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Death of a conservative

Curious that the person perhaps most responsible for politicising the US supreme court, at least in the last fifty years, never actually took his seat on the court. Such was the significance of Robert Bork, who died this week at the age of 85. Bork’s nomination to the court by Ronald Reagan in 1987 set […]

Dictator’s daughter takes over a divided South Korea

No surprises in South Korea: Wednesday’s presidential election resulted in a narrow but expected victory for the centre-right candidate, Park Geun-hye, who will become the country’s first female president. She defeated the centre-left’s Moon Jae-in with 51.6% of the vote to 48.0% (official figures here). Voting in South Korea (like most presidential elections – the […]

Free speech: just for nice people, or for crazy racists as well?

If you’re compiling a list of salient political issues for 2012, free speech should probably get a prominent place. The debate that began last year in Australia with the Andrew Bolt case has continued, reaching a new pitch this month with apowerful intervention by former New South Wales chief justice (and new ABC chairman) Jim […]

Britain misses the point of the EU

Don’t miss an excellent magazine piece this week by the BBC’s Allan Little on the significance of the European Union in eastern Europe. He revisits the old debate between “broadening” and “deepening”, and I think gets it absolutely right: Conservative Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major believed that widening Europe would help prevent its […]

About this blog

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

Japan’s landslide not quite what it seems

One of the ideas behind this blog is that election results can’t always be taken at face value: the headlines don’t necessarily reflect what actually happened, and even what actually happened might not reflect what people voted for. Last Sunday’s election in Japan provides a rather nice illustration. The headlines are quite unequivocal: the opposition […]

Welcome to my world

Welcome to my new world politics blog, “The World is Not Enough”. (No, I haven’t seen the film, so Bond references in comments are quite likely to go over my head.) The basic idea is “Understanding the world through understanding politics”. My aim is to provide informed commentary and analysis on foreign politics: elections, parties, […]