Oz Politics Archive

What Not To Say If You Want A Future In Politics 1

Fellow Earthians… I’ve got cash…no wait, I’ll use my HSU card Gareth, your beard looks quite fetching from across the chamber Programmatic specificity I’ll be staying in the city tonight, Belinda I don’t care what Robbo says, I’m going to sell the poles and wires It depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is Vladimir, […]

Hume of the Week

One of the lines that first dragged me to Hume’s work. Given my recurring discussion about the Smart Class, and comments on those who see themselves as more informed, it seems apt. Where men are the most sure and arrogant, they are commonly the most mistaken, and have there given reins to passion, without that […]

Greens To Hit The Wall?

Terry Flew has an interesting post  on just where the Greens are going to get voters if they want to grow at all. He also has some interesting observations on the Green vote in inner cities and its relation to under 25s,  and degreed atheists. Given they’ve already taken the Left from the ALP, and […]

Eastern States Celebrity Death Match

If I had a dollar for every demand to abolish state governments I’ve heard, I wouldn’t need to make the big bucks blogging. It seems whenever there is a half-baked thought about government, up pops abolishing the States. Set aside the fact the Constitution is based on residual powers for the States; that the Senate […]

Greens MP Campaigns for Coalition

It’s not often you see Greens MP for Balmain Jamie Parker supporting a Coalition Premier this  unambiguously: “Barry O’Farrell can deliver for the Balmain area where Labor failed for so long, by delivering a fully functioning light rail network,” Mr Parker said. Yes, he can deliver for Balmain. Which was precisely what we said during […]

Green Reflections and the New Reactionaries

After all the ink, pixels and airtime spilled over the Greens this weekend, it hardly seems possible that I could add anything. But my response to commenter GangGreen started me thinking. All the talk of the function and decline of the Greens touches on the development of a troubling political movement: the New Reactionaries, the […]

Housing Affordability Culprit Found: No Action Taken

Excitement! Someone  has actually started making a serious argument about what is really driving housing affordability issues. Well, the Housing Industry Association has, which is a pity because they hardly present as having an impartial perspective. Report done by the Centre for International Economics. Key finding: 36-44% of final price driven by tax and government […]

The Trouble With Smart – Part 1

The way Andrew Leigh MP spanked former ALP Senator John Black for his views  on the Federal implications of the Queensland election reveals a core problem for policy and economic research. This is Leigh’s slapdown tweet (courtesy of Catallaxy): It’s important to understand that Leigh is a former ANU economist with a Harvard PhD and […]

Honorary Doctorates An Award Too Far

It’s time to retire the honorary doctorate. They diminish both the institution awarding them, and the person receiving them. Whether it’s John Howard or Kylie Minogue, the honorary doctorate is merely a statement that the nomination committee likes someone. And that the University is desperate for some celebrity to rub off, fall on the ground, […]

Greens Put Personality Ahead of Good Government

Clover Moore, MP for and Mayor of Sydney, and Jamie Parker, MP for Balmain and former Mayor of Leichhardt, have, as is their wont, been playing the ‘woe-is-me’ victim card. See here, here  and    here. Faced with a reform that increases political checks-and-balances, provides better ways for voters to get help, and adds accountability […]

Failure of politics, failure of advocacy

Niki Savva in The Australian reports on a falling out between industry associations over a joint approach to the carbon tax. AIG, BCA, Minerals Council, ACCI and others couldn’t reach agreement in a telephone hookup. Someone subsequently leaked that Heather Ridout of AIG was the heart of resistance to action. Well, knock me down and […]

Government Isn’t About Protecting Competitors

Stephen King at Core Economics has a corrective for the dinner-party talk on market power and competition: Competition laws necessarily place restrictions on large firms that have market power. These restrictions are not faced by smaller, less successful businesses. But judging any abuse of market power must be handled very, very carefully. An abuse of […]

Smart Machines, Exports and Wage Rates

Tyler Cowen identifies 3 key drivers for US exports, and this counter-Luddite view of technology’s effect on wages: The more the world relies on smart machines, the more domestic wage rates become irrelevant for export prowess. That will help the wealthier countries, most of all America. This logic works on both sides. America is using […]

Defining Oneself as ‘More Informed’

After writing about the wanker-class I am reminded of a conversation I had with a middle-aged environmental activist at a fundraising function – yes, for an environmental cause. At one point, concerned about how dismissive she was about the views of ordinary people, I commented: “Your position does depend on the fact that you are […]

Qld Was An Anti-Wanker Vote

Australians have rediscovered their traditional BS detector. One thing we haven’t heard, presumably because most media commentators, political operatives and politicians fall into the category, is that the Queensland vote could be seen as the great re-assertion of the fundamental Australian value: to never take a wanker seriously. Analysis based on exit polls at the […]