Philip Ruddock attracted the ire of human rights activists for his actions as a minister in the Howard government.
As Australia’s special envoy for human rights, Philip Ruddock will have the chance to change the world instead of listening to other people make suggestions about how it might be done.
Are today’s politicians more cynical and power-hungry than their predecessors?
Governing was not meant to be easy. It never has been either.
A republican referendum is unlikely to succeed without the prime minister’s support.
AAP Image/ Paul Kane/Getty Images
The prime minister and opposition leader are both outspoken republicans. And yet, following Prince Charles' latest visit, an Australian republic looks far from guaranteed. Why is that?
The Murray River in 2007, at the height of the drought. Hopefully it will be more resilient next time around.
Scott Davis/Wikimedia Commons
As El Nino looms, the Murray-Darling is facing another drought. But after almost a decade of investment in water trading and other policies, its prospects are better this time around.
Niccolo Machiavelli recognised the absolute importance of dealing with necessity – what we know today as ‘reform’.
Santi di Tito
In our modern age, reform means essentially mastering necessity – taking what steps are necessary to ensure that one’s country survives and prospers.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott speaks during a press conference at Parliament House.
Tony Abbott has lashed out at "a febrile media culture that rewards treachery" while pledging not to be a "wrecker", in his first public comments after being removed as leader.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Environment Minister Mark Butler say the ALP supports renewables but haven’t yet decided whether and how to price carbon.
AAP Image/Alan Porritt
Labor says it hasn't yet decided what climate policy to take to the next election, although this week's leak has bolstered the idea that it will involve carbon pricing – a subject with a long and vexed history for the party.
John Howard is a role model for the Abbott government, but the world remembers his hardline climate tactics in 1997 less fondly.
AAP Photo/ Bluey Thomson
Australia's government boasts of being one of the few nations to hit its Kyoto emissions target. But is it any wonder, when the Howard government successfully lobbied to make it almost unmissably easy?
Tony Abbott risks having same-sex marriage used against him electorally – just as his Liberal Party once tried to use it against Labor.
As opposition leader Bill Shorten prepares to introduce an amendment on Monday to the Marriage Act to legalise same-sex marriage, why has Australia lagged so far behind?
The world is recognising that the issue of same-sex marriage is a matter of what state law, not religious doctrine, says, to the extent that Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (right) and Gauthier Destenay recently married.
Same-sex marriage is about state recognition of the union between two people and is a political issue. Religious belief can apply in a church and in individual decisions, but not to a secular state.
Treasurer Joe Hockey’s failure to talk about basic measures of the economy in his second budget speech is telling.
A budget speech that fails to discuss basic measures of how the economy going is revealing in itself. Joe Hockey is the first treasurer since at least 1981 not to mention GDP.
This Conservative Party leaflet kills three birds with one stone and is a classic example of Lynton Crosby’s campaign strategy.
UK Conservative Party/Buzzfeed
The British Conservative government’s re-election is the latest and perhaps most startling electoral triumph for Australian political strategist Lynton Crosby. So how did he do it?
If Tony Abbott had followed the John Howard prescription from the start he’d be much better off today.
Saturday's New South Wales election will be seen as a major test of whether a popular leader can sell the public a much-disliked economic reform policy.
Because their votes may be open to negotiation, crossbench senators often have the final say on the form, and passage, of legislation.
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.
Malcolm Fraser wasn’t a visionary like Paul Keating, but he did steady the Australian economic ship.
AAP/Luis Enrique Ascui
Malcolm Fraser's economic style was pragmatic, but he resisted the 'dries' in his party.
Tony Abbott is offering logical evidence and emotional appeals, but the rhetorical problem is his own loss of credibility and authority.
“Is it me?” That was the question John Howard reportedly asked his cabinet colleagues as his government remained stubbornly behind in the polls in 2007. One of those colleagues, Tony Abbott, now confronts…
John Howard sealed his fate by going too far with WorkChoices, but he got the balance right and succeeded with the GST reform.
The distinction between the global and the local is collapsing under the pressure of climate change, economic restructuring, global migration and jihadism on the one hand and the populist and information…
Since Kevin Rudd welcomed Tony Abbott to The Lodge 17 months ago, startling parallels between the prime ministerial struggles of the two populist leaders have emerged.
The unsuccessful Liberal leadership spill on Monday arose from two disjunctures: between the electorate and the political class, and the leadership and backbench. This former disjuncture has occurred since…
In the exact opposite to his election strategy, Tony Abbott has been making voters feel anxious and alarmed about his government.
In 2012, then-opposition leader Tony Abbott gave a speech that set out his agenda for winning government and indicated the policies he intended to implement. He argued that one of his key aims was to make…
John Howard made sure he was facing the same way as other world leaders on climate policy, unlike the current Prime Minister.
AAP Image/David Crosling
Throughout his prime-ministership, which ran from 1996 to 2007, John Howard’s perspective on climate change was informed by geopolitics more than science. The Kyoto Protocol, the key international climate…