Following on from the Star Wars counterfactual, our econ MP, Andrew Leigh, speculates on the world without the 1975 Dismissal. He argues that Whitlam would have lasted until 1983 when due to the recession he is thrown out in favour of a Peacock Govt. We will have no Fraser, Hawke, Keating or Howard governments. Quite a call.
My initial reaction was that 1983 for Whitlam seemed a stretch. After all, they lost in 1975 despite “Maintain the Rage.” But then again that is exactly why Fraser forced the crisis; because he was not confident of winning in 1977. So perhaps another two victories for Whitlam was on the cards.
Andrew stops with the Beazley Government that is apparently elected in 1993 but based on overseas cycles, Labor would have lasted into the early 2000s and, had they milked 2001 the way other governments did, some more years beyond that. But would Beazley have led for all that time? Recent history in the Labor party suggests not. What would have happened would have been a likely change with perhaps Keating able to assume command as some compromise candidate (much the same way as Howard did in 1995). And we should not rule out the possibility that Howard himself may have been able to win power at some point in the mid-2000s although I suspect that this new history would have also been favourable to Turnbull.
And, by the way, had all this occurred, we may well have had a Republic by now.