Articles on Australian politics

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Julia Gillard’s early announcement of the election date has sparked a debate on fixed terms. AAP/Julian Smith

It’s time for a debate on federal fixed terms

When prime minister Julia Gillard announced last month the nation would go to the polls on September 14, she made political history and caught the nation off guard. She also sparked renewed debate about…
Julia Gillard has called a September election, will we be able to tell the difference between governing and campaigning? AAP/Alan Porrit

Governing in a campaign year: what next for policy in 2013?

Last week, prime minister Julia Gillard told the Australian public they’d be able to tell the difference between campaigning and governing during this election year. Over the following days, which saw…
Western Australians are heading to the polls twice this year. Jay-Oh

Western Australia: two elections for the price of two

If the thought of one election campaign is your worst nightmare, then pity the West Australians. When Julia Gillard announced a September federal election it meant two campaigns being run simultaneously…
Nicola Roxon, Julia Gillard and Chris Evans leave the stage after the press conference announcing the departure of the two former senior ministers. AAP/Alan Porritt

Would Roxon and Evans have resigned if Labor had greater purpose?

Much of the commentary surrounding the resignations of Nicola Roxon and Chris Evans has interpreted the departures as yet another episode in the neverending disaster that is the Rudd-Gillard government…
Australia is one of the only countries in the democratic world that doesn’t require political parties to report electoral expenditure. Flickr/Mindful One

Identifying political donors is only half the transparency story this election year

The release of political donation data from 2011—2012 has predictably generated headlines about who paid what to which Australian political parties over the past year. In line with the Commonwealth Electoral…
Former Higher Education Minister Chris Evans announces his resignation in Canberra. AAP/Alan Porrit

Roxon and Evans resign - much ado about nothing

The Gillard government has lost two important figures that contributed much to the Labor administration. Chris Evans, leader of the party in the Senate, and Attorney General, Nicola Roxon, both announced…
Julia Gillard has taken a punt on a long campaign. AAP/Alan Porritt

Election 2013: Julia Gillard’s September gamble

Julia Gillard is an Australian political pioneer in many ways. She was the first female prime minister, she led the first minority government in the post-war period and recently moved to appoint the first…
Too much has been made of the IMF’s report that shows John Howard’s government was fiscally profligate. AAP/Sergio Dionisio

Was John Howard really fiscally profligate?

A recent publication by the International Monetary Fund provides examines government fiscal policy in 55 major economies. The report employs the rather loaded terminology of “prudence” or “profligacy…
Has it been a particularly bad year for Australian politics? AAP Image/Lukas Coch

All out war: the year that was in Australian politics

The political year has been characterised by many commentators as a grisly one, full of aggressive personal abuse and character assassination. A prime example was the vituperative final week of parliamentary…
Does Julia Gillard really love cricket? The law of sport and politics says she must. AAP/Andrew Taylor

Fake it till you make it: why Australian politicians ‘love’ sport

It was the last sitting day of the federal parliament for the year. Opposition leader Tony Abbott was suggesting that prime minister Julia Gillard was a criminal, who in turn was rehearsing her lines that…
Julia Gillard meets the govenor general after winning the 2010 election. Can she repeat the trick next year? AAP/David Foote

Sweetest of them all: how Julia Gillard won the 2013 election

From the time the carbon tax policy was unveiled in February 2011 until its implementation on July 1, the unchallenged consensus of the Canberra press gallery was that a Tony Abbott prime ministership…
Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd in parliament shortly after the 2010 federal election. AAP/Alan Porritt

Maxine McKew In Conversation: full transcript

Dennis Altman I’m going to start by quoting you when you say, talking about your career as a journalist, particularly a radio and television journalist, that “there was plenty of robust exchanges but my…
The ACT election result has produced another hung parliament. ALP leader Kate Gallagher is waiting to find out if she’ll lead it. AAP/Alan Porritt

ACT election swing no killer blow for the Greens

As numbers from polling booths across the ACT started to go up on the big screen in the tally room on Saturday night the first and most obvious trend was a huge swing to the Liberals and a correlative…
Macquarie is changing its definition of misogyny… but it still applies to the leader of the opposition. AAP/Pan Macmillan

Tony Abbott is a misogynist, however the dictionary defines it

As an academic, I often become obsessed with the meaning of words. They lure me in with their conceptual promise, and then I get hooked and tangled on distinctions and disciplinary nuance. Perhaps unsurprisingly…
Are cuts the best way to achieve efficient Government? Joe Castro / AAP

Slash, burn and churn: public service cuts miss the mark

I was sitting in a session at the Institute of Public Administration Congress recently where Greg Hywood, the CEO of Fairfax, boldly announced that the public sector simply did not understand cuts. Not…

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