Author: John Warhurst

  • AUSTRALIA

    Minority Government stands the test of time

    • John Warhurst
    • 07 December 2012
    13 Comments

    Whatever happens now there will be no election until March 2013 at the earliest. This means the Gillard Labor Government will go almost full term despite relentless pressure from the Opposition, a hung parliament and a raft of controversies. But survival is not the same as victory. It has come at a cost.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Tony Abbott gender gap

    • John Warhurst
    • 29 October 2012
    21 Comments

    The emphasis on the relationship between Tony Abbott and women is fuelled by opinion polls that consistently show that he is less popular with women voters. However, undue concentration on the role of gender in shaping voter choice serves to downplay other very interesting variations.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Same sex marriage and the republic

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 October 2012
    20 Comments

    If same sex marriage continues to gain momentum around the Western world then the Australian debate will not go away. But should international interest fade then it probably will in Australia too. Whatever the future of the republic debate in Australia it is not of the same international character and therefore harder to sustain.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ethical dilemmas on safari in Africa

    • John Warhurst
    • 14 September 2012
    3 Comments

    I've just returned from a 14-day holiday in Kenya and Uganda. Everywhere you go, you are invited to help the local people in various ways, including financially and through volunteering. In the end we all react differently and in many cases spontaneously to what we see in these situations.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Perils of the Greens' moral vanity

    • John Warhurst
    • 07 August 2012
    13 Comments

    The Greens have been accused of self-righteousness leading to an unwillingness to compromise. Yet the most inflexible party in the current parliament has been the Coalition, led by Tony 'Mr No' Abbott. Getting the balance right between flexibility and maintaining what you stand for is an important lesson for all political parties in parliament.

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  • EDUCATION

    50 years since Australia's 'most poisonous debate'

    • John Warhurst
    • 09 July 2012
    10 Comments

    Labor speechwriter Graham Freudenberg observed that ‘the oldest, deepest, most poisonous debate in Australia has been about government aid to church schools’. The most dramatic episode in the history of church state relations in Australia was the Goulburn schools strike, which took place 50 years ago this month.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Blasting Tony Windsor out of New England

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 July 2012
    6 Comments

    The Nationals have made their first big play for the next federal election. The recruitment of NSW state independent Richard Torbay to challenge New England incumbent Tony Windsor is either a masterstroke or a revealing insight into their problems and weaknesses as a regional and rural political party.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mystery of the pro-Rudd Coalition voters

    • John Warhurst
    • 06 June 2012
    18 Comments

    A Herald/Neilsen poll this week showed that Rudd leads Gillard by 62 per cent to 32 per cent. But that figure is distorted by the overwhelming pro-Rudd preference of Coalition voters, who prefer Rudd to Gillard by 71 per cent to 19 per cent. The motivation behind this preference is not immediately clear.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Christine Milne's chance to scupper an Abbott Senate

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 May 2012
    25 Comments

    To prevent Tony Abbott from having total control of the Senate after the next election, the Greens need to attract votes from otherwise non-Labor voters rather than the easier task of picking up disappointed Labor defectors. The 15 per cent of Coalition-leaning Greens is generally forgotten altogether.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Canned pairs reveal Opposition's fruity strategy

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 March 2012
    9 Comments

    The Opposition has unrelentingly resisted pairs, whereby an MP from one side doesn't vote in order to allow an MP from the other side to be away. Their strategy is to emphasise the closeness of the numbers in parliament. This hardline attitude has recently led to some crazy and downright silly situations.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    All democracies great and small

    • John Warhurst
    • 27 February 2012
    5 Comments

    From strata communities to federal politics, citizens of democracies exhibit similar characteristics. These include limited knowledge and interest, suspicion of office-holders, and assertions of self-interest. Those who stand for election deserve more credit than they often get because they are a small minority.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Long road to the Indigenous referendum

    • John Warhurst
    • 27 January 2012
    11 Comments

    The proposed referendum follows the 2008 Apology to the Stolen Generations and provides an opportunity for this Labor era to be remembered whenever the Indigenous story is told. Passing a referendum is exceptionally difficult and there is no fool-proof recipe for success.

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