Have Australians become more conservative?

Interesting debate at John Quiggin on whether the election revealed a rightward shift by Australian voters. Left-inclined posters keen to deny this, but the evidence seems irrefutable. Consider two key issues: immigration and greenhouse policy. Conservatives have long been anxious about the decline of Anglo-Australia particularly since the 1970s when non-Anglo immigrants became assertive and […]

Labor goes back to 1997?

In many respects modern Labor has returned to the type of inward musing that it engaged in after 1996. Then there was an assortment of vaguely defined rhetoric about the party’s perceived excessive social liberalism, these critics however were very vague as to exactly what alternative policies they proposed, instead they preferred to focus on […]

Immigration, race and popular environmentalism

The curious fact about the recent population controversy is the absence of any historical context. Since the early 1970s immigration has been a theme of conservative campaigns in Australia, before then it was Labor that wrapped itself in the banner of White Australia.  The conservative critique of immigration came direct from Britain where the Conservatives […]

Hispanics in the US

Interesting report from Pew on the perceptions of young American Hispanics: it is clear that many of today’s Latino youths, be they first or second generation, are straddling two worlds as they adapt to the new homeland. According to the Pew Hispanic Center’s National Survey of Latinos, more than half (52%) of Latinos ages 16 […]

Voting against the Greens & race and the Liberals


After the weekend by-elections in which the Liberals easily retained the safe seats of Higgins and Bradfield a spate of commentary alleging a revival of Liberal fortunes. It is difficult to interpret contests in which Labor did not run a candidate, but the argument is that the Liberal margin over the Greens at the by-election […]

Global futures

Gallup migration

In teaching Australian Identities: Indigenous & Multicultural I include some big picture speculation about the future. I draw on Jeffrey Williamson’s 2003 Noel Butlin lecture on world factor migrations and demographic transitions. Williamson describes how 19th century migration was driven by the desire of the young to escape European overpopulation and poverty for the much […]