ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Political Change in Australia

The Political Change in Australia R F I Smith THE change of national government in Australia in December 1972 signified the beginning of a new stage in Australia's development as a small, wealthy, ethnically European country on the fringes of South-East Asia. For the first time since 1949 the Australian Labour Party (ALP), led by Cough Whitlam, outdistanced the Liberal-Country Party coalition. Even before the final settlement of theresults in individual constituencies Prime Minister Whit! am and his deputy Lance Barnard took a series of administrative initiatives which changed the direction of national policy at home and abroad. With the swearing in of the lull cabinet of 27, and the summoning of parliament for its first session under Labour, the pace has been fully kept up. In the process there have been an acceleration of trends apparent in the closing years of the Liberal regime as well as new departures in proposed public policy. The effect has been to revive faith in the efficacy of the electoral process as an instrument of purposive change; to win the interest and commitment of many of the intelligentsia alienated from the previous drab and unjust governments; to raise new interest in other countries in Australia's international potential; and to dismay the faint-hearted who are rather flabbergasted to find Australia's long-lapsed reputation for radicalism getting a new lease of life.

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