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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

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August 30, 2003

This article by Geoff Kitson highlights the way the Howard Liberal Government dealt with the political threat posed by the populist anger to economic reform. You have the right hand of Prime Minister co-opting populism, whilst the left hand of Tony Abbott, a senior Minister, is used to undermine the financial capacity of Pauline Hanson's One Nation's to promote the right wing populist policies.

It is called honest politics.

It is a broad movement. Another example is the ALP's hypocrisy for feigning outrage now about Abbott's "secret slush fund" to undermine One Nation populism. As Geoff Kitney observes:

"Labor's hypocrisy is undeniable: it did nothing and said nothing at the time of Abbott's fund-raising activities, which were known publicly, because it would have been the first to celebrate success by Abbott."

The ALP defined this regional populism as a blacklash emotive conservatism with nativist and racist overtones.

It is the honest politics described above that once fueled, and continues to fuel, the populist attack on Canberra-style politics. It talks a political language of democratic deficit at a time when democracy is equated with the free market. Both professional parties acted to exclude and defeat the populist insurgency to top-down economc rule; a rebellion based on grassroots opposition to oppressive political and cultural elites. Populism argues that the ordinary person is not the master of his or her fate, that the political system imperfectly reflects the popular interest and that the popular interest should be supreme, in contrast to narrow elite interests.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:32 AM | | Comments (0)