THE THINK TANK

Australian political strategist Bruce Hawker talks ‘Trump’s America’

Oct 12, 2018, 2:37 PM

(Wikimedia photo)...

(Wikimedia photo)

(Wikimedia photo)

Bruce Hawker is an Australian political strategist and commentator who was the political director for Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

He is in the United States producing a documentary, “Trump’s America,” and is visiting Arizona, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Minnesota in attempt to dissect and explain the American political psyche.

In the 19th century, it took a Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, to write what most regard as the definitive work on American character. So the observations of someone from another English-speaking democracy with its roots in English common law can be instructive.

We discuss some interesting contrasts between Australian and American politics:

• Guns: Despite a frontier history and a gun culture not unlike our own, Australia implemented serious gun control following a horrific mass killing. In contrast, after many such instances in this country, we have essentially done nothing. Why the difference?

• Compulsory voting: Voting in Australia is mandatory and widely accepted as a civic duty.

• Minimum Wage: The Australian minimum wage is roughly $14 per hour in U. S. dollars, compared to our federal rate of $7.25.

• Instant runoff voting: Permit voters to cast expressive ballots for parties with little chance of winning without any chance of a “wasted vote.” (Instant runoff voting reallocates votes to third and fourth parties to second and third choices).

The Think Tank airs on KTAR News 92.3 FM on Sunday at 1-2 p.m. and repeats at 9-10 p.m.

Podcasts are available after each show is broadcast.

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Australian political strategist Bruce Hawker talks ‘Trump’s America’