Search Results: John Warhurst

  • AUSTRALIA

    State elections the biggest opinion poll of all

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 March 2015
    6 Comments

    The Victorian state election that ushered out the Napthine Coalition government last November was a wake-up call for the Federal government. The amazing Queensland state defeat for Campbell Newman in late January brought on on the Spill against Tony Abbott. But the NSW election at the end of this month is an ambiguous marker.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The PM's taste for old blood

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 January 2015
    5 Comments

    Tony Abbott's preoccupation with knights and dames, together with his unilateral award of a knighthood to the Duke of Edinburgh, is evidence of his attraction to the past more than the future. Likewise his December Cabinet reshuffle was not a serious effort at renewal. He shuffled the existing deck of cards but didn't introduce many new ones at the senior level.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Is there a defence vote?

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 December 2014
    4 Comments

    The wider Defence community is now ascendant in the Australian community, yet the ADF has still suffered an effective cut in pay. Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie is projecting herself as the defender of defence personnel and promising to vote against all government policy until the pay offer is upgraded. But there are strong reasons to suggest defence welfare may not have much of a political impact at the next election.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Australian Christian Lobby will not go away

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 November 2014
    13 Comments

    The ACL's recent national conference was held in Canberra and featured Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as keynote speaker. Appearances at the lobby's conferences have become something of a political rite of passage in recent years. Despite serious academic criticism from Professor Rodney Smith of the University of Sydney questioning its claims to political influence, it is now established in the top echelon of lobbying groups.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Going to war is a decision for parliament

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 September 2014
    11 Comments

    The difference between the approach by the British and Australian governments is striking. In Britain, Prime Minister Cameron, despite having a large majority, made the parliamentary debate in Westminster central, while in Australia Prime Minister Abbott spoke only of 'updating' the Parliament on his return from New York. There should be greater involvement by Parliament in Australia for reasons both of substance and symbolism.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Corruption and atonement in NSW

    • John Warhurst
    • 26 August 2014
    5 Comments

    Both sides of NSW politics claim to have turned over a new leaf and support tough new lobbying regulations, separating paid lobbyists from party office-holding, and increased transparency surrounding all dealings with ministers. But at the heart of the shambles are not commercial lobbyists but personal and institutional ethical failure, often driven by the lure of self-interest and advantage whether it is in getting elected or in feathering their own nest.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    All eyes on our MH17 mourners in chief

    • John Warhurst
    • 28 July 2014
    13 Comments

    Our national mourning following the recent airline tragedy is spontaneous and scattered but also requires leadership. This is primarily a job for our elected or appointed leaders. This means Prime Ministers and Premiers and Governors-General and Governors. The awful tragedy comes at a time when the federal government is lagging badly in public opinion. It will be fascinating to see how their performance is judged in the next polls.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abuse and corruption the Australian way

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 June 2014
    16 Comments

    We should open our eyes and take in what multiple government inquiries, among them the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, are telling us about Australian society. It is not enough to focus on just one; we should consider the revelations cumulatively. It is little exaggeration to say that almost no major institution in our society, public or private, has been left untouched. We should join the dots and cry.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Underdog PUP could bite Abbott

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 June 2014
    2 Comments

    The Budget will be the first test. The negotiations will set the scene for the remainder of this parliamentary term. Palmer, an enigma, has already survived longer than many of his critics thought he would. In fact he has grown in confidence and reputation rather than falling in a heap. What the Greens have to guard against are some of the traps that the Democrats fell into. They look pretty disciplined at the moment but that can't be guaranteed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Probing the political culture of corruption in NSW

    • John Warhurst
    • 09 May 2014
    9 Comments

    The Independent Commission against Corruption in New South Wales continues to provide stunning insights into the compromised relationship between the major political parties and government in that state. It has moved on from Labor to the Liberal party and from political lobbying to political donations. But the essence of the story remains the same. Casual self-interest reigns, and the culture of political life at the top-end is corrupted.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor needs the Liberal Left

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 April 2014
    6 Comments

    In a party in which conservatives are dominant, life is rarely easy for centrist Liberals. They are a cultural minority within their own party and can be criticised for rocking the boat when their party is on a roll. Those who are further to the left, including Labor and the Greens, should not just hope that the Liberal Left is heard loud and clear, but they should respect and nurture this strand of liberalism.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    In the half-light of insider politics

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 March 2014
    3 Comments

    The general lessons from the conflict of interest that claimed Alastair Furnival, chief of staff to Assistant Health Minister Senator Fiona Nash, are about the often-hidden world of political insiders. The numbers of Coalition aligned lobbyists has grown greatly, and include many former senior Howard Government ministers. But Labor supporters should not feel smug. There are plenty of examples on that side of politics, too.

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