With South Australia's March state election in full swing, Crikey sat down with Nick Xenophon to find out how to disrupt a century-old political system.
1. Separate from the upcoming SA election and your role in it, do you believe that the traditional two-party system as practised for decades in Australia, the US, UK and France is fundamentally broken -- and if so, what comes next?
It seems like a mistake to generalise across Western democracies. Australian politics is very different from politics in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada or even New Zealand. Political trends outside the English-speaking world are even more diverse. In Australia, support for the two-party system has lasted over a century but has been in steady decline for more than 25 years. Not that long ago, the Labor and Liberal Parties could rely on primary vote support in the order of 40% each. Now, SA Labor may be lucky to secure the support of one in four voters. The Liberals may count on only one in three.