Articles sur John Howard

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Niccolo Machiavelli recognised the absolute importance of dealing with necessity – what we know today as ‘reform’. Santi di Tito

What is this thing called reform?

In our modern age, reform means essentially mastering necessity – taking what steps are necessary to ensure that one’s country survives and prospers.
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

The latest turn in the twisty history of Labor’s climate policies

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 hit its Kyoto target, but it was more a three-inch putt than a hole in one

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. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Why Australia is so far behind the times on same-sex marriage

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. EPA/Julien Warnand

Same-sex marriage should not be a matter for a conscience vote

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. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Three missing letters say it all about Hockey’s budget pitch

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

Decoding the Crosby campaign: how to find voters and finish first

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?
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.
Tony Abbott is offering logical evidence and emotional appeals, but the rhetorical problem is his own loss of credibility and authority. AAP/Mick Tsikas

The prime ministerial promise to change: can it work?

“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. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

Why not listen to the people for a solution to the reform stalemate?

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. AAP/Alan Porritt

Problem with cut-through politics is leaders can swiftly be cut down

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. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Voters’ feelings of uncertainty have come back to bite Abbott

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

How John Howard could help turn Tony Abbott around on climate

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…
Former prime minister Paul Keating argued governments need to use their political capital to drive reform. But this is becoming increasingly difficult in a poll-driven political climate. AAP/Paul Miller

Keating, reform and the difficult notion of ‘political capital’

Throughout Keating, a series of interviews that finished airing on the ABC earlier this month, the former prime minister makes reference to the notion of political capital in relation to the Labor government…

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