Category Archive: Political Parties

Senate vacancy rules, turnover and the party professionalisation of the Senate

Senate casual vacancies are not rare occurrences in Australia.  Since 1901, there have been some 140 such events. The first senate casual vacancy arose within less than 18 months of the establishment of… Continue reading

Policy before party: women and political collaboration

In 2006, four women senators from different parties made history when they worked together across party lines to overturn the ministerial veto on medical abortion drug RU486. What led these women to collaborate… Continue reading

Major party, minor party, micro party: Does it matter what we call parties?

In the three federal elections since the Australian Labor Party (ALP) were elected to government in 2007, first preferences for non-major parties and Independents in Australia have increased significantly. While in 2007 these… Continue reading

Disposable Leaders Media and Leadership Coups from Menzies to Abbott

Politics in 1950s Adelaide was a gentlemanly affair. The Premier, Thomas Playford, and Labor’s Mick O’Halloran faced each other in four election campaigns between 1950 and 1959. More surprisingly, they dined together each… 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

Have we hit peak Green?

As is most appropriate I start with a confessional. I am a member of the ALP and my views on the Greens and Labor dynamic are well known. Nevertheless I believe the data… Continue reading

What’s Their Story?: Budget 2016 and the election campaign

Tony Abbott’s leadership of the Coalition government ended in disaster. Removed from the top job by his own party, replaced by the very man he toppled six years previously, Abbott’s fall from grace… Continue reading

Australian party think tanks: symptoms of party malaise or party resilience?

  Australian parties are unusual compared to their Anglo-American counterparts in having their own state funded think tanks.   There are four such entities affiliated to the main parliamentary parties at the present… Continue reading

Reforming the Labor Party

It’s the Liberal Party’s organisation that has been in the spotlight in the recent past; preselection contests, such as that for Bronwyn Bishop’s seat of Mackellar, tend to concentrate media attention, if only… Continue reading

The Rise and Fall of PUP is Not Just About Clive

While the electoral prospects of the Palmer United Party (PUP) appear decidedly bleak, one thing remains constant: news about Clive and PUP remains much sought after. The PUP story contains the ingredients of… Continue reading