South Australia

Jan 30, 2018

‘A campaign the likes of which has never been seen’: 7 questions with Nick Xenophon

Who are the best three pollies Xenophon has seen up close? What is his philosophy about political compromise? What is his favourite political stunt?

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.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

12 thoughts on “‘A campaign the likes of which has never been seen’: 7 questions with Nick Xenophon

  1. Martin Butterfield

    I am not sure I’d say he played it safe. More like sensible. See Q4 as the best example.

  2. Peter Bailey

    Nick has picked a few rotten cherries, most notably when, without knowing the cause, blamed a power failure on the state government when in fact it was the result of an extreme weather event (‘act of god ‘ if you like). At the time he used his oft-used expression that SA was a ‘laughing stock’.

    1. zut alors

      Indeed. But apparently Victoria wasn’t ‘a laughing stock’ when 60,000 homes lost power during last weekend’s heatwave.

  3. CML

    I live in SA…but I would seriously consider moving if Xenophony gets anywhere near the ‘balance of power’!
    Things will only get worse if that happens!!

    1. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

      And if the Libs take government?

  4. AR

    What a splash of fresh, clean water to cool the fevered political brow.
    As to Q7, surely it was after the 2013 fiasco walking around the Adelaide mall area wearing a sandwich board simply saying “thanks for your vote”.
    Can anyone nominate one other pollie who would even get their fat arse out of a Commonwealth car to do that?

    1. CML

      Yes…Graham Edwards, a Labor federal politician from WA, sat in his WHEELCHAIR on a median strip with a large sign thanking the people of his electorate. That was many years ago…long before Xenophony thought of the idea.
      Probably copied Graham!!

  5. Weliveinhope

    LNP anyone….? Did someone say LNP? Xenophon? LNP lite.

    1. Steve

      How much are the ALP paying you to post this stuff on every single Xenophon article?

      1. AR

        And CML is always so very fair & generous about him as well.

        1. CML

          You lost the ‘nominate’ question…get over yourself!!
          Xenophony is just that…phoney. I have been following his career for many years. He was going to rid us in SA of the dreaded poker machines, way back then. Result: we have lots MORE of the damn things.
          I could go on…but you get the drift…Mr X NEVER delivers on his promises, unless they damage the most vulnerable in our community…sort of Liberal-lite, you might say.
          And it was his smartarse political tactics that privatised our electricity system here. Those of us who know that, are very grateful…NOT!
          What was that about ‘fair & generous’ again??? He is a fake news operator, and I don’t trust ANYTHING he says or does!!!!!

  6. [email protected]

    It’s a pity he left the federal (feral?) arena. We need more politicians like him.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details