UNLIKE Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, those involved in right of centre politics in Australia generally prefer to be called liberals rather than conservatives.
Why should this be so? The reality is that conservatism in Australia is an area of our political landscape that is little understood. A workshop on ‘Conservatism in Australia’ to be held at the University of Wollongong on Friday from 9.30am to 3pm seeks to cast some light on both conservatism in Australia and its sibling liberalism.
David Kemp, former Education Minister in the Howard government, and Associate Professor Greg Melleuish from UOW’s School of History and Politics will explore the role played by conservatism in Australian history while Wayne Errrington, biographer of John Howard and Scott Prasser, Australia’s leading academic expert on Royal Commissions, will consider the contemporary situation.
A panel at 3.30pm on Friday will feature conservative commentators, Miranda Devine, columnist for the Sydney Daily Telegraph, Keith Windschuttle editor of Quadrant and Tom Switzer, editor of the Australian Spectator, who will debate and discuss some of the major issues for conservatives in 21st century Australia.
Professor Melleuish said the workshop would dispel some of the myths surrounding conservatism.
“It will help to explain why conservatives are not the same as liberals while illuminating what they have in common,” he said.