Articles on Comparative politics

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Australian and Canadian prime ministers Tony Abbott and Stephen Harper operate in political cultures where all-out warfare is now the norm. AAP/Steve Christo

Canada and Australia share a political culture of conflict

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

Why Clive Palmer’s personal party is doomed to end in tears

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. William Murphy/Flickr

The battle for middle Ireland and Australia over marriage equality

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. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Class warfare: would Shorten pass the test that Ed Miliband failed?

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…
Nigel Farage and UKIP are faced with a political dilemma – whether to become ‘insiders’ in Westminster or remain ‘outsiders’, criticising the key political actors. EPA/Facundo Arrizabalaga

What Farage and UKIP could learn from the One Nation experience

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage now has a problem. In the wake of his party’s success in the recent European Parliament election, Farage and his UKIP colleagues need to determine how best…
Higher-income Americans are much more likely to vote than the poor, which reduces political parties’ incentive to tackle inequality. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Failing union of capitalism and democracy fuels rise in inequality

Recent weeks have been all about elections and broken promises: from early April to mid-May, half-a-billion Indians went to the polls in what many described an astonishing display of democratic prowess…
One political scientist recently claimed that the evidence isn’t strong enough for lowering the voting age in Australia to 16. What are the arguments to the contrary? AAP/Lukas Coch

How young is too young? The case for lowering the voting age

Pressure is building in democracies around the world to lower the voting age to 16. For national elections, Brazil (in 1988), Austria (2007) and Argentina (2012) have led the way. For local elections…
British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has embarked on sweeping internal reform of his party. Should his Australian counterpart Bill Shorten follow suit? EPA/Andy Rain

Whither the unions? What Shorten can learn from UK Labour

In the wake of the ALP’s poor result in the recent Western Australia Senate election, The Conversation is publishing a series of articles looking at the party’s brand, organisation and future prospects…
France’s Front National under Marine Le Pen could be described as ‘right wing’, but in a global context what does that even mean? EPA/Guillaume Horcajuelo

Are Ron Paul, Geert Wilders, Cory Bernardi and Marine Le Pen all ‘right wing’?

The rise of the Tea Party in the US and the electoral success of both nationalist populists in Europe and the Abbott government in Australia demonstrates there are many parties with positions described…
Within eight months of taking office, South Korean president Park Geun-Hye embraced her predecessor’s green growth strategy and now champions the so-called Green Growth 2.0 policies. EPA/Kim Min-Hee

Green Growth: rebooted in South Korea, booted out in Australia

Like Australia, South Korea had a change of government last year. And like Australia’s, Korea’s new government was keen to distance itself from its predecessors’ legacies – particularly its “Green Growth…
Bill Shorten is the new ALP leader, after an election contest where the votes of the rank and file party members were included for the first time. AAP/Lukas Coch

Shorten wins, but the ALP plays it safe with democracy

So the election between two middle-aged, middle class, white men with broadly shared policy agendas is over. In this case, it is not the federal election between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, but the month-long…

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