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Treasurer Chris Bowen needs voters to put a 1 next to his party on the ballot in the upcoming election. Will his new book help win the political argument? AAP/Dean Lewins

Chris Bowen’s plan to win hearts and minds and save Labor

Treasurer Chris Bowen’s new blueprint for Labor party reform Hearts and Minds gives us the easy listening version of Paul Keating, just as Tony Abbott offers us the same for John Howard. The book provides…
The new and improved Kevin Rudd wants to change the way Labor elects its leaders. But is his proposed method democratic? AAP/Image News Corp Australia Pool/Gary Ramage

The Rudd reforms: are they democratic?

On Monday, prime minister Kevin Rudd announced a series of proposals to change the way the Australian Labor Party selects its parliamentary leader. Under his proposal, incumbents can only be challenged…
Prime minister Kevin Rudd has announced reform to the workings of the ALP, including that the parliamentary leader will be jointly elected by rank-and-file and caucus members. AAP/Lukas Coch

Is this Kevin Rudd’s ‘New Labor’ party?

Public servants often complain that when their ministers go on holiday, they usually return with a rag bag of new policy ideas. Since regaining the ALP leadership, Kevin Rudd has a three year backlog of…
Is the decision to re-install Kevin Rudd as leader of the ALP and of the country an affront to Australian democracy? AAP/Alan Porritt

Once bitten, twice shy: Labor again betrays the Australian people

The decision by the Labor caucus to minimise the electoral damage in September and return Kevin Rudd to the party leadership was short-sighted and ultimately self-destructive. More importantly, it operated…
Ultimately, it was Julia Gillard’s failure to find a ‘narrative’ to weave her policies together that cost her the Labor leadership to a more opportunistic Kevin Rudd. AAP/Alan Porritt

Rudd’s return marks the victory of opportunist politics

The morning Julia Gillard was deposed as Australia’s prime minister many of the British newspapers carried a picture of her knitting a present for the future heir to the British (and presumably) Australian…
Will history judge Julia Gillard favourably on her legislative record as prime minister? AAP/Alan Porritt

Will history remember Gillard’s three years favourably?

Julia Gillard has been a reasonably effective politician, but the political paradigm within which she has worked is approaching the end of its life. She has been aware of this but has struggled to develop…
Both sides of politics need to take the carbon tax fight to the election. Flickr/Leonard John Matthews

Why Labor should fight the 2013 election on climate change

If climate change features prominently in the federal election campaign, it will almost certainly be driven by the Coalition. Under Tony Abbott, the Coalition has long smelled blood in the water on climate…
Who has the voter’s eocnomic interests at heart plays the biggest role in determining voter allegiance. AAP/Theron Kirkman

Finding a compass on why voters vote the way they do

Graham Richardson, the legendary Labor numbers man, pronounced last week that “if I was religious, I would pray that my long-held view that Labor will be slaughtered under Gillard’s leadership would be…
Julia Gillard has been hit by criticisms she is promoting ‘class warfare’ from ministers who resigned in the wake of last week’s leadership spill. AAP/Alan Porritt

What class war? Searching for Labor values in the Labor Party

Among all the self-serving tattle from disgruntled cabinet ministers who felt impelled to resign last week, surely the stupidest was the attack on Julia Gillard supposedly promoting “class warfare”. The…
The political show must go on but Labor is running out of time and options if it is to have any hope of avoiding a devastating defeat in this year’s election. AAP/Matt Roberts

‘Moving forward’: where does Labor go now?

Labor starts this week still reeling from the “no show” leadership spill and its aftermath. Labor’s electorally disastrous polls are likely to get even worse following those events. Are there any ways…
After surviving two challenges to her leadership, Julia Gillard faces a desperately tough fight in the upcoming election. AAP/Alan Porritt

The remains of the day: where to for Gillard?

After one of the more bizarre days in Australian politics, Julia Gillard remains as the prime minister of Australia. The question of leadership of the Labor Party has been a constant problem for the party…
Adam Bandt, Christine Milne and Richard Di Natale don’t walk this planet, says The Daily Telegraph. AAP/Penny Bradfield

Little Green people from outer space: labelling Christine Milne and co

The Daily Telegraph isn’t known for holding back. As Stephen Conroy discovered in an already infamous front page, if you’re in its firing line, you’ll know it. It’s a world where a relatively pragmatic…
Gillard should stop focusing on unions, and start explaining how to pay for progressive policy. AAP/Dave Hunt

Julia Gillard could win the election … by raising taxes

It is ironic that just as our politics become increasingly presidential, so too do the two contending party leaders become increasingly unpopular. Indeed, both parties increasingly campaign as if the choice…
Australian Greens leader Senator Christine Milne called for an end to the ALP and Greens alliance during a National Press Club speech. Alan Porritt/AAP

The end of the ALP/Green alliance is all sound and fury

The termination of the ALP/Green alliance has been characterised by some sections of the media and the commentariat as a “divorce”. The language is interesting because it implies that there was genuine…
Happier times: prime minister Julia Gillard and former Greens leader Bob Brown’s agreement has largely been upheld. Alan Porritt/AAP

Government didn’t walk away from the Greens, but Milne needed to ditch Labor

Greens leader Christine Milne’s announcement yesterday that the alliance between the Greens and Labor was over had more symbolic than practical implications for Australian politics. Senator Milne vowed…
Former Premier Geoff Gallop helped reform the Western Australian Labor Party. But can it be done federally? AAP/Alan Porritt

Gallop: ALP reform is a must for social democracy

There are always two challenges that face a political party operating in a democratic system such as ours – public trust and public policy. When I was elected leader of the Western Australian Parliamentary…
Melissa Parke visiting a local school with Prime Minister Julia Gillard. AAP/Rebecca Le May

In Conversation: Melissa Parke full transcript

Geoffrey Robinson: We’re here for The Conversation. Melissa, you’ve got an interesting career background working in the legal sector of the international human rights law. That’s perhaps very different…
Labor elder Senator John Faulkner has called for a thorough reform of internal party practices. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

NSW Labor, the Catholic Church and the ADF: institutions eating themselves alive

Since its nineteenth century birth, the Australian Labor Party has helped to define the country’s institutional landscape. But according to one of its most respected members, party grandee Senator John…
When former leaders take the public stage, nostalgia hits for voters. ABCTV

A return to Rudd and Turnbull won’t raise the level of debate

Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull’s appearances on Q&A last night were always going to make a splash. High-profile media appearances by Rudd and Turnbull inevitably prompt speculation among the media…

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