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Consent of the People : Human Dignity through Freedom and Equality - David Kemp

Consent of the People

Human Dignity through Freedom and Equality

By: David Kemp

Hardcover | 18 October 2022 | Edition Number 1

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David Kemp's masterly account of the story of Australian liberalism after Menzies

Consent of the People- Human Dignity through Freedom and Equality 1966-2022 explores how Australia's founding Enlightenment ideals were shaped into a unique national liberalism, embodied in liberal democratic institutions, political parties and shared values. Despite intense partisan loyalties, conservative and radical resistance, and a politics of unequal power and influence, inequality was addressed and personal freedom strengthened.

This final book in the landmark, five-volume Australian Liberalism series examines the place of liberal ideas in governments from Harold Holt to Scott Morrison. It shows how reform urgency led to the nation's greatest political crisis in 1975, how prime ministers Fraser and Hawke struggled to manage an economy dominated by powerful union, business and global interests, how during twenty-four crucial years Hawke, Keating and Howard led one of the nation's greatest reform eras, and how social reform continued despite the leadership instability of the post-Howard era.

David Kemp assesses political parties as the instruments of reform, and the difficulties of achieving reform in the public interest, highlighting the dangers of factionalism and loss of purpose. He examines how an international revival of liberal thought and rising levels of education revolutionised Australian society and politics, creating a moral-and moralistic-ruling class. In a remarkable half-century Australians strove, with growing success, to achieve their dreams.

About the Author

David Kemp's career spans both academia and practical politics. From 1990 to 2004 he was member of the federal parliament, and from 1996 he was a minister in the Howard government overseeing various portfolios including Employment, Education and Environment. Before entering parliament he was Professor of Politics at Monash University, and after leaving parliament Professor and Vice-Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Australia & New Zealand School of Government and board member of the Grattan Institute for Public Policy. He is Chairman of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House and of the Australian Heritage Council. He has published seminal books on voting behavior and political analysis, and has written extensively on political liberalism, political ideas and Liberal Party icons such as Robert Menzies and Malcolm Fraser.

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