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Federal election 2013

Analysis and Comment (192)

What are the key issues the parties will campaign on in the almost-certain WA Senate re-vote? What are the key issues the parties will campaign on in the almost-certain WA Senate re-vote? AAP/Paul Miller

What issues will a WA Senate re-vote be fought on?

It appears certain that Western Australians will vote in fresh Senate elections later this year. Following the initial vote last September and the recount – when 1375 votes were unable to be located…
There is no better example of the debasement of Australian political discourse and process than that which has surrounded action on climate change. There is no better example of the debasement of Australian political discourse and process than that which has surrounded action on climate change. AAP/Alan Porritt

A values deficit, toxic politics, and the climate change debacle

We live in an age of unprecedented prosperity, in which the major influences have been secularism, materialism, utilitarianism, urbanisation, remoteness from nature, institutional failure (especially in…
Greens senator Scott Ludlam has been successful in the full recount of the WA Senate vote. But the fight over who goes to Canberra looks like continuing for some time yet. Greens senator Scott Ludlam has been successful in the full recount of the WA Senate vote. But the fight over who goes to Canberra looks like continuing for some time yet. AAP/Alan Porritt

A new Senate election looms large for WA voters

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) will officially declare the result of the full recount of the Western Australian Senate vote today. Scott Ludlam from the Australian Greens and Wayne Dropulich…
The new opposition leader, Bill Shorten, has very little leverage over the government. The new opposition leader, Bill Shorten, has very little leverage over the government. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Punching, prodding and blocking: the opposition’s changing role in politics

Australian parliamentary politics has always had a reputation for a certain rough and tumble. In the 1850s, British economist William Stanley Jevons commented on the rowdiness of the proceedings of the…
Tasmania is likely headed back to the bad old days of loggers versus greenies. Tasmania is likely headed back to the bad old days of loggers versus greenies. AAP Image/Scott Gelston

Federal Greens vote will be bad news for Tasmania’s environment

Now that all Senate seats apart from Western Australia have been finalised, it’s clear the Greens have had a mixed result. But the worst of the bad news for the party is likely yet to come, when Tasmania…
The new Senate will be dominated by an expanding crossbench of minor and microparty members. The new Senate will be dominated by an expanding crossbench of minor and microparty members. AAP/Alan Porritt

The 2013 Senate contest: Australia lurches to the right

With the official count of the Senate now completed, the implications of the contest and what it says about the mindset of the Australian body politic may now proceed. The key consequences of the half-Senate…
What does the future hold for young adults under a Coalition government? What does the future hold for young adults under a Coalition government? AAP/Julian Smith

Young people, employment and the Coalition’s regional challenge

The Coalition government has begun its term in office with some controversial policy proposals related to Australia’s international engagement. These include cuts to international aid, hardline responses…
What will defence policy under Tony Abbott and new defence minister David Johnston look like? What will defence policy under Tony Abbott and new defence minister David Johnston look like? AAP/Dean Lewins

Policy outlook: radical departure on defence or more of the same?

The Abbott government talks a good game on defence. While in opposition, new defence minister David Johnston slammed Labor for failing to fund the grand promises of the 2009 Defence White Paper. Now in…
Tony Abbott is seeking to define the terms in which his government will be understood by the public. Tony Abbott is seeking to define the terms in which his government will be understood by the public. AAP/Lukas Coch

Election 2013 and defining political success

Just when you thought it was safe to forget an otherwise forgettable election, there is one person who won’t let you. Tony Abbott wants to remind you in order to continue defining both the election and…
The twin defeats of the Whitlam government in the 1970s was the last time the ALP truly looked forward in regrouping and reforming to win back government. The twin defeats of the Whitlam government in the 1970s was the last time the ALP truly looked forward in regrouping and reforming to win back government. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Heeding the lessons of history: how can Labor recover?

How can Labor regroup after the trauma of its defeat at the federal election? The best example the past offers is how the party rebuilt after the tumultuous prime ministership of Gough Whitlam in the mid-1970s…
Many commentators criticised Tony Abbott’s ‘female-lite’ frontbench last week. How might it affect his carefully managed and marketed ‘brand’ from the campaign trail? Many commentators criticised Tony Abbott’s ‘female-lite’ frontbench last week. How might it affect his carefully managed and marketed ‘brand’ from the campaign trail? AAP/Lukas Coch

Marketing political brands: passionate punters need consistent messaging

In the last week, a number of political commentators have argued that newly-minted prime minister Tony Abbott’s frontbench is decidedly low on women. There is only one woman in Cabinet and an additional…
Where will Rupert Murdoch’s influential broadsheet The Australian focus its agenda now that there has been a change of government? Where will Rupert Murdoch’s influential broadsheet The Australian focus its agenda now that there has been a change of government? AAP/Dean Lewins

Now Abbott’s in, what will The Australian do?

How does a newspaper of strong ideological preferences - such as News Corp broadsheet The Australian - respond when there is a government in office that more closely shares its ideology than did the previous…
In one of his first acts in office, prime minister Tony Abbott axed three department heads, while treasury secretary Martin Parkinson (pictured) will depart next year. In one of his first acts in office, prime minister Tony Abbott axed three department heads, while treasury secretary Martin Parkinson (pictured) will depart next year. AAP/Saeed Khan

Abbott and the public service: where now on department heads?

Prime minister Tony Abbott’s decision to sack three departmental secretaries within hours of his swearing-in earlier this week has not attracted the same shock John Howard’s decision to sack six secretaries…
The ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia caused a major rift in relations. Can new governments in both nations repair the damage? The ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia caused a major rift in relations. Can new governments in both nations repair the damage? AAP/Animals Australia

Beef, boats and elections: what’s in store for the Australia-Indonesia relationship

Somehow, the debate on Indonesia-Australia relations has got stuck on Bali, beef and boats. While there is no point pretending that either beef or boats are about to disappear as issues any time soon…
A country that is more interested in sport than in politics is a ‘happy’ one, remarked prime minister Tony Abbott after his election success. A country that is more interested in sport than in politics is a ‘happy’ one, remarked prime minister Tony Abbott after his election success. AAP/Paul Miller

The nation decides - and sport is the winner

After the gladiatorial combat of the federal election campaign, prime minister-elect Tony Abbott appeared on Sunrise to call an Olympic-style truce. Happy is the country which is more interested in sport…
If we weren’t all created equally with equal upbringings, should we scrap the concept of ‘merit’ in decision-making? If we weren’t all created equally with equal upbringings, should we scrap the concept of ‘merit’ in decision-making? shutterstock

What’s wrong with merit? Why ‘equal’ treatment does not reward the most deserving

Just one woman has been appointed to new prime minister Tony Abbott’s first Cabinet of 19. As a result, online forums have been abuzz with debate about gender representation in federal politics. A number…
Tony Abbott has said he wants to focus his foreign policy objectives in ‘Jakarta, not Geneva’. But how successful will he be? Tony Abbott has said he wants to focus his foreign policy objectives in ‘Jakarta, not Geneva’. But how successful will he be? EPA/Adi Weda

All politics is domestic: the Indonesian response to the federal election

Australia’s recent federal election was – as usual – won and lost primarily on domestic policy issues. Unlike his predecessor, new prime minister Tony Abbott made no claims to great expertise in foreign…
Liberal politician Sophie Mirabella, who is likely to lose her Victorian seat of Indi, has been subjected to the misogyny that continues to pervade Australian politics. Liberal politician Sophie Mirabella, who is likely to lose her Victorian seat of Indi, has been subjected to the misogyny that continues to pervade Australian politics. AAP/Alan Porritt

Mirabella and gender: vicious attacks show nothing’s changed

Hard-faced. I’m looking at that phrase and wondering exactly what it means. Of course, I know what it means when it’s applied to men. They are heroic, they’ve seen things that those of us who are more…
Labor shouldn’t see the Greens as the enemy if they want to regain the power and standing they lost at the ballot box. Labor shouldn’t see the Greens as the enemy if they want to regain the power and standing they lost at the ballot box. AAP/Julian Smith

With friends like these: Labor hatred of the Greens is self-defeating

Over the weekend, the Labor Party seemed to embark on a media tantrum around their failure to recapture the seat of Melbourne from the Greens' Adam Bandt. The local Victorian state member for Brunswick…
Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott has opted for experienced hands in naming his first Cabinet. Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott has opted for experienced hands in naming his first Cabinet. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott’s new Cabinet: steady as she goes

Prime minister-elect Tony Abbott has announced his new Cabinet and ministerial line-up. In keeping with previous Coalition and Labor governments, there will be an inner Cabinet of senior ministers and…
Now that it is all said and done, what did we learn about Australian politics in the 2013 federal election campaign? Now that it is all said and done, what did we learn about Australian politics in the 2013 federal election campaign? AAP/Alan Porritt

Virtue and vexation: the policy vacuum in the 2013 election

I have been around for a long time and involved in some terrible campaigns, but the policy vacuum in 2013 was the worst I can recall. There was no serious debate on issues, whether simple or complex, and…
Will the vexed asylum seeker issue continue to dominate Australian politics under an Abbott government? Will the vexed asylum seeker issue continue to dominate Australian politics under an Abbott government? AAP/Mark Cairn

Where to now for asylum seeker policy under Tony Abbott?

