LNP cabinet sworn in

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Malcolm Turnbull’s new government is being sworn in today, but there are a couple of aspects of his new ministry that has political commentators worried. Political scientist Sarah Maddison says the increased National presence in cabinet doesn’t match up with voter’s attitudes, and the lack of female-held portfolios is disappointing, but typical of the LNP.

Chilcot report damns Iraq invasion

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After seven years of committees, the more than two million word Chilcot report on the 2003 invasion of Iraq has been released. The findings are unambiguously negative; the US, Great Britain, and Australia’s reasoning for the invasion was faulty, and consequences were underestimated. Former prime minister John Howard has responded to the Chilcot report, maintaining his decision to send Australian troops into the conflict was justified at the time. Dr Marko Beljac says the report’s finding are something ordinary people already know.

Election leaves Turnbull a hollow man

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Whatever the final seat count, the 2016 election hasn’t been what Malcolm Turnbull planned. At best, Turnbull will be forming a government with only a narrow majority. In a much-less-desirable outcome, he’ll be negotiating with minor parties and independents to form a minority government in a hung parliament.

Associate Professor Sarah Maddison says the future isn’t looking great for Malcolm Turnbull. Continue reading Election leaves Turnbull a hollow man

New site simplifies political data

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As we approach the 2016 Australian Federal election, there hasn’t been a more important time to understand who is donating to our political parties. A new web site (politicaldonations.info) provides an easy way to visualise political donations over all years for which the AEC provides data. Continue reading New site simplifies political data

Early voting opens in Australia

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The polls are open! Voting starts Tuesday 14th June for anyone eligible to vote before election day on July 2 – which is a fair portion of the electorate. Early voting was first allowed for the 1984 election. Since then, the number of people casting a ballot before polling day has been rising steadily and it’s expected to keep growing. Melbourne University’s Nick Reece says the trend will mean a change in how politicians campaign in the lead up to the election.

Should vote counting code be public?

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A team of Australian researchers believe the code used to count votes in the federal election should be made public, after they found problems in the code of the 2012 NSW local government elections. Dr Vanessa Teague is a member of this team, and says it would be good for democracy, and good for the Electoral Commissions, to make election-related source code public before an election.

National Shelter calls for more housing in leadup to election

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In the lead up to the federal election, housing policy peak National Shelter has called for an all party commitment to a better housing future for Australia. National Shelter Executive Officer Adrian Pisarski  says we need to focus on housing prices, deposits, tax discounts and deductions on what we want Australia to look like, not just on the day after this election, but in the years and decades to come. If you want to join National Shelter in calling for an end to the housing crisis in Australia by 2025, you can sign the petition here.

Greens call for Labor’s LGBTI support

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The Australian Greens urge the Labor party to join them in committing to removing religious exemptions from the Sex Discrimination Act, following Rainbow Labor’s announcement to appoint an LGBTI discrimination commissioner. Greens sexuality spokesperson Senator Robert Simms  says Labor’s plan is a good one, but won’t end discrimination against LGBTI people under the law.

Budget 2016 breakdown

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Treasurer Scott Morrison will be unveiling the federal budget at 7.30 tonight, amidst much speculation as to contents and whether it will win the foundering coalition the upcoming election. The usual tax cuts and funding bonuses will be announced, but what do we know for sure? ANU’s Professor Quentin Grafton broke it down for us.