Podcast #72: Minor parties on the right


Ben is joined today by Ben Moffitt from the Australian Catholic University to talk about right-wing minor parties and their role in the federal election, and to profile the seat of Macquarie.

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  1. The Liberal Democratic Party does not take an anti-vaxxer stance. This is their policy statement on that: “Vaccines should be available and voluntary. Mandatory vaccinations and domestic vaccine passports are incompatible with a free society and should never be tolerated. Private property owners should be able to set conditions of entry, but they should not be encouraged to discriminate by regulatory favours or government programs. Real vaccination choice also means open access to vaccines, free from unnecessary regulatory burdens.”

  2. Really don’t think using the term ‘populist’ to differentiate right wing parties has ever been that useful. It either just means they’re literally just not the Liberal/National party, or you’re using it as a polite way to say ‘racist’. And especially in the case of for example Palmer United, it’s really kind of useless trying to taxonomise them using a written party platform when the political motives of the leadership have nothing to do with what they’re campaigning on. I mean Palmer does not give the slightest fuck about vaccines. He cares about protecting his business interests in the resource industry. He harps on vaccines because it’s the hot button cultural grievance among international movement conservatism, which again is itself a cover for a whole suite of authoritarian and right-wing policies that have nothing to do with mandates. Similarly the Lib Dems have a platform of supposed radical laisse faire capitalism, and yet their lead candidate is one of the most famously authoritarian Premiers Queensland has had since Bjelke Petersen.

    Populism only really makes sense as a descriptor on the left, when there’s real ideological controversy between incrementalist, authoritarian state capitalists, with deep ties to corporate, governmental and media establishment and who largely represent their views, who in reality have more in common with the LNP and ‘populist right’ parties anyway, and progressive and socialist grassroots activists.

  3. I think the goal of the right wing micros is to keep disaffected voters from voting Labor/Greens and organising. Most of them have broadly anti government messaging but they preference Liberals over Labor and Greens quite reliably, and often support government legislation. One of Hanson’s key pitches is that the government is corrupt yet her vote was crucial for blocking a federal ICAC. This election they are preferencing against LNP moderates in areas where PHON are weak, but not in Leichhardt where they may actually swing a few % against LNP.

    They have various different hooks that are cognitively easier or play into existing biases. It may be religion, racism, fear, populism, or libertarianism. But the end result is always the same.


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