Article review: Changing Composition Of Working Class In Australia
Written by: Ned K. on 15 September 2023
George Megalogenis has written a very good article in the latest edition of The Monthly about the history of past Referendums in Australia, He provides a convincing argument that the most reactionary sections of the ruling class led by Peter Dutton should be careful what they wish for in campaigning for a No vote in the coming Voice Referendum.
Megalogenis demonstrates that the inner-city parliamentary electorates that the Liberal Party need to win back in the next federal election contain the largest number of people likely to vote Yes in the Referendum. Dutton and those he represents may well campaign successfully for a No vote in the Voice Referendum, but Megalogenis predicts this may be a hollow victory for them as it will make their chances of winning the next parliamentary election very remote.
Megalogenis invites the readers of his article to visualize the people in Australia as a "family tree". The roots are the First Nations Peoples, the Old Australia trunk comprises non- First Nations people born in Australia and so were their parents and grandparents.
The "new Australians" are the tree's branches and comprise migrants and their locally born children.
Megalogenis points out that First Nations People now outnumber the English-born population in Australia for the first time since the 1820s!
The roots of the family tree (First Nations People) and the branches (migrants and their Australian born children) according to Megalogenis, "now account for almost 55% of the national population: 56% in Victoria, 57% in NSW, and 68% in WA. But Old Australia retains a majority in SA (51%), Qld (53%) and Tasmania (65%)".
These percentages are a reflection of the diversity of the working class in Australia, a trend that is likely to continue with increased permanent migration, which further enriches the working class giving truth to the saying "strength in diversity"
The reactionaries represented by Dutton become less appealing to a larger section of the people, sending them further in to the parliamentary political wilderness.
This puts the ALP in the driver's seat of the ruling class's parliamentary vehicle as their natural party of government whichever way the Voice Referendum goes.
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