Articles on WA Senate

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Because their votes may be open to negotiation, crossbench senators often have the final say on the form, and passage, of legislation. AAP/Alan Porritt

Scorn the crossbench, ignore Australian political history

Instead of treating crossbenchers in parliament as a source of chaos and an aberration, we should recognise that they play a crucial role in shaping legislation as the constitution provides.
Clive Palmer was criticised by Tony Abbott for ‘trying to buy seats’ in federal parliament through a huge advertising spend at the recent WA Senate election. AAP/Dave Hunt

The WA Senate election and the rise of money in Australian politics

The issue of political party spending featured prominently during the Western Australian Senate re-election in a manner that we are rarely, if at all, accustomed to in Australian politics. This time, it…
Factional dealings saw Labor senator Louise Pratt demoted in favour of conservative union heavyweight Joe Bullock in the ALP’s WA Senate ticket. AAP/Alan Porritt

The ALP becomes its own worst enemy in WA Senate shambles

The only surprising factor in the stories regarding Joe Bullock, who held the number one position on the ALP Senate ticket at Saturday’s Western Australian Senate byelection, was that they took so long…
WA’s mining boom has moved to the production phase, creating fresh challenges for the economy. AAP

Changing times: the economic policies WA needs now

One of biggest issues to be addressed in tomorrow’s WA Senate poll - and perhaps one of the most complex, too - is how best to maintain the state’s growth trajectory through the forthcoming period of transition…
Western Australia has been the capital of grip and grin in recent weeks, but how will it all play out at the ballot box come tomorrow? AAP/Richard Wainwright

WA Senate: Palmer’s making a noise as rivals fret about turnout

Ahead of polling day tomorrow in the Western Australian Senate re-election, the University of Western Australia’s Natalie Mast sat down with election analyst and PhD candidate William Bowe (aka “The Poll…
ALP leader Bill Shorten says a Senate byelection campaign is so unusual that all parties are ‘making it up as you go along’. AAP/Tim Clarke

WA Senate byelection puts parties in unfamiliar territory

Federal ALP leader Bill Shorten recently likened the sensation of campaigning at the Western Australian Senate byelection to riding downhill on a tricycle with legs and feet akimbo. This assessment is…

WA Senate Re-Election Preview

At the last federal election, there was a very close exclusion which affected the final result in the WA Senate. This was compounded by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) losing 1400 votes. Acting…
Former Education Minister Bill Shorten addresses the teachers rally in WA: but did he cut their funding? AAP

FactCheck: did Labor cut $1.2 billion from schools funding?

“I think it’s more than a tad hypocritical of the Labor Party to be campaigning against what it says are cuts to school funding when Bill Shorten as education minister cut $1.2 billion out of school funding…
Leading economist Ross Garnaut has weighed in on the WA Senate re-election and the importance of keeping the carbon tax. AAP/Julian Smith

Why the world has reason to watch the WA Senate election

There’s been a lot of international focus on Western Australia in recent weeks. The search for the lost Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is being led from Perth. But it also turns out that Western Australia…
Leaders of both major parties are campaigning in Western Australia this week as the state heads back to the polls to elect six senators. AAP/Richard Wainwright

Explainer: the WA Senate re-election

Western Australians will head back to the polls to elect six members of the Senate this Saturday. But what are the issues that caused the original result to be declared void? And what are some of the more…
Will a number of Western Australians vote differently in the Senate re-vote than how they voted in September? AAP/Lukas Coch

Survey explores WA electorate’s shifts between Senate votes

Most Western Australian voters are justifiably annoyed at having to vote again as a result of the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) losing 1370 Senate votes cast in the September 2013 federal election…
Western Australian voters will head back to the polls next month to re-elect six senators. AAP/Paul Miller

WA Senate re-vote: polls, issues and the troubled voting system

Voters in Western Australia will head back to the polls on April 5 to re-elect six federal senators following a Court of Disputed Returns decision in February. Ahead of polling day, the University of Western…
polls late Feb.

Latest Polls Show Confusing Picture

Last week a Nielsen poll gave the Coalition its first poll lead from a reputable pollster since November last year. This week’s Newspoll has given Labor its biggest lead since prior to the 2010 election…
What are the key issues the parties will campaign on in the almost-certain WA Senate re-vote? AAP/Paul Miller

What issues will a WA Senate re-vote be fought on?

It appears certain that Western Australians will vote in fresh Senate elections later this year. Following the initial vote last September and the recount – when 1375 votes were unable to be located…
Out, then in, then out again: Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was returned in a recount, but says the court made the ‘right call’ because voters were disenfranchised when votes went missing. AAP/Alan Porritt

Missing votes mean it’s back to the polls for Western Australia

Although the Court of Disputed Returns has not yet formally declared that Western Australia’s half-Senate election was void, Justice Hayne’s judgment has made it clear that this is the necessary, or as…
A judgment on whether voters in Western Australia will return to the polls to re-elect their senators is due on Monday. What’s the legal background to it all? AAP/Paul Miller

In whose interest? The High Court and the WA Senate vote

This week, a lone High Court judge faced a table of 13 barristers to begin resolving the Western Australian Senate election quandary. The hearing took two days and a judgment is likely sooner or later…
Are fixed term elections the answer to the AEC’s problems, as identified in the report into the handling of the ballot papers in Western Australia? AAP/Lukas Coch

WA Senate ballot farce: fix the date, fix the problems

The release of Mick Keelty’s report on the missing Western Australian Senate ballot papers from the 2013 federal election gives us an unusually in-depth look at how the Australian Electoral Commission…

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