I have written a piece on the Rudd government’s first-year polling record relative to that of the Whitlam, Fraser, Hawke and Howard governments, which is freely available in Crikey. Elsewhere:

• For those with ready access to academic journals, the latest edition of the Australian Journal of Politics and History features a look at the role of the Senate in the Australian political system by Stanley Bach, lately of the Congressional Research Service of the US Library of Congress, and an examination of conscience voting in the federal parliament by John Warhurst of the Australian National University. The Australian Journal of Political Science has an overview of the introduction of proportional representation to the Victorian upper house at the 2006 election, by Nick Economou of Monash University.

• The Victorian Electoral Boundaries Commission has concluded there will be no state redistribution before the 2010 election, at least on the basis of “current information”. The present boundaries have been in place since the 2002 election. Hat tip to Tom the first and best. UPDATE: Further props to Tom for noting below that the determination rests on a definition of a “general election” that does not count the 2002 election, as it was conducted on the pre-reform regime when only half the Legislative Council faced election – perhaps contrary to the drafters’ intention.

• The Western Australian branch of the Australian Democrats has been deregistered after declining to challenge the electoral commissioner’s determination that it did not have 500 members.

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