January 26th 2019

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The Natural Family as an integrative social force in American history

EDITORIAL The Remnant, resistant, creative minority

ENERGY POLICY Enough hot air about carbon dioxide; let's talk LPG

CANBERRA OBSERVED Federal election: the media have done our duty at the polls for us

NSW ELECTION NSW is just starting to sizzle

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Archbishop Wilson free, but trial was no witchhunt

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Awaiting Hayne: full report sure to shake finance sector

LIFE ISSUES The unvarnished truth about surrogacy

HIGHER EDUCATION Massification: that's the name of the game

SOCIETY Dover Beach: a mordant post-Christmas reflection

IRELAND TODAY Celtic Tiger changed out of all recognition

MUSIC One note does not a monotone make

CINEMA Aquaman: High fantasy in ocean depths

BOOK REVIEW Uninformed consent

BOOK REVIEW A thoroughly modern movement

BOOK REVEW The foundation of a successful society


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is just starting to sizzle

by NW Contributor

News Weekly, January 26, 2019

You wouldn’t believe that there are fewer than 70 days to go until the NSW state election, with both major parties staying under the radar of voters with few media reports.

Combined with sleepy January, we have a voting population whose mind isn’t on the election and not awake enough to be asking important questions of politicians and political parties. After all, this election goes towards deciding the federal election, as history shows.

Labor has never won a federal election without also winning a majority of seats in NSW; while the last time the Coalition won an election without a majority in NSW was in 1961, under Menzies.

In fact there is a lot at stake. If Labor wins, there will be four state Labor governments across the country; and later this year there is likely to be one federally as well.

The Coalition may be concerned that minor parties like NSW Mark Latham’s One Nation will chip away at the conservative vote. Indeed, Mr Latham, with his high media profile, is campaigning hard in regional NSW where the One Nation vote will be highest.

When it comes to voting, Mr Latham’s common-sense approach to issues such as drugs is in line with Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s. But where do they both stand when it comes to a conscience vote on euthanasia and abortion?

We know all too well how much resources are expended each year convincing ALP and Coalition MPs to vote a certain way. In 2019, we possibly face the decriminalisation of abortion, following Queensland in 2018; not to mention that, if David Leyonhjelm gets elected, he is likely to act on his strong pro-euthanasia stance.

Speaking of individual personalities, our new Opposition Leader, Michael Daley, is strong on climate change: does he mean global warming? Can he clarify his stance? A recent puff piece in The Sydney Morning Herald says that he believes in life and likes animals. Does that mean he will vote “no” to decriminalising abortion this year?

And, what about Mrs Berejiklian? Apart from being able to oversee ambitious infrastructure projects, what is her view on life, cultural and family issues? Or does she think building things will solve everything?

There is a strange silence from both sides on these issues, broken only by Labor’s obsession with the Coalition’s stadiums and a lot of useless noise.

Generally, country people want more infrastructure and services, and to grow their populations. Yet they may be suspicious of particular cultural groups moving in.

Whereas people in Sydney are tired of driving in constant, all-day peak-hour traffic through the almost ubiquitous construction sites.

Many want to see a lowering of immigration levels despite many being immigrants themselves; and, for anyone who lives in Western Sydney this summer, it is hard to see how Lucy Turnbull’s three-city proposal will work to people’s satisfaction. Then again, not everyone has even heard about it.

Against this background, the appeal of minor parties may have more to do with an overall distrust in government and politicians. Is it a protest vote resulting from a lack of clear narrative from both major parties? Recent polling indicates that the top priorities of NSW voters are health and hospitals, followed by managing the state’s finances. The lowest priorities of voters according to the poll include schools and transport.

Neither major party has spoken enough on these. Nor have they spoken out on energy or jobs growth. They seen to be unable to communicate effectively their clear ideological objectives and persuade voters that they are united among themselves. These are things that many voters need to hear leading up to the 2019 NSW election.

More to come in future editions of News Weekly on individual candidates, marginal seats and the important issues.

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Last Modified:
April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm