Articles on Senate

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GOP President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill at the April, 1983 signing of bipartisan social security legislation. AP/Barry Thumma

Congress used to pass bipartisan legislation – will it ever again?

Most Congresses since the 1970s have passed more than 500 laws, ranging from nuclear disarmament to deficit reduction. Will today's bitter partisanship hamstring the new Congress' productivity?
Independent senators like Derryn Hinch or a potentially re-elected Jacqui Lambie are likely to wield significant power with the next federal Labor government, according to analysis by the Australia Institute. Mick Tskias/AAP

Shorten would need non-Green crossbench to pass bills in Senate: Australia Institute

The Institute's analysis suggests that, at best, after next year's half-Senate election the ALP and Greens could have 38 senators – although more likely they would have 37.
Cormann threw himself under the blame bus on Tuesday, but actually he’d tried earlier to stop the government being run over by the Hanson truck. Mick Tskias/AAP

View from The Hill: How the government’s plan to oppose Hanson’s motion became a vote to support it

One would think ministerial staff would be particularly alert to Hanson motions, and think very carefully before concluding she was doing something as unlikely as putting forward an anti-racist one.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, arrives in the East Room of the White House, July 9, 2018. AP/Alex Brandon

Does a man’s social class have anything to do with the likelihood he’ll commit sexual assault?

Brett Kavanaugh presented himself as a good and reputable man in his recent Senate hearing. But a man's social status and education tell us nothing about whether he's likely to commit sexual assault.
Liberal women such as those in the Morrison ministry, pictured here, should organise to achieve structural change - the only kind that ever sticks. AAP/Lukas Coch

Quotas are not pretty but they work – Liberal women should insist on them

The Liberal Party is at a crossroad in its history. It must take bold steps to ensure better representation in its ranks by introducing gender quotas.
Trump with the men who would replace him – Vice President Mike Pence on the left and House Speaker Paul Ryan on the left. Win McNamee/AP Pool

Why Trump hasn’t been impeached – and likely won’t be

The president won't be removed from office until Republicans in the House decide to support the idea – or the midterms hand the Democrats more seats.

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