Australia's August 21 Election: "The Circles Have Exploded"
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When one views the fall-out from Australia's most blessedly inconclusive general election in 70 years, a Latin phrase from Saint Augustine springs to mind. "circuitus illi iam explosi sunt", boasted the Bishop of Hippo—"The circles have exploded".

No longer are Australian voters forced to choose between two different brands of New Class globalism. Suddenly and surprisingly, both major parties distanced themselves from the pro-immigration "Big Australia" bipartisan consensus that has dominated the country's policies since World War II. 

And last Saturday, August 21, voters delivered a sharp blow to the political center, while rewarding representatives from the radical Left (the Greens) and the radical Right (three out of the four independents who now hold the balance of parliamentary power).

The Greens snatched  from Prime Minister Julia Gillard's incumbent Labor Party at least one House of Representatives seat (Melbourne, now held by industrial lawyer Adam Bandt) and almost a second (veteran Labor apparatchik Anthony Albanese just squeaked home in his western Sydney constituency of Grayndler). What is more, they now have no fewer than nine senators, up from five before last Saturday.

The bad news: Green policies are everything that regular readers of, and writers for, this website are likely to detest.  For the Green Party has long advocated an endless Third World influxas well as euthanasia, an actual increase in pro-abortion laws, and same-sex "marriages". Not surprisingly Sydney's Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal George Pell, has described the party as "sweet camouflaged poison."

(Green left-looneyism also led to a piquant scene during election night television coverage of the results, when Labor Climate Change Minister Penny Wongnotable for being a Malaysian-Chinese lesbian rather than for any overwhelming administrative talentswas upbraided by the Greens for her "anti-gay marriage stance".)

But more pleasurable to contemplate is Bob Katter, most celebrated and colorful among the independent parliamentarians.  Indeed, from the last few days' newspaper coverage, a Martian visiting Australia might be forgiven for concluding that Katter was actually head of government.

The proud possessor of both a 10-gallon hat and an AK-47, Katter has actually been in the House of Representatives since 1993, and an independent since falling out with the rural-based National Party in 2001. But until last week, the parliamentary majorities enjoyed by Prime Ministers John Howard and Kevin Rudd reduced Katter's relevance. Now he's in the spotlight, and enjoying every second of it.

Buchananite in his economic protectionism,  Katter also warrants attention for his lack of wussie squeamishness regarding the crocodile population in his native North Queensland. (Queensland registered by far the strongest ballot-box protest against Gillard's rule.)

"The best place for a croc," he asserted in 2008, "is on the tip of the gun's foresight and the shoulders of the rear sight."

But it is his attitude on the immigration issue that will most clearly pique VDARE.COM readers' interest.

Not only does Katter firmly oppose illegal immigration, particularly when it takes the form of people-smugglers' human cargoes, but he also has his doubts about the legal sort. (N.B. he's of Lebanese descent)

"I love Australia", he assured Brisbane's Courier-Mail newspaper on Monday, "but we're a vanishing race, and we're burying our own identity under the waves of others coming in from overseas." [Bob Katter to make major parties earn his endorsement for balance of power, by Peter Michael, August 23, 2010]

Katter is, of course, far more outspoken than either Gillard or Liberal leader Tony Abbott would dare to be on such matters.

Still, he is not alone in harboring reservations about the "Big Australia" mentality.

Abbott promised last April that the Liberals, if returned to power, would halve Australia's annual immigration intake, which is an absurdly high 300,000equivalent to four million  in the U.S.; the total population of Australia is only 22.4 million.

And in July, Gillard herself responded to questions about border security by sayingmirabile dictuthat discussion on the topic should not be squelched. She was reported as saying:

"I'd like to sweep away any sense that people should close down any debate, including this debate, through a sense of self-censorship or political correctness. People should feel free to say what they feel. For people to say they're anxious about border security doesn't make them intolerant. It certainly doesn't make them a racist."[Gillard to get tough in asylum rethink, ABC News, July 5, 2010]

Which, coming from leftist Gillard, is almost as spectacular a volte-face as it would be if Christopher Hitchens were to say "Hey, there might be something to recommend Christianity after all".

Will Katter's political fate be happier than, sadder than, or about the same as that of Pauline Hanson, eclipsed during John Howard's reign?

As Zhou En-Lai observed when asked about the French Revolution's impact: "Too soon to tell".

But the moral for America: circles explode. Even Australia's apparently perfect elite consensus on immigration has proved surprisingly vulnerable.

R. J. Stove [send him mail] lives in Melbourne, Australia.

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