Former Eden-Monaro member Jim Snow casts doubt on future of major parties

Jim Snow launching his book at Candelo Books, Bega on Thursday, November 9.
Jim Snow launching his book at Candelo Books, Bega on Thursday, November 9.

Former Labor Eden-Monaro MP Jim Snow does not see his party lasting forever.

Speaking at his book launch at Candelo Books, Bega on Thursday afternoon, Mr Snow said he thought voters were realising the major parties did not have all the answers.

“Gradually I think the parties will decline,” Mr Snow said.

The 83-year-old was replying to a question from Fairfax Media about the future of the major parties following low primary votes for the Liberal and Labor parties at the 2016 federal election and the potential for a centrist party in Australia.

“We’re getting to the stage where it would be a brave party – and it could be the Labor Party – that certainly says, ‘Well we have to accept people with Greens views and other views. We have to accommodate people like One Nation’,” Mr Snow said.

“There’s a big tendency in all of us, especially with social media, just to go for the people we want to listen to. That’s why when I go to the dentist I pick up the Daily Telegraph.

“I’m not afraid of (declining support). What I am afraid of is people narrowing their view to just what they want to hear.”

Mr Snow, who served as Chair of the Caucus following Labor's win at the 1993 federal election, launched his book Keating and his Party Room to an admiring audience.

He reflected on some of the key moments during his 13 years in the Hawke-Keating era and about politics today during a question-and-answer session.

In his book, Mr Snow draws from his Caucus notes to recount Labor’s term in office from 1993 to 1996 and describes the government actions on the Mabo High Court ruling, communications, superannuation and the arts.

He also describes his own approaches to electorate success, drug law reform and over-government.