Election 2022 – the Teal Independents

The ‘Teal Independents’ supported by Climate 200 are making a strong showing in this election.

The candidates not already in Parliament are all standing in coalition seats.

It is becoming increasingly clear there is an electoral cleavage between the ‘material’ voter of the suburbs and regions, who preference economic and personal security, and ‘post materialists’ in the leafier and inner suburbs who place greater weight on personal freedoms, creativity and care for the environment.

The co-ordination shown by the ‘Teals’ could portend a break in the Liberal Party coalition similar to the effect the ‘progressive’ movement headed by President TR Roosevelt early in the 20th century.

The following is a repeat of a post we wrote in relation to the 2019 election.

The discussion of the ‘Blue Moose’ moment in that post may be more relevant now.

Australia’s ‘Bull Moose’ Moment

One of the interesting aspects of the 2019 Federal election is the large number of plausible independent candidates in electorates such as Wentworth, Warringah and even Kooyong running against sitting Liberals with sufficient coordination (and funding) such as to be able to run a common advertisement.

Amongst the matters pushed by the indies include climate change, electoral funding reform and a relaxation in refugee policy.

In other inner-city electorates, some pale blue t-shirt wearing Liberal incumbents are differentiating themselves against other dark blue t-shirt wearing candidates by calling themselves ‘modern Liberals’.

These outcomes are emblematic of the distinction that has always been present between  those in electorates constituting people with relatively high incomes and so possessing a capacity to vote according to lifestyle preferences and those ‘cost of living’ Liberals in the seats represented by Tony’s tradies and the Howard battlers.

One wonders whether these developments will presage some form of new political alignment.

In 1912 T.R. Roosevelt walked out of the US Republican Party and formed the Progressive Party (sometimes called the ‘Bull Moose’ Party).

Campaigning on a platform called The New Nationalism, Roosevelt demanded electoral reform as well effective control of big business through a strong federal commission, radical tax reform (including the imposition of income tax at the federal level) and a whole series of measures to put the federal government squarely into the business of social and economic reform.

This split the Republican vote and led to the victory of Woodrow Wilson and the Democratic Party in the 1912 American elections.

That iteration of the Progressive Party soon dissolved, with most participants going back to the Republicans.

However from Wilson onwards the US Democrats have picked up the ‘progressive’ mantle in American politics, implementing many of the TR policies. And it remains interesting that many of the seats representing the wealthier areas of the larger American cities.

The positions of the coordinated independents carry an echo of the 1912 progressivism of ‘TR’. It will therefore be interested to see if as a result of the 2019 election will lead to Australia having its own ‘bull moose’ party moment.

By | 2022-05-04T11:24:22+10:00 May 4th, 2022|2022 Election|0 Comments