Sunday, November 12, 2006

Capitalism and preferences

How are we to understand decision of Victorian Liberals to preference to Labor ahead of Greens in the Legislative Council (tickets are here)? We can see the preference of the Liberals' business backers for majority government, as well as a fear that the Greens might pull Labor to the left. But also state governments of all persuasions seek good relations with capitalists. Voters like development projects and are less observant of subsidies and tax concessions. PPPs are an example of this kind of cosy relationship. A minority party in the Council is likely to push for greater accountability. Ted Baillieu himself would be particularly susceptible to such pressure. Of the current generation of Liberal politicians he is something of a throwback, it is rare for conservative politicians since the 1940s to be recruited from an elite business background. The businessman-politician was a 19th century type and their numbers declined steadily from Federation, Menzies reformation of conservative politics psot-1945 saw a final shift in the political leadership of capital to a stratum of professionals and the petty-bourgeoisie socially distant from the commanding heights of capital. I take this point from Class Structure in Australian History. The disjunction between economic and political class leadership was discerned by Marx in The Eighteenth Brumaire. Electoral failure however makes the Liberals more dependent on capital hence their willingness to damage their political prospects. If Labor controls the Council the prospects for inquires into Labor scandals evaporate as does the possibility of tagging a Green-influenced Labor government as too left wing. Good for capital bad for the Liberals.


At 6:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted's views on climate change - hilarious send up.


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