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Labor, Whitlam and the 1972 Election. Labor, Whitlam, and the 1972 Election In 1966, the founder of the Liberal Party Robert Gordon Menzies retires as.

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Presentation on theme: "Labor, Whitlam and the 1972 Election. Labor, Whitlam, and the 1972 Election In 1966, the founder of the Liberal Party Robert Gordon Menzies retires as."— Presentation transcript:

1 Labor, Whitlam and the 1972 Election

2 Labor, Whitlam, and the 1972 Election In 1966, the founder of the Liberal Party Robert Gordon Menzies retires as PM & as a parliamentarian at the top of his game… He has well and truly left his left his mark on Australian politics and society…

3 Labor, Whitlam, and the 1972 Election Along with the leadership vacuum that Menzies’ departure created, the Liberal/Country Party Coalition had to contend with two major issues: A very conservative approach and policy structure pertaining to economic management… …and the Vietnam War The Coalition had been in power since 1949 – they were now beginning to struggle with an image that they were tired and irrelevant in government.

4 Labor, Whitlam, and the 1972 Election Liberal dissent: Harold Holt (’66-’67) had an egalitarian style of leadership as opposed to Menzies – appeared youthful… Fought & won ’66 election on issue of Vietnam & won a resounding victory – majority of 40 seats Disappeared of Cheviot beach ‘67

5 Labor, Whitlam, and the 1972 Election Liberal dissent continues… Senator John Gorton parachuted into Holt’s old seat and elected leader of the party Unable to compete with Whitlam, particularly in the medium of television… Whitlam won two by-elections, then an 18-seat swing in the ’69 election (DLP preferences against Labor cost them Government)

6 Labor, Whitlam, and the 1972 Election Liberal dissent continues… In 1971, the Liberals dumped Gorton in favour of William McMahon. McMahon was considered well past his political prime, and was never able to get the better of the more charismatic Whitlam. Whitlam’s visit and recognition of China drew criticism from McMahon… only to discover Nixon was working towards same recognition. Generally weak leadership and a poor political performer.

7 Labor, Whitlam, and the 1972 Election Gough Whitlam… swiftly made his mark on the ALP - internal reform to fruition, and overhauling or discarding a series of Labor policies that had been enshrined for decades. Economic rationalism is an Australian term in discussion of microeconomic policy, applicable to the economic policy of many governments around the world, in particular during the 1980s and 1990s.... The White Australia Policy was dropped Labor no longer opposed state aid. grim working-class Puritanism of the 1950s gave way to a younger, more optimistic, more socially liberal, more intellectual, and decidedly middle-class party.

8 Labor, Whitlam, and the 1972 Election Whitlam concentrated on party reform and new policy development. advocated the abolition of conscription Australian withdrawal from the Vietnam War in 1971 visited the People's Republic of China (PRC), promising to establish diplomatic relations He promised a massive reform agenda incorporating health, education, and social welfare…

9 1972 Election – “It’s Time” Federal elections were held in Australia on 2 December All 125 seats in the House of Representatives were up for election. The Liberal Party of Australia had been in power since 1949, and under Prime Minister of Australia William McMahon since March 1971 with coalition partner the Country Party saw Whitlam lead the ALP to its first electoral victory since 1946.

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