Asylum seeker policy experienced a rush of activity in the lead-up to the election. Behind the Abbott government’s bold promise to “stop the boats” in its first term of government is a series of specific…
Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella appears likely to be unseated in her rural Victorian seat of Indi by a popular local independent candidate, Cathy McGowan. Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella appears likely to be unseated in her rural Victorian seat of Indi by a popular local independent candidate, Cathy McGowan. AAP/Julian Smith

Lost and found: the case of the ‘missing votes’ in Indi

Following a close count on election night, the result in the rural Victorian electorate of Indi is still unknown. As the counting of votes continued, it was still unclear whether Liberal incumbent Sophie…
With strikingly similar parallels to Tony Abbott’s victory, Erna Solberg’s centre-right party took power in Norway in an election this week. What now for centre-left politics? With strikingly similar parallels to Tony Abbott’s victory, Erna Solberg’s centre-right party took power in Norway in an election this week. What now for centre-left politics? EPA/Solum

The politics of ingratitude? Norway and Australia at the polls

Imagine a country with a strong, well-performing economy, ruled by a centre-left party that has achieved a number of key reforms. Yet, despite having a good story to tell about strong growth, low unemployment…
Senators from microparties such as the Motoring Enthusiasts Party and the Sports Party were elected on Saturday with a very small percentage of the vote. Can we fix this problem? Senators from microparties such as the Motoring Enthusiasts Party and the Sports Party were elected on Saturday with a very small percentage of the vote. Can we fix this problem? AAP/Lukas Coch

How do we solve a problem like the Senate?

The unexpected and developing election story is that the balance of power in the Senate will belong to “microparties” most electors had never heard of before. In Victoria, people are asking how Australian…
Tony Abbott has promised to be a ‘prime minister for Indigenous affairs’. But what this actually means in terms of policy remains thus far unclear. Tony Abbott has promised to be a ‘prime minister for Indigenous affairs’. But what this actually means in terms of policy remains thus far unclear. AAP/Alan Porritt

Will Tony Abbott be a ‘prime minister for Aboriginal affairs’?

Recently, Australian Indigenous policy has been characterised by an unambitious bipartisanship. After one too many dramatic and unsuccessful initiatives, there is a sense of lowered expectations. New prime…
What’s in store for the higher education sector under the new coalition government? What’s in store for the higher education sector under the new coalition government? AAP Image/Alan Porritt

What next for universities under Abbott?

As the higher education sector begins to look to life under the 44th parliament, it might pause to consider the words of prime minister-elect Tony Abbott upon claiming victory last Saturday night: “The…
It’s smart of Abbott to prioritise Australia’s relationship with Indonesia but can he leave his ‘Anglosphere’ past behind? It’s smart of Abbott to prioritise Australia’s relationship with Indonesia but can he leave his ‘Anglosphere’ past behind? EPA/Adi Weda

‘Anglosphere’ or regional friend? Abbott’s foreign policy future

Many foreign policy observers are apprehensive about the election of Tony Abbott. A key concern is that his government may be liberal in name only and that we may see a return to the sorts of policies…
How well-placed is Tony Abbott’s new government to tackle the economic issues facing Australia, both domestically and internationally? How well-placed is Tony Abbott’s new government to tackle the economic issues facing Australia, both domestically and internationally? AAP/Rob Griffith

Tony Abbott: the situational Keynesian

Tony Abbott became prime minister on Saturday by promising to lead an adult government of competence and stability after years of Labor infighting and backflips. Policy details and bankable pledges were…
The tail on Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party (PUP) certainly wagged at the ballot box on Saturday. The tail on Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party (PUP) certainly wagged at the ballot box on Saturday. AAP/Dave Hunt

How the Palmer United Party came out barking

A funny thing happened at the polls in Queensland over the weekend. To great surprise, the two right-of-centre minor parties - Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) and the recently-established Palmer United…
Is Victorian MP Bill Shorten the man to take Labor forward after the election? Is Victorian MP Bill Shorten the man to take Labor forward after the election? AAP/Joe Castro

Labor’s leadership: who to next?

With the 2013 election over, Labor has the opportunity to regroup and plan for how it will win future contests. Ever since Julia Gillard took over the Labor leadership in 2010, the party has appeared to…
The Greens may have suffered a uniform swing against them overall, but they managed to retain their Senate and lower house representation. The Greens may have suffered a uniform swing against them overall, but they managed to retain their Senate and lower house representation. AAP/Joe Castro

Election 2013 brings a mixed result for the Greens

In the final days of the election campaign, Greens leader Christine Milne implored voters to “Abbott-proof” the Senate by voting Green on election day. Milne’s exhortation was, in many respects, an open…
Wherever the leaders went on the campaign trail the media followed. How can we assess the media’s performance? Wherever the leaders went on the campaign trail the media followed. How can we assess the media’s performance? AAP/Alan Porritt

Election 2013: the role of the media

In one sense, the Australian media did a good job under difficult circumstances in this election. The difficult part was how predictable the campaign was and the increasing inevitability of the outcome…
Election 2013 reminded us that television remains the most powerful medium despite the rise of social media. Election 2013 reminded us that television remains the most powerful medium despite the rise of social media. AAP/Alan Porritt

Preferred but not popular: did live TV tell the most important truth on election day?

Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd knew what to expect yesterday - with one exception. Both candidates were savagely heckled at polling stations. This morning Abbott is smiling about victory. He should be pondering…
We all know what’s happened, but what happens next? We all know what’s happened, but what happens next? Mitch Duncan/AAP

Election 2013 results and the future: experts respond

Australia has elected a Coalition government. So what will this mean for key policy areas? Our experts take a closer look at what’s in store for business, the economy, the environment, the National Broadband…
The numbers of yesterday’s federal election don’t make for good reading for Kevin Rudd and the ALP, with Tony Abbott and the Coalition sweeping to power. The numbers of yesterday’s federal election don’t make for good reading for Kevin Rudd and the ALP, with Tony Abbott and the Coalition sweeping to power. AAP/Dan Peled

By the numbers: winners and losers of the election

The results are in. At yesterday’s federal election, the combined Liberal-National Coalition vote was 45.3% to Labor’s 33.8% in the lower house. This was a primary vote swing to the Coalition of 1.6% and…
Everyone has views on the new prime minister, but who is the man behind the headlines? Everyone has views on the new prime minister, but who is the man behind the headlines? Dean Lewins/AAP

The Tony Abbott I know

As a public personality, our new prime minister is an involuntary paradox. On the one hand, Tony Abbott is one of the most discussed people in Australia. On the other, much of the discussion is so ill-informed…
Six years of Labor government is now over. How will they be remembered? Six years of Labor government is now over. How will they be remembered? AAP/Dan Peled

Labor’s legacy: six years of … what exactly?

Political historians are likely to treat the Rudd and Gillard governments far more kindly than many contemporary commentators have - and certainly more kindly than the Murdoch press has. The passing of…
After nearly being consigned to the dustbin of political history, Tony Abbott is now Prime Minister of Australia. After nearly being consigned to the dustbin of political history, Tony Abbott is now Prime Minister of Australia. AAP/Dean Lewins

Prime minister Abbott: the master of opposition gets his chance

Not so long ago, Tony Abbott looked washed up. In 2007, while other ministers wanted to replace John Howard as the captain of the Coalition’s sinking ship, Abbott stood resolutely by his political hero…
Over there - what are the key states and seats that will decide the election? Here’s our handy guide. Over there - what are the key states and seats that will decide the election? Here’s our handy guide. AAP/Lyndon Mechielsen

Election 2013 states and seats: the full package

From the moment prime minister Kevin Rudd called the election on August 4, The Conversation has kept you up-to-date and informed with the best political analysis from Australia’s sharpest academic minds…
What are the challenges for Australia’s next government, regardless of which party wins? Our experts explored 12 key areas throughout the campaign. What are the challenges for Australia’s next government, regardless of which party wins? Our experts explored 12 key areas throughout the campaign. AAP/Alan Porritt

Election 2013 Issues: the full package

From the moment prime minister Kevin Rudd called the election on August 4, The Conversation has kept you up-to-date and informed with the best political analysis from Australia’s sharpest academic minds…
It’s hard to argue against encouraging local community-based environmental action. It’s hard to argue against encouraging local community-based environmental action. Feral Arts/Flickr

Is the Coalition’s Green Army good news for Landcare?

Barely noticed behind pre-election debate over the climate policies of the major parties sits a proposal by the Liberal-National Coalition to make important changes to Australia’s natural resource management…
A vote for the future? A vote for the future? AAP/Lukas Coch

Election 2013 Essays: Australia for the long term

Election 2013 Essays: As the federal election campaign draws to a close, The Conversation asked eminent thinkers to reflect on the state of the nation and the challenges Australia – and whichever party…
Has there ever been policies aimed at singles during an election? Has there ever been policies aimed at singles during an election? Flickr/Klim Andreev

FactCheck: do political parties ever come up with a policy for singles?

