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Sad victory

April 2007, no. 290

Silencing Dissent: How the Australian government is controlling public opinion and stifling debate edited by Clive Hamilton and Sarah Maddison

Allen & Unwin, $24.95 pb, 279 pp

Sad victory

April 2007, no. 290

It is little appreciated just how much power and influence are wielded by a successful Liberal prime minister, success being measured entirely by electoral victory. Whereas a Labor prime minister has a caucus, factions, the ACTU, a not always co-operative national executive and a sometimes fractious national conference to exert countervailing influence, a conservative leader is remarkably unfettered. The party, and indeed the government, becomes an extension of him, a mere appendage.

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