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A tectonic shift to the left in the Australian political landscape

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22.03.2019

Australia is entering a new political era. Unless conservatives and genuine liberals make persuasive counter-arguments, we could be in the midst of a fundamental realignment in the Australian cultural landscape that entrenches progressive shibboleths for a generation.

It’s a far cry from the Howard years (1996-2007). In those days, it was those on the ideological left who were in a despondent mood, because conservatives increasingly represented the political mainstream.

Beyond the white picket fence ... the Australian political landscape has shifted to the left.Credit:Jessica Shapiro

For a man routinely described as lacking charisma, John Howard managed to hit just the right tone. He showed that integration was the key to social cohesion. Citizenship tests were born. The republic was passe.

Ably supported by Philip Ruddock, Howard showed that controlled border protection benefits nobody more than the immigrants who come here fairly and legally. As a result, it helped damp down the fires of racism and xenophobia. (Just look at Europe today.)

Markets and fiscal rectitude occupied the economic policy high ground: Peter Costello paid off the debt while Peter Reith stared down the last gasps of old-style union militancy.

School bureaucrats were widely slammed for pushing politically correct curriculum that was aimed at finding........

© Brisbane Times