“Does anyone ever target policies at single people?? Ever?? Anyone???In the whole history of the world?? Just one tiny little policy??? Ever??” - Magda Szubanski, Twitter post, 27 August. Single this election…
Australia has a form of compulsory voting. But why should we even bother? Australia has a form of compulsory voting. But why should we even bother? AAP/Julian Smith

Election 2013 Essays: The philosophy of voting

Election 2013 Essays: As the federal election campaign draws to a close, The Conversation asked eminent thinkers to reflect on the state of the nation and the challenges Australia – and whichever party…
Kevin Rudd follows a long line of male politicians exercising as part of their pitch to voters. What does this tell us about masculinity, the media and politics? Kevin Rudd follows a long line of male politicians exercising as part of their pitch to voters. What does this tell us about masculinity, the media and politics? AAP/Lyndon Mechielsen

We can work it out: television and the pumped-up politics of the election

Nothing summarised a bad week - indeed, a bad election campaign - for prime minister Kevin Rudd better than Tuesday’s Brisbane workout. A camera-friendly “power walk” was interrupted by insults from larrikin…
Queensland has a disproportionate number of marginal seats, making it a key battleground. Queensland has a disproportionate number of marginal seats, making it a key battleground. Image from shutterstock.com

State of the states: Queensland

STATE OF THE STATES: a snapshot of the key issues affecting each state and territory in the lead up to Saturday’s election. With more marginal seats than any state other than New South Wales - and easily…
Labor MP Darren Cheeseman faces an uphill battle to retain Corangamite. The Victorian electorate is Australia’s most marginal seat. Labor MP Darren Cheeseman faces an uphill battle to retain Corangamite. The Victorian electorate is Australia’s most marginal seat. AAP/David Crosling

Ultra-marginal Corangamite is a mirror of the nation

In 2013, the Victorian electorate of Corangamite is a mirror of the nation’s electoral allegiance and social composition. At the 2010 federal election, Labor’s Darren Cheeseman narrowly won on the back…
What’s on the agenda in our final pre-election podcast? What’s on the agenda in our final pre-election podcast? AAP/Alan Porritt

Election 2013 Podcast: Dennis Altman, Marilyn Lake

Welcome to the fifth of The Conversation’s Election 2013 podcasts. Each week The Conversation will be sitting down with Australia’s top political minds to discuss all things election as we gear up for…
We’re going to need more than sandbags to adapt to climate change. We’re going to need more than sandbags to adapt to climate change. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Who should fund Australia’s adaptation to climate change?

If we haven’t heard much about carbon policy this election, we’ve heard even less about the other side of the climate equation - adaptation. We’re already seeing an increase in extreme weather, and climate…
The ACT is the least politically represented jurisdiction in Australia. The ACT is the least politically represented jurisdiction in Australia. Image from shutterstock.com

State of the states: Australian Capital Territory

STATE OF THE STATES: a snapshot of the key issues affecting each state and territory in the lead up to Saturday’s election. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is generally regarded as a Labor stronghold…
Dobell MP Craig Thomson has been spending time in a courthouse in addition to Parliament House in recent times. Dobell MP Craig Thomson has been spending time in a courthouse in addition to Parliament House in recent times. AAP/Lukas Coch

The NSW Central Coast: beautiful one day, Dobell the next

The seats of Dobell and Robertson encompass most of the Central Coast between Sydney and Newcastle and therefore preside over a glistening necklace of beaches and waterways that are among the most beautiful…
Crown of Thorns is one threat on the reef, but it’s not the only threat. Crown of Thorns is one threat on the reef, but it’s not the only threat. Flickr/Nemo's great uncle

Should offsets fund the Coalition’s reef plan?

On Monday, the Coalition announced its plan for the Great Barrier Reef, including a A$40m trust-fund to target threats to the Reef such as Crown of Thorns starfish and runoff from agriculture. The promises…
Beware the fake how-to-vote cards on election day - they’re just one of many tricks parties may use to gain an advantage at the polls. Beware the fake how-to-vote cards on election day - they’re just one of many tricks parties may use to gain an advantage at the polls. AAP/Dean Lewins

Dirty tricks on the campaign trail

In the final countdown to polling day, Australian political history suggests that political parties will start to fight dirty in critical seats, using just-legal tricks in an attempt to get the winning…
South Australia voters could be about to repeat the 1990s banishment of federal Labor MPs. South Australia voters could be about to repeat the 1990s banishment of federal Labor MPs. Image from shutterstock.com

State of the states: South Australia

STATE OF THE STATES: a snapshot of the key issues affecting each state and territory in the lead up to Saturday’s election. With just days to polling and deepening voter scepticism towards Kevin Rudd and…
The Australian Greens agreed to support a minority Labor government in 2010. What can international examples tell us about the party’s future? The Australian Greens agreed to support a minority Labor government in 2010. What can international examples tell us about the party’s future? AAP/Alan Porritt

Greens in coalition: balancing conflict and cooperation

Along with their sister parties in New Zealand, Germany, Austria and Luxembourg, the Australian Greens are among a small group of Green parties that have won more than 10% vote share at recent elections…
Mr Abbott yesterday made clear he’s not committed to a 5% reduction in emissions, and raised doubts about his acceptance of climate science. Mr Abbott yesterday made clear he’s not committed to a 5% reduction in emissions, and raised doubts about his acceptance of climate science. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Soft targets, no caps, hot world? Abbott clarifies his position on climate policy

Saturday’s election will largely determine Australia’s domestic climate policy settings through to 2020. It will define Australia’s stance in international climate negotiations on targets and mitigation…
The return of Kevin Rudd was aimed at denting the Coalition’s chances in Queensland, however it now appears that Teresa Gambaro will hold on to the marginal seat of Brisbane. The return of Kevin Rudd was aimed at denting the Coalition’s chances in Queensland, however it now appears that Teresa Gambaro will hold on to the marginal seat of Brisbane. AAP/Alan Porritt

Defying the Rudd revival: Brisbane is the real bellwether seat

If any seat is going to indicate whether all the pain that Kevin Rudd put the Labor Party through in regaining the prime ministership was worth it, it will be the inner-city seat of Brisbane. The seat…
In terms of a two-party contest, Victoria has just three ultra-marginal seats. In terms of a two-party contest, Victoria has just three ultra-marginal seats. Image from shutterstock.com

State of the states: Victoria

STATE OF THE STATES: a snapshot of the key issues affecting each state and territory in the lead up to Saturday’s election. With a total of 37 seats, the state of Victoria should figure as a major battleground…
Wage bargaining conditions may well change under a coalition government. Wage bargaining conditions may well change under a coalition government. AAP

What do new disclosures reveal about Coalition IR policy?

Two unexpected disclosures have refocused attention on the Coalition industrial relations policy before the election. The first was further detail from workplace relations shadow minister Eric Abetz about…
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott (centre) speaks to the media as Professor Patrick McGorry (right) and Senator Connie Fierravanti Wells look on during a press conference to launch the Liberal-National Party coalition plan for mental health. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott (centre) speaks to the media as Professor Patrick McGorry (right) and Senator Connie Fierravanti Wells look on during a press conference to launch the Liberal-National Party coalition plan for mental health. LISA MAREE WILLIAMS/AAP

Mental health is largely missing from the election campaign

Launching the Coalition’s policy for Efficient Mental Health Research and Services late last week, Tony Abbott said he wished all his policy statements attracted such media attention. Given the Australian…
Do the math. Higher education is important to Australian voters. Do the math. Higher education is important to Australian voters. University image from www.shutterstock.com

Is higher education a vote changer?

There are no votes in higher education, right? One former cabinet minister would refer to universities as “the dogs” - because if you kick ‘em, they just roll over. Conventional wisdom has long told us…
Strong action on climate change has been undermined by the fragmentation of politics. Strong action on climate change has been undermined by the fragmentation of politics. kukkurovaca/Flickr

The power of the fragment: why politicians have turned their backs on climate

A recent Vote Compass poll shows 61% of Australian adults want the federal government to do more to tackle climate change; 18% want it to do less. This figure, consistent with many polls over the years…
Due to its small population, WA has only 15 federal electorates, or 11% of the total. Due to its small population, WA has only 15 federal electorates, or 11% of the total. Twodogz photography

State of the states: Western Australia

STATE OF THE STATES: a snapshot of the key issues affecting each state and territory in the lead up to Saturday’s election. During Tony Abbott’s recent campaign visit to Western Australia, the state’s…
Liberal candidate for Greenway Jaymes Diaz has made international headlines for his gaffe-prone campaign - but he may yet wrest the seat from Labor. Liberal candidate for Greenway Jaymes Diaz has made international headlines for his gaffe-prone campaign - but he may yet wrest the seat from Labor. Channel 10

Greenway, or the place which Jaymes Diaz is trying to represent

The ultra-marginal seat of Greenway in Sydney’s western suburbs has recently drawn international scrutiny after the embarrassing media performance of the Liberal candidate Jaymes Diaz, who faltered when…
Cuts to Australia’s clean energy programs don’t make the promised savings, and threaten our low-carbon future. Cuts to Australia’s clean energy programs don’t make the promised savings, and threaten our low-carbon future. AAP Image/Penny Bradfield

Coalition climate figures don’t add up

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey and shadow Minister for Finance, Andrew Robb, have announced A$7.5 billion in planned budget savings from scrapping key elements of the Government’s Clean Energy Future package…
Perhaps talking about investment could lead Australia to a brighter farming future. Perhaps talking about investment could lead Australia to a brighter farming future. Michael Lloyd

Foreign investment in agriculture? How about a plan for profitability

Large parts of Australian agriculture are economically and financially unsustainable. Returns are inadequate and unbalanced; assets are depleted; risks are needlessly high. To date, governments have largely…
An overlapping dissatisfaction with minority governments in Canberra and Tasmania could see Labor lose its four seats. An overlapping dissatisfaction with minority governments in Canberra and Tasmania could see Labor lose its four seats. Charles Haynes

State of the states: Tasmania

STATE OF THE STATES: a snapshot of the key issues affecting each state and territory in the lead up to Saturday’s election. Leading up to the September 7 federal election, one of the multiple three-word…
The economic costings from both parties rely on wildly optimistic PEFO figures. The economic costings from both parties rely on wildly optimistic PEFO figures. AAP

Electoral promises of both parties hang on precarious PEFO forecasts

The economic promises of both the Coalition and the ALP rely on two “big taxes”: the mining tax and the carbon tax. This week, the Coalition revealed what it believes it will save from abolishing them…
By consulting more with fishers, governments can build support for conservation science. By consulting more with fishers, governments can build support for conservation science. Flickr/Ben Christian Photos

Marine parks won’t work unless fishers are on side

Last year the current government unveiled plans for the world’s largest network of marine parks around Australia’s coast. Now the Coalition has pledged to put a pause on the plan should it form government…
Prime minister Kevin Rudd has tried to use social media to his advantage during the election campaign - but it has also been used against him, too. How powerful is it? Prime minister Kevin Rudd has tried to use social media to his advantage during the election campaign - but it has also been used against him, too. How powerful is it? @KRuddMP

Can social media swing votes in this election campaign?

As journalism professor David Maguire noted at the start of this campaign, prime minister Kevin Rudd has had such limited time in which to develop a social media strategy that he has “parachuted” in some…
The LNP wants to scrap CSG legislation. The LNP wants to scrap CSG legislation. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Putting coal seam gas clashes on the election map

Coal seam gas (CSG) is fundamentally divisive. Proponents of short-term profits are pitted against those whose priority is to preserve the sustainable resources of agricultural land and scarce water. As…
Many of the issues women face are the result of the broken work patterns that stem from juggling work and child rearing. Many of the issues women face are the result of the broken work patterns that stem from juggling work and child rearing. Image from shutterstock.com

Applying a gender lens to the 2013 election campaign

Most Australians are aware of the Coalition’s signature policy on paid parental leave. But how are the parties addressing the other issues that concern Australian women in this election? A recent survey…
Former ALP politician Barry Jones says political discourse during the federal election is on ‘to be even worse’ than in previous years. Former ALP politician Barry Jones says political discourse during the federal election is on ‘to be even worse’ than in previous years. AAP/Alan Porritt

Barry Jones: the 2013 election and the death of rationality

As somebody with a lifelong, but not very happy, involvement in politics, I must declare an interest, as a life member of the ALP. Nevertheless, I think I can be objective in describing the decay of our…
It wasn’t Rudd or Abbott who won the final televised debate of the election campaign - it was the ‘old media’ form of television, proving its power. It wasn’t Rudd or Abbott who won the final televised debate of the election campaign - it was the ‘old media’ form of television, proving its power. AAP/Alan Porritt

People’s forum: the winner is … television

I’ve written about Ian: the ordinary bloke who stole the show at the final people’s forum by flustering Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd, and enraging the watching audience all at the same time. At face value…
After winning it in 2010, Labor MP Rob Mitchell is looking to hang on to his Victorian seat of McEwen despite an expected swing against the ALP. After winning it in 2010, Labor MP Rob Mitchell is looking to hang on to his Victorian seat of McEwen despite an expected swing against the ALP. AAP/Alan Porritt

Redistributions will make McEwen a safer Labor prospect

The Victorian federal electorate of McEwen was a hard seat for Labor to win during the Howard years thanks to the popularity of the then-incumbent Liberal MP, Fran Bailey. But this year, due to major changes…
Pauline Hanson is a chance to return to federal parliament as a senator for NSW thanks to preference flows. Who are some of the right-wing parties who might help her be elected? Pauline Hanson is a chance to return to federal parliament as a senator for NSW thanks to preference flows. Who are some of the right-wing parties who might help her be elected? AAP/Tracey Nearmy

The mice that may yet roar: who are the minor right-wing parties?

Pauline Hanson’s return to public life and the emergence of right-wing parties such as Katter’s Australian Party and the Rise Up Australia Party has rekindled interest in far-right politics in Australia…
There’s a dearth of analysis, debate and commentary on what the key infrastructure projects ought to look like. There’s a dearth of analysis, debate and commentary on what the key infrastructure projects ought to look like. Image from shutterstock.com

Election 2013 Issues: The Australia we’re building

Welcome to the The Conversation’s Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles provide in-depth analyses of key policy challenges affecting Australia as the nation heads to the polls. Today…
Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott have faced off in a televised debate for the third and final time this election campaign. Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott have faced off in a televised debate for the third and final time this election campaign. AAP/Lukas Coch

Rooty Hill people’s forum: experts respond

Prime minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Tony Abbott faced off tonight for the third time in the 2013 election campaign at the Rooty Hill RSL Club in Sydney’s western suburbs. In the town hall-style…
Our brains predispose us to a quick fix, but with the right leadership we could choose a path to different future. Our brains predispose us to a quick fix, but with the right leadership we could choose a path to different future. Scott Ogilive

Wanted: political leader with a vision for a sustainable future

A sustainable future remains within our grasp but - thanks to the way human brains work - only governments can implement many of the necessary strategies. Our political leaders have a unique responsibility…
Former speaker Peter Slipper is virtually no chance to retain his Queensland seat of Fisher after a highly controversial last term in office. Former speaker Peter Slipper is virtually no chance to retain his Queensland seat of Fisher after a highly controversial last term in office. AAP/Dave Hunt

The ghost of Peter Slipper will still haunt Fisher

A number of seats in Queensland may go a long way to deciding the outcome of the federal election. However, it is doubtful that the seat of Fisher, located in the southern part of the Sunshine Coast, will…
Prime minister Kevin Rudd, shaking hands with an employee of the Altona Toyota factory in 2008, sees economic productivity as an important issue. Prime minister Kevin Rudd, shaking hands with an employee of the Altona Toyota factory in 2008, sees economic productivity as an important issue. AAP

Election 2013 Issues: the way we work

Welcome to the The Conversation Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles provide in-depth analyses of key policy challenges affecting Australia as the nation heads to the polls. Today…
So far, privacy issues haven’t rated a mention in the campaign, despite widespread concerns over online surveillance and privacy worldwide. So far, privacy issues haven’t rated a mention in the campaign, despite widespread concerns over online surveillance and privacy worldwide. spanaut

Elephant in the ballroom: ignoring privacy in the federal election

In this election campaign the major parties are carefully dancing round an elephant in the ballroom. The elephant is big and a bit frightening. Its name is privacy policy. Recent months have seen expressions…
Yes, it rains a lot in the north. But it’s also dry a lot. And variability could get worse. Yes, it rains a lot in the north. But it’s also dry a lot. And variability could get worse. Kasi Metcalfe

Politicians have forgotten the ‘dry’ in dry tropics and the change in the climate

Northern futures, northern voices: It seems everyone has ideas about how Australia’s north could be better, but most of those ideas come from the south. In this six-part weekly series, developed by the…
The Coalition’s has proposed to return to temporary protection visas to clear the backlog of asylum seekers awaiting processing in Australia. The Coalition’s has proposed to return to temporary protection visas to clear the backlog of asylum seekers awaiting processing in Australia. AAP/Steve Lillebuen

Back to the future on temporary protection visas

For me, the TPV is a prison. Our life is without hope, or purpose. The simplest thing that a person wants in his life is hope. Without hope, life is meaningless. - Iraqi temporary protection visa holder…
Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella has an unexpected fight on her hands is to retain her rural Victorian electorate of Indi. Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella has an unexpected fight on her hands is to retain her rural Victorian electorate of Indi. AAP/Lukas Coch

Indi and the politics of personality

The federal Victorian seat of Indi covers a major part of Victoria’s northeast. The Hume Highway and the Melbourne-to-Sydney railway run through the electorate’s demographic centre and at various points…
A still from an ALP advertisement. Which party is spending more to get the message across? A still from an ALP advertisement. Which party is spending more to get the message across?

FactCheck: does Labor massively outspend the Coalition during election campaigns?

“In every recent election, state and federal, the Labor Party has massively outspent the Coalition and this election is going to be no exception.” - Opposition leader Tony Abbott, press conference, 21…
Our cities may be booming, but what about our regions and suburbs? Our cities may be booming, but what about our regions and suburbs? Flickr/Takver

A more sustainable Australia: from suburbia to newburbia

A more sustainable Australia. As the 2013 election campaign continues, we’ve asked academics to look at some of the long-term issues affecting Australia – the issues that will shape our future. Australia’s…
Both parties have refused to commit to a second Sydney airport ahead of this election given its likely proximity to the crucial western Sydney region. Both parties have refused to commit to a second Sydney airport ahead of this election given its likely proximity to the crucial western Sydney region. AAP/Alan Porritt

A second Sydney airport? Not anytime soon

Western Sydney has been firmly in the spotlight throughout this federal election campaign. From the candidates who can’t remember their party’s plan to “stop the boats” to those who are “feisty and have…
The Coalition’s policy to combat problem gambling is treatment focused, excludes potential online competitors and makes no funding commitment. What influenced its creation? The Coalition’s policy to combat problem gambling is treatment focused, excludes potential online competitors and makes no funding commitment. What influenced its creation? AAP/Dan Peled

Coalition ‘problem gambling’ policy: putting the fox in charge of the henhouse?

