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Book Review - 'Common Ground'

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Publication:  'Common Ground.'

 

Author:  The Right Hon. Malcolm Fraser, AC, CH.

 

Publisher:  Penguin Books Australia Ltd

 

Year:  2002

 

Field:  Politics

Overall Description

 

This publication, written by a past Liberal Prime Minister, (Mr Malcolm Fraser,) is a captivating read full of debate on some of Australia’s most divisive and contentious political issues. Overall, the book is based primarily on a collection of Mr Fraser’s speeches to parliament, committees, organisations and public forums. He captures the speeches he made at the time, and analyses them in light of current world events, attempting to put forward an overall message, which at times runs conversely with the actions of the current Coalition Federal Government.

 

Chapter Analysis

 

The publication has eight chapters to read from. There is a chapter explaining his introduction to politics, with an emphasis on his involvement in the Liberal Party of Australia, providing some insight into the party’s internal workings. He also writes on the contradictions of Globalisation, especially with reference to the so-called hypocritical actions of the United States such as its continual application of tariffs whilst advocating free market trade. Also, Australia’s position in the world post September 11 is written upon, tracing back our experiences from Federation to the present day. The United Nations and International Law with reference to the Refugee Issue is embarked upon somewhat controversially, with many strong arguments made against the current Federal policy. Aboriginal Reconciliation and finally, Australia’s pursuit of Multiculturalism is addressed, with some convincing arguments made for multiculturalism, especially his recommendation for a substantial Australian population increase.

Opinion 

My opinion on this publication is quite positive surprisingly. When I began reading this book, I was expecting continual criticism of the Howard Government’s policies. Whilst a lot of his arguments entail such a message, I found that above this, he sends a strong message to his readers of the opportunities Australia can follow if it wishes to. (For Example, Multiculturalism and an Australian population increase.) Personally, I wasn’t swayed by his arguments on Asylum Seekers, yet found them compelling and plausible at the same time. His best chapters by far would have to be his last two, Aboriginal Reconciliation and Multiculturalism, where he cleverly illustrates the slowing of progress on these issues, to the detriment of Australia’s long term interests.

 

I highly encourage everyone to read his book as it will provide you a different insight into a man that may seem to have changed so much to the Liberal Party faithful, but really has been misunderstood for a long period of time. You may not find yourself agreeing with some of his arguments like myself, but you will gain useful knowledge on the arguments opponents may make of those policies, further enhancing your list of rebuttals.

 

Rating 

4.5 out of 5.

  Chris Mouratidis - Promoting Economics.