By Marion Maddox
Interpreting how Australian best Minister John Howard has harnessed the conservative social time table and market-based ideology of yank fundamentalists, this booklet argues that Australia's democratic, egalitarian tradition is now less than critical attack.
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Extra resources for God Under Howard: The Rise of the Religious Right in Australian Politics
In the 1993 contest, Hewson, in Jaensch’s terms a ‘Libertarian Dry’ (or possibly ‘Dry, Warm Libertarian’),37 retained the leadership. QX5 1/12/04 4:02 PM 42 Page 42 Bookhouse (Simon) WHITE PICKET FENCE and Conservative Dry stances had been thrown into relief by a series of carefully engineered controversies, which brought the social conservative agenda to prominence. • The wedge that brought the tensions to a head was Hewson’s decision to send a message of support to the 1994 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
At the same time, the ambiguity about the Forum’s religious identity and the avoidance of much explicitly religious language helps its spokespeople avoid alienating a potentially wider secular constituency. 31 The right’s God is most powerful just below the surface. With or without divine help, this was one supper club whose influence was to prove momentous for the party, its leader and the nation. QX5 40 1/12/04 4:02 PM Page 40 Bookhouse (Simon) WHITE PICKET FENCE eventual deputy Peter Costello, as well as many who went on to experience rapid rises under Howard’s prime ministership, including Tony Abbott, Nick Minchin and Kevin Andrews.
To sell his brand of policy to the wider public Howard had first to get majority support within his party. To help this agenda along, his supporters drafted a sponsor with strong appeal to long-untapped strata of political consciousness: God. Discussion of tendencies in the modern Liberal Party typically focuses on ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. The categories are overwhelmingly to do with economics. Each plausibly appeals to the party’s Menzian heritage. ‘Wets’ emphasise the need for some state intervention to protect the weak, against ‘dries’, who want smaller government and freer markets.