If You Like Sarah Palin, You’ll Absolutely Love Cory Bernardi
An article published last September in the Australian online newspaper, The Global Mail, details what is wrong with conservative politics in Australia, as epitomised by South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi, the standard-bearer of the hard-right faction.
"He’s not just a homophobic, Islamophobic, climate-change denying South Australian senator, he’s an ideological entrepreneur, importing the Tea Party’s ‘astroturf’ techniques and now training others in the faux-grassroots campaigns first cultivated by the American far right.
"But the point is surely made: Cory Bernardi is the archetype of a modern US-style conservative. From astroturf to God, in attitude and technique, he is the whole Tea Party package.
The premise of this article is borne out by the fact that Malcolm Turnbull is far and away the most popular Liberal politican in Australia, and would vie with Kevin Rudd for the position of most popular politician of any party. He appeals to both moderate conservatives and to many on the left, and should he become Opposition leader again, the Coalition would win this year's election hands down. Yet a small but vociferous movement within the Coalition are prepared to keep Turnbull out of power rather than see their own influence diminish.
Yes, Australia has its own Tea Party, following in the footsteps of the Koch brothers, and it has power far beyond its actual numbers.