Articles on Parliament

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Former South African president Thabo Mbeki at May Day celebrations in 2003. He failed to challenge a decision by the ANC to recall him in 2008. EPA

Thabo Mbeki undermined South Africa’s constitution by putting his party first

Former South Africa's President, Thab Mbeki, has made a remarkable intervention that condemns parliament's failure to act against President Jacob Zuma. But he is eight years too late.
Australia’s political representatives have the ability to legislate on a wide range of matters. Marriage is one of them. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Explainer: what is parliament’s role in the marriage equality debate?

As the government hints the marriage equality plebiscite may be delayed until 2017, calls intensify for the parliament to legislate on the issue instead. So what is parliament's role here?
Five crossbench members of the House of Representatives will take their seats in the 45th parliament, including Bob Katter, Andrew Wilkie, and the Nick Xenophon Team’s Rebekha Sharkie. Lucas Coch/AAP

Explainer: who are the independents and minor parties in the lower house?

After a slim victory, how the Coalition works with the crossbench MPs will prove important to the success and stability of the Turnbull government.
Parliamentary budget offices are considered international best practice – they are intended to bring more honesty to the budget process. Shutterstock

Who watches the watchmen? Lessons from Uganda’s budget office

The scandal at Uganda's Parliamentary Budget Office shows that figuring out the proper roles, functions, internal controls, and capacities is more pressing than ever.
The Economic Freedom Fighters recently launched their manifesto in Soweto. Party leader Julius Malema (waving) is the master of political theatre. EPA/Cornell Tukiri

South Africa’s EFF: excellent politics of props and imagination

Red berets, hard hats, overalls and domestic workers’ uniforms have become a prominent part of South African politics. But these are more than just props for the EFF political party.
South Africa’s Jacob Zuma is president of the country as well as the African National Congress. He is under pressure on all fronts. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Does President Zuma have the courage to do the right thing?

It is unlikely President Zuma will announce a structural changes in his State of the Nation Address. This, despite education being in dire need of fundamental restructuring and an economy in decline.
Malcolm Turnbull has implemented a ‘constituency Question Time’. Mick Tsikas/AAP

The Turnbull government gets practiced at pivots

Malcolm Turnbull has unveiled changes to question time to give government backbenchers a new opportunity to pitch to their local audiences. It's quite a clever tactic.
Bronwyn Bishop resigned as Speaker following a controversy that brought the public’s trust in her office into question. AAP/Daniel Munoz

New Speaker must lead the way in restoring parliamentary ethics and trust

What can the new Speaker do to restore the Australian public’s faith in the office – and in MPs more broadly – after Bronwyn Bishop’s resignation due to a series of lavish entitlement claims?

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