The ill-named Liberal Party of Australia is facing its greatest challenge. One of existential proportions.
Founded in the 1940’s by its demi-God Menzies, it was based on a presumption of prosperity and drew much of the growing post-war middle-class. It went on to attract many young people who voted as their parents did and who have become the ‘Rusted-On’ Liberal voters the party has relied on for half a century. These were the generation who became known as the ‘Baby Boomers’. The result of unrestrained post-war fecundity, many saw the Liberal Party of their parents as Australia’s natural government.
A rising social awareness and newly available chemical contraception meant that the post baby boomers were less in number and had even less offspring.
So since the 1950’s the largest cohort of Australian voters has been those Baby Boomers. We have become a nation of the polled and that has revealed that this group overwhelmingly votes for the Liberal Party. Since the election of John Howard, that group had aged from the 40’s and 50’s to the 60’s and 70’s with natural attrition taking its toll on their numbers.
So much for history. Now to the present.
Our current, incompetent Government has almost run its course. In the past seventy years, when a Liberal Government has become tired, it was just a matter of allowing the Labor Party to take over for one or maybe two terms and then the refreshed Liberal Party would move back onto the Treasury benches. Because of the ‘rusted-on Baby Boomers’.
This next election will see, barring media shenanigans, the Liberal ranks cut by around a third, possibly by half. This will be a disaster which will take at least two elections to come back from. Should there be a third ALP term, then we need to add another decade onto the ages of those ‘rusted-on Baby Boomers’.
By then that cohort will be in its 70’s and 80’s with a much reduced voting power due to natural attrition. The Liberal Party will lose its ability to rely on what has become a fear-addicted group of old people. With its current internal divisions which could lead to a major split within the party, there may not be a unified Liberal Party for the voters to elect in future elections.
The danger will be the rise of the rabid right, the nasty little groups of xenophobic psychopaths we see forming around the fringes of today’s Coalition partners. Yet they will only hasten the demise of the Liberal Party.
The 2019 Federal election may be the last chance the Liberals ever have to win power. By 2025 and certainly by 2028, the Australian Electorate will have finally outgrown Bob Menzies’ Liberal Party.