How did Australian politics get so weird? This book argues that Australia is part of a major shift happening across the world’s democracies. Pundits say populism is the big new danger, but they’re wrong.
Political parties are at the core of democracy, yet all over the West, big parties are hollowing out: losing members, voters and the support of key interest groups. Australia is no exception. Our major parties have lost their connection with the public, and with history. As parties weaken, they become less stable, hence Australia’s leadership coups. They also become more vulnerable to demands from the political fringes, which is why David Cameron couldn’t resist Britain’s Eurosceptics.
Could Australia have a Brexit moment? Yes. If one of Australia’s big parties succumbs to fringe pressure on immigration, Australia too could make a political break from the continent it flanks.
About the Author
Sam Roggeveen is Director of the Lowy Institute’s International Security Program. Sam writes for newspapers, magazines and websites around the world about Australian politics and foreign policy. He is the founding editor of the Lowy Institute’s digital magazine, The Interpreter. Before joining the Lowy Institute, Sam was a senior analyst in Australia’s peak intelligence agency, the Office of National Assessments.