OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says all successful societies are “inherently conservative” and it’s crucial to tap into this in order to win elections.
Mr Abbott has given a 20-minute interview with the journal World Affairs, in which he sets out some of his thoughts on foreign policy and the coming election.
He said both Labor and the coalition had the ability to tap into the “basic conservatism” in society but risked failure if they alienated the electorate.
“All successful societies are inherently conservative,” Mr Abbott said.
“And Australia is undeniably a successful society with its high and rising standard of living, just and generally accepted institutions, and a relatively happy recent history.”
Mr Abbott, who has been criticised for the “negative” approach he has brought to the Liberal leadership, said it was the job of an opposition to find areas on which it differs from the government and argue that case as strongly as it can.
“That was the philosophy that I brought to the opposition leadership and that was a contrast to the way the opposition had operated prior to my becoming the leader,” Mr Abbott said.
He underlined his support for greater foreign investment, despite noting public scepticism about Chinese and Middle Eastern interests seeking to boost their holdings.
Mr Abbott voiced hope that China would be a “constructive part of the international community, rather than a long-term strategic rival to the United States”.
But while he was optimistic about the US as a country with tremendous strengths, he feared it was going through a period of “doubt and introspection” under President Barack Obama who was leading the “most left-of-centre government in at least half a century”. – AAP