A French left without workers?

The rise of the French National Front evokes alarm on the left. Actually I think Marie Le Pen is unelectable whoever she runs against. The Presidential system in France was introduced to marginalize the Communist Party which could never secure a majority in a Presidential contest. Now the system works against the National Front. Whoever […]

NSW Labor 1911-2011, Labor & radical liberalism: two papers

I attended Australian Society for the Study of Labour History and the Australian Political Studies Association recently. Both papers inspired by contemporary issues. My ASSLH paper examined career of Richard Crouch the Deakinite Liberal who after losing Corio to Labor in 1910 joined the ALP as a result of his experiences at Gallipoli. Crouch was […]

From Communists in 1951 to refugees in 2011: Labor & the High Court

The federal Labor government of Julia Gillard struggles with the issue of asylum-seekers, the government’s rigid position is widely unpopular among Labor activists and party sympathizers and many were pleased with the High Court’s decision on the Malaysian solution. Caucus leaks to an extent akin to that of the Scullin government. We can see how […]

Rudd-Gillard and the end of old New Labor

How are we to explain Australian Labor’s woes? Some hints in an examination of British New Labour’s economic record by Duncan Weldon. He highlights how Labour’s model was unsustainable: Remember the campaign posters in 2005? How the issue of the economy was dealt with? A near endless repetition of macroeconomic statistics – the longest period […]

Listening to Labor’s true believers

The current malaise of the ALP has seen a recent upsurge of interest in primaries as a way to draw Labor supporters into participation within the ALP. But would this work? What do Labor supporters want? None of the recent discussion about primaries considers the example of Tasmanian state politics. The Hare-Clark proportional representation system […]

Lessons from Gerry Gleeson

Reading The Wran Era. The horrendous foreword by Mark Arbib recent NSW ALP secretary sets record for cliches per line and  explains much about the fall of the last NSW Labor government. The most interesting chapter so far are the recollections of Gerry Gleeson the head of the Premier’s Department 1977-88. Gleeson reinvented the Department […]

Australian society in 1985

Recently read Graetz & McAllister’s Dimensions of Australian Society based on the National Social Science Survey of 1984-85 and other survey data. This is Australia before market liberalism and the transformation of the ALP. How did the patterns describe anticipate the future? Can we see signs of John Howard’s later ascendancy? Some interesting observations:

Canadian thoughts

Preoccupied by teaching but some hasty thoughts on the Canadian elections. Some attention from right-wing commentator James Allan who can’t work out why NDP did well, apparently voters think do highly of the Liberals that if they had criticised the NDP the NDP vote would have collapsed, if they respected Liberals so much than why […]

Class, culture and Labor politics in NSW 1930-2011

Unfortunately there is nothing in state politics to compare to the Australian Election Study. However some aggregate analysis of NSW is interesting and shows how cultural politics has come to rival economic cleavages. I have developed a simple model to predict the two-party preferred Labor vote by electorate. The dependent variables are the portion of […]