Inspired by a weird little exchange on Twitter where I asked “I wonder how different things would have been if John Watkins was made NSW Premier after Bob Carr?”, to which @BronwynHinz replied “I wonder how different things would have been if John Hewson beat Paul Keating in 1993 and Howard never became PM” – it got me thinking about those sort of “what ifs” in general and how small, innocuous events have so readily cascaded into creating the world in which we live.

The one “What if” that has always stuck in my mind for the sheer vastness of its global consequences is “What if  Gavrilo Princip missed?

Potentially no World War 1, so no World War 2, therefore no Cold War as we knew it, no global political architecture based on the fallout of WW2 (read UN, NATO etc)– the entire world in which we live could so easily have been a profoundly different universe if one bloke was 2 inches out.

So – while we are waiting for something to happen in Australian politics – what are the Australian “What ifs”? Those small innocuous events in history where the slightest change in circumstance or luck could have created a profoundly different Australia to that which we see today?

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