By Judith Brett
Judith Brett, award-winning writer and famous Australian political scientist, presents the 1st entire background of the Australian liberal culture, in addition to of the Liberal social gathering from the second one half the 20 th century. The Liberal social gathering of Australia was once overdue to shape in 1945, however the traditions and beliefs upon which it truly is based were important to Australian politics on the grounds that federation.
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Additional info for Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class: From Alfred Deakin to John Howard
54 Compounding the Liberals’ sense of their organisational handicap in the conﬂict with Labor was their reluctant recognition that Labor’s electoral 28 We see the Labor party machine ruthlessly but efﬁciently crushing factions and oppositions and we lament the inadequacy of our own machinery. We imagine that stricter party discipline and greater efﬁciency of organisation 29 O r g a n i s at i o n a n d t h e M e a n i n g o f F u s i o n strength was not simply the result of its rigid organisational methods but also of its camaraderie, idealism and sense of common purpose which the Liberals lacked: ‘The main strength of the Labour movement in Australia is its spirit of unity created by the common interests of its members in their union … the feeling of fellowship permeating the Labour ranks, healing differences and closing up its ranks at election time’.
On the other hand, the more effective its organisation, the more it risked alienating its supporters by being seen as dictatorial and bureaucratic, the very vices attributed to Labor. The Liberals in New South Wales were much less squeamish about political organisation. 45 by friends and have the doors lined with friends … tell Howe to have 2 or 3 here and there to lead off the applauding and to put down with cheers every hostile remark. ’53 In 1910 Parkhill became secretary of the Federal Liberal League, and was a constant organising presence through the various re-formations of the 1910s and 1920s.
Because the development of policy is the ultimate responsibility of the leader, genuine differences over policy within the party cannot be openly debated and resolutions negotiated. What might have been a debate between the advocates of radical new ideas and the supporters of the party’s traditional policies was instead fought out in the personal politics of struggles over the leadership, crippling the party’s ability to develop coherent and electorally attractive policies. Examples abound throughout the 1980s of policy differences within the party sliding into leadership crises: Howard over immigration in 1988, Hewson over Fightback!
Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class: From Alfred Deakin to John Howard by Judith Brett