Election 2013 – Articles, Analysis, Comment

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Now that it is all said and done, what did we learn about Australian politics in the 2013 federal election campaign? AAP/Alan Porritt

Virtue and vexation: the policy vacuum in the 2013 election

I have been around for a long time and involved in some terrible campaigns, but the policy vacuum in 2013 was the worst I can recall. There was no serious debate on issues, whether simple or complex, and…
Will the vexed asylum seeker issue continue to dominate Australian politics under an Abbott government? AAP/Mark Cairn

Where to now for asylum seeker policy under Tony Abbott?

Asylum seeker policy experienced a rush of activity in the lead-up to the election. Behind the Abbott government’s bold promise to “stop the boats” in its first term of government is a series of specific…
Both the Labor and Liberals see infrastructure as a crucial economic driver; but Chinese investment in this area has been politicised. AAP

Infrastructure prime minister must face Chinese elephant in room

Tony Abbott wants to be known as the infrastructure prime minister. He could be remembered for building roads and scrapping high-speed rail. But the role of Chinese finance and technical expertise in infrastructure…
Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella appears likely to be unseated in her rural Victorian seat of Indi by a popular local independent candidate, Cathy McGowan. AAP/Julian Smith

Lost and found: the case of the ‘missing votes’ in Indi

Following a close count on election night, the result in the rural Victorian electorate of Indi is still unknown. As the counting of votes continued, it was still unclear whether Liberal incumbent Sophie…
The Coalition will retain the Labor government’s onshore extension of the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax. AAP

Coalition to axe mining tax, but petroleum will keep on giving

Along with repealing the carbon tax, scrapping the mining tax is one of the Abbott government’s first orders of business. Deeming it damaging for jobs and investment, Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised…
With strikingly similar parallels to Tony Abbott’s victory, Erna Solberg’s centre-right party took power in Norway in an election this week. What now for centre-left politics? EPA/Solum

The politics of ingratitude? Norway and Australia at the polls

Imagine a country with a strong, well-performing economy, ruled by a centre-left party that has achieved a number of key reforms. Yet, despite having a good story to tell about strong growth, low unemployment…
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has signalled he’d like to see the history curriculum change. But is it a good idea for government to intervene? AAP Image/AFP Pool, Saeed Khan

Culture wars II: why Abbott should leave the history curriculum alone

In the last week of the campaign, some naggingly familiar comments came out from the Coalition. Then opposition leader Tony Abbott said he wanted to see the national curriculum in history changed because…
Former News Corp Australia chief executive Kim Williams speaking with journalist Kerry O'Brien at a QUT business leaders’ forum. Kim Stephens/Brisbane Times

Former News Corp chief plays coy on election coverage

In his first major speech since his sudden resignation last month as News Corp Australia’s chief executive, Kim Williams had the packed Grand Ballroom at Brisbane’s Hilton hotel abuzz with speculation…
Senators from microparties such as the Motoring Enthusiasts Party and the Sports Party were elected on Saturday with a very small percentage of the vote. Can we fix this problem? AAP/Lukas Coch

How do we solve a problem like the Senate?

The unexpected and developing election story is that the balance of power in the Senate will belong to “microparties” most electors had never heard of before. In Victoria, people are asking how Australian…
Tony Abbott has promised to be a ‘prime minister for Indigenous affairs’. But what this actually means in terms of policy remains thus far unclear. AAP/Alan Porritt

Will Tony Abbott be a ‘prime minister for Aboriginal affairs’?

Recently, Australian Indigenous policy has been characterised by an unambitious bipartisanship. After one too many dramatic and unsuccessful initiatives, there is a sense of lowered expectations. New prime…
And the overall winner? The advertising agencies and media. AAP

Election 2013 advertising wars: the winners and grinners

The election is over, and the result was pretty much as expected, according to the commentators, polls, and the betting companies. Yet, despite the predicted outcome, Australians were bombarded with ad…
Howard moved Abbott to health to solve a major political problem for his government: bulk-billing rates. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Medicare’s best friend? Lessons from Abbott’s days as health minister

The Coalition revealed little of the new government’s health agenda during the election campaign, but Tony Abbott was minister for health and ageing in the Howard government from October 2003 until the…
What’s in store for the higher education sector under the new coalition government? AAP Image/Alan Porritt

What next for universities under Abbott?

