Australia voted: from social housing to prime minister

Australia voted: from social housing to prime minister

After nine years in opposition, Australia’s Social Democrats are back as prime minister. Anthony Albanese can look back on a very remarkable course of life.

von barbara barkhausena

05/22/2022 – 11:40 am

Anthony Albanese has been a member of the Australian Parliament for over 25 years. During that time he has seen many ups and downs in his Labor Party. Meanwhile, it became so divided internally that it remained in opposition for almost a decade. In recent years, Albanese have had the difficult task of reuniting former “party friends”. The friendly 59-year-old later managed to do just that. The Labor Party won at least 74 of the 151 seats in the House of Representatives in last weekend’s general election.

patience and perseverance

The Albanese had a rocky road to the government. He grew up poor in western Sydney. His mother was a single parent, seriously ill, and lived in public housing with her son. Albanese only met her father, an Italian, when she was an adult. He spent his childhood believing that his father had died in a traffic accident. “I learned the value of a dollar. I learned the importance of flexibility,” Albanese says.

He joined the Labor Party while studying economics. In 1996, he succeeded for the first time in the House of Representatives in Canberra. He has been occupying this seat for 26 years. During the previous Labor government, Albany was Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation. He has been at the helm of the Labor Party since 2019. It hasn’t been a meteoric rise for the Albanese – but his career has been one of patience and tenacity.

Opponents also sometimes accused Albanese of “expulsion tactics”. But he also attributed his victory to his patience: in the end, his rival Scott Morrison shot himself. Morrison may have already lost the 2019 election when he flew with his family during the tragic bushfires in Australia and dismissed it by saying he didn’t have a fire hose.

In turn, Albanese positioned itself as a manufacturer, not a crusher, promising “renewal”, but not revolution. Overall, social democracy came to the fore with an electoral program that promises to be future-oriented, but reflects distinct social democratic values.

Longtime politicians have been committed to higher minimum wages, a national anti-corruption commission, better child and elderly care, and better-funded state health insurance. Australia’s Indigenous people can also claim victory under a Social Democrat prime minister: Albanese wants to work to implement a five-year-old petition by Indigenous leaders to give Indigenous people a voice in parliament and make them the first Australians wants. Constitution.

Albanese also have much higher ambitions in the fight against climate change – the most important issue of this election for many Australians. The Social Democrats want to reduce emissions by 43 percent by 2030. The country will at least catch up with important trading partners such as Canada (40-45 percent), South Korea (40 percent) and Japan (46 percent).