Tony Abbott

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Andrew Hastie addresses Liberal volunteers while Tony Abbott looks on. Matt Dawson

Abbott on the nose in Canning but Liberals a nose in front

Julie Bishop, deputy Liberal leader and the most senior minister from Western Australia, has a special interest in the tough Canning byelection contest. Liberal candidate Andrew Hastie, a former SAS officer…
Andrew Hastie (left) is hoping to retain the Western Australian seat of Canning for the Liberal Party. AAP/Sarah Motherwell

The lowdown on the Canning byelection

Two-and-a-half weeks out from polling day, Natalie Mast sat down with elections expert William Bowe to discuss the 12 candidates, the major parties' campaigns, and key issues in Canning.
Few other world leaders are as enthusiastic as Tony Abbott in endorsing coal as ‘good for humanity’. AAP/Dan Peled

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

Australia's failure to lead on climate action marks a stark shift in political priorities in the past decade. The government is all about immediate economic returns whatever the long-term costs.
The Al-Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is home to thousands of the nine million refugees displaced by the conflict in Syria. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed

Australian bombs won’t bring peace to Syria, so why do it?

Australia should keep out of the Syrian conflict. Instead, it should respect the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of disputes by promoting a diplomatic end.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks with a child after laying a wreath on Eddie Mabo’s grave on Mer Island in the Torres Strait on Monday. Tracey Nearmy/AAP

Yes, Mr Abbott, things are ‘a bit out of control’

I think it is a bit out of control and I think it’s important … not just to talk about tighter management … but actually do it. Tony Abbott would have been absolutely right – if he had been speaking about…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott watches the signing of the free trade agreement with China, which he now accuses Labor of opposing for ‘racist’ reasons. Reuters/Lukas Coch

Playing the race card in the China trade deal debate

Charges of racism against Labor for querying aspects of the free trade deal with China are a mark of how much Australian attitudes have changed and how adversarial politics fuels hyperbolic attacks.
An appropriate process for achieving consensus among Indigenous communities is critical to the success of constitutional recognition. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Constitutional recognition: two steps forward after one step back

Tony Abbott’s belated agreement with Indigenous leaders on a consultation process for constitutional recognition is a step in the right direction.
The ABC has, in general, been able to withstand the pressures and (less common) interventions of governments or media barons. AAP/Joel Carrett

Cost of Q&A compromise to ABC independence remains to be seen

The history of the ABC reveals battles lost and won around censorship, concessions made in times of crisis and independence compromised or overturned.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is struggling to contain instability in an openly divided team. Lukas Coch/AAP

A well-functioning cabinet – who are they kidding?

When Kevin Rudd came under attack from some of his ministers for the way he ran his cabinet, it turned out to be the beginning of the end. Now we are seeing Tony Abbott struggling to contain instability…
Royal commissioner Dyson Heydon’s position is untenable, according to Labor Senate leader Penny Wong. Joel Carrett/AAP

Heydon will consider bias claims on Friday

The ACTU will ask the royal commissioner into trade union corruption, Dyson Heydon, to disqualify himself – an application he will hear on Friday.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is frustrated by both leaks and ministers speaking out publicly about the way forward on same-sex marriage. Lukas Coch/AAP

The voters of Canning could have quite a say on Tony Abbott’s leadership

So once again Tony Abbott has told the Coalition partyroom that he’s ticked off his cabinet ministers. Read them the riot act, he said. They seem to be slow learners, those ministers. Or, more to the point…
B.A. Santamaria (left) is the subject of a new biography by political commentator Gerard Henderson. Wikimedia Commons

Book review: Santamaria, A Most Unusual Man

Gerard Henderson has produced a rounded and at times fascinating portrait of B. A. Santamaria. His broad conclusion is that Santamaria was a compelling, skilled and persuasive man who was enormously devoted to his causes.
Dyson Heydon, commissioner for the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption leaves the Royal Commission offices in Sydney on Friday. Joel Carrett/AAP

Heydon’s email trail for Barwick dinner made its Liberal connections clear from the start

In the jargon of the moment, Dyson Heydon – the royal commissioner who has been putting trade union officials and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on the spot – finds himself struggling with the sniff test…

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