Articles on John Howard

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Senator Ian Macdonald, pictured here speaking against the carbon tax in 2014, has since described human-induced climate change as “farcical and fanciful”. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

How climate denial gained a foothold in the Liberal Party, and why it still won’t go away

After fighting the 1990 election on a stronger climate platform than Labor, the following two decades saw an ebb and flow of climate scepticism in the Liberal Party, which still continues today.
Malcolm Turnbull tosses the coin ahead of the politicians versus Canberra Press Gallery cricket match on Sunday. Lukas Coch/AAP

John Howard complicates Malcolm Turnbull’s tax problems

When you are Malcolm Turnbull floundering in the heavy seas of tax reform, it is perhaps unfortunate that the 20th anniversary of the election of the Howard government has come around at this particular…
Labor has accused Stuart Robert of breaching ministerial guidelines by misusing public office. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Will heads roll? Ministerial standards and Stuart Robert

The principle underlying the ministerial standards is that ministers should uphold the public's trust as they wield a great deal of power deriving from their public office.
Philip Ruddock attracted the ire of human rights activists for his actions as a minister in the Howard government. AAP/Dean Lewins

Ruddock as human rights envoy? Don’t scoff too soon

As Australia’s special envoy for human rights, Philip Ruddock will have the chance to change the world instead of listening to other people make suggestions about how it might be done.
Niccolo Machiavelli recognised the absolute importance of dealing with necessity – what we know today as ‘reform’. Santi di Tito

What is this thing called reform?

In our modern age, reform means essentially mastering necessity – taking what steps are necessary to ensure that one’s country survives and prospers.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Environment Minister Mark Butler say the ALP supports renewables but haven’t yet decided whether and how to price carbon. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

The latest turn in the twisty history of Labor’s climate policies

Labor says it hasn't yet decided what climate policy to take to the next election, although this week's leak has bolstered the idea that it will involve carbon pricing – a subject with a long and vexed history for the party.
Tony Abbott risks having same-sex marriage used against him electorally – just as his Liberal Party once tried to use it against Labor. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Why Australia is so far behind the times on same-sex marriage

As opposition leader Bill Shorten prepares to introduce an amendment on Monday to the Marriage Act to legalise same-sex marriage, why has Australia lagged so far behind?
The world is recognising that the issue of same-sex marriage is a matter of what state law, not religious doctrine, says, to the extent that Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel (right) and Gauthier Destenay recently married. EPA/Julien Warnand

Same-sex marriage should not be a matter for a conscience vote

Same-sex marriage is about state recognition of the union between two people and is a political issue. Religious belief can apply in a church and in individual decisions, but not to a secular state.
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.
This Conservative Party leaflet kills three birds with one stone and is a classic example of Lynton Crosby’s campaign strategy. UK Conservative Party/Buzzfeed

Decoding the Crosby campaign: how to find voters and finish first

The British Conservative government’s re-election is the latest and perhaps most startling electoral triumph for Australian political strategist Lynton Crosby. So how did he do it?
Because their votes may be open to negotiation, crossbench senators often have the final say on the form, and passage, of legislation. AAP/Alan Porritt

Scorn the crossbench, ignore Australian political history

Instead of treating crossbenchers in parliament as a source of chaos and an aberration, we should recognise that they play a crucial role in shaping legislation as the constitution provides.

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