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The Party For The Times: The Australian’s Second Editorial Endorsing Whitlam

In a front page editorial, on December 1, 1972, The Australian newspaper endorsed the election of Gough Whitlam and the ALP.

It was the second front-page editorial in a week that advocated a change of government.

Titled The party for the times, the paper said Whitlam offered a “coherent programme of action over a wide range of areas which the present Government has either neglected or only belatedly taken an interest”.

Comparing Whitlam with Liberal Prime Minister William McMahon, the paper said: “Certainly there must be an element of risk in voting the Labor Party into power after 23 years. But in view of his performance over the past 20 months, surely there would be more risk returning Mr McMahon.

“Liberal policy is threadbare: its leadership is weary. Policy-less, devoid of effective leadership, it cannot offer us the kind of effective government a modern Australia requires. The Liberal Party needs a period in opposition to reconstruct itself, to discover a new purpose and fresh ideas.”

Crucially, the paper said: “Labor Party government will be an experiment, not a permanent commitment.”

Editorial in The Australian, December 1, 1972.

The Australian
The Australian


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Malcolm Farnsworth
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