globalization movement and the long-standing centrist spell.

For the Republicans, it revealed continued cooperation with the Democrats to support globalization, and for the Democrats, it revealed how blue-collar workers deteriorated through the export of employment to China.

A more recent example was the French presidential election, where two centre-right Republicans and centre-left socialists received less than 10% of the votes combined. Catastrophic consequences.

Macron supporters
Supporters react after the victory of Emmanuel Macron’s re-election of French President Emmanuel Macron and the candidate for the La Republique En Marche (LREM) party in the French presidential election in Chandmars, Paris on April 24, 2022. (Ludovic Marin / AFP via Getty Images).

In the English-speaking world, legacy parties are not (yet) dead. They are obsessed with life because many of the left-right shifts are occurring within the party, which causes political turmoil. That is why Western politics may now appear to be very messy and dysfunctional.

Australia’s 2022 elections clearly show the turmoil caused by dissatisfied voters.

Both the centre-right Liberal Party and the centre-left Labor Party are divided into factions. The leaders of both parties have done a great job of putting it all together to prevent political bleeding into the minor parties.

For the governing Free State Union, the seats in the area and suburbs have shifted to the right, the seats in the city have shifted to the left, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison has left the enviable task of trying to put it together.

An example of how fierce the division is can be seen in the actions of two political entrepreneurs who are spending millions of dollars trying to pull voters out of the coalition side.

A left-wing secession group (created by Simon Holmes Acourt of Millionaire) fought so-called “independents” against a coalition of voters in the major city centers of Sydney and Melbourne.

These “Climate 200” candidates are appealing to voters concerned about climate change and are marginalized by government restructuring of more socially conservative suburban and regional voters. I hope to win.

On the other side, the coalition must fight mining billionaire Clive Palmer, who wants to beat those socially conservative voters in his US Australian Party.

Meanwhile, the Australian Labor Party (ALP), traditionally a working-class (socially conservative) party, is bleeding a lot of blood on the left-wing Greens.

ALP must also stop bleeding on the right side of the simultaneous or right wing One Nation. This also happened in the 2019 federal elections.

The polarization of the voting base could indicate that both major parties have been bleeding and weakening since the May elections, staring at Australia’s hung parliamentary barrel.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Eric Law

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Eric Louw is a retired professor of political communication with a background spanning universities in South Africa and Australia. Prior to that, he was a former activist, journalist and media trainer at the African National Congress, working on the transition to the post-apartheid era in South Africa. Louw is an expert in affirmative action and Black Economic Empowerment Policy. His PhD was in the study of Marxism and its postmodern development. He has authored nine books, including “The Rise and Fall of Apartheid and the Legacy” and “Media and the Political Process.”