Secular stagnation? Paul Sweezy in Australia

I have an article in Online Opinion on Labor’s post-election prospects although my comments applicable to the entire left including the Greens. One topic I touch is the implications of slower economic growth for politics. In recent weeks we have seen a revival of the ‘secular stagnation’ thesis that due to a shortage of investment […]

Capitalism and machine politics in Geelong

Celebrity photographer and nightclub owner Darren Lyons is en route for the a victory in the Geelong Mayoral by-election with about 30%, ahead of his nearest rival Stephanie Asher with 12%. It is a compulsory preferential ballot but with 16 candidates it would be extremely unlikely for Lyons to lose from here. The City of […]

Why bother with the ABC’s ‘Keating’ ?

I wrote recently that Australians don’t revere past politicians. But evidence against this, at least for elites, is the popularity of long-form interviews with politicians past. The most recent installment is the ABC series on Paul Keating. As a historian I consider that the value of open-form interviews with past politicians, who have had plenty […]

From the Rudd legacy to the Gillard wars

I have an article in The Conversation about Kevin Rudd’s legacy. In the next Overland I will have a longer article on Rudd and Gillard. I don’t find Rudd particularly interesting. Even his parliamentary supporters such as Richard Marles can only tell us he was a nice bloke, at least some of the time. The […]

Mark Latham political seeker

For last year my online commentary focus has been The Conversation. I am relaunching this blog. Today I have a review of former Labor leader Mark Latham’s recent book Not Dead Yet at The Conversation.  With seven respondents to Latham’s opening essay it is difficult to cover. Some additional points. The popular Labor party reform […]

Labor’s problem: workers or the self-employed?

Labor 93-10

Using the Australian Election Survey and logistic regression to estimate impact of becoming self-employed on the votes of male manual workers. I have also included deunionisation (a likely consequence of self-employment). This chart shows predicted Labor vote 1993-2010. Summary self-employment has a negative impact on Labor vote but this impact has actually declined slightly since […]

Queensland Labor’s lessons for state politics

Why is Labor’s era in Queensland coming to an end? The short answer is that Queensland is a naturally conservative state. I argue that different states may have a natural propensity to support Labor or the Coalition, levels of unionization, manufacturing employment, educational levels and ethnic diversity are significant here. However this does not imply […]

Labor without heartlands?

Been looking over Antony Green’s recent report (pdf) on the 2011 NSW election and inspired by comments from Penny Sharpe thought it was interesting to consider what it reveals about the disappearance of Labor’s heartlands and how 2011 compared to Labor’s most severe previous defeat in 1932. For 2011 Green provides lists of the best […]