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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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June 23, 2004

This is how I feel about politics at the moment.
David Rowe

It's a cynical view. I know. But I'm feeling a bit jaundiced.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:03 PM | | Comments (4)


After the ALP's backflip on the PBS yesterday, I have lost what little faith I had left in them.

As much as I loathe Howard & Co, I am wondering, for the first time, if a Latham-led government will be any different. They seem to be to hungry for power at the expense of all principle. Nothing seems to have been learnt from Beazley's leadership period.

I had decided to give my primary vote to the ALP for the first time in years (I have been voting Greens), but now I am rethinking that decision.

I don't think I am wrong in thinking that ALP currently stands for Alternate Liberal Party.

As an ALP member for 24 years now I am always surprised about how much trust people put on the ALP. I have discussed this on My blog but it is somewhat heartening how despite everything people still hope that the ALP is somewhat more ideologically pure than the Liberals.

The ALP is a party that wants, and can obtain power. Leaving us in the membership aside, the Parliamentary Party will duck and weave to position itself to win an election. For ideological purity you have to go with the Greens or the Democrats, parties with people who have the highest integrity and I respect enormously - but ultimately unlikely to bring down a budget.

I was disappointed with the PBS decision, I as a ALP member disagree with it. And I can understand that the ALP is positioning itself in protecting itself from Government attacks that is not able to manage the economy.

Also the premise of Rowe's cartoon is wrong. Latham would have lied if he went to an election telling voters that he would not have raised the PBS levels and then do so once in power. At least voters know where the ALP stands for.

Also the accusation of the ALP to be the 'Alternative Liberal Party' is in my opinion unfair.

The ALP is a party of the centre left that believes in capitalism and the free market. In that sense it shares lots of common ground with the Liberals. However there are heaps of differences as well, especially in the areas of foreign policy (I could not say that the ALP is the same as the Liberals after Iraq and Bush's exortations), Industrial Relations, Health and so on.

Also Latham is always been pro-market, is socially conservative. Realise that if he becomes Prime Minister there won't be a great surge to progressive policies. Realise this now and avoid disappointment later!

Interesting comments also from Chris and The Age

I'm not sure that the premise of Rowe's cartoon is wrong.I interpret as saying it is the Coalition shop dishing up lies to the electorate as consumer.

We, the electorate, prefer what Latham is offering--his menue. It's the best we can get from the shop.

I reckonthe trustworthy image of Lathaam is in the process of change: from larrikan suburban boy to clown.