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Kernot: The Leadership Test – Australia In The Next 20 Years

This is the text of Senator Cheryl Kernot’s Address to the Australian Democrats National Conference.

The Leadership Test: Australia In The Next 20 Years

Cheryl KernotThis 20th anniversary conference represents a remarkable achievement in Australians politics. It represents the survival, growth, determination and commitment of the Australian Democrats.

While this conference celebrates that achievement and looks back on our record over the past 20 years, I want to look forward. I want to look forward to where Australia is heading over the next 20 years. I want to raise questions about what sort of leadership is required to see Australia through those 20 years and I want to ask whether our major parties have the courage and the vision to build a fair, equitable and successful Australia in the face of the massive changes brought about by the new era of globalisation.

A few weeks back – in his self-congratulatory summing up of his first nine months in office – John Howard said he was glad to see Australia was ‘still an egalitarian society’. The questions he didn’t address were: for how long is it going to stay that way and what is a Howard Government going to do to maintain and enhance that egalitarianism? [Read more…]


Keep The Bastards Honest: Australian Democrats Leaflet (1996)

This is a leaflet distributed by the Australian Democrats in the electorate of Higgins in the 1996 federal election.

The leaflet shows the party’s signature slogan: “Keep the Bastards Honest.”

The party’s leader, Senator Cheryl Kernot would go on to defect to the ALP about eighteen months after this election. She subsequently became the Labor member for Dickson in the House of Representatives (1998-2001). [Read more…]


Australia’s Economic Independence: Speech By Cheryl Kernot

This is the edited text of the speech given by the Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Cheryl Kernot, to the Australian Democrats’ National Conference in Hobart.

Speech by Australian Democrats leader Senator Cheryl Kernot.

Australia’s Economic Independence – Economic Rationalism Or Economic Nationalism?

Cheryl KernotThe election we “have to have” is almost upon us – in all probability less than 8 weeks away.

It’s not just a contest for political survival between John Howard and Paul Keating.

It’s also an election which is crucial to the future of the Australian Democrats and crucial to what sort of nation Australia will become in the next century.

And both the nation – and the next century – need the Democrats. [Read more…]