The Coalition has released its policy “to help problem gamblers” under that very title. If the betting markets are any guide, the Coalition is poised to win government on September 7, so the likelihood…
So far in the campaign, neither party has released a policy on how to forge a better relationship with the states. So far in the campaign, neither party has released a policy on how to forge a better relationship with the states. Image from shutterstock.com

Election 2013 Issues: Governing Australia

Welcome to the The Conversation’s Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles by leading experts in their field provide an in-depth look at the key policy challenges affecting Australia as…
Alannah MacTiernan has been preselected for the ALP in the seat of Perth - one of the few the party hold in WA - to replace retiring defence minister Stephen Smith. Alannah MacTiernan has been preselected for the ALP in the seat of Perth - one of the few the party hold in WA - to replace retiring defence minister Stephen Smith. AAP/Rebecca Le May

Chalk the seat of Perth up to a likely Labor win

The federal seat of Perth is one of only three federal electorates currently held by Labor in Western Australia. Retaining this seat is critical if Labor is to avoid complete oblivion in the west. The…
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott during a visit to St Vincents Hospital in Sydney, on the day the Coalition released its health policy. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott during a visit to St Vincents Hospital in Sydney, on the day the Coalition released its health policy. Alan Porritt/AAP

Coalition health policy is all barbs and no risks

The Coalition’s Policy to Support Australia’s Health System is a cautious document, despite shadow health minister Peter Dutton’s promise of a “cracker of a health policy”. Tony Abbott set the scene at…
We need to get our hands dirty and have a look at our soils. We need to get our hands dirty and have a look at our soils. Flickr/JerseyRed

A more sustainable Australia: we need to talk about our soils

A more sustainable Australia As the 2013 election campaign continues, we’ve asked academics to look at some of the long-term issues affecting Australia – the issues that will shape our future. Our soils…
Pass the mic Kevin, it’s time for our special Sydney podcast. Pass the mic Kevin, it’s time for our special Sydney podcast. AAP/Alan Porritt

Election 2013 Podcast: Mark Rolfe, Roy Green

Welcome to the third of The Conversation’s Election 2013 podcasts. Each week The Conversation will be sitting down with Australia’s top political minds to discuss all things election as we gear up for…
Liberal candidate Andrew Nikolic looks likely to claim the Tasmanian seat of Bass from sitting Labor MP Geoff Lyons. Liberal candidate Andrew Nikolic looks likely to claim the Tasmanian seat of Bass from sitting Labor MP Geoff Lyons. AAP/Alan Porritt

Put Bass down as a Coalition win

If the early polls were accurate, Bass was already lost for Labor’s Geoff Lyons, the sitting member, but recent gaffes by Lyons will probably make that certain. Lyons has been left with egg on his face…
Controversial preference deals and high-level resignations may seriously damage the election chances of Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks Party. Controversial preference deals and high-level resignations may seriously damage the election chances of Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks Party. AAP/Joe Castro

Is the party over for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks?

With just over two weeks to go in the campaign, Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks Party has experienced some unsettling events that suggest it may be unravelling. Assange’s Victorian Senate running mate Leslie…
Caring is part of everyday life; it taps into our vulnerabilities and allows us to turn possibilities into material outcomes. Caring is part of everyday life; it taps into our vulnerabilities and allows us to turn possibilities into material outcomes. Image from shutterstock.com

Election 2013 Issues: How we grow and care for each other

Welcome to the The Conversation’s Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles by leading experts in their field provide an in-depth look at the key policy challenges affecting Australia as…
Labor MP Bernie Ripoll is expected to be returned in the Queensland seat of Oxley in September unless a seismic shift against the ALP in the state. Labor MP Bernie Ripoll is expected to be returned in the Queensland seat of Oxley in September unless a seismic shift against the ALP in the state. AAP/Alan Porritt

A loss in Oxley could spell disaster for Labor

The fate of the federal Queensland seat of Oxley in the 2013 election will provide some clues to the Labor Party’s long term future. If Labor loses Oxley, it is in serious trouble. The seat includes traditional…
Our threatened species, like this young Leadbeater’s Possum, need some attention. Our threatened species, like this young Leadbeater’s Possum, need some attention. Flickr/Greens MPs

Let’s put threatened species on the election agenda

The Coalition will instate a Commissioner for Threatened Species should it form government, according to shadow environment minister Greg Hunt. The minister says that, while management plans for threatened…
Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott have faced off in a second debate - this time, a ‘people’s forum’ in front of 100 undecided voters. Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott have faced off in a second debate - this time, a ‘people’s forum’ in front of 100 undecided voters. AAP/Lukas Coch

Rudd vs Abbott people’s forum: experts respond

Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott have met in a “town hall” style leaders' debate at the Broncos Leagues Club in Brisbane. Abbott and Rudd took questions from an audience of 100 undecided voters on issues from…
Why don’t we have universal access to early childhood education? Why don’t we have universal access to early childhood education? Flickr/Phyllis Buchanan

A more sustainable Australia: closing gaps in childhood inequity

A more sustainable Australia As the 2013 election campaign continues, we’ve asked academics to look at some of the long-term issues affecting Australia – the issues that will shape our future. Looking…
Deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese will likely hold off a push from the Greens to claim his inner city Sydney seat of Grayndler. Deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese will likely hold off a push from the Greens to claim his inner city Sydney seat of Grayndler. AAP/Paul Miller

Grayndler out of the mix for the Greens

The ALP is set to retain deputy prime minister Anthony Albanese’s seat of Grayndler following the Liberal Party’s decision to preference Labor over the Greens in the 2013 election. While the Greens made…
Will the real Kevin Rudd please stand up? Will the real Kevin Rudd please stand up? AAP/Lukas Coch

Sunrise Kevin and Egomaniacal Kevin: the two Rudds

There are two Kevin Rudds. One is the energetic ideas man, the promising new face of the Australian Labor Party who might just be the party’s saviour. “I’m Kevin, I’m from Queensland and I’m here to help…
Tony Abbott hopes his paid parental leave policy will lead to a baby boom. Is he right? Tony Abbott hopes his paid parental leave policy will lead to a baby boom. Is he right? AAP/David Crosling

Abbott shouldn’t get his hopes up about a parental leave-induced baby boom

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has said he hopes the recently announced Coalition paid parental leave (PPL) scheme will lead to a baby boom. Such hopes are consistent with his earlier expression of support…
China recognises environmental protection is good for the economy, and has gone all out to fund it. China recognises environmental protection is good for the economy, and has gone all out to fund it. Dainis Matisons

Environmental protection industry a job creator

A very different approach is emerging between Australia and China’s treatment of jobs and industries providing goods and services for environmental protection. In Australia, major investors are reported…
Retiring Labor MP Simon Crean has survived factional feuding and demographic changes in his seat Hotham. Retiring Labor MP Simon Crean has survived factional feuding and demographic changes in his seat Hotham. AAP/David Crosling

The Labor times are changing in Hotham

In the shadow of Monash University’s Clayton campus landmark Menzies Building to its north and with the affluent bayside Melbourne suburbs to its south and west lie the flat lands of the federal seat of…
Neither party should lose sight of Indigenous issues ahead of the federal election. Neither party should lose sight of Indigenous issues ahead of the federal election. AAP

Explainer: Indigenous policy and the 2013 federal election

With the federal election in our sights, we are reminded of the long journey ahead in addressing past wrongs and present challenges for Australia’s Indigenous peoples. Historically, the similarities outweigh…
Where are Australia’s politicians leading us? Where are Australia’s politicians leading us? Paleontour/Flickr

A more sustainable Australia: are we ignoring the future?

A more sustainable Australia. As we hit the half-way mark of the 2013 election campaign, we asked academics to look at some of the long-term issues affecting Australia - the issues that will shape our…
Now that the local government referendum has been scrapped, what is the issue’s future? Now that the local government referendum has been scrapped, what is the issue’s future? AAP/Sophie Marr

Local government fights for light despite a scrapped referendum

Local government has once again been crowded out of the limelight as the big boys fight for control of the Australian political sandpit. The referendum to give constitutional recognition to local government…
The act of kissing a baby is a key plank of what campaign strategists and commentators consider to be ‘retail politics’. The act of kissing a baby is a key plank of what campaign strategists and commentators consider to be ‘retail politics’. AAP/Alan Porritt

Explainer: what is retail politics?

Shaking hands. Kissing babies. Throwing snags on the barbie, or wandering through a suburban shopping centre. These are the familiar scenes of “retail politics”, a campaign style in which candidates sell…
WA Nationals MP Tony Crook is not running for re-election in September. Who will succeed in the ‘friendly’ battle for O'Connor? WA Nationals MP Tony Crook is not running for re-election in September. Who will succeed in the ‘friendly’ battle for O'Connor? AAP/Penny Bradfield

‘Friendly’ rivalry in O’Connor: can the Nationals win again?

