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Jacqui Lambie has signalled she will play hardball on a number of key issues to get what she wants in exchange for her vote. AAP/Lukas Coch

Jacqui Lambie mixes battler politics with populism to make her swing vote count

Back for a second stint in the Senate, the Tasmanian finds herself with unprecedented power, holding the crucial swing vote on several key issues in the government's agenda.
Despite declining gun fatalities, there should be no room for complacency in Australia, with an estimated 260,000 illegal guns in Australia – including this MP5K 9mm machine gun, seized in Queensland in 2013. Dan Peled/AAP

Good news: fatal shootings are now less common in Australia, NZ, Canada and even the US

The rate of fatal shootings has fallen in Australia, the US and other nations in recent decades. Yet anti- and pro-gun ideology still makes it hard to have a sensible discussion about gun violence.
Senator Jacqui Lambie has voted against changes to the Future of Financial Advice reforms. Alan Porritt/AAP

FOFA fiasco: no quick fix for the advice industry

Last week brought the latest instalment in the continuing Australian financial planning industry saga. Senators Jacqui Lambie and Ricky Muir blocked the Abbott government’s rollback of some of Labor’s…
Ever since arriving in Canberra in July, Senator Jacqui Lambie has had the media in a spin. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

A Lambie loose in the top paddock of Parliament

If a movie is ever made about the life of the well-known PUP senator from Tasmania, we can be sure it won’t be titled “Silence of the Lambie”. After a little over two months in public life, quiet and stillness…
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…
Leader of the House Christopher Pyne and Environment Minister Greg Hunt when the carbon tax repeal passed through the lower house on Monday. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Carbon tax repeal raises long-term risks for Australian business

The bill to repeal Australia’s “carbon tax” is poised to pass the Senate, potentially leaving Australia without a working price on carbon. In the short term, the repeal may provide some relief for businesses…
With so many choices ‘below the line’ how are voters confident they’ve ranked candidates correctly? AAP/Dean Lewins

Humans struggle with decisions – why make elections so difficult?

It’s been a crazy year for decision making. Not only did we have an election, we now have the threat of a double dissolution if the Federal Senate keeps knocking back bills from the House of Representatives…
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…
Preference deals and a propensity for people to vote ‘above the line’ gives microparties like Rise Up Australia a greater chance of being elected to the Senate. AAP/Julian Smith

Explainer: how does the Senate voting system work?

The record large Senate ballot papers have probably already annoyed many early voters. Their great length - over a metre in NSW and Victoria – will soon annoy many more voters. However, the real annoyance…

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