The 2004 federal election: impacts for regions

Cockfield, Geoff and Prasser, Scott (2005) The 2004 federal election: impacts for regions. Public Administration Today (3). pp. 50-54. ISSN 1832-0066

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The Howard Government’s re-election for a fourth term has important implications for regional Australia. Importantly, fourth terms are as rare in Australia as they are in other western democracies. At a national level only the Menzies Coalition Government in 1958 and the Hawke Labor Government in 1990 achieved such success. Moreover, it is not just winning a fourth term that makes the 2004 election potentially important, but also that the Howard Government has for first time since the Fraser Coalition Government (1975-83) secured full control of the Senate. Such political hegemony over both Houses of Parliament is also rare internationally. Overall, this means there will considerable policy continuity. By the time the next election is due in 2007, Australia will have experienced nearly twelve years of Coalition government—possibly even under one leader if John Howard stays as Prime Minister. Control of the Senate also means the Howard Government will not have to compromise with Independents and minority parties. Some of these senators like Brian Harradine, the Tasmanian Independent, or the Green Party, had clear regional, as well as national, policy goals. For instance, national forest agreements had both regional origins and national policy dimensions. Further, with such political ascendancy, the fourth Howard Government has the potential to be what some regard as the ‘real’ Howard Government, confident, unrestrained and ideologically charged. Just how far this will take Howard Government down previous blocked policy avenues and affect regions remains to be seen.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - Department of Economics and Resource Management (Up to 31 Mar 2007)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - Department of Economics and Resource Management (Up to 31 Mar 2007)
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:18
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:31
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2004 federal election; regional Australia; impacts; John Howard; Liberal Party
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160510 Public Policy
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160601 Australian Government and Politics
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940202 Electoral Systems

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