Australian politics often pre-emptive of global political shifts. So, what’s coming?

The female face of the teal revolution was its most defining characteristic. Indeed, one of the most compelling images of the year was the sight of this sisterhood of independents being sworn in en masse on the floor of the House of Representatives. Yet one of the many insights in Margot Saville’s excellent new book, The Teal Revolution, is that women were not just front of house, but key back office figures.


Saville reminds us that the “Voices of” groups, which provided much of the impetus in constituencies such as Wentworth and Goldstein, “were created and run by women”. True, the teal revolution was “turbocharged”, as she puts it, by the alternative energy investor Simon Holmes a Court. But an inspiration for Climate 200, his advocacy organisation, was Cathy McGowan, the so-called “godmother of the teals”, who at the 2013 federal election won the aptly named seat of Indi as an independent. Australia has shown, then, how a female-led movement can upend the political status quo, a trend that will hopefully be replicated elsewhere.

The fact that the teals made action on the environment their top priority is another portent, as was the fact that Queensland became “Greensland”. This may be a consequence of Australia being on the global frontline of the climate emergency. “The mood for change in the teal electorates,” as Saville notes, “was ignited by the bushfires of 2019-2020.” Also, it was fuelled by a foot-dragging prime minister who had once gleefully brandished a lump a coal on the floor of parliament. Nonetheless, in emphasising environmentalism, the teals and the Greens are surely ahead of the game. Global warming could well become the paramount issue not just in coastal constituencies, like Goldstein, Wentworth and Warringah, but in every country in every election by the midpoint of the century.

What a lump, of coal. Credit:AAP

The communitarianism and localism that emerged during the 2022 election, which was evident not only in the success of the teals but also the victory of the independent Dai Le over the Labor candidate Kristina Keneally in the Sydney seat of Fowler, might also be a sign of things to come. The Voices Of movement started with a series of kitchen table conversations bringing together voters yearning for a more responsive form of politics. The COVID lockdowns seem to have made voters more community-centric. At a time when democracy around the world has been in the doldrums, the success of candidates of the local community by the local community offers a model of how it might be revitalised from the bottom up.

The positive news out of Australia is that all of these trend-lines point towards a more inclusive and constructive democracy, with a focus on meaningful issues rather than phoney wars. Hopefully, a country that has exported more than its fair share of political toxicity may be leading the way towards a healthier style of politics.

Nick Bryant is the author of The Rise and Fall of Australia: How a Great Nation Lost Its Way. Peter Hartcher is on leave.

The Opinion newsletter is a weekly wrap of views that will challenge, champion and inform your own. Sign up here.

More from our award-winning columnists

Sky-high cost-cutting: Do we really need two pilots in the cockpit? With advances in technology, won’t one pilot on a flight do? Here’s what QF32 hero and ‘Sully’ Sullenberger think – Peter FitzSimons

The tea: With 61 bills passed since the Albanese government came into power in May 2022, who – or what – wins the prize for the biggest storm in a teacup? – Ross Gittins

Behind the power: When you write a book about Scott Morrison, and are more than familiar with the ways the former PM has justified his behaviour, surely you shouldn’t feel sorry for him? – Sean Kelly

Source link

Denial of responsibility! galaxyconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.