Medicare and Barack Obama

Erza Klein argues that polls show support for health care reform rising (and this at a time when the current bill has attracted substantial opposition from the left). As I have argued before perhaps Australia may provide a guide, the single-payer systems of Medibank and Medicare implemented by Labor governments in 1975 and 1984 (a […]

Family law and the Australian right

D. Kemp, Foundations for Australian Political Analysis: Politics and Authority, Oxford University Press, 1988 B. Maley, Marriage, Divorce and Family Justice, Centre for Independent Studies, Policy Monograph No. 23, 1992 B. Maley, Family and Marriage in Australia, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney, Policy Monograph No. 43, 2000. P. Saunders, Australia’s welfare habit and how to […]

Catholic activists and racism

Interesting to note the incorporation of Australian Catholic conservatives into the Australian conservative movement. This is apparent in the recent anti-Muslim rhetoric of Greg Sheridan and Kevin Andrews which echoes themes of less prominent Catholic activists such as Bill Muehelberg and Cory Bernardi. This is an interesting shift. Defence of White Australia was a core […]

Kelvin Thompson, immigration and public opinion

Immigration & voter ideology

Do left-wing critics of immigration, such as Labor MP Kelvin Thompson, speak for a significant constituency?Joshua Gans seems to think so and argues that debates about immigration ‘cut across usual left-right divides’, evidence for this could include right-wing libertarians who support high immigration.  It is true that 1970s doomsday fears of overpopulation were  an early […]

Workers and climate change

Do working-class voters support action on climate change? The National Party hopes not, it is vehemently opposed to the Rudd government’s Emissions trading Scheme (ETS). Does this reflect doubts about the scheme in regional Australia? Could Labor lose votes, particularly among working-class voters, in regional areas?

Culture & class in NSW 1930 to 2007

07ALPTrdLab

Very busy with the end of semester rush but the just published analysis of the social composition of NSW state electorates based on the 2006 census provides an irresistible diversion (tip Penny Sharpe) from paperwork and St. Kilda’s defeat. I spent far too many hours on the exhausting task of assembling a similar database from […]

The past and future of enterprise bargaining

Industrial relations reform was one of the great dramas of the 1983-96 Labor government. Labor started as a strong defender of centralized wage fixation and ended a champion of decentralized enterprise bargaining backed up only vague commitment to overall wage targets. By 1996 it was the Reserve bank which overshadowed wage-fixation with its commitment to […]

Sex Discrimination and Emissions Trading: Nationals then and now

Sex_Bill

Commentators on Australian politics have long maintained a death watch on the National Party and its current woes have seen this topic attract renewed attention. Thinking about this topic, and in particular the Nationals’ appeals to an imagined mass conservative constituency.As as I prepared my lecture on feminism for Modern Political Ideologies. In discussing liberal […]

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 […]