Articles on Federal politics

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The imperative for major reform of Australia’s political and policy processes is more real and urgent than ever. AAP/Lukas Coch

Australia needs to lead again on democratic innovation

Australia’s national politicians again need to step up and lead the way on the inevitable process of national and global democratic innovation.
Malcolm Turnbull is keen on big ideas, but so far has been slow to put any of his own into action. AAP/Dean Lewins

Why has the ‘ideas boom’ eluded the Turnbull government?

Five months into his prime ministership, it is difficult to know what Malcolm Turnbull really stands for, and his government risks paralysis as a result.
Malcolm Turnbull may struggle to persuade Daniel Andrews and some other state leaders to back major tax change, though Mike Baird has been arguing for reform. Sam Mooy/AAP

Turnbull faces his most taxing test yet: wooing the states to overhaul the GST

Despite all the media coverage, don't expect any clear decisions on national tax reform on Friday. But we should see more progress on other issues, including domestic violence and violent extremism.
Malcolm Turnbull’s potentially most dangerous opposition has begun to emerge from inside his own party. AAP/Lukas Coch

Albanese offers Labor a counter to Turnbull’s polished charms

If Anthony Albanese becomes Labor leader, Australians will have the strongest ideological and stylistic contrast in major party leaders since Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke 33 years before.
Few other world leaders are as enthusiastic as Tony Abbott in endorsing coal as ‘good for humanity’. AAP/Dan Peled

Zombie politics vs climate action: will the coming election focus on our future?

Australia's failure to lead on climate action marks a stark shift in political priorities in the past decade. The government is all about immediate economic returns whatever the long-term costs.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has levelled with Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister, according to Newspoll. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Labor improves lead in Newspoll, as cabinet looks at carbon targets

The opposition has widened its two-party lead over the Coalition in Newspoll as MPs return for a new parliamentary session rocked by voters' anger over parliamentary entitlements.
The scandal surrounding Bronwyn Bishop’s entitlements may not have ended with her resignation as Speaker. AAP/Lukas Coch

Bishop resignation won’t end impact on Coalition

Combined, the nature of the controversy, Bishop’s behaviour as Speaker, and the way she and her party dealt with the issue created the perfect storm for a damaging scandal.
Why me? Bronwyn Bishop’s ‘Choppergate’ scandal has taken off for two reasons: it created an image in the public mind and it feeds into an underlying perception. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Why, among so many issues, Bronwyn Bishop’s helicopter trip gets our attention

To last a long time, issues need to provide a vivid image. The image of a woman dressed up to the nines with a bouffant hairdo riding in a helicopter is a very vivid one.
Bill Shorten’s support – and that of his party – is almost entirely a function of public perceptions of Tony Abbott’s performance. AAP/Nikki Short

Shorten’s trust deficit is limiting Labor’s opportunities

Bill Shorten has neither built the profile nor provided the performance that renders him prime minister-in-waiting rather than fragile whinger-in-chief.
Tony Abbott risks having same-sex marriage used against him electorally – just as his Liberal Party once tried to use it against Labor. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Why Australia is so far behind the times on same-sex marriage

As opposition leader Bill Shorten prepares to introduce an amendment on Monday to the Marriage Act to legalise same-sex marriage, why has Australia lagged so far behind?
In his first budget and in opposition, Joe Hockey’s single-minded focus was on cutting the budget debt and deficits. For his second budget he’s telling a different story. AAP/Paul Miller

Debt disaster is so last year – now Hockey’s giving a helping hand

Joe Hockey's first budget was a declaration of ideological belief. The second is about political survival and depends on breathing life back into the economy -- the ideological urgency can wait.
Power shift: Richard Di Natale’s elevation as the new Greens’ leader, replacing Tasmanian Christine Milne, marks the rise of the Victorian Greens. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Greens’ leadership shifts from Tasmania to the greenest state

The balance of power in Australian green politics has shifted with the choice of Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale as Greens' leader – and the speed of the change is a lesson for other parties.
The Abbott government is running out of time to try to come up with new ideas and refresh its reason for being. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Lacking an agenda, the Abbott government’s time is running out

When it comes to producing a comprehensive, far-reaching policy regime – a coherent vision for Australia’s society and economy and how to turn it into reality – the government is only getting started.

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