Category Archive: research

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

Digital campaigning and the GetUp effect in election 2016

  GetUp is a unique political organisation in Australian politics. Since their formation in mid-2005 they have accrued over 1,000,000 members, and fundraise about $8 million annually, from mostly small donations. In 2016… Continue reading

Foreign donations and beyond

In the furore over Chinese political donations, the broader electoral reform agenda can easily be forgotten. Australia was once a pioneering democracy but it has fallen behind in protecting its reputation for electoral… Continue reading

After the same-sex marriage vote, what next? Public opinion and policy responsiveness

We care about public opinion and policy congruency for normative and practical reasons. For reasons of values, if nothing else, some form of policy representation is necessary for democratic government. However, this link… Continue reading

The logic of policy-motivated parties

Representative democracy is party democracy. Parties helped to create and continue to shape our democratic institutions, dominating the formation of governments and (most) executive offices around the world. The policies they adopt when… Continue reading

A Tale of Two Sister (Parties)

In the field of centre-left and social democratic politics, arguably the most high-profile ideational development in recent years was the emergence of the so-called ‘third way’ in the late 1990s. For a short… Continue reading

Time for debate over party regulation?

The current inquiry by the federal parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JCSEM) into the conduct of the 2016 federal election should be an opportunity for real debate over party regulation.  Despite… Continue reading

Staking out a new agenda for studying think tanks

Think tanks are a source of interest for scholars and the media alike. Whether it is the Institute for Public Affairs in Australia (IPA), the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA), the Adam Smith… Continue reading

Parliamentary divergence – the path to political dysfunction

The Senate has always constituted something of a challenge to Federal governments wanting to implement their legislative programmes.  However, that is how it should be, surely – the Senate is supposed to operate… Continue reading

Political Unionism in the 21st Century: Women, care and social democracy 

For the past 30 years we have all heard about union decline. Membership has collapsed. Labour markets have been decentralized. The Labor Party has even moved to weaken union influence at National Conference… Continue reading