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Guns, debt and hostages: tough times for Obama in Congress

Charles RichardsonJan 18, 2013 2

Obama already had trouble with Congress over debt and spending; now he's added guns as well. It's worth looking at the different dynamics involved.

Torture goes to the movies

Charles RichardsonJan 17, 2013 2

A film about the hunt for bin Laden puts torture in the spotlight. Will America face up to what Bush and Cheney did?

One person’s discrimination, another person’s freedom

Charles RichardsonJan 16, 2013 3

Christians claiming relief from discrimination won one case out of four at the European Court of Human Rights. But in Australia, the issue is their right to discriminate against others.

About this blog

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

Queensland comes in first for electoral imbalance

Charles RichardsonJan 15, 2013 3

A study by the Queensland Greens throws an interesting light on last year's state election by comparing it with the proportionality of other state and provincial elections around the world.

So, what’s Mali, and should we care?

Charles RichardsonJan 15, 2013 6

Mali isn't Iraq. It isn't even Afghanistan. But whether that's enough to promise success for François Hollande, only time will tell.

Czechs give direct election a try

Charles RichardsonJan 15, 2013

The Czech Republic has held its first direct election for the presidency, to replace the idiosyncratic Václav Klaus. It shows a party system in some disarray.

Is Obama a realist?

Charles RichardsonJan 11, 2013

Chuck Hagel's nomination brings back into focus the old debate between realists and idealists over American foreign policy.

Could the Coalition steal Labor’s clothes on optional preferences?

Charles RichardsonJan 10, 2013

Change in electoral law is generally driven by perceived political interest, not by principle. Shifts to more democratic outcomes happen when a major party thinks that they will work to its advantage.

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