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Gillard becomes PM

Published in the Australian on 24 June 2010
Forget loyalty to the leader or “ the Labor way”. The federal ALP partyroom should do what it thinks gives it the best chance of winning the election. Either it was in their electoral interests to replace Kevin Rudd with Julia Gillard or it was not.
It was not. [...]

Another Julia

First published in the Australian 17 March 2013
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard was a wildly popular politician, in the community and across the political divide, widely seen as engaging, intelligent, charming and good at her job. The high esteem even extended to conservative commentators.
Andrew Bolt confessed a “secret passion for Julia Gillard” whom he found “warm [...]

It’s not just the numbers

None of us are getting off this planet alive. We’ve all got to go sometime. But are all deaths equal?
You might die peacefully, medicated, surrounded by loved ones. Or instantly in a head-on collision. Or spend your last 24 hours suffering unthinkable degradation and pain at the hands of serial killer Ivan Milat, or burnt [...]

Why the ALP should preselect more union leaders

- First published in the Australian on 1 March 2014
New research reveals that contrary to popular belief, it would be in the interests of the federal Labor Party to preselect more, not fewer, former union leaders as candidates.
Researchers at an elite unit at the University of the Australian Capital Territory have analysed statistical returns for [...]

Polemics won’t do it

- First published in the Australian, 12 January 2015
IN the wake of the Islamic terrorist killings in Paris, let’s get a few things straight.
The pen is not really mightier than the sword. That’s just a nice line picked up from an old book. Napoleon Bonaparte isn’t a huge figure in global history because he crafted [...]

Voter ID coming to Qld

– Originally published in the Australian on 28 November 2013
VOTER ID COMING TO QUEENSLAND
QUEENSLAND’s Newman government is set to bring in voter identification requirements.
They are part of the Electoral Amendment Reform Bill 2013 which, as the LNP has about 90 per cent of the seats in the state’s single house of parliament, stands an [...]

Newspoll net “good for economy”

In my opinion the best Newspoll measure of the political worth of a budget. What will the next instalment bring?
(Question: “Thinking of the federal budget handed down by the treasurer (name), recently. Overall do you believe the budget will be good or bad for the Australian economy? If good do you believe it will be [...]

Revenge of the auditors

- First published in the Australian 17 November 2014
IT’S now a little over a year since the Australian Electoral Commission discovered that 1, 370 ballot papers were missing from the recount of Western Australia’s Senate vote for the 2013 federal election. Worse, much worse, was that the closeness of the count made an expensive re-election [...]

Wrong promise broken

- First published in the Australian 19 October 2011
The carbon pricing bills that passed the House of Representatives last week represent a broken promise by Prime Minister Julia Gillard. But it’s not the one everyone seems to think.
In this paper’s Media section on Monday Errol Simper was very scathing of Julia Gillard for breaking her [...]

South Australia, William Boothby & the development of Australian electoral institutions

In 2012 I gave a talk in Adelaide’s Parliament House to the Electoral Regulation Research Network. It was a short version of the main findings of my PhD thesis, with the boring bits taken out.
It deals with the development of South Australia’s electoral apparatus in the second half of the nineteenth century. It was the [...]