The rural independents and their electorates

One argument made by conservative commentators in the aftermath of the inconclusive 2010 Australian election is that the three rural independents should support the Coalition because a majority of voters in their electorates support the Coalition as demonstrated by the Senate vote.

Blue Dogs, health care and conservatism

Last year I applied for a research grant to examine conservative Democrats to the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and was unsuccessful. Perhaps the grant application was not very good or perhaps its lack of success reflected the underestimation of the significance of conservative Democrats in the immediate aftermath of Obama’s […]

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 […]