Active citizens, constructive answers

Taking control of the processes of democracy

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  • Published 20200203
  • ISBN: 9781925773804
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IN THE DAYS after Labor’s unexpected defeat at the May 2019 federal election, a social media storm raged. ‘What the hell is wrong with Queensland?’ was a common starting point ahead of calls for the state to be excised from the rest of Australia. In response, two Griffith University colleagues and I wrote an article that sought to explain the result from a Queensland perspective.[i] Putting to one side that the swings against Labor were no bigger in Queensland than in other parts of the country, and that the state held the most marginal seats going into the vote, this instinct to blame and deride Queenslanders highlighted exactly what had gone so wrong for those anticipating a Coalition defeat.

It was hard to recall an election where generational, philosophical and ideological differences, concerns about growing inequity – including questions of access to services and opportunities in different parts of our country – were so prominent. And most of the feedback we received endorsed this interpretation of causes, including economic insecurity and concerns about perceptions of ‘fairness’, or the extent to which the benefits of economic growth have been widely shared.

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