Malcolm Fraser, the nation's 22nd Prime Minister, died after a brief illness. He was 84.
Fraser was a consummate multiculturalist who advanced the false equivalence between population growth and economic growth.
Fraser convinced many Australians that mass immigration was essential for the economy to prosper.
In reality, there is no correlation between population size and economic prosperity.
• Consider, for example, that citizens of the Falkland Islands enjoy the highest standard of living in South America in spite of a population of fewer than 3,000. Were the British protectorate a nation, it would be the second smallest on earth. Only The Vatican would be smaller.
Yet the Falkland Islands retains a Human Development index of .933 -- the same as Australia --, higher than the United States at .914 and would place second in the world behind Norway that has an index rating of .944 [source]. Considering that nations with European populations tend to rank highest on the HDI.
A review of the HDI reveals that ethnicity coupled with free markets, not population size, are the corollaries that produce high living standards.
• Fraser sold multiculturalism to the Australians by making emotional -- rather than logical -- appeals to their pathological altruism.
The outcome of his policies was recession and social unrest.
From ABC.net.au we read:
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From his first days in politics, Mr Fraser was an advocate of immigration as a means of boosting the population.
As a minister in the Gorton government, he became the first federal politician to use the word "multiculturalism" — an historic break from the Anglocentric past of his own party.
He became opposition leader in 1975, facing off against Gough Whitlam and becoming prime minister in the wake of Mr Whitlam's dismissal.
Mr Fraser's multicultural conviction found shape in immigration policy in the post-Vietnam war push to bring refugees from mainland South East Asia to Australia.
"I believe we had a moral and ethical obligation," Mr Fraser later said.
"If we had taken polls ... I think people would have voted 80, 90 per cent against us but we explained the reasons for it.
"We were also working to get people to understand that the idea and the reality of a multicultural Australia could be an enormous strength to this country, not a weakness.
"There is strength in this kind of diversity so long as we understand what it's about."
In addition to multiculturalism, he embraced Aboriginal land rights, led the Commonwealth push to end Apartheid in South Africa and argued for an independent Zimbabwe.
The nation's finances were managed with traditional conservatism and cutbacks at first but later, the political pressure grew and the purse strings loosened.
However, in 1982 the country was facing recession, drought and social unrest.
After suffering a back problem and being treated in hospital, Mr Fraser called a snap election on the same day Bob Hawke became opposition leader.
But the strategy backfired and Mr Fraser was defeated.
Image credit: abc.net.au ####
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