Brexit

Over the weekend I was asked by the Election Watch team at the University of Melbourne to comment on the polling conducted for the Brexit referendum. The article that came out of this can be found somewhere on their blog, I'm sure. Here are the comments I provided in full (questions are bolded): 1. What do the …

Are there political differences between Sydney and Melbourne?

  Even a casual observer of Australian politics will likely know that the Coalition tends to do better in some areas, and Labor in others. However, some important patterns are missed, either because geographic variation is often examined at the electorate level (sometimes obscuring important variation within divisions, which can be relatively large sptial areas) or because the mapping …

Did Malcolm Fraser briefly shift the divisions of Australian politics?

Today we lost Malcolm Fraser, Australia's fourth longest serving prime minister (1975-83) and a man truly dedicated to public service. He may have also (briefly) changed the divisions of Australian politics in ways consistent with his later socially progressive activities. Much has been written about his time in office, as well as his contribution to public life since he …

Albrechtsen misses part of the story on the difficulties of reform

In a recent article in the Australian ($),*  columnist Janet Albrechtsen claims the primary reason the current federal government is having trouble getting it's economic reforms through Parliament is that people are not willing to make the needed sacrifices required to balance the budget and make government spending sustainable. Although I don't disagree with everything in her article, I …

The idea contentious political issues can be solved with common sense…

... ignores the reality of politics. Last week, current Reserve Bank board member and former Australian Industry Group CEO Heather Ridout announced ($) she would like to form a 'Normal People's Party'. I'm not entirely sure what a normal person is, but Ms Ridout claimed her party would be able to support such a person. She provided some …

Why legislative gridlock may be better than, well… actually legislating

A post I started several months ago and never finished. Apologies for the late posting, but it's still probably worth while. There's an interesting post at the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog, by Stanford University's Morris Fiorina. The article makes the argument it may be better if it is difficult for government and legislators to implement their agenda. I think it's a …