Malcolm's Third Party

Oh Malcolm, why did you have to go and do that?

I mean, I get it.  A man of your excellence has found he cannot excel in the Liberal Party of Australia.  Just as, once, you couldn’t excel in the Australian Labor Party.  I do grant you, our political culture does seem to reward mediocrity and discourage innovation.

But did you have to quit? !

We need you, Malcolm.  We really need you.  And since neither party has the foresight to realise your vision, we need you to start your own party.  A third party.

Because, Malcolm, in the immortal (and slightly paraphrased) words of that great political thinker, Sam Seaborn,

“We are a nation of centrists and  you might just be the right man with the right message at the right time.”

You see, Malcolm, we’re tired of this two-party system where both parties are too entrenched and beholden to their old, special interest groups to affect real change.  We’re tired of political machines designed for a sausage factory.

And we’re especially tired of two parties who seem to exist solely to prove the other wrong.  All these gotcha games makes effective policy-making really difficult.

Malcolm, we need a leader like you: a smart Australian with experience in both the political and private sectors.  Someone who understand the role that government can and should play, but also respects the free market.  We need someone who is an innovator, and isn’t afraid to say “We will find a better way of doing things.”

We don’t need any new entitlements, Malcolm, nor do we need to cut any out. We’ve got it just about right.  What we do need is to do things smarter.  We need to find new efficiencies.  We need to innovate.  And as we streamline our systems and do things in much smarter ways, we can reduce taxes on Australians who work hard.  We can invest in education.  We can continue to provide a safety net and encourage excellence all at once.

And you know what else would be great?  If we could compromise and pass some environmental legislation that would do something about carbon emissions. And if we could start to rethink our education system, and seriously consider a national curriculum (because, let’s face it, the education needs of kids in Perth aren’t substantially different to the needs of those in NSW, and all we’re doing is creating more paperwork for ourselves- see: there’s one of those new efficiencies!).  And if we could keep our noses out of people’s private lives, and making decisions for them that we have no right to make.

And you see, Malcolm, I’ve had a lot of chats to my friends, and many of them feel the same way.  We’re not represented anywhere on the Australian political spectrum.  We’re disillusioned with Labor, with their scandals and their inefficiencies(especially at state level), and we think the Liberals are too worried about things that don’t matter and not worried enough about things that do.  The Greens are no good to us- they are way too far left and they don’t really get the importance of the market- and the Dems- well, we all know that story.

What we need is you, Malcolm.  We need you not to return to the private sector, but to do what you were born to do, and transform the public sector.  We need you.  We need your third party.

So Malcolm, I promise you this (I know it’s not much, but hear me out):  If you create a third party, I will vote for it.  I will campaign for you. I will knock on doors.  I will donate money. I will be a tiny cog in this new political machine.  Maybe, one day, I’ll even run in my local electorate, thrilled to finally have a party I can proudly represent.

Just think about it, would you? We need you too much for you to disappear from our political world.  And we need a third party even more. Please.

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Would you vote for Malcolm? If so, why not join the facebook group, or tweet #idvotemal

4 thoughts on “Malcolm's Third Party

  1. Hey Erin,

    I’m not going to pretend to know enough about politics to comment on your post, but thought you might be interested this site:
    http://www.acara.edu.au/default.asp

    The K-12 National Curriculum is well and truly on its way. It’s too early to tell how effective or well developed it will be, however all teachers and educational groups currently have the opportunity to be involved in consultation focus groups. All the KLA admin has been all but signed off on!

    One less thing for ‘Malcolm’ to have to worry about 😉

  2. Erin, it sounds to me like a combination of the original though behind the Democrats and the Rudd/Obama/Clinton/Blair Third Way… Not really sure that a centrist party would attract enough votes to ever be effective, especially now that both parties have moved so close to the centre as to be almost indistinguishable.

    That Rudd strongly touted his economic conservatism in the lead up the 2007 election, and now polls showing that people trust Labor with economic matters for the first time in many years, I’d say that a strong understanding of market principles exists within the Labor party. These principles have long existed within the Liberal party, although their initial thesis has become twisted. Hockey’s (and others) rejection of an internet filtering scheme points to remnants of this original liberalism.

    A centrist cannot hope to succeed in an environment in which the two dominant parties have both claimed the middle ground—this is what saw off the Democrats in the first place. The electorate often votes with their hearts instead of their heads, and probably felt that the Dems no longer stood for anything.

    Notice that Labor has lost a significant portion of its vote to the Greens, who garnered above 20% of the primary vote in some metropolitan areas, which are traditional Labor heartlands.

    I don’t think there’s room in Australia’s political climate for a third (actually, probably fourth or fifth) party, not when centrism has already been adopted by those who rule the roost.

  3. … you do have a very valid point, Erin. At the moment, it seems as though both parties are fixated on the ‘gotcha games’ rather than on the policy building.

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