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Our country’s politics have taken us to the brink of an interesting shift over the weekend. The tactics of the extreme conservative wing driven by the ideals of dry economic rationalism appear to have awakened the sleeping giant. The dramatic results of Queensland’s state election may well prove to be the hinge on which Australia’s current political history swings. Science, education, health, welfare, immigration have all taken a big hit over the last 15 months. The implications are coming home to a large slice of our mainstream population. The remaining problem is that the other party in our predominantly two party preferred system does not offer significant hope for social improvement. Their policies will be less draconian and more socially oriented, but still under the so-called guiding light of economic rationalism. Contrary to a lot of current opinion, I think it is the minor parties and independents that can make the difference given the right circumstances. They played a significant role in the previous hung parliament which saw a large number of good policy legislation passed. Parliament did what it was supposed to do – parly and hammer out agreements. Compromise was not a dirty word, but ensured considerations were accommodated rather than summarily dismissed. I think we got a taste of win/win during that brief period, before predators from both sides evoked and enforced the law of the jungle. Queensland on the weekend has brought some relief with its promise of change – like that light wind that blows in from the ocean after a particularly long heat wave. We shall see how the week unfolds.

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