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Articles on US Senate

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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…
The impending disaster for Julia Gillard’s government at the federal election could also spell trouble for the hopes of the Greens in the Senate. AAP/Alan Porritt

Labor’s unpopularity could be a disaster for the Greens in the Senate too

The publicly available opinion polls are in agreement about the fate of the Labor government. A landslide defeat in the House of Representatives is looming, the magnitude of which might place Julia Gillard…
Foreign minister Bob Carr is the highest profile of the six current senators appointed after a vacancy, rather than elected by the public. AAP/Dean Lewins

Unelected ‘swill’: how Australia’s upper houses could be more democratic

A casual vacancy in the Victorian Legislative Council has now been filled. The replacement member for the Western Metropolitan Region in the upper house, union official Cesar Melhem, enters Victorian parliament…

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