Australian Politics


With Coalition, money talks policy walks

By Leith van Onselen One of the most disturbing trends from this Coalition Government is the blatant extent to which they are willing to jettison sound policy or offer political favours for campaign donations or other forms of remuneration. Throughout the post-election period, we have witnessed the so-called “ginger group” of conservative MPs rally against


A Minister for everything except housing

It’s the biggest gubmint since Malcolm Fraser with 23 Cabinet positions and another seven outer ministries, courtesy of The Australian: As well as the usual portfolios, there’s a: Minister for H2O Minister for Pork Minister for White Coats Minister for Bucolics Minister for Gina Minister for Shielas Minister for Painting Minister for Piss-ant Islands Minister for Terror


Is the housing bubble bad news for Labor?

By Leith van Onselen I’ve read some weird analysis in my time. But few beat Labor state secretary Kosmos Samaras’ effort, whereby he has tried to argue that Melbourne’s housing bubble spells bad news for Labor because it performed badly in electorates where the median house price is above $700,000. From The Canberra Times: Labor voters


Bolt stokes the immigration pushback

From card carrying loon-ponder Andrew Bolt: WHY have jihadist terrorists made France Europe’s bloodiest battlefield? Simple answer: Because France let in the most Muslims. This link between immigration policies and terrorism largely explains why the French are the greatest victims of Europe’s jihadists. It also explains why we are fools not to change our own


Loony Right the Turnbull Government’s biggest threat

By Leith van Onselen Fairfax’s Ross Gittins has done a nice job today dissecting the dangerous shift within the Coalition whereby the conservative right has hijacked the policy agenda: Malcolm Turnbull’s biggest enemies are inside his own government, not outside. If he’s to make sufficient progress with controlling the budget and reforming the economy to


Twiggy pulls as volumes surge

I hope you’re watching this, Nick Xenophon, from the AFR: Cast your mind back to last year and you’ll remember the self-styled mining magnate-of-the-people and Fortescue Metals chairman was railing against local competitors Rio Tinto and BHP for increasing iron ore production. It was a threat to the long-term future of the industry! Twiggy squealed. The


Loon pond continues hijack of election failure

By Leith van Onselen The Coalition white-anting against the party’s announced superannuation reforms rolls-on today, with former minister Eric Abetz continuing to lead a backbench assault against the changes, blaming the policy for the Coalition’s poor electoral showing. From The ABC: “When you have had such a big kick up the pants, as we have


Shorten to embed policy campaigning?

By Leith van Onselen Fairfax’s Mark Kenny has reported today the Opposition leader Bill Shorten has appointed respected political strategist, Andrew Thomas, as his new chief of staff as he seeks to make high-tempo campaigning a permanent feature of this electoral term: Fairfax Media understands the appointment is part of a new high-energy approach to


Don’t mess with Australia’s paper voting system

By Leith van Onselen One of the few areas where there seems to be bipartisan support is the belief that Australia should move towards an electronic voting system, which would allow a faster dissemination of results. From The ABC: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have endorsed electronic voting for future elections…


How did the MSM get the election so wrong?

Cross-posted from Independent Australia: There are many with questions to answer after the election — but the mainstream media has the most pressing posers, writes managing editor Dave Donovan. EVEN IF the Coalition manage a narrow majority in this election, there are still many people with a lot of hard questions to answer. The ones with the


Banana Republic dirt propagandist slashes iron ore

From the Ministry of Dirt (A.K.A. Office of the Chief Economist, Department of Industry) today in its Resources and Energy Quarterly: Forecast weakness in iron ore prices is expected to put downward pressure on Australia’s iron ore export earnings, despite robust growth in volumes. Australia’s export volumes are forecast to reach 852 million tonnes in


Katter calls for immigration, foreign ownership limits

By Leith van Onselen Sometime the mavericks speak the most sense. Yesterday, independent MP Bob Katter threw his support behind the Coalition, but called for curbs to Australia’s immigration intake, stronger controls on foreign ownership, and a banking Royal Commission. From ABC Radio: LOUISE YAXLEY: Bob Katter isn’t the kingmaker yet, but he is talking


Company tax cut the biggest election dud

By Leith van Onselen The fallout within the Coalition over Saturday’s poor election result rolls-on, with a ‘rising star’ of the Liberal Party and member for the seat of Canning, Andrew Hastie, criticising policies such as the company tax cut and the ‘innovation agenda’ because they had little relevance to ordinary Australians. From The Australian:


Latest count swings further to Coalition

From the ABC: Current count has Lib 74, Lab 72. The AFR ejaculates its headlines prematurely: Malcolm Turnbull is assured of forming government – possibly in his own right – after two more seats fell the Coalition’s way and it two others swung its way. With the Coalition now sitting on 72 seats, which is four short of


Loon pond mulls Coalexit

Hot off the press: Conservative senator Cory Bernardi is in talks to break away from the Liberal Party to become the figurehead for a conservative party which would hoover up all the right-wing votes Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is accused of bleeding in his disastrous election campaign. “Bernardi is actively seeking this job,” a Liberal


Turnbull: Mission Impossible

Malcolm Turnbull is Mediscared, from Phil Coorey at the AFR: The federal Coalition accepts it must compromise on its 10-year company tax cut plan and Malcolm Turnbull has raised expectations of a retreat on cuts to Medicare as he took full responsibility for Saturday’s election outcome and vowed to heed the message sent by voters. …Mr Turnbull said the election result had sent a clear message that “there


Digging into One Nation’s immigration policy

By Leith van Onselen With Pauline Hanson’s election to the Australian Senate and her daft warnings of “terrorism on our streets” and suburbs “swamped by Asians”, I thought it would be useful to examine her party’s, One Nation’s, actual immigration policies. Below are the key extracts of this immigration policy, along with my commentary: One


Coalition’s super reforms a vote winner?

By Leith van Onselen I wrote this morning how several Coalition MPs are pressuring Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison to wind-back their announced superannuation reforms, arguing that it cost the party dearly at weekend’s election. Well, Treasurer Morrison has hit back insisting there was “no correlation” between the wealthy electorates hardest hit by the Government’s


Asian investors react to The Hansoning

The sequel few want to see, The Hansoning 2, is well underway now with Domainfax pushing the polarisation of debate along nicely: “If Ms Hanson insists on working against a multicultural Australia, or adhere to the rejection of a race or a religion, yes, Australia’s development and ability to attract investment could be a problem,” developer B1 Group chairman and


Gotti: Sack Morrison

From Gotti today: If Malcolm Turnbull remains as Prime Minister after the 2016 poll, he must start to use his knowledge of what works in the corporate world, the world he left to go into politics. Corporations that succeed make sure that underperforming executives are given other jobs or discarded and star performers are moved into vital


Government drowning not waving in loon pond

The epic Andrew Bolt weekend dummy spit is worth another look today: It is not just the entertainment value that makes this video valuable. It captures perfectly the attitude of the Liberal Party’s uber-conservative rump, a tail that now spectacularly wags the dog through the sheer extremity of its passions. Witness, did Malcolm Turnbull destroy