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The Australian Labor Party and its various constituencies

Scott, Andrew 2004, The Australian Labor Party and its various constituencies, in APSA 2004 : Proceedings of the Australian Political Studies Association 2004, APSA, [Adelaide, S. Aust.], pp. 1-18.

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Title The Australian Labor Party and its various constituencies
Author(s) Scott, Andrew
Conference name Australian Political Studies Association. Conference (2004 : Adelaide, South Australia)
Conference location Adelaide, S. Aust.
Conference dates 29 Sep.-1 Oct. 2004
Title of proceedings APSA 2004 : Proceedings of the Australian Political Studies Association 2004
Editor(s) [Unknown]
Publication date 2004
Conference series Australian Political Studies Association Conference
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Publisher APSA
Place of publication [Adelaide, S. Aust.]
Summary This paper discusses whether and how the Australian Labor Party (ALP) can balance the arguably conflicting interests and outlooks of its blue-collar 'heartland' and the socially progressive, middle-class, professional elements of its constituency. The paper includes analysis, in socio-geographical detail and in historical perspective, of the results of the November 2001 national Australian election as well as opinion poll trends and academic survey results and interpretations before and since that time. Debate intensified after Labor’s 2001 election defeat about the supposedly irreconcilable character of different Labor Party constituencies. Much of this debate however was (and remains) characterised by derogatory and judgemental categorisations of various ill-defined social groups. On the eve of the 2004 national Australian election, based on careful consideration of a range of demographic and electoral evidence, this paper contends that, while there are, at times, conflicting interests and outlooks between different elements of the ALP's constituency (just as there is amid the support base of many social democratic parties in western nations), the party's electoral future will be best served by standing on and extending as far as possible the considerable common ground between these various elements. This common ground, it is argued, consists of egalitarian economic policies which promote security in people's lives and which thus build scope for the pursuit and acceptance of more compassionate, outward looking social policies. Its consolidation requires leadership by the Party in shaping public opinion rather than mere reaction to what is assumed to be static public opinion.
Notes Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
Field of Research 160601 Australian Government and Politics
Socio Economic Objective 940203 Political Systems
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
Copyright notice ©2004, APSA
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30041527

Document type: Conference Paper
Collections: School of International and Political Studies
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.