Interest Groups and the High Court of Australia

Non-party interventions can inform or influence the outcome of court cases. For example, in the Tasmanian Dams Case, the High Court permitted the Tasmanian Wilderness Society to make representations about the probable destruction… Continue reading

The decline of policy mandates

Perhaps there is no term more misused and abused in Australian politics than ‘mandate’.  When in government both the Coalition and the Labor Party insist that they have a mandate ‘from the people’,… Continue reading

The Chance of a Dangerous Adventure

About two years ago the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House surveyed the Australian cultural landscape – in terms of things prime ministerial – and started thinking about what we could… Continue reading

Epitaph for a political chancer: Cameron’s fate exemplifies the inability of UK elites to resolve long-run crises

Thirteen months ago I forecast that ‘Cameron returns now to 10 Downing Street for a maximum stay of three years, but it will be a rocky road ahead’. His reduction to another failed UK premier… Continue reading

Road to Rome: The organisational and political success of the M5S

The Five Star Movement (M5S) obtained two major victories in the second round of municipal elections on 19 June 2016 in Rome and Turin. Rome attracted the most international attention but it is… Continue reading

From Abbott to Turnbull: A New Direction?

At the 2013 election, many Australians expressed their concern with the chaos that surrounded the Labor minority governments of Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd. They gave their support to Abbott as a Prime… Continue reading

Parties, databases and campaigning in 2016

With just days to go, the 2016 election seems to be a very close race with opinion polls showing the parties to be neck-and-neck. In such a close battle, the success of the… Continue reading

Is ‘economic management’ Labor’s Achilles heel?

I suspect the obituaries for Labor’s campaign have already been written: Bill Shorten performed above expectations, won back Labor’s ‘base’ but failed to appeal to swinging voters on ‘economic management’. There is truth… Continue reading

New style lobbying: how GetUp! channels Australians’ voices into politics

We see their spokespeople quoted in the papers and their ads on TV, but beyond that we know very little about how Australia’s lobby groups get what they want. This series shines a… Continue reading

Not so grassroots: how the snowflake model is transforming political campaigns

This article is part of the Democracy Futures series, a joint global initiative with the Sydney Democracy Network. The project aims to stimulate fresh thinking about the many challenges facing democracies in the… Continue reading