The Environment and Minor-party Insurgency in Australian Politics: The Case of Logging and the 'liberals for forests'

A. Blackburn, Bruce Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is known that many Liberal-National voters are environmentally conscious. However, the lack of importance of environmentalism in influencing voter behaviour in Australia, compared with socio-economic ideologies and issues, means that few Liberal-National identifiers are likely to find appeal in the parties which place most emphasis on protecting the natural environment, as these parties are generally Left-leaning with regard to socio-economic policy. Given the balance of influences on the vote, Liberal-National vulnerability on environmental issues would seem to be most exploitable by a Right-of-Centre environmental party. This article examines the case of the 'liberals for forests', a rare example of just such a party, which had some success in Western Australian State elections in 2001. The paper supports the notion that environmental issues, including those such as logging often linked with Left partisanship, have the potential to influence vote choice, in a positive sense, on the Right as well as the Left of Australian politics. Implications for the Liberal Party and the party system are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-509
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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