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8 July 2024 - A shift in our politics?

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G’day, Claire Kimball here, and I’m one happy camper given the politics-heavy news environment we find ourselves in…

I hope last Monday’s newsletter primed you for the huge week that was - and continues to be with France just completing its General Assembly election. By the end of last week, US President Joe Biden digging in and the UK’s election were top 3 news stories according to news monitor Streem, so it was time well spent I reckon. 

According to our poll, 65% of Squizers put America’s presidential election at the top of the list when it comes to what captures your attention. After that, it was 20% for the UK election and 15% for France. The good news is there’s so much more to come from the US, so strap yourself in… 

Just on that Streem list - the top story from last week was Senator Fatima Payman’s decision to quit the Labor Party after she crossed the floor on a Greens’ Senate motion backing Palestinian statehood. It’s an issue that’s much bigger than one senator - in fact, some are pointing to the ‘crisis’ of last week turning into a big challenge to our 2-party dominated politics. 

If you’re a bit confused about why that was such a big deal, we’ve got you. And if you’re a little more advanced in your politics, there’s something for you too. To that end, our Club Picks for this week are designed to step you through why it’s been such a headline magnet: 

  1. How about an intro to Payman? She was 27yo when she entered the Federal Parliament after her surprise election in 2022, and as she outlined in her first speech, her backstory is not one we usually hear from our pollies. Yes, she was a political staffer and unionist, but she’s also a former pharmacist and refugee. 

  2. Michelle Grattan, the doyen of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery, has a terrific piece in The Conversation spelling out why this messy chapter creates a significant issue for PM Anthony Albanese. She says his instincts to push back “carries the big risk that it alienates many Muslims out in the community, and fuels what looks to be a growing Muslim political movement, with its adherents deeply angry about what’s happening to Gaza.” 

  3. Just on the speculation of ‘a growing Muslim political movement’... This week, the Muslim Vote is set to announce candidates in the Western Sydney seats held by Education Minister Jason Clare and Employment Minister Tony Burke where about one in 3 voters are Muslim. On Saturday, ABC Radio National’s Fran Kelly went through what that could mean with pollster/strategist Kos Samaras (spoiler alert: he reckons it’s worth paying attention to…).  

  4. The rise of the Muslim Vote movement in response to events in Gaza isn’t isolated to Australia - in fact, the group helped pro-Palestine candidates in the UK election. Labour has long been the party most Muslim voters supported there, but in last week’s election, the incoming government lost votes and seats in areas with large Muslim populations. This New York Times piece unpacks that. 

Just like the rise of the Teals targeting senior Morrison/Coalition Government MPs was a big theme of 2022’s vote, this feels like something to understand this time around, but for the Albanese/Labor Government. So I hope that helps to start setting you up as we head towards a federal election in the coming 12 months. It’ll be here before we know it… 

Your friend in news
Claire Kimball

We’re all ears

Australia’s politics has been dominated by the Coalition parties and Labor for decades - but grassroots campaigns targeting government MPs were successful last time, and could be again at the next federal election. So we’re curious to know:

Wrapping up the news…

Kate and I (or in last week’s case, Larissa…) release the Weekly Wrap on our News Club podcast feed each Saturday. As the name suggests, it’s a look at the week in news and what’s coming up. Big thanks to the Squizer who left this review below…

“I’ve been listening to The Squiz for years and love all of their content but I always look forward to Saturday’s episode. It’s a closer look at key topics from the week and the best way to get ahead of what’s in the week ahead. I value the unbiased and opinion free format combined with the banter of the hosts.”

Listen here or on your fave podcast app (Apple and Spotify).

Got questions?

Hit reply with everything you’re dying to know. You can also DM us on Insta @thesquiz - we’re all ears.

Podcasts of ours you may like…

Is Joe Biden too old to be president?
Joe Biden’s age has been a talking point ever since he first got elected. Back in February, a Special Counsel report described him as an “elderly man with a poor memory”. In light of his performance in the first presidential debate, it's a good time to revisit one of our first News Club episodes. Listen time: 17 mins

It’s the week in news and what’s coming up...
If you’re interested in this week’s News Club topic, you’ll enjoy Saturday’s Weekly Wrap where Claire and Larissa we dive into Senator Payman’s departure from the Labor Party. Listen time: 29 mins