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8 responses to “Partisanship and good governance”

  1. Paul Norton

    What’s interesting to speculate on, in our own current political environment, is the degree to which such a support base could be created by said strong leadership in its absence.

    And also the extent to which the decline of partisanship is an effect, rather than a cause, of deficient leadership by conventional political parties.

  2. Terry

    Peter Lewis from Essential Media argues that the Gillard Government is in trouble from Labor voters for its current position on asylum seekers:


  3. Mr Denmore

    Regarding leadership, there seems to be a hint of nostalgia in the air among the press gallery over John Howard’s reappearance with some contrasting his supposed “conviction” politics with the milquetoast now on offer.

    I’ve written on this over at The Failed Estate

  4. Liam

    I think I recall mentioning on this blog a while ago that I was reading-on-the-train Rodney Smith’s Against The Machines about Independent candidates in NSW. Great book, highly recommend it.
    Short point is, the experience in NSW was that minority Government in the early 1990s threw up a swathe of institutions and measures that improved good governance (like ICAC, increase of powers to the Ombudsman etc.) but elected Independents in NSW have depended on an underlying hyper-partisanship to throw support their way. The Country later National Party might serve as an example both of how to do partisanship very right and very very wrong.
    Lots of non-major Parties claiming or depending on beyond-partisanship require extremely disciplined systems of class/party/sect identification to oppose in their organising, thinking of the old DLP, or One Nation, indeed the Australian Democrats.
    The Greens we’ll see about in the next decade.

    What’s interesting to speculate on, in our own current political environment, is the degree to which such a support base could be created or recreated by said strong leadership

    My own view pace Cavalier considering the decline in Party memberships across the board is that that degree is as near-as-dammit nil.

  5. John D

    Mark. do you know how partisanship was defined and measured? I think of countries where the supporters are committed enough to battle in the streets that are not famous for being well administered.

  6. John D

    Interesting idea. However, there would be plenty of exceptions. For example, the Nationals had a strong grassroots support system during the Joh era. There may also be a difference between cases of “tribal partisanship” (ex: we want power for the benefit of us farmers) vs “issues partisanship” (ex: we want power so that we can save the planet.)
    Other things can make a difference. A party and social culture that values honest government and good governance is a start. Upper houses elected in a way that increases the chance that the balance of power will be held by minor parties without strong allegiances to a major party should be another good thing. What else?