It is hard to argue against the fact that Australian politics is currently in disarray. What we have are two major parties that spend more time formulating insults to hurl at each other than negotiating decent policy outcomes.
While Australian politics has always been adversarial – a direct result of our Westminster system – good policy outcomes have often risen above party politics.
There are many examples that highlight this: from the opening up of the Australian economy in the 1980s, to John Howard’s gun reforms in the 1990s, and the joint response to the HIV/AIDS crisis as a health issue rather than a moral panic. Each one of these went beyond party politics as the two major parties ‘trusted’ each other’s intentions.
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