Are the Democrats too liberal?

The Obama administration’s struggles over health care have raised again the question of whether the Democrats are out of touch with public opinion. This is a challenge for American liberals. In recent years they have tended to argue for the existence of a natural left majority on economic issues which they admit can be undercut […]

Big ‘L’ Liberal feminism not dead

Is anti-feminism a core belief of the Australian right? It is true that among conservative cultural warriors anti-feminism is a strong theme. Research I have undertaken whilst writing a lecture on feminism for Modern Political Ideologies calls this into some doubt.

Primaries or collective self-governance

Primaries are back in the news in Australia following  media reports of their use by the British conservatives to endorse a candidate. Primaries seem to attract sympathy from the left judging by Larvatus Pradeo. I doubt however that the current uninspiring quality of Labor MPs would be much improved by primaries, although some of the […]

Obama’s potential woes

Matthew Yglesis argues that: The right-wing advocates of no bailout and “spending freeze” are, in essence, calling for a return to the Hoover-Mellon policies that had disastrous results in the past…What people are living through today is no walk in the park, but it’s vastly better than the alternative. Meanwhile, the left-populist alternative of no […]

Weir, Skocpol and the stimulus

The current controversy about the American stimulus package recalls the paradox identified in Margaret Weir’s Politics and Jobs. She asks why government job programs have been so rare in the US despite the strength of popular support for the work ethic. She argues that the institutional peculiarities of American government make effective programs so difficult […]

Blue Dogs again points out that there are 65 Democrats who won election in districts that voted for McCain but only 9 Republicans representing Districts that voted for Obama. Democrats won at least 12 of 32 Republican voting districts that were vacant at this election. Thus the suggestion that: there are many districts that vote Republican for […]

Blue Dogs

In the Democrats quest to regain and secure an electoral majority much attention has been devoted to the question of ‘conservative Democrats’, consider the anti-abortion gun rights champion Don Cazayoux in the forthcoming Louisiana special election. An article in Congressional Quarterly however gives a different analysis of the ‘Blue Dog Caucus’ the self defined group […]