Articles on Australian politics

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The union scandal surrounding Labor MP Craig Thompson shows just why the Labor party should re-consider its relationship with the unions. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

The Health Services Union scandal and Labor’s unhappy political marriage

The Health Services Union’s scandal continues with calls for its national president to resign and moves to remove Kathy Jackson, the whistleblower who first revealed claims of credit card misuse, from…
Former Health Services Union head Craig Thomson represents a vital vote for the Gillard government. AAP Image/Penny Bradfield

Health Services Union: why union members deserve better

The ACTU yesterday voted to suspend the Health Servives Union from affiliation until they can prove that issues of governance have been dealt with appropriately. Although it does seem to have been a slow…
Gillard shines when she is closer to voters, such as at this week’s community cabinet in Paramatta. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Community cabinets could be the cure for Gillard’s communication conundrum

By all accounts, in person Prime Minister Julia Gillard is relaxed, funny, engaging and a good listener. Her ministers say she is tough, masters briefs well, leads, and takes decisions. On top of that…
Scientists and politicians rely on each other – so how best to develop that relationship? mayhem

Scientists and policy-makers: it’s time to bridge the gap

“Our lack of ability to position our argument in the public means science has not influenced public debate as it should.” So said Australian National University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young at…
Perhaps finance minister Bill Shorten and the Labor party should shout a bit louder about superannuation. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Compulsory super: it’s good, it works and we want more of it

Labor’s devastating Queensland election result has prompted much soul searching within the party and questions about its fundamental approach. Do voters even know what the Labor party stands for? Or is…
The Bligh led Labor party’s devastating defeat in Queensland could present difficulties for federal labor seats. AAP/ Dan Peled

The lie of the land for Labor after the Queensland poll

The Queensland election can tell us a lot about Labor’s electoral future. There is no doubt that if the Queensland state election landslide against Labor were extrapolated to federal boundaries, the federal…
Former ALP Minister Barry Jones says the party needs significant reform. AAP

The decay of the political process

Queensland has developed a tradition of political swings that are far greater than the national average. Labor held only one Queensland House of Representatives seat in 1975 and in 1996 only two. The major…
Campbell Newman and close confidants Jeff Seeney (right) and Tim Nicholls at the first meeting on the LNP government. AAP/Dan Peled

Queensland election: Labor on the wrong side of the boom

A lot of the coverage of the Queensland election has so far focused on the headline numbers. Admittedly, these are startling. The LNP will control 78 of 89 seats in the unicameral Parliament. Labor’s primary…
The LNP will win power, but Campbell Newman may not win his seat.

Bligh will lose in Queensland, but it won’t be a wipeout

It’s long been said that Queensland is beautiful one day and perfect the next. But it has been a long time since Queensland politics reached these superlative heights. The state has been mired in controversies…
The Australian Sex Party was launched at Sexpo in 2008 by leader Fiona Patten. AAP/Julian Smith

Going native at Sexpo with the Australian Sex Party

“Where’s the party?” “Can I join?” “Is this legitimate?” These were just a few of the questions I was asked during my eight-hour shift as a volunteer for The Australian Sex Party (ASP) at their booth in…
Campbell Newman addresses workers during a campaign stop. AAP/Dan Peled

Is Campbell Newman’s Queensland election strategy in trouble?

The Liberal National Party chose an unconventional strategy when it decided make former Lord Mayor of Brisbane Campbell Newman its leader. Newman needs to win a seat in the Queensland parliament if he…
Chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley and Minister for Defence Stephen Smith respond to reviews into Defence’s culture and the Skype scandal. Defence media

ADFA Skype scandal: Smith’s reviews could help defence to change its culture

Defence minister Stephen Smith has released the findings of a series of reviews into last year’s ADFA sex scandal and the culture of the defence force. The scandal revolved around an incident in March…
Swan’s “fair go” message isn’t original, but it is clever. AAP/Alan Porritt

What’s behind Wayne Swan’s ‘fair go’ message?

When they each ran significant chunks of the Australian mining industry in the 1970s, the late titans Sir George Fisher and Sir Maurice Mawby were often dismayed at the attacks politicians, and others…
Wayne Swan outlined his economic vision for Australia at the National Press Club today. AAP/Alan Porritt

Sorry Clive Palmer, Wayne Swan’s vision is better for Australia

Australians are in a unique place today – we are witnessing our democracy being called to account. The nature of Australian democracy is being debated by on the one hand, its Treasurer and on the other…
Bob Carr is Australia’s new foreign minister after a cabinet reshuffle by Julia Gillard. ABC News24

Cabinet reshuffle: Gareth Evans on Bob Carr

Prime Minister Julia Gillard today delivered a political surprise by announcing former NSW premier Bob Carr as Foreign Minister in her reshuffled cabinet. Carr takes over from Kevin Rudd, who returns to…
Gillard had a strong performance after yesterday’s leadership ballot, but there’s still a long way to go. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Cautious optimism for Gillard on one of Canberra’s strangest days

One of Julia Gillard’s better days in Australian politics was nonetheless brought to an unusual end yesterday with the resignation of Mark Arbib. The former right faction leader, who most recently served…
The process Labor uses to remove and replace parliamentary leaders contains some surprises. AAP/John Pryke

Labor leadership spill: the rules of the game

At 10am today, the Labor caucus will meet to settle the leadership battle between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd. But how does the leadership selection process actually work? While the contest between Gillard…
Kevin Rudd and Therese Rein spend their Sunday morning at church rather than in front of a TV. AAP/Dave Hunt

Easy like a Sunday morning political TV show: how Kevin and Julia fared

Sunday mornings are special. Sure, 99% of the non-political world is sound asleep (or still attempting to make their way home after a night on the town), but for many political enthusiasts Sunday mornings…

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