Jones, Benjamin T., Frank Bongiorno & John Uhr, ed.: Elections Matter: Ten Federal Elections that Shaped Australia

Benjamin T. Jones, Frank Bongiorno & John Uhr, ed.

Elections Matter: Ten Federal Elections that Shaped Australia, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018

Taking ten examples, this book argues that elections do matter (even when it seems they don’t). It is not just elections with memorable jingles or triumphant campaigns from opposition to government that can shape the nation. Could it be that the Labor loss in 1969 formed the country more than the famous win in 1972? Or did the return of the Coalition in 1954 have more impact than securing government in 1949?

Elections Matter looks at prime ministers and policies that never were and examines how the democratic process could have produced a different country. Had key elections taken a different turn, Australia might have had a different constitution, a different head of state, different health and education systems and a different foreign policy approach. (blurb)

Contains: Elections: Aren’t They All the Same? — Benjamin T. Jones; 1901: Getting the Job Done — Marian Simms; 1910: Fisher Leads Labor to Victory — John Uhr; 1929: The Patrician and the Orator — Alex Millmow; 1940: What to Do in an Electoral Draw — Benjamin T. Jones; 1954: Did Petrov Matter? — Bridget Brooklyn; 1969: ‘Our Politics Are No Longer Frozen’ — Richard Reid; 1987: Labor Makes It Three — Frank Bongiorno; 1996: Lazarus Rises — Jill Sheppard; 2001: Boats, Terror and Legacy — Marija Taflaga; 2010: Another Hung Parliament — Isobelle Barrett Meyering; Conclusion: A New Normal? — Benjamin T. Jones; Appendix: How Australians Vote — Michael Maley.

The book is reviewed for Honest History by Norman Abjorensen. Extract in Inside Story from Frank Bongiorno’s chapter.

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