Publication Details

Melleuish, G. C. (2015). Canada and Australia share a political culture of conflict. The Conversation, (17 March),

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The Conversation


In a recent book, political scientist Tom Flanagan argues that the years of minority government in Canada between 2004 and 2011 had a corrosive effect on Canadian politics and political culture. He comments:

After so many years of continuous campaigning, federal politicans are like child soldiers in a war-torn African country; all they know how to do is fire their AK-47s.

This statement, and many other things that Flanagan describes as features of Canadian politics – including increased centralisation of decision-making in the party and the need to be in constant campaign mode – could also be considered to be characteristics of contemporary Australian politics.