Confusion: The Making of the Australian Two-Party System
Paul Strangio, Nick Dyrenfurth
Academic Monographs, Nov 15, 2009 - Political Science - 320 pages
In Confusion, some of Australia's foremost political historians including Judith Brett and Stuart Macintyre revisit the seminal moment when liberals threw in their lot with the conservatives. In May 1909, Alfred Deakin, the radical liberal doyen, struck an agreement for a controversial 'fusion' with the anti-Labor factions, with the new grouping later adopting the name 'Liberal Party'. After a heated campaign, Labor won the 1910 election, forming the first majority government in the history of the Commonwealth. The Australian party system; as we still largely know it one hundred years on; had crystallised. How had this occurred? For most of the previous decade Labor and Deakin had been allies. Was the anti-Labor alliance the inevitable outcome of middle-class men rallying against the growing electoral might of the workers' party? What were the long-term consequences for both sides of politics? With Labor in power federally and in all but one state, the non-Labor side of politics has been plunged into a period of introspection about its coalition arrangements, and about the legitimate traditions of Australian liberalism. Can the current Liberals learn from the events of a century ago?
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accessed November 2008 Alfred Deakin Papers alliance Andrew Fisher anti-Labor anti-socialist April arbitration argued Australian Labor Party Australian Liberals Australian National Australian politics Australian Worker AWNL Billy Hughes campaign candidates Carruthers caucus cited coalition colonial Commonwealth Commonwealth Liberal Party conscription conservative Deakinite Deakinite Liberals debate decade economic electoral federal election fiscal Free Trade liberalism fusion Fusion Party George Reid government’s History Holman Hume Cook ibid ideological industrial Item Joseph Cook judgement Judith Brett Labor Call Labor government Labor Party Laborites labour movement leader leadership legislation Liberal Protectionists liberty Loveday Mauger Melbourne University Press Menzies ministry Nauze non-Labor parties parliament parliamentary party’s People’s politicians premier prime minister progress protection Protectionist Party Queensland radical reform Reid’s Rickard social socialist South Wales Stuart Macintyre Sydney Morning Herald Sydney Worker tariff tradition Trenwith union Victorian Labor vote Watson White Australia William Lyne women Women’s National League