keywords: John Warhurst Is Professor Of Political Science At The Australian National University And A Canberra

  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia lags as Shorten leads on same sex marriage

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 June 2015
    71 Comments

    Whatever one's position on the introduction of same sex marriage, it's clear that Australia now lags well behind the Western world, including many comparable countries such as the UK and New Zealand. This contrasts with 120 years ago around the time of Federation, when Australia was a leader on issues such as votes for women, other democratic reforms such as the secret ballot, and a living wage. Our country is now a laggard.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Give sporting politicians a sporting chance

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 April 2015
    7 Comments

    Despite often treating sports people uncritically as celebrities, Australians are ambivalent about their place in public life. Former Howard government minister Peter Reith launched an unfair personal attack on former champion Canberra Raiders rugby league forward Senator Glenn Lazarus after he defected from the Palmer United Party. The general lesson from the example of Lazarus - who is actually quietly capable - is that he is as well suited as the parliamentarians who have been lawyers, blacksmiths, builders, business and army people.

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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

    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

    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

    Beware conservative slogans for Indigenous inclusion

    • John Warhurst
    • 31 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
    • 03 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

    The forgotten Nationals

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Kevin's bounce

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 July 2013
    17 Comments

    No one knows whether Kevin Rudd's positive impact on Labor's vote will last. While the potential bounce was long predicted by the opinion polls they could never tell us why. But then again he has always been an enigma. His immediate record of popularity after becoming Opposition Leader in 2006 was equally astounding. As the Rudd-Tony Abbott contest begins afresh there is a lot more that we need to know. 

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