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Take a walk on the mild side: The attractions of the political centre

Wickham, G. (2013) Take a walk on the mild side: The attractions of the political centre. The Conversation, 20 November .

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Ongoing reflections on the fall of the Rudd/Gillard Labor governments continue to feature suggestions about the impact of policy shifts to the Left, especially under Gillard (possibly influenced by her dalliance with the Greens).

These suggestions mirror those made about the fate of the Whitlam and Howard governments. The increasingly shambolic Leftist reform agenda of the Whitlam years was seen to be too much for the electorate, while the fate of the Howard government was seemingly sealed by shifting too far to the Right in its approach to industrial relations.

This is an intriguing theme, which, as the Whitlam and Howard parallels attest, continues to be raised whenever governments are thrown out rather than nudged out. But discussion rarely approaches the matter from the other direction: what is actually involved in sticking close to the political centre?

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Social Sciences
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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