Author: John Warhurst

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor's poor political antennae

    • John Warhurst
    • 29 May 2011
    10 Comments

    The Government's free set-top box scheme is facing community and Opposition claims that it is wasteful and will tempt rorters and shysters. What should be a feel-good scheme has become a cavalcade of the disgruntled. This tells us a lot about politics and policy-making.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Greens' and Abbott's guilt by association

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 May 2011
    3 Comments

    Political alliances can be strategically useful, but leaders must be careful not to appear too close to extreme groups. Tony Abbott and the NSW Greens have experienced 'guilt by association' in recent times, but the concept has a long history in Australian politics.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Small parties, big ideas

    • John Warhurst
    • 28 March 2011
    6 Comments

    More Labor and Coalition MPs than Green MPs are pro gay marriage and pro euthanasia. It is these major party social progressives who should be most feared by opponents of gay marriage and euthanasia. The Greens will only ever play a ginger-group role.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Old men behaving badly

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 March 2011
    15 Comments

    Old men are hard to top when it comes to abuse of power: Egypt's Mubarak is 82, Italy's Berlusconi is 74, and Zimbabwe's Mugabe is 88. There are good arguments for removing leaders once they reach 'a certain age', even in relatively benign democracies such as Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Lessons about Australian identity from 'The King's Speech'

    • John Warhurst
    • 25 January 2011
    18 Comments

    Some advocates of monarchy have jumped on the film The King's Speech as evidence that Australia needs a monarch. Monarchists often argue like this when they want to personalise the constitutional debate by concentrating on a member of the Royal family with attractive features.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dangers of Indigenous referendum

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 December 2010
    5 Comments

    The debate about the Indigenous constitutional referendum proposed by the Gillard Government is heading in a dangerous direction. Naysayers will not defeat it. What may defeat it is division among those who are supporters in principle but not supporters of the particular proposal.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The religious beliefs of Australia's prime ministers

    • John Warhurst
    • 11 November 2010
    12 Comments

    Nine prime ministers have been observant Christians. Two have been conventional Christians. Ten have been nominal Christians. Five have been articulate atheists or agnostics. One was a nominal atheist or agnostic.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Political opposition need not be nasty

    • John Warhurst
    • 03 November 2010
    16 Comments

    Adversarial politics can be seen as a necessary and positive aspect of Westminster style parliamentary politics. This does not include needless aggression that is expressed in a nasty tone and apparent anger.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rehabilitating Rudd and Turnbull

    • John Warhurst
    • 27 September 2010
    6 Comments

    Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull's past faults and misdemeanours have been forgotten and they have been charged with new responsibilities at the heart of Australia's domestic and international futures. The new leaders must wish their vanquished colleagues great success. But not too much.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The perils of holding the balance of power

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 August 2010
    10 Comments

    Though the Independents are raising expectations about a 'new politics', the forces behind the status quo are strong and the public is fickle. If they fail to deliver they might eventually suffer a backlash, like Kevin Rudd and the Democrats before them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The election Rudd could have won

    • John Warhurst
    • 23 August 2010
    32 Comments

    The result suggests some fascinating questions. Prime among them is whether Labor panicked and threw away this election when it deposed Kevin Rudd and replaced him with Julia Gillard in June. Would Rudd have done better? The answer is probably yes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nothing underhanded about Labor-Greens deal

    • John Warhurst
    • 27 July 2010
    18 Comments

    Appearing last week on ABC1's Q+A, Julie Bishop claimed that following a preference deal with the Labor Party, the Greens were now effectively a Labor faction. Preference deals areĀ as old as the preferential system itself. The impact of these deals should not be exaggerated.

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