Author: B. CHEKHONIN
AUSTRALIA'S POLITICAL GUIDELINES
Over two months have passed since the time when on May 18, 1974, at the general elections to the House of Representatives and the Senate of Australia the electors again voted for the mandate of the Labour Government which had been given to it in December 1972.
The coalition of the Liberal and the Country parties, which had been in office for 23 years, did not want to reconcile with the defeat and, together with the Democratic Labour Party, launched an open offensive. For the first time in the practices of the Australian Parliament, the Senate, in which the majority of seats belonged to the Right-wing parties, interfered in financial affairs, a sphere being traditionally a prerogative of the House of Representatives, and refused to vote two bills concerning allocations the Government needed until June 1974 to administer the country. The Whitlam Government, although it was in office about half of its term, responded to this open challenge by dissolving, on April 10, both chambers ahead of time and appointing new elections.
The Right-wing forces hoped to get financial support from foreign monopolies displeased with restrictive measures, and to gain the votes of the definite part of the vacillating electors. Their calculations, however, proved to be a failure.
As a result of the new elections, the Labourites gained 67 seats out of 127 in the House of Representatives, and 29 out of 60 seats in the Senate. The majority of the Australians rejected, and not by chance, the claims of the Liberal and the Country parties to take over again. The voters had well-grounded reasons for that, reasons that are going far into the past.
THE ORIGINS OF CHANGE
For decades the basic principle of Australian foreign policy has been: never act in isolation and seek the support of "great and powerful friends". Such friends were originally ...
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|Article Title||AUSTRALIA'S POLITICAL GUIDELINES|
|Source||International Affairs, No.8, Vol.20, 1974, page(s):60-67|
|Place of Publication||Minneapolis-Moscow, USA-Russia|