Articles on Australian politics

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It’s time to recognise the first Australians in our constitution. Flickr/Rusty Stewart

It’s time to recognise Indigenous Australia in our constitution

Last week, the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples concluded its deliberations on reform proposals. While we wait on the release of their final report…
Senator for South Australia Cory Bernardi has attracted controversy with some of his right wing views. www.corybernardi.com

In Conversation: Senator Cory Bernardi

Welcome to our In Conversation between Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi and Dr Timothy Lynch, lecturer in American politics at Melbourne University. Since being appointed to the Senate in 2006, the Senator…
Despite President Barack Obama’s charms, Australia must focus on China. AAP Image/ Scott Barbour

The US or China? Australia can’t afford to make mistakes

Australia’s recent fleeting love affair with President Barack Obama notwithstanding, Australia’s future lies with China and the North, not the Pacific and the East. This is not simply a matter of economics…
Italian-Australians deserve an apology for their mistreatment in internment camps in World War II. Australian War Memorial Collection

Why Australia must apologise to Italians interned during World War II

Last month, the South Australian parliament unanimously accepted a bi-partisan motion moved by Labor member, Tony Piccolo, to acknowledge the wrongful internment of Italian civilians living in Australia…
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith congratulates Julia Gillard after the vote changing ALP policy on the export of uranium to China was won. AAP/Dean Lewins

ALP National Conference: Where was the arms control debate over uranium exports to India?

On Sunday, the Australian Labor Party voted 206 to 185 in favour of changing one part of the party’s longstanding and non-negotiable platform on uranium exports: that recipient states must be members of…
First among equals - Julia Gillard votes on a policy issue at the ALP national conference this weekend. AAP/Dean Lewins

ALP National Conference: Party reform the empty seat at the table

Potential reform of the Labor Party’s internal structure has been substantially limited, as the Right faction asserted its overall dominance of the weekend’s national conference. Prime Minister Julia Gillard…
Prime minister Julia Gillard faces challenges from all sides at this weekend’s ALP conference. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

ALP National Conference: Talking about the issues that really matter

After surviving a brutal political winter that many thought would be her last, Prime Minister Julia Gillard can be forgiven to looking forward to the summer holidays. But she shouldn’t let her guard down…
2500 US Marines will be deployed near Darwin in coming years, but we could also see an expanded American military presence elsewhere in northern Australia. AAP/Malone

History repeating: Australian military power in the Cocos Islands

Negotiations are underway that could see some the US military’s most advanced drone aircraft based on the Australian Indian Ocean territory of the Cocos Islands. Combined with discussions around having…
The Tsar Bomba nuclear test is the largest ever nuclear explosion recorded, measuring 50 megatons and generating a 64km high mushroom cloud. flickr/andy_z

Australia’s opportunity to develop an ethical uranium trade

As the Australian Labor Party contemplates opening sales of uranium to India, it would be wise for our policy-makers to think more broadly about the long-term possibilities for Australia as a provider…
Spy agencies in Australia have a big job, but does the job match the budget? Flickr/ocularinvasion

Cloak and dollar: how much do security agencies in Australia really need?

In an era of evolving threats, judgment calls will continue to rely on the provision of accurate, timely intelligence. But this intelligence does not come cheap. In order to be well-prepared and well-organised…
Peter Slipper made an impact in his first day as Speaker.

Speaker Slipper slips in as Gillard claims a tactical victory

The dramatic surprise resignation of Harry Jenkins as Speaker, on what was meant to be the final sitting day of the year for the House of Representatives (coincidentally also the fourth anniversary of…
Mussolini made the trains run on time. But having a strong leader is risky. Flickr/Galaxy FM

Forget politicians - be a dictator for a day and get the job done

“If I Ruled The World” was a tune made famous decades ago by English comedian and singer Harry Secombe who sang of making every day the first day of spring as well as other miraculous improvements. It…
Asylum seekers held in detention centres like Villawood have been protesting that the current system doesn’t work. AAP/Dean Lewins

Why Australia should abandon the Refugee Convention

With the collapse of offshore processing, and the likely increase in boat arrivals into a politically charged environment, a cross-road may have been reached regarding asylum policy in Australia. Now would…
Julia Gillard made a “special case” for exporting uranium to India. EPA/Guillaume Horcajuelo

Uranium exports: The Indian view

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s decision to overturn the Australian ban on exporting uranium is aimed at re-balancing our relationship with the world’s largest democracy and a rising economic power in the…
A warm welcome for the President from Julia Gillard and the Governor General, but Australia should take care not to give too much away to the Americans. AAP/Stuart McEvoy.

Special relationship? Why Gillard needs to talk tough with Obama about US military base

It’s third time lucky for President Obama. He’s cancelled his trip to Australia twice before, but now he has finally made it to Canberra. Julia Gillard has struck up a friendship with the US President…
Julia Gillard has enjoyed mixing with Barack Obama on the foreign policy stage. AAP/AusPic Howard Moffat

Should the Prime Minister and foreign policy mix?

*When President Obama begins his long-awaited visit to Australia today, he’ll have a keen tour guide in Julia Gillard. They’ve developed an apparently firm friendship in recent months. But should the Prime…
Would you be out for a duck in the citizenship test? Flickr/R@VITH

Aussie Aussie Aussie: is the Australian citizenship test fair?

The Australian citizenship test has just turned four. Its birthday passed without fanfare but this is not surprising. Soon after its introduction, a Labor government review addressed early concerns that…

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