Search Results: John Warhurst is Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University and a Canberra

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Going to war is a decision for parliament

    • John Warhurst
    • 29 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
    • 25 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
    • 27 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
    • 29 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
    • 01 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
    • 08 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
    • 31 March 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
    • 03 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Beware conservative slogans for Indigenous inclusion

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 January 2014
    5 Comments

    The idea of a completed Constitution may be attractive, but it is also dangerous. To complete something is to end, conclude or finish it. Alternatively something which is complete is perfect, full or entire. Such language is inappropriate when discussing a constitution. Advocates for constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians should beware of it even if it improves the immediate chances of passing any particular constitutional change.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    G-G Bryce breaks bold not bland

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 December 2013
    23 Comments

    Governor-General Quentin Bryce's brief interventions on same sex marriage and the republic, though careful and aspirational, may submerge her earlier thoughts. She may come to regret not delaying them until after she leaves office. But more attention has been focused on the monarchy-republic issue when really the more instructive issue for the office of governor-general is the same sex marriage question.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Big and little crooks of politics

    • John Warhurst
    • 31 October 2013
    12 Comments

    Unethical misconduct by public figures, proven and alleged, is in the public eye almost daily. No one is above suspicion, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Is it a case of a few bad apples or are there systemic problems? There are levels of seriousness in these cases and it is helpful to disaggregate them to keep a sense of perspective.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The forgotten Nationals

    • John Warhurst
    • 07 October 2013

    After a successful federal election the Nationals are nestled in a comfortable governing relationship as the junior partner of the Liberals. They can laugh at all those critics who for so long have predicted their demise. But they are out of sight. They could make an important contribution to the diversity of the Australian party system, but although the surface picture looks rosy it is at the cost of greatly diminished independence.

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