The New South Wales elections were not an exercise in replacing a left wing government with one from the right. The voters simply deserted a woefully inefficient government and voted for one that they hope won’t be like that. Political colour made not the slightest difference.
It is also a myth that they voted against the carbon tax and the Independents. They simply went to the polls with one thought in mind — let us get rid of this truly awful government. It was even worse than the McMahon Government in Canberra in the Seventies, and that is really saying something.
This brings us to the political parties. In their current form, they are all utterly irrelevant to the Australian political scene.
It is illogical to have a party called the Labor Party. Few Australians now regard themselves as labourers. They reckon that they belong to the great middle class. For politicians to talk about ‘working families’ is an absolute nonsense. Everyone in Australia who earns a salary, high or low, or runs a business, large or small, works hard to maintain the lifestyle that they want.
On the other side of the political fence, we have a conservative party who call themselves Liberals and a National Party that changed its name from the Country Party so as to make it appear that they don’t represent the bush. We all know that a conservative in the bush has the same political philosophy as a conservative in the suburbs. We simply need one conservative party that doesn’t try to pretend that they are Liberals.
The Greens have a bigger problem. Who on earth wants to be called Green. That word generally means that you are wet behind the ears, and Bob Brown is not in that category.
We really need only two political parties who are firmly in the centre of the political spectrum. One would be a bit to the left of centre and the other a little to the right of centre. The ‘Greens’ can then join either.
Australians don’t want parties that mouth a political philosophy. We have moved way beyond that to a world of pragmatism. We want competent, progressive governments and, at each election, we can choose which one we think has the best management and leadership skills to do the job. Names won’t matter. In England, they used to call themselves the Whigs and the Tories, and the voters decided for themselves who were the good guys and who were the bad.