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The tipping point in Australian politics: Is the end of the two-party system near?

Lachlan Harris and Andrew Charlton report in the Brisbane Times (17.3.17) on the drift in support away from the two major parties in Australia, with analysts warning of politics being at a ‘tipping point’ where more extreme or fringe groups are gaining greater prominence.

‘We are approaching a tipping point in Australian politics, and a period of deep political instability no longer seems in doubt.

‘Prime ministerial churn has gone from a rare historical event to a regular occurrence; substantive reform has gone from a regular occurrence to a rare historical event. The senate is a rabble of unruly cross-benchers. Even major parties are fracturing, with political buccaneers peeling off to try their luck in a new world where policy counts for naught and the only political skill that seems to matter is the ability to direct the emotional energy of a crowd.

‘It is tempting to believe that this current glut of political skulduggery – the coups and counter-coups, the splits and disunity – are a political low point. Unfortunately, the sustained upward trend in the minor party vote suggests a long period of deep political instability has only just begun.’

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