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James Buchanan RIP

Charles RichardsonJan 10, 2013

Nobel-winning economist James Buchanan, one of the founders of public choice theory, died yesterday at the age of 93. As with most pioneers, it's a measure of his success that we no longer realise how controversial his ideas once were.

Another view on compulsory voting

Charles RichardsonJan 9, 2013

There was a bit of discussion in a post on Monda

What if they had an inauguration and no-one came?

Charles RichardsonJan 9, 2013

Hugo Chávez will be missing from Thursday's inauguration in Venezuela. It just goes to show that even the most comprehensive of constitutions can't provide for everything.

About this blog

Parties, elections and political ideas across the globe from an Australian perspective

Italy latest: Berlusconi “ruled out” as PM

Charles RichardsonJan 8, 2013

A new electoral pact supposedly rules out Silvio Berlusconi as a candidate for prime minister. Doesn't sound like him at all, does it?

Obama picks his man for the Pentagon

Charles RichardsonJan 8, 2013

Former Republican senator Chuck Hagel is to be the new US defence secretary – provided he's confirmed by the Senate. It looks as if Obama has picked the right man for the times.

Courts, cattle and constitutions – Australia’s ailing federalism

Charles RichardsonJan 7, 20139 Comments

Mountain cattle grazing in Victoria becomes a constitutional issue. The Federal Court upheld the ban, but indicated that there were still limits to Canberra's power on environmental issues.

Hungary takes the John Howard route

Charles RichardsonJan 6, 20135 Comments

Hungary's government comes to grief in an attempt to change the electoral law to its advantage, in much the same way that John Howard did in Australia.

Fiscal cliff: a Civil War postscript

Charles RichardsonJan 3, 2013

One more thing to say about America's fiscal cliff, and it's on the regional breakdown of the vote to approve the legislation in the House of Representatives yesterday morning (Australi

More to liberty than gun rights

Charles RichardsonJan 3, 20132 Comments

So if gun rights need to be defended as a safeguard against tyranny, why are conservatives so cavalier about trashing other safeguards?

The perils of insular thinking

Charles RichardsonJan 3, 20131 Comment

Melbourne's ticketing fiasco reflects the same sort of insularity that gave us compulsory voting and a broken school funding system, among other things.