The Western Australian seat of O’Connor provides a fascinating battle between the Liberal and National parties that reflects a struggle to win the hearts and minds – and votes – of regional Western Australians…
What do the various responses to Tony Abbott’s ‘sex appeal’ comment say about the role of gender in politics? What do the various responses to Tony Abbott’s ‘sex appeal’ comment say about the role of gender in politics? AAP/Alan Porritt

She’s got it: responses to Tony Abbott’s ‘sex appeal’ comments

Since opposition leader Tony Abbott’s self-described “daggy dad” comments about Liberal candidate Fiona Scott’s sex appeal, gender issues have re-emerged in Australian politics. Labor frontbenchers claim…
Tony Abbott’s campaign ‘gaffes’ are on the agenda in the second of our election podcasts. Tony Abbott’s campaign ‘gaffes’ are on the agenda in the second of our election podcasts. AAP/Alan Porritt

Election 2013 Podcast: Jill Singer, Geoffrey Robinson

Welcome to the second of The Conversation’s Election 2013 podcasts. Each week The Conversation will be sitting down with Australia’s top political minds to discuss all things election as we gear up for…
It’s time to choose. It’s time to choose. Vattenfall/Flickr

Comparing the parties' climate change and renewables policies

Serious discussion of climate change policy has been noticeably absent this election campaign - while the issue was allotted a portion of the first leaders' debate, little time was devoted to it. Nonetheless…
Liberal MP Ken Wyatt became the first Indigenous member of the lower house in 2010 in the WA seat of Hasluck. Will he be returned this time? Liberal MP Ken Wyatt became the first Indigenous member of the lower house in 2010 in the WA seat of Hasluck. Will he be returned this time? AAP/Alan Porritt

Can Ken Wyatt hold on to Hasluck?

The outer suburban Western Australian seat of Hasluck moved centre stage during the last federal election for two reasons. First, the tight result meant that it was not decided until late in the count…
This is one of the first elections in decades where health isn’t a headline issue. This is one of the first elections in decades where health isn’t a headline issue. Image from shutterstock.com

Election 2013 Issues: How we live and die

Welcome to the The Conversation’s Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles by leading experts in their field provide an in-depth look at the key policy challenges affecting Australia as…
From the Liberals' perspective, preferencing against the Greens is a highly practical and sensible tactic. From the Liberals' perspective, preferencing against the Greens is a highly practical and sensible tactic. AAP/Alan Porritt

The power of Liberal preferences: how will it impact on the Greens?

Today’s announcement by the Liberal Party that they will preference against the Greens at this year’s federal election should hardly come as a surprise. There has been endless speculation that the Liberals…
Research suggests that young people are disengaged with politics. What role can schools play in developing their interest, even from a pre-voting age? Research suggests that young people are disengaged with politics. What role can schools play in developing their interest, even from a pre-voting age? AAP/Bradley Kanaris

Finding the missing youth vote

From the beginning of the 2013 election campaign, prime minister Kevin Rudd has put young people front and centre. Be it through the use of social media (although no more “selfies” have surfaced of late…
Indigenous health minister Warren Snowdon ought to be concerned about the growing disillusionment towards the ALP of Aborigines in his Lingiari electorate. Indigenous health minister Warren Snowdon ought to be concerned about the growing disillusionment towards the ALP of Aborigines in his Lingiari electorate. AAP/Dean Lewins

Lingiari: unique, but still a mirror of the broader contest?

Recently, Lingiari MP and Minister for Indigenous Health and Veterans' Affairs Warren Snowdon made a big fuss in the local NT media about a A$4,500 grant for a new stove for the ailing RSL club in Alice…
Electorally, we are assumed to live in an economy, not a society which protects its most vulnerable members. Electorally, we are assumed to live in an economy, not a society which protects its most vulnerable members. Flickr/Viewminder

Election 2013 Issues: Australians, one and all?

Welcome to the The Conversation’s Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles by leading experts in their field provide an in-depth look at the key policy challenges affecting Australia as…
The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook, to be released today, began during John Howard’s term in government. The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook, to be released today, began during John Howard’s term in government. AAP/Bluey Thomson

Explainer: Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook

The Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook report (PEFO) is a recent development in Australian politics. It emerged as part of the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998 during the first term of the Howard…
All about me: but how does the level of personality in Australian politics stack up globally? All about me: but how does the level of personality in Australian politics stack up globally? AAP/Lukas Coch

Here’s a thought: the election could be more about personality

Up until Sunday’s debate, we heard grumbles that this election is too personality-focused. The beef was that the last few months in political news had been consumed by conflict and drama. “MPs” are “Media…
Tony Abbott won’t raise the GST without a voter mandate - a smart move if he wants it to succeed. Tony Abbott won’t raise the GST without a voter mandate - a smart move if he wants it to succeed. AAP

Increase the GST to 20%? Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it

It looks like the GST will feature prominently in yet another election. The government is running a scare campaign on whether the Coalition will raise the GST after the election. In the meantime Tony Abbott…
Bandt AAP Image Julian Smith. Bandt AAP Image Julian Smith.

Reassessing Melbourne three years on

Kevin Rudd’s restoration to the ALP leadership may yet be an electoral game-changer as the polling day of September 7 fast approaches. Recent opinion polling suggests Labor’s primary vote has returned…
The first televised leaders' debate between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott of the election campaign focused predominantly on economic issues. The first televised leaders' debate between Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott of the election campaign focused predominantly on economic issues. AAP/Alan Porritt

Leaders' debate: experts respond

Prime minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Tony Abbott have faced off in the first televised leaders' debate of the 2013 election campaign. In a debate largely framed by the economic issues, Rudd…
Kim Williams' departure from News Corp can be seen through the prism of him having ‘failed to civilise’ the media giant. Kim Williams' departure from News Corp can be seen through the prism of him having ‘failed to civilise’ the media giant. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Tomorrow’s fish n' chips: Kim Williams leaves News Corp

Poor old Kim Williams. It was like putting celebrity chef Gabriel Gaté in charge of the abattoir. Red in tooth and claw is the News Corp style, especially during election campaigns, and now in the midst…
The election campaign for Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott has begun. Tune into our weekly podcasts for the best analysis of the week’s events. The election campaign for Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott has begun. Tune into our weekly podcasts for the best analysis of the week’s events.

Election 2013 Podcast: Stephanie Brookes, Brian Galligan

Welcome to the first of The Conversation’s Election 2013 podcasts. Each week The Conversation will be sitting down with Australia’s top political minds to discuss all things election as we gear up for…
Former Queenland Premier and new Labor candidate for Forde Peter Beattie and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (right) arrive for a press conference, 8 August 2013. Former Queenland Premier and new Labor candidate for Forde Peter Beattie and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (right) arrive for a press conference, 8 August 2013. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Old dog, new tricks: can Beattie save Labor in Forde?

The shock entry of former Queensland premier Peter Beattie into the federal election campaign as the Labor candidate for Forde was kept a tightly guarded secret - and with good reason. It sends two clear…
Cartoonists like the Herald Sun’s Mark Knight can capture and critique the political mood in the most vivid way during election campaigns. Cartoonists like the Herald Sun’s Mark Knight can capture and critique the political mood in the most vivid way during election campaigns. AAP/Alan Porritt

Following and recalling election campaigns through cartoons

Cartoonists working in a liberal democracy have a licence to be satirical, comic and even outrageous because they are the modern day court jesters. Since 1996 we have been studying political cartoons appearing…
Now that governor-general Quentin Bryce has issued the writs for the election and dissolved parliament, the government is in caretaker mode. But what does this mean? Now that governor-general Quentin Bryce has issued the writs for the election and dissolved parliament, the government is in caretaker mode. But what does this mean? AAP/Alan Porritt

Explainer: what are the caretaker government conventions?

The Coalition has raised concerns that the Memorandum of Understanding with Papua New Guinea over the Manus Island asylum seeker processing deal was entered into after the caretaker conventions commenced…
We take a closer look at the claim the prime minister has made on the Murdoch press in Australia. We take a closer look at the claim the prime minister has made on the Murdoch press in Australia.

FactCheck: does Murdoch own 70% of newspapers in Australia?

“Mr Murdoch is entitled to his own view… he owns 70% of the newspapers in this country.” – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, press conference, 6 August. One of the more spirited discussions of the first week…
Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspapers have already come out swinging against the current government in the early stages of the election campaign. Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspapers have already come out swinging against the current government in the early stages of the election campaign. AAP/Paul Miller

Murdoch and his influence on Australian political life

In 2007, journalist Ken Auletta spent a great deal of time with Rupert Murdoch while writing a magazine profile of him. Auletta observed that Murdoch was frequently on the phone to his editors and this…
The last few years in Australian politics have seen the rise of a new definition of ‘lying’. The last few years in Australian politics have seen the rise of a new definition of ‘lying’. AAP/Lukas Coch

Redefining the lie: politics and porkies

Lie (v.) (1) To make a politically unpopular statement; (2) [retrospectively applied] To make a statement which appears inconsistent with a more recent statement, indicating that its maker has changed…
The health of our rural landscapes depends on supportive policies and hard work by caring Australians, such as here on David Marsh’s property near Boorowa, NSW. The health of our rural landscapes depends on supportive policies and hard work by caring Australians, such as here on David Marsh’s property near Boorowa, NSW. Andrew Campbell

Election 2013 Issues: Looking after Australia

Welcome to the The Conversation Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles by leading experts in their field provide an in-depth look at the key policy challenges affecting Australia as the…
The Nationals' Barnaby Joyce is running for New England in the House of Representatives, which he is expected to win comfortably. The Nationals' Barnaby Joyce is running for New England in the House of Representatives, which he is expected to win comfortably. AAP/Lukas Coch

New England: an independent seat in more ways than one

The seat of New England, stretching from the Queensland border in the north, through the New England region and the north-west slopes and to the Liverpool plains in the south, would have been on everyone’s…
The ALP’s re-election chances hinge on the results in a number of marginal seats across Australia. The ALP’s re-election chances hinge on the results in a number of marginal seats across Australia. AAP/Dave Hunt

By the seat of their pants: can Labor squeak it?

