Another site goes live today.
This is one that’s tinged with a certain sadness, but also embodies a certain defiance.
The Don Chipp Foundation is the research arm and think tank for the Australian Democrats, the political party founded by Don Chipp to ‘keep the bastards honest’.
A lot of people are writing the Democrats off as they lost seats at the last election and have suffered a number of setbacks, including leadership crises, the resignation from Parliament of their most media-friendly member Senator Natasha Stott Despoja and, of course, the death in August of their founder and guiding spirit.
Personally, I think rumours of the demise of the party are greatly exaggerated.
Some may see the Greens as the Democrats’ natural replacement, but I think that’s a furphy. The Greens are left of left, as Families First are right of right. The big two forces in Australian politics cover the gamut from left to centre (the ALP) and right to centre (the Coalition).
What’s missing is the party of the centre – the middle ground where there’s no room for rightwing conservatism or leftwing radicalism. On this basis alone, I think there’s plenty of room for the Australian Democrats for quite a while yet.
And I don’t even vote for them.