Queensland votes next Saturday in an election that looks like a rout for the current Labor government. Pundits say that the key issues are state ones, rather than federal, though the fact that federal Labor is on the nose as well can’t help.
Win, lose or draw, the next Queensland government won’t be significantly different from governments elsewhere in Australia. The main fight will take place in the south east corner, which is a carbon copy of south east Australia generally, not least because so many of its inhabitants are recent immigrants from interstate.
Nobody is asking today, as they invariably did 20 or 30 years ago when politics was discussed: Is Queensland different? Or, having answered ‘yes’ to that question, Why is Queensland different? On the whole, it seems, people and pundits no longer believe that the state of Queensland is a weird aberration from the Australian norm. We even won the Sheffield Shield last weekend, and nobody found this remarkable.
But in many ways, geographically, demographically and politically, a remnant of Queensland weirdness remains – and some of it is exemplified in the person of Bob Katter, former Country Party, National Party, Independent and now leader of Katter’s Australia Party. Continue reading