Australian Parliamentary Elections

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Australian Parliamentary Elections

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun May 19, 2019 12:09 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:02 am
... Labor has strenuously tried to distance itself from the Greens, as the association is electoral poison in rural electorates.
That's mostly true but perhaps a bit simplistic.
The demographic pie can be sliced in several different ways, and some ways split Labor down the middle, which is a serious problem for the party. Slicing it into rural-and-regional vs major cities: rural and regional people are mostly more conservative socially than urban people, so Labor's rural/regional base is more conservative than it's urban majority. The National Party doesn't have that problem (it has no real urban membership, so it isn't split) and neither do the Greens or the Libs (for the converse reason - no rural membership to speak of).

An increasing number of rural people are concerned about the environment (climate change, species loss, erosion, land ruined by coal mines and fracking, etc) but feel that the Greens don't understand those issues in the same way that they do, and they are not really wrong. Add that to the country's suspicion of the city, and the difference in social views, and the Greens seem doomed to remain an urban party.
But what I've just said applies also to the left of the Labor Party.

One thing that happened to Labor this time was that they sat on the fence on Adani's Galilee Basin coal project and lost votes to both the rural/regional and urban Right (for not approving the project) and to the mostly-urban Left (for not definitively stopping it).

:juggling:
Kim

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Wayfarer
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Re: Australian Parliamentary Elections

Post by Wayfarer » Sun May 19, 2019 10:27 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:One thing that happened to Labor this time was that they sat on the fence on Adani's Galilee Basin coal project and lost votes to both the rural/regional and urban Right (for not approving the project) and to the mostly-urban Left (for not definitively stopping it).
Spot on.

I think the Adani mine is a dreadful idea, and the credentials of the Indian conglomerate that are founding it are dubious in the extreme. I'm hopeful that it fails on economic grounds, not by government diktat, because of the shift away from coal power, but I'm not hopeful.

It's a curious thing that conservatives aren't more concerned with conserving the natural environment. You would think it would be a natural fit - after all conservatism is about conserving heritage, and surely the natural environment should be understood as heritage before anything else. Why 'the Left' should be the party of the environment doesn't really make sense from that perspective. I guess it's because conversatism is also identified with industrial capitalism, and that's where the conflict really lies.

Myself, I very much favour a strong environmental policy - much more than the Government is likely to propose - but other than that, I don't share a lot of views that are automatically associated with the 'Green Left'. I think one of the underlying dynamics in current culture is that there is a kind of urban liberal consensus in which views on many topics are assumed to form a part. So if you 'support action on climate change' then you automatically also have views on - well, let's say, other social issues, that aren't at all connected with environmentalism at all. I'm a social conservative in a lot of respects, but I generally just don't advocate it, as it generates too much acrimony. I strongly suspect this has something to do with the ascendancy of the fringe right (which incidentally I would never vote for nor endorse. So I'm in a kind of political no-mans-land, conservative in some respects, progressive in others, belonging to none. Although I did vote Labor. :smile: )
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Australian Parliamentary Elections

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun May 19, 2019 10:39 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 12:09 pm
Wayfarer wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:02 am
... Labor has strenuously tried to distance itself from the Greens, as the association is electoral poison in rural electorates.
That's mostly true but perhaps a bit simplistic.
The demographic pie can be sliced in several different ways, and some ways split Labor down the middle, which is a serious problem for the party. Slicing it into rural-and-regional vs major cities: rural and regional people are mostly more conservative socially than urban people, so Labor's rural/regional base is more conservative than it's urban majority. ...
:juggling:
Kim
Here's a good example from today's news:
A Labor frontbencher has issued a stinging assessment of the party's policies outlined during the federal election campaign, saying they tracked "a little to the left".
Joel Fitzgibbon, who hung on to the seat of Hunter despite a 10 per cent swing, said Labor needed to reconnect with its blue-collar base.
That's from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-20/ ... h/11128812
His seat " includes the Hunter Valley towns of Cessnock, Singleton and Muswellbrook as well as the urban areas on the western shore of Lake Macquarie. The electorate's economic base is a peculiar mix of agriculture and heavy industry, being dominated by coal mining and electricity generation, but also possessing some of the country's best vineyards, best horse studs and richest beef cattle grazing areas. Covers 10,640 square kilometres." according to https://www.abc.net.au/news/elections/f ... guide/hunt

:coffee:
Kim

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Kim O'Hara
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Posts: 3960
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:09 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Australian Parliamentary Elections

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sun May 19, 2019 11:11 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 10:27 pm
Kim O'Hara wrote:One thing that happened to Labor this time was that they sat on the fence on Adani's Galilee Basin coal project and lost votes to both the rural/regional and urban Right (for not approving the project) and to the mostly-urban Left (for not definitively stopping it).
Spot on.
Thanks.

I think the Adani mine is a dreadful idea, and the credentials of the Indian conglomerate that are founding it are dubious in the extreme. I'm hopeful that it fails on economic grounds, not by government diktat, because of the shift away from coal power, but I'm not hopeful.
You ought to be hopeful. The original project has ben scaled back several times as the coal price has fallen, and even the smaller project is not economically viable now. There'a a very good overview from Market Forces here - https://www.marketforces.org.au/adanis- ... 18-update/ - and another (Tim Buckley and Michael West) here - https://www.michaelwest.com.au/adani-ne ... llionaire/.
It's a curious thing that conservatives aren't more concerned with conserving the natural environment. You would think it would be a natural fit - after all conservatism is about conserving heritage, and surely the natural environment should be understood as heritage before anything else. Why 'the Left' should be the party of the environment doesn't really make sense from that perspective. I guess it's because conversatism is also identified with industrial capitalism, and that's where the conflict really lies.
Alternatively and more understandably, conservatism is about trying to hang on to things as they were ten or twenty years ago (or return to things as they were fifty years ago!) and the Left is about social justice.
Social justice was primarily about workers' rights and is the heart of the union movement and (therefore) of Labor, but it has expanded to include intergenerational justice and hence environmental concerns.
But the Right is no longer "conservative" anyway. It is neoliberal, supporting big business at the expense of everything else.
:jedi:

:namaste:
Kim

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