Articles on Political leadership

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Australia’s political leaders were silent on a number of key issues during the election campaign. AAP/Lukas Coch

Are Australia’s political parties past their use-by date?

The problem confronting political parties is that the people in leadership positions are intellectually and emotionally ill-equipped to grasp the complex transformation in human affairs now under way.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage was an architect of Britain’s seismic decision to leave the European Union. Chatham House/flickr

Britain’s ‘Bregret’ offers timely lessons for Australian voters this weekend

The populist appeal of simplistic answers to complex solutions is a challenge for political leaders.There are times when expertise and experience must prevail over the popular mood of the moment.
Both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten are complex, enigmatic figures. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Malcolm or Bill: who would you invite to your barbecue?

A party can have the most brilliantly informed and farsighted policies. But if the protagonists cannot communicate these effectively to the electorate, they will be overlooked.
AAP/David Moir

Is political leadership today especially bad?

It didn’t take long for the political honeymoon to end. Malcolm Turnbull may still be far more popular than the man he removed, but he is now being accused of Abbottesque failings. He can’t sell difficult…
Tony Abbott remained at consistently low levels of approval throughout his time as prime minister. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Why was Tony Abbott so unpopular?

Tony Abbott failed to read the signs of the times. His rhetoric was Churchillian, emphasising struggle, crisis and emergency.
President Xi Jinping and the rest of the Chinese leadership do not get to positions of national leadership without undergoing decades of trials to demonstrate their capacity to run a country. Reuters/Carlos Barria

Our democracy can learn from China’s meritocracy

The China Model features political meritocracy at the top, democracy at the bottom and experimentation in between. The West can learn from the best of Chinese leadership, even if it is authoritarian.
In contrast to incumbent Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, his potential successor, Malcolm Turnbull, is often described as ‘charismatic’. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Are ‘charismatic’ leaders really charismatic?

Those of us who study politics are fortunate, but also unfortunate, to work in an academic field whose terms are widely used and abused in public debate. “Populist”, which I’ve written about here, is one…
Chee Soon Juan, pictured campaigning for Singapore’s 2011 general elections, hopes to build on that success in the next election, which is widely expected to be held early, possibly even this year. Wikimedia Commons/Dexterleezh

Talking a bird down from a tree: a conversation with Chee Soon Juan

The Lee dynasty and their People's Action Party have ruled Singapore since 1959, but their grip on power has weakened. Opposition leader Chee Soon Juan talks about about his long fight for change.

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