Thursday 25 August 2016 11:30AM
Next week, the 45th Parliament sits for the first time since the federal election. The government holds a paper-thin majority in the House of Representatives; the Liberal Party Room is suffering significant internal discord; and the new Senate is more fractious, demanding and wilfully recalcitrant than any in modern history.
These are the ideal conditions for political discord and outright opportunism.
Australia is hardly unique in this respect. Western politics as a whole seems to be following this trend toward greater political instability, less cooperation; more anger, less empathy. The media’s own fetishisation of the spectacle of conflict is doubtless complicit in this state of affairs.
But the proliferation of social movements and forms of political activism are not exempt from blame either.
On all sides, the prospects for constructive, broad-based collective action are under threat. The question is: if there is to be a change in our fraught and fractious political climate, what will be the agent? From where might the impetus for change come?
For one Australian politician, that change must come from within politics itself.
Does Love Have Any Place in Politics? - The Minefield with Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens (Radio National Podcast)
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