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Word Count: 2,155
The reasons why people vote as they do are many and varied A persons choice of political party can depend on their occupation upbringing environment religion or education - in short which social class they belong to As McAllister states the modern way of life has brought with it the notion of voting according to class Class has formed the basis for party political divisions for most of the twentieth century Since the industrial revolution occupational class has been the most ubiquitous of social divisions 1992 p 152 The two major Australian political parties - Labor and the LiberalNationals Coalition - have been dividing votes for most of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first century That these cleavages brought about by class continue to be salient to todays voting habits is mentioned by Aitken The most important cleavages in Australian society which are relatively abidingare simple economic the haves versus the have-nots which has produced the Labor and Liberal parties and regionaleconomic the country versus the city which has produced the National Party 1989 p170 The Australian Labor Party was formed by unions of workers affected by the economic depression of the early 1890s After striking for better pay and conditions failed union representatives decided that the best way to serve the workers interests would be to do so in parliament Imbued with socialist ideals Labor has from the beginning appealed to the working class or have-nots The haves meanwhile can be broadly said to be attracted to the Liberal Party The Liberals have always been a party of coalition having its roots in the fusion government of 1909 led by Alfred Deakin What we recognise as the Liberal Party of today was formed by Robert Menzies in 1944 From the start the Liberals have been against socialism which has put them firmly at odds with Labor A positive stance on private ownership private enterprise and a long-standing
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