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Articles on US Senate

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Parties who gained a very small first preference vote look set to be elected to Victoria’s upper house. AAP/Luis Enrique Ascui

How to make Australia’s upper houses truly democratic

The final count for Victoria’s Legislative Council is still some days away, but it appears members elected from micro-parties will hold the balance of power in the upper house. This will be a challenge…
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback was re-elected despite a tight fight over his tax cuts and resulting deficit, which were revealed to be worse than expected just days after the election. Reuters

Brownback’s Kansas tax experiment may prove death knell for corporate reform

Republican gains in this month’s election, which handed the GOP united control of Congress for the first time since 2006, have lifted hopes that the government can pass corporate tax reform next year…
The man to watch: new Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Midterms 2014: a little big day

No denying it, Tuesday was a big day for Republicans. They took control of the Senate, expanded their majority in the House, and added to the number of governorships they hold. The Senate outcome is rightly…
They are all Republicans but do these senators agree on US foreign policy? Larry Downing/Reuters

GOP: united against Obama, divided on American foreign policy

The midterm elections have come and gone. After months of speculation, the results were largely predictable. The Republicans solidified their position in the House and took the Senate. A sixth year president’s…
Nothing but corn as far as the eye can see Timothy M. Hagle

As Iowa goes, so goes the nation – maybe

Every four years Iowa begins the presidential nomination process with the Iowa Caucuses. The start of caucus season is also the start of complaints by those who object to Iowa going first in the nomination…
Attendees photograph Hillary Clinton speaking at Pennsylvania rally in support of Democratic candidate for governor. Mark Makela/Reuters

Midterm politics: the back story is the thing

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look…
The poorest households already spend more than a fifth of their disposable income on health care. Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Higher health co-payments will hit the most vulnerable

Many poor families already pay a significant proportion of their household income on health care co-payments and will face increasing financial pressure with a proposed additional A$7 charge, according…
The government has manoeuvred itself into a position where its bluster has made it vulnerable to Clive Palmer’s bluster in the Senate. AAP/Lukas Coch

Early missteps show Abbott needs a plan B to deal with the Senate

Last week, television news presented grabs of former prime minister John Howard arriving in Canberra. It is unknown if Howard was there to share his wisdom with Coalition MPs on how to deal with minor…
Even before it was born, the carbon price had plenty of friends – and lots of enemies. Shutterstock

Obituary: Australia’s carbon price

The Carbon Pricing Mechanism, known to its friends as the carbon price and its critics as the carbon tax, passed away today in Canberra, aged two, after a long battle with slogans. While it won praise…
By working collaboratively with the new crossbench senators, the government could expand its thinking and avoid being captured by a narrow worldview. AAP/Lukas Coch

The new Senate could be Abbott’s obstacle – or an opportunity

From today, Australia has a new-look Senate. Twelve new and 64 returning senators will take their seats on the red chamber’s plush leather benches for next week’s sitting. With them comes a major shift…
If Clive Palmer wants one thing and his new bloc of senators another, then the Palmer United Party may find itself less united than its name suggests. AAP/Paul Miller

Heeding history: will Clive and his senators last the distance?

A soldier, an engineer and a rugby league player walk into federal parliament. It sounds like the opening line of a bawdy joke, or the premise of a reality TV show. But on July 1, three senators from the…
Motoring Enthusiast Party senator-elect Ricky Muir has reaffirmed his place in the PUP senate voting bloc. AAP/Alan Porritt

Ricky Muir says he will be solid with PUP – usually

Motoring Enthusiast Party senator-elect Ricky Muir has reaffirmed his unity with the Palmer United Party, as Clive Palmer…
Following the announcement of the budget, a mass of legislation to implement the new policies and allow the government to spend money is introduced into parliament. AAP/Lukas Coch

Explainer: can the Senate block the budget?

In the days since the Abbott government released its first budget, the Labor Party, the Greens and the Palmer United Party have all said they will block parts of it in the Senate. Threats to block the…

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