Articles on Parliament

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Accusations against Peter Slipper have prompted him to step aside as speaker. AAP Image/Penny Bradfield

Slipper saga begs the question – do we need a speaker at all?

Speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper has stepped aside following allegations of sexual harassment and the misuse of cab-charge vouchers. Slipper’s former adviser James Ashby accused the…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott are not doing Australian politics any favours. AAP

How can Australia’s politics be improved?

Imagine a country in which politics is not a struggle among ambitious individuals for power, but the community’s way of resolving conflicts and advancing its common interests. Voters are well-educated…
Tony Abbott and Julia Gillard are not seeing eye to eye on pairing. AAP/Alan Porritt

Petty politics: The perils of parliamentary pairing

The decision last month by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to severely restrict the practice of “pairing” votes in Parliament is another demonstration of the fractious and polarised state of federal politics…
Senator Nick Xenophon has used parliamentary privilege to name an alleged sex offender. AAP

Nick Xenophon and the shield of parliamentary privilege

Senator Nick Xenophon has caused controversy after claiming a South Australian priest is a sex offender. Speaking in the Senate - and thus under the legal shield of parliamentary privilege - Xenophon revealed…
Julia Gillard needs a ‘circuit breaker’ to turn the polls around. AAP/Andrew Taylor

A party in search of a story: why so few are listening to Labor

The Gillard Government just can’t sell its message. That was the view of independent MP Andrew Wilkie speaking on ABC Radio National this week. Recent opinion polls confirm the government has communication…
Personal credibility is what convinces voters. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott comes out swinging but is light on detail

As a boxer Tony Abbott had a limited but effective method described by some as “the whirling dervish”. He was full of energy and on the attack with arms swinging. It was a tactic that could work for the…

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