A NEW political party is aiming to shatter the LNP-Labor duopoly in Australia’s federal election next year.
The New Liberals, formed in 2019, are hoping to win back “millions of disaffected voters” from both major parties, according to General Secretary Steve Hopley.
Labor, currently in opposition, are set to edge out the LNP coalition – led by Scott Morrison’s Liberals and Barnaby Joyce’s National party- in any second-round vote, according to the latest polling.
But Hopley, who is also the New Liberals’ Senate candidate for Victoria, is keen to present a viable alternative for Australian progressives.
“We’re looking to win seats,” he told Redaction Report.
“The Liberal Party has left behind millions of disaffected voters who are looking for a real liberal party to vote for, and because of that there’s a handful of lower house seats where we stand a strong chance of knocking out the Liberal Party incumbents.
“This is particularly true of North Sydney, where our leader Victor Kline is running.
“In addition to that, there’s a very real chance of getting two or three senators across the line, which might well see us holding the balance of power in either, or perhaps even both, houses.”
Insurgents from the Left, the New Liberals have stationed themselves on three main tenets.
A federal anti-corruption commission, net-zero emissions by 2035, and a federal job guarantee.
They also subscribe to Modern Monetary Theory, which has taken hold of progressive circles in Europe and the US.
While the economic theory has struggled to take hold of the mainstream conversation – many major news channels still infer the economy is built like a household budget – the New Liberals are hoping to sidestep any confusion by harking back to Aussies of old.
Hopley said: “Without talking about MMT, and by never allowing ourselves to play catch-up in a neo-classically dictacted debate.
“Fortunately, we have a history where the Liberal Party was once a true liberal party before it turned into a neo-classical, ultra-conservative puppet of the fossil fuel industry and Rupert Murdoch.
“In the 1950s and 60s, Robert Menzies’ government presided over the most prosperous period in Australia’s history, where every person who wanted a job had one, with job security and a good living wage, where the middle class were comfortable and the wealthy were wealthy but not obscenely so.
“He did this by practising a standard form of Keynesian economics where responsible deficits were the norm (sometimes eight to nine times higher than the deficits the current politicians decry), and achieved real full employment, minimal inflation, and strong unionism.
“Given that MMT is at its most fundamental just a modern form of that same Keynesianism which he practised and which gave us our most prosperous period, all we need say is that we will be doing likewise, as the true inheritors of that tradition.”
There’s no doubt it’s going to be an uphill battle for the New Liberals. But with support for ‘other’ parties rising to a post-election high 13 per cent in the latest Newspoll survey, there’s certainly the space to make an impact as voters look towards the fringes.
The party’s website reads: “Most members of The New Liberals would never have entered politics, unless they were driven to do so, by the yawning nothingness offered by the other parties.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by many Australians towards the Liberal and Labor parties – even if, like with many promising campaigns of the past, any insurgency may end with disappointment.
Featured Image: The New Liberals
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