Author(s): Shaun Crowe
Whitlam's Children is the first systematic study of the Labor and Greens relationship in Australia, examining its history, experience in government, and prospects for the future. Based on over forty interviews with party figures - including leaders and senior ministers - the book asks a number of pressing questions about the relationship- what do politicians from both parties think about each other, and what issues unite and divide them; did previous attempts at cooperation, particularly under Julia Gillard, deliver successful government, and how did both parties judge this experiment; and will we ever see a more lasting coalition on the Australian left, to mirror the established arrangement on the Australian right?
At its centre, the book examines the minority parliament from 2010 to 2013, the parties' first federal attempt formal cooperation. Exploring both successes and failures, it dedicates chapters to particularly stubborn policy dilemmas, including climate change and refugee settlement. While the interviews revealed a variety of perspectives, even within parties, they uncovered a productive, though often hostile parliamentary relationship; united by a series of shared values, but divided by different approaches to parliament, politics and pragmatism.