SENATE DOORSTOP INTERVIEW 10 NOVEMBER 2016
Subject: Trump Election
PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA
THURSDAY, 10 NOVEMBER 2016
SUBJECT/S: U.S election
SENATOR DOUG CAMERON, SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS, SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS: Well I suppose everyone is trying to digest the outcome of the U.S. election. My view is that some of the promises that President elect Trump has made will only make matters worse for some of the people that have voted for him. So he has got a big task himself and I suppose it might be one of those times that people vote for a candidate and they hope that some of his policies are not implemented.
This is a huge issue, I don’t think it was expected in too many places, there is too many people now have got all the answers overnight but I think it will take some time to digest what’s happened and what the implications are for Australia.
JOURNALIST: You said this was unexpected in many places, Brexit was also very unexpected, we are seeing what appears to be a push back against the major parties and political institutions. What do you think that means for the Labor Party?
CAMERON: I am not so sure that it is the push back against major parties, I think it’s certainly a push back against inequality. I think it’s a push back against the insecurity that many people feel, I think it’s a push back against people feeling that they have been left behind, that some of these big macro-economic policies are put in place and people are left behind.
I think the party in Australia that has got the biggest problem with that is the Liberal/ National Coalition. They are the ones that have just said to Toyota and GM we don’t want you, you go away, and that means massive job losses in areas within Australia.
That’s what the push back was, where you saw working class people voting for Donald Trump because of employment insecurity, because of inequality and the Coalition have no answers to those issues – it’s only Labor that has the answers to those issues.
JOURNALIST: You say that this means for Australia and the U.S. in trying to deal with some of the Trump victory that this will take a special diplomacy?
CAMERON: Yes of course, that’s why you have a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deal with diplomacy and I think you will see a lot of diplomacy. I agree with Bill that the U.S. relationship is bigger than any individual and that relationship will continue. But I think the biggest issue here is that all parties will need to have a look at their policies in the context of inequality, we are the only ones with the good policies in that area, we are the only ones that can actually deal with the issues that are being raised from the U.S. election.
That was shown at the last election here where more and more people came to Labor and I suppose if that election had gone any longer Labor could have won that election.
Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t have the courage to stand up to his own right wing and I found it absolutely amazing that we have Cory Bernardi and Eric Abetz out there claiming a victory for the right.
Well it’s not a victory for the right when working class people are saying they need more help, more support from Government. This will be a challenge for President elect Trump, it’s a challenge for every politician in this country to make sure we have the right policies to ensure that ordinary working families in this country are given the support that they need.
The Coalition don’t have a leader with the capacity to do that, he is a captive of the right, and if he is a captive of the right then the policies of inequality, the policies of giving $50 billion to the big end of town will continue. That is not a recipe for less insecurity and less inequality in this country.
JOURNALIST: What happens though when you say that our relationship with America is more than one man, what if that one man does stick to his promises that he has made and withdraws from our alliance and becomes that – follows through on his isolationist policies? What happens to Australia and our alliance?
CAMERON: Well I am not sure that he has actually said that he would withdraw from any alliance with Australia, so I am not sure where that’s come from.
JOURNALIST: I guess it would be the alliance and the treaties we have had, things like ANZUS and NATO and he said he would…
CAMERON: I just think the dust has got to settle on this, we have got to let the dust settle and see where this goes. As I have said, some of the policies that the President elect has articulated during the election campaign may not ever come to fruition and that would be a good thing. So let’s wait and see where all that goes.
I think the key issue for us is to continue at that government to government level to work with the U.S., keep the U.S. relationship strong, but also make sure we have policies in Australia that look after working people, that make sure that insecurity and inequality doesn’t grow and that we don’t chase industry away from our shores and we don’t enter into trade agreements that make it more difficult for ordinary working families in this country to make a decent living and earn a crust.