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Radio National Media Report looks at blogging &(un)civil discourse

The main reason I was interested in blogging when I was a politician was to provide another way for people to access information about aspects of the political process, and to see if I could get useful feedback from people about some of my ideas and activities. To me, the comments are the most interesting […]

Vegetarian week – reducing Australia's most powerful climate forcing agent

Next week is National Vegetarian Week, so be prepared for a larger than usual number of examples of people seeking to inform you of the environmental, health and ethical arguments in favour of eating less meat. If you’re interested in looking at some of the detailed scientific outline about the severe greenhouse impacts of meat […]

Private lives of public figures

Having spent Sunday morning grumbling to myself about newspapers putting irrelevant personal gossip about a government MP’s marriage breakdown on their front pages, I unexpectedly found myself asked to appear on Sunrise this morning to talk about the topic. There isn’t always an easy dividing line on this principle, as there is a range of […]

Give Petro a go!

Give Petro a go! I’ve been pondering the possible makeup of Malcolm Turnbull’s new shadow ministry (likely to be announced on Sunday), looking at who is in it at the moment, who could be dropped and who would be good to promote. Although the need to minimise internal unrest probably means there won’t be a huge […]

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The world of politics, policy and public life

Fishing for differences

Following on from my previous post on the conflicting message of a merged Liberal National Party in Queensland and a determinedly differentiating National Party at federal level, is another small but rather telling example. The recently tabled Senate Committee report into legislation amending the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act contained a dissenting report from the […]

New Nationals Senate leader determined to differentiate from himself

There are continuing rumblings in Queensland that all is not going sweetly with the newly merged Liberal National Party.  It is a matter for the merged party as to how they want to operate, but I have to say I am getting more and more confused about how it is supposed to work. With Queenslander […]

The proposed anti-pokies laws

A commenter on a previous post asked a question about where the various parties might stand on Nick Xenophon’s “pokies Bill” which seeks to ban ATMs from poker machine venues.  I thought I would answer it through a specific post, so I could detail some of the current activity surrounding this issue. Senator Xenophon’s pokies […]

Liberal Leadership contest – what difference does it make?

I have a loathing for the excessive focus on the theatre of politics, especially when it coincides with an exclusion of any examination of the real world impacts of policy positions. (Well I think it’s excessive anyway, which is why I loathe it). So, apart from one mention on my blog where I asked why […]

Senate likely to produce large reject pile

We have now seen the first two sitting weeks of the new Senate. Most attention was given to the rejection of the government’s legislation increasing the tax on luxury cars, with Family First’s Steve Fielding joining with the Coalition to knock off the Bill at the Second Reading stage, before any attempts could be made […]

Senate bashing makes a welcome return

It only took one Bill being defeated in the Senate for the hand-wringing to start about mandates and legitimate government actions being frustrated by an obstructionist Senate. Paul Kelly went into hyperbolic overdrive in The Australian, going even further than Paul Keating in some gratuitous Senate bashing.  Apparently, the new government is being “undermined by […]