Former Gympie MP chairs political 'rebellion' forum
THE apparent decline of trust in the political establishment and what that could mean for Gympie and the rest of Queensland will the subject of a forum to be hosted by the state branch of the Australian Study of Parliament Group this month.
Chaired by former Gympie LNP MP David Gibson, the ASPG will examine the long-term trend of declining popular trust in government institutions, political parties and politicians.
"The weekend Galaxy poll is further evidence of the ongoing decline in trust for the major parties displayed by the resurgence of One Nation to 23% of the vote," Mr Gibson said yesterday.
"These numbers are not new for the (Gympie) region nor do they represent the dizzy highs that voters have previously shown in embracing minor parties or independents.
"Election results reveal that minor parties and independents have always performed well in this region both at a State and Federal level.
"Indeed, in the 1998 State election One Nation achieved 39.66% of the primary vote and the sitting member, Len Stephan MP, was only returned to Parliament on the flow of ALP preferences.
"When we look at the recent Federal election result only eight months ago, there was a surge for One Nation in Wide Bay with their vote increasing dramatically from 0% at the 2013 election to 15.6% in 2016.
"The loss of trust in the major parties is not just being experienced by the public, last week we saw one of their own in Senator Bernardi, become an independant because he felt the Liberal/National Coalition Government was failing the people of Australia.
"Closer to home we've seen Sunshine Coast MP Steve Dickson join One Nation.
"I imagine for both these people these decisions were no doubt not made lightly and took both courage and commitment to their values and may just end up being a catalyst for change in the political landscape for both Queensland and Australia.
"The Gympie electorate has shown in the past that they are increasingly willing to shop around for a candidate who truly represents their values and this will be one of the seats to watch at the next State election."
The following is a statement from the ASPG - Q released this week ahead of the February 27, forum:
In 2016 the world witnessed the Brexit vote in Britain and the outcome of the US election. Both were the culmination of a long-term trend of declining popular trust in government institutions, political parties and politicians, and in each case the electorate defied the political establishment.
In December 2016, the Australian National University published its report, Trends in Australian Political Opinion: Results from the Australian Election Study, 1987-2016s, which showed a massive decline in political trust with Australians' satisfaction with democracy having collapsed to its lowest level since the Whitlam dismissal.
Then last month the 2017 Trust Barometer by Edelman was released, confirming that Australians' faith in politics, media and business is eroding at a rapid rate.
With a State election due sometime before January 2018, the Queensland chapter of the Australian Study of Parliament Group is hosting an event to ask the question 'what does the implosion in political trust represent for Queensland?'
This year more than any other, the Queensland electorate could totally reshape how politics is conducted and this ASPG-Q forum is both timely and topical. ANU's Professor Ian McAllister will present his findings from the highly regarded Australian Electoral Study, and a distinguished panel will then discuss the impact of the collapse in political trust and if there is a rebellion brewing in Queensland.
"In the current political climate of populism this forum promises to be event not to be missed. The information presented will be as much of interest to business leaders, policy makers, and students of politics as it will for the ordinary man and woman on the street," ASPG-Q chair David Gibson said this week.
The forum is open to the public at just $5 per person, and is being held on Monday, February 27, in the Legislative Council Chambers at Parliament House.
For more information and to book, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/forum-political-trust-in-decline-what-does-this-mean-for-queensland-tickets-31665345902
About the Australian Study of Parliament Group - Queensland (ASPG-Q):
The ASPG-Q was established in May 1993 as a non-partisan body to encourage and stimulate research, writing and teaching about parliamentary institutions in Australia in order to generate a better understanding of their functions. The Queensland Chapter holds three seminars each year on topical issues relating to Parliament in Queensland and Australia.
For more detail visit www.parliament.qld.gov.au/