Australian politics

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Treasurer Joe Hockey’s failure to talk about basic measures of the economy in his second budget speech is telling. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Three missing letters say it all about Hockey’s budget pitch

A budget speech that fails to discuss basic measures of how the economy going is revealing in itself. Joe Hockey is the first treasurer since at least 1981 not to mention GDP.
It was a novelty when Conservative leader David Cameron had to enlist Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg’s support to govern, but Britons may have to get used to minority government. EPA/Andy Rain

What Westminster can learn from minority government in Australia

The UK is poised for another minority government, this time possibly with a hung parliament. Australia's long experience of such arrangements offers lessons in how to manage minority government.
Young people take a keen interest in key policy areas such as climate change – the main problem is a lack of government engagement with them on such intergenerational issues. AAP/Newzulu/Zoe Reynolds

How to engage youth in making policies that work for us all

Lack of youth involvement in politics is often attributed to lack of interest. But my research indicates the bigger barrier is government capacity to listen to and work with young people’s views.
While selfies have become a staple of political life, voters' loyalty beyond the moment can no longer be taken for granted – a new reality the major parties must adapt to if they want to survive. Lukas Coch/AAP

Australian politics' Kodak moment spells trouble for the major parties

The same forces of disruption that are changing industries and economies around the world are now having a discernible effect on Australian politics – and that's bad news for the major parties.
There’ll be a lot of strategic thinking going into the vote during the Liberal leadership spill. AAP

Game (theory) of thrones in the Liberal leadership spill

How might Liberal MPs vote in the upcoming leadership spill? The answer to that question is vastly more complicated than it might seem. Ostensibly, they will be voting for the best political leader amongst…
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese worries that a depleted press gallery is affecting the quality of political reporting. AAP/Lukas Coch

Quality of politics and political reporting is a two-way street

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese recently bemoaned the decline in the quality of political reporting in Australia. Albanese is not the first current or ex-politician to question the standard of reporting…
Federal MP Clive Palmer vowed to block the budget’s ‘horrific cuts’ in his Queensland Media Club address this week. AAP/Dan Peled

Populist Palmer drops his jester act to appeal to middle Australia

It looks like there’s a new Clive Palmer in town. At Monday’s Queensland Media Club lunch in Brisbane, where the Palmer United Party (PUP) leader talked down the federal budget and spruiked his own ideas…
Christopher Pyne wants to purge the national curriculum of political ‘bias’, but the curriculum is nearly party-politics free. AAP/Dan Peled

A lesson for Christopher Pyne: kids hate political history

Announcing his review into the national curriculum late last week, education minister Christopher Pyne said that the government fears it has a partisan leaning towards leftist politics and doesn’t recognise…
The government needs nearly all of the 22 votes that National Party leader Warren Truss can deliver to guarantee passage of its legislation. AAP Image/Dan Peled

Libs vs Nats: GrainCorp stoush shows cracks run deep in the Coalition

Socrates once observed that no-one could be a statesman if they were entirely ignorant of the problem of wheat. Once again wheat – or, more precisely, grain handling and the sale of GrainCorp – is drawing…
Morrison is attempting to shore up his political defences on Operation Sovereign Borders. AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts

Morrison reacts to heat over politicising the military

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison loves to cast the battle against the boats in military terms. So we might apply that language to assess the continuing struggle between government and media over the…
Kevin Rudd leaves parliament with his future as uncertain as his legacy. AAP/Daniel Munoz

The Rudd legacy: we need to talk about Kevin … or do we?

Should we care about Kevin Rudd’s legacy? Will anyone care? Australian political historians gaze with envy at the United States, where past presidents are revered and books about the “founding fathers…
As the 44th parliament opens, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said an Indigenous PM will be possible one day soon. AAP Image/Daniel Munoz

Abbott looks forward to Indigenous PM

Tony Abbott says he hopes Australia will have an Indigenous prime minister “one day, not too far off”. Addressing the Welcome…
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen says Hockey wants a big heft in debt ceiling so he won’t have to come back to Parliament again. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Labor plays hardball on debt ceiling – as well as on mining tax and carbon price

The opposition is going into the new parliament with something of the “relentlessly negative” frame of mind that it used to attack in Tony Abbott. It will try to deny the government its way on the three…

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