Tony Abbott as National Party leader

Discussing the National Party tomorrow morning on ABC Ballarat, some thoughts (which build on my predictions before the last election): For decades political observers have chronicled the decline of the National Party, and predicted the party’s final demise, in particular some have argued that the dismantling of agricultural market regulation would be fatal to the […]

Marriage equality, wealth redistribution and party elites

Are Australian MPs more or less radical than their voters? Some comparisons from the Australian Election and Australian Candidate Studies for 2007 (I have combined ‘agree’ and ‘strongly agree’): Candidates Voters Candidates Voters Support income and wealth redistribution Support income and wealth redistribution Support legalisation of same-sex marriage Support legalisation of same-sex marriage Liberal-National 15.6% […]

Obama goes to Allentown

Not my musical tastes but relevant to the Democrats’ current electoral woes… Have the Democrat’s prospects in the upcoming mid-term elections improved? They remain dire. The upcoming special elections in Pennsylvania and Hawaii are likely to be lost by the Democrats. The Pennsylvania special election is in the 12th district in the former steel-making and […]

Immigration, race and popular environmentalism

The curious fact about the recent population controversy is the absence of any historical context. Since the early 1970s immigration has been a theme of conservative campaigns in Australia, before then it was Labor that wrapped itself in the banner of White Australia.  The conservative critique of immigration came direct from Britain where the Conservatives […]

Socialism within capitalism?

To look over the landscape of socialism is to be persuaded that again and again that Marx was the socialist thinker who had something enduring to say, non-Marxist socialism is fated to merge into liberalism, and if we were looking to political guidance Leonard Hobhouse probably more offers more than the Webbs.

The false friends of ‘liberty’

Who would be a better prison warden: a simple moral person or a very intelligent member of the Institute of Public Affairs? A media report describes a recent meeting of conservative notables at a ‘Foundations of Western Civilisation’ event, organised by the Institute of Public Affairs, at which they rallied against the evils of ‘relativism’. […]

One Nation and the Tea Parties, Hutaree and the New Guard

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Tip/Wag – Hutaree Militia & ABC www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Reform Can the ‘Tea Parties’ attract significant support from outside conservative ranks? I doubt it. What does Australian history tell us about militias? Nate Silver discusses recent polling: There are two […]

Obama’s lost opportunity?

Has Obama’s presidency been a wasted opportunity for American liberalism? Was there ever a prospect of establishing a permanent Democratic majority? Via Mathew Yglesias an interesting analysis from an American dating site using membership data to track the relation between ideological identification and partisan allegiance.