Articles on US Senate

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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…
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 PUP bloc will only be able to act on issues the major parties disagree on. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Why Palmer’s pups are unlikely to block the Senate

If you believe the recent media reports about the composition of the Senate from July 1 next year, you’d think we were facing three years of the Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party (PUP) “bloc” holding…
The Palmer United Party’s three senators-elect have formed a voting ‘bloc’ with the Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party’s Ricky Muir, further consolidating the former party’s position in Australian politics. AAP/Paul Miller

Palmer set to be in the new Senate’s driving seat

The 2013 Senate election was a triumph for new minor parties as complex preference deals catapulted them from obscurity and into federal parliament. While all these small party senators - in addition to…
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…
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…

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