The times are a' changing. Australians voted overwhelmingly for equal marriage; the NSW and Victorian parliaments are achingly close to legalising voluntary euthanasia; and the Queensland Premier recently performed a spectacular backflip and committed her government to vetoing any federal government loan for the enormous Adani coal mine. A recent poll by the Australia Institute found 63 per cent of Queenslanders thought the loan should go to other projects; just 21 per cent wanted the money to go to Adani.
Conservative politicians have a loud voice in the media but are failing as spectacularly in their efforts to win over voters as they are to prevent the march of progressive policies. Just as Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey dumped most of the spending cuts that they proposed in 2014, the Turnbull government abandoned its plans to increase the GST and is crab-walking away from its promise to cut the company tax rate for big business. Most of the opponents of equal marriage hastily abandoned their plans to drag out the parliamentary debate with a focus on "religious freedom" in the face of overwhelming public support for marriage freedom.
I am not saying conservatives aren't succeeding in some of their campaigns against unions, environmental groups or policies to support renewable energy. On the contrary, in recent years, we have seen extreme laws aimed at unions and the Turnbull government's recent legislation that makes it harder for environmental groups to raise money.