The pollsters have it right: The last federal election took place around five years ago, and it was marred by unprecedented tensions between the major parties—a legacy that continues this time around. In an effort to reduce these tensions and make Australia more competitive in the global market, both major political parties have launched new programs and policies that could substantially improve voter choice in future elections. With this article, we’ll explore some of the possible implications of changes announced or implemented so far in this Parliament and explore what we can learn from similar efforts over the past decade or two.
What’s the status of the federal election?
As we’ve mentioned, the Australian federal election will be the largest to date. The next federal election, scheduled for May 2019, is the most recent time that we have data to measure trends. With a likely majority of states and cities holding at least one representative, and with a large number of seats up for grabs in many of them, the federal election is set to be a political un EVENT.
Changes in Australian politics over the past few years
Since the last federal election, we’ve seen a number of shifts in Australian politics. First, the Abbott government’s policy on asylum seekers was roundabout, and not all onshore communities were aware of its implications. For example, the controversial “asylum offensive” saw boat curtains open for migrants in Galilee, but locals were unaware that the Australian government was planning to erect towers and gushing canals in their backyards. Second, the Turnbull government has taken a more conservative position on issues like marriage equality and the environment—though it retained its support for the carbon price. Lastly, the Greens have been at the fore of progressive political organizing in Australia, and their political team is set to launch a major campaign to reduce the country’s income tax rates to single-payer.
Can changing government improve voter choice?
It’s easy to forget that a majority of Australians don’t actually want a changed government, since they see them as the same government they’ve always supported. This may be true in some parts of the country, but not all. While the Greens have seen strong support from young people and the poor, older Australians tend to see them as the same government they always support—and this is likely due to their conservative views on social issues like marriage equality and climate change. And it’s not just younger people who share this view: A large majority of people over 65 believe that the Abbott government is doing a “disastrous” job in its current form, while a large majority also believe that the government is clueless as to what to do next.
What happens when we know more about the final elections?
It’s hard to know for certain what will happen in the coming federal elections since it’s a closely divided Parliament with a variety of different parties representing each seat. However, it’s possible to forecast certain outcomes by looking at the trends seen in other countries. For example, in New Zealand, the previous government was replaced with a new one in 2017, and climate change has been a major issue. In that country, the estimated potential for a change in the government was about one in five votes. Similarly, in Australia, the change in government is likely to be about one in five votes, though this may vary state-by-state due to regional differences in voting.
The Australian federal election is likely to be one of the most interesting and unpredictable elections in recent memory. That’s because each of the major political parties has plans and policies that could greatly improve the general election choice, while also providing room for confusion and inconsistency. At the same time, the Australian federal election is also likely to be a very close, closely contested election, with little sign of any major shift in policy or strategy. This means that it’s impossible to know for certain what will happen, but we do know that the Australian federal election is going to be an interesting one.
© 2022 Rashid Mirani