As the higher education sector begins to look to life under the 44th parliament, it might pause to consider the words of prime minister-elect Tony Abbott upon claiming victory last Saturday night: “The…
Streets ahead - the Philippines, which has been one of the largest recipients of Australian aid, is now a lower middle-income country that increasingly has the economic resources to reduce poverty on its own. Wiechert Visser/Flickr

What does a Coalition government mean for Australian aid policy?

The recent election of a Coalition government will usher in a new era in Australian aid policy, with a likely re-emphasis on national interests, the Asia-Pacific and economic growth. Last Thursday, the…
It’s smart of Abbott to prioritise Australia’s relationship with Indonesia but can he leave his ‘Anglosphere’ past behind? EPA/Adi Weda

‘Anglosphere’ or regional friend? Abbott’s foreign policy future

Many foreign policy observers are apprehensive about the election of Tony Abbott. A key concern is that his government may be liberal in name only and that we may see a return to the sorts of policies…
How well-placed is Tony Abbott’s new government to tackle the economic issues facing Australia, both domestically and internationally? AAP/Rob Griffith

Tony Abbott: the situational Keynesian

Tony Abbott became prime minister on Saturday by promising to lead an adult government of competence and stability after years of Labor infighting and backflips. Policy details and bankable pledges were…
Peter Dutton and Tanya Plibersek at the National Press Club where, like the rest of the campaign, the parties seemed to vie to be blander. Penny Bradfield/AAP

Bland is best? Bipartisan health platform left no room for policy

The dictionary has many words that could describe health policy in the 2013 federal election campaign – anodyne, soporific and vapid all come to mind. Australia’s health policy problems cannot afford the…
The Coalition has campaigned fiercely on its opposition to a carbon price. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

What next for Australia’s climate policy?

Australia’s new government is likely to repeal the carbon price, by striking a deal with crossbenchers in the Senate after July 2014, or possibly going to a special election if it looks electorally attractive…
The Coalition government’s attitude towards the public service is unclear beyond its promise to cut 12,000 jobs. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Transition to government: what now for the public service?

Commonwealth public servants will have arrived at their offices this morning feeling a mix of relief and trepidation. Relief because the disorder and uncertainty of serving a divided and besieged minority…
The tail on Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party (PUP) certainly wagged at the ballot box on Saturday. AAP/Dave Hunt

How the Palmer United Party came out barking

A funny thing happened at the polls in Queensland over the weekend. To great surprise, the two right-of-centre minor parties - Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) and the recently-established Palmer United…
Is Victorian MP Bill Shorten the man to take Labor forward after the election? AAP/Joe Castro

Labor’s leadership: who to next?

With the 2013 election over, Labor has the opportunity to regroup and plan for how it will win future contests. Ever since Julia Gillard took over the Labor leadership in 2010, the party has appeared to…
The Greens may have suffered a uniform swing against them overall, but they managed to retain their Senate and lower house representation. AAP/Joe Castro

Election 2013 brings a mixed result for the Greens

In the final days of the election campaign, Greens leader Christine Milne implored voters to “Abbott-proof” the Senate by voting Green on election day. Milne’s exhortation was, in many respects, an open…
Wherever the leaders went on the campaign trail the media followed. How can we assess the media’s performance? AAP/Alan Porritt

Election 2013: the role of the media

In one sense, the Australian media did a good job under difficult circumstances in this election. The difficult part was how predictable the campaign was and the increasing inevitability of the outcome…
Every state and territory is different: how did they vote in Election 2013? Image from shutterstock.com

State of the states post-election: experts respond

The Conversation asked Australia’s leading experts to profile the eight states and territories in the lead up to the election. With the result decided (albeit some details still to be ironed out), we look…