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The traditionalists are restless, so why don’t they have a party of their own in Australia?

Gregory Melleuish writes in The Conversation (3.8.16) about the agitation within the Coalition’s ranks, seen before and since the federal election, for a breakaway grouping of ‘traditionalist conservatives’. The author argues that the current fractious nature of right-wing politics in Australia has prevented this from becoming a reality.

‘In 1985, B.A. Santamaria speculated about the possibility of a new political party in Australia that would be composed of the Nationals, the traditionalist section of the Liberal Party and the “moderate and anti-extremist section of the blue-collar working class”.

‘Today this combination of groups would probably be referred to as “conservatives”, but the Santamaria term “traditionalist” seems more appropriate. Despite the changes that have occurred over the past 30 years, the traditionalist section of the population is still there, even if technological change and the decline of manufacturing industry has had a massive impact on the blue-collar working class.

‘Two things are interesting. One is this hypothetical party has not come into being. The second is the 2016 election results indicate these three components of such a party still exist, even if they have not coalesced.’

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