Voting against the Greens & race and the Liberals

Higgins07-09

After the weekend by-elections in which the Liberals easily retained the safe seats of Higgins and Bradfield a spate of commentary alleging a revival of Liberal fortunes. It is difficult to interpret contests in which Labor did not run a candidate, but the argument is that the Liberal margin over the Greens at the by-election […]

Liberals and ‘liberalism’ from 1984 to 2009

With the Liberals in opposition debate has raged as to the party’s future direction. The debate is often phrased as one of ‘liberals’ vs. ‘conservatives’. Tony Abbott’s recent book, which I still have to read, has been hailed as an intervention on the conservative side and Senator George Brandis has set himself up as the […]

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 […]

Jon Corzine & David Bartlett

The recent woes of the NSW Labor government and the opinion poll slippage of other Labor governments, such as David Bartlett in Tasmania,  have posed the question of whether Labor’s ascendant position in Australian politics is under threat. America conservatives take heart from Obama’s declining support and the woes of Democratic governors such as Jon […]

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.

Conspiracy theories: be alert but not alarmed

Conspiracy theories such as the belief that Barack Obama was born outside the US are in the news. There’s a discussion at Larvatus Pradeo in which posters lash themselves into much anxiety about ‘birthers’ and other crazies. Is this attention deserved? There are some who probably lie awake at night worrying about popular belief in […]

Deficit politics

The scale of American budgetary problems has become a major preoccupation for Republicans  and although opposition parties have struggled in the past to make headway on this Republicans hope that this time it will be different. In Australia the Liberals are trying a similar approach. Brad de Long is interesting on the US position: What […]

Ghosts of John Elliott and Katherine West

Malcolm Turnbull’s basic problem is that like John Howard Mark I he is out of step with his own party. Howard won the Liberal leadership in 1985 due to missteps by Andrew Peacock rather than any strong base of support. Turnbull, once Peter Costello was gone, was the only credible candidate once Brendan Nelson fell […]