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Election 2016: a reflection

Kasun Yakupitiyage offers his thoughts on a chaotic and confusing election night. With the outcome still very much to be decided, Kasun sees worrying and uncertain times look ahead for Australia regardless of who forms government.

The problems with Australia’s political duopoly

Australia appears to be stuck in a political quagmire, with neither major party offering concrete solutions to the challenges facing the nation’s future. What can be done? Andrew Wong makes the case for why you should send the two major Australian political parties a message on July 2.

A ‘rational’ analysis of the ALP leadership debacle

What was Kevin Rudd thinking? Seriously. Why would anyone with an ostensibly insatiable desire for reclaiming the prime ministership let the precarious ambience of uncertainty develop to the extent that it did only to then decline an opportunity to challenge? Well, it turns out that Rudd was simply making the ‘optimal’ strategic choice given the circumstances he found himself in.

The leadership saga, for the most part, pertained to two closely related variables: firstly, whether Rudd would challenge Gillard by standing for the leadership in a caucus vote and, secondly, whether a majority of the 100 members eligible to vote in the Labor caucus would back Rudd in a ballot. The relationship between these is that, as was later confirmed, Rudd would only be comfortable challenging if he had a caucus majority and, additionally, the caucus members would only risk switching allegiances if they thought that Rudd would actually run for the leadership (due to the repercussions of supporting the loser in a ballot).

However, despite these two variables being inextricably linked, it’s important to note that other sources of influence further complicated the respective decision-making processes for both Rudd and caucus members.

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‘Deficit’ – A Dirty Word In Politics

Minister for Finance, Penny Wong has released an eight page booklet outlining the ALP’s costings of the opposition’s policy pledges entitled Pre-Budget Deficit: Tony Abbott and the Coalition. Of course, the public doesn’t expect all such pledges to be implemented, but if they were, Labor predicts that the Coalition would put the budget $9 million into deficit, in 2012-13. The figure does not include savings the Coalition has promised to find: it is to be noted that the Coalition has failed to point out where these savings were to be made.

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