Australia & Conservatism: How Down Under Politics Seem Familiar

Geographically, Australia is as large as the continental U.S., and the Australian Constitution and Senate are inspired by the American model. Settlement of Australia by Great Britain was in fact a response to the American Revolution. And, like the U.S., Australia is a land of immigrants who encountered a native people with a history, according to some, that has not yet been properly acknowledged. Australian policy towards refugees and illegal immigrants is deemed harsher than that of the U.S., and in Australian politics, conservative ideals have taken an upswing, which seems to cause increased division and resentment from the more liberal-minded citizens. Do Australian politics mirror that of the U.S., or have unique issues arisen that seem to divide Australians more than ever? The speaker, a native Australian living in the U.S., will review news events and historians’ perspectives from Australia from the past few years, in order to explain affairs “down under.”

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