Nationalism of grows in Australia!
The United Kingdom’s 2016 withdrawal from the European Union, commonly referred to as ‘Brexit’ alongside the shocking election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States of America are indicative of a changing landscape in global and regional politics. Disenfranchised voting populations across the Western World have become increasingly vulnerable to the populist rhetoric and inflammatory arguments of far-right, alternative-right and heavily conservative political parties. Throughout Australia’s history, there have been many prominent outlier political parties. The diversity of opinions and views within the Australian political system has, for the most part, been a source of strength in Australian governance. Despite numerous changes of government and cabinet ministry reshuffling over the past five years, Australia has remained a stable and prosperous nation. However, recent developments around the world have instigated tectonic shifts within Australian politics prompting the resurgence of Pauline Hanson’s ‘One Nation’ Party and the recent creation of the ‘Australian Conservatives Party’.
Australian politics revolves around a two party system with both a House of Representatives and Senate forming the Parliamentary framework. The Liberal National Coalition and the Australian Labor Party are the foremost political parties within Australia and governance of the country has oscillated between these two parties for most of Australia’s history with only minor deviations in the electoral voting statistics every year. However, in the last 2 years, Australia’s electorate has far been more volatile with considerable voting swings in previously secure seats of government. These swings have been towards recently formed independent parties and outlier political groups. These groups previously represented fringe views in Australian society, one such group is One Nation, a conservative nationalist political party with controversial views on gender, religion, immigration and climate change.
One Nation has garnered massive support since the 2016 Federal Election, securing over 700000 votes and several positions in the Australian Senate. The reasons for this massive shift in Australian thinking are manifold, however, the primary factors revolve around a widespread belief that politicians in Canberra are out of touch with the average Australian. The founder of One Nation, Pauline Hanson, has capitalised on this disenfranchisement, continually reaffirming her grassroots beginnings as a conservative activist. As Pauline Hanson’s popularity continues to grow, both her personal views and the One Nation manifesto increasingly reflect intolerant, protectionist and uneducated views. One Nation is anti-abortionist and does not support action to mitigate Climate Change, believing it to be a hoax, the party also wishes to initiate a nationwide immigration ban on people originating from Islamic countries. Furthermore, numerous members of the party are currently embroiled in allegations of abuse towards homosexuals, women and Muslims.
Australian politics is currently in a state of flux; uncertainty has impacted the Australian Share Market due to investor caution as a result of electoral volatility. Just recently, on 7 February 2017, a governmental senator, Cory Bernadi, citing Donald Trump as his inspiration, defected from the Liberal National Coalition and formed his own political party: The Australian Conservatives. As the threats of terrorism, food and water security, climate change and over-population loom, it is more important than ever, that Australia and the rest of the world remain unified. Freedom of speech is a basic human right but the preaching of hate, intolerance or falsity cannot be tolerated, especially from those people elected to lead our country.
Author: Alexander Burns – Australia
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