Those who are most likely to be interested in protectionism and curbing immigration are not necessarily the ones who are most vulnerable economically.
How can we explain that wealth is associated with protectionism and support for populist leaders?
In 2015 Ireland became the first country to introduce marriage equality by way of national referendum.
Many in Australia look to the use of the referendum in Ireland as an example of how its marriage equality debate might be resolved. But what worked well in Ireland might be very damaging in Australia.
Most of Australia’s women federal MPs sit on the opposition benches of parliament.
Australia is lagging behind other countries in adopting practical measures to achieve gender balance in public decision-making.
Thursday’s vote will only be the third-ever UK-wide referendum.
How will the Brexit referendum work? And what distinguishes it from referendums that have been held in Australia?
Both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten are complex, enigmatic figures.
A party can have the most brilliantly informed and farsighted policies. But if the protagonists cannot communicate these effectively to the electorate, they will be overlooked.
The UK has limits on expenditure by political parties and third parties, and doesn’t allow paid advertising in electronic media at all.
Unlike similar democracies, Australia neither limits political donations nor campaign expenditure by political parties at the federal level.
A dysfunctional unilateralism characterises intergovernmental relations in Australia.
The reality is that intergovernmental relations are not the strong point of federal systems generally. But some do it better than others.
Donald Trump is masterfully exploiting America’s system of choosing its presidential candidates.
Primaries are the ultimate American invention. Unfortunately, they are a terrible invention – they actually destroy the political system.
Australia’s method of appointing judges to its highest courts is opaque and informal.
It is no criticism of Australia’s judiciary to say that it would be preferable, both for them and the public, if they took office after a more transparent process.
The haste to deregulate political finance has led to political participation in the US becoming highly unequal.
The role of money in politics challenges rich and poor countries worldwide. Its abuse raises problems of graft, corruption and cronyism, undermining legitimacy and governance.
Expenses scandals like Bronwyn Bishop’s can have a devastating effect on parliament and on trust in the political system.
During the UK's parliamentary expenses scandal, many questioned the system as – just like Bronwyn Bishop in Australia now – they felt that they had acted within the rules that existed at the time.
The speakership has become so politicised in Australia that we’ve been blinded to the possibilities that having a truly independent Speaker might open up.
By making the speakership a political gift of the party in power, Australia is missing a major opportunity for democratic renewal of its parliament.
Australia’s proposals to recognise Indigenous people in its Constitution will likely be much less substantive than those of many other countries.
Constitutional recognition may have very limited impact if the groups benefiting from the change lack the political weight to leverage it into greater social change.
The success of Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party has profoundly disrupted the tedious pendulum movement between Left and Right.
With a steady hollowing out of membership, the cosying up to vested interests with pockets deep enough to maintain party, today's political parties barely “represent”.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras and Pablo Iglesias of Podemos have taken their populist parties to victory in Greece and a lead in the polls in Spain.
The rise of left-wing populism challenges those who flatly denounced right-wing populism as undemocratic. Populism can appear as a democratic force in some contexts and anti-democratic in others.
Census collectors go door to door in Sydney in 2011, the 100th year of census taking in Australia. Now the next census, due in 2016, is in doubt.
Before Australia proceeds with plans to devote fewer resources to a less frequent national census, we should consider the Canadian experience of what losing such rich data means.
Australian and Canadian prime ministers Tony Abbott and Stephen Harper operate in political cultures where all-out warfare is now the norm.
In recent years, a political "state of nature" has replaced what had been the civilised practice of political life in Australia.
Like Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi (right), PUP leader Clive Palmer heads up what can be termed a ‘personal’ party.
AAP/EPA/Alan Porritt/Angelo Carconi
While Silvio Berlusconi has shown himself to be adept at transferring business organisational and marketing skills to politics, Clive Palmer has appeared completely out of his depth in this sense.
The march towards equal marriage rights in Ireland is well ahead of Australia, yet the level of public support in each nation is remarkably similar.
Support for equal marriage rights in Ireland and Australia is remarkably similar: 71% in Ireland and 72% in Australia. The key difference is that Australian politicians are choosing not to listen.
The Labor Party that Bill Shorten leads is much more professionalised in its MP make-up than its earlier incarnations.
For British Labour leader Ed Miliband, defeat was yet again snatched from the jaws of victory. With the UK general election less than six months away, the recent Rochester and Strood by-election was a…