Election 2013

Analysis and Comment

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…
Bronwyn Bishop will become the 29th Speaker in the House of Representatives. AAP/Alan Porritt

Bronwyn Bishop to be Speaker

Liberal frontbencher Bronwyn Bishop has accepted the job of Speaker in the House of Representatives – despite making it known…
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…
Both the Labor and Liberals see infrastructure as a crucial economic driver; but Chinese investment in this area has been politicised. AAP

Infrastructure prime minister must face Chinese elephant in room

Tony Abbott wants to be known as the infrastructure prime minister. He could be remembered for building roads and scrapping high-speed rail. But the role of Chinese finance and technical expertise in infrastructure…
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…
The Coalition will retain the Labor government’s onshore extension of the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax. AAP

Coalition to axe mining tax, but petroleum will keep on giving

Along with repealing the carbon tax, scrapping the mining tax is one of the Abbott government’s first orders of business. Deeming it damaging for jobs and investment, Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised…
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…
Former News Corp Australia chief executive Kim Williams speaking with journalist Kerry O'Brien at a QUT business leaders’ forum. Kim Stephens/Brisbane Times

Former News Corp chief plays coy on election coverage

In his first major speech since his sudden resignation last month as News Corp Australia’s chief executive, Kim Williams had the packed Grand Ballroom at Brisbane’s Hilton hotel abuzz with speculation…
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has signalled he’d like to see the history curriculum change. But is it a good idea for government to intervene? AAP Image/AFP Pool, Saeed Khan

Culture wars II: why Abbott should leave the history curriculum alone

In the last week of the campaign, some naggingly familiar comments came out from the Coalition. Then opposition leader Tony Abbott said he wanted to see the national curriculum in history changed because…
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. 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…
And the overall winner? The advertising agencies and media. AAP

Election 2013 advertising wars: the winners and grinners

The election is over, and the result was pretty much as expected, according to the commentators, polls, and the betting companies. Yet, despite the predicted outcome, Australians were bombarded with ad…
Howard moved Abbott to health to solve a major political problem for his government: bulk-billing rates. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Medicare’s best friend? Lessons from Abbott’s days as health minister

The Coalition revealed little of the new government’s health agenda during the election campaign, but Tony Abbott was minister for health and ageing in the Howard government from October 2003 until the…

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Quote of the Day

'I think the people smugglers now know that things are going to be very, very different in this country and in the seas to our north. PM-elect Tony Abbott will enforce a hardline on boat arrivals as a high priority in government.

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