Australia: Victorian Labor government makes election pitch to big business
24 October 2018
Ahead of the election on November 24 in the Australian state of Victoria, the Labor government is attempting to retain office by promoting its pro-business and “law and order” credentials. The right-wing pitch underscores the gulf separating the entire political establishment from the interests of working people.
The last decade has seen unprecedented parliamentary instability in Australia, reflecting the collapse of the old electoral bases of support for the Labor Party and Liberal-National Coalition.
The last Victorian election, in 2014, saw the incumbent Coalition government thrown out after just one term in office—the first one-term government since 1955. The Labor Party won power with a bare parliamentary majority, holding 45 of the 88 lower house seats.
A hung parliament is threatened in this year’s poll, with the Greens aiming to capitalise on hostility towards the major parties and win more than the three inner-city seats in the lower house that they currently hold.
The Labor Party’s election campaign centrally involves touting its economic credentials. Treasurer Tim Pallas declared on October 10 that the state has “the fastest growing economy in the nation,” with “more than 370,000 jobs” created since 2014.
Premier Daniel Andrews has repeatedly issued similar statements, deliberately covering up the reality that record population growth is chiefly responsible for the increased economic activity.
A Ponzi scheme economy has emerged, with population growth fuelling a speculative property bubble that has boosted profits for the banks and finance companies. The state capital of Melbourne now has 5 million people and is expanding by 2.7 percent…