March 23rd 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Federally, the pro-family voter is starved for choice

SPECIAL EDITORIAL Has Cardinal George Pell been wrongly convicted?

EDITORIAL For politicians: lessons from Europe's emerging pro-family parties

ENERGY Hundreds of years of oil and gas reserves; if we want to use them

THE CARDINAL AND THE MEDIA Four Corners: the third trial of Cardinal Pell

SOCIETY AND RELIGION The future belongs to those who possess the past

SCIENCE Are summer heatwaves caused by climate change?

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE The roots of the breaking of a fundamental taboo

CARDINAL PELL CONVICTION Triumphalism over Pell verdict shows civilisation is just a veneer

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS President Donald Trump: an unlikely promise keeper Part 1

THE AUSTRALIAN CLIMATE Same old same old in our beloved sunburnt country

THE AUSTRALASIAN A three years' drought

ASIAN AFFAIRS Taiwan reaches out to its regional neighbours

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Covington boys: left hoist on its bigots' petard

MUSIC Time's unfolding: One of music's raw materials

CINEMA Stan & Ollie: Past joys, past sorrows

BOOK REVIEW The three-part attack on the home

BOOK REVIEW What draining the DC swamp turns up

LETTERS

POETRY

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COVER STORY Federally, the pro-family voter is starved for choice

by NW Contributor

News Weekly, March 23, 2019

The quandary facing the socially conservative, pro-family and pro-Australian voter at the coming federal election is a difficult one, with no obvious answer and no certain outcome even if they can find a party aligned with at least some of their views.

Instead of eschewing the disunity and instability of the previous Labor government, the Liberal-National Coalition has inexplicably entrenched these in the political culture during its two terms of government.

The economy remains robust and employment is strong (traditionally indicators for the certain re-election of a federal government), but the Coalition’s superior economic management has been overshadowed in voters’ minds by the cutting down of not one but two sitting prime ministers, and sundry scandals that were results of self-indulgence, not service to the Australian people.

As a result of this, the Coalition’s prospects look grim at the coming poll.

The inability to settle on a clear policy response to energy and climate change is also symptomatic of a Coalition whose constituencies (from affluent, virtue-signalling inner-city professionals to people actually struggling to earn a living in regional Australia) are stretched to breaking point.

The Coalition was once able to hold within its ranks a diversity of views to the right of Australian politics, which largely accounted for its long-term political success.

Scott Morrison keeps fighting hard, displaying a great deal of energy, resi­lience, and common sense, but his warnings about Bill Shorten as prime minister so far are not penetrating the wavering minds of the swinging voter.

But while a Shorten government may be good punishment for a poorly disciplined Coalition, it will usher in the most left-wing Labor Party in memory and one that will entrench union power, suffocate free speech, expel religion from the public square, and further under­mine the family as the cornerstone of Australian society.

What choices do voters have?

The right of politics has splintered in recent years, competing for places in the Senate and the balance of power.

One Nation has proved to be an extra­ordinary survivor in Australian politics, but it has a singular inability to rise above personality conflicts.

Mark Latham is likely to be elected to the upper house in New South Wales and may well be the person to provide long-term stability and intellectual ballast for One Nation.

But, at a federal level, the party changes views regularly, depending on what Pauline Hanson thinks at the time.

Hanson stands for anti-political correctness and supporting a One Nation view that Pauline Hanson supported only a few months previously can result in expulsion from the party.

Clive Palmer similarly cannot keep people with him and, despite the rivers of cash he is pouring into his United Australia Party campaign, he is not capturing the public’s imagination.

In breathtaking chutzpah, Palmer claims his party has already had three prime ministers – Joseph Lyons, Billy Hughes and Robert Menzies (in his first term as leader of the UAP from 1939–41).

But his actual policies are a mixed bag and include a fair go for refugees, creating more mineral wealth, and helping regions benefit from the wealth they create.

Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives Party ticks most of the boxes, including supporting families and man-woman marriage as the foundation for a prosperous and civil society, back to basics education without political indoctrination, immigration with allegiance to Australia, support of our Judeo-Christian heritage and its institutions.

On the other hand, Bernardi remains an economic liberal who believes in the mantra of unfettered markets, small government, minimal regulation, and balanced budgets. He is a classic economic liberal and social conservative, but events are proving these two ideologies are ultimately not compatible.

Bernardi has also failed to get a cohesive team behind him, although he now has former Australian Christian Lobby chief Lyle Shelton and Joanna Lindgren running in Queensland, and a team of candidates in every state.

The Democratic Labour Party is the great survivor in Australian politics, outliving many other parties on the right side of politics (although the DLP rejects the notion of being a right-wing party anyway, emphasising instead the notion of a fair and decent society).

Unlike the other conservative-type parties, the DLP’s policies are consistent, comprehensive and have a cohesive ideological framework. However, the DLP has never managed to move beyond Victoria, where it is based, nor attract high-profile candidates that can lift its vote.

The choices outside the major parties are problematic and yet Australia is at the crossroads in an election that is likely to introduce policies that will dramatically change the face of the country for decades to come.




























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