Articles on Australian politics

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In asylum seeker policy, the most punitive measures are the most politically acceptable. AAP/Lukas Coch

For asylum seekers, ‘disincentives’ are the new deterrence

Remarkably, in all the 162 pages of the Houston panel’s report on asylum seekers, the word “deter” does not appear a single time. But this does not necessarily indicate a welcome move away from the deterrence-based…
The Houston panel - Paris Aristotle, Angus Houston and Michael L'Estrange - briefed the media on their findings yesterday afternoon. AAP/Alan Porritt

Houston panel ignores the evidence on asylum seekers

The Report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers contains some threads of a genuine shift from the prevailing framework towards a more regulatory model for responding to asylum seekers. The panel has abandoned…
Joyous photos such as this one of Phyllis Siegel, 76, right, and Connie Kopelov, 84, marrying in New York could soon flood out of Tasmania. EPA/Michael Appleton

Tasmanian same-sex marriage push makes an honest nation of Australia

I personally experienced the full necessity for marriage equality only recently. In the sunny town of Lamego, Portugal, my dear friend Nina was married to her beloved Marcos. She was the first of my friends…
Fiona Patten is President of the Australian Sex Party and CEO of sex industry lobby group the EROS Foundation. AAP/Julian Smith

Political party or lobby group? The dark side of the Australian Sex Party

“Vote for more sex!” Walking through the party pamphleteers to vote in Melbourne last week felt more like passing through a light-hearted student union ballot than a tightly contested state by-election…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking at the release of the Gonski report in Canberra earlier this year. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

From lukewarm to wedge issue: how Labor could use Gonski at the next election

After nearly six months on the policy bench, the Gillard Labor government is planning to release its response to the Gonski review into school funding. The government is still debating the reforms in cabinet…
Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne’s recent comments show his misunderstanding of curriculum. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

A history of misinformation: Pyne spreads curriculum myths

On the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night, Shadow Minister for Education Christopher Pyne was asked what the Liberal Party would do about the national (history) curriculum if they came to power. Pyne’s…
ALP candidate Jennifer Kanis (pictured) has won a narrow victory over favoured Greens candidate Cathy Oke. AAP/David Crosling

ALP claims victory in Melbourne, is it time to make nice with the Greens?

The outcome of the Melbourne by-election, in which Labor has claimed a narrow victory, reflected a disappointing performance from the Greens. At the 2010 state election Labor’s victory was dependent on…
Greens candidate Cathy Oke and deputy leader Adam Bandt will be hoping for a win this Saturday. AAP Image/Juolian Smith

Bronwyn piked on Melbourne, now the Greens are set to swoop

Thanks to the hubris of Bronwyn Pike, the Victorian Labor party is forced to contest a byelection this weekend it did not want or need. After years of opportunities provided by the Labor party to the former…
Former politician and economist John Hewson speaks to ANU’s Crawford School’s Bruce Chapman and Daniel Connell.

John Hewson: tax reform doesn’t just mean lowering taxes

Welcome to the latest in our In Conversation series, between former politician and economist Dr John Hewson, Australian National University (ANU) Crawford School Director of Policy Impact Professor Bruce…
Is next week’s Melbourne state byelection a test for federal Labor? AAP Image/Joe Castro

Melbourne byelection: has a Labor stronghold gone Green?

The looming byelection in the state seat of Melbourne is set to have a national impact. With Greens candidate Cathy Oke strongly tipped to beat Labor’s Jennifer Kanis on 21 July - the first time the ALP…
Craig Emerson may be well regarded as Trade Minister, but he can’t sing. AAP/Lukas Coch

Singing, dancing politicians: don’t do it, unless you can

It is a clear and incontrovertible case for the Deparment of Community Services and the public must immediately demand intervention. We cannot allow the suffering of the children to continue. I am of course…
Politics is more than just the daily tussle of the news cycle and soundbites. AAP/Lukas Coch

Politics: it is everything you do and more

The term political junkie gets bandied about a great deal, but this addict has no problem in admitting his habit. It’s been a pure joy to be able to read, think and write about politics and government…
While politicians debated a bill in Canberra, 150 asylum seekers’ lives were at risk. AAP/Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Six issues missing from the asylum seeker debate

When asylum seekers die at sea there are too many things we don’t want to talk about. Following the news of another asylum boat capsizing yesterday, at 2pm the federal Parliament began with a sombre and…
Opposition leader Tony Abbott is looking to the politics of the United Kingdom for policy inspiration. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

The influence of ‘Big Society’: Abbott borrows from UK conservatives

Earlier this month, opposition leader Tony Abbott presented the second instalment of the Liberal and National parties’ “Plan for Stronger Communities”, having already outlined elements of the plan at the…
Rinehart’s right-wing views may have a new outlet if her tilt at Fairfax is successful. AAP/PPR

Gina Rinehart, Fairfax and the ‘war’ politics of the Australian right

What a dream come true for Australia’s right-wingers. First of all they can point to Gina Rinehart’s wealth (“the richest woman in the world”) as a sign of Australia’s arrival as a capitalist power and…
The Menzies government was voted in with the help of the John Henry Austral ads. National Library of Australia

Liberal Party ads from the 1940s speak today’s political language

After languishing in an archive box at Melbourne University for more than 20 years, an astonishing piece of Australian political history has recently been dusted off and digitised. The university has unearthed…
Old foes Gough Whitlam (left) and Malcolm Fraser (right) unite over modern issues. AAP/Bruce Postle

Malcolm Fraser: 2012 Gough Whitlam Oration

Politics, Independence and the National Interest: the legacy of power and how to achieve a peaceful Western Pacific I am honoured to be asked to make this speech. During the turbulent years of the 1970s…
We’ve had a glimpse into the world of Craig Thomson, but he’s trying to justify a view that no one outside the political game can understand. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

All in the game: shining a light into the weird world of Craig Thomson

The ALP and the union movement have never liked scabs. But yesterday we witnessed a labour scab of a different sort as The Wound Formally Known As Craig Thomson continued to be bleed rather than heal…

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