Why bother with the ABC’s ‘Keating’ ?

I wrote recently that Australians don’t revere past politicians. But evidence against this, at least for elites, is the popularity of long-form interviews with politicians past. The most recent installment is the ABC series on Paul Keating. As a historian I consider that the value of open-form interviews with past politicians, who have had plenty […]

Environmental political history repeating?

Enviro policy

In many aspects current politics is a case of history repeating. Labor’s current political woes are reminiscent of the last days of the Keating Labor government, environmental politics had been an important component of Labor’s electoral success in the 1990 election and to a degree at the 1987 and 1993 elections (graph is from Australian Election […]

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.

Barack Obama & Jim Scullin

It is true that the Massachusetts debacle exaggerates the Democrats woes, just as NY-23 obscured them. But Barack Obama might remember the example of the Scullin government. Jim Scullin who led Australian Labor to a landslide victory in 1929 was a nice guy (who shocked senior bureaucrats by asking them to call him ‘Jim’), and […]