Articles on Coalition

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That’s a “fail” in the immigration minister’s knowledge test then, Mark. PA Wire

Immigration ministers need to know more about immigrants

Mark Harper MP was a junior minister making a name for himself. He oversaw the publication of the government’s controversial “Life in the United Kingdom” citizenship test – likened to “a bad pub quiz…
In Europe, in work. And I want to be in work… David Cheskin/PA Wire

Clegg fails to convince with ‘in crowd’ pitch on EU

Nick Clegg “is for in”. In for Europe, in for the economic benefits, and in for better student access to European finances. His argument is that Britain being in Europe will help the UK economy prosper…
Is this really the kind of society we want? zoomar

The happiness agenda makes for miserable policy

How happy do you feel today? How satisfied are you with your life? Do you think your life has any worth? These are the kind of questions increasingly put to survey respondents as academics and politicians…
Tony Abbott’s government has lacked the assured certainty the Coalition showed in winning office. AAP/Stefan Postles

What’s going on with the Abbott government?

For every opposition, the prospect of taking office – attaining politics’ ultimate prize, often after years of hard grind – can be relied upon to drown out the little noises of self-doubt and self-criticism…
The government needs nearly all of the 22 votes that National Party leader Warren Truss can deliver to guarantee passage of its legislation. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Libs vs Nats: GrainCorp stoush shows cracks run deep in the Coalition

Socrates once observed that no-one could be a statesman if they were entirely ignorant of the problem of wheat. Once again wheat – or, more precisely, grain handling and the sale of GrainCorp – is drawing…
Are Tony Abbott’s early ‘missteps’ on media management - which some have criticised him for - more about co-ordination than control? AAP/Alan Porritt

Feeding the chooks: Abbott, Howard and media management

Is Tony Abbott really trying to gag his ministers when, under the Howard government, he and his ministerial colleagues enjoyed relative freedom to handle media interviews and issue press releases? This…
The new Senate will be dominated by an expanding crossbench of minor and microparty members. AAP/Alan Porritt

The 2013 Senate contest: Australia lurches to the right

With the official count of the Senate now completed, the implications of the contest and what it says about the mindset of the Australian body politic may now proceed. The key consequences of the half-Senate…
Tony Abbott’s first foreign trip to Indonesia yielded some return, but time will tell if his ‘Jakarta focus’ is a success. EPA/Adi Weda

Was Tony Abbott’s Jakarta trip a success? We’ll see

Evaluating the success of Tony Abbott’s first prime ministerial visit to Indonesia depends, of course, on what you saw as its objectives. Those with high hopes – that it would mark a breakthrough in discussions…
What will defence policy under Tony Abbott and new defence minister David Johnston look like? AAP/Dean Lewins

Policy outlook: radical departure on defence or more of the same?

The Abbott government talks a good game on defence. While in opposition, new defence minister David Johnston slammed Labor for failing to fund the grand promises of the 2009 Defence White Paper. Now in…
Tony Abbott is seeking to define the terms in which his government will be understood by the public. AAP/Lukas Coch

Election 2013 and defining political success

Just when you thought it was safe to forget an otherwise forgettable election, there is one person who won’t let you. Tony Abbott wants to remind you in order to continue defining both the election and…
Much has changed from the first Colombo plan, but Australia’s engagement with Asia should start at home. Asia image from www.shutterstock.com

Colombo II: send students to Asia but don’t ignore the Asian students at home

Now it’s in government, the Coalition says one of its top priorities is international education. Along with policies to encourage international students to study here, Australian students, too, will be…
Many commentators criticised Tony Abbott’s ‘female-lite’ frontbench last week. How might it affect his carefully managed and marketed ‘brand’ from the campaign trail? AAP/Lukas Coch

Marketing political brands: passionate punters need consistent messaging

In the last week, a number of political commentators have argued that newly-minted prime minister Tony Abbott’s frontbench is decidedly low on women. There is only one woman in Cabinet and an additional…
Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has not accepted the resignation of six members of the NBN Co board – yet. AAP/Alan Porritt

NBN Co’s board members resign – but why?

The mass resignation of all board members but one of NBN Co - the company charged with rolling out the National Broadband Network (NBN) - should come as no surprise to anyone observing the NBN debate…
We all know the art of politics, but what about The Art of War? kurichan+

An invisible, odourless, weightless science minister for Australia

When it comes to science and research portfolios in his first Cabinet, prime minster-eventual Tony Abbott appears to have taken his lead from Chinese military general Sun Tzu’s The Art of War: Be extremely…
Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott has opted for experienced hands in naming his first Cabinet. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott’s new Cabinet: steady as she goes

Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott has announced his new Cabinet and ministerial line-up. In keeping with previous Coalition and Labor governments, there will be an inner Cabinet of senior ministers and…
We all know what’s happened, but what happens next? Mitch Duncan/AAP

Election 2013 results and the future: experts respond

Australia has elected a Coalition government. So what will this mean for key policy areas? Our experts take a closer look at what’s in store for business, the economy, the environment, the National Broadband…
A ‘badly worded sentence or two’ put shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull on the back foot yesterday. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Opt-out, opt-in: the internet filter hokey pokey

As of last night both major Australian political parties can claim to have at one time backed and then rejected internet filters. Is this an epic win for netizens? Yes, for the battle against censorship…
The Australian Coalition arrangement is set apart from coalitions elsewhere by its ongoing nature, even in opposition, and the fact that the parties go into elections with a common election platform. AAP

Minority government likely to continue after Saturday

Much has been made of the ‘unusual’ nature of the minority Labor government over the past three years and there has been a sense that Australia is better off without it; that we need a return to the stability…

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