Why Labor should let Joe Hockey's budget through
In voting down the harshest aspects of the budget to avoid a catastrophe, Labor politicians are potentially denying themselves the chance to win back office in just three years
Despite the horrors an unpopular budget and a hung Senate have created for the Abbott government, I can't help but think that over the longer term, the Labor opposition is letting its opponents off the hook. By voting down some of the more unpopular measures in the budget, like the $7 Medicare [...]
Barry O'Farrell's Recurring Memory Loss
The excuses are already being trotted out for Barry O'Farrell following his resignation for misleading ICAC about an expensive gift from a businessman under investigation for corruption.
Before everyone starts buying the "poor old Barry, he did the honourable thing" line, let's look at what actually happened and why his memory loss defence just doesn't stack up.
It is now accepted by O'Farrell that in 2011 he actually received a $3000 bottle of wine from Nick [...]
Its Time For Labor To Revisit Its Relationship With Unions
Bill Shorten has made a commendable start in opening up the debate on the relationship between the Labor Party and unions. However, the proposed changes don't come anywhere near to breaking the grip that certain secretaries of affiliated unions have on the decision making processes in the ALP.
The case for historic and fundamental changes to the structure of the Labor Party is overwhelming - in part because the declining influence of unions in the workplace is in inverse [...]
Abbott Government Slides Between Libertarian And Plain Old Conservative.
This piece was also posted in The Drum
Last week was a damaging one for Tony Abbott. Two events - his bungled attempt to retreat from our legal commitment to preventing certain racist utterances and his surprise announcement that imperial honours will be returned - could both damage him in the eyes of middle Australia over the longer term. They also demonstrate [...]
The Rudd Rebellion is out today
My book, The Rudd Rebellion: The Campaign to Save Labor, is now available to buy.
To thank you for your ongoing support, Melbourne University Press would like to offer you a special 20% discount on either the print or ebook edition if you order directly from MUP.
Click here to buy the book, and [...]
A Leadership Ballot for Labor Leader is Critically Important if the Party is to Grow
It is critically important to the future of the Australian Labor Party that there is a rank and file vote for the next Leader. If the Party is to grow it must broaden its base. The best way of doing that is to give branch members a say in who their next Parliamentary Leader will be.
The reforms that Kevin Rudd introduced in July this year create two electoral colleges within the Labor Party to elect the Parliamentary Leader. 50% of the vote will come from [...]
Compulsory electoral funding steers politics away from the people
This article originally appeared on the Drum.
Now that the dust is settling on the ill-fated Electoral Funding Bill, I will set out my reasons for opposing an expansion of public funding of political parties.
Surely the best test of whether a political party is connecting with the public is its ability to increase its membership and raise its campaign funds from people who support the aims of that [...]
Even British Tories Allow a Conscience Vote on Gay Marriage, Why Won't Tony Abbott?
This was an historic week in the British Parliament as the House of Commons voted to allow gay marriage. Now the only obstacle of sorts to the measure is the House of Lords as the Conservative Party's hard right grouping looks for ways to prevent the bill's final passage into law.
The bill passed through the Commons by a big margin of 366 to 161 in a day where two ministers voted against the bill and other Conservatives urged the unrepresentative House of Lords to block the [...]
The Return of Howard's History Wars
Here we go again. As if on cue, the Liberal Party, smelling victory, has launched an assault on the way our history is presented in the new national curriculum.
Yesterday the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Christopher Pyne has attacked the national history curriculum by "putting Aboriginal and multicultural [...]
Julia Gillard: bureaucratic language plus polly-slogans ends in a failure to connect
My blog back in February about the dearth of great political speeches in Australia struck a chord with former ABC correspondent, David Hardaker. David began his professional career as a speechwriter in NSW and then Canberra in the early 80s before crossing into journalism. He has penned a guest blog in which he analyses the style of PM, Julia Gillard, and zeroes in on [...]