If the polls are accurate and Labor is almost at level pegging with the Coalition, it would seem we are in for a repeat of the very close election of 2010. But for various reasons this is not necessarily…
What’s working in Australia’s education system and what’s not? What’s working in Australia’s education system and what’s not? Learning image from www.shutterstock.com

Election 2013 Issues: The way we learn

Welcome to the The Conversation Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles by leading experts in their field provide an in-depth look at the key policy challenges affecting Australia as the…
Kevin Rudd has recruited three strategists from the US to help his election chances, continuing a trend of the ‘internationalisation’ of campaign craft. Kevin Rudd has recruited three strategists from the US to help his election chances, continuing a trend of the ‘internationalisation’ of campaign craft. AAP/Dean Lewins

Yes we can: will imported talent get Labor over the line?

Kevin Rudd has imported three members of US president Barack Obama’s successful 2012 campaign team to advise on Labor’s September 7 re-election efforts. This announcement has already achieved one of the…
Kevin Rudd is fighting another election. Just like the other elections, this is the most important since the last one. Kevin Rudd is fighting another election. Just like the other elections, this is the most important since the last one. AAP/Alan Porritt

Election 2013: the campaign that never ended

It’s an exquisitely portentous cliché, the one that is always trotted out at each Australian election: this is the most important election in a generation, or since World War Two, or the advent of television…
Karratha in Western Australia, the capital of the mining boom. Is Australia simply the world’s quarry with nice beaches? Karratha in Western Australia, the capital of the mining boom. Is Australia simply the world’s quarry with nice beaches? AAP/Suree Pritchard

Election 2013 Issues: Australia and the world

Welcome to the first of The Conversation Election 2013 State of the Nation essays. These articles by leading experts in their field provide an in-depth look at the key policy challenges affecting Australia…
Bearers of bad news: Treasurer Chris Bowen and Finance Minister Penny Wong deliver the government’s economic statement. Bearers of bad news: Treasurer Chris Bowen and Finance Minister Penny Wong deliver the government’s economic statement.

Economic statement: experts respond

A slowing economy and drop in government revenue has led to an increased budget deficit, new taxes and some cuts to existing programs. Delivering the Rudd government’s long awaited economic statement…
Kevin Rudd has been working hard to neutralise key policy issues - such as asylum seekers - before announcing the date for the federal election. Kevin Rudd has been working hard to neutralise key policy issues - such as asylum seekers - before announcing the date for the federal election. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Tick, tick, tick … is Kevin Rudd setting the election timer?

It has been almost one month since Kevin Rudd returned to The Lodge. Rudd was charged with the responsibility of making Labor competitive in the upcoming election. But what do his actions since taking…
Emergency management would be severely stretched under future conditions: we need a serious conversation now. Emergency management would be severely stretched under future conditions: we need a serious conversation now. Alexander Kesselaar

The conversation we need to have about carbon

Recent conversations about carbon pricing are still framed within gentle themes of continuing growth and well-being, where no one has to pay more for anything without being compensated. The words that…
Over a million Australians are now green electricity generators: how much difference will the shift to an ETS make? Over a million Australians are now green electricity generators: how much difference will the shift to an ETS make? Heidi Blanton

From fixed price to ETS: the complications of reducing emissions

There is little doubt that Kevin Rudd’s plan to bring forward international linking and trading of emission permits is a smart political move. It removes a key option for Tony Abbott. Now Mr Abbott is…
Reducing emissions with a trading scheme rather than a tax can be risky business. Reducing emissions with a trading scheme rather than a tax can be risky business. Brian Yap

Emissions trading schemes are fraught territory: is Rudd ready?

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has told Australia we’re shifting to an emissions trading scheme one year earlier than anticipated, with Treasurer Chris Bowen suggesting it will address “cost of living pressures…
Is Bob Katter exaggerating when he says Coles and Woolworths own 80% of the groceries market? Is Bob Katter exaggerating when he says Coles and Woolworths own 80% of the groceries market? APH

FactCheck: do Coles and Woolies control 80% of the market?

“The Americans are screaming blue murder because WalMart and their competitor have now reached about 23% market share. Here we have two supermarkets with a market share of over 80%, so if they decide to…
Did Foreign minister Bob Carr’s controversial claim that the majority of asylum seekers coming to Australia are economic refugees go too far? Did Foreign minister Bob Carr’s controversial claim that the majority of asylum seekers coming to Australia are economic refugees go too far? APH

FactCheck: are asylum seekers really economic migrants?

“People are coming here, not now as a result of persecution, but because they’re economic refugees who have paid money to people smugglers.” - Foreign minister Bob Carr, Meet the Press, June 9. There is…
Legal, political and even sporting considerations will weigh on the mind of prime minister Kevin Rudd in selecting a new election date. Legal, political and even sporting considerations will weigh on the mind of prime minister Kevin Rudd in selecting a new election date. AAP/Lukas Coch

On which Saturday will Kevin Rudd hold the federal election?

NOTE: This piece has been updated on July 2 to reflect the scheduled sittings of federal parliament. One of the most important decisions now for new prime minister Kevin Rudd is selecting the date for…
Tony Abbott might think his approvals plan will simplify things, but it will unleash new complications. Tony Abbott might think his approvals plan will simplify things, but it will unleash new complications. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Opposition plan to surrender environmental approvals a messy backward step

While the political focus in Australia was on the Labor Party leadership challenge, the Opposition released its policy for “a one-stop-shop for environmental approvals”. The policy claims that handing…
Reducing carbon pollution has bi-partisan support. It wouldn’t hurt to re-open debate on the method. Reducing carbon pollution has bi-partisan support. It wouldn’t hurt to re-open debate on the method. takver/flickr

Switching carbon from fixed price to ETS: should Rudd do it?

Carbon pricing has helped to destroy three political leaders - Malcolm Turnbull, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard - since 2009. Why would a re-minted Prime Minister Rudd want to touch such a poisoned chalice…
Tony Abbott has a history of supporting medical research since his time as health minister under John Howard. Tony Abbott has a history of supporting medical research since his time as health minister under John Howard. Paul Miller/AAP

Coalition policy aims to protect and streamline medical research

The Coalition’s Policy to Protect and Streamline Health and Medical Research Funding is one of the first documents off the blocks this election. Short and sweet, it is designed to appeal to medical researchers…
While she may look elsewhere, ultimately Julia Gillard has no-one to blame for her political demise but herself. While she may look elsewhere, ultimately Julia Gillard has no-one to blame for her political demise but herself. AAP/Lukas Coch

The political tragedy of Julia Gillard

In the middle of the 2012 winter, an influential supporter of Julia Gillard laid out for me the intricacies of the Labor caucus’ power structures, the labour movement’s web of personal antagonisms and…
Now that the Labor leadership issue has been resolved once and for all, the attention will soon turn to the opposition’s attempts to win government at the election. Now that the Labor leadership issue has been resolved once and for all, the attention will soon turn to the opposition’s attempts to win government at the election. AAP/Alan Porritt

Back to the opposition: bring on the policies

With such unprecedented turmoil inside the Labor Party over leadership it is not surprising that we have all forgotten about the opposition. You know, the government-in-waiting, the other mob, the Coalition…
Now that he’s deposed Julia Gillard, what lies ahead for Kevin Rudd in the election campaign? Now that he’s deposed Julia Gillard, what lies ahead for Kevin Rudd in the election campaign? Alan Porritt / AAP

Rudd brings Labor disaster relief, hopes of better

The federal Labor caucus has decided to put aside its disdain for former leader Kevin Rudd and return him to the Labor leadership. The reason for this is simple: with Julia Gillard as leader, Labor was…
The aftermath of the Bali bombing in 2002 that killed dozens of Australians. Do our intelligence services need further investment to prevent such tragedies from occurring again? The aftermath of the Bali bombing in 2002 that killed dozens of Australians. Do our intelligence services need further investment to prevent such tragedies from occurring again? AAP/Dean Lewins

Not so smart: the Coalition intelligence review repeats old mistakes

The Coalition has promised it will “rebuild” Australia’s frontline national security agencies if it wins government at the upcoming election. Shadow attorney general spokesman George Brandis has laid out…
Children don’t have the right to vote - but maybe they should. Children don’t have the right to vote - but maybe they should. www.shutterstock.com

Do future Australians deserve a vote now?

People tend to prefer present gratification to conserving resources for the future. This tendency is made worse by election cycles that encourage politicians to concentrate on policies that will get them…
If Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott continue to lead their parties at the upcoming federal election, we should see a focus on policy, not personality politics. If Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott continue to lead their parties at the upcoming federal election, we should see a focus on policy, not personality politics. AAP/Alan Porritt

Rudd, Gillard or Abbott … do leaders really matter in Australian election campaigns?

Leadership speculation grips Canberra again. With opinion polls pointing to a landslide Coalition victory in September, there are reports that Labor MPs may look to oust prime minister Julia Gillard in…
Your MP may accept climate change is a problem, but is he or she doing enough to fix it? Your MP may accept climate change is a problem, but is he or she doing enough to fix it? AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Your MP won’t act on climate change? Ask the tough questions

Politicians are in the unique position of being able to enact climate policies that can prevent or minimise great harm to millions, if not billions, of people. They have an ethical responsibility to understand…
Australians will vote on constitutional recognition for local government in September - but what are the reasons behind the referendum? Australians will vote on constitutional recognition for local government in September - but what are the reasons behind the referendum? AAP/Sophie Marr

Explainer: why are we having a referendum on local government?

