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David Kemp

David Kemp, formerly professor of politics at Monash University and minister in the Howard government, has a fairly simple thesis about Australian politics in the years between the mid-1920s and the mid-1960s. Put crudely, Australians were offered a choice between socialism and liberalism.

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This is the first of a five-volume series, apparently all by David Kemp, with the general title Australian Liberalism. The second volume, A Free Country: Australians’ search for utopia 1861–1901, is planned by Melbourne University Publishing next year. Kemp was senior lecturer and then Professor of Politics at ...

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Malcolm Fraser On Australia edited by D.M. White and D.A. Kemp

September 1986, no. 84

There have been two major cycles in Australian political rhetoric since the war. The first occurred during the postwar reconstruction period, from 1943 until 1949, when contest over a new social order impelled an unusually clear articulation of philosophy and policies by the contenders for influence – represented in public debate by Curtin and Chifley on one hand, and Menzies on the other. The eventual ascendance of Menzies and the dominant ideas that emerged from that debate informed our political life for the next two decades. Not until the late 1960s, when the Liberal-Country Party coalition’s grasp of events slipped, and when the new problems of the modem world economic system and Australia’s precarious place within it dislodged the assumptions engendered in the 1940s, did the debate about the nature of our policy gain a new edge.

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