The federal government has announced that Australians will be voting in a referendum on September 14 - federal election day - to decide whether local government should be recognised in the Australian Constitution…
Both sides of politics need to take the carbon tax fight to the election. Both sides of politics need to take the carbon tax fight to the election. Flickr/Leonard John Matthews

Why Labor should fight the 2013 election on climate change

If climate change features prominently in the federal election campaign, it will almost certainly be driven by the Coalition. Under Tony Abbott, the Coalition has long smelled blood in the water on climate…
Despite a promised repeal of the carbon tax, the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan may miss the opportunity to drive energy innovation. Despite a promised repeal of the carbon tax, the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan may miss the opportunity to drive energy innovation. AAP Image

Climate action under an Abbott government

It looks likely that the next Federal Government will be a Tony Abbott-led Coalition Government. Mr Abbott promises, if elected, to repeal the carbon tax. Labor may block that repeal, but if they do Tony…
Opposition leader Tony Abbott is under pressure to drop his signature paid parental leave scheme ahead of this year’s federal election. Opposition leader Tony Abbott is under pressure to drop his signature paid parental leave scheme ahead of this year’s federal election. AAP/Dave Hunt

Are feminists opposing Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme on personality grounds only?

There is an odd consensus emerging between conservative Liberals opposed to their own leader’s paid parental leave scheme and defenders of the Gillard government’s version of the same policy. Into the…
The remaining A$3.5 billion needed to fully fund the NDIS will still need to be found from other sources. The remaining A$3.5 billion needed to fully fund the NDIS will still need to be found from other sources. Image from shutterstock.com

Coalition support for levy just a step along the road to an NDIS

The announcement that opposition leader Tony Abbott will support a 0.5% increase to the Medicare Levy to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) takes the politics out of about half the additional…
Certainty of funding is important and that’s why an income tax levy or premium is the way to go. Certainty of funding is important and that’s why an income tax levy or premium is the way to go. Image from shutterstock.com

Increasing income tax the right choice for a sustainable NDIS

While an income tax increase may be hard to sell to some people in the community in the lead-up to a federal election, it’s the right choice for a sustainable National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS…
Labor has traditionally had a strong support among female voters, but this could be set to change in 2013. Labor has traditionally had a strong support among female voters, but this could be set to change in 2013. AAP/Lukas Coch

Male and female voters: will there be a ‘gender gap’ in 2013?

A “gender dimension” now envelopes national politics unlike anything we have observed in the past. Julia Gillard’s popular but arguably unfair accusation that opposition leader Tony Abbott is a misogynist…
Believing climate change isn’t happening won’t make it go away. Believing climate change isn’t happening won’t make it go away. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Your MP doesn’t ‘believe’ in climate change? Ask the tough questions

As we head into an election, you’d be justified in asking what your local member is basing their climate change decisions on. If your MP says “I don’t support policies to prevent dangerous climate change…
Who has the voter’s eocnomic interests at heart plays the biggest role in determining voter allegiance. Who has the voter’s eocnomic interests at heart plays the biggest role in determining voter allegiance. AAP/Theron Kirkman

Finding a compass on why voters vote the way they do

Graham Richardson, the legendary Labor numbers man, pronounced last week that “if I was religious, I would pray that my long-held view that Labor will be slaughtered under Gillard’s leadership would be…
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s may want an election now, but claiming that is for ‘democracy’ reasons is misleading. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s may want an election now, but claiming that is for ‘democracy’ reasons is misleading. AAP/Lukas Coch

Political expediency, not democracy, behind Abbott’s election calls

Calls for general elections are often made by political parties when things are going well for them. That’s no secret. True to form, opposition leader Tony Abbott has made several appeals to prime minister…
The political show must go on but Labor is running out of time and options if it is to have any hope of avoiding a devastating defeat in this year’s election. The political show must go on but Labor is running out of time and options if it is to have any hope of avoiding a devastating defeat in this year’s election. AAP/Matt Roberts

‘Moving forward’: where does Labor go now?

Labor starts this week still reeling from the “no show” leadership spill and its aftermath. Labor’s electorally disastrous polls are likely to get even worse following those events. Are there any ways…
Often at the centre of electoral debate, what role do marginal seats have to play in this year’s election? Often at the centre of electoral debate, what role do marginal seats have to play in this year’s election? AAP/Stefan Postles

From Western Sydney to Western Australia, how marginal is marginal?

In an election year, perhaps the only thing more inevitable than the major parties’ verbal jousting is the media’s obsession with marginal seats – that handful of bellwether electorates that can supposedly…
Has Julia Gillard’s tour of western Sydney been the vote winner she hoped? The answer is yet to come. Has Julia Gillard’s tour of western Sydney been the vote winner she hoped? The answer is yet to come. Paul Miller/AAP

Julia Gillard’s western Sydney road show: the good, the bad and the ugly

The announcement that Prime Minister Julia Gillard would spend a week in the western suburbs of Sydney was greeted with mild amusement by some, and became the base of jokes about “beige rooms” for others…
Gillard should stop focusing on unions, and start explaining how to pay for progressive policy. Gillard should stop focusing on unions, and start explaining how to pay for progressive policy. AAP/Dave Hunt

Julia Gillard could win the election … by raising taxes

It is ironic that just as our politics become increasingly presidential, so too do the two contending party leaders become increasingly unpopular. Indeed, both parties increasingly campaign as if the choice…
The Coalition’s proposed alternative to “the great big new tax” relies on storing carbon in trees and soil. The Coalition’s proposed alternative to “the great big new tax” relies on storing carbon in trees and soil. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Will the Opposition’s Direct Action Plan work?

The Coalition has promised that if it takes government in September, it will get rid of the price on carbon emissions established by the Australian Labor Party. In its place, the party will implement a…
Melbourne MP Greens Adam Bandt is up for re-election at this year’s federal election. Melbourne MP Greens Adam Bandt is up for re-election at this year’s federal election. Lukas Coch/AAP

The Melbourne microcosm: how one seat may define the Green v Labor fight

The battle for the seat of Melbourne at this year’s federal election will be nothing short of a bruising affair. Melbourne is of enormous symbolic importance to both Labor and the Green Party. For Labor…
Until the Opposition releases its health policy, it’s impossible to know what will happen to the health reform agenda. Until the Opposition releases its health policy, it’s impossible to know what will happen to the health reform agenda. Alejandro Polanco

Election places national health reform at a crossroads

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the federal election will be held in mid-September. So, what will happen to the ambitious program of health reform that the Labor government is in the process…
Key health policy issues that need to be addressed include co-payments, private health insurance and resource allocation. Key health policy issues that need to be addressed include co-payments, private health insurance and resource allocation. AAP/Alan Porritt

Clear thinking needed on election health priorities

There was a time when health policy involved intense ideological conflict along partisan lines. In the 1940s, the Chifley government fought all the way to a constitutional referendum to introduce subsidies…
Julia Gillard has called a September election, will we be able to tell the difference between governing and campaigning? 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…
Now is the time to talk seriously about environment issues, but how likely is it to happen? Now is the time to talk seriously about environment issues, but how likely is it to happen? AAP Image/Penny Bradfield

The environment issues we should be hearing about at this election

The forthcoming Australian election will be a critical one for the environment. The most urgent issue is climate change. We are already seeing the social, economic and environmental impacts of about one…
This election year, taxation, industrial relations and red tape will feature prominently on the business community’s agenda. This election year, taxation, industrial relations and red tape will feature prominently on the business community’s agenda. AAP

This election year, business will push for a triumph of policy over paralysis

The business community was effectively sidelined at the last federal election, and they felt somewhat miffed about it. Business associations were caught flat-footed at the suddenness of Julia Gillard’s…
The prime minister has given the electorate seven and half months to tell her what they want. The prime minister has given the electorate seven and half months to tell her what they want. AAP/Alan Porrit

Community has seven months to put inequality back on the agenda

We have 226 days until the election, and are hearing lots of pious statements about having time for some serious policy debate. But we should use this time to move the policy debates well beyond what the…
Tony Abbott at a press conference after the prime minister announced the election will be held on September 14. Tony Abbott at a press conference after the prime minister announced the election will be held on September 14. AAP/Alan Porritt

Coalition commitment to medical research funding is welcome

It was a big day in political circles yesterday, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard announcing an election date and launching her priorities for the nation. Among the hubbub that followed, an important…
Direct enrolment could mean a longer queue at the ballot box. Direct enrolment could mean a longer queue at the ballot box. AAP/Dave Hunt

How will electoral reform shape the September election?

Following the prime minister’s surprise announcement of a federal election for September 14, attention will inevitably fall on the role Labor’s key electoral reforms may play in the coming contest. Alongside…
Now that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the date of the federal election, can the business community expect more certainty about policy directions? Now that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the date of the federal election, can the business community expect more certainty about policy directions? AAP

PM’s election call is hardly a boon for the business community

Julia Gillard has now confirmed what everyone already knew: there will be an election sometime in August or September this year. We now know the precise date: September 14. That is also the Jewish Day…
Julia Gillard has taken a punt on a long campaign. 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…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard says calling the election now will enable a focus on policies rather then “petty politics”. Prime Minister Julia Gillard says calling the election now will enable a focus on policies rather then “petty politics”. AAP/Alan Porritt

PM surprises with September election announcement

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the date of the 2013 election, with Australia to go to the ballot box on September 14. Ms Gillard today told the National Press Club the move would give certainty…

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